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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993
Articles


In The Science Fiction Ghetto

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ImageIt is all too easy for science fiction readers to forget that after all these years, despite all the blockbusters and bestsellers, despite the genre's shaping impact on every facet of our larger culture, the object of their affection has never really gone mainstream.

A modest corrective to the delusion that it has is reading David Langford's "Ansible Link" round-up of news items, a regular feature of Interzone which under the heading "As Others See Us" 
includes bits about the nonsense that people who should know better say about the genre.

One of the choicer comments on which Mr. Langford reports in the July 2007 issue is from Christopher Hitchens, who, in his review of The Life of Kingsley Amis by Zachary Leader for the May Atlantic Monthly, observes that "The great drawback of sci-fi is the dearth of sex from which it compels itself to suffer."
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The Invisible Hand of the Censor

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Image A critic, editor, and writer of astonishing range, Michael Moorcock is prolific, idiosyncratic, and  outspoken—often too outspoken for many tastes, which has for nearly a half century had him fighting the censors.   As he relates in his guest editorial in the July 2007 Interzone, he was arrested by Special Branch in the 1950s for bringing copies of William Burroughs' novels into Britain.  A decade later, his magazine New Worlds raised a furor in the House of Commons by publishing Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron.  (You can find Moorcock's own thoughts about the affair at The Edge.)
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Interzone, July 2007, Special Michael Moorcock Section

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"March of the Whiteshirts" by Michael Moorcock
"Staring Down the Witches" by Andrew Hedgecock
"Lovers" by Michael Moorcock
"London, My Life!  Or The Sedentary Jew" by Michael Moorcock
"The Affair of the Bassin Les Hivers" by Michael Moorcock
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James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips

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James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
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Analog, June 2007, Probability Zero: Vectoring

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"Vectoring" by Geoffrey A. Landis                  
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Masters of Science Fiction

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Science fiction critics often lament that genre film and television tend to lag behind its print production in freshness and sophistication, and frequently point to film and television's neglect of the rich body of novels and short stories the genre has generated over the last half century or so as a part of the problem.  Brian Aldiss in Trillion Year Spree offered an off-the-cuff list of classic science fiction novels that should have had their crack at becoming classic films (but never did), and that list has dated very little in the years since.  More recently Orson Scott Card in his celebration of the demise of Star Trek: Enterprise compared Star Trek very unfavorably with the print science fiction being written when it first appeared in the 1960s-and suggests it might never have become such a phenomenon if television audiences had then been in a position to make the same comparison themselves.
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Analog Jan-Feb 2007 Nonfiction: "How to Write Something You Don't Know Anything About" et al.

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The January-February 2007 double issue of Analog contained three fact articles.  Two are by Richard A. Lovett, whose short story, "The Unrung Bells of the Marie Celeste," also appears in this issue.

The first piece is Lovett's somewhat facetiously titled "How to Write Something You Don't Know Anything About."   His concern here is how a writer should present speculative science and technology in their story.  In brief, Lovett suggests that a writer do their homework; figure out how much they and their readers need to know (not always the same thing); and then present that material as concisely as possible.  This is, of course, the kind of thing you would be advised to do in any writing course, but Lovett has a good eye for the application of these general principles to the problems involved in writing hard science fiction. 
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Misunderstanding Sexuality in “Phallex Comes Out” by Brent Hayward in Chizine #29

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An article that takes a deeper look at some of the themes in "Phallex Comes Out" by Brent Hayward and responds to Miranda Siemienowicz's review of the story at Horrorscope.
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Will Placing "SFWA Member" on Your Cover Letter Help Sell Your Story?

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Top SF Editors Reveal Their Views About This Misunderstood Belief

This article was originally published in
Tangent #17, Winter 1996. It was subsequently moved to our website (with permission) in 1998. In our ongoing efforts to move material from our old website to this new one, we now bring it to a whole new generation of up and coming writers.

Why should I care that Paul Riddell said in his Fall Tangent column, "I'm willing to bet that other editors feel the same way I do: with very few exceptions, seeing the letterhead that lists SFWA and HWA is a screaming neon sign saying 'crappy story enclosed; please flush at first opportunity.'"? After all, as several editors and writers I talked to pointed out, the statement is clearly hyperbole and shouldn't be taken at face value.
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On Writing as a Fantasist

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This article was written for Tangent #18, Spring 1997 and is reprinted with permission.

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I recently read in Tangent #17 James Gunn's response to a question by Cynthia Ward, who asked about the dichotomy between mainstream literary standards and those of science fiction and fantasy, and asked someone to "Name names."  
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