Thursday, September 30, 2010

Delayed Action - Charles De Vet

Interplanet Company robbery.


3 out of 5

http://manybooks.net/titles/de_vetc3379033790.html

The Art of Fiction 189 - Stephen King

"One thing that I don’t want to do anymore is take another monster advance. I’ve taken a couple of them. Certainly Tom Clancy has gotten his share of them. He boasts about them. John Grisham has gotten some big advances too. The big advance is the writer’s way of saying, I want to get all the money up front and I’m never going to give a penny of it back when those books wind up on the remainder shelf. And the publishers go along because they would like to have a Stephen King or a Tom Clancy or a John Grisham. It draws attention to the rest of their list. Certainly the bookstore guys want those writers out there because they increase foot traffic into the store. The booksellers just about get down on their knees and worship John Grisham, not just because he sells as much as he does, but because he sells it when he does: he publishes in February, after the Christmas rush, when trade in the bookstores has a tendency to be totally dead.

I could get those big advances, but I can do just fine without them. I made a decision when I left Viking that I’d ask to be made a partner in the publishing. Give me a modest amount to bind the deal over, and then we’ll split the profits. Why not? It’s still a good deal for them. But if I were doing it just for the money, I’d quit, because I’ve got enough."


4 out of 5

http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5653/the-art-of-fiction-no-189-stephen-king

The Lick-Carnegie Exoplanet Survey: A 3.1 M_Earth Planet in the Habitable Zone of the Nearby M3V Star Gliese 581 - Steven S. Vogt

et al. Steven S. Vogt, R. Paul Butler, Eugenio J. Rivera, Nader Haghighipour, Gregory W. Henry, Michael H. Williamson

"We present 11 years of HIRES precision radial velocities (RV) of the nearby M3V star Gliese 581, combining our data set of 122 precision RVs with an existing published 4.3-year set of 119 HARPS precision RVs. The velocity set now indicates 6 companions in Keplerian motion around this star. Differential photometry indicates a likely stellar rotation period of ~94 days and reveals no significant periodic variability at any of the Keplerian periods, supporting planetary orbital motion as the cause of all the radial velocity variations. The combined data set strongly confirms the 5.37-day, 12.9-day, 3.15-day, and 67-day planets previously announced by Bonfils et al. (2005), Udry et al. (2007), and Mayor et al (2009). The observations also indicate a 5th planet in the system, GJ 581f, a minimum-mass 7.0 M_Earth planet orbiting in a 0.758 AU orbit of period 433 days and a 6th planet, GJ 581g, a minimum-mass 3.1 M_Earth planet orbiting at 0.146 AU with a period of 36.6 days. The estimated equilibrium temperature of GJ 581g is 228 K, placing it squarely in the middle of the habitable zone of the star and offering a very compelling case for a potentially habitable planet around a very nearby star. That a system harboring a potentially habitable planet has been found this nearby, and this soon in the relatively early history of precision RV surveys, indicates that eta_Earth, the fraction of stars with potentially habitable planets, is likely to be substantial. This detection, coupled with statistics of the incompleteness of present-day precision RV surveys for volume-limited samples of stars in the immediate solar neighborhood suggests that eta_Earth could well be on the order of a few tens of percent. If the local stellar neighborhood is a representative sample of the galaxy as a whole, our Milky Way could be teeming with potentially habitable planets. "


http://arxiv.org/pdf/1009.5733v1

From Bar To Bar Interviews - Gwyneth Jones

"“Ah, I see what you’re getting at. No, no, dear interviewer. I got the name Tiamaat straight from Ancient Sumerian mythology, where she features as the Primordial Goddess of the Ocean, the Abyss, Chaos; I presume the Dungeons and Dragons people drew on the same source, by some means or other, when naming their monster. Interestingly (if you’ve read my story), you’ll find that Tiamaat’s codename should have been a warning to Deborah the assassin, that gender-role assumptions can be deceptive. You might like to know that the “Ki” and the “An” also feature in Ancient Sumerian myth. I don’t know if they also have counterparts in D&D. The Established Universe in the case of my story Saving Tiamaat was the noble and immemorial Universe of Space Opera, one of the global commons of the SF genre; a welcoming and compendious Imagination Space, which at the time of writing (2006) was being re-branded as “The New Space Opera”. The case of Red Sonja and Lessingham is different, but similar. I didn’t come to the naming of a magnificent woman-warrior called “Red Sonja” through a “Conan Universe” but purely through admiration for the wonderfully trashy movie of that name (Richard Fleischer, 1985), a great favourite of mine. Lessingham, of course, is a character in E.R.Eddison’s fantasy novels, notably The Worm Ouroboros (1922). Scenes and descriptions from this venerable text are clearly recognizable in my story, but they’re put to other uses besides straightforward High Fantasy. Which all goes to show, riffing and reffing is a genre technique that’s much older than the 21st Century, and independent of established franchises.”"


4 out of 5

http://frombartobar.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/from-bar-to-bar-interviews-gwyneth-jones/

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Clarkesworld 48 - Sean Wallace

A serendipitous article about Magnus Robot Fighter of all things was a pleasant surprise. A standard quality fiction issue for this mag at 3.25.

Clarkesworld 48 : The Cull - Robert Reed
Clarkesworld 48 : Paper Cradle - Stephen Gaskell

Buried, save the brainworms.

3.5 out of 5


Space anti-weapon origami.

3 out of 5




3.5 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/issue_48

The Cull - Robert Reed

Buried, save the brainworms.


3.5 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/reed_09_10/

Paper Cradle - Stephen Gaskell

Space anti-weapon origami.


3 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/gaskell_09_10/

Lightspeed 04 - John Joseph Adams

One very good reprint, and a bunch of ordinary in this issue, making it not as good as the other three at 3.13.

The articles would appear to be examples of the very simple non-fiction style they are going far, given that G. David Nordley is a rocket-scientist type.

Lightspeed 04 : Flower Mercy Needle Chain - Yoon Ha Lee
Lightspeed 04 : The Long Chase - Geoffrey A. Landis
Lightspeed 04 : Amid the Words of War - Cat Rambo
Lightspeed 04 : Travelers - Robert Silverberg

Bullets yet again.

2.5 out of 5


Soldier's marathon space race conversion.

4 out of 5


Six clutched end.

3 out of 5


Relay-sweep planet travel loss.

3 out of 5




2.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/issue/september-2010-issue-4/#

Future Weapons - Jeff Hecht

"Well, one possibility would be to adapt a concept originally conceived during the Reagan era “Star Wars” program called “Brilliant Pebbles.” Back then, “Star Wars” researchers were studying a variety of far-out laser weapon ideas, cool stuff like orbiting laser battle stations and X-ray lasers powered by nuclear bombs. But they also looked at slightly less spectacular weapons prospects such as firing high-speed projectiles that would destroy nuclear warheads with the energy of their impact. In other words, hitting a bullet with a bullet."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/future-weapons/

Amid The Words Of War - Cat Rambo

Six clutched end.


3 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/amid-the-words-of-war/

Flower Mercy Needle Chain - Yoon Ha Lee

Bullets yet again.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/flower-mercy-needle-chain/

Engines For the High Frontier - G. David Nordley

"We want engines to get us into space and take us to the stars. Of course, as many note, we aren’t quite where we want to be yet. But there is hope.

At the moment, spaceship engines can be classed into three categories: rockets, sails, and “other,” and each works in their own, individual way. Rockets work by pushing something out the rear; reaction equaling action, you go in the other direction. With sails, something external pushes. And in the “other” category are things like “space drives” and ramjets. But more about those later. For now, let’s start with rockets."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/engines-for-the-high-frontier/

Lightspeed 03 - John Joseph Adams

The reprints: very good.

