The Late April Magazine Rack

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Beneath-Ceaseless-Skies-197-rack Cirsova-rack Uncanny-magazine-March-April-2016-rack Pulp Literature 10-rack
Locus-April-2016-rack The-Great-Detective-Delia-Sherman-rack Lightspeed-April-2016-rack Interzone-263-rack

Fletcher Vredenburgh kicks off our coverage of two very promising new publications this month in his regular magazine column: Cirsova, a magazine of sword and sorcery and science fiction, and Pulp Literature, which attempts to re-capture the high adventure spirit of the great pulp mags — and largely succeeds. Here’s Fletcher.

Two incredibly impressive magazines crossed my desk this past month: the very first issue of the brand new Cirsova, edited by P. Alexander, and Pulp Literature #10, edited by the triumvirate of Mel Anastasiou, Jennifer Landels, and Susan Pieters. Both are hefty collections (Cirsova is 95 pages and Pulp Literature is 229) and are available as e-books as well as real live paper versions.

P. Anderson may say that what ties the various stories in Cirsova together is a love for the glorious pulp adventures of the past. While that is clearly true, their truest similarity lies in the authors’ love of storytelling… Cirsova has built a stage for writers to tell stories with narrative force, audacious adventure, and outlandishly magnificent settings. If this is what the first issue looks like, I expect future ones will blow me away…

Pulp Literature has been around for several years now, having published ten thick issues… While it has only a few swords & sorcery stories, I was blown away by PL’s quality and richness… Pulp Literature is filled with a wide variety of genres. Senior citizen detectives, Jewish monsters in contemporary Ontario, poetry, all sorts of good things. Don’t let that literature tag scare you off. The editors’ love of pulp in so many varieties means they have a love of storytelling and don’t neglect it. How such a magazine has escaped wider notice eludes me.

In other news, we also reported that dark fantasy magazine The Dark is switching to monthly. Check out all the details on the magazines above by clicking on the each of the images. Our Mid-April Fantasy Magazine Rack is here.

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Notes from the Underground: Tremors & Tremors 2: Aftershocks

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 | Posted by William I. Lengeman III

Tremors Kevn Bacon Fred Ward

Tremors (1990)
Directed by Ron Underwood

Earl Bassett: What kind of fuse is that?
Burt Gummer: Cannon fuse
Earl Bassett: What the hell do you use it for?
Burt Gummer: My cannon!

Will Tremors, the movie, go down through the ages as a great and enduring work of art? Nah. Is it a pretty good monster movie and perhaps even one of the better examples of the breed? I would argue that it is.

Once upon a time — the Fifties, to be more specific — there was a flood of movies about giant critters of various shapes and sizes wreaking havoc in assorted and sundry ways. Once in a while the planets would align just so and someone might turn out a pretty decent one of these. Them, a yarn about rampaging giant ants, springs to mind.

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April 2016 Lightspeed Magazine Now Available

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Lightspeed April 2016-smallThe fiction in every issue of Lightspeed is gradually made available on the website as the month progresses; the last story in the newest issue became available on April 28th, and the entire issue is now yours to enjoy free. The April issue includes tales of supervillain ex-boyfriends, queens rescued from dragons, quantum challenges, and the first mating between humans and aliens.

Robert L Turner III reviewed the issue at Tangent Online:

In “Origin Story” by Carrie Vaughn we are introduced to Commerce City, a town overrun with heroes, supervillains, and vigilantes. Mary, the protagonist, is standing in line when she recognizes that the supervillain robbing the bank is none other than her ex-boyfriend Jason Trumble. The story is more a quick vignette about lost loves and rekindled (?) relationships than SF…

“The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel” by Matthew Bailey is the final entry for the month. In it, the first mating between Humans and the recently met Tharkan species is the subject. Told from the viewpoint of the expectant human mother, the story delves into the complexities of intercultural and interspecies communication. Bailey does a solid job of presenting the larger world through the eyes of the narrator and making the personal universal. The constant repetition of the idea of Self and Autonomy is well played against the unique situation of a first interspecies birth. Overall, the story, while not groundbreaking, is interesting and the best of the issue.

