Syfy, along with Universal Cable Productions, is adapting Robert Charles Wilson’s popular science fiction novel, Spin, for television. This adaptation, penned by Fight Club writer Jim Uhls, will be televised as a six-hour miniseries. Spin won Wilson a Hugo Award for ‘Best Novel’ in 2006, and remains one of my favourite big-idea science fiction novels of all time, and is a perfect candidate for a mini-series adaptation.

Part coming-of-age story, part political thriller, and part first contact story, Spin focuses on Tyler Dupree and his childhood friends, Diane and Jason Lawton, following them from the innocence of adolescence to their roles as adults caught up in an end-of-the-world crisis. Meanwhile, Earth is enveloped by an opaque bubble that slows down time on earth to the point that every passing second on the inside is equivalent to 3.7 years on the outside. As years whiz by outside, the citizens or Earth are threatened by the quickly approaching heat death of the sun, and a visit from a mysterious visitor from Mars. It’s a heady concept, but Wilson executes it brilliantly, and there is more than enough content in the story to create a tense and compelling mini-series.

Spin, along with Childhood’s End and Krypton is the latest in a series of efforts by Syfy to reinvigorate its network with original, science fiction-based programming. If they’re trying to catch the interest of core science fiction fans, they could do much worse than adapting Wilson’s work.

There is no announced air date for the Spin miniseries.


Bradley P. Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, the first volume of The Song of the Shattered Sands series, is one of my most anticipated novels for 2015. I had an opportunity to read an early draft of the book a few months ago, and Beaulieu impressed me with his rich, living world, characters you can root for as they struggle against forces they can’t comprehend, and a mystery that had me wondering the whole way through. So, when Beaulieu offered to debut the Adam Paquette’s artwork on A Dribble of Ink, I couldn’t say no.

Adam Paquette, the wonderful artist of this piece, wowed me when he created the art for the cover of my debut novel, The Winds of Khalakovo,” Beaulieu told me. “I was ecstatic when my US editor, Betsy Wollheim at DAW Books, asked if I’d like to work with Adam on the new series. Of course I said I’d love to work with Adam again, and I’m so pleased with what he came up with for Twelve Kings in Sharakhai. The morning cityscape of Sharakhai is stunning, and I’m really pleased that the hero of the story, Çeda, is shown to be looking out across it toward the House of Kings, the mountain where the palaces of the Twelve Kings stand. I’ll leave it up to the viewer to wonder why Çeda is so very interested in them…

“I’d also like to thank Betsy for her excellent eye in what makes a cover work, and for including me a bit in the process.”

Paquette is one of my favourite artist, particularly for his work on Magic: The Gathering, and produces some of the best landscapes and cityscapes in the business. I also love that Çeda is front-and-centre on the cover, but doesn’t succumb to the traditional tropes that cover artists use to cue readers to her gender. She’s feminine, but not over-sexualized, and that sword looks like it can do some damage (though, Çeda’s no chump with just her fists!)

The cover for the UK edition of the novel, published by Gollancz, is still in progress.

I can’t wait to see the cover with the final typography and final flourishes. Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is worth getting excited about.


Mega-blog io9 has a new Editor-in-Chief: Charlie Jane Anders. It’s a name that should be familiar to io9 readers — Anders has been Managing Editor of io9 for a number of years and writes many of the site’s most visible and popular articles. She replaces Annalee Newitz, who is moving on to become Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo. Newitz was Editor-in-Chief of io9 since its founding in 2008.

“I’ll be serving as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo, and Charlie Jane Anders is going to become editor-in-chief of io9,” revealed Newitz on her blog. “The two sites, along with Sploid and our diagonals, will be collaborators within the greater universe of the Future Initiative. Some editors and writers will be shared across the sites, and we’ll be working together on a lot of story packages. But the sites will also retain separate identities, with separate commenter communities.”

This change is the first step in what Newitz dubs the ‘Future Initiative’, a program to bring io9 closer to its sister sites, Gizmodo and Sploid. “My goal for the Future Initiative is to produce original reporting, must-read explainers, and smart analysis,” said Newitz. “I want our sites to have clear opinions — even if they piss everybody off — and distinct voices. And I also want us to be experts in the topics we cover.”


On January 14th, 2015, fantasy author C.C. Finlay announced that he was taking over for Gordon Van Gelder as editor of the long-running Fantasy & Science Fiction. Finlay has previously guest-edited two issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction, a process he describes as “a job audition.” Though he goes on to credit the writers published in those issues as most deserving of the credit for the success of his audition.

As a personal anecdote (that is, worth only the breathe it takes for me to write these words), I submitted stories to both of Finlay’s guest-edited issues, and though neither was accepted, I found the feedback he included in his polite rejections to be smart, concise, and terribly useful for improving the story on further rewrites. As an aspiring writer, I believe the magazine is in very good hands.

Finlay’s first foray as full-time editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine will begin with the March/April issue. “Current editor Gordon Van Gelder has an inventory of stories for the magazine,” Finlay revealed while speaking of the magazine’s transition into his hands. Van Gelder replaced Kristine Kathryn Rusch as editor of Fantasy & Science Fiction in June, 1997. “After the March/April issue,” Finlay continued, “these will be mixed in with the stories that I select. It will probably take a few issues to make the transition, but it won’t be sudden. Readers will still see many of the familiar writers they love. And I expect there to be new voices as well.”

One of Finlay’s first changes is to adopt the online submission system he used for the guest-edited issues for all issues of the magazine going forward, a move that is sure to attract a larger pool of writers. “Electronic submissions are easier for writers,” Finlay said. “They reduce barriers to submitting, so more people from more backgrounds in more parts of the world can send me stories. That means a larger, more diverse pool of stories for me to read in search of great stories. It also means less recycling. So I strongly prefer electronic submissions.”

The March/April issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is already at printers and will be one bookstore shelves in the coming weeks.

Becoming Gandalf

“Petite, her silver hair shining, Le Guin shrugged and grinned when Neil Gaiman placed the medal around her neck,” described The New Yorker of Ursula K. Le Guin when she accepted the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters presented by the National Book Awards on November 19, 2014. Le Guin might be petite in stature, perhaps, but her words in acceptance of the achievement were anything but small.

“Hard times are coming,” she said, her voice ringing out over an awed crowd. . “We’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.”

Le Guin is a legendary figure in science fiction and fantasy, author of many classics, such as The Left Hand of Darkness and The Wizard of Earthsea, and a champion for literature’s place in the every changing landscape of modern society — a “realist of a larger reality” is there ever was one. Her acceptance speech rang through the SFF community and beyond, a tolling bell of optimism. Through her ongoing insistence to use fiction as a lens through which we examine ourselves, Le Guin, and writers like her — poets, visionaries, realists of a larger reality — has continued to challenge speculative fiction to be a catalyst for positive change, a limitless medium that can offer hope to a world that obsesses over hopelessness. Read More »