But with lots-o-stuff today – music, museums, Gaza, File 770, and more.
But you have to go here to read it all.
(Go to the new blog, go to the new blog, go to the new blog…)
One of the blogs I reviewed earlier today mentioned the SFSignal discussion based on Buzz Aldrin’s statement that science fiction was responsible for the diminshment of the space program (the contention being that people’s expectations, based on SF’s prognostications, were too high, easily disappointed and led to a lack of interest in the program, leading to budget cuts and political impotence).
I don’t believe that’s the case; I think it had more to do with PR mistakes by NASA than anything else; after Apollo, the program departed from the SF magazine cover images and tried to foist bad replicas on us instead of delivering the real deal: a spaceplane that couldn’t really fly by itself, a space station that didn’t rotate, no rockets delivering the mail, etc., etc.
The disconnect between the public’s (SF-inspired) vision of what the development of space would look like no longer matched reality. Instead of actully going somewhere, all they did was park a plane in orbit (due deference to Hubble and the maintenance job on it aside).
However, I think that’s beginning to change. I recently ran across some re-postings of NASA images of the new Ares program, and I was struck by the similarity to some SF magazine covers, which are reproduced below.
Maybe the boys at the NASA art department are beginning to remember that years ago they stuck certain images in our head and then forgot about them. In some respects the whole space program thing is very much like one of those blockbuster movies where the trailer reveals all of the really cool shots; watching the actual movie is a let-down because you’ve already seen the best parts.
The Willy Ley/Werner von Braun/Chesley Bonestell/Ralph McQuarrie depictions ARE the space program – or at least the icons that most folks (particularly aging politicians) still have in their heads. Give them something they recognize, something they think they understand, or are at least familiair with, and the quest for budgetary support will probably go a lot easier.
Magazine issues depicted are Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1973 and Amazing Stories, October 1960. Nasa images courtesy of Nasa.
Housekeeping: Thank you to those who have already taken the opportunity to self-define their blogs. Those responses are currently in the comments and will be added right underneath my reviews once I: get a few more and finish out the list. They will also be added to the website page once that is compiled.
Thank you also to those who have been understanding and those who have sent comments of encouragement and approval – I really appreciate them.
NO thank you to the folks who didn’t send in instructions to my wife to get naked.
and finally – my best wishes to all of you during the coming New Year.
There are some 28 review blogs beginning with the letter S; not surprising as we’re dealing with a double whammy with that letter. It is both one of the most popular consonants in the English language, and the initial letter in Science Fiction, Sci Fi, SyFy, SciPhi, SpecFic, SpecLit and SF (which does not stand for San Francisco).
I’ve entitled this post as part 1, anticipating that I will not make it through all 28 in one sitting – but I might depending on how the morning goes; today’s laundry list of tasks includes the laundry (we rent and must, therefore, endure foraging trips for quarters as well as establishing temporary encampments at the local lint factory), puffing up my courage and selecting a couple of short stories to send in to SFReader.com’s story contest (deadline is today), call the attorney (minor stuff – as well as wishing him and his a happy New Year) and draft a response to the response from my book distributor friends for the paintball book coming out in 2009. (That won’t take long, their changes/requests are very minor and well-within the confines of the deal I was hoping to make with them.)
And, as predicted, we have another winter storm gently floating to the ground and freezing all over everything. Which means I’m pretty much stuck indoors (or at least have an excuse to be stuck indoors).
Sandstorm Reviews: Wide ranging (crime, history, SF, fantasy) and infrequently updated. Appears as if this blogger is trying to make time to blog but just can’t find it. Probably not.
SciFiChick.com: She has a new puppy! (Cute too – the puppy I mean. Oh, what the heck, SciFi Chick is pretty cute too. So sue me for the sexist remark.) Mostly television and film, news and links, but book reviews, mostly of an SF and fantasy nature, as well. Without the puppy – not sure. With the puppy, it’s an add.
Sci Fi Wire: Already monitoring this one. Has an annoying tendency to launch videos that you can’t turn off. A creature of SkiffyTube. Commercial and obviously so. Sometimes has breaking news, but usually follows the better news sources like Locus, BoingBoing, Signal, etc.
