SF author group blog Electric Velocipede reports about the development of a new anthology called Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories. It’s based on words that have won spelling bees. (Bzz!)
My first thought is: Boy, are they running out of ideas for original anthology theme, or what? What’s next? Robotic monkeys?
Then I thought: Why not? Hal Duncan’s entry, “The Chiaroscurist“, it turns out, is very good. (And worth 2 points, thank you!) They’ve lined up some other fine authors in addition to Hal Duncan, including Daniel Abraham, Paolo Bacigalupi, Alex Irvine, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Michael Moorcock, Tim Pratt, Lucius Shepard, Jeff VanderMeer, Liz Williams and more.
| Saturday, April 8th, 2006 at
Based on the Playstation game of the same name, and from the trailer, appears to follow the story line of that game, as well as the awesome theme song, sound effects, demon nurses and evil child puppet things.
I’d put the Silent Hill Playstation game (the original) on my very short list of favorite video games of all time. It’s really the only game I’ve ever played that I found frightening to the core.
SciFi Friday is a weekly podcast that rebroadcasts old science fiction radio dramas. Some of the works listed there include Earth Abides by George Stewart (Parts 1 and 2) and The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Most of the episodes are replays of the old radio show Dimension X and X Minus 1.
[link via Cynical-C]
At his website, Dan Simmons posted an entry called April 2006 Message, a short story about current events. In it, a time traveler from the future comes back to warn about the impending Century War with Islam.
Even though I’m not a fan of politics in sf, I still found this to be a good read. There’s also a reference in it to Ken Grimwood’s awesome book Replay. Here’s an excerpt of the story:
The Time Traveler appeared suddenly in my study on New Year’s Eve, 2004. He was a stolid, grizzled man in a gray tunic and looked to be in his late-sixties or older. He also appeared to be the veteran of wars or of some terrible accident since he had livid scars on his face and neck and hands, some even visible in his scalp beneath a fuzz of gray hair cropped short in a military cut. One eye was covered by a black eyepatch. Before I could finish dialing 911 he announced in a husky voice that he was a Time Traveler come back to talk to me about the future.
I’ve just learned (through Pyr editor Lou Anders’ blog) that next month will see the release of a new science fiction art book called Cover Story : The Art of John Picacio. I’ve said before (and even recently) that Picacio is one of my favorite recent artists. Something about the artistic style just sits right with me.
So if anyone is looking for a gift idea for a certain blogger…
I’m just sayin’.
Art • Books
CNet reports that recent announcements have given e-books a second chance. Among the announcements is a $300 – $400 Sony e-book reader to be sold through Borders bookstores. Also publisher Bloomsbury (publishers of Harry Potter) will begin offering e-book titles.
It looks like major issues remain; the same ones that stalled the market some years ago. Specifically: title selection, price and the ever-dreaded digital rights management. Gregory Newby, director of Project Gutenberg, sums up my thoughts quite nicely:
“When you buy a book, you have it forever,” Newby said. “With these electronic books, you often are prevented from doing those things that you can do with regular books. What happens when my device breaks?…Books aren’t just words on a page. They are things you can trade, share and store for later.”
David Bass, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Ebrary, says that e-books failed previously because the market was device-oriented and not experience-oriented. Even so, this time around they face competition from the hugely popular iPod.
My own personal experiences with e-books have been lukewarm. I’ve read lots of short fiction and only two full-length novels in e-form. Although the experience did somewhat change my mind – I like some of the digital only features like word lookups and searches – I still prefer the physicality of a book. Time will tell if the e-book market will finally take-off.
What about you? Do you read e-books? What is your experience with them or why won’t you go near them?
REVIEW SUMMARY: The most annoying book I ever forced myself to finish.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A narc goes undercover to spy on himself.
PROS: Um, er…
CONS: Disjoint, frenetic narrative; uninteresting story; way too much “what is reality?” theme; characters you don’t care about.
BOTTOM LINE: Disappointing.
