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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review of Flash Fiction Online

Sam Tomaino at SFRevu has a review of the Feb. 2010 edition of Flash Fiction Online. This month, he seemed to favor "Six Reasons Why My Sister Hates Me":

The narrator of Aimee C. Amodio's story details "Six Reasons Why My Sister Hates Me" and helps draw a picture of their relationship and the world they live in. It was quite good.

You can see this edition of FFO here.

Sam also reviews Abyss & Apex, Apex Magazine, Black Static, Jim Baen's Universe (penultimate issue), Outer Reaches, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nebula, Stoker and Saturn Ballots/Awards

The writing awards season has begun with three prestigious ballots or awards:

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has named their short list for the 2009 Nebula Awards. Their categories include short story, novel, novelette, novella, the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. John Scalzi has two nominations, for the novella and young adult science fiction and fantasy categories.

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced their ballot for the 2009 Stoker Award nominees. They include categories for superior achievement in a novel, first novel, long fiction, short fiction, anthology, collection, nonfiction and poetry.

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films (Academy) has announced their finalists for the 35th annual Saturn Awards. Here are the Saturn Award nominations and the Saturn Award winners (link will eventually change). The Dark Knight won five awards. Iron Man won the best science fiction film. This award has numerous categories, including films, directors, writers, actors, music and others.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Aurealis Awards and SAG Awards for 2009

SFWA reports the finalists of Australia's Aurealis Awards for 2009 for science fiction, fantasy and horror, including three SFWA members: Ian McHugh, best fantasy short story (tie), "Once a Month, On a Sunday," Andremeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine; Jonathan Strahan (editor), best anthology, Eclipse 3, Nightshade books; and Cat Sparks, best YA short story, "Seventeen," Masques.

Other winners include:

  • best science fiction novel, Andrew McGahan, Wonders of a Godless World
  • best fantasy novel, Trudi Canavan, Magician's Apprentice
  • best horror novel, Honey Brown, Red Queen
  • best science fiction short story, Peter M. Ball, "Clockwork, Patchwork and Ravens," Apex Magazine
  • best fantasy short story (tie), Christopher Green, "Father’s Kill," Beneath Ceaseless Skies
  • best horror short story (tie) Paul Haines, "Wives," X6; and Paul Haines, "Slice of Life - A Spot of Liver," Slice of Life

For the complete list of the finalists, go to the SFWA article or to the Aurealis Awards site article.

The Screen Actors Guild announced their awards for 2009. As SF Scope noted, the only speculative fiction notables were for stunt ensembles, in motion picture Star Trek and television series 24. Here is the SAG article on the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominees and recipients.



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Monday, December 7, 2009

Harlequin Delisted from RWA and MWA

Background: these two FFO posts [1 2] gave the story of romance publisher Harlequin's dance with a self-publishing imprint, and the near-immediate threats from Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and Horror Writers of America to delist Harlequin from their approved publishers list. The consequence of those actions would be that writers could not then use Harlequin publishing credits for membership into the those writers' professional organizations or participate in their awards programs. (There are speculative fiction subcategories in romance.)

Recently, Mystery Writers of America has delisted romance publisher Harlequin from its qualified publishers list, even though Harlequin removed its direct connection to the self-publishing arm by renaming it from Harlequin Horizons to DellArte Press. That link includes MWA's statement about their decision and Harlequin's reply. Earlier, Romance Writers of America delisted Harlequin, too, according to various sources. (The RWA requires a membership to read its breaking news section, so a link is not provided here.)

In a side note, here is an SFWA article (by way of Writers Beware) about the blurring of the distinction between self-publishing and vanity publishing.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hugo Awards SemiProzine Category Saved

Good news for small publishers: according to Internet Review of Science Fiction (IROSF), the SemiProzine category in the Hugo Awards has been saved from extinction. At issue was the odd situation in which Locus Magazine was the shoo-in winner for the award for so long that the award seemed pointless; attendees at the last WorldCon therefore suggested that the category be ended.

Various interested publishers formed SemiProzine.org and suggested reforms to better define and save the category and were successful in their bid for at least few years.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary/Funny History of Horror

IO9 has a brief overview of horror that tickles the funny bone, whatever the intent might have been. The article writer warns that the article wasn't intended as a comprehensive retrospective; rather, it addresses the categories: 1920s stage plays, comedy teams and camp of the 30s and 40s (Abbott and Costello, for example), 60s anarchy, self-aware campiness, Ghostbusters/Gremlins and more, Troma comedies of the 80s (Surf Nazis Must Die), werewolf/vampire humor, body horror/comedy, the rise of Sam Raimi, Christopher Moore, creature features, Buffy etc., Chucky/Leprechaun films, horror spoofs, and zombie romance/comedies.

