RIP: Jeanne Robinson (1948 – 2010)

Sad news…

Robert J. Sawyer and William Gibson are reporting through their Twitter feeds that Jeanne Robinson, author and wife of Spider Robsinson, has passed away.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling Talk About ‘The Beastly Bride’

[Interviewer’s Note: This is a series of interviews featuring the contributors of The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.]

Ellen Datlow has been editing short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for almost thirty years. She was co-editor of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for the twenty-one year run of the series and has edited or co-edited many other anthologies, most recently Troll’s Eye View, The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (the last two with Terri Windling), Best Horror of the Year, Volumes 1 and 2, Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft Unbound, Tails of Wonder and the Imagination (a big, reprint cat anthology), Digital Domains: A Decade of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Darkness: Two Decades of Modern Horror. Forthcoming are Best Horror of the Year, Volume 3, Naked City: New Tales of Urban Fantasy, Haunted Legends (with Nick Mamatas), and Teeth: Vampire Tales (a young adult anthology, with Terri Windling). She has won multiple awards for her editing, and was named recipient of the 2007 Karl Edward Wagner Award for “outstanding contribution to the genre.” More information can be found at, and she regularly blogs at (Photo by Lori Datlow)

Terri Windling has been an editor specializing in fantasy and mythic fiction for over thirty years, winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and (most recently) the S.F.W.A. Solstice Award for outstanding contributions to the sf/fantasy field. She has been a consulting fantasy editor for Tor Books since 1986, and the director of The Endicott Studio for Mythic Arts since 1987. She was the fantasy editor of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror annual volumes (St. Martin’s Press) for the first sixteen years of the series’ publication; and she has edited dozens of other anthologies as well, often in partnership with Ellen Datlow. Terri also writes fantasy fiction for adults and children, publishes nonfiction on myth and folklore subject, and she is a painter whose works are exhibited in museums and gallery in the U.S. and Europe. A former New Yorker, she now lives with her husband and step-daughter in a tiny village in the west of England. (Photo by Alan Lee)

Charles Tan: Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. I love your anthology series from Viking. What made you decide to start this “fairy tale” series–and continued doing so until this fourth anthology, The Beastly Bride?

Ellen Datlow: The Beastly Bride is part of a new mythic rather than fairy tale series that Terri and I started with The Green Man.

We’d never worked in the young adult market before and Viking editor Sharyn November approached us about editing something for her and Terri came up with the green man theme. We’ve had great fun working on the series.

One thing I’m particularly pleased about is persuading some of the fine writers we’ve used in adult venues, writers such as Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Delia Sherman, Tanith Lee, Carol Emshwiller, and a host of others–to write young adult fiction for the first time. The other thing is that the series crosses over from the young adult market to the adult market.

Terri Windling: As Ellen said, the idea behind this anthology series was to look at mythic themes, rather than fairy tales. In previous volumes of the series we’d explored forest myths (The Green Man), faeries and nature spirits (The Faery Reel), and trickster myths (The Coyote Road). One of the things I’ve loved most about working on this series is that it’s a great way to to educate young readers about world myth, which is a subject I’m rather passionate about.

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Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi and Subterranean Press Sponsor Fan Fiction Contest to Benefit the Lupus Alliance of America

Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi and Subterranean Press are sponsoring a Fan Fiction Contest to Benefit the Lupus Alliance of America. Here are some brief details from Scalzi himself:

For the benefit of the Lupus Alliance of America, John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton and Subterranean Press are running a fan fiction contest, in which contestants write a 400 to 2,000 word story describing the picture above. Any form of fan fiction is acceptable except slash. The winner of the contest will be paid for their story (10 cents a word), win a prize pack of books from Subterranean Press, and will have their story published in a special electronic chapbook featuring stories about the painting, written by Scalzi, Wheaton, Catherynne Valente and Patrick Rothfuss, to be published later this year, with profits to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America. E-mail the stories with the text in the e-mail to by 11:59pm Eastern, June 30, 2010. One entry per person.

Check out Scalzi’s post for the fine print.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: ‘The Tel Aviv Dossier’ by Lavie Tidhar & Nir Yaniv

There are only a few days left to enter our giveaway for a free copy of The Tel Aviv Dossier by Lavie Tidhar & Nir Yaniv!

See the original post for the ridiculously easy details on how to enter.

Books Received: May 31, 2010

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s the stuff we received this week.

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SF Tidbits for 5/31/10




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TOC: ‘Stories: All-New Tales’ Edited by Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio

Here is the description and table of contents of the new Neil Gaiman/Al Sarrantonio anthology Stories: All-New Tales :

“The joy of fiction is the joy of the imagination. . . .”

