Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long Looks at Short Fiction: "Coordinated Attacks" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Analog, July-August, 2011, $5.99

I know, I know.  That's the previous issue of Analog.  The new issue came out last week.  I'm a little behind.

Anyway, you can still buy this issue in electronic format from Fictionwise by clicking on the link above.

I wanted to look at the novella by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in this issue.  It's a science fiction thriller set on the Moon at least 200 years or so in the future.  (The exact date isn't given but there are references to historical events that require that sort of time frame.)  If you haven't read it, it's worth your time to do so for reasons you know I'm going to explain.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gods of Justice

Gods of Justice
Kevin Hosey and K. Stoddard Hayes, ed.
Mark Offutt and Joel Gomez, ill.
Cliffhanger Books, 205 p., ebook $4.99, print (forthcoming)

This is turning out to be the summer of the superhero.  Not only are we seeing more superhero movies than we ever have in a single summer, but print-wise superheroes seem to be on the rise as well. 

Case in point, Gods of Justice, edited by Kevin Hosey and K. Stoddard Hayes.  This the sophomore publication of Clffhanger Books, a new small press.  Their first publication was an anthology of paranormal romance.  It was a nominee for Best Book of 2010 for The Romance Review.  That means they set a high standard their first time out.

The question is, do they live up to it in this book?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

RIP, Martin H. Greenberg

Dean Wesley Smith is reporting that Martin H. Greenberg passed away this morning after a long illness.  If you've ever picked up an anthology is the last twenty or thirty years, there's a good chance his name was on the cover, usually following the name of a well known author or editor.  (Isaac Asimov comes to mind as the most prominent, but he was far from the only one.)  If the anthology was published by DAW books, then his name was almost certainly on the cover.  Greenberg was the publisher of Tekno Books, one of the leading book packagers in the world.  (A packager puts the project together, then sells it to publisher.)  While his work was often behind the scenes, he was a major player in fantasy and science fiction publishing, as well as a number of other genres.  I never met Mr. Greenberg, but I've always heard only good things about him.  His passing is a major loss to the science fiction and fantasy fields.  Think of him the next time you read one of the anthologies he put together.  Dean Wesley Smith worked with Greenberg and has written a moving eulogy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Engineering Infinity

If you've been reading science fiction for any length of time, the name Jonathan Strahan should be familiar to you.  He's edited or co-edited an number of successful  and critically acclaimed anthologies, such as The New Space Opera and The New Space Opera 2, both co-edited with Gardner Dozois, and the Eclipse series (the newest, Eclipse 4: New Science Fiction and Fantasy, has just been published) as well as a Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year series, now up to Volume 5.

The book at hand is Engineering Infinity, a collection of original stories that are clearly science fiction.  Not speculative fiction, not fantasy, not slipstream.  Pure science fiction, much but not all of it of the "hard" variety.  It's been on my shelf for a while, something on the general order of about five or six months.  I recently decided to stop dipping into it and finish it.

Let's take a quick scan of the contents, shall we? 

Opening Salvo

Welcome to Futures Past and Present.  This blog will be similar to my other blog, Adventures Fantastic, only instead I'll be focusing on science fiction here. 

There will be some differences, though.  For one, as far as fantasy is concerned, Adventures Fantastic tends to stick to relatively new fantasy (or at least recent), with the exception of certain classic authors, such as Robert E. Howard.  The historical adventure and occasional historical fact post there are a little more broad ranging.  I'm going to take a more historical approach here in that I'll strive to have a fairly even mix of old and new science fiction.  There are a number of authors who have been forgotten that I'll try to bring to your attention.  If you've ever read one of Bud Webster's Pat Masters columns, you know what I'm talking about.  Where Bud tends to focus on the authors and their oeuvre as a whole, I'll look more specifically at individual works. 

Of course I'll review as many new science fiction books, stories, and magazines as I can.  That should be about a third of what's covered here.

And the final third will be me blogging about whatever I have on my shelves that I either finally get around to reading or read again. 

In other words, this is going to be a wide ranging blog focusing on as many aspects of science fiction we can reasonably cover.  I'm going to do more experimenting with the format and layout than I do with Adventures Fantastic, so don't be too surprised if things change on a regular basis.