Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Takes Us Behind the Masks From Dynamite - Chris Roberson

"TFAW.com: Since leaving DC, you have a reputation of being selective with your work-for-hire projects. What was the lure of Masks? Chris Roberson: I’ve been a fan of the pulp-era characters since I was a kid in the 1970s. I was the perfect age to be introduced to them during the tail end of the big pulp/retro revival that started in the 1960s and ran through the early ’80s. And as a result, guys in slouch hats and twin 45s have a habit of popping up in my writing from time to time (as early as in Book of Secrets, one of my earliest prose novels, and most recently in the pages of iZombie). Getting the chance to work on the “real deals” was a childhood dream come true." 4 out of 5 http://www.tfaw.com/blog/2012/09/24/chris-roberson-takes-us-behind-the-masks-from-dynamite/

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: on The Fathomless Abyss - Mike Resnick

"SF Signal had the opportunity to talk with him about shared worlds and The Fathomless Abyss, a shared world anthology featuring stories from Mike, Jay Lake, Cat Rambo, Mel Odom, J.M. McDermott, Brad Torgersen and Philip Athans. In The Fathomless Abyss, a bottomless pit opens who-knows-when onto who-knows-where, just long enough for new people from a thousand different worlds and a million different times to fall in and join the fight for survival in a place where the slightest misstep means an everlasting fall into eternity. In this world, the laws of physics work against you, there’s no way out, and time means nothing…" 3.5 out of 5 http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2012/09/exclusive-interview-mike-resnick-on-the-fathomless-abyss/

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Visitation Rights - Richard Morgan

"And still he does not know me.” Abruptly, the corpse loomed to its feet, out of the chair as if tugged there by puppet’s strings. Ringil found himself face to face with the worm’s head cowl and the blank darkness it framed. He made himself stare back, but if there was a face in there, dead or alive, it didn’t show. The whispering voice seemed to come from everywhere at once, down from the eaves of the thatch, out of the crackle of the hearth, out of the air just behind his ear. “You did not know me at Trelayne’s Eastern Gate, when your destiny was laid out in terms you could understand; you did not know me at the river when the first of the cold legion gathered to you, and your passage to the dark gate began. I sent a whole shipload of corpses for you when you were finally ready. So tell me, Ringil Eskiath – how many times must I look out at you through the eyes of the dead before I am given my due?”" 4 out of 5 http://www.richardkmorgan.com/news/876/visitation-rites/

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to Write a Killer Space Adventure Without Breaking the Speed of Light - Charlie Jane Anders

"Is it possible to have a wild, exciting space adventure without resorting to magic? Or is there just no way to imagine conquering the vastness of the cosmos without warp drives, hyperspace, miraculous shielding and other fancy devices? Some of our best and brightest minds are writing "mundane space opera," in which everything is scientifically plausible. And now, you can too! We'll teach you how. " 4 out of 5 http://io9.com/5943934/how-to-write-a-killer-space-adventure-without-breaking-the-speed-of-light

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On Denny O’Neil and Dick Dillin’s Justice League of America - Julian Darius

"While many celebrate Gardner Fox’s inaugural run on Justice League of America, comparatively few appreciate the run that immediately followed it: that of Dennis “Denny” O’Neil and penciler Dick Dillin (who had illustrated Fox’s final two issues). Consisting of just 15 issues (Justice League of America #66, 69-75, and 77-83, the missing issues consisting of reprints only), O’Neil’s run was short-lived compared to Fox’s inaugural run on the title. But the two runs, put together, represent the cycle of most continuing super-hero comics: Fox built the League, whereas O’Neil deconstructed it, or at least mixed things up and left nothing the same. At the time he took over the title, O’Neil was busy developing a reputation for renovating super-heroes, making them somewhat more logical, updating them for the times, and generally shaking up the status quo – all this long before revisionism formally began. He would continue this trend with the Justice League, most dramatically by changing its roster but also by changing the team’s group dynamics and headquarters." 4.5 out of 5 http://sequart.org/magazine/15592/on-denny-oneil-and-dick-dillins-justice-league-of-america/

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Conversation with - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

