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Strange Horizons has now posted my review of John Clute's latest collection of materials, Stay.
Even a mere glance through Stay, John Clute’s latest collection of book reviews, short stories, and lexicon entries, (or through any of Clute's books, really) will convince you that you are in the presence of genius.
But a genius of what type? The type that can turn a million candy wrappers into a surprisingly convincing small-scale replica of a rocket ship, or the type that zips to the heart of a zeitgeist faster than the rest of us? Is this genius a fox, a hedgehog, an anorak? Does it sing in seemingly effortless perfect pitch, or is its singing, like that of a dog, remarkable simply for being at all?
The desire to taxonomize is inevitable after reading even a few pages of Clute. He is a wild literary Linnaeus: obsessively compulsed to categorize. As someone generally uninterested in taxonomy, I have struggled to learn to read Clute appreciatively. I used to want to shoot his clay pigeonholes, to mock his neologistic frenzies, to clothe the emperor. But then I realized I was enjoying his work too much to do so. Clute’s imperative to categorize is contagious. I’d passed through the portal and made my way into Cluteland.
This review marks ten years of my writing for Strange Horizons
— I began as a columnist in February 2005 with a rather odd piece titled "Walls"
. I stopped as a columnist after writing fifty
, since I felt like I'd done what I could do with the form for that audience, but I've continued occasionally to write reviews.
I don't do a lot with genre speculative fiction these days, since other things have taken me elsewhere, but it's nice to be back now and again at a publication that feels so much like home. I owe thanks to lots of people there, especially former editor-in-chief Susan Groppi, who first asked me to write for the magazine, current editor-in-chief (and the first, if I remember correctly, reviews editor) Niall Harrison, recent past reviews editor Abigail Nussbaum, new reviews senior editor Maureen Kincaid Speller, and book reviews editor Aishwarya Subramanian, who not only let me keep some of my bad puns and jokes, but even liked some of them! Strange Horizons
remains a unique, wonderful place out there in the wide world of the web, and it has always been an honor to be associated with it.
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, latino sci-fi
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Lots of opportunities, to hear what People of Color are saying about the need for diversity in speculative lit, and place to submit your spec stories. From editors looking for diversity in different forms. Gente, read on.
Alternate Visions: Musings on Diversity in SF
Vandana Singh, born in New Delhi, India (now living near Boston), writes:
"The best speculative fiction, like travel, does that to you – it takes you to strange places, from which vantage point you can no longer take your home for granted. It renders the familiar strange, and the strange becomes, for the duration of the story, the norm. The reversal of the gaze, the journey in the shoes of the Other, is one of the great promises of speculative fiction.
"This is only one reason why we need diversity in speculative fiction. And by diversity I don’t just mean white writers including other places and races in their fiction – that has its importance, but I don’t consider it here. What I am really interested in is the fiction of authorsfrom different countries, cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities and experiences. The former is – emphatically — not a substitute for the latter.
Thoughts as to why some of us might write SF, and why diversity in SF is absolutely necessary: such as for writers from post-colonial nations to imagine their own futures, their own alternatives, is a deeply revolutionary, freeing act. We need new paradigms, new ways of relating to the non-human universe, if we are to survive the climate crisis. The postcolonial, so called ‘third world’ nations, and indigenous communities within the ‘first world’ are being/will be most deeply affected by climate change, despite having done the least to cause the problem.
"Let’s keep calling out instances of narrow bigotry, of suppression of marginalized voices. Let’s keep talking, being honest, owning what we write, owning up when we mess up. Let’s keep using words from our mother tongues, our other tongues, so that those unused to it can get at least a glimpse of the world from our various perspectives."
Diverse writers on reviewing the Other
Another worthwhile read is Inclusive Reviewing: A Discussion by Samuel R. Delany, et al. Strange Horizons, a magazine of and about speculative fiction and related nonfiction, published the transcript of a round-table discussion of issues raised by Nisi Shawl in her essay, Reviewing the Other.
