New Salon Futura


The July issue of Salon Futura went online over the weekend. It is a bit thin because life has been rather busy of late, but hopefully it will still be of interest.

The issue leads off with a look at the comics origins of the Loki TV series. There’s a good reason why the show is very reminiscent of Doctor Who, and an unexpected Alan Moore connection.

The fiction reviews are of A Strange and Brilliant Light, a rather unusual science fiction debut from Eli Lee, and the justifiably much praised Riot Baby by Tochi Onyebuchi. There’s also a non-fiction review featuring a new biography of William Blake, William Blake vs the World. Plus I take a look at the latest Academia Lunare book, Worlds Apart. Finally I have a review of the new Disney animation, Raya and the Last Dragon. You can find it all here.

There will be no new issue in August as I take that month off. That’s ostensibly because of Worldcon, but this time more to hopefully get my life in order.

New Salon Futura


The April issue of Salon Futura went online last week. Here’s what you can find in it.

Book Reviews

  • A Desolation Called Peace – Arkady Martine
  • Victories Greater Than Death – Charlie Jane Anders
  • Advanced Triggernometry – Stark Holborn
  • Rev – Madeline Ashby
  • Shadow of a Dead God – Patrick Samphire

TV/Movie Reviews

  • The Falcon & The Winter Soldier
  • Soul

Fan Stuff

  • DisCon III – Is the virtual membership worth it, and site selection drama
  • The Hugos – Who’s in? Who will win? What’s this year’s hot controversy?

March Salon Futura

This one went live at the end of March. There didn’t seem much point in doing lots of PR for it during the holidays, but hopefully people are back online again. Here’s what you can find covered in #28.

  • Ten Low by Stark Holborn
  • WandaVision
  • In Veritas by CJ Lavigne
  • Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard
  • Gendering Time, Timing Gender by PM Biswas
  • The Last Days of Pompeii by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

There’s also an article titled, “Is WSFS Fit for Purpose?”, and a look back on two newly released books I did sensitivity reads for: The Fall of Koli by Mike Carey, and SisterSong by Lucy Holland. You can find all of that lot here.

New Salon Futura

Here’s a quick reminder that the January issue of Salon Futura went live last weekend. The books reviewed were as follows:

  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  • The Four Profound Weaves by RB Lemberg
  • Queen of the Conquered by Kacen Callender
  • Seven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard
  • Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

There’s also a bunch of TV reviews:

  • Agents of SHIELD – Season 7
  • Star Trek: Discovery – Season 3
  • His Dark Materials – Season 2
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks – Season 1

That Time of Year

Everyone is doing their Award Eligibility posts, so I need to remind you that Salon Futura is a fanzine, and therefore eligible in that Hugo category. That makes me an eligible fan writer.

More importantly the excellent Cora Buhlert, whom you should totally vote for in Fan Writer, has decided to do a series of Fanzine Spolights featuring eligible zines that you might want to nominate. You can find the initial posts here, and they will be added to in the coming weeks.

Also, both The Green Man’s Silence by Juliet E. McKenna, and Unjust Cause by Tate Hallaway, are eligible wherever fine fantasy novels are awarded.

New Salon Futura

The December issue of Salon Futura went live last week. Here’s a list of the things reviewed:

  • Blackthorn Winter by Liz Williams
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow
  • When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo
  • The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
  • The Doors of Sleep by Tim Pratt
  • Last Stand in Lychford by Paul Cornell
  • Miracles of Our Own Making by Liz Williams
  • Merry Happy Valkyrie by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • The Mandalorian – Season #2
  • SMOFcon 37¼

If you are in the UK and like the sound of any of those books, you can buy them through Bookshop.org and help support Wizard’s Tower Press in the process.

New Salon Futura


The October issue of Salon Futura went live over the weekend. It includes reviews of books by Hao Jinfang, Elizabeth Bear, P Djèlí Clark, Linden A Lewis, and Elizabeth May & Laura Lam. There’s also a review of the Lovecraft Country TV series, and no less than three separate convention reports. You can read the whole thing here.

New as of last night, I have puchase links to Bookshop.org in the UK. Unlike the Amazon links, these are affiliate links, and of course any sales made means money going to independent bookstores, as well as to Wizards’ Tower. So if you are in the UK, I’d appreciate you using them.

Salon Futura #23


The September issue of Salon Futura went live yesterday. This issue has reviews of the following books:

  • Piranesi – Susanna Clarke
  • Settling the World – M John Harrison
  • Flyaway – Kathleen Jennings
  • Reclaim, Restore, Return – Karen Lord & Tobias Buckell (eds.)
  • Shadow in the Empire of Light – Jane Routley
  • The Drowned Country – Emily Tesh

There is also a report on FutureCon, and a look at the 40th anniversary release of the film, Flash Gordon.

New Salon Futura

The August issue of Salon Futura went live yesterday. Here’s what is reviewed in the issue:

  • Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
  • The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
  • Selkie Summer by Ken MacLeod
  • Supergirl: Season 5

In addition there are reports on Worldcon and NASFiC. I have chosen to concentrate on the virtual aspects of the conventions because that seems important.

