Are you a US resident? Are you concerned about surviving (and thriving!) in a future populated by cybernetic monks and brutal security forces? If you answered yes, check out the near-future-dystopia-survival-kit sweepstakes at the Orbiteer. And be sure to sign up to our newsletter for upcoming contests and exclusives.
We’re delighted to see that Ken MacLeod has gone from writing SF to appearing in an SF short story! The critically acclaimed author of The Execution Channel and the Hugo, Clarke and BSFA Award-nominated Learning The World, gets a mention from a character in Security Question by Ramon Rozas III, an online short story appearing at Every Day Fiction:
“How far in the future do you come from?”
“Pretty far, actually. I made it to the ships, if that means anything to you.”
“I can’t remember whether you’ve read Ken MacLeod yet.”
“Never heard of him.”
“Oh, you will. Anyway, I’m far enough in the future that I have to offload memories from this old brain,” the man tapped his skull, “and store them elsewhere.”
Go on, check it out. And then spend some time contemplating which, if any, MacLeodian future the time traveller comes from. Hey, why not? It’s the weekend, after all . . .
Today is 4 October. That means two things:
1. It’s the Fiftieth Anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet satellite that lit the fuse on the Space Race and captured the hearts and minds of millions of young SF fans around the world (and as an aside, if any of you haven’t seen October Sky or read Homer Hickam’s extraordinary memoir, Rocket Boys, upon which it was based, do so immediately!).
2. It’s publication day for Daniel Abraham’s extraordinary Orbit debut, The Long Price. Comprising A Shadow in Summer and A Betrayal in Winter (published separately in the US), The Long Price is an original and elegant debut that has already garnered effusive praise from some giants of the genre:
‘A thoroughly engrossing debut novel from a major new fantasist. A poignant human tale of power, heartbreak, and betrayal’ — George R.R. Martin
‘An architecturally-perfect fantasy world filled with a fascinating, highly distinctive set of characters’ — Walter Jon Williams
‘One of the most elegant and engaging fantasies I’ve read in years’ — Jacqueline Carey
‘Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told, this tale of gods held captive will hold you captive, too’ — Connie Willis
Don’t know about you, but I’d take notice of these folks — I mean, they’ve only got about two dozen Hugos and Nebulas between them! I’d also get used to seeing Daniel Abraham’s name on award short lists — as George R.R. Martin notes, he’s a major new voice in fantasy fiction.
Congratulations to Karen Miller, whose second novel, The Awakened Mage (out this week), has charged straight to the top of the SFF paperback bestseller charts in the UK. In the US, both The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage are among the Top 5 mass-market fantasy bestsellers. Karen is very happy — and so are we!
Over at BN.com, Paul Di Filippo writes about the history of SF dystopias, and says of The Electric Church:
Somers’ strategy of blending Invasion of the Body Snatchers with allusions to contemporary cults coats this profane, kickass thriller with a veneer of social commentary reminiscent of some Galaxy-era novel reinterpreted by Warren Ellis.
Jennifer Rardin talks about her urban fantasy debut Once Bitten, Twice Shy over at Scifichick.com (The scifichick.com review is here.)
And Jeff Somers appears as part of Largehearted Boy’s “Book Notes” series with a soundtrack to The Electric Church.
Iron Maiden, Two Minutes to Midnight
The greatest. Song. Ever. Bar none. You can write action sequences to this endless dual-lead-guitar gem until your hands fall off. Fun fact: Every movie fight sequence ever filmed can be synchronized to this song. Go ahead, try it. You might need to drink a little first. It seems to help.
Over at the Unfiction message board a team of players just solved the last puzzle on The Electric Church Website: unlocking the story hidden in the site, saving Ty’s old friend, and learning the secret ingredient in author Jeff Somers’ homemade moonshine. If you were one of the players at Unfiction, drop us a line at the email listed at the finish line, we’d love to hear from you. And thanks to everyone for playing!
If you haven’t poked around the site, you can still play the game – and if you get stuck, Unfiction provides a lively walkthrough.
This is our first attempt at building an ARG for a book promotion, and it was a lot of fun to put together. We’d love to know what you thought – what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can improve next time.
For posterity, (and any players who need to find the penultimate password ) the blogad is here.
“Blending some of my favorite elements: fantasy, espionage, mystery, action, and just a touch of romance, makes a recipe for one extremely entertaining story.” more…
And check out Jennifer’s blog at www.jenniferrardin.com