The original: just the opposite.

Which gives it the same 3.25 average as the first two. So very consistent.

Author stuff, interviews, and an article on being cyborg-y.

Lightspeed 03 : How to Become a Mars Overlord - Catherynne M. Valente
Lightspeed 03 : Patient Zero - Tananarive Due
Lightspeed 03 : Arvies - Adam-Troy Castro
Lightspeed 03 : More Than the Sum of His Parts - Joe Haldeman

One morning you will wake up and ask Y.

2 out of 5


Immune boy runs out of caretakers.

4.5 out of 5


Non-born, for a while.

2.5 out of 5


More Than the Sum Of His Parts - Joe Haldeman
We can rebuild him, better, faster, stronger. Also with bigger pee-pee. Pity about the crazy, though.

4 out of 5




3 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/issue/august-2010-issue-3/

Arvies - Adam-Troy Castro

Non-born, for a while.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/arvies/

How To Become A Mars Overlord - Catherynne M. Valente

One morning you will wake up and ask Y.


2 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/how-to-become-a-mars-overlord/

Travelers - Robert Silverberg

Travelers - Robert Silverberg
Relay-sweep planet travel loss.


3 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/travelers/

Books I will not write #3: No plan survives contact with the editor - Charles Stross

"While positioned well within the frontier of the science fiction marketing category, it is hoped that Merchant Princes will have some appeal to readers from outside the genre. The background concept of "A Family Trade" and sequels echoes both H. Beam Piper's "Paratime" books and L. Sprague de Camp's "Lest Darkness Fall", but the plot structure in the first two volumes may appeal to a crossover audience of both fantasy and men's adventure/thriller readers with suitable marketing emphasis, and the science fiction components have been deliberately kept accessible to a broader readership (much as Julian May's "Saga of the Exiles" initially attracted a substantial fantasy audience to a series that was largely science fictional in concept). "


4 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/09/books-i-will-not-write-3-big-f.html

Take Five With - James Enge

"1. Ghost-powered zeppelins are the safest kind of airship. Unless you’re a werewolf."


3 out of 5

http://suvudu.com/2010/09/take-five-with-james-enge-author-the-wolf-age.html

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jury Service 1 - Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

Jury Service - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/stross-doctorow/stross-doctorow1.html

More satire starring Huw. Off to Libya for some legal expertise displays about technology. Or the other way around.

"Procedurally the PMLJ have given me total autonomy as long as I conduct this hearing in strict accordance within the bounds of international law as laid down by the Hague Tribunal on Trans-Human Manifestations and Magic."

"A fractional-dimensional parasitic turd-gobbler from outer space?" Huw says. "Have I got that right?"

A fair bit of vintage Stross in this one.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_189/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_189_Jury_Service_01.mp3

This is What It Takes to Write a Novel - Paolo Bacigalupi

"Lev: Less of an emphasis on prostitution and sexual slavery I'm assuming?

Paolo: Yeah, they made me take out all the child prostitution. Or most of it. I was allowed to leave just a whiff of it in. But mostly they said, if we can de-emphasize this, and emphasize things like selling kidneys, that's better.

Lev: Those big corporate publishers, they just stifle your creativity. Congratulations on the Hugo, by the way. That is just incredibly great.


3.5 out of 5

http://techland.com/2010/09/27/paolo-bacigalupi-this-is-what-it-takes-to-write-a-novel/

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Favorite Earthling - Susan Grant

"“It’s not someone you’d know unless you flew on my wing in an F-16. It’s how I deal with the stress of combat; it’s how most of the guys do, I think. Maybe it’s why we have the call signs, to differentiate who we are inside the cockpit from who we are outside of it. An alter ego. But when I leave the unit, he stays behind. Ol’ Prince is not exactly family friendly.”

“He’s a jerk.”

“But he’s perfect for dealing with uppity Coalition bitches.” Jared shifted his focus to the closed hatch. He couldn’t believe the argument had actually turned him on. “What a woman, huh? Totally not my type, but...wow.” He thought of her hair whipping around her shoulders, pictured her naked, that long hair stuck to her damp skin, letting tantalizing peeks of her breasts and stomach show through, skin that was damp from having sex with him, not from pumping iron. Or maybe they’d do it after they worked out...and before...and...

“Jared.”

Evie’s voice jolted him out of a fantasy of the alien woman bent over a table, her lush breasts in his hands as he thrust into her. By now he had such a hard-on that he hunched over, grateful he was wearing thick sweats. What the hell was wrong with him? He wasn’t in high school anymore. “Say again?” he said with a trace of hoarseness in his voice. "


4 out of 5

http://www.susangrant.com/books/earthling.htm#excerpt

The Star Princess - Susan Grant

"Or rich sheiks from Arabia. Hmm. Good point. That he was a wealthy foreigner was more likely, though no less bizarre. No Vash Nadah would chase her down at night, alone, unless his intent was to assassinate her, a theory too farfetched for even her worst-case-scenario mind to consider. She wasn't a threat to the Vash Nadah ; she wasn't even a blip on their xenophobic radar. Unlike the rest of her family, she stayed out of politics and palace affairs. She lived anonymously on Earth, and intended to continue doing so. The Vash would have figured that out by now. "


3 out of 5

http://www.susangrant.com/books/princess.htm

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books I will not write #2: Iron Sunrise Variations - Charles Stross

"Very little of the original material in "Iron Sunrise" made its way into the final published book (which was mostly written in 2001-02). Here's why ...

The original first half of "Iron Sunrise" contained numerous items not present in the final published book. In fact, when I picked it up again in 2001, with the goal of turning it into a working sequel to the newly-sold "Singularity Sky", I found only about 30% of the original material was usable.

Stuff that went on the cutting-room floor included the entire sub-plot about the Final Structures left behind on Earth by the Eschaton (gates or wormholes leading ... somewhere else), the exploration team waiting for one to open so that they could go through them, and of course Fred.

Fred, Wednesday's talking cat sidekick and comic relief."


4 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/09/books-i-will-not-write-2-iron.html

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Earth Alert! - Kris Neville

Space mutants are here.

(This one is in the category of so bad it is good type of story).


1.5 out of 5

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/33642

The Scarlet Empress - Susan Grant

"Kyber recoiled. “These woman-legends from the past who seem to be infesting abandoned underwater caves, they’re a plague, I tell you. A plague!”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.susangrant.com/books/scarlet.htm

The Star Prince - Susan Grant

""Sober him up," he ordered Quin. "Nothing short of a gallon of tock poured down his throat is going to get him back to the ship."

"It'll take more than that, sir," Quin grabbed a fistful of Carn's blond hair and tipped his head back.

Ian winced. The pilot's face was puffy and tinged a decidedly unhealthy blue. His brownish gold eyes were glazed and unseeing, and spittle leaked from the corner of his mouth, which was still curled into the idiotic grin he'd been wearing when Ian left him and the rest of the crew last night.

Ian drove the fingers of both hands through his hair. "Beautiful, just beautiful." His starpilot had drunk himself to death.

He tossed two credits to the bartender. "Call someone about the body. And you might as well put the word out; the Sun Devil needs a pilot, a qualified one."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.susangrant.com/books/prince.htm#excerpt

The Star King - Susan Grant

"A Vash dressed like a futuristic buccaneer.

Jas sucked in a breath. It was the devilishly charming space-rebel. His lean body radiated strength, purpose, and a powerful, masculine self-confidence that made her head swim and her body respond with deep, aching yearning.

