You're probably sick and tired of hearing about Speculative Fiction 2012 already, but you know what? I'm not. I'll talk about this collection of formerly online criticism and insight till the cows come home.
Indeed I have done. It's given me something tangible to point people towards when explaining what I do on a daily basis; here, finally, is a physical thing that showcases why being a blogger is so meaningful to me. What I take from the community, and what I like to think I give to it.
Which is to say, by God, guys: I've been published! And look at the stunning company I seem to be keeping:
How do you write female characters with agency? What did J. R. R. Tolkien learn from Attila the Hun? What is it like to be a dragon? Is science fiction stuck in a rut? The Internet has the answers. Speculative Fiction 2012 collects over fifty articles from some of the top bloggers and authors in science fiction and fantasy, including over two dozen reviews. Contributors include Joe Abercrombie, Daniel Alexander, Kate Elliott, N. K. Jemisin, Aidan Moher, Abigail Nussbaum, Christopher Priest, Adam Roberts, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sam Sykes and Lavie Tidhar.
That's the product description of the first edition of this awesome annual anthology on Amazon, and if you look closely, you'll see I've been hybridised with Daniel effing Abraham, who said of this obscenity yesterday: "If I have to be transporter-mushed with someone like a postmodern remake of The Fly, Niall will do just fine."
To which I can only add... likewise! But let's not with all the horrible vomiting.
Restraining myself from blogging about Speculative Fiction 2012 till today has been torture of the highest order, so I'm beside myself with excitement to finally get this thing out of my system.
In case you were wondering why I've waited, well, I'm a believer in timely buying advice rather than getting my reviewer's foot in first, and the collection only came out today. I can't recommend Speculative Fiction 2012 highly enough... not because I'm in it, or because it features many much better bloggers and authors that I, but because it serves in a very real sense to legitimise what we have here.
In closing, I'm going to hand it over to Jared and Justin of Pornokitsch and Staffer's Book Review respectively—the fine folks who took it upon themselves to produce this pièce de résistance:
Let’s be honest, no one takes us seriously. ‘Blogging’ is barely reviewing and certainly never ‘criticism’. We’re not paid, so we’re amateurs. We’re doing it for love, so we’re fans. Our opinions are merely our own, and not on behalf of a higher authority, like a newspaper or magazine. While our work sticks around, you’re only as good as your last post. And once something is off the front page, it might as well be gone forever...
Speculative Fiction 2012 is meant to showcase the best of that passion. We’re not journalists, scholars or authors. Or, even if we are (we’re not), we’re contributing to the discussion because we love it. From our perspective, this kind of work deserves to be collected, immortalised, and substantiated. Literally.
If you'd like to buy a copy of the anthology, here's a link to the product page on Amazon.co.uk. If you're based in the USA, this is the link to click.
Whatever proceeds there are will go to Room to Read, so the more, the merrier.
One last thing before I bid you adieu: if you're interested in talking to some of the bloggers and authors behind the scenes of Speculative Fiction 2012, there's going to be an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit on May 2nd.
I don't really know what that means, but I'll try to figure it out before next Thursday. It's for a fantastic cause, after all. Literally.