ThReads Must Roll: the new, improved rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Because the old one got too long and Shakey couldn't load it. A sequel to rolling fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction &c. thread

fgtbaoutit (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 00:51 (five years ago) link

Hoping to report on Report On Probability A in the near future.

fgtbaoutit (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 00:54 (five years ago) link

Gregory Benford: Artifact --- archaeologists uncover lethal alien thingy in Mycenean burial ground. Not brilliantly written, but interesting enough to continue with. Entertainingly, for a book written in 1985, it contains early 21st-century Greece falling apart because of a worldwide economic depression/recession

ornamental cabbage (James Morrison), Thursday, 13 November 2014 01:11 (five years ago) link

lol @ thread title

Report on Probability A - was idly thinking of re-reading that recently, I remember being p underwhelmed by its central formal conceit. I expected it to be much loopier and disorienting. In general, Aldiss is v hit or miss for me (something I've read Moorcock attribute to his needing a good editor/manager, someone to set goals/targets for him). Cryptozoic is undreadable, for example, but I consider Barefoot in the Head from just a year or two later a masterpiece.

Οὖτις, Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:20 (five years ago) link

Brian W. "Crazy Baldhead" Aldiss

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 13 November 2014 17:27 (five years ago) link

Read rep on prob a at least twice a long time ago, didn't know anything about last year at marienbad but enjoyed the formal conceit and the last few pages made me want to high five him.

thread title capitalisation and constant reminder of that dunderheaded heinlein story is gonna make me rmde to eternity.

ledge, Friday, 14 November 2014 10:03 (five years ago) link

agonising as it may be for ledge, this restart is v handy for me, as I meant to start following the previous thread after the initial poll that prompted it, and then i didn't and then it got so long that my approach of 'I must read all of it before participating' turned into hiding from the thread and not ever talking about some of my favourite strands of writing :/

Fizzles, Friday, 14 November 2014 10:41 (five years ago) link

Sorry for thread title, ledge, I did it to annoy Shakey, not you.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:17 (five years ago) link

You are not the only one who couldn't read prior thread, Fizzles. Was constantly using the search feature or wondering where something was only to learn it was further upthread.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:26 (five years ago) link

Still slogging through the last of Atwood's Maddadam trilogy. The third book is piss-weak, slow going and uninteresting, and her stylistic flaws seem to show through more and more. Because it's sci-fi there's an attempt to be, I dunno, edgy or hardboiled or something and it's about as convincing as one of your parents trying on an ill-fitting leather jacket. Bit of a shame really, becaus eI enjoyed the first two books (Oryx & Crake / Year of the Flood) immensely.

joni mitchell jarre (dog latin), Friday, 14 November 2014 11:34 (five years ago) link

I think I forgotten to say on the previous thread that another one of the best features on fantasticfiction site is it shows you the blurbs writers have done for other people's books.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 14:35 (five years ago) link

Cool I'll just keep pasting in stuff from prev thread everytime somebody mentions something already discussed thoroughly, as I kept etc on prev thread its own self. Speaking of blurbs, here's a good 'un from a recent library shop score, Wandering Stars, An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction, edited by Jack Dann, Introduction by Isaac Asimov:
I loved Wandering Stars, and why not? Two of the thirteen stories are from Orbit, and I would have bought seven of the rest if I had got my hands on them first. If the book had nothing else going for it, it would still be a triumph to get William Tenn to write the great story he was talking about in the fifties.--Damon Knight
(Also a blurb from Leo Rosten, who wrote The Education of Hyman Kaplan, about an immigrant who tends to take over English classes with his own versions and visions of language and lit.)

dow, Friday, 14 November 2014 15:47 (five years ago) link

Contents (some of these titles are corny, but the few stories I kinda remember from mags etc were good):

"Why Me?" by Isaac Asimov

William Tenn: "On Venus, Have We Got A Rabbi"

Avram Davidson: "The Golem"

Isaac Asimov: "Unto the Fourth Generation"

Carol Carr: "Look, You Think You've Got Troubles"

