Roundtable on Collective Nouns

Here’s a fun conversation to finish off 2012. I once saw a bunch of suggestions for the proper collective noun for monsters (i.e., instead of a ‘murder of ravens’, a ‘mash of monsters’ or a ‘terror of monsters’, etc.)

Anyone want to take a crack at a collective noun for aliens?

Gardner Dozois: If they’re the kind from Alien, “An Outburst of Aliens” would seem appropriate.

Gary K. Wolfe: And ...Read More

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Michael Dirda and Gary Wolfe in Conversation: Audience, Style, Editors, etc.

As a cap to some of our recent discussions of reviewing, here is a conversation between two of the foremost reviewers covering science fiction today, Michael Dirda and Gary K. Wolfe. They discuss audience, writing style, editors, Gary’s two volume Library of America set, and much more. Enjoy! ...Read More Read more

Roundtable on Author Promotion

This Roundtable is a spin-off from the earlier discussions on Reviewing and Spoilers last week.

As always, this discussion is broken up into multiple pages for ease of reading. If you’d like to read it all on a single page, select ‘View All’ from the drop down menu above. If you don’t see the drop down menu, please click here.

Russell Letson

I note that in the television world, reviewing ...Read More

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Roundtable on Spoilers

This conversation is a spin-off from the earlier discussion of Reviewing.

As always, this discussion is broken up into multiple pages for ease of reading. If you’d like to read it all on a single page, select ‘View All’ from the drop down menu above. If you don’t see the drop down menu, please click here.

John Clute

Proposal. Try to think of a single review which lacks spoilers that ...Read More

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Locus Online's All-Centuries Poll – Updated 8 December

Update 8 December: Editing of votes is going more slowly than I’d hoped; yes I finished first pass of novel names on Tuesday, but second pass is taking longer, so I’m not done with the novel votes yet, and have yet to even begin looking at the short fiction votes (of which I expect there will be more). Possibly I’ll have novel results in the next few days, but can’t ...Read More

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Locus Online to Host All-Time Best Polls in November – Updated 27 Oct

Locus Online will host a set of all-time best polls, covering both novels and short fiction, beginning November 1st, for one month. These will be the first such polls hosted by Locus since 1998; earlier polls were run in 1975 and 1987. This time we’ll do two all-century polls, for 20th century works (1901 – 2000) and 21st century works so far (2001- just to 2010), with five categories in ...Read More

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Appreciation for Adam Niswander (1946-2012)

As reported in Locus Online and in our September 2012 issue, Adam Niswander passed away last month. While we did not have space in the September issue to print this moving tribute by Gary A. Braunbeck, we are pleased to include it here. If you have any appreciations or memories of the man or his work, please leave a note in the comments.


by Gary A. Braunbeck

I’m not ...Read More

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Geographic accidents: the Gregor Man trilogy by Péter Zsoldos

Bogi Takács is a reviewer and linguist in Hungary.

One of the most important works of Hungarian science fiction has never been translated to English; it’s been translated to German, but the German editions are long out of print. The Gregor Man trilogy by Péter Zsoldos changed the way entire Hungarian generations saw science fiction and fantasy. I’ll try to summarize the plot in a nutshell (this means spoilers!) and ...Read More

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Jorge Luis Borges and Manuel Antonio de Rivas

Chris N. Brown is the co-editor, with Eduardo Jiménez Mayo, of Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic, published in January 2012 by Small Beer Press.  He writes fiction and criticism from his home in Austin, Texas.

“Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” by Jorge Luis Borges is the story of an invented encyclopedia entry that takes over the real world. The title requires no translation, being ...Read More

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Chōhei Kambayashi and Juan Miguel Aguilera

Dale Knickerbocker is a professor at Eastern Carolina University’s Department of Foreign Language and Literature.

