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Friday 28 December 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Mark R. Kelly reviews Best American Fantasy

Locus Magazine features over two dozen reviews in its December 2007 issue. Here's Mark R. Kelly on Best American Fantasy, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer.

baf

Best American Fantasy isn't your father's best-of-the-year fantasy anthology. At turns pretentious, baffling, and engaging, its nevertheless unique perspective on what fantasy is, and the scope of its sources, makes it a valuable new entry in the overcrowded field of annual surveys of fantasy and SF.

Rich Horton reviews Tesseracts Eleven

And here's Rich Horton on Tesseracts Eleven, edited by Cory Doctorow & Holly Phillips.

tesseracts 11

Tesseracts, of course, collects only new stories by Canadian writers (Canadian sometimes defined a bit loosely). Any such volume insists on the question: is there anything different, unique, about Canadian SF? Each editor suggests, tentatively, an answer. Cory Doctorow, after admitting a certain skepticism about the necessity for a separate Canadian (or, in context, Australian) SF, opines that Canadian SF gets other cultures right more often than American SF.

Thursday 27 December 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Elizabeth Hand: Ink-Stained Wretch

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's December Issue interview.

elizabeth hand

Generation Loss started out as a straightforward fantasy; some of the fantastic element was built in from the get-go and didn't get lost in subsequent versions. I've always wanted to write about what it would be like if magic really did exist, as this other dimension we're not quite aware of, that we can't see but can sense sometimes -- what would it be like to live in that world?

•   Locus Magazine: Nnedi Okorafor: Between Cultures

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's December Issue interview.

nnedi okorafor

I've been trying to figure out why science fiction hasn't made further inroads in Africa. I guess people write what they know. From my experience with the Nigerians, most don't read stuff specially categorized as 'fantastical.' I feel like part of why I'm able to write it is because I was born and raised in the United States. Thus I've been exposed to this specific style of writing along with African literature with fantastical elements.

Wednesday 19 December 2007

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: James Tiptree, Jr.

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by James Tiptree, Jr.

james tiptree jr

So far as I can remember, I've always believed that James Tiptree, Jr. was a woman... I was in the position of seeing that Tiptree's gender had been problematic for others without having that problem myself. (Or so I thought.) I'm sure that almost everyone now reading Tiptree must be aware of who she really is; and for many, like me, it seems there never was a veil to be torn aside.

Saturday 1 December 2007

•   Locus Magazine: December Issue

november issue

Locus Magazine for December has interviews with Elizabeth Hand and Nnedi Okorafor, photos from this year's World Fantasy Convention, forthcoming books listings through September 2008, and reviews of books by Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, K.J. Parker, Jack McDevitt, Junot Diaz, and many others.

Table of Contents
    Interviews, Forthcoming Books, Data File, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Gibson, Stirling, Maguire, Denning, Salvatore...
New & Notable Books
    Barker, Donaldon, Okorafor, Parker, Stross, Willis...

Friday 30 November 2007

•   Locus Magazine: William Gibson: Cognitive Weirdness

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's November Issue interview.

william gibson

The 21st century is weird, man! I got there by the slow time machine, living my way to it. In a world like this, what constitutes the mundane? None of this is very mundane anymore, because it's all touched by this kind of multiplex weirdness.

•   Locus Magazine: Kelly Link: The Uses of Boredom

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's November Issue interview.

kelly link

Boredom is useful for writers. I need a certain amount of boredom to get work done. But I also need to do other things besides sit at a desk and write. If I weren't involved in various editing projects, I would have to find something else to do. You need other kinds of work, and you also need significant periods of stillness in order to have time to think.

Thursday 29 November 2007

•   Locus Magazine/Future History: Forthcoming Books

Selected US and UK titles scheduled for December 2007 through September 2008, from Locus Magazine's December issue, are listed here by month.

Tuesday 27 November 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Christopher Barzak

Locus Magazine features over two dozen reviews in its November 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on Christopher Barzak's debut novel One for Sorrow.

barzak

Christopher Barzak, in his elegant and moving first novel One for Sorrow, manages to avoid most of the pitfalls of the [ghostly romance] form while taking full advantage of its emotional energy and its potential for illuminating visceral real-world issues such as family, identity, and alienation. ...It's one of the strongest first novels I've seen this year.

Russell Letson reviews Richard K. Morgan

And here's Russell Letson on Richard Morgan's novel Black Man, published in the US as Thirteen.

morgan

Richard Morgan's fifth book is a blood-and-guts adventure that keeps pausing to ask questions about its characters' actions and motives and to make suggestions about the roots of human (or inhuman) violence and social connection.

