The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009, free to read online now

Paul Raven @ 25-05-2010

I’m a day late on this one (damn my interminable email inbox), but better late than never. The genre blogging scene is full of people whose energy and devotion to their projects consistently puts me to shame, and there can be no greater exemplar of that than the tireless Charles Tan – who, in addition to a full-time dayjob, routinely battles with a sketchy internet connection as he runs an assortment of other gigs, most of which I fully suspect don’t earn the man a dime. That’s dedication, people.

The latest of Charles’ projects is the Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009 anthology, whose title is probably self-explanatory and which follows on from 2008’s Philippine Speculative Fiction Sampler. All the stories are free to read online, and downloadable as PDF or EPUB files… so bang goes your accessibility excuse for not reading any non-Western spec fic, eh? Here’s the TOC:

Go read. Now!


More positive sf: DayBreak Magazine launches for Diwali

Paul Raven @ 16-10-2009

Wondering what’s happening with the Shine anthology of postive science fiction that was announced last year?

Well, editor Jetse de Vries has more good news; not only is Shine still on the roster of forthcoming releases from the recently-rescued Solaris Books imprint (April 2010), but there will be a whole bunch of teaser stories posted on DayBreak Magazine, a free-to-read webzine. Tell it to ’em, Jetse:

With the Shine anthology now slated for an April 2010 release, and with exuberant SF as thin on the ground as bankers without bonuses, DayBreak Magazine will alleviate the waiting and fill the gap. Simultaneously quenching your thirst for upbeat stories while also whetting your appetite for the main uplifitng dish, DayBreak Magazine will feature a positive, forward-looking story every second Friday until the print Shine anthology is released, or possibly even a bit beyond that date.

The launch is on Friday October 16, on the eve of Diwali, with “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram” by Jeff Soesbe. The second story will be released on Friday October 30, the eve of Halloween: “Horrorhouse” by David D. Levine. More to be announced. A new story every two weeks: stories set all over the world, all depicting a future in which you would actually love to live. All for free, and all for your delectation.

Please note that these online stories are different from the ones in the print Shine anthology: It’s just that I liked them so much I’ve decided—after negotiations with the authors—to put them online as a free showcase for upbeat science fiction.

Free fiction is always good news! That first story is up right now:

“The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram” by Jeff Soesbe

It is Diwali in Bangalore, but not everyone is partying as Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram and his colleagues are working overtime to keep certain things from escalating:

  • There will be helicopters, wobbling!
  • There will be children, rebelling!
  • There will be elephants, marauding!
  • There will be monkeys, harassing!
  • There will be the third eye of Shiva, watching from the sky!
  • There will be song!
  • There will be dance!
  • There will be party!
  • There will be the ghost of Dev Kapoor Khan, the Indian Elvis!

Will Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram overcome the increasing madness around him, or will he become mad, himself? Confused? You won’t be, after reading “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram”, an exuberant tale of a near-future India that puts most Bollywood pictures to shame!

Well, that’s your weekend reading sorted, anyway!

Leave a comment at DayBreak if you take a look, but feel free to pop back here and discuss, too. Has Jetse delivered on his promise of solid stories with a positive outlook?


Get your Flurb on – Rudy Rucker’s webzine reaches issue #8

Paul Raven @ 10-09-2009

goose finger-bobEver since I stopped doing the Friday Free Fiction round-ups here a little while ago, I’ve tried hard not to play favourites… but when news got out from the man himself that Rudy Rucker’s superbly-named fiction webzine Flurb had just rolled over to issue #8, I couldn’t let it pass by without a mention.

I love Rucker’s work to bits, and Flurb tends to reflect his personal style in the story choices – it’s frequently weird, in other words, but in the best possible way. The ToC for issue #8 features Rucker himself, Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Benford, Charlie Anders (yup, the one who works on io9, unless I’m very much mistaken)… and none other than Howard V. ‘Pixel-Stained Technopeasant’ Hendrix, who has presumably changed some of his views about publishing work on the web for free in the last few years.

So if you’ve got half an hour or so to kill, go read a couple of stories at Flurb. If nothing else, it’ll be the closest approximation of a dose of hallucinogens that you could acquire without leaving your swivel-chair.


Friday Free Fiction for 26th June – the end of an era

Paul Raven @ 26-06-2009

It’s Friday afternoon here in the UK, which can only mean one thing – it’s free fiction round-up time here at Futurismic!

But it should be noted that nothing is permanent in this universe – indeed, this is going to be the last ever Friday Free Fiction at Futurismic. Not because there’s any less good science fictional stuff to read on the internet – quite the opposite, in fact, as regular readers are doubtless well aware – but because it’s becoming increasingly hard for me to keep up with it all and paste it all together.