IO9 posted some nice graphics with this short look at horror-comedy film history.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WSFA Small Press Award Winner

In August, we announced the finalists of the WSFA Small Press Award. The WSFA (Washington Science Fiction Association) award is open to works of short speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc.) published by a short press in English.

Science Fiction Awards Watch has announced the WSFA Small Press Award winner for 2009:"The Absence of Stars: Part 1," by Greg Siewert, published in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Odyssey Writing Workshop Online

SFscope reports that Odyssey Writing Workshop, a respected classroom-based writing program, now has some online writing workshop offerings. Individual online courses are not equivalent to the residential courses, but may be useful to many speculative fiction writers. The class size is limited to 14 students. The next course is Showing versus Telling in Fantastic Fiction, beginning January 6, 2010 with applications accepted from October 10 to December 10, 2009.

This course will be taught by Jeanne Cavelos, an author and editor, and winner of the World Fantasy Award for launching the Abyss psychological horror imprint at Bantam Doubleday Dell. She is the director and primary instructor at Odyssey.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review of Short Fiction--September 2009

Internet Review of Science Fiction has their review of short fiction up now for September, which, depending on the periodicals' publication schedules, ranges from August to November. This month, they've reviewed a mixture of print and online magazines:

  • F&SF, October-November 2009
  • Asimov's, September 2009
  • Analog, November 2009
  • Jim Baen's Universe, August 2009 (online)
  • Clarkesworld, August 2009 (online)
  • Strange Horizons, August 2009 (online)
  • Fantasy Magazine, August 2009 (online)
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, August 2009 (online)
  • Apex Magazine, August 2009 (online)
  • Abyss & Apex, Third Quarter 2009 (online)

Our friends at SFRevu are taking the month off for short fiction review.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection

This is still the bicentennial year of Edgar Allan Poe. If you're a Poe fan, you'll be interested in a Resource Shelf article about a digital collection of and about Poe's body of work. The collection includes, for example, letters about Poe and his writings by Arthur Conan Doyle and other notables.

The Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection is hosted by the University of Texas, and includes these categories of documents:

  • Poe manuscript works
  • Poe letters and documents
  • Letters to Poe
  • Related letters and manuscripts
  • Books belonging to Poe
  • Poe editions
  • Sheet music for songs based on Poe's poetry
  • Poe portraiture and photographs
  • Poe miscellany
  • Poe newspapers

Resource Shelf is itself interesting. It is "a daily newsletter with resources of interest to information professionals, educators and journalists." I'll toss writers and readers into that list.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Can Frankenstein Save New Orleans?

If you've followed Dean Koontz's series of Frankenstein novels, you may be happy to know that he's finally publishing the third of the series, Dead and Alive, after much wrangling from his fans. It's arriving in the bookstores any day now. Here is a synopsis of Dead and Alive from Dean Koontz's Frankenstein web site.

This is the first of the series that Koontz wrote alone, according to the Wikipedia article about the series. The first, Prodigal Son, was co-written with Kevin J. Anderson. The second, City of Night, was co-written with Ed Gorman. The Wikipedia article has a very brief synopsis of the series.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Evolution of Cult TV

Here is part one and two of an Entertainment Weekly story about cult television. The linchpin of the article is Lost, the cult TV show. The article shows how the meaning of 'cult TV' has changed over time, from a failed experiment that caught a second wind (such as Star Trek), to a more calculated one:

Throughout the 1990s, cult TV began morphing into something more than just a category of brilliant-but-canceled-yet-fondly-recalled programs. "Cult" became a sensibility, made sexy by the rise of "alternative culture" and made marketable by a paradigm shift toward demo-targeted niche marketing. David Lynch’s Twin Peaks (1990-1991) quickly went from phenomenon to joke, yet nonetheless proved....(more)

Some of the shows mentioned in the article include the usual suspects, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and The Prisoner. Also mentioned are Doctor Who, The Stand, The Dark Tower, and others.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Speculative Fiction Publishing Trends

Strange Horizons magazine has an interesting online article on the recent trends of speculative book publishing. It was written by Mr. Valentin D. Ivanov, a Bulgarian professional astronomer, folklorist and speculative fiction writer.

Mr. Ivanov's method was to survey the Notable Books received for review since about 1998 by Locus Online magazine, since they are highly regarded publication and have a broad view of what is speculative fiction. He tabulated and graphed the data for your viewing. He divided the books into 18 categories, including genres of speculative fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

In general, all categories are in a pleasing rise, with the exception of anthologies and collections, which are flat or slightly negative. The article also gives figures for the proportion of sequels published.

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Zombies Are Back, At a Neighborhood Bookstore Near You

Zombies are back. Pocket Books has made a seven-book deal with horror publisher Permuted Press for zombie titles, according to Publishers Weekly.

