In episode 261 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester sits down with author Brent Weeks.

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Attention, readers!

Phoenix Pick has a new pay-what-you-want eBook special ready to go: The Earth Is All That Lasts by Catherine Wells!

About the book:

Welcome to the North American continent after a series of catastrophes, including famine, plague and floods, have destroyed almost all of humanity. *** Descendants of the survivors (those who stayed) have created a tribal society in the depopulated American West which lives side by side with an enclave of scientists. *** But unknown to all, a spaceship is coming: one with humans on board who care little for the new tribal customs and ways of life. Financed by an influential family settled away from Earth, Homeward Bound is an exploratory ship sent back to see what has become of the home planet, and how best it can be used to further the aims of certain vested interests.

Readers may download this book for free or pay a nominal price of their choice from October 2 – October 31. So grab it now!

Instructions and download links can be found on Phoenix Pick’s catalogue page.

NOTE: This is the first book in The Coconino Trilogy. The other two books in the Trilogy (Children of the Earth and The Earth Save) will also be available for purchase at a deeply discounted price.

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Sarah Chorn on The Functional Nerds Podcast

Prolific blogger and book reviewer Sarah Chorn, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.
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You’ve seen the creepy cover for Mike Allen’s new collection Unseaming…now be haunted by the book trailer.

But first, the description:

Everyone in the world awakens covered in blood-and no one knows where the blood came from. A childhood doll arrives to tear its owner’s reality limb from limb. A portal to the spirit realm stretches wide on the Appalachian Trail, and something more than human crawls through on eight legs. Words of comfort change to terrifying sounds as a force from outside time speaks through them. The buttons in the bin will unseam your flesh to bare your nastiest secrets.

Opening with “The Button Bin,” a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and culminating with its sequel, “The Quiltmaker,” which Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award winner Laird Barron has hailed as Mike Allen’s masterpiece, this debut collection gathers fourteen horror tales that, in the words of Barron’s introduction, “rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan. This is raw, visceral, and sometimes bloody stuff. Primal stuff.”

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The new issue of Clarkesworld is now posted:
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In case you missed them, here are The Top SF Signal Posts for September 2014 (excluding the daily link posts and free fiction posts):
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-10-02

Interviews & Profiles

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REVIEW SUMMARY: Complex and convoluted, but also fast and fun.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A dangerous artifact from a long-lost alien race threatens to destroy the earth.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Lots if interesting story ideas; fast-paced narrative; cool tech; it never gets boring.
CONS: Not as cohesive as it could be; characters that sometimes blend together.
BOTTOM LINE: A very good story with lots of sense of wonder and action — enough that I’m looking forward to the just-released sequel (The Thousand Emperors).
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Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I anme name my top picks for Top Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads in October.

Did I name your favorites?

Check it out!

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While we don't know what aliens will look like, I think we can all agree that they probably won't look like this.

While we don’t know what aliens will look like, I think we can all agree that they probably won’t look like this.

One thing that’s fairly rare in anime is “science fiction” in some of the stricter senses of the term. What is and is not science fiction is a serious ontological debate that I’m not interested in getting into here, but what is clear is that while anime often includes SF settings and tropes (robots, mecha, spaceships, aliens) it’s much rarer for plausibility to be a major concern. More importantly, in my view, the traditional SF role of examining life and society under potential future conditions is often discarded in favor of setting up mecha battles, sexy aliens, and robot philosophers.

There are shows that examine these ideas, though, so let’s look at a pair that talk about the (for lack of a better term) “cyberpunk” future: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Dennou Coil.
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Anton Strout was born in the Berkshire Hills mere miles from writing heavyweights Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. He currently lives in the haunted corn maze that is New Jersey (where nothing paranormal ever really happens, he assures you). He is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series and the Spellmason Chronicles for Ace Books, a division of Penguin Random House. Anton is also the author of many short tales published in anthologies by DAW Books. His latest book, Incarnate, the third Spellmason Chronicles book, is coming out September 30, 2014. In his scant spare time, his is a writer, a sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the worlds most casual and controller smashing video gamer. He currently works in the exciting world of publishing and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds. He is currently hard at work on his next book and be found lurking the darkened hallways of antonstrout.com or talking with your favorite SF&F authors on The Once and Future Podcast, where he is host and content curator.

Keeping It Fresh, or How To Be a Good Judge of Character

by Anton Strout

When you do something for a long time like, say, writing an ongoing series, there’s always the danger of your books going rotten like weeks old fruits or vegetables. Sure, the characters were nice and fresh in book one, but three books in they’re looking a little too squishy and unpalatable.

Never fear, dear reader! I’m here to tell you what it takes to keep an ongoing series from going rotten and boring you!
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Why do we check under the bed for monsters or dread swimming in the ocean or sleep with the lights on? Most likely it’s because of a horror movie or novel. Maybe you watched or read it as a kid or even as an adult; maybe it was temporary or continues to this day. Nonetheless, the horror genre is responsible for many of our fears. And with that in mind we asked our esteemed panel the following question…

Q: What horror tale or tales (novel, short story, movie, TV show, comic book) have messed you up?

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Here’s our monthly roundup of (most of) the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (and releated) books that are hitting bookstore shelves this month.

  1. The Imaginary by A. F. Harrold (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)
  2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  3. The Talon of Horus by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (The Black Library)

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Psst! Do you like…weird?

Courtesy of Mike Allen, SF Signal has 13 (3 physical + 10 eBook) copies of Mike Allen’s creepy collection Unseaming to give away to 13 lucky SF Signal readers!

Here’s what the collection is about:

Everyone in the world awakens covered in blood-and no one knows where the blood came from. A childhood doll arrives to tear its owner’s reality limb from limb. A portal to the spirit realm stretches wide on the Appalachian Trail, and something more than human crawls through on eight legs. Words of comfort change to terrifying sounds as a force from outside time speaks through them. The buttons in the bin will unseam your flesh to bare your nastiest secrets.

Opening with “The Button Bin,” a finalist for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and culminating with its sequel, “The Quiltmaker,” which Bram Stoker Award and Shirley Jackson Award winner Laird Barron has hailed as Mike Allen’s masterpiece, this debut collection gathers fourteen horror tales that, in the words of Barron’s introduction, “rival anything committed to paper by the likes of contemporary masters such as Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, or Caitlín Kiernan. This is raw, visceral, and sometimes bloody stuff. Primal stuff.”

And here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:
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Check out the refreshing cover cover and intriguing synopsis for Catherynne M. Valente’s upcoming novel Radiance.

Here’s the synopsis:
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Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Nightmare Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue (which is guest-edited this month by Ellen Datlow):
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-10-01

Interviews & Profiles

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In this not-new video, Christopher Walken reads — and comments on — Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, because…y’know…why not?
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Daily Science Fiction has announced its October line-up of free stories.
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