Singularity Story Bundle

Curated by Lavie Tidhar

Nick Mamatas suggested a bundle looking at that nebulous concept, the “singularity”, and I thought it would be fun to take a wide-ranging approach to it, encompassing the post-human, A.I., space opera and much more. […]I love the variety of novels and authors in this bundle.

And what is the Singularity anyway? A silly hypothetical concept beloved by the neo-libertarian tech rich? A utopian vision? A dystopian one? Or is it a convenient shorthand for the possible convergence of human and machine that we already have?

The fun is in the asking. And I think each of the authors here grapple with some fundamental questions about human and others and our place in the universe. And, you know – they’re also terrific fun!

A Note About The Charity

I thought this being a hard SF-ish bundle, it would be appropriate to nominate as my charity of choice the Locus Foundation. Locus Magazine was established in 1968, and became the single most important news source for the SF/F field, offering unparalleled cover, in-depth reviews and author interviews, and so much more. […] Times are hard for everyone right now, and this seems a good cause to support! – Lavie Tidhar

* * * Note the bundle will be available online here until the 15th October * * *

Shadow and Bone

The Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

With the recent release of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone, hordes of viewers are falling in love with the series based on Leigh Bargudo’s Grishaverse. This isn’t Leigh’s only universe. She’s written the DC Icon’s novel about the legendary Amazon, Wonder Woman: Warbringer, as well as the adult dark academia hit, Ninth House. But, newcomers may not know where to begin when it comes to the Grishaverse books. Zoraida Córdova has written a guide to the Grishaverse, and the two series which form the basis of the netflix series. See Beyond Shadow and Bone: Your Guide to Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse at

The Shadow and Bone adaptation is incredibly faithful to the books, even with the addition of a new timeline. Season one follows the events of the first book: Ravka is a country at war, landlocked between two enemy nations to the north and south. To its west is the Shadow Fold, a sea of darkness full of monsters that splits Ravka from its coast line and ports. It was created by a Grisha, a class of elite warriors who can manipulate the elements, hundreds of years before and nothing has been able to destroy it. During a crossing of the Shadow Fold, Alina Starkov—an orphan and a cartographer in the Ravkan army—and her BFF, Malyen Oretsev, are attacked by one of the monsters, and Alina discovers her awesome power to summon sunlight. As the legendary Sun Summoner, she might be the only chance to save her war-torn country.

— Zoraida Cordova, from her Guide on

Operation rainfall

Signature Entertainment has unveiled the official UK trailer for an Australian sci-fi action thriller titled Occupation: Rainfall, from filmmaker Luke Sparke. Two years after aliens land on Earth, survivors from Sydney fight in a desperate war as the number of casualties continue to grow. It’s described as “Avatar meets Star Wars meets Independence Day,”

From the VFX team behind The Last Jedi and Blade Runner 2049, Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall is a new “sci-fi action epic with an all star cast.” Temuera Morrison co-stars with Ken Jeong, Jet Tranter, Dan Ewing, Lawrence Makoare, Daniel Gillies, Dena Kaplan, and Jason Isaacs. This does have some massive VFX sequences, which is quite impressive, but the mash-up of unoriginal sci-fi ideas seems to be its biggest drawback.

Here’s the official UK trailer for Luke Sparke’s Occupation: Rainfall, direct from YouTube:

Critical Mass: a pre-season start

Before we start the series of talks proper, we thought it would be good to have a session for newcomers.

Come along and

  • Find out how to give talks to Critical Mass;
  • How to read and contribute to the website; and
  • Suggest what you’d like us to feature this year.

So for February 1st, we invite you to think about what you’ve read/seen/heard in 2016 and tell us

(a) what’s new and exciting

— why is it interesting?

— is there anything like it in the field of sf/fantasy?

(b) what old stuff you’re discovered in the last year;

(c) what you’ve enjoyed over the new year break.

As usual, a 7pm start at kappys, 22 Compton St in the City on Wednesday, Feb 1st

Bring your mobile device to look at the website!