When Karen Burnham kindly asked me to select and blog about one story translated into English that I considered a “must read,” and one not yet translated that absolutely should be, my immediate reaction was “One?!” I thank her for generously allowing me to sneak in a few honorable mentions. I’d like to thank the ...Read More

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The Act of Walking on Water

Harry Markov is an author and reviewer specializing in weird fiction.

Despite my good intentions, I have never served as a connoisseur of international fiction, given I own a small tomb of books I’ve been building since I first started reading in English. English still possesses my imagination in its entirety and I have yet to oversaturate my yearning for books by English speaking authors. The sole and striking exception ...Read More

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On Romanian speculative fiction

Mihai Adascalitei is a reviewer and blogger.

The Berlin Wall raised a physical boundary between West and East, but during the reign of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe censorship built an invisible and even stronger barrier. Romania was no exception and that lead to an isolation felt at every level. Culture, in every form, suffered greatly during that time and the niche of speculative fiction was no exception. In ...Read More

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Roundtable on Jorge Luis Borges and Others

As part of the current series on SF In (and Out) of Translation, I asked the Roundtable to talk about some of their favorite international sf authors.

As always, this discussion is broken up into multiple pages for ease of reading. If you’d like to read it all on a single page, select ‘View All’ from the drop down menu above. If you don’t see the drop down menu, please ...Read More

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Anil Menon and Vandana Singh in Conversation: Indian SF, Domestication of Tech, Genre Boundaries

At ReaderCon 2012 I was able to sit down with Anil Menon and Vandana Singh, co-editors of the recent Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana. While I wish we’d had longer to talk, we covered topics such as early Indian science fiction, the domestication of technology, and disregard for genre boundaries. ...Read More Read more

J. C. Bose and other Indian SF

Vandana Singh is an author (Distances) and also a PhD Physicist.

I would like to see an English translation of a story that is among the first science fiction stories from India. It is called Niruddesher Kahini and it was published in Bengali in 1896 by the scientist and polymath Jagadish Chandra Bose. I can only read in Hindi and English, and discovered Bengali science fiction’s rich history through translation ...Read More

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The Virgin Fish of Babhughat

Anil Menon is an author (The Beast with Nine Billion Feet) and an editor.

Lokenath Bhattacharya’s novel The Virgin Fish of Babhughat (1972) belongs to the family of dystopic visions that acquired its characteristic and possibly definitive form in the works of Yevgeny Zamyatin, George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. As in We (1921), Nineteen Eighty-four (1949) and Brave New World (1931), here too we have an individual struggling against the ...Read More

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Angélica Gorodischer and David Soares

Larry Nolen is a reviewer and translator.

It is difficult to select two suitable stories out of the hundreds, if not thousands, of translated and non-translated SF/F stories over the years. It would be a cop-out to choose an extremely well-known writer, such as Jorge Luis Borges or Julio Cortázar, whose fame crosses several genre boundaries, yet there needs to be some cross-subgenre appeal as well. Argentine writer Angélica Gorodischer’s ...Read More

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Kontakt, An Anthology of Croatian SF

Cheryl Morgan is a critic and editor.

For the 1995 Worldcon in Glasgow a group of local writers got together to do some mutual PR. They produced Shipbuilding, an anthology of speculative fiction by Scottish writers. It was a good idea, and amongst the people to copy it were some fans and writers from Croatia. Despite some optimistic bids, they haven’t yet lured Worldcon to Zagreb. They do, however, have ...Read More

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Doris Lessing's Shikasta

Fabio Fernandes is a writer, translator, and editor.

The first time I became aware that science fiction could be something more than just adventure – in fact, that it should be much more than just adventure – was when I read Doris Lessing’s Shikasta. It was 1980, I was fourteen years old, and I begged my mother to buy it for me. She always was (still is) the most wonderful ...Read More

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once more into the breach, dear friends

And, lo, we are back. Session Two of #scratchstory is about to begin.

Me, to Michael Swanwick: If you guys could speak more slowly today, that would be awesome.

