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Alphabet by Author – Male Science Fiction Authors Summary

As promised here the summary of the male science fiction authors I’ve written about. It looks as if I’ve done two ‘J’s and missed ‘K’ entirely for which I apologise and appreciate no-one calling me out on it.

A is for Isaac Asimov

B is for James Blish

C is for Michael G Coney

D is for Samuel R. Delany

E is for William B. Ellern

F is for Philip Jose Farmer

G is for Hugo Gernsback

H is for Lee Harding

I is for Eric Idle

J is for Sagan Jeffries

J is for Carl Richard Jacobi

L is for Stanislaw Lem

M is for George R. R. Martin

N is for Grant Naylor

O is for Fitz-James O’Brien

P is for John T Phillifent

Q is for Thanas Qerama

R is for E. F. Russell

S is for Olaf Stapledon

T is for Theodore L Thomas

U is for Dănuţ Ungureanu

V is for A. E. van Vogt

W is for Jack Wodhams

X is for Xu Zhuodai

Y is for Nir Yaniv

Z is for George Zebrowski

And there you have it, the alphabet according to male science fiction authors. Next week I’ll repeat the same exercise with female science fiction authors and see what mistakes I’ve made.

Friday Photos – Book Expo 2015

This is the last article dedicated to the Book Expo of 2015. I’ll try to remember to mention it when I scribble a few words about the books I got there.

Waves in the Desert by Kimberley Beadles

Waves in the Desert by Kimberly Beadle

Beadle is donating some of her sales to Oxfam, putting her money where her mouth is.

Whitefella Dreaming by R B Clague

Whitefella Dreaming by R B Clague

This book is now on my To Be Read Pile, I’ll get to it this year or early next, if you want to buy it now it’s available right here.

Wombat Stories by Tony Harris

Wombat Stories by Tony Harris

Deja vue? No, it’s just Harris does so much I had to put him in twice. You can see more about him and buy his books here.

Musings on Authors by Alphabet

I’m giving you two weeks of recap while I consider if I want to continue with Authors by Alphabet. I’ve had a ball but it’s a 26 week commitment for each heading and I’m hoping to study full time next year so if I start it’ll be challenging to finish and I’m already wondering what I can drop next year to fit in all the study…the thought had occurred to me I could drop Thursdays and only write three days a week.

What I’m planning is to give you one week for male science fiction authors and the other for female science fiction authors while I ponder the wisdom of doing another. Originally I was intending to go straight on with fantasy authors and then possibly crime, or thriller or something entirely different and doing two more weeks with links back to the original articles will give me some thinking time.

Friday Photos

More authors from the Book Expo 2015.

Monkey Business by Flavia Ursino & Kevin Coleman

Monkey Business by Flavia Ursino & Kevin Coleman

Where else can you find psychics and AIDS but in Monkey Business?

Opal Ridge by Victoria Capper

Opal Ridge by Victoria Capper

Written by a lady who knows about the bush as she’s lived there, it’s the first in a trilogy of outback romances. You can find it here.

Tangle of Thorns by Lorel Clayton

Tangle of Thorns by Lorel Clayton

A little fantasy and mystery combined.

Z is for Valentina Zhuravleva

For my final entry in Female Science Fiction authors I’ve chosen Valentina Zhuravleva for two reasons: the first is because she’s Russian and; the second is for this review written two years ago.

James Lecky, author of the blog, goes into raptures about Zhuravleva’s short story The Astronaut and affirms it as one of his favourites. Like me, he loves the short story format and talks about The Astronaut at length, examining the writing style and enthusing.

Often Zhuravleva wrote with her husband who was the inventor of TRIZ, the name is translated as “theory of the resolution of invention-related tasks”, but sometimes wrote by herself. Their collaborations were all published under her name due to anti-Semitic restrictions.

She’s mentioned in The Ashgate Encyclopedia of Literary and Cinematic Monsters which I’ve happily found for you to look at and not buy, should you decide you want to pay half price for an ebook a quick google will find the link for you. She’s also mentioned in Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction Literature which is a little cheaper but it’s another one I link to for your edification and not for your buying.