Excerpt: "Speaking as the Other myself, I marvel at the possibilities created by the linguistic gap. Say you are a Mexican, a Venezuelan, or a Brazilian; which reviewer, trying to write in English, will write the truest, honest-to-God English text? There is no right, accurate answer to this (it would be an unspoken expectation), but maybe the Mexican would have more knowledge of English due to geographical proximity to the US, while the Venezuelan and the Brazilian wouldn't have this advantage. But the Mexican and Venezuelan are Spanish speakers, while the Brazilian is a member of the only people in Latin America who doesn't speak Spanish, only Portuguese. For all three of them the conundrum is the same: every time they start writing in English, they will almost necessarily—at least in the first draft—add totally different cultural baggage. This might seem obvious but nobody seems to think that might generate an entirely different review and that's where the Other really enters the stage."
Junot Díaz in L.A.
"Junot Díaz reads from This Is How You Lose Her. Finally, a Los Angeles appearance! I'll be doing an event Friday, Sept. 19 - Skylight Books @ 7:30pm, 1818 North Vermont Ave., L.A. Voy a Los Angeles el 19 de Septiembre! Libreria Skylight. Nos vemos ahí, sí?"
My advice is that you go hear and talk with Junot--he's an experience. Erudite, smooth, some say cute. And gente may think he thinks much of himself, but then, there is much to his work and his dynamic presentations. Muy recomendado.
Jim C. Hines edits E-book on sci-fi diversity
"13 essays on the importance of representation in science fiction and fantasy, with an introduction by author Alex Dally MacFarlane. Proceeds from the sale of this collection go to the Carl Brandon Society to support Con or Bust.
Description from Hines: These essays do a marvelous job of answering the question, Why does representation [diversity] matter? and of looking at different types of representation in spec genres. I’m a big believer in the importance and power of story. The contributors to Invisible showed me new aspects of that power, things I hadn’t necessarily considered before. [Includes bonus material from Gabriel Cuellar and Ithiliana.' On sale for $2.99.
Learning to write about "us," the Other
Last week, K. T. Bradford posted: "I had the honor to teach at a week-long Writing the Other workshop and retreat. Writing about people and places outside of the cultural 'norm' or one's direct understanding is hard to do. It's called Writing the Other, and it's a skill that must be learned and often worked at diligently by people who want to be great writers." The workshop and writing retreat was held in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and included authors Mary Robinette Kowal, Nisi Shawl, Cynthia Ward and David Anthony Durham.
"They challenged 26 students to dive into dialect and dialogue, gender and sexuality, disability, writing the Other in history, and world-building. The workshop/retreat was an opportunity to hang out with the teachers, opportunities for one-on-one critiques -- plus the freedom and safety to ask questions and make mistakes. The leading question was: Why not just avoid writing characters who are a different race or gender or class or religion from you?"
Even famous Anglo authors' works get whitewashed
|white guy from the film|
Ursula K. Le Guin, Americanauthor of novels, children's books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasyand science fiction, wrote about her Earthsea series in her article, How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books. Here's some excerpts:
"The Sci Fi Channel aired its final installment of Legend of Earthsea, the miniseries based—loosely, as it turns out—on my Earthsea books. The books, A Wizard of Earthsea and The Tombs of Atuan, which were published more than 30 years ago, are about two young people finding out what their power, their freedom, and their responsibilities are. I don't know what the film is about. It's full of scenes from the story, arranged differently, in an entirely different plot, so that they make no sense. My protagonist is Ged, a boy with red-brown skin. In the film, he's a petulant white kid.Readers wondering why I 'let them change the story' may find some answers here.
"Most of the characters in my fantasy and far-future science fiction books are not white. They're mixed; they're rainbow. In my first big science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, the only person from Earth is a black man, and everybody else in the book is Inuit (or Tibetan) brown. In the two fantasy novels the miniseries is 'based on,' everybody is brown or copper-red or black, except the Kargish people in the East and their descendants in the Archipelago, who are white, with fair or dark hair. The central character Tenar, a Karg, is a white brunette. Ged, an Archipelagan, is red-brown. His friend, Vetch, is black. In the miniseries, Tenar is played by Smallville's Kristin Kreuk, the only person in the miniseries who looks at all Asian. Ged and Vetch are white."
Le Guin is an Americanauthor of novels, children's books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasyand science fiction.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt anthology of "non-Western writers"
|Bryan Thomas Schmidt|
Can People of Color who live in the U.S. be considered "non-Western?" Editor Schmidt will be dealing with that problem in his next anthology:
"People who are living or have lived in non-Western cultures, especially the ones they write about, will absolutely have a leg up, as authenticity is really important to me. I hope to publish more stories by non-Western writers than Western."
