Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year 4707 - The Year of the Ox

Kung Hei Fut Choy!

As the Year of the Rat draws to a close, we look forward to the Year of the Ox. For all our sakes, let us hope that the Ox heralds a speedy return of a Bull Market!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Tesseracts Twelve Review!

So a new year began, and there was a Presidential Inauguration in the US, and Stephen Harper didn't think to prorogue the recession, which would have been truly useful as opposed to merely proroguing the current Parliamentary Session.

But in the midst of the January cold and gloom, there is a spot of warmth in the form of a new Tesseracts Twelve review by Jason Sanford on The Fix Online.

Here are the relevant bits:

Then there are the stories in Tesseracts, not a single one of which isn’t good or great....

In Michael Skeet and Jill Snider Lum’s “Beneath the Skin,” ancient Japan comes alive as a samurai, Hirota Satoshi, tries to solve a mystery while being simultaneously manipulated by spirits, ghosts, and his overbearing daimyo lord of an elder brother. Well written with extremely sympathetic characters, this story follows in the footsteps of many recent fantasies set in ancient Japan, with the story’s plot loosely resembling that of Peter S. Beagle’s masterful “The Tale of Junko and Sayuri.” But despite not treading any new fictional ground, this is still a very good story.
Overall, this is one of the best original anthologies I’ve seen in the last year and one that deserves more attention than it received.

Yes, I freely admit my bias here, and the following is an unabashed plug for my wife and my friends.

Hugo nominations are now open, and nominations will be accepted until February 28. Among The Usual Suspects, you can nominate Jill's and Michael's story "Beneath the Skin" for best novella. But while you're at it, you should also nominate David Nickle's story "Wylde's Kingdom" at the same time. The entire Tesseracts Twelve collection should be nominated for Best Anthology.

For non-Tesseracts stories (yes, there were some) certainly Karl Schroeder deserves a nomination for Best Novel for "Pirate Sun" (and he has a list of other work from 2008 that is deserving of consideration as well).