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I Am LegendI Am Legend by Richard Matheson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Though this classic post-apocalypse thriller is showing its age a little (especially, to me, in its view of women), it was still an amazing read. Though generally spoken of as a horror novel, it's actually pure SF at its bones. The vampire theme allows Matheson to examine human nature in the face of the unthinkable, although some of the ways this works itself out have since become standard in this sub-genre.

Though the book is short, it's worth slowing down once in a while to savor the stark beauty of some of its prose. It's also interesting to think about all the fiction this book has probably spawned: The Passage came immediately to mind.

Psychologically effective and still chilling after all these years -- a great choice for late summer reading in nervous times.



View all my reviews
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I am (incredibly) happy to report that Hippocampus Press is now taking preorders for my second weird / Lovecraftian fiction collection, Dark Equinox. Find all the details – and a draft version of creepy Southwestern cover art by Lyndsay Harper! – here.

For May, at least, Hippocampus Press is also offering a package deal on Dark Equinox & my omnibus weird poetry collection Twisted in Dream. Find details here. This one came out in 2011, & includes my very SF 36-sonnet sequence In the Yaddith Time.

I’ll be posting more details & a real “cover reveal” later. For now, happy Mother’s Day weekend to any & all moms reading. Stay weird!
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Spec poetry fans looking for something distinctly different should check out the latest issue of the SFPA's online journal, Eye to the Telescope.  Edited by Tim Jones, this issue offers the work of  Australian & New Zealand speculative poets -- which means the TOC featured names I'd never heard of, but was glad to discover.

Here's the entire list:

If this is the future … • Helen Rickerby
Born Inside Weather • Les Wicks
Another Wow! Signal • Stephen Oliver
then our mother flew unassisted • Raewyn Alexander
Before Science Stepped In • Rod Usher
Rapunzel • Mary Victoria
Bordertown • Grant Stone
A whimper after the bang • Emily Manger
Man in a wingsuit • Chris Lynch
Mechwarrior Sonnet • Toby Davidson
Radio Wave Propagation in the Roman Warm Period • Catherine Fitchett
Nocturne • Peter Friend
mind sings of mer • Sandi Sartorelli
Yayoi Kusama goes to Iceland • Janis Freegard
In the third poem I am being killed by a water lizard • Cy Mathews
Don’t Shoot the Robot • David Reiter
The Trouble With Time Machines • Alicia Ponder
Extermiknit • Laurice Gilbert
Dhiy uvenjing goest • Tom Clark
Aliens • Joe Dolce


Some of the titles alone are worth the price of admission . .. except there isn't one.  It's all free, people.  Why not expand your horizons?
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For those who might have missed it, & wish they hadn't: the steampunk-themed episode of the ABC series Castle (entitled "Punked")  seems to be repeating tomorrow night.

Just saying . . .  


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Just received my contrib copy of the latest Scifaikuest, with truly disturbing cover art by Denny Marshall and a wider than usual array of scifaiku, haibun, tanka, senryu, articles, interviews, and Stellarenga.  (No, I didn't know about  this last form, either!)

My contribution this time around is an article: "The Science!  The Horror!  The . .. Haibun?"   It's a step-by-step discussion (or possibly dissection) of my dark archaeology haibun, "Bones of the God" (Lone Star Stories #32, April 2009).   Although this article is technically a reprint, its first appearance came in the HWA Newsletter -- so I'm guessing that it will probably be new to most of its readers.

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"Of Ithaca & Ice," my cryogenic take on mythic heroes & the women who wait for them, is up this week on Strange Horizons!

This one's a rarity for me, any more: free verse.  Sort of.




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It's been a long winter . . . but Wild Hunt of the Stars, my new collection of (mostly) dark SF poetry from Sam's Dot Publishing, is finally headed for the printer and available for ordering. 