SciFiGuy: Not Bill. Doug. From Canada. Good grounding in classic SF, but is conentrating on urban fantasy just now. Nice layout and concept – features and author, a work and provides lots of background, supplementary material. Add
Sci-Fi Fan Letter: Bookseller. Long interviews with selected authors. Currently on fantasy. Mmmm. Probably….
Sci-Fi Songs: Probably THE most unique review blog on the list and will be added for that reason alone. Reviews music and ties it in to science fiction; also covers his own singing/songwriting efforts. Interesting and fun.
The Sequential Rat: What is it with the rat thing? Oh, after reading the “About’ over here, I have my answer. You’ll have to visit to find out for yourselves. Graphic novels are the focus here, right now particularly crime and horror and crime/horror. Probable add as I need to learn more about graphic novels (beyond what Watchmen and Dark Knight taught me).
Severian’s Fantastic Worlds: Begins with Gene Wolfe’s contention that “all literature is fantasy”; true to its self-description of being eclectic, devoted to writing, other things of interest (to the blogger) and reviews of both the fantastical and the mundane. Maybe an add. My counter quote for Wolfe would be: “anything not science fiction (or fantasy) is mundane”.
SF Gospel: Author’s blog (author of The Gospel According to Science Fiction). Well, here we go with the mixing of genres once again. Although I must say that I didn’t feel drowned in biblical quotations, only that McKee (author) simply looks at everything through a theological lens. His view on Science Fiction, as quoted on Amazon is that “The main goal of SF is to show us how we can face the future and overcome the new challenges that our changing world may develop.” a contention that is arguable (but won’t be argued here). Well written and apparently well-researched, nevertheless the focus is one that I personally find – A: confusing and B: on a par with analyzing everything through a Freudian lens, Campbellian lens or any other affectation you might care to impose. But it is a well-presented argument for this point of view. On a slightly more picky note – the review of The Day The Earth Stood Still contains some inaccuracies that detract from the overall comparison of the two films (Klaatu was never allowed to speak to the UN in the original) and, if the director (Wise) says he was not deliberately engaging in re-writing christian parable with that movie, we’ve got to take him at his word. I will continue to point out the scene in which Klaatu reads the laundry tag with the name Carpenter on it, almost looks into the camera, smiles wrly and then throws it away as evidence that cast and crew were aware of the possible connection and deliberately denied it, in the film. But then that’s me. McKee’s point of view is intriguing enough that I’ll be adding this one, even if I’ll probably disagree with just about everything in there.
SFReviews: Ooodles of reviews, covering everything SF. Can’t fault a reviewer who gives 5 stars to Asimov’s Foundation trilogy – even if I think short shrift is given to Niven. Add
SF Revu: Blogazine. Covers – everything. Seems to be released as a monthly issue with archives. Add (but then, I’m adding all the free e-zines)
SF Signal: Oh Sf Signal. First – if they gig one of your entries, be prepared, since you’re gonna be seeing a lot of traffic. Next – their Mind Meld feature (asking a bunch of folks from the field to respond to a particular issue) is legendary, fun and informative. Reviews equally so and their TidBits (capsules of the day’s genre news) more often than not, scoop everyone else. If you had to pick one (free) genre news source/blog, this is the one. I just wish they’d pick on me every day, or at least once a week, instead of about once every month. Oh – already added.
SF Site: Home of the folks who maintain the F&SF website/forum, several author pages and hosts it’s own kinda-bi-monthly ‘magazine’ with reviews, interviews and articles. Lots of good stuff and already added.
SFF World’s Book Reviews: book review section of a lively forum that I regularly frequent. Wide selection of reviews by numerous reviewers (many of whom frequent the forum, where further discussion ensues). Already added.
Silver Reviews: A site hosted by the aforementioned SFSite. Hosts a book reviewer’s webring as well (probably worth checking out given the current subject) HUGE number of reviews archived, along with a nice little graphical index to such things as awards, nominations and etc. Covers other media in addition to literature (oops, I mean, ‘written science fiction’). Add.
