Showing posts tagged z non fiction

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21st Century Ghosts - Laird Barron

“On the day I found a copy of David Hartwell’s The Dark Descent, which featured Shea’s novella and a number of other classics, everything changed.”

3.5 out of 5

http://lairdbarron.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/21st-century-ghosts/

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/10/21st-century-ghosts-laird-barron-2/

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They mocked her “science fantasy” Then she wrote Empire Strikes Back - Charlie Jane Anders

“Also, in her introduction to The Best of Planet Stories #1 in 1976, Brackett describes “space opera” as “a pejorative term often applied to a story that has an element of adventure.” And she offers a defense of space opera as “the folk-tale, the hero-tale, of our particular niche in history.” Sputnik, she writes, startled the wits out of all the high-minded, important people who hadn’t wanted to talk about space. But she adds:

But the space opera has been telling us tales of spaceflight, of journeys to other worlds in this solar system… These stories served to stretch our little minds, to draw us out beyond our narrow skies into the vast glooms of interstellar space, where the great suns ride in splendor and the bright nebulae fling their veils of fire parsecs-long across the universe; where the Coal-Sack and the Horsehead make patterns of black mystery; where the Cepheid variables blink their evil eyes and a billion nameless planets may harbor life-forms infinitely numerous and strange. Escape fiction? Yes, indeed! But in its own ironic way, as we see now, it was an escape into a reality which some people are even now trying to fight off.”

5 out of 5

http://io9.com/they-mocked-her-science-fantasy-then-she-wrote-empir-489586578

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/05/they-mocked-her-science-fantasy-then-she-wrote-empire-strikes-back-charlie-jane-anders-2/

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In Conversation - Paolo Bacigalupi and Lauren Beukes

A Google hangout round robin interview.

3.5 out of 5

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/05/in-conversation-paolo-bacigalupi-and-lauren-beukes-2/

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Fascinated Neutrality: An Interview with - Alastair Reynolds

“By the time I had begun serious work on Revelation Space, I’d had a gut’s full of that brand of science fiction which is basically just nineteen fifties mid-America transplanted into the future. That didn’t reflect the world I was living in, let alone the likely texture of the twenty-fifth century or whenever. But equally, I just thought that all these foreign-sounding names (to me, I hasten to add — I fully understand how offensive and stupid this will sound) just looked a lot cooler and more interesting on the page than yet another load of Anglo-Saxon or Germanic surnames, which is about all that a certain strain of science fiction seems capable of — even now. In 1991, too, I moved to another country and immediately started working in a large international organization, at which point my cultural horizons were broadened enormously, a process that I hope never really stopped.”

4.5 out of 5

http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1562&fulltext=1

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/04/fascinated-neutrality-an-interview-with-alastair-reynolds-2/

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101 Weird Writers: Laird Barron - Timothy Jarvis

“Laird Barron (1970 – ) is an American writer, much of whose critically acclaimed work falls within the horror, noir, and dark fantasy genres. In his fiction, the influence of Lovecraft and Lucius Shepard has been subsumed by his own themes and concerns, creating such potent and original modern takes on the weird tale as “The Forest” (2006), reprinted as part of The Weird. Barron spent his early years in Alaska, which has been an influence on his fiction. He moved to Washington in 1994 where he became a certified strength trainer and earned a third degree brown belt in Professor Bradley J. Steiner’s Jen Do Tao system. He has won multiple Shirley Jackson awards for his fiction. His latest collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, was published earlier this month by Night Shade Books. 101 Weird Writers is delighted to present this appreciation of Barron and “The Forest,” written by our newest contributor, Timothy Jarvis.”

4 out of 5

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2013/04/101-weird-writers-laird-barron/

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/04/101-weird-writers%e2%80%89laird-barron-timothy-jarvis-2/

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Leigh Brackett’s Planetary Romances - Andrew Liptak

“Brackett was born on December 7th, 1915 in Los Angeles, California to a family of declining fortune. Her early life was met with hardship early on in 1918 when her father passed away, one of the many casualties of the global flu epidemic. After that, her family moved quite a bit, and Brackett later recalled that she had a haphazard education as they travelled the country before settling down. Her love of science fiction came when she was 8 years old, after picking up a copy of Edgar Rice Burrough’s second Barsoom novel, The Gods of Mars. She later said that she knew from that point what she wanted to do: “I was never the same after that. Suddenly, I became aware of other world out there and then, from that time on, I was destined to be a science fiction writer.””

4 out of 5

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/leigh-bracketts-planetary-romances/

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/03/leigh-bracketts-planetary-romances-andrew-liptak-2/

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Remembering Cordwainer Smith: Full-Time Sci-Fi Author Part-Time Earthling - Ted Gioia

“One could spend many pages considering these sociological and political themes, but the main attraction of Cordwainer Smith is not the theoretical implications, but the extravagant and often disturbing plot elements that make his stories stand out from the pack. When Smith submitted his first sci-fi story “Scanners Live in Vain” to John Campbell, Jr., the mastermind behind the influential Astounding magazine, the seasoned editor turned it down because it was, in his words, “too extreme.””

