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BOOK NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 1ST, PART 2: NEAL STEPHENSON & GREG BEAR, SCI FI, STAR WARS, AND MORE

by Dawn, September 1, 2010

Best-Selling Authors Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear, With Subutai Corporation, Announce The Mongoliad on World’s First Social Book Platform

via PR Newswire
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Bestselling authors Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear, along with Subutai Corporation, announced today the launch of The Mongoliad, the first digital novel on a social book platform. A speculative fiction novel set against the Mongol invasion of Europe in the 13th century, The Mongoliad follows a small band of warriors and mystics in a ripping tale of action and adventure set at a time when the Mongol horde’s conquest of Europe seemed inevitable.  Key to the development of this tale is the unique collaboration between the authors and the audience through PULP, Subutai’s new platform, which provides a participatory experience only possible in today’s connected digital world. To experience The Mongoliad, visit www.mongoliad.com.

PULP is what Gutenberg would have come up with if he hadn’t jumped the gun and released 600 years early,” said Stephenson. “Kindles and iPads were little better than expensive drink trays until we came up with this.”

The Mongoliad’s heroes fight, plot, spy, and maneuver the politics of royal courts, the church, merchant empires, and secret societies in an attempt to defeat their would-be conquerors, and to preserve the knowledge that is in their charge.  Each week a new chapter is delivered via custom applications for handhelds and the web, starting with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Greg Bear said, “This is one of the most exciting and interesting projects I’ve worked on in a long while. Collaborating with Neal and our crack team on a magnificent story and a new business model for publishing and media is a real privilege.”

Read More here

When times get tough, science fiction pulls us through

By Being Ruth at io9
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Scifi Pulls Us Outside Ourselves

One reason I mostly use pictures of the universe as my wallpaper is that whenever I look at it, I find myself doing my own mini-scifi. I wonder whether or not there’s any life or consciousness that we’d recognize in any of them.

As a rule, science fiction pulls us outside of our own worlds and concerns. Whether it takes us to another galaxy, to another solar system, to another planet on our solar system, or even to an alternate/future version of our own Earth, it makes us think about a different kind of life and society. And it helps us realize that our way of doing things may not be the only way they could be done.

Scifi Often Revolves Around People Fighting Against Long Odds

Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Ender’s Game, much Doctor Who, most Star Trek films and many episodes-whether it’s the future of humanity/the universe itself, the attempt to overthrow an oppressive regime, or the goal of saving a single planet/team/person from destruction, sci-fi often revolves around people who have to fight long odds for high stakes. Sometimes they don’t win, sometimes their victory involves a loss of another kind.

Read More here

Sci Fi Writer to Explore Fear of Human Obsolescence

from the University of Texas, Dallas
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As smartphones get smarter and computers get faster, humans, who err and just get slower with age, seem to be almost superfluous at times.  But award-winning science fiction novelist Robert J. Sawyer isn’t overly worried.

The winner of Nebula and Hugo Awards for best science fiction writing will explore the issue of human obsolescence in a lecture at UT Dallas. The program, “Forget About Killer Robots: How Humanity Will Continue to Prosper After the Advent of Super-Intelligent Machines,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Conference Center.

Sawyer is the only writer in history to win the top science fiction awards in the United States, China, Japan, France and Spain. He has written more than 20 sci fi novels, including Hominids, The Terminal Experiment and Mindscan.  His latest, Watch, is the second in his “WWW” trilogy, which began with Wake. The TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name.

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Comic-Con and Beyond: “The Jedi Path”

by Lynette Mong at Omnivoracious
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Having a page on Wookieepedia is good. Receiving a glowing book review from Jeff VanderMeer is even better. Having your book unboxed on Techland? Very cool. And getting everyone from Tommy Lee Edwards to Darth Vader to read your book at Comic-Con? Pretty memorable. Back in July, Daniel Wallace shared his newest book, The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, with a wide array of Comic-Con attendees–and gave us the photos to share with you (check them out after the jump).

Jedi Path has already generated lots of buzz among Star Wars fans after it was previewed on starwars.com. Daniel provided some more information on why The Jedi Path is such a unique edition to the Star Wars mythology:

The Jedi Path was conceived as a textbook that was carried by young Initiates and Padawans to guide their instruction in the Jedi Temple. It’s supposed to look like an in-universe artifact that fell through a rabbit hole from the galaxy far, far away. In fact, this copy is ostensibly the last one in existence following Order 66 and the destruction of the Jedi Temple.

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Author Leo wins book deal Aged 6

By Andy Crick at The Sun
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A BOY aged SIX has landed a multi-book publishing deal after writing a mini-novel about his pet dog.

Now little Leo Hunter says he wants to be “more famous than JK Rowling”.

And he could pocket a fortune like the Harry Potter writer if his books take off.

Leo penned Me And My Best Friend to tell the story of his alliance with pet Alsatian Kugar.

His impressed mum Jamie, an author, contacted publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. US firm Strategic Book Publishing liked it so much they agreed to take it – and signed Leo to write TWENTY-THREE more.

He will get 20 per cent from early sales of the £10, 25-page books. But this will rise to 50 per cent if more than 500 are sold.

Read More here

What do you think of an interactive book? Do you think Sci Fi gets us through hard times? What was your favorite news story today?

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