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Salon Futura » News

Archive for News

Congratulations, Karen!

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 To Go Digital

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.

Clute Podcasts

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.

Women in SF Week

At the Torque Control blog Niall Harrison is devoting the entire week to discussing women SF writers. He explains about it here, including discussion of the poll to discover the top ten SF books by women in the last decade. The countdown of the results begins here with two very fine books.

New Tor Catalog

Tor, one of the most prolific publishers of science fiction in the world, has recently released a new catalog covering the period Spring/Summer 2011. You can find it online here (pdf).

If covers are anything to go by, they expect great things from the US release in May of The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. In the UK Gollancz has just ordered a 5th reprint of the trade paperback edition, which is certainly a good indication of likely strong sales elsewhere.

Aside from that there is a strong streak of sequelitis amongst the high profile releases. Possibly the most significant announcement is that of the October release of The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge. This is a sequel to the Hugo-winning A Fire Upon the Deep, which Tor are re-issuing in August.

Still in Hugo territory, Robert Charles Wilson’s Vortex, the third and final part of the series begun with Spin and Axis, is due out in July.

Other notable sequels include This Shared Dream (July) by Kathleen Ann Goonan, a follow-up to In War Times; and The Tempering of Men (August) by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, a follow-up to A Companion to Wolves.

The final announcement that caught our eye is that in August Tor will be re-issuing John Brunner’s classic tale of an overpopulated world, Stand on Zanzibar. The book won the Hugo in 1969 and has lost little of its relevance since. Now if only Tor would also re-issue The Sheep Look Up

Guardian on SF (Again)

The Guardian is continuing to dip its toes into the waters of speculative fiction, with mixed degrees of success. Discussions of SF in the mainstream media are often most interesting for the ways in which the commentators limit their view of it so as to be able to dismiss it as bad.

Margaret Atwood famously described science fiction as being about “talking squid in space”, though she has apparently now added “flying rabbits” to her definition. She does this in order to attempt to distance what she regards as the believable speculation of her novels, particularly Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, from less rigorous scientific extrapolation in what she believes science fiction to be.

In The Guardian‘s latest podcast Simon Ings responds to Damien Walter by arguing that science fiction is nothing but rigorous scientific extrapolation, devoid of all emotional content.

The apparent contradiction between these two explanations as to why science fiction is bad does not yet appear to have been noticed by anyone at The Guardian.

Umanosuke Iida 1961-2010

It is turning out to be a bad year for anime creators. Jonathan Clements has an obituary for Umanosuke Iida over at Schoolgirl Milky Crisis.

All Change in UK Publishing

Orbit UK has announced a couple of staff changes. Anne Clarke becomes editorial director (replacing Darren Nash who moved to Gollancz a few weeks ago). In addition James Long, author of the Speculative Horizons blog, has been taken on as an editorial assistant.

The big news, however, is that Jo Fletcher has left Gollancz after 16 years to start a brand new SF&F list at Quercus. In her time at Gollancz Fletcher has worked with authors such as Sir Terry Pratchett, Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Ursula Le Guin. The new Quercus imprint will be known as Jo Fletcher Books. We look forward to it.

McGuire Gets Cryptic

Seanan McGuire, whom we interviewed for our current issue, has announced on her LiveJournal the sale of a new series of books to DAW. They are about a, “family of cryptozoologists”. Weird animals are out there, it appears, and McGuire knows where they are hiding.

Clarke and Asimov Podcast

Well yes, they are dead. But the very wonderful Science Fiction Oral History Association has a fine collection of recordings, and now they have a podcast too. The first episode of The Space Dog Podcast features a recording from 1976. It was made for Ballantine Science Fiction Hour, which may have been a radio show but may just have been put out on vinyl. Ballantine Books were obviously using it to promote their authors in much the same way as websites like Tor.com do with modern technology. The first half of the show is an interview with Sir Arthur C. Clarke. The second half is a discussion panel in which Isaac Asimov, Lester del Rey, Frederik Pohl, and Gordon R. Dickson discuss Clarke and much else besides. Highlights include Clarke expressing his admiration for Olaf Stapledon, Asimov explaining why he wants to be remembered for alien sex, and Pohl noting that he has a new book due out called Gateway that he thinks may be his best work to date.

Sam’s Scattered Bodies

Our columnist, Sam Jordison, has a new post up at the Guardian Book Blog. It is the latest in his series looking at past Hugo winners. This time he tackles To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer.