Archive for May, 2014

Today at Kirkus Reviews: An Interview with Jeff VanderMeer

Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I interviewed Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy….

Check it out!

The Problem With Godzilla (2014)

This past weekend, I saw the new Godzilla movie. It wasn’t terrible (nowhere near as bad as Elysium!) but I found myself thinking about it afterward. The thing that stuck out to me is that it’s a good idea for a movie but, story-wise, executed very poorly. (The visuals and so on are excellent, of course.) So, here is a collection of my somewhat uncoordinated thoughts. There will be spoilers, obviously.

If you don’t care about weird logic problems, skip down to the Story section.
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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Stew. Beer. Earl Grey, Hot. I *know* there are more interesting science fiction and fantasy foods out there! With that in mind, here’s what we asked our panelists:

Q: What’s your favorite food or drink from the world of speculative fiction? Any thoughts on how you’d go about making it?

Here’s what they said…

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SF Signal has 1 complete trilogy of Deborah Coates’ rural fantasy / supernatural murder mystery trilogy to give away to 1 lucky reader! This prize pack includes the novels Wide Open, Deep Down and Strange Country.

Here’s what the books are about:

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Time Warp: Doctor Who / Rocky Horror Picture Show Mashup

First thought: How is this the first time anyone has ever though of this mashup?

Second thought: Props to The Hillywood Show for making a fairly elaborate and enjoyable video!

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-05-28

Interviews & Profiles

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This is my second installment of my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List, covering #31-40. You can find #41-50 here. The list is picked from thousands of episodes of the backlog of seventeen short fiction podcasts. There are many more episodes that I love, but these are the cream of the cream of the cream. All of the stories on this list are ones for which I have epic love, so it was a matter of trying to rank them based on fine gradations of that epic love.

Please comment, follow along, share this list with your friends.
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[GUEST POST] Sarah Cawkwell on Alternate History with Fantasy and Magic


An NHS worker by day and a writer under the cover of night, Sarah Cawkwell‘s first novel The Gildar Rift was published by the Black Library in 2011. Since then, she has written several other novels and short stories set in the grim-dark worlds of Warhammer. Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising is due for release in May 2014. Other works include tie-in fiction for World of Warcraft and several original tales for an assortment of publishers. Sarah lists her hobbies as reading, writing, reading about writing, writing about reading, online gaming and writing about online gaming. She needs to get out more.

Alternatively Speaking…

by Sarah Cawkwell

As the release date for my novel, Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising gets closer, I find myself musing on the whole aspect of writing alternative fiction. Heirs is a something a little bit different. It’s more than just an alternative history story. It’s more than a ‘what-if’ scenario. It adds in an entirely new dimension of fantasy and magic – things that absolutely, categorically did not happen. No, sir. That we know of, at least. History, remember, is written by the winners. Or the people who don’t like to own up to that bit of it that embarrasses them for any given reason.
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One of the reasons I enjoy writing this column is that I hope someone who is reading it, who has never been to a convention before will decide to go to one, be it a fan run scifi and fantasy convention, a writers conference, a large scale trade show (like BEA), a ComicCon, or any other kind of genre and/or fandom convention.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and with that in mind I e-mailed a few friends and put a call out on twitter to get in touch with people who had attended their first convention within the last year.

Here’s the questions I asked:

Q: Tell us a little about the first convention you attended. Why did you choose this one to be your very first con? Did it meet your expectations, and if not, what changes would you like to see at future events? is this a convention you’d attend again?

And here’s the first batch of responses!

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NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Jaime Lee Moyer! – Sarah Chorn

Jaime Lee Moyer lives in San Antonio, land of cactus, cowboys, and rhinestones, where she writes novels about murder, betrayal, friendship, magic, and kissing. Her cats approve of all of this, including the kissing. Her first novel, Delia’s Shadow, was published by Tor Books on September 17, 2013. The second Gabe and Delia book, A Barricade in Hell, comes out June 3, 2014 and Against a Brightening Sky, will be published in 2015. She writes a lot. She reads as much as she can.

