The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Anti-Racist Anthology? On the problems of Editing

Nick Mamatas recently pointed out new UK anthology Never Again: Weird Fiction Against Racism and Fascism (edited by Allyson Bird and Joel Lane), which is, in Nick’s terms,

an anti-fascist and anti-racist anthology, yet hasn’t managed to include stories by any prominent writers of color.”

When he asked the editors about it he was told that

“There are relatively few non-white writers of horror or supernatural fiction in the UK, and it happened that none of the writers whom we targeted on account of their fiction were non-white. Would you have preferred us to target and include writers on the basis of their skin colour, not their writing?”

The full thread and Nick’s reply can be found here. A discussion on Nick’s blog is here.

Writer and editor Maurice Broaddus, meanwhile, has dedicated a guest-post over at Jeff Vandermeer’s blog to the subject, remarking:

As editors, we don’t have the luxury of hiding behind this as a defense, because this is a straw one at best (and no amount of “my best friend is black” style waving is going to save you).  Not to mention that this is a fairly ignorant, or at least ill constructed, “defense” because it’s not like these two possibilities are mutually exclusive.

So what do you think? Comments, as always, welcome.

July 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 7 Comments

Short Story Highlight: “Perhaps this is Kushi’s Story” by Swapna Kishore (Fantasy Magazine)

This week’s Fantasy Magazine features a new story by Indian writer Swapna Kishore, Perhaps this is Kushi’s Story:

Elder Sister places pebbles to mark people in her sand village. She pats walls in place. She smiles in her know-it-all way as if to remind me that it is she who will marry the headman’s son and decide what our tribe does–all because she was born an hour before me. When she stands back to admire her work, I kick it in.

“Younger Sister, why?” She gives a mournful look.

“You hadn’t posted guards,” I mock. “A city is more than fields and huts and granaries.”

“Hmmm.” She flattens the sand and drags a twig to sketch a new plan, this time including watch towers. She cups her hands around moist sand to shape buildings again.

I hate it when she doesn’t fight.

She will take time to build anything worth kicking, so I turn to the Maasa river. The pebble I throw skims over the flat blue water, touching the surface once, twice, three times before it sinks. The air smells of river spray and fresh grass and ripe wheat—too peaceful for me. My dreams have soldiers flashing swords and cities full of buildings and the sounds of song and dance. In my dreams, I rule people.

My hand is moving to my bosom, as if that will stop the buzz of things I crave, when I notice Tribemother watching me. I straighten up; I do not want her to suspect anything. Tribemother’s face is so thick with wrinkles I never know when she is frowning. She must be over a hundred years old, because no one remembers her as young. They say she knows everything that can be known. They say she reads minds; at times like this, I worry it may be true.

Yet I have not done anything wrong. Not yet. – continue reading.

About the author:

Swapna Kishore lives in Bangalore, India, and writes both fiction and non-fiction. Her speculative fiction has appeared/ is forthcoming in Nature (Futures), Ideomancer, Strange Horizons, Sybil’s Garage 7, and other publications. For more about her, please visit her at http://swapnawrites.com.

July 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off

Lavie Tidhar’s “Cloud Permutations” Released

Lavie Tidhar’s latest book, the novella Cloud Permutations, is now available from PS Publishing.

From the publisher’s page:

Synopsis / Contents:

Lavie Tidhar grew up in Israel and South Africa, but it was his experience of the South Pacific, and the remote islands of Melanesia, that inspired this book. When he wasn’t climbing volcanoes or riding in canoes and boats (or tending his little tomato patch!) Lavie wrote in his tiny bamboo shack on the island of Vanua Lava. He speaks fluent Bislama – the pidgin language of Vanuatu and another major influence on his writing. Lavie’s first novel, The Bookman, is out in 2010 from Angry Robot Books. PS will be publishing another of Lavie’s novellas next year.

Cloud Permutations

The world of Heven was populated, centuries ago, by Melanesian settlers from distant Earth. It is a peaceful, quiet world – yet it harbours ancient secrets.

