SFFWorld interviews George R.R. Martin. Here’s GRRM on his steamboat vampire book, Fevre Dream: “The vampire thing just seemed to go with steamboats. There’s something very nineteenth century about both of them. Sort of the dark romanticism.”
There is a lot of talk going on ’round the Blogosphere about short fiction lately and I’ve been unable to keep up. Fortunately, Lou Anders is around to offer up a nice summary, and toss in his own informed 2 cents.
Sean Williams shows off the covers for his upcoming young adult books The Changeling, The Dust Devils and The Scarecrow.
Jayme Lynn Blaschke reviews Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium at RevolutionSF. “…Natalie Portman, the geeks’ heartthrob who can be awe-inspiring in one movie and abysmal the next, manages to pull off both in the same role.”
A Dribble of Ink offers a two-partinterview with various science fiction bloggers (Chris the Book Swede, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, The Fantasy Review, Neth Space, Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, Rob’s Blog o’ Stuff, SciFiChick, Fantasy Book Critic and La Gringa from The Swivet).
Shameless Plug of the Week Thinly Disguised as Trivia: Did you know Joan Collins had a science fiction connection before Star Trek? Check out the Classic Comedy Giants Do SciFi post I guest-blogged over at SciFi Scanner for the scoop.
Jay at Geekend asks: When did Star Wars jump the shark? “And then Phantom Menace came along and, with all due disrespect to Jar Jar Binks, gave us the single worst Star Wars moment in a rapidly expanding history of awful Star Wars moments: Midi-chlorians.”
Brian Aldiss discusses global warming and environment in Our Science Fiction Fate in the Guardian: “Science fiction writers find difficulty in dealing with the global threat, never mind recycling. There has always been a journalistic flavour to science fiction.”
The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Michael Berry names the best SF books of the year: The Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker, One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak, Territory by Emma Bull, 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill, Un Lun Dun by China Mieville, Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff, The Terror by Dan Simmons, and Halting State by Charles Stross. [via Locus Online]
The Kansas City Star‘s Top 100 books of the year includes SF titles: The Guild of Xenolinguists by Sheila Finch, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman, Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer, Halting State by Charles Stross, and Ha’penny by Jo Walton. [via Locus Online]
The latest issue of Newsweek features the cover story The Future of Reading which talks about Amazon’s recently-announced eBook reader, Kindle and the future of paper books. “Microsoft’s Bill Hill has a riff where he runs through the energy-wasting, resource-draining process of how we make books now. We chop down trees, transport them to plants, mash them into pulp, move the pulp to another factory to press into sheets, ship the sheets to a plant to put dirty marks on them, then cut the sheets and bind them and ship the thing around the world. ‘Do you really believe that we’ll be doing that in 50 years?’ he asks.”
Here’s a 1982 interview with John Sladek by David Langford. “To my mind, the best SF addresses itself to problems of the here and now, or even to problems which have never been solved and never will be solved — I’m thinking of Philip K. Dick’s work here, dealing with questions of reality…”
PopMatters profiles Olaf Stapledon (Last and First Men: “…to sit and complain about the lack of credit Stapledon receives is to undermine the very principle for which he was writing about: mankind’s yearning for community.”
The Guardian has Margaret Atwood on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World: “Surely it’s time to look again at Brave New World and to examine its arguments for and against the totally planned society it describes, in which “everybody is happy now”. What sort of happiness is on offer, and what is the price we might pay to achieve it?”
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Josh Conviser, author of Empyre.
WotMania interviews author/reviewer Paul Di Filippo. “I try to work on only one fiction project at a time. I find that immersion in a single imaginative world is about all I can take. But reviewing handily fills in the gaps.”
SciFi Chick interviews Eric Brown, author of Helix and the upcoming Kéthani. “I write – I like to think – SF for people who don’t read much SF. It’s character-driven, eventful, economical – certainly not hard SF, which I don’t care for. I’m not bothered about explanations of science and technology in SF, nor about predictions; I like to empathise with human beings, and a good story.”
Fantasy Book Critic interviews Joel Shepherd, author of Killswitch. “I think the trend of human progress has been generally to the positive, with some nasty hiccups, and I don’t expect that to change. I also think some of the attraction of dystopian worlds is that a lot of writers either aren’t interested in politics, or can’t see a way to use it excitingly in their plots. Dystopian worlds usually preclude politics as we understand it…so it’s a bit of a cop out.”
