It’s that time of year again. The shortlists for the 2008 BSFA Awards have been announced. And they go something like this:
- Flood by Stephen Baxter
- The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
- The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
- Anathem by Neal Stephenson
I’ve not read any of the four, although I do have The Night Sessions and plan to read it soon. I’m a bit behind on my Baxter reading, although eventually I would have got to Flood. The Harkaway I’ve heard good-ish things about, but not enough to make me want to shell out for a new hardback by an author I’ve never read before. Anathem…. Well, I hated the Baroque Cycle, so I’m certainly not going to buy Stephenson’s latest brick in hardback.
And yes, I know there are such things as libraries. But I already have enough unread books of my own to keep me reading for several years, so why would I join a library?
Um, it seems The Gone-Away World is available in A-format paperback already. I might well get a copy, then…
Best Short Fiction
- ‘Exhalation’ by Ted Chiang (Eclipse 2)
- ‘Crystal Nights’ by Greg Egan (Interzone 215)
- ‘Little Lost Robot’ by Paul McAuley (Interzone 217)
- ‘Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment’ by M Rickert (F&SF, Oct/Nov 2008)
A new Chiang. Nuff said. I hope they make it available online. The others are already available to read on the tinterweb. I don’t read enough short fiction each year to judge how the above stack up against everything else published. Annoyingly, you have to sign up for a 7-day trial for some online business information service to access the Rickert. Which requires you to enter a credit card number. Dumb move, F&SF.
- ‘Physics for Amnesia’ by John Clute
- Superheroes!: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films by Roz Kaveney (IB Tauris)
- What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon)
- Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan)
I have Paul Kincaid’s book, and I plan to read it. I am less interested in fantasy, or superheroes. Clute’s piece, as it is online, I will read.
- Cover of Subterfuge, ed. Ian Whates, by Andy Bigwood
- Cover of Flood, Stephen Baxter, by Blacksheep
- Cover of Swiftly, Adam Roberts, by Blacksheep
- Cover of Murky Depths 4 by Vincent Chong
- Cover of Interzone 218 by Warwick Fraser Coombe
Judge for yourself…