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Zero-Magic Fantasy

Zero-Magic Fantasy

Zero-magic fantasy is a growing subgenre. But can it ever rise above the level of thought experiment? And what are the tradeoffs? Read More »

Sequential Wednesdays #10 – Bos-Con: The City-Wide Adventure of Levity

Sequential Wednesdays #10 – Bos-Con: The City-Wide Adventure of Levity

The past week endured by the city and residents of Boston has been extraordinary and bizarre, affecting pretty much everyone in the vicinity.  Thanks, and often less than thanks, to media outlets, social networking, and alternative online resources rapidly updating news was easily accessed and spread.  Boston public service entities such as the transit authority and the police department were post... Read More »

Here Comes the Lull

It’s seriously getting close to the end of the 2012/2013 season. Next week May will be here and with it comes a bunch of season finales and the odd cancelation. It’s the time when I wonder what I am going to watch. Sure True Blood will be along on June, but that will only feed my hunger for one day a week. Last year I resorted to watching Grey’s Anatomy from the start…which... Read More »

The Greatest Fantasy Author of All Time

The Greatest Fantasy Author of All Time

This week some in the world are celebrating the birth/death of the Bard of Avon also known as William Shakespeare. Shakespeare as you might have heard was a well-known English playwright and poet. Curiously enough his birthday matches exactly with the date of his death April 23. Born in 1564 to humble beginnings in the area known as Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare grew to immortal status writing ... Read More »

Going Into Deep Water, With the Massive

Going Into Deep Water, With the Massive

Go Massive, or go home... Read More »

American Tolkien

American Tolkien

There is a kind of writer whose name evokes not just the titles of their best-known novels or the characters in them, but a certain way of experiencing the world. If one hears the name “Hemingway” it is hard not to think of cold Italian rains and the sound of mortar shells, or perhaps smoky bars in Paris or Madrid. “George R. R. Martin” is synonymous with politics that might give the Borgias pause... Read More »

Oblivion

Many reviewers have already pointed out the fact that director Joseph Koskinski’s Oblivion borrows quite a bit from a number of earlier science fiction films, includng Moon, Planet of the Apes, the Matrix, even Star Wars, Attack of the Clones. And that’s all very true. Koskinski’s second feature film after his debut with Tron: The Legacy takes a lot from other movies and comes ou... Read More »

Oblivion: Yet Another Heady, Action-Fueled Science Fiction Epic Falls Short of Its Ambitions

Oblivion: Yet Another Heady, Action-Fueled Science Fiction Epic Falls Short of Its Ambitions

Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion (2013) is a love letter to every science fiction film you’ve already seen, and a pretty beautiful one, at that, but it nearly collapses under the weight of its own ambition. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable movie, filled with the kind of eye- and ear-candy you’d expect from the man who directed Tron: Legacy, and it convinces you to truly care about the characters and thei... Read More »

The (Ongoing) Death and Transfiguration of Science Fiction Publishing

Lazy Literary Agents in Self-Publishing Money Grab Via Argo Navis Most of you who are reading these blogs here at Amazing Stories are probably well aware that publishing is changing. It has perhaps always been changing, but it seems to me that for the last decade or so the changes have been accelerating at an exponential rate. At first in the mid-2000s the big publishers started gobbling up the sm... Read More »

The Rising Tide of Alien Languages

Be warned, this post contains spoilers for this week’s Game of Thrones episode “And Now His Watch is Ended”. This morning I sat and watched Daenerys Stormborn finally grow up as she unleashed hell upon Astapor and revealed that she speaks fluent Valyrian, the language of the city’s Masters. This is, of course, no surprise to anyone who has read the books but seeing this dramatic scene was given mo... Read More »

