More free fiction: Free Speculative Fiction Online has a whole slew of new additions from James Blish, Algis Budrys, Greg Egan, Eric Flint & Dave Freer, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Harry Harrison, Jay Lake, Claude Lalumière, Jack McDevitt, Alan E. Nourse, Mike Resnick, John Ringo & Linda Evans, Chris Roberson, Bruce Sterling, Lavie Tidhar and Stanley G. Weinbaum.
Entertainment Weekly #962 lists Reaper and The Bionic Woman as two of 5 new shows to watch. They also list Heroes and one of 4 shows worth fixing. (Speaking of EW and Heroes, they’ve posted a dead-on review of Heroes season 2.
Yes But No But Yes asks “Where Are They Now?” in regards to the warriors from the Road Warrior films. My favorite: Bruce Spence…the Gyro Captain who became Tion Medon in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
John Picacio previews one of his illustrations that appears in the art book Artists Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. The anthology, which features 40+ artists and boasts an introduction by Harlan Ellison and an afterword by Thomas Ligotti, comes in two limited editions: a $395 cloth edition and a $2000 leather edition. Check out the publisher’s page for image samples from the book, like the one shown here.
Humor: Top5 lists The Top 8 Worst Lines in Sci-Fi Erotica> (#7: After many attempts by the rookie space cadet, the spaceship finally fit snugly into the landing bay, but he had opened the escape hatch too soon, spilling the ship’s occupants on to the floor.)
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Kristine Smith, author of Endgame, the latest and final book in the series that began with Code of Conduct.
Stanislaw Lem calls Philip K. Dick A Visionary Among the Charlatans: “…fans are attracted by the worst in Dick–the typical dash of American SF, reaching to the stars, and the headlong pace of action moving from one surprise to the next–but they hold it against him that, instead of unraveling puzzles, he leaves the reader at the end on the battlefield, enveloped in the aura of a mystery as grotesque as it is strange.”
Locus Online has excerpts from Locus magazine’s October Issue interviews with Bruce Sterling (“These days I’m like a gypsy scholar figure.”) and Walter Jon Williams (“SF has changed dramatically in the last half-century.”)
The Guardian Book Blog has an appreciation of J.G. Ballard. “To put it simply: Ballard understands that modernity has left us to our own basal needs – and we’re not coping too well.”
Jed Hartman is talking about anti-technological sf. “I’m sometimes surprised by how often sf stories are all about the evils of technology, and how much better unmodified humans are than technologically aided humans.”
Anyone else getting stoked over the new I Am Legend trailer? I loved the book and although this seems to differ greatly from that, the core concept is there. And it looks cool.
SFX interviews Andy Remic (War Machine). “War Machine is a sizzling rollercoaster of a novel with a gratuitous excess of violence, sex, dark humour and exotic aliens all wrapped up in a high-octane cling-film plot concerning an elite military unit illegally reformed who must battle across alien planets to discover justice, truth and revenge.”
Amazon Daily has part 1 of a talks with hot, new fantasy authors Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself), Karen Miller (The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage), Brian Ruckley (Winterbirth), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire and Well of Ascension). “There is so much of this genre that hasn’t been explored yet, and it’s thrilling to be part of the new wave of fantasy writers.”
James Patrick Kelly is podcasting his novel Look Into the Sun. Here’s Part 32.
VanderMeer also interviews Nathan Ballingrud in a new series called Conversations with the Bookless, supporting short fiction writers who do not yet have books (including collections of short stories) published yet.
Elizabeth Bear weighs in on short fiction: “I have a theory. And that theory is that, more or less, the current SFF short fiction market is a club scene. It’s where the experiments happen, the riffs, the fast-and-furious back-and-forth, the arguments, the bubble and boil. The churn, if you like.”
A Dribble of Ink interviews Daniel Abraham, author of A Betrayal in Winter. “Q. You’ve got six words to describe your novels. Go! A: Political fantasy with Asian set dressing.”
The Chronicles Network interviews Lois McMaster Bujold, author of The Curse of Chalion . “My experience so far with genre-blending is that while F&SF readers don’t mind a bit of romance as a sub-plot, they are very taken aback to have it presented as a main plot, urgently looking for the “important” political action to identify as the plot instead.” [via Fred K.]
