some sf-ish bits

I was browsing elsewhere and remembered long ago that I used to post occasional lists of interesting links, sometimes commented. I thought I’d try that again.

Saw a mention of Cory Doctorow recently and realised I hadn’t seen a post of his on Boing Boing in a while. So it turns out he’s doing other stuff.

Greg Bear is a hard SF author I’ve read lots of but haven’t read anything in ages. Happily he’s still writing and posts occasional news. Interestingly, I don’t think he’s gone down the special edition path, though I wouldn’t mind having his stuff in nicer editions than my old paperbacks.

Bear posted a link to “10 Exciting Cyberpunk Books Filled with High Tech and Low Life” on Portalist as it included a link to his “Slant“. An interesting list that reminded me that I should read The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi one of these days [hmmm SubPress did a nice edition of it too – though long sold out]. That review notes that Girl shared the Hugo with The City and the City by China Mieville and I do have the SubPress edition of that. That was the 2010 Hugo awards and they were held down south in Melbourne as AussieCon.

I’ve never been to a book convention and sometimes feel like this was something I should have done, particularly when the main annual SF con made it to Australia. I’ve rarely met authors of books I’ve liked, though Terry Pratchett was an exception. I recall in primary school, attending author and illustrator dinners which were fun and I was able to get books signed. For some reason I never went down the convention path. I love library conventions as a librarian but I seem to have shied from fan based conventions. Perhaps shyness was a factor, or an avoidance of fannish things.

I’ve been joining book groups on facebook of late, mostly independent publisher based. I suspect I’m as much interested in discussion of different editions and availability as I am in discussion of the works. I have always struggled to discuss books I like, perhaps there’s a level of detail required, that I find difficult to retain, so I end up listening rather than participating. I vaguely recall trying a book club once long ago, they met at UTS in the ugly tower. I have friends in book groups of long standing and I envy their longevity of engagement. Perhaps a sense of structured engagement combined with the flexibility of good company.

4 thoughts on “some sf-ish bits

  1. I am (or was, when it was possible to hold in person conventions) a regular literary science fiction convention goer. I really enjoy getting to see authors speak as guests and on panels. But I also enjoy the dealers room and getting to buy titles from specialist sellers and small presses who I would otherwise only be able to purchase from online. Many have become friends and it’s a great opportunity to catch up and get their tips on what’s new in the industry. I tried out online conventions with the pandemic last year, but browsing the dealers room was just not the same.

  2. Ta. I love the engagement of small presses and specialists and get a little of that via email but it’s not the same. I’m starting to engage a little via facebook and as I jump from group to group, there are some fans like myself who keep popping up. My workload went up last year so I had less time to dabble even remotely.

  3. Could you do a post about the facebook book groups you’ve been in? I have also never really committed to a physical book club, but hopefully these online ones will be easier in that regard. Especially ones run by publishers – those sound great, and potentially a lot more interesting than more “general” book clubs. I’d love to hear about your experiences, and any recommendations!

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