Too Like the Lightning – Ada Palmer
- “Too Like the Lightning: intricate worldbuilding, brilliant speculation, gripping storytelling” – Cory Doctorow
- “A Future Worth Having: Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning” – Jo Walton
- “An interview with Ada Palmer, author of Too Like the Lightning” – My Bookish Ways
- “Science, Fiction And Philosophy Collide In Astonishing ‘Lightning’” – NPR
- Listen to the Audible sample to see if you can resist.
Central Station – Lavie Tidhar
- “Brilliant ‘Central Station’ Is Rich With Detail and Mystery” – NPR
- “Lavie Tidhar’s novel Central Station is a mosaic of posthuman problems” – ARS Technica
- “Gary K. Wolfe reviews Lavie Tidhar” – Locus Online
- “Literature’s Task Is To Pose Alternatives To Political Reality” – +972 Mag
Hundreds of science fiction books are published each year, but only a few jump out like this.
One of the odd side-effects of reading my news off of curated news apps is being directed to publications I’ve never heard of before. Take this piece from Intellectual Takeout, “Science Fiction: Why So Many Intellectuals Despise It.” This essay seems out of time, like maybe the 1950s. It defends science fiction, by reminding us of the prejudice against it. But do modern intellectuals still feel SF is worthless? But then I also saw this, “Harry Potter Causes Brain Damage, Says English Headmaster Who Is Clearly Voldemort In Disguise.”
I am reminded of an article I read decades ago that claimed librarians in the 1950s banned the Oz books by L. Frank Baum because they felt young readers picked up unrealistic attitudes towards life by reading them. I know I read the Oz books when I was a kid, and I’ve always had unrealistic attitudes toward life. Could these people be right? Then I read, “’There is just no such thing as God’: A physicist searches for meaning in the natural world,” a review of Sean Carroll’s new book, The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Are all of these folks just saying that lovers of science fiction, fantasy and religion are ignoring reality? There could be some truth in that. I know I do. But I am trying to break that habit.
Another critical examination of our genre came via The Guardian, a paper I like very much. “Sci-fi media coverage dominated by men, survey shows.” The article is based on the VIDA: Women in Literary Arts’s 2015 VIDA count. This is a gigantic demographic effort that examines race and ethnicity, sexual identity and ability in the top tier of periodical publications. Within the science fiction field they reviewed 18 publications and counted the number of books reviewed, and then did identity statistics on the authors of books reviewed and the reviewers to show how many were written by women, non-binary people and people of color.
This is an excellent article to read, but I’m not sure how they are going to solve their problem. I’m an old white male, writing about science fiction, which is their problem. My demographic traits are too common. I would assume Dave would be happy to find more writers for Worlds Without End that weren’t white and male. I used to work in computers, and we were always trying to get more female programmers. For a few years the number of women going into computer science grew, but then it dropped off. There should be more diversity everywhere, and I think everywhere is getting more diverse, but to administratively create it is difficult.
By the way, I recommend reading that article to see what are the top publications reviewing science fiction. If you aren’t a white guy, go write for them. I feel bad folks of my gender and color hog all the jobs, but I’m not sure what to do about it. I do try to read and review books by people not like me. I hope that helps.
We recently added 3 new magazines to our list of 66 genre magazines and since they are new to us we thought perhaps you haven’t heard of them either. Take a look at the new ones below and be sure to peruse the whole list. If you find something you like you should consider subscribing!
A Magazine of Fantasy, Science Fiction & Everything in Between
Betwixt is a quarterly magazine of eclectic speculative fiction published in January, April, July, and October. Betwixt publishes speculative fiction of all sorts—fantasy, science fiction, speculative horror, slipstream, weird fiction, steam/diesel/cyber/etc.punk, you name it. Issues are free to read online and are also available for purchase in electronic and print-on-demand formats.
A Science Fiction Reprint Magazine Edited by Neil Clarke
Forever is a digital-only reprint science fiction magazine published monthly by Wyrm Publishing and edited by Neil Clarke. Each issue will feature a novella, two stories, an editorial, and a short interview with the author of the novella. Subscriptions are available direct from Wyrm and through Amazon and Weightless Books. Individual issues can be purchased from Amazon, Apple, B&N, Weightless Books, and Kobo.
Shoreline of Infinity
A Science Fiction Mmgazine Printed in Scotland for the World.
At Shoreline of Infinity we want stories that explore the uncertain future. We want to play around with the big ideas and the little ones. We want writers to tell us stories to inspire us, give us hope, provide some laughs. Or to scare the stuffing out of us. We want good stories: we want to be entertained, here on the Shoreline.
There’s a whole world of great science fiction published in other languages. Help us translate and publish them in Clarkesworld!
I heard about the Clarkesworld KickStarter project on The Coode Street Podcast and was reminded of it by SF Signal this morning. Clarkesworld is seeking funding to make translated fiction a part of every issue going forward. Thev’re reached their initial goal already so the Chinese fiction is a go. Now they’re stretching out to add fiction from other countries as well so they still need more funds. Check out their Kickstarter page for full details and to pledge!
