Science Fiction

Science Fiction Mashup

Here are some fun science fiction magazine sites. If you haven’t visited them, click on the links below. Among these I’m sure you’ll find something that speaks to your SF bug.

Asimovs Science Fiction

offers samples of their print and e-format magazine, links to author, magazine and other SF related sites, and they feature a couple of new author blogs each month.

Amazing Stories Magazine

calls their site a Social Magazine. Scroll down the page to see some of the fascinating posts and join the forum to participate in the conversation.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine 

is up in space! (in the library of the International Space Station). This site offers the usual plus a reference library and an events calendar.

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction 

features a blog with interviews, reviews, and articles as well as a forum for discussions among fans.

Sfsignal

is considered a fanzine(a nonprofessional, nonofficial publication by fans). You’ll find book and movie reviews, free fiction, convention information, and more at this site.

 

Hi! I’m popping up out of my writing cave for a few minutes to say hi and share some links you might want to know about. I’ll be heading back into the cave in a minute. I’m determined to finish this re-write before I take off for an intense immersion class. In the meantime, I will try to post a short piece every couple of weeks. I’ll return to a regular blogging scheduled in late October.

I hope you found something of interest in this mashup of Science Fiction Online.

Are there science fiction sites you visit regularly?

Greatest Hits of Science Fiction

If you’ve attended a science fiction convention, you’ve heard of Filk Songs.  For those of you who haven’t heard of them,  Filk songs are kind of hard to define.  Even wikipedia has difficulty!  For now, we’ll say that a filk song is lyrics and music that is sung at a science fiction and fantasy convention.

Here’s a quick sample of a Filk Song:

I Hate Little Firelizards by Julia Ecklar

The guys on the television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?  (the U.S. version), took science fiction and music to a whole different level. I hope you enjoy the zaniness of  improv stars: Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Wayne Brady.

Greatest Hits of Science Fiction

For those of you who are wondering what happened to the Going to Mars Word by Word post this month — thank you so very much for your responses last month.  You voiced your preference and I am every so grateful for that.  Worry not.  I’m taking a couple of months break while I finish a re-write.  Going to Mars Word by Word will resume during the fall.

Going to Mars Word-by-Word: the Landis Way

Lynette M. Burrows, Science Fiction Author; Lynette M. Burrows, action-suspense science fiction

The next stop in our Going to Mars Word-by-Word tour is Mars Crossing by Geoffrey Landis. Published by Tor Books in 2000, this is a first novel by an experienced and award-winning short story author. It was nominated for a Nebula and won the Locus Award for best first novel in 2001.  Hop aboard for a gritty, near future science fiction tale of what the exploration of Mars just might be like.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

By 2028, two missions have been sent to Mars. Both the Brazilian and the American expeditions met with catastrophe and death on the Red Planet. A NASA-private venture hopes the third mission to Mars will be the first to return. Their plan relies on a return vessel sent to Mars years earlier, capable of manufacturing fuel for the return trip from the Martian atmosphere.

The mixed-gender, multi-national crew of six lands on Mars successfully but their celebrations are short-lived. A catastrophic failure kills one of the crew and causes irreparable damage to the return ship. And there is no hope of a rescue mission coming from Earth.

As a last ditch effort to survive, they set out to cross 4,000 miles of Mars to the north pole in the hopes that the abandoned Brazilian vehicle will be operational. Limited supplies and equipment, alien terrain, the ever present dust are only a portion of the hazards they face. The Brazilian vehicle can only carry two.

Using alternating viewpoints and flashbacks, Landis slowly reveals each surviving astronaut has a painful secret from the past. The isolation and desperation of their trek, combined with their secrets, creates tension and intrigue on every step of their journey. And one of the crew is willing to commit murder to ensure a place on the return trip to Earth.

HOW THE RED PLANET IS PORTRAYED

Mars Crossing conveys an authentic, fully-realized Martian landscape. The terrain crossed in the story includes familiar landmarks and a few surprises. Landis describes a place of beautiful desolation and isolation, a harsh and unforgiving land. It feels accurate. It feels real. And it’s no wonder, the author is in the know about real Mars exploration.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geoffrey Landis wears many hats: He has published more than 80 short stories, nearly 50 poems, one one science fiction novel, and more than 400 scientific papers. His short fiction has numerous awards including a Nebula and two Hugos. See his bibliography here.

Landis can write authentically about Mars because he is a physicist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a member of the science team of the Mars Exploration Rovers mission that landed rovers Spirit and Opportunity on Mars. Opportunity is still working after nine years! Landis also worked on the Mars Pathfinder project. You can read more about the projects he has and is working on here.

CONCLUSION

For me Mars Crossing has a nice balance of characterization, science, and drama. The novel has been compared to the greats of the field. The most fascinating part of it were the intriguing questions it posed about sending humans on  interplanetary journeys:

Would you take a trip to Mars knowing that the two previous missions failed?

How would you decided who could go home and who would face certain death on the Red Planet?

What would you be willing to do to secure a seat on the trip home?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Have you read Mars Crossing? Won’t you share what you thought of it? If you haven’t read it, will you?

This is the final novel I had planned for this blog series. Yet there are many more novels I could explore. Tell me, would you like this series to continue?  If so, what novels or stories about Mars would you like for me to cover over the next few months?

After Weekend Fun

After a weekend of fun, have you ever felt like this?

Lynette M Burrows, author; Lynette M. Burrows, science fiction author; Lynette M Burrows action-suspense science fiction author

Let Sleeping Children Lie by Stewickie via Flickr Commons

I slept through yesterday, so the post I’d only sort of planned, will have another opportunity next year.

I had a lovely weekend at ConQuesT 44, an annual science fiction and fantasy convention sponsored by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KaCSFFS), held on Memorial Day Weekend in Kansas City, MO.

I had the honor of being on a couple of panels with some distinguished guests and as part of the writers workshop met two writers and hopefully inspired them to continue writing and improving.

And of course there were panels I attended, people I met, and parties late into the night. A grand time was had.

As a writer our time is finite but the number of things we are expected to do seems to grow exponentially.

WHY ATTEND A FAN RUN CONVENTION?

There are a fair number of professional writers, editors and publishers that attend smaller, fan run conventions. In these situations you might get time to get to know a fellow professional more personally and come to understand the business better. You might meet a fellow writer who later becomes a mentor or a collaborator. More importantly, you’ll meet a bunch of people who are as excited about the genre you write, as you are. And that may be the best payoff of all. Readers, at least science fiction and fantasy readers, are a fascinating collection of folk who have all kinds of knowledge. Conversing with them I am inspired, I find resources, and wonderfully interesting friends.

WHEN THE CONVENTION IS OVER

The fans who put on science fiction and fantasy conventions hold a party for the volunteers, guests, and fans when the convention has ended. It’s traditionally called the “dead dog party.” And there’s a reason for that. This . . .

Lynette M Burrows, author; Lynette  M Burrows, science fiction author; Lynette M Burrows, action-suspense science fiction

photo courtesy of CyberMacs and Flickr Commons

Yup. I had a wonderful time, but I am a dead tired dog. I’m catching up on my beauty sleep and will post more after I wake up.

What conventions have you attended? Was the convention fan run or professional? Why did you choose to attend?

I hope you had a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend. If you haven’t been to a convention before, please share how you spent the weekend.

I love to hear from you and I will respond to every comment (in between naps 🙂 )