Jeff Somers was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and regrets nothing. He is the author of the Avery Cates series (and the recently released Avery Cates short, The Shattered Gears) and The Ustari Cycle books: Trickster, Fabricator and his latest novel, We Are Not Good People. Jeff publishes a zine called The Inner Swine and has also published a few dozen short stories; his story “Ringing the Changes” was selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2006, edited by Scott Turow. His guitar playing is a plague upon his household and his lovely wife The Duchess is convinced he would wither and die if left to his own devices.
Sufficiently Advanced: The Magical Side of Science Fiction
by Jeff Somers
Once in a blue moon I find myself with some time on my hands while I await bail and/or an attorney, forced to sober up and think about things for a while. This is in fact usually exactly the phrase the judge uses – think about things for a while. This time, I found myself thinking about magic and Science Fiction.
Over at the Scy-Fy science fiction blog, I’ve been interviewed by proprietor S.C. Flynn about blogging and books.
Bagels may have been mentioned.
Head on over and take a look!
This excellent video is a fantastic primer for mythology behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
It kinda makes me want to read it again.
Damn you, clever video!
In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
I’m not gonna lie. As giant monsters go, a radioactive turtle is probably the Kaiju version of a nerd. Even so, that didn’t stop Gamera from warming the cold lump of coal I call a heart…
Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.
My brief thoughts follow…
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What’s Special About Today’s Free Fiction?
- Shimmer #22 – November 2014
The winners of our giveaway for Sci-Fi Chronicles edited by Guy Haley have been chosen and notified.
- Andrea B.
- Ashley W.
- Bob M.
- Daniel W.
- Dru S.
- Jennifer K.
- Kai G.
- Milos T.
- Ruhan Z.
- Sue C.
You will be receiving your prizes soon!
Thanks to everyone who entered.
Check out the excellent Dan Dos Santos cover and the synopsis for the upcoming novel Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs, book 4 in the Alpha and Omega series.
Here’s the synopsis:
Last year, I was shocked to read that Iain M. Banks announced that he had cancer and was going to die within months. I had first come across him when I picked up Consider Phlebas, and several of its sequels when my Waldenbooks shut down and liquidated its stock: his books were among the first that I grabbed and stuck in the backroom to hold while we waited for the store to close. I really enjoyed the novel, although I’ve yet to really pick up any of the others. I was fascinated by the depth and breadth of the Culture.
Banks plays a critical role in the resurgence of space opera in England, leading a number of other well-known authors such as Alastair Reynolds, Peter Hamilton, Stephen Baxter and others around the 1990s. Space opera is a type of story that’s not been well received, and Banks sort of bridges the gap between authors such as Arthur C. Clarke and C.J. Cherryh and those such as James S.A. Corey.
Go read The Culture of Iain M. Banks over on Kirkus Reviews.
REVIEW SUMMARY: An annotated evisceration of the unpublished first novel of the author, by the author
BRIEF SYNOPSIS:: Nakor is a very special elf, at the center of a story involving the return of a spider Goddess. Oh dear, its a D&D campaign turned into a novel. A bad novel…
PROS: An unflinching look at what an early novel from a published author looks like, and what the author has learned since then.
CONS: Sometimes the annotations and snark grow thin or repetitive, leading to long passages of passable (or worse) prose and plot.
BOTTOM LINE: A book that stands as an interesting artifact of Hines’ career more than a training or teaching tool.
Timothy Johnson is a writer and editor living in Washington, D.C. with his wife and his dog. He is the author of the sci-fi/horror novel Carrier from Permuted Press. Nothing frightens him more than the future, so he writes about it in hopes that he is wrong. He lives in Washington, D.C., Carrier is his first novel.
Five Needlessly Inaccurate Sci-Fi Myths and Their Awesome Truths
by Timothy Johnson
As an author, I take authenticity seriously, especially in science fiction. Research is important to ensure the story doesn’t misrepresent the technology and disciplines it portrays. Of course, it’s still fiction, and everything yields to the needs of the story. Sometimes concessions in factual correctness have to be made for the sake of drama.
These aren’t those times.
The following are five science-fiction myths that need to stop right now because they’re needlessly wrong. And in a lot of cases, the factually correct versions are more awesome anyway.
Rajan Khanna, author of Falling Sky, 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.
Pretty much all you need to know here is Summer Glau and Big Robot.
Fantasy Scroll Magazine (edited by Iulian Ionescu, Frederick Doot, and Alexandra Zamorski) is an online, quarterly publication featuring science fiction, fantasy, horror, and paranormal short-fiction. The magazine’s mission is to publish high-quality, entertaining, and thought-provoking speculative fiction. With a mixture of short stories, flash fiction, and micro-fiction, Fantasy Scroll Magazine aims to appeal to a wide audience.
Here’s the table of contents for the new issue…
Julie Czerneda has been churning out Hard Science Fiction novels for the better part of the last decade-and-a-half for DAW books. One thing I’ve always thought and said about DAW books is how fine a job they do to ensure a writer’s books remain available for readers, especially through issuance of omnibus editions. These two points bring me to Species Imperative, an omnibus of Czerneda’s trilogy of the same name comprising Survival, Migration, and Regeneration. Two of the books in this series/omnibus made the final ballot for the Prix Aurora Award. Set a few hundred (?) years into the future, Czerneda places humanity as part of an interstellar organization where many alien civilizations coexist. Our point person over the course of the three novels is Mac, a biologist initially only interested in life on our planet.