MY REVIEW: PROS: Large, beautifully reproduced images; work spans wide range of Harris’ career; fitting foreword by John Scalzi; reasonable price point for book of this size/quality; equally reasonably priced slip-cased limited edition with signed print. CONS: More prose about inspirations/thoughts on individual works would have enhanced the book. BOTTOM LINE: John Harris and his iconic paintings have been a part of the science fiction community for nearly four decades. He brings an impressionistic sensibility to his bold, massive space landscapes that make each piece stand out as a distinct work of art. Generations of readers have discovered his work because of the science fiction novels graced with his creations. Harris continues to be a prolific creator whose work resides on the covers of some of the biggest names in SF literature. This new retrospective is a welcome body of work and should be added to your collection the moment it is released.
Jonathan Wood is an Englishman in New York. There’s a story in there involving falling in love and flunking out of med school, but in the end it all worked out all right, and, quite frankly, the medical community is far better off without him, so we won’t go into it here. His debut novel, No Hero was described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a funny, dark, rip-roaring adventure with a lot of heart, highly recommended for urban fantasy and light science fiction readers alike.” Barnesandnoble.com listed it has one of the 20 best paranormal fantasies of the past decade, and Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels described it as, “so funny I laughed out loud.” His short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Chizine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as anthologies such as The Book of Cthulhu 2 and The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year One. His next novel, a sequel to No Hero, is called Yesterday’s Hero and is due out in September 2014. Follow Jonathan on Twitter as @thexmedic.
Whenever I want to start writing something new, the first thing I do is look for a picture. It’s become a ritualized part of my writing process. When I’m first starting to plan out a novel, I move like a magpie from tumblr to DeviantArt to Lost at E Minor, looking for fresh sources of inspiration that I can add to my stockpile. Then when it’s time to flesh out an idea from nascent impression into an actual plot, I crack open my art file and start digging. Soon, I’ll find a piece that feels like it’s somehow part of the nascent story in my head, so I’ll stop and use the picture as a springboard for a scene. Just a few hundred words, but enough to generate an idea, a moment of wonder, a potential conflict that will make its way into the novel.
I started this process with my first novel No Hero, and I’ve repeated it a number of times now. Over that course of time, a couple of favorite artists have risen to the fore, old faithfuls that I can always rely on to spark new ideas. Continue reading →
If you attended the Hugo ceremony, or watched it online , you will remember the video depicting Vincent creating the base. That video has now been released into the wild by the video’s director, John Davis (who also directed, among other things, Jimmy Neutron). When I spoke with Vincent, he told me that the protective eyewear he wears in the video are antiques, actually worn by smelters decades ago.
Check it out after the jump and see the marvelous close-ups of the awesome base.
If ever I saw a “buzz book” on the horizon, it has to be Jason M. Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, which I have to admit looks pretty darn cool. The idea of this being a book with a lot of buzz surrounding it is mostly because I have seen a review of the book we have in the pipeline, patently waiting for publication day. But it’s also because Hough’s trilogy (the Dire Earth Cycle) has two different publishers set to independently publish the trilogy: Del Rey in the U.S and Titan Books in the U.K. The series thus serves as a perfect opportunity to compare how two publishers are handling the publication. Continue reading →
On the 28th of March 2013, Harper/Voyager will reprint 7 classic sf/f novels with beautiful minimalist covers to accompany the special minimalist-cover Collector’s Edition of The Hobbit that is out right now.
In episode 110 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates (continuing the discussion from Part 1) sit down with a mega panel of authors, editors and artists to discuss Sword and Sorcery for the modern reader.
Joseph Mallozzi names his November Book of the Month Club selection: Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro. Hmmm…might be a good excuse to read this. I’ve heard good things and have put it off far too long.
Gary Westfahl reviews Pandorum: “In order to appreciate Pandorum, then, one must ignore those silly mutants and instead focus solely on the shorter, better film they are viciously struggling to conceal.”
Kristine Kathryn Rusch offers another installment of her Freelancer’s Survival Guide with Patience.
From LifeHacker: Owners of Sony eReaders, users of the Stanza iPhone book reader, and anyone else with a device that reads the ePub format can now grab more than 1 million works from Google Books’ archives.
EVENT: As part of the Fantastic Fiction free reading series, Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present Andrew Fox (The Good Humor Man and Calorie 3501) & Chris Genoa (Foop! and the upcoming Lick Your Neighbor) Wednesday September 16th, 7pm at KGB Bar in NYC.