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SF Tidbits for 1/9/09

  • Via Pyr-o-mania, James Enge asks: Can Fix-Ups Be Fixed? “Episodic novels (or fix ups) have a bad reputation these days, and I don’t think that’s entirely undeserved.” It’s an interesting analysis and James points out good and bad examples of fix-ups (like The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A. E. van Vogt). I personally think fix-ups work best when there is a logical progression of advancement for story and character in addition to the episodic nature of the smaller stories. That way a reader can enjoy the smaller episodes and the longer story it tells.
  • Suvudu has 5 questions for Kim Harrison (White Witch, Black Curse).
  • The Book Covers Archive is live. They only have a small handful of sf covers so far… [via]
  • Speaking of cover art, Bob Eggleton shows off the artwork for an upcoming Mike Resnick collection.
  • Urban fantasy author Carrie Vaughn has posted a three-part essay about urban fantasy: [via The Swivet]:
    • Part 1: The Formula: “Apart from the presence of the supernatural and a kick-ass heroine (often wearing leather pants and wielding a semi-automatic), which are big parts of the urban fantasy formula and traits readers look for in these books, I’d argue that the framework boils down to two things: character and world-building. “
    • Part 2: When Things Go Wrong: “Because urban fantasy tends to follow a common formula, we see the same things over and over.”
    • Part 3: Deconstructing Urban Fantasy: “I can’t help but look at the popularity of urban fantasy and ask, What is this symptomatic of? What anxiety in our culture is being expressed so eloquently in these works that they’re striking such a powerful chord in the readership, leading to phenomenal popularity?”
  • Matt Jarpe responds to Jennifer Fallon’s recent claim that epic fantasy is dying: “…good luck with the dying, high fantasy. With hard work and dedication you can keep it going for decades.”
  • Over at Fantasy Magazine, Paula R. Stiles talks about Taboos In Speculative Fiction: “Some of the strongest taboos can come and go within a generation, while others simply mutate.”
  • Cory Doctorow’s latest Locus column, “Writing in the Age of Distraction” which offers tips for getting the writing done in the era of the Internet, has been posted at Locus Online: “The single worst piece of writing advice I ever got was to stay away from the Internet because it would only waste my time and wouldn’t help my writing…”
  • John Scalzi discusses Pseudo-SciFi Movies: “I’m having a hard time deciding which of last year’s movies should genuinely get credited as scifi, and which just have science fictional elements.”
  • Free Fiction [courtesy of QuasarDragon]
    • @Big Pulp: “Two Ravens” by Michael Turner
    • @Manybooks: The Doomsman by Van Tassel Sutphen (1905).
    • Audio Fiction:@LibriVox: “Tam O’Shanter” by Robert Burns, read by Gord Mackenzie.
  • The SFWA has released the 2008 Preliminary Nebula Ballot
  • Eos now has a Facebook page.
  • Topless Robot’s list of The 7 Greatest Sci-Fi/Horror Movie Character Actors of the ’80s and ’90s (Who Aren’t Bruce Campbell) seems like an ill-conceived idea…until you look at the people on it and say, “Oh yeah! That guy!”
About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.
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