The uncommonly well-moderated and researched Ask Historians subreddit answers the question: What common medieval fantasy tropes have little-to-no basis in real medieval European history?
"Because we’re a smaller outfit, we can take some risks—find authors and manuscripts that are trying to move the genre forward."
ChiZine Publications (CZP) is an independent Toronto-based book publisher that is single-handedly changing the face of genre fiction in Canada. Though CZP was founded just four years ago and put out just twelve books per year, they are responsible for four of the six nominees for the the 2012 Best Novel Prix Aurora (Canada's highest honour in genre fiction). CZP grew out of the self-styled "dark fiction" 'zine The Chiaroscuro which has been publishing free genre fiction online since 1997. Their most recent release is David Nickle's tale of cold war psionic operatives gone rogue, Rasputin's Bastards.
What will be the next possible trend in Dystopian Literature? Robotics? Climate change? Insect overlords?
Are you an aspiring writer of genre fiction? Would you like to workshop your stuff before submitting it to magazines and publishers, but you don't happen to have a group of local friends that you can workshop with? Critters.org is an online, highly automated fiction workshop. You submit your manuscript, it waits in a queue until its time comes up, and then it gets sent out to all the active subscribers, some of whom will hopefully send you some helpful feedback! Make sure to critique at least one story every week, though, or you lose your privileges to post your own stories to the queue. [more inside]
New Scientist kicks off it's science fiction special by asking "Is science fiction dying?", with answers by Margaret Atwood, William Gibson and Ursula K Le Guin amongst others. Meanwhile on the Nebula Awards site Geoff Ryman talks about Mundane SF, and how it was a reaction to a phenomenon he noticed in new SF coming through the Clarion workshop: A lot of it doesn't have much science fiction in it.
Vegging Out vs. Geeking Out. Romance as the MSG of film. The bifurcated careers of Lucy lawless, Sigourney Weaver, and Hugo Weaving. Characters making smart decisions vs. stupid decisions. Neal Stephenson discusses Sci-Fi/Speculative Fiction as a literary genre at Gresham College. (Warning: requires Flash 9)
"Something woke her in the night." Genre fiction is rising from the dead to terrorize serious literature! In response to Michael Chabon’s (previously) new book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Ruth Franklin wrote a review in Slate beginning with the line “Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it.” Well, that didn’t go over too well with Ursula K. Le Guin, who bent her considerable imagination and skill to the task of envisioning the zombie corpse of genre fiction and wrote an entertaining response, which was then given a suitable cover. The whole thing is also available as a pdf linked to from Le Guin’s website. via