Speculative Fiction Authors
- Joe Abercrombie
- Dan Abnett
- Daniel Abraham
- Saladin Ahmed
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- James Barclay
- Bradley P. Beaulieu
- Peter V. Brett
- Terry Brooks
- Tobias S. Buckell
- Jim Butcher
- Jacqueline Carey
- Blake Charlton
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- Hal Duncan
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- David Louis Edelman
- Steven Erikson
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- Raymond E. Feist
- Jeffrey Ford
- C. S. Friedman
- Neil Gaiman
- William Gibson
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- Robin Hobb
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- Charlie Huston
- J. V. Jones
- Guy Gavriel Kay
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- Kay Kenyon
- Stephen King
- Katherine Kurtz
- Mark Lawrence
- Sergey Lukyanenko
- Scott Lynch
- George R. R. Martin
- Robert McCammon
- Ian McDonald
- China Miéville
- L. E. Modesitt, jr.
- Michael Moorcock
- Richard Morgan
- Haruki Murakami
- Mark Charan Newton
- Naomi Novik
- Nnedi Okorafor
- K. J. Parker
- Tim Powers
- Terry Pratchett
- Melanie Rawn
- Alastair Reynolds
- Patrick Rothfuss
- Brian Ruckley
- Brandon Sanderson
- Courtney Schafer
- Ken Scholes
- Ekaterina Sedia
- Joel Shepherd
- Dan Simmons
- Melinda Snodgrass
- Jeff Somers
- Jon Sprunk
- Neal Stephenson
- Sam Sykes
- Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Ian Tregillis
- Carrie Vaughn
- Peter Watts
- Brent Weeks
- Margaret Weis
- David J. Williams
- Tad Williams
- Jack Whyte
- Chris Wooding
- Carlos Ruiz Zafón
SFF Message Boards
2 Pac Feat. Dr Dre - California Love
envoyé par Momo59-93. - Regardez la dernière sélection musicale.
I left Los Angeles last Thursday morning, sunburned and exhausted. That pub crawl really did me in, and that early wake up to catch that bus to the airport was brutal. But at 75 cents only to reach LAX airport, I couldn't pass it up.
I was aware that temperatures were a bit cooler in the San Francisco area to the Bay and all that. Touched down at San Francisco airport on Thursday a little past noon, and it was a glorious day. The sun was out, and there was a slight breeze blowing. All in all, it looked as though my stay in San Francisco, at least weather-wise, would be a wonderful as in L. A. Unfortunately, that was to be my last sighting of the sun. I was wearing shorts, flip-flops, and a T-shirt. When the clouds moved in as my shuttle took me to my hostel near Union Square, temperatures dropped down to about 63 degrees. Don't know how much that amounts to in Celsius, but it was definitely on the chilly side. All of a sudden, I felt as though I had landed in the UK.
The boozing of the night before and the lack of sleep coupled with that dramatic drop in temperatures hit me like an uppercut. That evening I knew I was going to be sick, and by the time I went to bed the cold symptoms were already making themselves known. To my consternation, I spent the last three days with a sore throat, headaches, runny noise, coughing, and a bit of fever yesterday. I haven't been this sick while traveling since I went to Amsterdam in 2004.
What the fuck!?! Isn't this supposed to be California??? It's hotter in Montreal, for crying out loud! Fuck me, people are wearing boots and tuques on the streets, and that's no fashion statement! Of course, since I was coming to California, I didn't bring any warm clothes. Hence, I only have a long-sleeve shirt and a windbreaker with me, which likely didn't help improve my condition.
Being this sick (I got so much stuff coming out of my noise that I borrowed a roll of toilet paper from the hostel to carry around in my backpack -- nothing is more chic than grabbing that roll and blowing what feels like all my bodily fluids in that toilet paper!:-/), I sadly lacked the energy to do everything I wanted to do in San Francisco. Which is too bad, because this could well be the most beautiful city in the USA. After visiting ulgy and dirty Los Angeles, it was great to wander around what appears to be a gorgeous blend of Paris and New York City.
Met three French guys in L. A. who were staying in San Jose for a couple of days before returning home, so we hooked up to visit Alcatraz. At 26$ it's an expensive attraction, for sure, yet it's a cool and interesting visit. The audio tour is just long enough to be informative and entertaining. Pier 39 is a bit of a tourist trap, but everything is well-done. To a certain extent, wandering around the city is one of the best things to do in San Francisco. The area around Union Square is very nice, and walking around Market Street reminded me of my travels to Paris. Understandably, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to witness the Powell Street cable-car turnaround. Weird that for all the technology in the world, a burly black man and a small Asian guy (don't know if it's for show, but it's always an unlikely pair) turn the trolley around by hand on a revolving wooden platform.
