Saturday, January 31, 2009

Conquering Swords

Ha! Jonathan and I are being tracked. I am tempted to drop another hint, but it's late so I better nix that impulse.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Batman: Year 100

Of all the Batman graphic novels I've read recently, my favorite to date is Paul Pope's Batman: Year 100.Really interesting, really beautiful, and certainly something that's given me a lot of food for thought. The graphic novel is set in 2039 - exactly 100 years after the original appearance of the Dark-knight Detective in “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” published in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939. A fact which has some significance with the storyline here. See what I have to say about it here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Library

Because folks have asked...

G-Men in Two Year's Best, SF & Mystery

Just got the very exciting news from Kristine Kathryn Rusch that her story, "G-Men," which I was privileged to publish in Sideways In Crime,has been selected by Otto Penzler and Jeffrey Deaver to be in The Best American Mystery Stories 2009. So the novella will be in both Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: 26th Annual Collection *and* The Best American Mysteries. Congratulations, Kris! How cool is that?

Incidentally, Gardner's anthology will also have "An Eligible Boy" by Ian McDonald and "The Gambler" by Paolo Bacigalupi, both from my other anthology of 2008, the (ahem) PKD-nominated Fast Forward 2.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

WJS: The Triumph of the Readers

Need some good news? Here's a piece in the Wall Street Journal that points out the NEA finding that for the first time in 25 years, reading is up, and it's up among 18-24 year olds, "the ones who seem to have been born with iPod buds stuck in their ears. They've recently taken the biggest bump up in readership after years of the most significant decline."

Author Ann Patchett makes some good points, my favorite among them:

"I'm all for reading bad books because I consider them to be a gateway drug. People who read bad books now may or may not read better books in the future. People who read nothing now will read nothing in the future."


"If someone gave you a device with which you could see entire worlds just by holding it in front of your eyes, worlds of such beauty and complexity that they took your breath away, worlds of suffering and redemption, love and suspense and enlightenment, all of them there for the taking, wouldn't you want to show this device to everyone you knew?"

Hell, yes!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brian Azzarello's Lex Luthor

Really proud of this one. My review of Brian Azzarello's Lex Luthor: Man of Steel. I've always had an affinity with Lex Luthor (can you guess why?), and to see him done right is such a pleasure.

As to the comic itself, it is certainly my favorite Superman story to date, and may eventually emerge as one of my favorite graphic novel reads.

Thinking Man's Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes lists Ten Sci-Fi Flicks for the Thinking Man. If we can substitute the Soderbergh for the Tarkovsky, then I've seen and enjoyed all ten.

They are:
Planet of the Apes
Dark City
Children of Men
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Blade Runner
2001: A Space Odyssey
Sadly, I bet you The Matrix would have made this list if they'd only stopped with the one. But my question to Rotten Tomatoes is, what about the Thinking Woman? Come on...

Monday, January 12, 2009

FF2 up for the PKD: 2008 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced

Fast Forward 2has just been shortlisted for the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award, with the result that I can barely type let alone think. So in lieu of being eloquent, here's the press release:
The judges of the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, are pleased to announce six nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award:

EMISSARIES FROM THE DEAD by Adam-Troy Castro (Eos Books)
ENDGAME by Kristine Smith (Eos Books)
FAST FORWARD 2 edited by Lou Anders (Pyr)
JUDGE by Karen Traviss (Eos Books)
TERMINAL MIND by David Walton (Meadowhawk Press)
TIME MACHINES REPAIRED WHILE-U-WAIT by K. A. Bedford (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing)

First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, April 10, 2009 at Norwescon 32 at the Doubletree Seattle Airport Hotel, SeaTac, Washington.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. Last year’s winner was NOVA SWING by M. John Harrison (Bantam Spectra) with a special citation to FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF DR. BRAIN by Minister Faust (Del Rey). The 2008 judges are Tobias Buckell, M. M. Buckner (chair), Walter Hunt, Rosemary Kirstein, and William Senior.

For more information, contact the award administration:

David G. Hartwell (914) 769-5545.

Gordon Van Gelder (201) 876-2551

For more information about the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society,

Contact Gary Feldbaum (215) 563-2511

For more information about the Philip K. Dick Trust:

For more information about Norwescon:

Contact NorthWest SF Society: (360) 438-0871
Congrats to all the nominees, and a special shout of gratitude to everyone who contributed to Fast Forward 2!

Update 1/14/09: Kristine Smith's Endgame is apparently ineligible. It has been removed from the list, and replaced with my friend Jeff Carlson's Plague War. Congratulations Jeff! 

