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Science Fiction VS Scifi

Harlan Ellison tears up the debate and J. Michael Straczynski speaks up on the topic. Oh, yeah there is also Herb Solow as well and his wife Yvonne (WTF) speaking on the subject "Science Fiction" over "SciFi". None of them saw SyFy coming back in 1997, that's for sure! (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by GavinR on Aug 21, 2009 - 136 comments

One long step for mankind

Chrono-synclastic infundibulum - SLYT featuring Bob & Ray, somehow based on a concept from Kurt Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan which refers to a region of the universe in which all conflicting opinions are simultaneously correct.
posted by longsleeves on Aug 7, 2009 - 17 comments

In writing this book my intention was to present, in the form of an interesting story, a faithful picture of working-class life...

In August 1910, an Irish sign-painter and decorator named Robert Noonan left the town of Hastings on the south coast of England, and made his way north and west towards Liverpool, with the hope of emigrating to Canada. Already sick with tuberculosis, his condition worsened once he reached the city, and he was to die there in a workhouse hospital ward, in February 1911. He had, however, left in the care of his daughter Kathleen a package that was to change the political landscape of twentieth-century Britain. [more inside]
posted by hydatius on Aug 6, 2009 - 12 comments

"Humans won't pay to watch dinosaurs ride motocross bikes forever" said Tark.

Let Us Now Praise Awesome Dinosaurs
posted by minifigs on Jul 14, 2009 - 43 comments

Fauxbituaries

i dream of a world without you: death notices for the nonexistent. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 13, 2009 - 12 comments

Fifty-Two Stories

Fifty-Two Stories - one short story per week, for free. (via)
posted by backseatpilot on Jul 8, 2009 - 4 comments

The Year of Parker

He is a man with one name. He is a thief and a killer, and the protagonist of 24 hard boiled novels written by prolific author Donald Westlake (previously) under the pseudonym Richard Stark. He is Parker, and he is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder on Jun 30, 2009 - 39 comments

New Worlds and Old

The Readers of Boing Boing interview Michael Moorcock
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2009 - 42 comments

“So happens this dog achieved the rank of colonel in the United States Army.”

They were in the stairwell that led down to the commode, a dangerous place in its time, the Grand Central Station Men’s, but for different reasons. I saw the dirt tracks leading there, and I left the monkeys in the chandelier and followed them. I kept to the tracks careful as I could. There were pits and corrugations everywhere in the old tile, any one of which could hide a man killing gob of explosive. At my back I heard Spot complain: “Leave ‘em be, Blacks. We’ve warned ‘em, ain’t we? If they blow themselves up, it ain’t on us.”
UXO, BOMB DOG by Eliot Fintushel (single-link short fiction)
posted by grobstein on Jun 15, 2009 - 15 comments

Background to Danger

For Graham Greene he was "unquestionably our best thriller writer". John le Carré once called him "the source on which we all draw". With the six novels he wrote in the years leading up to the second world war - five of which have just been reissued by Penguin Modern Classics - Eric Ambler revitalised the British thriller, rescuing the genre from the jingoistic clutches of third-rate imitators of John Buchan, and recasting it in a more realist, nuanced and leftishly intelligent - not to mention exciting - mould. - The writing of Eric Ambler
posted by Artw on Jun 6, 2009 - 14 comments

Tell me a secret.

Published speculation first appeared in 1911, although others point to 1945 for its first modern phrasing. It originally looked like a flashlight on Star Trek. In Star Wars, it walked, talked, and was fluent "in over six million forms of communication." Many narratives have just abandoned the idea entirely.
Previous iterations have been quite limited in scope, but now it appears that the first learning, dynamic universal translator has finally arrived. And its futuristic aesthetic has been relegated to fiction in favor of a much more familiar object. [more inside]
posted by hpliferaft on May 23, 2009 - 30 comments

