In episode 255 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates bring together Kate Elliott, Tad Williams, Laura Resnick, Felix Gilmanand Sarah Chorn to discuss Epic Fantasy!

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Here’s the excellent table of contents for the upcoming military sf anthology War Stories, described thusly:

War has been speculated about in science fiction literature from the earliest days of the genre. From George Tomkyns Chesney’s The Battle of Dorking and H.G. Well’s War of the Worlds & War In the Air to Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers to Karin Traviss’s Wess’har Wars series and Dan Abnett’s Embedded, science fiction literature has long had something to say about war. Now, it’s time to tell some new stories. War Stories is an anthology that looks to the modern state and the future of war through the words of some of the best short fiction authors writing today.

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“Let me buy you a pint, Elric…”

This week, we posed the following to our panelists:

Q: We’ve all encountered characters in stories and novels that we’ve felt a real connection to, and would love to chat with more. Maybe buy them a drink. What characters have you encountered in Fantasy and SF that you’d like to buy a pint for?

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In episode 238 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Jack Campbell, Karen Lord, Jay Posey, Kameron Hurley, Charles E. Gannon, and Jaym Gates, discuss Military Science Fiction.

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In episode 236 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester, Karin Lowachee, Richard Dansky, Jaym Gates, and Myke Cole discuss Military Science Fiction.

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Available Now on Amazon Kindle: KAIJU RISING: AGE OF MONSTERS (Read an Excerpt)

Hey all! I’m wearing two hats at the moment — one as the co-creator/editor of Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters from Ragnarok Publications and one as SF Signal contributor. As co-creator/editor of Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters I’m proud to announce that the anthology is now available on the Amazon Kindle store for immediate purchase! As an SF Signal contributor I have to stress how awesome this book is — you really need to read it! For just $4.99 you can get 25 thrilling stories, accompanied by 25 awesome pieces of interior art. By funding the project through Kickstarter (achieving 185% of our initial goal) Ragnarok Publications was able to assemble a one-of-a-kind anthology featuring authors such as Peter Clines (Ex-Heroes), Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International), James Lovegrove (Age of Zeus), Gini Koch as J.C. Koch (Touched by an Alien) and more. The interior art was provided by the superb Robert Elrod and the imaginative Chuck Lukacs. To top it all off comes a tie-in story with Colossal Kaiju Combat from Sunstone Games, written by New York Times bestselling author James Swallow. All this comes wrapped in a beautiful cover provided by the legendary Bob Eggleton. That’s a lot of awesome for just $4.99 but if you’re not yet convinced here’s an exclusive excerpt from “The Banner of the Bent Cross” by Peter Clines…
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WAR STORIES Anthology: Funded! Now Check Out These Stretch Goals…

The War Stories anthology officially tipped over the 100% mark on its Kickstarter! As of this morning, it’s reached 104% of our goal, and with just over a day left to go, we’re hoping to hit a couple of additional goals above and beyond that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of our 323 backers who’ve pledged thus far. This is going to be an excellent book, and it’s because of all of our backers that we’re able to produce it.

Here’s where we want to go next:

  • Stretch Goal target: $12,000: Additional Art unlocked. We’d like to break the stories into thematic sections, and provide art for each section.
  • Stretch Goal target: $13,000: 20,000 words unlocked. This will allow us to include several additional stories we have under consideration at the moment, which will make this book all the better.

So, if you’ve been holding off, rest assured that this is now a pre-order for the book. Backers at the $15 level and above will receive a copy of WAR STORIES! You’ve got until November 14th at 6:00 pm to back it!

Pledge here.

Larger book cover after the break!
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MIND MELD: Up And Coming Authors of The Last 5 Years

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This week’s question was inspired by the upcoming anthology Twenty-First Century Science Fiction, which features stories from “up and coming” authors beginning in the year 2000. We modified the question slightly and asked our panelists this question:

Q: Who do you believe are the “up and coming” authors of the past 5 years readers may not be aware of? What stories by these authors should readers consume?

Here’s what they said…



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[GUEST POST] Jaym Gates Reports on the East Coast Game Conference


Jaym Gates is an editor, author and publicist, as well as the Communications Director for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She has work appearing in the Chicks Dig Gaming anthology (out in November) and the Origins Writers Track anthology. More information can be found at jaymgates.com, or follow her on Twitter as @JaymGates.

Conference Report: East Coast Game Conference

East Coast Game Conference is a yearly video game industry convention held in Raleigh, North Carolina, in April. The conference, in its fifth year, schedules seven simultaneous tracks on subjects from Mobile Games to Education and provides video game professionals, academics and upcoming developers with an engaging program and opportunities for networking and collaboration. The conference is presented by the Triangle Game Initiative, a non-profit trade association of video game companies in North Carolina and the International Game Developers Association, a non-profit trade association of video game developers.

