John Joseph Adams

“Robot Uprisings” ed. John Joseph Adams and Daniel H. Wilson – A Review

robot uprisings

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.

Read on…

Interview with John Joseph Adams

john joseph adams

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 ( 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 Guide to the Galaxy podcast. Find him on Twitter @johnjosephadams.

Read the interview…

Interzone #253 (Jul/Aug) – A Review

interzone #253LonCon3 (the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention) finished at the start of this week. I mention this partly out of massive jealousy of anyone and everyone who was able to attend, but also because it seems to have gotten a good amount of coverage in the mainstream press.

There is also a regular part of David Lanford’s Ansible Link column entitled “How others see us”. Here, David cherry picks recent press articles about the SF genre and world.

Now, it might be a coincidence (It is a coincidence – Ed) but that section doesn’t appear in this issue. Perhaps — just perhaps — science-fiction as a genre is starting to receive more of the mainstream acceptance that it deserves.

If it is, then we can only hope that this will extend to such organs of excellence as the short story magazines providing the lifeblood of fresh and exciting SF. Which neatly leads my into my review of the latest issue of Interzone.

Fastest Rejection in the Business

Despite the fact that my writing has been quite well back on track since the summer, it’s taken me a bit longer to get myself back into a routine of submission. A few years ago, I was pumping out submissions most days, but lately I’ve been sending out a few here, a few there. It’s probably why I’ve only had one acceptance so far this year.

But I’ve made a concerted effort to get back into it recently. Which is why I’ve fired off three submissions over the weekend, and probably will send another tonight- after all, if you’re not sending it, they can’t accept it, right?

One of my submissions was to TTA Press’ stalwart of British science-fiction, Interzone. Just as some background, I will consider myself to have “made it” if I get a piece printed in Interzone– such is its esteem in my background. Anyway, I had a story I was reasonably proud of, so formatted it, printed it and sent it off.

Six days later, a lovely handwritten (by myself) envelope drops through the door, with a neat rejection slip. Blimey, they’ve speeded up their turnaround! Back in the day, it used to take a month for those little slips of paper to reach my door. But no matter, it was always a long shot. My next target was John Joseph Adams brilliant Lightspeed Magazine.

It’s a running joke between myself and a number of other genre writers that Lightspeed takes its name seriously with submission responses. In the past, it’s only ever taken a couple of days for them to get back to me (which isn’t to slight Mr Adams, he is one of my favourite editors in the genre, and always puts together quality publications- probably why I always received such prompt rejections). Yesterday morning I received this acknowledgement from Lightspeed‘s submission’s system:

(I’ve blurred my email address, to try and avoid a spam tornado). Note the time-stamp, highlighted in red. Now look at this:

Yes, that is less than 7 hours turnaround time! It’s quite amazing if you think about it. Between submission and rejection, which I know isn’t that big a period, Gareth L. Powell joked to me on twitter that the Gran Sasso neutrino discovery would see Lightspeed eventually rejecting submissions before they’ve been sent. It’s a funny joke, but after that rejection turnaround… Is it just me who sees responses from them this quickly?

At any rate, the piece is now in the hands of Clarkesworld‘s slush readers (the first piece I’ve sent to them, I think). They’ve already taken more than 7 hours on it, which is reassuring. God knows, too much of that would do bad things to a fella’s ego.