Avram Davidson: "Goslin Day"

Robert Silverberg: "The Dybbuk of Mazel Tov IV"

Horace L. Gold: "Trouble With Water"

Pamela Sargent: "Gather Blue Roses"

Bernard Malamud: "The Jewbird"

Geo. Alec Effinger: "Paradise Lost"

Robert Sheckley: "Street of Dreams, Feet of Clay"

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Jachid and Jechidah"

Harlan Ellison: "I'm Looking For Kadah"

dow, Friday, 14 November 2014 16:00 (five years ago) link

I just looked at a full schedule of all the books on SF Gateway (presumably this is the ebook titles). It's 2599 books!
Cant remember where I found the document.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 21:16 (five years ago) link

UK or US or other?

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 21:39 (five years ago) link

Probably UK

Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 14 November 2014 22:02 (five years ago) link

Considerably fewer in US

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 14 November 2014 22:12 (five years ago) link

Mark Sinker makes some connections (for inst., between Gothic and Futurist lit) new to me, after viewing the National Gallery's William Morris exhibition:

dow, Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:51 (five years ago) link

Thanks. Surely the friend mentioned there is an ILB poster.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:59 (five years ago) link

RMDE at that this thread title too, as well as the terrible screenname I had at the time. Don't know why I did it. I guess the door dilated and I just had to go through it.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 14:59 (five years ago) link

before I forget: this Brazilian writer recently died and Clute tweeted link to very appealing SFE overview of his work:

dow, Sunday, 16 November 2014 15:51 (five years ago) link

Ooh! I mean RIP but yknow

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:02 (five years ago) link

Thanks. Often hard to find something like that in translation or even not in translation. Wonder if he had anything in that Cosmos Latinos anthology? Don't seem to recognize the name.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:03 (five years ago) link

(xp, obv)

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:03 (five years ago) link

okay, "Brain Transplant."

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:05 (five years ago) link

I've only read Brain Transplant but would def read more provided stuff gets translated

Οὖτις, Sunday, 16 November 2014 16:06 (five years ago) link

Hey James, tried to reply to yr kind email, but it won't let us reply directly, and the webmail form has the worst captcha evah, I refreshed it a half-dozen times, got rejected over and over and over and over and over and over. So I'll reply here: thanks, you keep up the good posts too!

dow, Monday, 17 November 2014 02:06 (five years ago) link

has this been posted already?

Οὖτις, Monday, 17 November 2014 16:18 (five years ago) link

Laird Barron wrote a parody of the horror/weird scene, it included jabs at Mark Samuels in particular (however serious they were intended, nobody knows), there was some discussion of this at the Ligotti forum and eventually that resulted in Justin Isis writing hilarious rap battle lyrics.
Several spread across this page

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 17 November 2014 23:35 (five years ago) link

The xpost link to Mark Sinker's William Morris exhibit etc is back online this afternoon. Read that before reading further, for max headroom:
When his fellow visitor/ILXor xyzzz (sic?) said it was down this morning, I told Mark, and we had this email exchange:

Mark:oh cheers, yes, the guy who hosts it (on a laptop in his spare room) sometimes has to reboot :)

me: OK, will keep in mind. I fairly recently got into Morris and those Kipling stories (if you meant "As Easy As A-B-C" and "With The Night Mail," for inst), but hadn't made the connection. Now I'm also thinking of Blade Runner's Earth, a mostly abandoned First World-as-Third World backstreet, where it rains all night in perpetual eco-ruins; also PKD's original setting, more like a slightly-future-to-us Beijing, with workers scuttling between buildings, hoping not to be singed/cancer-seeded by the invisible sun. Some later Tiptree stories too, and Mary Shelley's The Last Man, for me amazing as Frankenstein.
Probably some of Kim Stanley Robinson's later novels too, though they've gotten so long I may never know (early The Wild Shore was fine, best I recall). But I recently saw a mention of "cli-fi" as emerging trend, so we may get sick of the whole thing even before it all comes true.

