Monthly Archives: October 2012

Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow, a decorated short fiction editor known for her various award-winning anthologies, has been hired on as a Consulting Fiction Editor for, the website announced today. She joins Ann VanderMeer, who joined the team several weeks ago, also as a Consulting Fiction Editor.

Since 2008, has been a leading market for science fiction and fantasy short fiction. Several of our stories have been Hugo and Nebula finalists, Charlie Jane Anders’ “Six Months, Three Days” won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette in 2012 and Kij Johnson’s “Ponies” won the Nebula in 2011. Since the beginning, much of our fiction has been acquired and edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden. In 2010, Liz Gorinsky began buying and editing for the site, and earlier this year, Ann VanderMeer also joined our team.

Now, we’re pleased to announce that Ellen Datlow is joining us as a Consulting Fiction Editor!

You probably recognize Datlow’s name, but for those who don’t, you can probably look out your window on a dark and see the halo emanating from her trophy shelf, which includes a few Hugos, a Bram Stoker award, and a record-setting nine (9!) World Fantasy Awards. She’s edited more anthologies than you, me and that other guy combined, and is one of the most respected short fiction editors in the business. As with the hiring of VanderMeer, this is a good sign for those who are looking to submit short fiction to, who has, in the past, had infuriatingly long wait times for submitted fiction. Not only is the team expanding, but the talent is growing significantly. One wonders what is gearing up for by hiring these big name editors. Whatever it is, it’ll be good news all around for those who like to read (or write) short fiction.

You can find more about Datlow and her works on her official website.

Red Country by Joe AbercrombieRed Country by Joe Abercrombie
Red Country, Joe Abercrombie’s sixth novel, and third standalone novel, might have been delayed by a few weeks in the US, but lucky for fans (or those interested in sneak peeks, at least…), his UK publisher, Gollancz, has released an excerpt of the first three chapters of Red Country for readers to ogle.

‘I have suffered many disappointments.’ Nicomo Cosca, captain general of the Company of the Gracious Hand, leaned back stiffly upon one elbow as he spoke. ‘I suppose every great man faces them. Abandons dreams wrecked by betrayal and finds new ones to pursue.’ He frowned towards Mulkova, columns of smoke drifting from the burning city and up into the blue heavens. ‘I have abandoned very many dreams.’

‘That must have taken tremendous courage,’ said Sworbreck, eyeglasses briefly twinkling as he looked up from his notes.

‘Indeed! I lose count of the number of times my death has been prematurely declared by one optimistic enemy or another. Forty years of trials, struggles, challenges, betrayals. Live long enough . . . you see everything ruined.’ Cosca shook himself from his reverie. ‘But it hasn’t been boring, at least! What adventures along the way, eh, Temple?’

Temple winced. He had borne personal witness to five years of occasional fear, frequent tedium, intermittent diarrhoea, failure to avoid the plague, and avoiding fighting as if it was the plague. But he was not paid for the truth.

Far from it.

Once you’ve had your fill of Chapter One, Chapter Two, and Chapter Three, you can sit patiently on your hands, waiting for Red Country to release on November 13th, 2012 (if you’re in America), or you can rush to your nearest bookstore in the UK and probably find a copy now.

Anomander RakeLast night I had the opportunity to meet with Steven Erikson, author of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and The Kharkanas Trilogy, at a book signing and then at dinner afterwards. I didn’t spend any time picking his brain afterwards, as the dinner was a more casual affair with a group of several friends and family members, though his story about climbing to the top of the Flatiron building in New York City, home of the Tor Books offices, was somewhat harrowing, but there was some interesting information that came out of the reading, some of which, I believe, is new.

  • Regarding the oft-rumoured Encyclopaedia Malazica, Erikson suggested that there is, of course, interest from publisher (presumably Tor, though he didn’t indicate which publishers), but that work won’t begin on the project until Ian Cameron Esslemont has finished his currently planned contributions to the Malazan series. This includes one more novel after Blood & Bone.
  • He didn’t say much about Esslemont’s fifth book, but mentioned that it will be set on the continent of Assail. He also discussed the process they use for writing an interweaving the stories, indicating that they focus discussions more on thematic elements rather than plot, allowing each other to explore those decided themes however they choose, including killing off characters and significant world-altering plot points, if necessary. It sounds like a very organic way of allowing two writers to work in one world.
  • There’s a significant encounter in Toll the Hounds between one of Erikson’s characters and one of Esslemont’s characters (fans who have read TtH will know the encounter I speak of) that was decided, in true RPG-nerd fashion, by a good ol’ fashion roll of a twenty-sided die. Erikson suggested that the end of that novel would have been much different if the die had rolled differently.

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Bill Willingham's Fables

Through their official website, Telltale Games announced a videogame based around Bill Willingham’s popular Fables series of comic books and graphic novels. Not much is known about the game beside a short description, which serves more as an introduction to Willingham and the Fables series than the game itself:

Created by Bill Willingham, the Eisner award-winning and chart-topping Fables re-imagines classic characters from fairy tales and folklore, spinning their stories in wild, brutally violent, mature, and often un-expected [sic] directions.

I think it’s safe to assume that the game will feature gameplay and storytelling similar to other Telltale adventure games, such as Jurassic Park, Monkey Island and The Walking Dead. Like those other games, you can expect that Fables will not cover the stories already told in the Fables books, instead tackling new scenarios in Willingham’s world. More information will be available through the official Fables website.

Shannara Banner

Every month, Terry Brooks answers a handful of fan-submitted questions drawn randomly. Sometimes they deal with specific plot points in his novel, or open-ended questions about his characters and writing in general. And sometimes, like this month, they deal with the future of his popular Shannara series. An interesting snippet comes near the end of his answer to this month’s first question, where Brooks says, “[E]ventually I will wrap up the entire Shannara series, something I talked about at length while on this latest book tour.”

For a long time, fans have debated whether there would be a definitive end to the Shannara series, but this is first time that Brooks has hinted at such a case. I’ve always fallen on the side of the argument that assumed the series would go on forever (literally, if Brooks’ is series about the whole ‘living forever’ thing), with no real reason to ‘wrap up’ the series, which is essentially a collection of several different independent tales, broken up into standalone novels, four-volume set and everything in between. Sure, given Brooks’ recent willingness to delve into unexplored portions of historical timeline of the series, this doesn’t rule out the fact that he will continue to write Shannara novels, instead it puts an endcap on the series’ overarching exploration of the clash between ‘Old World’ science and magic, a conflict that has been at the heart of the series since the fourth book, more-or-less. But, why put a cap on potential future stories? Read More »