SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-06

Interviews & Profiles

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BOOK REVIEW: The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell

REVIEW SUMMARY: A followup of an urban fantasy novel that builds strongly on its predecessor.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: James Quill and his ‘Shadow Police’ team must deal with the apparent esoteric return of Jack the Ripper in the midst of protests and a possible police strike.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Excellent followup of theme and character beats from London Falling; strong high-concept elevator pitch that pays off in the execution.
CONS: Grimness and darkness in the book might be too much for some readers.
BOTTOM LINE: A strong, dark drink of dark urban fantasy that successfully builds on the groundwork of the first.

“Jack the Ripper is back, only this time he’s killing rich white men”

Its an irresistible high concept, isn’t it? Amid protests and a possible strike by the London police, men are dying in gory, unexplainable ways. Deaths without a weapon being left on the scene, without physical evidence. Is it the protesters, seeking to turn violent their rage against the system? Is it someone using the protests to settle old grudges? Or is it the spirit of London itself, violently convulsing as its inhabitants do?
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-05

Interviews & Profiles

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Watching the Future: An Interview with “Other Worlds Austin” Organizer Bears Fonte

One of the pleasures of being a media journalist can be the sheer variety of movies you get to see. This is especially true of film festivals, which allows critics to glimpse movies that others might not normally hear about. Most movie fans know Sundance, and may have a passing familiarity with two festivals that run in Austin, South by Southwest and Fantastic Fest. Usually I have to miss those events; life, for whatever reason, seems to intrude each time I think I might be able to collect my notebook, sharpen my critical eye, and give my impressions of newer, unknown fare.

However, this December I have the honor of attending Other Worlds Austin, a film festival devoted to science fiction movies. It’s the first venue of its kind to run in the Austin area, and an overdue one, given the tightly knit science fiction community here. I got the chance to talk about the upcoming festival with Bears Fonte, its organizer, over Chicago-style hot dogs at Lucky Dogs just north of the Austin area. Bears is a writer and director, and a great science fiction enthusiast whose passion for cinema, especially science fiction cinema, spilled over during our discussion. His enthusiasm was contagious; I’m looking forward to the lineup, which you can see at http://www.otherworldsaustin.com/2014-film-line-up.


Derek Austin Johnson: We’re meeting after a somewhat auspicious event, because the entire Internet seems to be nerding out about this follow-up to a very obscure 1970s science fiction movie, the trailer of which has just been released. (The interview took place the day Disney the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.) Have you seen it yet, or have you seen the Internet slow to a crawl?

Bears Fonte: I haven’t seen it yet because I want to see it in front of a movie on the screen. I want to first experience it like that, so we’re going to a film specifically this weekend so that we can see it. But it is interesting to see how crazy people get about it. Fortunately, Jurassic World had the audacity to get theirs out two days earlier, so they could still get a little buzz.
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[GUEST POST] Erin Lindsey on Sex and Explosions (Or, the Key to a Great Action Romance)


Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. THE BLOODBOUND is her first effort. She lives and works in Bujumbura, Burundi, with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.
She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.

SEX AND EXPLOSIONS – Or, the Key to a Great Action Romance

by Erin Lindsey

If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that the two most exciting things in the world are sex and explosions. Any genuine blockbuster must have both of these things, or at least, some very near cousin. Sex and swordfighting, say, or sex and car chases. If possible, a blockbuster should have sex, explosions, swordfighting, car chases, and a hint of sci-fi/fantasy, like shape-shifting aliens. This is known.

But combining sex and swordfighting – okay, action and romance – is tougher than it looks, as I discovered not so long ago while writing THE BLOODBOUND, a fantasy novel about love and war, or war and love, depending on how you look at it.
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The Three Hoarsemen (Episode 15): World Fantasy Convention Wrap-Up and the Media We’re Consuming

As December descends and the Holidays loom, John E. O. Stevens, Fred Kiesche and Jeff Patterson saddle up after FAR too long an absence for a guestless catch-up episode.

Jeff recounts his adventures at the World Fantasy Convention (sporting his homemade Three Hoarsemen t-shirt), and then the gentlemen discuss the books, comics, and shows that have been vying for their hard-fought entertainment time (and funds).

Even as an interim episode, it still runs close to an hour!

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Captivating Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Reads for December

This month’s roundup of top picks for speculative fiction reads includes several series conclusions, a retelling of Robin Hood, wizards, assassins, mercenaries, time traveling detectives and gun-toting monkeys!

Hop on over to the Kirkus Reviews blog to check out Captivating Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Reads for December.

Did You Hear Gail Carriger on The Functional Nerds Podcast?