Thursday 8 November 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary: Creative Commons


cory doctorow

Since 2003, the Creative Commons movement has ridden a worldwide revolution in creativity and sharing, inspiring the authors of over 160 million copyrighted works to adopt a "some rights reserved" approach that encourages sharing, remix, and re-use of their works.

Wednesday 31 October 2007

•   Locus Magazine: November Issue

november issue

Locus Magazine for November has interviews with William Gibson and Kelly Link, reports from this year's World SF Convention in Japan, appreciations of the late Robert Jordan, and reviews of books by Gene Wolfe, Jonathan Strahan, Naomi Novik, Christopher Barzak, Richard Morgan, and many others.

Table of Contents
    Interviews, Nippon 2007, Data File, Commentary, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Herbert/Anderson, Weber, Gaiman, Denning, McNeill...
New & Notable Books
    Datlow/Link/Grant, Dowling, Pratchett, Stross, Walton, Wilson...

Wednesday 24 October 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Bruce Sterling: Finding the Balance

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's October Issue interview.

bruce sterling

I like the life of a futurist techno-pundit, and I do a lot of work along that line. I'm a technologist and a blogger, and my job is to 'bring the noise.' I tell people in San Francisco what's happening in Europe, tell people in Italy what's happening in San Francisco.

•   Locus Magazine: Walter Jon Williams: Unintended Consequences

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's October Issue interview.

walter jon williams

You can say the point of the New Space Opera -- which, if you want an astounding claim, I invented with Aristoi -- was to take all of that information technology and biological technology and turn it outwards into the vastness of the universe.

Thursday 18 October 2007

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Cordwainer Smith

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by Cordwainer Smith.

cordwainer smith

Strangeness, said John Gardner, is the one thing in fiction that cannot be faked. Strangeness is, famously, the defining characteristic of Cordwainer Smith's science fiction, and a good deal of ink is expended in the introductions of the books explaining where that strangeness comes from. (I may be about to do the same.)

Monday 1 October 2007

•   Locus Magazine: October Issue

october issue

Locus Magazine for October has interviews with Bruce Sterling and Walter Jon Williams, winners of this year's Hugo Awards with complete voting results, and obituaries of Robert Jordan and Madeleine L'Engle. Plus, reviews of books by Charles Stross, Terry Pratchett, Shaun Tan, Rudy Rucker, Stephen Baxter, and others.

Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, People & Publishing, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Rowling, Herbert/Anderson, Erikson, Karpyshyn, Salvatore
New & Notable Books
    Abraham, Chiang, Haldeman, Le Guin, Schroder, Tan...

Wednesday 26 September 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Robert Charles Wilson

Locus Magazine features over two dozen reviews in its September 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on Robert Charles Wilson's new novel Axis -- sequel to Hugo Award winner Spin.

wilson

Wilson has always been drawn in two directions at once: his concern with plausible, human-level dramas of community, family, and character on the one hand, and his attraction to whomping large-scale SF concepts on the other.

Faren Miller reviews Brian W. Aldiss

And here's Faren Miller on Brian W. Aldiss' novel HARM.

aldiss

The long-running battles of science vs. religion, tyranny vs. revolution, play out on Stygia as well as Earth, and HARM offers keen insights into human nature and the ways of the cosmos as a whole.

Monday 24 September 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Guy Gavriel Kay: Finding the Balance

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's September Issue interview.

guy gavriel kay

We're a storytelling species -- a story-making species -- and if we do not construct a narrative of our lives, they feel random. We can rewrite the narrative, looking back, but we want a narrative of our lives and of our family history. For the longest time, the narrative was European history. We grew up thinking that Europeans found the planet, but now that narrative is being recast.

•   Locus Magazine: Kathleen Ann Goonan: Make It New

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's September Issue interview.

kathleen ann goonan

We don't know everything. Perhaps that's what my books are all about. We're actually very simple creatures who seem very complex to ourselves. And there are fascinating complexities about us, but we don't know everything, and the idea of bootstrapping is very attractive to me.

Friday 7 September 2007

•   Locus Magazine/Future History: Forthcoming Books

Selected US and UK titles scheduled for September 2007 through June 2008, from Locus Magazine's September issue, are listed here by month.

Tuesday 4 September 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

Free(konomic) E-books

cory doctorow

Can giving away free electronic books really sell printed books? I think so. The problem with reading off a screen isn't resolution, eyestrain, or compatibility with reading in the bathtub: it's that computers are seductive, they tempt us to do other things, making concentrating on a long-form work impractical.

