Magical Words Link Roundup 5-23-2017


Sometimes called the “fourth format,” mass market paperbacks have been considered headed for extinction for a long time. First they were going to be killed by trade paperbacks. When that format didn’t do the job, e-books emerged as the likely candidate to finish them off. Although the reports of mass market’s death have been greatly exaggerated, the format has been struggling.

1973 was a very good year. Income inequality was at its historical lowest in America, union density was at its highest, major victories were happening in civil rights. But in the world of science fiction, it was the year that one of the worst novels ever to win the top Hugo award was honoured for all the wrong reasons.

Choosing to sit down and put words on the page is occasionally easy, but mostly it’s an arduous slog; certainly not the kind of thing you do if you’re not really trying to meet your personal goals, be that publication, a competition win, or just a great story.

Hank Phillipi Ryan said, “I was thrilled to be invited. Until I heard their topic. We had to write “A Letter to My Secret.” My secret? It took a lot of thinking. And at some point, I was dismayed (?) to realize I have no real juicy secrets. I guess that’s a good thing—no, like, criminal record, or almost criminal record, no horrible encounters or crushing humiliating miseries. Any secret I thought of was—embarrassing. Or boring. Or embarrassing AND boring. And then I got it. I would reveal—that I do not like my name.”

As the age of augmented reality (A.R.) fast approaches, how long until everyone can modify their perceptions every waking moment with an A.R. contact lens?

The Roaring Twenties: a time when alcohol was illegal, a fact that only made its dark power more alluring. That’s the conflict at the heart of Moonshine, a new alt-world Prohibition era fantasy by Jasmine Gower, coming in 2018 from Angry Robot Books.

For better or worse, Arnold Schwarzenegger occupies a prominent place in the science fiction and fantasy of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Neil Gaiman will read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu if $500K is raised for his favorite charity, the United Nations Refugee Agency. Seriously.

Occult sandwiches. Just read it.


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