"Cory Doctorow: Charlie, do you remember what you had in mind when you wrote the opening passage to Jury Service? Were you explicitly thinking of Ken Macleod’s idea that the Singularity was like a rapturous, transcendant end-time for nerds? Charlie Stross: Actually, no! I just had this stub of a story—only a couple of thousand words, if that—about this ordinary Joe, waking up in the bathtub after a raucous party, and finding a biohazard tattoo on his anatomy. It was one of a bunch of story-stubs I’d started and didn’t know what to do with. The “rapture of the nerds” idea was in my head at the time, but I was still working over the Accelerando stories when I wrote it. So it languished in development hell for a year or two, before we got talking about a collaboration. And I emailed it to you to see if you could do something with it. Which led to…" 4 out of 5 http://torforge.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/a-conversation-with-cory-doctorow-and-charles-stross/

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dredd Screenwriter Answers Your Questions - Alex Garland

"Q: I was wondering about the collaboration with John Wagner - obviously without going into specifics, how much did the film and the script change as a result of his input? The film is already quite notorious for it's violence - did you encounter problems with this aspect? Was there ever a pressure to tone things down? A: Hi, Radiator. John read the script in various forms and drafts, he saw concept art and uniform/bike designs, he came to the set, and he saw different cuts of the film. Each time, I would sit down with him afterwards and listen carefully. And invariably, after our exchange, something in the film would change. You said don't go into specifics - but I will give an example, just because it's illustrative. About halfway through post-production, John saw an edit and said he thought there should be another moment with Anderson, right at the very end of the film. We didn't have the money to create the moment in our reshoots. So instead I took a Dredd/Anderson two-shot from the start of the movie, got Dredd digitally erased from the frame, and stuck it where John suggested. And he was right. It made a huge difference to the ending. And - I'm sure you realise - that example is just one of many. John is modest about his contribution, but it was considerable. And the same is true of Jock, by the way, on both counts. With regard to the violence, I saw on these boards that there was a rumour many months ago about the violence needing to be toned down. That particular rumour was not true. All the financiers and distributors had read the script, and knew exactly what they were getting into." 4.5 out of 5 http://forums.2000adonline.com/index.php/topic,36741.0.html

And a Bottle of Rum - Melissa Mead

Skyship telekinesis torch. 3 out of 5 http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/melissa-mead/and-a-bottle-of-rum

Miracleman Chapter 5: Fallen Angels Forgotten Thunder - Julian Darius

"Chapter five is a chapter of transition. First, it concludes the threat of Kid Miracleman, who only seems like Book One’s arch-enemy, while setting up the story threads that will occupy the rest of Book One. If Book One had to be split in half, that split would occur at its midpoint, after chapter five. Second, this chapter and the one following – coincidentally right at the middle of the book – mark the transition between Garry Leach and Alan Davis. Leach’s artwork was simply too detailed to allow him to continue, even at the pace of six pages per issue of Warrior, in addition to his other work (including as Warrior’s art director). We’ve already seen how his art for chapter three cut corners, reusing shots of the Sunburst Cybernetics tower, and how he took an issue (#4) off between that story and chapter four. Now, Leach had to admit that he couldn’t meet the schedule of a regular strip." 4 out of 5 http://sequart.org/magazine/10546/miracleman-chapter-5-fallen-angels-forgotten-thunder/

Geek Smash Interview - Arvid Nelson

"Yeah, (laughing) yeah, you feel me? So we were shooting in NYC, we had permits and everything, and it was my job to tell ornery New York pedestrians they couldn’t walk down this street. I was nearly killed once. That was awesome. And then I worked on a Troma film, you know The Toxic Avenger? that was like the polar opposite of the Woody Allen experience. It was like, sleeping in a rat infested warehouse and stuff. We shot it in Poughkeepsie, NY and it was our job to make it look like a post apocalyptic wasteland. Which Poughkeepsie, NY kind of already does. I still feel terrible about this. We took public trash cans and just threw the trash all over the ground. I picked everything up though, I promise. Anyway, that was so much fun that I decided to start writing comics." 3.5 out of 5 http://geeksmash.com/comic-books/news-comic-books/8interview-arvid-nelson12/

How To See the Future - Warren Ellis

"To be a futurist, in pursuit of improving reality, is not to have your face continually turned upstream, waiting for the future to come. To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better. Act like you live in the Science Fiction Condition. Act like you can do magic and hold séances for the future and build a brightness control for the sky." 4 out of 5 http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=14314

Friday, September 07, 2012

Epic Kill 1 - Raffaele Ienco

https://dcomixologyssl.sslcs.cdngc.net/c/MAR120415_1.jpg?h=0840d4b1d33cfc0c7371db94e73a6f99&t=1347002265 Time to get out of here and back to the superhuman escapee killer thing. 4 out of 5 http://www.comixology.com/Epic-Kill-1/digital-comic/MAR120415

Homecoming - Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Long term paternity.

