Tor UK: have provided an extract from China Miéville’s upcoming science fictioner Embassytown (due to be released in May). Read and enjoy! Here’s a bit of blurb for you too (you’re welcome):
Embassytown, a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe. Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts - who cannot lie.
Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts.
And that is impossible.
SF Signal: this is just an amazingly comprehensive site for all things SFF. Compared to SF Signal, my blog doesn’t even register on the radar, it’s just a bit of fluff on the screen that someone could eradicate with a little puff (that’s a quick blow, not a tiny, slightly offensive stereotype, obviously). An unbelievable amount of time and effort must go into this web of knowledge. Sad to say I’ve only just cottoned on to its weekly roundup of free science fiction and fantasy available on the internet. They do the research and I get to say ‘Look, free things!’ Grab a coffee and enjoy.
SFX magazine: speaking of great blogs, SFX have just launched the voting for their first ever Blog Awards. They’re celebrating ‘the best that SF and fantasy fan-driven and insider-developed internet activity has to offer.’ The shortlist is already there. You can pick from six categories: Best SFF Podcast, Best Fan Community, Best SF News Blog, Best Literary Blog (which SF Signal is in), Best Franchise Specific Site and Best Celebrity Blog. I was, of course, a very near shoe-in for that last one, just missing out to the likes of Neil Gaiman and Orbit author Kate Griffin, who is part writer, part lighting technician. She also prone to lengthy, enjoyable posts about anything.
Orbit: last week announced a new short story venture. Curiously, they’re using a robot logo and Angry Robot too have ‘nanos’, short stories available for download only from their authors, something that’s obviously catching on. That’s my passive aggressive way of implying that the robot could be replaced with something less robot-y. Like a tiger. Or they could stick with what works. Orbit’s short stories will also only be available as eBooks from a variety of eBook retailers. No prices yet, but some authors have already been listed, including Mira Grant and Jennifer Rardin. I do love short stories and these do seem perfect for reading on an eReader or an iPhone so it does seem like they might be the gateway drug to full-blow eAddiction. But I just can’t bring myself to part with the physical copy just yet. I still love the way I have to carry an extra bag to work, and how it squishes my sandwiches and banana to a pulp by the time I arrive (banan-dwiches).