Strange Chemistry Closes

Welcome back to the British Genre Fiction Focus,’s regular round-up of book news from the United Kingdom’s thriving speculative fiction industry.

I got a dash distracted by the publication of the programme for the Edinburgh International Book Festival last time we did this, so we’ve got a couple of things to catch up on in this edition, including the announcement of an awesome new annual anthology and a striking-sounding space opera, news of the continuing dominance of Claire North and Jasper Fforde’s next novel, and any number of other items.

But the big news in the British genre fiction industry this week was bad. And sad. Angry Robot’s YA fiction imprint has closed its doors, folks.

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Series: British Fiction Focus

Iain M. Banks’ Culture Spits in the Eye of Nihilism

Iain Banks’ Culture novels are modern classics and should be required reading for anybody who likes science fiction. No, scratch that, for anybody, period. I see hand-wringing articles all the time about how science fiction has become the domain of anti-science fear-mongering and dystopian fiction. Well! Iain M. Banks writes the heck out of utopian sci-fi, and he does it with a wink in the face of nihilism, and it is wonderful.

Let’s just take a moment to appreciate The Culture, because The Culture, and Iain Banks, are fantastic.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sweepstakes!

Here’s a chance to show your Turtle Power while discovering the complete story of your favorite crime fighting reptiles! Out now from Insight Editions, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History chronicles the journey of TMNT all the way from their black-and-white comic beginnings to their multimillion-dollar franchise success. 

This volume includes rare art from every TMNT incarnation as well as interviews from co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, animation legend Fred Wolf, creature effects artist Brian Henson, and even the man behind the “Ninja Rap,” Vanilla Ice! 

We have three copies that we’re ready to send to you! Comment in the post to enter!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 3:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on June 24. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on June 28. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor:, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: “Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”

“Doctor Bashir, I Presume?”
Written by Jimmy Diggs and Ronald D. Moore
Directed by David Livingston
Season 5, Episode 16
Production episode 40510-514
Original air date: February 24, 1997
Stardate: unknown

Station log: Rom has spent the last several weeks trying to work up the courage to ask Leeta out. He has failed. Leeta is starting to think he isn’t interested, and Quark encourages that notion, as he knows that Rom will never actually ask her out. Quark insists that his brother wants someone with brains and a body, and when Leeta insists that she has brains, Quark snidely says that’s why he hired her, and then tells her to get back to work so everyone can see her brains.

Bashir and O’Brien’s darts game is interrupted by Dr. Lewis Zimmerman of the holographic imaging and research center on Jupiter Station. He’s the one who developed the Emergency Medical Hologram—and patterned it after himself—and now is developing a Long-Term Medical Hologram. The LMH’s purpose is to be used in research outposts, subspace relays, and other places where life-support and/or space is at a premium and the chief medical officer wouldn’t generally need to leave sickbay.


Series: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch

Hurry! Get Max Gladstone’s Three Parts Dead Ebook for $2.99!

You can now purchase the ebook edition of Three Parts Dead, the first volume in Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, for only $2.99! (U.S and Canada, and many other nations.) It will only be available at this sale price until July, so order your copy today!

With book three in the series, Full Fathom Five, just over the horizon, there’s never been a better time for new readers to see what all the fuss is about, or for other folks to get reacquainted with Gladstone’s secondary-world urban fantasy.

In Three Parts Dead, Tara, a first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, must resurrect the fire god Kos before the city of Alt Coulumb falls apart. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Her only help is Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

If you’re still not convinced, you can check out an excerpt from Three Parts Dead here on first. Get the ebook from the retailers below, or from your favorite ebook provider!

B&N NOOK | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle

Short Fiction Spotlight: “Women Destroy Science Fiction!” at Lightspeed (Part 2)

Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. This is the second week we’ll be discussing Lightspeed Magazine’s June special issue, “Women Destroy Science Fiction!”—a huge collection of sf stories by women writers, some familiar and some upcoming. And, like I said last time, we’re still barely scratching the surface of this issue, which is rightly more of an anthology (and in fact can be purchased in print, if you were so inclined).

Since last week we only talked about one short story as well as a few pieces of flash fiction, this week I thought I’d focus on a couple more of the longer offerings that I found compelling: “The Unfathomable Sisterhood of Ick” by Charlie Jane Anders and “The Lonely Sea in the Sky” by Amal El-Mohtar. Both of these stories are available only in the for-purchase edition—which, let’s be clear again, has more than 850 pages of material—and on their own make it worth picking up.


