Archive for May, 2009
Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]
- The tenth issue of Shimmer, with fiction and articles by Stephanie Burgis, Caitlyn Paxson, Shweta Narayan, Nir Yaniv, Richard S. Crawford, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Caroline M. Yoachim, Jessica Paige Wick, Jen West, Becca De La Rosa, Claude Lalumiere, Alex Wilson, and Sara Genge, is avaialble as a free PDF download
- The latest issue of Mirror Dance features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Molly Schwanz, Robert E. Keller, John Whitehouse, Henry F. Tonn, Sarah Wagner, Aurelio Rico Lopez III, Jay Mijares, and Jess C Scot
- @Planet Magazine: “Mission Fail” by Michael Meyerhofer.
- @Anotherealm: “Charon in Tahiti” by Leona Wisoker.
- @Book View Cafe: “Somewhere in Dreamland Tonight” by Madeleine E.Robins (1994).
- @Dark Worlds: links to numerous classic Charles R. Tanner stories with art and a brief bio.
- @Mongoose Publishing: Signs and Portents #68 which, in addition to gaming aricles, features a Lone Wolf short story “The Siege of Amory” by Joe Dever.
- Audio Fiction:
- Graphic Fiction:
- It’s official: An Alien prequel has been confirmed. It’s being developed by Tony Scott and (ahem) Ridley Scott.
- Jonathan Carroll answers reader questions at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog.
- Should writers write about rape? Steven Francis Murphy openly and honestly ponders that question regarding his own fiction: “I argue that the best way to prevent harm is with knowledge and understanding, not sweeping the subject under the rug in much the same way the Victorians might have done.”
- Real Science: The First Complete X-ray View Of A Galaxy Cluster. Though if you ask me, it looks more like a Christmas tree.
- Surreal Science: Richard Feynman plays the bongos.
Late-breaking news! Harlan Ellison is not a science fiction writer!
So says the man himself in this audio interview with @Studio 360. Ellison (Dreams with Sharp Teeth) says he has “never written science fiction” but has “occasionally used some of the furniture from that genre”.
The deadline, June 1st 2009, is approaching faster than a vampire bat!
Head on over to the original post to see the ridiculously easy entry details.
Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]:
- @Suduvu Free Library: A free Star Wars short story “Precipice” by John Jackson Miller. [via Grasping for the Wind]
- Kage Baker’s short story “Speed, Speed the Cable” (right click to save) is available for free PDF download. [via Subterranean Press]
- @Book View Cafe: Section 2 (the conclusion) of “White Fire” by Sylvia Kelso.
- @Well Told Tales: “Thicker Than Water” by Scott Wilson.
- Audio Fiction:
- @Golden Age Comic Book Stories: A large gallery of Matt Fox art featuring Weird Tales covers, pulp illustrations, and comic book stories.
- @The Internet Archive: Episode 3 of Men in Space “Building a Space Station” (1959)
- Graphic Fiction:
- PS Publishing is offering a FREE EXCERPT of their Tim Powers biography, Secret Histories.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- @Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews: Artist Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier.
- Tor has Part 3 of a conversation with Robert Charles Wilson.
- The Sofanauts No 7 features Jeremy Tolbert, John Joesph Adams, and Charles A Tan.
- Missions Unknown has a fantastic interview with the inimitable Scott A. Cupp. If this is the kind of stuff we can expect from this new blog then, folks, we have a serious contender.
- Take a sneak peek at Cory Doctorow & Charlie Stross talking about privacy
- J.M. McDermott tells us that Apex Publications will be publish an eBook version of Last Dragon, his first novel that made it to the Amazon Editors’ Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Picks of 2008.
- Mary Robinette Kowal offers Tips on How to be a Hero.
- Dark Horse has added 4 Kull wallpapers to their page o’ wallpapers. Also cool: Star Wars: Legacy, Star Wars (Generic), Robots & Donuts, Doctor Grordbort, Penny Arcade, and The Goon
- The Crotchety Old Fan longs for the return of science fiction pulps.
- Attention small presses! The World in the Satin Bag is offering free advertising for you.
- CNN knows Why our ‘amazing’ science fiction future fizzled.
- Super Punch has a Big gallery of Up concept art.
- @Cracked.com: 6 Sci-Fi Movie Conventions (That Need to Die) (#6. The Ship is an OSHA Nightmare)
- Neatorama points us to a list of 20 Brilliant Bookcases.
- @International Society of Supervillains: The 14 Most Abominable Superhero Creations of the 1990s, Part 1.
- Neatorama points us to 15 Most Alien Looking Caterpillars on Earth.
- @Wired: Ian R. MacLeod’s Eight Problems in Writing Fiction About the Future.