Marguerite Young

Marguerite Young - whom Kurt Vonnegut called "unquestionably a genius" - first achieved success with a study of the utopian commune at New Harmony, Indiana called Angel in the Forest. She then spent 18 years writing Miss Macintosh, My Darling - a 1,198 page novel that William Goyen praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a masterwork". She spent the last 30 years of her life writing an unfinished biography of Eugene V. Debs that was posthumously published, in heavily edited form, as Harp Song for a Radical. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 22, 2009 - 4 comments

We don't need another Neo

There's been more and more rumblings lately about the inclusiveness (or lack thereof) of diversity in the circles of sci-fi and fantasy. Pam Nole's classic Shame essay hits a lot of points and while the Carl Brandon Society has been fighting the good fight for some time, more and more people are gathering their own projects, such as Transcriptase or Verb Noire to create spaces and publishing arenas less biased. Are these even necessary? It seems the fans think so.
posted by yeloson on May 13, 2009 - 91 comments

Dagger of the Mind

The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
posted by Artw on May 6, 2009 - 17 comments

Like cult films, but without all that filming

Bizarro fiction isn't really a new genre. Just a new term. The current crop of bizarro authors are generally young and new to being published, with Carlton Mellick III as "both the Johnny Appleseed and the Johnny Rotten" of the newly dubbed genre, who started printing his stories under the header of Eraserhead Press. But what is Bizarro Fiction? A battle between the real William Shatner vs all the film versions of himself, resulting from a failed terrorist attack by Campbellians; bizarro-noir novellas, set in a world of murderers, drugs made from squid parts, deformed war veterans, and a mischievous apocalyptic donkey; or just a nice children's book about two Vampires who compete in a mustache competition to prove who is the faggiest of all. (via a local paper, though I didn't see the article isn't online) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 4, 2009 - 22 comments

Nebula Best Short Story Nominees 2008

StarshipSofa has podcasted all of the Nebula Best Short Story Nominees for 2008, following on from podcasting all but one of the 2008 BSFA short story nominees. Previous StarshipSofa.
posted by Artw on Apr 2, 2009 - 12 comments

We Know You Are Out There

We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.
posted by aheckler on Mar 29, 2009 - 51 comments

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree (1973), animated short based on Shel Silverstein's 1964 children's story and narrated by the author. [more inside]
posted by the_bone on Mar 18, 2009 - 38 comments

Fiction vs Science

Ken MacLeod, Paul Cornell, Iain [M] Banks and Ian Watson comment on the relationship between science fiction and science fact.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 18, 2009 - 49 comments

Contracting SyFyllis

Sci Fi has a new name. Now it's SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network. The former SyFy Portal website (a nerd news outlet) has been rebranded "Airlock Alpha" after selling the name to an "undisclosed recipient".
posted by crossoverman on Mar 16, 2009 - 257 comments

Special-snowflake Bots: A List

60+ One-Of-A-Kind Robots From Science Fiction. "You'd think a major advantage of robots is you can mass-produce them. They're just metal-and-circuit bodies. But science fiction is full of one-of-a-kind bots. Here are all the bots for whom they broke the mold."
posted by taz on Feb 21, 2009 - 40 comments

Stephen Glass Didn't Pass

In 1998, a journalist at The New Republic named Stephen Glass wrote a compelling piece in the influential magazine entitled 'Hack Heaven'. It told the story of how Glass witnessed a 15 year old hacker named Ian Restil being hired by a large Californian computer company named Jukt Micronics at a hacker convention as a security analyst after Restil hacked Jukt's website. But the entire story was, in fact, entirely fictional. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 14, 2009 - 46 comments

At A Deadly pace

The Invasion From Outer Space: Steven Millhauser gives The New Yorker a short, unsettling sci-fi story.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 10, 2009 - 111 comments

The children had stones already. And someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles.

