Holiday time

Paul Raven @ 23-12-2010

OK, folks; for those of you who haven’t already done the same or similar, yours truly is trundling off to do the family thing for a few days, so Futurismic will be going into a short hibernation as a result. I’ll probably be popping in briefly between Xmas and New Year’s, but please don’t be surprised if content is minimal – I have some work projects to finish up, for a start, and I could do with a bit of brain-downtime. Hell, I think we all could, AMIRITEZ?

So have a great holiday, of whatever denominational flavour (or lack thereof) you prefer. But just before I go, here’s a note in my inbox from from new UK indie publisher called Fingerpress:

[We]ย  recently published Smallworld by Hugo-nominated author Dominic Green. The book’s available in paperback, and also can be downloaded under a Creative Commons license from here: http://genres.fingerpress.co.uk/smallworld.html

And the blurb from that page reads as follows:

Mount Ararat, a world the size of an asteroid yet with Earth-standard gravity, plays host to a strangely confident family whose children are protected by the Devil, a mechanical killing machine, from such passers-by as Mr von Trapp (an escapee from a penal colony), the Made (manufactured humans being hunted by the State), and the super-rich clients of a gravitational health spa established at Mount Ararat’s South Pole.

But as more and more visitors to the tiny rock are dispatched with cold efficiency by the faster-than-sight robot, the children (and their secretive parents) start to wonder who put the robot there, and who – or what – is really in need of protection.

Sounds like it has a Robert Sheckley kind of vibe to it… so if you fancy a free read, go download it, why don’t you?

Happy holidays, folks, and thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚


Please welcome our esteemed guests!

Paul Raven @ 06-09-2010

OK, so, let’s cut to the point here: yours truly is going on holiday for a week, starting tomorrow. And we’re talking a proper holiday, as in a period of time devoid of the usual demands of one’s working day, and – more specifically in my case – a period of time during which I won’t be connected to the internet*. Like, at all**.

But fear not, faithful followers of Futurismic – for I have drafted in some friends to mind the place while I’m away, and to discuss interesting things with you. Who are these people, exactly? Well, I’m glad you asked…

  • Gareth L Powell has actually guested here before, and was a regular link-out fixture back in the days when a bunch of us were still rocking the Friday Flash Fiction movement. Gareth has just recently sold his second novel to Solaris Books, and is in the process of finishing it. He’s also a good friend, a fiercely dedicated writer and a very very nice guy. His mutant power is the ability to discern stress fracture points in Victorian-era railway bridges from a surprisingly large distance away.
  • Aliette de Bodard‘s first novel, Servant of the Underworld – a kind of mystery-fantasy mash-up set in an alternate timeline where the Aztecs are still a major power – was published this year by Angry Robot, with sequels to come. Aliette is half French and half Vietnamese, a self-identified tech-geek and computer obsessive, and very very smart. Few are the novelists who get published in what is effectively their third language, after all! Her mutant power is the ability to transmute base metals into pre-doped semiconductor wafers just by looking at them.
  • Lavie Tidhar probably needs little introduction; it seems you can’t so much as turn a corner on the intertubes these days without bumping into a new short story of his (including this month’s offering right here at Futurismic, no less). Seemingly in constant motion across the entire surface of the planet, Lavie somehow finds time to maintain the World SF news blog as well as writing his own work and editing anthologies, and I’m very grateful he’s agreed to spend some of whatever precious little time he has left on posting stuff here in my absence. His mutant power is the ability to cram seven extra hours into the space usually occupied by twenty-four… or to unfailingly locate chilled beer in extremely remote locations. Possibly both.

I don’t know exactly what my guests are going to talk about, because I’ve pretty much told them to talk about whatever they fancy, provided there’s some connection – however tenuous! – to Futurismic‘s usual “near-future speculation” remit. The posting density will probably be thinner than usual because – unlike my sad hermit self – these wonderful people have real lives to attend to as well. Even so, I think you’ll enjoy having a few fresh voices on the mic while I’m away!

So please extend a welcome to my esteemed guests, and be sure to comment on their posts; I’m very grateful to Gareth, Aliette and Lavie for stepping in to help me, and I hope you will be, too.

Now, I need to do some packing… ๐Ÿ™‚

[ * Yes, I’m really looking forward to it. The last twelve months have not exactly panned out the way I thought they were going to, to say the least, and a chance to step off the merry-go-round for a few moments and collect my thoughts is much needed. The prospect of sitting in warm sunshine and reading for pure pleasure is also rather appealing. ]

[ ** Well, I might tweet once or twice, but that’s pretty much it. The regulatory bodies may have capped cellphone roaming charges for data in Europe, but they’re still pretty terrifying… and that’s all the excuse I need for a week-long digital media fast. Time to make some serious inroads on the old To-Be-Read stack… ๐Ÿ™‚ ]


Away at Eastercon

Paul Raven @ 02-04-2010

Hey, folks – just a note to let you know I’m away drinking beer and talking books networking with other sf publishing professionals at Eastercon this weekend, and that I’m treating it as a largely-away-from-the-internet holiday.

Of course, I’m never completely away from the internet (who is?), but what I mean is that I’m not working this weekend, which means no posts here, and Sarah’s next episode of Personal Information will be posted a little later than usual (unless I convince someone to lend me a laptop for half an hour). Yeah, I know, the real blog pros write new content in advance, or get in a guest blogger to fill the gap… but time has been both short and fraught of late, I’m afraid, and I had no chance to do either. My bad. Forgive me? Go read Eric Del Carlo’s new story instead. Go on.

Who knows, though – if I’m moderately drunk you’re really lucky, I might post some fuzzy cameraphone shots of genre fiction notables from my phone… and you can always follow my ramblings on Twitter for on-the-spot reportage and BSFA Award results and stuff (as well as via other attendees on the #eastercon hashtag, no doubt). How’s that for a deal sweetener, huh?

Have a good weekend, everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