Pixar’s Up has just hit theaters this weekend and the reviews are stellar and I’ve seen a couple that say Up is Pixar’s best film yet. Wow. But what does Pixar choose to follow Up with? Toy Story 3! The teaser below doesn’t explain anything about story, but it sure is heavy on the characters.
More cool covers!
Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why. Go!
Books shown here:
- Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Artist: Chris Moore)
- The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia (Artist: Andrä Martyna)
NOTE: Click on the book images or title links to access bigger & better versions of the cover art…
Torchwood: Children of Earth is premiering on BBC America this July and they’ve just released a trailer for the show. Children of Earth is a story told over 5 nights and and re-joins Captain Jack, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones as they face a threat to the human race.
It certainly has a creepy, Children of the Corn vibe to it but it looks interesting. Perhaps I’ll need to go watch the first season of Torchwood.
Here’s a new batch of Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]:
- Graphic Fiction:
- @Golden Age Comics: Space Detective #1 in CBR format.
- @The Horrors of It All: “The Man Who Shrunk.”
- @Grantbridge Street & other misadventures: “To Catch a God.“
- @The Bronze Age of Blogs: The comic book adaptation of The Legend Of The 7 Golden Vampires.
- @Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine: “The Creatures from Nowhere” and “The Stone Sentinels of Giant Island”
- Drops of Crimson has its 4th issue of “Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Urban Gothic, Steampunk, and Horror stories” up with fiction by Kate O’Connor, Corby Kennard, T.M. Thomas, Kenneth Mark Hoover, Gary J. Beharry, Catherine Schaff-Stump, and Philip Roberts.
- @Book View Cafe: “The Doctor’s Wife” by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff (1992).
- Audio Fiction:
- @StarShipSofa: “Transylvanian Mission” by Lavie Tidhar.
- @Maria Lectrix: “The Corpse on the Grating” Parts One and Two by Hugh B. Cave, read by Maureen O’Brien.
- @Well Told Tales: “American Nightmare” by Lilah Wild, read by Sonia Perozzi.
- @Dunesteef: “Hangman” by Abby “Merc” Rustad.
- @The Internet Archive: Episode 2 of Men into Space “Moon Landing” (1959).
Careful, Captain Kirk…your Freud is showing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….
- Interviews & Profiles:
- @SF Novelists: David J. Williams (Burning Skies).
- A Flight and a Crash: Hal Duncan (Escape From Hell). [via Roberson's Interminable Ramble]
- @McNally Robinson Booksellers: Edward Willett (Terra Insegura).
- @Polish website Polter.pl: a PDF interview (in English) with Peter Watts Blindsight. [Thanks, Pawel D.!]
- @Fantasy Magazine, Cat Rambo profiles L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz…duh).
- N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms) talks about trilogies. [via Bibliophile Stalker]
- John C. Wright is talking about Children’s Science Fiction: “…the boundaries of the genre called Science Fiction simply does not apply to the kind of books children tend to like.” (Related: Jim C. Hines Is Your Book Appropriate for My Child? [via Enter the Octopus]
- James Enge reviews the Harlan Ellison documentary, Dreamd with Sharp Teeth.
- Do you know of any short stories about neanderthals? Tell Ted Kosmatka!
- John Scalzi Answers SciFi Questions at SciFi Scanner.
- Embarrassed about holes in your reading? Here’s How to Lie About Books.
- At Grasping for the Wind, several bloggers name their favorite underrated authors.
- A horror novella printed on a roll of toilet paper? Really?
- Splash Page has a preview of William Shatner’s Tek War Chronicles, a new comic based on Shatner’s Tek War books.
- Isaac Asimov gets a crater named after him.
- Bloginhood lists The Top 10 Cyborgs.
AT Cnet, Gordon Haff tells us Why e-books aren’t cheaper:
We’ve all heard the rant. With e-books, there’s no paper, printing, transportation, and so forth. So why should an e-book still cost $9.99 (typical for Kindle) or even more?
The idea of e-books being cheaper makes a lot of intuitive sense. If everything you physically hold in your hand and everything it took to deliver that physical good to your hand can be converted to a few megabytes worth of electrons, surely the cost of the book must be dramatically lower than a typical hardcover–and the price should reflect that fact.
The problem is that the costs aren’t nearly as much lower as you might believe.
…if you want the same level of professional preparation and promotion associated with a typical printed book–the $9.99 e-book price that a lot of people grumble about is probably pretty near the floor.
I wonder what the sweet spot is for eBooks. I’m not knowledgeable in the economics of books sales, but as a consumer I can’t help thinking that cheaper means more sales and thus more profit.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- Fantasy Book Critic interviews James Enge (Blood of Ambrose): “I believe that the greatest danger to genre fiction nowadays is not the denial of respect from some notional group of literary tastemakers but the very real likelihood that sf/f may become respectable.” Links to Enge’s free online fiction included at no extra charge.a
- @Joseph Mallozzi’s blog, Michael A. Burstein (I Remember the Future) answers reader questions.
