Thoughts from the SF Gateway

Published Today!

31 May 2013

We’re trying out a new idea on the SF Gateway blog: a list of recently published titles. It should be stressed that this is just a list – it’s not hyperlinked because that would have to be done manually and, with the number of titles we publish, that would simply eat up too much time.

But we’re interested in your feedback. Is this a useful service to you? Would it help if we hyperlinked to the author pages, at least? (Still a time-consuming task, but more manageable than linking to each individual book.) Do please let us know; we want to make this site as useful to our readers as possible, and other innovations – such as the downloadable complete title listing and the list of Authors in whose work we have North American rights – have come about as a direct result of your requests, so send us your thoughts on email, via Twitter, Facebook or the Forum. To paraphrase Dr Frasier Crane: we’re listening.

 

Titles Published 31st May 2013

Mid-Flinx  Alan Dean Foster
The Candle of Distant Earth  Alan Dean Foster
The Enemy of My Enemy  Avram Davidson
Star Rider  Doris Piserchia
Eclipsing Binaries  E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith and Stephen Goldin
Hammer and Anvil  Harry Turtledove
Doctor Mirabilis  James Blish
The Star Dwellers  James Blish
Cycle of Nemesis  Kenneth Bulmer
Cache from Outer Space  Philip José Farmer
The Longest Way Home  Robert Silverberg
Wizard’s Eleven  Sheri S. Tepper
The Spawn of the Death Machine  Ted White
Star Wolf!  Ted White

 

Enjoy!

 

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Comments: 2

Jack Vance (1916 – 2013)

30 May 2013

SF Gateway was saddened to learn of the recent death of Jack Vance. A published writer since 1945, he was responsible for some of modern SF’s most enduring tropes, from the ‘Big Planet’ space opera setting to the ‘Dying Earth‘ tales, which have influenced so many who came after him.

During his long and glittering career, Jack Vance won three Hugos, a Nebula and a World Fantasy Award in addition to numerous life achievement awards. He was named an SFWA Grandmaster in 1997 and inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2001.  We recommend his entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction for more detail on a truly remarkable life and career.

John Holbrook Vance (1916-2013). Rest in Peace.

 

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Posted in Authors, Commentary
Comments: 1

SF Masterwork of the Week: The Demolished Man

29 May 2013

> So. Cyberpunk. That’s a subgenre of science fiction, isn’t it?

Why, yes it is.

> Full of computers and film noir atmosphere and human-technology interfaces and stuff?

That’s the one.

> And it was born in the 1980s, wasn’t it?

Bzzzzzzt. Wrong! Thank you for playing. You leave us with a five-and-a-quarter-inch floppy disc that you’ll never be able to use, and a pad of lined paper for you to write out Newton’s statement about standing on the shoulders of giants one hundred times.

Cyberpunk did indeed slap the literary world in the face and demand to be listened to back in the ’80s but, as with most creative movements, it had its genesis much earlier. I’m not going to tempt the wrath of the internets by proposing a single ur-text – but I will say that anyone who talks about the origins of Cyberpunk without talking about Alfred Bester is not taking due care and attention.

Bester’s The Stars My Destination is an obvious progenitor – the cybernetically-augmented Gully Foyle, the dark tone, the mega-corporations are all classic Cyberpunk tropes – but The Demolished Man also has an ancestral claim. Winner of the first Hugo Award for best novel, in 953, it anticipates much of the Cyberpunk milieu if not the more biotech trappings.


 
In the year 2301, guns are only museum pieces and benign telepaths sweep the minds of the populace to detect crimes before they happen. In 2301 murder is virtually impossible, but one man is about to change that . . .

Ben Reich, a psychopathic business magnate, has devised the ultimate scheme to eliminate the competition and destroy the order of his society. The Demolished Man is a masterpiece of imaginative suspense, set in a superbly imagined world in which everything has changed except the ancient instinct for murder.

 
 
 
The Demolished Man is available as an SF Masterworks paperback, and you can read more about Alfred Bester in his entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
 

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Post-Server Maintenance Housekeeping Points

28 May 2013

The SF Gateway and Encyclopedia of Science Fiction sites are back live, now, after being offline on Saturday for essential server maintenance. All systems are go: wheels oiled, cogs aligned and bolts tightened.

We have also updated the complete list of SF Gateway titles to include May releases and will update with June titles in the next few weeks.

And, as an update on numbers, we now have 168 authors on the SF Gateway (not including co-authors) and the number of titles published will be a very science fictional 1969 by the end of the month.

That’s all. We now return you to your regular viewing . . .

 

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LAST REMINDER: SFGATEWAY.COM OFFLINE TOMORROW

24 May 2013

A final reminder: owing to essential server maintenance, the SF Gateway website will be offline for most of tomorrow, Saturday 25th May. Maintenance will begin at 8:00am British Summer Time and the site is not expected to return until approximately 6:00pm.