How to raise money for the Shirley Jackson Awards? Why, a Lottery, natch. The Shirley Jackson Awards, established in 2007 to reward "outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic" is holding an online lottery beginning today and continuing through February 23 to raise funds for the program. Participants can buy $1 digital lottery tickets for any of 51 donated prizes from authors, editors, artists, and agents. Which prize will draw the most interest? Perhaps an autographed computer keyboard from Neil Gaiman? Or the chance to be Tuckerized in an upcoming work? [Tuckerization explained] Or ... star in a porn role? [more inside]
posted by taz on Feb 9, 2009 - 32 comments

Thomas Pynchon is 71 years old.

"To make off with hubby's fortune, yea, I think I heard of that happenin' once or twice around L.A. And… you want me to do what exactly?" He found the paper bag he'd brought his supper home in and got busy pretending to scribble notes on it, because straight-chick uniform, makeup supposed to look like no makeup or whatever, here came that old well-known hard-on Shasta was always good for sooner or later. Does it ever end, he wondered. Of course it does. It did. Thomas Pynchon's next novel, the 416-page Inherent Vice, is described by Penguin Press as "part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon — private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog." While we wait for its August 4 publication, we can read an essay on the dystopian musical he co-wrote at Cornell or watch a clip of that movie they made of Gravity's Rainbow. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 6, 2009 - 76 comments

The Cost of Self-Publication: Ebook vs. Print - One Person’s Story

"I don’t know for certain what big publishers are doing to make their prices so high, or what they think they’ll get out of it. I only know that I made a deliberate pricing decision to discourage Amazon and Kindle sales because I needed Amazon’s visibility but I didn’t want to lose my shirt, bra, AND panties." [some language may be NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 3, 2009 - 36 comments

New Yorker short fiction 2008

New Yorker fiction 2008. Annotated list of short fiction from the past year. "As perhaps the most high-profile venue for short fiction in the world, taking stock of the New Yorker's year in fiction is a worthwhile exercise for writers and readers alike."
posted by stbalbach on Jan 5, 2009 - 24 comments

A merry "Bah, Humbug!" to us all

[more inside]
posted by JHarris on Dec 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

Norman Thomas di Giovanni, translator for the 20th century Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges's has recently posted on his web-site, his translation of Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, one of his most well known and greatest short stories.
posted by Fizz on Dec 9, 2008 - 14 comments

Hard-Boiled Detectives, female and male

Early Female Authors of Hard-Boiled Fiction. Chester Himes and Early African-American Detective Novelists. The Detective's Code. The Femme Fatale. Just a few of the many fascinating offerings at detnovel.com.
posted by mediareport on Dec 8, 2008 - 4 comments

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Some of the best short-short fiction I've read recently has been that of the Heartbroke Daily, the stories of the love affairs of (fictional) Knox Dupree, who "fall[s] in love too easily" and "as a result [...] suffer[s] from near constant heartbreak." Start from the beginning and work forward. (via Presurfer) [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Dec 6, 2008 - 4 comments

Twilight

What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Dec 1, 2008 - 226 comments

2666 reasons to find your library card.

With the advent of December comes the annual ranking of the book industry's over-saturated market. Along with the garden variety Best Books of 2008 lists, niche critics weigh in on the best cookbooks (baking and regular), most trustworthy business publications, best children's book illustrations, safest bets for literary holiday gifts, and, of course, the prettiest book covers.
posted by zoomorphic on Dec 1, 2008 - 17 comments

"... He clutched her in a semi-muscular embrace"

Despite sagging paperback sales in the publishing industry, romance novels -- and particularly hen lit -- fiction featuring older female heroines -- are thriving. In 2006, according to Romance Writers of America, 26.4% of all books sold were romances, generating $1.37 billion in sales. In hen lit aka Matron literature, heroines typically are over-40, widowed grandmothers whose romance yearnings are secondary to family, work, and hobbies.
posted by terranova on Nov 21, 2008 - 29 comments

Stories are about people

John Wyndham: The Invisible Man of Science Fiction (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) - documentary about the British science fiction writer best known for The Day Of The Triffids
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 17, 2008 - 30 comments

In case you were wondering

Joyce explained. (via)
posted by kliuless on Nov 15, 2008 - 23 comments

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out

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.
posted by Artw on Nov 14, 2008 - 70 comments

Games that Never Existed

The Loneliness Engine and other invisible games.
posted by flatluigi on Nov 10, 2008 - 19 comments

One bloody thing after another.

