Daily Science Fiction Roster of Stories for September 2013

Daily Science Fiction has announced its September 2013 line-up of free stories. All stories will appear on the web one week after their email publication.
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Short Film: Contre temps

Contre temps is a beautifully done animated short movie directed by Jérémi Boutelet, Thibaud Clergue, Gaël Megherbi, Tristan Ménard, Camille Perrin and Lucas Veber.

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 8/31/2013

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What’s special about today’s free fiction?

  1. Buzzy Mag has an urban fantasy story from Ken Altabef
  2. Daily Science Fiction has a magic realism story from Rachel Halpern
  3. If you haven’t tried Beware the Hairy Mango, you’d better check yourself for a pulse. Or check yourself in for a full medical. Or just listen to it and I’ll stop.

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Light Posting Ahead (Because There is a Harkonnen Among Us!)

Posting may be light in the coming days as we are getting our Worldcon on.
(If you’re there, come say hello!)

As compensation, enjoy this video clip of Paul Muad’Dib kicking Feyd Rautha’s @$$. (“I will kill him!”…not!)
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2013-08-31

Interviews & Profiles

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Short Fiction Friday: My Questions, Your Answers (A Short Fiction Meme)

I have been on this short fiction review gig for eight months now and it has been largely a one-sided affair, as these things are wont to be, with me sharing my thoughts and (hopefully…possibly) listening. In a week where work has taken its cue from episodes of The Twilight Zone, I have not had nearly enough time to read. This set me to thinking about our busy lives and the time we carve out for reading and what informs our reading choices. For none of us have the means by which to read everything we want to read every day.

Short Fiction seems to be an oft-maligned, or perhaps just oft-ignored, format though I do believe the sheer volume of short fiction magazines and print collections over the past years shows that its near-death has been greatly exaggerated. Thus I am curious, about you. About what you read. About the choices you make in regards to where you get your short fiction if short fiction is a part of your reading regimen. About why short fiction appeals to you and what stories you feel represent the best that short fiction has to offer.

So what I’ve done is put together a list of questions that you can cut and paste in the comments, in whole or in part, if you have the time to talk about you, your reading habits, and what about short fiction turns you on…or off.
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VIDEO: Paul Di Filippo on The End of Resistentialism

In this talk given by Fractal’12, Paul Di Filippo gives us a short look at “how humanity might come to live in a self-aware cosmos hospitable to the needs of the species, with a discussion of some science fiction stories that portray such a utopia”.

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TOC: ‘Subterranean Online’, Fall 2013

Subterranean Press has has posted the table of contents for the Fall 2013 edition of Subterranean Online:

Friday YouTube: Facehugger PSA

You know, just because you have been attacked by one of those facehuggers from Alien, that doesn’t mean you can lead a normal, productive life. So sez the message in this PSA that seems to fall short of the part where that introduced the chestburster, but carries an important life lesson to enjoy the moment.

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 8/30/2013

So I’m trying to add more B&N eBooks, but the experiment has been spotty, at best.

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What’s special about today’s free fiction?

  1. Subterranean Fall 2013
  2. Chilling Tales For Dark Nights has an audio story from Naomi Li
  3. A new science fiction radio drama: Transmissions from Colony One – the complete first season

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2013-08-30

Interviews & Profiles

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Cover & Synopsis: INFLUX by Daniel Suarez

Amazon has posted the cover art of the upcoming novel Influx by Daniel Suarez.

Here’s the synopsis:
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Indie Author Spotlight: An Interview with HOUSE OF BLADES Author Will Wight

And we’re back! The second edition of the Indie Author Spotlight is in full swing and it is coming at you like the blade of a Traveler! “What the heck is a Traveler?” you may ask. Well, you’re about to find out. This month we’re taking a look at author Will Wight’s Traveler’s Gate Trilogy. With book one of the fantasy series (House of Blades) already out and the second novel (The Crimson Vault) being released in just a few short days, what better time than now!

