Back to School Reads: 5 New YA Science Fiction Books in 2022

It’s back-to-school time again, colder weather is coming, and the kids will soon be spending more time inside.
So, we dug around (consulted my best friend and a professional YA librarian), and asked for some recommends for our young adult readers.

Check out the hot new SF titles below and see if one of these books will lure the kids from their gaming consoles and set them off on an adventure to outer space!

Continue reading “Back to School Reads: 5 New YA Science Fiction Books in 2022”

Autumn Reads: 5 New Sci Fi Books in 2022

It’s that time of year, Labor Day is just around the corner signaling the end of summer, the kiddos are headed back to school, and we’re all going to have some extra afternoons free just for reading—right? *wink*

Continue reading “Autumn Reads: 5 New Sci Fi Books in 2022”

Interview with Author Mica Scotti Kole

An award-winning author, and a regular to the pages of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, writer and editor Mica Scotti Kole gave us the chance to peal back the pages and get a glimpse inside the life of a dreamer, artist, and someone who has followed her dreams straight into a reality …

Continue reading “Interview with Author Mica Scotti Kole”

Science Fiction: The Evolution of a Genre

Science fiction as a genre has evolved and expanded over the decades, inviting innovative ideas from forward-thinking minds. Avid fans of the genre and its subgenres (some say there are over 30 subgenres!) probably can’t recall a time before there was an entire section in bookstores or online shopping platforms dedicated to science fiction. The genre is not the oldest (poetry claims that distinction) and its evolution is a stunning example of what human ingenuity can accomplish through a combination of imagination and a foundation of science.

Earliest Records of Science Fiction

Unsurprisingly, fiction aficionados do not quite agree on when Sci-Fi as a genre began. Many posit that it was during the 2nd century when Lucian of Samosata penned A True Story, the book that astounded readers with its descriptions of aliens, travel beyond earth, and war among the planets. Several genres in addition to science fiction have attempted to lay claim to this work and its accolades as belonging within their genre. This book, and many others up through the 13th century, do seem to contain themes and elements of Sci-Fi but do they have enough to qualify them fully? The debate continues…

Let’s look at the opinion of astronomer and scientist Carl Sagan. His belief was Somnium by Johannes Kepler is the first true Sci-Fi book. He may be right. After all, within those ancient pages the author describes what it could be like to view Earth from a vantage point on the Moon long before Neil Armstrong set foot upon its regolith-covered surface. Other early contenders include a personal favorite, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well as Jules Verne’s epic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. With a genre whose stories are so rich with possibility and so embracing of the unknown it stands to reason that each of these and many more have directly impacted, shaped, and built the incredible genre that we know and love today.

How Sci-Fi Has Changed

The 1900s saw a huge push toward defining the genre and introducing stellar, new concepts to readers of literature. When Hugo Gernsback published the first American Sci-Fi magazine in 1926 called Amazing Stories, he unwittingly started a further boom for the genre as he put incredible works of fiction and art in the hands of thousands of people each month. One author in particular, E. E. Doc Smith with Lee Hawkins, is credited for writing the first notable space opera, The Skylark of Space, which was put in the magazine. A comic strip celebrating Sci-Fi was also born from the magazine as Philip Francis Nowlan introduced the nation to Buck Rogers with Armageddon 2419. Just over a decade later in 1937 a new editor took over a competing science fiction magazine called Astounding Science Fiction and ushered in what fans call the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.” Editor John Campbell focused on content that centered on real, scientific progress and advancements in technology. As a result, the genre blossomed as readers were both in awe of the advancements of the day as well as excited by the fictional elements of each story.

In the 1940s a Hugo Award was given to author Isaac Asimov for his book series entitled Foundation. The story presented the idea of galactic empires, a novel concept in the day. Throughout the 1950s Americans stayed riveted to new ideas including interstellar communities, human evolution of the future, military science fiction, and much more. The 1960s and 1970s saw further advancements in technology, prompting authors to write about themes that stretched the limits of our understanding at that time. Things like human psychology, physical and mental abilities of the human body and mind, and questions about concepts such as gender, feminism, and social constructs played into stories heavily during this time.

Films’ Influence

The onset of film opened an entirely new way for humans to see and interpret the world around them. One of the earliest known recordings that could be labeled as science fiction is the iconic silent film A Trip to the Moon directed by Georges Méliès in 1902. It was shot with a meager budget of 10,000 francs and was only 9 minutes long. A recent film entitled Hugo tells the true-to-life tale of the director and offers a glimpse into his creative mind. By 1927 a full-length science fiction film called Metropolis failed at the box office but has succeeded in the eyes of modern filmmakers for its innovative science fiction concepts. Fast forward to 1968 when 2001: A Space Odyssey and the original Planet of the Apes both came out and it’s easy to see how Sci-Fi enjoyed a burst of popularity as it garnered new fans while enchanting fans of old. The door was wide open for another quality, successful film when in 1977 George Lucas released what we know today as Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. This, of course, sparked a global obsession with the series and expanded the reach of science fiction.

Science Fiction Today

From its humble beginnings, the genre has risen to include some of the bigger blockbuster hits in Hollywood and some of the more heavily read books in the nation. As writers and authors continue to push the limits and expand human awareness of what could exist beyond what we can see and experience today, readers are spoiled with a plethora of media options that range from classic to modern and encompass a variety of subgenres. Let us not forget, however, that once upon a time, not too long ago, a few brave writers put pen to paper and dreamed up worlds that no one had dared to capture in ink.

Read an insightful GALAXY’S EDGE interview with Nancy Kress!

