Earlier this year, science fiction author Jamie Todd Rubin re-visited the Golden Age of science fiction, an era in which science fiction gained notoriety during the first half of the 20th century, by looking at one of the most influential publications of the time period — Astounding Science Fiction magazine. In a series of blog posts on his website, Rubin examined every aspect of the magazine — from the short stories to the ads — issue by issue, and reflected on how the magazine defined the Golden Age and how the era has influenced and molded contemporary science fiction writing. This week Amazing Stories, the digital re-boot of another classic science fiction magazine, will be hosting Rubin’s reflective journey on their website.
Readers searching for a compelling short fantasy story with a touch of romance should look no further than Carrie Vaughn's short story "The Nymph's Child." This e-read is currently hosted for free at Fantasy Magazine.
Vaughn has made a name for herself with her long-running urban fantasy series about heroine Kitty Norville — most recently featured in the anthology Kitty's Greatest Hits. However, "The Nymph's Child" reads much more like the author's April release, After the Golden Age. While there aren't superheroes in this story, "The Nymph's Child" certainly has several unexpected heroes.
We were so excited to learn that fan favorite Alexis Morgan has a new series releasing next year that we immediately contacted the author. RT wanted to be the first to bring readers information about the fantasy/romance series River of the Damned along with a peek at the series starter, My Lady Mage, set to hit shelves next summer.
First, we've got to ask, is this a Paladin series spin-off or are you embarking on an all-new adventure?
This is a whole new adventure for me, one I’m really excited about. River of the Damned will be my first fantasy romance series, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The first story in the series, My Lady Mage, will be released by Signet Eclipse in July 2012.
My Lady Mage features a woman who can wake the damned, that's a pretty crazy power. Can you share a hint about how she controls it?
Lady Merewen’s family lands are under attack. Desperate to save her people and the horses that she loves, she invokes an ancient spell. At the edge of the river, she calls on the gods for help, asking that they send the Damned, five ancient warriors, to defend her people.
I’m on the fence when it comes to messing with some of my favorite plotlines, characters and settings in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. In some instances, I’m a die-hard traditionalist. (Fast-moving zombies? No thanks, I’ll take Night of the Living Dead zombies over 28 Days Later zombies any day.) Still, it’s always refreshing to come across a work of fiction that provides an original spin on standard storyline.
Earlier this month, fantasy author Jeff VanderMeer challenged his readers to come up with a list of the most commonly used clichés in sci fi, fantasy, and horror fiction, and it got me to thinking. I always appreciate a classic young hero embarking on an epic adventure, the underdog rising to defeat the villain and a good old-fashioned ghost story, but what are the contemporary works I'd suggest for people looking to read (or watch) this story in a new light? To that end, I’ve selected one of my favorite tropes for each genre from the pool of comments on VanderMeer’s blog post and have listed my favorite classic and modern re-tellings of each cliché ...
Stephen King, master of horror, has crafted some of the most iconic phrases in the genre. Few are more recognizable than "redrum" and Jack Nicholson's "Here's Johnny" from King's 1977 novel The Shining and the 1980 film adaptation of directed by Stanley Kubric. Now, King has just announced that fans are in for more Shining-style horror with his nearly completed sequel, Dr. Sleep.
Horror-lovers should prepare themselves for the next adventure featuring Danny Torrance. The clarivoyant is all-grown up and now treats the terminally ill helping them die painlessly. (We give Danny big props for coming out of his Overlook Hotel experience still functional, because we're still scared and we were only reading the book!) In this new story Danny becomes entangled in a web of nomadic people called “The Tribe” that feed on psychic energy.
The online magazine Beneath Ceaseless Skies has just released a free short story from author Margaret Ronald. “Salvage” is a steampunk fantasy that delves deeply into the collision between man and machine.
“Salvage” takes place in the hostile territory of Parch where automations roam unchecked, protecting their inhospitable lands. Captain Dieterich braves this danger in order to rescue the survivors of an aborted salvage mission. Three weeks ago, a group of students went looking for the wreckage of Chiaro, a Titanic-like airship that had been lost. At the start of the story, Dieterich and his valet, Charles, have landed in Parch hoping to bring these students home.
The story is told from Charles' viewpoint. He offers a unique perspective because while Charles is not friendly with the automations of Parch, he is at least familiar with the way they act, as Charles is kept alive with metal parts.
In the short story, protagonist Carter Stewart’s mundane career traveling the country has brought him to deserted Portales, New Mexico, where he desperately tries to find a way to kill some free time. After perusing the tiny southwestern town, Carter comes across a tour bus packed with anxious fans headed to a local celebrity’s ranch. Unbeknownst to Carter, the “celebrity” is a science fiction author he’s never heard of — Jack Williamson. Having gone on one too many local tours during his travels, Carter can’t quite figure out what makes this tour especially unusual, as this crowd isn’t your average group of sci fi fans. They treat the visit to Williamson's estate more like one would expect people traveling to Mecca. What is it about the author that causes such adoration and why hasn't Carter heard of the author before?
In honor of bestselling author Stephen King's e-exclusive short story "Mile 81" hits stores today, I am wrapping up my top five reasons why this is a must-read.
1) It's writen by Stephen King. (In case you've been living on Mars, or have simply never picked up one of his novels, he's beloved for his sometimes horrifying, often terrifying and frequently mind-bending tales. And what better way to test the proverbial waters than with an e-short?)
2) I've been hooked on all things King since the Syfy channel's Haven — which is based on King's The Colorado Kid — came on the air. But I've been holding off on reading that story because I don't want to ruin the surprises the series has in store. So this makes the author's new e-short the perfect way to satisfy my need for "more King," without ever accidentally learning something about the series that I don't want to know until I see it happen on screen.
Fantasy author Laura Anne Gilman popped up on RT's radar with her 2004 novel, Staying Dead. Earlier this year the talented author released Pack of Lies, a thrilling urban fantasy that received an RT Top Pick! Now Gillman's fans can enjoy her short story "Crossroads", which is available as a free e-read on fantasy-magazine.com.
"Crossroads" follows a traveler named John who comes across an execution in the middle of a crossroads, a place with unusual laws. Knowing that the man about to be hanged is a magician, John can't help but intervene.
In the world of "Crossroads" magicians have an immense power, and when one is killed that power gets absorbed by the nearest man "quick enough to catch it." John knows he can't let the magician's special power be transfered to the executioner, a man who may abuse it. So John decides to work some magic of his own, careful not to draw attention to his scheme.
The 2011 Hugo Award Winners were announced late last week when genre fans and industry insiders gathered in Reno, Nevada. The annual awards ceremony has been conducted by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention (also known as "Worldcon") since 1955. This year's ceremony honored some of our favorite books and movies and introduced us to several new names in the genre.
Connie Willis' duology, Blackout and All Clear took home the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Novel. The pair of books were nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Science Fiction last year, but ultimately lost out to Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death. Nonetheless, Willis' two-part tale about futuristic historians who get trapped in the Blitz while time traveling is both compelling and thought-provoking.