Sci Phi Journal Hugo packet released to the public!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Or rather, read for yourself for free my picks for the best story and article from each of last year’s issues of Sci Phi Journal. Some choices were very hard to make, so people who have read the issues may disagree with my selections, but I hope you’ll all agree that all of these offerings are worth a read, and it’s hard to argue with the price, isn’t it?.

Kate Paulk, organizer of this year’s Sad Puppies campaign, thought Sci Phi Journal’s Hugo packet stood out from the rest when it came to the semiprozine category.

Take a look and see if you agree…

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As this is a free ebook, please distribute and share it as widely as possible, even hosting it yourself, as long as the files themselves are not modified. If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to the journal at the journal’s patreon page. (As a member of the journal’s editing staff, I receive a portion of reader’s subscriptions, so subscribing to the journal will also indirectly support me).

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(My apologies for the lack of activity at this blog, I have been hard at work on some projects that are not yet ready to be announced, but I am very excited about.)

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Sci Phi Journal and SuperversiveSF are Hugo finalists!

This is another proud moment. Sci Phi Journal, where I am a member of the editing staff and have contributed to more issues than anyone else, is one of the five finalists for a Hugo award in the ‘Best Semiprozine’ category, and SuperversiveSF, where I am a regular contributor and one of the founding members, is one of the five finalists for best fanzine. Fellow SuperversiveSF member and Sci Phi Journal contributor Brian Niemeier is on the shortlist for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer, the only finalist not to be in his final year of eligibility.

Congratulations to everyone who made the final list!

The full list of finalists can be found here

To become a subscriber to Sci Phi Journal, go here

 

 

Another SuperversiveSF Livestream

There is going to be another superversiveSF roundtable livestream on Saturady at 3pm Eastern time, with guests Kate Paulk, Arlan Andrews and Daddy Warpig discussing among other things the recent Hugo kerfuffle and where we go from here.

Head over to http://superversivesf.com/ tomorrow for a link to the livestream itself.

Sci Phi Issue 7 Teaser and SuperversiveSF Rountable!

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The above teaser of the cover art for issue 7 has been released, the signed copies of Nobility Among Us and Selected Verse: Faith and Family for the contest winner have been posted, and I have also submitted my first article to Sci Phi Journal, based on one of the lesser-read blog posts here. We’ll see if it gets accepted, and if so in which issue it will appear.

Issue 7 of Sci Phi Journal will contain chapters 12 and 13 of Beyond the Mist, in which the main character’s new name will be revealed (along with a lot of other things)

Also, tomorrow at 3pm Eastern time there will be another superversiveSF live stream, in which we will be discussing the merits of the various Hugo-nominated works, the day after voting on the awards closes. Many of these works can be read for free, links can be found at SFsignal:

http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/04/finalists-2015-hugo-award-with-free-fiction-links/

Book Review – Plural of Helen of Troy by John C. Wright

How many stories have you read or films have you watched that incorporate time travel as part of the plot? Quite a few, I expect. And how many of those actually deal with the morality of time travel itself, instead of purely using it as a mechanism to generate a fish out of water scenario? Not so many. What would society look like if technologies existed to manipulate time however you saw fit?

Plural of Helen of Troy is one of a collection of short stories that deal with these very questions, entitled City Beyond Time, Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis.

Murder in Metachronopols and Plural of Helen of Troy bookend this collection of short stories and are both set in the city outside of time itself, in which the Time Wardens rule with impunity and seemingly limitless power, able to retroactively go back in time and manipulate every event to reach the outcome they desire, transporting people and technology from every time period in history to their magnificent timeless city to act as their servants and playthings. Both stories are centred around a hard-boiled film-noir style detective who used to work for the Time Wardens as a problem solver (i.e. hitman). In Murder in Metachronopolis, he is attempting to solve his own murder in the future, in Plural of Helen of Troy, he is trying to save the most beautiful woman in history, one of many versions of Helen of Troy, from being attacked by someone who is close to the Time Wardens and aided by one of their deadliest robotic henchmen.

Both stories are told out of chronological sequence, which suits a story about time manipulation and is done so well that it is not confusing, instead each jump forward and backward in time either throws new light on or raises the stakes of what is happening in the main story thread. There is a lot of great humour, for example:

I ran up the nearer ramp toward the girl and sprinted toward my death.

I’d had a pretty good life, I guess. I had no complaints.

Strike that. My life stank like an incontinent skunk pie sandwich with no mustard, if one of the slices was the crusty heel no one likes to eat, and I had loads of complaints.

And the action sequences are intense and tactically brilliant, including how the deadlock is broken between two weapon systems that can perfectly predict and counteract each other.

Of the two stories, I’d say that Murder in Metachronopolis has more depth and emotional impact, while Plural of Helen of Troy is more fun. Both are masterfully crafted, insightful and rewarding to read, and I cannot recommend them enough. I could say much the same for every story in the collection without reservation. If I had to pick between the above two stories, I’d go for Murder in Metachronopolis, but it was first published earlier than the rest, hence ineligible for the Hugo this year.

If you haven’t yet sampled this great collection from a master of the art, you are missing out.

SuperversiveSF Roundtable Discussion

For those of you unaware, I am a regular contributor over at SuperversiveSF, and this Saturday they will be holding an online roundtable of the contributors via google hangout.

The event will go live at 10.30am EST and will include myself, Jason Rennie, L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright, EJ Shumak, Joshua Young, Brian Niemeier, David Hallquist, Peter Sean Bradley and perhaps some others.

Among other topics, we will be discussing the upcoming Hugo awards and Sad Puppies Campaign, who knows what else we’ll get up to…