I just got my copy of Andromeda Spaceways Issue #42, which includes my short story "Inside Job". I have to admit, I've never held a physical copy of the magazine before. That's because I'm way too cheap to pay for shipping paper half way around the world. I buy the PDFs instead. That turns out to be a shame, because the magazine is nicely put together. It's perfect bound, with a mid-weight cover stock (40# maybe?) that's gloss-finshed on the outside, but matte on the inside. It makes for a handsome publication.
I've received my copies of the new Panverse One anthology, in which my story "The Singers of Rhodes" appears, and it looks fantastic. I think Dario Ciriello, the editor, really hit this one out of the park. Many have remarked that the novella is the perfect length for science fiction, but they can be difficult to sell. There just aren't enough markets willing to play in the 18k-70k word range. Panverse Publishing is trying to help with that by producing a series of original anthologies dedicated to the novella length while also holding up story and SF's famed "sense of wonder" as high values. As the marketing tag line says: "Wonder. Story. They're back."
Panverse One is currently available from Panverse Publishing's site right now, and should be showing up on Amazon in the next few days.
The latest additions include a fully-themeable module that lets users select deadlined content for reminder e-mails. On the admin side, the module can be applied to any content type that has a date field. The default e-mail template can be overridden on a content-type basis, as well as theme hooks to override the node title and sort order. We needed that because our database of writing contests actually presents the title as one content field and the node title combined.
Users can select a variety of timings for the reminders, such as "weekly until the deadline" or "one week before the deadline". You can see an example at http://www.pw.org/content/adelphi_university. The "Set Reminder" link is provided for each content type selected in the reminders admin form. The interface uses jquery slickness which gracefully degrades to a separate page form.
We also have a template-based mod for views with exposed filters that allows users to quickly select how many items to show per page. A mini-module stores the user's preferences for each page with the account, so logged-in users get the same default for each individual page on every visit.
On the content end, we now have a searchable database of MFA programs in creative writing (yes, you can set e-mail reminders on the application deadline), a terriffic PDF supplement ($4.99) called The Poets & Writers Guide to MFA Programs, an online version of Seth Abramson's article "The Top Fifty MFA Programs in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide" (with abbreviated ranking tables), a new expanded What's New page, and a whole lot more.
My short story "For the Love of Jazz", which originally appeared in Cosmos Magazine, has been accepted over at AnthologyBuilder.com. Hurry over there and build your own anthology. Search for stories, choose the ones that sound interesting, click a few buttons, pay a few bucks, and voila!, you have yourself a real live trade paper anthology, of your own construction, sent to you in no time. Cool, eh?
-- or at least were so horribly mangled that they may as well have. That's how we'll remember this day once Disney buys Marvel. When a Disney-fied Hulk dances onto the screen to save Ariel from the clutches of her Venom-infected stepmother in direct-to-DVD kiddie pablum, we'll know the end is nigh.
Got some snazzy, drupalicious goodness going on with the writing contests database over at Poets & Writers--including a new calendar view of the submission calendar. Keep up-to-date on the upcoming deadlines whichever way you want to look at it. It's all still carefully screened by the P&W Magazine staff and includes full contact info and submission details. Same wholesome goodness--fancy new package.
The anthology Triangulation: Dark Glass, which made its debut at Confluence last weekend, is now available for sale via lulu.com in both trade paper and digital formats. In it, along with a lot of other really good fiction, you'll find my short story "More Things in Heaven and Earth".
This is Pete Butler's third and last time in the big editor's chair for the anthology series.
Vincent Chong's cover art rocks, by the way.
Publisher: PARSEC Ink
I just heard from Neil over at Clarkesworld Magazine. He's buying my short story "Brief Candle". I have no idea which issue it will be in, but rest assured that when I find out, I won't be keeping it a secret.
I'll start by saying this: Moon is a science fiction film. It's not an action-adventure movie, a horror flick, or an edge-of-your-seat thriller dressed up in science fiction trappings, as almost everything that gets called science fiction in Hollywood these days is. Don't get me wrong, some of those SF and whatever films are outstanding, but that's not the point. Structurally and aesthetically, they still tend to be the other genre first. This one isn't. It's a science fiction film, beginning, middle, and end.
The quick synopsis, quick because it's already out there in a zillion real reviews, is that Sam Bell (played outstandingly by Sam Rockwell) is the sole operator of a mostly-automated Helium-3 strip mine on the far side of the moon. He's working a three-year contract and is nearing the end. He's been isolated even further by the failure of a communication sattelite. He has no direct, two-way communications, and can only converse with others by what is essentially video mail. His only companion is the computer system, Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey), which has a strong resemblance to both 2001's HAL and the three little bots (Huey, Dewie, and Louie) from Silent Running. The trouble begins when Sam Bell starts seeing people--people that can't possibly be there. Yes, there's a twist to the plot, but it's not the point of the film. It's a bend in the road along the way. It's revealed early enough that the audience isn't sitting there begging for the director to just "get on with it."
I understand that director Duncan Jones intended to evoke the feel of films like 2001 and Silent Running. He succeeded, and did so in a way that is clearly homage, not rip-off. The similarities are lovingly rendered, then bent askew, making sure the viewers know this is not just a rehash of something they've seen before. The set design is reminiscent of 2001, but an alternate 2001 where messy things are messy and dirty things leave tracks. The hardware feels practical and real, like things we'll all be using in a few years.
Overall, Moon is entertaining and well-worth seeing. I would have preferred a little more depth in the ultimate antagonist of the film and a little more exploration of the story's implications, though. As it is, the contrast is a little too stark. I'm not sure where the blame for that lies. It could be what was intended or it could be what was neccessary to get it through the system and onto the screen. Either way, Moon is still a really good movie. I just think it could have been a great film.