Archive for July, 2014

GAME REVIEW: Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is an unforgiving fast-paced platform-jumper game published by Team Meat in 2010.

Meat Boy is the name of our protagonist. No, it’ s not a lewd stage name. Meat Boy is literally a cube of raw red meat with arms, legs, and a face. The love of his life is Bandage Girl who, as you might guess, is an anthropomorphic Band-Aid. If you’re confused, so am I. I feel like I’m missing a joke. Are these two paired because Meat Boy is literally dripping blood and Bandage Girl is an item meant to absorb blood? I don’t know.
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This is part of a series of Q&As with the authors of The Apex Book of World SF 3 edited by Lavie Tidhar.

The stories in The Apex Book of World SF 3 run the gamut from science fiction, to fantasy, to horror. Some are translations (from German, Chinese, French, Spanish, and Swedish), and some were written in English. The authors come from Asia and Europe, Africa and Latin America. Their stories are all wondrous and wonderful, and showcase the vitality and diversity that can be found in the field. They are a conversation, by voices that should be heard.


(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and I will always be a city boy. I won’t tell you I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I can tell you I’ve always loved to read. Not so with academic books, though I seem to be stuck with them even until now. When I wanted to take up English (Creative English in particular) in university, my mother insisted that I do…more. So Medicine it was, and now I’m doing both, and I’m grateful for that.

Finding a balance, now that’s another story.
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REVIEW SUMMARY: In Bald New World, Tieryas Liu explores social complications, structure and
culture of a world in which everyone loses their hair.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The story follows Nick Guan as he moves between a Dystopian future set in L.A. and parts of Asia with a twisted plot revealing shocking truths about hair loss on a global scale beneath a seedy underworld filled with spies and murder.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Descriptive, engaging narrative that is smart in its observations of popular culture; deep, personal narrative set against intense, raw scenes.
CONS: Fast paced ending gave illusion of being a tad rushed.
BOTTOM LINE: A wonderful, clever narrative that builds an intriguing look at a plausible yet fantastic future while remaining a personal story of man’s struggles with societal norms and family.
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In episode 254 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester brings together Gail Carriger, Jay Garmon, Derek Austin Johnson, and Michael R. Underwood to discuss:

Does the average book buyer/reader care about the Hachette v Amazon battle? SHOULD they care and why?

The average book buyer probably doesn’t know there’s a battle going on, so WHY should they care? WHY should they not? Is this whole thing contained within the SF&F community and, therefore, a non-issue for most people? Hachette is a multi-billion dollar company being portrayed as the innocent underdog – why? Is that accurate? Is there anyone beyond authors who will truly be hurt by all of this? What does all of this mean for the average reader going forward? What does all of this mean for authors going forward? What about independent publishing? Will people be people an buy their books wherever they want no matter what happens here?

This is also only the first of several battles to come. The publishers have to renegotiate with Amazon one by one… so will we be seeing this every couple months/years forever?

Lastly – what about the new Kindle Unlimited? Do we care? Is it good, bad, indifferent?

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For a limited time Incandescence by Greg Egan will be on sale for $1.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The sale begins today but, at the time of this post, not yet…so check the price before ordering!

Here’s the description:

The long-awaited new novel from Greg Egan! Hugo Award-winning author Egan returns to the field with Incandescence, a new novel of hard SF.

The Amalgam spans nearly the entire galaxy, and is composed of innumerable beings from a wild variety of races, some human or near it, some entirely other. The one place that they cannot go is the bulge, the bright, hot center of the galaxy. There dwell the Aloof, who for millions of years have deflected any and all attempts to communicate with or visit them. So when Rakesh is offered an opportunity to travel within their sphere, in search of a lost race, he cannot turn it down.

Roi is a member of that lost race, which is not only lost to the Amalgam, but lost to itself. In their world, there is but toil, and history and science are luxuries that they can ill afford.

Rakesh’s journey will take him across millennia and light years. Roi’s will take her across vistas of learning and discovery just as vast.