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James Patrick Kelly, no stranger to podcasting himself, has an Asimov’s article called Adventures in Podcasting. In it he envisions a “talknet” of podcasters – much like an audio version of the blogosphere – that will be realized when podcasting comes of age. He also goes on to list some of his favorite podcasts. My favorite bit:
It’s been my personal experience, alas, that it’s a hell of a lot easier for me to say something stupid than it is to write something stupid; rarely can I listen to an interview I’ve given without cringing. On some podcasts I’ve listened to, the quantity of chatter seems to matter more than the quality of thought. Oftentimes these shows will consist of two or more speakers who seem to be modeling themselves on drivetime shockjocks. They interrupt and insult one another, often in the process losing their train of thought. They crack wise about sex and beer and skiffy flicks and reward each other with guffaws in a kind of grotesque comedic codependency.
I have to agree with the sentiment in the article that the awkwardness of poor blogs extends into podcast-space. I don’t listen to podcasts all that much, but some of the ones I’ve listened to are mediocre at best. There’s a skill involved in speaking just as there is in writing.
Note to self: If we ever do a podcast, fill the airtime with sensuous supermodel-sounding babes to cover any lack of podcasting skills.
Over at Asimov’s forum, Sean Wallace (of Prime Books) has posted a schedule of the “Best of…” anthologies due out in 2006.
- March: Nebula Awards Showcase: 2005, Gardner Dozois ed.
- March: Best Short Novels: 2006, Jonathan Strahan ed.
- April: Horror: The Best of the Year: 2006 Edition, John Gregory Betancourt and Sean Wallace, ed.
- April: The Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2006, ed. Bill Congreve ed.
- April: Best of the Rest, Brian Youmans ed.
- May: Science Fiction: The Best of the Year: 2006 Edition, Rich Horton, ed.
- May: Fantasy: The Best of the Year: 2006 Edition, Rich Horton, ed.
- June: Year’s Best Science Fiction, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer eds.
- Summer: Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005, Jonathan Strahan, ed.
- Summer: Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005, Jonathan Strahan, ed.
- Summer: Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror: The Best of 2005, Shane Jiraiya Cummings ed.
- July: The Year’s Best Science Fiction #23, Gardner Dozois ed.
- July: Best New Fantasy, Sean Wallace, ed.
- August: The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror #19, Ellen Datlow, Gavin Grant & Kelly Link eds.
- September: Year’s Best Fantasy, David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer
- September: Best New Noir, Allan Guthrie, ed.
- October: Best New Paranormal Romance, Paula Guran, ed.
- October: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Stephen Jones ed.
Empire Online has listed The 50 Greatest Independent Films. Some entries of note for genre fans:
- Donnie Darko
- The Terminator
- Night of the Living Dead
- The Evil Dead
- Dark Star
- Mad Max
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
By JP Frantz
| Monday, April 3rd, 2006 at
Not the Vernor Vinge version of a singularity, but the free (yes, free) podibook version of Singularity, as read by the author himself, Bill DeSmedt. Podiobooks is a site that releases audiobooks in a serialized format, complete with RSS feeds for you to consume. You do need to register, but once you do, the books are free. Did I mention free?
And, really, what could be better than to hear Singularity, which is a favorite of the staff (well, John and myself) of SFSignal. The podio version has rocketing up the charts with a bullet, hitting the Podiobooks Top Ten. What I would like to see happen, is that the powers that be see how popular Singularity is among internet denizens and decide to go ahead and make a mini-series, just as we proposed in our ‘Studio President For A Day‘ post!
So get downloading, because I want to see this on my TV. In High Def even!
Thanks to the man himself, Bill DeSmedt, for the heads up on the podibook release.
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Has Battlestar Galactica jumped the shark?
Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on media tie-in novels.
This is the March 2006 update of my New Year’s Resolution.
STARTING SF-POINTS©: 62
SF-POINTS© EARNED THIS MONTH: 36 (QUOTA: 31)
YEAR-TO-DATE SF-POINTS©: 98 (YTD QUOTA: 90)
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REVIEW SUMMARY: Depending on how you squint at it, this is either sf or mainstream, but either way it’s a very good book.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Four college roommates travel across the country in search of immortality. Only two will get it, but only if the third commits suicide and the fourth is sacrificed.
PROS: Superbly written; intriguing plot; a good mood piece.
CONS: I was expecting science fiction and got mainstream.
BOTTOM LINE: A very enjoyable book that left me feeling deliciously somber.
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Tagged with: Robert Silverberg