DESCRIPTION: "An anthology of the culture clash between aliens and people of Earth’s various cultures as they encounter each other on Earth or in the universe. Stories should not all be Western earthlings. I’d love to have as many stories, authors and cultures represented as possible. Of course I will take the best stories. People need to learn about cultures and perspectives and that has educational value. I want them to see the nuances and differences of peoples, worldviews and cultures but not necessarily in a threatening or overly controversial way.
"Seeking authenticity, I want a good balance in the cultures, stories, and locations recommended. Research any culture you choose. Do not write what you think they are. Do not write stereotypes. I am inviting a few Western writers whom I know have traveled and have strong cultural knowledge, sensitivity and passion for places they visited. I really do want something authentic. Not every Mexican is the same, for example, but please have it so your Mexicans are real enough my actual Mexican friends would tell me you got it right. (I do have friends around the world who will read for cultural authenticity before I make final selections, so I want authentic.) What are the odd little cultural quirks people exhibit which would strike outsiders as odd but insiders, as perfectly normal?"
Submissions Open: July 1, 2014 through September 15, 2014
Word Counts: 3000-7000 words; pay rate: $.06/word ("I would accept a really good story longer than 7k, but contact me, and it will be under much more scrutiny. 3-5k is my sweet spot, honestly. 5-7 is okay.")
Publication, Late Summer/Fall of 2015 (TBD)
Submit to: WorldEncounterssubs AT gmail.com
Submissions outside these dates and parameters may be rejected and possibly cannot be resubmitted. I reserve the right to close submissions at any time if the slush pile is too big and I have what I need. No money is promised or contracts offered until the Kickstarter funds. No simultaneous submissions.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is author/editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His short stories appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. He edited the anthologies Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6 for Flying Pen Press, Beyond The Sun for Fairwood Press, Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age for Every Day, and Shattered Shields for Baen Books. His YA anthology Choiceswill be out from Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy in 2015.
Editor looking for diverse protagonists
C.C. Finlay will edit two more issues ofThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 2015. Finlay has published half a dozen books and dozens of stories, been translated into sixteen languages, and nominated for some awards.
March/April 2015 issue of F&SF - Reading period: Aug. 1-15, 2014
Sept./Oct. 2015 issue of F&SF - Reading period: Jan. 1-15, 2015
I E-mailed Finlay to ask if he'd considered tabulating PoC stats, like how many stories he received with non-Anglo protagonists or from authors who are black, latino, etc. He responded that he'd love to see that kind of data, but didn't know a way to estimate about authors without asking them to provide identifying information, which some might be reluctant to do.
La Bloga question: If Finlay is open to the possibility, what about other editors of magazines and anthologies? Why shouldn't latinos and other PoC request (demand?) this from those who decide which stories are getting published? How could PoC collectively launch such an initiative?
Finlay did respond that he would again be looking for diverse protagonists in stories and, depending on submissions and time, might try to keep track of that. He thanked me for the suggestion. You can go to his Nectar for Rejectomancers post for a breakdown of past submissions he received for the July/August issue he edited. Something it would be good for writers to see from all editors and publishers.
For latinos with a spec "Punk" story
From Susan MacGregor, an On Spec magazine editor, comes this first Call for Submissions for On Spec's new Punk Theme issue, on all things 'punk'.
Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Biopunk, and many other types of ‘punk’ derivatives have become popular sub-genres of speculative fiction. What classifies them as ‘punk’ are a number of literary devices that include:
1). Setting: specific technologies associated with particular ‘ages’, ‘societies’ and/or time frames (both the past or future), e,g., the Victorian Age often defines Steampunk (but not always). Nanotech experiments of the future may define Biopunk, (but not always).
2). Tone: a sense of novelty, or being on the cutting edge of that particular technology, within its time frame.
3). Style: language and/or a narrative style specific to that particular technology, reflective of the time, and/or writers of that time.
4). Characterization: wide open. Characters can reflect their time and the concerns of their place in that time, or be transplants from another time and/or genre.
Sub-genres include, but are not limited to: Atompunk, Biopunk, Clockpunk, Cyberpunk, Decopunk, Dieselpunk, Dreampunk, Mythpunk, Nanopunk, Stonepunk, and others. For further definitions, this Wikipedia link on Cyberpunk Derivatives may prove helpful.