Michael Cassutt, in his latest Science Fiction Weekly column, wonders how to rekindle his passion for sf writing. “The attraction for a reader lies in visiting these magic landscapes, from Middle-earth to the sands of Arrakis, or Gibson’s cyberspace, or the United Federation of Planets, or even the windswept plains of a post-nuclear America. For a writer, the fun lies in imagining them. Building them.”
Locus Online has posted Graham Sleight’s Yesterday’s Tomorrows column from the April 2007 issue of Locus magazine which looks at the work of Cordwainer Smith. “Smith was extraordinarily uninterested in what the future might actually be like, but he was devoted to creating narratives that recreated the things that mattered to him.”
Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcasts Tim Pratt, author of Blood Engines.
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles C.J. Ryan, author of Burdens of Empire.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist interviews Katherine Kurtz, author of King Kelson’s Bride. “It’s astonishing to me that so many aspiring writers think they have to write a trilogy.”
Top5 Lists The Top 6 Cases on Sci-Fi Court TV: “Robinson Family vs. Smith: Dr. Zachary Smith charged with Unlawful Exploitation and Inappropriate Contact with a Minor, Robot Tampering and general ninny-ness.”
Here’s a video of William Shatner responding to talk of his cameo in the upcoming Star Trek reboot: INTERVIEWER: “You’re supposed to be dead.” SHATNER: “Yeah, but it’s science fiction.”
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles F. Paul Wilson, author of Bloodline, the latest in the Repairman Jack series.
Fantasy Book Critic interviews R.A. Salvatore. “Genre literature is literature, and I think that that word, ‘literature,’ is used as a bludgeon, because people spend so much time trying to prove that they’re better than other people.”
Fantasy Book Critic interviews J.V. Jones, author of A Sword from Red Ice. “For me, the only thing worth writing about is people and their personal conflicts.”
Effective January 1, 2008, Jeff VanderMeer’s Ministry of Whimsy Press will come out of hibernation as an imprint of Wyrm Publishing. VanderMeer will work as a creative consultant and publicist for the Ministry’s books.
James Patrick Kelly is podcasting his novel Look Into the Sun. Here’s Part 31.
Guardian Book Blog explains why real-life encounters with authors fall flat. “I don’t think it’s fair to condemn writers who aren’t utterly warm and loving when coping with fans: the skill sets associated with sitting in a room on your own writing a book and being a celebrity don’t have a lot of overlap, do they?”
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Tim Lebbon, author of Dusk.
Forbes briefly interviews sf author Robert J. Sawyer in his capacity as futurist. “A futurist’s goal is usually to predict the future, but a science-fiction writer’s goal is often to prevent the future, by depicting a plausible but undesirable scenario with enough credibility that society decides to make a course-correction.”
S. M. Duke continues a series of interesting posts with Dystopian Commonalities in SF. “…if true literature must take from real life, must draw upon social or cultural issues of the times, then science fiction is doing this better than any other literature.”
C’mon, people! Isn’t about time we took a stand to stop alien abductions? “This website tells you how to make a thought screen helmet…here is proof that the helmet receives microwave signals which may be from aliens.” [via Optical Popitude]
Star Wars merchandise-of-the-day: When I see Jar Jar, I think of nuts. When I see Amidala, I think of cheesecake. When I see Boba Fett, I think of cookies! [via Neatorama]
The UK SF Book News Network talks to Tim Lebbon, author of the British Fantasy Award-winning novel, Dusk. “I always had quite a strong idea of what I wanted to write about, and also a determination that creatures and other ‘created’ things would come out of my own head, not be nicked from other books. There are no orcs, elves or dragons in Dusk because someone else made them up.”
Mark Chadbourn says Richard Dawkins Is Killing SF. “…the quality of SF is arguably at an all-time high, a new golden age of speculative fiction. I can name several authors whose books will undoubtedly be read in decades to come, and I’m sure you can name many more. Fantasy – and I’m stating this as charitably as I can – has not produced so many quality works.”
S. M. Duke discusses The Literary Nazis (or Why the Literary Academia Hates SF). (Short version: science, simplicity and lack of thought, failure, they just don’t get it and they’re hypocrites.)
New/Updated at Gutenberg: Greylorn by Keith Laumer.
