Archive for Shoutouts

The Sunburst Award Needs Your Help


I received a note from Helen Marshall who is working on a campaign to save the Sunburst Award, the Canadian juried speculative fiction award. Seeing as how Canada has brought us authors such as Minister Faust, Jo Walton, Spider Robinson, and Cory Doctorow (to name a few), I’m greatly inclined to help them out. Please check out her request and see if you can support their cause! (note the deadline is this friday, so you don’t have much time!)

The Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic is a juried award based on excellence of writing in two categories: adult and young adult. The awards are presented annually to Canadian writers with a speculative fiction novel or book-length collection of speculative fiction published any time during the previous calendar year.

Unfortunately, the Sunburst Awards have run into a hiccup. They do not have enough operating capital to keep going as they currently stand. This sad news comes at a particularly critical juncture in the award’s life–the operating committee is in the process of getting the Sunburst organization registered as a non-profit, and getting it “national arts organization” status.

As part of a fundraising drive to shepherd the Sunburst through this change of status and structure, we’d like to ask fans, writers, editors, and publishers from the speculative fiction community to help raise awareness of this vital institution…

How to Participate

We’re looking for short (30 second to 2 minutes) videos that say what you think about Canadian speculative fiction. These should be interview-style videos in the vein of Speaker’s Corner and can be recorded as simply as with a web camera. Prior interviews or footage can be submitted provided that you have permission to do so. We will host these individually on a YouTube channel (sunburstaward), but will also edit them in order to create a series of short videos to promote awareness of the fundraising campaign. A longer video will be shown at the opening remarks to the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium. Check out what we’ve got so far!

Not savvy with a camera? Send us a high res image of yourself and either a short paragraph in text or a recorded audio track.

Not Canadian? Never fear. If you have something you want to say about Canadian speculative fiction then we want to hear it.

To participate, send your name, contact information, submission and a short release statement giving us permission to use the video/image to sunburstvideo@gmail.com by October 15, 2010.

Possible Topics:
-favourite Canadian authors and/or stories
-the relationship between Canadian writing and the rest of the world
-publishing speculative fiction in Canada
-the state of Canadian fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc
-how does Canada inspire your work?
-favourite Canadian settings to use in your writing

Of course, these topics are intended to be a jumping off point. Feel free to think outside of the box. And, above all, show your
enthusiasm!

To donate directly, visit
http://www.sunburstaward.org/content/please-lend-your-support-sunburst-awards.

I hear you folks like free fiction…


Some free fiction coming down from Escape Pod favorites:

Jury Service: By Cory Doctorow and Charlie Stross (audio only) – (from Cory’s blog) Jury Service is the first of two novellas Charlie Stross and I wrote about Huw, a technophobe stuck on Earth after the Singularity (the other one being Appeals Court). They are both being published, along with a third, yet-to-be-written novella Parole Board by Tor Books as Rapture of the Nerds. We’re starting work on Parole Board in January, and to refamiliarize myself with the earlier novellas, I’m going to podcast both now (with the gracious permission of Charlie and our editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden). Hope you enjoy ’em – they’re as gonzo as I’ve ever gotten, I think!

The Nex: by Tim Pratt (text and ebook) – (from Tim’s blog) Unlike my other serials, this one isn’t an urban fantasy, and doesn’t take place in an existing series (though it does share a setting with a story, as I mentioned). It’s a novel narrated by a precocious 13-year-old who finds herself a long way from home with some disreputable people in a dangerous world. The book has shapeshifters, giant robots, aliens, kleptomaniacal monsters, heroism, shoplifting, terror, lecherous cyborgs, personable tyrants, steampunk submarines, subterranean tunnels, rustic French cuisine, a cult of teenage girls in fairy wings and leotards, teleportation, and people who get punched so hard they disappear. I hope you all like it. [Ed- this is a free online book, so please support the author with a donation or a purchase of the Kindle ebook]

[UPDATE– apologies, WordPress put the Doctorow file into our feed without me realizing, sorry for those of you who downloaded unwanted content. I’ve removed it, now you must right-click to download or go directly to Doctorow’s page.]

(Endorsement) Personal Effects: Dark Art


NOTE FROM STEVE: This is not this week’s Escape Pod story. This is me talking about something I like. Feel free to skip this post if it isn’t fun for you.

There are a number of good writers now breaking into the big leagues through podcasting. My friend J.C. Hutchins is one of them. I loved his 7th Son trilogy, and I jumped at the chance when he asked me to read an advance copy of his horror novel Personal Effects: Dark Art and record a reaction for him.

