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“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More
SOLO Movie Review

In the latest episode of the venerable Geeks Guide to the Galaxy podcast, I join Rajan Khanna, Erin Lindsey, and host David Barr Kirtley to discuss Solo: A Star Wars Story.

The new Star Wars movie Solo is an enjoyable action-comedy, but it fails in one important area: really exploring how Han Solo developed his cynical, jaded attitude. The movie also mostly skips over Han’s time as an Imperial soldier, which fantasy author Erin Lindsey feels is a big mistake.

“I wanted to see Han learning to become a pilot, going up against the norms and expectations of the military, deciding it wasn’t for him—or it deciding he was not for them,” Lindsey says in Episode 312 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

Science fiction author Matthew Kressel agrees, noting that a brief sequence of trench warfare is one of the movie’s most interesting set pieces. “We could show Han in the trenches,” he says, “seeing how ugly war is, and maybe coming out of that a little bit darker, a little bit world-weary.”

You can read more about us and give a listen here!


Early Thoughts on Rogue One
Jyn Erso, thief/hero.

Jyn Erso, thief/hero.

By now you have seen the trailer for the new Star Wars prequel, Rogue One. If not, well:

So my first thought is: Yes. Damn this looks cool. It’s Star Wars meets the Bourne Identity, and with a kick-ass woman in the lead to boot a la Max Max. It’s the perfect mash-up for the genre, and I’m happy to see something in this universe that doesn’t look like a copy-and-paste of what’s come before.

Except something irked me. I love Forest Whitaker. He was superb in The Butler, and pretty much everything he’s been in. So I don’t fault him for his lines. But in the tail end of the teaser he says, “If you fight…what will you become?”

Now I understand this is a teaser. There are a thousand and one possibilities as to whom he is speaking with (most likely Jyn Erso) and the context in which it was said. But…do we have to go down this fucking road again? You know what I’m talking about. “The Dark Side, versus THE LIGHT!” Why does Hollywood think that heroes always need to be so dark and edgy and corruptible? (E.g. see Batman vs. Superman). One of the fantastic things about Rey in The Force Awakens is her exuberant innocence, a la Luke Skywalker in “A New Hope.” Rey will likely be tested by the Dark Side too, but if my hunch is correct she will not be corrupted. I get that Jyn’s character begins with ambiguous morals — she is a criminal from the get go, but I really hope that this film doesn’t follow that trite old Star Wars character arc of individuals fighting their own inner emo battle of good vs. evil. Fighting for justice does not necessarily corrupt you, and Star Wars often forgets this. This movie looks refreshing and I hope that the characters are as well.

Otherwise, I think this looks pretty kick-ass.


King of Shards Audiobook & Pronunciations

King of Shards by Matthew Kressel

King of Shards

by Matthew Kressel

“Surreal and exotic…Scary, exhilarating fun!” 
N.K. Jemisin, Hugo award-winning author of The Fifth Season.

Get King of Shards Here:

Jonathan Davis, Narrator of King of Shards

Jonathan Davis, Narrator of King of Shards

The King of Shards audiobook is now available for pre-order. The book is narrated by Jonathan Davis, whose bio is pretty impressive!

Jonathan Davis has received critical acclaim for his narration in a variety of genres. He has garnered accolades from Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today, and Audio File Magazine. He is the recipient of the Audie Award for his narration of Robert Sawyer’s Calculating God (Audible Frontiers) and has been nominated for the Ben Franklin Award for his narration of Jose Saramago’s Blindness. Jonathan is honored to have narrated over thirty Star Wars titles for Lucas Film and Random House Audio, including Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Dark Lord. He has narrated bestsellers for many of the top publishing houses and audio divisions, for authors as diverse as Neal Stephenson, David Baldacci, Brett Easton Ellis, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and Junot Diaz. He has narrated over 150 audiobooks, including Shadow of the Wind, Snow Crash, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Stranger, The Chosen, The Windup Girl, Galapagos, and Glamorama. Jonathan resides in New Jersey with his wife Stacy, a librarian, and their daughter Olivia Simone.

While I was hiking in Switzerland this past summer, Jonathan emailed me with the following words that appear in King of Shards, asking how he should pronounce them:

Kinayn’ore
Mashit
DanBaer
Ukne
Mollai
Davo
Rana Lila
Marul Menacha
Sheol
Liu
Emod
Ytrian
Bedu
Chialdra
Diasamaz
Grug
shedim
Azazel
Kokabiel
Kelilah
Zadok

I began typing a long list of pronunciation descriptions, when I thought, You know, why don’t I just record myself speaking them? Which would be easy, except I didn’t have my laptop handy, and my Chromebook didn’t have a microphone. Not to worry, I thought, I have a smartphone! Except I didn’t have a recording app. Then I’ll just download one! Except the wifi in the hotel was spotty. Eventually, I found, if I twisted myself into occult positions like some ascetic yogi I could get slow, but steady wifi. And here I remained, contorted into a human knot, recording these words into my phone. I recorded them twice, because I giggled the first time, because I kept thinking, I wonder if the guests in the adjacent room can hear me? And if so, what do they think of these strange words I’m chanting? Did they think I was speaking a foreign language? Reciting the words of some occult spell?

Eventually I was able to email Jonathan the mp3 file of the sounds. He was super appreciative! I haven’t listened to the audio book yet. Like everyone else, I have to wait until October 13th to download it, but I’m really looking forward to listening. 


“Truth is Like the Sun”
Lightspeed Magazine 108
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2018 Edition
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 3
More
“The Walk to Distant Suns”
Analog Science Fiction and Fact
More
“The Marsh of Camarina”
Shades Within Us
More
“Will You Meet Me There, Out Beyond the Bend?”
Nightmare Magazine 63
More
“In Memory of a Summer’s Day”
Mad Hatters and March Hares
More
“The Last Novelist (or a Dead Lizard in the Yard)”
Tor.com
More
“Love Engine Optimization”
Lightspeed Magazine 85
More
“The Singularity is in Your Hair”
Cyber World
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2016
More
“Demon in Aisle 6”
Nightmare Magazine 38
More
“Saving Diego”
Interzone #221
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Magazine #42
More
“The History Within Us”
The People of the Book
More
“The Bricks of Gelecek”
Naked City
More
“The Hands That Feed”
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
More
“The Great Game at the End of the World”
After
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Lightspeed Magazine and io9.com
More
“The History Within Us”
Clarkesworld Year Four
More
“The Meeker and the All-Seeing Eye”
Clarkesworld Magazine #92
More
“Cameron Rhyder’s Legs”
Clarkesworld Magazine #98
More
“The Sounds of Old Earth”
Nebula Awards Showcase 2015
More
“The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies”
Clarkesworld Magazine
More