He turned his back to the camera. His hands were fisted behind him and hidden from Lahdo, his fingers clasping and unclasping, baring the intensity of his apparent anger. "


3 out of 5

http://www.susangrant.com/books/king.htm#excerpt

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jack the Wonderful Williamson 4: The Real Story Begins - Frederik Pohl

"All we lacked was clients.

Fortunately for us, the climate was favorable. Book editors in America had always turned a blind eye to science fiction. But the times were prosperous, and a few fan groups had started publishing some of those great old serials as hardcover books. Startled salesmen for the real publishing companies had noticed that these oddities seemed to sell when the amateurs could get them into a store. When they got back to their home offices, they reported this fact to their company’s editors. Who scratched their heads, cautiously tried a title or two and realized there was some money to be made in this sf thing. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.thewaythefutureblogs.com/2010/09/jack-williamson-4/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Wolf Age 1 - James Enge

"The two pikemen were bearing down on him. Their weapons were excellent for keeping a party of unarmed prisoners in line, less effective against a skilled swordsman. Morlock ran to meet them and was past the range of their pikeheads before they could stab at him. He wounded the nearer pikeman on the arm with Tyrfing, and reached past him with his free hand to break the neck of the one beyond. The dying one fell like a stone, gasping his last breaths out uselessly; the other staggered backward, yammering, and strove to stab at Morlock with his pike.

Morlock spun aside and rolled over the nearby wall. He made as if to back away; the wounded pikeman lunged at him recklessly. Morlock evaded the pike’s hooked blade, waited until the pikeman was fully extended, and then struck down with Tyrfing. The glittering edge hit the pikeman’s arm lying across the surface of the wall and severed it at the elbow like a butcher’s cleaver cutting through a joint
of meat. The pikeman shrieked words of fear and hate, staggered backward, and fell out of sight, groaning behind the low wall.

Morlock shook off the horror of the pikeman’s suffering. A werewolf he might be, but he was as mortal in human form as Morlock was, and it was unlikely he would survive two such terrible wounds. But Morlock had many deaths on his conscience already; adding the death of a slave taker or two did not bother him much."


4 out of 5

http://pyrsamples.blogspot.com/2010/09/wolf-age-by-james-enge.html

Chameleon - Colin Harvey

Fake alien wife.


4 out of 5

http://dailysciencefiction.com/story/chameleon

Fiddle - Tim Pratt

Nero band.


2.5 out of 5

http://dailysciencefiction.com/story/fiddle

Tome of the Undergates 1 - Sam Sykes

"“That last one snuck up on me.” He kicked the body. “Nearly gutted me.

I told you to watch my back.”

“What? When?”

“First, when we came up here.” He counted off on his fingers. “Next, when everyone started screaming, ‘Pirates! Pirates!’ And then, when I became distinctly aware of the possibility of someone shoving steel into my kidneys. Any of these sound familiar?”

“Vaguely,” she said, scratching her backside. “I mean, not the actual words, but I do recall the whining.” She offered a broader smile to cut off his retort. “You tell me lots of things: “Watch my back, watch his back, put an arrow in his back.” Watch backs. Shoot humans. I got the idea.”

“I said shoot Cragsmen.” Upon seeing her unregistering blink, he sighed and kicked the corpse again. “These things! The pirates! Don’t shoot our humans!”

“I haven’t,” she replied with a smirk. “Yet.”"


4 out of 5

http://pyrsamples.blogspot.com/2010/09/tome-of-undergates-by-sam-sykes.html?spref=tw

Butterfly and the Blight at the Heart of the World - Lavie Tidhar

Tatts, dead people and live trees.


3 out of 5

http://dailysciencefiction.com/story/butterfly-and-the-blight-at-the-heart-of-the-world

Buying Time - Joe Haldeman

Dallas Barr is an immortal of sorts, that is, if he can pony up a large sum of money every decade or so he gets rejuvenated after a nasty series of medical treatments.

So, those good at making money get to live longer. There's a twist, though, in that to get the treatments the originator of the process stipulated that those people had to give up all their cash, assets, etc. or they didn't get to live longer. That is, to try and stop the super-rich controlling everything.

So, dumb idea given you had to pay a lot of money to get the treatment.

When the founder himself dies, nastiness begins to happen. Conspiracies, assassinations, attempts to break the monopoly on life extension etc.

A solid novel.


3.5 out of 5

Author interview with - Aliette de Bodard

"12. What’s the one thing you would never do to shamelessly promote your current/upcoming release?

Dress up as my main character--it would definitely be a very striking costume, but I'm the wrong gender altogether, and not a big fan of having my hair matted with dried blood (that's Aztec priests for you--dubious sense of hair hygiene, and a definite tendency to wearing black or dark colours. Black is cool, blood isn't so much). "

3.5 out of 5

http://www.examiner.com/speculative-fiction-in-national/author-interview-with-aliette-de-bodard-1

The Killer Koalas of Crampstown 1 - Cameron Pierce

"“I can see that,” she says. “Gremlim notified me that you’ve begun studying to attend the grand opening of Koala Mart. No son of mine will ever masquerade as a Marhead. Your father founded the first giant crustacean hatchery. These corporations drugged on wide-eyed, fuzzy creature empathy are ruining independent businesses like our family’s.” She points at Gremlim. “If Koala Mart infiltrates this town, we’ll never afford to buy another robot monkey when they retire Gremlim’s model. Would you like to share a bed with an albino crayfish?”"


3.5 out of 5

http://meatmagick.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/the-killer-koalas-of-crampstown/

What Is the Mongoliad? - Mark Teppo

" JK: How did the project come about?

MT: The short version: after several months of hitting each other with sticks and swords, Neal [Stephenson] mentioned—in passing—that he had an opening scene for a movie floating around his head. Over a course of several months, we put together a treatment. That went off to Hollywood and made the rounds. While we were waiting for something to happen there, we realized there were more stories to tell and the best way for us to build an audience was to do something that people could be a part of.

We are all well aware of the awkwardness of the audience/author relationship works in the traditional sense: by the time the audience gets their hands on the book, the author is well past wanting to talk about it ever again. By creating something that has a living, changing presence that the readers can actively participate in, we offer them something fresh and exciting. There’s an active vitality that feeds everyone."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/09/what-is-the-mongoliad

Tripping Cyborgs and Organ Farms: The Fictions of Cordwainer Smith - Steve Silberman

"Calling a magazine “off-trail” may not be the most felicitous way for an aspiring author to introduce himself, but it was understandable if the boyish professor at Johns Hopkins University — who coyly described his work for the Pentagon as being “a visitor to small wars” — felt defensive about his novelette. Three years earlier, the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, the most literary-minded of the pulps, had rejected Scanners, calling it “too extreme” for a periodical that regularly featured marauding robots, exploding spaceships, and alien reptile overlords on its cover. Other editors seemed to agree.

It’s not hard to see why. Fifteen years before the word cyborg was invented, and with no preliminary exposition, the story plunged the reader into the passions, intimacies, and life-and-death conflicts of cybernetically augmented human beings. Man-machine hybrids had appeared before in fiction (including a celebrated tin woodman whose total-body prosthesis lacked a heart, and the robotically resurrected actress in C. L. Moore’s groundbreaking feminist sci-fi tale “No Woman Born”), but Linebarger’s central character — a courageous cyborg named Martel — was both a sleeker machine and a more acutely rendered human character than readers of the pulps were used to. Martel and his fellow cyborgs, known as “Scanners,” had their own lexicon of shop talk, expressive body language, code of ethics, professional guild, rousing songs, and finely honed sense of discipline. They were more like Marines than robots."