Check out the table of contents for the new alternate history anthology Wars to End All Wars: Alternate Tales from the Trenches edited by N.E. White, currently available for only $0.99!

Here’s the book description:

Alternate tales set during the first World War, this short story collection takes history and tweaks it.

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1. Seven authors, including the award-winning Science Fiction and Fantasy author, Elizabeth Moon, commemorate that event by writing stories set during the great war, adding their own, sometimes speculative, interpretations and answering the question, “What if…?”

Here’s the table of contents…
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Looks like some interesting things are in store for the upcoming season of The Walking Dead.

Here’s the Season 5 trailer that premiered at ComicCon…
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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel The Machine Awakes by Adam Christopher, follow-on to Burning Dark….

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In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-07-28

Interviews & Profiles

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SHORT FILM: Expo

This moving short film directed by Joe Sill delves into the heart of a mother’s interplanetary sacrifice for her daughter…

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RIP: Lawrence Santoro

Sad news…

Starship Sofa and SF Site are reporting that author Lawrence Santoro has passed away after a bout with cancer.

Lawrence was the producer of the Tales to Terrify podcast and an author of many short fiction stories, many of which were collected in the 2011 collection Drink for the Thirst to Come.

It’s time another Book Cover Smackdown! This time around, covers of forthcoming steampunk titles go head-to-head. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Pass artistic judgment!

Tell us:

  • Which of these covers do you like the most?
  • What works and what doesn’t work with these covers?
  • Do any of them make you want to learn more about and/or read the book?

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-07-26

Interviews & Profiles

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming shared world collection Wild Cards IV: Aces Abroad edited by George R. R. Martin.

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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Rosanne lives in South London, so it’s no surprise she has a story titled “Lambeth North” in the anthology Horror Without Victims. A longstanding member of the precariat, Rosanne engages in a variety of occupations including freelance editing, copywriting and care work.

Her novella Helen’s Story (PS Publishing) has been shortlisted for the 2013 Shirley Jackson prize and she has contributed to anthologies such as Rustblind and Silverbright (with Mat Joiner), Never Again: Weird Fiction Against Racism and Fascism, Extended Play: the Elastic Book of Music, The Slow Mirror: New Fiction by Jewish Writers, Conflicts, The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies and a new science fiction collection, Life Seed. You can visit her website here: rosannerabinowitz.wordpress.com

Rosanne was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about HELEN’S STORY!


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about your novella and what inspired you to write it?
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Convention Attention: Anime Midwest

Earlier this month, my husband and I attended Anime Midwest, in Chicago. As the name implies, the majority of guests, panels, and activities had a connection to Japanese anime shows and movies, Japanese culture, and Japanese fashion. Special guests included voice actors Caitlin Glass, Sonny Strait, Greg Ayres, Alexis Tipton, and Johnny Yong Bosch, the famous Japanese fashion brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and a number of independent fashion designers. There were also steampunk and comedy based musical guests, gaming experts on hand, webcomic artists and authors, and Japanese weaponry experts. If I listed all the panelists and other guests, you’d still be reading this column three hours from now
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Lisa Jensen is the author of the novels, Alias Hook, and The Witch From the Sea, proprietress of the arts and entertainment blog, Lisa Jensen Online Express, and longtime film critic and columnist for the alternative weekly, Good Times, in Santa Cruz, CA.

Alias Hook was published by Thomas Dunne Books on July 8, 2014. I had the chance to speak with Lisa about it…

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Deadline in reporting that Amazon has ordered a pilot episode for a drama series based on Philip K. Dick’s famous alternate history novel The Man In The High Castle. The book posits an alternate history in which Germany won World War II and now occupies the United States.

The order went to Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free, who owns the rights. The script is being written by former X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz.

This is not the first news of this novel being adapted. Back in 2013, it was being reported that the SyFy channel was interested in adapting the series, but that apparently went nowhere. Now, Amazon has expressed an interest in the adaptation. Time will tell if actually pans out this time.

What fans really wanna know, can two Star Fleet offciers share a starship…without driving each other crazy?

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