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December 2011 Archives

Spot the Deliberate Mistake, by Niall Harrison (12/31/11)
Cheryl Morgan reviews YA generation starship novel Across the Universe: In fact, if it wasn’t for one fatal passage, I would be wholeheartedly recommending Across the Universe to SF readers. You’d love it, until you got to chapter 63, in...
Reminder: SH500, by Niall Harrison (12/29/11)
As Jed mentioned last week, next Monday, with our first issue of 2012, we'll be publishing our 500th short story. What have your favourites been so far? In the comments to Jed's post, people have mentioned Amal El-Mohtar's "And Their...
Reading Egan, by Niall Harrison (12/29/11)
Gareth Rees takes on that perennial question, how to judge Greg Egan's fiction: Judged by the standards of the literary novel, Egan’s works fall far short: his prose is dry and impersonal; his characters carry out their function in the...
Have Spacesuit ..., by Niall Harrison (12/28/11)
At the LA Review of Books, Rosten Woo reviews Nicholas de Monchaux's Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, a "material history" of the suit: The narrative heart of Spacesuit is the story of Playtex, the women’s undergarment manufacturer. The company, known at the...
The Art of The Freedom Maze, by Niall Harrison (12/28/11)
An interesting post at Fantasy Matters dissects the cover of Delia Sherman's new novel, The Freedom Maze: The posture of the girl in the foreground is worth a look. She doesn’t seem like she’s in hot pursuit of the girl...
Planesrunner, by Niall Harrison (12/27/11)
Over at the Intergalactic Academy, Phoebe has some reservations about Ian McDonald's Planesrunner: But the more pressing problem was with Everett himself. He never congealed for me into a believable fourteen-year-old boy. First, his emotional responses were all muted. While...
Year's Best, Ctd, by Niall Harrison (12/27/11)
Further to last week's summary, some more best-short-sf-of-the-year lists from Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth: Sarah Lee Parker Ian Mond Tansy Rayner Roberts Alisa Krasnostein Some familiar stories there from last week's list, plenty of...
The International Fantastic, by Niall Harrison (12/27/11)
Words Without Borders, "the online magazine for international literature", is focusing on the fantastic in its December issue. In this month's main feature we travel into the realm of the fantastic, where routine situations turn surreal and the otherworldly becomes...
Strange Horizons, w/c 19th December, by Niall Harrison (12/26/11)
Time for a recap of our final issue of 2011, which featured: The second part of Jennifer Mason-Black's story, "Ash and Dust"; the first part can be found here Robert Frazier's poem "Imagegeography" Genevieve Valentine's latest Intertitles column, looking at...
Boxing Day Reading, by Niall Harrison (12/26/11)
As promised, some thoughts on Joan Slonczewski's The Highest Frontier as a complete work. What strikes me about it is how close it comes to being a novel that I would dislike intensely. It takes place exclusively within an enclave...
Apocalypse, by Niall Harrison (12/24/11)
Andrew M. Butler on the art of John Martin, currently the focus of an exhibition at the Tate Britain (with a tie-in anthology of speculative stories): It was apparently a journey through the industrialised Black Country which pointed him to...
Technology and War, by Niall Harrison (12/23/11)
Two discussions of how changes in the level of technology might alter the course of a war. First, Jaymee Goh, as part of a long post about Scott Westerfeld's Behemoth series, in which World War I happens with more brutal...
Tracking: The WFA and Lovecraft's Racism, by Niall Harrison (12/23/11)
In case anyone hasn't already seen it, an important post by Nnedi Okorafor, on the design of the WFA trophy: This is something people of color, women, minorities must deal with more than most when striving to be the greatest...
The Poetry of Joanna Russ, by Niall Harrison (12/22/11)
The new issue of Stone Telling is a science fiction poetry special issue; there are poems by, among others, CSE Cooney, Sofia Samatar and Maria Velazquez, a round table in which various of the contributors discuss women and science, and...
New Zines, by Niall Harrison (12/21/11)
Two new zines of interest announced in the last couple of weeks. First up is Ad Astra, supported by the University of Kansas and the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, which will publish articles, reviews, poetry and short...
Reamde, by Niall Harrison (12/21/11)
Over at Asking The Wrong Questions, Abigail has a long, thorough look at Neal Stephenson's latest novel: Which brings us back to that supposedly heartwarming climax in which British spies, Chinese hackers, and American survivalists band together to thwart a...
Cascadia Subduction Zone, by Niall Harrison (12/21/11)
Your quarterly reminder that there's a new issue of the Cascadia Subduction Zone available: Essays Ishmael in Love: Anne Finger and the Reclamation of Disability by Josh Lukin My Muse by Mary Meriam Poem History Lesson by Anne Sheldon Grandmother...
Year's Best, by Niall Harrison (12/19/11)
'Tis the season for the announcement of Year's Best short fiction tables of contents (and for all manner of other best-of-the-year lists, but let's ignore those for now). Over the past few weeks we've had the contents for Jonathan Strahan's...
Strange Horizons, w/c 12th December, by Rachel Monte (12/19/11)
This week we had: The third installment of Vandana Singh's column, "Diffractions: Science, Emotions, and Culture" (read part one and part two) The first part of Jennifer Mason-Black's short story, "Ash and Dust" "Wendy Darling Has Bad Dreams", a poem...
Sunday Reading, by Niall Harrison (12/18/11)
I haven't finished The Highest Frontier yet, and don't want to say too much more about it until I do; so this week, a brief and inadequate note about a book I read before I started blogging my reading here....
What are your favorite Strange Horizons stories?, by Jed Hartman (12/12/11)
On January 2, 2012, we're going to publish our 500th original piece of fiction. We thought it would be fun, in honor of that impending milestone, to ask y'all to tell us about your favorite SH stories. If you need...
Strange Horizons, w/c 5th December, by Rachel Monte (12/11/11)
This week's issue had: Aliya Whiteley's short story, "Penelope Napolitano and the Butterflies" "The Theater for Cloud Repair", a poem by Sandra J. Lindgow And reviews of In Time, by Raz Greenberg, Charles Stross's Rule 34, by Alexandra Pierce, and...
Sunday Reading, by Niall Harrison (12/11/11)
Following on from last week's post, I've finished Justina Robson's Down to the Bone, which I'd say wraps up Quantum Gravity quite nicely on a thematic level, but feels a little artificial on the narrative level. Some artifice is clearly...
Sunday Reading, by Niall Harrison (12/04/11)
This is not an original observation, but as a field we're not very good at providing sustained critical readings of book series. Discounting the mega-sellers like George RR Martin, it's fairly common for volume one to receive more coverage than...
Strange Horizons, w/c 28th November, by Rachel Monte (12/04/11)
In this week's issue: "Watching the Watches", Nicholas Seeley interviews Sergei Lukyanenko Greg Leunig's poem, "Love in the Quantum Era" And reviews of Robert E. Howard's Conan's Brethren and Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, by William Mingin, Another Earth,...