And when I can see someone else doing a far more complete job elsewhere (namely the doubtless pseudonymical Quasar Dragon over at SF Signal), I think it’s only fair to send them the kudos and the traffic they deserve. Getting back three or four hours of my working week is an added bonus, of course… 😉

So, in short: if you’ve been a loyal follower of Friday Free Fiction here at Futurismic, you should immediately subscribe to SF Signal‘s RSS feed, assuming you’re not subscribed already. Their daily free fiction posts cover fantasy and horror as well as science fiction, so you can pick and choose from the best of the genre writing available on the intertubes. You’ll also get all the other SF Signal posts, which are great stuff for genre heads of every stripe, and it’ll cost you nothing at all. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So make with the clicky.

(I also recommend our regular tipsters to send future notifications to SF Signal for inclusion in their round-ups; I’m sure they’ll be just as grateful for your input as I’ve always been!)

But let’s just tie up this week’s batch before we sign off for the last time, eh?

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A big bunch from ManyBooks:

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And a load more from FeedBooks:

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Issue #90 of HUB Magazine features an extract from nerw Angry Robot-published novel Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

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Strange Horizons presents “Another End of the Empire” by Futurismic fictioneer Tim Pratt.

Tim’s also starting a free-to-read donation-supported serial novella:

Bone Shop is a serialized, donation-funded urban fantasy novella, available for anyone to read for free. New chapters will go up every Monday. The Bone Shop website is here, though there’s not a lot there at the moment. I’ll post the first chapter on June 29.

Times are tough in the Pratt household, so if you can part with a few dollars a week to help out a very talented writer in exchange for him giving away some of his work, please do so.

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Tor.com presents “The House That George Built” by Harry Turtledove

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The ongoing serialisation of Jason Stoddard‘s Eternal Franchise continues with chapter 9.2

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Some dreamscape weirdness from Captain VanderMeer: “Three Dreams and a Fabrication

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Angry Robot Books has a sample extract from Chris Roberson‘s Book Of Secrets (as well as from some UrbFant zombie/detective mash-up which didn’t much appeal to me, but which might flick your switches).

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Sumit Dam chips in with “The Heroism of Colonel Pussy

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And as mentioned above, here are those incomparably complete free fiction round-ups from SF Signal over the last week: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and today. That’s the way the professionals do it. 🙂

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And that’s that, ladies and gentlemen; thank you all for reading along and sending in your tip-offs. I’ve discovered a lot of new writers and webzines through doing these round-ups, and I’m sure there’ll be more to come yet – so keeping watching your feeds! Meanwhile, it’s fiction and futurism business as usual at Futurismic from here on in.

Have a great weekend. 🙂


Friday Free Fiction for 19th June

Paul Raven @ 19-06-2009

Heads up, Friday people – time for your weekly wheelbarrow of free science fiction stories from the far-flung bends and spirals of the intertubes!

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A big batch from ManyBooks this time out:

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But just the one from FeedBooks:

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HUB Magazine presents “Storm CHASER” by Craig Pirrell

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There’s only the one DVD extra from Shadow Unit, but that should be “Sufficient“. Arf!

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Chris Roberson is back in the free-fic saddle with “Annus Mirabilis

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Still coming steady from Fort Stoddard, Eternal Franchise is up to chapter 9.1

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A R Yngve sez:

My homepage has been updated with chapter 6 of my unsold novel The Time Idiot (the ongoing serial). This is a short, funny novel about a dumb man who has gained power far beyond his ability to handle it responsibly — in this case, the power to alter history. (You can call it a metaphor, if you’re into metaphors.)

Cheers, A R!

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Via BoingBoing (and pretty much the rest of the genre sub-web) comes the word that Catherynne M Valente is posting one chapter a week from her superbly-titled YA fantasy novel, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

Also mentioned at BoingBoing is a similar effort by a chap called Jonathan, who says “I’ve set myself the target of putting a free short story online every week, and to keep doing just that for a year. […] more than that, I am making these stories available under a Creative Commons Share-alike Licence, hoping that others will take the stories to places that even I can’t imagine.” Well, good on him; go take a look, why don’tcha?

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Once again, SF Signal have a hugely comprehensive post of free fiction for each day of the past week, so go follow those. They also pointed out that Hachette – the people behind SF publisher Orbit Books – have made The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers available to read online, albeit from a rather fiddly Flash interface that crashes my browser (64-bit Kubuntu doesn’t handle these things well, sadly).

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And last but not least, a few short pieces from the ever-reliable Sumit Dam: “The Queen Is Dead” and “Manna“.

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That should keep you out of trouble while the boss finishes off his extended Friday lunch meeting, right? Right – and don’t forget you can drop us a note with any suggestions for next week’s collection. In the mean time, have a great weekend!


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