4 out of 5

http://blogs.plos.org/neurotribes/2010/09/21/tripping-cyborgs-and-organ-farms-the-fictions-of-cordwainer-smith/

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Interview With - S. T. Joshi

"Why Lovecraft? Why has he survived past so many of his pulp contemporaries?

It would be nice to think that Lovecraft has "survived" purely, or even largely, as a result of the plain fact that he is simply better (literally, intellectually, philosophically) than his pulp contemporaries; but history is full of instances where meritorious authors have lapsed into oblivion or have become merely the focus of a small coterie of readers, while more mediocre writers continue to gain a wide readership. So there must be more to it than that. In some senses, Lovecraft's work is timeless--not dependent upon an awareness of the social-culture milieu in which it was written. Its focus on the cosmic makes it readily comprehensible in a way that other work of the 1920s and 1930s is not. But I think the chief element here is Lovecraft's tremendously potent and bizarre imagination. It is this that initially fascinates readers in their teenage years; only later do some readers go on to perceive the intellectual substance behind the imaginative force of Lovecraft's work. "


4 out of 5

http://www.acidlogic.com/stjoshi.htm

Hidden Steel - Doranna Durgin

"She lay on a fancy cot of some sort, not a hospital bed. There was no television in the corner, no privacy drapes around the bed. A stethoscope and a brand-new box of latex gloves sat on a rickety fake-wood table not far from the bed—no sign of a hospital bed tray in sight. None of the ubiquitous identical supplies one seemed to find in a hospital room—no dull pinkish-rose plastic emesis basin, no matching pitcher, no box of scratchy generic tissues. A flattened, empty IV bag sat on the floor beside the table, along with a battered box of vials and syringes.

And then there were the handcuffs."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.doranna.net/wordplay/index.php/2010/09/22/behind-the-scenes-hidden-steel/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Books I Will Not Write #1 - Charles Stross

"Heroin is coming west across the Atlantic, from somewhere in the DMZ. In return, Differential Analyzers (early computers) are going east. The OSS want to know why. Cynical veteran Bill is called out of semi-retirement as station officer in Morocco and teamed up with a weird, dreamy wet- behind the ears agent called Phil K: their task is to follow the heroin supply back to its source somewhere near Afghanistan and to work out who's buying the computers.

(This is all rooted in a vision I had, of William S. Burroughs as a CIA agent, and Philip K. Dick as his young henchman, going head-to-head with notorious gangster and pervert Adolf Hitler somewhere in Hamburg to find out where Hitler is shipping all the computers he can get his hands on.)"


4 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/09/books-i-will-not-write-1-of-an.html

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Corvus 1 - Paul Kearney

"The dogs came out barking as they approached the eaves of the farm, but their barks changed to delighted yips and whines as they caught the scent of the two men. Big, brindled hunting hounds, they bounced around Rictus and Fornyx like pups, tongues lolling happily. A square of light opened into the night, dazzling, wiping out the stars and making the glen around them into depthless black space.
A woman stood outlined in the threshold, firelight and lamplight flickering out behind her along with the laughter of children. She snapped a word to the dogs and they calmed down at once, grinning happily. The laughter within ceased. Rictus stepped
up to the door."


2.5 out of 5

http://www.solarisbooks.com/downloads/Corvus.pdf

Science Fiction versus Mundane Culture - Neal Stephenson

"In light of the above, what are we to think about SF?

Unlike Westerns, SF has grown rather than withered. Unlike Romance and Mystery, it has maintained its separateness rather than becoming part of the mainstream. Why not then speak of SF as the genre that survived? Because genre connotes features that simply would not be perceived by our xenoethnologist, who would, presumably, gather data and go about the work scientifically.

In movies, SF dominates utterly: by my count, 57 of the top 100 movies of all time, and 9 of the top 10. The only top 10 film that isn’t SF is Titanic, made by a director who cut his teeth making SF films.

In television, SF is not nearly as important, though obviously there have been any number of quite successful and more or less famous SF television series.

In books, things are much more diffuse and complicated, and the statistics difficult to process because of the maddening way in which publishers chop books up into genres. Harry Potter is obviously SF. If you want to know how the latest Harry Potter book is making out in my country, go to the New York Times website, find the page where all of the bestseller lists are listed, and follow the link to “Children’s” and there you’ll find separate lists for “Picture Books”, “Chapter Books”, “Paperback” and “Series” books. Harry Potter is on the latter, and I think he was moved there just because people got sick of seeing his name on the main bestseller list month after month and year after year. Many other books are arguably SF, but not published as such. Whatever you may think of the Da Vinci Code, you have to admit that its premises are somewhat fantastic and hence SF-like.

My colleague, Bruce Sterling, has defined a thriller as “a science fiction novel that includes the President of the United States”! If you agree with Bruce’s definition, the size of the SF market suddenly becomes very much larger."


4 out of 5

http://www.gresham.ac.uk/uploads/neal_stephenson.doc

Addendum to [Literary] SF: A Social Phenomenon Plus Some Detours - Gord Sellar

"In his essay “SF as Hamlet” (in the essay-anthology on Japanese SF titled Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams), Azuma Hiroki argues that SF is, essentially, the last great holdout of “modernist philosophy” — that is, the Hegelian vision of a reigning totality, the yearning for a monolith tied to absolute truth, national identity, and so on. While the rest of the world paused and realized that such dreams and yearnings lead us to very bad places, American SF was one of the discourses within which this yearning was celebrated, maintained, and continued on.

(Hence, I suppose, Norman Spinrad’s The Iron Dream; I haven’t read it but the fit seems obvious.)

In any case, Azuma is writing from a Japanese point of view, where the same yearning for totality and for absolute truth (as defined from a Japanese elite perspective) drove the colonial project, and was later recognized (by most in Japan) as a horror.

But if you look at the essay through the lens of Korean historiography and propaganda post-Korean War, you see something very interesting. The same totalizing visions — discourses of mystical ethno-nationalism, claims of ancient heritage and blood-purity, claims of absolute unity of the people (of course, under dictatorial rule) — that Azuma Hiroki claims were going “obsolete” by this time in “the rest of the world” were actually just coming into vogue in Korea."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.gordsellar.com/2010/09/20/addendum-to-literary-sf-a-social-phenomenon-plus-some-detours/

Monday, September 20, 2010

Channeling Queer Authors - Tanith Lee

"Your classic series, The Flat Earth, is currently being reissued. It’s a cycle of fairy tales and legends where sexuality is fluid. What can you tell us about that series?

TL: Less fairytales than demon-tales, surely; mythos meets Arabian Nights, etc.: like most of my stuff it came from an instantaneous idea, a moment of sidelong thought—on this occasion a phrase in a word game: “Go nowhere fast on a horse that fades.” The first book flew forth with no pause. And again, as with most of what I do, the first book and its followers came with their own environment and ethos, and aspect of which happens to include the premise that almost all Flat-Earthians are bisexual, if perhaps with some individual biases in one or more directions. Of course, the Flat Earth isn’t the only venue in which multi-sexuality has flavored the works of Lee."


4 out of 5

http://www.lambdaliterary.org/interviews/09/13/tanith-lee%C2%A0channeling-queer-authors/

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Edison's Frankenstein - Chris Roberson

Lazarus. Like Lightning!


3 out of 5

http://www.chrisroberson.net/edisons-frankenstein/

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rust Night - Ian McHugh

Sender vessel kill.


3 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3709/full

The Silence - Jennifer R. Povey

Shoot the kid, not shoot the kid because not a zombie anymore?


(call it 3.75)
3.5 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3722/full

More Than the Sum of His Parts - Joe Haldeman

More Than the Sum Of His Parts - Joe Haldeman
We can rebuild him, better, faster, stronger. Also with bigger pee-pee. Pity about the crazy, though.