Mark: Yes, Kipling’s mum was related to a famous Pre-Raphaelite in the Morris circle — his dad of course ran the Lucknow museum — and when he was boarded in England as kid (not the notorious time that became Baa Baa Black Sheep) he stayed with the De Morgans, who were also minor slebs in Arts&Crafts terms: William DM a high-end potter and tile designer (he did the fireplaces for the Titanic iirc!)

Yrs partly (Kipling's)sic-fi stories, but also the stories about ships and trains and cars — esp.the ones from the perspective of the train or ship. The ones abt cars are really intriguing: he was totally an early adopter.

me: Didn't know any of that, thanks! Will def have to read more Kipling----recently found one of his I mentioned in an anth w HG's "The Land Ironclads"---getting back into Wells, and suspect the Eloi and Morlocks might have gotten Morris (and Tolkien) going. Finally read The Lord Of The Rings, and feel like I totally/mostly get it! Specific associations re the "not allegorical, dammit!" Ring/magic can shift, but lately I think of fossil fuels as thee ancient source of modern marvels, source which must now be sacrificed to/for any chance of future lives, bearable legacy But once that ship sails off into the autumn sea, it sails, buddy. So the book is a tragedy, but fairly often experienced as a comedy, in a commedia sense: fascination of the vivid details, robustly acted out, with some mortal meat joy, and other meat conditions.

dow, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 19:08 (five years ago) link

William DM a high-end potter and tile designer (he did the fireplaces for the Titanic iirc!

De Morgan Centre looking for a foothold. (Those are Tolkien's ships, right there)

alimosina, Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:24 (five years ago) link

Just heard "Dream Weaver" on the radio. Wasn't there an sf writer named Gary Wright who had a much anthologized story about some futuristic luge called something like "Ice Slide"? "Ice Capades"? "Ice Rink" ? "Ice Mutants"? and then was never heard from again? I'll guess I'll see what Clute & Co have to say.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:44 (five years ago) link
"Mirror of Ice"

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:48 (five years ago) link

Looks like some Canadian teacher assigned it to his students to adapt as a short film. Don't think it was clemenza, though.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:55 (five years ago) link

Can anyone tell me what on earth Science Fiction Poetry is? Poems of fantasy and horror just uses tropes of those genres but how do you achieve the conceptual framework of SF in poetry? Because without that, the tropes by themselves would just be fantasy poems or poems about radical change.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 23 November 2014 20:56 (five years ago) link

If you have to ask you'll never know.

Tom Disch might have had something to tell you about it, but he is sadly no longer with us.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 21:00 (five years ago) link

Oh gosh, now that you mention it, I've seen poetry in science fiction mags as far back as I can remember, though I don't remember any specific poem, at least in part because I haven't read any sf mags in a long time. I do remember there being quite a range, from short light verse (limericks, even)to much more ambitious testimonials and mini-sagas(never got much space in the page sense).
I'll have to dig up some of those zines; meanwhile this looks like a good place to start:

dow, Sunday, 23 November 2014 22:22 (five years ago) link

Also notable were the infusion of a quantity of poetry into the text of Brian W Aldiss's novel Barefoot in the Head (1969)

Thinking about what Aldiss to read next, since I finished Report on Probability A , which I will give a report grade of 'A' to, and this is on my short list.

There are some poems in the anthology Sense of Wonder.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 22:51 (five years ago) link

Just came across a 1962 American printing of The Long Afternoon of Earth, AKA Hothouse; unabridged edition didn't come out in the US 'til 76.

dow, Sunday, 23 November 2014 23:37 (five years ago) link

Did you buy it? It is currently out of print. I loved the story/extract in the Silverberg SF 101 book, as mentioned on prior thread.

