Archive for 004

Cover: X-Wing Assault

“X-Wing Assault” by Simon Breeze
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Short Fiction: December 2010

From where I sit, it looks like a lot of fiction venues are looking to end the year on a high note. I had a wealth of great stories to chose from in November, and I don’t see things slowing down at all in December.
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The Next Generation of Generation Starships

The announcement by NASA in late September 2010 of the discovery of the first potentially habitable extrasolar planet, Gliese 581 g, was tremendously exciting for many reasons, but it raised an age-old question. Gliese 581 g is located about 20.3 light-years, or 1.3 million Astronomical Units (AUs), from Earth. How long would it take for us to get there?
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Sam Jordison has birds on the brain.
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Leiji Matsumoto: Yamato Spirit

The artist of Space Battleship Yamato talks to Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro about his life and work.
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Fantasy Without Cooties

Cheryl Morgan looks at fantasy written by women.
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The Salon: Steampunk Without Empire

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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Interview: Alastair Reynolds

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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Interview: Juliet E. McKenna

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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Pipeline: December 2010

As we are now moving into a mid-month release date, some of these books are January releases.
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New In Store: December 2010

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?

Dark Spires - Colin HarveyObviously 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.

Clarkesworld #51In 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.”

Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories - Sandra McDonaldFirst 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.

Shadow Man - Meslissa ScottA 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).

So Fey: Queer Fairy Fictions - Steve BermanBack 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.

Second Thoughts - Steve BermanFinally 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.