Félix J. Palma writes a rich Victorian England and an exuberantly inventive future, and the giants of genre fiction's past grace his pages as allusions, inspirations, and even viewpoint characters. All of this promise is, however, rather let down by Palma's fondness for yanking the rug out from under the reader and by his horrific treatment of gender.
Adam Christopher's second novel would have been a much better book if it had managed to draw a unifying thematic thread or two through its dizzyingly frenetic scenes and multiparous events. Like a Hollywood blockbuster, it glitters with excitement, and—like most Hollywood blockbusters—it proves itself ultimately superficial.
Based on the novel by British author Dennis Feltham, Colossus: The Forbin Project is a cautionary tale about what happens when people build bigger, better mousetraps (well, somebody's got to be the mouse).
This week, we had:
“The Fourth Exam“, a short story by Dorothy Yarros
Ann K. Schwader’s poem, “Cave Bear Dreams“
And reviews of Madeline Ashby’s vN, by Marina Berlin, and Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer, by Matt Hilliard
On the blog, Niall discusses Paul Kincaid’s essay exploring his dissatisfaction with several of last year’s Year’s Best short fiction volumes.
I imagine many of you have by now seen Paul Kincaid’s essay “The Widening Gyre“, exploring his dissatisfaction with several of last year’s Year’s Best short fiction volumes; it’s been a topic of discussion on the Coode Street podcast for the last two weeks, and inspired discussion to the effect that you shouldn’t really expect the words Year’s Best in a title to actually mean the year’s best, pace Cheryl Morgan here.
The core of Paul’s argument, though, goes to the fiction itself, that “the genres of the fantastic themselves have reached a state of exhaustion” and that science fiction in particular has “lost confidence that the future can be comprehended.” The second of the two Coode Street podcasts linked above is particularly interesting for the discussion of those words, “exhaustion” and “confidence”, what they imply and Paul’s work-in-progress attempts to articulate how he is experiencing recent sf.
But one that I’ll snap up, come next February:
Jurassic London are pleased to announce Speculative Fiction 2012: The Year’s Best Online Reviews & Commentary, capturing the best of 2012’s blogs, websites and other digital publications.
With the online reviewing community larger than ever before, Speculative Fiction aims to both capture and celebrate the best in genre non-fiction: the top book reviews, criticism and essays of the year.
This is almost a book I’ve wanted for years. The book I want would be a full yearbook for sf’s conversations about itself, and therefore draw from all venues, professional and non-professional, digital and print; so I think it’s a shame that this volume is limited to digital non-professional from that point of view.
Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, and art. For more information, see our about page. All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.