Tobias Buckell on the (New) Art of The Xenowealth Saga

1 Sep The Apocalypse Ocean by Tobias Buckell

In 2006, I came out with my first novel in the US, a somewhat hard-to-categorize (I’m told, I think it makes perfect sense, I wrote it after all) science fiction novel with Caribbean peoples settled on an alien world that have long since lost touch with their home world. That was Crystal Rain. I alternated between calling it Caribbean steampunk (a few years early, I think, for steampunk) and Caribbean SF.

It had a cover I adored — created by the amazing Todd Lockwood, a well known fantasy artist who’s work is amazing. I have a print of the art framed on my wall:  an airship above a verdant forest being chased by another distant ship. But when the novel came out, booksellers emailed me to say that the cover looked like the book was a fantasy, creating confusion among casual browsers. Core SF readers didn’t want to pick up the book. Fantasy readers put it down when they realized what it was. Continue reading

Torture Cinema Poll: What should we watch for September 2014?

31 Aug

You know the drill.  There’s that little poll thing.  Clicky click. Vote.

Go!  Choose wisely…

220. Wesley Chu (a.k.a. Spymaster 1000) — The Rebirths of Tao (An Interview at CONvergence)

28 Aug

Symbiotic organisms, trilogy monsters, and gear switching, oh my!  The always humorous Wesley Chu joins the crew at CONvergence to talk about writing a trilogy, his upcoming novel, The Rebirths of Tao, and much more!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 220 — Download (MP3)

The Lives of Toa and the Deaths of Toa by Wesley Chu

 Show Notes:

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

Write101x: University of Queensland Free Writing Course!

27 Aug

Marianne de Pierres recently brought this course to our attention.  Run by Dr. Roslyn Petelin, the course aims to provide an introduction to grammar, syntax, and style in the English language.  Anyone can audit the course for free, meaning you can get access to all of the course’s materials.  If you’re interested in improving your writing, this is a great way to do it from the safety of your home!

Full details about the course can be found here.

If you do take the course, let us know how it goes!

Book Review: Last God Standing

26 Aug Last God Standing by Michael Boatman

Lando Calrissian Darnell Cooper is a standup comic in Chicago. He has a lovely girlfriend, Surabhi, and two feuding separated parents; he’s just trying to be like one of us. Lando, however, is also the decanted incarnation of the retired god Yahweh, the God of Christians, Jews, Muslims and Mormons. What is God trying to do being a stand-up comic in Chicago?  Trying to make a living at being an ex-God, that is.

Power abhors a vacuum, however, and Lando’s mostly deactivated status as a deity means that the rest of the retired and supplanted gods out there can smell blood in the water. A chance to get back on top, perhaps? Or just eliminate the God of the Hebrews and re-establish the old order.  Worse, there are hints that a new power, a new God for the age, might be looking to eliminate the competition and the old regime — to wit, Lando. And all Lando wants to do is find the right time and moment to propose to his girlfriend. Oh, and to kill them on stage. Continue reading

My Superpower: Tim Lees

25 Aug

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Tim Lees to talk about how the power of Obstinancy relates to The God Hunter.

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Iron Man is “The Invincible”, the Hulk is “The Incredible”, and I am “The Obstinate”. This quality is also, according to my wife, my greatest weakness. Or at least my most annoying trait. No doubt Superman annoys people as well. Let’s hope he isn’t married to them.

On the face of it, obstinacy is not a pro-survival feature. It’s a failure to adapt, an inability to respond to changing conditions. When the lungfish tells you that the pond is drying up and you should drop your gills and join him, you say loudly, “No it’s not,” and attempt to wallow in your last few micrometers of water. Obstinacy is a label many people go to great lengths to avoid. Obstinate politicians recast themselves as “principled” while their enemies call them “bloody-minded”. Obstinate actors become “difficult” or “driven”, implying they possess some special vision their directors somehow failed to share. And so on. I, however, am just obstinate. Continue reading

219. Kameron Hurley (a.k.a. The Patriarchy Smarsher) — The Mirror Empire (An Interview at CONvergence)

25 Aug

Grimdarkiness, mirrors, and patriarchy smarshing, oh my!  With a two Hugo Award wins nomination under her belt, Kameron Hurley joins the crew for a heart to heart about her new novel, The Mirror Empire.  We tackle the political nature of fiction, Grimdark, feminism, and silly things.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 219 — Download (MP3)

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

Show Notes:

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

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