Category Archives: Science fiction

From here

It’s a public holiday today here in Perth. Who even knows why. I think it was the Queen’s Birthday holiday, though it’s now WA Day or something? Meh. Either way, I don’t have to go in to work today, so it’s just a juggle of who gets to make breakfast, what we’re going to do as a family activity, if I can get washing done, and editing commitments.

Yesterday was a lovely and very enjoyable celebration for mum’s birthday. She’s 76, and still the most vital and energetic of people, despite enough challenges to knock most of us into a spin. So lucky to have her be part of my life still.

Been discombobulated by circumstance, these past few months. I’m delighted to have two new books out from Solaris (Reach for Infinity and Best of the Year 8), but am also fairly happy to have some downtime between projects. The next book, Fearsome Magics, is due out in October, but it’s basically complete. I don’t have another book to work on until Best of the Year 9 next January, which is both nice and scary. Lots to read, though, and I’m considering some projects.

I’m reading a bit, but not as much as I should. Dipped into Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, which Miss 12 wants to read, and Nick Harkaway’s Tigerman, but haven’t really committed yet. There are a handful of books coming out later in the year I’m excited about and can’t wait to see, but nothing I have to hand yet.

Not listening to any new music at the moment due to medical issues, but have watched a movie or two. Don Jon was sweeter than expected, and Ender’s Game we turned off half way through. So it goes.

I am actively, or semi-actively, planning the final details for the Loncon/Paris/Normandy trip with Miss 12. Lots to look forward to. We need to pick up a French phrase book, decide if we’re driving in France, and save lots of money quickly. It should all be pretty awesome.

More soon.  Or soon-ish. Oh, and no Coode St next week.  Hiatus!

Happy birthday, Mary Anning

Karen Joy Fowler's The Secret of Herself
Karen Joy Fowler’s The Secret of Herself

Today is the 215th anniversary of the birth of the great British paleontologist Mary Anning, whose contribution to science was so great that the Royal Society named her as one of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

Anning’s contribution to science was based on the fossils she collected in and around Lyme Regis and was either overlooked during her lifetime or acknowledgement for her discoveries were simply stolen by others.  She should be much more famous than she is.

Recently Karen Joy Fowler wrote a wonderful piece about Anning , “The Science of Herself“, which I recommend strongly.

Sneak peek: Cover art for the Best SF/F 9

Cover art by Dominic Harman for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine
Cover art by Dominic Harman for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Nine

I don’t think I’ve ever done this before because I don’t think I’ve ever been in this position before, but here’s a special sneak peek at the cover art for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year:  Volume Nine.  As I said in my post yesterday, I’m only reading for the book now, and it won’t be out till May 2015, but the incredible team at Solaris Books have had Dominic Harman on the job doing something special for the cover and I love what he’s come up with for the book.

Cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume 8

Dom also did the cover for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Eight, which should be hitting bookstore shelves any day now. It’s already getting some great reviews and I’m delighted with how it’s turned out.

The Best Thing I’ve Read All Week – Lazarus

Lazrus #1
Lazrus #1

Following the release of the Hugo Ballot recently, Grant Watson provided a list of other graphic stories he felt should or could have been consisdered for the Best Graphic Story category.

One of the titles he suggested was Lazarus, a darkly dystopian science fiction series set in a not-too-distant future United States, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.

The setup for the series describes it as being set in a world divided by financial boundaries, rather than be political or geographic ones. Wealth equals power and that wealth is controlled by a series of oligarchical families, who are often at war with one another.

If you are not a Family member then you are one of the few serfs who work for them.  And if you’re not a serf, you’re Waste, one of the countless millions with little or no hope in life. And life is cold out in the Waste. Each Family has a Lazarus, a person genetically modified and trained from birth to defend the Family.  They have every advantage – technical, financial, scientific – that can be bestowed on them.

Lazarus is the story of Forever Caryle, the Lazarus for Family Carlyle. Her life is an unrelenting tale of duty, honour, sacrifice, all to advantage the family and control the Waste.

In the eight issues I’ve read so far, inhaled over the past week, the art has been brilliant and the story compulsive. If I’d read this last year the first story arc would have topped my Hugo ballot, and the second story arc will definitely be there in 2015.

If you have any interest in great graphic stories, especially SF ones, this comes heartily recommended.