3.5 out of 5

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/03/remembering-cordwainer-smith-full-time-sci-fi-author-part-time-earthling/274344/

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/03/remembering-cordwainer-smith-full-time-sci-fi-author-part-time-earthling-ted-gioia-2/

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Jennifer Lawrence: America’s Kick-Ass Sweetheart - Josh Eels

“Dude!” Says Jennifer Lawrence into her cellphone. “I’m lost as fuck! I’ve been driving around for, like, 10 minutes. Where the hell is this place?” She’s looking for a horse stable. We have plans to go horseback riding in the canyons above Malibu, but neither of us can find the place. I tell her to pull over and I’ll come find her.

The most talented young actress in America is idling on a side street in her white Volkswagen, in blue jeans, a gray T-shirt and designer shades. Her naturally blond hair is pulled back in a loose ponytail, and her elbows are sticking out the open window.

She’s famous for playing vulnerable young women with wills of steel, as with her Oscar-nominated turn in Winter’s Bone, or as the bow-and-arrow-toting Katniss Everdeen in the just-released Hunger Games. Right now her face says she means business.

“I have to pee so bad.”

4.5 out of 5

http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/jennifer-lawrence-americas-kick-ass-sweetheart-20120412#ixzz2LtsyZ6i2

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/02/jennifer-lawrence-americas-kick-ass-sweetheart-josh-eels/

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Author Spotlight - Laird Barron

“I’ve always been interested in world mythology, especially Norse. Late in 2011, I packed up my faithful hound Athena and drove an old truck pretty much non-stop from Montana to New York State. The story came to me as I visited a rest stop in Wyoming—two a.m. and a winter breeze rolling out of the Bad Lands. Later, I was relating to fellow author John Langan that I really wanted to write a chase narrative. Our conversation eventually led to “FDS.” The Wild Hunt fits perfectly as the agent of pursuit for our hapless narrator …”

3 out of 5

http://nightmare-magazine.com/nonfiction/author-spotlight-laird-barron/

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/02/author-spotlight-laird-barron-2/

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Viewpoint: The small business of 2063 - Alastair Reynolds

“Our world is changing faster than ever and, in recent years, a number of transformative technologies have moved from science fiction and the research and development R&D laboratory into the realm of practical application.
Continue reading the main story
Special Report: The Technology of Business
Rise of the warehouse robots
Much more than a fancy calculator
The transparent supply chain
Ecommerce tests India’s patience
Would you pay 20p to read an article?

These new technologies, combined with demographic shifts and globalisation, will have a profound impact on the future of SMEs.

Who would have thought that advanced machinery and electronics such as GPS navigation tools, which only a decade ago would have seemed completely science fictional, would now be a part of our everyday lives?”

3.5 out of 5

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20792047

http://freesf.strandedinoz.com/wordpress/2013/01/viewpoint-the-small-business-of-2063-alastair-reynolds-2/

Drawn to Science Fiction - Neal Asher

"I have a memory, from some point soon after when I was about eleven or twelve – I can locate it there because we were at the third family house I lived in, my brother Martin had left home, and the memory concerns the house he had moved to. I was searching though a box of books in his bedroom. These were mostly Louis L’Amour cowboy books, though whether I was reading them at the time I can’t be sure. Amidst them I found this weird paperback with a green four-armed figure mounted on the back of some strange buffalo-type creature, and I remember being fascinated by it and wanting to read it at once. But was this copy of Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs the book that set me on the path I’m still treading?"

3 out of 5

http://torbooks.co.uk/2012/08/28/drawn-to-science-fiction/

The Orthogonal Universe - Greg Egan

"What would it be like to live in a universe with four dimensions that were all essentially the same?

The universe we inhabit has three dimensions of space and one of time, and though relativity has taught us that there is no absolute notion of time that is shared by everyone, the whole variety of directions in space-time that different people might call “the future” is entirely separate from the set of directions that different people might call “north”.

What would be the outcome if that distinction were erased, and there were four dimensions that were all as much alike as “north” and “east”? Such a universe is the setting for a trilogy of novels that I’m writing, with the overall title of Orthogonal. The first volume, The Clockwork Rocket, was published in 2011; the second, The Eternal Flame, has just been released by Night Shade books in the US, and will be out from Gollancz in the UK in October.

Since time as such is absent from the Orthogonal universe, a first guess might be that it would resemble a snapshot of the world we see around us at a single moment, albeit a snapshot with four dimensions of space rather than three. Worse, it would be a snapshot with no backstory: no sequence of prior events to organize and enrich the subjects caught in the flash. It would consist of nothing but scattered, isolated objects with no history or duration.”

4.5 out of 5

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/guest-post-orthogonal-universe-by-greg.html

The Yesterday Gambit Part 4 - Julian Darius

"As Warpsmith and a severely fatigued Miracleman return to 1985, they immediately turn back to the threat posed by the story’s unspecified “enemy.” Warpsmith “pray[s] to the sacred Dau” that they haven’t arrived too late, a sign that this alien also has an alien religion. And he immediately attempts to “contact our comrades and establish whether they have managed to contain the enemy.”"

4 out of 5

http://sequart.org/magazine/10263/the-yesterday-gambit-part-4/

Life After Quatermass: Hammer Films’ ’60s Science Fiction - Mark Cole

"So far, however, Hammer has announced no plans to explore another important part of its legacy (although one unfamiliar to many of their fans): science fiction. Hammer’s SF films of the ’50s—inspired by the legendary Quatermass serials—were the company’s first venture into horror. Not only did their success encourage Hammer to make its first Gothics, but they played a pivotal role in the development of British SF cinema over the next decade."

4 out of 5

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/cole_07_12/