OK for today! Tomorrow should see me wrapping everything up (once again, apologies to our foreign language friends; I’ll go through them and any I can understand I’ll review, but those I can’t…)
I will be fixing my rss feed link on the new version of the blog; traffic there is now achieving parity with the old blog, which means that at least some of you are going there (thank you!).
One more mention of sending in your own description of your blog – please, I think between my look-see and your own description, folks will be able to find everything they are looking for) and
even though I am guilty of this myself – think about adding a little more info to your “About” tabs…
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be Safe and Be Well!
It is pretty obvious that in the course of scanning, overviewing, encapsulating and perusing some ten plus blogs a day, I will inevitably get some things wrong.
Getting it wrong ranges from the prosaic (you forgot to include a link) to the esoteric (I’m not a scientist, I’m an economist) to the incorrect (hey, I review SF too dammit!)
This is annoying to say the least (not the commentary, but the fact that I missed something).
It ocurred to me that there is a solution, and a solution that will enhance both the reviews, the webpage that I’m compiling for them and, potentially, YOUR traffic.
It’s very simple. All you need to do is self-characterize your site and send it along to me either in a comment or to my email. (If you take the email route, please include the name of your blog and/or a link.)
I believe that the most effective way of self-characterizing your (review) blog is to provide some assessment of the distribution of your reviews amongst the various genres (I review equal parts hard fantasy, lycanthropic romance and urban vampiric techno-thrillers) along with a nod to other esoterica that may sneak in to your blog (I mix coverage of my personal interest in caves that have been visited by Franklin Pierce, transgender delphinoids and jello sculptures of well-known fictional characters in with my reviews).
I’d make this a poll type thingie, but as I’m learning, there are far more genres, sub-genres, sub-sub-genres (those are the stories featuring whatever taking place in submarines) and particularly defined cross-overs that I’d spend more time adding possible answers than it would be worth.
To get started, I’ll attempt to characterize my own blog:
The Crotchety Old Fan is primarily devoted to commentary on Science Fiction drawing inspiration from contemporary sources, the defense of classic science fiction (against all-comers) and ocassional reviews of movies, television shows, books, comics and other art forms with a connection to classic science fiction. It also features personal silliness, makes frequent forays into whatever strikes my fancy at the moment and is an homage to my wife, who is currently NOT naked.
Go on. Give it a shot.
Mulluane noted that I’d missed putting the link in to Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews. That’s been corrected and here it is again, just to cover the bases: http://darkwolfsfantasyreviews.blogspot.com/. Mulluane’s blog is here
Ed Lerner of collaborating with Niven fame (and quite a few books of his own fame) sent along a link for the Fs that ought to be added to the meme list – http://fast-forward.tv/. It is actually the website for a cable television show that features interviews with SF authors and others. Given that more will be added in future as the list inevitably grows, I will have to add some follow-up reviews once I get through the Zs.
Ed blogs himself on subjects ranging from physics to SF, and you can read him here.
Neth Space: ‘just a guy wasting time at work blogging about the books he loves’; info links, book reviews and commentary. Add
The New Book Review: A ‘service’ style blog; this site links you through to other reviews, and encourages submissions by anyone and everyone. Authors can use it to bring attention to reviews of their own works. Promotional in nature but does not have a ‘commercial’ feel. Books currently featured cover a very wide range – and it is not limited to fiction. Add
NextRead: Tolkien, cover art reviews and (contemporary) SF. Pretty tied in to the other blogs as well. Add.
OF Blog of the Fallen: Intellectual and academic, with multiple contributors. Right now featuring new weird and the year that was 2008. Not just spec fic. And a passion for foreign editions. Probable add.
The Old Bat’s Belfry: Self-proclaimed fantasy addict, who professes not to be able to really separate sf and fantasy. (We gotta talk son, lol.) ‘Link love’ dominates currently – bon mots from other sites that are of interest to SFF readers. Another blog from Mulluane (Dragons Heros, Wizards) A maybe.
Outside of a Dog: anyone that opens with this quote from Groucho gets an ‘add’: Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. —Groucho Marx . Covers what the blogger reads and is pretty eclectic – manga, history, fantasy, science fiction.
