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An anthology of optimistic, near future SF

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SHINE: the Table of Contents

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As a way to close off 2009, while simultaneously promising something for 2010, here is the Table of Contents for the Shine anthology (with links to the excerpts):

Cover Image:

UPDATE: here are some review quotes:

That’s why Shine is such a significant — dare I say, historic — anthology. And with a rich diversity of settings and thematic speculation, this is a collection most science fiction fans will undoubtedly embrace.

Explorations: the Barnes & Noble SciFi and Fantasy Blog;

Overall, Shine is utterly worth reading.

SciFi Wire;

But it would be difficult — some might say doubly impossible — for every entry in an anthology as ambitious as Shine to appeal to every reader. It is to de Vries’ credit that all but the most hard-hearted of sci-fi readers should find their own brand of optimism represented somewhere among Shine’s array of bright futures.

New Scientist;

But if we are to have some some influence over how that change unfolds, isn’t it important that our stories, whether they be in the news, on television screens or in the pages of science fiction novels, fully explore the optimistic possibilities that technology represents?

The Guardian;

To round off this very long review I’m happy to report that Shine was a truly fascinating and enjoyable read. I’m not the biggest SF fan in the world, but I’ll happily promote this to others who, like me, feel the same way. Here are authors with stories and characters I could relate to. But then, I suspect hardened SF readers out there will devour this with gusto. Jetse de Vries has done a truly remarkable job putting Shine together and I’d like to be signed up to read any follow-up anthology because this one has genuinely broken down some preconceived ideas I’ve had about the genre.

SF Revu;

 For an anthology with a very tight remit — optimistic near-future science fiction — there is a huge variety in the stories themselves. It occurs to me that this book is the perfect introduction to SF for readers who wouldn’t normally venture into the genre.

 —Catherine Hughes;

SHINE is slated for an April 2010 release. I am working on an official SHINE launch party at Odyssey, the 61st British National Science Fiction Convention. More news as it happens.

In the meantime, DayBreak Magazine will feature—apart from other great, near-future SF stories—excerpts of the stories (two at a time).

For now: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

US:Buy SHINE at Amazon.com! Buy SHINE at Barnes & Noble! Buy SHINE at Borders!Buy SHINE at Powell's Books!

UK:Buy SHINE at Amazon UK! Buy SHINE at WH Smith!Buy SHINE at Waterstone's! Buy SHINE at the Book Depository!

Independents:Buy SHINE at the IndieBound!Buy SHINE at Books-A-Million!Order SHINE via Goodreads!

Canada:Buy SHINE at Amazon Canada!

Germany:Buy SHINE at Amazon Deutschland!

India: Order SHINE at Flipkart!

Finally, also an interactive Google Map of story locations from the SHINE anthology:

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Announcing DayBreak Magazine

sunrise_pines_9

With the Shine anthology—next year’s must-have collection of near-future, optimistic SF—now slated for an April 2010 release, and with exuberant SF as thin on the ground as bankers without bonuses, DayBreak Magazine will alleviate the waiting and fill the gap. Simultaneously quenching your thirst for upbeat stories while also whetting your appetite for the main uplifitng dish, DayBreak Magazine ( http://daybreakmagazine.wordpress.com/ ; http://daybreakmagazine2.wordpress.com/ : you get 2 for the price of one, which is free) will feature a positive, forward-looking story every second Friday until the print Shine anthology is released, or possibly even a bit beyond that date.

The launch is on Friday October 16, on the eve of Diwali, with “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram” by Jeff Soesbe. The second story will be released on Friday October 30, one the eve of Halloween: “Horrorhouse” by David D. Levine. More to be announced. A new story every two weeks: stories set all over the world, all depicting a future in which you would actually love to live. All for free, and all for your delectation.

Sunrise over Atlas Mountains

Please note that these online stories are different from the ones in the print Shine anthology: It’s just that I liked them so much I’ve decided—after negotiations with the authors—to put them online as a free showcase for upbeat science fiction.

Friday October 16: “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram”:

Monkey_1

It is Diwali in Bangalore, but not everyone is partying as Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram and his colleagues are working overtime to keep certain things from escalating:

  • There will be helicopters, wobbling!
  • There will be children, rebelling!
  • There will be elephants, marauding!
  • There will be monkeys, harassing!
  • There will be the third eye of Shiva, watching from the sky!
  • There will be song!
  • There will be dance!
  • There will be party!
  • There will be the ghost of Dev Kapoor Khan, the Indian Elvis!

Will Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram overcome the increasing madness around him, or will he become mad, himself? Confused? You won’t be, after reading “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram”, an exuberant tale of a near-future India that puts most Bollywood pictures to shame!

Friday October 30: “Horrorhouse”:

barn-2

Contrary to popular belief, things will get better in the future, as a change of lifestyle has developed. Not everything is completely rosy, though, as word spreads, like an electronic flash, about a horrorhouse that holds the next generation completely in thrall. Adults not allowed, and the young people who have visited the horrorhouse refuse to talk about it. Ethan Cole—the famed forerunner of the Twitter Revolution—is sent in to investigate…

UPDATE: I’ve added a poll!