Friday 31 August 2007

•   Locus Magazine: September Issue

september issue

Locus Magazine for September has interviews with Guy Gavriel Kay and Kathleen Ann Goonan, results of this year's Locus Survey, lists of forthcoming books through September 2008, and news of latest awards, conventions, and workshops. Plus, reviews of books by Charles Stross, Robert Charles Wilson, Brian Aldiss, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, & Gavin Grant, and others.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, People & Publishing, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Hamilton, Goodkind, Erikson, Traviss, Nylund
New & Notable Books
    Bear, Budz, Dozois, Gibson, Sturgeon, Westfahl...

Thursday 30 August 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Connie Willis

Locus Magazine features over two dozen reviews in its August 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on Connie Willis' retrospective collection The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories.

willis

Connie Willis is, of course, the premier humorist working in SF today, possibly the premier humorist the field has ever produced. And her favorite subject is death.

Faren Miller reviews Brandon Sanderson

And here's Faren Miller on Brandon Sanderson's novel The Well of Ascension.

sanderson

What happens after you bring down the Dark Lord of the Evil Empire? That's the question Brandon Sanderson tackles in The Well of Ascension, middle book in what will be the Mistborn trilogy.

Friday 24 August 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Heinlein at 100: A Roundtable Discussion

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's August Issue Heinlein Centennial Celebration, with John Clute, Gary K. Wolfe, Graham Sleight, Charles N. Brown, and Amelia Beamer.

roundtable

I want to open with a conclusion we all seem to share: all modern science fiction is based on Heinlein. He's the elephant in the room. It doesn't matter if anyone's reading him now; he set the course of modern science fiction.

•   Locus Magazine: John Scalzi: Color in the World

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's August Issue interview.

john scalzi

A book is an operating system. You set up a stage and give the reader some particular details and instructions in the world; how they use that operating system about the world is pretty much up to them. I don't write a lot of description because I find it boring, and also because I don't think it's necessary.

Tuesday 21 August 2007

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Robert A. Heinlein

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by Robert A. Heinlein.

robert a. heinlein

Rereading Heinlein's stories now in conjunction with those of his contemporaries is to be struck by how much he was in command, right from the start. He somehow found, or brought into being, a language for describing the future so much more sophisticated than anything else that had been seen. How could you not pledge allegiance to it? Watching his emergence in those first few stories must have been like seeing an adult walking into a room full of children.

Thursday 2 August 2007

•   Locus Magazine: August Issue

august issue

Locus Magazine for August celebrates the centennial of Robert A. Heinlein, with appreciations by Joe Haldeman, Connie Willis, Spider Robinson, and many others. Also: an interview with John Scalzi, a report on the Locus Awards and Hall of Fame Induction, news about awards, publishers, and authors, and reviews of books by Gardner Dozois, Joe Haldeman, Allen Steele, Paul McAuley, and others; plus Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column about Robert A. Heinlein.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, People & Publishing, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Tolkien, Scalzi, Martinez, Allston, Nylund
New & Notable Books
    Baker, Bujold, Bull, Gaiman, Gernsback, Marr...

Sunday 29 July 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Michael Chabon

Locus Magazine features over two dozen reviews in its July 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

chabon

Chabon's setting is drawn from alternate-history SF, his plot from police procedurals, his dialogue and many of his characters from Chandleresque hard-boiled fiction, and much of his humor from the Jewish-American novel, and he even offers up bits of international conspiracy thrillers and endtime narratives.

Faren Miller reviews Emma Bull

And here's Faren Miller on Emma Bull's novel Territory.

bull territory

Emma Bull looks back at events leading up to the notable clash of Earps and Clantons in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 1881. Her version is close enough to modern times, with its railroads, telegrams, daguerreotype photos, and serialized "penny dreadfuls," yet beneath the boomtown expansionism and familiar crises like shootings and stagecoach robbery lurk far older forces, occult powers for good or ill.

Saturday 28 July 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Peter S. Beagle: My Private Places

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's July Issue interview.

peter s. beagle

I couldn't wait to grow up and know writers and hang out with writers. Now, with a few exceptions, I mostly hang out with musicians. They're just more fun, and much more generous, probably because they have to work together.

•   Locus Magazine: Paolo Bacigalupi: Facing the Tiger

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's July Issue interview.

paolo bacigalupi

I'm basically a pretty joyless, misanthropic person, but I think my writing is my least soft side. If you read all my stories, I think it would be easy to hate me.