The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more–to find the answer to the question: “And then what happened?” The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal.

Stories is a groundbreaking anthology that reinvigorates, expands, and redefines the limits of imaginative fiction and affords some of the best writers in the world–from Peter Straub and Chuck Palahniuk to Roddy Doyle and Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O’Nan and Joyce Carol Oates to Walter Mosley and Jodi Picoult–the opportunity to work together, defend their craft, and realign misconceptions. Gaiman, a literary magician whose acclaimed work defies easy categorization and transcends all boundaries, and “master anthologist” (Booklist) Sarrantonio personally invited, read, and selected all the stories in this collection, and their standard for this “new literature of the imagination” is high. “We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all.”

Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man’s descent into evil in “Devil on the Staircase.” In “Catch and Release,” Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in “Unwell.” Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in “Wildfire in Manhattan.” Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams’s “The Knife.” Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in “The Therapist.” A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman’s novelette “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains.”

As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume–sure to become a classic–will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction.

Table of contents, follows…

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Sunday Cinema: Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)

The Three-Headed Monster battles Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan for the world!

[via Divers and Sundry]

TOC: ‘Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead’ Edited by Nancy Kilpatrick

Brian Hades sends word that Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead edited by Nancy Kilpatrick is on the McNally Robinson best sellers list for the second week in a row. The USA release scheduled for August 2010. Here is the table of contents:

  1. “Let the Night In” by Sandra Kasturi
  2. “Learning Curve” by Kelley Armstrong
  3. “Chrysalis” by Ronald Hore
  4. “Mother of Miscreants” by Jennifer Greylyn
  5. “Resonance” by Mary E. Choo
  6. “The New Forty” by Rebecca Bradley
  7. “Red Blues” by Michael Skeet
  8. “The Drinker” by Victoria Fisher
  9. “Sleepless in Calgary” by Kevin Cockle
  10. “Come to Me” by Heather Clitheroe
  11. “An Ember Amongst the Fallen” by Colleen Anderson
  12. “Mamma’s Boy” by Sandra Wickham
  13. “The Morning After” by Claude Bolduc
  14. “All You Can Eat, All the Time” by Claude Lalumière
  15. “Alia’s Angel” by Rhea Rose
  16. “When I’m Armouring My Belly” by Gemma Files
  17. “A Murder of Vampires” by Bev Vincent
  18. “The Greatest Trick” by Steve Vernon
  19. “Soulfinger” by Rio Youers
  20. “Bend to Beautiful” by Bradley Somer
  21. “Evolving” by Natasha Beaulieu
  22. “How Magnificent is the Universal Donor” by Jerome Stueart
  23. “The Sun Also Shines On the Wicked” by Kevin Nunn
  24. “Quid Pro Quo” by Tanya Huff

SF Tidbits for 5/30/10



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Free Fiction for 5/29/10

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Warren the Ape Plays Dungeons and Dragons

Warren the Ape is a new show that will be premiering on MTV June 14 at 10:30pm ET/PT.

Warren is “a hilarious, and once famous, puppet with a drinking problem.” (Holy Triumph the Wonder Dog, Batman!) Here is a clip of him trying his hand at a game of Dungeons and Dragons

SF Tidbits for 5/29/10

Interviews & Profiles



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MOVIE REVIEW: Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time (2010)

REVIEW SUMMARY: A forgettable but modestly enjoyable that strives to emulate a Saturday morning serial and on occasion succeeds.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the sixth century, Dastan, adopted son of the king of the Persian Empire, joins forces with Princess Tamina to stop a duplicitous nobleman from taking possession of an ancient dagger that gives its owner the ability to travel backwards in time and change the past.


PROS: Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar, who steals the entire movie; well-paced direction by Mike Newell, with the right amount of tongue in cheek and charm.

CONS: By-the-numbers plotting; action that (not surprisingly) too often feels like a videogame; Jake Gyllenhaal’s consistent smirking throughout the movie.

Though I have not seen many, and thus am hardly an expert, I would venture a guess that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is the best film adaptation of a video game since the subgenre was inaugurated in 1993 by Super Mario Bros. Considering how wretched virtually all video game movies have been, from Street Fighter and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to recent travesties like Hitman and Max Payne, one would make the reasonable assumption that this does not mean the most recent entry is good, and one would be right. In spite of this, it manages to be more enjoyable than it has any right to be, despite its lack of originality and its forgettable execution.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Stewart Moore Talks About ‘One Thin Dime’

[Interviewer’s Note: This is a series of interviews featuring the contributors of The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.]