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 23 November 2014 23:41 (five years ago) link

This is the abridged version I got (for 25 cents),204,203,200_.jpg

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 00:00 (five years ago) link

in terms of thematic vibe, this cover may be more appropriate, but the UK is awesome o coures

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 00:01 (five years ago) link

In your favorite online sf reference work I believe that book has the tag ***SEMISPOILER ALERT** "Space Elevator" **END OF SEMISPOILER ALERT

Junior Dadaismus (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 24 November 2014 00:28 (five years ago) link

Vandermeer has come back to one he still thinks is underappreciated. The title and author seem vaguely familiar; anybody read it?

dow, Monday, 24 November 2014 05:22 (five years ago) link

New Yorker won't let me link, but check out Laura Miller's "Fresh Hell" for clear lens view of profuse YA dystopias, and how the lit varies from Classic adult-aimed (later school-assigned). TNY's Amy Davidson later agrees with much but not all of Miller's take.

dow, Tuesday, 25 November 2014 17:40 (five years ago) link

been reading LeGuin's "A Fisherman of the Inland Sea" (they had it at the library). I took Disch to task in "The Dreams Our Stuff is Made of" for his attacks on her, and while I won't recant on that count (he was unnecessarily harsh and dismissive), she really can let her didacticism get in the way. I can think of few fiction writers that have a more keenly developed political agenda that is so readily apparent in their work. Ayn Rand obviously (lol) and Heinlein and Scott Card I suppose. But LeGuin's well to the left of those boorish blowhards, and arguably more audacious conceptually. I wonder if I should go back and re-read the Kestrel books for any political subtext I may have missed in jr high, I always liked those...

Οὖτις, Tuesday, 25 November 2014 22:17 (five years ago) link

I don't think I'll read her for a very long time unless I come across her work in anthologies. Because once Moorcock said her work was self-consciously literary and left him cold. But he was very fond of her as a person.

That really put me off and what you say here adds to that. But Wizard Of Earthsea is an attractive name so I'm not totally discouraged.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 01:28 (five years ago) link

Moorcock doesn't always make the right choices...

Even people I know who don't usually like her (or science fiction in general) tend to like this

dow, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 01:40 (five years ago) link

Do you not have time for it, or eye problems?

dow, Thursday, 4 June 2020 22:44 (one month ago) link

overview seems to be, "Wow. climate disruption will suck for a lot of people, but could be really groovy for a few,"

this seems both accurate and unfair! i can see how speculating about a drowned manhattan becoming a fabulous and trendy new venice might seem a little off but he's definitely on the side of the victims and the overall message of 2312 is a rallying call to action.

neith moon (ledge), Friday, 5 June 2020 07:41 (one month ago) link

I was referring only to Green Earth, which deals with earlier stages of ongoing disruption, as I should have mentioned---haven't read 2312, which apparently takes things further (duh---hard for me to conceive what life on Earth could possibly be like by then!) James, hope you're okay.

dow, Friday, 5 June 2020 16:27 (one month ago) link

Def on side of victims in Green Earth too, but one of the main characters (and his squatter homeboys, all around what's left of DC) can seem like he's been smoking his parents' or grandparents' Whole Earth Catalogs. But this is implicitly for Now, man, not something that can go on forever, and he;s involved in different things.

dow, Friday, 5 June 2020 16:35 (one month ago) link

Do you not have time for it, or eye problems?
Time, sorry

How I Wrote Neuroplastic Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 5 June 2020 16:46 (one month ago) link

I saw a video with Simon Ings months ago and I was surprised by his manner because his work sounded dark and serious (I can't confirm) but he's so cheery. That part in the interview linked above where he says "it's so leafy!" is going to be stuck in my head forever.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 6 June 2020 18:37 (one month ago) link

Ings's THE SMOKE, his most recent, is soooo good.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Saturday, 6 June 2020 23:58 (one month ago) link

Has this been mentioned yet?

