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

This week we asked our participants to talk about Words they first encountered in genre.

Q: What interesting, new-to-you words have you first learned or come across in your genre reading?

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In episode 263 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester sits down with author and MileHiCon #46 Toastmaster, Jeanne C. Stein.

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Did You Hear the Latest Functional Nerds Podcast?

John Anealio and Patrick Hester talk amongst themselves 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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Here’s the table of contents for the new issue of Apex Magazine, a monthly science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine featuring original, mind-bending short fiction from many of the top pros of the field, edited by Sigrid Ellis.
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-10-09

Interviews & Profiles

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WINNERS: UNSEAMING by Mike Allen

The winners of our giveaway for Unseaming by Mike Allen have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Shira L. (Physcial copy)
  • Adam S-M. (Physcial copy)
  • Chris R. (Physcial copy)
  • John G. (eBook copy)
  • Fred J. (eBook copy)
  • Bill M. (eBook copy)
  • Tammy G. (eBook copy)
  • Jamey W. (eBook copy)
  • Dusty W. (eBook copy)
  • Antonino L. (eBook copy)
  • Tomi M. (eBook copy)
  • Angus M. (eBook copy)
  • M.E. (eBook copy)

You will be receiving your prizes soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

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REVIEW SUMMARY: Lukewarm plot is window dressing for real life puzzles and games that have been created around this new series.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Hunger Games meets alien invasion story pits twelve teenagers against each other in a fight to the death that will save their own civilizations.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Globe spanning plot; easy to read; fun and very challenging puzzles are embedded into the text.
CONS: Will require more suspension of disbelief that many readers will be willing to give; I was turned off by the teen-against-teen ultraviolence; very light characterization.
BOTTOM LINE: Preteens and teens will probably find this to be an edgy action story, adults will enjoy decrypting the puzzles.

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A.C. Wise is the author of numerous short stories appearing in print and online in publications such as Clarkesworld, Apex, Lightspeed, and the Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, an online magazine publishing three issues of fiction per year with various unlikely themes. Follow her on twitter as @ac_wise.

SF Signal welcomes back A.C. Wise and her continuing series of essays on Women To Read!

Women to Read: Where to Start – October 2014

by A.C. Wise

Welcome to another installment of Women to Read: Where to Start. Last month, I recommended a Halloween tale. Now that it’s actually October, I’m being contrary and recommending works focused on love. If you’re the sort who is afraid of ‘mushy stuff’ and ‘kissing books’, never fear! These are mostly melancholy stories about love. It is October, after all.
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October is my favorite month for reading horror stories. This week, over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I pick a dozen recent horror titles that will help you get your scare on.

Go check out 12 Excellent Horror Reads for The Month of October.

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MIND MELD: Words We Learned from Genre Fiction

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

This week we asked our participants to talk about Words they first encountered in genre

Q: What interesting, new-to-you words have you first learned or come across in your genre reading?

Here’s what they said…

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I’ve been looking forward to the release of The Steampunk User’s Manual: An Illustrated Practical and Whimsical Guide to Creating Retro-futurist Dreams by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich ever since we did the cover reveal a few months ago. This is the follow-on companion volume to The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature by VanderMeer and S.J. Chambers, which debuted a few years ago. Abrams is publishing this one, too, and it looks to be just as wonderfully produced and presented.

Here’s some more info about the volume, including the table of contents and a sneak peek at what you’ll find inside…
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Can You Name This Story? (Part 36)

Here’s another Name That Story challenge for our readers, sent in by someone looking for the title of a story read long ago.

Does anyone out there know the title to this story?
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Here is the table of contents for the charity anthology Fantasy For Good, the proceeds of which go to The Colon Cancer Alliance.

Here’s the book description:

From Sword and Sorcery to Paranormal Romance, from Weird Fiction to Fairy Tales, Fantasy For Good presents a wide range of exciting short fiction to accommodate every taste. In this collection of thirty stories, legendary authors (including NYT Bestsellers and World Fantasy Award winners) and great new up-and-comers in the genre spin tales of magic and mayhem.

Featuring brand new fiction from Piers Anthony, Michael Moorcock, Carrie Vaughn, Kelley Armstrong, Alan Dean Foster, Katharine Kerr, David Farland, Jane Lindskold, Nnedi Okorafor, Todd McCaffrey and many more, alongside classic tales from George R.R. Martin, Jay Lake, Kevin J Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, and Neil Gaiman.

Fantasy For Good also includes a classic tale by master novelist, Roger Zelazny, author of the Nine Princes of Amber, who passed away in 1995 after a battle with colorectal cancer. His son, Trent, provides a moving introduction.

All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go directly to The Colon Cancer Alliance, a charity dedicated to the prevention of this deadly disease, as well as funding research and supporting patients who suffer from it.

Here’s the table of contents…
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I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Paolo Bacigalupi’s next novel, The Doubt Factory, which is out just next week. And then SF Signal reader Michael Habif sent along news that details about Paolo’s next novel is already available. (And, to show that I clearly haven’t been paying attention, it looks like Mad Hatter revealed this back in August. I have a lot of catching up to do!)

Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi.

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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-10-08

Interviews & Profiles

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BOOK REVIEW: Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Last year I reviewed Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice before it swept the major SF awards–including the Hugo, the Nebula, the Golden Tentacle, the Arthur C. Clarke, BSFA, and the Locus Award, as well as nominations for Phillip K. Dick award, Tiptree Award, and Compton Crook Award. Today marks the release of the second book in the three-part series, this one titled Ancillary Sword. If you haven’t read Ancillary Justice yet, and you don’t want spoilers for that book go read that review and that book instead. I highly recommend. (Also, Carl Slaughter recently interviewed Ann Leckie on Diabolical Plots, go check that out too.)

Still here? For a high level summary of Ancillary Justice, go read the review. At the end of Ancillary Justice, Breq succeeds in bringing out the internal conflict of the many-bodied emperor of the Radchaai empire and starting out-and-out interstellar war, taken into the confidence by one side of Anaander Miaanai while the other one sabotages the interstellar gates to try to keep the news from spreading.

The second book starts with Breq taking the only assignment from Anaander that she would accept–to visit Athoek Station, an important station where Lieutenant Awn’s sister Bosnaaid lives. Although she is only given one ship, Mercy of Kalr, Breq is promoted to the position of Fleet Captain to ensure she has authority over other captains she crosses. Her friend Seivarden is one of her lieutenants on the ship. Breq wishes to go to have the opportunity to make amends to Bosnaaid for the role she played in Awn’s death. Anaander wants Breq to go to make sure that Athoek Station is ready to defend against attack from the other Anaander. But nothing with 3000-year-old Anaander Miaanai is ever simple–Anaander has already shown herself very capable of great trickery, able as she is to bypass security systems and AIs with powerful access codes. Breq knows that Anaander wouldn’t let a powerful person like Breq go without some kind of insurance, but what form will that insurance take?

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Twelve bloodlines, twelve players, only one can win. Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton is a young adult adventure with a twist. There will of course, be a character who prevails as the winner, but there will also be readers who prevail as winners. The novel is filled with codes and puzzles and keys and hints. Solve them and the prize is yours.

Nils Johnson-Shelton is the coauthor of the international bestseller No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels. He is also the author of the Full Fathom Five series for tweens Otherworld Chronicles.

James Frey is originally from Cleveland. All four of his books, A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning, and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible, were international bestsellers.

James and Nils were kind enough to answer my questions about collaborative writing, the fun ideas behind Endgame, and what’s next for the series.


Andrea Johnson: Endgame has a lot of everything: lots of action, lots of end-of-the-world cataclysm, a massive mysterious puzzle, secrets that have been passed through generations, and a global group of young people fighting to stay alive. The whole thing is on a truly massive scale. What inspired this story, and how did that initial seed of an idea become Endgame?

James Frey: As far as the initial seed, it would have to be the ancient aliens theory of human evolution, which is pretty whacked out but at least plausible. Basically it says that at some point about 12,000 years a highly intelligent alien race visited earth and literally rejiggered our DNA, changing the way our brains work and completely changing the way our culture could evolve going forward. This is pretty easy to dismiss as a conspiracy theory, but I don’t really care. I love conspiracy theories. If nothing else, they make for great stories.
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NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Tina Connolly! – Sarah Chorn

Tina Connolly lives in Portland, Oregon with her family, in a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic. Her stories have appeared all over, including in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her debut fantasy novel IRONSKIN wasd released by Tor Books in 2012. The sequel COPPERHEAD was reelased in 2013. Her latest book is SILVERBLIND. She is a frequent reader for Podcastle, and narrates the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. In the summer she works as a face painter, which means a glitter-filled house is an occupational hazard. Her website is tinaconnolly.com.

Special Needs in the IRONSKIN Series

by Tina Connolly

This post is kind of a melange of issues as I thought through what had been important to me over the course of writing my trilogy. In the world of the Ironskin series, some people were hit by fey shrapnel in the Great War five years earlier-the ironskin. Each person hit by fey shrapnel has to deal with both the physical effects of the injury-grotesque scarring-and the mental effects-a sort of emotional curse. The ironskin must cover their scars with iron, or the curses will affect all those around them with rage, or fear, or depression, or…
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Courtesy of Tachyon Publications and audible.com, SF Signal has a audiobook copy of Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine to give away to 1 lucky SF Signal reader!

Here’s what the book is about:

Harrison was the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-thirties and spends most of his time popping pills and not sleeping. Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by unreadable messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. Martin never takes off his sunglasses. Never.

No one believes the extent of their horrific tales, not until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these seemingly-insane outcasts form a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within—and which are lurking in plain sight.

And here’s how you can enter for a chance to win:
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Fred Coppersmith, editor of Kaleidotrope, informs us that the table of contents of the brand new Autumn 2014 issue now live at www.kaleidotrope.net. This issue features six short stories and three poems that straddle between fantasy, horror, and science fiction.
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