Here’s my initial reaction (Hutch liked it enough that he added the background music and bumper titling and such):

J.C. Hutchins’s “Personal Effects: Dark Art” – Expert Testimony from Stephen Eley on Vimeo.

And here’s the big group “vlurb” project that my piece was a part of:

J.C. Hutchins’s “Personal Effects: Dark Art” – SuperVlurb from Stephen Eley on Vimeo.

(The folks in that vlurb are all awesome and you should check out their sites: Philippa Ballantine, Scott Sigler, Seth Harwood, Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff, Christiana Ellis, Matt Wallace, James Melzer, Mark Jeffrey, Mur Lafferty, Phil Rossi and Matt Selznick.)

I read the book in PDF form. And then I pre-ordered it on Amazon, because it’s just that good. (Also because the little goodies that come with the physical copy sound like fun.) This is an unusual horror novel: it brings in a lot of conventional settings and tropes, but the characters break from formula in some surprising ways. And it’s a smart horror novel. Silliness in hats aside, I highly recommend it.

EP BONUS: Playing for Keeps by Mur Lafferty


The Escape Pod episode is still coming up later today. But by special permission of Mur Lafferty, here’s a special bonus for you: the complete text of her novel, Playing for Keeps, in PDF format. It’s officially launching August 25th, so be sure to buy it from Amazon then!

Playing for Keeps

EP BONUS: J.C. Hutchins OBSIDIAN Poster


If you’re as much a fan as I am of J.C. Hutchins’s SF thriller trilogy 7th Son, you’ll be jazzed to hear about 7th Son: OBSIDIAN, the new short fiction audio anthology set in the 7th Son universe. The anthology has stories from some of the top names in podcasting, including Mur Lafferty, Scott Sigler, Matt Wallace, Christiana Ellis and Evo Terra.

J.C. has an innovative promotional strategy to spread the word: he’s distributing a series of collectible posters across some of the top podcasts in the ‘verse. These are high-quality printable 8″x10″ images suitable for your cubicle, campus bulletin board, or fallout shelter. I was honored to be approached to host one of those posters. You can download ours here, or get it on our feed:

7th Son: OBSIDIAN Poster #5

If you want to collect the entire set of posters, you’ll have to visit each of these fine podcasts and Web sites. They’re all worth taking at least a couple of minutes to check out:

Good hunting!

EP BONUS: Ecru – The Butcher of Balis


Ecru

Here’s a special prerelease of a new podcasting first: a full comic book distributed exclusively via podcast!

Ecru debuts today from Particle 9 Productions, distributed by Outcast Multimedia. The first issue features art by Chasen Grieshop and an original story by Earl Newton (of Stranger Things). We’re pleased to deliver this special preview edition of the comic on the Escape Pod feed.

(And yes, today’s regular Escape Pod episode will be posting shortly.)

EP BONUS: Ancestor by Scott Sigler


Ancestor

As part of Scott’s _”Monday Bloody Monday”_ campaign, we’re giving you the full text of his novel for free.

The paperback will be available on April 1st. Scott wants to hit #1 that day by having everyone order from Amazon at noon Pacific time. So if you like what you’re reading, support him by buying the book!

Robots and Year’s Best Fantasy


I just learned on Greg’s blog that “Robots and Falling Hearts,” by Greg van Eekhout and Tim Pratt, has been selected by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer for The Year’s Best Fantasy 6, to be published this summer.

Think there’s any possibility that they heard the story here?

Congratulations, guys! It’s a well-deserved honor, and we wish you both the very best.

PodcasterCon2006 Wrap-Up


I’m back now from this weekend’s PodcasterCon, and even though it was intended as a one-day event I’m still decompressing just a little. Friday I had the incredible opportunity to have dinner with Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. (They have their own podcast and videoblog — and yes, I’m a subscriber.)

I was busy literally all day Saturday, from presenting a morning “How to Podcast” seminar with Rob Walch to a midnight podcast-and-beer in Paul Fischer’s hotel room. To everyone I met there, thanks for an incredible time and some of the best conversations I’ve had all year. (By which I mean “last 365 days,” not 2006.)

If you weren’t there and you want to see what you missed, the fine folks at Mac Pro Podcast have put together an excellent 12-minute video summarizing the con. They’ve got a number of great interviews in there — and if any of you wanted to know what I look like, here’s your chance. (They say the camera adds 20 pounds… Alas, I was in it twice, so it must have added 40 to me.)

The video is here. Check it out, and see how much fun you’ll have if you come next year!