How I Wrote Neuroplastic Man (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 June 2020 02:05 (one month ago) link

Thanks. Haven't read most of the ones he discusses, so can't comment much, except to agree that, sheer-savory-prose-wise (also "thrilling") KSR's "landscape writing" is tha bomb. Appreciate the various starting/continuing points suggested.

dow, Sunday, 7 June 2020 03:38 (one month ago) link

Forgot to say, for all KSR's hard science credentials, he does lean very heavily on Von Neumann replicating machines as a plot device to enable all the terraforming and solar system colonisation. Though he explicitly dates their development to over 100 years from now so who knows ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 8 June 2020 08:27 (one month ago) link

The researchers used a machine learning algorithm that was originally developed to analyze distant galaxies to probe the mysterious phenomenon occurring deep within our own planet, according to a paper published on Thursday in Science.

dow, Saturday, 13 June 2020 20:35 (one month ago) link
Sums him up well

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 14 June 2020 18:40 (one month ago) link

i finished new york 2140. it was kind of hectoring/didactic (i guess that's hard scifi for you?) but it won me over in the end. that was my first KSR. i've put the wild shore and red mars on my list.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:31 (three weeks ago) link

a lot of the plots/characters seemed completely unnecessary and it could have been a lot shorter. you can say that about most dickens too i suppose.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Thursday, 18 June 2020 16:33 (three weeks ago) link

Haven't read the Mars books, but as I said Wild Shore is my fave KSR (novel, though also enjoyed early Asimov's stories, collected with others in hisDown and Out In The Year 2000).
Science Fiction Encylopedia's take is good:
the Wild Shore lucidly examines the sentimentalized kind of American sf Pastoral typically set in a seemingly secure Keep-like enclave after an almost universal catastrophe has transformed the world into a Ruined Earth. Sheltered from the full Disaster, Orange County has become an enclave whose inhabitants nostalgically espouse a re-established American hegemony, but whose smug ignorance of the world outside is ultimately self-defeating.---but doesn't incl. the fun, expansive, Earth-loving, wild shore sweep--incl. some breeziness, though some of that is set-up for dystopian beware--got tired of that kind of set-up elsewhere, but he earns it here, I thought---been a long time since I read it---can't guarantee that TWS isn't digressive and padded w subplots like Green Earth in my experience and 2140 in yours. But worth it, probably.

dow, Friday, 19 June 2020 21:16 (three weeks ago) link

It’s my favorite KSR too but I haven’t checked in since Mars

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 20 June 2020 14:12 (three weeks ago) link

I kept on thinking of Dickens when I was reading 2312 though not entirely sure why - it wasn't stuffed with characters or side plots. Something about a romantic narrative alongside or used as a comment on a dire need for social change, though that could describe hundreds of books & writers.

Now reading The Outside by Ada Hoffman, humans meddle with forces normally forbidden by the AI gods and unleash - well, something, Lovecraft is invoked but so far we're led to believe we're dealing with science not fantasy. Not sure this is better than the 'adequate YA' critique above but it's readable - surprisingly more readable than Too Like the Lightning, I thought, then I realised that was by a different Ada (Palmer).

neith moon (ledge), Tuesday, 23 June 2020 10:13 (three weeks ago) link

i read ghostwritten and cloud atlas back in the day and liked them; i even watched the first 30 minutes of the cloud atlas movie one night when i couldn't sleep. (my god what they put tom hanks through)

should i read subsequent david mitchells?

seems srsly addicted to the ~these short stories (which may or may not be symmetrical!) are linked by mystery!~ structure

mookieproof, Wednesday, 24 June 2020 00:40 (two weeks ago) link

Today Jeff VanderMeer tweeted images of three upcoming books: his novel A Peculiar Peril, out next week, and two later in the year: The Big Book of Modern Fantasy, with most of my fave heavy hitters on the cover, though I suspect that it will eventually go wildly uneven, like its Science Fiction predecessor; there's also something with a nice jacket, though don't see title---hope yall can see his pix here:

dow, Thursday, 2 July 2020 00:05 (one week ago) link

Hope that Patricia A. McKillip and Naomi Novik are in the middle one too.

dow, Thursday, 2 July 2020 00:08 (one week ago) link

The last one is a reissue of the ambergris trilogy

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Thursday, 2 July 2020 00:15 (one week ago) link