Kai just wants to fly. But flying is the one thing forbidden on Heven – a world dominated by the mysterious, ever present clouds in the skies. What do they hide? For Kai, finding the answer might mean his death – but how far will you go to realise your dreams?

Set against the breathtaking vista of a world filled with mystery and magic, Cloud Permutations is a planetary romance with a unique South Pacific flavour, filled with mythic monsters, ancient alien artefacts, floating islands and a quest to find a legendary tower… whatever the cost.

Cloud Permutations is available in two editions:

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 3 Comments

Original Fiction: The Basics of Flight, Part 2, Chapter 4, by Joyce Chng

The Basics of Flight

by Joyce Chng

PART TWO: FLIGHT

Chapter Four: Earning the Wings

She was in the same blimp-fin again, its controls familiar to the touch. For this training run, the winds were favorable – calm, without bustling gusts, considering it was now Autumn and the wintry currents were arriving soon. She self-consciously touched the half-wing brooch on her left breast, the badge of an Intermediate Pilot-In-Training. Captain Sagan pinned it on her chest in a private ceremony and whispered quiet words of encouragement like “Work harder.”

Beside her, Misato Kanaka took her place as navigator. She was an exchange student from Meiji Japan, roughly around Katherine’s age. Her jet-black hair was pulled back in a severe bun and she wore the same kind of uniform as Katherine: light brown, the color of a senior student. On her left shoulder was the House emblem: she was assigned College Sable. Misato had the same quiet mildness as Alethia but when it came to games like lacrosse or even gymnastics, she excelled and positively thrived.

“Check the wind gauge,” Katherine said, keeping her eye on their goal: a red-stripped flag. It was a training flight, with an element of competition. They had to collect ribbon-ed rings along the way. Misato was issued a pole so that she could collect the rings positioned at certain locations.

“Wind gauge normal. Wind is easterly.” Misato reported dutifully. They were coming up to a set of three rings and Misato readied her pole.

A flash of grey passed by beneath them. The passage of another blimp-fin. The blast of air left by its wake rocked Katherine’s own vessel and Misato stumbled, shouting something in Japanese. She sounded alarmed and rightly so. It was an illegal move and it had already gotten the rival blimp-fin ahead of them.

“You alright?” Katherine asked the shaken Misato who nodded. That was not a nice way to fly. In fact, it was not a safe way to fly either, not thinking about safety at all. Thomas Von Dyke had gotten too cocky for his own good. She powered the blimp-fin forward, furious.

Thomas and his navigator – Edward – were already in the act of collecting the rings – our rings, Katherine thought angrily – when she piloted her blimp-fin towards the errant vessel. With a growl, she nudged it against the other blimp-fin, knocking it out of its position. She opened the pothole and shouted, “You do not have to cheat, Thomas Von Dyke! You nearly got us killed!”

The rings scattered, fell. Edwards almost lost his balance and hung on for dear life. Thomas’s face emerged, ruddy with anger. Katherine had enough of Thomas and his tendency to needle her all the time. With a quick word to Misato to hang on, she pushed forth and her blimp-fin barreled forward, approaching another marker with two rings. A look back saw Thomas’s blimp-fin pursuing her.

“Ready the pole,” Katherine bit out and Misato stood at the door. They reached the marker and with a deft flick of her wrist, Misato scooped the two rings up with the pole. The two girls grinned triumphantly and added the two rings to the existing pool of four.

Thomas’s blimp-fin thundered past them, misjudging the distance. Katherine could hear faint rude curses. Good. She got them.

When they landed the blimp-fin, Katherine waited for the inevitable: Thomas storming up to her, all indignant anger.

“Edward lost his footing!” Thomas shouted at her. He was as tall as her, seeing eye-to-eye. He was so close that she could smell his breath redolent of onions.

Katherine looked at him squarely, coolly. “You knocked us off our position, Thomas Von Dyke. Tit for tat.”