4 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/podcasts/podcast_more_than_the_sum_joe_haldeman.mp3
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/more-than-the-sum-of-his-parts/

All Tomorrow's Parties - William Gibson

Audio excerpt from the novel.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre/SetWilliamGibson-AllTomorrowsParties-13-12-99.mp3

Tea From An Empty Cup - Pat Cadigan

Audio excerpt from this cyberpunk book.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre/SetPatCadigan-TeaFromAnEmptyCup-14-12-99.mp3

Dinosaur Summer - Greg Bear

Audio excerpt from this take the big lizards home book.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_702/SetGregBear-DinosaurSummer-15-11-98.mp3

China Mountain Zhang - Maureen F. McHugh

An excerpt from the novel, in audio.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_898/SetMaureenFMchugh-ChinaMountainZhang-23-10-98.mp3

The Fey:Sacrifice - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

An excerpt from this fantasy race war series.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_790/SetKristineKathrynRusch-TheFeySacrifice-28-6-99.mp3

Fruitcake Theory - James Patrick Kelly

Fruitcake Theory - James Patrick Kelly
Alien bloody xmas incident.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_927/SetJamesPatrickKelly-FruitcakeTheory-24-12-98.mp3

The Dead Boy At Your Window - Bruce Holland Rogers

http://www.flashfictiononline.com/f20...

Floaty, saves milk.

3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_269/SetBruceHollandRogers-TheGoblinKingAndTheDeadBoyAtYourWindow-6-8-99.mp3

Unto the Daughters - Nancy Kress

Unto the Daughters - Nancy Kress
Written out Even kid.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_645/SetNancyKress-UntoTheDaughtersAndMarginOfError-5-2-99.mp3

Margin of Error - Nancy Kress

Margin of Error - Nancy Kress
http://escapepod.org/2006/11/23/ep081-margin-of-error/

Breeding philosophy nanotage.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/SeeingEarTheatre_645/SetNancyKress-UntoTheDaughtersAndMarginOfError-5-2-99.mp3

The Other Side of Jordan - Allen M. Steele

Leaving Coyote love letters.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.starshipsofa.com/20100907/aural-delights-no-153-allen-steele/

The Long Chase - Geoffrey A. Landis

The Long Chase - Geoffrey A. Landis
Soldier's marathon space race conversion.


4 out of 5

http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/the-long-chase/

Cafe Culture - Jack Dann

Cafe Culture - Jack Dann
Suicide bomber emulation.


4 out of 5

http://www.starshipsofa.com/20100914/aural-delights-no-154-ben-bova-jack-dann/

Friday, September 17, 2010

Science Justice Science Fiction: An Interview with - Kim Stanley Robinson

"I. Science
Polygraph. One of the more salient features of your work has been the union of serious science with serious politics. Both the Mars trilogy and the Science in the Capital trilogy focus on scientists who decide they must involve themselves directly in the politics of their time. In Science in the Capital this comes through not only in the critique of capitalism’s dangerous ecological practices but also in the way the practice of science is continually stalled both by the privatization of intellectual property and by the partisan political process. How might scientists be, or become, politicized? Is this what science fiction is for?

Kim Stanley Robinson. This is a hard question. Scientists, I think, would resist the idea that they need to become politicized, as they often think in ways that would make science and politics a dichotomy, with science being clean, pure, rational, empirical, etc., and politics being the opposite, and bad. So it has taken the global climate crisis to wake them up as a community to the need that exists for them to join the political process specifically as scientists, and as the scientific community. I think the story of this first decade of the twenty-first century is them seeing and understanding that need, partly because of the anti-science actions of the Bush administration, and partly because of the danger they see in the coming climate change and the inability of the normal political process to react adequately to this crisis."


5 out of 5


http://gerrycanavan.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/science-justice-science-fiction-an-interview-with-kim-stanley-robinson/

Masked! talks "Thug"! - Gail Simone

"So the story idea for THUG came to me reading about a brainless brick of a powerhouse henchman for the millionth time in some random comic. I had to think, why did someone like that choose to take the difficult path of perhaps getting beaten to shit by the Incredible Hulk or the Flash?

He wasn’t born that way. Something made him go that way.

And I suspect that something wasn’t a supervillain. I suspect that something was US. All of us, from kindergarten on.

WE might be the makers of the villains. WE might be their secret origins."


4.5 out of 5

http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/september-13-2010-masked-gail-simone-talks-thug-more-super-secret-production-pics/

A Writer To Watch - Michael Swanwick

Two words : - Hannu Rajaniemi


3.5 out of 5

http://floggingbabel.blogspot.com/2010/09/writer-to-watch.html

A Time To Collect Bones - Rick Kleffel

"Sometimes it takes a while to twig to a writer's strengths. And sometimes you won't get that clue from the writing itself. I've been reading Neal Asher from the first edition of his first big novel for Pan Macmillan, 'Gridlocked.' I've enjoyed the hell out of every book I've read. Asher is an utterly dependable and often brilliant writer, who can crank out big books about big monsters, galactic uber-minds, cranky, self-aware machines and even a few mere or near-humans like nobody's business. For all that I've read, for all that I've enjoyed, I've never, until I saw the cover of his latest, 'The Technician' (Tor UK / Pan Macmillan ; August 20, 2010), realized that Asher is in many ways, writing the ultimate Lovecraftian fiction."


4 out of 5

http://www.bookotron.com/agony/news/2010/09-13-10-news.htm#n091510

Guest Post with - Ilona Andrews

"I finally figured it out: I wanted to read about Angelique blended with Leigh Brackett’s lyrical language, spiced with Well’s gift for horror/Verne’s talent for science, and Howard’s flair for magic and monsters. I wanted feminine women and manly men, who didn’t ignore each other’s existence, trying to fight the evil demons, be they physical monsters or inner terrors."


3.5 out of 5

http://thebookpushers.com/2010/09/16/guest-post-with-ilona-andrews/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=guest-post-with-ilona-andrews

Incandescence Discussion Interview - Greg Egan

"RG: After many aeons, why would the Aloof still have the reaction/instinct to want to protect beings from approaching the hub? Don't they know that some beings have the capability to protect themselves?

GE: They're erring on the side of caution, and they're not in a great hurry to make up their minds. Giving the Amalgam precisely what it wants, as soon as it wants it, isn't their priority."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.chicago-sf.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3243

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Warren Magazines - Richard J. Arndt

A comprehensive index.

"The Warren magazines were the big cheese in the black & white horror magazine boom for the 1960s-1970s, if only because they were there first and they lasted the longest. James Warren, the publisher of several different movie magazines, most notably ‘Famous Monsters Of Filmland’, was a long time lover of comics, particularly the EC comics of the early 1950s. He made a few tentative stabs at comics in 1964, producing a trio of stories adapting movies from the 1930s for ‘Monster World’, a sister magazine of ‘Famous Monsters Of Filmland’. In late 1964 he decided to take the plunge, producing a full-length comic anthology. It should be noted that the magazines he published were not comic books but magazines. They had to be.

The Comics Code Authority, established in 1955 to ‘clean up’ comics, had demolished the EC empire of quality horror comics as well as most of the lesser publishers of horror comics and forced those publishers who survived to water down the content to near pablum. You couldn’t use vampires, zombies, skeletons, ghouls, etc as characters in a comic book. You couldn’t show blood or horrific details. Nor could you use such words as horror, crime or terror in titles. As the comic industry existed in 1964, a revival of EC-type comics wouldn’t have been possible.