Slight Vandermeer (/Strugatsky) vibe to my latest read, Beneath the World, A Sea by Chris Beckett, in that there's a zone with unusual flora & fauna that does strange things to your pysche. This one feels like adult fiction, hard to put a finger on why but making me question all my life values and goals is a good sign. It also deals with philosphy of mind in a way that's right up my street, when a couple of characters had a laugh about the fact that "you can hear supposedly smart people these days saying to one another that 'consciousness is an illusion'" I knew I was in for a good time.

neith moon (ledge), Thursday, 2 July 2020 08:16 (one week ago) link

> Beneath the World, A Sea by Chris Beckett

this, iirc, is one of the 1000 kindle monthly deals got this month (i went through all 86 pages of results yesterday, bought 2 things, one of which i already have a p-book of). yes:

koogs, Thursday, 2 July 2020 11:51 (one week ago) link

(Gibson - Pattern Recognition, Ovid - Metamorphoses)

koogs, Thursday, 2 July 2020 11:53 (one week ago) link

The way blurbs and review synopses are written continues to confuse me. Why do we need to know character and place names? When blurbs say things like "it's a story of love, redemption, retribution, honor, sacrifice, responsibility", are some people saying "oh wow, those are exactly my favorite themes!"

I've talked about this a few times but I really want to know what people look for in a review or blurb.

Personally, I want to know the style, setting, moods, flavours and things that are going to grab certain kinds of people: horses, dolphins, spiders, food, sex, geology, dancing, martial arts, mermaids, specific cultures etc...

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 July 2020 02:08 (one week ago) link

the blurbs are there to assure you that these other authors approve of this author/book, not to actually describe it

mookieproof, Sunday, 5 July 2020 03:28 (one week ago) link

it's just marketing. fortunately there are now many other avenues to discover whether the book involves dolphins, sex or dancing

mookieproof, Sunday, 5 July 2020 03:31 (one week ago) link

Do the marketer think if your eyes glaze over it or instantly forget what you just read? Are these working for other people?

I mean the main text blurb more than the supporting author blurbs. And reviews often do these things.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 July 2020 03:48 (one week ago) link
Nice recent Kaluta cover.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 July 2020 03:58 (one week ago) link

There is a terrible new show on Shudder called Blood Machines, which I’d fee; irresponsible recommending to anyone, but (at the very, very least) I respect its commitment to recreating airbrush-styled cover images from 1980s RPG manuals & scifi

Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 5 July 2020 12:06 (one week ago) link


Chuck_Tatum, Sunday, 5 July 2020 12:06 (one week ago) link

I've been thinking about seeing it. Some people have said the visuals are strong enough to justify it.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 July 2020 13:05 (one week ago) link

this keeps on cropping up in my instagram, been meaning to investigate. no idea what shudder is.

neith moon (ledge), Sunday, 5 July 2020 15:52 (one week ago) link
Spent a long while reading this. Writers and fans from many countries were asked about the best books that hadn't got an english version. The Hungarian section interested me most. But all across europe I felt like there were quite a few stories featuring dumps, trash, garbagelands. There's an interesting bit about the Estonian genre classification.

Why were Felix J Palma and Tom Crosshill mentioned for works that are already in english? I guess they could still use a boost but Palma seems quite popular (first time I've heard of him).

In the comments were conversations about the names Wordpress can't publish correctly and this link to a similar list of classics from all the time preceding.
This article is a decade old and some books by Alfred Doblin, Gerard Klein, Manuel De Pedrolo, Kurt Steiner and probably more have got english translations since.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 July 2020 19:10 (one week ago) link

Reminds me, The New Yorker recently incl. some previously (?) untranslated Kafka narratives, ace and concise and Rolling Speculative in the way of K., from Lost Writings, due from New Directions Oct.10:

Selected by the preeminent Kafka biographer and scholar Reiner Stach and newly translated by the peerless Michael Hofmann, the seventy-four pieces gathered here have been lost to sight for decades. Some stories are several pages long; some run about a page; a handful are only a few lines long: all are marvels. Even the most fragmentary texts are revelations. These pieces were drawn from two large volumes of the S. Fischer Verlag edition Nachgelassene Schriften und Fragmente (totaling some 1100 pages).

dow, Sunday, 5 July 2020 22:10 (one week ago) link

That's from Amazon, with some interesting comments from Hofmann, for inst on "finish" vs. "ending," and whether K ever did the former.

dow, Sunday, 5 July 2020 22:14 (one week ago) link

Do the marketer think if your eyes glaze over it or instantly forget what you just read? Are these working for other people?