Series: Short Fiction Spotlight

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Alyx Dellamonica

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Alyx Dellamonica, author of Indigo Springs, winner of the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, and its concluding sequel, Blue Magic. Her short stories have appeared in a number of fantasy and science fiction magazines and anthologies, as well as here on “Among the Silvering Herd” and “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti” are prequel stories to her novel Child of a Hidden Sea, available now from Tor Books! You can read an excerpt from the novel here, and be sure to check out Alyx’s latest stand alone story, “The Color of Paradox,” appearing June 25th on!

What sort of apocalypse really terrifies Alyx? Dive in to find out!

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Series: The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Sleeps With Monsters: Books To Look Forward To, July-December 2014

The second half of 2014 is upon us! (Already? Where did this first half of the year go? Seriously, I want some of that time back.) Which means it’s time for my semi-regular post about which books* I’m looking forward to seeing in the latter part of the year.

*By persons who aren’t blokes. Though as always: yes, there are books by guys which I’m looking forward to, too.

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Series: Sleeps With Monsters

Teen Wolf: Lobito

Previously on Teen Wolf: The Scott pack—now with more magical shapeshifting Japanese foxes!—battle Nogitsune!Stiles; Allison learns to be the hunter she was always meant to be; Derek continues to have terrible taste in women; Lydia never stops screaming; a coyote shifter stirs up trouble and hormones; Jackson leaves town to be Red Hood on Arrow; and nobody hugs Isaac enough. Basically, everyone is dead or gone and everything hurts.

This review is operating under the assumption you’re up-to-date. Proceed with caution. Thar be spoilers…

[“This plan is stupid, and we’re going to die.”]

Jo Walton’s Among Others wins German science-fiction award

Jo Walton’s Among Others has won the 2014 Kurd Lasswitz Award (in German, the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis) in the category of best foreign novel translated into German. Named for Kurd Lasswitz (1848-1910), widely considered the father of German science fiction, the Kurd Lasswitz Award is the best-known science fiction award in Germany. Locus has a complete list of all this year’s Lasswitz winners.

Among Others was published in German in 2013 by Golkonda, under the title In einer anderen Welt (literally, “In a Different World”).

Congratulations to Jo and to her German publisher!

Queering SFF Pride Month: Brainchild by Suzanne Geary

Of course, it’s not all traditional physical books here in the queer-and-speculative world. Exciting stuff is happening digitally, too, particularly in the world of webcomics—like Suzanne Geary’s Brainchild, which began publication at the end of January this year and is ongoing. The comic currently consists of a prologue and the majority of its first chapter, going regular-and-strong the whole time. The updates roll out on Sundays.

As the site informs us, “Brainchild is a story about paranormal phenomena, bad first impressions, wide-scale conspiracies, a whole bunch of mutants, and everything else your senior year of college can possibly throw at you.” This is Geary’s first major project, and so far, I’m hooked—definitely looking forward to seeing where it goes next.


Series: Queering SFF

Morning Roundup: We Would Totally Watch Disney’s Snow Wombat

Delightful illustrator Gemma Correll posted this delightful illustration on Twitter! Maybe this can end all the Disney Princess reimaginings? Is anyone going to top “Australasian Land Mammals”? We think not.

Morning Roundup never expected the Spanish Inquisition! Well, OK, we’re reporting on a list of favorite Monty Python sketches, so we did actually expect the Spanish Inquisition. And The Fish-Slapping Dance. But we never expected a trampoline in a mine shaft! Or a crowd surfing scientist!

[Or the Jurassic Park theme at its most majestic!]

Resistance (Excerpt)

In 2020, eleven years after the passengers of flight BA142 from London to Delhi developed extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires, the world is overrun with supers. Some use their powers for good, others for evil, and some just want to pulverize iconic monuments and star in their own reality show. But now, from New York to Tokyo, someone is hunting down supers, killing heroes and villains both, and it’s up to the Unit to stop them…

Resistance, the sequel to Samit Basu’s action-packed Turbulence, is available July 8th from Titan Books! Read an excerpt below.

[Read an Excerpt]

Heritage of Cyador Sweepstakes!

From New York Times bestselling author L.E. Modesitt Jr. comes Heritage of Cyador, the new novel in the Saga of Recluce. 

In order to protect Cigoerne, Lerial used his mastery of the forces of Order and Chaos to destroy an Afrit military force. Five years later, Heldya is threatening to invade Afrit, and Lireal must return to the place where he caused so much damage, this time as field commander of Cigoerne’s Mirror Lancers. He cannot fail in his mission to protect Afrit, but his return may reopen old wounds that have never truly healed.

We want to give away ten galley copies of Heritage of Cyador before its November 11th release from Tor Books! Check for the rules below!

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