Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel Persona by Genevieve Valentine.

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Short Fiction Friday: Two Tasty Selections from Tor.com

REVIEW SUMMARY: A brief glance at two recent stories acquired for Tor.com by award-winning editor Ellen Datlow.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Tight, imaginative prose; interesting blend of science fiction and fantasy; myth and mystery skillfully knit together; meaningful artwork accompanies each story.
CONS: One story may be too enigmatic to satisfy all readers.
BOTTOM LINE: Editor Ellen Datlow has acquired a couple of winners for Tor.com, a feat she seems to pull off with some regularity. One story weaves together old myth and contemporary mystery in a way that will draw the reader in while delivering a chill that is not simply the result of its winter setting. The other is a mix of science fiction and fantasy which examines the idea of multiple realities in a highly creative fashion. This second story is quite enigmatic, and yet it won over this reader who is often a curmudgeon when it comes to that type of storytelling.

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Edited by John Joseph Adams and published by TOR, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination features all original, all nefarious, all conquering tales from the megalomaniacal pens of Diana Gabaldon, Austin Grossman, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Daniel H. Wilson and 17 OTHER EVIL GENIUSES.

The book description is this:

Mad scientists have never had it so tough. In super-hero comics, graphic novels, films, TV series, video games and even works of what may be fiction, they are besieged by those who stand against them, devoid of sympathy for their irrational, megalomaniacal impulses to rule, destroy or otherwise dominate the world as we know it.

We asked a few of the authors a couple of questions…

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Edited by John Joseph Adams and published by TOR, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination features all original, all nefarious, all conquering tales from the megalomaniacal pens of Diana Gabaldon, Austin Grossman, Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Daniel H. Wilson and 17 OTHER EVIL GENIUSES.

The book description is this:

Mad scientists have never had it so tough. In super-hero comics, graphic novels, films, TV series, video games and even works of what may be fiction, they are besieged by those who stand against them, devoid of sympathy for their irrational, megalomaniacal impulses to rule, destroy or otherwise dominate the world as we know it.

We asked a few of the authors a couple of questions…

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REVIEW SUMMARY: Psychosis and special government operatives; alien manipulation; alternate history; mermaids; Stygian horrors; mechanized warfare; pause buttons for children and more await discerning readers in the February 2013 issue of Lightspeed.

MY RATING:  http://www.sfsignal.com/mt-static/images/stars4.gif

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: This issue contains two original works of science fiction and two original works of fantasy, plus two additional reprint stories in each genre, interviews with each featured author as well as extended interviews with Steven Erikson and Lois McMaster Bujold. There is an essay on homage in science fiction, a reprint novella by Tad Williams, and a novel excerpt from Karen Lord’s recently released The Best of All Possible Worlds.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Seven out of the eight short stories are recommended; variety of selection in story styles; insightful author interviews; nice feature with the cover artist that includes full-color art gallery; well organized magazine layout.
CONS: One story was too enigmatic.
BOTTOM LINE: Issue #33 of Lightspeed  is well worth picking up and is just the latest example of why this magazine is consistently strong and worth the price of a monthly subscription.  There are entertaining, thought-provoking stories as well as bonus content that mirrors the type of work visitors to SF Signal expect to see on a daily basis.  All four original works in this issue are solid offerings demonstrating the creativity and imagination present in contemporary SFF short fiction .

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Genevieve Valentine‘s first novel, Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, was nominated for a Nebula. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Subterranean, and more, and the anthologies The Living Dead II, Running with the Pack, Teeth, and others. She has written articles and reviews for NPR.org, Strange Horizons, and Weird Tales. Her appetite for bad movies is insatiable, a tragedy she tracks at genevievevalentine.com.

SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with several authors involved in the new anthology, After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, and featuring stories asking: If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe’s wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.


CHARLES TAN: Hi Genevieve! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For you, how would you define Dyslit or what are its essential characteristics?

GENEVIEVE VALENTINE: I would say that the vast majority of dystopias hinge on some fault (or faults, there are always plenty) in a particular society, extrapolated and emphasized to reveal the monsters in the machine. This can be as obvious and gradual as a government that has come to spy on your every move, or as bizarre-yet-pervasive as the youth culture in Logan’s Run, because both of them are showing us what’s inherently wrong with us, now – which is the true point of a dystopia.

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[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Very rarely does a short fiction anthology score a home run with every single story it contains. Tastes differ from reader to reader. We asked this week’s participants to play the role of Editor:

Q: If you could publish a short fiction anthology containing up to 25 previously-published sf/f/h stories, which stories would it include and why?

Here’s what they said:

Nancy Kress
Nancy Kress is the author of 26 books of SF, fantasy, and writing advice. Her most recent novel is Steal Across the Sky (Tor, 2009), an SF novel about a crime committed by aliens against humanity 10,000 years ago – for which they would now like to atone. Her fiction has won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

I teach SF often and have never been able to find the exact anthology I want to teach! This would be it. I know there are many wonderful stories I left out either because I had no room (you limited me to 25) or haven’t read them. There are also great writers whose novels I prefer to their short fiction. But this anthology would be a joy to teach.

  1. “Sandkings” by George R.R. Martin
  2. “Nine Lives” by Ursula K. LeGuin
  3. “Houston, Houston, Do You Read” by James Tiptree, Jr.
  4. “Morning Child” by Gardner Dozois
  5. “Johnny Mnemonic” by William Gibson
  6. “A Braver Thing” by Charles Sheffield
  7. “We See Things Differently” by Bruce Sterling
  8. “Firewatch” by Connie Willis
  9. “The Faithful Companion at Forty” by Karen Joy Fowler
  10. “Baby Makes Three” by Theodore Sturgeon
  11. “Continued on the Next Rock” by R.A. Lafferty
  12. “When It Changed” by Joanna Russ
  13. “For I Have Touched the Sky” by Mike Resnick
  14. “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang
  15. “Dead Worlds” by Jack Skillingstead
  16. “Divining Light” by Ted Kosmatka
  17. “Blood Music” by Greg Bear
  18. “The Undiscovered” by William Sanders
  19. “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester
  20. “The Star” by Arthur Clarke
  21. “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman
  22. “Daddy’s World” by Walter Jon Williams
  23. “The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi
  24. “Lincoln Train” by Maureen McHugh
  25. “Aye, and Gomorrah” by Samuel L. Delaney

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