Apr 2, 2008

Although It Is Too Early to Be Suicidal...

...the fact that the Tigers are 0-2 and have managed to strike out 19 times in those two losses--to the Royals!--galls me.

In happier news, here's the ToC for The Best SF and Fantasy of the Year v.2, edited by the excellent Jonathan Strahan, and available from Night Shade books any second now:

Introduction - Jonathan Strahan
"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" - Ted Chiang
"The Last and Only, or Mr. Moskowitz Becomes French" - Peter S. Beagle
"Trunk and Disorderly" - Charles Stross
"Glory" - Greg Egan
"Dead Horse Point" - Daryl Gregory
"The Dreaming Wind" - Jeffrey Ford
"The Coat of Stars" - Holly Black
"The Prophet of Flores" - Ted Kosmatka
"Wizard's Six" - Alex Irvine
"The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics" - Daniel Abraham
"By Fools Like Me" - Nancy Kress
"Kiosk" - Bruce Sterling
"Singing of Mount Abora" - Theodora Goss
"The Witch's Headstone" - Neil Gaiman
"Last Contact" - Stephen Baxter
"Jesus Christ, Reanimator" - Ken MacLeod
"Sorrel's Heart" - Susan Palwick
"Urdumheim" - Michael Swanwick
"Holiday" - M. Rickert
"The Valley of the Gardens" - Tony Daniel
"Winter's Wife" - Elizabeth Hand
"The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small" - Chris Roberson
"Orm the Beautiful" - Elizabeth Bear
"The Constable of Abal" - Kelly Link

I wouldn't miss it, if I were you.


enoughisenough said...

Years best SF you say?
Ah, did I hear you right sir? That gob of grey mushed together damaged brain matter is what passes as SF in our day and age.
What's happened when an entire anthology of "SF" if you want to call it that, I rather refer to call it "BS", but what has happened when a single 20 minute episode of The Twilight Zone created almost over forty years ago is 20 times as entertaining as an entire 2006 years best SF anthology?
What happened? Did the editor call you up and say "Hey Al, I'm putting together a 'Years Best thing' think you can whip something up real quick?"
Hey that's fine if you want to put together an anthology of crap. But to call it the years best is plain deceptive. Do you think your readers are idiots? You think we don't know crap when we see it? Or maybe you believe those stories are the best. But I doubt it.
Any one who reads that garbage and calls it the best of anything is either an idiot, crazy or both.
Enough is enough already.

powertrio said...

You want to know what is happening enoughisenough? Well, a few things have changed in the world since The Twilight Zone first appeared. It might help you to study the history of the past forty years.
In Science Fantasy particularly there is an ideological bombardment of fiction that stereo-types people who have faith in God as evil, crazy and stupid and also not to be taken seriously but instead something to laugh at. Mr. Irvine here is no exception with his short story Peter Skilling where a man frozen in time wakes up in a future evil theocracy. Irvine adds to the present hysteria surrounding people who have faith with this charming story.
It is sad to say that the SF and speculative fiction industry is saturated with writers pushing these stereotypes. But they have an audience. An unimaginative audience who accepts their garbage as you call it because it caters to their own views on people who have faith and sort of feeds the flames of intolerance towards people who have faith.
A nice little fact for all of those paranoids out there who fear the day of an evil heartless theocracy.
More people were killed in the first two weeks of Stalin's dictatorship than in the inquisition and the witch trials combined. Stalin was an atheist dictator who wanted to liquidate religion.
You are right, they are being dishonest.
And as for Mcleod, if I wanted to hear someone make fun of Jesus Christ I would get Richard Dawkins wasted and debate him. What would spew out of his mouth would be better than anything McLeod could write.
But we can fight back enoughisenough.
Start a Blog. Start watching these writers and critiquing where they are being biased and unfair. Maybe write your own SF to counter their stereotypes.
Also I would like to challenge Mr. Irvine to a debate on the reliability of the new testament.
Meet me on carm.org. chat. my username is powertrio.
You think my faith is a joke, that's fine, back up you views, lets go toe to toe. That challenge is open to any of your students and colleagues as well.
Let's go.

verysaneindeed said...

