Empire Magazine has announced the winners of the 2006 Empire Awards. Of note to SF/F/H fans:
[via Big Dumb Object]]
As previously noted, Locus Magazine reviewer Rich Horton will be editing three two annual anthology series: Science Fiction: The Best of the Year and Fantasy: The Best of the Year to be published by Prime Books.
New this week is Horton’s message on the Asimov’s forum listing the Tables of Contents of each:
Science Fiction: The Best of the Year
- “The Edge of Nowhere” by James Patrick Kelly
- “The Policeman’s Daughter” by Wil McCarthy
- “The Fate of Mice” by Susan Palwick
- “Bank Run” by Tom Purdom
- “Finished” by Robert Reed
- “Triceratops Summer” by Michael Swanwick
- “The Inn at Mount Either” by James Van Pelt
- “The King of Where-I-Go” by Howard Waldrop
- “Understanding Space and Time” by Alastair Reynolds
- “Search Engine” by Mary Rosenblum
- “You by Anonymous” by Stephen Leigh
- “Heartwired” by Joe Haldeman
- “Bliss” by Leah Bobet
- “The Jenna Set” by Daniel Kaysen
- “A Coffee Cup/Alien Invasion Story” by Douglas Lain
Fantasy: The Best of the Year
- “Two Hearts” by Peter Beagle
- “Wax” by Elizabeth Bear
- “Is There Life After Rehab?” by Pat Cadigan
- “The Emperor of Gondwanaland” by Paul Di Filippo
- “Fancy Bread” by Gregory Feeley
- “Sunbird” by Neil Gaiman
- “Pip and the Fairies” by Theodora Goss
- “The Gist Hunter” by Matthew Hughes
- “Jane” by Marc Laidlaw
- “Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link
- “CommComm” by George Saunders
- “Empty Places” by Richard Parks
- “By the Light of Tomorrow’s Sun” by Holly Phillips
- “Three Urban Folk Tales” by Eric Schaller
- “On the Blindside” by Sonya Taaffe
- “Invisible” by Steve Rasnic Tem
- “Comber” by Gene Wolfe
The March 2006 Internet Review of Science Fiction is available:
- Editorial: Octavia Butler, A Remembrance by Steven Barnes
- Interviews: Bruce Holland Rogers and Charles Stross
- Features: Beyond Perry Rhodan: Contemporary Speculative Fiction in Germany by Ruth Nestvold & Jay Lake; Aliens at the Oscars: The Academy’s Love/Hate/Love Relationship with Genre by MaryAnn Johanson
- Con Report: Sunday at Boskone 43 by Kate Nepveu
- Criticism: Kirinyaga and Beyond: Mike Resnick’s African Diaspora in Space by John Rosenman
- Reviews: NFSF: The War is Over! SF Won! by Greg Beatty; A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin; Tour Guide in Utopia by Lucy Sussex; March Short Fiction Reviews
By JP Frantz
| Monday, March 13th, 2006 at
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the late Victorian Era, two stage magicians engage in a personal rivalry that quickly escalates to active sabotage of each other’s stage performances. This rivalry becomes so strong that even their descendants are caught up in it web.
PROS: Excellent story, interesting character, great writing, big SF reveal near the end.
CONS: The ending just didn’t live up to the rest of the book.
BOTTOM LINE: Another great Victorian Era ‘urban fantasy’ story. If you aren’t big on regular epic fantasy, this book may be for you. If you like urban fantasy, definitely read this book.
Read the rest of this entry
Gardner Dozois, editor of the annual Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology series (soon to release its 23rd edition!) has announced that there will be a collection of the best novellas from the first 22(!) years called Best of the Best: 20 Years of the Best Science Fiction Short Novels. This is a follow-on retrospective to last year’s Best of the Best : 20 Years of the Year’s Best Science Fiction, which disregarded story length. Dozois says in the Asimov’s post that any novella included in last year’s retrospective is ineligible for the upcoming one.
