Tuesday, July 12, 2011

M-BRANE SF #29 releases tonight

The new issue releases in PDF form to its subscribers tonight in about an hour. Below is the usual PayPal button that one may use to purchase a copy. Money received in this way is a large part of what keeps the zine going. Due to various delays, I missed my usual post previewing the table of contents and the writers, so I copy here my intro notes from the issue:

Since I’m already late with getting these stories to you, I won’t take up a lot of time with my usual news updates and other ramblings. It’s a powerful quintet of astounding visions that comprises this new issue, and together they form an answer to the question, “Why science fiction?” A writer can explore big ideas and smaller-scale personal situations in any genre, but there’s not a genre quite like sf for probing into those interstices between the grand and the minute, the cosmic and the personal, the Big Idea and the assimilation of it on a smaller scale.
Occasionally I hear complaints that a “sense of wonder” left the genre a long time ago, supplanted by smaller ideas and unimportant concerns. When I hear this, I wonder what people are reading because this is certainly not true of the best of the contemporary genre. This attitude emanates, I think, from a conservative outlook on the genre and a notion that the old Golden Age, and its total occupation with Idea and Plot, was necessarily superior somehow to contemporary work where Character and Style are of interest and importance and where the imaginary boundary between science fiction and “literature” has blurred and broken down. I think that over time with M-Brane SF I have managed, unintentionally, to show that this debate is at least somewhat contrived. Because here we have it all.
The new issue opens with A.J. Fitzwater’s stunning “Twixt,” and it ends with Kenneth Burstall’s lavishly bizarre (and very “M-Braney”) item “The Cone.” In between, we have stupendous entries from Mark Ward (“After the Fall”), Mason Gallaway (“Ocean of Change”) and M-Brane SF veteran and recent Writers of the Future winner Patty Jansen (“War Games”).
Engage and enjoy.—CF 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Back to business, for the most part

Readers of our zine, or people who follow it or me in other online ways, may have noticed that I have been somewhat off-schedule and generally absent for the last few weeks. A big pile-up of projects in May, plus an incredibly busy work schedule through May and June caused some problems: we missed entirely our May issue of the zine. The third print Quarterly (collecting issues #25, #26 and #27) is a bit late, as is issue #29 (we're skipping #28--it may show up later in some kind of special off-schedule form). But the good news:

1) Issue #29 is basically done and will release in a few days (it will be called the June issue, even though its release will happen a few days into July). It's full of terrific new stuff. I'll post its table of contents, info about its authors, and its cover image shortly.

2) The third Quarterly is also basically done, and it, too, will show up within a few days. I have to finish its cover and a few other little details, but it's about there. It will feature some great content not seen in the electronic issues: two brilliant stories by Adam Callaway and an interview with him.

3) Issue #30, July, is expected on schedule, returning us to our normal calendar.

4) I may have an announcement about some kind of cool new book project soon.

My day-jobbery is always busy (and a fresh new change in my job description adds to this), but it has a couple of high seasons each year, and last week was the climax of one such. I worked all seven days of it and clocked about 74 hours on duty. While that was a bit out of the ordinary, it's not too different than what most weeks have been like for the last couple of months. But we're in a bit of slower spell now for a few weeks, and I intend to catch up on a lot of other business.

Thanks everyone who has supported M-Brane SF and M-Brane Press's other projects over the last couple of years. We've been a bit quiet lately, but are still in business.

(The image, appropos of nothing, is of the dessert from a wine dinner I prepared in June--part of the day-job work. It is a chocolate-peanut butter ganache tartlet with salted caramel sauce, accompanied by red and white wine jellies. Yeah, zinfandel and chardonnay solidified with apple pectin, like wine Jello shots!)


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