Archive for January, 2014

Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, February 2014

Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Table of Contents: Nightmare Magazine, February 2014

Nightmare Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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REVIEW SUMMARY: Holy Unicorns, Batman! This novella, set in Charles Stross’ Laundry universe, will leave you sleeping with one eye open anytime a young girl mentions a penchant for the mythical horned beast.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SUMMARY: What agent Bob Howard hopes to be a bogus assignment fueled by surviving death-bed letters written by H.P. Lovecraft, turns out to be a true eldritch nightmare. The mythical one-horned horse and its magical connotations are pushed through a Lovecraftian meat grinder with results both comical and frightening.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Stross channels Lovecraft masterfully; story is short enough to be read in one long sitting while not skimping on plot; works well as an introduction to the Laundry universe; balances wry humor with suspenseful elements.
CONS: Those familiar with Bob Howard and his adventures may find themselves skimming past introductory material, despite its brevity; in-jokes abound that will not have the same impact for new readers.
BOTTOM LINE: This is not my first experience with the writing of Charles Stross, but was my first foray into the world of his Laundry novels. I was encouraged to read the novella after seeing mentions of it on Hugo nominations lists and wanted to read it for consideration as I compile my own list. Given Stross’ ability to channel Lovecraft so well, it is a strong contender for a nomination. This is fun, funny and chock-full of the rich horror atmosphere that has helped the stories of H.P. Lovecraft remain popular to this day.

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Courtesy of Tor Books, SF Signal has 3 copies of A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias to give away to 3 lucky SF Signal readers!

Here’s whet the book is about

On the planet Ilmatar, under a roof of ice a kilometer thick, a team of deep-sea diving scientists investigates the blind alien race that lives below. The Terran explorers have made an uneasy truce with the Sholen, their first extraterrestrial contact: so long as they don’t disturb the Ilmataran habitat, they’re free to conduct their missions in peace.

But when Henri Kerlerec, media personality and reckless adventurer, ends up sliced open by curious Ilmatarans, tensions between Terran and Sholen erupt, leading to a diplomatic disaster that threatens to escalate to war.

Against the backdrop of deep-sea guerrilla conflict, a new age of human exploration begins as alien cultures collide. Both sides seek the aid of the newly enlightened Ilmatarans. But what this struggle means for the natives—and the future of human exploration—is anything but certain, in A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:
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Max Gladstone on The Functional Nerds Podcast

Max Gladstone, author of Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

You can listen below, at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to the Functional Nerds podcast through iTunes.

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Table of Contents: Analog, April 2014

Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Analog:

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Table of Contents: Asimov’s, March 2014

Here’s the table of contents for the new issue of Asimov’s.
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Arthur C. Clarke, Proselytizer of Space

A while ago, I had some grand idea of doing a parallel column for another website on the history of SF film, but quickly found that I didn’t have the time or background to really get into it. I started writing an inaugural piece on – you guessed it – 2001: A Space Odyssey, before quickly realizing that I was really writing a column about the book.

There’s a lot out on Clarke, more than most of the authors I typically write about. As a result, this column’s quite a bit longer than what I usually put together.

There’s a lot of tie-in novels out there, from all the major franchises, but typically, the books come as a result of the film, or there’s a film based on the book. Far less common is when the book and film are created simultaneously, as is the case with Clarke’s book. It’s not his best work, but it’s probably his most visible.

Go read Arthur C. Clarke, Proselytizer of Space over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Honest Trailers: Robocop

I’m not sure we need a remake of Robocop and the honest trailer only makes me pine for the original…

Warning: NSFW and Gory!
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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 1/31/2014

Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here

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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for A Calculated Life by Anne Charnock…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-01-31

Interviews & Profiles

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BOOK REVIEW: The Echo by James Smythe

REVIEW SUMMARY: Goes deeper into the mystery and emotions of this dark space epic.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The sequel to The Explorer charts the second expedition to understand the deadly anomaly in the far reaches of outer space.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Complex mystery adds depth to what was established in The Explorer; relationship between main character and his twin; empathetic struggle between ambition and failure; the ending.
CONS: Lacks immediate hook into the story; secondary characters only engaging at key moments; confusion during significant events.
BOTTOM LINE: A deep-space mystery to save Earth in a story for anyone who fears failing in their life’s work.

