Archive for the ‘Sci-Fi/Fantasy News’ Category

Fahrenheit 451I sat in a movie theater re-reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for an hour before Prometheus began. Terrible decision. Turrible decision.

Fahrenheit 451 is a masterful clarion call from 1951 warning us about dumbed-down, soulless, unconscious modern life: quick electronic entertainment over real relationships; staying numb rather than asking real questions; doing things the same old way instead of seizing the now.

Bradbury was Socrates asking us to examine our lives, to think rather than follow the herd. Thoreau calling us to live authentically. Jesus raising our vision to much greater things. Buddha reminding us of the suffering of others and calling us to put our feet on the path to enlightenment.

Prometheus is no District 9, a sci-fi movie which understood that speculative fiction can be mindlessly entertaining and possess uplifting social consciousness. Prometheus is the kind of entertainment that could have played the role of antagonist in Fahrenheit. Not that there’s anything wrong with mindless entertainment now and then (for the record, I really enjoyed The Avengers). It’s just going to induce some of the best parts of your nature to snooze more deeply, particularly when the end product is mediocre. Storytellers, we can do better. Audiences and readers deserve better.

Prometheus features gorgeous special effects, it’s nice and subtle in 3-D, but it’s cheap horror in outer space. It’s Hollywood. It’s fine for what it is, which is a spinoff on Alien/Aliens (better movies). If that’s what you’re looking for, then go see Prometheus. Disposable, one-dimensional characters who prevent your suspension of disbelief? Likable characters who turn into invincible killer space gorillas? B-Grade horror movie flashbacks? Action without humor? Prometheus has all of that. Go see it.

Then, when you need to put the pieces of your soul back together (and you will–whether you realize it or not), do yourself a favor and read Fahrenheit 451 afterward.

That will blow your mind. Completely.

p.s. Please check out one of the best tributes to Ray Bradbury I’ve read this week, from Stephen Hubbard at BookReporter.com: Farewell, Ray.

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I knew I had to record a little bit of history when I saw this in my World Fantasy Convention 2011 program:

Founders of Steampunk - Saturday, 1:00 pm

Steampunk was first defined in a letter over 20 years ago. The writer of that letter, and two of the authors whose work helped define the subgenre, talk about their inspirations and look at where steampunk literature has gone.

John Berlyne (M), James Blaylock, K. W. Jeter, Tim Powers

The panel was fascinating, and a lot of fun too. K.W. Jeter (the man who coined the term ‘steampunk’) was hilarious. You can find his novels at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When I talked to him, he was especially enthusiastic about his new Kim Oh books.

If you like the video, please share it with someone else who might enjoy it.

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I’m goofy-excited to announce that my debut novel is scheduled for release on August 1st, a few days before my birthday. (EDIT: The book is out!)

The Black God's War (Novel)

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling abandoned by his god, he forces his son Caio, the kingdom’s holy savior, to lead his army. Victory ought to come soon.

To counter Caio’s powers, Pawelon’s prince enters the conflict. Rao is a gifted sage, a master of spiritual laws. He joins the rajah to defend their citadel against the invaders. But Rao’s ideals soon clash with his army’s general.

The Black One tortures Lucia nightly with visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and her nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well. He entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

The Black One watches, waiting to see Lucia confront an impossible decision over the fates of two men—and two lands.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you all for witnessing the journey!

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Suvudu recently posted an hour-long video of Terry Brooks speaking at an Oregon library. Suvudu titled their post: “Terry Brooks – Setting as Character,” but a different part of his talk snagged my attention.

Question put to Terry Brooks: What’s your favorite of all the books you’ve written?

Terry BrooksTerry Brooks: What’s my favorite book?

The one I’m working on right now. Which is going to be the best book I’ve ever done. Which is what I tell myself with every book I write. The contract I have with readers is very simple. I will always give you my best effort. And my best effort will always be geared toward saying that this book will be at least as good as the last book I wrote, if not better. You may not see it that way when I get done, but that’s the goal.