Can't you apply similar reasoning to most marketing and advertising in general? It all feels profoundly stupid once you give it a second thought but either it works or it's been a 100 year con game.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 6 July 2020 10:05 (one week ago) link

oh man that kafka edition sounds unmissable

gnarled and turbid sinuses (Jon not Jon), Monday, 6 July 2020 15:58 (one week ago) link

Daniel - These publishers probably don't have a big boardroom to please and I'd imagine most people writing the blurbs probably have some fondness for the genre they're working at. They sound like small operations these days if many of them can't even afford proofreaders.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 6 July 2020 18:47 (one week ago) link

There’s a funny bit in Frederik Pohl’s memoir, The Way the Future Was, about when he was writing blurbs.

Lipstick O.G. (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 6 July 2020 18:50 (one week ago) link

I got that in a charity shop recently.

I guess if a proofreader hasn't been near it then the blurb writer probably hasn't read it either. But still lots of reviewers I admire go into lengthy plot synopses that I find totally useless.

Re: My posting of Ian Sales' review of Corey's Leviathan Wakes some months ago; even back then I knew Sales' tastes were at odds with mine in many ways but more and more I'm finding his reviews pompous and silly and his blind spots seem bigger than ever. But still, when he loves something it usually sounds really cool, so I still value him.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 6 July 2020 19:18 (one week ago) link

Did you ever read the Apollo Quartet?

Lipstick O.G. (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 6 July 2020 19:50 (one week ago) link

No, but I do want to.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 6 July 2020 19:54 (one week ago) link

Did you post a link months ago or years ago?

Lipstick O.G. (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 6 July 2020 20:36 (one week ago) link

I think it was months ago

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 6 July 2020 20:42 (one week ago) link

I love Ian Sales's fiction, which is perceptive and subtle and clever, which is why I am so puzzled as to why his reviews are almost brain-damaged. He repeatedly assumes that the presence of something bad (ie racism, slavery, etc) in a book means the author approves of it.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Tuesday, 7 July 2020 01:20 (one week ago) link

I'd credit him with slightly more than that. He's worried about the normalization of certain depictions and subjects but I still think he's wrong. He might have half a point about people enjoying fascistic things in fiction but I think we're healthier to find a place to enjoy that kind of stuff rather than trying to go without it entirely; it's a balancing act that can be done with care.

And he criticized a writer for having detailed descriptions of the way characters look, as if that were old fashioned.

I seen something similar with another reviewer assuming that Somtow thinks child abuse is funny because he written about child exploitation in an extreme absurdist black humor way. But I think they were probably being dishonest about that.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 7 July 2020 02:44 (one week ago) link

From early last year. Peter Nicholls being the guy who started the SF Encyclopedia.

‘Science fiction writers are the hounds of hell. They raise their shaggy black heads and sniff the wind, and feel the future coming,’ the late critic and editor Peter Nicholls once said. ‘And then they howl.'

Can the same be said of writers of other forms of speculative fiction? What do the future and alternative worlds imagined by Australian authors say about our country today?

At this special event at the Wheeler Centre, we hear readings from some of this country’s leading contemporary writers of speculative fiction – Claire G. Coleman, Rjurik Davidson, Marlee Jane Ward, Jack Dann and Peter Nicholls's children, Jack Nicholls and Sophie Cunningham. They share thoughts on the foundational Australian fantasy, sci-fi and dystopian texts, and consider how local writers are expanding and subverting genre traditions.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 12 July 2020 21:31 (two days ago) link
Bleak and angry but good

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 12 July 2020 23:11 (two days ago) link

This science talk from two years ago manages to be scarier than the interview above.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 13 July 2020 21:35 (yesterday) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.