Occasionally, I read something and don’t particularly want to review it so much as say, just read this. Or produce a review consisting of nothing but quotations from the text: let the evidence speak. Phantasm Japan, a 2014 anthology edited by Nick Mamatas and Masumi Washington, is such a book. Pardon me while I spend the next several hundred words embarrassingly fangirl-gushing about it.
There are a few different ways to measure an anthology’s success. The one that is used most often is determining how many of the stories the reader liked versus how many they didn’t. While there’s nothing wrong with this as a metric, it’s not the primary one I use. My favorite anthologies shift my perception in some fundamental way, whether by some of the stories taken individually or by the aggregate body. Phantasm Japan does both. Considerably. Of course, producing a collection that’s bold and smart is not without risk; two or three of the more cerebral stories in this anthology sailed right over my head. There were several more that blew my mind in the best possible way. Continue reading
Today, we delve into the land of comics, one of my first narrative loves. I’ve been reading comics since I was a kid living in Brooklyn, taking the deposit from our cans and bottles down to the Friendly Local Comic Store and buying issues of X-Men and Spider-Man. I’ve been getting back into comics more in the last year, thanks to once again having a Friendly Local Comic Store with great taste and a friendly atmosphere. Add to that the ease of impulse buying digital comics via Comixology and things like Humble Bundles and I’m facing an embarrassment of riches.
Since it’s Baltimore Comic-Con this weekend, I thought I’d give y’all a report on some of the comics I’ve been enjoying of late: Continue reading
Space rodents, emo fanatics, and dancing Groots, oh my! In her first episode as an official member of the crew, Rachael Acks joins Shaun, Paul, and David to discuss the smash hit, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
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.
Download the episode here.
Show notes (info about our contributors can be found on the about page):
Moomin, the Arctic Circle, and volcanoes, oh my! In our first panel recording from LonCon3 / Worldcon, Tore Høie, Anna Davour, John-Henri Holmberg, Sini Neuvonen, and Marianna Leikomaa discuss sf/f from the Scandinavian countries. ‘Nuff said.
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 221 — Download (MP3)
Show Notes ((I may have missed a few things mentioned in the podcast. If pick anything up that is not listed in the show notes, please leave a comment!):
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 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 Corie Weaver to talk about how the power of Overcomplication relates to The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide (Kickstarter).
If you asked my husband, he’d say my superpower is overcomplicating things. The other night, we grilled out, and at the last minute, I decided I didn’t want ketchup. I could *taste* what I wanted. Tomato paste, a tiny bit of red wine, chili powder.
I was right – it was delicious, but it did create an unexpected bump in the dinner plans.
And that may be how, when I had planned to spend the summer putting the final touches on a new YA space opera, we’re instead editing an anthology of science fiction stories for middle grade readers.
Like a lot of the sudden complications in our life, it started from a few diverse ingredients. Continue reading
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 Benjanun Sriduangkaew to talk about how the power of War relates to Scale Bright.
My superpower is an intense interest in war.
Strictly on the page, I hasten to add. Recently, I pitched a story idea like so: ‘Deep Ones meet Little Mermaid, told as military fantasy’. I think the editor liked it(?) and seemed pleased that it wasn’t quite like anything else pitched so far. A good thing, yay! On the other hand, I discovered that I might have a problem; usually, one thinks Little Mermaid and the idea of red-haired Ariel tends to come up first thing — not so much, ah, military fantasy. If by remote chance you have read my short stories, you will find war present in many of them, and there is probably a reason most of my SF tends to be read as military. Continue reading
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