Did the Lonely Planet walking tour in my guidebook, which took me across Chinatown, Italian North Beach, up the Greenwich Street Steps to the top of Telegraph Hill (sick as I was, this probably wasn't a great idea), and then on to the top of Russian Hill and Nob Hill. Somehow, temperatures found a way to go down to 61 degrees that day. The skies remained overcast, and the French guys and I didn't see a single ray of sunshine the entire afternoon we spent at Golden Gate Park. Similar to Central Park, it's a neat place to visit. But we figured it must be grand when the sun is out.
They wanted to go out on both Friday and Saturday night, but I elected to sit these ones out, hoping to get better in the process. My condition has indeed improved as I write these lines, but I'm far from feeling good. And since it's going to be suffocating when I land in Las Vegas tommorow afternoon, I'm hoping that taking it easy tonight will help this unit get back to full capacity or close to it. Shared a drink with the guys at the Urban Tavern at the Hilton Hotel, but that's as much action as I've gotten in San Francisco, I'm afraid. . .
Since it was gray and cold and foggy every fucking day since I got here, I kept my visit to the Golden Gate Bridge till the very end. Feeling a bit better, I started my day at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art this morning. By the way, can anyone tell me how a urinal placed on a pedestal can be considered art. Then I made my way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It would surely have been wonderful had the sun been out, but it nevertheless was quite an experience to cross what just might be the most popular bridge in the world. The views are not as great as those from the Brooklyn Bridge, but it certainly was a cool afternoon.
Though the weather did everything it could to make me hate San Francisco, I ended up enjoying it immensely. And I will be returning, for sure. Just have to figure out when I have to bring my ass over when it's warm enough to wear shors and flip-flops. How can it feel like the beginning of April when we're a day away from June!?! Being sick prevented me from doing as much as I initially planned to do, so I will definitely come back. There are other parts of California I wish to see, so I guess a return trip to San Francisco will be in order.
Next stop: Las Vegas!;-)
When you've traveled around as much as I have, you are aware that few destinations can actually meet the expectations you have. It's a fact of life, and no worries about it. Actually, most of the time the city/region, while not being what you thought it would be, will nevertheless amaze you in ways you could not have foreseen.
Hence, I never make a big deal about expectations and I try not to have too lofty ones when I board a plane for a new destination. Some cities like New York City, Paris, Berlin, London, Riga, yada yada yada, will blow your mind, whatever you expected. Others, like Brussels and Zurich, leave more than a little something to be desired.
Los Angeles falls into a special category. No matter what you think it's going to be, it's far from that. We all have that glamorous image of the city in our minds, but L. A. is everything but that. Every traveler you meet prior to getting here tells you not to expect too much or you'll be sorely disappointed. Those who are visiting L. A. right now are all a bit underwhelmed. With the thousands of tourists who visit L. A. every day, it strike up conversations with dozens of random strangers all the time. And what we all have in common is a mild to a major disappointment in what L. A. turned out to be.
It's not all bad, mind you, and I'm having fun nonetheless. It's just that Los Angeles is nowhere near the sort of city I envisioned. Which is partially my fault, and partially the fault of the media who sell us the glamorous, star-studded image of an amorphous giant of a city that is dirty and ugly for the most part.
For that reason, man am I happy to have book accomodation in gorgeous Santa Monica, two blocks from the beach. In a way, the oceanfront portion of Santa Monica is the Los Angeles everyone comes to see and experience. Ask everyone staying here, and they'll tell you that it's the shit. But go up Santa Monica Boulevard toward the L. A. proper, and things quicky dissolve before your eyes. Plus, the public transportation, though cheap and efficient, takes forever to go anywhere because we have to rely on buses that get stuck at every fucking traffic light. From Santa Monica to Hollywood, a mere 12 miles will set you back about an hour. An hour!!!!:-( And that's with the express bus, no less! Wherever you go, it will take you quite a while to get there. And driving is not much better, what with all the traffic you encounter along the way.
Still, for all the time it takes us to get somewhere, everyone here is happy to stay in Santa Monica. And I would recommend it to anyone planning on coming to Los Angeles. The pier is neat, though nothing to write home about. But you have long stretches of sandy beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Bars and restaurants along the 3rd Street Promenade. And the hostel, the H. I. Los Angeles-Santa Monica is a real bargain at about 34$ a night.
Spent my first afternoon exploring Santa Monica. Then made my way to Venice Beach. You know when you get there immediately. The Oceanfront Promenade becomes dirty, everything feels like an open-air flea market, and you can't really tell who's homeless and who's a resident. Tacky and kitch to an extreme seldom encountered, it nevertheless remains a must see. Just so you can realize how weird everything feels. And Muscle Beach was a major disappointment as well. Feels like a gym that has not changed its inventory since the 70s.
