Tag Archives: Harry Connolly

MIND MELD: How SFF Influences Your Life

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

Books have been one of the greatest influences on my life. I say this not to downplay the lessons and values taught to be my family and friends, but instead to emphasize the importance of reading in my formative years. A lot of what I believe and how I act is driven by the characters I have encountered and the fictional worlds I have explored. Frequently I remind myself that “Fear is the mind-killer,” a message picked up from Frank Herbert’s Dune years ago – a lesson that has carried me through hard times. There are many more personal examples I could state but I’d rather hear from some of the very writers that inspire me.

We asked this week’s panelists…

Q: How has SFF influenced your life? Does it make you a better person? What lessons from SFF do you carry with you?

Here’s what they said…

Tobias Buckell
Tobias S. Buckell was born in the Caribbean and lived on a yacht until he moved to the US. He writes science fiction. His latest novel, Arctic Rising, is out from Tor Books. He lives online at www.TobiasBuckell.com.

The greatest impact it had on me was instilling in me a love of science, questing for information, and a deep love of creative and wild imagination. My life-long walk on the path toward passing those gifts on to others now means I make a living continuing to live all that. So I would say it had quite an impact on my life.

As to if it makes me a better person, I would have no idea. I would hope that my family loved and learned from me whether or not I had SF in my life. In fact, I find a sort of cultish devotion to any mantras learned from just SF to be problematic. I flinch from ideological insistence, and just because I adored a book at an impressionable age… well, I’d hate for that define the rest of my life as a thinking creature.

The lessons involve various snippets of things I’ve picked up over a lifetime that I’ve found useful. I’d hate to highlight a particular phrase out of the stew that makes me a human, as I’ve always loved Bruce Lee’s admonition to “Take what is useful, leave what is not, add something uniquely your own.” I didn’t learn that in SF, but it’s how I’ve approached all text.

But I can’t be the only SF fan who has found himself repeating the Bene Gesserit litany against fear after smacking his hand with a hammer… right?

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MIND MELD: Genre Crossovers We’d Love to See

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

From Jason and the Argonauts to Avengers Assemble, crossovers have brought the best of genres together in unexpected and pleasing ways. Instead of asking this week’s panelists what their favorite crossover is, I wanted them to share some of their own creations. So I asked them:

Q: If you had the liberty to do so, what genre figures would you crossover in a book, show or film?

Here’s what they said…

Tansy Rayner Roberts
Tansy Rayner Roberts is the author of Power and Majesty, The Shattered City and Reign of Beasts, a fantasy series about flappers, shape-changers and bloodthirsty court politics. She recently released a short fiction collection, Love and Romanpunk, from Twelfth Planet Press. She just received her first Hugo nomination for the Galactic Suburbia podcast. You can find Tansy on Twitter as @tansyrr and at her blog.

My first thought was that I want to see the universes of Blake’s 7 and Futurama collide because I think my head would explode with fannish glee.

Then there’s all the delicious possibilities from the Doctor Who universe, though sadly most of the crossovers I would love to see involve actors that are dead, or well past the age to convincingly play the part on screen.

But actually what I most crave is a colossal superhero comics crossover, with She-Hulk, Emma Frost, Black Widow, Spider-Girl and Kitty Pryde teaming up with Black Canary, Batwoman and the Batgirls, Wonder Woman and Power Girl, with Xena and Starbuck thrown in for good measure.

Together, they fight crime.

In space.

And then someone makes a movie about it.

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REVIEW: Child of Fire by Harry Connolly

REVIEW SUMMARY: An unwelcome addition to the already bloated ranks of Urban Fantasy, Child of Fire breaks no new ground with inconsistent characterization and bland writing.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Novice sorcerer Ray Lilly investigates strange occurrences within the small coastal town of Hammer Bay. While trying to keep his boss from executing him for his own past crimes, Lilly attempts to track down and eliminate the threat responsible for deleting children from existence.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Starts out firing with a rapid pace that doesn’t subside, author has no problem killing characters.

CONS: No innovation within the Urban Fantasy genre, lack of consistent characterization, lack of plot resolution, overuse of the same solutions to obstacles, core writing fundamentals were lacking.

BOTTOM LINE: If you are looking for a new innovative Urban Fantasy series, keep looking. Child of Fire disappoints.

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SF Tidbits for 9/30/09

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