UPDATE 2: DayBreak Magazine is getting some love, from SF Scope, Futurismic, Tor.com, 42 Blips and SF Signal, amongst others. And some more love from Big Dumb Object and Charles A. Tan. Keep it coming!

Another Quick Update on Shine…

…is actually mostly done on SF Signal in their Mind Meld topic about “How the Hottest Science Fiction Anthologies Are Created, Part 2” (there are three parts).

In short:

  • I’ve worked all weekend to get as many replies out as possible, but almost dropped down from exhaustion somewhere late Sunday night (and apologies again to the author who received a reply that was an incomplete mess that I inadvertently sent before it was finished: I sent out the finished one after that, and went to bed, as I was starting to make crazy mistakes);
  • About fifty or so replies still to go out: apologies again but things are very busy on many levels right now. I was home from the day job (which has nothing to do with publishing) very late today, and have important commitments on Thursday and Friday night (again, after the day job). Should get it all wrapped up over the coming weekend, hopefully (no promises: July and August were insane, and September was the same, even when it was supposed to be more quiet);
  • Yes, I will be putting some stories that didn’t make it into the *print* version of Shine online, for which I’ll be setting up another site. First one planned — contrary to what I said on the Mind Meld topic — for Friday October 16 (not October 2: original date got pushed forward as I was [am] swamped in other stuff). However, there is a very good reason for exactly Friday October 16;
  • Also, while the print version of Shine is full, I am still asking some authors are willing to appear online instead (paid professional rates out of my own pocket), all for more promotion, glory and madness for Shine. So not all outstanding replies will be rejections;

As it is, my intention was to wrap a lot of things up before the SF Signal Mind Meld topic with my contribution was posted (which would have made for a perfect break), but life — in various incarnations — intervened. Not that I’m complaining: my day job is extremely busy while the world at large suffers from the effects of the credit crisis, so in that I am lucky. And the day job has priority, as it pays the bills.

Also, I’ve never had such a crazy summer in my whole life (literally everything seemed to happen at the same time in July and August, and — unexpectedly — in September, as well). But I am catching up — even if not as fast as I would like to — and have more crazy ideas lined up for the future.

So thanks for your patience, and stay tuned!

Good News for SHINE!

It’s official: Rebellion acquires Solaris imprint from Games Workshop.

rebellionsolaris

Christian Dunn (Solaris Books‘ acquisition editor) broke the news to me (and many others) yesterday. The press release has gone out this morning, and I’ve already seen the first mention on the Falcata Times blog.

Solaris Banner

This is fantastic news: when it was announced — earlier this year — that the Games Workshop were putting Solaris Books up for sale, I was far from happy. While I was assures that, with regards to the Shine anthology, things were ‘business as usual’, it would also have meant that Shine would be one of the very last releases of Solaris if they didn’t find a buyer.

Now, however, the future for Solaris Books looks assured (at least for the foreseeable future), the distribution deal with Simon & Schuster remains intact (good distribution is of immense importancy), meaning things look up for the Shine anthology, as well.

So many congratulations to all the Solaris people!

Here’s the official press release:

REBELLION ACQUIRES SOLARIS IMPRINT FROM GAMES WORKSHOP

This week, Rebellion, Europe’s leading independent games developer and owner of the iconic comic 2000 AD and sci-fi and fantasy imprint Abaddon Books, completed the acquisition of the Solaris book publishing imprint from Games Workshop for an undisclosed sum.

This well-known and highly successful brand offers a mixture of new and traditional science fiction, fantasy and horror books and has many bestselling titles from both upcoming and established names such as Brian Lumley, Gail Z. Martin, Eric Brown and Simon R. Green, amongst others.

Solaris will sit alongside, and be run in parallel with, Rebellion’s own Abaddon Books.

Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion said, “We’ve been aware of the Solaris imprint for some years now and have admired its success with fantastic stories and great writers.  Acquiring Solaris will allow us to continue to push our publishing trajectory upwards and expand the quantity, whilst maintaining the quality, of all our titles.”

George Mann, Games Workshop’s Head of Publishing said, “We’re delighted that Solaris has found a new home with Rebellion. After a period of fantastic growth with our Games Workshop related titles, we decided the time was right for us to focus all of our attention on our Black Library imprint. We’re sure Rebellion will now take Solaris forward to even greater heights.”

Rebellion has also entered into a sales and distribution agreement with Simon and Schuster. Under the agreement, Simon & Schuster will continue to handle sales, distribution and fulfilment of all Solaris titles for all new and backlist titles to trade and specialty accounts. The agreement is effective August 31st, 2009.

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

For more information, visit our website www.simonandschuster.com 

Distribution for Solaris will continue to be represented by Simon and Schuster. 

www.solarisbooks.com

I’ve been waiting for this news ever since the sale of Solaris was announced. More news on the Shine anthology itself over the weekend, as I am still extremely busy.