With a guttural roar, Thomas launched himself at Katherine who sidestepped easily and the young man fell face-first into the grass.

“Admit it, Thomas,” Katherine remained cold, unmoved. “You cheated. You moved ahead of us. It was an illegal move and you knew it. Have you not thought about Edward’s safety? Your own safety?”

“Safety?” Thomas’s face and uniform were stained green. His eyes were bright with unshed tears. “I tell you safety!” He leapt towards Katherine, his hands grappling for her throat. Edward yelled and held onto the livid youth with his arms.

Peace, Thomas!” Edward was saying anxiously, his face almost tearing. “Do you want us to get Solitary? You are friends, remember?”

Captain Sagan was striding up to them, a statuesque Athenian figure dressed in khaki. The expression on her face brought everything to an uneasy halt.

~*~

Katherine sat in the Solitary Room. Thomas was somewhere else, in a similar chamber, cooling off. Beige walls, a small cot and a square window. She rubbed her face tiredly. They had already explained verbatim to Captain Sagan who then announced she would deliberate on her decision.

She touched her half-wing badge sadly. She might end up losing it. She should not have lost her temper as well or taunted Thomas. He was her friend.  But, by Jove, that boy was trouble! She shook her head and tried to rest, calm her nerves.

The door clanked, opened and Captain Sagan stood at the doorway, her face impassive.

“You will keep your half-wing,” the Tutor-in-charge of House Sable said firmly. “Cadet Kanaka had told me what had really transpired. It would seem that Cadet Von Dyke made an illegal pass.”

“He did, madam,” Katherine said, feeling angry once more, seeing the other blimp-fin nudge past hers in her mind’s eye. The clear eyes of her teacher made her think twice and she subsided, closing her eyes.

“Cadet Von Dyke is a fellow of a competitive nature. This does not however excuse his behavior. He would have killed not only himself but Cadet Hannigan, you and Cadet Kanaka.” Captain Sagan continued, her voice grave. “However, you should not be provoked as well, Katherine Riley.”

Katherine felt unwelcome hot tears in her eyes and she blinked them away, annoyed at the unexpected rush of emotion, as if she was still a little girl, standing in front of Miss Sharpton. “I am sorry, madam. It is just that Thomas makes me so… angry all the time.”

“Von Dyke, unfortunately, fights with anyone for glory. A good trait, perhaps, to have in combat. I am not sure if this trait has gotten him more friends or enemies. As a pilot, you have to be careful. It is right to feel anger. But anger at the wheel of the leo-fin is as dangerous as an uncontrolled cannon. You put your own life at stake, Katherine Riley.”

Captain Sagan turned as if to go. “You can leave Solitary now.”

“Madam!” Katherine stood up. “How about Thomas? What will happen to him?”

Captain Karlida Sagan smiled a rueful smile. “He will face the appropriate punishment, Katherine Riley. Now go, before I change my mind.”

~*~

The first person Katherine saw when she stepped into the bright sunshine was Richard Eddington walking down the same path as she was. Her heart skipped a beat, lurched and resumed its normal beating once more. He was still the same Eddington she had met a few years back, older now with some white strands in his hair – he was ageing prematurely. He was in full uniform, helmet, goggles and all. It was a surprise to see him once more. As a full-fledged pilot, he was always on duty, delivering cargo and passengers. To see him around at the Academy was astonishing. Perhaps, he had delivered something to one of the lecturers.

“Good afternoon,” Eddington bowed. “Fancy meeting you here.” He looked up. “Solitary? What happened?” Katherine could see concern writ large on his handsome face.

“I got into a fight,” Katherine grimaced at the memory and recalled Captain Sagan’s words, her heart sinking once more.

“A fight?” Eddington’s eyes went wide. “With who, pray tell?”

“Thomas Von Dyke.” She knew her tone sounded sullen and Eddington picked up on that. His face was sympathetic.

“That lad needs a good whipping, I reckon. What made you two fight?”

