Archive for August, 2008

Love for the Seeds of Change Trailer

Ciprian Rosu of the Techcurse blog found the Seeds of Change trailer and likes what he sees: “Of all the browsed trailers this one amazed me the most  AND it made me curious enough to actually order the book. It felt like watching a  short documentary about our near future. Quite the hook for my elitist intellectual approach to technology. Further research led me here: That’s my Catch of the week-end, a smart book with a smart trailer attached.”

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Latest Wastelands Reviews

The blog has a thoughtful, rave review of Wastelands: “Wastelands is the kind of book which will not allow you to work, sleep, socialize – barely eat – while it’s new and unbroken in your hands. Still, it would be a shame to dilute the stories through one hasty, over-zealous fit of reading. Wastelands is the book you read once straight through, enjoying the imagery, imagination and prose. Another, slower read-through is almost a must. There is a meaning (although, not always a lesson) to unravel in each of these stories, and it is up to the reader to figure it out for themselves.”

Matt Staggs talks about apocalyptic fiction and says some nice things about Wastelands: “This is pretty much the fiction anthology I’ve always looked for and never could find. It’s perfect, lots of great stuff, and I can’t praise Adams and Night Shade Books enough for bringing it to book shelves.”

Bibliophile Stalker reviews Wastelands: “John Joseph Adams assembles a wide variety of apocalypse-related fiction in Wastelands ... What you end up with is a diverse anthology covering topics like religion, war, and exploration while containing elements of horror, comedy, and even sense of wonder.”

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Maiden Heaven

I don’t know if you can still order it, but Kerrang Magazine recently released an Iron Maiden tribute CD featuring covers of IM tracks by a variety of metal bands, including Metallica, Trivium, Dream Theater, Coheed and Cambria, and DevilDriver, among others. I think these five tracks are the standouts, with the Metallica being the standout of the standouts. Now, I say this as someone who’s become disillusioned with Metallica and doesn’t necessarily expect them to knock everything out of the park as I once did. I have to say though, their cover of “Remember Tomorrow” kicks some serious ass. (Also, they recently did an awesome instrumental song called “Ecstasy of Gold” for an Ennio Morricone tribute album.) You can listen to “Remember Tomorrow” on Metallica’s MySpace page. You can listen to some of the other songs and learn more about the album at Kerrang’s “Maiden Heaven” mini-site.

Also, speaking of Metallica, their new album comes out Sept. 12. After hearing “Remember Tomorrow,” I’m really excited to see what they’ve done on this one.

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Three Bits of Publicity Make a Post

Over at Omnivoracious, Jeff VanderMeer asked me to name five ways you can plant real-life seeds of change, since, you know, I edited a book called Seeds of Change.

In other VanderMeer-related news, Horia Ursu, who recently blogged about Seeds in Romanian, is guest-blogging this week at VanderMeer’s Ecstatic Days blog, and had this to say: “John Joseph Adams was kind enough to indulge my pleas and e-mailed electronic copies of Wastelands (the best reprint themed anthology I have read this last couple years!) and of his then-forthcoming, now freshly trailered Seeds of Change, where at least half of the stories will (or deserve to) show up in next year’s awards final ballots. This book reminded me why I started to love science fiction in the first place, with the stories’ focus on the paradigms of change and an almost militant engagement that stands out in a sea of simple entertainment.” Wow, that’s some praise right there!

And finally, I’m included in the latest SF Signal Mind Meld, which asks “What would you change about the SF/fantasy field?” Excerpt from my contribution: “From an editorial perspective, I think maybe that we don’t often enough challenge writers to be great. Not all stories (or writers) have greatness inside of them, but I think that perhaps too often we accept and publish good stories that truly could be great if the writer was just pushed to *make it* great. It seems like editors used to do this routinely, if one can accept the statements one reads in historical accounts at face value. Editors like John W. Campbell and Harlan Ellison are frequently cited as having done a lot to mold and shape the fiction they published. It could be that this is still happening today, but I don’t hear about it very often and don’t often see it–instead I find myself reading good stories in which I find greatness lurking inside them. I don’t know what the reason for this is, or even if it is a true problem–good stories are, after all *good*–but it’s something I’ve been thinking about.”

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My Not-a-Worldcon-Recap Post

Apparently, I won’t be getting to my planned Worldcon recap any time soon, so suffice it to say I had fun, got to meet some cool people, catch up with ones I already knew, and got to pick up two Hugos (one for Gordon and one for Ted Chiang). One of the highlights was meeting in the flesh for the first time my pal Jeremy Tolbert–we’ve been online friends for about seven years now and only now met in person. Ain’t the 21st century grand?

I spotted a couple of photos of me online. Here’s me looking like a missionary. I don’t normally wear glasses, but I was having a lot of problems with my contacts while in Denver.

Here’s me again, with the same exact expression, but now standing next to a pretty girl (Ace/Roc editor Jessica Wade).

Here’s a better photo of me, since I was not posing.

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Review: Booklist

Booklist, one of the top trade journals in publishing, had this to say about Seeds of Change in their August issue:

This satisfying theme anthology is, referentially speaking, pretty seedy. It’s secretably small (about five by four inches)*, seven of its nine contributors are blossoming sf newcomers, and each of its stories is about an at-first barely appreciated experiential kernel from which something new will grow. The Sassenachs lose the big one in Ken MacLeod’s “A Dance Called Armageddon,” and only two Scots who know their folk songs realize the sea change it portends. In both Ted Kosmatka’s “N-Words” and Mark Budz’s “Faceless in Gethsemane,” the defeat of a new social prejudice born out of bioengineering begins, and only one person appreciates that it will be total. Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu’s “Spider the Artist” depicts a possible next step in evolution, cybernetic as well as physiological. K. D. Wentworth’s jokey “Drinking Problem” depicts one possible result of hyperconscious environmentalism, though she doesn’t let even one character foresee ultimate consequences. Blake Charlton’s immensely moving “Endosymbiont” lays out the future of human consciousness and has one, but only one, person embark upon it. An overall optimism, however guarded, makes the whole collection more gratifying. —Ray Olson

YA: Several kid protagonists and lots of challenging concepts. RO.

* Actually, it’s 5″ x 7″ —ed.

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SF Signal Review

SF Signal reviews Seeds, giving it a 4/5 rating: “The theme of Seeds of Change, an anthology of original fiction edited by John Joseph Adams, is paradigm shifts. Specifically, Adams asked the writers to write stories about technological, scientific, political or cultural change. Not only did each writer succeed at that goal, but most of them managed to provide stories that were entertaining and thought-provoking as well.”

Reviewer John DeNardo singled out Blake Charlton’s “Endosymbiont” as the standout story in the book, saying: “Charlton’s voice is totally his own, drawing upon his medical background to create a story that has big ideas, interesting twists and is 100% engrossing and abundantly satisfying.”

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Romanians Love Seeds of Change

Horia Ursu of Romanian publisher Millennium Press had this to say about Seeds of Change: “SEEDS OF CHANGE was definitely a pleasant revelation and a powerful proof that engagement–in the good sense of the word–continues to animate a genre only apparently reserved for easy entertainment, asking questions and offering possible answers.”

You’ll just have to trust me that it says that, unless you read Romanian, because that’s the language his post is written in. (He sent me that translated excerpt.)

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