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Showing posts from November, 2010

Strange Horizons Reviews, November 22-26

This week on Strange Horizons, Paul Kincaid is very excited by Richard Powers's Generosity, a novel he calls "one of the most impressive and convincing novels about science I have encountered in a very long time" and much more besides.  Michael Froggatt reviewsBelieve in People, a collection of Karel Čapek's popular journalism.  Čapek is best-known in the English-speaking world for pioneering the use of 'robot' to describe an artificial worker in his play R.U.R (most recently reference in Dollhouse), but he was also writer (perhaps most notably of the hilarious and moving War With the Newts) and a journalist, and Froggatt discusses how this collection reveals his various interests and preoccupations, including politics, which, for a Czech writer in the years before WWII, was a fraught topic indeed.  Finally, Sara Polsky discussesKing Maker, the first volume in Maurice Broaddus's proposed trilogy, which relocates the Arthurian myths to an American inner ci…

Strange Horizons Reviews, November 15-19

This week on Strange Horizons, T.S. Miller reviews two works that deal with artificial intelligence in the context of gaming, the internet, and the modern technology industry: Ted Chiang's novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects and Greg Egan's novel Zendegi.  Nick Hubble reviews the reviewer when he discusses Bearings, a collection of Gary K. Wolfe's reviews from 1997 to 2001.  A second volume, and a book of essays, are upcoming.  Finally, Michael Levy reviews Hiromi Goto's YA novel Half World, and in a bit of synchronicity, Goto herself discusses the novel at Omnivoracious.

Strange Horizons Reviews, November 8-12

On top of my own review, this week Strange Horizons featured the second installment of Alvaro Zinos-Amaro's series on Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories.  It's an in-depth look at some classic science fiction shorts, some by familiar names, some with familiar premises (in this installment, Alvaro discusses the story that would inspire The Day the Earth Stood Still).  The review of the first volume is here.

Matt Cheney, in his inimitable style and typical thoughtfulness, discusses the film version of one of the most talked-about outsider SF novels of the last decade with Six Views of Never Let Me Go.

Finally, John Clute's column Scores appears this week, discussing Connie Willis's Blackout/All Clear.

Review: Sleepless by Charlie Huston

My review of Charlie Huston's first foray into science fiction, Sleepless, appears today at Strange Horizons.  I had an odd journey with this book.  Its first hundred pages are so self-serious that it shades into unintentional comedy, but by the time I turned the last page it was a strong contender for one of my favorite reads of 2010, along the way avoiding a lot of pitfalls of SF written by outsiders to the genre.  Read the review to find out why.

The Social Network

When I first heard about The Social Network, I had what I imagine was a near-universal reaction: why would anyone want to make a movie about Facebook?  That bewilderment persisted even as the film's buzz and reception grew more and more ecstatic, so that it wasn't until a few weeks ago, when I finally gave up and let myself look forward to seeing it, that a more pertinent reason for feeling dubious about The Social Network presented itself: this is an Aaron Sorkin film about the internet.  Whether he's getting back at TWoP moderators by having his West Wing characters describe them as chain-smoking, muumuu-wearing Nurse Ratcheds, or bemoaning the fact that just anyone can start a blog and use it to say that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is not God's gift to the television medium, or blaming the internet for the birther movement, Sorkin's attitude towards the internet seems fueled by equal parts ignorance and disdain.  Even aided by Ben Mezrich's research into F…

Ch-ch-ch-changes

July marked AtWQ's fifth anniversary, and in a few months I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday, and these two milestones coming within relatively little time of one another meant that 2010 featured a lot of stock-taking and some serious thought about what the next step in my life, personal and professional, was going to be.  Which is how I ended up involved with ICon 2010 and the SF Encyclopedia, looking for ways to diversify and mix up my experience of fandom and my role within it.  So this summer, when Niall Harrison mentioned that Strange Horizons's editor-in-chief (and freshly-minted World Fantasy Award winner) Susan Marie Groppi was stepping down, and that he was thinking of putting in for the position, I found myself thinking about the soon-to-be-vacant reviews editor job.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the right next step for me to take, and I'm pleased and proud to announce that I've taken it.

In my admittedly biased opinion, Strange …