Monday 16 July 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

The Progressive Apocalypse and Other Futurismic Delights

cory doctorow

Science fiction writers aren't the only people in the business of predicting the future. Futurists spill a lot of ink, phosphors, and caffeinated hot air in describing a vision for a future where we'll get more and more of whatever it is they want to sell us or warn us away from. There's a lovely neologism to describe these visions: "futurismic." Futurismic media is that which depicts futurism, not the future.

Sunday 1 July 2007

•   Locus Magazine: July Issue

july issue

Locus Magazine for July has interviews with Peter S. Beagle and Paolo Bacigalupi, complete results of this year's Locus Poll, a new commentary by Cory Doctorow, news about awards, publishers, and authors, and reviews of books by Michael Chabon, William Gibson, Adam Roberts, Ken MacLeod, and of several year's best SF and fantasy anthologies
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, People & Publishing, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Tolkien, Feist, Murphy, Allston, Nylund
New & Notable Books
    Aldiss, Crowley, Durham, Goonan, Hand, MacLeod, Palwick...

Friday 29 June 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Gary K. Wolfe reviews The New Space Opera

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its June 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on a new original anthology from editors Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan.

new space opera

While The New Space Opera may not settle any arguments about definition — although the stories by McDonald, Egan, MacLeod, Daniel, Reynolds, and Simmons seem to me to provide the most valuable checkpoints and to make the most resonant use of the effects that NSO is capable of generating — it's by any measure a strong and provocative anthology and almost certainly one of the defining original anthologies of the year.

Nick Gevers reviews David Anthony Durham

And here's Nick Gevers on David Anthony Durham's novel Acacia: Book One: The War with the Mein.

durham acacia

What is striking about The War with the Mein is the expert precision with which Durham maps the so tangible "real world" of our present onto fantastic territory normally regarded either as escapist or as broadly allegorical.... [It's] a political novel of large impact, as radical a rewriting of Martin as Martin himself has performed on Tolkien. Rarely has medieval epic been quite this pertinent.

Wednesday 27 June 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Nalo Hopkinson: Multiplicity

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's June Issue interview.

nalo hopkinson

Fiction's not autobiography in a party dress. The story is the story. If I wanted to write fictionalized autobiography I could, but that's not what I'm doing. I'm not saying I don't draw from experience in my books -- everybody does.

•   Locus Magazine: Holly Phillips: Drawn to Darkness

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's June Issue interview.

holly phillips

There's something kind of exciting about daring to shock myself. Dark fiction lets the writer and the reader address moral issues. It's one reason why I don't write the traditional Tolkienesque fantasy of the battle between Good and Evil, because I'm not sure I believe in Good and Evil. I think there are extremes, but it's a spectrum.

Monday 11 June 2007

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Isaac Asimov

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by Isaac Asimov.

isaac asimov

When I went back to Asimov in my 20s, I found his work pallid and unsatisfying next to the authors I had read since, in SF and outside. He seemed too hung-up on demonstrating a narrow kind of cleverness in his work, and too committed to that that kind of cleverness as a sufficient tool for understanding everything that humans might run into in their lives. So I approached re-reading him in 2006 with a certain amount of ambivalence. To put it crudely, if I thought his SF was so deficient, why do so many other people continue to find it satisfying?

Saturday 9 June 2007

•   Locus Magazine/Future History: Forthcoming Books

Selected US and UK titles scheduled for June 2007 through March 2008, from Locus Magazine's June issue, are listed here by month.

Saturday 2 June 2007

•   Locus Magazine: June Issue

june issue

Locus Magazine for June has interviews with Nalo Hopkinson and Holly Phillips, complete listings of forthcoming books through March 2008, news of recent awards and changes with several publishers, and reviews of books by David Anthony Durham, Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan, Jim Crace, Cassandra Clare, Karl Schroeder, and many others. Plus: Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column on James Tiptree, Jr.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, Listings, Obituaries, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Williams, Pettersson, Lukyanenko, Allston, Nylund
New & Notable Books
    Amano, Chabon, Dick, Malzberg, Marusek, Shepard, Tolkien...

Thursday 31 May 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Reviews

Graham Sleight reviews John Crowley

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its May 2007 issue. Here's Graham Sleight on John Crowley's new novel Endless Things...

crowley endless things

It goes without saying that Endless Things is gracefully written, beautifully characterised, moving, and thought-provoking. ... It's borderline fantastic, for those who mind about such things, in the same way its predecessors were. Indeed, one way of describing what it's about is that it's an enormously full description of how we make stories, and fantasies in particular.

