SF Insite Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map

Fiction on the Web

If you're like me, you think all those book excerpts on the Web are a great idea. There are dozens of SF and Fantasy titles that catch my eye every month. Being given a chance to read a sample chapter from each one is the perfect solution -- marketing claims to the contrary, there's no sure way to measure the quality of the prose without a test drive under actual road conditions. Choosing a book by its marketing copy is akin to buying beer based on the endorsement of a Swedish bikini team.

Except, of course, I never actually read the sample chapters. In fact, I don't do much leisure reading on the Web at all. I support the emerging online publications and salute novelists who put significant portions of their upcoming works online but, y'know, when it's time to relax with my reading material I head for the big comfy chair in the loft. The one the cat shares only grudgingly.

I suppose this may be an unusual stance for an online publisher. But I don't think so. I firmly believe that the Web is the medium of the future -- and the near future at that. Some day we'll be receiving our news, our entertainment, even our phone calls and cellular pages over the Web. That day isn't far off. But at the moment, the Web is still in it's infancy and so are the devices which we use to access it. It's not the medium that's flawed, it's the bulky instruments we currently need to tune in. Once those become just a little more portable and connectivity just that little bit easier, I'll be bringing the Web with me to the comfy chair. The cat will have to move on to the couch.

But don't take my word for it. Algis Budrys, SF pioneer, author, and noted critic and editor for over four decades, has pushed his brainchild Tomorrow SF, one of the most innovative new magazines of the nineties, whole-heartedly onto the Web. He's thought a great deal about what it will take to get SF fans to read an online magazine in great numbers. You can share his thoughts in our first feature length interview, A Conversation with Algis Budrys.

Elsewhere in this issue we have a host of reviews including Destiny's Road by Larry Niven and The Serpent Garden by Judith Merkle-Riley as well as an in-depth look at the work of emerging fantasy writer Michelle West, author of the new epic from DAW, The Broken Crown, and a preview of the upcoming World Science Fiction Convention, LoneStarCon 2 from convention organizer Laurie Mann.

Thanks for listening. As always, let us know what's on your mind.

John O'Neill
Managing Editor

SF Eye

I remember well finding my first issue of SF Eye. I was immediately struck with its originality in both content and tone, with the impressive array of names on the masthead and table of contents, but most of all with its sheer verve and energy. Once thought of as the flagship of the Cyberpunk movement, it has long since shed that narrow image and is now seen for what it really is: the most insightful critical journal the genre currently has to offer. Much of the content crammed in each overstuffed issue is only tangentially related to science fiction, but that's kind of the point. SF Eye blurs boundaries, shouts loudly from the Chancellor's steps with a megaphone and forces you to see connections and implications you hadn't before. "Yeah... I've never really seen FUN WITH DICK AND JANE as pure alternate-history SF, but now it's all so clear."

And now it's on the Web. Sort of. Editor Stephen P. Brown is selling back issues online and with each one he tells a short tale or two about how it All Came Together. If you're unfamiliar with SF Eye, now is your chance to catch up. Don't wait until print has gone the way of government entitlements. Catch a piece of science fiction history with back issues of SF Eye. Or a piece of its future with a subscription.

The Locus Awards

Locus July We've mentioned Locus a few times already. But it's worth mentioning again -- this time due to the annual Locus Awards. Every year, the readers of "The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field" -- authors, artists, publishers and fans -- vote on the best releases of the year in a wide variety of categories. SF has a number of awards, including pure-fan awards (such as the Hugo), and the pure professional awards (the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Awards). The Locus award is distinctive because it polls a cross-section of both groups and reports on the voting (and voting patterns) in great detail.

The winner of this year's Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel is Blue Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. The Best Fantasy Novel Award went to A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and the winner in the Best Dark Fantasy/Horror category was Desperation by Stephen King. Check out all the winners in detail at the Locus website.

The Pulp Zone
Wonder Time for a little self-indulgence. I've enjoyed every site we've pointed out to you over the last few months. But The Pulp Zone is my favorite. If you've ever held a science fiction pulp magazine in your hands, you'll know why. The SF Pulps were a genre onto themselves, representing both an era and a vision of the future that has long vanished from the American landscape. Today SF consists of literally dozens of different sub-genres, from cyberpunk to Star Trek to lesbian space opera. Not so sixty years ago, when there was only a small handful of conventions which the dedicated SF writer could depend on his readers being familiar with... and most of them had the word "ray" or "beam" in them.

The Pulp Zone celebrates this age of SF with a detailed look at some of the earliest pulps and on-line reprints of entire issues of Amazing Stories and Science Wonder Stories. It's edited by Nuno Miranda, and is worth a close look for all fans of the genre.

Next issue

The SF Site is now published on a bi-weekly basis, with new issues posted on the first and fifteenth of every month. In our mid-August issue we'll have an in-depth look at children's books, an interview with one of the most promising new SF authors of the season, Ann Benson, author of The Plague Tales, and our regular book coverage -- including Daughter of Darkness by Steven Spruill, a look at Brian Lumley's Titus Crow reprints, the return of the Philip K. Dick Reading List, and perhaps even contributing editor Steven H Silver's 100th review. Be sure to join us on August 15th. We'll be here.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to editor@sfsite.com.
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide