Amid a recent flurry of book announcements, none makes me prouder than this one by a new author, with possibly the best opening line I ever read!The Melody of Memory is a deeply moving SF coming-of-age novel about growing up amid war, plague and trauma... and ultimately prevailing... even over forces of oppression and obstinate history. Read the first chapter and see if you get hooked. I bet you will.
== Hugo Nominees Announced ==
The Hugo Award nominees for 2021 have been announced, and will be awarded at the World Science Fiction Convention. DisConn III, will be held in Washington D.C. -- and has been rescheduled for December of 2021.
Nominees for Best Novel include Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, The City We Became, by N.K. Jemison, Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Network Effect by Martha Wells, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, and The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal. See the full list of nominees for Best Novella, Best Novelette, Short Story and more.
Congratulations to all.
== Theme Anthologies of SF... making points! ==
Another worthy new tome. Telling Stories: On Culturally Responsive Artificial Intelligence. This book offers: “perspectives on AI spanning five continents. Individually and together, they open the reader to a deeper conversation about cultural responsiveness at a time of rapid, often unilateral technological change... Authors from Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, the United States, and elsewhere vividly recount the anticipated influences of AI on love, time, justice, identity, language, trust, and knowledge through the power of narrative.
Clarkesworld, the very with-it SF magazine/site/movement, has also been promoting the recent, welcome trend toward international diversity in our genre. I've been especially enjoying the short stories of the young Chinese rising science fiction star Xia Jia in her collection A Summer Beyond Your Reach which has a Kickstarter deserving widespread interest and support! Her tales -- translated lovingly by SF master Ken Liu -- are filled with fun speculation and (frankly) more verve-otimism than you normally get out of eastern SF. Think Black Mirror only without the dour predictability of always a downer. Instead... you won't know until each story finishes!
And speaking of diversity. Now available again! War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches. The Martian Invasion! Accounts of the War of the Worlds as told from celebrity eyewitnesses all around the globe! Jules Verne reports on the Martian attacks on Paris Teddy Roosevelt, big game hunter, goes after the most dangerous game…from another world. Mark Twain recounts the Martians on the Mississippi. • Jack London fights the Martians in the Yukon. Albert Einstein pits his great mind against the Martian overlords! And Sigmund Freud and Jack London… and… And guess who wrote the Verne one!
Et pour nos amis Francophonique... Je partage avec vous cette belle chronique Français "Galaxies" Numéro 70, du N° auquel j'ai participé!
== Cool things coming! ==
In my last science fiction roundup I linked you to my fun, recently revived YA adventure series through space and time, The David Brin's Out of Time series! We've just accepted a final manuscript from the first of several bright young authors for a re-start of the series. And we are looking for more talented scriveners of exciting 60,000 word adventures through space and time, targeted for teens! DIVERSITY especially welcome!
And that's just the tip of the iceberg for a surge of great new (and revived-old) sci fi! Those of you who sign up to receive it (at http://www.davidbrin.com) will receive my coming newsletter (just one-a-year!) with great word about the release of freshened (new covers and introductions and fixes) versions of all my Uplift Novels! Due out in May!
Oh, speaking of which sometimes folks do lovely fan tributes to that universe. Artworks, music... and fan fiction! Here's one of the latter, by Michael Halbrook, that really makes the grade, telling how one of Earthclan's enemies sends a scientist to our planet to examine whether clever birds, especially parrots, might show past signs of uplift. See The Gubru and the Parrot.
Heck, it's good enough to be called "canonical." So I hearby say "Yeah, that happened."
== Much stranger than sci fi ==
An interesting look at the early fifties, showing an amazing overlap between UFO stuff and the plague of McCarthyism. And it’s stunning how similar the meme plagues were, to today.
“On any given night, viewers of the highest-rated show in the history of cable news, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, might find themselves treated to its namesake host discussing flying saucers and space aliens alongside election conspiracies and GOP talking points. Praise for former President Donald Trump, excuses for those involved in the Capitol assault, and criticism of racial and sexual minorities can sit seamlessly beside occasional interviews featuring UFO “experts” pleading conspiracy.
Recent segments found Carlson speculating that an art installation in Utah was the work of space aliens and interviewing a reporter from the Washington Examiner about whether UFOs can also travel underwater like submarines.”
Folks are surprised to learn my skepticism toward UFOs is not insular, but expansive! These flying saucer tales are just... so... damn... dumb! I mean truly unimaginative, uninformed and dismally clichéd.
I know "aliens" as well as any human (outside the slim possibility of secret stuff going on... which I weigh in upon, in EXISTENCE!) And I sure as heck hope the universe is more interesting than the dullard poopy head 'visitors' portrayed in UFO lore!