Twitter, the home of microblogging is now also the home of microfiction. The first @thaumatrope presents speculative fiction in a 140 characters or less. When taking submissions thaumatrope pays $1.20 for each that is accepted. A new player launching on January 14th is @Outshine. They bill themselves as a twitterzine for “optimistic, near future prose poems.” and they pay $5 per accepted submission.
This is not a book review per se – but I’ve found thaumatrope to be very entertaining and have high hopes for Outshine. Just one more place for those who love to read to get a little fix.
John Scalzi the author of Hugo Award nominated science fiction novel Old Man’s War has built what started as a story serialized in his blog into a series of full novels and short stories. The latest installment in the OMW universe, Zoe’s Tale is quite a departure from the previous three books. It is the first of Scalzi’s sci-fi novels written intentionally as young adult fiction. In a move that I am sure will continue to fuel Scalzi/Heinlein comparisons, Zoe is a precocious young woman thrust into a world of adventure and danger. In just three years Scalzi has built an impressive resume as an author of fiction and Zoe’s Tale will be no small part of what looks to be an influential and outstanding career.
Orson Scott Card’s work Ender’s Game began as a novelette, that he says he wrote as a means of leading up to the full story he had developed, Speaker for the Dead. Ender’s Game was published as a full novel in 1985, won the Hugo and Nebula awards (as did Speaker for the Dead in ’86 and ’87). I think it is safe to say that Ender’s Game is ensconced in its position as a science fiction classic. Now, 23 years later, Card has finished the first direct sequel to Ender’s Game in his new novel Ender in Exile.
John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe now spans four novels, The Last Colony is the third. Of those initial three this is the one that is most a sequel. The first, Old Man’s War and the second, The Ghost Brigades each stand alone. And I think that The Last Colony actually can do so as well, but this is the first where the main characters are both from the previous books. That said, this is still a complete story and may even appeal to readers who may have not been crazy about the previous books.
This is a little outside the norm for me – but a friend of mine from slashdot won a short story contest and it is a pretty great story in my estimation. So if you would like to enjoy a quick but well done read – head on over and check out Shroud. I guess I am a bit biased by the fact that my nick over at the dot is stoolpigeon – and this story has a lot of pigeons in it. But it really is very well written.
Tor has launched their new social, sci-fi, fantasy and much more, blogging, new fiction, super duper site. Right now there are 2 short stories up and available to read/download. They are “After The Coup” by John Scalzi, and “Down On The Farm” by Charles Stross. Both in worlds developed by the authors in full novels. Scalzi’s story is in the Old Man’s War universe and is a great read. Stross’s story is from his “Laundry” stories, which I don’t know but I liked this story. Nice mix of magic, math and computing.
On top of all that, for a limited time every ebook and piece of art they made available during their promotional period leading up to the launch of the site are all available right here. Every book is available in multiple drm free formats. I’ve read 3 so far and loved all 3. I’m working on my fourth now. There are over 20 total and so I’ll have lots of fun stuff to read for some time.
If they stick with what it says in the post – all this will no longer be available 7 days from now. They will shut it all down after the 27th. The artwork is also amazing and available in a wide number of sizes. This is when the Down Them All plugin for firefox really comes in handy. Right-Click, Save As just wont cut it for this much awesome stuff.
The Homeless Moon is the web site of 5 writers, Michael J. DeLuca, Jason S. Ridler, Scott H. Andrews, Erin Hoffman and Justin Howe. They have put together a chapbook of fun short stories that they have made available to order or download for free.
Hackerteen is an interesting new project, a graphic novel being published by O’Reilly. What makes it interesting is not just that this is a rather new direction for O’Reilly but that this is, to my knowledge, a rather unique publication in that it seeks to educate teenage youth about an array of issues ranging from privacy, free software, security and the impact of politics on personal freedom as it relates to the use of technology. Making topics like that exciting, and understandable to a young person may sound like a tall order, and I think it is.
The free pdf deal is over. Hope you got it if you wanted it.
I just found out about this and it is only good for a couple more days. I read about it over at Whatever. Scott Sigler’s Infected is available as a free download in pdf format. I haven’t read it, just downloaded it now, so I have no idea what it is like. But it is Sci-Fi and it is free. The site said the download will be available until March 31st. That’s Monday, so get hopping.
I remember the first time that I read “Childhood’s End”, the classic by Aurthur C. Clarke. Clarke wrote the story well before I was born and I came across it at a young age. This tale of the end and beginning of the world had a profound effect and I was entranced. As I recently read Robert Charles Wilson’s “Spin”, I was reminded once again of that same sense of awe and the weight of humanity and its dreams. It was just as I finished the book that I saw in the news that Clarke had died, and I guess that cemented the association in my mind. “Spin” is an incredible tale, and not just a copy or derivative of Childhood’s End. In fact what they have in common is a mood or sense of gravity, not plot or devices. That Wilson won the Hugo Award for Best Novel with this book is absolutely no surprise.