Category Archives: Science fiction

Greg Egan’s Axiomatic

Cover art for Greg Egan's Axiomatic
Axiomatic by Greg Egan

I’ve been blogging over on Facebook this week about some of the great Australian science fiction and fantasy books I encountered when I first entered the SF field.  If you want to check them out,  they’re in here somewhere.

The book that really stands out for me, the first explosion on the local scene, was when a UK publisher gathered together the first batch of hard science fiction stories by local writer Greg Egan in Axiomatic.

Egan had been publishing standout stories like “Learning to be Me”, “The Moral Virologist”, “Axiomatic” and others. Big SF stories tackling big ideas.  I’ve said elsewhere that the stories Egan published between 1985 and 1995 represent one of the great bodies of SF short fiction and stand among the great entries to our field, and this book was a key part of that.  Heady stuff, and still recommended.

Wanted: Hard SF recommendations

I’m getting ready to edit a new hard science fiction anthology, the fifth in my ‘Infinity Project’. I’m pretty excited about it. The theme is good, it’s fairly loose which I prefer, and it gives me the chance to work with a variety of writers. All good.

Before I get too far into the project though, I thought I’d spread my field a bit wider than usual. So if you have any recommendation of new hard SF writers I should be checking out, please let me know. I’m interested in any hard SF writers, but especially ones either starting out in their careers or based outside the US and UK.

I have no doubt I’ll be working with some of the fabulous writers I’ve been lucky enough to work with in the past, but I’d love to add a bunch of new names to that list.

Meeting Infinity

Cover for Meeting Infinity
Meeting Infinity, December 2015

The team at Solaris have revealed the fabulous cover for Meeting Infinity, the fourth volume of the Infinity Project. Since it lists all of the contributors for the book, I thought I’d add to the fun by doing a full release of the table of contents for the book.  I really like this book, and think it’s the best ‘Infinity’ so far.

Look into the future and see what you might become….

Dark age barbarian princesses, Mexican ninja zombie soldiers, icy interrogators of networked intellects, searchers for eternal youth, warrior families hiding in the corners of a future haunted by machines bent on our destruction, and distant deepspace protectors of humanity’s future.

Whether it’s the day after tomorrow or a million years into the deep future, there are moments when humanity stares into the abyss and faced with possibility extinction follow Darwin’s theory – change, adapt, alter, evolve. Take on a different body, engineer a new intellect, become something completely different to preserve whatever is most human about us.

Meeting Infinity, the fourth book of the Infinity Project, presents  exciting new stories from sixteen award winners and acclaimed writers 

Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
“Memento Mori”, Madeline Ashby
“My Last Bringback”, John Barnes
“Aspects: A Galactic Centre Story”, Gregory Benford
“Rates of Change”, James S.A. Corey
“In Blue Lily’s Wake”, Aliette de Bodard
“Body Politic”, Kameron Hurley
“Drones”, Simon Ings
“Emergence”, Gwyneth Jones
“Cocoons”, Nancy Kress
“The Cold Inequalities”, Yoon Ha Lee
“The Falls: A Luna Story”, Ian McDonald
“Exile from Extinction”, Ramez Naam
“Outsider”, An Owomoyela
“Desert Lexicon”, Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“Pictures from the Resurrection”, Bruce Sterling
“All the Wrong Places”, Sean Williams

Meeting Infinity will be in-store December 2015. Get ready to pre-order it. Plans are also underway for Infinity 5!

Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and the podcast this weekend

Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This coming weekend Gary and I talk to Silvia Moreno-Garcia about her debut fantasy novel, Signal to Noise. Described by Gary in an upcoming issue of Locus as “one of the most important fantasy debuts of the year”, it’s an engaging and compelling story of a woman returning to her family home in Mexico for her father’s funeral, and of a time in her teens when she discovered that the right music played just the right way could change the world. It may be that I grew up at the right time, it may be that Meche’s past overlapped mine in just the right way, but I loved this gentle, moving book quite a bit.

If you have any interest in fantasy and music, then I think Signal to Noise is for you. It’s the best genre book about music that I’ve read since Lewis Shiner’s Glimpses.

The publisher describes the book like this:

A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.

Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends — Sebastian and Daniela — and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love…

Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?

Silvia was a terrific guest and I think the conversation we recorded talks about the book in an interesting way that really complements reading the book. Keep an eye out for the episode, which should go out on Saturday, 21 March. And consider picking up a copy of Silvia’s book. It’s Coode Street Recommended.