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Posts tagged Science fiction

Loncon 3 gears up for Hugo Awards
August 17, 2014 | 11:20 am

Loncon 3, the 2014 incarnation of Worldcon and "the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention," held at ExCel in London's Docklands, is playing host this Sunday August 17th to the Hugo Awards, "the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy," in an event due to be streamed live to fans worldwide. According to information already released by Loncon 3, "participation in the Hugo Awards is now officially at an all-time high. Loncon 3 received 3,587 valid Hugo Award final ballots (3,571 online, 16 paper). The previous high was 2,100 final ballots cast by members of the...

Strong showing for indies in Shirley Jackson Awards
July 15, 2014 | 10:30 am

The Shirley Jackson Awards, first presented in 2007, are awarded annually, so far in conjunction with the science fiction convention Readercon, and have rapidly built a reputation as badges of distinction "for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic."  For those interested in building a taxonomy of the current resurgence in American dark and weird fiction, the list of past winners makes exemplary reading. And independent publishers featured handsomely in this year's winner list as well, presented in Burlington this Sunday. The Awards "are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and...

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...

The Guardian catches up to Marion Zimmer Bradley child abuse scandal, with questionable new comments
June 27, 2014 | 6:25 pm

mzbcolorThe Guardian has finally covered the Marion Zimmer Bradley child abuse story, already featured - and extensively discussed - in TeleRead. And although it brings new and helpful insights from many, including Bradley's own daughter (and victim) Moira Greyland, it also brings some not so welcome and rather suspect comment from other quarters. Some comments on TeleRead and elsewhere have already taken Greyland to task for not speaking out sooner, implying that her motives for such a long silence and for going public now are questionable. "Interesting her daughter waited until after her death almost as courageous as her mother not...

Tor brings fantasy to Diagon Alley
June 25, 2014 | 2:22 pm

An interesting event for British science fiction and fantasy fans is shaping up for August, courtesy of Tor UK and independent bookseller Goldsboro Books. "Fantasy in the Court," an annual event which "celebrates Fantasy and Science Fiction and is an informal gathering for fans of this genre to meet the best fantasy and science fiction writers published today," and which will take place on August 12th in London's Cecil Court, long cited as the inspiration for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley. Already 38 authors are listed as due to attend, with more to be announced before the event date. Blogging about the...

More on Marion Zimmer Bradley and the ethics of artists
June 12, 2014 | 10:25 am

TolstoyThis is a follow-up to my earlier piece on Marion Zimmer Bradley and her serial sexual abuse of her own daughter and other child victims of both sexes. I'm writing this to correct some misunderstandings evident in the comments on that article, and to explain exactly why I wrote it how I did. So here are a series of points about my stance on the issue. These aren't exhaustive or prescriptive - this is an endless debate and everyone will have their own take on it. First, I'm not arguing for any public ban or restriction on Bradley's work. If anyone...

Marion Zimmer Bradley was a child abuser – says her own daughter
June 11, 2014 | 12:00 pm

Mists_of_Avalon-1st_edEvery so often, the question of a writer's life versus their work comes up - specifically, whether the value of the work mitigates, or even has any legitimate connection with, the wrongs they committed, endorsed, or sympathized with in their life. For instance, does Pablo Neruda's position as a poet of the people excuse his apologetics for Stalinism? Does The Faerie Queene excuse Edmund Spenser's plans to exterminate the Irish? Should William Burroughs have been jailed for shooting his wife? Conversely, should Ezra Pound's contribution to world literature have spared him incarceration for his collaborationist antics during World War 2?...

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...

UK book deal to take Night Vale podcast into Orbit
March 7, 2014 | 10:24 am

After fan fiction and online writers' circles, now it's the podcast route to publishing success. Aficionados of the weird and wacky will need no introduction to the Welcome to Night Vale series of podcasts, best described as Lake Woebegon Days meets The X-Files. Now the UK book rights to the upcoming Welcome to Night Vale novelization have been picked up by Orbit UK in what the publisher itself describes as "a heated auction last month" from "Angharad Kowal at Writers House UK, on behalf of Jodi Reamer at Writers House US," following the announcement in December 2013 that Harper Perennial...

True or false writing – from two perspectives
March 5, 2014 | 2:25 pm

This article picks up from my previous piece in TeleRead on "Worldbuilding in fantasy/SF: Retreading the great clomping feet of nerdism," and in particular, on one of the comments on that post. There, a commentator called Sturmovik states that  When you remove world building from Fantasy then all you are left with is reality. I don’t consider Game of Thrones to be a fantasy series at all. It would have been set in 15th century Europe without losing anything that makes it enjoyable to its readers. In fact the recent success of the similarly named “House of Cards” proves the point....

Worldbuilding in fantasy/SF: Retreading the great clomping feet of nerdism
March 2, 2014 | 12:35 pm

Lucy Hounsom has just posted on the Waterstones blog referencing the great critique by by British science fiction and fantasy master - and consummate worldbuilder - M. John Harrison of worldbuilding in fantasy and science fiction: "Worldbuilding is not technically necessary. It is the great clomping foot of nerdism. It is the attempt to exhaustively survey a place that isn’t there. A good writer would never try to do that, even with a place that is there." M.John Harrison's original statement, along with his fascinating and very deep notes and explanations added later, is archived here, and it's recommended reading. At...