Come, jump through the gate with me!
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[GUEST POST] Madeline Ashby on Why Robots Are Cooler To Write About Than Vampires and Fairies


Madeline Ashby is a science fiction writer, strategic foresight consultant, anime fan, and immigrant. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and IAM Sports & Entertainment. She has been a guest on TVO’s The Agenda multiple times. Her novels (vN and iD) are published by Angry Robot Books. Her fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, and Tor.com.

Why Robots Are Cooler To Write About Than Vampires and Fairies

by Madeline Ashby

Why Robots?

A while ago, someone asked me: “In a world full of vampires, were-creatures, angels, fae, and assorted other supernatural creatures, what made you choose robots (besides robots obviously being far superior)?”

Basically, I answered that the market was already saturated with stories about vampires and other supernatural creatures, especially by young female writers, and my contribution would likely go unnoticed. Second, I’ve never found vampires all that compelling as a story teller. I love consuming stories about them, but I don’t get much joy from creating stories about them. My ideal vampire story is about a vampire librarian, or a vampire museum curator, because that’s a really good job for immortal beings who can’t go outside. That, or some sort of IT job. Nobody wonders why you never seem to sleep; nobody questions how you get rid of annoying interns. Just use a SodaStream to funnel blood into another bottle of Code Red Mountain Dew, and you’re good to go.

…Now, does that sound exciting, to you? Does that sound dramatic? No. Of course it doesn’t. Because nobody wants to read about a vampire making a PowerPoint that explains how to boost CTR via social media widgets. People read books so they don’t have to think about that shit. But such are the extent of my vampire ideas. So, no vampires for me.
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Can You Name This Story? (Part 31)

Here’s another Name That Story challenge for our readers, sent in by another reader looking for the title of a story read long ago.

Do any of you out there know the title to this story?

Back in the late 60’s I fell sick during a 10-day trip from TX to the Adirondacks of NY. The pause occurred in Berwyn PA, and the day I spent ill, everyone else got to go visit historic Valley Forge. Because I did not get to go, the family friends we were visiting in Berwyn brought me back a sci-fi ‘magazine’ of short stories – sort of like Astounding or Asimov’s or World’s of If… things like that. Anyway, there was one story in there that I fell in love with (and wish I could find again.)

Basically, the narrator was from one planet in our solar system that got into a fight with another planet. The battle they fought was basically reduced to ‘throwing rocks’ at each other – cratering the two planets surfaces. The winning planet (the good guys) escaped destruction when they shifted their planet’s orbit such that they ended up orbiting Earth and becoming our Moon when they were captured by earth’s gravitational pull. (The huge meteor craters on Earth were the result of enemy ‘misses’.) The losing planet was eventually pulverized – becoming the Asteroid Belt. If I remember correctly, the narrator escapes from their planet (now our Moon) my making his way to Earth.

– Rob B.


Can you name this story?

Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 8/29/2013

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What’s special about today’s free fiction?

  1. Tor has a Little Brother story from Cory Doctorow
  2. Omni has flash fiction from Ken Baumann
  3. Dave Tackett and his QuasarDragon celebrate the births of Vonda N. McIntyre, Jack Vance, and J. Sheridan LeFanu

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LEGENDS Anthology To Celebrate The Life and Work of Acclaimed Fantasy Author David Gemmell

A new David Gemmell tribute anthology is coming from NewCon Press in October.

From the press release:

‘LEGENDS’ ANTHOLOGY TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORK OF ACCLAIMED FANTASY AUTHOR

This year sees the fifth running of the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, and to mark this special occasion a new anthology, ‘Legends‘, will be released from NewCon Press. Newcon is one of the UK’s most acclaimed independent presses, and will be releasing ‘Legends‘ at the end of October.

