Tag Archives: Tobias Buckell

Tobias Buckell Announces XENOWEALTH Collection Kickstarter

Tobias Buckell has just announced a crowdfunding effort for his next fiction collection, Xenowealth. This is a collection of stories in the same universe as his refreshing and fun novels Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose, and The Apocalypse Ocean…and featuring the baddest of badasses, Pepper. If you liked those stories, you’ll love the stories in this collection, which will include:

  • “The Fish Merchant”
  • “Manumission”
  • “Resistance”
  • “A Cold Heart”
  • “Necahual”
  • “The Loa”
  • “Placa del Fuego”
  • “The Rydr Express”

If you’ve ever wanted all the Pepper stories bound into one volume — this is your chance. There are lots of cool stretch goals, too, so be sure to go check out Tobias’ project on Kickstarter!

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 206): John Joseph Adams, Mary Robinette Kowal, Matt Forbeck and Tobias Buckell on Kickstarters and the new Anthology Project – HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY

In episode 206 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes Mary Robinette Kowal, John Joseph Adams, Matt Forbeck and Tobias Buckell to talk about kickstarters in general and the new Help Fund My Robot Army: an anthology of improbable, futuristic, magical & alternate-world crowdfunding projects.

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MIND MELD: What Crowd Funding SF/F Novels Means for Authors and Publishers

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Crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are enabling authors and editors to reach out directly to fans and ask for help in producing novels and anthologies. However, with crowd sourcing being a fairly recent phenomena, the authors and editors who have put their works in front of the public are blazing a new trail for others to follow.

We asked our panelists this question:

Q: What effect will crowd funding have on SF/F publishing in general and how will it affect the mid-list and self-published authors/editors?

Here’s what they said:

Allen Stroud
Allen Stroud is a University Lecturer from Bucks New University in High Wycombe. He runs the successful, Film and TV Production degree and also teaches Creative Writing, specialising in Writing Fantasy, a module he has taught for nine years. He has a Masters Degree in Science Fiction and Fantasy world-building and also writes music, composing work that has featured in award winning short films.

So you want to write a book? Or, you’ve already written a book and you want to publish it?

For some time now, the e-book publication method has been a source of hope to prospective authors attempting to gain recognition for their writing. The proliferation of e-book readers and the ease of constructing a professional looking copy has brought a new form of democratization to the differing processes of publication.

However, this process doesn’t bring a writer a guaranteed audience. Success amidst the e-book revolution is hard. With so many titles to choose from, readers seldom unite behind individual texts. Yet, we do see occasional stratospheric achievements. Although often these are as much to do with capturing the mood of the times as the quality of the writing.

Writing Science Fiction or Fantasy helps a bit. Genre readers have more identifiable interests in what they like from a book, so potentially, carving out an audience for your own work is a clearer objective in that you can write a book that appeals to this market.
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Limited Time! Get “Mitigated Futures” by Tobias Buckell for $2.99

Tobias Buckell has made the price of his new collection, Mitigated Futures, available for just $2.99

Here’s the book description.

Twelve science fiction stories about the oncoming future, each of them representing a possible glimpse of what could be just around the corner… or much further down the corridor. These stories previously appeared in places like Clarkesworld Magazine, The Year’s Best SF, Subterranean Magazine, and in various anthologies. They deal with the future of war, our climate, and technology’s effect on our lives.

You can pick up Mitigated Futures for $2.99 from Amazon, B&N, or directly from Tobias Buckell himself.

MIND MELD: How SFF Influences Your Life

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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: Ecological Science Fiction

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The recent United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio 2012 or Rio+20, where the heads of state of 192 governments discussed sustainable development and declared their commitment to the promotion of a sustainable future, has – even if for a short while – galvanized the media attention. Science fiction, however, has never turned its back on ecology, being a constant theme, growing strong particularly in the past few years, with authors ranging from the master ecothinker Kim Stanley Robinson to younger and prolific Paolo Bacigalupi, all focusing in strategies to survival of humankind under a grim scenario of climate change.

So, we asked this week’s panelists:

Q: With all the debates on global warming, the constant fear that we may be running scarce of basic resources such as potable water in the near future, what is science fiction’s role in this panorama? What are your favorite SFnal scenarios for problem-solving regarding the maintenance and sustainability of ecosystems, if any? Is there any scenario science fiction could be exploring better with relation to ecology?

