TOC: ‘The Immersion Book of Steampunk’ Edited by Gareth D. Jones and Carmelo Rafala

Gareth D. Jones has posted the cover image for his upcoming anthology/collection (co-edited with Carmelo Rafala), The Immersion Book of Steampunk. Here’s the table of contents:

  • “Follow That Cathedral!” by Gareth Owens
  • “The Machines of the Nehphilim” by James Targett
  • “The Siege of Dr. Vikare Blisset” by Jacques Barcia
  • “The Clockworks of Hanyang” by Gord Sellar
  • “Cinema U” by G.D. Falksen
  • “Kulterkampf” by Anatoly Belilovsky
  • “Rogue Mail” by Toby Frost
  • “Electrium” by Elizabeth Counihan
  • “Leaves of Glass” by Lavie Tidhar
  • “Memories in Bronze, Feathers, and Blood” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Empire of Glass” by Tanith Lee
  • “Steam Horse” by Chris Butler
  • “Professor Fluvius’s Palace of Many Waters” by Paul Di Filippo

Space Elevators – The Underappreciated Workhorse of Space Travel

It is my firm belief that space elevators are the Rodney Dangerfield of science fiction involving space travel. Simply put: they get no respect.

My new article at the Kirkus Reviews Bog reveals why.

REVIEW: A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson

REVIEW SUMMARY: Standard military sf layered with interesting sf-nal elements.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A woman named Ia enlists in the military with the ultimate (and secret) goal of preventing the destruction of humanity that she has foreseen through her precognitive ability.

PROS: Fast-paced; precog element ups level of interest; sympathetic and realistic protagonist.
CONS: Cookie-cutter plot; archetypical supporting characters; writing occasionally clunky and unclear.
BOTTOM LINE: A good read, with the precog story line making up for the predictable elements.

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TOC: ‘The Weird: A Compendium of Dark & Strange Stories’ Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer has posted the HUGE table of contents for his and Ann VanderMeer’s anthology The Weird: A Compendium of Dark & Strange Stories, which is due to be published in October:

Over one hundred years of weird fiction collected in a single volume of 750,000 words. Over 20 nationalities are represented and seven new translations were commissioned for the book, most notably definitive translations of Julio Cortazar’s “Axolotl” and Michel Bernanos’ short novel “The Other Side of the Mountain” (the first translations of these classics in many decades). Other highlights include the short novels / long novellas “The Beak Doctor” by Eric Basso, “Tainaron” by Leena Krohn, and “The Brotherhood of Mutilation” by Brian Evenson. This is among the largest collections of weird fiction ever housed between the covers of one book.

The book also features a foreword by Michael Moorcock and an afterword by China Miéville. Here’s the table of contents:

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VIDEO: Vernor Vinge on Freedom, Science Fiction and the Singularity

Vernor Vinge (author of A Fire Upon The Deep and, coming in October, The Children of the Sky) talks about his influences, his novels and the coming singularity…

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SF Tidbits for 8/31/11

Interviews and Profiles


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[GUEST POST] K.V. Johansen on the Appeal of Shapeshifters

K.V. Johansen is the author of a number of fantasy and science fiction novels for children and teens, as well as novels and short story collections for adults and the Pippin and Mabel picture books. Her latest book is Blackdog, a novel for adults published by Pyr.

How I caught shapeshifters, or, real he-werebeasts have hairy chests

In a bookstore recently, the covers of some paranormal romance bodice-rippers featuring shapeshifters jumped out at me, all leather-trousered women without much bodice to rip and men without shirts. (Also without chest hair. I’m all for neutering pets so as not to add to the population of unwanted animals, but…)

“Ahhhh!” I thought. “Shapeshifters are the new vampires. I’ve become trendy.”

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[GUEST REVIEW] Rene Sears on Sarah Rees Brennan’s ‘The Demon Lexicon Trilogy’


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Two brothers navigate a world full of demons and magicians hidden in present-day London and discover the truth about their past.


PROS: Funny; at times horrifying; plenty of fast-paced twists and turns.

CONS: Narrator of first book distant and cold.

BOTTOM LINE: A wonderful debut trilogy.

