Nancy Kress: The ‘Alien Contact’ Interview

This month, SF Signal is featuring guest posts and interviews with the authors of Alien Contact edited by Marty Halpern. Today, we’re pleased to bring you an interview with contributing author Nancy Kress! (Also, check out Nancy’s Guest Post.)

SF SIGNAL: What’s the appeal of alien contact stories for you?

Nancy Kress: Aliens in SF are always “other” — living beings different from us. This means they represent not only extraterrestrials but, on some level, all the parts of ourselves and of other humans that we don’t understand. How do you cope with creatures who don’t behave as you do? How do you figure them out? Why do they act that way? These, the basic questions in any alien contact story, are also basic questions in human relationship. You may not be a four-armed, green BEM, but you are “not me” and, therefore, alien.

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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan on Holiday Horrors

Michaele Jordan was born in Los Angeles, bred in the Midwest, educated in Liberal Arts at Bard College and in computers at Southern Ohio College. She has worked at a kennel and a Hebrew School and AT&T. She’s a bit odd. Now she writes. Her previous novel, Blade Light, a charming traditional fantasy, was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her next novel, Mirror Maze, is available for pre-order from Amazon.

Horror for the Holidays

Don’t you just love Halloween? When I was a kid, it was only one night-but such a glorious night! I was out there alone in the dark (it would never have occurred to my mother to go with me) and anything could happen, especially since I was in disguise and could never be identified if something cool did happen. By the time I reached high school, kids were showing up twice; once for Halloween and again for ‘Penny Night’ (whatever that is). Now Halloween lasts a whole week (plus a month of prep.)

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Sic Transit Dreamhaven

On October 17, 2011, Greg announced to the Dreamhaven mailing list that, after 35 years in the retail book business, he was going to close the physical store and solely sell books via mail-order and conventions. Herein lies my thoughts and a thumbnail sketch of reading and buying genre books in Minnesota.

Genre readers in Minnesota have been extraordinarily blessed in terms of bookstores. Sure, Mysterious Galaxy bookstore is a legend in the community, as is Forbidden Planet (both in Manhattan and in London, England). Borderlands Books in San Francisco has its stalwart defenders.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 089): Our Favorite Halloween-Themed Stories

In episode 89 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks our irregulars to call in and answer the question: What is your favorite Halloween themed story, novel, comic book, TV show (episode) or movie?

Did your answer make the list? Click through to find out!

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The Gawper

Happy Halloween! Enjoy this short-but-sweet spooky animation…

[via Cartoon Brew]

Books Received: October 31, 2011

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

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SF Tidbits for 10/31/11

Interviews & Profiles


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WINNERS: 2011 World Fantasy Awards and Lifetime Achievement Winners

The winners of the 2011 World Fantasy Awards and Lifetime Achievement Winners have been announced:

  • BEST NOVEL: Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW)
  • BEST NOVELLA: “The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon”, Elizabeth Hand (Stories: All-New Tales)
  • BEST SHORT FICTION: “Fossil-Figures”, Joyce Carol Oates (Stories: All-New Tales)
  • BEST ANTHOLOGY: My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, Kate Bernheimer, ed. (Penguin)
  • BEST COLLECTION: What I Didn’t See and Other Stories, Karen Joy Fowler (Small Beer)
  • BEST ARTIST: Kinuko Y. Craft
  • SPECIAL AWARD, PROFESSIONAL: Marc Gascoigne, for Angry Robot
  • SPECIAL AWARD, NON-PROFESSIONAL: Alisa Krasnostein, for Twelfth Planet Press

Congrats to all the winners.

See also:

[via various Twitter feeds]

Daily Science Fiction Roster of Stories for November 2011

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

  • November 1: “Dark Swans” by Terra LeMay
  • November 2: “Call Center Blues” by Carrie Cuinn
  • November 3: “Time to Go” by Erin M. Hartshorn
  • November 4: “And The” by Alyc Helms
  • November 7: “Geniuses” by Christopher Kastensmidt
  • November 8: “A Great Destiny” by Eric James Stone
  • November 9: “Ned Thrall” by Amalia Dillin
  • November 10: “Trading the Days” by M.E. Castle
  • November 11: “Fields of Ice” by Jay Caselberg
  • November 14: “The Last Necromancer” by Thomas F. Jolly
  • November 15: “Silver Sixpence” by Craig Pay
  • November 16: “Everyone Loves a Hero” by Fran Wilde
  • November 17: “Everyone Gets Scared Sometimes” by Ari B. Goelman
  • November 18: “Meet Archive” by Mary E. Lowd
  • November 21: “Safe Empathy” by Ken Liu
  • November 22: “The Bicycle Rebellion” by Laura E. Goodin
  • November 23: “Daddy’s Girl” by Leigh Kimmel
  • November 24: “Venus at the Streetlight Lounge” by Cheryl Wood Ruggiero
  • November 25: “Sand-child” by Emily Schadegg
  • November 28: “Looking for a Knight in Shining Armor” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
  • November 29: “A Puddle of Dead” by Grayson Bray Morris
  • November 30: “The Butcher’s First” by Seth DeHaan

Free Fiction for 10/30/11


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SF Tidbits for 10/30/11

Interviews & Profiles


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New Author Spotlight: Michael Dempsey

New Author Spotlight is a series designed to introduce authors with 3 books or less in the different SF/F subgenres.

