GALAXY’S EDGE REVIEW ROUNDUP: NOVEMBER 2022

RECOMMENDED BOOKS
by Richard Chwedyk

Richard Chwedyk sold his first story in 1990, won a Nebula in 2002, and has been active in the field for the past thirty-two years.

In previous columns, I’ve said a lot already about my love for short fiction. I don’t need to repeat myself, but I will (as Joseph Epstein wrote, “A teacher is someone who can never say anything once.”), though in keeping with the subject, I’ll be brief.

Short fiction represents the heartbeat of these forms we love, science fiction and fantasy. It’s not tied down to narrative and stylistic structures publishers believe are compulsory for “saleable” prose. Any subject, any style can be explored with the single proviso that it be interesting.

Even the novels discussed here demonstrate the craft and vision received by working in short forms. Big things may not always come in small packages, but the odds are pretty good that size doesn’t always matter.

~~~

The Year’s Best Fantasy, Volume One
edited by Paula Guran
Pyr
August 2022
ISBN: 978-1-64506-048-2

This volume represents something that we’ve needed for a long time. It was 2009 when the last David G. Hartwell/Kathryn Cramer-edited Year’s Best Fantasy volume came out, and Pyr should be applauded not merely for putting out this volume, but for choosing Paula Guran as its editor. She has wide-ranging tastes and a keen eye for significant work in a field that has grown so large so swiftly. And she has done so in a perfectly manageable format. The book comes in at a comparatively slim 439 pages. Like the Hartwell/Cramer anthologies, it provides a comprehensible overview without overwhelming the reader.

~~~

The Best of James Van Pelt
by James Van Pelt
Fairwood Press
August 2022
ISBN: 978-1-933846-21-7

If you’re a constant reader of magazines, as I am, print or online, James Van Pelt is one of those names you encounter with frequency, and in a good way, because no matter what else may be in that issue’s contents you are assured of at least one good story, well told.
For that very reason we tend to take him for granted. And we shouldn’t.

~~~

Wergen: The Alien Love War
by Mercurio D. Rivera
NewCon Press
November 2021
ISBN: 978-1-914953-01-9

As well as Rivera knows his Wergens, he knows his humans even better. That doesn’t sound like high praise, but it is. Many SF writers who work out alien cultures down to minutiae often have a blind spot for human complexity. Or perhaps they have transferred that complexity into their aliens. Rivera conveys our complex and often contradictory nature with honesty and integrity. This is what science fiction can do at its best, and what Rivera does on every page of this extraordinary volume.

~~~

Forkpoints
by Sheila Finch
Aqueduct Press
June 2022
ISBN: 978-1-61976-218-3

Sheila Finch’s short fiction has always been literate and fascinating. She finds new ways of looking at old SF concepts where she doesn’t invent a few concepts of her own. One of the things I have most appreciated about her Xenolinguistics stories is she makes the struggle to communicate, and to comprehend what’s communicated, into captivating SF.

~~~

1812: The Rivers of War
by Eric Flint
Baen
August 2022
ISBN: 978-1-9821-9197-9

This book arrived a few weeks before I heard of the sad passing of its author. I usually don’t review works by Eric Flint because—what’s there to say? He was fine author of consistent quality. Probably one of the two or three authors most responsible for the popularity of alternative history fiction. If you like that kind of work, you knew of him already. He never let his readers down.

~~~

A City in the North
by Marta Randall
Warner Books
May 1976
ISBN: 978-044694062-3

Let us now praise Marta Randall.
The 1970s by any estimation was a tumultuous era, and preconceptions at every level were being challenged. The setting and characters of A City in the North may not resemble any aspect of that era, but they echo it. The implicit questioning of established norms haunts every page. Nothing here is entirely as it seems.

~~~

The Jigsaw Assasin
by Catherine Asaro
July 2022
Baen
ISBN: 978-1-9821-9196-2

I shouldn’t have to mention a new Catherina Asaro novel because Catherine Asaro fans know where to find her books and know how to get them. But I hadn’t read a Major Bhaajan novel in some time, and I’ve grown fond of her tough, no-nonsense P.I., and all the gritty nuances of Undercity, though the story here is set in Selei City. A series of murders, assassination attempts, plots and foreboding intrigues that could be red herrings or the key to the whole McGonigle—you’ve got it all here. Science fiction or hard-boiled noir decked out in space opera greasepaint? Hey, a physicist can’t help being a physicist, even when she’s writing highly suspenseful SF thrillers.

