What Science Fiction Websites Do You Frequently Visit?

I’m curious to know what other science fiction (and/or fantasy and/or Horror) websites people visit regularly. (Besides this one, of course! :))

Most of the websites I visit regularly are listed over in our Links section on the main page, but generally they fall into categories, sometimes one site falling in several categories as listed below.

What about you? Are there any worthy websites you like that aren’t listed here?


NEWS SITES

The best sources for original science fiction news are those places who make a living reporting it. So I frequently hit up Locus Magazine and SciFi Wire. (Science Fiction Weekly is just a summary of the past week’s news.)

Other sites (SF Signal included) collate the news from these and other sources. While not original information, the one-stop-shopping is nice. SF Crowsnest is good for SF news in the UK although its propensity for popups is starting to irritate. Solar Flare has been stepping up a bit in terms of news posts as well.

BLOGS

SF Blogs can be interesting. SF bloggers post two different kinds of information – news and opinions – sometimes in the same post. The news, as mentioned above, is usually just a rehash of what’s easily found elsewhere (with a link and a hat-tip). That’s fine for blogs like ours where we have a community of people with whom we want to share the news. But the opinion is usually the more interesting content. Even better when it’s not just a rant for the sake of ranting, but an honest opinion or reflection based on the topic. Better still when the topic starts a conversation by several contributors.

There are several SF blogs I like to visit regularly. Matthew Cheney’s Mumpsimus and Jonathan Strahan’s Notes From Coode Street are always good reads. Big Dumb Object is another frequent stopping place and a good source for UK news as well. John Scalzi’s Whatever blog is another favorite as of late. I frequently visit the consistent content of SciFi Dailyand Sci-Fi Ranter Girl, but I’m a bit confused by The Dragon Page blog since they started podcasting via their more popular Slice of SF site. Other blogs, while not solely science fiction, do offer the occasional science fiction tidbit; sites like The Eternal Golden Braid, TexasBestGrok, Spacecraft and Voyage to Arcturus.

MAGAZINE SITES

I call sites that tend to release a new version of their categorized websites at predetermined intervals “Magazine Sites”. (Oddly, I don’t place the website for Locus Magazine here because they focus on daily news and tidbits – the real content is in the printed magazine.) SciFi Weekly (updated every Monday or Tuesday) is usually a must-read as is SF Site (updated twice a month). The UK-based Alien Online is also fun to read and updated more often than most. Revolution SF is both interesting and funny. The Internet Review of Science Fiction always has some thoughtful discussion but, alas, is published on a monthly schedule. Emerald City is another mag site. Then there are the online versions of the print magazines: Asimov’s , Analog and Fantasy & SF.

FREE FICTION

There are many places (some mentioned in other sections) for free fiction, but the most comprehensive collector of this fiction has got to be Free Speculative Fiction. I’ve snagged many a short story through this site. (A simple conversion via the MS Word eBook converter to store eBooks on my PDA and I’m good to go!) Infinity Plus is another site I visit when looking for original short fiction, although it used to be updated much more frequently.

REVIEW SITES

Occasionally I like to read reviews that others have written. (So I can steal their opinions, reword it using John-speak, and publish it as my own. Just kidding…or am I? :)) Two of the best sites for short fiction reviews are Tangent and Best SF. Mark Watson at Best SF has a great review archive of anthologies. After I review older anthologies myself, I like to go there and compare notes. Evil Androids and Fantastica Daily are good, too, and both offer news items as well.

LINK SITES

I find lots of exciting SF-related stuff through link sites (sites whose main content are links to things – things you may want to bookmark or email to people). Usually, these sites are not strictly science fiction sites and they offer other good stuff too. Gravity Lens is a good one in this category. Although GL’s Jeff is not as…spirited…on his own site as he is in these pages, his links are always interesting. I look forward to the first of every month where Jeff lists the [whatever]-of-the-month. Website at the End of the Universe does a good job of picking a current topic/link/story and finding lots of related information. Boing Boing, one of the most popular blog ever, puts anything and everything on their pages. Best is to subscribe to their newsfeed to wade through the noise. The best posts there are Cory Doctorow’s science fiction related posts although I think others disagree with my assessment as just about everything else they post is reverberated throughout the blogsphere for days.