The second day was spent visiting Hollywood. They tell you that the best view for the Hollywood sign is at the end of Beachwood Drive. Don't believe that crap. Continue on to Ledgewood Drive till you reach its end, and then make a left on that street for unencumbered views of the famous sign on the adjacent hill. The Walk of Fame is nothing special, though it does feel kind of cool to be there and soak up the atmosphere. For the first time in my life, I actually caved in and had my picture taken with a pair of Stormtroopers in front of the Chinese Theatre.
The third day was devoted to Downtown Los Angeles. Most people told me to skip it, as it was supposed to suck big time. But I wanted to find out for myself, so I want. . . And realized that they were right on all accounts. Other than Grand Street and the Financial District and the area around Staples Center, L. A.'s downtown is quite lame. Fortunately, the day was saved when I elected to go to Beverly Hills. It's quite fun to walk along Rodeo Drive and the surrounding streets where all the posh shops are situated.
Though it cost a fortune, I went to Disneyland yesterday. Yeah, it was 117$US in total with the shuttle, but let me tell you that it was worth every penny. It sure did bring the kid out of me, and I had a total blast. Too bad the lines are so long that you can't go on all the rides. Yet we did more than enough to enjoy it to a degree that we had eyes as big as any child there!
Spent most of the day at the beach in Malibu today, and I unfortunately have the sunburns to show for it. We played volleyball and made the most of our time there. Sadly, no celebrities were spotted there, nor in Beverly Hills, or anywhere else.
In the end, although Los Angeles was nothing like I thought it would, I still managed to have a great time. I probably won't be coming back, though. But one can never say never, as the old saying goes. So who knows. . . L. A. might yet grow on me.
Flying to San Francisco tomorrow morning, and there's a pub crawl tonight. God I hope I'll get up on time to catch my flight!
GUNS N ROSES - Paradise City
envoyé par GunsnRoses. - Regardez la dernière sélection musicale.
What better to put a ray of sunshine into your day than by playing Guns N' Roses best track ever!?!
The funny thing is that growing up I always thought Montreal was the asshole of this world. When I started traveling, to my dismay I discovered that Montreal could well be one of the nicest and coolest places in the world. Thirty countries under my belt, and I can count the cities where I'd rather live on the fingers of one hand. Without using them all. . .
I needed to experience what all those other places had to offer to realize just how great things could be in my neck of the woods. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, sure, but the Paradise City just might be the where you're at right now. . .
Stephenie Meyer's The Host is down two spots, finishing the week at number 8.
Jim Butcher's Turn Coat is down seven positions, ending its fourth week on the bestseller list at number 17. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.
Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is up five positions, ending its fifth week on the bestseller list at number 5.
Charlaine Harris' From Dead to Worse is down nineteen spots, finishing its fifth week on the prestigious list at number 24.
The winners are:
- Raman Ohri, from Fishers, Indiana, USA
- Mirella Standbridge, from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
- Doug Doyle, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Joni Scalf, from Houston, Texas, USA
I've recently subscribed to George RR Martin's blog (http://grrm.livejournal.com/) in the hopes of getting some inside information regarding when the next "Song of Ice and Fire" book is due to be released. I love the series but since subscribing to the blog I've become increasingly frustrated with Martin's lack of communication on the next novel's publication date. In fact, it's almost as though he is doing everything in his power to avoid working on his latest novel. Which poses a few questions:
1. With blogs and twitter and other forms of social media do you think the audience has too much input when it comes to scrutinising the actions of an artist? If you had announced a new book two years ago and were yet to deliver do you think avoiding the topic on your blog would lead readers to believe you were being "slack"? By blogging about your work and life do you have more of a responsibility to deliver on your commitments?
2. When writing a series of books, like Martin is with "A Song of Ice and Fire" what responsibility does he have to finish the story? Is it unrealistic to think that by not writing the next chapter Martin is letting me down, even though if and when the book gets written is completely up to him?
Would be very interested in your insight.
To which Gaiman replied:
2) Yes, it's unrealistic of you to think George is "letting you down".
Look, this may not be palatable, Gareth, and I keep trying to come up with a better way to put it, but the simplicity of things, at least from my perspective is this:
George R.R. Martin is not your bitch.
This is a useful thing to know, perhaps a useful thing to point out when you find yourself thinking that possibly George is, indeed, your bitch, and should be out there typing what you want to read right now.
People are not machines. Writers and artists aren't machines.
You're complaining about George doing other things than writing the books you want to read as if your buying the first book in the series was a contract with him: that you would pay over your ten dollars, and George for his part would spend every waking hour until the series was done, writing the rest of the books for you.
