Anders Monsen

Lost worlds and ports of call

Month: June 2013

Ten great libertarians of film and TV

This list is brilliant and spot on. A neat way to recognize some of the interesting and anti-autoritarian characters in film and TV.

Review: Quantum Vibe: Nicole

QB_NicoleI’ve been following Scott Bieser’s serialized online graphic novel, Quantum Vibe, since day one. This month the first volume of his panels was published as a book, available from the usual sources. Weighing in at 236 pages, the first volume focuses on Nicole, a young woman, often irresponsible and prone to drink and scenes, who embarks on a new career and life of adventure after getting dumped by her flake boyfriend.

In the aftermath of her depression and self-indulgance, she is fired and forced to look for new work. She interviews for a job as personal assistant to a peripatetic inventor/businessman, Dr. Seamus O’Murchadha, who has a bold and ambitious project that needs a pilot and all-around gopher. Young Nicole at first is overwhelmed, bt later accepts, and begins a journey that will take her from the sun and outward, with stops along the way at various planets and orbital stations. Continue reading

Multiverse, a Poul Anderson festschrift

From the remarkable people at Subterranean Press, news about a vast anthology in the worlds of grandmaster sf writer Poul Anderson. Multiverse contains stories by writers like Greg Bear, Nancy Kress, Gregory Benford, and many others. Currently available as a pre-order, it will be available in limited and trade editions.multiverse

Living in an Orwellian present

With surveillance ever-present and opponents of war and worse turning into that which they once opposed (a la Animal Farm), and our dear leader learning to love Big Brother, it is no wonder that sales of George Orwell’s dystopian future are spiking. A variety of sites have jumped on the meme of huge sales spikes for 1984, and it seems Obama’s legacy will be tightly linked to Orwell’s fiction.

RIP, Iain M Banks

One week after the death of Jack Vance, another towering giant in the sf world passed away. Iain M. Banks was only 59 years old when he died in June 9. He had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer only a few months prior, and knew his time was marked and short.

I’ve mainly read his Culture and other sf books, all under the Iain M. Banks name, rather than his Iain Banks literary fiction. His two most memorable books are Feersum Endjinn and Player of Games, and while at times his penchant for twist endings seemed contrived, everything prior to his endings stood out as an example of superb writing and dazzling imagination at furious work. Time, I think, to look for his non-sf books and mourn his loss by celebrating his fiction.

RIP, Jack Vance

While out of the country recently I learned that Jack Vance passed away on May 26. Though Vance was in his late nineties, I almost expected him to live forever. Words cannot begin to describe the effect and influence his writing has had on my appreciation of fiction in general and the sf/fantasy genre. I read my first Vance story when I was nineteen, and no other write before or since has meant as much to me as Jack Vance. Elsewhere I will write my tribute in full. The world of genre fiction is far gloomier place without him.

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