The cover artist this issue is Sam Schechter.

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Vintage Treasures: The Elsewhere Anthologies, edited by Terri Windling and Mark Alan Arnold

Saturday, April 30th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Elsewhere Volume 1-small Elsewhere Volume 2-small Elsewhere Volume 3-small

Terri Windling is a superstar in the field of fantasy. She’s been awarded the World Fantasy Award nine times, and she’s also won the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the 2010 SFWA Solstice Award. As an editor at Ace she discovered and promoted first novels by Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and many other important authors; with Ellen Datlow she co-edited 16 volumes of the seminal Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror from 1986–2003. She’s also an author in her own right, with several highly regarded works to her credit, including the Mythopoeic Award-winning novel The Wood Wife, and a number of children’s books, such as The Raven Queen and The Winter Child.

But believe it or not, she got her start in this industry as an artist. I didn’t discover that until I interviewed Ellen Kushner for my Tale of Two Covers article on her Basilisk anthology earlier this month. Here’s Ellen:

It’s an anthology I’m still really proud of. It’s also how I met Terri Windling, who did the interior illustrations (which much more accurately represent the aesthetic of the stories). She’d just come to town, and was showing her art portfolio around. Jim [Baen] thought I’d like her work, and that he wouldn’t have to pay her much… Terri, of course, essentially took over my job as fantasy expert for Jim a few months after I left Ace.

Ellen reached out to Terri as we were fact checking the article, and in the process Terri gave me the fascinating back story on how she began her career as one of the most respected and admired editors in the field with the Elsewhere series of anthologies, the first of which won the World Fantasy Award. Here’s what she said.

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Rosarium, Diversity, and the Assimilated Cuban’s Guide to Quantum Santeria

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Posted by C.S.E. Cooney

Rosarium_Comix_Banner_tbjinlHello, there!

I just wanted to pop in to tell you about the Indiegogo campaign that Rosarium Publishing is currently running.

From the first two paragraphs of their campaign page:

Rosarium Publishing (distributed through IPG) was started in 2013 with one goal: to bring true diversity to publishing so that the books and comics we enjoy actually reflect the fascinating, multicultural world we truly live in today.

We publish science fiction, crime, steampunk, satire, comics and represent over 40 artists and writers from all over the world.  With the success of this campaign, we will be able to print thousands of books and continue our mission to further our quest for diversity in publishing with the high quality of work you deserve.

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Capturing the Elusive Nifft the Lean

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Posted by Doug Ellis

Nift the Lean Michael Whelan-small

Our big purchase this past weekend at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention was this Michael Whelan painting, which is the cover for Michael Shea’s World Fantasy Award winning novel, Nifft the Lean. Both Deb & I are big fans of the book, as well as the art, so we were thrilled to pick it up!

[Click the image for a bigger version.]

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New Treasures: Starflight by Melissa Landers

Friday, April 29th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Starflight Melissa Landers-small Starflight Melissa Landers back-small

Black Gate is a fantasy site, and there’s more than enough fantasy releases to keep us busy every month. But sometimes adventure SF — especially off-world space opera — reads an awful lot like great fantasy. It’s too early to see if Melissa Landers’s latest novel Starflight will go down in the annals as classic space opera, but it’s sure got the ingredients… including a plucky heroine, lawless outer realms, long-buried secrets, and an eccentric crew on a fast ship.

Solara Brooks needs a fresh start, someplace where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. The outer realm may be lawless, but it’s not like the law has ever been on her side. Still, off-world travel doesn’t come cheap; Solara is left with no choice but to indenture herself in exchange for passage to the outer realm. She just wishes it could have been to anyone besides Doran Spaulding, the rich, pretty-boy quarterback who made her life miserable in school.

