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February 2012 Archives

Clarke Conversation, by Niall Harrison (02/29/12)
Following up on Monday's post, some other thoughts on this year's possible Clarke shortlist: Ian Sales thinks it will be a year for the literary contenders; David Hebblethwaite is disappointed by the absence of most of the year's mainstream-published sf...
Writing About Writing About Climate Change, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (02/28/12)
Mark Charan Newton picks up on this week's issue, and in particular my post yesterday about ecocriticism of sf, and asks a couple of important questions. First of all: I wondered if there was little criticism because there simply isn’t...
That Time Of Year Again, by Niall Harrison (02/28/12)
Time, that is, for the Vida Count for 2011; it doesn't look like much has changed. I am (slowly) working on the 2011 SF Count (with some help, although more volunteers would not be unwelcome)....
Strange Horizons, w/c 20th January, by Rachel Monte (02/28/12)
In this week's issue, we had: A short story by Brooke Bolander, "Tornado's Siren""Hyphenated American", a poem by Nima KianAnd reviews of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, by Chris Kammerud, Adam Christopher's Empire State, by Indrapramit Das, and Jaine Fenn's...
Writing About Writing About Climate Change, by Niall Harrison (02/27/12)
As mentioned in the previous post, this week we have some discussion of writing climate change fiction; and if, as Vandana Singh says in her final comment, it is "increasingly important to write about climate change as passionately and creatively...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (02/27/12)
In this week's issue, we have a climate change focus, with Vandana Singh's report from the Durban climate conference, and a round table on writing climate change with Julie Bertagna, Tobias Buckell, Maggie Gee, Glenda Larke, Kim Stanley Robinson, Vandana...
2012 Arthur C Clarke Award Submissions, by Niall Harrison (02/27/12)
As has become traditional, the Arthur C Clarke Award has published the full list of works submitted for consideration by publishers, and are running a competition to guess the shortlist (winner to receive the six novels in question). The metric...
Subverting or Subjugated?, by Niall Harrison (02/24/12)
Lavie Tidhar continues his series of posts on contemporary sf writers with a look at China Mieville's Embassytown: What disappoints me – that vague sense of unease at the back of my neck, whispering as I read – is that...
The World Is Bare, by Niall Harrison (02/24/12)
Kit Whitfield on the first sentence of Nineteen Eighty-Four: With another writer, one might say the language was deceptively simple. With Orwell, the language is vehemently simple, ideologically simple, a declaration of war against obfuscation and half-truth. Language and speech...
Goodbye to Howard, by Niall Harrison (02/24/12)
At Ferretbrain, Arthur has a truly epic (by which I mean "longer than 20,000 words") look at the Conan stories. His conclusion: Do I sometimes find my blood racing when I read the Conan stories? Of course I do. But...
Karen Burnham Recommends, by Niall Harrison (02/23/12)
Specifically, she recommends Gary K. Wolfe's essay collection Evaporating Genres for the Hugo Best Related Book category: I didn't review Evaporating Genres when I read it, because I read it while on maternity leave and finding time to write, much...
Personhood in Ponyland, by Niall Harrison (02/23/12)
Aishwarya Subramanian considers the role of race and language in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: My Little Pony does quite a bit of playing around with language, as is evident from the episode titles, the flood of horse-puns and...
Con or Bust Reminder, by Niall Harrison (02/23/12)
The Con or Bust auctions continue until this Sunday (26 February); a reminder of the background here, and feel free to bid for our bundles of young adult novels, epic fantasy novels, and short story collections....
The SF of Smugness, by Niall Harrison (02/22/12)
Jonathan McCalmont examines Tim Maughn's story-cycle Paintwork, and reconsiders the history of cyberpunk: As in Phase 1 novels, the protagonists of Phase 2 novels such as Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother (2008), William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition (2003) and Spook Country (2007)...
Nebula Awards Nominees, by Niall Harrison (02/22/12)
As you have no doubt seen elsewhere by now, this year's Nebula Awards nominees have been announced -- congratulations to everyone on the ballot! When I was making my awards predictions at the start of the year, I punted on...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (02/20/12)
In this week's issue we bring you Brooke Bolander's story, "Tornado's Siren", and Nima Kian's poem, "Hyphenated American"; plus Chris Kammerud's review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and, later in the week, Indrapramit Das on Adam Christopher's debut,...
Strange Horizons, w/c 13th February, by Rachel Monte (02/20/12)
In this week's issue, we had: Genevieve Valentine's Intertitles column, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Sci-Fi: Espionage and the SpeculativeThe second part of Joy Kennedy-O'Neill's short story, "Aftermath" (first part here)"Tongueless", a poem by Mari NessAnd reviews of the third season of...
Readers' Poll Final Reminder, by Niall Harrison (02/19/12)
Our 2011 Readers' Poll closes at the end of the day (PST) -- but there's still time to cast your ballot here....
Something For The Weekend, by Niall Harrison (02/17/12)
A long essay by Joel Burges at Post45 on "Loving Mieville's Sentences": From the first to the final novel of the Bas-Lag trilogy, style modernizes and contemporizes in moving from omniscience to free indirection. It is as if in the...
When The Lies Fail, by Niall Harrison (02/17/12)
Paul Kincaid writes about suspension of disbelief, and his failure of it in reading Kameron Hurley's God's War. Like some others, although for different reasons, the war was the sticking point: But I found myself asking one simple, fatal question:...
The Wages of Nostalgia, by Niall Harrison (02/17/12)
Benjamin Rosenbaum on reading "a story published a while back in one of the print SF mags" whose real year is 1985, not 2511: When you don't know something, you are innocent of it. Once you do know it, though,...
Fuzzy-Wuzzy, by Niall Harrison (02/16/12)
Dan Hartland gently dissents from the praise of Lavie Tidhar's Osama: This, however, is where the occasional clumsiness of its prose can come also to characterise its wider project. In the novel’s final denouement, which takes place in a blissfully...
Readers' Poll Reminder, by Niall Harrison (02/16/12)
Our 2011 Readers' Poll closes this coming Sunday; cast your ballot here!...
A New Sort of Magazine, by Niall Harrison (02/16/12)
Matt Cheney points out that the Pulp Magazine Project has put the first six issues of Amazing Stories online. There's even paper-rustling sound effect as you flip through the digital pages....
On Hatchets, by Niall Harrison (02/15/12)
Maureen Kincaid Speller considers the outcome of the inaugural Hatchet Job of the Year, and links to a good defense of criticism by the winner, Adam Mars-Jones: Both my parents were lawyers, and you could hold that accident responsible for...
BSFA Short Fiction Discussed, by Niall Harrison (02/15/12)
Martin Lewis has run a short story discussion club for the five works nominated for the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction. There's an index to the posts here, plus Martin's final ballot here, and the individual story threads are:...
Panel Parity, by Niall Harrison (02/15/12)
Paul Cornell has a plan for achieving equality of gender representation on convention panels: If I'm on, at any convention this year, a panel that doesn't have a 50/50 gender split (I'll settle for two out of five), I'll hop...
Jason Sanford Recommends, by Niall Harrison (02/14/12)
Another ballot: this time it's Jason Sanford recommending 2011 novels and short fiction for award nomination....
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (02/14/12)
With apologies for the delay: in this week's issue we have the second part of Joy Kennedy-O'Neill's "Aftermath" (read part one here), plus Mari Ness' poem "Tongueless" and Genevieve Valentine's latest Intertitles, looking at Tinker Tailor Soldier Sci-Fi". Guria King...
Strange Horizons, w/c 6th February, by Rachel Monte (02/13/12)
In this week's issue, we had: The first part of Joy Kennedy-O'Neill's short story, "Aftermath""Tesla's Waltz", a poem by WC RobertsAnd reviews of Elspeth Cooper's Songs of the Earth, by Marina Berlin, Ali Shaw's The Man Who Rained, by Nina...
