The annual Free Comic Book Day is coming on Saturday, May 3rd 2008. It’s when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. (Details provided by each retailer.)
The selection of comics includes those from Gold sponsors (including All Star Superman #1, Hellboy/B.P.R.D., Project Superpowers, Transformers Animated, and X-Men) and silver sponsors (including Atomic Robo & Friends, Del Rey & Dabel Brothers Preview (Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files: Welcome To The Jungle, George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards: The Hard Call, And Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son), Marvel Adventures: Iron Man, and Tiny Titans #1) .
Stop by a store near you!
Cenotaxis is Sean Williams’ novella, set in his Astropolis universe, that bridges the gap between the first book, Saturn Returns, and the second book, Earth Ascendant. However, you need not have read Saturn Returns to read Cenotaxis. You’ll miss some of the context, but the story, novella really, is rather self contained. The story covers the actions of Imre Bergamasc as he tries to coerce Earth and its people to enlist in his quest to discover the source of the ‘Slow Wave’, which wreaked havoc on the galactic civilization in Saturn Returns. Things don’t go as smoothly as planned, and Imre must face off against an opponent who may, or may not be, God personified.
As one would hope, there is talk of bacon and cats.
[via Cory Doctorow]
Ursula K. Le Guin reads from her latest novel, Lavinia. The author spoke at Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon, on April 22, 2008.
REVIEW SUMMARY: A good collection of original short fiction from a great lineup of writers.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An original fiction anthology containing 15 stories.
PROS: Twelve stories worth reading, two of which were hugely enjoyable.
CONS: One story (the longest in the anthology) did not work for me at all.
BOTTOM LINE: An enjoyable collection of stories.
Editor George Mann opens The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2 by explaining the reason behind its publication. In doing so, he captures some of the reasons I enjoy reading short fiction: the jolt of wonder, the single conceit, the bite size morsel, etc. But there’s no denying that it’s common for a science fiction anthology, whose goal is often to present stories of various flavors, to include stories that do not suit a particular reader’s tastes.
And so it was here. The good news is that only a single story failed to entertain. I must fess up to being totally disenchanted with the Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius story. Being the longest story in the book had a noticeable effect on the overall weighted average. Such is the hit-or-miss nature of a short fiction anthology.
The ultimate question, despite some misses, is whether there are more hits. In this case, the answer is a resounding yes. The vast majority of stories in the anthology are good or better. The outstanding entries were “iCity” by Paul Di Filippo and “Sunworld” by Eric Brown. Both of these stories capture the joys that come with anthologies and ultimately help make The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Volume 2 an enjoyable anthology.
The text of Daniel Abraham’s story “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” is now online.
This is the final short fiction nominee to be made available online. For a complete list of short fiction nominees, with links to the corresponding online versions, see our earlier post of 2008 Hugo Award Nominees.
[via John Klima, editor or Logorrhea, the anthology where the story first appeared.]
Tonight is a special Star Wars themed Deal or No Deal, and to put everyone in the mood, we have a special sneak peek at the DoND models in their Slave Princess Leia outfits. Yeowch. Middle-age geeks everywhere should tune in tonight.
And, you’re welcome John.
The nominees for the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History have been announced:
Best Short Form:
- Elizabeth Bear, “Les Innocents/Lumiere” (in New Amsterdam, Subterranean Press)
- Michael Flynn, “Quaestiones Super Caelo Et Mundo” (in Analog, 7/07)
- Matthew Johnson, “Public Safety” (in Asimov’s, 3/07)
- Jess Nevins, “An Alternate History of Chinese Science Fiction” (in No Fear of the Future, May 17, 2007)
- Chris Roberson, “Metal Dragon Year” (in Interzone, 12/07)
- Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Recovering Apollo 8″ (in Asimov’s, 2/07)
- John Scalzi, “Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results” (in Subterranean Magazine, Winter 2007)
Best Long Form:
- Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (HarperCollins)
- Robert Conroy, 1945: A Novel (Ballantine Books)
- Mary Gentle, Ilario (The Lion’s Eye and The Stone Golem) (Eos)
- Jay Lake, Mainspring (Tor Books)
- Sophia McDougall, Rome Burning (Orion)
- Jo Walton, Ha’penny (Tor Books)
See also: Past winners.
