Archive for February, 2014

PRUDENCE: THE CUSTARD PROTOCOL BOOK 1 by Gail Carriger Gets a Cover

Gail Carriger has posted the cover for her upcoming novel Prudence, the first book in the The Custard Protocol sequence. It’s due out March 17, 2015 and set in the same world as her other novels.

A larger version of the cover follows…
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Table of Contents: Lightspeed Magazine, March 2014

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

Nightmare Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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RIP: Aaron Allston (1960 – 2014)

Sad news…

SF Site is reporting that author Aaron Allston died on February 27.

Allston began his career at Space Gamer magazine and went on to write the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia. His first novel, Web of Danger was published in 1988, which was followed by more original novels, some in collaboration with Holly Lisle. Most recently, Allston wrote Star Wars tie-in novels, beginning with X-Wing: Wraith Squadron.

Hey, eBook Readers! There are 4 books by Bradley Beaulieu that you can pick up right now for 99 cents each!

The four books include his trilogy The Lays of Anuskaya and his short story collection:

This is part of the author’s Ides of March Sale, so beware: this great deal won’t last forever. Visit your favorte eBoook outlet or check out Bradley’s post for links to additional purchasing options, including buying direct from the author.

Claude Lalumière‘s Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes (infinity plus, December 2013) collects twenty-five dark stories of sex and death, spanning realism and a breadth of fantastical genres. Previous books include the collection Objects of Worship (2009) and the mosaic novella The Door to Lost Pages (2011). He has edited or co-edited twelve anthologies in various genres, including Island Dreams: Montreal Writers of the Fantastic (2003), Lust for Life: Tales of Sex & Love (with Elise Moser; 2006), Tesseracts Twelve: New Novellas of Canadian Fantastic Fiction (2008), Masked Mosaic: Canadian Super Stories (with Camille Alexa; 2013), and Super Stories of Heroes & Villains (2013). With Rupert Bottenberg, he’s the co-creator of the multimedia cryptomythology project Lost Myths.


KEITH BROOKE: Your most recent collection, Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes, falls into three sections: “Shades of Noir”, “Nocturnes” and “Strange Tales of Sex and Death”. What’s the rationale behind this collection and the way it’s organized?

CLAUDE LaLUMIÈRE: As a reader I love the concept of the thematic collection, so, as a writer, I try to organize my stories and books that way, too. I’ve known for a few years that I had a collection brewing on the related themes of sex and death. Its exact breadth and scope kept changing, though. Of course, sex and death are a big part of most stories we tell, but I wanted to assemble those stories of mine that put those themes explicitly – and intimately – in the forefront. Until recently, I couldn’t quite figure out how to make the book come together and make sense as a statement or united work.
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The Clients of Agent Virginia Kidd

Virginia Kidd isn’t necessarily a recognizable name to anyone from outside of the genre’s walls: she worked behind the scenes, and appears between a number of pivotal figures within the genre. While authors get most of the credit, it’s important to see the influence of major editors and agents can play in shaping the direction of the arts world.

Go read The Clients of Agent Virginia Kidd over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

That’s right…it’s SpongeMen SquareWatch…a mashup of Spongebob Squarepants and The Watchmen

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 2/28/2014

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

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There is still some time left for you to enter our giveaway for Line and Orbit by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem…but hurry, time is running out!

See the original post for details on how to enter.

SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-02-28

Interviews & Profiles

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WINNERS: SHOVEL READY by Adam Sternbergh

The winners of our giveaway for The Martian by Adam Sternbergh have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Deena E.
  • Jeffrey T

You will be receiving your prizes soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

BOOK REVIEW: The Land Across by Gene Wolfe

REVIEW SUMMARY: Gene Wolfe returns with a fascinating  and multi-layered novel that keeps its own secrets.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An American writer is arrested while visiting the country he is writing about, and is forced to navigate a culture he knows nothing about.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Enjoyable to read and accessible; fun characters; a good place to start if you’ve never read Gene Wolfe.
CONS: Little to no payoff and the end; dialog is easily misinterpreted; not Wolfe’s best work.
BOTTOM LINE: An enjoyable and entertaining novel you’ll find yourself wanting to read again due to the subtle tricks Wolfe plays on the reader.

An American travel writer, Grafton, decides to write his next travel book on a rarely visited eastern European country. Even entering this country is a challenge, as flights he books are cancelled, and drivers are advised to turn back from mountain roads. He finally gets a train to the capital, but gets accused of being a spy, and is arrested. His passport is taken, and thus the plot begins.