~~~

Hot Moon
by Alan Smale
Caezik
July 2022
ISBN: 978-1-64710-050-6

I recognized Smale from his shorter fiction (and of that, his early fantasy stories), so I thought I’d dip into it to see what he was doing. The dip kept me reading through the night, to the last page.
This is a highly inventive, brilliantly conceived alternative history where the Apollo program wasn’t shelved after 1972. The U.S. has space stations and bases on the Moon’s surface, and the Soviet Union is still around, making trouble as the story begins in 1979. Smale, whose “day job” is a NASA astronomer, has worked out all the details and hardware with mind-boggling plausibility. All his characters act, feel, and sound real. First-rate hard SF.

~~~

The Serpent
by David Drake
Baen
July 2022
ISBN: 978-1-9821-9198-6

You might not think a melding of Arthurian legend and science fiction could be successfully executed, but this is David Drake, and he pulls it off splendidly (with a little help from Orlando Furioso). He keeps things moving and does so with an economy of language that is in itself a kind of magic, bringing it all in at 246 pages. He’s done it before but, arguably, not as well.

Copyright © 2022 by Richard Chwedyk.

~~~

Find the entire article at Galaxy’s Edge Magazine — where you can read for free until Dec 31st, 2022.

AND

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2022 World Fantasy Awards

This year’s World Fantasy Con was held at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, LA on November 3-6, 2022.

And from all the pictures we’ve seen posted on social media this week, it looked like quite the blast.

On Sunday, November 6th, the World Fantasy Awards were held, and here, ladies and gentlemen, are the winners for 2022:

Continue reading “2022 World Fantasy Awards”

And The Award Goes To …

For the past two years, Galaxy’s Edge magazine and Dragon Con have sponsored an award for new writers, in memorial of the late, great author Mike Resnick.

This past August at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA, they had the pleasure of announcing the 2022 winner for THE MIKE RESNICK MEMORIAL AWARD for Best Science Fiction Short Story by a New Author:

​WINNER
“What Would You Pay for a Second Chance?”
by Chris Kulp

​FIRST RUNNER-UP
“Seedpod”
by Ellen Parent

SECOND RUNNER-UP
“On the Left”
by Sandra Sigienski

~~~

Chris Kulp

This week we’re shining a spotlight on Chris Kulp, his achievement as this year’s winner of the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Short Story by a New Author, and his upcoming publication in Galaxy’s Edge magazine.

Chris Kulp was in attendance at DragonCon this year when the announcement was made. He tells us he was honored to be considered among the finalists, but wasn’t expecting to win!

Chris is a professor of physics at Lycoming College. He teaches physics at all levels, and his research focuses on machine learning and modeling complex systems. He has co-authored a textbook and many peer reviewed scientific articles.

His story, “What Would You Pay for a Second Chance?” is his first published fiction story, and is featured in this month’s issue of Galaxy’s Edge magazine, November 2022, Issue 59.

The story is about a woman who receives a terminal diagnosis. The technology exists to have her consciousness uploaded into a robot, but she can’t afford the cost. She signs up for a government program that will pay for the transfer, and in exchange, she must commit to military service. After being sent to the frontlines of a warzone in her new body, she discovers, the battle is not the only threat she faces.

Chris also has an upcoming novel, set for release in early 2023.

Find out more about Chris’s writing and sign up for his newsletter to keep up to date with his progress at his website: chriskulp.com

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS, CHRIS! We look forward to reading your winning story, “What Would You Pay for a Second Chance?”, and to all your future publications and successes!

A wonderful congratulations to our other winners also.
Keep your eyes peeled for more stories from these talented new authors!