From Sept. 1 to Oct. 15th, 2014, we will seek the best of each "punk" sub-genre, top stories that represent their particular punk sub-genre. We are looking not only for the best, but what is new, what hasn’t been ‘punked’ before. Originality is the name of the game. If you have a piece that explores the themes and technology of a new era and/or society, we want to see it. We’rll consider everything 'punk', from the serious to the ridiculous. Surprise, delight, and amaze us!
Word maximum: 6,000 words. Accompany your submission with ‘PUNK THEME ISSUE’ in the subject line. Estimated publishing/issue date: Spring, 2015. We will post about this on On Spec’s new and updated website shortly; check it for full submission guidelines. Hold off on sending manuscripts until the submission window; anything before Sept. 1 will be deleted. Read all the guidelines.
A mother answers why latinos should write latino spec lit
In Antariksh Yatra's article, above, she said, "I came across an essay by Norman Spinrad in Asimov’s magazine, in which he discoursed knowingly about why there was no third world science fiction. Because, he said, third world cultures have no conception of the future. One could write a thesis on all the things wrong with this."
"My son is 12; he loves sci-fi, but I have noticed it does pander to specific demographics. Thanks to all of you for bravely going where your sci-fi spirits take you. I will definitely be inspired to have my son read your works. Gracias por inspirar a una nueva generación de aficionados del sci-fi latino! :) LaSirena
Es todo, hoy,
The second installment of Short Fiction Snapshot (see here) is live at Strange Horizons. This time my topic was Tori Truslow's "Boat in Shadows, Crossing" from Beneath Ceaseless Skies. As before, you're invited to read the story and join in a discussion in the comments.
This week on Strange Horizons, we're launching a new reviews department feature: Short Fiction Snapshot, where every other month we'll be dedicating a full-length review to a piece of short fiction. Here is my editorial explaining my goals and hopes for this project, and here is the first installment, discussing Charlie Jane Anders's "Intestate," from Tor.com.
One of my hopes for this project
|New Year's Eve fireworks, 2012; photo by Matthew Cheney|
I have a small contribution in the grand collage that is the Strange Horizons reviewers' "2012 in Review"
. Well worth taking a look at for the huge, wonderful variety of writers' interests and enthusiasms.
Happy new year!
It's the final week of the Strange Horizons Fund Drive, and there are lots of fun prizes that have been donated by the various folks who support SH. But you shouldn't donate just to get a prize. You should donate because that's what keeps SH going, and has kept it going for 10 years now, long enough to make it venerable. Their staff is all volunteer, but they pay their writers good rates (think of it as the opposite of the Huffington Post that way).
Here's some useful info:
Where does my money go?
Strange Horizons is staffed entirely by volunteers, so everything you donate goes towards the running of the magazine. At the moment, our costs break down something like this:
- Your $5 donation will cover our administrative overhead costs for one week
- Your $20 donation pays for one poem or one review
- Your $50 donation pays for one article
- Your $100 donation allows us to sponsor a convention event
- Your $250 donation is the average amount we pay for a new story
- Your $400 donation pays for an entire week's worth of material at Strange Horizons
And now, so I can follow the progress you help SH make, here's their progress rocket:
Victoria Hoyle kicks off this week's reviews with a review of recent World Fantasy Award winner Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord. Though charmed by novel, Victoria is also a little hesitant about it, wondering if it isn't a little too charming, and its resolution a little too neat. Paul Kincaid follows with a similarly ambivalent review of Chris Adrian's The Great Night, a retelling of A
In the first of this week's reviews, Indrapramit Das dives into Neal Stephenson's latest doorstop, Reamde, and finds novel with definite airport thriller qualities that nevertheless is not only entertaining, but suggests that the present setting of these sorts of novels has become SFnal. Katherine Farmar reviews the putative next big thing in the YA fantasy circle, Rae Carson's Fire and Thorns (
The first of this week's reviews is Richard Larson's take on Jesse Bullington's The Enterprise of Death. Richard is impressed with Enterprise, both as a fantasy and as a piece of historical fiction. Liz Bourke is similarly impressed with Erin Hoffman's debut fantasy Sword of Fire and Sea, though she notes some problems with the book's characters and plot. Sofia Samatar is intrigued by Nina
By: Matthew Cheney,
Blog: The Mumpsimus
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, Jeff VanderMeer
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, Ann VanderMeer
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Google has done gone and broke Google Reader, removing the sharing function to encourage people to use Google Plus instead. This means the "Fresh Links" section over on the sidebar is no longer able to be refreshed, and I'll probably go back to occasionally doing linkdump posts. Here, for instance, are some links:
- My latest Strange Horizons column, "Reading Systems", has been posted, as has my latest Sandman Meditations piece. (The Sandman pieces are going to be biweekly for the rest of the year rather than the regular weekly schedule because I'm just too busy to keep up with a weekly schedule right now, and I was getting really frazzled.)