Swanwick, to me: Not possible.

We’re all in this together, kids.

At 3 p.m., Moyers will be trying to make a cover in Maine (the room, not the state). Go see him. (Sadly, your humble narrator won’t be there because of ...Read More

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And so it begins.

And, so, the panel has assembled.

Cassidy asks if there is a photographer in the room. Gets no takers.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” Cassidy says. Bear and Cassidy tell the story of Veronique is Visiting from Paris. It’s a story of time travel, dimensional drift and tea.

Cassidy pulls out props. A cigar cutter and a Archie comic came from Peter Straub. We have been warned ...Read More

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Watch this space.

Hello from Readercon! Wish you were here.

But since you aren’t — or are and want to add another layer to your con experience by reading a blog (I won’t judge) — I’m going to do my best to bring a Readercon panel series right to your screen by liveblogging an experiment in storytelling that is due to begin at 6 p.m. EDT.

Elizabeth Bear, Kyle Cassidy, Lee Moyer and ...Read More

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The Stories of Ibis by Hiroshi Yamamoto and 12 Collections & The Teashop by Zoran Živković

Charles Tan is an author, critic, and editor. He is often seen at SFSignal and the World SF Blog.

I’m not just a reader, I’m also a writer. I state this because in some developing countries (at the very least, in the Philippines), the expectations of the two do not necessarily intersect: some readers want thick, lengthy novels while the output of many writers leans toward the short form (or ...Read More

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Elisabeth Vonarburg and Tran-Nhut

Aliette de Bodard is the author of novels including Harbinger of the Storm and award-winning short fiction in venues such as Interzone and Asimov’s.

I have a particular fondness for Elisabeth Vonarburg’s The Maerland Chronicles, which is a masterful look at a devastated future where women control society–seen through the lens of one woman’s life and personal quest. It probably loses somewhat in translation (I read it in the original ...Read More

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The End of the World, and a Beginning

Nick Mamatas is an author (see Sensation and You Might Sleep) and an editor at Haikasoru.

It may seem mercenary, or perhaps just odd, to suggest that everyone read the exact Japanese SF novel I’ve just finished editing, but I’m going to do it anyway. Project Itoh’s debut novel Genocidal Organ will be published by Haikasoru in August 2012, and I highly recommend it.

Due to the nature of our ...Read More

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From Solaris to the Zone

James Morrow is a Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author. His writing includes, among many others, The Philosopher’s Apprentice and Shambling Towards Hiroshima.

For the poet Edwin Arlington Robinson, the world is a spiritual kindergarten. For the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, the world is that which is the case. For the majority of science fiction writers, however, the phenomenon in question is first and foremost a planet. This materialist understanding ...Read More

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French Graphic Novels

Jonathan McCalmont is a film, book, comics, and games critic. He blogs at Ruthless Culture.

Every generation contains a finite amount of creative talent and when that generation reaches adulthood, that talent decants itself into the creative scenes that appear most attractive at that particular point in time. Sometimes that talent flows into music, sometimes it flows into painting and sometimes it flows into writing an endless stream of articles ...Read More

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Locus Series on Translated SF (and SF that Should Be Translated)

After running a Roundtable discussion in support of Fabio Fernandes’ International issue of The Future Fire, I started thinking about the wonderful science fiction and fantasy that I’ve read in translation over the years. I thought it might be interesting to solicit guest posts from a wide range of people talking about both excellent translated stories as well as stories that haven’t yet been translated but really need to be. ...Read More

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Roundtable on Geek Culture

Karen Burnham

Karen Joy Fowler points out this clip from a recent, controversial Andrew O’Hehir review of the Avengers:

At what point is the triumph of comic-book culture sufficient? Those one-time comic-book pariahs are now the dominant force in pop-culture entertainment, and their works are deemed to be not just big but also relevant and important…. It’s a neat little postmodern trick, actually, to simultaneously position this movie as the ...Read More

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