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Here at The Completist I like to highlight books that may have been sitting for a while on the bookshelves; to ensure good books from a few years ago (and more) aren’t lost in the shuffle of everybody trying to read the HOT! NEW! RELEASES! all the cool kids are reading. (Not that good books aren’t being published now, mind.) It’s been quite a while since I read these books, but they remain important and are absolutely essential reading for so many reasons.

Most people who have been reading Science Fiction and Fantasy for a significant amount of time know of Octavia E. Butler and what is perhaps her most famous series, which has gone by a couple of different names: Xenogenesis or Lilith’s Brood. Butler is one of the most recognized writers in the genre, and probably the most recognizable black woman to write in the genre. She was championed by Harlan Ellison, she won both the Hugo and Nebula Award and in 1995 she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship. This series is a landmark in the alien first contact story and provides a very plausible biological thrust in the human/alien commingling.

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Shaun Duke is a PhD. student at the University of Florida studying Caribbean literature, postcolonialism, and science fiction. His fiction and non-fiction publications can be found on his blog, The World in the Satin Bag, where he writes about SF/F and related topics (mostly, he just causes trouble nobody notices). He is also one of the hosts of The Skiffy and Fanty Show. He is also fundraising for travel expenses to attend Worldcon this August. He hopes to bring The Skiffy and Fanty Show and the World SF Tour there to expand the project’s scope. If you want to support the effort, head on over to the GoFundMe page, read about the milestone perks, donate, and spread the word.

World SF and the Global Archipelago of Worlds

by Shaun Duke

In Archaeologies of the Future (2005), Fredric Jameson proposes that we “think of our autonomous and non-communicating Utopias — which can range from wandering tribes and settled villages all the way to great city-states or regional ecologies — as so many islands: a Utopian archipelago, islands in the net, a constellation of discontinuous centers, themselves internally decentered” (221). While I won’t get into Jameson’s larger project here, I do want to take a moment to apply this idea of the archipelago to the world sf concept. To clarify, utopia here is perhaps a somewhat nebulous term, since Jameson’s use is certainly not the colloquial “perfect society” kind, but rather an “in the moment” utopianism whose primary concern isn’t an end result, but, as Ernst Bloch would suggest about utopia in The Principles of Hope (1954), a desire or drive. An intention, if you will.

World sf, I think, is a part of this tradition, though intention is, in most cases, not a necessary component. It is not utopian in a colloquial sense, but it is utopian in the sense of a desire. Of representation. Of imagination. Of possibilities. Imagine each literary tradition as a star in the sky and you’ll see why world sf is, as in the quote by Jameson above, that archipelago (of worlds): it’s a gateway into the myriad ways people can engage sf/f within their living spaces (nations, cities, states, etc. — i.e., worlds). They might be discontinuous, decentered, in conflict or isolated, but in them, there’s a renewed freshness waiting to be explored.
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Night Shade Books’ $4.99-and-Under eBook sale contains quite a few selections at $2.99…and even a few (like Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse anthology series) at 99 cents.

Here are the 35 titles that are part of the sale….

  1. A Matter of Time by Glen Cook
  2. After the Downfall by Harry Turtledove
  3. Alien Contact edited by Marty Halpern

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 2/27/2014

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

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-02-27

Interviews & Profiles

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WINNERS: THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir

The winners of our giveaway for The Martian by Andy Weir have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Brad K.
  • Michael B.

You will be receiving your prizes soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

Top Ten Superhero-Free Dystopian Comics

The last fifteen years have seen an enormous resurgence in the popularity of comics. So much so, in fact, that some are arguing that we are living in the second golden age of comics. Everywhere you look, our culture is inundated with comics; their imagery pervades our toy shelves, our theaters, our televisions, our tablets, and our game systems. Yet, even amid skyrocketing sales and increasing cultural ubiquity, there is still an ever-present mainstream majority that looks upon comics with contempt, as though somehow, the very medium were somehow inferior to other storytelling traditions.

Sadly, the latest round of comic-shaming was recently launched by industry giant Alan Moore himself, who claims that our ongoing obsession with superheroes could prove to be “culturally catastrophic.” But I’m here to tell you, that comics aren’t always about superheroes. In fact, some the best comics ever published are completely superhero-free. And, far from “having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in,” many young adults are turning to comics not to escape, but to better understand the world that they are living in through allegory, metaphor, and satire.
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