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Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I take a look at the latest body-swapping science fiction and fantasy books in an article titled Science Fiction Lets You to Slip Into Something More Comfortable.

Check it out, won’t you?

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s ROADSIDE PICNIC

A couple of years ago, I picked up a book to review for SF Signal, looking for something different. That book was Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and it turned out to be one of those books that quietly never quite left my head.

Thinking about Roadside Picnic and its authors, as well as our last column on Stanislaw Lem, we get a good starting point for examining how science fiction developed outside of the United States. Given that a lot of SF has been published here in the US, we appear to be a leader in the genre, for better or worse.

At the same time, we forget, ignore or simply don’t realize that authors such as Lem and the Strugatskys were as big as the giants in the United States: on par with Bradbury, Asimov or Heinlein. Examining their publishing experiences and approaches to the genre is good to highlight the limits and potential of genre, but also where US authors and fans tend to put on blinders for the world around them.

As awareness of foreign SF grows (see Clarksworld’s Chinese SF project, funding now), it’s important to realize that a) this isn’t a new phenomenon, and b) SF isn’t limited to the United States and England.

On top of all that, go read Roadside Picnic. It’s a phenomenal book.

Go read Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I take a look at the latest Upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Adaptations.

Check it out, won’t you?

Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I name my picks for The Best Speculative Fiction Reads in September.

Check it out and tell me which titles I missed.

Here’s the table of contents for the new issue of Apex Magazine, a monthly science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine featuring original, mind-bending short fiction from many of the top pros of the field, edited by Sigrid Ellis.
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Table of Contents: SQ Mag #16

Here’s the table of contents for the free online magazine SQ Mag, issue #16:
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The new issue of Clarkesworld is now posted:
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Nightmare Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Lightspeed Magazine sent along the table of contents for their new issue:
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Flash Fiction Online, September 2014Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Flash Fiction Online:

  • “The Cell I’m In” by Eli Hastings
  • “Honeybee” by Caroline M. Yoachim
  • “The Vitruvian Farmer” by Marcelina Vizcarra

This issue was edited by Suzanne Vincent and features cover art by Rick W Ware.

Single ebooks and subscriptions are available via Weightless Books.

Support Flash Fiction Online via Patreon.

Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, the online/downloadable magazine edited by Mike Resnick.

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Almost ten years ago now, I picked up a copy of Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris and was struck at how different it was compared to a number of the other books I was reading at the time. It was an interesting and probing novel, one that I don’t think I fully understood at the time. (I still don’t).

Lem is an author who is truly uninhibited by genre convention. Last column, I looked a Ursula K. Le Guin, and have been thinking quite a bit about how science fiction authors began to put themselves into a box midway through the century when it came to ‘hard’ science fiction. Limiting a story in some regards requires one to limit one’s own imagination: after all, we’re talking about fiction, where authors can make up whatever they choose. Lem was one of the authors who could make up a considerable story and then deliver it.

Go read Stanislaw Lem and His Push For Deeper Thinking over at the Kirkus Reviews blog.

Looking for the perfect gift for the special nerdy someone?

Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I serve up a tasty helping of End-of-Summer Gift Ideas for SciFi Fans and Comic Nerds.

Kirkus,

Podcast Spotlight: Pseudopod

“I have a story for you, and I promise you it’s true.” Pseudopod was the first horror fiction podcast, running continuously since 2006. They cover the whole spectrum of horror, new to old, gory to non, psychological to grossout, it’s all there. Alasdair Stuart’s thoughtful after-story comments are a huge draw to the podcast as well. Among the feature length episodes are “Flash in the Borderlands” episode that group together three flash horror stories with a related theme. Even if I don’t like the story in a particular week, I’ll listen to the end just so I can hear what he has to say. They publish a lot of really great stuff.

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Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction’s greats: her stories Left Hand of Darkness, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Dispossessed rank among the genre’s best works, and she moves easily between science fiction and fantasy, writing things that science fiction authors had barely touched before she came onto the scene. To say she was influential is to undersell one’s words.

I have to say, of all of Le Guin’s works that I’ve read, the ones that I’ve enjoyed the most was A Wizard of Earthsea, which I read years ago. Of all the fantasy novels I’ve picked up, it’s probably one of the ones that’s stuck with me the most.

Go read The Left and Right Hands of Ursula K. Le Guin over on Kirkus Reviews.

Hollywood loves to bet on a sure thing. And what’s more of a sure thing than basing a film or a television series on a classic book or short story?

Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I take a look at Upcoming Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptations (Classics Edition) – Part 2.

Check it out!

Did you veer notice that there are a lot of sf/f/h adaptations? And did you notice that many of them are based on sf/f/h classics?

Well I have. And over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I take a look at them.

Check out Upcoming Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Adaptations (Classics Edition) – Part 1 at Kirkus Reviews…

Here’s the table of contents for the new issue of Apex Magazine, a monthly science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine featuring original, mind-bending short fiction from many of the top pros of the field, edited by Sigrid Ellis.
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Subterranean Press has has posted the table of contents for the Summer 2014 edition of Subterranean Online (the final issue):

30 Years of William Gibson’s Neuromancer

I’ll have to confess that I read Neuromancer only a couple of years ago, and at the time, didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. It was a book about computers, written before computers were really a thing. The strange thing about William Gibson’s fantastic novel is it’s staying power and how it’s positively brimming with fresh ideas in a genre gone stale by the early 1980s. Going back to re-read Gibson’s works (especially in Burning Chrome), I’m shocked at how vibrant and raw his writing is.

Neuromancer is one of the more important books to enter the genre, and as it celebrates its third decade in print, it’s an interesting one to go back and look upon and to understand just how revolutionary the title was at the time.

Go read 30 Years of William Gibson’s Neuromancer over on Kirkus Reviews.

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