~~~

What is the Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Short Story by a New Author?

It’s an annual award sponsored by Galaxy’s Edge magazine (Arc Manor Publishing) and Dragon Con in celebration of new authors who have penned a Science Fiction short story.

This award was created to honor author Mike Resnick’s memory and continue on his legacy by spotlighting wonderful new voices in the writing world.

Who was Mike Resnick?

Mike Resnick, along with editing the first seven years of Galaxy’s Edge magazine, was the winner of five Hugos from a record thirty-seven nominations and was, according to Locus, the all-time leading award winner, living or dead, for short fiction. He was the author of over eighty novels, around 300 stories, three screenplays, and the editor of over forty anthologies.

As well as publishing hundreds of books as author and editor, Mike Resnick was known for his “Writer Children”—paying it forward by helping new writers start their careers. When he was not writing, Mike mentored these new authors, and was as dedicated in helping them reach their career milestones as achieving his own.

Submissions for 2023 are now open!

Interested in submitting? Head over to the website and get started HERE.

Submitting is free, open to new authors only, and the judging panel is a star-studded cast, including:
Nancy Kress
Sheree Renée Thomas
Jody Lynn Nye
Lois McMaster Bujold
William B. Fawcett

Finalist Announcement: The five finalists for the 2023 Award will be announced on July 1, 2023.

Award Ceremony: Awards will be handed out during the Dragon Awards ceremony during Dragon Con 2023 to be held in Atlanta from August 31 to September 4. (Specific date of the Award Ceremony night updated once known.)

First Place Prize: The first-place winner will get a trophy, a cash award of $250.00 and have their story bought (at the magazine’s prevailing rate) by Galaxy’s Edge magazine for publication in the magazine.

Runner-up Prizes: The second-place winner will be given a prize of $100 and the third-place winner a prize of $50.

Hot Novel Spotlight

This week we’re talking about two new hot books, recently released from Arc Manor Books.

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Hot Moon
by Alan Smale

“A nail-biting thriller.”

—Publishers Weekly

From the Sidewise Award-winning author of the acclaimed Clash of Eagles trilogy comes an alternate 1979 where the US and the Soviets have permanent Moon bases, orbiting space stations, and crewed spy satellites supported by frequent rocket launches.

Apollo 32, commanded by career astronaut Vivian Carter, docks at NASA’s Columbia space station enroute to its main mission: exploring the volcanic Marius Hills region of the Moon. Vivian is caught in the crossfire as four Soviet Soyuz craft appear without warning to assault the orbiting station. In an unplanned and desperate move, Vivian spacewalks through hard vacuum back to her Lunar Module and crew and escapes right before the station falls into Soviet hands.

Their original mission scrubbed, Vivian and her crew are redirected to land at Hadley Base, a NASA scientific outpost with a crew of eighteen. But soon Hadley, too, will come under Soviet attack, forcing its unarmed astronauts to daring acts of ingenuity and improvisation.

With multiple viewpoints, shifting from American to Soviet perspective, from occupied space station to American Moon base under siege, to a covert and blistering US Air Force military response, Hot Moon tells the gripping story of a war in space that very nearly might have been.

“I loved it. Great ‘hard’ science fiction with convincing space battles.”

