Issue #4

This is issue #4 of Salon Futura. In this issue we have:

  • Cover: X-Wing Assault: “X-Wing Assault” by Simon Breeze

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • Birdbrain: Sam Jordison has birds on the brain.

  • Leiji Matsumoto: Yamato Spirit: The artist of Space Battleship Yamato talks to Jonathan Clements and Motoko Tamamuro about his life and work.

  • Fantasy Without Cooties: In last issue’s Salon podcast we discussed how some fantasy novels are deliberately targeted at either male or female readers. That appears to be a commercial reality, whether we approve of it or not. But the fact that it happens appears to give rise to another, less supportable phenomenon. There is a fair amount of evidence that many male readers will not try a book by a female writer because they assume that books written by women are written for women.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • Editorial: December 2010: 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.