Con or Bust 2012, by Niall Harrison (02/09/12)
Kate Nepveu has announced this year's Con or Bust auction: I am pleased to announce this year's auction to support Con or Bust, which helps fans of color/non-white fans attend SFF conventions. Bidding starts Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 12:01...
Jeff VanderMeer Recommends, by Niall Harrison (02/08/12)
Jeff VanderMeer's books of 2011, at Locus online. Given that it includes God's War, The Sacred Band, Osama and Mr Fox, even I have no quibbles....
Rachel Swirsky Recommends, by Niall Harrison (02/08/12)
Model awards voter Rachel Swirsky has posted her lists of recommended short stories, novelettes and novellas from 2011, with discussion of each. Nothing from Strange Horizons this year, but lots of good reading from elsewhere....
What I Did At The Weekend, by Niall Harrison (02/07/12)
I spent the weekend just gone at the Pontins holiday camp in Prestatyn, North Wales, for the third SFX Weekender. This is an odd, hybrid event, approaching the size of a Worldcon but with only two streams of programme: literary/thematic...
New Vector, by Niall Harrison (02/07/12)
The latest issue of Vector is out, and it's partly a women-in-sf issue featuring pieces by Cheryl Morgan (on women writing sf in general), Tony Keen (on Justina Robson) and me (on the Exodus trilogy by Julie Bertagna). See also...
The Judgment of the Tiny Medievalists, by Niall Harrison (02/06/12)
Catherynne Valente attempts to explain King Arthur to a five-year-old: Me: *thinks of awesome thing to interest child in England* And also that’s where King Arthur lived! *does mental TA DA* Serenity: Who’s King Arthur? And three things happen. I...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (02/06/12)
In this week's issue we have for you the first part of Joy Kennedy-O'Neill's story "Aftermath", W. C. Roberts' poem "Tesla's Waltz", plus reviews of Chronicle, Ali Shaw's The Man Who Rained and, first of all, Marina Berlin's take on...
Strange Horizons, w/c 30th January, by Rachel Monte (02/05/12)
In this week's issue we had: John Clute's column, "Scores""The Chastisement of Your Peace", a short story by Tracy Canfield"Ariel", a poem by Erik AmundsenAnd reviews of Vernor Vinge's The Children of the Sky, by Andy Sawyer, Hari Kunzru's Gods...
Teaching Soulless, by Niall Harrison (02/03/12)
The Steampunk Scholar reflects on teaching Gail Carriger's novel: Ultimately, the majority of students thoroughly enjoyed the experience of comparing and contrasting Dracula and Soulless. There was one particularly outspoken naysayer, but he admitted disliking the text because Alexia reminded...
The Sins of the Travel Writer, by Niall Harrison (02/03/12)
Rushthatspeaks has a superb write-up of Jan Morris' Last Letters From Hav: 'Jan Morris' has, in this book, in her exquisitely careful sendup of exactly how not to deal with the aftermath of WWII, given the most beautiful demonstration I...
The Awards Race Continues, by Niall Harrison (02/02/12)
Martin Lewis handicaps the Best Novel shortlists for the BSFA and the Kitschies. Nicholas Whyte compares the Amazon, Goodreads and Librarything rankings of the BSFA Novel nominees....
Revisiting Stories, by Niall Harrison (02/01/12)
A couple of SH authors, revisiting stories first published in these pages: Hal Duncan reads his story, "Styx Water and a Sippy Cup." Grady Hendrix regrets his story, "The Bright and Shining Parasites of Guiyu": I wrote “Guiyu” in English...
Time Still Wrinkled, by Niall Harrison (02/01/12)
In the New York Times, Pamela Paul revisits Madeleine L'Engle's classic and considers how it helped to break ground: In 1962, when “A Wrinkle in Time,” after 26 rejections, was acquired by John Farrar at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, science...