- Borders Newsletter features a video interview of Joe Abercrombie (Best Served Cold) and an excerpt from Monster by A. Lee Martinez.
- Mary Rosenblum if featured in Oregon Live‘s PDX Green column: “[Rosenblum] writes science fiction because it’s hard for people to change how they have always done things, including how they live in relation to the environment.”
- @Booklist Online: T.A. Barron.
- Tor.com has posted Part 2 of an interview with Robert Charles Wilson.
- Mur Lafferty interviews J.C. Hutchins.
- The Sofanauts No 6 features Jeremy Tolbert, Paul Raven Graham, and Amy H Sturgis.
- Advance Cover Pr0n: Here’s 1,000 words on why I personally love the artwork of John Picacio. (See the story behind this upcoming Asimov’s cover image here.)
- An interesting thread at the Asimov’s Forum: SF Masterpieces Ruined by the Ending.
- Gabriel McKee talks about The complex religious landscape of Robert Charles Wilson’s Julian Comstock.
- Science fiction conventioneer files bankruptcy, and pisses off Edward James Olmos to boot: “Battlestar Galactica star Edward James Olmos publicly lambasted Senter during an interview at last year’s DragonCon convention in Atlanta and vowed to work with the New Hampshire attorney general’s office ‘to bring this bastard down.'” Get ‘im, Adama!
- Free Fiction: Web Fiction Guide offers free online novels, story collections, and reviews. [via Alan Baxter, who is giving away some free fiction of his own...in the form of a signed copy of his book Realm Shift]
- Real Science: Black holes are voracious space-pigs – Astronomers are getting a close-up look at a cosmic eating machine: a spinning black hole that devours the mass equivalent of two Earths per hour, verging on the limit of its feeding ability. :
- Movie Stinger website shows which movies have post-credits extra scenes! [via SFXmagazine]
- Weird Ralph maintains a list of free online games, including Free Online Space/Sci-Fi Games.
- Neatorama made me shamble over to Mental Floss’ Quiz of the Living Dead
- A list for writers: S. Andrew Swann (Prophets) lists The 10 Commandments for writers who blog.
- @Baltimore Examiner: The 10 Best Star Wars Video Games. What, no vector graphics games from the 80’s? Pfft! [via TheForce.Net]
- Convention Fans lists The Top 20 Sexy Male Science Fiction Costumes. I’m not sure Dr. Manhattan’s birthday suit actually qualifies as a costume…
- @Manolith: 18 Vintage Sci Fi Posters: Robots, Aliens, Monsters and Hot Women.
- OnlyGoodMovies lists Top 85 Robot Movies
- I fondly remember seeing The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the theaters during high school. Sure it’s part campy, silly and funny, but it’s also almost always awesome, especially John Lithgow. And how can you not like a film that has inscrutable watermelons and spawned endless ‘Bigbootay!’ jokes? Could you imagine how incredible a TV series based on the movie would be? Doug Drexler was approached to perform some development work on just such an idea and he’s posted his work for all to see. Sweet!
- If you’ve ever wanted to see the original cast of MST3K perform live, here’s your chance. Joel, Frank and the gang are touring the country as part of their Cinematic Titanic venture, performing live! I know, very cool. Are they coming to your neck of the woods? Well, probably not, but you can check the schedule yourself. Dallas, really? Come on guys, you’re better than that!
- Will Ferrell, you either love him or hate him. The same could be said about Bear Grylls, the ‘sleeping in a motel when he should be suffering through the night in the desert’ host of Man vs. Wild. Now, in honor of the impending release of Ferrell’s Land of the Lost, Will and Bear are starring in a very special episode of Man vs. Wild. Will and Bear will attempt to survive in the frozen reaches of northern Sweden, hopefully avoiding anything resembling an ‘after school special’.
- TV Tyrant looks at the current state of SF on TV and declares Fox to be the winner! And in terms of quantity I have to agree. Quality, however, is more debatable. LOST gives ABC a huge lead and if Flash Forward is anywhere near as good as the book, ABC should take the crown back next year.
- Andrew Probert has worked on several well know SF series, all during the late 70’s and through the 80’s. Here’s a video reel of sketches followed by the finished product (and I still love the original Battlestar Galactica theme):
Some books are perfectly good but ultimately predictable. When you’ve been reading for a long time, more and more books fall into that category. We ask writers and critics of today what books still make you sit up and take notice.
Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Award winning novel One for Sorrow, and most recently The Love We Share Without Knowing. His short stories have appeared in a variety of venues, including The Years Best Fantasy and Horror, LCRW, Strange Horizons, Interfictions, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. He teaches fiction writing at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.
