A Digital Renaissance for the Science Fiction Short Story
As all my favorite Podcasts are listed, I had to Post. StarShipSofa being,, of course, the all time bestest!
Lightspeed magazine, under editor John Joseph Adams, has made a giant name for itself in recent years by publishing some of the very best science fiction in the field, with a roster of new and established talent including Seanan McGuire, Ted Chiang, Ramez Naam, Maureen F McHugh and Ken Liu. Lightspeed stories often blend the brain-candy high concepts that SF readers love with the kind of quirky humour that all geek culture adores. But there is also a dark edge and serious purpose to the sci-fi Lightspeed magazine showcases.
Since its founding in 2000 by Mary Anne Mohanraj, Strange Horizons has championed new writers in SF and broadened ideas of what the genre can achieve. Under editor-in-chief Niall Harrison the magazine has published some of the very best critical non-fiction writing about SF to be found online or off. If science fiction truly is, as the online magazine claims, “a vibrant and radical tradition of stories that can make us think … critique society … [and] offer alternatives to reality”, then Strange Horizons has done more than any other publication in the 21st century to nurture that tradition.
Podcasts burst on to the short fiction scene in the mid-2000s and now even have their own awards, the Parsecs. Escape Pod is the best known, and has published many of sci-fi’s best loved stories as audio productions. Sister publication Pseudopod is a great source of creepy horror stories, the warm, gravelly tones of host Alasdair Stuart raising him to near mythic status in sci-fi fandom. StarShipSofa’s Tony C Smith is another contender for “voice of scifi” - maybe one day they’ll go head to head?