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Posts tagged genre fiction

Want to know how to talk to aliens? Start here
July 11, 2014 | 6:14 pm

One of the more interesting free new ebooks to come my way in recent weeks arrived today in the shape of a multi-format multi-contributor offering from NASA entitled: Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication. Edited by Douglas A. Vakoch, this volume brings perspectives from the soft sciences and  humanities to the issue of communicating with alien intelligences - should E.T. ever decide to place a collect call. According to the NASA blurb: Addressing a field that has been dominated by astronomers, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists, the contributors to this collection raise questions that may have been overlooked by physical scientists about the...

Book review: Nameless, by Mercedes M. Yardley, Ragnarok Publications
July 9, 2014 | 4:25 pm

The very wonderful and much anthologized Mercedes Murdock Yardley raises beautiful children, rides two-wheeled vehicles that would send staider traffic fleeing from most public highways, and writes fabulous horror and supernatural stories and dark fiction. [easyazon-link asin="B00HWLX6RO" locale="us"]Nameless: The Darkness Comes[/easyazon-link] is her first full-length novel, as well as the first volume of The Bone Angel Trilogy. So, dear reader, I guess you've already guessed that this is going to be a positive review. Damn right it is. Luna Masterson, biker-esque chick heroine of the tale, has been seeing demons since she has small. (Why she has been seeing them is one of the...

Book review: North American Lake Monsters, by Nathan Ballingrud, Small Beer Press
July 2, 2014 | 2:30 pm

Nathan Ballingrud's North American Lake Monsters, from the feisty independent Small Beer Press, has quietly established itself as one of the high points in the new resurgence of American horror and dark fiction, the kind of book that other writers in the genre benchmark themselves against. The nine stories in this collection range from Lovecraftian through vampire and werewolf stories to far less classifiable creations, like those in "The Monsters of Heaven" (winner of the inaugural Shirley Jackson Award for Best Short Story) or the title story itself, which is available online in full here, courtesy of Weird Fiction Review....

Book review: Dark Entries, by Robert Aickman, Faber & Faber
June 28, 2014 | 12:55 pm

As noted previously, Faber & Faber is re-releasing some of Robert Aickman's short story collections for the centenary of his birth, and Dark Entries is one of the four volumes, and the one that has been unavailable from Faber up until now. Faber sent me the ebook copy on his centenary day, and I read (almost) all of it the same evening, which was not only timely, but also a good chance to come fresh to work by this hitherto hard-to-come-by (as well as guarded and deliberately mysterious) writer. And it gives you an idea of the kind of spell...

Robert Aickman centenary day: Publishers and followers gear up
June 27, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Robert AickmanJune 27th marks the exact centenary of the birth in 1914 of Robert Fordyce Aickman, who has been acclaimed, as many TeleRead readers will know by now, has been acclaimed as the best British writer of ghost and horror stories since M.R. James. Both publishers and enthusiasts are preparing their commemorations and celebrations in memory of this subtle, highly elusive, and often disturbing author. Pride of place for the centenary, naturally enough, goes to the new republications of Aickman's work, including the "four new editions in B format" of previously published story collections and reissue of his "extremely rare novels The...

Book review: The Wide Carnivorous Sky and Other Monstrous Geographies, by John Langan, Hippocampus Press
June 15, 2014 | 12:25 pm

I'm a Scot, and cheapass as it comes, even when buying books. And as a regular reviewer, I'm usually able to obtain review copies on request, especially dark fiction and horror. But there was one recent title I felt I had to go out and buy with my own money, because it's so well regarded and so often cited by the very best writers in the genre. That's John Langan's [easyazon-link asin="B00EB04U4W" locale="us"]The Wide, Carnivorous Sky[/easyazon-link]. The collection comes with an introduction from Jeffrey Ford and an afterword by Laird Barron, two other writers Higher Than Whom It's Barely Possible To...

