This month we discover some dark delights, but also encounter fiction bogged down in the end-of-summer doldrums. Of the five original stories in the July/August 2016 issue of recent Hugo-winner Uncanny Magazine, two can be said to be truly dark. …
Archive for November, 2016
In Traveler of Worlds, we have the latest and most substantial entry in [Silverberg’s] serial autobiography: a kind of interactive memoir built, as the subtitle signals, on a series of extended conversations between Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro. Zinos-Amaro himself cosmopolitan, cultured, attentive, articulate, and interactive is well-suited to the task of unpacking the worlds of this sophisticated, widely-traveled and -read, ferociously intelligent man.
Chuck Wendig’s Invasive, which is about killer ants (sort of), is a companion (also sort of) to Zer0es, which was about killer hackers (mostly (but not really)). Both are rich, darkly funny page-turners with details designed to make those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up with how plausible they seem.
In Revenger Alastair Reynolds inserts a distinctly old-fashioned space opera into a Stapledonian milieu right out of Last and First Men, a solar system rendered unrecognizable by millions of years of natural and unnatural processes.
The engine at the center of Hutchinson’s near-future landscape is a prophetically simple notion that permits elaborate outgrowths of plot and speculative riffs. Basically, Hutchinson proclaims that the past will reassert itself an observation utterly relevant in the light of certain political events of our own 2016.
Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is a film that will be properly praised as an unusually intelligent and sensitive science fiction film, derived from an unusually intelligent and sensitive science fiction story, Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” (1998). In many respects, it is faithful to Chiang’s novella …. However, as invariably happens when Hollywood adapts even the finest science fiction literature available, certain aspects of the source material are, well, lost in translation.