The last sf/f book that really surprised me was Paul Park’s A Princess of Roumania. I read it in 2005, when it appeared. Some friends sent a copy of it to me in Japan as a gift. I’d heard good things already about it, but when I first started reading it, I wondered if it wasn’t perhaps only just hype, because for a good portion of the first few chapters it seems as if it was going to be any other YA teens get transported to another chintzy world novel. Then the story began to unfold in such a way that what kind of book you thought you were reading wasn’t actually that at all, but its inverse, a narrative that made the world you inhabit outside the reading of a book the fantasy, and the one inside the book reality. An alternate Roumania in which magic exists, and a political system that felt all too believable and beautifully contrived at the same time. In the foreground of this astonishing backdrop were these wonderful characters, too, some incredibly good, and others, like the Baroness, deliciously insane and evil. Reading this book took me back to my early days of reading fantasy novels, when I hadn’t read so many to grow bored yet by the vast amount of repetitive and derivative fantasy novels that flood bookstore shelves each year. In many ways, this novel is a very traditional fantasy with a few twists of the tale I hadn’t seen before, but it’s the uniqueness of the world and especially its characters that made me feel like I was finally reading an original fantasy novel again, for the first time in years.
Ellen Datlow has posted the table of contents of her upcoming best-of anthology Best Horror of the Year #1, along with the original source publication:
- “Cargo” by E. Michael Lewis (Shades of Darkness)
- “If Angels Fight” by Richard Bowes (F&SF February )
- “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy (The Werewolf Pack)
- “Penguins of the Apocalypse” by William Browning Spencer (Subterranean)
- “Esmeralda” by Glen Hirshberg (Shades of Darkness)
- “The Hodag” by Trent Hergenrader(Black Static 7)
- “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle (Exotic Gothic 2)
- “When the Gentlemen Go By” by Margaret Ronald (Clarkesworld #21 July)
- “The Lagerstätte” by Laird Barron (The Del Rey Book of SF & Fantasy)
- “Harry and the Monkey” by Euan Harvey (Realms of Fantasy December)
- “Dress Circle” by Miranda Siemienowicz (Hecate volume 34, No. 1)
- “The Rising River” by Daniel Kaysen (Black Static 5)
- “Sweeney Among the Straight Razors” by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Star*Line Sept/Oct)
- “Loup-garou” by R.B. Russell (The Werewolf Pack)
- “Girl in Pieces” by Graham Edwards (Realms of Fantasy, April)
- “It Washed Up” by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean)
- “The Thirteenth Hell” by Mike Allen (The Journey to Kailash)
- “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan (The Del Rey Book of SF & F)
- “Beach Head” by Daniel LeMoal (On Spec summer #73)
- “The Man From the Peak” by Adam Golaski (Worse Than Myself)
- “The Narrows” by Simon Bestwick (We Fade to Grey)
- On July 7th you’ll be able to purchase the complete Moon Machines miniseries on DVD. This series originally aired on The Science Channel focuses on ” the efforts of the 400,000 people who created the equipment used to achieve the lunar landings”. If you’re like me, you loves you some space hardware and this series has a ton of it. Just check out that Saturn V, just like the one resting on its side down at the Johnson Space Center.
- If you’ve got a bunch of old TV shows or movies on DVD that you want to get rid off but don’t really know what to do with them, Amazon is here to help. They just launched the beta for their Movie and TV Trade-In store where you can get Amazon gift cards for your unwanted Movies and TV shows on DVD. Right now the SF pickings are exceptionally slim: Firefly the series will net you a $10 gift card, but who would trade that in? Expect to see the store fill out in the coming months.
- In July, Sci Fi will debut the new series Warehouse 13. The guys over at The Sci Fi Cast have posted a Warehouse 13 primer to get you up to speed on the show. I agree there is a lot of potential here based on what could be in the warehouse, but I was less than impressed with the trailer.
- Annie Nau rants about people who feel their SF TV shows is the best evah! and look down on those who haven’t seen all the episodes or who fell other shows are better. She is quite correct, it’s all a matter of taste. Which is why I am not a fan of Stargate and think LOST is the best SF show on TV right now! Ahahahahahahaha!
- You may think the upcoming TV series Flash Forward is based on science fiction. Ah, but UFO Digest explores the possibility there is current knowledge to support the idea of warped time and consciousness.
- BBC America will be debuting a new series, Being Human, on July 25th. This new series explores the lives of three twentysomethings as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost. Although, if you’re a ghost, can you really be said to have a ‘life’? Any of our UK friends care to comment on this show?
- Dr. Who is a busy guy lately. Not only will the eponymous Doctor be appearing in an animated series, he’ll also be featured in 12 episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures and possibly in a big screen movie! Although there may be yet another Doctor for the big screen adaptation.