—Larry Niven

~~~

The Middling Affliction
By Alex Shvartsman

“Shvartsman delivers real magic action and surprise twists…You’re going to want more.”

—Esther M. Fiesner, Nebula-award winning author of the national bestseller, Warchild

GUARD BROOKLYN, FIGHT MONSTERS, TAUNT BAD GUYS

What would you do if you lost everything that mattered to you, as well as all means to protect yourself and others, but still had to save the day? Conrad Brent is about to find out.

Conrad Brent protects the people of Brooklyn from monsters and magical threats. The snarky, wisecracking guardian also has a dangerous secret: he’s one in a million – literally. Magical ability comes to about one in every 30,000 and can manifest at any age. Conrad is rarer than this, however. He’s a middling, one of the half-gifted and totally despised. Most of the gifted community feels that middlings should be instantly killed. The few who don’t flat out hate them still aren’t excited to be around middlings. Meaning Conrad can’t tell anyone, not even his best friends, what he really is.

Conrad hides in plain sight by being a part of the volunteer Watch, those magically gifted who protect their cities from dangerous, arcane threats. And, to pay the bills, Conrad moonlights as a private detective and monster hunter for the gifted community. Which helps him keep up his personal fiction – that he’s a magical version of Batman. Conrad does both jobs thanks to charms, artifacts, and his wits, along with copious amounts of coffee. But little does he know that events are about to change his life … forever.

When Conrad discovers the Traveling Fair auction house has another middling who’s just manifested her so-called powers on the auction block, he’s determined to save her, regardless of risk. But what he finds out while doing so is even worse – the winning bidder works for a company that’s just created the most dangerous chemical weapon to ever hit the magical community.

Before Conrad can convince anyone at the Watch of the danger, he’s exposed for what he really is. Now, stripped of rank, magical objects, friends and allies, Conrad has to try to save the world with only his wits. Thankfully though, no one’s taken away his coffee.

“With the fast-paced first Conradverse urban fantasy, Shvartsman (Eridani’s Crown) delivers a laugh-out-loud, snarky adventure, throwing out pop culture references and wry observations with dizzying frequency….His supernatural New York City is vibrant and authentic, and Conrad fits right in with wisecracking fan favorite heroes like Harry Dresden and Simon Canderous. The result is a thoroughly satisfying romp.”

—Publishers Weekly

~~~

To get your own copy, follow the links below, head over to Arc Manor Book’s site, or find at your favorite retailer.

FIND
Hot Moon HERE ~~~ & ~~~ The Middling Affliction HERE

Arc Manor To Release NFT Ebooks of Robert Heinlein Novel

Ebooks have made reading more widely much more accessible. Don’t have $30 to spend on a brand new hardcover? You can get the ebook for half the price and start reading immediately. 

But, there’s something unsettling about having a whole library of books you can’t see on a shelf. The tactile nature of physical books makes it easier to feel like you have a collection. 

That might be changing soon, as Arc Manor announces they plan to release a set of limited edition ebooks as NFTs. 

Ebooks as NFTs? Is It Possible?

With the rise of NFTs and blockchain technology, we’ve seen some wild things. There have been entire genomes minted on the blockchain, as well as medical and chemical research that’s been funded through the sale of utility NFTs. 

Not to mention the rampant collectible NFTs that made national news, stuff like Bored Apes or Crypto Punks. 

It appears that there’s a broad spectrum of NFTs–some of which sit on the far end of collectibility, with no other value than to exist, where on the opposite side, we have NFTs that have real-world applicability. Is there a middle ground between the two?

That’s where collectible NFT ebooks come in. Books have long been sought after as collectible items, but they also have another purpose, which is obviously to be read. 

Shahid Mahmud, owner of Arc Manor, says “There is a huge market for paper-based book collectibles. Now we have the ability to create a similar market with digital books.”

This comes on the wings of the announcement that Arc Manor has partnered with Curate, a mobile NFT marketplace, to create a line of collectable, sci-fi ebooks. 

Blockchain technology makes it possible for ebooks to have a collectible value, because no two will be the same. While you might not be able to get your NFT ebooks signed on the title page, you can own a rare collectible edition that holds more value than less-rare variants. 

The Pursuit of Pankera

What books will be minted on the blockchain first? Well, Mahmud chose The Pursuit of Pankera by Robert Heinlien as Caezik Crypto’s debut NFT. 

