With the Fourth of July tomorrow (Saturday), what a great time it is now for a Friday Link-Dump. Here’s some great stuff that has gone up at SFFWorld and SF Signal over the past few weeks. Not too much from me at SFFWorld lately (I read and reviewed Max Gladstone’s forthcoming novel Last First Snow, but I’m holding the review until the publication date gets closer), but that doesn’t mean things aren’t going on over there. I’ve also got two new pieces up at SF Signal this week: a book review and my July Mind Meld.
A couple of weeks ago at SFFWorld, I took part in an interview we posted with one of my favorite (and under-read) writers: Jeffrey Ford. His wonderful Well Built City Trilogy is being issued electronically (along with other titles on his backlist) by Open Road Integrated Media. Here's a sampling:
The two collections being released electronically, The Empire of Ice Cream and The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant display a wide range of imaginative stories, some from themed anthologies, other stories from the magazine/short story market. Do you find crafting a story for a specific themed anthology to prove more challenging than crafting stories that appear in “unthemed” in a place like The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction or Tor.com?
Sometimes it’s easier because you at least have some parameters to begin with, so the limitation offers direction. The problem is it can become stultifying if the subject of the anthology is too played — like zombies, vampires, etc. Story possibilities have been milked for all their worth and then some. Still, if you’re able to come up with a story that escapes the pedestrian in those flayed categories that can be exciting writing. On the other hand, writing with no parameters, the sky’s the limit, that can also be daunting. Unless, of course, you have a story already in mind.
Tuesday, my review of Working for Bigfoot, a tryptich of stories featuring Harry Dresden doing jobs for a Bigfoot published by Subterranean Press went up at SF Signal:
Jim Butcher, especially because of his Dresden Files series, is known mostly for writing novel length fiction. Occasionally, when an anthology editor calls, Jim will write a shorter tale featuring a mini-adventure of everybody’s favorite Chicago Wizard (or another character from the series). The fine folks at Subterranean Press have gathered three of those shorter mini-adventures her in Working for Bigfoot. In each story, Harry Dresden takes on jobs for a Bigfoot as the Sasquatch/Yeti are, unsurprisingly, a separate supernatural race in the world of The Dresden Files.Prior to reading Working for Bigfoot, I recently read the (at the time of this review) most recent Dresden Files novel, Skin Game, which just happens to have as a supporting character, a Bigfoot. So perhaps the timing of the release of this “Bigfoot Trilogy” of short stories is quite apropos. I found the stories just as enjoyable as the novel-length stories in this series, what I enjoy about the novels (Butcher’s humor, Harry as a character, and the Fantasy Kitchen Sink approach to the supernatural world) was on display here. This is the second limited edition publication Subterranean Press has published featuring a short story in The Dresden Files (the previous is Backup), the art here is by Vincent Chong, who did the covers and art for the limited editions of the Dresden novels Subterranean has published thus far. Even in ARC form, this is a nice edition, with not only an eye-catching cover but moody illustrations for each of the stories.
In addition to the Jeffrey Ford interview I pointed out above, we’ve also recently run interviews with:
Luke Brown has been a great addition to our gaggle of reviewers and was recently the 100th blogger/genre reviewer interviewed by S.C. Flynn.
We’ve got a great Authors Roundtable going on over at SFFWorld featuring Alexes Razevich, Brian Staveley, Jay Posey, and Mark Lawrence
Also at SF Signal, my July Mind Meld went live, wherein I ask Mahvesh Murad, Mihir Wanchoo of Fantasy Book Critic, Shana Dubois, Romeo Kennedy, Melanie R. Meadors, and Alex Ristea about :
From Joanne Harris’s Gospel of Loki going back as far as Evangeline Walton’s “Mabinogion Tetralogy” as well as Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light and Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, myths and gods from around the world have infused speculative fiction. What is your favorite mythic and god-infused fiction?