science fiction

Panverse One Anthology News

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.

There's a Facebook group for it and nice things are already being said about the book.

My short story "For the Love of Jazz", which originally appeared in Cosmos Magazine, has been accepted over at 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?

Triangulation: Dark Glass

The anthology Triangulation: Dark Glass, which made its debut at Confluence last weekend, is now available for sale via 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.

ISBN: 978-0-578-03103-3
Publisher: PARSEC Ink

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.

Back on a Tangent Soon

After a long quiescence and a near-fatal loss of a Web host, Tangent Online is set to return soon. While The Fix has done a fine job of helping to pick up the slack in the area of short fiction SF reviews, TO has a fourteen-year history in the game and there's plenty of room for more.

It would have been a shame to lose TO. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so. When Dave Truesdale put out the call, looking for a hosting angel, I know at least two people stepped up. I know that because one of them was me. By the time I asked for details, though, Dave told me someone had already stepped up to the plate. It's getting converted to a new CMS, getting a facelift, and preparing to re-emerge.

If you write SF short fiction reviews, get in touch with Dave Truesdale. He'll be making a formal call for reviewers before too long, but it doesn't hurt to get a jump on things.

The December issue of Jim Baen's Universe is live. In case you've forgotten, that's the one with my short story "Johnny Plays 'Round Saturn's Rings" in it. To read it, you'll either have to subscribe or pay $6.00 for the single issue. Either way, it's money well spent, 'cuz little old me is in there with the likes of Ben Bova, Bud Sparhawk, Julie Czerneda, and Greg Benford.