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Crossroads: What is Noir, Anyway?

Before we get into a discussion of how speculative fiction approaches noir, let's start by discussing just what the noir aesthetic really is.

What I Mean When I Say…

Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed something when I’ve conversed with people (in person or through email), posted things on my blog, or left comments on someone else’s blog.  We may be...

The Dangers of Ignoring the Ebook Revolution

On January 8th, the long awaited final edition in the Wheel of Times series was released in hardcover.  The ebook, however, was no where to be found, and won't be available until April 9th....

Lost In Space! Reviews of Unknown or Underappreciated Books – Black Sun by Robert...

Hello and welcome to what will be an occasional feature on my blog! So – what, exactly, do I mean by 'unknown or underappreciated'? To put it simply – not everyone is a Kevin J. Anderson...

No. 2 – Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter of Mars

Any SF library without Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter of Mars is hardly complete. Burroughs’ John Carter series captured the imagination of many noted SF writers, like Ray Bradbury, early in their youth....

Talk

Talk Somewhere around the mid-1980s, science fiction novels (less so short fiction) became filled with talk. I think this has to do with the appearance of word processing, but it also has something to do...

How SFX Can Ruin a Horror Film

It recently struck me how most of the films that, IMHO, were truly scary were the ones that had little or no digital special effects. The reason is simple: what makes something scary is...

Playing the Short Game: How to Sell Your Short Fiction (Part 2)

Why Are You Writing?: Deciding on the writing career that you want Welcome back. This is the second in my weekly series of posts on how to market and sell short fiction. In my initial...

Attention Grabber

The single most important step for a reader is the initial act of choosing what to read. After that, everything else is just a formality of literary cultivation. You read, you absorb and you grow. But it’s that first step that determines who you are as a reader. So, what books grab “your” attention?

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s...

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part I: Who Reads SF Anyway? Practically No One. Science Fiction has a self-esteem problem. Almost from its beginnings, it...

Of Shadows and Serpent – The First Sword & Sorcery Tale

When people think of 1929 they usually recall the Great Depression and "Black Tuesday" (October 29th). I prefer to think of it as the year Sword & Sorcery was born. For S&S, like its...

Amazing News

FANTASTIC FICTION at KGB reading series, hosts Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel present: Brian Keene is the author of over thirty novels, most recently Entombed and An Occurrence In Crazy Bear Valley. He also writes comic books...
Jack Speer

The Clubhouse: Common language

I said last time that I wasn't going to debate the definition of "fan" here. But one of the most important defining characteristics of fandom is our shared language. From founding fan Forrest J Ackerman...

NEW! MODERN! CONTEMPORARY! HIP!

I have spent a lot of time in previous posts dwelling in the past. I have been like an old man suddenly lost to the present, the memory of times past reeling behind his eyes while he absently stirs his tea. Well, I think perhaps I should bring this topic into the present and talk about some of the science fiction and fantasy artists working today. There has been an explosion of fantastic art. In the past fantastic art's only reason for being was as illustration to fantastic literature. That changed and today fantastic art is it's own reason for being. You can find fantasy art on posters, tee-shirts, coffee mugs. You can find it on the internet almost as easily as you can find pornography or lolcats.

Classic Science Fiction Science: Outland

The science fiction movie Outland has been described as a reimaging of the western classic High Noon set in space: The setting is Io, which is the closest large moon of Jupiter, despite the claim...

The Elves of Japan

In Japan, even the elves are different. Fantasy novelist Satoru Sato has won a place in the postwar fantasy canon for his uniquely charming creations, the Korobokkuru.

Hollywood Loves “Remakes.” Sometimes Hardcore Fans Don’t.

The funny thing about movies is that liking or disliking them can become as political a process as anything else.  In fact, sometimes I get a pretty strong sense of whether a movie will...

The Mirror of Our Dreams

There is a curious phenomenon not exclusive to science fiction fandom, it is prevalent in pop music worship and other places, by which those afflicted feel a need to establish rivalries. The Star Wars...

Amazing News! 1/9/13

UPDATE: 12:00 pm 1/9/13 (Earlier news below) SPECIAL NOTICE! One of our own - Daniel M. Kimmel, will be having a book reading & signing on January 27th, 2013 at The Book Shop in Sommerville...

Inoculate Against the Lurids: Language Is A Virus

I’m pleased to be participating at Amazing Stories by writing about pulps. But before jumping feet first into that discussion, it’s best to issue a warning: It’s always important for all participants in a...
Smaug the Golden - Sunila Sen Gupta

Hobbit Art – Before the Movie (well, almost)

Kia ora and welcome to my new Visual Arts blog on Amazing Stories! First up, let's have some Hobbit art. Let me state this outright: I am not going to try to determine who is the "greatest artist" in the fandom. I am not particularly interested in who is the most technically proficient, or the most outrageously inventive. Who gets the biggest fees, the most prestigious projects, has the greatest fan base, or who, by whose definition, is the “most famous”. I like to feature art I like.

Some Superheroes Are Just Made For TV

It must be an incredibly hard decision for a studio to decide what superheros are worthy of a big screen adaptation, which should be aired on the small screen...and those that should never make it...

News: 1/8/13

John Scalzi offers us this warning about a scam directed at SF/F/H authors scam  ALERT! Our own Ken Neth interviews Brandon Sanderson who has completed Jordan's Wheel of Time's final chapter- errr - book (via...

On Genre Diversity, or ‘Why Mark Charan Newton was Right’

A couple of years ago, Mark Charan Newton, author of Nights of Villjamur and Drakenfeld, as he's wont to do, stirred some feathers when he challenged several bloggers to diversify their book coverage, to...

The Year’s Worst Movies – 2012

My ten best (or ten favorites) is up at North Shore Movies, where my reviews regularly appear:http://northshoremovies.wordpress.com... However I also like to unload on the worst or most overrated movies I had to suffer through...

There and Back Again, or, How I Got Scared Into Science Fiction

Science Fiction is one of the great loves of my life. I have spent some thirty odd years reading, critiquing, discussing, collecting, watching and dreaming it (I won’t talk about writing it, at least...

It’s Not Christmas Without the Doctor

There’s something specific needed to make Christmas Christmassy; it’s not the turkey or the flaming pudding, no, it’s a Time Lord. Ever since the BBC reinvigorated the Doctor in 2005, Christmas has not been the...

What Is Alternate History?

What is alternate history? Not as easy question to answer. Historians have been speculating on “points of divergence” since classical times. The Roman historian Livy wrote the first “counterfactual” when he speculated on what would...

Satan’s Imagination Stations

I was 8 years old, and I had gotten my greedy little hands on a copy of The Hobbit. I read it by nightlight early in the morning before my family awoke. The Lord...

Crossroads: Where Genres Meet in the Night

Speculative fiction's ability to stay fresh is a direct result of its ability to blend with other genres: the mash-up, the hybrid, the literary crossroad are where science fiction has always found innovation. We're a magpie genre, and I think that should be celebrated and explored.