Trends in Japanese S.F.

My old friend Yoshio Kobayashi, under his pen name Takashi Ogawa, has written a nice piece on new trends in Japanese science fiction. I’m currently helping Yoshio round up some North American translators to assist with an anthology of short fiction by some of the more interesting new Japanese writers.

The Perfect 20th Anniversary Gift: Lead

As we close in on the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, National Geographic is running a feature on Chernobyl today in its April 2006 issue. Their website features a slideshow with many photos not included with the article. This article makes a perfect companion to Martin Cruz Smith’s fifth novel of Russian investigator Arkady Renko, Wolves Eat Dogs. It might also be handy if you’re planning a trip to Chernobyl. Avoid the milk; cheese is safer.

Great Breakthroughs in Darkness

“Great Breakthroughs in Darkness” first appeared in David Garnett’s New Worlds #2, and has made several appearances in slightly different forms since then (including the best version in Larry McCaffery’s After Yesterday’s Crash). The version I’ve posted has been available online for years at the Journal of Postmodern Culture, but it’s an early version and a really ugly text file. I’m reprinting it here and will continue to refine the version to reflect the later changes (when I can dig them up). I may also eventually figure out how to reproduce the photoillustration that originally ran with the story in New Worlds.

The Hypermodern Muse

People occasionally ask me for a transcript of “The Hypermodern Muse,” the keynote talk I gave at the first Austin Game Writers conference. I went ahead and posted it on the site. I’ve added a few links to references in the text, and will probably continue to do this as I track down related items.