At the core of the two-day conference are seven simultaneous tracks of talks and panels covering a wide range of game development topics appealing to programmers, artists, designers, producers, students, academics and business executives.

I first heard about the conference from writer Richard Dansky, who invited me to attend the brand-new Writing track he was organizing. I seldom attend panels, but Rich teased me with some of the things he was going to have scheduled, and I couldn’t resist.
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In episode 179 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates gather a second group of panelists to talk about the past, present and future of Cyberpunk.

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In episode 177 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates gather panelists to talk about the past, present and future of Cyberpunk.

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MIND MELD: Great Books to Read During Winter

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

This week, in time for the change of season, we asked about Winter:

In the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is turning colder, and the season of Winter is upon us. What are your favorite genre stories and novels that revolve around the coldest season. How do they make use of the season, and how do they evoke it?
This is what they had to say…
Gwenda Bond
Gwenda Bond’s debut novel, Blackwood, was a September 2012 launch title for Strange Chemistry, the new YA imprint of Angry Robot Books. Her next novel, The Woken Gods, will be released in July 2013. She is also a contributing writer for Publishers Weekly, regularly reviews for Locus, guest-edited a special YA issue of Subterranean Online, and has an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with her husband, author Christopher Rowe, and their menagerie. Visit her online at her website (www.gwendabond.com) or on twitter (@gwenda).

The first novel that leaps to mind is Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness. It’s a wonderfully bizarre tour de force about a girl, Sym, who is obsessed with all things Antarctic, including her imaginary boyfriend, the deceased Captain Lawrence “Titus” Oates. Her mad “uncle” takes her on a once in a lifetime trip there, which turns out to be a nightmare. He believes in the hollow Earth theory and that they will prove it’s true. Along the way, McCaughrean masterfully reveals more and more about Sym’s own past and her phony uncle. Sym’s voice is arresting despite how very in her own head she is—and it’s perhaps because of how that works with a backdrop that is spectacularly isolated and physically challenging. Some people may argue this isn’t a true fantasy, but I would debate them (citing spoilers), and regardless of which of us won I maintain it’d still be of interest to many genre readers because of the hollow Earth fringe science driving the plot.

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SF Signal Welcomes Jaym Gates!

We here at SF Signal HQ are pleased to announce that Jaym Gates has joined the ranks SF Signal’s ever-growing blog army!

As is our wont, we asked Jaym to say a little something about herself in the third person. Here’s what she said:

Jaym Gates wears a lot of hats: freelance genre publicist and editor by day, stage manager by night. In the chinks of unoccupied time, she writes, trains horses and collects books in the event of someday having time to read. She can be found on Twitter as @JaymGates, or online at jaymgates.com.

Welcome aboard, Jaym! We’re happy to have you on board. This would normally be the part of the Welcome Post where I blatantly hint at how free bagels go a long way around here. But, given your legendary organziational skills, I trust that the order has already been placed and bagels are on the way! Right? Right? ;)

Jaym will be reviewing books, beginnning today with this review of Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris.

Meanwhile, please join me in welcoming Jaym to the team!

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

One of the hallmarks of genre is the way we distinguish books by means of awards. So we asked this week’s panelists…

Q: What is the value of awards to the science fiction and fantasy community? How important are they to you?

Here’s what they said…

Jo Walton
Jo Walton is a Welsh-Canadian fantasy and science fiction writer and poet. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002 and the World Fantasy award for her novel Tooth and Claw in 2004. Her novel Ha’penny was a co-winner of the 2008 Prometheus Award. Her novel Lifelode won the 2010 Mythopoeic Award. Her newest novel is Among Others, currently nominated for a 2011 Nebula Award. She also writes many things for Tor.com.

I think awards are valuable in two different ways. In the present tense, they can draw attention to books and writers that deserve more attention — as when China Mountain Zhang was nominated for the Hugo. The Philip K. Dick award manages to find something I like and hadn’t noticed pretty much every year. This is good for readers who pay attention to them, and it can be good for a writer’s career — if they get award notice a publisher might decide to stick with them even though they don’t have great sales.

Secondly, they’re valuable as part of the historical memory of the genre — the awards of a year give a kind of snapshot of what people at the time thought was good. They judgements of awards are not always the judgements of posterity — I certainly saw that when I did my Tor.com “Revisiting the Hugos” series and looked at every year from 1953 until 2000. But they remain interesting. And what’s interesting to me isn’t ever the winner, it’s the shortlist. One book is one datapoint, a shortlist is a spread. The question I asked was not “did the best book win” so much as “do those five books give a good picture of where the genre was in that year”.
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In episode 112 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates (continuing the discussion from Part 1 and Part 2) sit down with a mega panel of authors to discuss modern Sword and Sorcery with the authors who are currently writing it.

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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.

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In episode 108 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates sit down with a mega panel of authors and editors to discuss Sword and Sorcery for the modern reader.

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