Today’s spotlight shines on Michael Dempsey!

Michael Dempsey’s debut novel is: Necropolis (Night Shade Books).

Here’s the cover copy:

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VIDEO: Ray Bradbury Interview (1974)

Here’s an interview of Ray Bradbury that originally aired January 21, 1974 on the show Day at Night, a public television interview program.

[via Fanboy]

SF Tidbits for 10/29/11

Interviews & Profiles


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Adam-Troy Castro: The ‘Alien Contact’ Interview

This month, SF Signal is featuring guest posts and interviews with the authors of Alien Contact edited by Marty Halpern. Today, we’re pleased to bring you an interview with contributing author Adam-Troy Castro!

SF SIGNAL: What’s the appeal of Alien Contact stories for you?

Adam-Troy Castro: A good alien contact story is a confrontation with a different way of thinking, a mind that formed its model from different starting assumptions, a value system that makes ours wholly irrelevant. And sometimes they burrow into our skulls and eat our brains.

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Stroll Down these Dark Alleys: Urban Fantasy Crime-Fighter Novel Smackdown!

Science fiction, fantasy, and horror are rife with crime-fighting characters–and I’m not talking about comic book superheroes. Rather, consider more the many detectives, cops, or P.I.’s that crowd the pages. They just come so naturally to the speculative genres. What could make murder investigations, missing persons, and blackmail more interesting than a dash (or heavy dose) of magic or scifi whizbang? If a character is around violent and seedy segments of human, alien, or supernatural populations on a daily basis, it’s a good bet they’ll have some interesting stories to tell.

And boy, has many a tale been told. Let’s check out a few, shall we? Which ones would come out winners in a bare-knuckled brawl?

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Friday YouTube: Wonder Woman Captured By Space Cowboy Robot

SF Tidbits for 10/28/11

Interviews & Profiles


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[GUEST POST] Mark W. Tiedemann on Science Fiction: It’s Not About the Buttons

Mark W. Tiedemann has been publishing science fiction since 1986. In 2000, Mirage, an Asimov Robot Mystery, appeared, first of a trilogy in Asimov’s Robot City universe, followed by Compass Reach, Metal of Night, and Peace & Memory, all part of the Secantis Sequence. Compass Reach was short-listed for the Philip K. Dick Award, and 2005 novel Remains was short-listed for the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Mark has also worked as a professional photographer. In 2005 he was elected president of The Missouri Center for the Book, the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. During his tenure, the organization was instrumental in the establishment of Missouri’s first State Poet Laureate position. In 2011, Mark retired from the Center. He is represented by the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

It’s Not About the Buttons

From time to time I have this conversation, usually after having spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get a computer to work properly (or at all):

“You know, for a guy who writes science fiction, you are a real technophobe.”

Or Luddite, depending on how angry I am at the machine in question.

On its face, it’s a fair criticism. But the fact is, I’m not a technophobe. I love technology. Part of my early attraction to science fiction was because of the cool machines. Computers, spaceships, robots, all that marvelous, labor-saving, sometimes-menacing, awesome high-tech hardware appealed to a latent modernist sensibility. Far from phobic, my difficulties with operating technology stems from a basic impatience with the internal workings of just about any mechanical device, and in this sense, yes, programming a computer, and all the related minutiae of operating it, equates to mechanical devices.

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BOOK TRAILER: ‘Harry Potter: Page to Screen’

Here’s a book trailer fortunate enough to be able to use real Hollywood-style speicial effects…

Here’s the book description:

Harry Potter: Page to Screen opens the doors to Hogwarts castle and the wizarding world of Harry Potter to reveal the complete behind-the-scenes secrets, techniques, and over-the-top artistry that brought J.K. Rowling’s acclaimed novels to cinematic life. Developed in collaboration with the creative team behind the celebrated movie series, this deluxe, 500-plus page compendium features exclusive stories from the cast and crew, hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and concept illustrations sourced from the closed film sets, and rare memorabilia. As the definitive look at the magic that made cinematic history, Page to Screen is the ultimate collectible, perfect for Muggles everywhere.

And here’s the trailer.

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