Not again. She had to explain the whole damned thing all over Eddington who listened attentively to her sorry tale.

“It is not entirely your fault, Riley. He made an illegal move and I have seen enough nitwits do the same thing now as a pilot. Some of them end up injured. I think one has his legs crushed.” Eddington concluded, nodding. “Stupid pride. Makes one cocky and careless. And brainless. ”

“You sound just like Captain Sagan,” Katherine had to smile.

“Pilots have to stick together. We have seen too many acts of folly.” Eddington’s facial features softened as if he was remembering something in his past. Suddenly, he chuckled and grinned roguishly. “Fancy a walk in the park, my lady? You could use some fresh air, after Solitary.”

He held his hand, like a gentleman asking a lady for a dance in the ballroom. She laughed, her dark worries gone for the moment.

~*~

They had a leisurely stroll in the Academy’s park, talking about pilot things and other interesting topics. When Eddington had to go, Katherine felt a pang of regret once more.

“Richard?” She dared use his given name. And he turned to her, with a gentle smile on his good-looking face.

“May our paths cross once more,” Richard Eddington said quietly and pressed a kiss on her hand. “You work hard on being a Pilot-In-Training now.”

“And you? Off to save damsels in distress or haul cargo?” Katherine knew her face was glowing and she did not hide it.

“That is a pilot’s job,” Eddington grinned once more. “Au revoir.”

~*~

Ghastly, ghastly, ghastly.

These words repeated in the inventor’s mind as he made the finishing touches to the model in front of him. Larger than the leo-fin and streamlined, it dominated the entire workshop space. He had to acquire an unused warehouse for this project.

Did Lady Calwell gasp out with horror and remark that it was ghastly? She had flung up her lace kerchief with some drama, shielding her eyes decorously at the sight of the grey monstrosity before her.

Well, the inventor thought grimly, it has the desired effect on people. Is that not the main purpose? To inspire fear and horror?

He personally named it The Beast and come the Great Gathering, there would be many more Beasts to terrorize the sky and probably other nations.

So much for the New Age. Did Leonardo Da Vinci ever go through such mental anguish, such spiritual torment?

He added a few more strokes of glue and stood back to examine his handiwork. The Beast was magnificent, no doubt about it. Its function, however, was not of beauty or even of graceful design. A Fleet of these Beasts would awe the rest of the nations gathered. Not sure if they had something up their sleeves as well. There was often an air of competition amongst the nations. He had heard word that a group of inventors was busy building something in the far-off Straits Settlement of Singapore. It would take a month to ship their invention over. The Great Gathering would soon arrive with all its glory.

July 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Comments Off

Monday Original Content: An Interview with Paolo Chikiamco, by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

Paolo Chikiamco, Taking on E-publishing in the name of Philippine Fiction

Interview by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

In 2009, Paolo Chikiamco launched Eight Ray Sun publishing with the goal of providing an electronic platform for Filipino Speculative Fiction. This move, opens the way for more exposure on behalf of Filipino writers, and while Eight Ray Sun publishing doesn’t yet pay as much as its International counterparts, it does strive to provide Filipino writers with compensation for the works accepted for publication.

In the meantime, Paolo has launched the first issue of Usok (an online publication of Filipino Speculative Fiction), the Rocket Kapre blog, and the Ruin and Resolve Anthology (a benefit anthology for victims of calamities in the Philippines). Alternative Alamat is Paolo’s latest project. Here he challenges Filipino writers to create stories that draw inspiration from Filipino myth and legend. In line with this project, Paolo has put together The Myth List which can be found at the Rocket Kapre Blog(http://www.rocketkapre.com).

In this interview, Paolo talks about what inspired him to undertake e-publishing, the future of Filipino Genre Fiction and the vision behind the Eight Ray Sun Publishing and the Alternative Alamat Project.


Q: Could you share some of your background? How did you come to writing and what made you choose speculative fiction?