 

We apologise for the inconvenience.

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Michael Moorcock Suggested Reading List

23 May 2013

SF Gateway Editorial Note: the following article was originally posted on the Gollancz blog and refers primarily to the print editions of the Michael Moorcock Collection. Unfortunately, the eBooks have proven to be more complicated than expected and will take longer to publish. As of the time of writing, we have eight eBooks available and will be publishing more as quickly as we are able.

 

So we’ve had a few requests on twitter, facebook and by email to suggest a reading order for the Michael Moorcock Collection. As you may know, Gollancz is deeply proud to be publishing the (almost) complete genre works of Michael Moorcock, an author who has had an incalculable influence on many genres. Fantasy, SF, literary fiction, spy fiction, steampunk, time-travel stories, planetary romances – Moorcock has written a little bit of everything, and he always does it well. The new collection has been put together by Mike and his long-term friend and bibliographer John Davey, and is the ultimate and best collection of his works. Currently predicted to contain 28 physical volumes (and around 60 eBooks), the vast majority of which have some connection (often slight) to the books around them, we realise it can be a little intimidating if you’ve not delved deep into the joys of Moorcock’s multiverse. So, here are a few suggestions as to where you might start. Bear in mind that only 6 volumes have been published so far (if you don’t count the three individual Elric volumes, of which more anon), so some of my suggestions may need you to wait.

The most important thing to note is that really, you can start with any series. Yes, all of the works connect and build up into a wider mythos, but each of the series stand on their own. The best way, in my opinion, is to pick one you like the sound of and start from there. That’s what I did as a kid. However, here are a few pointers . . . Read more…

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This Ain’t Rock’n’ Roll . . .

22 May 2013

. . . this is SCIENCE FICTION!

OK, so that sounded better when David Bowie did it, but bear with us; we have a point. (No, really)

The awesome (and two-time Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner – did we mention she’s won the  Arthur C. Clarke Award twice?) Pat Cadigan recently nominated Norman Spinrad‘s Little Heroes as a Readers’ Choice, calling it ‘One of the best Rock ‘n’ Roll novels ever written – that just happens to be SF’. So, naturally, we tweeted that.

Cue a response from Kev McVeigh – himself no stranger to our Readers’ Choice spotlight – who replied: ‘the best rock’n’roll novel ever won a World Fantasy AwardGlimpses by Lewis Shiner‘.

So that got us thinking: what is the best SF rock ‘n’ roll novel ever? Is it Little Heroes? Is it Glimpses? Or is it something else? You tell us – in the comments section below, on the Forum, or via Twitter or Facebook – what is the Led Zeppelin IV of science fiction?

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SF Masterwork of the Week: Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

21 May 2013



Winner of the Hugo Award for best novel

The Sumner family can read the signs: the droughts and floods, the blighted crops, the shortages, the rampant diseases and plagues, and, above all, the increasing sterility all point to one thing. Their isolated farm in the Appalachian Mountains gives them the ideal place to survive the coming breakdown, and their wealth and know-how gives them the means. Men and women must clone themselves for humanity to survive.

But what then?

‘If all SF was as finely crafted as Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, we’d have great cause to rejoice’ Vector

 

The first section of Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang first appeared in 1974 in Orbit 15, edited by noted author, editor and critic, Damon Knight.  The book was published in 1976 and won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1977.  It is, by any criteria one wishes to apply, a masterpiece. As the fine folk at Locus (itself an indispensable publication) said:

Don’t pass it up on any account. It’s simply the best novel about cloning . . .  a classic

There are reviews to be found all over the web, but as we applaud the ethos behind Ian Sales‘ excellent SF Mistressworks site, we refer you to the two reviews currently hosted there.

 

More of Kate Wilhelm’s works are available at her author page on the SF Gateway and you can read about her in her entry at The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

 

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SCHEDULED DOWNTIME: TAKE TWO!

20 May 2013

I know we’ve announced this before, but . . .

Owing to essential server maintenance, the SF Gateway website (including this blog) will be offline for most of Saturday 25th May. Maintenance will begin at 8:00am British Summer Time and the site is not expected to return until approximately 6:00pm.

 

We apologise for the inconvenience.

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Dave Duncan Honoured by SFC

17 May 2013

As noted at the website of his excellent US publisher, E-Reads, we’re delighted to share the news that Dave Duncan has been elected a lifetime member of SFCanada, Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals.

SF Gateway publishes some thirty of Dave Duncan‘s titles, under licence from E-Reads, and we’re delighted to congratulate him on this honour.

The author himself says: ‘Recognition by one’s peers is the highest form of praise there is, and I am both honored and very grateful’

Congratulations, Dave!

 

 

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