Some of these — quite a few, actually — go back to before I went on holiday. I still have ambitions of writing a proper trip report like Abigail’s, too, but not for a few days. In the meantime, incoming:
- First, for anyone else who attended Worldcon: June Madeley is carrying out a survey as part of research on the history, organization and structure of the con.
- Paul Cornell’s thirty comics for Hugo voters — worth paying attention to, since Best Graphic Story is going to be around for a couple more years at least.
- Erin Kissane has put together an archive of John Clute’s Excessive Candour columns, which were lost when the Sci-Fi channel revamped its website. Meanwhile, his latest column is on George Zebrowski’s Empties. It’s one of those that attracts entertaining comments from Sci-Fi Wire commenters.
- Via Hal Duncan, The Outer Alliance, for the advocacy of LGBT issues in literature, and sf in particular. There’s also a Google group.
- Catherynne Valente on writing sf.
- Graham Sleight on disability and sf
- Notes on a discussion between Avery Brooks and Samuel R Delany on Race and Star Trek, held in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia at the end of July.
- District 9: Good? (one, two) Bad? (one, two) Or one the fence? (Or an invigorating failure?) Alas, I don’t get to find out for another couple of weeks.
- I suppose if you’re going to create a new award this late in the day, the least you can do is come up with an excellent name. Thus The Ham-Sized Fist Award, “for best Heroic Fantasy or Sword-and-Sorcery short fiction”. There’s an interview with editor Jeff Crooks about the award at Fantasy Magazine, and some discussion at Black Gate. And according to the blog, it’s already got its first controversy: some authors have declined to have their stories considered for the award.
- So The New Yorker had a post on their blog about seven essential fantasy reads which has, not surprisingly, generated some comment. Graham Sleight’s corrective at the Locus bog; Mark Newton’s corrective; Aidam Moher basically likes the original; Adam at The Wertzone thinks the focus is right, but quibbles with particular choices; and Larry puts together a list of books that “escape” genre.
- Nnedi Okorafor: Is Africa ready for science fiction?
- AS Byatt questions the use of real-life characters in fiction; Conversational Reading thinks this makes it hard to respect Byatt (but with discussion in comments); Guy Gavriel Kay takes up the issue in the Guardian Book Blog.
- Anil Menon on a recent sf workshop held in India: part one and part two.
- A transcript of the conversation between Paul Krugman and Charles Stross that took place at Anticipation.
- If Neal Stephenson had won the Hugo, he had a prepared acceptance speech written in Orth.
- Jonathan McCalmont on Moon, and at VideoVista on John From Cincinati, of which you may remember I was rather fond.
- Meg Rosoff reviews Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan
- Nic Clarke on Avilion by Robert Holdstock
- Dan Hartland on Palimpsest by Catherynne M Valente, The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness, and (at Strange Horizons) two ghost stories: The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry and White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi.
- L. Timmel Duchamp reviews Farah Mendlesohn’s essay collection On Joanna Russ
- Kate Nepveu reviews Acacia: The War with the Mein by David Anthony Durham
- Paul Kincaid on Four Freedoms by John Crowley, and (at SF Site) Centuries Ago and Very Fast by Rebecca Ore
- Reviews of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Galileo’s Dream by Roz Kaveney in The Independent and Adam Roberts in the Guardian, with more from the latter here.
- Matt Cheney reviews Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson.
- Martin Lewis on The City & The City at SF Site and The Ask & The Answer at Strange Horizons
- Patrick Ness reviews Pandaemonium by Christopher Brookmyre in The Guardian
- Elizabeth Hand’s latest F&SF review column covers Cheek by Jowl by Ursula Le Guin, The Magician’s Book by Laura Miller, and The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Michael Moorcock reviews The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry.
- My review of Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
- Tables of contents: Eclipse 3, ed. Jonathan Strahan; Speculative Japan vol 2; The Secret History of Science Fiction, ed. James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel; Best American Fantasy 3, ed. Kevin Brockmeier with Matthew Cheney
- Atwood season is upon us! Review by Nisi Shawl; interview in The Times; and interview in The Telegraph, including this gloriously obnoxious paragraph:
If any of this were to come from a male sci-fi author, one’s heart might, perhaps, sink a little; we have never been short of fictional futuristic dystopias to choose from. But the prolific and acclaimed Atwood – she won the Booker in 2000 with The Blind Assassin and has been shortlisted on several other occasions – brings colourful humanity, formidable intelligence, and also some sly satirical humour to this vision. And, as with The Handmaid’s Tale, this is not sci-fi. It is, to use her term, “speculative fiction’’.
Of course it is. For those who aren’t distracted by the talk about the book from the prospect of the book itself, there’s also a website, and “a literary performance” at St James’ Church, Piccadilly, on 2 and 3 September.
- And finally: no matter how frustrating some of my Worldcon panels may have been, at least nobody got up to sing. (Some context; and the, er, inside perspective.)
EDIT: And one I missed earlier — Maureen Kincaid Speller on Michael Swanwick’s Hope-in-the-Mist, a monograph on the life and work of Hope Mirrlees.