Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.

Two brilliant SF YA novels now in paperback

Great news: two of my favorite young adult novels of recent years are now in paperback. First is Steven Gould's 7th Sigma, a spectacular science fiction/western mashup set in the southwest after a mysterious alien invasion makes it impossible to use metal anywhere in the desert. Next is Paolo Bacigalupi's Ship Breaker, a brilliant post-peak-oil eco-catastrophe dystopia that matches 7th Sigma for incredible, voracious, unstoppable plotting. Read the rest

Humble Ebook Bundle: Name your price for eight bestselling, ass-kicking sf novels

I'm delighted to announce that the Humble Ebook Bundle is live! Based on the wildly successful Humble Indie Bundles for distributing video games on a name-your-price basis, the Humble Ebook Bundle is a name-your-price collection of awesome entertainment that also helps you support three great charities.

The Humble Ebook Bundle boasts eight science fiction and fantasy books by Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Lauren Beukes, Kelly Link, Paolo Bacigalupi, Mercedes Lackey, and me (!). Name your price for these great books (you'll need to pay more than the average to date for the Scalzi and Gaiman) and then choose how much of your payment to divert to our chosen charities: Child's Play (games for children's hospitals), EFF (defending your digital rights) and the Science Fiction Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund (saving sf writers from medical ruin). The books come in a variety of formats for all ereaders, and there is no DRM!

The previous Bundles have raised over $7,250,000 for charity, and also demonstrated that creators and their audiences can cooperate with one another, eschewing digital rights management and trusting one another to do the right thing.

I'm especially excited that my latest novel, Pirate Cinema, is part of the Bundle. Tor Books were fantastic about giving me permission to add a new release title -- it's only been out for a week! -- to this experimental Bundle. Tor is also donating its share of the proceeds to the SFWA medical fund. There is no better way to reward Tor and these authors for saying no to DRM and restrictive user-agreements, and no better way to support the writers you love, than to buy this Bundle. Read the rest

Lecture on sf writing with Joe Haldeman

Tony Smith from StarShipSofa sez,

Over the coming months StarShipSofa will present a series of online web lectures by some of the top SF writers out there. These lectures will be called How To Write Science Fiction with...

Among the writers lined up for future lectures are Kim Stanley Robinson, Spider Robinson, Paolo Bacigalupi and many others. The first writer to take to the mic is the author of the classic SF novel The Forever War - Joe Haldeman. You can listen to Joe on the 11th November - all from the comfort of your computer. Don't be mistaken: this isn't your parents' "how to" lecture! Instead, this is a front row seat, as one of the most celebrated minds in the science fiction literary community talks about his journey in the genre. Be there as Joe shares the kind of personal advice and anecdotes you can't find in a writers' guide. Learn how the publishing industry has (and hasn't) changed, and what first led Joe Haldeman to a lifelong relationship with science fiction. You won't want to miss a minute of this intimate and insightful event.

How To Write Science Fiction with... Joe Haldeman (Thanks, Tony!) Read the rest

Bacigalupi: cyberpunk saved sf

Paolo Bacigalupi (whose books have been reviewed here in the past) writes in Wired about the way that cyberpunk saved science fiction:

For me as a kid, reading cyberpunk was like seeing the world for the first time. Gibson’s Neuromancer wasn’t just stylistically stunning; it felt like the template for a future that we were actively building. I remember reading Sterling’s Islands in the Net and suddenly understanding the disruptive potential of technology once it got out into the street.

Cyberpunk felt urgent. It wasn’t the future 15 minutes out—it was the future sideswiping you and leaving you in a full-body cast as it passed by.

And what's coming next:

I work in a literary genre that thrives at uncertainty points, when questions about our future are unanswered. Even though post-9/11 America is as corporate-dominated as any cyberpunk could have anticipated, it’s also national-security-obsessed. We seem to be building toward a sort of public-private partnership of free-market totalitarianism that never felt like it was on the road map.

How Cyberpunk Saved Sci-Fi Read the rest

Big in Japan!

I'm incredibly chuffed to learn that the Japanese edition of Little Brother is up for this year's Seiun award, along with Bacigalupi's Windup Girl, Mieville's The City & the City, Wilson's Chronoliths, Delany's Dhalgren and Ballad's Millennium People. Read the rest

Pony: a disturbing kinetic sculpture

pony H 54" L 49" W 27" is a kinetic sculpture that is reminiscent of one of Paolo Bacigalupi's more disturbing stories, somehow sexual and biomorphic at once. Do you know who made it and where it was exhibited? Please leave a comment.

pony H 54" L 49" W 27" (via JWZ) Read the rest

Locus Award winners

Locus magazine has announced the winners of this year's Locus Award:
* Science Fiction Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

* Fantasy Novel: Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey)

* First Novel: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US)

