The biggest, the most exciting, the most SUPER event of the year! So THAT’S why they were out of party foods at the grocery store today…
The British Science Fiction Association announced the shortlist nominees for the 2015 BSFA Awards. The winners will be announced on March 26 at Mancunicon (Eastercon) in Manchester. This is one of my favorite SF book awards to follow, a great place to discover and celebrate excellent and sophisticated speculative fiction. The BSFA isn’t immune to cheesy sci-fi, but it’s not the pasteurized disappointment certain other big name SF book awards prove to be year after year.
Two of my picks on my shifting, fleeting, oft-reshuffled 2014 best novel shortlist were nominated. My reading overlap ratio isn’t nearly as uncanny as it was with the BSFA shortlist, but I didn’t expect to see much overlap between the two awards. Continue reading →
So, uh, I don’t know if you noticed that all three of the novels I selected to illustrate my post about the Locus Recommended Reading list got shortlisted this weekend. Aaand, two of them received double-noms.
I’m super stoked that the above novels got nom’d for the exciting BSFA award! And, super-duper stoked that Lagoon and The Race also made the Red Tentacle shortlist for The Kitschies!
Let’s review the big news, then I promise I’ll get back to talking about old books. Continue reading →
And the 2014 noms are… [with my initial thoughts in brackets.]
Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit) [surprise, surprise. Here’s a link to my review.] Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace/Orbit UK) [Maybe he gets better, I tell myself.] Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit) [Will her fans back off if she finally wins one?] Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books) [No.] The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor) [No. I read the first threeand you can’t make me read more.]
[Overall opinion: Very disappointed. Was hoping to have an excuse to read Christopher Priest’s The Adjacent and Gareth L. Powell’s Ack Ack Macaque.]Continue reading →
Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot) God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Del Rey) The Machine by James Smythe (Blue Door) Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie (Orbit) The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann (Gollancz) The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)
“The sky above… was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel.”
When Robert Sawyer winks at this opening line from William Gibson’s Neuromancer, it’s a reminder of how drastically technology has changed over the past 30 years. When Gibson wrote that line in 1984, it was intended to evoke the gray fuzziness of a disconnected screen. Two and a half decades later, Sawyer uses the same line to describe a bright blue sky. For me, five years and an awesome Sony app box later, a dead channel is as black as the night of a new moon (with an HDMI input notification in the top corner).
But that line also illustrates how drastically the cyber SF sub-genre has also changed over the past 30 years. Neuromancer is the seminal piece: dark, edgy, and weird, while Wake is safe, comfortable, and sweet. Neuromancer‘s main character is a suicidal adult male with a drug addiction. Wake‘s main character is an optimistic teen girl with good grades and high self-esteem. Both explore similar themes of emerging technology, primarily human interaction with artificial intelligence, but they go about it in completely different ways. If Neuromancer is cyberpunk, then Wake is cyberpop. Continue reading →
When a spaceship lands in the English shire of Ansby during the middle of the Hundred Years’ War, Sir Roger, Baron de Tournville, leads his knights to battle against strange blue “demons,” then hijacks their ship to mount an attack against France. But the lone alien survivor of the Wesgorix, kept alive for information, misleads his captors and autopilots a return to his home empire. Do the merry English bat an eye? Hardly! The sprawling interstellar empire of the Wesgorix is simply another territory for the Crusade-happy Baron to claim in the name of King Edward III and Christendom.
Monty Python meets Hitchhiker’s Guide? Why not? While the marrying of medieval romps and galactic pioneering sounds as fun today as it did over fifty years ago, the execution is sparse for modern SFers whose mash-up expectations require hundreds of pages, years of research, valid science, and ironic nihilism. But when the first tenth of a novel is dedicated to its most famous fans’ love letters, you know you’ve stumbled on to an important piece of SF history. Continue reading →
The first major SF book award of the year was announced today at The Kitschies Awards ceremony in the UK!
Although The Kitschies has only been around since 2009, established by pornokitsch.com and sponsored by a rum company, it may seem like a rather un-major award, but considering the impressive panel of judges, and its mission to recognize “the year’s most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining works” of SF from the UK is quite compelling. You can see the full list of winners and nominees here. I’m tempted to squeeze of few of these into my own, already overfull reading list.