Following in the footsteps of the phenomenal first book, The Explorer, The Echo rewards fans with answers to the anomaly located deep in outer space, but then adds more danger as the anomaly’s strengths and mystery increase. More than that, though, the story of its main character, Mira, is touching, succinct and a perfect fit for a reader toe-to-toe in the battle between ambition and failure.
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[GUEST POST] DK Mok on Endings, and What Comes After

DK Mok lives in Sydney, Australia, and writes fantasy, science fiction and urban fantasy novels and short stories. DK graduated from UNSW with a degree in Psychology, pursuing her interest in both social justice and scientist humour. Her urban fantasy novel The Other Tree is available now (Spence City). DK’s short stories include ‘Morning Star’ in One Small Step (Fablecroft), ‘Autumn Moon’ in Holiday Magick (Spencer Hill Press), and ‘Keeping It Together’ in Midnight Movie: Creature Feature (May December Publications). Find more online at www.dkmok.com, on Twitter @dk_mok or on Facebook.

Endings, and What Comes After
by DK Mok

I tend to remember endings.

I still recall with intense clarity where I was when I finished reading John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. Sitting at a wobbly plastic table, afternoon light slanting in through the windows, the world around me seeming to stretch and shrink and hang in that moment of silence and light.

I love a good ending, although what constitutes a “good” ending can vary immensely. Sometimes, what an author considers an apt finale can leave readers taking to social media in an unholy rage. This can occur when an ending is rushed, poorly written, or unconvincing. But sometimes, this occurs because the ending is not what the reader wanted or expected.
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Angry Robot books will be offering free ebook editions with all physical copies of Angry Robot Books sold at leading independent bookstores.

Deatils can be found in the following press release…
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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 227): Live From Worldcon with Janet Harriett

In episode 227 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Janet Harriett Senior Editor of Apex Publications and author of “Dawn of the Living Machines” featuring Ravenwood Stepson of Mystery.

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Courtesy of Penguin Random House, SF Signal has 2 copies of Daniel Price’s The Flight of the Silvers to give away to 2 lucky SF Signal readers!

Here’s whet the book is about

A thrilling genre-bending saga about six extraordinary people whose fates become intertwined on an Earth far different from their own.

Without warning, the world comes to an end for Hannah and Amanda Given. The sky looms frigid white. The electricity falters. Airplanes everywhere crash to the ground. But the Givens are saved by mysterious strangers, three fearsome and beautiful beings who force a plain silver bracelet onto each sister’s wrist. Within moments, the sky comes down in a crushing sheet of light and everything around them is gone.

Shielded from the devastation by their silver adornments, the Givens suddenly find themselves elsewhere, a strange new Earth where restaurants move through the air like flying saucers and the fabric of time is manipulated by common household appliances.

Soon Hannah and Amanda are joined by four other survivors from their world—a mordant cartoonist, a shy teenage girl, a brilliant young Australian, and a troubled ex-prodigy. Hunted by enemies they never knew they had and afflicted with temporal abilities they never wanted, the sisters and their companions begin a cross-country journey to find the one man who can save them—before time runs out.

Brilliantly imagined and electrifying from the first page, The Flight of the Silvers is the thrilling first book in a genre-bending new series.

Here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:
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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 1/30/2014

Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here

Want these delicious links emailed to you once a week? Sign up for the Free SF/F/H Fiction Newsletter

What’s Special About Today’s Free Fiction?

  1. AE has “Kaleidoscope” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Lightspeed has “The Thing About Shapes to Come” by Adam-Troy Castro
  3. Tor has “Reborn” by Ken Liu

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-01-30

Interviews & Profiles

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WINNER: UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS Prize Pack

The winner of our giveaway for the Unidentified Funny Objects Prize pack has been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to: Ruhan Z.!

You will be receiving your prizes soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

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