Blinks: Reviews; Judith Merril; KGB events

» Washington Post: Everdeen Mason reviews Robots vs. Fairies, Ahmed Saadawi, Josiah Bancroft

» Chicago Tribune: Gary K. Wolfe reviews collections by Dave McKean and William Schafer, Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe, and Jo Walton

» Washington Post: Michael Dirda reviews Nick Harkaway’s Gnomon

» Toronto Star: Sci-fi author Judith Merril and the very real story of Toronto’s Spaced Out Library: A prolific author and pioneer Merril’s donation of 5,000 ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Ada Palmer’s The Will to Battle

The Will to Battle, by Ada Palmer (Tor 978-0-7653-7804-0, $26.99, 352pp, hardcover) 19 December 2017

In my consideration of Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning in a piece at The Barnes & Noble Review, I found this kickoff to her quartet to be rife with Bester-style pyrotechnics, complex and intriguing linguistic and sociopolitical speculations, deep moral and ethical issues, and maximalist kitchen-sink plotting. It was an awesome debut novel, ...Read More

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Blinks: SF Chronicle’s Best of 2017; Wells v. Orwell; Nature forum with KSR, Liu, others

» San Francisco Chronicle’s Best of 2017 includes titles by Omar El Akkad, Jeff VanderMeer, Victor LaValle, Louise Erdrich, George Saunders, Naomi Alderson, Robin Sloan, Zachary Mason

» The Conversation, via Salon: More H.G. Wells and less George Orwell: Can science save us from dystopia?

» Nature: Science fiction when the future is now, with comments by Lauren Beukes, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ken Liu, Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, Aliette de ...Read More

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The Knack of the Puppet People: A Review of Downsizing

An introductory disclosure: when I was in graduate school, I became the friend, and occasional roommate, of Jim Taylor’s older brother Doug Taylor, and I met and talked with Jim a few times when he was a student at Pomona College. I particularly remember a final conversation when Jim reported that, after graduating, he had moved to Los Angeles to pursue, so far unsuccessfully, a career as a Hollywood screenwriter. ...Read More

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Blinks: Chiang; Delany; Tolkien; Best of 2017 at Seattle Times, B&N; Zinos-Amaro reviews; Borderlands events

» Buzzfeed: Ted Chiang’s Silicon Valley Is Turning Into Its Own Worst Fear, about capitalism, Silicon Valley, and its fear of superintelligent AI

» Slate Podcast: How Does Samuel R. Delany Work?: The acclaimed science-fiction novelist talks about his queer career.

» Guardian: Maev Kennedy: From the north pole to Middle-earth: Tolkien’s Christmas letters to his children

» Seattle Times: Nisi Shawl picks Noteworthy books of 2017: speculative fiction by ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Until the Last Dog Dies by Robert Guffey

— Special to Locus Online —

Until the Last Dog Dies, by Robert Guffey (Night Shade Books 978-1-59780-918-4, $15.99, 320pp, trade paperback) November 2017

Somewhere up on a cloud–or somewhere down in the abyss–the ghost of Lenny Bruce is leering approvingly upon Robert Guffey’s Until the Last Dog Dies, after which the savage shade will nod off with a spike in his arm. Guffey’s book is a rarity ...Read More

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Is It Time to Let Old Things Die?: A Review ofStar Wars: The Last Jedi, by Gary Westfahl

Since Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi contains almost all of the elements that have made the franchise so popular – likable heroes, implacable villains, superb special effects, colorful aliens and robots, the requisite number of space battles and lightsaber duels, and a rousing John Williams score – it will undoubtedly prove enormously successful and thoroughly satisfying to diehard fans. However, as time passes, I suspect that those fans ...Read More

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New in Paperback: November – December 2017

Titles newly in paperback the past two months include Gregory Benford’s The Berlin Project, Kameron Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, John Kessel’s The Moon and the Other, two big collections by Ursula K. Le Guin, Ada Palmer’s Seven Surrenders, Robert Charles Wilson’s Last Year, and titles by Aiken, Bara, Brandt, Buettner, Clarke, Corey, Flint, Forstchen, Friedman, Goodkind, Kadrey, Koontz, McClellan, Neumeier, Roberson, Smale, Stross, and ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews The Clingerman Files by Mildred Clingerman

The Clingerman Files, by Mildred Clingerman (edited by Mark Bradley) (Size 5 1/2 B Publishing, 978-1981219926, $25, 306pp, trade paperback) November 2017

Mildred Clingerman (1918-1997) was a writer I grew up on, and loved. Although her heyday came during the 1950s, before I began reading SF, I would run across her memorable tales reprinted in anthologies–and also in their original venues, as I began to accumulate back issues of ...Read More

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The Creature Waltzes Among Us: A Review ofThe Shape of Water, by Gary Westfahl

As has happened before, I face the dilemma of reviewing a film that I have been clearly instructed to like, yet did not actually like. But, one might ask, what is there is dislike about The Shape of Water? It is the work of an author-director, Guillermo del Toro, who has repeatedly demonstrated his knowledge of, and fondness for, science fiction films, as well demonstrated by the excellent Pacific ...Read More

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New Books : 5 December 2017

New books published today include Katherine Arden’s The Girl in the Tower , James S.A. Corey’s Persepolis Rising, Ursula K. Le Guin’s No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, Ken Scholes’ Hymn, and other titles by Catherine Cerveny, Eric Flint & Charles E. Gannon, Christopher Fowler, Francesca Haig, Faith Hunter, Mercedes Lackey, Alex Marshall, George R.R. Martin, Susan R. Matthews, Ryk E. Spoor, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, and Sam ...Read More

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