Legends‘ gathers together a collection of tales from modern fantasy authors paying homage to the work of one of the greatest fantasy writers of all time, David Gemmell. Gemmell passed away in 2006, and was the author of 30 novels, including his highly successful debut Legend and classics such as Waylander and Morningstar. The ‘Legends’ anthology features new stories from a host of the field’s leading talent, including Joe Abercrombie, James Barclay, Storm Constantine, Tanith Lee, Juliet E McKenna, Anne Nicholls, Stan Nicholls, Jan Siegel, Adrian Tchaikovsky and many more.

Legends‘ will be launched as part of the World Fantasy Convention at Brighton’s Metropole hotel on the 31st October, the same day as the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy prizegiving ceremony. Many of the authors included within the anthology will be on hand to sign the book at the event, as well as cover artist Dominic Harman.

Ian Whates, Publisher and Editor at NewCon Press said: ‘As a long-standing fan of David Gemmell’s work, I was thrilled when asked to compile and edit an anthology in his honour. The book was a pleasure to work on and the response from authors very gratifying; there are some great stories in here, as there would have to be to justify putting David Gemmell’s name on the cover.’

Stan Nicholls, Chair for the Gemmell Awards said: ‘The really gratifying thing about Legends is that some of the most accomplished writers in the fantasy field have so freely given their time and talent to the project. We’re immensely grateful to them, and genuinely excited by the prospect of publishing what we believe will be an outstanding anthology.’

For more information on ‘Legends‘, visit www.newconpress.co.uk or for more on the Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, visit www.gemmellaward.com.

SF/F/H Link Post for 2013-08-29

Interviews & Profiles

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Roll Perception Plus Awareness: Geekomancy, Libriomancer and their RPG identities

Welcome back to Roll Perception Plus Awareness, a column about roleplaying games and their place in a genre reader’s and writer’s world.

This time out, we’re going to do something a little bit different and look at two recent series of ostensibly series. From a 30,000 foot perspective both Jim C. Hines’ Magic Ex Libris (so far comprised of Libriomancer and Codex Born) and Michael R. Underwood’s Geekomancy series (so fra comprised of Geekomancy and Celebromancy) have strong similarity. Both series tap into a fair amount of wish fulfillment and have geeky protagonists whose geekery turns out to be useful for magic. But as you dig into the series, there are two distinct personalities. They take place in two distinctly different roleplaying game universes, and this can be used as a way to critique and example the series and their elements.

Fair warning: This is a somewhat spoilery discussion of both authors’ series.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

REVIEW SUMMARY: A well-written addition to an established series, The Crown Tower is a perfect example of a fantasy epic done right. An impressive outing for already beloved characters that does double duty as a warm introduction for readers unfamiliar with the author’s earlier works.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Outstanding prequel to an already outstanding fantasy series, this new adventure shows the auspicious beginnings of the partnership between Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn as they tackle their first assignment; steal a book from the highest tower in the land without killing each other first.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Incredible, fascinating characters; smart, well written dialog; superb world building.
CONS: A weak second act makes the story drag slightly in the middle.
BOTTOM LINE: A prequel that doesn’t disappoint or dilute the already-established series, it’s a delight to reconnect with these characters and discover their humble beginnings. It’s a worthy addition to the previously published adventures of Hadrian and Royce that will leave old and new fans alike craving more.

Michael J. Sullivan’s excellent Riyria Revelations was one of the most satisfying fantasy series I’ve ever read. The adventures of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn unraveled during the course of six books (gathered into three omnibus collections) and ended so strongly that I actually gasped out loud on a packed bus full of people when I reached the last page. The series was exceptionally well written and contained complex characters who you couldn’t help but love and root for. While on the surface it may look like another entry into the already glutted “thieves and assassins” fantasy genre, the Riyria Revelations manages to stand apart thanks to Sullivan’s precise world building and the cast of characters he created. At its core, the Riyria Revelations are about the friendship between Hadrian and Royce and The Crown Tower shows us how it all began.
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