I’ve been fairly outspoken at times about how the SF&F community could do with a little more diversity. I’ve mostly talked about how we need to look beyond the borders of the United States and the British Commonwealth, but there’s a lot we can do for diversity here at home. Two New York City publishing publicists are trying to do just that. . .
Despite data that shows women read more than men, a lot of our stories still reflect “straight white man, or often a bunch of straight white men, creating things with science, wielding magic, saving the world, blowing stuff up. If there are women or people of color involved, [they're] probably love interests or sidekicks. [They] probably only talk to, or about, the white male lead. [They] probably die first, or to provide motivation for the protagonist.”
I pulled that quote directly from the fundraiser being run by Ellen Wright and Faye Bi who are running the New York City Marathon for Speculative Literature Foundation Inc., a non profit that promotes science fiction and fantasy and encourages new writers of both adult and children’s genre literature.… Read the rest
If the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS) wanted to call me a hater, I would be inclined to agree. I have been one of the Hugo Awards’ hugest detractors in recent years with blog post after blog post excoriating the WSFS for their silly rules, the award for its myopic view, and the voters for their borderline idiocy. After attending my first Worldcon I want to tell the entire science fiction and fantasy community that I was wrong.
Let me say that again for emphasis. I was wrong.
Before I went to Worldcon I thought it was Camelot. I thought it must be this magical place where science fiction and fantasy fans went to create something larger than themselves. It was a place where they went to further the genre, to explore new lines of thought, and to inspire a new generation of content creators (whatever their age). The reality is something quite different.… Read the rest
This is like a meme. Everyone is doing it. Except, I don’t really have a schedule. Because that would be silly, right? There aren’t a bunch of folks lining up to hear me read my Hugo Rant. (WHY AREN’T THERE PEOPLE LINING UP FOR THAT?!)
Of course, I’m helping throw Drinks with Authors, and I’ll be at the Twig singing supporting some folks, and I’ll be at the SF Signal meet-up. But, for those who want to run into me, I figured I’d provide a likely location for you to do so.
So, without further ado, my WorldCon schedule:
… Read the rest
Steve Drew, of r/fantasy, and I wanted to put together a gathering at WorldCon. There were lots of authors left off programming, and programming doesn’t always deliver the kinds of interactions we wanted to have. But, what to do? Myke Cole had the answer.
Called “Drinks with Authors”, we’ve put together an event to give authors and fans a chance to interact in an informal setting. We give you:
Ernie’s Bar is easily accessible, located RIGHT behind the Marriott RiverCenter Hotel. All of the publishers listed under “Thank you” have sent books and other items, and we’re encouraging all our authors to bring a signed book. We’ll be doing giveaways all night and having a killer time. If you plan to come–fan, author, editor, publicist, blogger, or anyone else–please let us know. No RSVP is necessary, but it’d be nice to have a “running count”.
If you’re an author who isn’t on the flyer and would like to be, please let me know.… Read the rest
Yes, that’s a really big picture of the title of Joe Abercrombie’s first book. I’m a pretty big proponent of his work, in case anyone wasn’t aware yet. I posted it in celebration of my first post at Tor.com which was published this morning. In it I review Abercrombie’s newest short story “Some Desperado”.
I had not really considered writing for Tor.com until recently when they let Jared Shurin from Pornokitsch in the door. Two things became apparent: (a) I couldn’t let Jared do something I wasn’t also doing and (b) I figured they’ll let anyone write for them. And here we are.
The story I’m reviewing today features Red Country protagonist Shy South and will appear in the George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois anthology, Dangerous Women. Perhaps more significant though, I’m announcing the OFFICIAL (unofficial) reread of Joe Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy which I will be writing for Tor.com.… Read the rest
I announced on Twitter that if I got to 1,000 followers on Tuesday, I would read a self-published novel nominated by my followers. The time has come to pay the piper, so to speak.
The overwhelming suggestion from my followers was Rob J. Hayes, The Heresy Within. Reading the blurb, I’m a little concerned.