- Team VanderMeer has launched The Weird Fiction Review, an online journal about kumquats. Famed kumquat collected Neil Gaiman is interviewed, and there's an interesting selection of nonfiction, art, and fiction about kumquats. Don't believe me? Well, go over there and see for yourself!
- In publishing news, it turns out that libraries are actually good for the publishing industry.
- Fandor has a great set of tributes to the great Derek Jarman. I'm working on something about Jarman's Caravaggio (25 years old this year!) and also a piece about Jarman for Rain Taxi, but I'm finding Jarman much harder to write about than I expected, and both pieces are vastly late. But I shall persevere!
- And here are 92 open-access film e-books. Never again will you complain about lacking something to read!
Strange Horizons's Halloween review is Farah Mendlesohn's long, detailed look at the essay collection 21st Century Gothic, edited by Danel Olson. Farah finds the collection extremely variable, containing excellent pieces alongside terrible ones, but her review also acts as an introduction to several titles that one wouldn't necessarily associate with the Gothic descriptor, some of which sound
This week's first review is by T.S. Miller, who takes a look at Future Media, a collection of stories and essays by Rick Wilber examining the ways that media has and is changing. Tim finds much to enjoy but wonders if Wilber and his contributors might have more to say about the past than the future and the shape that future media might take. Sarah Frost reviews Infidel, the sequel to God's War
The week's first review is by Matt Hilliard, who looks at Rob Ziegler's debut novel Seed, a post environmental collapse novel. Though he questions Ziegler's environmental model, Matt finds much to admire about Seed's depiction of a slowly collapsing world. Lila Garrott is disappointed with Lisa Goldstein's The Uncertain Places, arguing that it does little that is new or original with its fairy
William Mingin kicks off this week's reviews with a look at two collections of Robert E. Howard's non-Conan stories, Conan's Brethren and Sword Woman and Other Historical Adventures, concluding that they illustrate the breadth of Howard's interests and his still-potent appeal. Marina Berlin reviews the art-house SF film Another Earth, and though she finds much to praise she is also disappointed
My latest Strange Horizons column is about John D'Agata and Jim Fingal's book The Lifespan of a Fact, which has been provoking a lot of discussion.
My favorite of the responses to the book is Ander Monson's "The Skeptical Gaze", because not only has Monson read Lifespan with some care (which cannot be said for many of the people punditing about it), but he's also done some wonderful work himself to explore the possibilities and boundaries of fact and fiction (I wrote about his excellent book Vanishing Point a couple years ago for Strange Horizons). (Pardon another parenthetical, but I also want to add that comparisons between Mike Daisy and John D'Agata are superficial and fundamentally wrongheaded, as Josh Voorhees pointed out at Slate. Daisy hid his lying and worked hard to do so, D'Agata has put his fictionalizing front and center and let the world respond. I wrote the column before the Daisy scandal broke, however.)
Anyway, my own take on The Lifespan of a Fact was written about a month ago, but for scheduling reasons couldn't be published till now, so it feels a little bit superfluous to the conversation. I'm glad it's out there nonetheless, because I don't think mine is quite the same perspective as many of the others.
