The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

International Review, The Portal, Launches!

The Portal is a free, volunteer-run, online review of short-form science fiction, fantasy, and horror from around the world. We review work in English and also provide English-language coverage of short fiction markets, anthologies, and genre literary activities in many language communities.

Launched at the World Fantasy Convention this weekend, The Portal‘s first issue offers reviews of Russian SF magazine Polden, Brazilian collection Paraíso Líquido and others, and articles on SF in BoliviaFrance and Denmark.

The Portal is managed by Val Grimm (Editor-in-Chief) and Elizabeth A. Allen (Editor).


October 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Comments Off on International Review, The Portal, Launches!

The Portal Archive: Shimmer, Issue 12

What kind of magazine is Shimmer? What kind of stories do Beth Wodzinski and her staff choose for inclusion, do they hold true to their criteria, and in the end do all of the components mix and match and meld into a compelling collection of modern fantasy fiction?

Continue reading

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on The Portal Archive: Shimmer, Issue 12

The Portal Archive: Sybil’s Garage, no. 7

Sybil’s Garage no. 7 marks its growth with a new format in its print version and a movement from ISSN to ISBN. No. 7 contains eighteen stories of various lengths (along with poetry and a long essay on Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds), ranging from science fiction to fantasy, to magic realism, to fable, and in form from traditional to experimental. Every story had something for me to like: vivid description, playful language, a character to root for, mystery, poignancy, tragedy, an intellectual puzzle, a sting in the tail. Continue reading

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

The Portal Archive: Bolivia: A sci-fi country

Bolivia is not a country of science. Obviously there are universities and patents, research and technological advances, but this happens largely through foreign aid, or in minimum percentages compared with other countries. The reason for that is due to lack of investment in R&D departments of major industries and university departments. This does not prevent the country from becoming exceptional in applied sciences and in the adaptation and use of foreign technologies in a different context of the intended one. That said, it is easy to understand why a country where there isn’t a lot of science, has not produced a lot of science fiction. Continue reading

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on The Portal Archive: Bolivia: A sci-fi country

Gwacheon International SF Film Festival

In a recent blog entry by Gord Sellar, he mentions Korea’s Gwacheon International SF Film Festival which started yesterday and will end on November 7, 2010. If you happen to be in the area, of just curious as to the films that are included, do check out the website.

October 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on Gwacheon International SF Film Festival

The Portal Archive: France – a land of literature, and imaginary fiction?

If someone had to describe France, what features would they first choose ? The French « gastronomie » is quite famous – our cheese and wine are considered leaders of the field by many. Then the monuments, of course – our Eiffel Tower, and more or less Paris as a whole might pop into the mind. Continue reading

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Ignotus Awards 2010

Over at Sue Burke’s blog, she posted the results of the Ignotus Awards. In her own words:

“The Ignotus Award is Spain’s equivalent to the Hugo, awarded at the annual convention, called Hispacon, sponsored by the Asociación Española de Fantasía, Ciencia Ficción y Terror. The 2010 awards were presented October 11 during Hispacon XXVIII, held this year in Burjassot, Valencia.

Here are the winners:

Best novel:
Última noche de Hipatia (The Last Night of Hypatia), by Eduardo Vaquerizo.

Best Novella:
“La cosecha del centauro” (“The Harvest of the Centaur”), by Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sánchez.

Best Short Story:
“Victimas Inocentes” (“Innocent Victims”) by David Jasso.

Best Anthology:
De mecánica y alquimia (Of Mechanics and Alchemy) by Juan Jacinto Muñoz Rengel.

Best Nonfiction Book:
W de Watchmen (W for Watchmen), by Rafael Marín.

Best Article:
“La historia que no fue: a propósito de ‘Cuatro siglos de buen gobierno’ y la otra historia de Nilo María Fabra” (“The Story That Never Was: regarding ‘Four Centuries of Good Government” and the other story by Nilo María Fabra”), by Alfonso Merelo.

Best Illustration:
El adepto de la reina (The Queen’s Adept), by Alejandro Terán (Sportula).

Best Audiovisual Production:
Planet51, by Jorge Blanco and Javier Abad.

Best Comic:
Las calles de arena (The Streets of Sand), by Paco Roca.

Best Poetic Work:
“Napalm Satori,” by Francisco Javier Pérez.

Best Magazine:
Calabazas en el trastero (Pumpkins in the Back Room).

Best Foreign Novel:
Diáspora, by Greg Egan.

Best Foreign Short Story:
“El imperio invisible” (“The Invisible Empire”), by John Kessel.

Best Website:
NGC 3660

Domingo Santos Award:
“El Taxidermista De Bradomín” (The Taxidermist of Brandomin”) by Javier Molina Palomino.

RetroIgnotus Award 1988:
Hijos de la Eternidad (Sons of Eternity) by Javier Redal and Juan Miguel Aguilera, a landmark space opera.


October 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Comments Off on Ignotus Awards 2010

The Portal Archive: Polden, XXI Vek; October 2010

Polden, XXI Vek (Noon, XXI Century) is a Russian science fiction magazine, founded in 2002 by Boris Strugatsky. The Strugatsky Brothers, Arkady (1925-1991) and Boris (b. 1933) have dominated the Russian science fiction for decades. The magazine’s title is clearly derived from their novel Noon, XXII Century. In May 2007, the magazine became a 176-page monthly, with a printed volume of 13,000. It is also available electronically from The magazine shares its publisher with Vokrug Sveta (Around The World), the Russian counterpart to National Geographic. The Vokrug Sveta logo is displayed prominently on the front and back covers of Polden, as well as in several other places in the magazine. Continue reading

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Comments Off on The Portal Archive: Polden, XXI Vek; October 2010

The Portal Archive: Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2010

“Dead Man’s Run,” the longest and by far the strongest of the stories in this issue, immerses the reader in the world of amateur competitive running, making a neat metaphor for the pursuit that frames the story. In Robert Reed’s novella, runner Lucas and the rest of his “pack” chase the man that they believe murdered their popular, well-liked runner friend Wade. More than a quick catch-me-if-you-can, Reed’s work is complicated by the specter of the dead man’s “backup,” made of all Wayne’s running data and associated hopes, fears and thoughts. Though based on Wade, this backup now has a mind and independence of its own, talking frequently to Lucas and others. What is this backup’s relation to Lucas? To the rest of the pack? To the dead man himself? Continue reading

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments

Aliette de Bodard’s Servant of the Underworld released in the US!

With all the excitement yesterday, we didn’t even realise it was Aliette de Bodard’s US release day!

Aliette’s first novel, Servant of the Underworld, published by Angry Robot Books, is now available across the United States.

Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan – the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, high priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead. But how do you find someone, living or dead, in a world where blood sacrifices are an everyday occurrence and the very gods stalk the streets?

Congratulations, Aliette!

Aliette is a contributor to The Apex Book of World SF (now under a special sale for blog readers!) and launches our weekly fiction feature with her story Mélanie.

October 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

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