Extra Credit, Feb. 7, 2012
In lieu of a book review, it feels like time for a link post. I’ve read plenty of interesting stuff here and there lately, but haven’t really had a forum to share most of it. Since I’m replacing a ~1200 word post with a bunch of links, I will try to engage in each of them a bit and offer commentary beyond, “hey check this thing out.”
The Monsters of MM9 Haikasoru has been on a roll lately, publishing some of the craziest, deepest, funnest stuff from Japan. Their newest release is by recent Seiun winner Yamamoto Hiroshi, the author of The Stories of Ibis. MM9 is a monster story, or rather a story about the Meterological division that measures and classifies the giant monsters that periodically attack Japan. I have yet to get my grubby paws on it, but Haikasoru has posted an essay by the author giving some background to the story. Hopefully I can get a copy soon and post a review.
Military SF on Tor.com The weekly Tor.com offerings are always a mixed bag, but when they come through, they really come through. The end of January was Mil SF week for Tor, with reviews and commentary about a whole host of topics. Some of the books are good, some are crap, some articles made me tear out my hair, some were brilliant. I’ll leave it to out readers to decide which is which. Recommended, however, are any articles by or about David Drake. Frequent readers will already know my opinions about Drake, but they bear repeating. Drake is a rare author who is as interesting as the books he writes. The more I hear him talk about his life, the more crazy his books seem. Definitely check those ones out. Also good is the summary of anime SF and the look at Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato to the Japan-aware).
The World SF Blog Without highlighting a particular article, this page is a treasure trove of the obscure and off the wall. Where else can you find a report on the Hungarian Science Fiction Convention or an article about Israeli pulp novels on display at Arizona State?
My Favourite Reads of 2011 at Walker of Worlds. This is a page I came across recently, forgot how, but I was happy to see this list. I wasn’t really paying attention to new releases last year, so someone else’s summary is welcome. I’ve already put one selection on hold at the library, even if I disagree with some of his choices. (Honor Harrington? Egad.)
Fantasy Armor and Lady Bits Just in case people weren’t clear on the idiocy of chain mail bikinis and molded breast plates, a real live armorer explains it all.
Good Show Sir I’m always hesitant to pass along funny things, because I fear that I’m the last to know about them and everyone else will just say, “That’s dumb, I knew about that in 2009.” (Case in point: until about four days ago, I thought that NyanCat was a Japanese smart phone game.) With that risk acknowledged, I can’t pass up this collection of terrible SFF book covers. I suspect there are a few hidden in my own library somewhere; maybe I should send submissions.
The Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy at Contrary Brin. I’ve read David Brin’s ideas on this before, but it never ceases to interest me. A lot of people seem to take issue with this definition, which probably says more about our contradictory beliefs and self-images than about Brin’s penchant for stirring the pot. Still, I wonder if this isn’t the root of my preference for SF.
The Nearest Exoplanets at Karl Schroeder’s blog. This is a late addition. He looks at some recent data and makes startling predictions for the number of planets actually out there. Heartening for those of us that think life is out there somewhere, even if it isn’t whizzing around Nevada in flying saucers.
Two Dudes Twitter Finally, we are at long last Twittering. Join in the fun!