Saturday, April 25, 2015

Science Fiction and Horror Updates

An alien with fangs and a large veined head.
Image Credit:

I said last post that I would have an article about outdated science fiction here. I was working on it this afternoon but discovered that it was going to take a little more work than I had anticipated. So I decided to postpone it to next week. But I thought I would give you some updates on other things that are happening in science fiction and horror.

Preview of Coming Attractions

“Outdated” Sci Fi: I already mentioned my article on outdated science fiction. It will talk about how older sci fi that seems not to live up to today is really not outdated and why.

InterGalactic Expo [link]: If you’re in or near the Sacramento area, InterGalactic Expo is next weekend. This con is basically the reincarnation or, perhaps to use a better metaphor, the transformation of the past two years’ May the Forth Be With You event, only bigger and better. Why the change in name? Basically because this “Star Wars” con has occurred on May 4th which for the past two years has fallen on a weekend and the organizations putting it on want to keep it on a weekend. So a name like “May the Forth Be with You” would not work out too well since the fourth of May does not falls on a weekday this year.

Some interesting highlights of InterGalactic Expo are the following: panels on the anthropology behind Star Wars and Star Trek, by Western Nevada College instructor Daryl Frazetti; a panel on the science in science fiction; a table talk entitled “Hacking to Space!” by John Powell of JP Aerospace which sounds like it should be really big because the schedule says they may add more time slots for it if enough people show interest; a science fiction art show. 

Interview from Horror Addicts: Horror Addicts plans to interview me in light of my articles I contributed to their new book, Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life, which debuted only three weeks ago. I’ll let you know specifically when that’s coming up when I get more details.

Currently Reading

Short fiction from Strange Horizons: This speculative fiction online magazine has some great stuff. One short story I recently read is called “Moon for the Unborn” by Indrapramit Das, which combines paranormal fiction (the ghost story) and interplanetary science fiction plausibly and does really good with touching on the subject of future transgenderism.

Short story from vintage issues of Science fiction-Science Fact Analog: One I’m reading in particular is from a 1969 issue that I purchased at a used-book store a while back. The story is called “Extortion, Inc.” by Mack Reynolds. It takes a twist on the typical private eye character. But what I found interesting about this story is that it predicted today’s smart phones good. Only in this story they’re called “pocket phones”. That’s basically what they are today since nearly half the population (at least it seems like that much) carries them in their pockets.

I’ll leave you with that for now. I’ll have a little more on InterGalactic Expo in addition to my article on so-called outdated science fiction next week.

Until then . . . 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

5 Fantastic Finds: Spanish Sci Fi Authors, Le Guin, L’Engle and More

It’s been a very busy week for me with both my writing and day job. I also attended UC Davis’s annual Pic Nic Day on this beautiful sunny, Saturday afternoon. It went by really well until we couldn’t get out of the Arboretum forest of no return without being harped on.

A cousin and I were watching the Battle of the Bands there on the way out when two attendants gave us this bull that we were standing in one of the band’s area as if we were committing sacrilege or something, stepping on holy ground! They did not have clear demarcation of where that area was. But the really irritating thing was that right before they told us to get off the “designated” area, we had moved away from the path to let the band march through.

Well, I’m not the one to take things lying down so I went to one of the info booths to write in a complaint. Sometimes just writing about what angers you helps alleviate the mood you’re in even if you don’t get much of an answer back from the person you’re writing to. But still, it delayed me and so I haven’t even resumed work on one of my short stories that I’m already behind on. Let alone I haven’t had time to write a full article for this week’s post. So I thought I would share some discoveries from the ‘net with you that I found to be . . .

A ground satellite pointing up into the sky at an angle.

Far Out Fantastic Finds

“10 Ways To Create A Near-Future World That Won’t Look Too Dated”,

“Writing about the world to come is a scary proposition, because nothing becomes obsolete faster than futuristic visions. . . .So here are 10 tips to keep your near-future setting from looking too dated.”

“Spanish Science Fiction: A Round Table Discussion with Spain’s Top Contemporary Voices”, Clarkesworld 

“When I recently heard that Mariano Villareal, editor of the Terra Nova anthology series, was going to be working on Castles in Spain / Castillos en el Aire, a new Spanish-English bilingual anthology of Spanish science fiction, fantasy, and horror, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak with him and ask if he could help set up a roundtable with some of the anthology’s contributors.”

“There’s A Brand New Section of A Wrinkle In Time That You Can Read”,

“A newly-unearthed section of A Wrinkle In Time has been released by Madeline L’Engle’s granddaughter — and it has some strong words about the dangers faced by democracies . . . .”

“Ursula Le Guin at 85”, BBC Radio 4

“Naomi Alderman talks to leading novelist Ursula Le Guin about her life and work and hears from literary fans including . . . Neil Gaiman.”

“Ursula Le Guin talks Sci-fi Snobbery, Adaptations, and Troublemaking”, Den of Geek!

“We spoke to seminal US fantasy and sci-fi author Ursula Le Guin about her career, radicalism, literary influence and more…”

That’s it for now. In light of the above link, “10 Ways to Create a Near-Future World . . .”, I’m planning to have an article here next week about outdated sci fi as alternative timelines.

Until next week . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Horror Guide Anthology and Sci Fi Blog of a Pre-internet Age

Sorry I missed you all last weekend. It was a holiday weekend (for those of us that celebrate it, at least). So it was a very loaded weekend for me with relatives from out of town--both close ones, such as my parents, and not so close ones, such as long lost cousins, some of who I don’t care to cross paths with on a dark night, or even on a bright day for that matter! So what did we miss? The following . . .

The Release of the Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life

Yes! The Horror Addicts’ Guide to Life released last week! It is now available in print and will be coming to ebook format soon! As I said last time, I have two articles in this anthology of horror and gothic culture. One article is about horror inspired kids’ shows and the other about dark genres in literature. Other articles contributed by fellow writers range from ones on books, movies and music in the horror genre to horror genre-inspired food! There are also articles about horror art, horror fiction writing, goth clothes, and how to throw horror themed parties. The variety is nearly infinite!

So a very diverse group of us writers helped put the anthology together. However, equal credit if not more must go to Emerian Rich and David Watson, both of, who planned and edited it in which editing is no easy job. It’s hard enough for me to edit my own work! Find out more about this far out book at and how to purchase a copy.

Book Cover with photo illustration of gothic girl holding book and monstrous shadows in background.
Photo Credit:

The New Blog Review

Also last weekend, I published at a review of a science fiction blog, Galactic Journey. The unique thing about this blog is not so much its emphasis in covering 1950s and ‘60s sci fi, not even its coverage of these two decades’ newly discovered science facts. The really unique thing about Galactic Journey is its manner of covering these topics. The topics are covered as if the blog posts were written during that era! This blog is ideal for any atompunker like yours truly (who is also bits and pieces of other kinds of punkers and –isms of sci fi and fantasy, kind of like a Frankensteinish fan you can say). In fact, this may be an ideal blog for any alternative history fan. So check out more details in my review of it and then check out the blog itself!

I’ll leave you with that for now.

Until next time . . .