NEW FICTION: IN PACMANDU by Lavie Tidhar

Paul Raven @ 01-09-2010

I’m very pleased to welcome globetrotting flyer-in-the-face-of-convention Lavie Tidhar back to the digital pages of Futurismic, and once again it’s with a story that stretches – or at least seems to stretch – our guidelines to breaking point, upsetting a few apple-carts full of sacred cows along the way. “In Pacmandu” is something a little out of the ordinary, even for us… and perhaps even (dare I say it?) for Lavie himself.

Are you ready? Then begin!

In Pacmandu

by Lavie Tidhar

  • GoA universe, Sigma Quadrant, Berezhinsky Planetoid, sys-ops command module

It has been two weeks since the disappearance of the Wu expedition.

We are gathered at the sys-ops command module of the Berezhinsky Planetoid, Sigma Quadrant of the Guilds of Ashkelon universe. The light is soft. Music plays unobtrusively in the background. Outside the windows it is snowing lines of code.

Present in the command module: myself, CodeDolphin, Sergei and Hong.

Our task –

‘Find out the fuck happened.’ Continue reading “NEW FICTION: IN PACMANDU by Lavie Tidhar”


Free preview of Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House

Paul Raven @ 06-07-2010

I’ve never read an Ian McDonald novel I didn’t love*.As such, I commend unto you this Tor.com preview of a chapter from Mister Mcdonald’s newest novel, The Dervish House, courtesy of those nice people at Pyr Books.

Continuing his ongoing project of setting near-future sf in developing/non-WASP nations, The Dervish House is set in a Turkey not too far from now, having been recently absorbed into the European Union… plenty of fertile ground for speculation there. A confluence of geography means cultures and ideas have mixed and clashed in that part of the world for millennia, and the sociopolitical state of the Old World suggests it’ll get another turn in the spotlight soon.

There’s a copy of The Dervish House lurking in my TBR pile, and it’s one the ones that keeps whispering to me about how my currently-in-progress reading and reviewing commitments just aren’t as important as I’ve managed to convince myself they are… filthy bookses. They talks to me, they does. Ahem.

So, any other Ian McDonald fans in the house? Or anyone found him not to their taste at all? Tell us why!

[ * Caveat: I’ve not read them all, though. YMMV, etcetera etcetera. But if you can read Desolation Road and genuinely not find it mad charming, you are dead to me. In the nicest possible way. ]


Read this story: The Exterminator’s Want-Ad by Bruce Sterling

Paul Raven @ 24-06-2010

As I seem to be having a “recommend stuff elsewhere” kind of day here at Futurismic, here’s another suggestion for you. In between its non-fiction material (focussed, as its name might suggest, on building future communities based on sharing and mutual cooperation) Shareable.net is running science fiction stories from some big names to illustrate its chosen topics. The latest offering, “The Exterminator’s Want-Ad”, is from none other than Bruce Sterling – a darkly humorous first-person missive from an incarcerated former Beltway lobbyist and climate change denial huckster, locked up and “realigned” by the networked socialists of a post-climate-collapse near-future.

I could hear some of you make a sharp intake of political breath there, so let me reassure you that although Sterling evidently (and vocally) sides with progressive “bright green” sociopolitics, the socialist society he depicts is no naive utopia; if you’ve read his recent novel The Caryatids, you’ll know he’s more than able to draw every faction of the political future with all its warts and scars and human flaws fully to the front. I’m even tempted to label both works as non-partisan satires… but hey, go read it and make your own mind up.

And while you’re over there, Shareable has lots of other sf-nal content, such as interviews with Kim Stanley Robinson and Paolo Bacigalupi; go take a look around.

[ It also looks like they need to get a better comment spam plugin… ]


Rudy Rucker’s Ware Tetralogy available as a free download

Paul Raven @ 22-06-2010

The Ware Tetralogy - Rudy RuckerRegular readers will be aware that I’m a Rudy Rucker fan, and hence will understand how stoked I am that his Ware Tetralogy – heretofore hard to find in decent condition – is being republished as a single (immense) volume. It’s now sat on my wishlist, awaiting a moment when I have the money spare to buy a copy… but until then, there’s a free-to-download PDF version of the Ware Tetralogy available on Rucker’s website. There are commercial ebook versions in the pipeline, apparently, so that download may not be there forever – scoop it up now, and feel the gnarl!

(That said, the PDF and RTF versions are Creative Commons licensed, so they can be passed around with impunity. Send one to a friend!)


Go read (or listen to) Brenda Cooper’s story at Clarkesworld

Paul Raven @ 16-06-2010

Hey, it’s hump day – you should probably reward yourself for surviving to the half-way point of the week. So why not celebrate with some new fiction to read?

Brenda Cooper, who writes the Today’s Tomorrows column here at Futurismic, has a story in the latest issue of the excellent Clarkesworld online zine; it’s called “My father’s Singularity”, and you should go and read it. If you’re too busy (yeah, right), there’s an audio option as well, so no excuses.


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