Hey power, I went to that carm place you mentioned. Interesting place. I am a Christian and a creationist. I know that my beliefs are going to be ridiculed and mocked. I expect that and it does not bother me anymore. Those who do mock us just reveal their ignorance and intolerance. The best way to counter them is to ignore them. They will go away. Part of their childish game is about stirring up controversy.
The sci-fi and fantasy community are for the most part made up of atheists these days.
Yet they forget about writers like George MacDonald, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
I have just read Lewis' novel 'Till We Have Faces' a beautiful piece of literature of which Alex Irvine and Ken Macleod fall very short of.
If you enjoy reading speculative fiction and science and fantasy fiction then you need to be prepared to have your beliefs belittled by the arrogant authors who are writing these days.
Though in my opinion their work is not worth anything-not even the time to read them.
Power made a good observation. It does seem that their works are just vehicles for transporting negative ideas about Christianity into other peoples minds.
I would like to refer you to Robert Silverberg. He was not a Christian however, when he wrote he was fair. Something that Alex and Ken are not.
In fact Macleod's short story featured in the anthology was ripped off from Silverberg's Masks of Time novella. You should check it out if your local library has it. If not I am sure you can order it online. I enjoyed it and respect Silverberg for his honesty and unlike this new wave of atheist propagandists saturating the market, Silverberg writes well.
As for Irvine. His books are not doing very well. So yes 'enough' we readers know crap when we read it.
Macleod has a loyal following though. But the only people who really read his books are those that agree with the political and religious views which are present in them.
But what you need to realize is that that is their type of fantasy. They fantasize about a communism that would work or evil Christians coming to kill them. They need to fantasize about these things because they are the furthest from what reality is. If you look at history you will see the opposite is true. Communist dictators (of a communism that failed miserably and a Russia still trying to come back from it)killed masses of Christians because they were Christians.
You are right Powertrio about Stalin. Not only did more people die in his regime than in the witch hunts and inquisitions combined, but before he was done the death toll was higher tan any religious motivated movement could claim.
I read the Bible. The Bible tells us that people do terrible things to each other. Then we are told that the Bible can't be true because people actually do terrible things to each other. It is an oxymoron propagated by oxycontin morons.
If you ever get tired of Sci-fi and fantasy then pick up your Bible read that.
Also Power, don't hold your breath waiting for anyone to answer your challenge. The people you called out are cowards.

comeonyouguys said...

I don't think that you guys are being very fair. Sure you may be offended by the ideas in some of the writing by these authors but that is no reason to call their work crap or to call them cowards. Alex Irvine is a published Author so someone out there likes to read his writing. Religion comes up often in science fiction writing. When this happens you are reading what the author understands or thinks about that particular religion. It is a chance for a person who is religious to see their religion from an outsiders eyes. Sometimes you will not like what you see. This is not an excuse to overreact or to lose your cool. Don't assume that the author is purposely misrepresenting your religion or being dishonest. It could be that the author is misinformed themselves about your religion and the issues surrounding it. If you have issues with the stories then why don't you point them out by page number present them and then make a case for why you disagree or where you believe the author is wrong. You will get more worth while discussions that way. Also here is a good article concerning this very thing. I hope you read it and then when you come back you will have something to say with substance. As a Christian myself I will have to decline your challenge as I find the new testament to be more than reliable but absolutely necessary.
Here is the link. http://www.adherents.com/lit/sf_and_religion.html

enoughisenough said...

Okay, let me get this right.
Are you telling me that the reason I have to go back and read work written over fifty years ago for a good story is because the sci-fi writers today are more interested in using their fiction as a vehicle to propagandize their political and religious views?
Are you telling me that this is their motivation for writing?
I am not a religious person. I am not offended when an author misrepresents someones religion. However, I will not pay twenty dollars or more to read crap! Yes I will call it crap! I ought to call it worse. Calling it crap is being too kind. I am the reader. Okay. If these hacks do not care who they offend when the make fun of religious people then why should I care if I offend them? I call it like it is. If something is crap then it's crap. Enough is Enough already.

Anonymous said...

