Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Month: April 2023


The Between: Classic horror, scary as all get-out

The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between, first published in 1995, is Tananarive Due’s classic horror novel, about a man who must risk his life to save his family from malignant forces, both supernatural and all too human. In the mid-1990s, Hilton James suddenly starts experiencing the dreadful dreams he had before, early in his marriage. Time with a therapist and a hypnosis session seemed to help then, but now the episodes are worse, and he begins to have waking dreams, until sometimes he can’t tell when and where he is.

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WWWednesday: April 26, 2023

Several months ago, John Scalzi reported the opening of the Scalzi Family Foundation. Here is one of their first philanthropic efforts.

Thanks to File 770 for this one! As part of a scholar’s Masters thesis in Communication, this database includes many (most? All?) fictional brand names. You can search by alpha, or by alpha within categories.

If you’re an eligible voter, you have about one more week to vote for the Hugos, and here is a post with some resources to help you decide who gets your vote.

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Crashing Suns: Five adventures of the Interstellar Patrol

Crashing Suns by Edmond Hamilton

In his serialized novel of 1930 entitled The Universe Wreckers, which originally appeared in the pages of Amazing Stories magazine, Ohio-born author Edmond Hamilton gave his readers a tale concerning the pancake-shaped residents of Neptune who were trying to increase the spin rate of our sun for their own nefarious purposes. But this was hardly the first time that Hamilton had presented his audience with a gaggle of bizarrely shaped aliens who were weaponizing the celestial bodies;

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How to Mars: Solid but feels like a missed opportunity

Reposting to include Marion’s new review.

How to Mars by David Ebenbach

In David Ebenbach’s How to Mars (2021), humans have made it to Mars, but not via the usual major government initiative. Instead, a group of six was sent as a reality TV show produced by Destination Mars, a corporation whose owner is “pretty eccentric.” Sadly, Mars turned out to be kind of dull (lots of rocks, no life, monotone color) and as the six scientists grew bored so did the audience,

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Revival (Volume One): You’re Among Friends: A rural noir horror story

Revival (Volume One): You’re Among Friends by Tim Seeley (writer) and Mike Norton (artist)

Revival is marketed as “rural noir,” but it is horror, too. Tim Seeley and Mike Norton have created an eight-volume story, and volume one, “You’re Among Friends,” starts off, after an introduction by Jeff Lemire, with a shocking event: Ms. Tao, a reporter given the worst columns to write, is forced to write one on unusual jobs. In the opening scene, she is making a video recording as she interviews the town’s crematorium technician at one in the morning.

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Rose/House: Hits the sweet spot

Rose/House by Arkady Martine

As I’ve noted multiple times, I often struggle with the betwixt and between nature of the novella. But Arkady Martine’s newest, Rose/House hit the sweet spot for me with its unique mash-up of a classic clinical locked-room murder mystery and a lyrical fever dream exploration of art and identity and narrative all held within just the right size container. I was variously enthralled, amused, and bemused and pretty much loved this richly layered story start to finish with just a few blips here and there.

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The Joy Makers: “If It Makes You Happy…”

The Joy Makers by James Gunn

Shortly before being taken over by Random House in 1988, Crown Publishers had a wonderful thing going with its Classics of Modern Science Fiction series; a nicely curated group of books in cute little hardcover volumes that the imprint released during the mid-‘80s. Previously, I had enjoyed (and, in some cases, written about here) such terrific titles in this series as Charles L. Harness’ The Paradox Men (1953), Murray Leinster’s The Forgotten Planet (1954),

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WWWednesday: April 19, 2023

Open Culture shows some early illustrations from H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds.

This National Geographic story of cats in the British navy may be behind a paywall for some.

In the world of comics, the Eisner Committee has inducted fifteen more comic artists/writers into its Hall of Fame.

A sloth joined the festivities at the launch of JUICE, a spacecraft set to explore Jupiter’s ice moons, last Friday. The curious animal, nicknamed “Gerald,” was probably far enough away from the launch that is escaped injury when the craft lifted off.

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The Magick of Physics: Uncovering the Fantastical Phenomena in Everyday Life

The Magick of Physics: Uncovering the Fantastical Phenomena in Everyday Life by Felix Flicker

Felix Flicker’s relatively unique take on popular science is right there in the title: The Magick of Physics: Uncovering the Fantastical Phenomena in Everyday Life. Taking Arthur C. Clarke’s old adage that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” Flicker presents his layperson’s explanations of modern-day physics as a wizard’s manual of sorts, as in one scene where a wizard illuminates her path with a crystal spelled into glowing and then cuts through a bolt with a “stream of light.” In reality though (at least our reality),

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WWWednesday: April 12, 2023

Adri and Joe of Nerds of a Feather talk about the Nebula finalist list.

Writer Rachel Pollack passed away on April 7, 2023. Here is the Guardian’s obituary.

The Extractionist, by Kimberly Unger, won this year’s Philip K. Dick award. Tade Thompson’s book The Legacy of Molly Southbourne received a special citation.

Charles Payseur reviews for Locus now. In this month’s issue he looks at several magazine issues from December,

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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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April 2023