Paranormality: Excuse me. I had no idea that there were this many different paranormals – chick lit, romance, romantic suspense, mystery, vampire, vampire chick lit, vampire humor, dark fantasy, urban fantasy…and now I do, thanks to this blog. This one is strictly for the vampire/paranormal “reality” fundies amongst you. Appears to cover the topic well, but “paranormal reality” is about as far away from science fiction as you can get while still (claiming to be) under the general ‘speculative literature’ blanket. Not for me.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist: Wide ranging coverage of ‘speculative fiction’; and appears to like things that I don’t like. As a reviewer, I often feel ‘out in the cold’ when I’m getting ready to pan something that receives universal acclaim. I question my own tastes and conclusions, but often do so in a vacuum. I need other reviewers that I can bounce questions off of. And it is rare to find someone who consistently likes things you don’t like (and probably dislikes things you do), so I’ll be adding this one.
Piaw’s Blog: More personal focus on hiking and investing than reviews – but interests other than my own, along with a few reviews. Maybe.
Post-Weird Thoughts: A bit of everything. Author does translations (comics seemingly) and is well tied in. SF, fantasy, television & etc. I’ve got a link through to a Porteguese blogger, so might get a little help with the translation here. Add.
Break: The wife just said “since I don’t have any clean clothes to wear, I guess I’ll just have to go naked” – but of course I didn’t hear what she said because I’m “off in my own little world here”, and any married guy can tell you that ‘what you don’t hear won’t happen’. You people have just cost me and cost me BIG time. You all OWE me.
Publisher’s Weekly: Very commercial site and not really a blog – but anyone with ties to publishing ought to be at least looking at it occassionally. Add – but not to the blogroll.
Reading the Leaves: Seems primarily concentated on “literature”. Sparse. Unlikely.
Realms of Speculative Fiction: Mostly urban fantasy because the author is “young” and “female” and needs to keep up with the readings of girl-friends. (Because ‘urban fantasy’ is primarily marketed to young females)And because the other reviewers cover the other stuff. Maybe.
Reviewer X: Mmmm – not sure. Very ‘girly’ (and intentionally so). Right now more personal stuff than reviews. But. I like girls. Especially naked ones I’m married to (see above), and ones I’m not married to that aren’t afraid to be ‘girly’. This girly girl gets lots of arcs, so you can get some advance notices. Probable add.
Rob’s Blog O’Stuff: One of the SFFWorld forum guys; interviews, reviews, personal stuff. Add. (Although I think I’m already linked to it…)
Robots and Vamps VDs, movie trailers, books, comics. Husband and wife team. Nice site. Wide-ranging and good inter-play. Add
For some reason my thoughts keep returning to naked women. Particularly the woman that I will not be seeing naked because I failed to be paying proper attention at a critical juncture – all because of YOU.
You know, I just knew it was a mistake to start blogging, but since I couldn’t nail down the reasons why, I went ahead and did it anyways. What a fool I am. Writer’s rarely need an excuse to stop writing, but when a really good one – like staring at naked women that you’re at least theoretically allowed to touch – comes along, you really ought to be able to take advantage of it.
But NOOOOOO! I had to be deeply mired in this stupid ‘reviewing the reviewers thing’, fulfilling an idiotic – and worst of all – self-imposed obligation to work my way through the entire meme list.
Are those sympathetic violin strings I hear? No? Well get crackin, dammit! I want each and every one of you to write in a comment telling my wife to get naked. For your sake as well as mine.
And for the hopeful among you – no, I will not be posting any pictures.
EDIT: 1:37 PM 12/29/08
Jackie, from Literary Escapism, got in touch and, in a very friendly manner, pointed out that A: I had linked to a post rather than the blog itself (here is the correct link) and B: pointed out that I had hit the site during a slow period, one that is not truly reflective of the normal review content found on the site.
I was then asked (in the nicest way possible) why I had chosen to not add that blog to my blogroll.
Let me point out that an add to my blogroll is not like getting a Hugo or a WFA or Nebula – it won’t put anything up on your mantle and it certainly won’t put any dollars in the bank. On the other hand, I can understand why not getting the ‘nod’ might cause some a bit of concern, or generate a bad feeling (who the hell needs more negatives these days, right?) or cause someone to shout out ‘well then fuck you too!’.
