My next two reviews over at SciFiDimensions.com are up – they are for Dreamdark: Blackbringer and Dreamdark: Silksinger. I loved them both – and you can find out why over there. Coincidentally, my wife just finished reading Blackbringer and she loved it too. I think my oldest daughter will be tackling it next. Silksinger, I think, is even better. That is saying something as Blackbringer is pretty great.
I’ve been given the opportunity to write a few reviews for SciFiDimensions.com. The first up is for Bleak History by John Shirley. I read an ARC for the book back in June or July, so I hadn’t seen what it would finally look like. The cover is well done. For the rest, click on the above image of said cover and hop on over to check out my review.
The popularity of web site Will It Blend? is indicative of how people enjoy mashing things together. Of course this kind of sharing and combining has been going on in the arts for quite some time. The new Lev Grossman novel, The Magicians asks ‘will it blend?’ of two rather popular fantasy series, J.K. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter and the tales of Narnia from C.S. Lewis. Grossman’s thoughts on both are tossed on top and then the author begins to play a symphony across the full range of buttons from stir to liquefy. What comes out is not children’s fantasy but at times a rather bitter mix.
Soon I should be reading Levi Grossman’s new book, The Magicians and offering up a review shortly after. It’s being billed as a Harry Potter for grown-ups and I have to confess I’m pretty excited to get my hands on it.
Until then, would be fans can dive into the world of the book well before it is released in August. The protagonist is a fan of the fantasy world of Fillory which you can explore now at that site. Fillory is the creation of Christopher Plover who now exists on the web. (I feel for any kid out there that runs across this and decides he’s going to do a report on Plover for school. Then again- based on some of what I’ve seen they may get a good grade.) And what modern school of wizardry wouldn’t have its own web page (click on the flower at the bottom.)
It’s interesting to see how the internet is providing a completely additional layer to this story. Hopefully the book deserves all this work, I’ll let you know. I just wish stuff like this had been around when I was in Junior Highschool saving my allowance for weeks to buy one of the cheaper guides to Middle Earth.
In 1953 John Myers brought his friend Gary Wolf a book he had just read, Space Hawk by Anthony Gilmore. The two were already avid readers but this would be their introduction to an entire genre, Science Fiction. They both say that it was Space Hawk that sparked a life long love of all things Sci-Fi. According to both of them, they had an opportunity to re-read Space Hawk as adults and found that it had not weathered the years well. They decided they would write their own science fiction adventure in the same style, but do a better job. The result is their book Space Vulture. (more…)
FLURB is not new. Issue number 7 is now up. But it is new to me. What I’ve read so far is different, but good. The text is mixed with illustrations. You can check it out and it wont cost you more than bandwidth and time.
Random House seems to be hopping into the “give the first one away free” game. The Suvudu Free Book Library is your new place to pick up the first book from some of their Scifi/Fantasy series. I saw Red Mars over there – you can’t go wrong with stuff that solid. Just be prepared to fork over the cash when you want to keep going, and with the line up they have it’s a slim chance you wont want to.
What do you get when you team up an astronomer/sci-fi author and the National Science Foundation? An anthology of free Astronomy Science Fiction stories. There are 14 stories in the collection that has been edited by Mike Brotherton They say, “The purpose of the anthology is to provide stories with ample and accurate astronomy spanning a range of topics covered in introductory courses.” and “Fans of science fiction with good science should also enjoy these stories.”
Right now the stories are all available to read on-line. There is a download tab that promises “Downloadable versions of the anthology coming soon.” I hope so, this kind of thing would be perfect to have on my phone.
This list was actually done the end of last year, but I just ran across it via a blog post I spotted on reddit. io9s top sci-fi books of 2008 This is a good list for anyone looking for some good reading. I’ll list the books below, but it’s worth hopping over there to read the comments and slivers from their reviews. One of them is by Doctorow. So you know what that means – you can read it as quickly as you can go to his site and download it. Another is by Tobias Buckell – which means I’ll be reading that for sure. (It also reminds me I have never posted a review of his last book I read – gotta do that.) Anyway, here they are.
- Liberation, by Brian Francis Slattery
- Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
- Nano Comes to Clifford Falls, by Nancy Kress
- The Alchemy of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia
- Sly Mongoose, by Tobias Buckell
- The Night Sessions, by Ken MacLeod
- Postsingular, by Rudy Rucker
- Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
- Matter, by Iain M. Banks
- Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- Multireal, by David Louis Edelman
Have you ever been reading a book or watching a film and as the plot moves to involve some use of technology you begin to brace yourself, and the cringe as you are ripped out of the story by what is an obviously ignorant treatment of matters you know well? Do you find the idea of creating a “gui interface using visual basic” to see about tracking an ip address as more fit for a sitcom rather than crime drama? And if so, have you ever wondered what it would be like if one of us, a geek, wrote a techno-thriller? What if someone who grokked our culture and understood our tech wrote something? Would it be great, or would it just get bogged down in the techno babble?