Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sense of Wonder Interview - Lavie Tidhar

"LT: I’m working on too many things, probably! I’m working on this quite ambitious, what you’d call a “mosaic” novel called Central Station. It’s set in a future Middle East, and parts of it have been published in places like Clarkesworld and Interzone. It’s a very different thing to Osama, and I’m trying to both correspond with classic Western SF and at the same time do some very non-Western things with it.

I’m also working on another weird noir novel!

In terms of what’s coming out, I’ve got a novel called Martian Sands coming out next year, a small graphic novel – Adolf Hitler’s “I Dream of Ants” – coming out soon, and a themed short story collection, Black Gods Kiss – of what I call Guns & Sorcery – coming out at some point, possibly this year. And The Apex Book of World SF 2, which I edited, should be out shortly!"

4 out of 5

The Heartless Light of Stars - Aliette de Bodard

Dead letters, extended.

3.5 out of 5

The Woman Who Shook the World Tree - Michael Swanwick

Happenstance time.

3 out of 5

Major Highlights In the History of Space Opera - Charlie Jane Anders and Gordon Jackson

Space opera was born at the beginning of the Twentieth Century — and arguably, did more to define the last century than any other genre. For most of the previous century, our most thrilling dreams of adventure were inspired by the stories of starships, aliens and interstellar empires.

A complete history of space opera would be nearly impossible to compile in one short article. But here's our attempt at listing the major highlights in the history of the genre, from 1901 until now.

3.5 out of 5

Armored Interview - Alastair Reynolds

"What is the appeal of power armor/mecha? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do you think readers/viewers/gamers love it so much?

I can see the logic of power armour in certain situations but there’s also an element of wish fulfillment—being super strong and invulnerable—which I think it is important to push against, or at least pick apart and question."

3 out of 5

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New World Blues - L. E. Modesitt

Tentacle sky god field. Capital.

3 out of 5

Thanatos Beach - James Morrow

Cancer tentacles.

3 out of 5

Dormanna - Gene Wolfe

Big sky thing.

2 out of 5

Glass Coffin - Stina Leicht

Singer body deal.

3.5 out of 5

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Sleeping God 1 - Violette Malan

"I'll go," he said, tossing her his reins. Demons and perverts, he thought, not for the first time thankful that he didn't See what Dhulyn sometimes Saw. Children. He pulled his feet from the stirrups and, steadying himself with his hands on the pommel, hopped up on the saddle until he was balancing on Warhammer's back, wishing he was wearing something with more grip than his boots.

"Keep your eyes open." He didn't have to tell her to watch the crowd. She'd have noticed before he did that something was amiss.

Out of the corner of her eye Dhulyn Wolfshead watched Parno make the small jump that got his fingers hooked on the window sill above them. The muscles in his arms bulged as he drew himself up, swung one leg over the sill and was gone into the smoky darkness within the house."

3.5 out of 5

Lightspeed Interview - Ian McDonald

"In recent years you’ve been writing these science fiction books set in countries like India, Turkey, and Brazil. How did you come to write those books, and what were some of your goals for them?

I’ve been interested in fiction in the developing world for quite some time. I live just outside Belfast, in Northern Ireland. It’s one of those places that’s kind of on the periphery of things. In many ways, it’s one of the least science fictional places in the world to grow up in. In another sense, it’s the perfect preparation for life in the twenty-first century—living through thirty years of civil, religious, and political violence is fairly good prep for the way I feel the twenty-first century is going to go. But it’s never really a terribly science fictional place. So in a sense, to write science fiction I’m always having to look somewhere outside my own country. I’ve written science fiction set in Northern Ireland, but I’ve found myself very much looking outside the country, and so if everywhere’s foreign, you might as well go somewhere interesting. I mean, the United States is as foreign to me as India or Turkey or Brazil is—we just speak a common language, and even that’s fairly tenuous. So that sense of not being at the center of things, of being very much on the periphery, it made me look for interesting places where the future is happening as well."

4 out of 5

The SF Signal Podcast Episode 108: 2012 Sword and Sorcery Mega Panel Part 1 - Jaym Gates

"In episode 108 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester and Jaym Gates sit down with a mega panel of authors and editors to discuss Sword and Sorcery for the modern reader.

This week’s panel:
Lou Anders
Violette Malan
James L. Sutter
Scott H. Andrews
Jaym Gates
Patrick Hester"

4 out of 5

Episode 40: The Science of Comics with - Chris Roberson

"Chris Roberson [@chris_roberson] is the talented writer behind such comic titles as iZombie, Memorial, IDW’s Star Trek/ Legion of Super Heroes, Fables: Cinderella and many more. He also happens to write novels, run his own publishing company, MonkeyBrain Books, and be a very cool guy to boot!

We were lucky to chat with Chris about the process behind his comics, how his career evolved, and lots, and lots of books. "

4 out of 5

The Mucker - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Big tough guy criminal gets into trouble and falls for upper class woman. Trouble being a bit more than your usual gang stuff - with retro samurai, spears and more.

3 out of 5

Cleopatra's Promise - Talbot Mundy

Tros has an errand or two, complete with an ex-queen sister who prefers the barbarian warrior thing.

4 out of 5

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Biggest - James Patrick Kelly

The Stilt has problems - like growth powers with no uniform that can cope.

3 out of 5

Black Gate Interviews - Nathan Long

"Jane Carver of Waar is a Barsoomesque adventure for the modern reader, and something that treads the line between loving homage and knowing send-up of classic pulp SF. Tell us a bit about the book, and do you think readers need to be familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Barsoom, and other stories of that era to fully appreciate Jane Carver?