You can find it here at The Genre Mall . . . fifty poems & haibun, plus interior black & white illustrations and a killer full color cover by Marge Simon.  All for less than a couple of trips to your favorite designer coffee place, too.




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If Friday's not coming fast enough for you -- or Earth just isn't hitting the spot right now -- here's a three minute vacation for eyes and ears, courtesy of The Imagined Village.  Check out the YouTube video of "Space Girl" here.

I generally don't post about this sort of thing, but the song is infectious and very, very SF . . . a cautionary tale for the next generation looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places.  Or planets.




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Though I'm still not sure when my new dark SF poetry collection from Sam's Dot Publishing will be out -- May is now looking more likely than April -- I finally have an image of  the finished cover to share. 

I'll be posting soonest when I have preorder information.  For now, just enjoy the view! 



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Anyone interested in science/SF poetry, proto-SF, and/or women's history should definitely check out [livejournal.com profile] eldritchhobbit 's most recent Fact Article: Looking Back Into Genre History on the StarShipSofa podcast, Aural Delights #123. 

This month's article discusses Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne . . . who hung out with the Royal Society of London, wrote poetry about atoms, penned a whole novel about an alien world -- and did all of this back in the seventeenth century.   She even signed her name to her writings, which was Simply Not Done -- at least, not by most women.

I like to think of myself as an SF poet, and I'm not sure I'd even heard of Margaret Cavendish before.  (Blush.)




 
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My dark SF flash fiction, "The Negotiator," is up today at Everyday Weirdness!



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Tales of the Unanticipated #30 -- The Anthology of TOTU Ink -- landed in my mailbox late last week . . . and nearly broke the box! 

Logging in at a chewy 134 pages of SF/F/H goodness, this issue's entire TOC may be found here, or you can find free fiction samples and ordering information right here.  

I've got three poems in this issue: "Phantom Starchild" (one of my Abductee Sonnets), "Before the Tempest," and "The Dunes of Titan."  I'm particularly happy to see "Before the Tempest" in print at last, since it's another poem inspired by the amazing photomontage work of Loretta Young-Gautier.   To see the image which sparked this  poem, please check here.



 

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I recently received my Winter 2010 issue of Frogpond, the Journal of the Haiku Society of America -- and was delighted to discover an article on science fiction haiku! 

"What-If Scenarios," by [livejournal.com profile] dkolodji , is an extensively researched and end-noted five-page introduction to the rapidly growing phenomenon of scifaiku, or speculative haiku.  It includes references to a number of SF novels in which haiku plays some role, and concludes with newer  haiku by three poets from the speculative poetry world.  (One of them happens to be me.)

This issue includes one more haiku of mine, and another of [livejournal.com profile] dkolodji 's.    There are also a haiku sequence and a haibun from [livejournal.com profile] hooks_and_books . . . a nice showing from spec poets in this mainstream publication. 

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The audio SF magazine StarShipSofa's annual Sofanaut Awards have opened for preliminary nominations (until December 7th). There are several contributor categories to vote for, though I am eligible in only one: "Best Poetry/Music Contributor." I've had four poems on the Aural Delights podcast, during episodes 60, 61, 69, & 70.

I would urge all StarShipSofa listeners to participate in the Sofanauts nomination process by voting here. Any number of contributors may be nominated in each category.
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I am absolutely delighted to announce that I will be having a new poetry collection, entitled Wild Hunt of the Stars, coming out from Sam's Dot Publishing in February 2010. 

Wild Hunt of the Stars consists of fifty science fiction, science, and fantasy poems, one-third previously unpublished.  The overall tone is dark (big surprise, right?), and the majority of the poems are formal. 

I am equally delighted to announce that Marge Simon will be doing the color cover and several black & white interior illos.  I've already seen one version of the cover, and it's impressive.  Marge has illustrated many of my poems in the past, so I've got high hopes for this project.  

More details / progress reports / sales pitches to follow . . .  

