Happy New Year!

Here’s wishing you a fantastic 2010…

Thanks for reading SF Signal.

IROSF Suspending Publication

From their website:

Seattle, WA, 12/30/2009 – After six years of publication the Internet

Review of Science Fiction (irosf.com) will cease operations after the

February, 2010 issue. Publisher L Blunt “Bluejack” Jackson and Editor

Stacey Janssen expressed their gratitude to all the subscribers, con-

tributors, authors, and especially the volunteers who made IROSF such

a success since its first issue in January, 2004.

Continuous financial shortfalls added to the challenges of publishing

IROSF, and Jackson has expressed his intent to turn to new challenges

related to the economy and logistics of Internet publishing. “What we

learned with IROSF and AEon Speculative Fiction was that neither tra-

ditional nor community-driven economic models met our needs, and that

the complexity of managing a distributed volunteer pool burned people

out, despite a steady increase in revenue and readership. Our plan is

to use this knowledge, and the ready availability of new distribution

channels, to create the kind of environment that would have empowered

the editors to achieve the success that IROSF’s superb content always

deserved.”

TOC: The Year’s Best Science Fiction #27, edited by Gardner Dozois

Editor Gardner Dozois has released the table of contents for The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection, slated for a July 2010 release:

  1. “Utriusque Cosmi” by Robert Charles Wilson (New Space Opera 2)
  2. “A Story, With Beans” by Steven Gould (Analog)
  3. Under The Shouting Sky” by Karl Bunker (Cosmos)
  4. “Events Preceding the Helvetican Revolution” by John Kessel (New Space Opera 2)
  5. “Useless Things” by Maureen F. McHugh (Eclipse Three)
  6. “Black Swan” by Bruce Sterling (Interzone)
  7. Crimes and Glory” by Paul McAuley (Subterranean)
  8. Seventh Fall” by Alexander Irvine (Subterranean)
  9. “Butterfly Bomb” by Dominic Green (Interzone)
  10. “Infinites” by Vandana Singh (The Woman Who Thought She Was a Planet)
  11. Things Undone” by John Barnes (Jim Baen’s Universe)
  12. On The Human Plan” by Jay Lake (Lone Star Stories)
  13. “The Island” by Peter Watts (New Space Opera 2)
  14. The Integrity of the Chain” by Lavie Tidhar (Fantasy)
  15. “Lion Walk” by Mary Rosenblum (Asimov’s)
  16. Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction” by Jo Walton (Tor.com)
  17. “Three Leaves of Aloe” by Rand B. Lee (F&SF)
  18. “Mongoose” by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette (Lovecraft Unbound)
  19. “Paradiso Lost” by Albert E.Cowdrey (F&SF)
  20. “It Takes Two” by Nicola Griffith (Eclipse Three)
  21. “Blocked” by Geoff Ryman (F&SF)
  22. “Solace” by James Van Pelt (Analog)
  23. “Act One” by Nancy Kress (Asimov’s)
  24. “Twilight of the Gods” by John C. Wright (Federations)
  25. “Blood Dauber” by Ted Kosmatka & Michael Poore (Asimov’s)
  26. “This Wind Blowing, And This Tide” by Damien Broderick (Asimov’s)
  27. “Hair” by Adam Roberts (When It Changed)
  28. “Before My Last Breath” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s)
  29. “One of Our Bastards Is Missing” by Paul Cornell (Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Vol. Three)
  30. “Edison’s Frankenstein” by Chris Roberson (Postscripts 20/21)
  31. “Erosion” by Ian Creasey (Asimov’s)
  32. “Vishnu at the Cat Circus” by Ian McDonald (Cyberabad Days)

[via Jason Sanford]

SF Tidbits for 12/31/09

Interviews/Profiles

News

Articles

MIND MELD: The Best Genre-Related Books/Films/Shows Consumed in 2009 (Part 5)

“Best of the Year” lists start appearing as early as November, so we are perhaps a little late in asking folks around the community:

Q: What were the best genre-related books, movies and/or shows you consumed in 2009?

[Also added was this note: They don’t have to have been released in 2009. Feel free to choose any combination of genres (science fiction/fantasy/horror) and media (books/movies/shows) you wish to include.]

Read on to see their picks (and also check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)…

Sandra McDonald
Sandra McDonald‘s novels – The Outback Stars, The Stars Down Under, and The Stars Blue Yonder – are about an Australian military lieutenant, her handsome sergeant, and their adventures in deep space. She also write short stories that have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy and other magazines and anthologies. Her short story collection Diana Comet and Other Tales, the fantastical romps of a Victorian heroine of questionable gender, will debut at Wiscon from Lethe Press.