I was always making up stories, even before I learned how to put them down on paper. I’m an only child, and that’s how I’d keep myself entertained once I ran out of books to read–or if I didn’t want to leave my favorite characters behind, even after their stories had ended. The first think I remember writing was a piece of Chrono Trigger fanfiction, which I’d jot down in a notepad every night, then store beneath my pillow. Once I hit college, my house got an Internet connection, and I discovered the online fanfiction communities. It was the first time I ever tried showing my work to other people, and the feedback encouraged me to write more fiction, and eventually try my hand at original work.

Speculative fiction was always my first love–I grew up on a steady diet of David Eddings, Orson Scott Card, and choose-your-own-adventure books… not to mention superhero comics–and I’ve never wanted to write anything else. Mainstream fiction can paint fascinating pictures of people and of a world that, although based on reality, I could never quite feel a part of. Speculative fiction, on the other hand, creates an entirely new world which draws me in by the sheer imaginative force of its imagery and underlying concepts. There’s an, let’s call it an “intensity”, to the experience of reading (or watching, or listening to) speculative fiction that I simply don’t find anywhere else.

Q: Are you still working as a lawyer? I read that you made a choice to leave your lawfirm for the sake of the writing life. What prompted this decision?

Well, now and then I call upon my fading memories of the ins-and-outs of the legal system to advise a friend or a family member in need, but for the most part that’s a world I’ve sort of bracketed and put aside for now. The nice thing about having passed the Bar though, is that my “lawyer hat” will always be there if I need to return to it. (Or if I get in a lot of trouble…)

As for what prompted the decision, that would be my wife, Shaps. I’d never really seen myself as lasting for long in a law firm, but I’d wanted to try it out for a few years, since we were newly married. After roughly two and a half years though, she saw that it was draining me dry. I worked in litigation, so that meant I was in the field of practice that directly dealt with the courts and quasi-judicial bodies, and it was just making me miserable. I’d dread the entire part of the day between leaving the house and getting back home, and, creatively, I was empty. I had become… disillusioned with words, is how I’d put it, and I can’t think of anything that could be more deadly to a writer. Shaps saw that, and told me that I needed to get out of the firm and try for my dream.

Q: After resigning from your lawfirm, you put up Eight Ray Sun Publishing. Would you elaborate more on the vision behind your publishing company.

Sure. About two or three years before I left the law firm, I’d awakened to the existence of a speculative fiction scene here in the Philippines. Kenneth Yu had just launched his Digest of Philippine Genre Stories, and that lead me to the works of Dean Alfar and the Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthology. The more I saw of local speculative fiction, the more I hungered for it, and for the kind of stories that we weren’t yet producing: the novels, the series, the young adult titles… I wanted to fill local shelves with our own worlds of fantasy and science fiction, but I also realized that to produce that kind of content, writing would have to be a whole lot more profitable for local authors than it was. I mean, countries like the United States and Japan have dozens of speculative fiction titles coming out every month, but that’s because in those countries, it’s actually possible to make a living as an author. They also have publishers which specialize in speculative fiction, and while in early 2009 there was exactly one major local publisher with a fantasy imprint (not including Kestrel DDM which publishes the Philippine Speculative Fiction anthology series), that was clearly not going to be enough.

So, the vision of the company is this: to publish great works of Philippine speculative fiction, and to do so in a way that would be profitable for the authors, and allow the greatest possible distribution of the stories.

Q: Eight Ray Sun publishes in electronic format. What made you decide for this format as opposed to print format?

Wider distribution was a key part of our mission/vision, and there is no distribution platform with greater reach than the Internet. When I was doing research on the publishing industry before leaving the law firm, I saw that digital publishing was becoming a force to be reckoned with, and a viable alternative and/or supplement to print publishing. It would allow me to keep costs down, even as I secured for our stories a platform that could ignore geographic and political boundaries, and make content instantly available to readers around the world, from the comfort of their own homes (or, wherever they’re sitting with their iPhones and iPads).