RESOURCE SITES

The value of some sites is not in their fresh content at all. Locus Magazine offers The Locus Index to Science Fiction and The Locus Index to Awards. The index lets you search for stories and novels by author, collection, anthology or whatever and shows the publication history. The Awards site lets you see all nominees and winners sorted by year, author, award, category and more.

SciFan‘s from page is not updated very often, but you can be sure that things are being added to their database frequently. SciFan collects comprehensive bibliographical information for authors and also lists books in a series. Their themes pages were a great way to find an if-you-like-that-then-you’ll-like-this book.

Other useful resource sites are Classic SF (for a listing of currently-playing science fiction on TV) and SF Resource Guide. The Resource Guide hasn’t been updated in years, but the content it contains (too much to mention here) is still valuable.

11 thoughts on “What Science Fiction Websites Do You Frequently Visit?”

  1. “Spirited,” eh?

    I’ve always tried to stay somewhat positive on my site, linking to those things that I like and find interesting. I do not cover a lot of movie stuff, due to the fact that I do not regularly watch movies. I have made a concerted effort to stick pretty close to SF on Lens, lately with a lot of news stories that would have been SF a few years back.

    However, y’all talk up Star Trek & Star Wars and other franchises that I love bashing, so I always look forward to venting on your comment board. Although I did just post a vicious take on the Thunderbirds movie on my own comment board earlier this week.

  2. Livejournal Whileaway, http://www.livejournal.com/community/whileaway/, it’s not for the weak of constitution (BTW, if one has not noticed, Whileaway is the fictional world from Joanna Russ’s short story When it changed).

    Revolution SF used to be my main link for information, their site is really cool. I like Cheryl Morgan’s Emerald City perzine, she has lively opinions about what she is reading. Fantastic Metropolis used to be better, but now their site is hard to find things on. SyFy Portal has the latest news about Trek things, but they’re not only about Trek.

  3. Follow on to last message. I cannot recommend enough IROSF, you have to sign up for their content, but after one year+ I have not received any unsolicited E-mail as a result of that. Secondly, earlier this year IROSF published an essay by Cheryl Morgan, the Emerald City lady, concerning the definition of fantasy and SF and how they might differ, it’s an outstanding essay. One of her conclusions is that defining a text through the tropes used by the author, may lead to wrong conclusions.

  4. I visit various author sites. Some make me grimace (Stross), some make me think (MacLeod), some have nifty bits (Foster), some aren’t updated nearly as often as I like (Varley and Reynolds).

    :O

  5. Nice roundup of links, there. SFSignal is one of my daily reads, so I’m pleased that TexasBestGrok got a nice mention.

    You might want to check out Gene Expression’s SF group blog (http://sciencefiction.gnxp.com), to which I occasionally contribute. They haven’t really hit a consistent stride yet, but there are some good tidbits there, too.

  6. Not a Sci-Fi site, but a new book has come out with a nifty sci-fi theme: The hero, a flabby 44-year old illustrator awakes Kafka-like to find he has the body of a taut 17-year. The BEM he rescued last week has kept its promise!

    He was a very randy 44-year old, and now, with his new powers, he is true wolf in sheep’s clothing. His serial escapades with the young nubiles at Montclair High School make for a hilareous Victorian sexcapade.

    There is a review of the entire book–“Whileaway”–of which this novella is found along with 5 short stories, most of a ribabld nature.

    For more on it, see: http://www.velocitypress.com/pages/Whileaway.php

  7. Speaking of sci-fi novels, a real sleeper in the time travel genre is surely the out-of-print “Ballard’s War,” (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1551971127/qid=1120652232/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-6572212-6931854?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 )

    This is a tale of a 1990’s American math professor who time travels back to 1942 Nazi Germany to help Hitler win the war. His motives seem highly suspect, even to Admiral Cannaris’ Abwehr, but the intelligence data he gives them is priceless. Then something goes wrong. ery clever plotting, and the hero turns out not to be the bad guy.

    As the author, my testimony is of course suspect, but I am hard put to find a more developed WW II thriller, heavy in Nazi detail. FWIW.

  8. Tom,

    May I suggest a follow on to Ballard’s War? You’ve already got time travel and Nazis. Now you just need to go to the next step. Undead, preferably zombies. You would then have the ultimate SF story for us at SFSignal. You can’t go wrong with time traveling, undead, Nazi zombies!

    Seriously, I’ll check your stuff out!

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