An amazing hard scifi tale, this is the second in an action-packed series from Edelman. ...With so much mass-media science fiction featuring anti-science heroes who battle to stop science from 'going too far,' it's great to read a really smart novel about a hero who's fighting to save scientific progress from being suppressed. David Louis Edelman's MultiReal, the second volume in the trilogy that begins with Infoquake,is a welcome cure to the Fringe/Eleventh Hour science-bashing, even though it presents both the pro- and con- arguments about radical progress. But MultiReal is also way more entertaining than the science bashers.
"Up until last year, I would never have believed that an anthology of new science fiction could be the best sci-fi book put out in a given year. First of all, is there even a demand for such a beast? It seems that a budding anthologist could make a far more successful book by picking a theme, say 'green aliens with tentacles who are really children in search of their parents but are thought of as evil because of a cultural misunderstanding,' and find awesome tales from the genre’s creaky grandmasters that would guarantee an endcap placement at Borders...Deeply honored.
But Anders, who has paid his dues many times over in the science-fiction trenches, doesn’t seem to do the predictable thing, and his risk-taking has paid off. Fast Forward 2 is even more electric than last year’s first: Anders has assembled some of the best and brightest current stars of the genre, and they turned in stories that, as a whole, really do represent the cutting edge of fiction. From a fashion designer who grows living gowns to a raid on the doomsday seed bank to a young man getting Cyrano-with-a-twist dating advice in the India of the future, Fast Forward 2 is the book to read this year. It’s the surest of sure things, and a bargain, to boot."
David Louis Edelman is interviewed by the long-running show Fast Forward.
Joe Abercrombie is interviewed by Sci-Fi-London.
Both interviews are worthwhile and informative. Who knew these guys could talk as well as type?
From Publishers Weekly: "This ambitious fantasy combines three very British stories: an Arthurian fable, a Victorian murder mystery and a modern-day YA adventure tale. ...The hinted interconnections between the three tales are complex and fascinating... a rollicking ride."
From Booklist: "...a spectacular collection of secrets, murky underworld organizations, and everything from time travel to magical swords. In the dizzying conclusion, time lines converge in a satisfying reimagining of a very old story."
From Geek Monthly: "What do a soldier from the 6th century, a sleuth from the 19th century and an American teenager in 1999 all have in common? They are all characters in Chris Roberson’s ambitious quest for the Holy Grail that intermingles all three ages to truly entertaining effect."
The Grave Thief, Book Three of the Twilight Reign, gritty epic fantasy from Tom Lloyd.
The Quiet War, brilliant near-future space opera from Paul McAuley.
Sasha: A Trial of Blood & Steel, book one of a epic fantasy quartet, from . Very politically savvy stuff and more of that "gritty" fantasy we love so much.
, from Kristine Kathryn Rusch, wonderful space opera adventure based on her Asimov's Readers Choice Award-winning novella of the same name.
Dawnthief, Noonshade, and Nightchild, the Chronicles of the Raven trilogy - more (yes) "gritty" epic fantasy from James Barlcay.
The Office of Shadow, espionage meets epic fantasy in this sequel to Midwinter, from DC/Vertigo author .
Excited? I am.
...a worthy successor [to Fast Forward 1]: Anders has assembled a batch of stories that span the breadth of modern science fiction and provide a better introduction to today’s scene than the musty copies of Fahrenheit 451 lingering in high school English classes ever could. ...anybody that loves science fiction (and fans of the recent outpouring of well-written sci-fi television and movies looking for literary sustenence) can put their trust into Mr. Anders and this instant classic.And I'm grateful that Ryun took time to mention the cover art:
John Picacio’s ridiculously cool jet-legs-ape-in-front-of-rampaging-mob cover infers a story all its own, and readers can use their own imaginations to come up with the plot for that one.
As with the hardcover, art is by Stephan Martiniere, design by Jacqueline Cooke.
Very happy to see several Pyr books get a mention: Fast Forward 2, Brasyl, River of Gods (even though it wasn't a 2008 book) and even the forthcoming Age of Misrule trilogy.
And of course, in the film category, I'm always happy to see The Dark Knight get mentioned.
Buy some damn books.Amen.