Steampunk: An Overview of an Up and Coming Genre

Steampunk: An Overview of an Up and Coming Genre

Strap on your goggles, fire up the boiler and let’s lift off toward adventure. Its time to tackle the wonderful world of steampunk! So what is steampunk exactly? Surprisingly it is difficult to describe, even steampunk.com couldn’t give me a simple answer. In my experience steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction inspired by the social mores of Victorian England and the technology o... Read More »

Characters:  Clare of Claymore

Characters: Clare of Claymore

Claymore is one of the more interesting anime I’ve seen in a while. It’s a pretty standard story. Monsters, known as yoma, feed on humans, and the only ones who can defeat them are swords for hire known as Claymores. All Claymores are women, and they serve an organization known as the Organization. (Very creative.) These women are able to fight the yoma because they are half yoma thems... Read More »

4 modern and completed SF series you shouldn’t miss – Part I

4 modern and completed SF series you shouldn’t miss – Part I

I am a SF addict. There, I said it. I’m not sure when it began because I remember turning my nose up when my parents were watching Star Trek and saying it was boring. BORING! Who knew that my life would become one that was obsessed with finding the next awe-inspiring SF joy ride? Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in some great television SF, and yes, there has been some gr... Read More »

Anonymous Calls for Internet Blackout to Protest CISPA

A branch of Anonymous called for an internet blackout (voluntary downtime) to bring attention to the CISPA law that recently passed a House vote. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act effectively nullifies privacy contracts between users and websites, allowing internet companies to provide private user information to government agencies without first obtaining permission. Amazing Stori... Read More »

The Young Animators’ Project, and What We Can Hope For

The Young Animators’ Project, and What We Can Hope For

It has recently been brought to my attention that every year, the Japanese government pays a large sum of money to a handful of animation studios so that those studios will each produce a half-hour long piece, animated by their newest animators as a way to showcase rising young talent and give the general public an idea of what can be expected of anime in the years to come.  This project is called... Read More »

Crowdfunding Fiction River:  An Interview with Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Crowdfunding Fiction River: An Interview with Kristine Kathryn Rusch

My post on crowdfunding a few weeks back generated some really great discussion and seemed to tap into something of interest to a great many people. This topic, like the rest of publishing these days, is very dynamic, so it’s one I’m going to return to on a regular basis. Two of the people leading the charge into the world of electronic publishing are Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kat... Read More »

New Market Alert: Spark, A Creative Anthology

New Market Alert: Spark, A Creative Anthology

If you’re on the lookout for a new, cool, speculative fiction market, Spark: A Creative Anthology might be the place for you. I had the opportunity to interview the series editor, Brian Lewis, about the journal to give Amazing Stories readers a closer look. Right now, Volume I has just released and features an incredible array of writers–including me! Q. Tell us a little about Spark: A... Read More »

Covering the Topic

Covering the Topic

The biggest challenge to self-publishing, I found, was creating covers for my stories. Using the native Mac word processor Pages, formatting stories for epub version is a one-click process. Even doc files are easy to produce cleanly. From the things I am told, it’s harder to make a clean file using Word, and I know from experience that Open Office files are difficult at best to work with. I have u... Read More »

An Interview with Author Astra Crompton

An Interview with Author Astra Crompton

Writing a novel is a huge amount of work. A giant commitment and accomplishment that shouldn’t go to waste – especially if it’s good stuff. But the lineups at the doors of the traditional publishing houses get longer all the time and the manuscripts can start to pile up. A fire hazard, at the very least, and a lot of dead trees. The digital age may have saved us from teetering stacks of novel draf... Read More »

Book Review: The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

The Teleportation Accident – Ned Beauman Bloomsbury USA 2013 ISBN-13: 978-1620400227 (Hardcover) I buy books, especially novels, based on whether or not the story might interest me. This includes anthologies or collections of short stories by authors whom I respect or who I think will provide a fun reading experience. But mostly I buy books based solely on its cover. Covers do matter, as we ... Read More »

