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March 2012 Archives

Dereliction of Duty, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (03/30/12)
Or "reax", as I believe the cool kids say. I'm currently on holiday in Italy with this view, so I'm trying not to spend too much time online and have probably missed some; but here's some of the discussion following...
Panel Parity, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (03/29/12)
Remember Paul Cornell's big idea? Mike Glyer surveyed some conrunners, who engage in plenty of hand-wringing. Here's Steven Silver: If Paul were to attend a convention where I was running programming, I would most likely treat his request the same...
The Climate Games, by Niall Harrison (03/29/12)
In addition to the links Abigail rounded up earlier, the release of The Hunger Games has occasioned many an article (or graph) on the general topic of the current vogue for YA dystopias; Torie Bosch's essay at Slate caught my...
The Hunger Links, by Abigail Nussbaum (03/29/12)
The movie version of The Hunger Games has been in theaters for a week now, after a blockbusting opening weekend and generally positive reception from critics (85% freshness rating at Rotten Tomatoes) and fans of the book alike. It's also...
A Clarke For Fantasy?, by Niall Harrison (03/28/12)
I know, I know ... the last thing our field needs is new awards, right? At the same time, in the UK, there's a bit of a gap. The British Science Fiction Award is nominally for either fantasy or sf,...
The Poetry of Joanna Russ, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (03/28/12)
The latest issue of Stone Telling has a queer focus, with work by Sonya Taaffe, Amal El-Mohtar, Adrienne J. Odasso and others, plus a roundtable moderated by Julia Rios, plus the second part of Brit Mandelo's examination of Joanna Russ's...
Dereliction of Duty, by Niall Harrison (03/28/12)
Bumped up from the comments, Christopher Priest is not happy about this year's Clarke Award shortlist, and has the reading to back it up. After details of the books he thinks should be there (Osama, By Light Alone, Wake Up...
The Clarke Award Shortlist, Reviewed, by Abigail Nussbaum (03/28/12)
The 2012 Clarke shortlist has already engendered a lot of discussion (see Niall's here, and his roundup of other reactions). But what of the nominated books themselves? Here's a look at the critical reception that each has received: Hull Zero...
Best Fan [Insert Your Preference Here], by Niall Harrison (03/28/12)
Mark Plummer's column in last week's issue tackled (among other things) the matter of fanzines and blogs, and wondered how widespread certain sentiments really were. At the File 770 blog, Mike Glyer has a round-up, and questions the debate: Rather,...
Clarke Reactions, by Niall Harrison (03/27/12)
Yesterday's Clarke Award shortlist announcement seems to have generally been greeted with a hearty "hmm." Ian Sales was expecting a more literary shortlist, and detects a slight old-fashionedness about the nominees; Martin Wisse seems to be of similar mind. James...
The Rugged Track at Podcastle, by Niall Harrison (03/27/12)
Some audio enjoyment for your Tuesday: Liz Argall's roller derby fairytale "The Rugged Track", published here last year, has been recorded for Podcastle, read by Tina Connolly....
The 2012 Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlist, by Niall Harrison (03/26/12)
After the speculation, the shortlist: Greg Bear, Hull Zero Three (Gollancz) (review by Finn Dempster) Drew Magary, The End Specialist (Harper Voyager) China Miéville, Embassytown (Macmillan) (review by John Clute) Jane Rogers, The Testament of Jessie Lamb (Sandstone Press) (review...
Strange Horizons, w/c 19th March, by Niall Harrison (03/26/12)
Last week we had: Kate Bachus' story, "Things Greater Than Love" Josh Burson's poem, "The Birds: A Collage in Four Legendary Species" Mark Plummer's latest Paraphernalia column, on "Disclosing the Ancient Mysteries" In reviews, Jesse Bullington's take on When We...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (03/20/12)
This week we have Kate Bachus' story, "Things Greater Than Love"; Josh Burson's poem, "The Birds: A Collage in Four Legendary Species"; Mark Plummer's latest Paraphernalia column, on "Disclosing the Ancient Mysteries"; Jesse Bullington's review of When We Were Executioners...
Strange Horizons, w/c 12th March, by Niall Harrison (03/18/12)
So in this week's issue we had: Cory Skerry's story "My Dignity in Scars" Shweta Narayan's poem "Yajñāḥ / Offering" And reviews of Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon by Liz Bourke, The Secret World of Arrietty by Indrapramit...
An Argument With Democracy, by Niall Harrison (03/16/12)
Wrestling with the politics of Ken MacLeod's new novel, Intrusion, in which a dystopia is illustrated by a woman's resistance to taking a magic pill to pre-emptively fix any genetic defects in her unborn child. Nic Clarke for SFX: As...
Reclaiming Evolution, by Niall Harrison (03/16/12)
Karen Burnham makes a sound point about the "evolution" of literature at the Locus Roundtable: Victorians also liked to picture the natural world as a sort of tree with humanity on top. However, evolution doesn’t work that way. Instead, organisms...
Brunner's Fantasy, by Niall Harrison (03/15/12)
Max Cairnduff considers The Traveller in Black by John Brunner: Brunner gently mocks us. In one story a man of our world, of 1970s Britain, is summoned by unknown means and sent by the Traveller to a city that wished...
Invisible Women, by Niall Harrison (03/15/12)
Aliette de Bodard considers the erasure of women in Sherlock and other contemporary media: Women had a clearly defined place and clearly defined sphere in Victorian society, even though that place was deemed inferior to men. If you were a...