SFFWorld interviews Hal Duncan (Vellum and Ink). “I’m Scottish, so socialism is in my blood.”
Cinematical interviews the Producers and Directors of the Futurama movie. “Ultimately, Futurama relies on a fair amount of sci-fi conventions. From the beginning, we knew space, the ships, and the battles had to look awesome — or suffer the fans’ wrath.”
Comic book publishers Dabel Brothers Publishing (The Hedge Knight) is teaming up with Del Rey to distribute graphic-novel editions of the Dabel Brothers’ comics. The first three projects to be announced are full-color comic adaptations of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, and Wild Cards, edited by George R.R. Martin.
PS Publishing has extended their 50% Discount Sale through December 31st 2007.
SF Diplomat looks at Mundane Vs. Hard SF. “Mudane SF is [fueled] by the aspects of science that are all about empirical adequacy. It’s about only saying things that are strictly likely to be true. Hard SF, on the other hand, is [fueled] by the parts of the scientific process that are all about the beauty of a scientific concept. Hard SF is about picking up a scientific idea and playing with it purely for the pleasure of thinking about the universe in that way.”
SciFi Scanner lists some Sci-Fi Geek Pick Up Lines. “Why don’t we head to my bedroom, peel back my Star Wars sheets, and discover what a true Jedi can do with his light saber?” I’m thinking the clincher to that line would be if this velvet painting of Admiral Ackbar was hanging on the wall of the bedroom in the geek’s mother’s basement.
Kung Fu Rodeo informs us that Buckaroo Banzai is back…in comic prequel form. Maybe we learn some more about that darn watermelon.
SF Scope sez there are three new Nancy Kress books on the way: Steal Across the Sky (Tor), Dogs (a biological thriller published by Tachyon), and the short story collection Nano Comes to Clifford Falls and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon).
Here’s a reprint of a thoughtful 2003 article written by sf author Mary A. Turzillo about Roger Zelazny. “And that was the element in Zelazny’s work that fascinated people, that fascinated me: his heroes: sinewy and outcast, immortal and doomed, powerful and desperate, wise guys and wizards with bad attitudes and broken hearts. They were Byronic, Faustian. They were maybe the source code for all those William Gibson cyberpunks, occasionally even down to the computer skills.” [via Nicholas Whyte]
Things I am thankful do not exist on YouTube: This fan-written mashup of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme and his next movie, I Am Legend.
TeenReads interviews Scott Westerfeld. Scott talks about the latest book in his Uglies series, Extras, and also teases and taunts us with word of his upcoming semi-graphic-novel trilogy called Leviathan, set during World War I and featuring living airships and walking mechanical war machines. Sweet.
Matthew Jarpe rants against The Mundanes. “I’ve got to say, I feel the same way about the Mundane Manifesto as I do about all manifesti. It’s a pointless waste of time and energy, and all responses to the manifesto are likewise pointless wastes of time an energy. This being a blog, pointless wastes of time and energy are my meat and potatoes, so here we go…” A cracking read wight up to the killer pirate robots ending.
At Baen, Jim Minz interviews Lois McMaster Bujold. “I will say, at no time past age 12 have I ever believed in the idea of a wild west in space. Any culture critically dependent for people’s lives on complicated technology needs to be more controlled and rule-abiding, not less.” Hmmmm…wonder how she feels about Firefly, then? [via Fred K.]
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, author of Shadow Speaker, described as “African fantasy with elements of science fiction.”
GalleyCat is following the latest in the Digital vs. Paper debate: Christian Science Monitor reporter Clayton Collins talks about the survival of the printed page at AlterNet (“…books exhibit a remarkable resilience to the forces of technology”). Survival of the Bookresponds to the article: “The e-book is no more a threat, ultimately, than audio books…”
The Atlantic article How Hollywood Saved God discusses religion (or anti-religion) and the upcoming release of The Golden Compass. You need a subscription to read it in its entirety, but Bridge to the Starshas a nice summary.
James Patrick Kelly has finished podcasting his novel Look Into the Sun.
Over at Texas Best Grok, “Planet Stories” has a renewed appreciation for Clark Ashton Smith.