Oh How the Times Have Changed

Oh How the Times Have Changed

I spend a lot of time on author forums trying to Keep up with changes that are going on in publishing industry Do what I can to tell other writers what I have learned It’s amazing to me that whenever someone mentions they are about to take the step toward publishing that both self and traditional are brought up.  In fact, more often than not the assumption seems to be that the person is goin... Read More »

The Artful Collector: On Holding Dual Citizenship (Inside and Outside the SF Community)

The Artful Collector: On Holding Dual Citizenship (Inside and Outside the SF Community)

The world is changing, but some things stay the same.   And are perfect just the way they are. The sky, my two little puppy dogs, and many symphonic works are like that.  Whether SF/F conventions or the SF community fit that category is debatable, but one thing is certain: those who feel they are INSIDERS have always cared a lot about the answers to that question – while those who feel OUTSI... Read More »

Anime Roundup 4/21/2013: Fee Fi, Ho Hum

Anime Roundup 4/21/2013: Fee Fi, Ho Hum

More international streaming sites have announced their spring simulcasts, and I’m afraid it looks like the entire world will get to see a couple of high school romantic comedies, but most of the good sf this season is stuck with limited releases. So the lineup for this column for the next while is going to be just Space Brothers, Gargantia, and Hunter x Hunter. Attack on Titan first look &#... Read More »

Like Tears in Rain

Like Tears in Rain

You can almost smell the rain, feel it hammer the leather of your trenchcoat. Hear the harmonic buzz of blue neon all around you. You can taste the Tsingtao, bubbly and cool on your tongue. If there’s a single flaw worth noting about the Blu-ray transfer of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Final Cut (’07), it can be only the opening expositional crawl—an almost quaint artifact of its time, given t... Read More »

Is SETI Hopeless?

Is SETI Hopeless?

Today’s manhunt in Boston for the alleged Marathon bomber has pretty much buried yesterday’s story that NASA’s Kepler telescope has discovered three exoplanets that contain water and support life. The discovery is interesting, of course, but to my mind a little sad because it’s highly unlikely that human beings will ever visit a star system that 1,200 light years away.  So ... Read More »

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 14 in series)

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 14 in series)

Behind the Curtain: How an editor chooses (or rejects) a story Welcome back to my weekly series on how marketing and selling short fiction. These posts are written in a planned sequence, with each entry building on earlier ones. You can read my earlier posts here. Last week in Part 13, I discussed what to do after you send your story out to a market and are now eagerly waiting for a response (hint... Read More »

Remembering a Ghastly Legend

Remembering a Ghastly Legend

Lawson Deming gave us the friendly neighborhood vampire Sir Graves Ghastly, the horror movie host who helped many young impressionable fans enjoy old time science fiction and horror. Read More »

From the In Box 4/19/13

Mather offers .99 cent deal on Cyberstorm Larry Tucker – Send Letters, Look for Tapes Matthew Mather, author of Cyberstorm, currently the number 1 novel in Amazon’s Techno-Thriller category, is on sale for a limited time for the low, low (low) price of 99 cents. You can order your copy here. ~~~ From File 770: Larry Tucker, the long-time Michigan fan who has been in a nursing home sinc... Read More »

Cities in Science Fiction

Cities in Science Fiction

The events in Boston at the beginning of this week were an awful tragedy and, naturally all our hearts go out to the victims. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the US and, like all cities, it has a character and a resilience just like people do. Thinking about the city of Boston this week has gotten me thinking about how we used to imagine the cities of the future. Whether we pictured a shinin... Read More »

ASM Blog Horde Interview with Terence Jackson

ASM Blog Horde Interview with Terence Jackson

Welcome to the Amazing Stories BLOG HORDE INTERVIEWS! The ASM Blog Horde is a diverse and wonderful species. I have the privilege of talking with all of them, and I get to share those chats with you. In this long-running series, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the minds of the ASM bloggers to to see just what makes them tick. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have enjoyed prepa... Read More »

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