Tag Archives: discussion

Book Review: The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction of the Year, Volume 8

22 May 1781082162.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_SL400_

While not quite Dozois-sized in the number of stories and pages it contains, The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction of the Year Volume 8 edited by Jonathan Strahan does have one major advantage over its counterpart. Strahan, unlike Gardner Dozois’s own yearly tomes, boldly mixes both science fiction and fantasy into one volume, rather than trying to figure out what belongs in Science Fiction and what is firmly in the domain of fantasy. Eight volumes in, Strahan’s editorial voice in selecting the best of the year from both SF and fantasy together is distinctive and strong.

The stories are: Continue reading

205. Mary Anne Mohanraj & Cecilia Tan at ICFA (An Interview) #WorldSFTour

22 May

Sri Lanka, erotica, and world sf futures, oh my!  Mary Anne Mohanraj and Cecilia Tan join Julia and Shaun at ICFA to discuss a whole lot of amazing things.  We cover the history of Circlet Press, the nature of erotic sf/f, Mary’s incredible The Stars Change, Sri Lankan politics, sexuality and genre, immigration from South Asia and assimilation in the West, and so 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 205 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes:

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

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.

My Superpower: James L. Sutter

20 May The Redemption Engine by James L Sutter

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 James L. Sutter to talk about how the power of talking about the important things relates to The Redemption Engine.

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When asked what my superpower is, I’d usually talk about sneezomancy. For reasons unbeknownst to me, my sneezes are a reliable indicator of my general health. One sneeze means I’m getting sick. Two sneezes means I’m fine. Three or more sneezes means “wow, it’s dusty in here!” Not exactly the sort of thing that gets one onto the X-Men, right? So in getting ready for this article, I started rifling frantically through other powers. The ability to bend my thumb back, like, really far. The ability to eat several pounds of blueberries in a sitting without Serious Gastronomic Distress. The ability to consistently hit the high note in “Take On Me.”

And then I realized that I actually have a superpower that permeates every aspect of my life.

I can talk to people about things that matter. In fact, I adore it. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Hugo Nominated Short Stories by Adam Callaway

18 May

(Edit:  this post was actually written by Adam Callaway.  I forgot that WordPress would use my ID to indicate the author if I was the one who created it.  Sorry for any confusion.)

I am both pleasantly surprised and just a little disappointed with this year’s batch of nominees. There were no short stories I found to be of poor quality. In my opinion, there was one mediocre story, two good ones, and one very good one. I wish there had been a full ballot of short stories to read through. I also wish there had been more diversity in terms of theme and content.

In the end, I feel like these are incredibly mature stories that show the changing face of speculative literature in the 21st century. In many ways, they share more in common with fiction published in the New Yorker than Amazing Stories. Instead of ray guns and magic swords, you have metafiction and magical realism. Regardless of the quality of these stories, this is a Good Thing for the future of the genre.

But are these really the best stories genre produced last year? Hmm…

Here are my brief thoughts on each of the nominees: Continue reading

#20. Captain America: the Winter Soldier (2014) — A Shoot the WISB Subcast

15 May

Shields, concussions, and giant floating fortresses, oh my!  Shaun, Stina, Mike, David, and Jen join forces to tackle the latest entry in Phase 2 of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Captain America: the Winter Soldier (2014).  They certainly had a lot to say about this one!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Spoiler Alert:  the following podcast contains spoilers for the film being reviewed; if you wish to see the film without having it ruined for you, download this podcast and save it for later.

Captain American -- the Winter Soldier (2014)

Download the episode here.

Show notes (info about our contributors can be found on the about page):

Comment away!

Mining the Genre Asteroid: The Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic

15 May 321566

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Mysterious princesses. Mirrors that show things at varying speeds. Saving up days of the week to spend at one go (in eggs!). A man with ears sharp enough to slice bread. Inheritance laws improbably based on the color of beards. The dreams of parrots.

All of this, and more, can be found in The Dictionary of the Khazars (1989) by Serbian author Milorad Pavic.

Continue reading

203. Stephanie Saulter (a.k.a. The Jeweler) — Gemsigns (An Interview) #worldsftour

7 May

Genetic mutations, civil rights, and pandemics, oh my!  Stina and Shaun join forces to interview Stephanie Saulter about her novel, Gemsigns, which was released yesterday in the United States.  We talk about imagining changing cultures, technological advancements, religion, civil rights, and how all of these things are tied to her incredible sf novel!

You U.K. folks can get Binary, the sequel, right now.  What are you waiting for?  Go.  Now.  Why are you still here?  GET!  There’s a Waterstones somewhere near you.  Don’t come back until you have both of the books in hand (OK, so you can come back without it, but we recommend the “buy books now” option).

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 203 — Download (MP3)

Show Notes:

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

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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