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Letters to the SF Site

We love letters. They make us think. They make us laugh. They make us sit up and take notice, and get a payment in before service is disconnected.

Mostly, though, we enjoy hearing what you have to say about the SF Site. No publishing enterprise can survive long without paying close attention to its audience, and we're no different. If you've got a comment or thoughtful suggestion, or if you just want to complain about that durned dead link, we want to hear about it.


Peter F. Hamilton's The Naked God

From: Robert Sawatzky

Gentle Sir,

I know, that borrows from the late great Asimov but some things are too good to let die.

Do you have any information on the release of The Naked God, Peter F. Hamilton (Aspect Science Fiction). I believe it continues his Night's Dawn trilogy. Yes, the books are deeply disturbing at times and I am looking forward to furthering this vision.

Thank you.

Robert,
We've been waiting for this book as anxiously as you. According to our information, The Naked God will be released first in the UK by Macmillian UK on October 8th, followed by a US release from Warner Aspect in January of 2000. Hope that helps!


From: Marcel de Graaff

New author site:

The Peter F. Hamilton Official Website freespace.virgin.net/martin.burcombe/.

The site has been put together with help of Peter F. Hamilton and his publishers, so I guess it falls under author page and not tribute page?

Thanks!

The Spicy Green Iguana Web Award

From: Matt Hayes

Dear John,

Over the past two weeks I have scoured my speculative fiction database searching for a potential Spicy Green Iguana Award recipient. After many hours of surfing, I have found the SF Site to exceed all of my expectations.

The Spicy Green Iguana web award is given out on a quarterly basis to speculative fiction print/webzines with an online presence. Originality, interactivity, atmosphere and content are the four cornerstones on which the award is founded. The SF Site is the premiere portal site to everything speculative and is the biggest and best site I've come across. It just keeps getting better every month and deserves this award.

Sincerely,

Matt Hayes, Editor
Spicy Green Iguana
http://members.aol.com/mhatv/index.html

Matt,
Many thanks. We are very honoured. The SF Site doesn't often go in for awards -- and in fact we've only displayed one other award on these pages in our history -- but being honoured by our peers is a different story. The SF Site doesn't have many peers, but Spicy Green Iguana is one of the very best -- in fact, it's one of the finest websites in the industry. We will display the Award with pride.

The New Yorker and the 21st Century

From: Stephen Mendenhall

The New Yorker magazine recently had an issue on 21 authors for the 21st century. One would expect a little bit of futuristic speculation, and one of the stories is about a silly high-tech gadget, but the rest don't seem to have any science fiction element at all.

I wonder if they still associate science fiction with "that Buck Rogers stuff." Would it be a waste of time to tell them about David Brin and Connie Willis? Which authors would you tell them about?

Interesting question. First off, we wouldn't get too worked up about it. The New Yorker, like Analog, F&SF or any other publication, is just a magazine, run by editors with specific tastes. Those editors have demonstrated they don't care for science fiction, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. There's no conspiracy here, just a magazine with some pre-conceptions about its audience.

As for who we'd tell them about, well... that depends what day you ask us. Today, we'd probably mention Dan Simmons, Ursula K. LeGuin, and James Tiptree, Jr.

A Host of Magazines

cover
Art by Kim Poor
From: Paul Fraser

This is a speculative enquiry at the moment but:

How do you get your SF magazine webpages at SF Site?

Paul,
There's no secret to our success here. We just asked.

When we first approached Stanley Schmidt at Analog in 1997, looking to link to their website, we were told there wasn't one. When we offered to assist them in getting unto the Web, Chris Begley at Dell Magazines was gracious enough to accept. Rodger Turner crafted websites for both Asimov's SF and Analog, and we launched the finished versions at the SF Site in January and March of last year. Since then, we've done the same for over a dozen other major publications.

The SF Site firmly believes that the magazines are the lifeblood of the science fiction field, and have been for decades. We launched a sister publication, FictionHome, just to showcase them. The SF and Fantasy publications we host here -- such as Weird Tales, Aboriginal SF, F&SF, SF Chronicle, Altair, Interzone, and others -- publish exciting and often brilliant work every month, and deserve a much wider audience. When they succeed, so does the entire field.


Are SF Magazines Behind the Times?

From: Ezra Dweck

Dear Sirs,

It has always seemed to me a logical next step for science fiction publications to get into the business of making their publications available in electronic format.
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Nicholas Jainschigg
I remember years ago, before the PC was cheap & ubiquitous, when Analog magazine offered all of their back issues on microfilm. I thought this was the greatest idea ever. I was still in grade school at the time and could not afford the reader or the microfilm, but I thought that this was surely the way things were going.

Now I can purchase every National Geographic & TIME since issue 1 on CD ROM & run them on my standard PC or Mac. Why aren't the science fiction magazines keeping up?

Half the stories in your magazines are filled with this kind of technology. Now that it's accessible by the average reader at no significant cost increase, why not do it?

cover
Bob Eggleton
Why can't I pay a couple of dollars a month to download Analog or The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to my Palm Pilot in DOC format?

Science fiction magazines talk a good technology game, but when it comes down to realizing the technology, they are being left far behind, when they really should be the cutting edge.

Ezra,
While we host all of the genre magazines you mentioned, we can't really speak for them. But if we had to guess, we'd say you hinted at the question in your first paragraph, where you endorsed the idea of a microfilm version but admitted you never felt any interest in buying it.

The field's SF magazines may be more technologically savvy than other publications, but that doesn't mean they're not a business -- and a business in what is today a very tough market. When it makes business sense to offer their publications in the formats you mentioned, we bet they'll do it. Until then, we'd rather see them invest their money in ventures with a better return -- such as the successful format change Analog and Asimov's SF made last June.

More Author Sites

From: Steve Rasnic Tem

Just want to alert you that my wife and I -- Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem -- have a site at www.m-s-tem.com

Thanks,

Steve Tem


From: Laura Knight

Hi,

You should try to find a site for Richard Matheson.

We've certainly tried -- several times. No luck so far. If anyone has stumbled across one we've missed, please let us know.

Next Issue

[Cover]
The big books of summer have just started to arrive in real numbers, and we'd love to tell you about them. We have received reviews of the following new and upcoming releases:

Star Wars Episode I: Queen Amidala Paper Doll Book illustrated by Joyce Patti
Lord Demon by Roger Zelazny and Jane Lindskold
Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 12 edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Souls in the Great Machine by Sean McMullen
Laws of the Blood: The Hunt by Susan Sizemore
News From the Edge: Vampires of Vermont by Mark Sumner
Turn of the Century by Kurt Anderson
Elidor by Alan Garner
Company of Glass by Valery Leith
Isaac Asimov's Werewolves edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams
Shiva 3000 by Jan Lars Jensen
Dawnflight by Kim Headlee
Ferney by James Long
Seek! by Rudy Rucker
A Phule and His Money by Robert Asprin and Peter Heck
Winter Knight by Charles Grant
Rewind by William Sleator
Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli

and many others. Plus our usual columns and detailed New Arrivals features. Be sure to join us on August 1. We'll be here.



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