If you do not like what you have been reading lately then I am there with you. But I want to understand your complaint. Are you petitioning Alex Irvine to write better stories or are you just venting your frustration in light of the obvious incompetence of of the writers we have today?
If you are petitioning Irvine to write better stories then your petition will not be satisfied. Alex has already shown us his best and he has disappointed.
Perhaps writers today do make propaganda a major priority in their writing. However before any priority comes the greed for money. Yes I know these writers are supposed to be communist dreamers ut they seem to benefit from capitalisms free market so maybe they are not sincere.
These authors may not really hold these political or religious views but their audiences do. And I think we both know the sorry lot who make that audience up. It's funny that the authors they quote in their diatribes for or against this or that actually benefit from the systems they wish to do away with. It is fiction it is entertainment. Authors need to make a living and so they write what they think their audience wants to read.

Get a life. said...

Tired of hearing all of you complaining about Irvine. He is an accomplished writer and has been very successful. I doubt any of you could write better than Alex. If you think you can then go ahead and embarrass yourself trying to prove it. Alex has a great imagination and we are yet to see his best. That is saying a lot. I have no idea what you are all talking about. I enjoy Irvine's work very much and am never disappointed when I read him. Why don't you all get a life. Don't you have something better to do with your time. I know I do and I know Irvine does as well. Do you want to know Irvine is doing with his time-instead of harassing bloggers-? While your sitting on a pity pot wondering why no one caters their fiction to your warped agendas Alex is working on his next best seller.
I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH with enoughisenough and his pathetic partners.
Get out and stay out vermin!

enoughisenough said...

To Get A Life,

THIS is not about Alex Irvine. THIS is about me.
Yes I have a pathetic life. I work at a mega super department store all day long almost everyday. Te neon lights and muzac have deadened almost all of my senses and emotions. I live in a one room apartment where I have to share my bathroom with nine other strangers. I have no car,no education no love life, no future and maybe 15 dollars in the bank.
Someday I will be dead.
Until then I want to escape this life. That is why I read. Movies and books are my greatest escape from this meaningless mundane life.
I count on authors to write good stories to help me get through my day.
I have limited income and can only afford so many books a month. Even when I shop online. Shipping adds up. That being said, when an author fails to deliver what they promise that means I have to spend more time in reality. My reality.
I never said I could write better than Mr. Irvine.
Let me use an analogy.
There was this pizza place I used to go to near where I work. When I first began to go there to eat the food was great. Great pizza and excellent calzones. Then something happened. I went in and ordered a clazone and it was soupy, the cheese was not even melted all the way.
I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I thought maybe they had a bad day. So I went back. They burned my pizza. I gave them a third strike. I can't cook so I was not going to go back into the kitchen and show them how it was done. That was it. I simply will not go back there.
Alex may have written a few good books a few years ago. But what has he done lately. Why is he wasting his time with stupid encyclopedias and books like The Ultimates. Did you read that one? What was that?
I don't care about religious or political themes. I don't go to church and I never even voted. I just want to get out of my life for a few hours a day before I go to bed. If writers are trying to propagandize at the expense of quality then that is not fair to me the reader. I don't know. Maybe they are just getting lazy.
I will give Irvine one more chance. If he writes another original novel of his own ideas and creation I will read it. But it better be good.
I don't mind being called vermin either. I know what I am.

Anonymous said...

First of all, how can you judge Alex when you probably don't now him? Do you know what his political and religious views are? Do you know who his audience is when he writes? If you did you'd realize that he's insanely creative, and he tends to look at things a little differently. You'd also realize (and this is mainly to 'enough') that he doesn't give a crap about what you thing of his writing because you're not his intended audience. if you were, wouldn't you be praising him?

Writers who write for money are people like Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind - people who don't know when to stop while their ahead. Alex's books have only recently started coming out rapidly, and that's mainly because he's published books with DC and Marvel comics, along with other agencies.