If you can't get enough zombies, here is a list of about eight-dozen zombie novels, with links at the end for games, movies, non-fiction and other essential zombie lore.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Most SF/Fantasy-Like Cities on Earth

You want to write a SF story but don't want to event a world. What to do? What until tomorrow; that always works. Or go to Shared Worlds' article by Jeff VanderMeer and see what some SF/F authors think are the most SF-fantastical cities here on Earth. I can imagine they'd good horror settings as well.

Elizabeth Hand votes for Reykjavik, Iceland. Ursala K. LeGuin likes Venice, Italy. Michael Moorcock thinks Marrakesh, Morocco is the best choice. And there are others. But why these cities? Go to the article to find out, but here a sample from Hand on Reykjavik:

It's more like an off-world colony than any place on Earth. Architecture that consists largely of corrugated metal and concrete (think Quonset huts), a dauntingly inhospitable landscape –lava flows, cliffs, glaciers, hot springs, immense waterfalls....

Shared Worlds is a two-week interdisciplinary workshop at Wofford College focused on creating shared worlds. Jeff VanderMeer is an assistant director and instructor there, and has done everything else, too.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 Stoker Award Winners for Horror

The winners of the 2009 Stoker Awards for horror have been announced:

  • Novel: Duma Key, Stephen King
  • First Novel: The Gentling Box, Lisa Mannetti
  • Long Fiction: Miranda, John R. Little
  • Short Fiction: "The Lost," Sarah Langan
  • Fiction Collection: Just After Sunset, Stephen King
  • ANTHOLOGY: Unspeakable Horror, edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Chad Helder
  • NONFICTON: A Hallowe'en Anthology, Lisa Morton
  • Poetry Collection: The Nightmare Collection, Bruce Boston

You can see bios and pictures of all these horror-able people and the nominees, at the 2009 Stoker Awards website.

Lifetime achievement award winners were announced:

  • F. Paul Wilson is best known for his Repairman Jack series of novels, and
  • Chelsea Quinn Yarbro rose to fame with her vampire hero, Count Saint-Germain. She is the first woman ever to receive the International Horror Guild's Living Legend award.
You can see more about the lifetime achievement award winners here.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Australian Ditmar Awards Winners for SF/F/H

The Ditmar Awards

The winners for the 2009 Ditmar Awards for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror have been announced.

The Ditmar Awards have been awarded at the National Science Fiction conventions since 1969 in order to recognise achievements in Australian Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.
The short story nominees and winners (tie) are:

  • “Pale Dark Soldier”, Deborah Biancotti (in Midnight Echo, #2)
  • This Is Not My Story”, Dirk Flinthart (in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #37)
  • The Goosle”, Margo Lanagan (in The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Ellen Datlow (ed), Del Rey)
  • “Her Collection of Intimacy”, Paul Haines (in Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine, #2)
  • “Moments of Dying”, Rob Hood (in Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine, #1)
  • “Sammarynda Deep”, Cat Sparks (in Paper Cities, Ekaterina Sedia (ed), Senses Five Press)
  • “Ass-Hat Magic Spider”, Scott Westerfeld (in The Starry Rift, Jonathan Strahan (ed), Viking Juvenile)

The best novel nominees and winner are:

  • Fivefold, Nathan Burrage (Random House)
  • Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, Simon Haynes (Fremantle Press)
  • Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbaliester (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Daughters of Moab, Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager)
  • Earth Ascendant (Astropolis, book 2), Sean Wiliams (Orbit)

Other categories include: Best Novella, Best Collected Work, Best Artwork, Best Fan Writer, Best Fan Artist, Best Fan Publication, William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review, Best Achievement, and Best New Talent, all found here.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review of Short Fiction, June 2009

Internet Review of Science Fiction has short fiction reviews now of some major print and online speculative magazines, including Asimov's, Analog, Interzone, Clarkesworld, Fantasy Magazine, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Abyss & Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Heliotrope.

Oh, and some newcomer to speculative fiction, The New Yorker.

Some of the issues are monthly and others quarterly. Disclosure: Yours Truly has a story reviewed in the Abyss and Apex section.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fictional Account of H.P. Lovecraft on the Big Screen

According to this SF Scope story, Ron Howard will direct a movie based on a graphic novel series on H.P. Lovecraft's life. The H.P. Lovecraft of the novel series sounds like a character that H.P. Lovecraft would have created. (No great surprise, of course.) Ron Howard: that's got to be a good sign. I'll go see it. The graphic novel series is entitled, The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft.