4 out of 5 http://kriswrites.com/2012/09/03/free-fiction-monday-homecoming/

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Insufferable 09 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

http://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable130.jpg Pirahna repellent is very useful. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-009/

Insufferable 08 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

http://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable114.jpghttp://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable114.jpg Out of the sidecar and into the pirahna tank. 4 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-008/

Insufferable 07 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

http://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable103.jpghttp://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable103.jpg Praetorian recruiting. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-007/

Insufferable 06 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

http://www.thrillbent.com/wp-content/uploads/comic-insufferable088.jpg Putting the public to work. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-006/

Insufferable 05 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Insufferable 05 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause Here are her ashes, you see. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-005/

Insufferable 04 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Insufferable 04 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause She died but now sends us a message? 4 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-004/

Insufferable 03 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Insufferable 03 - Mark Waid and Peter Krauser Old style and new style uploading your own action. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-003/

Insufferable 02 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Insufferable 02 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause The old model reminisces. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-002/

Insufferable 01 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause

Insufferable 01 - Mark Waid and Peter Krause A family reality rescue. 3.5 out of 5 http://www.thrillbent.com/project/insufferable-001/

The Fire-Gown - Michael Swanwick

Spontaneous combustion assassination. 3 out of 5 http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/08/the-fire-gown

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

An Interview With - Chris F. Holm

"What projects are you working on, and what do you have currently in the pipeline? Right now, I’m working on the third book in the Collector series, THE BIG REAP, which is expected to be out sometime next year. I also recently finished two other novels. One’s a mainstream thriller about a hit man who makes his living killing other hit men called – appropriately – HIT. The other, PROOF, is a weird little ghost-story-slash-small-town-mystery. Other than that and the day job, I’m mostly working on finding time to get a nap in, or the occasional bite to eat." 3.5 out of 5 http://civilian-reader.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/an-interview-with-chris-f-holm.html

Why Alastair Reynolds Doesn’t Do Star Trek Physics - Alastair Reynolds

"Wired: You’ve worked as both a space scientist and a science fiction author. How much of a feedback loop have you observed between the two? Reynolds: Well, speaking for myself, I really struggle to pinpoint whether I became a scientist because I like science fiction, or did I gravitate to science fiction because I identified strongly with scientists. I don’t know, it’s been there all along, right through my life. I think I set myself on a course to become a scientist around about the time that Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series was on television, and there really was no going back for me at that point, and then I went on to study space science, and then get my Ph.D., then go aboard and work in the European Space Agency. But the thing that surprised me, with regard to the crosstalk between science and science fiction, was when I kind of “came out” about being a science fiction writer, a lot of my colleagues who I’d never previously suspected of having any interest in science fiction turned out to be avid science fiction readers with extensive knowledge of science fiction, and that was very interesting to me. Ever since then I’ve been keeping a quiet eye on this whole business of how science and science fiction talk to each other, particularly in the areas of space science. " 4 out of 5 http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/09/geeks-guide-alastair-reynolds

Automatic Selection - Victoria Podmajersky

Stuff breaker. 3 out of 5 http://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/superhero/victoria-podmajersky/scifi-automatic-selection

Serial Killers Incorporated 1 - Andy Remic

"I think about Callaghan. And I realise with a start: I like him. I like him a lot. I smile at that, aware my needle teeth would frighten small children. Indeed, would terrify large men. And to complement the image, I pull free my skinning razor and unfold it leisurely, marvelling at that simple sliver of honed steel, and at the black metal handle with its archaic etchings. I twist it, this way and that, so it catches the light of the moon… and glance up again at the high apartment and realise that soon – yes soon – we will meet. We have a lot to talk about, and a lot to think about. And finally: a lot to do. But first. First, I must teach Callaghan a lesson." 4 out of 5 http://www.uamag.co.uk/anarchy/Serial%20Killers%20Incorporated_opening%20chapters.pdf

