Cheryl Morgan looks at fantasy written by women.
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Archive for Cheryl Morgan
This month in The Salon we discuss whether steampunk is necessarily all about empire. The guests are Karin Lowachee (from Canada via Guyana), Lavie Tidar (from Israel) and Jeff VanderMeer (co-editor of two steampunk anthologies and other steampunk-related books).
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Cheryl Morgan talks to Alastair Reynolds in a hotel room during BristolCon 2010. Al talks about his books, the future of space flight, the lack of women science fiction writers, and how events such as RaceFail have influenced his work.
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Cheryl Morgan talks to Juliet E. McKenna in a hotel room at BristolCon 2010. Juliet talks about her own novels, and about how to promote UK writers in a time of savage cutbacks in arts funding. Immediately after this interview Juliet and John Meaney did a wonderful panel on writing fight scenes, much of which involved doing violence to their brave volunteer victim, Joe Abercrombie.
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Tom Hunter, the current Clarke Award Administrator, has published an open letter on the Torque Control blog asking for feedback on the future of the award. You can add your comments here.
Lots has been happening on the bookstore front since last issue. We now have a proper bookstore which is gradually filling up with interesting material. Right now it is fairly limited, but I am busy talking to a number of small presses about offering their books. I talked quite a bit about my philosophy for the store on my blog, in particular the donations system. There’s a whole brave new world of publishing being opened up by the advent of ebooks. It will be fascinating to see what comes of it, but whatever happens we do need to find ways in which writers can make money from what they do.
So what do we have in the store?
Obviously there is Dark Spires. While the paper books are selling reasonably well in the UK, I didn’t expect to get orders from overseas. The postage adds significantly to the price. But you can buy ebook editions, and at current exchange rates it is under US$5. Of course you can buy the book anywhere in the world. There’s no DRM, and no region restrictions. I expect this to apply to everything we sell.
In addition you can buy ebook editions of Salon Futura and Clarkesworld. Yes, these are available for free on their respective web sites, but the ebook editions are very cheap, and if you buy them it helps Neil and I keep our magazines going. I expect to be adding other magazines soon.
New for December I’m delighted to announce that we have started to stock some ebooks published by Lethe Press. Lethe is an American-based small press specializing in books of interest to the LGBT community. Many of their books are science fiction and fantasy, and they also publish Icarus, “The Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction.”
First up in our list of books from Lethe is Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories, a collection by Sandra McDonald. Many of you will remember the fabulous “periodic table” promotional video that McDonald created for the book, celebrating other female science fiction writers. You may also have read some of her recent short fiction, such as “Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots” at Strange Horizons, or “Beach Blanket Spaceship” at Clarkesworld. If you like those examples of McDonald’s style of humorous, inventive, LGBT-themed fiction them you will love Diana Comet as well.
A much older book is Meslissa Scott’s Shadow Man. This is one of those books that always comes up when people talk about gender-themed science fiction. Set at a time when humanity has developed five distinct genders, the novel explores themes of gender and sexual identity. The book won the 1996 Lambda Award in the Science Fiction and Fantasy category (tied with Nicola Griffith’s equally superb Slow River).
Back with short fiction, we have So Fey: Queer Fairy Fictions. This is an anthology with the tongue-in-cheek theme of fairy stories with LGBT themes. Contributors include Rick Bowes, Sarah Monette, Holly Black, Laurie J. Marks, Christopher Barzack, Delia Sherman, Melissa Scott and Eugie Foster. The book is edited by Lethe’s founder, Steve Berman.
Finally we have Second Thoughts: More Queer and Weird Stories, a collection of stories by Steve Berman himself. The title pretty much explains what it is all about, except for the “second” bit which refers to the fact that this is Steve’s second collection.
As explained last issue, we’ve taken a slightly longer gap between issues this time in order to drift towards a mid-month release date. That way we are not competing for attention with the various other magazines (including Clarkesworld) that come out at the beginning of the month. Also it means I don’t have to worry about producing a magazine in the middle of the holidays.
For this issue I’m delighted to welcome Alvaro Zinos-Amaro as a guest contributor. We have some interviews recorded at BristolCon, a podcast about steampunk, and the usual fine contributions from Karen, Sam and Jonathan. Simon Breeze’s cover was also picked up at BristolCon, where it was in the art show.
Probably the most important thing about this issue is that we now have a proper online shop up and running, which we are starting to stock with material from a range of small presses. Please check out the “New In Store” column to see what is happening on that front. I am absolutely delighted to be selling Sandra McDonald’s Diana Comet anthology.
Our next issue will be rather more art-themed. We have an interview with Paul Cornell about comics, and one with Judith Clute about her art. The podcast, assuming I can get a good group together, will also be about comics. Jonathan is working on an article on steampunk in Japan, though I’m not sure when that will be ready, and my own column will focus on writers who are new in 2010. Have a wonderful holiday season, and we’ll see you in January.
Today’s Guardian contains a round up of the favorite books of 2010 by a variety of the newspaper’s regular contributors. Our own Sam Jordison picked Birdbrain, by Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo. You’ll find out why when our issue #4 goes online. Meanwhile the paper’s SF reviewer, Eric Brown, picked Horns by Joe Hill, and blogger Damien G. Walter picked Kraken by China Miéville.
Our short fiction reviewer, Karen Burnham, is about to take up a prestigious new post as editor of the Locus Roundtable blog. The official announcement is here. We look forward to seeing what she does with the blog.
Locus magazine has announced that, as of January 2011, it will be available in ebook format. The launch will be accompanied by a “Digital Age” special issue that includes contributions from many people involved in online publishing, including me.
The weekly podcast discussions between Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe are one of the highlights of my weekends. This week’s episode was even more special: both in general, because John Clute was a guest contributor, and for me personally as I also got to participate. You can listen to the podcast here, and I talk a bit about some of the ideas we discussed here.