S. Andrew Swann responds to L.E. Modesitt’s recent singularity article. Says Swann: “But my main problem with Modesitt’s argument is that it is primarily an economic one, based on the assumption that the basic economic rules are somehow set in stone and aren’t manipulated by technological change.”
Rolling Stone interviews William Gibson. “People worry about the loss of individual privacy, but that comes with a new kind of unavoidable transparency.” [via Core Dump ]
The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas are talking about Ringworld by Larry Niven.
Locus magazine’s Gary Westfahl reviews Martian Child. “While watching the first half of the film, with the novel very much on my mind, I was irritated by apparent efforts to dumb down and prettify Gerrold’s story in order to appeal to the masses; but gradually, I was able to accept the film on its own terms as effective entertainment, even if it did not conform to my expectations.”
Cool Tools throws us a nice link with Book Darts. little reusable markers you can put in your books without damaging the book. For those obsessive compulsives who wince when cracking a binding. Whistles and looks up…]
Shameless Plug of the Week: SciFi Scanner has posted a slideshow of The Best Uses of Time Travel compiled by yours truly. Check it out and see if your favorite moments are listed and rank the movies while you’re at it…
About.com looks at people of color in Sci-Fi for Fall 2007. The “ones making an effort” include Bionic Woman, Doctor Who, Heroes and Torchwood. (I’m still liking Torchwood, by the way.) Other categories include “Room for Improvement”, “Mixed Messages” and “Aliens-of-Color Only”.
Finding Wonderland interviews Connie Willis, author of D.A. and The Winds of Marble Arch. “I love science fiction, and I can’t imagine calling myself anything but a science fiction writer, but I know people sometimes have a very odd idea of what it is. ‘Oh, you write science fiction,’ they say, sort of wrinkling up their nose as if they smelled something bad, laugh nervously, and ask, ‘So, have you ever been abducted by aliens?'” [via Edward Champion]
SFX interviews Stephen R. Donaldson (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant). “…I did not intend my work as polemics. I believe that as a story teller, it’s my job to serve the story. It’s not the story’s job to serve me.”
John Joseph Adams profiles David Moles. “It’s true that a woman in the developed world today has many more opportunities than she would have had a hundred years ago, or even fifty, but I also think that in American society particularly, we — men and women both — lie to ourselves about how much freedom and opportunity we have”
Free reads: Speculative fiction e-zine Heliotrope issue #3 has been posted with fiction by Brendan Connell, Tina Connolly and Rob Vagle; and articles by Jeffrey Ford, Michael Moorcock and Jeff Vandermeer.
At Information Week, Cory Doctorow explains why artists should worry less about piracy and more about how much it costs to publish online. “Artists are in the free expression business, and technology that helps free expression helps artists. When lowering the cost of copyright enforcement raises the cost of free speech, every artist has a duty to speak out.”
Abe Books talks with Elizabeth Hand (Generation Loss). “I honestly don’t think about genre when I write – Generation Loss began as a fantasy novel and ended up as a psychological thriller. I’m far more interested in blurring boundaries, or tearing them down.”
Andrew Wheeler has an open letter to writers: “…genre isn’t about you. It’s not about writers at all. Genre categories are for readers, and driven by readers.”
Top5 SciFi lists The Top 10 Odd Time Travel Missions. #9: Return to 1982 to bludgeon L. Ron Hubbard to death, thereby preventing the publication of Battlefield Earth. Heh-heh…I always thought Battlefield Earth was a most perfectly mediocre book. About halfway through (when the main antagonist is killed) every single page was a stop-or-keep-going decision. Shark bankers indeed!
Martin McGrath gives a very detailed (and spoilery) account of the politics in Scalzi’s Old Man’s War books. “…it is notable that democratic institutions and principles are quickly cast aside by even the likable characters in this universe and Scalzi retains a distinctly American regard for the legitimacy and importance of the military forces.”
Locus Online has posted the contents of the November issue of Locus magazine.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Dark Knight top the list of Most Anticipated Movies, which includes many other genre flicks. This is expected, though, isn’t it? Genre fans tend to be more rabid than, say, Meryl Streep fans.
The Ballardian scans an article from a recent issue of SFX magazine, where J.G. Ballard is quoted as saying: “I haven’t written any science fiction for a long time, probably not since the end of the ’60s. Novels like Crash and my recent novel Kingdom Come are not science fiction.”