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People interested in contemporary young adult dystopian fiction -- whether as readers, teachers, librarians, parents, or some combination of these -- might want to check out StarShipSofa's Aural Delights # 104 podcast with its excellent "fact talk" by [livejournal.com profile] eldritchhobbit.  This thirty minute discussion of young adult "dark future" lit offers a thorough examination of several current works.  It also makes a few mind-bending observations regarding what this fiction says (or does not say) about  the Millennials who read it. 

And the, um, more mature people who write it. 

The helpful academic Hobbit has also posted a bibliography of primary and secondary sources used to prepare this talk (or a longer version of it) on her LJ.  I'm no expert, but it looks very comprehensive.
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Remember that StarShipSofa Stories (Vol. 1) anthology I posted about last week?  Well, today's the day. 

In celebration of the 100th episode of StarShipSofa's Aural Delights podcast, this retro-styled anthology is now available here, in both PDF download and POD hard copy formats.    Over 170 pages of  SF goodness, including a full color cover by Skeet.

I've already downloaded the PDF.  It's free, but those who can afford to might consider making a small donation to fuel the good ship Sofa.  ( I did.)  
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Just got my contributors' copies of Dreams & Nightmares #84, edited by [livejournal.com profile] dreamnnightmare  with a really disturbing (in the best way!) cover by Juan Mcgowan. 

The table of contents this time includes Wade German, Arthur Gottlieb, Todd Hanks, Denise Dumars, Kendall Evans, Geoffrey A. Landis, Marcie Lynn Tentchoff, Ruth Berman, Neal Wilgus, Duane Ackerson, John J. Dunphy, Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, and Yours Truly.  My contribution, "Night Chess," is one of a series of "Abductee Sonnets" I've written over the past few years.

According to the inside cover of this issue, Dreams & Nightmares has been continuously published since January, 1986.   In the genre small press, this is little short of a miracle.
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The amazing SF magazine podcast StarShipSofa will be celebrating its 100th show on September 16th!

Sofa captain Tony Smith is planning a special anthology of fiction from the podcast: StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1.  This will be available as both a  "dead tree" Print-on-Demand anthology, and as a free PDF available for download.  All monies made from the books and donations from the PDF will go toward keeping StarShipSofa flying.

Here's the mouthwatering table of contents for this project.  I for one can't wait, and will continue to post updates. 

StarShipSofa Stories Volume 1

  1. "Into The Blank Where Life Is Hurled" by Ken Scholes
  2. "London Bone" by Michael Moorcock
  3. "The Second Coming Of Jasmine Fitzgerald" by Peter Watts
  4. "Lest Young and The Jupiter's Moons' Blues" by Gord Sellar
  5. "Vampire Kiss" by Gene Wolfe
  6. "Vinegar Peace (or The Wrong-Way Used-Adult Orphanage)" by Michael Bishop
  7. "Godzilla's 12 Step Program" by Joe R Lansdale
  8. "Jesus Christ, Reanimator" by Ken MacLeod
  9. "The Sledge-Maker's Daughter" by Alastair Reynolds
  10. "Mars: A Travelers Guide" by Ruth Nestvold
  11. "The Empire of Ice Cream" by Jeffrey Ford
  12. "The Ant King: A California Fairytale" by Benjamin Rosebaum
  13. "In The Olden Days" by Spider Robinson
  14. "Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear
 

 
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The August 2009 / 7th Anniversary issue of Scifaikuest just landed in my mailbox yesterday.   I've got two SF haibun in this one, and I also noted work by [livejournal.com profile] dkolodji and (I think) [livejournal.com profile] dreamnnightmare , under a haiku name.  The cover is particularly effective this time, with surreal art by the now sadly departed Lawrence Hollien.

I've also got mainstream haiku up now on The Heron's Nest  and World Haiku Review.

Last but definitely not least . . . don't forget that tomorrow is the deadline for the Innsmouth Free Press Cthulhu Haiku contest!  Get those tentacles writing, already.





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