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Ken MacLeod

And here's Gary K. Wolfe on Ken MacLeod's new novel The Execution Channel.

macleod execution channel

The British catastrophe tradition to which MacLeod refers has come a long way from the droughts and triffids and grass plagues of the 1950s, thanks in part to J.G. Ballard, and Ballard's decadent mediascape is also echoed in the grim conceit that gives MacLeod's novel its title — an anonymous satellite newsfeed that broadcasts nonstop executions and tortures from all over the world. (And how far is YouTube from that already?)

Monday 28 May 2007

•   Discussion: The horror! the horror! Analytical and Emotional

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's May Issue discussion with Peter Straub, John Clute, and Gary K. Wolfe.

straub, clute, wolfe

Clute: Pragmatically, I wanted to define the literatures of the fantastic as beginning when our own awareness of the history of the planet itself began to take shape, round about 1750. I would define horror very quickly as that category of stories set in worlds that are false until the tale is told.

•   Locus Magazine: Joe R. Lansdale: Little Horrors

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's May Issue interview.

joe r. lansdale

Real horror seems to disturb some deep truth in the back of your mind. Other horror is more like tapioca pudding: it's OK, but when you've eaten it you move on. Though I'm proud of all my work, some of it's designed to provide a nice fun read, give you a little chill, and then you go to bed. With my best work, I don't want you to move on. I'm trying to create some echo beyond the reading.

Wednesday 16 May 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

In Praise of FanFic

cory doctorow

Culture is a lot older than art — that is, we have had social storytelling for a lot longer than we've had a notional class of artistes whose creativity is privileged and elevated to the numinous, far above the everyday creativity of a kid who knows that she can paint and draw, tell a story and sing a song, sculpt and invent a game.

Saturday 28 April 2007

•   Locus Magazine: May Issue

may issue

Locus Magazine for May is a special horror issue, with commentaries by Peter Crowther, Edward Bryant, Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, and others; a roundtable discussion by Peter Straub, John Clute, and Gary K. Wolfe, and an interview with Joe R. Lansdale. Also: the latest news, a column by Cory Doctorow, and reviews of books by Ken MacLeod, Dan Simmons, Lois McMaster Bujold, John Crowley, Kinuko Craft, and many others.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, Listings, Obituaries, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Kay, Butcher, Birmingham, Zahn, Nylund
New & Notable Books
    Clare, Emshwiller, Klages, Resnick, Robson, Strahan, Williams...

Wednesday 25 April 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Review

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Kathleen Ann Goonan

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its April 2007 issue. Here's Gary K. Wolfe on Kathleen Ann Goonan's new novel In War Times.

goonan in war times

A provocative and at times intensely moving novel that treats its alternate World War II era premise with a sophistication comparable to that of Christopher Priest's The Separation, but that balances its historical and scientific speculations ... with an evidently joyful celebration of the birth, and meaning, of modern jazz.

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Review

Faren Miller reviews Ellen Klages

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its April 2007 issue. Here's Faren Miller on Ellen Klages short story collection Portable Childhoods.

klages portable childhoods

She's equally at home with fantasy, SF and realism, those supposedly separate forms that merge in the minds and lives of children. Many of the stories here (14 in all, plus one transcript of a playlet and a long poem) deal with childhood, whether as a state of mind, a state of vulnerability, or a "portable" object that can hold anything from old memories to magic.

Friday 20 April 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Kim Stanley Robinson: Chop Wood, Carry Water

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's April Issue interview.

kim stanley robinson

I have always believed that science fiction is the best way to express modern American life, because everything is changing so fast and because we're in a gigantic techno-surround that we can never escape. Essentially, we are living inside a science fiction novel -- one of those giant collaborative monstrosities -- and that's what history is now.

•   Locus Magazine: Mary Rosenblum: Playing Cassandra

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's April Issue interview.

mary rosenblum

Science fiction is the genre where you can step outside of today and look at things objectively, through casting them into the future. It has more potential than any other literary form out there. I can write perfectly good mysteries, but it was kind of a day job. I wrote mysteries because I couldn't support my kids by writing SF.

Monday 16 April 2007

•   Feature:

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by Frederick Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth.

frederik pohl

Start as you mean to go on. Frederik Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants (1953) kicks off on a note of such breezy cynicism that it's impossible to resist: "As I dressed that morning I ran over in my mind the long list of statistics, evasions, and exaggerations that they would expect in my report."

