Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Technician Prologue - Neal Asher

"The sculpture had been mounted on a rock which, though far from the Northern Mountains of the continent, Chanter knew to be the tip of a mountain itself submerged in the underlying tricone-generated soil of the planet Masada. After studying the screen display for a moment longer, he turned to the other displays arrayed before him and did some checking. His mudmarine had risen to the surface pushing up the rhizome mat as a shield above it, so should be all but invisible to the cameras peering down from the Theocracy laser arrays. However, he ensured that the chameleonware shield was functioning too and
now extended to the rock, so would cover his departure from his vehicle. It was only by such attention to detail that he had remained undiscovered under the eyes of the Theocracy for so many decades."

3.5 out of 5

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On Writing - Ted Chiang

"Were there any formative experiences that led you to become a science fiction writer?

Probably the most formative experience was reading the Foundation Trilogy when I was about twelve years old. That wasn't the first science fiction I had ever read but it's something that stands out in my memory as having had a big impact on me. Reading Asimov and then Arthur C. Clarke when I was twelve definitely put me on the road to being a science fiction writer."

5 out of 5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

MIND MELD: What 'Sword and Sorcery' Means to Me - John DeNardo

"A few months back, we were so focused on asking people about The Best Sword & Sorcery Stories, that we overlooked a more basic question: What is it? This week, we turned to the contributors and editors of the recent publication Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword & Sorcery and asked them:
Q: How do you define the sub-genre of "Swords and Sorcery"?"

5 out of 5

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I think I preferred my own imagination Part I - Michael Moorcock

"4. Did your shared disgust for what was (and is still) known as the “Golden Age” of SF extend to the way these texts were visually translated in the covers of magazines and paperbacks? In other words, were both of you claiming for a new visual identity for SF as well as for new themes and vocabulary?
MM: I loved all that pulp stuff as did Eduardo, Richard Hamilton and others. Hamilton accused me of ‘destroying’ SF precisely because he liked pulp. But we wanted to use certain techniques and imagery from SF, much as they did, to confront the modern world. We contended that English fiction had become lost in nostalgia and I argued that most SF was also disguised nostalgia. I had no interest in simply reproducing the nostalgic ‘buzz’ of old pulps and so on."

4 out of 5

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Illyria Theater Terrible Auditions Naming Chracters - Elizabeth Hand

"The award-winning Elizabeth Hand is that special kind of writer who can seemingly do anything. She’s written novels (including: Generation Loss, Mortal Love, and most recently, Illyria), short stories, comics (Anima), and movie and television spin-off novels (including: Boba Fett: Maze of Deception and12 Monkeys)."

4 out of 5

Sunday, July 04, 2010

She Blinded Me With Science 3 - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Lee

There's a death trap for every type of superhuman.

3.5 out of 5

She Blinded Me With Science 2 - Mercedes Lackey and Dennis Lee

Deathtrap time in the Golden Catacombs for Bull's team.

4 out of 5

Friday, July 02, 2010

Where Two or Three 3 - Sheila Finch

""Don't be stupid!" the old man scolded. "Sentient creatures that've been on this planet maybe longer than we have. What might they know? Trees too. Thousand-year-old sequoias -- centuries to process the hormonal messages in their cells! And creosote bushes -- there's a budding hive mind for you! Ravens and crows. Even coyotes. We don't have the first idea how to listen to the intelligence on our own planet, yet we think we'd recognize an alien message if it hit us!""

3.5 out of 5

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Mark Chadbourn Draws The Sword of Albion To Defend England - Sandy Auden

""And you have to live it to write about it. Not a pleasant experience. One slightly odd reviewer seemed to think I was condoning torture simply because I included it in the story. Very bizarre. If you're writing about spying in this era, it would be a betrayal of the history not to look at the use of torture. But it was also an important part of the protagonist's character and personal dilemmas."

These darker scenes are an essential aspect of Chadbourn's storytelling. "I know there is a certain kind of fantasy reader who likes total escapism, or at least a softer form of fiction that doesn't have too much reality in it. I'm not interested in that at all. To me, fantasy needs to come alive, and to come alive it has to reflect realistic concerns -- how we live, who we are.

"Real life has a lot of darkness in it. You don't have to dwell on it, but if you show the darkness, it makes the light brighter. If you only show the light you get a saccharine, sanitised fiction, and that's not the kind of thing I'm interested in writing." "

4 out of 5