The December edition of SF Site is online. It includes reviews of Dogs by Nancy Kress, a spy thriller in which man's best friend turns on him, Dragonforge by James Maxey, a science fiction novel in which dragons rule a far-future Earth, and Stonefather, the first novel in a new fantasy series by Orson Scott Card.
Wish you had a new episode of Radio Active to listen to? Never fear, a new one is on the way, but in the mean time you can listen to Episode 17 of The Secret Lair podcast, in which I talk with hosts Chris Miller and Kris Johnson about S.M. Stirling's alternate history/modernized pulp novel The Sky People.
The November 2008 edition of SF Site is online, with reviews of the far-future space opera House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds, the modern fantasy/demon hunting novel The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison and the Robert E. Howard-inspired Adventuers of Corwyn by Chad Corrie, which (like Conan) looks at the hero at different points in his lifetime.
I got off to a great start to my summer reading list, but it slowed down significantly after July, when my spring-summer run of work conferences ended (which had given me plenty of time to read on cross-country plane trips), and I had to double-down on my projects to meet start-of-semester deadlines.
The other problem? I ran into Moon of Skulls, a collection of short stories by Robert E. Howard.
[img_assist|nid=2694|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=125|height=171]An Ender's Game movie is still no where to be scene, but at least we've got Marvel's upcoming comic book series to distract us while we wait for the latest round of cinematic rumors.
In this old article (as in 1998) Tim O'Reilly provides a rundown of his favorite science fiction novels, including Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land, Snowcrash, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and The Stars are Ours.
He prefaces this list by discussing the book The Meaning of Culture by John Cowper Powys and draws the conclusion "a truly cultured person appreciates what has really shaped his world view, and uses literature and the arts as a tool to get more out of life." He then provides the list as examples of science fiction literature that shaped his world view.
What's missing from this article is the critical other half that explains how these books informed his world view. It's all well and good to say that The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, but how did a novel about libertarian lunar revolution inform his world view? Was it an appreciation for the merits of a free market economy? The insidious effectiveness of revolutionary cells working in isolation from one another? Group marriages? We don't know because he doesn't say.
My good friend (and geeky partner-in-crime at Knights of the Dinner Table) Mur Lafferty launched her the print edition of her superhero novel Playing for Keeps today.
Initially released as a podcast, Playing For Keeps tells the story of Keepsie, a bartender with third-rate superhero powers that kept her out of Seventh City's equivelent of the Justice League. Other "Third Waves" -- those who have minor or seemingly inconsequential powers -- frequent her bar. These Mystery Men-style also-rans suddenly become important though, when villains and heroes battle in the sky, and a certain something falls into Keepsie's posession...