Besides, Warren published magazines, designed to sit on stands alongside Look, Life, Sports Illustrated or Playboy. Well, maybe a few shelves over from those magazines but still in the general vicinity. Nowhere near those tawdry comic spinner racks."


5 out of 5

http://www.enjolrasworld.com/Richard%20Arndt/The%20Warren%20Magazines%20Index%20Only.htm

Metaphase 13 - Vonda N. McIntyre

"Several of Nemo’s creatures hugged the seam between the tunnel and the Chi. They extruded a gluey, fibrous substance that stuck the organic fabric to the inorganic hull. But the creatures had exhausted themselves. Escaping air hissed around a broken seal. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php/Vonda-N.-McIntyre/Novels/Metaphase-13

Hunter's Planet of the Apes Archive - Hunter Goatley

All about those amazing Apes in all media, plus fan stuff.



5 out of 5

http://pota.goatley.com/

Friday, September 10, 2010

The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets Up to seven planets orbiting HD 10180 - C. Lovis

et al

C. Lovis1, D. S´egransan1, M. Mayor1, S. Udry1, W. Benz2, J.-L. Bertaux3, F. Bouchy4, A. C. M. Correia5, J. Laskar6, G. Lo Curto7, C. Mordasini8,2, F. Pepe1, D. Queloz1, and N. C. Santos9,1


Generally not going to mention all the academic papers I read, but this one is way cool :-


"The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets⋆ XXVII. Up to seven planets orbiting HD 10180: probing the architecture of low-mass planetary systems"

Via the European Science Observatory :-

"Astronomers using ESO’s world-leading HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180. The researchers also have tantalising evidence that two other planets may be present, one of which would have the lowest mass ever found. This would make the system similar to our Solar System in terms of the number of planets (seven as compared to the Solar System’s eight planets). Furthermore, the team also found evidence that the distances of the planets from their star follow a regular pattern, as also seen in our Solar System. "


5 out of 5

http://www.eso.org/public/archives/releases/sciencepapers/eso1035/eso1035.pdf

Deluge 56 - Brian Keene

"It occurred to her how insane Simon sounded. Not his voice or tone, both of which were perfectly pleasant and rational. It was the words themselves that sounded crazy. Secret paramilitary occult organizations and doorways to alternate universes were the stuff of fiction. But then again, so were the plethora of monsters they’d encountered. If she wanted fantasy, all she had to do was look outside. Even the weather was unnatural."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4676

The Mark of Zorro 02 - Johnston McCulley

The Curse of Capistrano - Johnston McCulley
http://worldebooklibrary.com/eBooks/WorldeBookLibrary.com/markzorro.htm

Repression and oppressive taxation grows in one corner of California. Don Diego Viega, whose picture might just be beside the word 'fop' if California had a dictionary, can do nothing about it.

As one of the local military says "he is about as dangerous as a lizard basking in the sun".

The same cannot be said for Zorro. The Fox offers the local peons some hope, and does what he can to foment resistance.

When the moneygrubbing goes to far and some of the reasonably well liked local aristocracy are imprisoned, things come to a head, especially after the flogging of the local friar.

In an amusing scene, Senorita Pulido gets herself out of captivity by holding herself hostage. Luckily, while fleeing, Zorro is on hand.

Comedy, and action, and romance as Zorro saves the day.

Well worth reading.


4.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/curse_of_capistrano_1008/curseofcapistrano_02_mcculley_64kb.mp3

The Nex 1 - Tim Pratt

"Howlaa and Wisp – I won’t say they exchanged glances, since Wisp has no eyes, but Howlaa looked at Wisp and then back at me and sighed. “We’ll find a safe place, and then tell you everything you need to know.” She rolled her eyes. “Wisp will try to tell you everything, period, all-inclusive, including a short history of space-time, but I’ll restrain him from going on too much.”

I hesitated, thinking about running, but wherever I might want to go, it was pretty clear I couldn’t get there from here on my own.

“Please,” Howlaa said. “Come with us? We’re the ones who didn’t throw a big rock at you from orbit. And you must be wondering about the thing you… found. That turned itself into your jewelry there. I can tell you about that, too.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.timpratt.org/nex/

Cluster Prologue - Piers Anthony

""To comprehend the need for cooperation, you must understand the nature of transfer itself," Pnotl said. "Transfer is a modification of matter transmission, but such an unlikely aspect that only one species in a thousand discovers it independently." The Minister of Technology nodded, remembering how devious the method of matter transmission had proved to be. A whole new system of logic had had to be mastered before the necessary computations could be made. But that logic had avoided the paradox of relativistic limitations, and allowed a particular type of signal to transmit across light years without lapse of time. If identity transfer were worse than this, they would not master it soon, even with a full blueprint. The finest minds of the Empire had been trying for decades.

"Transfer operates at a thousand times the distance, at a thousandth the cost in energy," Pnotl continued. "This is because so much less actually has to be transmitted. Only the Kirlian ambiance moves; the body is left behind. It is my Kirlian force alone that animates this body, and it will quickly fade if I do not return to my own body, which is quite alien in comparison. Thus transfer is by no means a substitute for matter transmission, or even for physical travel through space. It is merely our most economical means of communication over galactic distances. Though it is a million times as efficient for this purpose as matter transmission, it can still be costly in energy.""


3 out of 5

http://ereads.com/ecms/books.php?id=1691#

Chaining the Lady Prologue - Piers Anthony

""He has not been absent from these demesnes since the last routine Kirlian verification," Polaris insisted. "He was under no pressure to depress his aura, and in any event--"

"He remains with us," Canopus said, studying the indicator closely with several facets of his eyes. "I now perceive a second aura imprint, suppressed by the first. The second one matches his own."

"He is an involuntary host?" Sol inquired challengingly. Such a thing was considered impossible.

"So it would seem. The minister's aura is normal, one point two intensity, not in good health at the moment. The alien aura is more potent, twenty-seven. It has apparently overwhelmed that of the host. There are certain indications that the hosting is not voluntary."

"What is the identity of the alien aura?" Nath inquired.

"This is uncertain without computer analysis," Canopus said. "But it corresponds to the aural family typical of Sphere *, of Galaxy Andromeda.""


3 out of 5

http://ereads.com/ecms/books.php?id=1692#

Broken Mirrors 24 - Tim Pratt

"“I don’t even get a severance package?”

The Chamberlain smiled icily. “We’ve decided not to sever your head from your body. That’s your severance package.”"


4 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=406

Broken Mirrors 23 - Tim Pratt

"“It’s a clusterfuck all right. Still, I’d rather fight my evil twin than deal with the council’s bitching.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=404

Broken Mirrors 22 - Tim Pratt

"Marla stared at him. “You’re the possible witch? What?”

“Yeah. See, she has a job. An important job. A job she messed up really badly. And when she messed it up, she got fired, only when things like her get fired, they just cease to exist. But her function didn’t cease to exist, and I stepped into it. And when I did, every other version of Bradley Bowman got the job, too, and we squashed into a sort of composite – uh, not to sound arrogant – a composite superbeing, with all the knowledge of all our various iterations. And I can see into all the worlds, all the parallel universes, simultaneously, and be in them simultaneously, and… Here I am. I can have the opening to my realm anywhere in the universe, and I put it in this gazebo in Fludd Park. I really liked this place, when I was your apprentice.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=400

Broken Mirrors 21 - Tim Pratt

"Marla nodded. “And let me guess. A little voice way down inside you whispered the word –”

“‘Turn.’ And the cloak turned. To the purple. I killed Viscarro – well, his body. Truly killing him happened a little later. And then I went out walking, in the flush of my new power, and it was glorious. All fear gone. Never again would I be ordered around. Never again would I be touched against my will. Never again would I suffer any humiliation. Then I saw an interesting little boy, who wasn’t a little boy at all, and ripped off his jaw to use for an oracle. Eventually I renamed that little boy Crapsey, and made him my apprentice, of a sort. I’m not a very nice master, but I’m no worse than Viscarro was.” The Mason shrugged. “From there, I plotted my rise to power, and everything went well until you tried to save your dead friend Bradley Bowman and brought me here.”"