We do love our lists on Worlds Without End and I think it is fair to say that the Gollancz SF Masterworks series stands out among the ones we’ve added so far. You can argue with the selection of course, and many of us probably have, but it is a remarkable series of books, with numerous award winning novels and books that changed the direction of Science Fiction.
In honour of LonCon 3, which was held last month, Peter Young, editor of the electronic fanzine Big Sky launched a project to get reviews, in the widest sense of the word, on each individual title and collect them in a special edition. Well, two special editions. The list was simply too long to contain in one volume.
These books are among the most discussed novels in the genre and this gave him plenty of material to choose from. In fact, I don’t really want to think about how much material he had to wade through to make his selection. What he was looking for, in his own words, was this:
Plenty of words have been written about all the titles on the SF Masterworks list. In compiling this fanzine, I probably read thousands of reviews, in magazines, fanzines, websites and blogs. Quickly, a form of mental shorthand was set in place for the kind of reviews I wanted to showcase here. I knew instinctively what I particularly didn’t want: the kind of nonanalytical review that fills almost every corner of Goodreads; similarly, at the other extreme, when a reviewer takes pains to come across as exceedingly academic, I just kinda… zoned out.
What I was looking for can be summed up as well-written ‘opinion / context / commentary’ as opposed to something resembling a ‘formal review’ template, and something akin to a ‘four star’ rating rather than a gushing ‘five’. And of course, the more original, the better.
The result is a collection of opinion form authors, editors, critics and bloggers in a wide variety of styles. The list of names in the table of content is impressive and among them are several Worlds Without Ends regulars. Peter put in a lot of effort to collect some of the most interesting stuff that is out there. The result is something I highly encourage you to check out.
Both issues (numbers 3 and 4) are available for free download here.
Weird Tales magazine are publishing their 2nd issue since their recent re-launch this Friday. The publisher, film maker and director John Harlacher and editor in chief Marvin Kaye, playwright, author and anthologist, are taking the magazine back to its roots. Each new issue has a mixture of themed and non-themed fiction. This newest issue has “Fairy Tales” as it’s theme with fiction by Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee and non-fiction by Darrell Schweitzer. Check out the full table of contents for details.
You can pick up issue No.1 (or 360) as an ebook for only $2.99 from their website to get a taste for cheap or you can subscribe for a full year for only $20 which is 30% off the instore cover price. Not bad at all. It’s very cool to see an old respected title like this coming back into circulation and it looks like they mean to do things right with this re-launch and are going all out to bring in big name writers so go ahead and take a look and tell your friends too.
Thanks to Doug Draa for the heads-up.
While we’re talking about magazines, be sure to take a look at our extensive list of genre literary magazines. With 80 titles to choose from, you’re sure to find something of interest.
I’ve been hearing for years that genre magazines are going the way of the Dodo. From where I’m standing, it looks like a pretty healthy market. On our Magazines page we have listed over 70 genre magazines for you to choose from and we keep finding more new ones to add all the time.
For our Month of Horrors I wanted to point out some of the Horror magazines from out list. If you’re looking for something creepy and scary these magazines will get the job done. Check ’em out and if you find something you like show your support by subscribing!
Apex Publications started as a tingle in the mind of Jason Sizemore during the month of November in the year 2004. Having been a fan of the small press scene for several years, he noticed a lack of a certain type of fiction: Science-Horror.
Black Static is a horror magazine that has earned much praise for its style, bravery, editorial and fiction content. Its stories are innovative and daring, never afraid to shock or disturb yet never forget to entertain.
Murky Depths is a quarterly anthology with a difference. It features top quality speculative fiction with sprinklings of horror and fantasy that push the boundaries of science fiction. Each story is complimented with its own unique artwork.
Mythic Delirium is a biannual journal that publishes science fiction, fantasy, horror, surreal and cross-genre poetry.
Nightmare is an online horror and dark fantasy magazine. In Nightmare’s pages, you will find all kinds of horror fiction, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. No subject is off-limits, and we will be encouraging our writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.
Nightmare is brand new on the market – their first issue was released October 1st.
Shock Totem is a bi-annual dark fantasy and horror publication. Our first issue was published in July of 2009. We focus on the one thing that matters most: the story. Back to basics. Each issue features fiction that we, as readers, enjoy. Within our pages, new and established authors are equals.
Something Wicked is a monthly online and electronic-download science fiction and horror magazine. Published monthly, we feature some of the best new voices in horror and science fiction from around the world.
Tales of the Unanticipated is a journal of speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, and stories that you just wouldn’t anticipate. Tales of the Unanticipated is currently published annually.
Weird Tales was launched to showcase writers trying to publish stories so bizarre and far out, no one else would publish them — stories of unearthly dimensions and dark possibilities, gothic seductresses and cosmic monstrosities.