Book Expo 2015 – final bits

There are a couple of people who don’t fit into any category so they get an article to themselves with a few final words.

Digital Dreaming

Digital Dreaming by R. L. Black

I was originally attracted by the typewriter, it’s a thing of sheer beauty and such amazing engineering but then I stood and listened to Black tell the story of his book and what’s inside it, my jaw dropped. This isn’t your normal kind of information book on how to organise your family mementos, Digital Dreaming is the kind of book you’ll refer to again and again. Basically it guides you to how to store the information behind all the family heirlooms you have stuffed within the cupboards of your house, the ones your family is likely to forget as people don’t remember the same things and don’t have eidetic memories.

You can buy it here at vast expense or at Balboa Press for more reasonable prices.

Write a book

Write a book in a day

This delightful stall was raising awareness for their programme to Write-a-Book-in-a-Day, a competition to help fund childhood cancer research. It sounds like a lovely project and at the end you have a book to show everyone as well as the chance to win some great prizes. The way it works is on the appointed day you and your team are given some ideas and have 12 hours to write a book using those ideas, not just a digital book but a bound copy which is then submitted to the State Children’s Hospital Library. Look for more details here.

And that’s all I have for the Book Expo from 2015, apart from the rest of the authors which I’ll continue using for Friday Photos. I did visit some country towns on my travels and I’ll highlight one a week over the next few weeks but I’ll also get stuck into some book reviews as I now have a few books sitting waiting patiently for me to write about them.

Friday Photos

The second in this series of author photos from the Book Expo 2015.

Cycle of Life by Carol Cooke

Cycle of Life by Carol Cooke

Carol Cooke is an amazing lady, I bemoan the fact I had no time to actually sit and listen to her story. Despite having MS she has overcome adversity and won a Gold Medal at the Paralympics, you can see it in the photo there…I was close enough to touch it!

For the Love of Patrick by Doreen Slinkard

For the Love of Patrick by Doreen Slinkard

There should be lots of history in this book as Patrick’s story begins in 1892.

Inveiglement Invitation by Abrams & Elliott

Inveiglement: Invitation by Abrams & Elliott

This book actually looked good except for the romance and you all know what I think of romance, but reading the description it showed promise.

Y is for Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen: born in 1939 has done so, so much this post should be in shorthand in order to encompass even a fraction of her output, instead I’ll only give a few highlights that I’ve found. She’s written over 300 books in fantasy, science fiction and children’s literature, Yolen has also edited several books. She has been nominated for ever so many awards and has received a good majority of them, you can see what looks to be a fairly comprehensive list here, but you’ll be reading for a while.

Yolen was the first woman to give the Andrew Lang lecture since 1927, it’s an interesting title for a lecture given that Lang’s wife is the one who wrote most of his most famous books.

One of her books was burned on the steps of the Kansas State Board of Education, along with Magic Johnson’s book on AIDS and a book about important gay men and women in history.

She’s also written a book about a wizarding school with a hero named Henry who had a red-headed best friend and a female best friend, but as she points out these are tropes. Yolen also points us to Diana Wynne Jones and the Chrestomanci series with its school for wizards, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for interesting names of sweets. She reminds us that J K Rowling’s work was based on tropes rather than being original thought.

With only 183 entries in Booktopia I’m going to choose two of the cheapest volumes and you can browse to your heart’s content. Just remember Christmas is coming up and there’s no better gift than a book.

Commander Toad and the Intergalactic Spy – part of a series for 4-8 year olds

Sword of the Rightful King – a twist on King Arthur for 12+ year olds

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? – with CD in four different languages for 3-6 year olds

X is for Xia Jia

Continuing with this series I found I had such choice for X. I could either do Xia Jia or Xia Jia, you’ll never guess who I chose… Xia is such an energetic person I could almost treat her as several people. It’s actually the pseudonym of Wang Yao and I’m remembering here that the Chinese write the family name first unlike us in the Western world.