Monday 2 April 2007

•   Locus Magazine: April Issue

april issue

Locus Magazine's April issue features interviews with Kim Stanley Robinson and Mary Rosenblum, a look back at 40 years of Locus covers, and a "where are they now?" profile of Marianne Jablon. Plus: the latest awards and publishing news, and reviews of books by Kathleen Ann Goonan, Guy Gavriel Kay, Cory Doctorow, C.J. Cherryh, Tim Pratt, Ian McDonald, and others, and Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column on Cordwainer Smith.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, Listings, Obituaries, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Weber, Scalzi, Butler, Denning, Nylund...
New & Notable Books
    Armstrong, Crowley, Fintushel, Haig, Kay, Ore, Palwick...

Wednesday 28 March 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Sample Review

Russell Letson reviews Jack Vance

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its March 2007 issue. Here's Russell Letson on The Jack Vance Treasury, edited by Terry Dowling and Jonathan Strahan.

jack vance treasury

It's long past time to rediscover Jack Vance — again. The selection showcases most of Vance's characteristic modes and moods: out-and-out fantasies, science-fantasy, relatively hard science fiction, and that hard-to-categorize variety of fantastic tale that can only be called "Vancean."

Tuesday 27 March 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Tim Powers: Follow the Arrows

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's March Issue interview with Tim Powers.

tim powers

My research method is always just to follow any little interesting lead that the initial research takes me to, and then any leads that leads me to, virtually at random. I eventually have to rein myself in and say, 'What bits of this are going to be part of the book?' So I said, 'OK, it looks as though it involves Einstein, and Kabbalah, and it involves his secret daughter....'

•   Locus Magazine: Toni Weisskopf: Jim Baen's Legacy

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's March Issue interview with Toni Weisskopf.

toni weisskopf

In terms of editorial policies, Jim and I fought about everything except SF. We always agreed on what makes good SF, so there won't be any editorial policy changes. We're still going to publish military SF, urban fantasy, planet adventures, alternate history -- the things that Jim enjoyed and that I enjoy

•   Locus Magazine: Ellen Klages: Childhood Darkness

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's March Issue interview with Ellen Klages.

ellen klages

I keep trying to recapture that feeling of going someplace new and not knowing what you're going to find. It's childhood -- not necessarily my childhood or anybody else's, but a sense of wonder that most people lose by the time they are adults and that for some fortunate reason I seem to have kept.

Sunday 18 March 2007

•   Update -- Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

Readers respond to Cory Doctorow's essay You Do Like Reading Off a Computer Screen

Saturday 17 March 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Review by Faren Miller

Faren Miller reviews Patrick Rothfuss

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its March 2007 issue. Here's Faren Miller on a first novel by Patrick Rothfuss.

patrick rothfuss

Reviewers swiftly acquire a healthy skepticism about pre-publication hype, but that needn't mean death to the sense of wonder. Even a doorstop-size debut from a familiar genre publisher, first in a high-fantasy trilogy with what seems to be the usual apparatus a Young Man of Destiny, a University for wizards, Words of Power, Magical Accessories, etc. -- can provide surprise and delight in equal measure. Not very often, maybe, but The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss turns out to be just as good as the galley blurb says it is.

Wednesday 14 March 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

You Do Like Reading Off a Computer Screen

cory doctorow

There's a persistent fantasy/nightmare in the publishing world of the advent of very sharp, very portable computer screens. In the fantasy version, this creates an infinite new market for electronic books, and we all get to sell the rights to our work all over again. In the nightmare version, this leads to runaway piracy, and no one ever gets to sell a novel again. I think they're both wrong.

Thursday 1 March 2007

•   Locus Magazine: March Issue

march issue

Locus Magazine's March issue features interviews with writers Tim Powers and Ellen Klages and with Baen Books editor Toni Weisskopf, lists of forthcoming books through December 2007, and a new column by Cory Doctorow. Plus: the latest publishing and awards news, and reviews of books by Nalo Hopkinson, Patrick Rothfuss, Kim Stanley Robinson, Garth Nix, Jonathan Strahan, Lucius Shepard, and many others.
Table of Contents
    Interviews, Data File, International, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Butcher, Jordan, Hendrix, Denning, Salvatore...
New & Notable Books
    Asher, Baxter, Hill, Joshi, Miéville, Pratt, Tan...

•   Locus Magazine/Future History: Forthcoming Books

Selected US and UK titles scheduled for March through December 2007, from Locus Magazine's March issue, are listed here by month.

