The Key, 5 January 2011

. . . and we’re back!

Took last week off for New Year’s. Here are some links we’d like to share about a new magazine, thoughts on literary reviewing on the internet, musings about plot, and a review of a graphical interactive fiction title.

  • Angry career reviewers, penitent genre bloggers, the Salami Award, and more
    Paul Raven
    Velcro City Tourist Board

    A post on an assortment of topics, the one nearest and dearest to my heart of course being reviewers online:

    That really underscores why I’m glad to see the genre scene thriving online – I think we may get over that particular hump before the ‘straights’ do. I can’t think of any reviewers in sf/f who I think of as being self-important – but then (with the obvious exception) I can’t think of anyone who has made it their sole career and source of income, either. There’s a corellation there, I think.

  • Digital: A Love Story; Nostalgia, Irony and Cyberpunk
    Jonathan McCalmont
    futurismic.com

    I’m going to be on the lookout for more interactive fiction reviews out there, although I’m kicking myself for thinking of this only after the 2010 IF Compo:

    However, because you only ever see one side of the game’s conversations, you only ever experience the game’s human elements from a distance. This means that when the game’s protagonist falls in love, the experience of love simply never filters through to you as a player. You simply do not care about the fate of the rogue AI. The emotional void at the heart of “Digital” is a stroke of genius. Far from undermining the game’s engagement with the possibilities of a non-existent past and a non-existent internet frontier, the hollowness cuts through the nostalgic fog with a strong dose of irony.

  • The Plot Escapes Me
    Alma Alexander
    sfnovelists.com

    Musings on what readers remember:

    Professor Wolf spoke to him about how reading reshaped a human brain – about the manner in which knowledge and memory is stored (we may not be able to immediately recall a single specific fact, like a plot summary, but we are able to access the whole gestalt in what she quotes somebody by the name of William James having called a “wraith of memory” (an idea which I, as a storyteller, immediately fell in love with, naturally)

  • Queering SFF: Icarus, the Magazine of Gay Speculative Fiction
    Brit Mandelo
    Tor.com

    After reading a bit about this magazine, I’m making a mental note to email the editors so we can review it:

    Charles Tan wrote about the first issue of Icarus on his blog when it came out, memorably saying things like “…But here’s the clincher for me: I’m a straight guy and all three stories included in the magazine are quite solid—more than capable of standing toe-to-toe with the fiction in other genre publications. They’re definitely worth a look regardless of whether you’re a fan of gay fiction or not.”

About Val Grimm

Val Grimm is a critic, copyeditor, demoscener, smof, sf fan, étudiante de français, inveterate volunteer, and hobbyist photographer who is also beginning to become an avid cyclist. Current projects include Nanopress (a small Canadian science fiction publisher), @party (a small computer arts festival), and this magazine, of course.
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