4 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=398

The Monster's Million Faces - Rachel Swirsky

Fake memory.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/09/the-monsters-million-faces

Broken Mirrors 20 - Tim Pratt

"Marla shrugged. “I keep you around for your optimism, Rondeau. At least we can imagine some kind of good outcome for him. What harm can it do? Next time I decide to rip apart space-time because I really miss B, just slap me upside the head, would you?”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=396

Quiet War Stories - Paul J. McAuley

He gives a list :-

"'Second Skin' Asimov's Science Fiction, Dell Magazines, 1997
'Sea Change, With Monsters' Asimov's Science Fiction, Dell Magazines, 1998
'The Gardens of Saturn' Interzone, 1998
'Reef' Sky Life, edited by Gregory Benford and George Zebrowski, Harcourt Brace, 2000
'Making History' PS Publishing, 2000
'The Passenger' Asimov's Science Fiction, Dell Magazines, 2002
'The Assassination of Faustino Malarte' Asimov's Science Fiction, Dell Magazines, 2002
‘Dead Men Walking’ Asimov’s Science Fiction, Dell Magazines, 2006
‘Incomers’ The Starry Rift, edited by Jonathan Strahan, Viking, 2008"


3.5 out of 5

http://unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com/2010/09/quiet-war-stories.html

Maps For New Territory - Paul J. McAuley

On the Jackaroo stories :-

"*‘Dust’, Forbidden Planets, edited by Peter Crowther, Daw, 2006
 ‘Making Peace’, The New Space Opera, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Gardner Dozois, HarperCollins, 2007
 ‘Adventure’, Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders, 2008
 ‘Crimes and Glory’, Subterranean Magazine, 2009
‘The Choice’, Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2011"


3.5 out of 5

http://unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com/2010/09/maps-for-new-territory.html

Broken Mirrors 19 - Tim Pratt

"But he wasn’t making any progress. Granger’s healing powers were profound, and the open wound filled with new flesh as quickly as Crapsey could bite, skin and fur regenerating as well. The trees around them sagged, branches drooping and flowers wilting, as the nature magician drew life force from the park around him. Crapsey’s magical jaw was clamped on now, though, grinding and biting with a mind of its own, and there was no letting go. I’m going to literally explode from swallowing too much bear meat, Crapsey thought. It was certainly an unusual way to go."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=394

Fantasy Book Critic Interview - Ilona Andrews

"3] Your 2nd book [Magic Burns] was dedicated to David Gemmell in a very sweet and considerate way. Which one amongst you is a Gemmell fan or are you both fans? What was, in your opinion, in his books that make them such unequivocally addictive reads? Lastly which amongst his books is your favorite?

A) Ilona read his books first and when we were in the Army convinced me to read Legend. I was reluctant at first because the copy she had showed what looked to be Sean Connery with a sword on the cover. She was like read this it's great, this old guy goes to this fort and then dies. I was skeptical but since then I have read most or all of his books, usually multiple times. I think his formula of flawed but principled heroes, facing overwhelming odds and finding redemption, is what really intrigued me. Plus the sieges and the swordplay! For me it is a tie between Winter Warriors and The Quest for Lost Heroes. I love both of those somewhat similar books."


4 out of 5

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2010/09/interview-with-ilona-and-andrew-gordon.html

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Through a backward telescope: Heinlein’s context - Charles Stross

"And it all goes to show just how strange Robert A. Heinlein was.

From a devoutly religious upbringing, we have a teenager who threw off religious belief and embraced atheism at a time when this would have been profoundly shocking. From the 1920s we have an enthusiastic practitioner of free love and “companionate” (read: open) marriage—in an age when cohabiting without a marriage license was a felony. And from an early age, we have an enthusiastic naturist, during a period when it was considered wicked and shameful. Somehow a radical free-thinker emerged from a bright but poor background (he was working from age 10, only able to read and study on the streetcar to and from school)—and promptly bent his every effort towards the goal of getting into Annapolis as a naval officer cadet!"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/08/through-a-backward-telescope-heinleins-context

Immortals - Liz Coley

Look after the uploads, robot.


3 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3690/full

Looking Good - Deborah Walker

Click DNA removal me.


3 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3673/full

A Sensitive Dependence On Initial Conditions - Kim Stanley Robinson

Bomb choices, no diff.


3 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1597801844/1597801844___6.htm

Before I Wake - Kim Stanley Robinson

Sleep pain.


3 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1597801844/1597801844.htm

Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade: An Appreciation - Robert Silverberg

"So the manifold delights and pleasures of that rollicking novel The High Crusade came as no surprise, back there in 1960, and those of us who were on the scene then raced through the three installments of the magazine serialization as fast as we could pry them out of John Campbell. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/09/poul-andersons-the-high-crusade-an-appreciation-by-robert-silverberg

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Songs of a Dead Earth - Don Norum

Blew it up. Woops.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3710/full

Broken Mirrors 18 - Tim Pratt

"She approached the Jaguar’s body, which was already dwindling and decaying and slumping-in on itself. She knelt, peering at the wreckage, until she spied the seed at its heart, a carving of a jaguar in black glass, about half life-sized. That had been the focus for Mutex’s spell – the foundation for the god’s body, augmented by dark rituals, blood magic, and the power of an ancient artifact called the Cornerstone that was utterly consumed in the process of luring the god to Earth.

Beta-B and Rondeau had succeeded. Mutex’s mind had been snatched out of the Jaguar and replaced in his own body, and since the god’s mind had been destroyed by Rondeau’s possession, there was nothing left to fill the avatar’s form. And now all the god’s works would disappear."


http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=392

Broken Mirrors 17 - Tim Pratt

"“So what’s the Mason’s deal, exactly?” Nicolette said, retaking her seat. “She wants to exterminate all life?”

Crapsey turned his chair upright and sat back down. “Nah. Not all life. Things that aren’t sentient don’t bother her much, though she doesn’t have any particular affection for them. It’s mostly people she can’t stand, and dolphins. Practically speaking, killing everybody is really hard, just in terms of plain logistics – the world’s teeming with people, more born every day, billions of them, and most fight like hell to stay alive. She could drop nukes or something, but she says she has plans for the planet, and doesn’t want to break it.”"


4 out of 5

http://www.marlamason.net/mirrors/?p=365

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Scarlet Pimpernel 01 - Emmuska Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy
http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/60

Set in France, the Scarlet Pimpernel is a pro royal, or at least anti-guillotine proto superhero, who leads the followers of Robespierre a merry dance as her rescues plenty of people from their fate.

He has his friends and helpers, this dashing Englishman, and it is through them that the French try and discover his identity.

3.5 out of 5

http://media.libsyn.com/media/classictales/CT_164_Pimpernel_1of9.mp3

The Curse of Capistrano 01 - Johnston McMulley

The Curse of Capistrano - Johnston McCulley
http://worldebooklibrary.com/eBooks/WorldeBookLibrary.com/markzorro.htm

Repression and oppressive taxation grows in one corner of California. Don Diego Viega, whose picture might just be beside the word 'fop' if California had a dictionary, can do nothing about it.

As one of the local military says "he is about as dangerous as a lizard basking in the sun".

