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My appreciation of 'New Light on the Drake Equation' by Ian R. Macleod has been posted at the ED sf project.

It was a lot of fun to write something that's an out-and-out rave; it seems the more I read, and think about what I'm reading, the more critical I get, and the more I qualify my judgements. Which is as it should be, since no story is perfect, but this time around I didn't have to. 'New Light ...' is a story that I love, and if it has any major faults, I think I'm probably blind to them, or at least don't think they detract from what's good about the story in any way. I'm very grateful to Ellen Datlow and to SCIFICTION, for giving me the chance to read it. You should probably read the story, if you haven't, before the appreciation.

If you've signed up for an appreciation and haven't written it yet--what are you waiting for? If you haven't signed up--seriously, what are you waiting for? There are still good stories left, and you don't want to miss out on being part of this. All the cool kids are doing it.
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Best. Tribute. Ever, courtesy of Dave Schwartz:
By my count there are 320+ stories archived at the site. I'm willing to bet that there are that many SF writers/critics/fans/what have you who have some sort of presence on the web. So I'm thinking, let's all of us write an appreciation of one of the stories.

It doesn't need to be something long -- it could be a few paragraphs, or it could be in-depth; it could be a critical analysis or just a reaction to the story. Just something that focuses on the fiction and shows how much impact the site has had. Remember, this is an appreciation. A celebration. Pick a story you love, or discover a new one by reading through the archives. Discover for yourself just what we're losing. Then let's give it the best sendoff possible.
It's that simple. Go to the site, pick a story, post a comment to let Dave know, write something about it. (Me, I've called dibs on 'New Light on the Drake Equation' by Ian R Macleod.)
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I've said before that the novella is possibly my favourite length for science fiction; it has space enough for characters and ideas and themes to develop, but is short enough that there is little room for laziness or padding. This year so far, though, has been something of a disappointment. With the exception of Gregory Feeley's magnificently lush 'Arabian Wine' (Asimov's April/May), nothing I've read has really caught my imagination - and two of the other offerings from Asimov's (R Garcia Y Robertson's 'Long Voyage Home' (February) and Allen Steele's 'Incident at Goat Kill Creek' (April/May)) have been distinctly sub-standard.

What else have I seen? Ian McDowell's 'Under The Flag of Night' (Asimov's March) is a fun, but somewhat lightweight, voodoo-pirate-romp; and George Mann's The Human Abstract (Telos) is good, but perhaps owes a few too many debts to its antecedents to be truly notable in its own right. I've still got it in my mind to seek out Gary Greenwood's The Jigsaw Men (PS), and I'll get around to reading 'The Concrete Jungle', the new novella in the Golden Gryphon edition of Charles Stross' The Atrocity Archives, real soon now...but at the moment, the Feeley stands alone.

Or did until just now, at any rate. In June, SCIFICTION published 'Shadow Twin', a novella by Gardner Dozois, George RR Martin and Daniel Abraham. I read it this evening. Read more... )

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