Tomorrows-KinNancy Kress is one of science fiction’s crown jewels. She is a writer of powerful science fiction, having won Hugos and Nebulas. She also is known as a talented writing teacher.

September’s issue of sf and fantasy magazine Galaxy’s Edge has an insightful interview by the wildly talented author. To read her own personal thoughts on her career (and to access the full interview) you can click the magazine link to see the many options available for buying this wonderful 28th issue.

To whet your appetite here is an exclusive excerpt:

Joy Ward: How did you get started writing?

Nancy Kress: By accident. I had never planned on being a writer. When I was a child, I thought all writers were dead because the writers I was reading were Louisa May Alcott. I really did not realize that writing was a commodity that was still being produced. I thought it was like oil, there was a finite amount of it.

Then I discovered that there were actual writers living and this completely shocked me, but I come from a very conservative Italian-American family, and I grew up in the 1950s. So my mother sat me down when I was 12 and said, “Do you want to be a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary?” Because those were the only possible things she could think of, and I thought it over and I said, “Okay, I’ll be a teacher.” So I became a fourth grade teacher, and I was for four years. I enjoyed it. Then I got married and had my children. I was pregnant with my second child. We lived way out in the country. There were no other women at home. They were all older and had gone back to work. My then husband took our only car to work, and he was taking an MBA, so he often didn’t come home for dinner; he stayed for classes. I was there with my one-year-old- 18-month-year-old, very difficult pregnancy, and I was going nuts.

I started writing to have something to do that didn’t involve Sesame Street, and I didn’t take it seriously. It was a thing I was doing while the baby was napping, to try to have something of my own. I would send them out. They’d come back. I’d send them out they’d come back. After a year, one sold. After another year, a second one. After another year a third one sold, then it started to pick up and I began to take it more seriously, but I didn’t plan on doing this.

I remember (selling the first story) very well. It was to Galaxy, which is a magazine long-defunct. What I didn’t know is that everybody else had stopped submitting to Galaxy because it was trembling on the verge of bankruptcy. I had no connection with fandom. I didn’t know it existed, I didn’t know SFWA existed. I didn’t know conventions existed. When I first sold it, it turned out that nobody else was submitting anything, and they were desperate. So they published my story immediately then it  went bankrupt. It took me three years to get my $105. I wanted it, and I kept writing and I’d say, “This is my first sale. I want my $105.” And for that eventually I think he had pity and he sent me the check.

I did it. I did that was what goes through my mind. Three words, “I did it.” I didn’t think I could, but I did it.

To read more go to Galaxy’s Edge for options on purchasing issue 28!

 

Poll: Who is the most influential science fiction writer?

For many years science fiction got a really bad rap. It was fantastical fiction of no substance, a poor relation to literary fiction, or to any other kind of fiction (except maybe romance); it was often considered a flight of fancy. But mainstream readers are starting to realize that science fiction novels, TV shows and movies are often social commentary on the human condition. And not only that, they can often be thought-provoking and moving allegories of our current lives, helping us confront the parts of ourselves we probably need to work on and improve if we are ever to have a successful future as individuals or a species.

While SF movies have always evoked a sense of “what if” in terms of considering how we could end up if we made X choice instead of Y (The Planet of the Apes films are perfect examples of this!), when you read SF novels you are free to picture the future the author’s presents with your own imagination, often making the resulting lesson more profound.

So, who is the most influential SF author in your opinion? We’d love to find out whose writing affects our readers the most!

[polldaddy poll=9801823]

 

2017 Hugo nominations period nearing a close! (Poll!)

It’s that time of the year again. Time to nominate our favorite science fiction and fantasy works (in different forms, lengths and mediums), as well artists, editors and writers in professional and fan categories.

The deadline is at 06:59 UTC on March 18, 2017 (March 17, 2017 23:59 North American Pacific Daylight Time / UTC-7) and if you have the required membership and voting pin, you can still use the personalized link in the email you received to cast your vote. (I suspect it is too late to mail in a paper ballot, unless you do so via express post.)

Anyone who is a voting member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 Worldcons by the end of the day on January 31, 2017, is eligible to nominate in this round, but only members of the Helsinki Worldcon can vote on the chosen finalists in the next round, so make your vote count now! Click here to go to the current worldcon website to find out more.)

There are professional and personal blogs and websites around the net listing eligible nominees, for all the categories, and if you click here (for example) you will be taken to a webpage that invites people to suggest their own recommendations, which have been compiled into very helpful lists for each category. No website has a complete list of all eligible works, but some of them might jog your memory, if you recognize a particular book or story on one of them that you had read last year and realized it was definitely worth your vote. (We have such hectic, multi-tasking lives that I suggest that, in the future, you create a list and add to it whenever you read something new during a calendar year, so you can refer back to it during nomination periods.)

This year the rules have been changed up a bit, in regards to how they tally their votes. While you can only nominate up to five titles/names per category, there will be six finalists per category once the numbers have been tallied and their legitimacy verified, to help prevent block voting.

Feel free to participate in the poll below. We’d love to here from you which book (or books) you believe should be nominated for the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Novel. Either by adding a new book title (and the author who wrote it) to the poll list options, or by selecting one or more of the options already listed!

Happy voting!

[polldaddy poll=9696271]

Signalling all SF, fantasy, and horror writers, readers and fans!

Welcome to our blog! We aim to update you on all the books, movies and news within the science fiction, fantasy and horror fields, from as many corners of the universe as we can reach! If you click on the WordPress Follow button to the left of our webpage, or the Follow Blog Via Email button, you will be kept up-to-date on all the signals we send out!

The folks from Signals From The Edge wish you a happier and brighter 2017!

A new venture!
A new venture!