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.

Is potable water really that huge of a threat, I wonder? I think my background actually plays into my answer here. I spent my high school years in exactly the sort of dystopia that people posit when talking about ‘peak water’ or ‘water wars.’ In St. Thomas, USVI, the sole spring doesn’t produce much in the way of potable water for the 150,000 or so people on the island at any given time (residents plus tourists). As a result, water is made using reverse osmosis from the ocean. There’s a lot of ocean in the world, well over some 1 billion cubic kilometers. What happens is price. The reverse osmosis system requires energy (in St. Thomas it’s diesel power, so the whole edifice of being able to drink there requires fossil fuels) to be created, and the cost of water I grew up using was $65 per 1,000 gallons, versus $1.50 in Ohio for the very same amount. I grew up with water costing 50 times what it does in the US. What does it do? Well, it changes your conservation behavior, for one. I remember reading in the papers that Californians were in a drought, and being told to limit their showers to ‘fifteen minutes’ and laughing. Who the hell took fifteen minute showers? That shit was expensive.

But even at over 50 times the cost, we didn’t don our Mad Max American Football-inspired leather uniforms and head out to do battle. There were water trucks, more conservation, more awareness of water use, and lots of clever human hacks around the situation (roofs that collected rain, cisterns, etc). People are clever.

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REVIEW: Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell

SYNOPSIS: In an ice free arctic fifty years hence sculpted by climate change and Man, a UN pilot/monitor gets wrapped up in a plot that only enlarges the deeper she falls into it.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW
PROS: Imaginative speculation and world building; action/adventure plot that expands as it develops; good characterization.
CONS: Beats of the plotting in the final fifth of the novel feel a bit off.
VERDICT: Buckell sails into near future Earth science fiction with gusto.

Science Fiction as a genre has a problem. A genre that has speculated about the future used to have it easy: speculate on high ages of technology just around the corner; exploration of space and beyond; life beyond a sudden nuclear apocalypse that wipes the slate clean. All bold, solid, clear and plenty of room for science fiction of the first order.
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REVIEW: Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell

REVIEW SUMMARY: Cybernetically strung-out freedom fighter leads a too-large cast in a too-small book that fires and…misses.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In Ragamuffin, Nashara is a last ditch effort, centuries in the making, to usurp the yoke of alien rule by the pirate-like force of terran traditionalists, that refuse to submit to the masters of humanity.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Technology; world building; unique.

CONS: Pacing; characterizations.

BOTTOM LINE: If you want something different, here you go. If you want something good with character and pacing, I advise to look elsewhere.

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MIND MELD: What SF/F/H Books Are On The Top of Your “To-Be-Read” Pile?

There’s an overwhelming selection of appealing titles to choose from when it comes to reading science fiction, fantasy and horror books. Yet some titles float to the top of the pile, making them more immediate candidates for the next books you’ll read.

Q: What sf/f/h books are on the top of your “To-Be-Read” Pile?

Read on to see the tasty selections of this week’s panelists…

Lucius Shepard
Lucius Shepard is a writer who lives in Vancouver. In 2008, Subterranean Press published The Best of Lucius Shepard, a career retrospective. Shepard’s latest novels include Vacancy & Ariel, Viator Plus, and The Taborin Scale.

Art the top of my stack is Islington Crocodiles, the highly praised short fiction collection by the UK’s Paul Meloy. Intro by is by Graham Joyce. Really looking forward to that.

Next up: Strange Forces – The Stories of Leopoldo Lugones, a collection of fantastical stories from an Argentine writer released in 1906. Lugones is very well known in Latin America, almost unheard of here. He’s supposed to have been an eccentric a la Lovecraft and killed himself over a woman 30 years his junior by drinking a mixture of whiskey and cyanide.

Horacio Quiroga is a classic Latin American writer of extremely dark stories, some of which are included in The Decapitated Chicken and Other Stories. A disciple of Poe, he lived a tormented life that included the suicide of one wife and desertion by his wife and child while enduring his final illness. Many of his stories are set in the jungle where much of his life was spent. Sounds like my kind of guy.

Lucy Snyder’s Spellbent — I’m not sure what this one is, a YA I guess, but it sounds like a blast. About hell coming to Ohio. Having played in a lot of Ohio’s armpit bars, I can relate.

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SF Tidbits for 9/10/09

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SF Tidbits for 8/28/09

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