I still love print, and I’m hopeful that we’ll eventually see Rocket Kapre books on physical shelves, and not just in the Philippines either. But if a company can publish a physical copy of a book, there are few valid reasons for that book not to be made available digitally as well, so starting with a digital strategy made sense to me.

Q: Your latest project is the Alternative Alamat project. Would you like to share more about this project and what you hope to achieve with it?

While circumstances dictated that the first anthology that we released was Ruin and Resolve, our charity anthology, Alternative Alamat was the first book I envisioned releasing under the Rocket Kapre label. One of the many flaws of our educational system in the Philippines, I believe, is the lack of attention given to our home grown myths and legends. When I was growing up, I loved mythology, and while I don’t regret the hours I spent poring over Bullfinch, I wish I’d spent just as much time devouring Locano’s “Outline of Philippine Mythology”, or any of Maximo Ramos’ books–but I didn’t even know those existed when I was a child, and even as an adult these resources weren’t easy to come by.

The ignorance that most of us Filipinos have about our myths and legends is all the more tragic because we have such a rich heritage, one which draws not just from one oral tradition but dozens of diverse, yet equally captivating traditions. Most nations have one pantheon of gods–in Locano’s “Outline”, I count at least eleven. Think about it: eleven pantheons of divinities, each with their own gods, gods such as, Tagamaling (Bagobo) who had a dual personality, or Ipamahandi (Bukidnon), goddess of accident, or Manglubar (Zambales) whose duty was to “pacify angry hearts”. And, of course, each tradition would have their own demons, their own heroes, their own monsters. Think of all the stories those characters could populate. Centuries of colonization have erased so much, and if we don’t make a conscious effort to rediscover our past, more of it will slip away.

So with Alternative Alamat, I’d like to help people discover (I won’t say “re-discover” because we know so little of it) Philippine mythic heritage, the same way more modern stories which use elements of, say, Greek mythology, rekindles interest in those classics. But the anthology is about more than just serving as a signpost pointing back to our past–I also want more authors to claim ownership over our myths and legends, by using them. I want people to see the old stories not just as artifacts to admire, but as resources that can be adapted and repurposed and made the subject of speculation–as fuel, in short, for new stories, which build upon those which came before.

Q: There was a discussion some time ago about Filipino Speculative Fiction and what makes a fiction Filipino or not. What do you think about this subject?

That’s a tough one. Labels in fiction, I think, are largely used for promotional purposes. I think that the parameters used to determine the bounds of the label should be subsumed to that purpose, so for me, I define it in the broadest possible way: speculative fiction written by Filipinos.  After all, even people who would define the term based on the contents of the story would, for the most part, still promote a speculative fiction story written by a Filipino.

I think that seeing how polarizing it can be to try and define Filipino Speculative Fiction shows what sets our fiction apart. A lot of us who are writing spec fic at present, and getting our stories out in public, grew up influenced by and internalizing the Western traditions of the genre in prose and in media. At the same time, as we matured, we became more aware of our identities as Filipinos, and also aware of the fact that our experience of being a Filipino was, and continues to be, different–though no less valid–than the experience of the majority of countrymen. There’s a sort of triple-vision in effect when I write–a simultaneous awareness of Western influence, personal experience, and social reality that is present even when I’m writing a secondary world fantasy–and I think that’s a challenge that many of us have to overcome, and the process by which we overcome it creates work that is different from that of writers who see themselves as part of a more homogenous writing tradition.

Q: What do you think are the obstacles or challenges that we face as Filipinos writing in a field that’s dominated by the West?

The first challenge is that, as I touched upon a little earlier, most of us Filipino speculative fiction writers are ourselves products of that domination. The books we read in our youth gave us many of the tools and techniques that enable us to be writers, but which, at the same time, might not be right for the kind of stories we now want to tell–at least not without some adaptation. Even the language many of us write in, which approximates American English, while serving as the basic tool of our profession, seems to add a layer of alienation any time we choose to write certain types of stories. You see that a lot in the komiks scene here, particularly the local superhero scene, where you can see creators struggling to decide when to use English, or when to use Filipino, or how to translate a concept or experience from one context/language to another.