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Daily Science Fiction Roster of Stories for September 2011

Daily Science Fiction has announced its September 2011 line-up of free stories:

  • September 1: “Dragons” by Mahon Wakefield
  • September 2: “Now Until” by Jonathan”Fredrick Parks
  • September 5: “Everlasting” by Fran Wilde
  • September 6: “Losing One’s Appetite” by Sarina Dorie
  • September 7: “Modification or Mutation: 8 Ways a Parent Can Be Sure” by Marissa Kristine Lingen
  • September 8: “Test Drive” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  • September 9: “Requiem Duet, Concerto for Flute and Voodoo” by Eugie Foster
  • September 12: “HETERO3″ by Robert Reed
  • September 13: “Beauty, Deconstructed” by Adam Colston
  • September 14: “Spiral” by Sarah Stasik
  • September 15: “In Vivo” by SJ Driscoll
  • September 16: “The Ritual of Names in Prague in the Last Days of the New Empire” by Bernie Mojzes
  • September 19: “In Memoriam” by Amanda C. Davis
  • September 20: “This Always Happens Here” by Richard Larson
  • September 21: “Ten Speeds at the End of the World ” byGuinevere Robin Rowell
  • September 22: “Exit Stage Life” by Cate Gardner
  • September 23: “Volition” by Alec Austin
  • September 26: “The Last Seed” by Ken Liu
  • September 27: “Regret Incorporated” by Andy and RJ Astruc
  • September 28: “Totemkill” by Sean Vivier
  • September 29: “Her Majesty’s Guardian” by Donald S. Crankshaw
  • September 30: “Wonder” by Matthue Roth

Tuesday Tune – Aquaman’s Lament By Mark Aaron James (+ Bonus Video)

Aquaman always seems to get the short end of the superhero stick. Everyone knows Superman, Batman and many others but Aquaman hardly ever springs to mind first. But what’s it like to be Aquaman? What would think when you see Supes or Batman get all the press, the adulation, the babes? Thanks to Mark Aaron James, now you can explore the mind of Aquaman and maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a bit more sympathy for him.

But probably not.

This video brought you by way of Pandora. I’d never head of this song or Mark Aaron James, but I really like this song. His other song “Kleptomaniac Girlfriend” is also well worth a listen.

But, a bonus Mark Aaron James music video (SF related even!) after the jump!

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SF Tidbits for 8/30/11

Interviews and Profiles


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Book Trailer: ‘Hard Spell’ by Justin Gustainis

Here’s a book trailer with an attitude. It’s for Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis. Here’s the description:

Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.

Like the rest of America, Scranton’s got an uneasy ‘live and let unlive’ relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that’s when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.

And here’s the trailer…

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GUEST REVIEW: The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore (Pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes)

[SF Signal welcomes the return of guest reviewer Jason Sanford!]

REVIEW SUMMARY: As with the first novel in this series, The Power of Six is derivative and not very original. However, the novel is fast-paced and exciting and is a good gateway novel for readers new to science fiction.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Nine young aliens hide on Earth after the destruction of their world by the evil Mogadorians. Now, though, the aliens are beginning to fight back, both to save themselves and their adopted world.


PROS: A quick, exciting read which should appeal to the same readers who enjoyed I Am Number Four.

CONS: Extremely derivative, with no explanation of the science behind this “science fiction” novel.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re a long-time reader of science fiction, you will find nothing new here but may still enjoy the ride. But if you need a novel to interest a young person into reading more science fiction, The Power of Six would be a good choice.

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Bill Trojan – A Remembrance by Dean Wesley Smith

Dean Wesley Smith has written a beautiful remembrance of his friend, Bill Trojan, a major science fiction book dealer who died last Sunday at Worldcon in Reno.

Dean writes:

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Books Received: August 29, 2011

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.

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SF Tidbits for 8/29/11

Interviews and Profiles



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Sunday Cinema: Visioneers (2008)

When people begin exploding from stress, George Washington Winsterhammerman (Zach Galifianakis) tries to ignore the epidemic and live his usual life, but then he suffers his first symptom…

TOC: Black Static #24

The contents of Black Static #24 have been posted:


  • “Dermot” by Simon Bestwick
  • “A Summer’s Day” by K. Harding Stalter
  • “Recently Used” by Ramsey Campbell
  • “Still Life” by Simon McCaffery
  • “How the Sixties Ended” by Tim Lees


  • White Noise – horror news compiled by Peter Tennant
  • Coffinmaker’s Blues by Stephen Volk
  • Interference by Christopher Fowler
  • Night’s Plutonian Shore by Mike O’Driscoll


  • Kaaron Warren


  • Case Notes: Book Reviews by Peter Tennant
  • Blood Spectrum: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews by Tony Lee

Book Cover Smackdown! ‘With Fate Conspire’ vs. ‘The Power of Six’ vs. ‘Regicide’

Greetings, armchair art critics! It’s time once more for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are today’s contenders…

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

Books shown here:

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

Free Fiction for 8/27/11


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