I deserve the ‘hey, he added my blog – thanks!’ as well as the ‘fuck yous’ and I accept both as my due for the hubris of believing that I could take a look at everyone else’s blog and render a judgement – even though I’m not trying to be judgemental.
All I’m really saying in this coverage is ‘hey, I took a look at this blog and here’s what it’s all about’. This gal over here is covering things I’m interested in, that guy over there isn’t – but he might be talking about stuff you are interested in.
The ‘add/no-add’ thing is nothing more than a window into the world of the things I’m interested in. The old fogey’s world of pre-1985 “pure” science fiction (in all its stripes).
Jackie did what anyone ought to do, and few actually get around to doing: Asking. A simple question. “Why?” You may not like or agree with the answer, but at least you’ve gotten one. To my mind, an answer of some kind is far better than the formless void of ‘?’
A long time ago I learned that well-intentioned criticism really is well-intentioned. I’m still working on learning (emotionally) to accept it as such and in that regard I suspect that I’m very much like most other people. But I have absolutely learned to accept the idea that if no one is criticizing – no one is paying attention, and that, my friends, is the worst circumstance of all.
I have taken Jackie’s word and have amended my ‘not likely to add’ to ‘add’, not only because I want to encourage the kind of communication, willing acceptance of criticism and the willingness to ask that has been displayed, but also to demonstrate that these ‘reviews’ are not hard and fast statements of fact, but are instead another form of the give-and-take, constant learning experience that blogging in particular, and the internet as a whole, ought to be.
Today I reach the half-way point – at least so far as the alphabet is concerned. But first:
A few people have pointed out to me that for some reason, the links to my blog default to the WordPress hosted version, rather than to the self-hosted version.
The ‘free’ (wordpress hosted) version is identical in content to the other version, but I am not able to do as much there as I am with the new one.
And, crassly commercial as it may be, I’ve been offered a few advertising gigs by aggregators if the traffic over at the self-hosted version was up to the level of the wordpress hosted version.
I’ve tried a few different ways to get people to switch their links and feeds over to the new version – begging and pleading, linking the follow-on of posts, more begging and pleading, to little or no effect.
So once again I will beg and plead and request that you call check the link to my blog in your feed-reader or on your own blogroll and make sure that the link is to www.rimworlds.com/thecrotchetyoldfan.
Thank you in advance for your indulgence.
And, kinda along those same lines, I’ve noticed that a lot of visitors are clicking through to the various blogs I’m reviewing and checking them out for themselves – which I appreciate and I’m sure those other authors appreciate as well. My objective here is not to critique the various blogs and sway people one way or another, it’s simply to put a little commentary on all the blogs featured in the meme in one place.
The Galaxy Express: Focused on the concision of romance and science fiction. Lot’s of folks linking here, and lots of links to other review sites, writer sites and etc. Nice list of authors compiled by decade (SF) and an apparent supporter of the ‘romance has lots of money, SF ought to cash in’ theory. Irregular posting as the author is doing a lot of guest blogging. I won’t mention tentacle manga again. This one is floating on the maybe bubble.
Galleycat: General news of a literary nature – particularly publishing, publishing debates, e-publishing and etc. Good insider info. Add
The GamerRat: RPGs of an SF and fantasy nature. Looks pretty new. Unprobable add (I’ve stopped playing RPGs, Will Wheaton hasn’t.)
Genre Reviews: Cats, romance, SF, horror and the personal. Some commentary and links to goings on in the publishing world as well. Short and fast. Probably won’t add.
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review: Already on my roll. Mostly fantasy – and lots of the goings on on other blogs as well.
Grasping for the Wind: Add. This is the blog that started this whole meme mess. Lots-o-stuff and well-written. Add (with a ‘duh!)
The Green Man’s Reviews: blogazine? in-depth reviews with a literary bent. A bit hard to navigate – but nice graphics. Unlikely to be added.
Hasenpfeffer: (incorporated – thank you Laverne & Shirley) we hear from the Canadian Contingent. This is the blog of Canadian author Edward Willet. He is currently featuring the World War I memoirs of his grandfather – pretty cool. Also has coverage of the field – publishing, science etc. Add.
