This review was originally published (in a shorter form) in issue #253 of science-fiction magazine Interzone. You can buy back issues and subscribe to future issues at their shop. My companion interview with editor of Robot Uprisings, John Joseph Adams, can be read here.
Robots are the future. Or, more accurately, the present. As far as science-fiction goes, as co-editor of “Robot Uprisings” John Joseph Adams says, it goes back to the genre’s origins. Robots, and their potentially ill-will towards us, have been with us for years, into a modern day reality where we have machines for all of life’s daily tasks. Including, worryingly, making war.
Appropriate, then, that this collection of seventeen stories of various robopocalyses, opens with a quote from Barrack Obama.
And this sense of closeness in time gives a not-particularly-new idea fresh life. The authors do the same. If this is a well-trodden path, this is an experienced troop of sherpas to lead the way. Seventeen writers, with seventeen tales of humanity daring to dream of godhood.
This review was originally published in issue #253 of science-fiction magazine Interzone. You can buy back issues and subscribe to future issues at their shop.
John Joseph Adams (johnjosephadams.com) is the series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, Armored, Brave New Worlds, Wastelands, and The Living Dead. Recent books include The Apocalypse Triptych (consisting of The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come), Robot Uprisings, and Dead Man’s Hand. He has been nominated for eight Hugo Awards and five World Fantasy Awards, and he has been called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble. John is also the editor and publisher of the digital magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare, and is a producer for WIRED’s The Geek’s Guideto the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.
I’m not doing brilliantly with this, having already come to the table of contents reveal late, but yesterday I received final proofs for my story “Nothing Beside Remains”, which will be featuring in the anthology Infinite Science Fiction One. It looks beautiful — and so does the cover art for the anthology.
Unforgivably, I seem to have missed the announcement by publisher Infinite Acacia of the table of contents for their upcoming anthology Infinite Science Fiction One the other week. Why is it unforgivable? Because my story “Nothing Beside Remains” is one of those which will be gracing its pages!
I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fantastically enthusiastic and attentive editor getting this story ready for publication, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not sure of a release date yet, but I’ll post it as soon as I hear. In the meantime, here are the awesome writers I will be sharing pages with:
“Real” by Janka Hobbs
“By the Numbers” by Tim Major
“Tin Soul” by Elisabeth Bannon
“Six Minutes” by P. Anthony Ramanauskas
“Matchmaker” by John Walters
“The Wedding” by Nick Hilbourn
“Slow”by Jay Wilburn
“Gospel Of” by Rebecca Ann Jordan
“The Silent Dead” by Dan Devine
“Nothing Beside Remains” by Matthew S. Dent
“The Night with Stars” by William Ledbetter
“Butterflies” by Doug Tidwell
“Rolling by in the Moonlight” by Liam Nicholas Pezzano
It would be entirely wrong of me to link the redesign of my blog last night to a lovely email which dropped into my inbox this morning, informing me that Emby Press have accepted one of my stories for their “Deep Sea Monster Hunter — Leviathan” anthology, wouldn’t it?
Still, positive thinking…
Yes, my story “Tacking into the Wind” is to be published in the anthology, about which I am absolutely delighted. It’s a story about a fishing trawler during the First World War, which runs up against something more deadly than German u-boats.
This is a story which I wrote a while back, and which was a lot of fun to write. Hopefully it’s fun to read, too! The research was a bit of a trial, but that’s something I always relish.
I don’t know much about the anthology yet, but the cover looks gorgeous, and it is slated for a release in the autumn of this year. I will update with more details as and when I receive them.
This review was originally published in issue #247 of science-fiction magazine Interzone. You can buy back issues and subscribe to future issues at their shop.
(NewCon Press, 268pp, pb £11.99)
When I was a fresh-faced pup, new to the beckoning worlds of science-fiction and their siren calls of “what-if”, one of the first stories I chanced upon was in TTA’s own podcast –- a little tale entitled “The Scent of Their Arrival”, by a wordsmith called Mercurio D. Rivera.
It clearly had some sort of impact, given that I’m still devouring any and all speculative fiction with the gleeful gratitude of a starving man given a pasty. So it shouldn’t really surprise anyone that I jumped at the chance to read and review Rivera’s short story collection.
By some miracle of chance, I seem to have found my way onto a number of review lists. I’m not entirely sure how, as I don’t think my reviews are anything more than excited blathering about whichever book or film I’ve most recently read or seen.
But it does mean that I get to see a wide variety of books built around occasionally quite innovative ideas. I am, as regular readers will know, very fond of the short story as a form, and so multi-author anthologies are like a pick-and-mix grab bag of goodies for me.
I was especially interested when I received “Horror Without Victims”. As an idea, it seems so very simple. But when you sit and think about it for a bit, it actually subverts the very genre, being close to a contradiction in terms. I looked forward to a treat of top-of-their-game horror authors pushing genre boundaries.
I should also apologise to editor DF Lewis. He sent me the review copy some time back, but sadly it got misplaced midway through reading, during my great Essex-wards exodus. Thankfully it reappeared, allowing me to finish it and write this review.
These days I tend to get quite a few books and anthologies to review. Which is nice. Free reading material, and clearly someone somewhere cares what I have to say about it. Which, as I say, is nice.
“The Unspoken”, however, is a bit different than most of the stuff that I get. For one thing, it’s a charity anthology. Billed as horror authors fighting back against cancer, it has seventeen stories from some of the big names at the ragged edge of modern horror (and, yes, some names I’m not familiar with too).
As far as pedigree goes, you don’t get bigger than Ramsey Campbell, the mainstay of British horror himself, writing the introduction. Ramsey rights about his own brushes with cancer within his family — a testament to how deeply its tentacles snake — and how people are never really gone as long as we hold onto their memory.
And roll on the stories, seventeen wordsmiths fighting back with their pens.
This review was originally published in issue #245 of science-fiction magazine Interzone. You can buy back issues and subscribe to future issues at their shop.
If science-fiction has a point beyond simple entertainment – and I would imagine most Interzone readers would say it does –I would submit that the most likely candidate is to push boundaries and challenge norms. So it’s fairly encouraging to see Outlaw Bodieswedding itself to that idea from the introduction: an anthology of stories revolving around “any body that defies social norms and expectations“.
Night Terrors II edited by Theresa Dillo and Marc Ciccarone, and featuring my short story "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep"
The last couple of weeks have been rather politics-heavy on my blog, and with the May elections edging ever closer, that’s only going to get worse, honestly. So it’s nice, occasionally, to be able to break from the theme tune every once in a while with something a little different.
I’ve already announced Blood Bound Books’ Night Terrors II anthology being released, but now it is finally available on Amazon (sort of…) and on Kindle. Which is awesome, because there are some brilliant authors in this collection- and no, I’m not refering to myself. Though my short story “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” does feature amongst the offerings.
At £4.57 for the digital format, I reckon it’s a bargain (well I would, wouldn’t I?). So since it’s Sunday, why not treat yourself, and settle down in a comfortable spot with some good old-fashioned horror stories?
And if you do, please let me know what you think. I’m always happy to hear feedback.