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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.