If you’ve been paying attention to our daily link posts over the past several years, you will recognize the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Readings. This awesome monthly event is a series of author readings held at the KGB Bar in New York City and organized by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. Each event features two writers reading their work — not only a great way to sample their work, but also a chance to meet them in person.

Up until this week, you had to be in or around New York City at the time of the readings to enjoy them.

Not any more!
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Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s ROADSIDE PICNIC

A couple of years ago, I picked up a book to review for SF Signal, looking for something different. That book was Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and it turned out to be one of those books that quietly never quite left my head.

Thinking about Roadside Picnic and its authors, as well as our last column on Stanislaw Lem, we get a good starting point for examining how science fiction developed outside of the United States. Given that a lot of SF has been published here in the US, we appear to be a leader in the genre, for better or worse.

At the same time, we forget, ignore or simply don’t realize that authors such as Lem and the Strugatskys were as big as the giants in the United States: on par with Bradbury, Asimov or Heinlein. Examining their publishing experiences and approaches to the genre is good to highlight the limits and potential of genre, but also where US authors and fans tend to put on blinders for the world around them.

As awareness of foreign SF grows (see Clarksworld’s Chinese SF project, funding now), it’s important to realize that a) this isn’t a new phenomenon, and b) SF isn’t limited to the United States and England.

On top of all that, go read Roadside Picnic. It’s a phenomenal book.

Go read Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

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Friday YouTube: The Villain Pub

The good (and funny) folks at How It Should Have Ended have tackled comic book superheroes…now they give us a look at the villains.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-09-12

Interviews & Profiles

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Check out the massive, star-studded table of contents for Nature Futures 2 edited by Henry Gee and Colin Sullivan.

And hey! Do I spy the name of an SF Signal Irregular?

Here’s the description for the eBook (which sells for under $4!):

100 writers – including Neal Asher, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, Tobias Buckell, Brenda Cooper, Kathryn Cramer, David Langford, Tanith Lee, Ken Liu, Nick Mamatas, Norman Spinrad, Ian Stewart, Rachel Swirsky, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Ian Watson – offer their take on what the future will look like in this anthology of sci-fi short stories from the award-winning Futures column in the science journal Nature.

Here’s the table of contents…
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[GUEST POST] We Need a Halloween for Science Fiction!

Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay are a husband and wife writing team who agree on almost everything except whether or not 28 Days Later should be considered a zombie movie. Though their career has been focused primarily on nonfiction work with the Deseret News and the website Bloody Good Horror, they have also been recognized for their fiction and poetry. After years devoted to books (like The Anatomy of Fear) and articles in which they championed the idea that the horror film genre should be taken seriously, they hope the idea is finally catching on. You can follow them at their blog, www.inthemargin.net.

We Need a Halloween for Science Fiction!

by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay

In writing and marketing our book The Anatomy of Fear: Conversations with Cult Horror and Science-Fiction Filmmakers, we discovered that there’s little to be done about the niche popularity of the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres. Occasionally, something like Lord of the Rings or The Walking Dead connects with the zeitgeist, but more often than not it is the individual project that benefits rather than the subgenre overall. Luckily for the horror genre, however, there is a time of year when people embrace it. From the second week of October until Halloween night, people are a little more friendly towards the creepy and macabre, and even normally uptight friends and family are willing to watch and read and go to Halloween Horror Nights and haunted houses.

But what about science fiction? There is no time of the year when people’s thoughts turn naturally to malevolent robots or genetic manipulation; there is no color that the leaves can turn that reminds us of time travel or spaceships. Halloween gets a full three weeks of scariness, so what about sci-fi?
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Christa Faust is a successful horror and crime writer. Her novel Money Shot for Hard Case Crime won the Crimespree Award and was nominated for several others. She has written tie-ins to Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Twilight Zone amongst others. She lives in Los Angeles, California, and loves vintage shoes and noir cinema. Christa is the author of three Fringe tie-in novels for Titan Books: The Zodiac Paradox, The Burning Man and the newly released Sins of the Father.


Alvaro Zinos-Amaro: The Zodiac Paradox, the first of your three Fringe novels, is an exciting, suspenseful thriller that does a great job of establishing the early relationships between Walter Bishop, William Bell, and Nina Sharp. How much of a Fringe fan were you before WB and Titan books approached you to write these tie-ins?

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Rob Bedford on The Functional Nerds Podcast

Rob Bedford, blogger and book reviewer for Tor.com, SFF World and SF Signal, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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In this short film by James Cooper…

A time traveler meets with a journalist in a hotel room under the guise of sharing their story for an article, but what the journalist doesn’t know is that the time traveler has an ulterior motive for inviting him that will change his life forever.

A bit overly dramatic in places…and the time traveler seems a little too intent on mimicking Agent Smith from The Matrix, but nonetheless an interesting short film.