Xia is prolific and energetic, as her translator and interviewer states in his Clarkesworld interview

It’s hard to keep up with Xia Jia: literary scholar, filmmaker, actress, painter, translator, and, oh right, speculative fiction author. She speaks fast, as if she has to cram an unusual number of syllables into each unit of time to keep up with the speed of her thoughts.

I find this rather ironic, Xia translates Ken Liu’s works but he also translates her works.

Xia refers to her writing as ‘porridge sf’ a term which seems very Chinese once she explains it.

Chinese people describe steamed rice as “hard rice” or “soft rice” based on the water content, and porridge is obviously softer even than “soft rice.” Porridge SF thus describes a story mixed with so many non-science elements (e.g. myth, legend or folklore) that it can hardly be classified as “science fiction” anymore, like “Tower of Babylon.”

I’ve never considered describing cooked rice in more than one way, it’s either cooked or not cooked for me but they have ‘hard rice’ and ‘soft rice’ with porridge softer than ‘soft rice’. Sounds a little like the many different ways we describe snow or rain.

She’s been published in Clarkesworld Magazine several times and this last link gives you some podcasts you can listen to of her works. Xia’s won several awards, has directed and staged experimental sf films and has a PhD in Comparative Literature and World Literature at Peking University, with “Chinese Science Fiction and Its Cultural Politics Since 1990” as the topic of her dissertation.

Here’s a link to a rather lengthy article by her and translated by Liu about What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese? I won’t pretend to understand much of it as I suspect you need to have a deeper understanding of Chinese culture and the comments go some way to explaining that there’s a lot I don’t understand. Let me explain that there’s a lot more to Chinese culture than the food and I only eat the food.

Book Expo

A couple of weekends ago I drove to Sydney for the Book Expo, it’s the second of its kind in Australia and I would have been there last year if I hadn’t needed a medical procedure as I think it’s a very important event; attending has just confirmed my thoughts. It’s the Expo Australia has to have.

Germany has the Frankfurt Book Fair, this year was their 67th year and it’s massive! I aspire to be there but for a reader from Australia it’s a really big commitment. The Australian Book Expo took over one hall at the Sydney Showgrounds with a handful of little rooms while the Frankfurt Book Fair has multiple rooms, they have so many exhibitors they have to use the foyers as well! This is what we should aspire to and if we don’t get there for 50 years the least we can do is to improve every year, and starting is the first thing.

What do you get for your entrance fee?

You get to talk to many authors. I have many photos and will show them all using Friday Photos over the next few weeks. They are happy to talk about their book, sell you a copy and sign it for you. I could have spent more money than I had just on books alone.

There are publishers in attendance who are happy to talk to you about the world of publishing. Some of them are traditional publishers while others are happy to help you with your epublishing problems.

Then there are the other support personnel. You’ve got Julie who designs book covers, Book Systems International who work in book distribution, Bookabuy who are a book subscription service and Books In Homes who support schools in disadvantaged areas to help with the love of reading.

More Book Expo stuff

I have plans to write about the publishers and the support personnel in future articles as they deserve their own day on my blog. As I write about these companies/people I’ll also write more about our discussions. I really don’t know how I do it but I had most of two days there and I only managed to see some of the stalls, I missed absolutely all the talks and I’m cheesed off at having missing the blogging stream.

How did I prepare for the event of the year?

Not well. Normally when I attend something like this I look at who is going to be there and I plan my time making sure I visit and speak to the really important people. This time I tried to tee up meet ups with book blogging friends and Discworld friends, some of that happened, but apart from ensuring I had plenty of business cards for my blog and for the Victorian Discworld Klatch that was all the preparation I did.

I’m glad I had the cards with me, though. I handed out my blog business cards to many people and also some Victorian Discworld Klatch cards. I was wearing my Moist von Lipwig hat and one gentleman greeted me as the Postmaster General, we ended up having a good chinwag and I’m hoping he’ll join us in the future, he knows Terry Pratchett’s books better than I do.

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I want to thank the Koolin people for their thousands of years of guardianship and caretaking of the area where I live.