Title says it all, really; Tim Pratt’s a mean lean fiction writing machine, and his appearance here at Futurismic with “A Programmatic Approach to Perfect Happiness” is just one publication among very many. Over at SF Signal, you can hear Karen Burnham and Patrick Hester in conversation with Tim, which strikes me as an ideal way to screen out the tedium of April 1st on the internet. I’ve not listened to it yet, but I’m hoping it contains news about the potential global syndication of the #officebaby franchise…
What’s better than plugging the launches of exciting new genre fiction websites? Plugging the launches of exciting new genre fiction websites put together by people who are a) awesome and b) your friends, that’s what. So, press release time:
Beginning Oct 31st (Halloween), Dark Fiction Magazine will be launching a monthly magazine of audio short stories. This is a free service designed to promote genre short fiction to an audience of podcast and radio listeners. A cross between an audio book, an anthology and a podcast, Dark Fiction Magazine is designed to take the enjoyment of short genre fiction in a new and exciting direction.
Dark Fiction Magazine publishes at least four short stories a month: a mix of award-winning shorts and brand new stories from both established genre authors and emerging writers. Each episode will have a monthly theme and feature complementary tales from the three main genres – science fiction, fantasy and horror.
The theme of Dark Fiction Magazine’s first episode is The Darkness Descends and will feature four fantastical stories:
- ‘Maybe Then I’ll Fade Away’ by Joseph D’Lacey (exclusive to Dark Fiction Magazine)
- ‘Pumpkin Night’ by Gary McMahon
- ‘Do You See?’ by Sarah Pinborough (awarded the 2009 British Fantasy Society Short Story Award)
- ‘Perhaps The Last’ by Conrad Williams
Which is a pretty good way to start, I’d say. And there’s more good stuff heading down the pike:
Lined up for future episodes are Pat Cadigan, Cory Doctorow, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Ramsey Campbell, Rob Shearman, Kim Lakin-Smith, Ian Whates, Lauren Beukes, Mark Morris, Adam Nevill, Gareth L Powell, Jeremy C Shipp, Adam Christopher, and Jennifer Williams, among others.
Sweeeeeet… bravo to Del and Sharon, who’ve been grafting away at this project between their day-jobs for ages now. Go get yourself an ear-full of genre fiction on Sunday night, why don’t you?
[ Disclosure: I have been invited to do some narration for DFM. Don’t let that put you off, though. 🙂 ]
Had an email from some nice people at KQED, who wanted us all to know that they’ve a fifteen-minute audio chunk of William Gibson reading an excerpt from his latest novel Zero History. And best of all for us click-lazy webhounds, there’s a nifty little embedded player for it which I’m gonna drop right here:
We break briefly from the predominantly near-future science fiction remit of this website in order to bring to your attention an author who I think all lovers of great fiction should discover, if they haven’t already. Wired has a podcast chat with the incomparable (and coolly charming) China Miéville; not only does he write brilliant books that subvert and mash together two or three (or maybe more) subgenres at a time, but his mind is sharper and shinier than a samurai sword*. Go listen to him talk. You may not agree with everything he says, but I defy you to not have your brain stretched.
I rather suspect there are a few Miéville devotees already among the audience here – I like to think our devotion is primarily to great writing rather than partisan notions of genre adherence (though I may be wrong). So, which Miéville would you most heartily recommend? (Or, conversely, which one didn’t you like, and why?)
My personal favourite would be The Scar, but the recently released Kraken is probably the best entry text to the Mieville oeuvre.
Here’s a heads-up for podcast fans from the Futurismic mailbag – Dunesteef is an audio fiction magazine that mainly deals in material with SF/F/H tropes, and they’ve just run a version of Jason Stoddard’s “Willpower”.
Looks like they’re knocking out about ten stories per quarter, which is pretty respectable… so those of you with the (enviable) spare time in which to listen to great stories read aloud should probably add it to your podcast aggregator, RSS reader or preferred software of equivalent function. 🙂