Rounding out July's reviews are: Erin Horáková, who finds Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless delightful on the micro level, but somewhat shapeless in the macro; Nathaniel Katz and Marie Velazquez, who take two looks at the first volume in Daniel Abraham's new epic fantasy series, The Dragon's Path, Nathaniel wondering when the payoff to the book's buildup will come, and Maria whether Abraham plans
This week on Strange Horizons: Matthew Cheney takes a look at Tor's reprint of Melissa Scott's cyberpunk novel Trouble and Her Friends and is underwhelemed, particularly by the way the novel's future has been overtaken. Marina Berlin has mixed feelings about Paul Kearney's Corvus, which impresses her with its alternate history Roman military setting and battle scenes but disappoints in its
Sofia Samatar makes her Strange Horizons debut this week with a fascinating review of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud's collection A Life on Paper, a volume that seeks to introduce this much-lauded French author to the English-reading public. Niall Harrison looks at another literary zombie novel, Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, which he argues is unique for combining the horror of post-apocalyptic
Chris Kammerud kicks off this week's reviews with a look at Kristin Livdahl's A Brood of Foxes, the story of a young woman stolen by fairies, whose charms Chris admires while wondering whether its conception of fairy tales is too moralistic for his taste. Phoebe North has the opposite reaction when she reviews A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness's follow-up to the Chaos Walking trilogy, from an idea
I've got a couple of pieces of writing floating around out in the internets this week—
A new Sandman Meditations piece has been posted at Gestalt Mash. This week, the penultimate chapter of Brief Lives. If my counting is correct, this is the 50th Sandman Meditation. (The 50th issue of Sandman was "Ramadan", but because I'm reading the stories in the order of the trade collections rather than the original publication, I wrote about that issue back in June when I read it in Fables and Reflections.)
Over at Strange Horizons, it's Pat Cadigan week, and I've contributed an essay about some of the 1980s short stories that helped make Cadigan famous. It's a somewhat odd essay. I expect the nice young men in their clean white coats to show up at my door any moment...
Also, it's Strange Horizons Fund Drive time! The site exists through contributions. The staff are not paid, but the writers are (the reverse of many publisher's policies). Except for a brief hiatus during the end-of-the-year holidays, SH brings you new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry every week at no cost to the, uh, consumer. Donating is easy. Try it, kids, it's fun!
My latest column is up at Strange Horizons
, and this time it's about Rainer Werner Fassbinder's epic science fiction film World on a Wire (Welt am Draht)
If you want to see World on a Wire
(and you should!), it's available on home video in the U.K. and Europe
, and in the U.S. can be seen via Hulu
if you subscribe to Hulu Plus
(you can get a free trial subscription for a week, or if you have .edu email address, for a month). Rumor has it that Criterion
will be releasing the film on DVD and Blu-ray in the U.S. at the end of this year or the beginning of next. It's also still touring various U.S. cities
-- at the end of this week, it will be at the Harvard Film Archive
in Cambridge, MA.
I'm a Fassbinder nut, so will passionately defend even his films that only lunatics defend, but you don't have to be as obsessed with Fassbinder as I to see get pleasure from World on a Wire.
(Although if "efficient" plotting, suspenseful storytelling, and "round" characterizations are your primary requirements for pleasure, you should probably stay away.) While World on a Wire
isn't of the power and depth of, say, Berlin Alexanderplatz
or a handful of Fassbinder's other absolute masterpieces, it's still a powerful, unsettling, beautiful movie, and the restoration that the Fassbinder Foundation
did is remarkable -- to take an old 16mm master made for TV and turn it into something that can be admired on a giant cinema screen is no easy feat.
I could go on and on. I won't. Instead, if you want a taste of the film, check out the trailer
, which I'll embed after the jump here:
Niall Harrison and Nic Clarke kick off this week's reviews with two views on the recently-concluded first season of Game of Thrones, Niall from the perspective of someone who hasn't read the books, and Nic as a fan of the series. Both end up with a mixture of praise and reservations. This is followed by two reviewer debuts: Nandini Ramachandran looks at M.D. Lachlan's Fenrir, the sequel to
Hannah Strom-Martin reviews Welcome to Bordertown: New Stories and Poems of the Borderlands, the latest installment in the shared-world anthology series, this time edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner. She's pleased by what she finds, but wonders if the anthology's tone is less edgy and confrontational than the Bordertown setting pretends to be. Michael Levy is impressed with Lavie Tidhar's
As well as my own review of Torchwood: Miracle Day, this week sees the publication of Duncan Lawie's review of Dancing With Bears: The Postutopian Adventures of Darger and Surplus by Michael Swanwick. Duncan's project is to discover whether the novel, in which Swanwick expands on his short stories featuring the titular pair of con-men and rogues, has more to it than the sense of whimsy that
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The reviews department rounds out the month with three reviews of odd, slipstream-y books. First out the gate is Niall Alexander who reviews Christopher Priest's The Islanders, his first novel in nearly a decade and, an almost indescribable work that is, at its most basic level, a travel guide to an archipelago that doesn't exist. Sofia Samatar follows up with a review of Yellowcake, Margo