There was a recent discussion with regard to the viability of the classic superhero in the Philippines–the type who only focuses on halting crime rather than effecting any social change–given that the scale of problems such as poverty and corruption here. And yet, classic superheroes are exactly what many of the creators grew up wanting to do. In the same way, I grew up wanting to write The Belgariad, or the Wheel of Time, but now that I’ve realized I want to write stories influenced by the historical Philippines rather than historical Europe, I find that there is no great body of fiction that I can turn to and build upon. (Which is one of the reasons I’m all for discovering Philippine myths and legends.) It’s a blank slate, and for a writer that is both exciting and terrifying.

The other challenges are more practical in nature, and apply more specifically to Filipinos who live in the Philippines and want to publish novels.  While the short story market is becoming more and more accessible to writers from across the globe, it’s still difficult for someone who doesn’t live in the West to get a book published in the West, even when we just factor in logistical matters, such as the fact that a writer who lives in the Philippines is less likely to be able to network at a convention, or attend a writing workshop like Clarion. The sad thing is, it’s not any easier for a Filipino writer to get a spec fic novel published here in the Philippines. Most publishers don’t appear interested in spec fic in general, and spec fic novels in particular. There are no literary agents here, nor conventions where an aspiring writer can approach an editor or publisher. That’s one reason why I believe that many authors in the future will take the self-publishing route–they simply don’t have a way to get the attention of publishers. I hope that Rocket Kapre can help change that in the future.

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Comments Off

London Events for Lauren Beukes

South African writer Lauren Beukes will be in London this month, with no less than three exclusive events organised. Beukes is the author of Moxyland and Zoo City, both published by Angry Robot Books.

From the Angry Robot team:

To celebrate Lauren’s visit we’ve teamed up with Forbidden Planet to bring you an Angry Robot first – a limited edition hardcover of her forthcoming novel,Zoo City. It’s already attracted a lot of attention, and for very good reason!

You can order a copy of Zoo City from Forbidden Planet, here. Better still, come along to her signing. There are just 100 copies being sold through Forbidden Planet, so you’re going to have to get one soon to avoid disappointment! This is a very limited limited edition.

Lauren will be signing Zoo City at the London Forbidden Planet Megastore from 6.00-7.00pm on Thursday July 29th. Come along and say “Hi” and pick up a copy of the book. I’ll also be there (Lee) despite  my wife’s protestations (she doesn’t object to Lauren – the signing is halfway through our holiday, so I’ll be leaving our cottage in Wales to come along to the event).

British Science Fiction Association
The night before Lauren’s signing at Forbidden Planet she will be the special guest at the July meeting of the British Science Fiction Association, where she will be reading from Zoo City, prior to an interview. There will be a Q&A session at the end, and you don’t have to be a member of the BSFA to attend. There may be one or two other Angry Robot authors there, too, as well as Marc Gascoigne – Angry Robot’s Publishing Director.

The reading / interview will be at the upstairs bar of:

The Antelope Tavern, 22 Eaton Terrace, Belgravia, London SW1W 8EZ (nearest tube station is Sloane Square on the District and Circle lines).

The reading will commence around 7.00pm, but people usually start gathering in the downstairs bar from 5.00pm onwards.

British Fantasy Society
Lauren will also be the guest at the first BFS Open Night of the year. Well, not Open Night so much as Open Afternoon. For those of you who might find it hard to get to central London on a weekday evening, Lauren’s BFS event is on Saturday 31st July from 1.00pm until 5.00pm at The George pub on The Strand, WC2R 1AP  (nearest tube station: Temple). And again, you don’t have to be a member to attend, though you can join on the day if you wish.