Highlander’s Book Reviews: Decent reviews of a lot of material, currently mostly on horror and fantasy, but some SF in evidence. Most likely not an add.
Horrorscope: Welcome back to the land down under. Australian site focused on dark fiction (flipside here – is that horror read by candlelight?). The official blogazine for Australian Horror authors. Add – more for the Australian connection than for any real interest in horror.
The Hub Magazine: “weekly genre short fiction” it self-proclaims. The issues on the front page are slight on reviews, but no doubt they are a regular feature of this free fiction mag. Add – to keep track of the market.
Ink and Keys: Very infrequently updated blog of a ‘writer, reader and publisher.’ Other than ‘what I’m reading now’ mentions, no reviews in sight. Unlikely to be added.
IO9: No love lost here. Snide, snarky commentary, mostly directed at media SF/Fantasy and horror; IO9 comes across as if its mission is to act as the carnival barker at the sideshow that is the genre fiction community. Look at the freaks! Look at the freaks! Plays the game well – seems to be selective when including or not including links to source material based on – I guess – perception of how nicely or not-nicely the other site refers to them. I’ve been publicly critical of them – so you won’t be seeing links to COF over there, even if I’m the source. BoingBoing does this kind of thing much better – at least they don’t seem to hate the genre they cover. Sometimes inaccurate as well. On the other hand, if you feel a desperate need to laugh at what you love and get a taste for how non-genre types regard the genre, by all means, check it out. You can always slit your wrists later.
Jumpdrives and Cantrips: Please Note: if you are linked to this site, they have changed their location and you might want to update your links. In-depth musings on SF and fantasy. Currently featuring a review (one down) of Disch’s Camp Concentration. Add.
Lair of the Undead Rat: Mostly horror, but some whimsical television show reviews as well. Graphic novels and movies as well. Unlikely add due to horror concentration.
League of Reluctant Adults: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Fantasy writers group blog. Totally insane – and I love the title. Add.
Literary Escapism: Tough to tell exactly what this one is; front post is the reviewers meme, and a host of pingback ‘comments’. Other pieces are short, sometimes reviews of mostly fantasy. Currently a slow time for this blog and it will be picking up again in the new year. Add.
Michele Lee’s Book Love : Writer Michele Lee’s book reviews – dark urban fantasy. Mmmm – not sure. Again, most recent post is the reviewer’s meme.
The Mistress of Ancient Revelry: Reviews by a library’s ‘reader’s advisor’ – covers a wide range and personal too. Most likely an add.
The MIT Science Fiction Society: Add, add, add. MITSFS is an institution. Lot’s of reviews by people who know what they’re talking about.
Monster Librarian: A guide to horror fiction FOR LIBRARIANS. Not into horror, but I will be adding this as it will be a good resource if and when I want to/need to get into than genre.
More Words, Deeper Hole: given the vocabulary – a scientists blog – short entries of things that interest the author and might be of interest to other SF fans who like to get things right. Probable Add
Mostly Harmless Books: Just about equal parts fantasy, SF and rambling; interesting commentary on re-reading books read as a child. Almost at the probable add level – almost.
My Favorite Books: Book-a-day-giveaway (for UKers only) and very, very short promos, more than reviews. YA, fantasy, horror, probably some SF further down. Unlikely, since I don’t live in the UK…
Wow, halfway done (alphabetically at least). Once again – two notes: please update your link to my site if you have linked to it and make sure that you’re linked to the rimworlds – more feature rich (and pine smelly too!) version and
if you’ve got a problem or issue with anything I’ve said about you (or a friend) – don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m not doing this to be negative, I’m doing it to be informative – while, admittedly, not always watching my tongue. I don’t mind apologizing if I’ve been wrong – and I don’t mind learning something new that I might have missed, so don’t be shy!
Enter the Octopus: Matt Staggs. One of my first readers. Already on my blog roll and ought to be on yours. All kinds of interesting and wonderful things – mostly related to books and publishing.
Eve’s Alexandria: Very literary oriented – erudite, thoughtful and wide-ranging. BUT – not science fiction (for the most part) and, of course, we all know that there is no genre worth reading but science fiction. Unlikely to be added – but if you do want to avoid being cloistered in the SF world, you should probably check it out.