Because I’ve read too many writers, and I’m sure you can speak to this too, who write four or five really good books and then suddenly they take a vacation. And you think, what’s this? I just spend $25 on this book that looks like some kind of retread or half an effort. It’s irritating.

Or, as some of my favorite writers do, they write 300 really good pages and then they write a really bad ending. Which is unforgivable–unforgivable! That’s my contract with you, though. I will never do that, and if I do you should call me on it. I don’t want to have to go into a room full of readers at any point in my life and defend myself because I didn’t put forth my best effort and I know it. I want to be able to say, “At the time I wrote that book, this is the best I could do, and I think it’s a pretty good book and this is why I think it’s a pretty good book.”

Shawn Speakman filmed the video at Terry Brooks’ request. Three cheers for Shawn and Terry!
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18
Mar

Welcome to the Slush Pile, Suvudu!

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III Tags: , ,

Suvudu is hosting a contest that will award an editorial review of a science fiction, fantasy, horror, or paranormal romance novel to the winning submission. Here’s my favorite comment on their blog post announcing the contest. It’s from “Taylor:”

I thought I’d share a funny story. I made a submission earlier, but I was hammered ass drunk. I forgot I even entered the contest. I have no idea if the file sent was the right one either. It wasn’t until I checked my email that I realized that I had entered. I was preoccupied with, well, beer, one of the greatest substances known to man.

Well, hopefully I sent the correct file. Good Luck to everybody else in the running. I’m sure that it would be a big break for anyone involved. Fuck Publish America. Roll Tide!

Kangaroo,

T

Awwwwwww, yeah. Welcome to the slush pile, baby.

And hey, Taylor, if you’re out there and this was a joke … keep ‘em coming, bro!

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Just before the start of the “The Continued Viability of Epic Fantasy” panel at World Fantasy Convention 2010, I got the idea to ask the panelists if I could film the panel and put it on YouTube. It was thumbs up all around (though David B. Coe threatened in entirely good humor to sue my ___) and so I managed to film it even though the conditions for doing so weren’t ideal. All in all, the video still turned out fairly well, though. I was in the middle of the aisle, trying to get the five panelists on the screen without capturing too much of the attendees. I also didn’t have my tripod, so the angle was a bit low (the camera sat on a chair, propped up by a legal pad).

But hey, it worked out all right.

Left to Right: David Drake, John R. Fultz, Blake Charlton, David B. Coe, Freda Warrington. I had to upload the panel in four parts to fit within YouTube’s limits.

I’ll have more coverage from WFC 2010, including another video of Michael A. Stackpole interviewing Dennis L. McKiernan (here’s part one, two, and three of that). I also conducted audio interviews with Guy Gavriel Kay, Michael A Stackpole, Laura Resnick, Daryl Gregory, and Elizabeth C. Bunce, and those will be posted at AdventuresInSciFiPublishing. You can also find direct links to those interviews here on my site.

Enjoy the panel! It was a fun and lively one.


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Piers Anthony on KindlePiers Anthony was interviewed by Red Adept on her blog today.  It’s a short interview, so I encourage you to check it out, but here are some of the most interesting parts (to me):

Red Adept: You have been publishing since 1963. Had eReaders been developed when you wrote your first book, would you have taken the Independent Publishing (Indie) route?

Piers Anthony: I would have tried for it, yes.

Red Adept: As a fantasy/science fiction author, what improvements do you see for eBook Readers in the future?

Piers Anthony: Better formatting, better terms for authors, better shelf life. That is, books can stay in print forever and keep paying royalties.

Red Adept: What advice would you offer to new authors in today’s publishing world?

Piers Anthony: Get into electronic publishing. It’s the future.
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12
Aug

Sci-Fi and Fantasy News from AISFP (Aug/11/10)

   Posted by: Moses Siregar III

My latest gig involves playing the part of news manager over at the awesome Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast/website run by the dedicated Shaun Farrell. Yesterday, my first news roundup went live over there; I had a lot of fun writing it.