Gail Carriger, author of Wasitcoats & Weaponry, 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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WINNERS: FLEX by Ferrett Steinmetz

The winners of our giveaway for Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Alicorn
  • Carolyn
  • Darwin
  • Keith
  • Kris

You will be receiving your prize soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-04

Interviews & Profiles

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WINNERS: SUSTENANCE by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

The winners of our giveaway for Sustenance: A Saint-Germain novel by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro have been chosen and notified.

Congratulations to:

  • Iva F.
  • Vanessa P.

You will be receiving your prize soon!

Thanks to everyone who entered.

[GUEST POST] Julie E. Czerneda on A Biologist’s Approach to Imaginary Creations


Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie Czerneda has poured her love of biology into SF novels published by DAW Books NY. Her debut fantasy A Turn of Light, won the 2014 Prix Aurora Award for Best Novel. There are house toads as well as dragons, and not all is what it seems. Out in Fall 2014: Species Imperative, the 10th anniversary omnibus edition of her acclaimed SF trilogy, and A Play of Shadow, sequel to Turn and next in what is now the Night’s Edge series. Julie’s currently hard at work on This Gulf of Time and Stars, first volume of the concluding trilogy to her Clan Chronicles series (Reunification), between breaks to admire all that snow.

Almost Real – A Biologist’s Approach to Imaginary Creations

by Julie E. Czerneda

I make up aliens. It’s my job. I make up magical creatures too. (I should mention I love my job.)

Be it for my science fiction or my fantasy, I draw from what I know of real organisms. Mostly, that’s because my background is in biology and I’m an ardent old-school naturalist. I adore this stuff. My reasons for starting from real life, however, differ.
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MIND MELD: What Are Your Annual Holiday Genre Traditions?

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

This week, we asked our esteemed panelists the following question:

Q: What Genre Holiday traditions to you partake in every year? What favorite films do you like to re-watch? What favorite books or stories you like to re-read? What are your favorite Holiday-themed episodes of genre shows (beyond the classic Rankin-Bass stop motion specials)?

Here is what they said…

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Table of Contents: Apex Magazine #67 (December 2014)

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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Top 20 SF Signal Posts for November 2014

In case you missed them, here are The Top SF Signal Posts for November 2014 (excluding the daily link posts and free fiction posts):
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SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-03

Interviews & Profiles

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Under Construction? What is This, 1995?

Just wanted to let folks know that were are undergoing some behind-the-scenes fiddling at SF Signal. Things are not quite working like they should.

Beware of lighter posting schedules and falling links posts over the next several days…

BOOK REVIEW: The Genome by Sergei Lukyanenko

REVIEW SUMMARY: From the author of the famous Nightwatch series comes a futuristic thriller where genetic modifications are as freeing as they are enslaving.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: After taking a young woman under his protection, Master Pilot Alex Romanov gets an offer he can’t refuse, and gets in way over his head.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Enjoyable characters; subtle world building; story was easy to get into; I got a huge chuckle out of the Detective.
CONS: Novel struggles with what it wants to be; ending felt very rushed.
BOTTOM LINE: If you enjoy multi-layered stories that balance well drawn and diverse characters with subtle social commentary, this is a novel for you.

Alex Romanov woke up dead broke and put back together. After a terrible accident that quite literally sliced him in half, he spent 5 months in the hospital, regrowing limbs and learning how to walk again. As a licensed master pilot, he can pretty much write his own paycheck once the hospital released him. Provided he’s on a planet that has a need for master pilots. Which currently, he isn’t. Never one to keep his life simple, Alex takes on the responsibility of helping a young woman through her genetic transformation. And when it comes right down to it, it’s not like he had a choice.

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BONUS MIND MELD! Short Story and Anthology Recommendations From the Authors of SIX BY SIX

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

This week, we invited participants from the Six by Six Kickstarter collection of shorts stories to contribute their suggestions about what short stories people should be sure to catch. We asked them:

Q: What short stories do you recommend that people read? Can you name a favorite anthology or collection, and call out at least one short story in it?

Here’s what they said…

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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Jacey Bedford on Creating Daniel Lorient in EMPIRE OF DUST

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Jacey Bedford! – Sarah Chorn

Jacey Bedford is a British author who lives behind a keyboard in Pennine Yorkshire with her songwriter husband, Brian, and a long-haired black German Shepherd dog called Eska. She’s had short stories published on both sides of the Atlantic and her first novel, Empire of Dust was just released from DAW. You can learn more about her on her website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter (@jaceybedford) as well as on her Artisan page.

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A science fiction blog featuring science fiction book reviews and with frequent ramblings on fantasy, computers and the web.