This news comes via Jonathan Strahan’s Notes from Coode Street. Strahan is co-editor of the iBooks anthologies Fiction: Best of 200xand Fantasy: Best of 200x (now in limbo) and the Science Fiction Book Club’s Best Short Novels series whose 3rd edition is due later this year.
I’m a bit divided on this one. Best of the Best seems like overkill. On the other hand, that hasn’t stopped me from buying last year’s Best of the Best via Bookcloseouts. What I would rather see is a reprint of the 1st, 2nd and 5th editions of The Year’s Best Science Fiction since those are the ones I have yet to own.
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Do you think Hollywood should keep adapting science fiction stories into films?
Interesting…for all the griping we do about how much film adaptations suck, we sure do want them to keep coming!
Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on Making a “Best of All Time” Book List!
| Sunday, March 12th, 2006 at
How important is the objectivity of a reviewer? It’s a simple sentence, but boy does it have a lot of controversy behind it.
For example, reviewers here at SFSignal often get the books they review free from the publishers. The publishers send out review copies in the hopes that we’ll write something good about it – making us a part of their viral marketing efforts. I don’t remember seeing any review here (mine included) mention this during the review. Are we as objective about a free book as we would be for one we plunked our hard-earned cashed down on?
I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, trying to get my head wrapped around not only the topic but also the way I really feel about it.
Read the rest of this entry
REVIEW SUMMARY: Not the perfect anthology, but there are some good examples of adventure sf to be found here.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Anthology of 16 golden-age SF adventure stories.
PROS: 11 stories good or better, 2 of them outstanding.
CONS: 5 stories mediocre or worse.
BOTTOM LINE: Overall a good collection, but there were a few disappointments
Read the rest of this entry
From the Science Fiction Writers of America:
Air: Or, Have Not Have by Geoff Ryman will be the winner of the 2005 Tiptree Award. The award ceremony will be held at WisCon 30, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin from May 26 to May 29, 2006. Mr. Ryman will receive $1000 in prize money, an original artwork created specifically for the award, and the signature chocolate that always accompanies the Tiptree Award.
The James Tiptree Jr. Award is presented annually to a work that explores and expands gender roles in science fiction and fantasy. The award was created in 1991 to honor Alice Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. By her chance choice of a masculine pen name, Sheldon helped break down the imaginary barrier between “women’s writing” and “men’s writing.” Her short stories were notable for their thoughtful examination of the roles of men and women in our society.The winner was selected from a short list that included:
- Aimee Bender, Willful Creatures
- Margo Lanagan, “Wooden Bride”
- Vonda N. McIntyre, “Little Faces”
- Wen Spencer, A Brother’s Price
- Wesley Stace, Misfortune
- Mark W. Tiedemann, Remains
I’ve seen Ryman get much praise, which is why his book 253 – The Print Remix caught my eye. Unfortunately, that book did not appeal to me. My reading experience with Ryman’s “Have Not Have” was mediocre at best. I did, however, enjoy his short story “Birth Days” and, even more so, his story “V.A.O.“.
REVIEW SUMMARY: A hugely entertaining sequel that sparkles with style.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Marid Audran solves crime in the culturally rich Budayeen.
PROS: Lively, spunky writing; rich setting; engrossing story; quick pacing.
CONS: Marid slow to catch on to the nature of the Phoenix File.
BOTTOM LINE: This is easily going to be one of my favorite reads of the year.
Read the rest of this entry
By JP Frantz
| Friday, March 10th, 2006 at
Dave Itzkoff’s comments about SF have certainly garned a lot of attention. Along with that attention, has come close scrutiny of his list of favorite SF books. This list shouldn’t surprise anyone as it definately seems to come from someone who thinks SF is too geeky. So, as a result, I thought I’d challenge the loyal SF Signal reader, to come up with a list of top SF books, as voted on by you. That means that you, Mr(s). RSS Feed reader, need to click on through and enter your list too. The rules:
1. Post your top 5 SF books. Order is unimportant, you can vote for a series by voting for any book in the series, just vote by saying BookName (Series).