Wanna hear it? Here it go.
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Hello world, my name is Moses and I’m the newly appointed “News Manager” at the re-launched AISFP 2.0. Nice to meet you. My impossible mission is to scour the digital highways looking for rock ‘em sock ‘em items of interest to share with you at least a couple times every month.

This will get really good when you (that means you, silly!) contribute to the SciFi/Fantasy community by sending any news and story tips to me at scifipress /at/ gmail.com. The more scoops we get, the more news we’ll share. Let’s make this news feature rock! Who likes to rock the party? I like to rock the party! I wrote a press release about what we’re looking for:

Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing 2.0 features a new dedication to reporting all items of interest surrounding Science Fiction and Fantasy publishing. From the mega-deals to the blog posts of the aspiring writer, from the free book giveaways to the writing contests and online communities, we want to hear from you and share your news with our audience.

So let’s do this.

The next time a muscle-bound stud knocks you down and kicks sand in your face at the beach, you might find this retort useful: “There is no ‘geek’ anymore … nothing is nerdy if it’s earning half-a-billion dollars at the box office,” sayeth Chris Carle, IGN’s entertainment director. I know, you’re working on the half-a-billion part.

Speaking of not nerdy, here’s a glimpse of the sexy side of Comic-Con. Whether it’s smokin’ hot mamas in fishnets or gladiatorial studs that turn you on (or both … or neither … or … whatever), here’s a good serving of cleavage and beefcake dressed up in Star Wars, Hollywood, and G.I. Joe garb.

Great. I lost you. By the way, Shaun Farrell (our Editor-in-Chief) kind of looks like the Tron guy in pic 3, doesn’t he? Is there something you’re not telling us about your activities, Shaun?

Anyway, welcome back. We need some music around here, so allow me to recommend the work of Kit Soden, who recently created an album inspired by Steven Erikson’s epic fantasy series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen. You can listen to it for free. I also got to ask Kit a few questions about his relationship with Erikson and fantasy. Check out his song, Bard’s Curse. I dig it.

Speaking of Steven Erikson, he recently wrote this on Facebook about finishing his fantasy series which took him twenty years to finish.

GASP! That would be me, coming up for air. How long was I down there? About twenty years, from conception to completion. The Malazan Book of the Fallen is done. Sure, editing and all that crap to follow. But … done. I don’t know who I am. Who am I again? What planet is this? Three months of butterflies … maybe this double whiskey will fix that. Hmm. No. Delayed reaction going on here.

Bravo!

Let’s talk publishing vs self-publishing. Many of you have heard of J.A. Konrath by now, as he’s become famous for his independent financial success with ebooks and his pro-ebook, pro-indie stance. Recently, he wrote a blog post arguing that the end of traditional print publishing may be near. Jim C. Hines wrote a rebuttal, and there’s even a bit of back-and-forth between Jim and J.A. in the comments. Not since Bud Bowl VIII has a contest been so enthralling. Seriously, they made eight Bud Bowls.

Along those lines, Dean Wesley Smith wrote a blog post about the new world of publishing and admits that he should’ve opened his mind to it sooner.

Wondering what Steampunk is all about and want a quick primer drawn in colored pencil? Lucky you.

Let’s say you’re looking for something fresh and new in the wide world of SF/F genre websites. Here’s a good science fiction and fantasy resource page with outgoing links to dozens of Sci-Fi sites. I hope you find The One.

Well that should keep you clicking for a while. Until next time, remember that light sabers and alcohol don’t mix. Moses out.

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Moses Siregar III is the author of THE BLACK GOD’S WAR, a dramatic epic fantasy novel inspired by Homer; you can sample it for 99 cents at Amazon or Smashwords. He lives with his family at high elevation in Prescott, AZ, and blogs about passion for the writing life at Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar …

Learn more about Moses:

Science Fiction Fantasy Books
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GoodReads

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