Inhuman Swill : Science Fiction : Page 18

ShunnCast #32

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Epidode #32 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill and his companion engage in a war of practical jokes with the sister missionaries, with hilarious, painful, and sometimes terrifying results. And the zero hour creeps ever nearer...

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=32

See also [info]shunncast.

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Interview

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Part One of a two-part interview with me is now up at Absolute Write.

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ShunnCast #31

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Epidode #31 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill takes up the life of a more diligent missionary than has in the past been his wont, does battle with elderly Jehovah's Witnesses, and tries to get a few things off his chest, with embarrassing results.

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=31

See also [info]shunncast.

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Bestered, you bet

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Wandering around the house this morning, trying to avoid writing, I plucked an Alfred Bester collection off the shelf and started reading at random. I fell into an essay from F&SF in 1961 where Bester evaluates some of the top SF writers of the time. He compares Heinlein to Kipling in terms of both virtues (craftsmanship) and vices (oversimplification of reality, xenophobia), then continues:

Despite these flaws, Mr. Heinlein remains the most powerful and original force in science fiction today; an author always to be reckoned with, never ignored. In fact, the latter would be impossible. Mr. Heinlein reaches out, takes the reader by the scruff of the neck, and doesn't let go until he's shaken the wits out of him. Some day we hope Mr. Heinlein will use his talent to shake a little wit into the reader.
Good advice for us all! Now back to work.
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ShunnCast #30

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Epidode #30 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which Bill receives a dire warning, meets his new companion, discusses biracial families, breaks more rules, and poses for blackmail photos. Plus, Laura picks a lock. Happy Thanksgiving!

http://www.shunn.net/podcast?id=30

See also [info]shunncast.

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Observations on "Observations"

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A relatively new science fiction podcast named "Retrieval Detachment" (part of the Radio Caravan podcast syndicate) features entertaining discussions of the concepts behind selected SF stories. This week they focus on my story "Observations from the City of Angels" and discuss the implications of full-sensory blogging:

Retrieval Detachment Episode 4 Subscribe to the podcast at the iTunes Music Store, or get the audio directly here.
I found the discussion very interesting, and in fact it gave me some ideas for the additional stories I plan to write in that milieu.

If you haven't read this story, you might want to before tuning in. You can hear Stephen Eley read it at "Escape Pod," or read it online (under a different title) at Salon.

"Observations from the City of Angels" will also appear in my chapbook, due next summer from Spilt Milk Press.

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Jack Williamson, 1908-2006

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I just learned about Jack Williamson's death. I find myself much sadder than I imagined I would be.

I first encountered his work as a young teenager, when a friend of the family gave me a whole stack of science fiction novels that included an omnibus edition of Williamson's Legion of Space books. I devoured them greedily, and that sort of grand, cosmic space opera was what my very earliest stories (now justly lost and forgotten) were striving to be.

I was lucky enough at the 1996 WorldCon to have M. Shayne Bell drag me along to breakfast with Williamson and a group of other folks one morning. I didn't say much to him, but I felt as if I were sitting in the presence of nearly the entire history of the SF genre. He was born in 1908 and published his first story in 1928. His final novel was published 77 years later, in 2005.

I wish he had lived to be 100. R.I.P.

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Inclined toward inclusion

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I mentioned this last week in a locked post, but wanted to mention it for the benefit of the world at large now that it's more or less official.

My novella "Inclination" has been selected by Rich Horton for the next edition of his Prime Books anthology Science Fiction: The Best of the Year. The company is damn fine, as you can see from this almost complete table of contents that publisher Sean Wallace has posted. I am thrilled to my very bones to be included!

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The birds of Austin

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Paul Witcover and William Shunn
Scott Edelman just sent me some photos he took at World Fantasy, one of which fairly screamed to be posted here.

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Back from Austin

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William Shunn & Paul Witcover
Laura and I didn't take many photos at World Fantasy, but luckily the irrepressible John Klima did.

Klima and his Spilt Milk Press are bringing out my chapbook in May, but in the meantime you would be well served to snap up a copy of their first chapbook, The Sense of Falling by Ezra Pines. That link is to an old pre-order page, but rest assured that this slim volume is out and available and well worth your five measly bucks.

Had a great time in Austin. Laura and I caught up with several New York friends who have decamped to Texas in the last couple of years, saw Idiocracy (at last) at a movie theater that serves beer, drank more Shiner Bock than we ever hoped to in our wildest dreams, attended a plethora of great readings, managed to get lost more than once on the Capital of Texas Highway, ate ourselves silly, and at least met great folks like Evan McClanahan and Trent Hergenrader in person. I was very sorry to have arrived at the bar too late Sunday evening to meet up with ShunnCast listener Andrew Langston—my deepest apologies!—but I did arrive in time to meet by chance an editor who spoke enthusiastically about the novel proposal for Inclination that is on her desk.

So all in all, a splendid weekend, and I thank Laura for, as usual, keeping me out of the hotel room and on track.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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