The best story in the March Clarkesworld, and one of the best stories published so far this year, is “The Persistence of Blood” by Juliette Wade. This is a novella set in the midst of a complex alien culture made up of several different, rigidly enforced castes (as far as I can tell, no humans appear in the story), with the protagonist, Selemei, a member of the aristocratic First Family, wife to a high government official, Xeref. The aristocrats have iron-bound traditions about birthing, believing nothing is more important than passing on their blood to the next generation, but in spite of these traditions, or maybe because of them, their numbers keep falling. Selemi herself was crippled and nearly killed by her last childbirth, and knows that giving birth to another child will probably kill her.
— “Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and F&SF” in Locus Online
Andrew looks at the first four novels of The Expanse, which he claims isn’t real SF — by which he means it doesn’t deal with deep, interesting philosophical questions — and Roman reviews the TV series, and suggests it raises several real questions.
Don’t miss this discussion! 6:45 for a 7pm start, at Kappy’s, 22 Compton St, Adelaide, near the central market.
We’re going to try a discussion about what’s new and old in SF. We will also look at the resurgence of the novella.
We ask you to:
(a) select something new (post 2010) that’s interesting SF,
(b) to pick something pre 1970 that’s worth (re)visiting
and be ready to talk about your selection for two (2) minutes.
We suggest people have a listen to the discussion on novellas in the first 11 minutes of the recent Coode St Podcast (https://jonathanstrahan.podbean.com/e/episode-330-books-reading-and-wolves/) to prepare for the Critical Mass. As usual, 6:45 for a 7pm start on the first Wednesday at kappys, 22 Compton St near the central market.
The BBC have produced a TV series from China Miéville’s novel The City and The City, in which a murder is committed across two intersecting/intertwined cities.
The City And The City TV series was scripted by Tony Grisoni and directed by Tom Shankland: China Miéville served as consultant. Bringing Miéville’s setting to the screen presented the challenge of showing two distinct worlds co-existing, and to let the viewer share its inhabitants’ point of view. This was achieved by differentiating the cities through architecture, clothing and décor, and by colour and lighting. In Besźel, a “1970’s Istanbul look”, coloured with soft yellows and browns is used, while Ul Qoma has modern skyscrapers, and bright red with blue or blue-white dominate.
The series runs to four episodes of around 70 minutes.
Roman’s talking about Max Gladstone’s interesting fantasy series, set in a world in which humans won The God Wars and replaced their deities — or so they thought!
There are six novels in the sequence to date, with more novels and novellas promised this year!