2. Post them here in the comment section, please don’t email them.
3. We’ll tally up the votes, and generate a list of books, ordered by number of votes, in, say, about a week.
To get started, here are my top 5 (favorite) SF books:
1. Startide Rising
2. Use Of Weapons
4. Sten (Sten)
5. Starship Troopers
Update #1: There has been much, err, discussion on why only 5 books? That’s easy. I’m lazy. And as this is all about me tabulating the votes, you get to list 5 to be counted. Joshua, you were right about John being the complete bastard. Me? I’m just the lazy bastard! Anyway, there is a lot of good stuff here. Some books that would be on my list if it were longer than 5. But I listed the first 5 I could think of, therefore they are my ‘top 5′. Keep posting. Especially you SFS peeps reading the RSS Feed. Click on over and post a comment or risk being called lazy, like Tim!
MIT‘s Media-in-Transition program is meant to “exploit some of the accretive, hypertextual and interactive capacities” of the new medium of cyberspace. Between 1997 and 2000, they focused on science fiction hoping to “encourage us to read science fiction as a mode of ‘vernacular theory,’ aiming to make current debates about new media accessible to a popular audience.”
The website includes a 1997 essay Media and Imagination: A Short History of American Science Fiction. From their 3-year run, they have included interviews with these sf authors:
Nominees for the Aventis Prize, celebrating popular science books for adults, were announced.
- Electric Universe – How Electricity Switched on the Modern World by David Bodanis
- Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive by Jared Diamond
- The Elements of Murder – A History of Poison by John Emsley
- The Gecko’s Foot – Bio-inspiration – Engineering New Materials from Nature by Peter Forbes
- The Silicon Eye – How a Silicon Valley Company Aims to Make All Current Computers, Cameras, and Cell Phones Obsolete by George Gilder
- Parallel Worlds – The Science of Alternative Universes and our Future in the Cosmos by Michio Kaku
- Power, Sex, Suicide – Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane
- Venomous Earth – How Arsenic Caused the World’s Worst Mass Poisoning by Andrew Meharg
- Empire of the Stars – Friendship, Obsession and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes by Arthur I. Miller
- Seven Deadly Colours – The Genius of Nature’s Palette and how it Eluded Darwin by Andrew Parker
- The Truth About Hormones – What’s Going on when we’re Tetchy, Spotty, Fearful, Tearful or Just Plain Awful by Vivienne Parry
- Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis – The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers by Dan Rockmore
- The Fruits of War – How War and Conflict have Driven Science by Michael White
Awards • Science and Technology
I suspect that my postman not only reads this blog, but he’s become a speed-reader. I received my new issue of Locus Magazine yesterday, an unprecedented eight days into the month! This would lead me to believe that he’s read my previous post on how I get the magazine late and already unsealed. Although I got my eager little hands on the magazine earlier than normal this month, it was still unsealed. And not just the-seal-became-undone-accidentally kind of unsealed. No, this was a hurried ripping of the seal. Therefore, I think my postman is a speed-reader. Who reads this blog.
American Scientist Magazine lists 100 or so Books That Shaped a Century of Science. There are several categories, mostly citing non-fiction science books. But they did see fit to include a small handful of novels:
- Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (1925)
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1963)
- Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells (1908)
- Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)
Books • Science and Technology
SF author James Patrick Kelly’s last podcast experiment was his chapter-by-chapter reading of his novella “Burn“. He is now following up that experiment with another.
Newly available is a podcast of the author reading his nebula-nominated novelette “Men are Trouble“. [See the SF Signal reviewlette.] The story is also available in a pre-podcast version at the author’s website.
[via Emerald City blog]