So, those dates again:

Wednesday 28th JulyBSFA meeting - 7.00pm onwards (but any time from 5.00 for general chit-chat and beerage)
Thursday 29th July:  Forbidden Planet signing – 6.00pm until 7.00pm (see here for details)
Saturday 31st JulyBFS meeting – 1.00pm until 5.00pm

July 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Comments Off

Rich Horton on four new Australian anthologies

Over at Fantasy Magazine, Rich Horton reviews four new Australian anthologies:

  • Legends of Australian Fantasy, Edited by Jack Dann and Jonathan Strahan
  • Belong, Edited by Russell Farr
  • Scary Kisses, Edited by Liz Grzyb
  • Baggage, Edited by Gillian Polack

Australia has quite a busy publishing scene in SF and Fantasy for a relatively small (demographically speaking) country. There are two fairly regularly appearing print magazines (Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and Aurealis), and each year sees a number of original anthologies as well. To hand I have four 2010 anthologies, three from small presses and one from a major publisher. Not all of the books are restricted to Australian authors by any means, but in the way of things the majority of stories here are from that continent.

I’ll state upfront that not one of these books fully satisfies. Each is ambitious in its own way, and each has some nice work, but across the board I’d say there are two many minor stories, and indeed occasionally some very weak work. But for all that, there is, as I said, some nice work in each of these books: Let’s celebrate that. – read the rest of the review.

July 23, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off

SF Author Wang Guozhong Passes Away

The Chinese Science Fiction Newsletter reports that SF author Wang Guozhong has passed away:

Wang Guozhong, former director of the Shanghai Publication Bureau, head of the Research Institute of Culture and History, and author of the science fiction story “Black Dragon Goes Missing” died at the age of 83. Black Dragon Goes Missing was the most important SF collection of the 1960s, and the criticism its content drew from the Japanese government made it the internationally controversial work in the history of Chinese SF. Wang was a lead planner and editor of the popular science series A Hundred Thousand Whys, which occupies a pivotal position in the history of Chinese popular science writing.

former director of the Shanghai Publication Bureau, head of the Research Institute of Culture and History, and author of the science fiction story “Black Dragon Goes Missing” died at the age of 83. Black Dragon Goes Missing was the most important SF collection of the 1960s, and the criticism its content drew from the Japanese government made it the internationally controversial work in the history of Chinese SF. Wang was a lead planner and editor of the popular science series A Hundred Thousand Whys, which occupies a pivotal position in the history of Chinese popular science writing.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off

Free E-book: The Choir Boats by Daniel Rabuzzi

Slightly out of our usual remit, but who can say no to a free book?

Canadian writer Daniel Rabuzzi‘s debut fantasy novel, The Choir Boats (ChiZine Publications, Toronto, 2009) is featured as Wowio’s July Book of the Month.  During July 2010 only, the e-book version is FREE here:
http://news.wowio.com/2010/07/book-of-the-month-choir-boats/
Reviewers describe it as “Gulliver’s Travels crossed with The Golden Compass and a dollop of Pride and Prejudice,”  and “a muscular, Napoleonic-era fantasy that, like Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials series, will appeal to both adult and young adult readers.”  January Magazine named The Choir Boats among the Top Ten YA Novels for 2009.
This special edition of the novel includes bonus illustrations by Deborah A. Mills.  It’s also DRM-free, so it can be read on any device compatible with PDFs, and shared with friends just like a regular book.
Author’s bio, publication data and reviews are available at www.danielarabuzzi.com.

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off

China’s 2009 Sky Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to Apex Book of World SF contributor, Han Song, for winning the best short story award!

2009 SKY AWARD WINNERS (via Feng Zhang and sfawardwatch.com):

  • Best Fiction Long Form in 2009: Once upon a Time in Shanghai, JIANG Nan (Volumes Publishing Company)
  • Best Fiction Short Form in 2009: “Dark Room”, HAN Song (New Realms of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Jun 2009)
  • Most Popular Translated Fiction in 2009: The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Yasutaka Tsutsui, trans. by DING Dingchong (from The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Shanghai Translation Publishing House)
  • Special Contribution Award: Odyssey of China Fantasy – a SF/F magazine

July 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

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