* Young Adult Book: Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)

* Novella: The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

* Novelette: "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains", Neil Gaiman

* Short Story: "The Thing About Cassandra", Neil Gaiman (Songs of Love and Death)

* Magazine: Asimov's

* Publisher: Tor

* Anthology: Warriors, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Tor)

* Collection: Fritz Leiber: Selected Stories, Fritz Leiber (Night Shade)

* Editor: Ellen Datlow

* Artist: Shaun Tan

* Non-fiction: Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1: 1907-1948: Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr., (Tor)

* Art Book: Spectrum 17, Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. (Underwood)

Announcing the 2011 Locus Award Winners Read the rest

Locus Award finalists announced

Locus magazine has announced the finalists for this year's Locus Award, a popular science fiction, fantasy and horror award voted on by the magazine's readers. I reviewed several of these; I've hotlinked them to their Boing Boing reviews, in case you're interested:
Science Fiction Novel * Surface Detail, Iain M. Banks (Orbit UK; Orbit US) * Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) * Zero History, William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK) * The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Pyr; Gollancz) * Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

Fantasy Novel * Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay (Penguin Canada; Roc) * Kraken, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey) * Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW) * The Fuller Memorandum, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit UK) * The Sorcerer's House, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

First Novel * The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer (Night Shade) * The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit UK; Orbit US) * Shades of Milk and Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor) * The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (Gollancz; Tor) * How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu (Pantheon)

Young Adult Book * Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown) * Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) * Enchanted Glass, Diana Wynne Jones (HarperCollins UK; Greenwillow) * I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; HarperCollins) * Behemoth, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

Click through for the rest of the shortlist.

2011 Locus Award Finalists (via Read the rest

2010 Gift Guide: BOOKS!

Welcome to the second half of the 2010 Boing Boing Gift Guide, where we pick out some of our favorite books from the last year (and beyond) to help you find inexpensive holiday gifts for friends and family. Can you guess who chose a Sarah Palin book?

Paolo Bacigalupi's SHIP BREAKER: YA adventure story in a post-peak-oil world

Paolo Bacigalupi's remarkable debut novel The Windup Girl won the Nebula Award and tied for the Hugo award, so of course, I knew that his first young adult novel, Ship Breaker, would be great. And it was. But what I wasn't prepared for was how different Bacigalupi's young adult fiction would be from his adult work.

Ship Breaker is set in a degraded, post-peak-oil world where the drowned coastlines are littered with the smashed wrecks of old sea-freighters, all acrawl with desperately poor "ship breakers" -- scavengers who get paid a starvation wage to extract the steel, copper, and oil reserves from the hulks of the old world. Nailer is a young boy, 14 or 15, on a "light duty" crew, and he's skinny enough to eel his way into the ducts of the ships and tear loose the copper wire; if he gets enough out to make quota, his crew eats. If not, they risk being fired, and turned loose to sell their bodies (or parts of them -- kidneys and eggs and eyes), beg, or steal.

Even for a light duty scavenger, Nailer has it hard; his drunken, amphetamine addled father has grown more and more vicious since the day his mother died, and is so brutal that he even beats Nailer after he is badly injured (and nearly killed) in a mishap on one of the freighters. But still, Nailer rescues him when a "city killer" storm sweeps the Gulf Coast, finding a sympathetic adult to carry his unconscious, amphetamine-drained father to high ground, because despite it all, Nailer is fundamentally good. Read the rest

Night Shade Books looking for an editor

Looking for a gig in the glamorous world of publishing? Specialty SF publisherNight Shade Books (who put out Paoli Bacigalupi's Windup Girl, among other worthy books) is looking for an experienced full-time editor in San Francisco or NYC. (via IO9) Read the rest

2010 Locus Award winners!

The 2010 Locus Magazine Awards for science fiction were handed out today -- many of the winners were reviewed here as well (links below). You'd be hard pressed to find a better reading list of great contemporary SF:
Best SF Novel: Boneshaker, Cherie Priest (Tor)

Best Fantasy Novel: The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK)

Best First Novel: The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

Best Young Adult Book: Leviathan, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse; Simon & Schuster UK)

Best Novella: The Women of Nell Gwynne's, Kage Baker (Subterranean)

Best Novelette: ''By Moonlight'', Peter S. Beagle (We Never Talk About My Brother)

Best Short Story: ''An Invocation of Incuriosity'', Neil Gaiman (Songs of the Dying Earth)

Best Anthology: The New Space Opera 2, Gardner Dozois & Jonathan Strahan, eds. (Eos; HarperCollins Australia)

Best Collection: The Best of Gene Wolfe, Gene Wolfe (Tor); as The Very Best of Gene Wolfe (PS)

2010 Locus Awards Winners 2009 Locus Award winners Locus Award winners announced -- After the Siege is best novella ... Nebula Award winners Hugo Award winners for 2008 Read the rest

Nebula Award winners!