Atomic Flesh Cafe - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

"Dear Dr. Heart, I had the dream again, the one where I’m at the cafe and the dancers are eating their own flesh. I have written three letters in as many weeks. Forgive me if I keep bothering you, but you said to write if I had the dream and I did. Oh, the dream. I am walking down the street and I see a neon sign blinking yellow, yellow, yellow. It says ‘Atomic Flesh Cafe.’ I walk in and sit at the back of the club. There is a man there, near the back. I feel watching me but I do not look at him. I light a cigarette. That is when the music begins, people start dancing and rip their flesh off." 3.5 out of 5 http://silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/2012/09/atomic/

Special Rewards - Emma Lydia Bates

Good interview. 3 out of 5

Tales from the Brass Bikini: Feminist Sword and Sorcery - Paula R. Stiles

"Decades before the tough, gun-toting vampire hunters with their sassy tats, navel-rings, and strange attractions to undead sexual partners from the other side of the fence, Sword and Sorcery (excuse me - "Heroic Fantasy," we're calling it, now) was the unapologetic ghetto of feminist fantasy. These heroines, who did not care one hoot whether they were drawn like men with tits or not, were powerful sorceresses, cold-blooded mercenaries with magical and Freudian blades, lusty queens, even lustier pirate captains, and female Conans who wore almost nothing into battle. If you wanted your feminism with a hefty dose of mindless, bloody action, S&S was your first stop. As a young tomboy growing up in the 70s and 80s, I ate it all up with a bronze dagger. Unsurprisingly, this subgenre is a morass of bad attitudes. Some of them have been progressive; Sword and Sorcery is one of the first genres to present lesbians as perfectly acceptable protagonists. Some of them have been anything but: rape, and its frequent use as an origin story for heroines, being an especially troubling subject. Plus, the many ugly tropes that women writers of the 70s brought to the subgenre from Romance appeared in their very writing styles. Too often, the authors spent more time on describing their characters' clothing and ornaments, or the (not always male) love interest's pretty hair, than on action or world-building." 4.5 out of 5 http://broaduniverse.org/broadsheet-archive/tales-from-the-brass-bikini-feminist-sword-and-sorcery-november-2011-bs-r

Six Sought Adventure: A Half-Dozen Swords And Sorcery Short Stories Worth Your Summer Reading Time - Brian Murphy

"If you are new to the heroic fantasy/swords and sorcery genres, the following six stories are fine stepping stones for further exploration, at least in my opinion. I’ve deliberately chosen stories written by authors not named Howard or Leiber; REH and Fritz are the best these genres have ever produced but there’s already plenty of ink spilled about them. I obviously have nothing but praise for “Worms of the Earth” or “Bazaar of the Bizarre” but I’m sure most of Black Gate’s readers have very likely already read these stories, so I present these six instead." 4.5 out of 5 http://www.blackgate.com/2012/07/19/six-sought-adventure-a-half-dozen-swords-and-sorcery-short-stories-worth-your-summer-reading-time/

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars Part 6: The Master Mind of Mars - Ryan Harvey

"Burroughs wrote The Master Mind of Mars (originally under the less thrilling titles A Weird Adventure on Mars and Vad Varo of Barsoom) in mid-1925, but his usual markets didn’t pick it up. (Wikipedia, in a [citation needed] moment, speculates this may have something to do with “its satirical treatment of religious fundamentalists.” That seems unlikely, as the book is light on the religious criticism compared to the instant-selling The Gods of Mars, where searing attacks on religion are the center of the plot.) ERB finally sold the book to Hugo Gernsback, inventor of the term “science fiction,” pioneer of magazine SF, and notorious cheapskate, who paid $1,250 for the novel — much less than what the author got from his usual markets. Gernsback made Burroughs’s newest Martian adventure the lead story for his Amazing Stories Annual, an extension of what was at the time the only science-fiction pulp. Burroughs made sense as a circulation-booster, since he helped create magazine SF fourteen years before the first pulp dedicated to it appeared on the stands." 4 out of 5 http://www.blackgate.com/2012/07/03/edgar-rice-burroughs-mars-part-6-the-master-mind-of-mars/

