Shineanthology’s Weblog

An anthology of optimistic, near future SF

Archive for February 22, 2009

Kindred Spirits, part 3

It’s been quiet a while on this topic, but recently I chanced upon two (or three, depending on your viewpoint; make that five as news develops…;-) kindred spirits:

  • Author Mat Coward has a new website. He has posted the first two chapters of his novel Acts of Destruction on it, and I would especially point writers thinking about submitting a story to the Shine anthology to read them. I most particularly like the world-building Mat is doing in there: a future where a more sustainable kind of living has taken place, purely out of necessity. (Disclaimer: this is just one example of the kind of world-building I think works very well for Shine. But for Pete’s sake don’t copy Mat’s writing style and ideas: do it your own way. This is a good signpost).
  • (Via John Klima): Positively Good Reads, feel-good fiction with substance. Or, as the site has it, an upbeat reading list for people who often find serious novels depressing. OK: this list is about literature. But it seems that — when Marianne Goss has written an article in the Chicago Sun-Times called “Literary fiction doesn’t always have to be downbeat” — they have a similar imbalance between down- and upbeat fiction.
  • Vincent Chong has a new website. OK, while he provided artwork for a broad range of works (not specifically optimistic), Vinny is simply very good and his new site is spiffy. Check it out!
  • UPDATE ONE (via Twitter): the Spring 2009 issue of h+ magazine is out. H+ is definitely a kindred spirit, with articles and features like  “Is the future cancelled or just postponed” — on page 32, Howard Bloom on space-based solar collectors on page 44, “5 paths to unlimited solar energy” on page 48 (even though it echoes a New Scientist article on that of a few months ago), “What do we do about water” on page 52 (Clean H2O will become a sought-after resource), “Nanotechnology, for better or worse” on page 56 (by coincidence — or not — a Prometheus book  Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for Biotech Revolution is next on my reading list), “First steps towards postscarcity’ — on page 38 or ‘why the current financial crisis is the end of the world as we know it (and why you should feel fine)’ — and “Five positive science fiction novels’ — on page 67:  — both the latter pieces by Jason Stoddard. Also a Peter Watts interview and pieces featuring Vernor Vinge and John Shirley. Another new magazine venture that  is web-based, free and thus full of ads: I hope it succeeds, even though an article about “Things to do with your body while you wait for immortality” might even be a bit too optimistic;
  • UPDATE TWO (via Edinburgh Whisky Blog — post titled “Whisky and Optimism“: what more do you want? — via Twitter): Compass Box Whisky have made a special whisky called Optimism. Inadvertently mimicking SF, it’s very special and very limited: 170 bottles only, available at Whisky Live London today & yesterday (February 27/28), bottled on location. Get yours while supplies last! The main message of the optimism project is to ‘be brave, be optimistic and envision wild success‘. I stand behind that!