This Book Is Science Fiction, by Niall Harrison (03/14/12)
Adam Roberts interrogates himself on the subject of Greg Egan: Antegan: SF is a metaphorical literature, one that aims to reproduce the world without representing it. It is more akin to poetry than it is to science. Prœgan: I honestly...
Sciencefictional in Seattle, by Niall Harrison (03/14/12)
As noted in the post below, I was away over the weekend; mostly for day-job-related reasons, but I had a couple of days to myself to socialise -- many thanks to Ted Chiang, L. Timmel Duchamp and Nisi Shawl...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (03/14/12)
Apologies for the delayed contents post this week: a case of editor abroad, and then editor jet-lagged. In any case, there was a new issue on Monday as usual, and it included Cory Skerry's story "My Dignity in Scars", Shweta...
Strange Horizons, w/c 5th March, by Rachel Monte (03/12/12)
In this week's issue, we had: Robyn Fleming's Dice and D-Pads column, "Phones With Friends""Nightfall in the Scent Garden", a short story by Claire HumphreyCaitlín R. Kiernan's poem, "Atlantis"And reviews of Stephen Baxter's Bronze Summer, by Finn Dempster, Matt Ruff's...
Tiptree Award, by Niall Harrison (03/09/12)
This year's James Tiptree Jr Award goes to: The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council (www.tiptree.org) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2011 Tiptree Award is Redwood and Wildfire by Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press, 2011). Hairston had...
More Hugo ballots, by Niall Harrison (03/09/12)
This time from Liz Batty, Aidan Moher, and Joe Sherry....
Enjoying the View, by Niall Harrison (03/08/12)
The latest Locus Roundtable discussion looks at the work of Greg Egan: Paul Graham Raven: “Posthuman” implies a transcendence of humanity, certainly, but the whole point of the posthuman as a trope is to reimagine the familiar (namely ourselves) as...
The Exegete, by Niall Harrison (03/08/12)
At the LA Review of Books, Rob Latham on The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick: There are, in fact, numerous ways to find a trail through this wilderness of crazed speculation. At one and the same time, the Exegesis is...
Clarke Conversation, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (03/07/12)
Nina Allan's thoughts on the importance of the Arthur C Clarke Award, and this year's possible shortlist: What matters most about the Clarke is not who wins, but that it acts as a showcase for what is happening in SF...
Unlimited Female Characters, by Niall Harrison (03/07/12)
Rose Lemberg has some thoughts about feminist characters: I want women to dream their literary heroines from a position of strength. Just as we know by now (I hope) that women are not always polite, so we should be able...
Further Adventures in Counting, by Niall Harrison (03/06/12)
Renay at ladybusiness on Dreamwidth has completed a hefty analysis of SF/F coverage on blogs. Her spreadsheet can be found here; you probably http://www.sfsignal.com/">recognise some of the blogs she includes. Here's one of her charts: And some gloss: Are there...
Abigail Nussbaum Recommends, by Niall Harrison (03/06/12)
Less than a week to go until the Hugo nominations deadline (this Sunday), and Abigail Nussbaum has posted her draft Hugo ballot....
Salvage, by Niall Harrison (03/06/12)
Hal Duncan sets himself a challenge: So I've thought for a while that maybe I should turn all that work into some sort of Sentence Writing 101 post for the blog, but of course, I can't exactly use a client's...
Worlds of a Vivid Dreamer, by Niall Harrison (03/05/12)
Graham Sleight's latest Yesterday's Tomorrows column for Locus looks at Samuel R. Delany: But, as I say, Dhalgren is the last book from which one might want to extract a ‘‘lesson’’ or a ‘‘moral.’’ The difficulty of the style is,...
This Week ..., by Niall Harrison (03/05/12)
This week: we have Claire Humphrey's story "Nightfall in the Scent Garden", Caitlin R. Kiernan's poem "Atlantis", and Robyn Fleming's latest Dice and D-pads column on "Phones with Friends"; and reviews kicks off with Finn Dempster's look at Bronze Summer...
Strange Horizons, w/c 27th February, by Niall Harrison (03/04/12)
In our final issue for February, we had: Vandana Singh's Diffractions column on "Sleepwalking Toward Calamity: The 2011 Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa" A round table on writing climate change fiction with Julie Bertagna, Tobias Buckell, Maggie Gee, Glenda...
Finding Climate SF, by Niall Harrison (03/02/12)
Matt Hilliard responds to my own response to Mark Newton's post earlier this week, and offers a more thorough look at the barriers to more widespread climate sf: As always in these genre discussions, there’s a frustrating lack of empirical...
The Wages of Nostalgia, Ctd., by Niall Harrison (03/02/12)
L. Timmel Duchamp responds to Benjamin Rosenbaum's post from the other week about sf engaging (or failing to engage) with our technological present: As I say, I can sympathize with this kind of irritation, because it's akin to the irritation...
Utopia in the Age of Climate Change, by Niall Harrison (03/01/12)
An essay by Kim Stanley Robinson, from a conference held in Australia in 2010: Therefore the main project of all science fiction — that of imagining future histories — is impossible. Imagining a positive history which gets us to a...
Avram Grumer Recommends, by Niall Harrison (03/01/12)
Works to consider for the Best Graphic Story Hugo, at Making Light....