Podcast: Yours Truly in Agony

I'm up on Rick Kleffel's Agony Column podcast talking about what Rick calls "The New Fantasy," and covering works by Joe Abercrombie, Tom Lloyd, Joel Shepherd, James Enge, Justina Robson, Mark Chadbourn, Matthew Sturges, Chris Roberson and others. We even discuss Doctor Who's latest casting announcement and the effect Obama may have on genre fiction. Here's the direct link, and the show is available via iTunes as well (it's episode 555).

Rick writes:

"What's darker, grittier and sells better than expected in days such as these which are already dark and gritty enough without the help of excellent fantasy writers? Well, it's what I'm going to call for want of a better term, The New Fantasy, and since Lou Anders of Pyr Books is publishing a boatload of it in the upcoming months, I thought I'd give him a call. Lou Anders is a lucky guy. His job is to read a bunch of great fiction and then publish it, and as it happens — or at least as he observes and I concur — fiction does well during recessions. So what's going to happen to the fiction market during a full-blown, we're-wearin'-barrels Depression? Looks like it's boom times for genre fiction. Lou and I explored The New Fantasy and talked about Pyr's and other publishers current and upcoming titles."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

For Your Consideration: Books I Edited in 2008

Yes, it's that time again. This year, I am eligible for both the Long Form and Short Form Best Editor categories, and there are several eligible novels out from Pyr as well. And so, for your award-nominating convenience, here are all the books for which I served as editor in 2008 at Pyr. Novels that debuted in 2008 are in BOLD.
  • John Meaney - Resolution: Book Three of the Nulapeiron Sequence
  • Kay Kenyon - Bright of the Sky: Book One of the Entire and the Rose
  • Kay Kenyon - A World Too Near: Book Two of the Entire and the Rose
  • Joe Abercrombie - Before They Are Hanged: The First Law Book Two
  • Theodore Judson - The Martian General's Daughter
  • Sean Williams - The Crooked Letter: Books of the Cataclysm One
  • Alan Dean Foster - Sagramanda
  • Robert Silverberg - Son of Man (reprint)
  • David Louis Edelman - MultiReal: Volume III of the Jump 225 trilogy
  • Mike Resnick - Stalking the Unicorn (reprint)
  • Mike Resnick - Stalking the Vampire
  • Joe Abercrombie - Last Argument of Kings: The First Law Book Three
  • Justina Robson - Going Under: Quantum Gravity Book Three
  • Tom Lloyd - The Stormcaller: Book One of the Twilight Reign
  • Lou Anders,ed. - Fast Forward 2 (anthology)
  • Sean Williams - The Blood Debt: Books of the Cataclysm Two
  • Mike Resnick - Starship: Rebel
Very proud of all these books and authors, quite a few of which are showing up on the various Best of 2008 lists online. And I'm very pleased as well that quite a few entries from Fast Forward 2 are showing up in the various Year's Bests' table of contents. And though it wasn't Pyr, the other anthology I edited in 2008 was the alternate history mystery, Sideways In Crime, and very proud of it too I am.

Onward to 2009!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Saturday, January 03, 2009

State of the Nation: Yours Truly in DeathRay

I've got a piece on the the state of American science fiction literature and cinema in the Winter 2008 issue of DeathRay magazine, which I know is at least on shelves in the US in Barnes & Nobles now. Also in the issue is a short story from and interview with Mike Resnick, as well as a profile of Peter Beagle and a piece on Marie Brennan (Midnight Never Come). There's also a two-page shout out of support for the major short fiction magazines. As ever, I continue to be impressed with the amount of pages DeathRay devotes to coverage of the literature of SF&F. Check it out.

Brian Azzarello's Joker

I review Brian Azzarello's Joker for

I enjoyed Joker very much, but it misses the mark in a crucial way.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Annual SF Site Readers' Choice

It's time again for SFSite's Annual SF Site Readers' Choice: Best Read of 2008, where you can vote for your favorite books of the past year. Deadline for voting is February 6, 2009, midnight Eastern Standard Time. Rules and guidelines at the link. May the best books win!

Quote of the Day

Found this in an old file of odds and ends, dated June 13, 2001. Not sure of the source.

"We're living in an age of chaos and fragmentation, and we should grab it positively and not be scared of it and not see it as the destruction of a society, but the material from which we rebuild a society. It is discomforting to see people sorting through the wreckage and trying to pull out absolutes again. That's really troubling. It just becomes so intolerant, and that's not what we want. That's not what we want, is it?" --David Bowie

The Big Bounce

A piece in the New Scientist, via James Enge, the universe, if it collapses, may not crunch. It may bounce.

For some reason, this makes me really happy.