The Daily Record interviews Christopher Eccleston. “I think a younger audience is much more exacting than adults actually… they’re much fiercer in their attachment once they’ve taken you to your heart, but they have better detectors than us.” [via Outpost Gallifrey]
Dark Roasted Blend interviews Jeff VanderMeer (Shriek: An Afterword) and also includes some very weird but wonderful illustrations. “I think a really good writer doesn’t show you your reflection in the mirror–a really good writer puts you in an alien place with strange people and either makes them familiar, makes you realize they’re no different than you, or blows the back of your skull away by not allowing you to escape someone else’s reality.”
The SFWA has reprinted a letter from Ursula K. Le Guin which takes issue with Cory Doctorow’s posting of Le Guin’s short comic piece “On Serious Literature”.
S. M. Duke shares a journal entry for a literature class that addresses the SF-as-Literature/Books-are-Dying perennials: “I think the problem isn’t that the novel is dying, because in reality, it’s not, but rather that the rigid and sometimes rather close-minded idea of what constitutes as true literature is no longer something that any significant majority of people are interested in.”
Ben Bova asks: What if phenomena aren’t really natural? “Are there some questions, some problems, to which we will never be able to find an answer, no matter how hard we strive, because the matter is beyond our powers of comprehension?”
John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly told SCI FI Wire that their latest anthology, Rewired, is an attempt to define a burgeoning subgenre of science fiction: “post-cyberpunk” fiction.
As part of the launch for his new book, Postsingular Tor Books, in conjunction with Rudy Rucker, are staging a three-day exhibition and sale of his paintings at the Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco.
Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcast-interviews Larry Niven.
Free fiction: ManyBooks.net offers “One-Shot” by James Blish. “You can do a great deal if you have enough data, and enough time to compute on it, by logical methods. But given the situation that neither data nor time is adequate, and an answer must be produced … what do you do?”
Early next year, Subterranean Press will give birth to a new imprint, Far Territories, that focuses on popularly-priced trade paperbacks and hardcovers, with distribution in the chain and independent bookstores.
A Dribble of Ink interviews Brandon Sanderson (The Well of Ascension). “In my opinion a good book is a balance be-tween character, setting, and plot with character being the most important of the three. You can have the coolest magic system in the world, but if readers don’t care about the characters who are using that magic system, the book won’t be very fun to read.”
SciFi Chick interviews James Maxey (Bitterwood). “I’ve always liked fiction with a humorous take; I prefer Douglas Adams over Isaac Asimov and Terry Pratchett over Tolkien.”
Are musicals not your cup of tea? How about Zombie Shakespeare? Check out 12th Night of the Living Dead. “When a strange meteor smashes into a ship en route to Illyria, the bodies pile up as fast as the romantic complications. Will true love prevail? Can a zombie be made to understand the affairs of the heart, without eating it? Or will the fools of Illyria never live to see another dawn?” [via SciFi Scanner]
Fantasy Book Critic interviews Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself). “The keys to great characterization are humor and honesty. If a character can make you laugh, you’re already a long way towards being engaged with them even if they’re otherwise disgusting.”
Jamie Rubin has found a way to re-energize your reading (and, in his case, writing): re-read books that you love, in Jamie’s case, that’s Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books. I also find that being in a bookstore gives me the urge to read as well. Funny how that works…
Newly available Trailer: Jumper, based on the novel by Steven Gould about a young man with the power of teleportation, reunites Star Wars actors Hayden Christensen and Samuel Jackson.
Updated trailer: The Golden Compass, based on the books by Phillip Pullman, now has a full-length trailer. Armored bears, airships and daemons…lookin’ sweet.
There’s a movie version of Land of the Lost in pre-production…it will be a comedy starring Will Ferrell. I’m glad they’re taking the comedy route instead of trying to make it into some half-@$$ed “re-imagining”.
Here’s Paul Kincaid on What Won’t Sell: “Today, of course, there is evidence to support the claim that short stories don’t sell: the steady decline in sales of the sf magazines. Except that the long slow death of the sf magazine has been going on for as long as I’ve been reading science fiction, yet they have lasted far longer and sold far more than magazines in any other genre.”
Here’s L.E. Modesitt’s take on F&SF short fiction. “There are some gifted short fiction writers in F&SF, and so far as I know, not a one of them can make a living purely off short fiction.”
It’s award nomination season and Ellen Datlow is urging folks to nominate the short fiction they love.
A remastered version of the original two-part Star Trek episode “The Menagerie” will screen in select movie theaters around the country in a one-night event on Nov. 13. I only hope this isn’t a warm-up for a theatrical release of “Spock’s Brain”.