The same cannot be said for Zorro. The Fox offers the local peons some hope, and does what he can to foment resistance.

When the moneygrubbing goes to far and some of the reasonably well liked local aristocracy are imprisoned, things come to a head, especially after the flogging of the local friar.

In an amusing scene, Senorita Pulido gets herself out of captivity by holding herself hostage. Luckily, while fleeing, Zorro is on hand.

Comedy, and action, and romance as Zorro saves the day.

Well worth reading.


4.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/curse_of_capistrano_1008/curseofcapistrano_01_mcculley_64kb.mp3

Sunday, September 05, 2010

AE Interview - Peter Watts

"Watts: For sure. It's a tired cliche that science fiction is “the literature of ideas,” and a lot of science fictional ideas for all their coolness don't have the strength to carry a whole novel. Short stories serve an essential purpose as the one-line jokes of science fiction.

They're also a valuable proving ground for novels-in-progress. I frequently play around with ideas at shorter, proof-of-principle lengths to figure out whether they justify longer treatment; if those practise sprints net me a few bucks on their own merits, so much the better. Starfish started out as a short story. You can see the ghosts of a couple of my shorter works poking their heads up here and there throughout Blindsight. And sometimes, a perfectly coherent novel can be built by bolting together standalone shorts pretty much as-is. Bradbury did it with The Martian Chronicles. Stross did it with Accelerando. I'm trying to do the same thing with Sunflowers, of which “The Island” is only one chapter."


4 out of 5


http://aescifi.ca/

Still betting on utopia - Kim Stanley Robinson

"Robinson, whose novels have won 11 major science fiction awards, also advocated for writers to rise to the challenge of depicting utopian futures.

"The truth is it's really hard to write those kind of stories and we don't see enough of them," he said.

"Because of the utopian problem - the blueprint is boring whereas the disaster is more exciting. Making [sustainability] exciting is a double-bind, a particular problem that I wish more people would attack. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/04/3002670.htm

Angry Robot Author Interview - Colin Harvey

"I was actually there to promote my first anthology, Killers. And in fact when I met Marco (Marc Gascoigne, Editorial Director of Angry Robot) in the bar, I was so preoccupied with the missing copies of the anthology – which were stuck in a warehouse seventy five miles away, with the hotel and the courier each blaming the other – that it didn’t occur to me for about twenty minutes to ask who this guy was who was so interested in my work!"


4 out of 5

http://darkfictionreview.net/2010/08/colin-harvey-interview/

On Carter Brown - Toni Johnson-Woods

"What got you attracted to Carter Brown in the first place?

Carter Brown is the person about whom I talk the most because he is probably the best known of all Australian writers. It started, as most research projects do, from a very simple question – who is Australia’s most *popular* author…my colleagues at the University of Queensland and I were having a cup of tea asking this question. Someone said “Carter Brown”. I’d never heard of him so I went to our national library and discovered that he’d written nearly 300 novels. After ten years of studying Australian literature I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard his name mentioned once. Then I dug a little deeper and found dozens of Australian writers had written thousands of books in the 1950s — romances, westerns, and crime. And yet not one academic in Australia had investigated them more fully. So I decided it was time for the academy to get a bit of a wakeup call."


4.5 out of 5

http://pulpetti.blogspot.com/2010/08/toni-johnson-woods-on-carter-brown.html

In Pacmandu - Lavie Tidhar

Wu expedition game over.


4 out of 5

http://futurismic.com/2010/09/01/new-fiction-in-pacmandu-by-lavie-tidhar/

Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Dune Encyclopedia - Frank Herbert

The Dune Encyclopedia - Frank Herbert
An overview of the places, people and technology in the Dune universe. This explains a lot of the detail of things that Herbert just mentions in passing, such as the scientists that invented shields, or space travel, or things like that.

It is very useful to gain a better understanding of all those finer points.


4 out of 5

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.thedune.ru/duneenc/download/DUNE_ENCYCLOPEDIA.pdf

Walker of Worlds Interview - Peter F. Hamilton

"You’ve announced that you’re next releases will be a short story collection, Manhattan in Reverse, and a stand alone novel in a brand new setting, Great North Road. Can you reveal anything about these two yet and what readers can expect from them?

The collection is every short story and novella I’ve written since Second Chance At Eden came out, plus one written specifically for the collection, the title story itself, Manhattan in Reverse, which is another Paula Myo story, set directly after the end of Judas Unchained. Great North Road is what I’ve taken to calling my monster in the dark book."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.walkerofworlds.com/2010/09/interview-peter-f-hamilton.html

The Speed of Time - Jay Lake

Boson rifled.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/08/the-speed-of-time?j=24607638&e=john@sfsignal.com&l=15162145_HTML&u=282302383&mid=83886&jb=0

Friday, September 03, 2010

Hakon's Fight - Foreworld Cabal

"The demon let out a blood-curdling shriek. Even though his mask muffled his voice, the cry was so sudden, so shocking, that Haakon felt like he had been struck by lightning. His muscles jumped and he couldn't think straight enough to react to the flickering steel lunging toward his face. Instinctively Haakon took a passing step back, twisting his body to the left. The blade of the pole-arm snapped past him, and with a flick of his wrists, the demon whirled the pole in a tight circle. The blade seemed to jump sideways, coming right for his face even though his body was turned in profile to the other fighter."


3 out of 5

http://mongoliad.com/contents/29

Modesty Blaise - What Might Have Been

If an actual director and film company with a clue had the rights to the movie when a certain actress was in her prime, we might have had tie-in editions like this :-

Modesty Blaise 01 - Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blaise 02 - Sabre-Tooth

Modesty Blaise 03 - I, Lucifer

Modesty Blaise 04 - A Taste For Death

Modesty Blaise 05 - The Impossible Virgin

Modesty Blaise 06 - Pieces of Modesty

Modesty Blaise 07 - Last Day In Limbo

Modesty Blaise 08 - Dragon's Claw

Modesty Blaise 09 - The Silver Mistress

Modesty Blaise 10 - The Xanadu Talisman

Modesty Blaise 11 - The Night of Morningstar

Modesty Blaise 12 - Dead Man's Handle

Modesty Blaise 13 - Cobra Trap

The Ships Like Clouds Risen By Their Rain - Jason Sanford

Mudworld lift underground shift.

4 out of 5

http://ensorcelled.berkeley.edu/issues/2009-05/ships/

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_151_James_Blish_Jason_Sanford.mp3

Personal Jesus - Paul Di Filippo

Personal Jesus - Paul di Filippo
Deusex Mode decimation.


4 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_150_Paul_Di_Filippo.mp3

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Deluge 54 - Brian Keene

"“There are thirteen entities—supernatural beings—neither demon nor angel, but something far older and far more powerful, whose only goal is the complete destruction of all creation and existence. They are older than our universe and they intend to be here still when our universe is gone. Are any of you familiar with string theory or alternate dimensions?”

All three nodded."


4 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4189

Deluge 55 - Brian Keene

"“As I explained to Gail earlier, we ended up divided. Half of Black Lodge wanted to enact an old ritual that called for the sacrifice of a human infant. Summoning Leviathan and Behemoth—opening a doorway for them to enter our world, required the sacrifice of an infant. A number of our members believed that banishing them and closing the doorway would require the same thing. They learned of several surviving infants—one in Australia, one in Illinois, and one or two elsewhere, and went in search of them. The other half of my group labored to stop them. We were convinced that there was another way to banish Behemoth and Leviathan, seal the gate, and undo the damage caused by the cultists. Regrettably, we wasted too much time in-fighting when we should have been acting together, and now it’s too late. Behemoth and Leviathan have both moved on to another version of Earth—another level.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4617