And the whole point of SF is that it's not real! Why not speculate on what might happen if one religious group took over; or one political group; or one gender, or one race. I'm fairly certain you could find at least one book pertaining to one group taking over the world somewhere in SciFi-dom. And I hate that people get up in arms when someone challenges their religion. And don't call it Mocking. I'm a Christian, and I only get offended when someone insults and JUDGES other people based on their beliefs. Isn't that what you're getting flustered about anyway? Not only that, but if you're faith is as strong as you claim, you wont care what anyone has to say about what you believe, or what they think.

So stop getting offended. Take it with a grain of salt or DONT READ IT. If you know it's gonna push your buttons, why bother?

Anonymous said...

Fair enough anon, fair enough.

powertrio said...


Get A Life. said...

Are we supposed to be impressed by that? You really think you alone are going to debunk evolution with some outdated web-link?
Get a life.

a supertramp said...

This is for enough.

It seems that you are unhappy with the way your life is going. I remember when I was down and out. I was homeless. I wished I had a one room apartment no matter how many people I had to share a bathroom with. I was alone yes very lonely. I had no job and no money. I had no education not even a high school education. Talk about depressed I was suicidal at times. There were other stresses in my life as well that added to my misery. I was just hopeless and id not want to go on living.
But then I started to talk to Jesus Christ. And I started to have hope again. The scales fell from my eyes. I began to count my blessings instead of focusing on what was wrong with my life. I began to have faith. My faith has brought me so far. That is why I cannot deny it. I admit that I did all of the work to bring me where I am but I could not have done it without that initial spark of faith.
I got my high school diploma and even graduated from college. For someone like me college was just a pipe dream. But for most of my peers when I was in college it was just a natural extension to high school. Something they took for granted. For me going to college was like walking on water. They could not understand why I objected so much to criticisms of my faith. We were from different worlds. Jesus rasied Lazarus from the dead. Imagine if Lazarus was in a college classroom where they were studying a book that made a myth out of the man who breathed life in him. That book would not just make a myth out of Jesus but it would make a myth out of Lazarus as well.
For me it was like saying that I was not there. That I did not exist. I actually knew Alex Irvine. He was a reluctant teacher of mine. I think he is a better writer than a teacher but what I went to learn from him I soon understood that I needed to teach myself.
I had a hard time in tat school and often overreacted to challenges or different views about my faith. I can understand where some of these others are coming from. For me I was insulted because I loved Jesus Christ. If someone wrote trash about your best friend or your father or went around yelling that your mother was dead when she was not it might upset you. But people wo write stuff like that do not know Jesus as I do. If they did then they would not write stuff like that. It has taken me some time to understand their ignorance in these matters. However I would not extend the term ignorance to everything about them. I have learned a lot from people who have challenged my faith.
I have learned that though they may not share the same faith as I do they do have faith in something. And that is what you need Enough. You need to start counting your blessings and have some faith. If not in Jesus than in yourself, have faith in life. There is more in this life than books and movies. It will take a lot of hard work but with faith I'm sure you can find the strength to better your circumstances. So start today by counting your blessings. I was worse of than you and I know there were people worse off than I was. You are still alive. Everyday you wake up is another chance at life.
And as for a debate of evolution of New Testament reliability. I think both positions require faith to believe or accept. As long as people have the freedom to choose what to believe then that is what really counts.
Take care enougisenough. And maybe someday you can try reading the bible. Maybe.

Alex Irvine said...

A former student of mine? This gets better and better.

powertrio said...

I don't have to debink evolution.
It is not a proven science. It is just a theory. Though many people forget this and accept it as fact.
In a few days Ben Stein's film EXPELLED premiers. It will make for some interesting discussion I am sure. Blah!

a supertramp said...

Yes Alex. I took your internet correspondence course on internet correspondence. Didn't learn a darned thing. But it was an exciting experience non the less.

Alex Irvine said...

If only I could remember teaching such a course...

a supertramp said...

You wouldn't. It was outsourced to a call center in India. So you actually did not teach but the course had your name on it and during the audio of the classes there was a tag photo of you in the lesson windows (at least it looked like you, uh, vaguely.). So it was kind of as if you really had taught it.
Tomorrow I will will be on your side of the pond having breakfast in America. Bacon, eggs, toast and some of those tasty home fries. Yum, yum old chum. Am I allowed to do that?