Stewart Moore has spent more time on stage than is really good for him, as Kate the Lion-Tailed Girl could tell you. He has worked as an actor, a lighting designer, a director, and a playwright. He has also been a legal proofreader, which is a good deal less interesting, and is a husband and father, which is considerably more interesting. His work has been published in Palimpsest and The Encyclopedia of Early Judaism.

Currently, he is pursuing a doctorate in the study of the Hebrew Bible, but no, he doesn’t know the meaning of life — yet.

Charles Tan: Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. “One Thin Dime” is set on Halloween. What’s special about Halloween for you? Do you prefer a trick or a treat?

Stewart Moore: There was always a romance to Halloween for me when I was younger, though I was no longer exactly young by the time I finally grew the moxie to actually wear a costume. I always felt like people could see right through my mask to my real face, and they were saying, “You’re not scary, kid.” I wanted so badly to be scary, the way Kate is so effortlessly. William’s regrets are my regrets. So it’s probably no surprise when I tell you that I want to say I prefer a trick, but to this day, I’d really rather have a treat.

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REVIEW: Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay



PROS: Beautiful, strong, interesting prose and story.

CONS: Passive protagonist; quicker ending than expected.

BOTTOM LINE: A poetic escape for readers that leaves you wanting more.

Without a doubt, Guy Gavriel Kay is one of the top fantasy writers of our day. His work provides a lush, well constructed, and often poetic escape for readers of epic fantasy. Under Heaven is no exception to this, having an even stronger dose of the poetic than usual and strong historical fiction undertones.

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Friday YouTube: Iron Baby

I thought this would be a simple one-shot joke but I was pleasantly surprised to see the craftsmanship and creativity that went into this too-short trailer. More, please.

[via Techland and just about every other geek-oriented website.]

Shareable Futures: Original Science Fiction Stories Online Now at is launching a free online fiction series featuring stories written by science fiction authors.

From the press release: invited some of today’s hottest science fiction authors to write stories of shareable futures, where technology has changed the rules of ownership and access, and people share transportation, living spaces, lives, dreams, everything and anything. But these short stories and speculative essays are not utopian propaganda. Instead they give readers troubles and ambiguities, a sense of character and place, compelling narratives and intelligent speculation. Yes, sharing solves problems–but what new problems can it create? What conflicts might it provoke? launches the Shareable Futures series this week with a short story by the award-winning science fiction author, Boing Boing co-founder and blogger, and copyright activist Cory Doctorow. In his story, “The Jammie Dodgers and the Adventure of the Leicester Square Screening,” Cory gives us a group of creative technological outlaws who dare to project the commons onto the walls of our public space.

As the series rolls on from now through mid-July, you’ll discover some of today’s most visionary and accomplished literary futurists–including Bruce Sterling, Mary Robinette Kowal, Benjamin Rosebaum, and others–sharing their visions of futures in which we are surviving and even thriving, largely by learning to share our stuff.

[Thanks to Jason Sperber and Jeremy Adam Smith for the tip]

SF Tidbits for 5/28/10




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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Ellen Kushner Talks About ‘The Children of Cadmus’

[Interviewer’s Note: This is a series of interviews featuring the contributors of The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling.]

Ellen Kushner’s first novel, Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners, introduced an urban historical fantasy setting to which she has since returned in The Fall of the Kings (written with Delia Sherman), The Privilege of the Sword, and several short stories. Her second novel, Thomas the Rhymer, won the Mythopoeic Award and the World Fantasy Award. Kushner has taught writing at the Clarion and Odyssey workshops, and is a co-founder of the Interstitial Arts Foundation. Upcoming is an anthology of “Bordertown” stories co-edited with Holly Black. Kushner is perhaps best known in the U.S. as the host of the national public radio show Sound & Spirit , and (in collaboration with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra) as the creator of “The Golden Dreydl.” Kushner lives in Manhattan with author & editor Delia Sherman. (Photo by Tim Atkinson)

Charles Tan: Hi! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. First off, why is the story of Actaeon one of your favorite stories?

Ellen Kushner: I read it at an impressionable age: I was 7 years old, living in France, and one of the few English language books* we owned was a collection of Greek myths – and not one written for kids. Nonetheless, I devoured it regularly. I have no idea why I loved the story of Actaeon in there so much. I also loved the stories of Niobe, Medea and Phaethon. I guess I’m just hardwired for tragedy.

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