Jane Carver of Waar is what I used to call, before I knew any better, a “Sword and Raygun” adventure. Now I know I’m supposed to call it a Planetary Romance, but I still like mine better. It tells the story of Jane Carver, a hard-riding biker chick who gets herself on the wrong side of the law and ends up hiding in a cave that transports her to a world full of strange aliens with stranger customs. There she has a sequence of wild adventures while trying to help a not-very-heroic young alien noble rescue his kidnapped bride.

I really hope readers won’t need to be familiar with the Planetary Romance genre to enjoy the book. I did my best to make sure they wouldn’t, as that is one of my pet peeves. I dislike parodies and homages that require some knowledge of the thing being parodied. It is my belief that a book should stand on its own, even when commenting on another book or genre. A book should be a book first, thoroughly enjoyable by itself, and anything else the author wants to make it second."

3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Luther - Mark Waid and Jeremy Rock

A challenged kid collects souvenirs from zombie corpses after the fall, so to speak. A dangerous hobby.

3.5 out of 5

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cat Nap - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Husband's pet abuse scam pans out.

3.5 out of 5

Friday, March 16, 2012

Warp drive could be a doomsday weapon - Jude Dineley

Not the sort of sensationalist headline you see every day!

"SYDNEY: The search for the Holy Grail of intergalactic travel has encountered a slight hitch, say Australian scientists.

Recent research predicts that upon reaching its destination, the theoretical Alcubierre warp drive – a speculative idea proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994 by which a spacecraft could be accelerated to speeds greater than the speed of light - would unleash a high energy cocktail of particles and radiation, blasting anyone in its path “into oblivion”."

3.5 out of 5

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Suitable Present For A Sorcerous Puppet - Garth Nix

Maladroit music mishaps, evil entity. Naked God preferred.

4 out of 5

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Monster Men - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Burroughs has produced a version of his own of the Frankenstein cum Doctor Moreau story - this time in Indonesia.

So yes, pursuit by headhunters does feature!

Or, what's a girl to do when she realises the big hunk of beefcake she really would rather get hitched to rather than the dodgy bloke who works with mad scientist dad may be a creation?

3 out of 5

The Colors of Space - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Kid gets into space where the alien Lhari dominate space travel - thanks to knowing the warp drive trick. He finds out that there is a color and genetic trick to surviving warp travel and sets about giving the monkeyboys and girls a shot at their own interstellar future.

2.5 out of 5

Gulliver of Mars - Edwin Lester Linden Arnold

Wishing you were on Mars by magic carpet? Ok. Then the continuing well-mannered adventures and misadventures continue on a not too outlandish planet at all, including language.

2.5 out of 5

Stone Age - Alastair Mayer

Space tomb raider archaeology deal.

3.5 out of 5

Lazy Literature Interview With - Mike Resnick

"Your project of “Mike’s Writer Children” is absolutely fabulous and exciting. How did you come up with that idea?

I had just sold reprints of the first three Lucifer Jones books (he’s my favorite character) to Arc Manor, a relatively new press that I hadn’t worked with before, and Shahid Mahmud, the publisher, asked me if I had any idea for a new line of books, something no one else was doing. I remembered that Maureen McHugh invented the term “Mike’s Writer Children” to describe the 20 or 25 beginners I’ve kind of “adopted” and helped along the way – collaborating with them, buying stories from them when I’ve edited anthologies, introducing them to editors and agents at conventions – and it occurred to me that I couldn’t be the only writer who did this. So I suggested what has become the Stellar Guild line, a series of team-ups where an established star writes a novella, and then a protégé of the star’s own choosing writes a novelette set in the same universe, and they share cover credit."

4 out of 5

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Publisher Answers with - Benjamin LeRoy

Though I’m not sure where it will all shake out, the pricing of ebooks allows readers to take low risk chances on authors they might not know, and I think that’s a good thing for building an audience. I’m a fan of anything that gets people reading.

I just launched an ebook imprint for F+W called Prologue Books. It’s given me a chance to put back in print (digitally) books that have long been out of print. Making those books available to a wide audience would have been cost prohibitive if they were print, but ebooks make it possible. What I think is cool about that, is there is the possibility for today’s readers to “discover” authors that might otherwise have been lost to history. From a personal geek standpoint, I’m fascinated to trace the genealogy of genres, to understand how writers working fifty years ago influenced current authors. Ebooks make it possible.

3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Locus Roundtable on Greg Egan - Karen Burnham

"Welcome to another single-author focused edition of the Locus Roundtable. This time Greg Egan is in the spotlight, as I egregiously abuse my position by wrangling some very kind individuals into talking about my personal current obsession. Participating in this discussion are Gardner Dozois, whose early championing of Egan’s short fiction helped to make him one of the more influential sf authors of the 1990s; Kathleen Ann Goonan, author of the Nanotech Quartet of stories as well as In War Times and This Shared Dream; Russell Letson, long-time reviewer for Locus; and Paul Graham Raven, owner of Futurismic and short story author."

4 out of 5

Monday, March 05, 2012

Pioneer One

A spacecraft lands badly near Calgary. A joint US-Canadian operations checks it out and things are decidedly odd. The occupant speaks Russian and appears to have spent a long, long time in space. Hard to do as a young man. It seems he just may be from Mars.

I was rather impressed by this.

4 out of 5