Writing the Other: intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction

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For more than a decade, science fiction and fantasy writers have handed around Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward's Writing the Other, an intensely practical and thoughtful guide to inclusive, representative writing that includes people of genders, ethnicities, races, and orientations other than the writer's.

Crowdfunding the publication of Samuel R Delany's journals

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Samuel R Delany is one of the most important figures in science fiction; one of the first prominent black writers in the field; the first out, queer writer; a titan of imagination and a prose stylist without compare. Read the rest

Judenstaat: an alternate history in which a Jewish state is created in east Germany in 1948

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Theodor Herzl's seminal 1896 essay Der Judenstaat called for the creation of Jewish state as an answer to the ancient evil of antisemitism; its legacy, Zionism, underpinned the creation of Israel; in Judenstaat, Simone Zelitch's beautifully told, thoughtful and disturbing alternate history, the Jewish state is created in Saxony, not Palestine, and takes the place of East Germany. Read the rest

Tolkien elf or prescription drug name?

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I scored badly enough on this that I'm thinking that my fallback career will be raiding The Silmarillion for Elvish names to sell to Big Pharma. Read the rest

Frankenstein turns 200 this year: write a short story, win cool prizes

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Arizona State University, Nanowrimo, and the Chabot Science Center are commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with a series of events, including a short-story contest judged by Elizabeth Bear. Read the rest

Paramount tells judge that they're still suing over Star Trek fan-film

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Nearly a month after producer JJ Abrams and director Justin Lin went public with their call for Paramount to drop its litigation against the crowdfunded Star Trek fan-film Axanar, Paramount's lawyers have told a judge that its suit is still a live issue. Read the rest

Reminder: Neal Stephenson predicted Donald Trump in 1994

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In 1994, Neal Stephenson and his uncle George Jewsbury published a novel called Interface, about a high-tech, poll-centric election. Read the rest

Award-winning short sf film written by an AI is pretty good

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Director Oscar Sharp and AI researcher Ross Goodwin trained a machine-learning system with a huge pile of classic science fiction screenplays and turned it loose to write a short film. What emerged was an enigmatic 9-minute movie called Sunspring, which has just won Sci-Fi London's 48-hour challenge. Read the rest

Science fiction's Radium Age: prewar stories of postscarcity, peace and justice

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For nearly a decade, science fiction historian Joshua Glenn has waged a campaign to resurrect the "Radium Age" of science fiction: the period from 1904-1933 when writers turned their pens to "Air Battles, Antigravity, Interplanetary Voyages, Lost Worlds, Mad Scientists, Time Travel, and Utopias," before writers like Andre Norton and Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov began their careers. Read the rest

30 years on, Roz Kaveney's "Tiny Pieces of Skull, or a Lesson in Manners" is finally in print and winning prizes

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More than 30 years ago, Roz Kaveney showed a draft of her novel Tiny Pieces of Skull to Neil Gaiman, who was "saddened and horrified" that publishers wouldn't put her story of "trans street life and bar life in London and Chicago in the late 1970s" into print. Read the rest

Watchdogs 2: hacker kids led by a guy named Marcus fight the DHS in San Francisco

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Ubisoft has announced the sequel to its surveillance-themed game Watchdogs: Watchdogs 2, which features an army of young hackers in San Francisco led by a kid with a grudge named Marcus Halloway. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Rudy Rucker and Michael Blumlein at SF in SF

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Rudy Rucker, the consummate happy mutant, and Michael Blumlein, a writer of terrifying horror novels, will be interviewed by Terry Bisson, as is traditional at the SF in SF reading series, which has a new home at the gorgeous Bookbinders Museum: $10 at the door on June 12.

(Images: Rudy Rucker by Rudy Rucker, CC-BY-SA, Michael Blumlein, Flurb) Read the rest

Hot Wheels is making a Spock-leaning-on-a-64-Buick car for Comic-Con

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The classic photo of Leonard Nimoy in Spock costume leaning on the 64 Buick Riviera he bought with his Star Trek earnings will be immortalized in dinkycar, thanks to the good offices of the Hot Wheels Corporation. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman on Douglas Adams

Neil Gaiman's third book was a history of the Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy called Don't Panic, which Adams described as "devastatingly true - except the bits that are lies." Read the rest

Deep learning AI "autoencodes" Blade Runner, recreates it so faithfully it gets a takedown notice

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Artist and researcher Terence Broad is working on his master's at Goldsmith's computing department; his dissertation involved training neural networks to "autoencode" movies they've been fed. Read the rest

Every Heart a Doorway: Seanan McGuire's subversive, gorgeous tale of rejects from the realms of faerie

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Seanan McGuire is one of science fiction's most passionate voices, no matter whether she's writing under her Mira Grant pseudonym or her own name, you always know that you're going to be reading a story that moves and inflames, illuminating the cause of the underdog and the overlooked with stories that are firmly adventures first and allegories second, the best kind of political fiction, and now, with her new novella Every Heart a Doorway, McGuire shows us that she can weaponize that talent and use it as a skewer to pin the reader, right through the heart.

Audio fandom: exploring the ambient noises of stfnal spaceships

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Spike Snell is a Star Trek fan whose thing is the ambient noise that the series' sound-designers created for the fictional spaceships, sounds that are never meant to be in the foreground, but which are always informing the viewer about both the ship's architecture and layout and its current status. Read the rest

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