Wednesday 28 February 2007

•   Features: Yesterday's Tomorrows: Graham Sleight

Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at classic works by Philip K. Dick.

philip k. dick

No author in SF, not even James Tiptree, Jr, is as impossible to "just read" as Philip K. Dick. As much as reviewers or readers might like to think that they assess books on what's between the covers and nothing else, you can't be in SF's culture and not know some of the facts of Dick's life, or speculate about how they bore on his fiction....

Friday 23 February 2007

•   Locus Magazine: John Barnes: Patterndriven

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's February Issue interview with John Barnes.

john barnes

I like the patterns I find in other people's work too. For instance, to prepare for my Jak Jinnaka space opera trilogy, I took all the Heinlein juveniles and marked them up, and discovered a pattern that underlies every one of the juveniles... It turns out it's not the rhythm for today's kids, or I didn't play it the way they want it played. Maybe I'll squeeze in the time to do some statistical semiotic studies on what kids today do want to read and try to see how I can make SF fit into that, but I can at least tell you, the Heinlein rhythm ain't it.

Wednesday 21 February 2007

•   Locus Magazine: February Issue Sample Reviews

Nick Gevers reviews Mary Gentle

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its February 2007 issue. Here's Nick Gevers on Mary Gentle's novel Ilario: The Lionís Eye.

mary gentle

The extraordinary gender sensitivity and flexibility Ilario embodies, novel shades of sexuality at every turn, and new angles on plain old heterosexuality in the bargain — factor all that in, and Ilario is the foremost SF/fantasy novel of gender in quite a while.

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Ian McDonald's Brasyl

ian mcdonald

"Tupinipunk," an amalgam of cyberpunk and the name of an indigenous tribe, [is] characterized by "iconoclasm, sensuality, mysticism, politicization, humanism, and a Third World perspective". With his very enjoyable Brasyl, McDonald may have given us the first tupinipunk novel to appear from outside the borders of Brazil itself.

Friday 2 February 2007

•   2007 Locus Poll & Survey

The 2007 Locus Poll & Survey ballot is now online. The deadline for voting is April 15th.

Thursday 1 February 2007

•   Locus Magazine: February Issue

feb issue

The February issue is Locus' annual Year In Review issue, with the 2006 Recommended Reading List, essays on the year's best books, and summaries of the year in publishing. Plus: an interview with John Barnes, the latest publishing and awards news, and reviews of books by Ian McDonald, China Miéville, Hal Duncan, Elizabeth Bear, Michael Crichton, Kim Stanley Robinson, Gene Wolfe and many others, as well as Graham Sleight's "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column, on Isaac Asimov.
Table of Contents
    Interview, Year in Review, Data File, Listings, Reviews...
Locus Bestsellers
    Gaiman, Gaiman, Maguire, Denning, Nylund...
New & Notable Books
    Ballantyne, Foster, Moore, Parkes, Rucker, Vallejo & Bell, Wilce...

Monday 29 January 2007

•   Features: Yesterday's Tomorrows: Graham Sleight

Graham Sleight's first "Yesterday's Tomorrows" column from Locus Magazine looks at two classic novels by Alfred Bester: The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination.

alfred bester, 1953

These two novels by Bester are both admired and loved in the SF field, I think rightly. Re-reading them as an adult is, inevitably, not the same as when you first encounter them (as almost everyone seems to have) at the age of 14. But Bester's ceaseless tug of story remains unstoppable, a force of nature...

Wednesday 24 January 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Review by Faren Miller

Faren Miller reviews Joe Hill

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its January 2007 issue. Here's Faren Miller on the first novel from Bram Stoker, British Fantasy, World Fantasy, and International Horror Guild Award winner Joe Hill.

joe hill

Heart-Shaped Box could be great movie fodder, but is this first novel also a good book? Though it becomes more lurid than my usual reading tastes, it eventually won me over again with a return to a less extreme view of both human and inhuman nature. When character development can survive a splashy gorefest, that's the sign of a work with staying power.

Friday 19 January 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Reviews by Gary K. Wolfe

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds

Locus Magazine features over 40 reviews in its January 2007 issue. Here's a sample by reviewer and Hugo Award-nominee Gary K. Wolfe

stephen baxter


Here are the two most important things to keep in mind about future histories: they aren't histories, and they aren't about the future.