The tables suddenly turn when Doran is framed for conspiracy on Earth, and Solara cons him into playing the role of her servant on board the Banshee, a ship manned by an eccentric crew with their own secrets. Given the price on both Doran and Solara’s heads, it may just be the safest place in the universe. It’s been a long time since Solara has believed in anyone, and Doran is the last person she expected to trust. But when the Banshee‘s dangerous enemies catch up with them, Solara and Doran must come together to protect the ship that has become their home – and the eccentric crew that feels like family.

Starflight was published by Disney-Hyperion on February 2, 2016. It is 368 pages, priced at $17.99 in hardcover and $9.99 for the digital version.


Goth Chick News: Again With That Damn Clown…

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Posted by Sue Granquist

Pennywise the Clown

In the spring of 2015, production was ready to begin on a brand new rebooted, two-film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel IT, with Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) in the director’s chair. Creative differences led Fukunaga to depart the project, creating an indefinite delay and uncertainty as to whether the two-film approach would remain.

However, last week it was announced that Andy Muschietti (Mama) has taken over the directorial reins, and we’ve now learned that the cameras will begin rolling in June; on both films.

Stephen King himself took to Facebook to share a link from Entertainment Weekly confirming a September 8, 2017 release date, and explaining why the approach isn’t really milking the potential audience.

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April 2016 Locus Now on Sale

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Locus April 2016-smallI let my subscription to Locus lapse last year as a cost-savings measure (I subscribe to too many magazines), and that proved to be a big mistake. I told myself I could still buy the occasional issue when they caught my eye on newsstands. Turns out Locus is pretty eye-catching. I’ve spent far more than what a subscription would have cost me buying up individual issues. This year, I won’t make that mistake. I’m signing up for a subscription this month.

The April Locus is packed with great stuff, including interviews with Paolo Bacigalupi and Tim Pratt, a column by Kameron Hurley, a report on SF in Cuba, and reviews of short fiction and books by Eleanor Arnason, Ken Liu, Betsy James, Judith Merril, Austin Grossman, Cathy Fenner, and many others. In addition to all the news, features, and regular columns, there’s also the indispensable listings of Magazines Received, Books Received, British Books Received, and Bestsellers. Plus Letters, and an editorial. See the complete contents here.

The big change I noticed with the latest issue is that the magazine has gone to glossy, full-cover interiors — and it looks great. All those books thumbnails look terrific in color.

We last covered Locus with the February 2015 issue. Locus is edited by Liza Groen Trombi, and published monthly by Locus Publications. The issue is 62 pages, priced at $7.50. Subscriptions are $63 for 12 issues in the US. Subscribe online here. The magazine’s website, run as a separate publication by Mark R. Kelly, is a superb online resource. It is here.

See our Mid-April Fantasy Magazine Rack here, and all of our recent Magazine coverage here.


Future Treasures: Nebula Awards Showcase 2016, edited by Mercedes Lackey

Thursday, April 28th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2016-smallThe 2015 Nebula Awards were a pretty big deal for me. They were presented here in Chicago, and I was able to attend for the first time. I was also asked to present the award for Best Novelette of the Year, an honor I won’t soon forget.

In addition I got to catch up with old friends, and meet plenty of new faces — folks like Rachel Swirsky, Liz Gorinsky, Aliette de Bodard, Lawrence M. Schoen, Cixin Liu, and many more. The Nebula Awards Weekend is relaxed, fun, and attended by the best and brightest writers and editors in the industry. It’s a great place to meet and chat with your favorite writers — not to mention get lots of free books.

They also give out some Nebula Awards, of course. And the Nebula Awards Showcase collects the winners and finalists in a handsome anthology, as it has every year since 1966. The Nebula Awards Showcase 2016 is the 50th volume in the series, and it looks like one of the strongest in recent memory.

This year editor Mercedes Lackey elected to take a rather eclectic approach — to include every short story and novelette nominee and winner, and limit herself to excerpts in the novella category (with the exception of the winner). Here’s the complete TOC.

Short Story

“Jackalope Wives,” Ursula Vernon (Apex 1/7/14) — Winner

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