The summer movie season is fast approaching, in fact starting this Friday. As usual, Hollywood has scheduled their blockbuster movies for the summer, and this year, the slate is chock full of science fiction and fantasy films. So many, in fact, that starting this week, you could, if you wanted, see a new SF/F movie every Friday through the end of July (with a couple of exceptions). Now that is a lot of movies, but does the SF/F movie fan have reason to celebrate or is this just another summer of cliches and remakes?
We here at SF Signal have put together this handy guide of the summer movies in the hopes of helping you decide, which, if any, you want to see and which to steer clear of. There’s even a handy box office quiz at the end so read on!
Several weeks ago, I purchased tickets to this year’s Nebula Weekend since it was being held within driving distance. I must admit that I bought them in ignorance. I expected it to be more like a convention, with sessions and other related programming set up. Afterwards, I found out that it wasn’t like that at all. It was geared more towards the SFWA taking care of business and its members schmoozing at the hotel bar. After some drawn-out indecision I decided not to go. But at the last minute, I decided what the heck. At least I would be able to meet some folks who I only knew through email.
I’m glad I went because it turned out to be a whole load of fun. It was actually a good thing that there were no sessions because that meant more face time with people.
In the order they happened, here are some of the weekend’s highlights:
Rich Horton has posted the table of contents of his propsed (but unforunately canceled) anthology, Space Opera. Too bad…it looked to be a good one.
- “Finisterra” by David Moles (F&SF, December)
- “Pluto Tells All” by John Scalzi (Subterranean, Spring)
- “The Sands of Titan” by Richard A. Lovett (Analog, June)
- “Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?” by Ken MacLeod (The New Space Opera)
- “Trunk and Disorderly” by Charles Stross (Asimov’s, January)
- “Six Lights Off Green Scar” by Gareth L. Powell (Infinity Plus)
- “The Final Voyage of La Riaza” by Jayme Lynn Blaschke (Interzone, June)
- “Icarus Beach” by C. W. Johnson (Analog, December)
- “The Caldera of Good Fortune” by Robert Reed (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov)
- “The Fly and Die Ticket” by Jay Lake (Subterranean, Fall)
- “Muse of Fire” by Dan Simmons (The New Space Opera)
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Who was the best villain on the 1960’s Batman television show (or the 1966 film)?
Some comments this week…
“A tough question, but I do think that Egghead, King Tut, the John Astin Riddler and the Lee Meriwether Catwoman are definitely ‘second tier’. Since they have such a complex relationship, for me its really a tossup between the Kitt and Newmar Catwomans (Catwomen?)” – Jvstin
“Julie Newmar for the win! But there were so MANY good villians, it’s hard to choose. Otto Premiger as MR. Freeze, Liberace as the pianast and his evil twin, Roddy McDowall as the bookworm, Art Carney as The Archer, the list goes on and on. How they got these people to get onto such a oddball show was a mystery, but I’m glas they did.” – Keith
“For me it was the Joker, though I hated the Penguin the most.” – General X
Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about the 2008 Summer movie you are most anticipating!
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America has announced the Nebula Award winners for 2007:
NOVEL: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
NOVELLA: “Fountain of Age” by Nancy Kress
NOVELETTE: “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
SHORT STORY: “Always” by Karen Joy Fowler
SCRIPT: Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro
Andre Norton Award: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Michael Moorcock was also presented with The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.
See also: This year’s nominees.
See also: SF Signal’s review of the short fiction nominees.
See also: Past Winners
It seems fitting that to balance out Nebula Weekend, which honors the best, we should remember this particular bit of footage from Bollywood, which…well…see for yourself…
[via Topless Robot]
Another reader writes in with a story description looking for a title. Do any of our readers out there know the title of this story? It’s not much to go on. Consider it a challenge of your science fictional prowess!
I trying to find out if anyone remembers a SF book that I read 15 or 20 years ago, about a sun that becomes aware that it’s intelligent and ponders it’s existence and finally reaches out to other suns and communicates with them.
- Scott C.
Can you name this story?