For television, my favorite genre-related show continues to be Supernatural. I was a little late to the party, having resisted the handsome heroes for as long as possible, but finally fell hard. This year I’ve been watching in awe as Dean and Sam Winchester follow separate hero’s journeys that nevertheless always bring them back to each other. We’re currently in season 5 (no spoilers here) and let’s just say the showrunners have taken that journey to places I never anticipated, with awesome interior and exterior obstacles to hurdle, and I’m looking forward with great anticipation (and not a little fear) to the season (or series) finale coming next spring.

I’ve also read a lot of Supernatural community writing this year, and deeply appreciate the legions of writers out there weaving tales of the apocalypse, rewriting canon in inventive ways, and spinning the characters into hilarious, tragic, and complex alternate universes (sometimes all three at once). Some stories are short romps, some are novel-length adventures, and more than a few are written by traditionally published authors. If you’re on twitter you can follow Henry Jenkins at USC and his informative links about transmedia, participatory culture and digital storytelling. Or email me for story recs – I’ve got dozens. Maybe hundreds.

On the book-related front, I’ve been catching up on Rachel Caine’s excellent Weather Warden series, enjoying Linnea Sinclair’s romantic military sf (the Dock Five series, including Hope’s Folly), and reading more than a few YA adventures, from science fiction (Pete Hautman’s Hole in the Sky) to Victorian fantasy (Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty). All highly recommended. Break down the barriers of genre and I think many writers would get a kick out of Steve Hely’s How I Became a Famous Novelist. For the craft of writing itself I’m very much enjoying Pat Schneider’s Writing Alone and With Others.

Movies? Who has time to go to the movies? Okay, I confess to sneaking away to the cineplex once in awhile, but nothing genre-related had me reaching for the popcorn in 2009. Here’s to 2010!

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BSG/Queen Mashup: Battlestar Rhapsody

Help me decide if this is genius or just very, very sad.

[via TV Squad]

SF Tidbits for 12/30/09

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Want More? See SF Signal’s Twitter and Facebook pages for additional

tidbits not posted here!

REVIEW: Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

REVIEW SUMMARY: Successfully adds to the novella on which it is based.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A pair of time travelers, Shel and Dave, travel to past eras looking for Shel’s father.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Skillful storytelling; engaging story; showcases cool uses of a time travel device.

CONS: The tendency of the characters to show advanced technology in past centuries undermines the respect they’re supposed to have for the Golden Rule of Time Travel (which conveniently avoids paradoxes).

BOTTOM LINE: Every bit as enjoyable as the shorter version on which it is based.

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Robocop Shills For Bug Spray

I’d buy that for a dollar.

[via Poe TV]

SF Tidbits for 12/29/09

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Want More? See SF Signal’s Twitter and Facebook pages for additional

tidbits not posted here!

Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Black Ships’ vs. ‘The Age of Zeus’ vs. ‘Empire in Black and Gold’

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links…

MOVIEW REVIEW: Avatar

REVIEW SUMMARY: Outstanding visual effects and a compelling set of characters help this rather simple sci-fi story deliver a very entertaining experience.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An evil corporation wants to mine underneath the

sacred village of the indigenous population and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. In an attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution, a group of scientists don Avatars, clones of the aliens grafted together with genetic material from the human pilots. The humans pilot these bodies remotely and befriend the natives but are unable to convince them to leave causing the corporation to use military force instead.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Best visuals in a motion picture, advancing film special effects, reminds many of Star Wars

CONS: Incredibly predictable plot, some dialog is really lame

BOTTOM LINE: This is a must-see film – in 3D – if you’re at all interested in seeing how the future of film (and science fiction in film) will be.

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Free Fiction for 12/28/09

Books Received: December 28, 2009

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books and stuff we received this past week, this last week of 2009.

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SF Tidbits for 12/28/09


Interviews/Profiles

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Sunday Cinema: X The Unknown (1956)

Synopsis: Radioactive mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village during the 1950’s.

Need I say more?

SF Tidbits for 12/27/09

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Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 6)

Here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last several weeks…

  1. The Happening (2009) – Suspenseful for about the first 30 minutes, but when it became Plans vs. Humanity it devolved into nonsense.
  2. Space Chimps (2008) – If you squint a little, you can find a decent time-passing film about smarter-than-human chimps that overthrow an alien overlord.
  3. Resident Evil (2002) – While there’s nothing really new here, it does nicely mix a rogue AI with zombies and mutants, which is always nice.
  4. Shorts (2009) – A fun-but-silly movie about a magical rock that grants wishes, and the kids (and adults) that misuse it.
  5. Dead Like Me: Life After Death (2009) – Offers some (but not all) much-needed closure to the storylines of the season, but the absence of Mandy Patinkin’s Rube character in this black comedy is a serious blow.
  6. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – What starts as a horrific glorification of violence in Act I turns to a thoughtful dissertation on crime and rehabilitation in Act II. The inevitable act III, however, felt more drawn out than it needed to be.

Your Post-Christmas Muppet Zen

SF Tidbits for 12/26/09

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