Tuesday, January 28, 2014

SF/publishing update

Despite the ongoing popularity of TV and movie science fiction (no matter how atrocious the science), SF literature remains marginalized. Some of that marginalization, I'm of the opinion, stems directly from a general perception of  STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) as "too hard." But is it possible genre authors bring marginalization upon ourselves? From Locus Online, see Kameron Hurley's thoughtful essay, "Making Excuses for Science Fiction."

From the mere fact that you're perusing this post, chances are you're comfortable with STEM and/or SF. Looking for new SF to enjoy? I happened upon an interesting set of lists at Top Science Fiction. Novels and short fiction, TV and film ... that site has ranked genre favorites in all categories.

And if, specifically, you like SF in short form, you might want to check out the Tangent Online 2013 Recommended Reading List. Having exhaustively surveyed and reviewed print zines, ezines, and anthologies, Tangent offers quite the compendium. I'm happy to say both my 2013 novellas in Analog made Tangent's list -- although, enigmatically, one novella is attributed to Edward M. Lerner and the other to Ed Lerner.

(For anyone who is curious about my contributions: one is the near-future time-travel story "Time Out" (in its ebook/chapbook re-release renamed "A Time Foreclosed"). The other is "The Matthews Conundrum," the first new tale in years set in the InterstellarNet universe. Although standalone, TMC begins twenty years after -- and eons before -- the events of InterstellarNet: New Order.)

As for who is reading, in this case not limited to SF, the latest industry stats show an interesting dichotomy. Overall sales of books held up last year -- but fewer people than ever are readers. 24% of adult Americans polled reported having "read" zero books in 2013! (Why the quotes? Because these stats count audio books as reading.) Ebooks, meanwhile, continue to ramp up in popularity. See the Pew Internet report, "A Snapshot of Reading in America in 2013."

Now I'm off to read ...

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