Here is a small gallery of pictures from the graphic novel series web site. Their cleverly named Yog Bloggoth blog gives the details of the Universal and Imagine Entertainment deal.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2008 Stoker Nominations for Horror

The Horror Writers Association has announced the (Bram) Stoker Award nominees for 2008. The nominees for superior achievement in a novel includes some new guy, Stephen King. He should've been in the First Novel category. They novelists include:

  • COFFIN COUNTY by Gary Braunbeck (Leisure Books)
  • THE REACH by Nate Kenyon (Leisure Books)
  • DUMA KEY by Stephen King (Scribner)
  • JOHNNY GRUESOME by Gregory Lamberson (Bad Moon Books/Medallion Press)

Skipping to short fiction (sorry):

  • "The Lost" by Sarah Langan (Cemetery Dance Publications)
  • "The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft" by Nick Mamatas and Tim Pratt (Chizine)
  • "Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment" by M. Rickert (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • "Turtle" by Lee Thomas (Doorways)

The other categories include superior achievement in a first novel, in long fiction, in an anthology, in a collection (that new guy, Stephen King, is in this category too; I predict a bright future for the young fellow), in nonfiction, and in poetry.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Review of March Short Fiction

The Internet Review of Science Fiction has a treasure trove of short fiction review for March. Depending on the publications' schedules, the current edition may be reckoned Feb. or April-May. They review F&SF, Asimov's, Realms of Fantasy, Jim Baen's Universe, Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Lone Star Stories, Apex & Abyss, Apex Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Saturn Awards Nominations: Best SF, Fantasy, Horror Films

Nominations for the 35th Annual Saturn Awards are in for the best science fiction, fantasy, horror and action/adventure/thriller films. They also honor the associated actors, writers, musicians, etc. (My apologies to the etc.) They also similarly honor television, television series and DVD editions.


Best SF

  • THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (20th Century Fox)
  • EAGLE EYE (Paramount / DreamWorks)
  • THE INCREDIBLE HULK (Universal / Marvel)
  • INDIANA JONES & THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (Paramount / Lucasfilm)
  • IRON MAN (Paramount / Marvel)
  • JUMPER (20th Century Fox)

Best Fantasy

  • THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (Walt Disney Studios)
  • THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (Paramount)
  • HANCOCK (Sony)
  • THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES (Paramount)
  • TWILIGHT (Summit Entertainment)
  • WANTED (Universal)

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Friday, February 6, 2009

King vs. Meyers Smackdown

Stephen King minced no words in his USA Weekend interview with Lorrie Lynch about some popular, current writers (and also a bit about Lovecraft). King says:
"Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good."
He as more to explain her success with young girls. He also weighs in on James Patterson and Erle Stanley Gardner (okay, leave Erle alone).

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe: 200th Birthday

Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday is today, January 19.

Free world premiere of a new movie based on Poe's life, today only: Last Days of the Raven. Or go here and click Watch the Movie or view info about the cast and production company, Theatre Crossing Film Corp. The website is vague about how long the free showing will be available. After today, you'll have to buy the DVD. Here is the official trailer.

Says The Literature Network: Contributing greatly to the genres of horror and science fiction, Poe is now considered the father of the modern detective story and highly lauded as a poet. Walt Whitman, in his essay titled “Edgar Poe’s Significance” wrote: "Poe’s verses illustrate an intense faculty for technical and abstract beauty, with the rhyming art to excess, an incorrigible propensity toward nocturnal themes, a demoniac undertone behind every page. … There is an indescribable magnetism about the poet’s life and reminiscences, as well as the poems."

Flash Fiction Online published Poe's "Shadow - A Parable" as Classic #10 (HTML, PDF) in its Sept. 1, 2008 edition.

Other observances:

  • WSJ: Poe at 200 -- Eerie After All These Years
  • UVA: A student at UVA, he was honored - 'Nevermore' Writer Always Present at the University of Virginia
  • United States Postal Service issues $0.42 Poe stamp.
  • What's the connection between Baltimore, the Addams Family and Poe?
  • Observances noted in SF Chronicle.
  • Weird collection of Poe-related items at Guardian.co.uk.
  • Quiz: What U.S. President was born the same year as Edgar Allen Poe, was assassinated in a theater, oversaw a major U.S. civil war, fathgered the civil rights movement by proclamation, wore a stovepipe hat, chopped wood, and read by a fireplace? I'll do some research and get back to you on this. Follow-up: I've narrowed it down to Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland (the latter of which who, if he ever wore a stovepipe hat, kept it a secret).

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Founders Talk Frankly About HWA

From the Internet Review of Science Fiction: Robert McCammon (Boy's Life, Speaks the Nightbird) and Joe Lansdale (The Bottoms, Leather Maiden) speak frankly about the Horror Writers Association that they created. "Both authors were adamant that they had little to no knowledge of the current concerns and efforts of the HWA, but their perspectives are instructive to horror writers both in and out of the organization, as well as readers."

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