Fortunately, this advice is well-timed: Books are inexpensive yet valued objects, which means that they make lovely gifts for whatever holiday festivities you subscribe to this time of year. Now is a fine time to introduce friends and loved ones to some of your favorite authors — and in doing so, you’re boosting that author’s sales, which will make his or her publisher marginally less liable to dump their shivering ass onto the street. You’re giving a gift a loved one will appreciate, you’re doing your favorite authors a favor, and you’re doing your part to keep editors and publishers from hurling themselves out of high-rise windows. Truly, everybody wins.
So, go: Make this a bookish holiday season. You know you want to anyway. I, my fellow authors and a grateful publishing industry thank you in advance for your cooperation, and for your seasonal purchases.
For our part, my wife and I have decided to give everyone books and bookstore gift cards this Xmas. It has the added bonus of making our shopping really quick and easy too.
...if you wanted a good argument for buying anthologies of original short science fiction stories - or even a good defence against those who claim the form is ossified and irrelevant - Fast Forward 2 has your back. The economics of sf magazine publishing may be in question, but the quality of fiction available is riding as high as it has ever been. Sincerely recommended.
...a real Zeitgeist catch. Below is strife, carnage, religious angst; thrusting upwards is bionic monkey-man, his chains broken asunder, transcending mundane squabbles for the promise of space and rationalism (bubble chamber tracks?). The religious discord is heightened by the DNA motif, explicitly repeated in the exhaust blast of robomonkey… if you wanted to encapsulate the hope for a triumph (or at least secession) of a rational worldview, I think you’d struggle to make a more arresting and vivid image in the process.Nice when someone gets it.
My joint major at university was economics, and the upshot of that is I'm always out-of-cycle with everyone else. I'm worrying six months ahead of an economic downturn when everyone else is smiling, and I'm smiling when everyone else is miserable, which sometimes doesn't win friends.
It seems we're on a cusp now: a couple of months to see if the measures all Governments are introducing actually start getting people spending (which is the key in any recession - if people save everything goes into a downward spiral). But in six months we should be seeing the very early stages of an up-tick. Any company which weathers the next six months should be in a good position.
Somewhere I've got a talk I occasionally give about how genre is the marker for great social and political events. One of the strands is how SF/F/Crime always does *exceptionally* well in economically difficult times - if you plot it out on a graph, it becomes very clear. But just think with SF in the thirties and seventies. Horror, incidentally, does well in boom-times.
If I was on the stock market, I'd be advising investors to put their cash in SF/F for the next few years because, as you're finding, it's going to do really well. It would be good if someone could pitch this theory to the major chains, because if they got behind it, everyone would benefit (and it would become self-fulfilling).
"This has been an almost unprecedented year for the number of first-rate original SF anthologies published, at least since the heyday of Orbit, New Dimensions, and Universe in the '70's. ...I'd have to say that the three strongest original SF anthologies of the year were Lou Anders' Fast Forward 2,Jonathan Strahan's Eclipse 2, and Strahan's The Starry Rift.... Of these, I think I'd give a very slight edge to Fast Forward 2."Meanwhile, at Strange Horizons, Alvaro Zinos-Amaro writes:
"Fast Forward 2 proves itself that rare beast among anthologies of the imagination: one whose content actually provides a materialization of its own theoretical blueprint."Lots of nice things said about each of the individual stories. And (I must add) a very well-written review too, with paragraphs like:
And then, in a final summation about the purpose of SF:
"Catherine Drew" by Paul Cornell is wildly inventive. Its Hero, Hamilton, speaks in a way ("'You've got a problem, Miss Drewe,' he said") that captures the essence of this alternate-history spy thriller in a British Empire-dominated future. The plot, propelled not so much by a single McGuffin as by a combustible gas of intelligent deceptions and counter-deceptions, makes as much sense as it needs to:'Is that the mission, sir?'
'No. We've created and are ready to plant chaotic information of an unbreakable nature strongly suggesting that this has already happened...' (p. 22)
The alternate history milieu expertly justifies not only the background but the feel of the world that Cornell creates, yet is never so startling as to prove distracting from Hamilton's exploits. Shaken, not stirred? More like vacuum-decompressed.
"What it should do, above all else, is tell stories well, so well that they cannot be disregarded, so well that they cannot but be taken seriously. Fortunately for us, Fast Forward 2 arrives with gifts that do just that. May it be followed by plenty of equally riveting and well-produced sequels."What a nice start to my Monday.