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars Part 9: Synthetic Men of Mars - Ryan Harvey

"Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote Synthetic Men of Mars in 1938, soon after Carson of Venus and a potboiler Tarzan adventure, Tarzan and the Forbidden City, and right before the dreadful Pellucidar installment Land of Terror. This wasn’t one of ERB’s stellar periods — and was aware of it. Even though Tarzan was a success on film and in newspaper strips, Tarzan’s creator struggled for the first time to get his new stories sold. Every magazine turned down Land of Terror and the novel had to skip serial appearance and go straight to self-publication. Burroughs’s numerous attempts to sell non-Tarzan projects to Hollywood went nowhere. And although Synthetic Men of Mars sold to Argosy, a top magazine, Burroughs received only $1,200 for it, half of what the publisher paid for Carson of Venus and a seventh what he received for A Fighting Man of Mars eight years earlier. ERB’s gloomy attitude toward his work had disturbing real-world correlations." 4 out of 5 http://www.blackgate.com/2012/09/05/edgar-rice-burroughs%E2%80%99s-mars-part-9-synthetic-men-of-mars/

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Good Things In Life - H. H. Loyche

Wobbly bike hostage. 3.5 out of 5 http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/tuesday-fiction-the-good-things-in-life-by-h-h-loyche/

Earthrise - Lavie Tidhar

Sandoval, Lunar mind thief. 3.5 out of 5 http://redstonesciencefiction.com/2012/09/earthrise/

Earthrise - Lavie Tidhar

Sandoval, Lunar mind thief. 3.5 out of 5 http://redstonesciencefiction.com/2012/09/earthrise/

Drawn to Science Fiction - Neal Asher

"I have a memory, from some point soon after when I was about eleven or twelve – I can locate it there because we were at the third family house I lived in, my brother Martin had left home, and the memory concerns the house he had moved to. I was searching though a box of books in his bedroom. These were mostly Louis L’Amour cowboy books, though whether I was reading them at the time I can’t be sure. Amidst them I found this weird paperback with a green four-armed figure mounted on the back of some strange buffalo-type creature, and I remember being fascinated by it and wanting to read it at once. But was this copy of Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs the book that set me on the path I’m still treading?" 3 out of 5 http://torbooks.co.uk/2012/08/28/drawn-to-science-fiction/

The Orthogonal Universe - Greg Egan

"What would it be like to live in a universe with four dimensions that were all essentially the same? The universe we inhabit has three dimensions of space and one of time, and though relativity has taught us that there is no absolute notion of time that is shared by everyone, the whole variety of directions in space-time that different people might call “the future” is entirely separate from the set of directions that different people might call “north”. What would be the outcome if that distinction were erased, and there were four dimensions that were all as much alike as “north” and “east”? Such a universe is the setting for a trilogy of novels that I’m writing, with the overall title of Orthogonal. The first volume, The Clockwork Rocket, was published in 2011; the second, The Eternal Flame, has just been released by Night Shade books in the US, and will be out from Gollancz in the UK in October. Since time as such is absent from the Orthogonal universe, a first guess might be that it would resemble a snapshot of the world we see around us at a single moment, albeit a snapshot with four dimensions of space rather than three. Worse, it would be a snapshot with no backstory: no sequence of prior events to organize and enrich the subjects caught in the flash. It would consist of nothing but scattered, isolated objects with no history or duration." 4.5 out of 5 http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/guest-post-orthogonal-universe-by-greg.html

Interview: Playing Dredd Comics and More - Karl Urban

"Is there anything in particular, if there were to be a sequel, you'd like to see covered? Any particular storylines or characters that you're a fan of? Sure, absolutely. I always like in Bond films how they start the film with the end of the last caper, or the last adventure – you know, the Indiana Jones films did the same, too. So there'd be a wonderful opportunity to maybe do something like the story of Raider [a classic early 90s Garth Ennis story], which is quite a condensed story about a former Judge who turns into a vigilante – you could do something like that as a vignette at the beginning of the next film, or even expand it into a full film. There's enough there in its own right. And I definitely would love to see the Dark Judges – that would have to be the go-to for the next story, I would have thought." 4 out of 5 http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/dredd/22534/karl-urban-interview-playing-dredd-comics-and-more