No such contract existed. You were paying your ten dollars for the book you were reading, and I assume that you enjoyed it because you want to know what happens next.
It seems to me that the biggest problem with series books is that either readers complain that the books used to be good but that somewhere in the effort to get out a book every year the quality has fallen off, or they complain that the books, although maintaining quality, aren't coming out on time.
Both of these things make me glad that I am not currently writing a series, and make me even gladder that the decade that I did write series things, in Sandman, I was young, driven, a borderline workaholic, and very fortunate. (and even then, towards the end, I was taking five weeks to write a monthly comic, with all the knock-on problems in deadlines that you would expect from that).
Click on the link to read the whole piece. This will by no means silence Martin's detractors, but it's nice to get a number 1 NYT bestselling author's take on the issue.
SciFiNow and Tor launch War of the Words competition
SciFiNow and Tor UK announce competition to offer a new Sci-fi writer a book publishing contract.
Leading consumer specialist magazine SciFiNow and highly regarded SF imprint Tor UK have teamed up to launch a new competition, War Of The Words, in a bid to find the UK’s best new SF writer. The partnership will be announced to readers in SciFiNow issue 28, on sale 13 May. Both SciFiNow and Tor UK are committed to celebrating the best in science fiction and fantasy literature and discovering emerging talent in the genre.
Writers will be encouraged to submit a full synopsis along with the first three chapters by 20 August. The judging panel will be comprised of members of SciFiNow magazine and Tor teams, and a shortlist of six entries will be announced before the overall winner is revealed in SciFiNow issue 35, on sale 25 November 2009.
Top Macmillan and Tor authors will offer advice and tips to competitors in exclusive interviews. The SciFiNow website will also host regularly updated author content, including podcast interviews and video clips, as well as Q&A opportunities for aspiring writers. After the winner is announced, SciFiNow will continue to follow the publishing process with interviews with the winning author and extracts in the magazine, plus a winner’s blog on www.scifinow.co.uk. The finished book will be published by Tor UK in 2010.
Julie Crisp, Senior Commissioning Editor at Tor UK, commented: “At Tor UK we’re dedicated to finding, growing and nurturing new talent. We’re very excited to be working in partnership with one of the leading specialist magazines to find a new science fiction or fantasy writer to join authors such as Neal Asher and Alan Campbell on our list.”
Aaron Asadi, Editor in Chief of SciFiNow, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Tor UK on such a fantastic competition. SciFiNow has always prided itself on championing the very best in sci-fi and War Of The Words exemplifies that.”
I glanced at my mother’s face. Her expression was unreadable. "No," I said slowly, stroking the cover of the book. "No, it’s enough to know this much. Thank you, Cillian."
"Moirin." His voice was husky. He clasped my upper arms, his hands strong. It felt good. His dark-grey eyes were intent on mine. I’d never noticed how handsome he was. "Have I not always been your friend?"
Index of Reviews and Interviews
- Wasting technology since January 2005!;-)
SFF Blogs of Interest
- A Dribble of Ink
- A Fantasy Reader
- Adventures in Reading
- Bibliophile Stalker
- Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
- Dave Brendon's Fantasy & Scifi Weblog
- Debuts and Reviews
- Drying Ink
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy Book Critic
- Fantasy Faction
- Fantasy Literature
- Fantasy Magazine
- Feminist SF
- Forbidden Planet
- George R. R. Martin's Not A Blog
- Graeme's Fantasy Book Reviews
- Grasping for the Wind
- Iceberg Ink
- King of the Nerds
- Mysterious Outposts
- OF Blog of the Fallen
- Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- R. S. Bakker's Three Pound Brain
- Rob's Blog o' Stuff
- Sandstorm Reviews
- Scifi Chick
- Speculative Book Review
- Speculative Fiction Junkie
- Speculative Fiction Junkie
- Speculative Horizons
- SQT Fantasy-Scifi Girl
- Staffer's Musings
- Stomping on Yeti
- The Agony Column
- The Bodhisattva
- The Book Smugglers
- The Book Swede
- The Genre Files
- The Green Man Review
- The Mad Hatter's Bookshelf & Book Review
- The Neth Space
- The Night Bazaar
- The Ranting Dragon
- The Soulless Machine Review
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Stamp (of Approval)
- The Wertzone
- The World in a Satin Bag
- Walker of Worlds
- When Gravity Fails
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- Tad Williams and Deborah Beale contest winners!
- Excerpt from David J. Williams' THE BURNING SKIES
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- Best Served Cold
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- California Dreaming. . .
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- That Amazon.co.uk SFF sale
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- Scary. . .
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- Subterranean Magazine (Spring 2009)
- Lane Robins contest winner!
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- Musical Interlude
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