Fantastic Reviews: Wow. Just wow. Decent reviews, pretty long list (both current and older works) and divided into categories like Science Fiction Reviews, Fantasy Reviews, Short Story Reviews, etc. Definite ad.
Fantastic Reviews Blog: Very nicely laid out and focuses on ‘the book of the week’. Lots of older works, as well as coverage of the ‘zines. You could do far worse than simply following along. Add.
Fantasy Book Critic: Lots of fantasy – but I’ll forgive the Jersey Boy this focus because he is a Jersey boy. Also covers manga and SF/Fantasy art, which is always a good thing. Probable add.
Fantasy Cafe: Despite the name, about equal parts SF and fantasy reviews. Does a fair number of book give-away contests, so those looking for freebies will want to check it out. Not sure yet on whether this one will be added or not – have to read some more of their reviews.
Fantasy Debut: Mullane and Tia take a look at debut novels. Thank god someone is out there reading first novels! Good categorization (such as YA identified, etc) and seemingly a very good grasp of the field. Once again, unfortunately, the focus is on fantasy. Then again, I want to know when the NEXT Tolkien arrives on the shelves, so I’ll be adding this one.
Fantasy Book Reviews and News: Fantasy publishing news, television fantasy show news, almost a thousand links to reviews around the web and numbered in-house reviews (characterization, world-building, fun factor). Doesn’t take itself too seriously and covers a lot of ground. Add.
Fantasy and Sci Fi Lovin Blog: Yep – SF, Fantasy, movie reviews, book giveaways and lots-o-links. Note that in the address drop-down, this is identified as fantasy-sci fi-girl blogspot. Probable add.
Feminist SF – The Blog: Surprisingly, the title tells you exactly what the blog is about: reviews and commentary from a ‘feminists’ point of view. Not nearly as strident as a male chauvinist might expect, and more often than not sticking to the explanatory side of things rather than the preachifying side of things. My visit started off with an entry devoted to complaining about Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s obituary (because the obit primarily identified the actress as the wife of Gene Roddenberry). Hadn’t noticed that – but then that’s the problem with minority acceptance in society, isn’t it? We don’t notice the slights and put-downs because they are so much a part of the background. Add, because she handles the difficult well.
The Fix: Fast, short and sweet, the Fix (online) is already a part of my repetoire. If you want to get capsule summaries of what’s out there, go get a fix.
The Foghorn Review: Anyone who says this – “Reminiscing aside, it’s been my woeful experience that most of the best Science Fiction stories were written decades ago. Finding a truly brilliant Science-Fiction gem, written at any time in the last ten years has proven to be quite a rare treat for me.” – get’s ADDED. I’ll let him find the gems and then just enjoy.
Frances Writes: Science Fiction Romance oriented. Well, it hadda happen sometime. Wait – didn’t it already happen with tentacle manga? Or is that hard-core as opposed to soft-core? Nice astronomy pics tho. Most likely this one won’t be added.
From a SciFi Standpoint: Already added. My first commentor. Bill the SciFi Guy has been delving in to all kinds of classic works as we’ve been discussing them – the discussion often broken up by heated debates regarding the true meaning of Science Fiction vs SciFi – all in fun. Excellent, thoughtful reviews from someone ‘rediscovering’ the classics. He also links to the Classic Science Fiction Channel AND my blog. Add, if it wasn’t in there already.
Fruitless Recursion: Blogazine. Reviews of science fiction criticism – you know, the serious, literary, academic kind of criticism. Excellent site, must read for anyone serious about the genre as a literary genre. Add.
I lucked out today – I combined the book store gift certificates I got for Hanukah – and managed to snag a first printing of Scalzi’s Zoe’s Tale (last one on the shelves).
I was also hoping to pick up Stross’s Saturn’s Children – but no such luck on that. Went looking for a couple of other titles as well – a relatively new printing of Harry Harrison’s Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers (somehow, my original copy is missing and I really want to re-read that one); thought about picking up the new Cherryh and decided against it; love the woman, but something about her story-telling just doesn’t grab me.