Thanquil Darkheart is an Arbiter of the Inquisition, a witch hunter tasked with hunting down and purging heretics. Thanquil Darkheart is also something else, expendable.
When the God-Emperor of Sarth tells Thanquil there is a traitor operating among the highest echelon of the Inquisition he knows he has no choice but to sail to the city of Chade and follow the Emperor’s single lead.
The Black Thorn is a murderer, a thug, a thief and worse but he’s best known for the killing of six Arbiters. These days he travels with a crew of six of the most dangerous sell-swords in the wilds.
… Read the rest
With my recent career change and relocation, I was considering a full re-brand of Staffer’s Book Review. I had a new name picked out, a new domain bought, and I began to rebuild the site. When push came to shove, and the rebuild was almost complete, I decided to stick with the girl I brought to the dance.
I mean, who cares if the new blog was younger and better looking? I’m not going to dump old Staffer’s Book Review just as I’m getting popular. No, sir! We will march on together with slightly sleeker lines. To that end, I hoping my readers will provide me with some feedback.
- Does everything work?
- How are the colors?
- Does the header font bug you as much as it bugs some people?
- Are there functions in a sidebar that you can’t live without?
- Will you still love me in the morning?
I’m sure the site will undergo some more changes in the days and weeks ahead, but let me thank you all for being a part of Staffer’s Book Review for the last two years.… Read the rest
Wheel of epic fantasy turn, turn, turn
Tell us the lesson that we should learn
And now on to the part of the blog where I present five novels that look. . . well. . . damn near identical. I’m sure there are all kinds of nuances that make them unique, but each clearly references that epic fantasy je ne sais quoi. Which one do you figure as the most likely to succeed?
#1) The Black Guard by A.J. Smith (August)
The Duke of Canarn is dead, executed by the King’s decree. The city lies in chaos, its people starving, sickening, and tyrannized by the ongoing presence of the King’s mercenary army. But still hope remains: the Duke’s children, the Lord Bromvy and Lady Bronwyn, have escaped their father’s fate.
Separated by enemy territory, hunted by the warrior clerics of the One God, Bromvy undertakes to win back the city with the help of the secretive outcasts of the Darkwald forest, the Dokkalfar.
… Read the rest
Speculative Fiction 2012: The Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary announced its lineup of contributors, Wednesday. Edited by bloggers Justin Landon (Staffer’s Book Review- US) and Jared Shurin (Pornokitsch – UK), SpecFic ’12 collects over fifty pieces from science fiction and fantasy’s top authors, bloggers and critics.
Author and podcasting sensation Mur Lafferty, whose newest novel The Shambling Guide to New York City is due out from Orbit Books this Spring, has agreed to write the foreword. “Lafferty’s writing career germinated online. She’s been a pioneer in the space and understands why the work in this book is so important. She’s the perfect person to put it into context,” said Landon.
Landon and Shurin also announced that they will pass the torch in 2013, establishing a precedent of rotating editors every year. The 2013 volume will be edited by Thea James and Ana Grilo of The Book Smugglers. Shurin commented, “We’re excited to see this move forward with Thea and Ana.… Read the rest
Last year I read The Winds of Khalakavo and called it fantasy meets War and Peace, or something like that. Brad Beaulieu merged the epic fantasy tradition with a very Russian aesthetic, and it worked brilliantly. I went on to read his co-authored novella (with Stephen Gaskell) Strata and continued to be impressed.
Then, I got a chance to meet Beaulieu at Epic ConFusion 2011. He’s a gracious, articulate guy who I had several tremendous conversations with over the course of the convention. He recently announced a project to collect his prolific short fiction, most of which comes from before he was a published novelist, in a single volume. It’s on Kickstarter now and for a $5 contribution you get an eCopy of the collection and The Winds of Khalakavo (and if he gets to $3,000 you’ll get a copy of its sequel, The Straits of Galahesh). That’s a hell of a deal.… Read the rest