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SFF Author: Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster author(1946- )
Alan Dean Foster
has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is also the author of numerous nonfiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as novelizations of several films, including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first science fiction work ever to do so. Foster’s love of the far-away and exotic has led him to travel extensively. He’s lived in Tahiti and French Polynesia, traveled to Europe, Asia, and throughout the Pacific, and has explored the back roads of Tanzania and Kenya. He has rappelled into New Mexico’s fabled Lechugilla Cave, panfried piranha (lots of bones, tastes a lot like trout) in Peru, white-water rafted the length of the Zambezi’s Batoka Gorge, and driven solo the length and breadth of Namibia. Foster and his wife, JoAnn Oxley, reside in Prescott, Arizona. Don’t miss Justin’s interview with Alan Dean Foster.



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Justin chats with Alan Dean Foster

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Alan Dean Foster about his new book Predators I have Known. Mr. Foster is a highly regarded and best selling author with over 30 years worth of published material. He is considered to be a Grand Master of movie novelization. He wrote the official novels for some movies you might recognize like Star Wars, Aliens, Star Trek, Transformers,  and many others.  He is also the author of the popular Humanx Commonwealth novels, as well as the fantasy series Spellsinger.


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Midworld: Interesting biological science fiction

Midworld by Alan Dean Foster

On a faraway planet with a dense jungle ecosystem, a human colony ship accidentally landed generations ago. The planet killed all but a few hardy survivors and their offspring evolved, along with the jungle, into a symbiotic pseudo-human race.

A man named Born is one of the descendants of those few humans. In his early manhood, he is eager to prove himself a mighty hunter and a desirable mate for a girl he has a crush on. Among his people, who live in the trees,


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Spellsinger & The Hour of the Gate: TMNT meets Tolkien

Spellsinger & The Hour of the Gate by Alan Dean Foster

… Well, perhaps not Tolkien, but I had the urge for alliteration in the title. Spellsinger is a fantasy series quite unlike any other. While the anthropomorphisation of animals is certain not a new thing, Alan Dean Foster has done something out of the ordinary with it here. To give you some idea, if you can imagine the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters in a fantasy setting, then you’ll have some idea of what to expect.


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The Man Who Used the Universe: Unlikable protagonist makes it hard to enjoy

The Man Who Used the Universe by Alan Dean Foster

I picked up Alan Dean Foster’s The Man Who Used the Universe because it was just released in audio format. It’s a stand-alone science fiction novel, set in the far future, about a man named Kees vaan Loo-Macklin. Kees is a brilliant tactician who is building a career and an empire for himself. When we first meet him, he’s the lackey of a local crime boss, but we watch for years as he works his way up,


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Relic: I really ached for Ruslan’s plight

Relic by Alan Dean Foster

A man-made virus has wiped out all the humans in the galaxy… except one. Ruslan (he doesn’t know whether that’s his first or last name) is the last man standing, literally, on a faraway planet colonized by humans long ago. He was rescued by aliens who took Ruslan in and cared for him. They’re nice aliens and, with Ruslan’s help, want to study and preserve human culture. Now Ruslan is an old man, living in this pleasant but alien society. He likes his hosts, but he is still lonely for human contact even though he knows that humans are at fault in masterminding their own extinction.


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Magazine Monday: Short Fiction Fun

Many years ago, I cornered John Kessel at a fantasy conference just because I wanted to be able to say that I’d had a conversation with a writer and scholar I admired. Unfortunately for poor Kessel, I ran out of things to say to him right after, “I love your work!” I still have a reverence for writers that renders me tongue-tied in no time at all. Don’t they seem like the most magical beings, writers? People who can come up with all that weird stuff right out of their heads?

Anyway, Kessel took pity on me and started talking about how much he loves short fiction.


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Magazine Monday: Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, November/December 2012

The November/December 2012 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a mixed bag. Some of the fiction is excellent; some is not.

The best story in this issue is Naomi Kritzer’s “High Stakes,” a novelette that is a sequel to “Liberty’s Daughter” from the May/June 2012 issue (about which I said that I hoped there would be sequels). The setting for the story is a fictional, near future group of platforms and decommissioned cruise ships and other floating flat places in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that serve as home for several groups who found existing governments distasteful.


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The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: For a dose of crazy genius

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the latest themed anthology edited by John Joseph Adams — and it’s another good one. This time, Adams has collected a set of short stories featuring the hero’s (or often superhero’s) traditional antagonist: the mad genius, the super-villain, the brilliant sociopath who wants to remold the world in his own image — or occasionally, maybe, just be left alone in his secret lair to conduct spine-tingling experiments that,


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Magic City: Recent Spells: A solid urban fantasy anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

Things you should know:
1. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
2. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you’re a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven’t read these stories before.


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Next SFF Author: Karen Joy Fowler
Previous SFF Author: Kate Forsyth

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