Lightspeed, a new science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, has launched. Published by Prime Books, it will feature four short stories a month, the first of which is "I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno" by Vylar Kaftan. New short stories will be released weekly, but you can buy the entire issue at one time as a download in Kindle, iBook, and ePub formats.
I'm happy to see this -- short fiction hasn't fared all that well on the web in the last decade, with magazines like Event Horizon and SciFiction coming and going, but recently we've seen an uptick with Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and Tor's fiction offerings. The world could definitely use more SF short fiction, it's the format that helped launch the genre, and I think it's one that needs to be nourished.
My long-time friend Nathan E. Lilly's got a dissertation on the space western up on Strange Horizons entitled "The Emancipation of Bat Durston, or: 'I'm from Iowa, I Only Work in Outer Space'". He looks at the origins of the subgenre, its intersections with space opera, and its influence on the larger science fiction field.
It's a lengthy piece, so you roll yourself a smoke, pour a shot of whiskey, and kick back in your favorite share for a informative read.
The latest SF Site reviews Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait by K.A. Bedford, The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker, The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard by Robert E. Howard, The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow, The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling and Incandescence by Greg Egan.
On the coliums side of the zine, the SF Site's Best Read of the Year: 2008 as well as the SF Site's Readers' Choice: Best Read of the Year: 2008. There's also a review of Coraline, new Babylon 5.1 TV reviews by Rick Norwood and the Nexus Graphica column by Rick Klaw and Mark L. William.
The Geek Gazette returns from holiday break with its January/February 2008 issue. It includes a 2007 geek news recap, an essay on the merits (or lack there of) of digital comic books, rumors and speculation on Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, and a look ahead movies, game and book releases for the new year, and capsule reviews of The Simpsons, Halloween and Futurama: Bender’s Big Score.
Ansible 245 (December 2007) has Harlan Ellison's rants about re-purposing of his Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever"; don't go there if you don't want any Trek-related spoilers and here's to hoping he doesn't try and come and smash my Geek Tree's Guardian ornament. The issue also briefly recounts the SFWA e-piracy controversy, the 2007 Bad Sex Awards, and much more.
In "For the Good of the Settlement" by Vonnie Winslow Crist, readers find that vigilantism and frontier justice is nothing new, but not every conflict is solved at the end of a gun.
In other SpaceWesterns.com news, the site is looking to publish web comics; check out the submissions page for details.
After months of tinkering, the new version of UncleBear.com is online. The updated site features a new look, a new WordPress back-end, and the ever-entertaining "Random News" block. Berin's also been working on a variety of other projects, including the long-discussed Imagination's Toolbox, so you can look for a steady stream of coolness emanating from UncleBear.com over the next few days/weeks.