Book review: The New Black, edited by Richard Thomas, Dark House Press
June 7, 2014 | 10:18 am

The New Black from leading indie publisher Dark House Press brings together 20 tales in the burgeoning genre of neo-noir, characterized by Dark House's materials as "a mixture of horror, crime, fantasy, science fiction, magical realism, the transgressive, and the grotesque all with a literary bent." That definitely, and accurately, describes the contents of the anthology, and Richard Thomas' s extremely detailed introduction goes about as far as anyone reasonably can in summarizing the genre's essential qualities and leading practitioners. It also comes with an evocative foreword, "Eye of the Raven," from Laird Barron, who could easily wear the neo-noir...

Book Review: Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow, ChiZine Publications
May 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

Fearful SymmetriesEllen Datlow, doyenne of American horror publishing, has tried something deliberately different with her latest project, Fearful Symmetries: An Anthology of Horror. As she explains, she reached out via Kickstarter to crowdfund this particular anthology, as a test case, and to fund something that might have had a much harder time coming into being through the traditional commissioning route, even with her backing. The business of publishing is rapidly changing. It’s always been hard to sell non-themed anthologies, but in today’s publishing climate, it’s especially difficult. This project is close to my heart, which is why I’ve decided to appeal to...

Advances data shows mixed messages on gender, genre
May 25, 2014 | 12:35 pm

windowslivewritermostbookbuyersarewomenbutcouldebringinne-aa99image-thumb.pngSome very interesting research posted by Scratch -without interpretation, so I don't feel too much of a plagiarist in using it - by Jane Friedman under the heading "Do Men Receive Bigger Book Advances Than Women?'' delves into the gender distribution of advance sizes as shown by the Publishers Marketplace "information on book deals self-reported by agents and publishers since 2000." Breaking this down further into deals reported since the start of 2010 and debut deals only still yields a sample of 392, surely enough to be fairly representative, and furthermore, broken down into both deal size and genre. One comforting...

Not much comfort in Hugo, Nebula Awards
April 29, 2014 | 2:13 pm

hugo nominations 2014As almost any reader who ever logs on the Internet is probably aware by now, this year's Hugo Awards have attracted more than their slice of controversy. For a start, there was the Hugo own goal with the alarmist Twitter campaign against Jonathan Ross hosting the Awards. Then there was an eruption on the right flank with the inclusion of work and recommendations from Larry Correia and notoriously bigoted commentator Vox Day in the Hugo nominations list. So far, this year's Nebula Awards nominations have not stoked similar passions that I've noticed, but these are Awards voted on by members...

Book Review: The Moon Will Look Strange, by Lynda E. Rucker, Karoshi Books
April 23, 2014 | 12:32 pm

Lynda E. Rucker's first collection The Moon Will Look Strange, from the tiny outfit of Karoshi Books, is the kind of title that makes Big Publishing look irrelevant. I mean, if the results can be this good, and achieve this relatively high level of recognition, why even bother to look elsewhere? Overreaction maybe, but I hope you get my point. Because this is a Very Good Book. Indeed. Of the eleven tales in it, three - "The Burned House", "In Death’s Other Kingdom", and "These Foolish Things" - are first-time appearances. That actually comprises a large portion of her published work to...

Book Review: Lovecraft’s Monsters, edited by Ellen Datlow, Tachyon Publications
April 20, 2014 | 1:26 pm

Ellen Datlow is a significant presence in American and international horror and dark fiction. That's about as bathetic an understatement as they come. Any new anthology owned by her is guaranteed its share of interest. Her "Also Edited" list at the start of this collection is vast. And her new volume Lovecraft's Monsters, from Tachyon Publications, finds a new theme in the creatures and creations of H.P. Lovecraft, which have inspired everything from brilliant pastiches to plush toys. (Oh, and she gave an Honorable Mention to one of my pastiches, and why ever miss an opportunity for gratuitous self-promotion? ;) ) For...