Cograts to all the winners of this year's Nebula Award, and a big squee to all the writers at the ceremony who got to go watch NASA launch a spaceship!
GRAND MASTER: Joe Haldeman

SHORT STORY: Winner: "Spar" by Kij Johnson

NOVELETTE: Winner: Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast by Eugie Foster

NOVELLA: Winner: The Women of Nell Gwynne's by Kage Baker

NOVEL: Winner: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

BRADBURY AWARD BEST DRAMATIC PRODUCTION: Winner: District 9 by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell

ANDRE NORTON AWARD: Winner: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

THE SOLSTICE AWARD (for impact on the field): Tom Doherty, Terri Windling, and Donald Wolheim.



2010 Nebula Award Winners! Previously:Ridley Scott to adapt Haldeman's Forever War 2010 Hugo Nominees announced Free remarkable short sf from Paolo Bacigalupi The Windup Girl: 2010's science fiction "it" book brings poetry ... 2010 Hugo Nominees announced Read the rest

2010 Hugo Nominees announced

Congratulations to all the 2010 Hugo Nominees, including some favorites I've reviewed here: Robert Charles Wilson's Julian Comstock, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker, Ian McDonald's "Vishnu at the Cat Circus" (from Cyberabad Days) and Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl.
BEST NOVEL (699 nominating ballots) Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor) The City & The City by China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK) Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd-Century America by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor) Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente (Bantam Spectra) Wake by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace; Penguin; Gollancz; Analog) The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

BEST NOVELLA (375 nominating ballots) "Act One" by Nancy Kress (Asimov's 3/09) The God Engines by John Scalzi (Subterranean) "Palimpsest" by Charles Stross (Wireless) Shambling Towards Hiroshima by James Morrow (Tachyon) "Vishnu at the Cat Circus" by Ian McDonald (Cyberabad Days) The Women of Nell Gwynne's by Kage Baker (Subterranean)

BEST NOVELETTE (402 nominating ballots) "Eros, Philia, Agape" by Rachel Swirsky ( 3/09) "The Island" by Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2) "It Takes Two" by Nicola Griffith (Eclipse Three) "One of Our Bastards is Missing" by Paul Cornell (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction: Volume Three) "Overtime" by Charles Stross ( 12/09) "Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast" by Eugie Foster (Interzone 2/09)

BEST SHORT STORY (432 nominating ballots) "The Bride of Frankenstein" by Mike Resnick (Asimov's 12/09) "Bridesicle" by Will McIntosh (Asimov's 1/09) "The Moment" by Lawrence M. Schoen (Footprints) "Non-Zero Probabilities" by N.K.

Read the rest

2010 Nebula Nominees

Good looking Nebula Awards ballot this year! Congrats to all the nominees -- this is as fine a reading list as you're apt to find. Start with the novels: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak, Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman, The City & The City by China Miéville, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and Finch by Jeff VanderMeer. Read the rest

The Windup Girl: 2010's science fiction "it" book brings poetry and excitement to ecotastrophe

The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi's debut novel, is causing quite a stir in science fiction circles, with whispers of a Hugo nomination and critical praise from all sides (including me: I just nominated it for the Locus prize for best first novel).

Bacigalupi is already well known for his amazing short stories, such as the Hugo-nominated "The Calorie Man," which is set in the same world that The Windup Girl takes place in. He has a deserved reputation as a prose-stylist whose facility with language borders on the poetic, and as someone whose visionary ideas benefit from this poetic presentation.

In The Windup Girl, we are plunged into a fraught and difficult world: energy collapse and environmental disasters have changed the shape of the planet, swamping its coastal cities and destroying our capacity to travel or move freight at high speeds. Add to this a series of genetic-engineering screwups that lay waste to the world's crops and trigger wave after wave of punishing plagues, and the rise of midwestern American genetic engineering cartels that control the world's supply of plague-resistant GM crops.

Anderson Lake is one such Calorie Man, working undercover in Thailand, a rogue state where generippers reverse-engineer the food cartels' sterile crops and combine them with carefully hoarded genetic material from the Thai seedbank. Anderson lives in Bangkok, undercover, running a factory nominally involved in the manufacture of experimental windup springs that can compactly and efficiently store the energy pushed into them by GM elephants. He is the hub around which many stories spin: that of Hock Seng, a former wealthy Malay Chinese who has fled an ethnic purge and now runs Anderson's factory; that of Jaidee, the Tiger of Bangkok, a hard-fighting, uncorruptable shock-trooper in the Thai environment ministry; and Emiko, a "new person" manufactured in a Japanese vat to be a perfect servile helper, abandoned by her owner to the brothels of Thailand, where she is cruelly mistreated. Read the rest

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