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 9/11/2014

Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here

Want these delicious links emailed to you once a week? Sign up for the Free SF/F/H Fiction Newsletter

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-09-11

Interviews & Profiles

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GAME REVIEW: Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

If you’re like me, you were one of many, many kids who got to play the edutainment game Oregon Trail at school originally published by MECC in 1977 with various updated releases since then. In case you’re not familiar with it, the game follows a family setting out on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s to settle in the west. You have money, food, bullets, sets of clothes for your family, and you have to try to keep everyone alive on the trail. Your characters can die from starvation, various diseases, from exposure, from drowning if you fail a river crossing, probably some other things that I’ve forgotten. Part of the appeal of the game, at least to me, was that you could name your family members–so typically you’d name them after your classmates and then could shout out in study hall “Hey Paul, you just died from cholera!” And you could also leave gravestones with custom epitaphs where your last party member died so other players would see them as they pass in future playthroughs.

Now, imagine that someone went back in time and interviewed every kid who was enjoying playing through this game and asked each of them one simple question: “If you could add one thing to make this game more awesome, what would it be?” And then that someone made a game that incorporate all of the answers without the slightest regard to historical accuracy. That someone would be Sparsevector, and that game would be Super Amazing Wagon Adventure, released in October 2013.
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Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I take a look at the latest Upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Adaptations.

Check it out, won’t you?

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Benjanun Sriduangkaew writes fantasy, science fiction, and has a strong appreciation for beautiful bugs. Her short fiction can be found in Tor.com, Clarkesworld,various Mammoth Books and best of the year collections. She is a 2014 finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her debut novella Scale-Bright is out now from Immersion Press.

[Note: I loved Benjanun Sriduangkaew’s Scale-Bright, and talked to her about the myths and legends that inspired it. Indeed, in contrast to references to King Arthur, Roland, Robin Hood or William Tell, Scale-Bright’s mythological matter comes from a completely different tradition. Here, she reveals the secret references and allusions in the novella. You may want to read Scale-Bright before reading this. You should read Scale-Bright in any event. - Paul Weimer]

Beyond The Great Wall Of Europe: The Myths And Legends of SCALE-BRIGHT

by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

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RIP: Graham Joyce (1954-2014)

Sad news…

Locus Online is reporting that Graham Joyce has passed away. Joyce, an author best known for his blurring of genre boundaries, was diagnosed with aggressive lymphoma in 2013. His books include Dreamside (1991); Dark Sister (1992); several British Fantasy Award-winning novels such as Requiem (1995), The Tooth Fairy (1996), The Stormwatcher (1998), Memoirs of a Master Forger (2008, UK, under the pseudonym William Heaney, a.k.a How To Make Friends With Demons in the US), Some Kind of Fairy Tale (2012); and The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit (2014), among others.

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MIND MELD: Disabilities in Speculative Fiction

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

Sarah Chorn’s highly successful Special Needs in Strange Worlds column…the recent Kaleidoscope anthology…the upcoming Accessing The Future anthology… Fiction focusing on discussions of disabilities, different abilities, special needs and different needs are increasingly important in the speculative fiction community.

With that in mind, here’s what I asked our panelists:

Q: What are some examples of speculative fiction titles where disabilities and disabled characters have been handled the right way? Are there specific disabilities that you’ve yet to see written into a speculative fiction story in a positive way?

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The Associated Press announced that Ursula K. Le Guin is receiving an honorary National Book Award!

The National Book Foundation, which presents the awards, announced Tuesday that Le Guin was receiving the 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Norman Mailer and Elmore Leonard. Le Guin, 84, is known for such novels as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Farthest Shore, which in 1973 won the National Book Award for young people’s literature.

Neil Gaiman, who has long cited Le Guin as among his favorite writers, will present her with the medal at a ceremony being held in New York on November 19th.

See also: The National Book Foundation announcement.

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The Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association has announced the first-ever group of inductess for the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame:

  • William Gibson
  • Phyllis Gotlieb (Lifetime Achievement)
  • Judith Merril (Lifetime Achievement)
  • Dennis Mullin (Lifetime Achievement)
  • Jeanne Robinson
  • Spider Robinson
  • Robert J. Sawyer (Lifetime Achievement)
  • A.E. van Vogt (Lifetime Achievement)
  • Susan Wood (Lifetime Achievement)

The inductees include the six winners of the Aurora Award Lifetime Achievement Award plus three additional names selected by a jury. The 2014 jurors are Clint Budd (chair), Steve Fahnestalk, Robert J. Sawyer, Lorna Toolis, and Diana Walton.

The induction ceremony will occur at the October 4th Aurora Awards Ceremony at VCON 39 the weekend of October 3-5, 2014.

Congrats to the inductees!

[via SF Site and Locus Online]

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Here’s a 1984 video interview with Harlan Ellison in which he talks about George Orwell’s 1984, among other things….

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Here is the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel The Warring States by Aidan Harte, the sequel to Irenicon.

Here’s the synopsis:
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