…SF addict …

Saturday, February 23, 2013

2012 Nebula Award Nominations list

Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW; Gollancz ’13)
Ironskin, Tina Connolly (Tor)
The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
Glamour in Glass, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)

All apart from Kim Stanley Robinson are new to me-though I've yet to read any Robinson. (His Mars trilogy is highly rated).
2312 sounds promising- 300 years hence Mercury is colonised, people setting up colonies on the terminator, which is later threatened. There are also colonies on mars too.
See here: http://iansales.com/2012/08/17/300-years-from-now-is-2312/

On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press)
After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon)
“The Stars Do Not Lie,” Jay Lake (Asimov’s 10-11/12)
“All the Flavors,” Ken Liu (GigaNotoSaurus 2/1/12)
“Katabasis,” Robert Reed (F&SF 11-12/12)
“Barry’s Tale,” Lawrence M. Schoen (Buffalito Buffet)

I've read one or two stories by a couple of these authors in Asimov's magazine, mainly Kress. Promising future big names!

“The Pyre of New Day,” Catherine Asaro (The Mammoth Books of SF Wars)
“Close Encounters,” Andy Duncan (The Pottawatomie Giant & Other Stories)
“The Waves,” Ken Liu (Asimov’s 12/12)
“The Finite Canvas,” Brit Mandelo (Tor.com 12/5/12)
“Swift, Brutal Retaliation,” Meghan McCarron (Tor.com 1/4/12)
“Portrait of Lisane da Patagnia,” Rachel Swirsky (Tor.com 8/22/12)
“Fade to White,” Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 8/12)

Never quite grasped the difference between novella and novellete...

Short Story
“Robot,” Helena Bell (Clarkesworld 9/12)
“Immersion,” Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 6/12)
“Fragmentation, or Ten Thousand Goodbyes,” Tom Crosshill (Clarkesworld 4/12)
“Nanny’s Day,” Leah Cypess (Asimov’s 3/12)
“Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Lightspeed 7/12)
“The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species,” Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/12)
“Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” Cat Rambo (Near + Far)

I get the impression that Aliette de Bodard is a name to watch out for!

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
The Avengers, Joss Whedon (director) and Joss Whedon and Zak Penn (writers), (Marvel/Disney)
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin (director), Benh Zeitlin and Lucy Abilar (writers), (Journeyman/Cinereach/Court 13/Fox Searchlight )
The Cabin in the Woods, Drew Goddard (director), Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard (writers) (Mutant Enemy/Lionsgate)
The Hunger Games, Gary Ross (director), Gary Ross, Suzanne Collins, and Billy Ray writers), (Lionsgate)
John Carter, Andrew Stanton (director), Michael Chabon, Mark Andrews, and Andrew Stanton (writers), (Disney)
Looper, Rian Johnson (director), Rian Johnson (writer), (FilmDistrict/TriStar)

I enjoyed The Hunger Games, based on 3 books by Suzanne Collins.
Looper was also pretty enjoyable, a time travel story with a twist.
John Carter was...ok, fun, but it takes itself too seriously and there it falls down, because some of the scenes are downright silly! But then its a Disney film so....

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Iron Hearted Violet, Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown)
Black Heart, Holly Black (S&S/McElderry; Gollancz)
Above, Leah Bobet (Levine)
The Diviners, Libba Bray (Little, Brown; Atom)
Vessel, Sarah Beth Durst (S&S/McElderry)
Seraphina, Rachel Hartman (Random House; Doubleday UK)
Enchanted, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
Every Day, David Levithan (Alice A. Knopf Books for Young Readers)
Summer of the Mariposas, Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
Railsea, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Fair Coin, E.C. Myers (Pyr)
Above World, Jenn Reese (Candlewick)

My daughter might be reading these in a few years....:()

The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of  SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Voting opens to SFWA Active members on March 1 and closes on March 30.
More information  http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/how-to-vote/.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Forge of God by Greg Bear

I've read many post-apocalyptic stories, but this is the first pre-apocalyptic book I've encountered!  And its a good un.
Written in 1987 and set in the mid 90s, after Jupiter's moon Europa  disappears a strange object appears in the American desert resembling a cinder cone, and next to it is found a strange dying alien, The alien speaks English and has a message for Earth: "I'm afraid I have bad news".
Later a second cone is found in Australia but this time mechanical beings, robots, appear around it but these seem to be benevolent. While in the US the scientists are getting worried, those in Australia believe the aliens are our allies. Later, people encounter strange small robots;  at first they fear them but it seems these 'spiders' are recruiting certain people on Earth for some purpose. These 'possessed' people receive messages from a network direct to their consciousness- a kind of direct internet.
Meanwhile a cult of 'Forge of Godders' springs up, setting up vigils next to the cinder cones, rather like druids attending Stonehenge.
No-one is really sure of the aliens intent until it is too late...

This is hard SF but its very reader friendly; there's no scientific preaching or technobabble, and despite being over 450 pages the story flows really well. So much so I'd have to say this is the best Greg Bear book I've read so far!

From Fantastic Fiction:
"A gripping panorama of a world in peril" (Chicago Sun-Times) from the author of Anvil of Stars. June 26, 1996: One of Jupiter's moons disappears. September 28, 1996: A mysterious cinder cone is found in Death Valley. October 1, 1996: An enormous granite mountain is discovered in Australia. It wasn't there six months ago. . . . "Bear's best novel".--San Diego Union.

There is a sequel written in 1992 called Anvil of Stars which I'm reading next...