•   Locus Magazine: Naomi Novik: Regency Dragons

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's January Issue interview with Naomi Novik.

naomi novik

The relationship between people and dragons differs in various parts of the world, and it's very different in China. In book three we meet dragons along the Silk Road and some feral dragons in the mountains, and later on we'll meet dragons in other parts of the world as well. Africa is the next stop -- I was there doing research this past summer.

•   Locus Magazine: Ginjer Buchanan: Unapologetically Commercial

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's January Issue interview with Ginjer Buchanan.

ginjer buchanan

I've never worked anywhere but Putnam/Berkley/Ace. Putnam was a company that published hardcover bestsellers by very mass-markety authors, so the entire culture of Putnam and Berkley was commercial. I'm a commercial reader -- always have been, and I'm not apologizing for that -- so fortuitously, serendipitously, I wound up at the right publishing company.

•   Locus Magazine: Allen Steele: The Next Questions

Excerpts from Locus Magazine's January Issue interview with Allen Steele.

allen steele

One of the attractions of SF is that it casts a funhouse mirror upon which we reflect what's going on in our times. It's not just fairytales, not just fantasy; you're actually looking at a writer's perspective on what's going on in the here and now, but in a sort of fantastical sense. In that way it becomes more pertinent than mainstream fiction.

Wednesday 10 January 2007

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

Blogging Without the Blog

cory doctorow

When you want to update your website, you should be able to just update it. Set yourself up right, and changing your site will take about as much work as emailing your webmaster to ask her to update it. The big difference is you don't have to pay to update your site by yourself and you don't have to wait for the updates to go live.

2007 Issues Archive

December 2007
December cover

The December issue of Locus Magazine -- mailing November 29th to subscribers -- has interviews with Elizabeth Hand and Nnedi Okorafor, photos of this year's World Fantasy Awards winners, listings of forthcoming books through September 2008, a Yesterday's Tomorrows column by Graham Sleight, and reviews of new books by Michael Swanwick, Jo Walton, Jack McDevitt, and many others
November 2007
November cover

The November issue of Locus has interviews with William Gibson and Kelly Link, reports from Nippon 2007 by Eileen Gunn and Lisa Freitag, a new column by Cory Doctorow, remembrances of Robert Jordan, and reviews of new books by Gene Wolfe, Naomi Novik, Christopher Barzak, and many others
October 2007
October cover

The October issue of Locus has Hugo Awards results, conversations with Bruce Sterling and Walter Jon Williams, and remembrances of Robert Jordan and Madeleine L'Engle
September 2007
September cover

The September issue of Locus has interviews with Guy Gavriel Kay and Kathleen Ann Goonan, plus forthcoming books listings through March 2008, and results of this year's Locus Survey
August 2007
august cover

The August issue of Locus celebrates the centennial of Robert A. Heinlein, with appreciations by Ben Bova, Frederik Pohl, Spider Robinson, Robert Silverberg, John Varley, Connie Willis, and many others; plus, an interview with John Scalzi
July 2007
July cover

The July issue of Locus has interviews with Peter S. Beagle and Paolo Bacigalupi, winners of this year's Locus Awards with complete results of this year's Locus Poll, a new column by Cory Doctorow, and lots of news and listings and reviews.
June 2007
June cover
The June issue of Locus has interviews with Nalo Hopkinson and Holly Phillips, a report on Nebula Awards Weekend, and Forthcoming Books listings through March 2008
May 2007
May cover
Discussion of Horror with
Straub/Clute/Wolfe
Interview with
Joe R. Lansdale

April 2007
April cover
March 2007
March cover
The March issue of Locus has interviews with Tim Powers, Ellen Klages, and Toni Weisskopf, reviews of new books by Patrick Rothfuss, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nalo Hopkinson, Jack Vance, and others, and forthcoming books listings through December 2007
February 2007
February cover
February is Locus' annual year in review issue, with
the 2006 Locus Recommended Reading List
the 2007 Locus Poll & Survey ballot
• an interview with John Barnes
• reviews of new books by Ian McDonald, Hal Duncan, Kim Stanley Robinson, China Miéville, and many others
Table of Contents
Locus Bestsellers
New & Notable Books
January 2007
January cover
The January issue, mailing 21 December to subscribers, has
• interviews with Naomi Novik, Ginjer Buchanan, and Allen Steele
• features and commentary by Jeff VanderMeer, Cory Doctorow, and Amelia Beamer
• tributes to Jack Williamson
• reviews of new books by Stephen Baxter, Michael Flynn, Joe Hill, George R.R. Martin, Alastair Reynolds, Robert Charles Wilson, and many others
Table of Contents
Locus Bestsellers
New & Notable Books