Jake Bracken never liked the rain. It always seemed to bring him bad luck. It rained that night back on Earth when Holly left him. Took off with a pharmaceutical salesman from Abilene. It rained the day he came home from the Terror War and saw that the Qaeda had burned his ranch to the ground. It was raining now, as he pulled his Hover Jeep up to the boardwalk in front of the Green River saloon.
The June issue of the Australian flash fiction webzine AntipodeanSF is online with ten new short stories including "Barrett And Quinlan In The Woods" by Melanie Atkinson, "The Elder" by Simon Petrie, "Equal Opportunity" by Shaun A. Saunders, and "The Rape Of Io" by Susan Partridge.
The demise of Dragon and Dungeon magazines captures the front page of Geek Gazette's June/July edition as editor M. Scott editorializes on the wisdom of ditching print for an all-online edition … and charging for said edition. Also included in this edition are reviews of Spider-man 3 and Ghost Rider, a rundown of fan film web sites, a discussion of radio shows, a preview of the Mutant Epoch science fiction RPG, and thoughts on how to start your own hobby shop. Download the issue from the Geek Gazette home page.
This week's edition of Strange Horizons features speculations on French language, architecture and tourism in the column "Dispatches from Planet France: Châteaux, Part I" by Susannah Mandel, the speculative fiction short story "Painted", by Becca De La Rosa, the poem "Rehydration", by Tina Connolly and reviews of the books Primeval, The Last Mimzy and Glorifying Terrorism.
SpaceWesterns.com is a soon-to-be launched online magazine for "space westerns, science fiction westerns, and western science fiction." Watch a few episodes of Firefly and you'll get an idea of the kind of universe they're planning on exploring.
The site is revving up for its formal debut, and is the process of soliciting submissions. Editor (and long-time friend) N.E. Lilly reports:
"We’re currently collecting stories, artwork, and other content for an April 1st launch. Join our announcement list to get an e-mail reminder for when we launch, and, if you’re interested in providing fiction in any from of media then visit the submission guidelines page for information on current rates and guidelines."
Flash fiction web site AntipodeanSF features 10 new short stories in its 105 edition including "The Shadow" by Amanda Pillar, "Timely Loss" by Derek Smith, "Ten Past Two" by Elaine Kemp and "The Year The Zombies Came For Christmas" by Peter M. Ball. There's also reviews of the novels Nova Swing by M. John Harrison and New Moon by Stephenie Meyer.
The March 2007 edition of SF Site features reviews of the books Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon, Hardboiled Cthulhu edited by James Ambuhel, The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and my vote for the most amusing book title of '07, John Scalzi's You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing. Looking for a good book from 2006? Then check out the SF Site Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2006: Readers' Choice awards.
You'll also find a movie review of Ghostrider and the regular columns "Babylon 5.1" and "Geeks with Books".
The Quantum Muse is a venerable speculative fiction webzine with almost as much history as Nuketown. It's had something of a bumpy ride the last few months as one of its founding editors left, and those who remained prepared to move to a new house and welcome a new baby and figure out a way to keep publishing the zine.
They've worked through all that now, and the good news is that you can expect to see the ol'Muse publishing throughout 2007, though at a more relaxed quarterly schedule instead of its traditional frantic monthly one (the "frantic monthly" description is mine; I remember how hard it was to publish monthly fiction back when Nuketown did that).
The February/March 2007 issue of the Geek Gazette webzine is online and ready for download. This time around there are video game reviews of Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Justice League Heroes for PlayStation 2, thoughts on geek culture's invasion of the mainstream, a rundown of the D&D 4E rumor mill and speculations on when (and if) it will be released, an editorial on the merits of frequenting your friendly neighborhood gaming store vs. shopping online for games, and an increasingly robust convention calendar.
The issue clocks in at 12 pages, but as always it's a quick and enjoyable read. I'm torn regarding Michael Scott's local gaming store vs. online shopping editorial -- while I agree in principle, in truth it's damn hard to find a good gaming store nowadays, particularly a good RPG gaming store. At least in my area, stores have an anemic selection of titles that only covers the basics. It's sad (though understandable, given their margins and the risk of carrying "dead" RPG titles for years) but if I want to buy an RPG locally, I'm much better of heading to the local Borders than I am going to any of the local comic book stores.
The December 2006/January 2007 edition of Geek Gazette is available for download [pdf]. The latest edition of the PDF ezine offers holiday tips for geeks, year's end "top ten" lists, thoughts on what makes a good role-player, podcast recommendations, and a geek gift wish list.
That'd be enough for any normal edition, but it goes on with quick reviews of the superhero RPG Mutants & Masterminds, the geek film Clerks 2 and the D&D source book Magic of Eberron, a comic book round up, geek TV, and a hefty convention calendar. In short, if you've been feeling less than geeky lately, this should fix you up nicely.