Limitations in Historical Fantasy

by Jaime Lee Moyer

The year I turned twenty-eight my body decided to betray me. I went from being healthy, full of energy and able to easily run, to being chronically tired, feverish and arthritic in every joint in my body. Pain became a constant, unwelcome companion, and signaled the end of me being able to run.

But I could still walk, and being the most stubborn person on the planet, I refused to give up more physical function and strength than I had to. The motto became use it or lose it. And I got lucky. Two years after I first got sick, the “unspecified autoimmune disorder” largely went into remission.

I still have flare-ups, and the pain never really goes away completely, but I can do just about everything I did before the autoimmune demon reared its head.

Except run. I still dream of running.
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SF/F Crowd Funding Roundup For 5/27/2014

Crowd funding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it’s a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowd Funding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

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Sean Wallace has sent along the table of contents for his upcoming anthology The Mammoth Book of Warriors and Wizardry:

Here’s the book description:

This is a stellar collection of short fantasy fiction from authors who have made an impact over the last decade, along with some bestselling favourites. These stories of life-and-death struggles and magical force, used for good and evil, by Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Tanith Lee, K. J. Parker, Carrie Vaughn and many others provide thrills and entertainment aplenty.

Here’s the table of contents…
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Tuesday Tune: “He’s Spider-Man” by The Ray Wall Band

This animated music video is part musical trubute, part fan video, and all coolness.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-05-27

Interviews & Profiles

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Soman Chainani’s first novel, The School For Good And Evil, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been on ABA’s National Indie Bestseller List for 12 weeks, has been translated into languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios, produced by Joe Roth (Snow White & The Huntsman, Alice In Wonderland, Oz The Great & Powerful) and Jane Startz (Tuck Everlasting, Ella Enchanted). Soman is a graduate of the MFA Film Program at Columbia University, and the recipient of the school’s top prize, the FMI Fellowship for Writing and Directing. His short films, Davy & Stu and Kali Ma, have played over 150 international film festivals, won over 30 jury and audience awards, and racked up over 1,000,000 YouTube hits. His writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives. He was also nominated for a NewNowNext Award, sponsored by MTV.

Soman’s new book, The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes (the 2nd in the series), just came out, and he kindly answered a few of my questions!


Kristin Centorcelli: You have a degree in English and American Literature, and extensive film experience, but have you always wanted to write novels? Will you tell us more about yourself and your background?

Soman Chainani: I think in my heart, I’ve always wanted to write novels, but been quite terrified of the discipline and solitude required to write them. I always figured it would be a nice thing to turn to once I finished with my goals in the movie world, had a stable relationship, and a nice house with a dog. Ultimately, we’re not really in charge of our own stories – a big theme in SGE – and it turns out I came to them when I’m single, living in New York, and in the middle of my film career.

What happened was I was working on my first feature as a director called Love Marriage, which I was going to make in London in 2011 – and after two years of preparing it and getting the script perfect, our financing got shaky a few weeks before production. As a result, I stepped back and found myself brainstorming The School For Good And Evil. My agent was wise enough to realize it was a book series instead of a movie and steered me towards a publication deal. I was writing the book less than a year after first having the initial grain of the idea.
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Here’s the table of contents for the new anthology Clarkesworld: Year Six edited by Neil Clarke & Sean Wallace:

Since 2006, Clarkesworld Magazine has been entertaining science fiction and fantasy fans with their brand of unique science fiction and fantasy stories. Collected here are all thirty-four stories published in the sixth year of this Hugo Award-winning magazine

Here’s the table of contents…
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SHORT FILM: Changing Batteries

Here’s a story of an old woman and a robot….

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Books Received: May 26, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-05-26

Interviews & Profiles

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Watchdogs is a game in which players hack into the computer that runs a near-future Chicago. Here’s Clueless Gamer Conan O’Brien playing the game for the first time.

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