The Pursuit of Pankera was released in 2020, and is the last Robert Heinlien novel to be published, albeit posthumously. The manuscript was rediscovered and lovingly edited by Patrick LoBrutto and the staff at Caezik. 

The Pursuit of Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes is tied tightly to another Heinlein novel, The Number of the Beast. In fact, the first part of the book reads the same as The Number of the Beast, but it quickly deviates from its predecessor, creating a parallel timeline. 

Among the Golden Age sci fi writers, Robert Heinlein was certainly one of the pioneers. His fiction reached wide audiences, and he influenced many of the current science fiction dynamics with his novels. It’s only fitting that he will once again be reaching into new territories as the first NFT ebook. 

The Pursuit of Pankera will be released on Curate’s mobile NFT platform, with 500 unique, numbered cover variations. 

Arc Manor also plans to release two more ebooks as NFTs: Midnight at the Well of Souls by Jack L. Chalker, and Reboots: Undead Can Dance by Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin

Where To Get These NFT Ebooks

Like we mentioned, Arc Manor has partnered with Curate to make these NFT ebooks possible. You can access Curate on their mobile app or on their desktop version. Creating an account is fast and easy, but you will need a cryptocurrency wallet to purchase any NFTs. 

To learn more about how purchasing NFTs on Curate works–and what currencies you can use–check out their website
And to keep up to date on the NFT ebooks coming from Arc Manor, sign up for their mailing list over at CaezikCrypto.com.

News From the Edge: Resnick Award, Book Sale

Galaxy’s Edge magazine and Dragon Con have the pleasure of announcing the 2021 finalists for THE MIKE RESNICK MEMORIAL AWARD FOR SHORT FICTION for Best Unpublished Science Fiction Short Story by a New Author (in no particular order):

  • Lucas Carroll-Garrett: “Hive at the Dead Star”
  • Shirley Song: “Times, Needles, and Gravity”
  • Z. T. Bright: “The Measure of a Mother’s Love”
  • Christopher Henckel: “Echoes of Gelise”
  • Torion Oey: “Feel”


Congratulations to all of our finalists and thank you to all the talented authors who submitted entries for award consideration! Mike Resnick would have so loved to have been here to witness this achievement!

If you are one of the finalists listed above, and you have not received prior notification that you are a finalist via email, please check your spam folder of the email account you used to submit your story entry or contact us at admin@ArcManor.com.

If you’re interested in submitting a story for the 2022 Mike Resnick Award, please visit our website to read the submission details.

Publishers Pick Book Sale

For a limited time, Publishers Pick is offering discounted prices on many great science fiction books.

There are books by:

  • Robert Heinlein
  • Harry Turtledove
  • N.K. Jemisin
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • And many more authors!

At the time of this sale, all sale prices are better than other popular book retailer prices, including Amazon! Don’t wait, pick up a great summer read today!

Updates From the Edge: February 21

Things have been busy at ARC Manor’s CAEZIK SF & Fantasy imprint lately.

First up is The Pursuit of the Pankera: A Parallel Novel About Parallel Universes, the previously unpublished work by Robert A. Heinlein that is a parallel to his 1980 novel, The Number of the Beast. It’s coming to you on March 24, 2020, so reserve your copy right here.

Next up in the good news train is that esteemed author Robert J. Sawyer’s new novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative, is being published by CAEZIK in paperback on June 2 in the United States.

The novel imagines Oppenheimer’s physicists combining forces with Albert Einstein, computing pioneer John von Neumann, and rocket designer Wernher von Braun — the greatest scientific geniuses from the last century racing against time to save our future.

Read an advanced preview here (link opens a PDF) and be the first of your friends to have a peek inside Sawyer’s latest work.

It has been busy in the field of astronomy lately, too, what with the clearest ever photos of the sun’s surface and the mysterious dimming of Betelgeuse (Orion’s right shoulder). Stuff like this really gets our imaginations going.

What’s got your imagination going these days? Are you looking forward to either of these new books? Let us know in the comments.