The 2013 Nebula Award nominees have been announced by the Science Fiction Writers of America; as always, it's a great roadmap for some of the best science fiction published in the past year. Congrats to all the nominees!
Daniel Kraus's 2013 horror novel Scowler was pure nightmare fuel, a book that literally made me shriek aloud on the bus one afternoon. Now, the novel has been released as an audiobook by Random House audio, read by Kirby Heywood.
The unabridged audiobook is available as a DRM-free MP3 CD, and as a DRM-free MP3 download from BN.com.
I'm not very hopeful that humanity can act en masse to address what are now truly global problems that require a new way of thinking. As Einstein said when nuclear weapons were created: "Everything's changed save the way we think."
I think we need to change the way we think to address these global problems. Will it happen? Maybe kicking and screaming. My friend, the writer Cormac McCarthy, told me once: "I'm a pessimist, but that's no reason to be gloomy." In a sense, that's my attitude.
John Frost writes, "I am the author of TheDisneyBlog.com, which Boing Boing has linked to many times over the years. My's grandfather was one of Walt Disney's Imagineers who helped carve Disneyland out of Southern California Citrus Groves. Every summer of my youth, my's family drove down from Portland, OR to experience Walt's park. So when I thought about writing a book, Disneyland seemed the natural subject. Originally funded via Kickstarter, Dispatch from Disneyland is my love letter to The Happiest Place on Earth. The collection of short stories, essays, and interesting facts will make you laugh, cry, learn and most of all wish you were at Disneyland right now."
Sociologist danah boyd's long-awaited first book, It's
Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, hits shelves
today. boyd is one of the preeminent scholars of the way young people
-- especially marginalized young people of diverse economic and racial
backgrounds, as well as diverse gender and sexual orientation -- use
the Internet, and her work has been cited here regularly for her
sharp observations and her overwhelming empathy for her subjects.
It's Complicated is a passionate, scholarly, and
vividly described account of the reality of young peoples' use of
networked technologies in America today. Painstakingly researched
through interviews and close study for more than a decade, boyd's book
is the most important analysis of networked culture I've yet to read.
Rick Kleffel writes, "I sat down in my living room with Jeff VanderMeer to talk about his latest novel Annihilation, and the Southern Reach trilogy it begins. We took a break, then came back for round 2, discussing how he edit those giant anthologies with his wife Ann, and more generally, the new publishing landscape." (MP3 1, MP3 2)
As you may have noticed, I think Litographs are really cool: the company turns the text of various books into a piece of appropriately themed text-art and makes lithographs, tees and tote-bags out of it.
Now, I'm delighted to announce that the company has produced a line of Litographs based on my novel Little Brother, with a gorgeous anti-surveillance design by Benjy Brooke.
The Woman Who Stopped Traffic by Daniel Pembrey is a Silicon Valley thriller about a wildly successful social networking startup that's on track to becoming a publicly-traded company. If the IPO goes through, the young founder (who owns 40% of clamor.us) and its lead investor (very loosely based on Whole Earth Catalog creator Stewart Brand) will become multi-billionaires.
The IPO plans are jeopardized when, during a presentation to investors and press, a Clamor.us page that has an ad for child sex trafficking is accidentally displayed on the projection screen, causing alarm among the audience. Clamor.us' official response is that a rogue user created the page. Its executives promise to take steps to put a stop to such illegal content.
Of course, this being a thriller, there's a deeper problem at Clamor.us than evil users selling sex slaves on its site. One of the early investors in Clamor.us, based in Aruba, is suspected of being involved, but no one knows who the investor is. The chief scientist of Clamour.us hires Natalie Chevalier, the ex-head of security at a "large Seattle software company," to get to the bottom of it before the IPO goes bust. Murder, mayhem, and MMORPGing ensue.
The Well-Sorted Version of the King James Bible takes all the letters in the Bible, preserves the order of upper- and lower-case letters, sorts the letters into alphabetical order, and "pours" the sorted letters back "into all the structure of books, chapters, verses, paragraphs, and words." Peter Harkins, who created the Well-Sorted Version, is accepting pledges to order the book in a limited, $300 edition, with cleat-sewn, acid/lignen-free paper bound into hot-foil-stamped leather, produced by the Grimm Bindery in Madison, WI, which will go into production if there's sufficient interest. There are also plans for cheaper hardcover/paperback editions and a $20 PDF version.
I once handled and enjoyed a similarly prepared edition of Joyce's Ulysses. It was a surprisingly great read.
In the process of writing his just-released book Young Money, an investigative look at the bankers who've joined Wall Street since the crash of 2008, author Kevin Roose snuck into a meeting of the secretive Kappa Beta Phi club -- an organization of hyper-rich Wall Street bankers.
Roose recorded the captains of of industry, whose shady dealing had crashed the world economy and plunged millions into untold misery, cavorting on stage, making jokes about poor people and Hillary Clinton, dressing up in drag, and singing an anthem about how much bailout money they'd suckered out of the feds, to the tune of Dixie: "In Wall Street land we’ll take our stand, said Morgan and Goldman. But first we better get some loans, so quick, get to the Fed, man."
New York Magazine has a membership roll of the Kappa Beta Phis, which is a who's who of the richest, most powerful men on Wall Street.
The Sword and Laser (S&L) is a science fiction and fantasy-themed book club podcast hosted by Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. The main goal of the club is to build a strong online community of science fiction / fantasy buffs, and to discuss and enjoy books of both genres. Check out previous episodes here.
Hugh Howey caused quite a stir with his findings about independent authors, but what does it mean for us readers? We also talk about the Wizard of Earthsea feminism implications and have an exciting election for the March book pick! There is a gavel involved. (Read show notes here).
Sword and Laser is not just a podcast; we’ve also been a book club since 2007! Each month we select a science fiction or fantasy book, discuss it during kick-off and wrap-up episodes of the podcast, and continue that discussion with our listeners over on our Goodreads forums. So come read along with us, and even get a chance to ask your questions to the authors themselves!
The Gorgeous Nothings, a book that reprints 52 of Emily Dickinson’s poems that she wrote on the backs of used envelopes. They’re incredibly beautiful, and it’s fascinating to see the way she wrapped her writing around the contours of each scrap of envelope.
I got a Minecraft server running on a Raspberry Pi (a credit card sized computer). It actually works! I’m reminded of Staislaw Lem’s short story, ”The Seventh Sally or How Trurl’s Own Perfection Led to No Good,” from The Mind’s I.
Fantagraphics went all-out with this beautiful 4-volume anthology of 1950s EC comic book stories.
A boxed set of our first four books in our acclaimed EC Comics Library, which collects the best comics of the 1950s from the greatest mass market comic book publisher in history. Featured are: Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.; Came the Dawn by Wallace “Wally” Wood, Al Feldstein, et al.; 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson, Al Feldstein, et al.; and 'Tain’t the Meat... It’s the Humanity! by Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, et al.