One bloody thing after another is a serialized horror story written by Joey Comeau and illustrated by Emily Horne, creators of A Softer World. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
posted by lunit on Nov 1, 2008 - 12 comments

Pseudopod

Pseudopod - a podcast of short horror stories.
posted by Wolfdog on Oct 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Don'tgive me no jibber-jabber

Man-up with Stephen King.
posted by Artw on Oct 13, 2008 - 137 comments

Interviews with Venturous Writers

Dalkey Archive conversations with William Burroughs, Angela Carter, Robert Creeley, William Gaddis, William H. Gass, Danilo Kis, Harry Mathews, Richard Powers, Raymond Queneau, Hubert Selby, William T. Vollman, David Foster Wallace, and many other writers.
posted by Iridic on Oct 12, 2008 - 9 comments

Sug as in sugar, rue as in rue the fucking day

James Crumley, Crime Novelist, Is Dead at 68 [more inside]
posted by Divine_Wino on Sep 25, 2008 - 15 comments

Fiction, pure fiction.

That 700 Billion Dollar number that everyone's talking about? They made it up.
posted by pjern on Sep 24, 2008 - 146 comments

The world premiere of Blog Theatre.

The world premiere of Blog Theatre. Please give a warm applause for this evenings production of George Washington.
posted by GuyZero on Sep 21, 2008 - 4 comments

Rosenbaum, The Plausible-Fabulist

Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside]
posted by ninebelow on Sep 19, 2008 - 19 comments

Flowers For Algernon - The Blog

Daniel Keys' classic 1959 Science Fiction story "Flowers for Algernon", which takes place in a series of diary entries, has been posted online as a blog. Of course, you'll need to read it backwards, from the earliest entry to the latest, to avoid giving away the ending... [via]
posted by Asparagirl on Aug 30, 2008 - 25 comments

sinuosity

Realist Fiction by George Saunders:
"Last night, in a biker bar, I overheard two men discussing what distinguished “realist” fiction from more “experimental” work. Although one shouldn’t generalize, I never expect bikers to be literary critics. Well, these were literary critics, and good ones—in fact, they’d bought their “hogs” with royalties from a book they’d co-written, Feminine Desire In Jane Austen."

Experimental Fiction by George Saunders:
"Experimental fiction is the art of telling a story in which certain aspects of reality have been exaggerated or distorted in such a way as to put the reader off the story and make him go watch a television show."
posted by plexi on Aug 5, 2008 - 37 comments

Nightmare on Sesame Street

Goosebumps. Rotten School. Mostly Ghostly. The Nightmare Room. Fear Street. If you were born after about 1980 and had nightmares, there's a good chance R.L. Stine had something to do with it. (And he's certainly had a number of his own.) He's been called the Stephen King of children's literature, one of Forbes' top-40 best paid entertainers (beating out Michael Douglas, U2, and Bill Cosby, among others), and America's best selling author. It's an interesting place to end up for this Ohio State grad, who was editor of the campus humor magazine, The Sundial, and who has written humor under the pen name Jovial Bob Stein (including The Ghostbusters 2 Storybook and How to Wash a Duck and How to Do Everything Else). The very prolific author (who shares some credit with Tom Perrotta), plans to be around until the day the "kids stop reading." Until then, might I suggest getting them a nightlight?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Aug 5, 2008 - 30 comments

The Apparition of Enoch Soames

In the summer of 1897, the Devil transported a minor Decadent poet named Enoch Soames one hundred years into the future to see what posterity would make of his work. The only witness to the affair was the parodist Max Beerbohm, whose account of Soames and his journey ensured that at 2:10 P.M. on June 7, 1997, some dozen pilgrims waited in the Round Reading Room of the British Museum to see the poet appear...
posted by Iridic on Jul 22, 2008 - 26 comments

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