PM Press's Outspoken Authors series is a wonderful line of chapbooks introducing the work of radical science fiction authors; each book is a short mix of essays, interviews and novellas and short-stories (they honored me by producing The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, based on my work).
The newest volume is Report from Midnight, by Nalo Hopkinson, an absolutely wonderful Canadian-Caribbean writer whom I've known -- and read! -- since we were both teenagers working for the North York Public Library system in Toronto. Tor.com's Brit Mandelo has a great writeup of the book:
Report from Planet Midnight Plus… reprints two stories, “Message in a Bottle” and “Shift,” as well as a transcript of Hopkinson’s 2010 speech to the audience at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, “Report from Planet Midnight.” The volume closes with the quintessential long interview and a detailed bibliography (one of my favorite parts of these volumes, actually!).
The two stories in this little book form an intriguing duet. The first is science fictional in premise and intimate in focus; the second is a riff on Shakespeare’s The Tempest that explores issues of race, identity, and family. “Message in a Bottle” struck me as eerie—primarily because of Hopkinson’s vibrant, realistic use of narrative voice. Though the thought of a child with the mind of an adult, sent back in time to curate artifacts lost to their own world, is discomfiting on its own, it wouldn’t necessarily be so much so without the narrator’s perceptions coloring our initial encounter with the child. The opening scene, where the young Kamla has crushed a hermit crab while collecting shells, is uncomfortable primarily because the narrator finds it so uncomfortable: his voice guides the reader’s own reaction to the fragility of life in the hands of a child who doesn’t know any better.
Report from Midnight
SOG’s $60 Sync II “wearable belt buckle” multitool isn’t the only multitool/buckle on the market, but it does add a couple very sensible innovations, like a clip-on/clip-off base that lets you use your tool without taking off your belt, and a squared-off form factor (like a pair of folding travel sewing scissors) that adapts the […]
Stories matter: the recurring narrative of radical Islamic terror in America (a statistical outlier) makes it nearly impossible to avoid equating “terrorist” with “jihadi suicide bomber” — but the real domestic terror threat is white people, the Dominionists, ethno-nationalists, white separatists, white supremacists and sovereign citizens who target (or infiltrate) cops and blow up buildings. That’s what makes Brian Wood’s first Briggs Land collection so timely: a gripping story of far-right terror that is empathic but never sympathetic.
The campaign to raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees started with author/comedian Sara Benincasa daring Neil Gaiman to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu; Gaiman responded that if she raised the half-mil, he’d not only read the Cheesecake Factory’s (notoriously florid) menu, he’d follow up with a reading of […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]