New Salon Futura

Here we go again. The new issue of Salon Futura went live on Wednesday night. Here’s what I have on review:

  • The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by M John Harrison
  • Mordew by Alex Pheby
  • The Empress of Salt and Fortune by from Nghi Vo
  • Scarlet Odyssey by CT Rwizi
  • Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders by Aliette de Bodard
  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang
  • Season one of Doom Patrol

I have also written a length article about how WSFS might change to become more responsive to fans, and to help fans feel more part of the organisation. It seems to have been well-received thus far, but writing means nothing if it isn’t followed up by action.

June Salon Futura

The June edition of Salon Futura is now online. Here’s what you can find in it.

Book reviews

  • Chosen Spirits by Samit Basu
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho
  • FINNA by Nino Cipri
  • Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma

TV Reviews

  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Seasons 4 & 5
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths

I have also done a diversity audit of the book reviews. The results aren’t great, but they are not terrible and I can see where there is room for improvement.

May Salon Futura

Issue #19 of Salon Futura went live last night. You can find it here. A quick summary of the contents is:

Book Reviews

  • Network Effect by Martha Wells
  • Goldilocks by Laura Lam
  • The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley
  • Threading the Labyrinth by Tiffani Angus
  • Paper Hearts by Justina Robson
  • Earth Abides by George R Stewart
  • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Other stuff

  • A report on this year’s Wiscon, which was held entirely online
  • A review of Season 1 of The Mandalorian
  • An interview with Dr. Maria Gerolemou, an expert on ancient automata
  • A brief review of Oxford University’s fantasy literature podcasts

Hopefully there’s something in that lot that you will enjoy reading.

Coronavirus – Day #79

Progress! The new Salon Futura is now online, so you can read some of the things I have been writing over the past week. I have also done a couple of online meetings, and got thoroughly depressed about the state of the world, and the USA in particular. Hang in there, American friends!

Tomorrow I get to edit together a new radio show, which means I need to talk about what is happening across the pond. That won’t be fun, but it is very necessary. Now more than ever we need to stand up in support of our PoC friends, in particular Black Americans.

Here in the UK the weekly rolling average number of deaths from C-19 has been more or less flat for about a week now. That’s after it had been falling steadily for over 5 weeks. So of course Bozo has picked this time to tell everyone that it is perfectly safe now. I’ve been seeing pictures of packed beaches on social media. I’ve also been seeing photos of large-scale demonstrations in support of our friends in the USA. I shall be relived, but very surprised, if we don’t see a sharp rise in the number of C-19 cases very soon.

And now, the Q.U.E.E.N. has a message for you.

……………………………………………………………………………….

Today on Ujima – Contraception and Books

Today’s show began with an hour-long chat with Dr. Donna Drucker who has recently written a great little book on the history of contraception. Our conversation goes all the way from herbal rememdies to cybersex.

The other half of the show was devoted to books. First up we had Stark Holborn with Triggernometry. And then part of my Lyda Morehouse interview from Salon Futura, which is mainly about Unjust Cause.

The playlist for this week’s show was:

  • Salt ‘n’ Pepa – Let’s Talk About Sex
  • Ike & Tina Turner – Sexy Ida
  • Parliament – I’ve Been Watching You
  • James Brown – Sex Machine
  • Janelle Monae – March of the Wolfmasters
  • Janelle Monae – Violet Stars Happy Hunting!!!
  • Janelle Monae – Let’s Get Screwed
  • Big Audio Dynamite – Medicine Show
  • Amazing Rhythm Aces – King of the Cowboys
  • Santana – Full Moon
  • Prince – Little Red Corvette

For the next few weeks you can catch the whole show via the Ujima Listen Again service.

New Salon Futura

The April issue of Salon Futura went live last week. Here’s what it had in it.

Book Reviews

Other Features

Enjoy!

New #LockdownReading from Lyda Morehouse


It’s Thursday, and that means it is time for another free short story from Wizard’s Tower. This one is Bright, Bright City Lights by Lyda Morehouse. It is a story set in Lyda’s home city of St. Paul, which she has particular affection for as we discussed in her interview for the new Salon Futura. It also has some resonance with the new NK Jemisin novel, The City We Became, which I reviewed here. And, given that it is a story about left-wing politics, it is very much speaking to the present day, even though it was first published in 2010 and is inspired by an event that happened in 2002.

You can find the full list of free Lockdown Reading stories here.

Coronavirus – Day #42

42 is the answer to the question, “how many days in 6 weeks?”. So that’s how long I have been in self-isolation. I did go out twice to get food, but other than that haven’t left home. I’m not missing the outside world much, though having a garden I could sit in would be nice.

Today was spent primarily at a conference for women Classicists (and allies). I gave a short talk which seemed to be well received. And I learned a lot, particularly about doing online teaching. I have felt for some time that you can’t simply replace a classroom lecture with an online one, and it was good to have that confirmed, and to get some tips for doing online teaching better.

It was an interesting experience spending the best part of 7 hours in an online conference. I thought it went very well, though getting people into breakout rooms in Zoom continues to be an unnecesarily complex process.

I also recorded another interview for the new Salon Futura, and I’ve put a loaf in the bread machine. I think that will do for the day. I’m pleased to see that I appear to have just enough flour for one more loaf. Hopefully it will be possible to buy it again next time I go to Tesco.

I don’t know much about what happened in the rest of the world today, though I gather that the government opened a website for testing essential workers for the virus, and it collapsed after a few hours. That is entirley typical.