I also picked up Hadleman’s The Accidental Time Machine.
Now I’ve just got to finish up Turtledove’s After the Downfall and I’ll be able to jump back in to Scalzi.
I’m also waiting for Niven and Pournelle’s sequel to Inferno to come out – and Pournelle’s latest Jannisaries release. (I’ll have to rebuy those as well, they’re missing too. Somewhere along the last two or three moves, I think an entire box of books got left behind…)
Sigh. I just wish I could devour books like I used to – that wish extending to cover both the financial side and the reading-time side. True, most books have, as a general rule, gotten longer over the years, but most are still within what used to be a one or two day reading time for me. Now a week will go by and I’m still somewhere before page 100…
One thing I was surprised to see at the book store was a further diminishment of the shelving devoted to SF. Now they’ve got an entire section devoted to and labeled as “Science Fiction and Fantasy Series”; I’m thinking that it’s just about time for the publishers to start issuing their own ‘catch-up fast’ guides to these series (kinda like they’re trying with Battlestar Galactica).
What is it with these series? too tough to create new characters? too easy for readers who aren’t fen to get into? Easier on the marketing department? What?
I do like me some series – but when I started reading them they weren’t done as series – like the John Grimes tales by Chandler or the Future History stories of Heinlein. Sequels – sure – like Hogan’s Giants of Ganymede but here’s the thing: all of them were stand-alone first and presented as such; the sequels were produced following reader’s clammoring for more. My impression of the current stuff is that they were started as a series, are not really stand-alone in the truest sense and fulfill a reader’s need that is just not the same as my generation’s: we wanted to see whatever a particular author wanted to write because we knew the author had thrilled and wowed us before. Now it’s the readers who are demanding ‘more of the same’.
Is more of the same really science fiction? Somehow, I don’t think so. More of the same is very similar to the ‘novelization of’ (the further adventures of Master Sgt in the Halo universe…). Hell, Clarke only returned to Rama when he thought he had something really new to say about it. If the original had come out last year, there’d already be 12 ‘Rama Adventures’ on the shelves.
Less and less SF on the shelves is really SF. It may be packaged as SF, it may have SF themes in it, but rather than being that special ‘something’, most of it is nothing more than a filled slot in some marketer’s file folder…
I’ve got a whole slew of neat finds that have just been added to the movies and television shows section of the channel.
Headliner films include – Day of the Triffids, When Worlds Collide and Earth vs The Flying Saucers, while tv shows include Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons and Fireball XL5 (the show that really got me going on SF waaaaay back in the day).
Throw some logs on the fireplace, pop up some popcorn and settle in with that favorite blanket! Me – I’m working my way through Fireball XL5 and the amazing adventures of Steve Zodiac, Venus, Professor Mat Matic and Robbie the Robot!
Just click here to get started.
Scalzi, with his enormously dry (and warm) sense of humor posted a pic of what I presume to be a wide open, unburdened by snow, not covered by ice, Ohio farm field. And then he asks ‘so how is the first day of winter treating you?’
That’s out the back door. Perspective is funny, but you are looking at about 6 inches of snow (over an inch of ice) on the back steps. That’s Saturday.
Here’s more how -
That’s Karen retrieving Bo. We let him out in the backyard and stupidly stood there watching as he walked through the (now open) gate and started heading up the driveway to the street. Karen said something like “Look! He’s heading into the backyard!”. I nodded, thinking to myself – ‘well duh, where else is he gonna go?’, happily snapping pictures of Bo as he hop-hop-hopped off through the snow. Then if finally clicked – we opened the gate so the gas-delivery guy could get to the tank and – forehead slap – open gates work both ways! Fortunately, Bo wasn’t making it through the drifts too quickly and Karen was able to grab ahold of him before he got too far.
That’s out that back door one – ONE – day after the first out the backdoor pic above. Sunday.
A few two and three foot icicles…
A couple that are nearly 4 feet long…
Compare this to the car pic with Karen in it. Yep, Sunday.
That’s the (plowed) driveway. You get some idea of how high the natural fall, as well as the plow drifts, are.
That’s what three days of nearly uninterrupted snow will get you.