Eleven failed expeditions have ventured into Area X. We embed with the twelfth – a psychologist, a surveyor, a linguist, an anthropologist, and a protagonist – as they cross Area X’s mysterious border, hoping to discover their precursors’ fates.

Annihilation, first in a trilogy to be drip-fed throughout 2014, is part dark fantasy horror, part sci-fi adventure into verdant wilderness, and part bittersweet fabulism. The prose is lucid, gripping, and establishes a not altogether disagreeable sense of “breathless and unexplainable dread,” in H.P. Lovecraft’s words.

Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness (1936) and William Hope Hodgson’s The House on the Borderland (1908) are significant precedents in their mix of trepidation, adventure, and rapture. Annihilation can also boast a crawler and a pit, a bit like Abraham Merritt’s “The People of the Pit” (1918).
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In episode 253 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester brings together Lista Paitz Spindler, Delilah S. Dawson, Fred Kiesche, and John DeNardo to discuss:

  • Your favorite Summer Movie So Far (and Yet To Come)
  • A Book You Read that you swore you would NEVER READ (…and did you enjoy it?)
  • Doctor Who Returns in August – DOES ANYONE CARE ANY MORE? (it’s been soooo long)
  • What comic books should Fred read next?
  • Why are bear claws superior to bagels in every possible way?

FYI - We are going to read a book to discuss on air in August. The name of that book? Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.

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The Kat, Incorrigible series books 1-3 will be released as a boxed set in October 2014.

Here’s the synopsis:

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This is way more funny than it oughtta be…

NSFW warning!

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Books Received: July 21, 2014

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-07-21

Interviews & Profiles

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SHORT FILM: Monsterbox

Monsterbox is a cute short film directed by Ludovic Gavillet Derya Kocaurlu, Lucas Hudson and Colin Jean-Saunier.
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Jared Shurin set up the publishing house Jurassic London in 2011, and has edited or co-edited 9 anthologies of original fiction in conjunction with not-for-profit partners such as English PEN, Tate Britain and the Royal Observatory. In 2013 he was selected as one of the Guardian/Hospital Club’s top ten Pioneers and Innovators in publishing. His work as an editor and a blogger has been nominated for several prizes, including the British Fantasy, BSFA and Hugo Awards. He is on Twitter at @pornokitsch and blogs at www.pornokitsch.com.

Jared kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about the nominated anthology and what inspired the collection?
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Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert get together for an epic lightsaber battle to benefit Unicef. Hilarity ensues…

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Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 7/19/2014

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 2014-07-19

Interviews & Profiles

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GAME REVIEW: Machinarium

Machinarium is a point-and-click puzzle game published by Amanita Design in 2009. In the game you are a robot who has been dismantled and dumped from the robot city into the endless junkyard beyond. You had lived happily with your friends until a gang of thugs came and split you up, using each of you for your own devices. Now you need to find your way back into the city, rescue your friends, and keep the gang from doing anything like that again.
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Here’s the cover art and synopsis of the upcoming novel Gemini Cell by Myke Cole, the latest in his military fantasy Shadow Ops world. It’s sporting a new look with this fourth (standalone) volume, using an eye-catching illustration by Larry Rostant.

A larger version appears below. Here’s the synopsis:
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REVIEW SUMMARY: A deliriously smart and funny beginning to a new urban fantasy series about dragons in the ruins of Detroit.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW
PROS: Fantastic and memorable characters; spectacular world building; fast paced adventure; snappy dialog with a lot of humor; completely unique magical system.
CONS: Would have liked more info about the rest of the world after the magic apocalypse.
BOTTOM LINE: A compelling first volume in a new series that will knock your socks off so hard they’ll leave smoking holes in your wall.
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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Jonathan Oliver is the editor-in-chief of Solaris and Abaddon. He has previously had stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies in the UK and the US. He has written two novels for Abaddon Books – The Call of Kerberos and The Wrath of Kerberos – and his four anthologies for Solaris have received widespread critical acclaim and awards nominations.

Jonathan was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his Shirley Jackson nominated anthology, End of the Road.


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about the nominated anthology and what inspired the collection?
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Bob Garcai and Bob Weinberg sent along some excellent Virgil Finlay art for us to share with our readers. This art is featured in the soon-to-be-ending Kickstarter project for The Collectors Book of Virgil Finlay being published by American Fantasy Press.

Bob says:

Virgil Finlay (1914-1971) was born in Rochester, New York on July 23, 1914. Which means we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth this year. Why celebrate? Because Finlay was, without a doubt, the finest science fiction artist of the 20th century. He began illustrating for Weird Tales magazine in 1935, where he composed masterpieces for the pulp’s greatest writer, H.P. Lovecraft. Soon, he was working for all the great pulps – from Amazing Stories to Thrilling Wonder. He continued to illustrate SF magazines and books till his untimely death in 1971. Was he the best? Decide yourself with The Collectors Book of Virgil Finlay, available in November.

Here’s a preview of the book that is on it’s final days in Kickstarter!

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the forthcoming novel Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley. The last Mosley book I read was The Wave. This one sounds like it might bejust as enjoyable.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-07-18

Interviews & Profiles

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[NOTE: This is part of a series of Q&As with the Shirley Jackson Award nominees.]

Conrad Williams was born in 1969. He is the author of seven novels (HEAD INJURIES, LONDON REVENANT, THE UNBLEMISHED, ONE, DECAY INEVITABLE, BLONDE ON A STICK and LOSS OF SEPARATION), four novellas (NEARLY PEOPLE, GAME, THE SCALDING ROOMS and RAIN) and two collections of short stories (USE ONCE THEN DESTROY and BORN WITH TEETH). He has won two major prizes for his novels. ONE was the winner of the August Derleth award for Best Novel, (British Fantasy Awards 2010), while THE UNBLEMISHED won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel in 2007 (he beat the shortlisted Stephen King on both occasions). He won the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer in 1993. He won another British Fantasy Award, for Best Novella (THE SCALDING ROOMS) in 2008. In 2009 he was Guest of Honour at the World Horror Convention. He edited the anthology GUTSHOT, which was shortlisted for both the British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards. He is an associate lecturer at Edge Hill University.

He lives in Manchester, UK, with his wife, three sons and a monster Maine Coon.

Conrad kindly answered a few of my questions…


Kristin Centorcelli: Congrats on the Shirley Jackson Award nomination! Will you tell us about “Raptor” and what inspired you to write it?
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Right now, you can get the eBook version of Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin for only $1.99!
It is described thusly:

A groundbreaking anthology featuring stories from some of the most prestigious names in romance, fantasy, and science fiction, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

Featuring stories from and about the heart, these tales of romance are played out against every kind of setting, from ghost-haunted fantasy landscapes to mile-long spaceships in transit among the stars. Including some of the most well-known, bestselling, and award-winning authors in the industry, this must-have collection features an original story set in the Outlander universe from Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, Marjorie M. Liu, and many more including Robin Hobb, Jo Beverley, Jacqueline Carey.

Co-edited by blockbuster bestselling author George R.R. Martin, whose fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire serves as the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones, and Gardner Dozois, one of the pre-eminent anthologists of science fiction and fantasy and winner of fifteen Hugo Awards, Songs of Love and Death is a star-studded cross-genre anthology that explores the borderlands of fantasy, science fiction, and romance.

Grab it now if you want it. Available wherever you buy eBooks.

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