Empress of the Sun: return to Ian McDonald's wonderful Everness

Ian McDonald’s Everness young adult books are everything you want in YA: adventure, romance, wild ideas and tense victories that make you pump your fist at the sky. In Empress of the Sun, McDonald takes the series up about four notches and show’s the sky’s the limit. Cory Doctorow raves about Empress of the Sun.

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Terry Pratchett can't attend Discworld convention


For the first time in his long and storied career, Terry Pratchett has canceled a UK appearance, due to his failing health.

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Spooky stereoscopic GIFs: 'Monsters, Villains, Heroes and Victims'

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A gorgeously retro-spooky series of stereoscopic GIFs from The Saline Project: "Monsters, Villains, Heroes, and Victims (MVHV)."

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Neil Gaiman's haunted game Wayward Manor

Wayward Manor, the overdue video game that Neil Gaiman wrote, now has a release date: July 15!

Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, Wayward Manor focuses on the plight of a ghost whose hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders. Awoken from his post-mortem slumbers, our ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing.

Wayward Manor (via IO9)

Cory coming to SLC and PDX


I'm heading to Salt Lake City this week for Westercon, followed by an appearance at the SLC Library on Monday. Next week, I'll be in PDX for three library gigs: Beaverton, Tigard, and Hillsboro. See you there!

Super-cute How to Train Your Dragon kids' costume


Okidz's child-sized Toothless costume from How to Train Your Dragon is amazing and has cute for days. It's made from felt and plush fabric, with the red tail-stablizer and all.

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A bookseller amongst her wares (possibly NSFW)


Cici James -- founder of Brooklyn's amazing science fiction bookstore Singularity and Co -- posed for a body-painted portrait amongst her wares.

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Jo Walton talks science fiction, research, & collaborating with readers

David writes, "I host the literary radio show Between The Covers (KBOO 90.7FM/PDX) and my most recent guest was Jo Walton (MP3), who has been profiled multiple times on Boing Boing. We talk about her most recent book, My Real Children, about why George Eliot even though she preceded the beginnings of science fiction nevertheless has a science fictional mind, about the particularly obstacles women writers of science fiction and fantasy face, about the writing terminology Jo Walton has invented and why, and how she uses her online fan community as a vital resource for research when she writes."

Jo Walton : My Real Children

Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame: 2014 inductees

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Seattle's EMP Museum announced its 2014 inductees into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame: movie director Stanley Kubrick, writer and animator Hayao Miyazaki, author Olaf Stapledon, author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett, and the amazing Frank Frazetta.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame honors the lives, work, and ongoing legacies of the genres greatest creators. Founded in 1996, the Hall of Fame was relocated from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the University of Kansas to its permanent home at EMP in 2004. Nominations are submitted by EMP members and the final inductees are chosen by a panel of award-winning authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals.

The Powder Mage Trilogy - Brian McClellan's new epic fantasy series

In the latest episode of the Sword and Laser, Veronica and Tom break down their June book pick, Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.

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Online roundtable on the works of Octavia Butler

The Hooded Utilitarian is hosting an online roundtable on the work of Octavia Butler, one of science fiction's greatest writers, and also one of the first women of color to attain widespread recognition in the field. The initial installment, from Qiana Whitted, is a challenging, sharply critical essay about the ways that Butler's work (including Fledgling, a book I very much liked) literally nauseated the writer, and what that says about both Butler and her critics.

Ugliness, Empathy, and Octavia Butler (Thanks, Noah!)

(Image: Leslie Howle)

Nigerians in Space: afrofuturist science fiction debut novel

This sounds good: Afrocyberpunk reviews the debut novel of Deji Olukotun, Nigerians in Space: "He wouldn't hit golf balls like the American astronauts. He would squeeze out rhythms from a talking drum into the blackness between the stars. These were the drums of war and death, of celebration, the drums that had bonded the towns of his homeland over centuries in tonal communication… He would bind the stars with the drums. There would be dancing."

Review [Afrocyberpunk]

Nigerians in Space [Amazon]

A Wrinkle in Time: the graphic novel, still wonderful and fresh two years later

The graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time got a rave review here when it first came out in 2012. Two years later, Cory Doctorow re-reads it to his now-six-year-old and discovers fresh delights in a beautiful and fitting tribute to one of literature’s best-loved young adult novels.

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RIP, Daniel Keyes, author of "Flowers for Algernon"

Daniel Keyes, the MD who wrote the classic science fiction novel Flowers for Algernon, has died at 86, of complications from pneumonia. I met Keyes when he received the Science Fiction Writers of America's Author Emertius honor in 2000, and he struck me as a sensitive and thoughtful person. He told the story of how he'd conceived of Algernon while riding the subway to his medical residence, and how pleased he'd been with its reception (it's also one of the small handful of science fiction novels whose film adaptation is in the same league as the book -- the 1968 film "Charly" won its lead an Academy Award).

Algernon is a truly fantastic contribution to literature -- a book that has stayed with me for decades and influenced the way I think about intelligence, science, medicine, and self-determination. Though Keyes never wrote another science fiction work that attained its success, that book alone earned him a richly deserved place in history. (via /.)

X-Wing Fighter knife-block


Starting in August, you'll be able to buy these Star Wars X-Wing knife blocks for £70, with five knives (of unknown quality). At first, I assumed that the naked blades protruded from the block, but on closer inspection, it appears that the chromed sheaths are integral to it. That's a big bonus for practicality and safety, but does limit your options for replacing the knives with your own.

Star Wars X-Wing Knife Block