“International Speculative Fiction” Fricken’ Rocks–for Free!

Luck + Death at the Edge of the World — Click to preview it now!

Luck + Death at the Edge of the World — Click to preview it now!

My story Siren Songs in Deep Time was originally published in Albedo One, the award-winning Irish magazine of genre fiction.  Now it’s been picked up again–with enthusiasm–by International Specualtive Fiction.

ISF  is a quarterly publication founded in 2012 with a mandate to publish science fiction, fantasy, and horror originally written in languages other than English (but published in ISF in English translation), as well as fiction that comes from non-traditional sources (geographically speaking) or that has a particularly internationalist bent.

Siren Songs fits into that last category, with a setting that ranges from World War II Greece, to 1970s Chile, to near-future New Jersey, and ultimately to deep space in the far future.

First three issues of ISF

The first three issues of ISF. Issue #2, containing Siren Songs, is at the right. (Click image to go to the ISF home page.)

ISF has managed to rack up an impressive array of authors so far, from well-known folks with impressive awards under their belts–like Lavie Tidhar (Israel), Ken Liu (US), and Aliette de Bodard (France)–to less familiar but very impressive writers like Rochita Leonen-Ruiz (Philippines), Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro (from my second home, Brazil), and what appears to be a small street gang of Romanians (Marian Truta, Liviu Radu, Cristian-Mihail Teodorescu), among others. Even ISF‘s cover illustrations are top notch.

Why am I letting ISF publish a story that I’ve released as a commercial ebook?

First, because their line-up of authors was just too impressive for me to turn them down. In my issue alone the three authors have won two Hugo Awards, two Nebula Awards, two World Fantasy Awards, a British Fantasy Award, and a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award–and believe me, I haven’t won any of those things. And the issue also features an interview with Rachel Haywood Ferreira, author of The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction, a wonderful book that I’m in the middle of reading at this very moment. I’m going to say no to a party like that?

The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction

The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction by Rachel Haywood Ferreira

Second, I love what ISF is doing. I grew up with a deeply internationalist perspective and it’s only become more central to my outlook as I got older. As a child I was given a bilingual education in French and English. As a young adult I studied Russian, though most of it is now lost to me (although Russian swearing is still the most elaborate, detailed, and florid of any cursing I’ve ever encountered and I retain a few choice expressions). And while my internationalism has never been theoretical, it’s more concrete now than it’s ever been, as a Canadian married to a Brazilian, dividing his time between the two countries. My children will raised speaking Portuguese, French, and English, possibly combining these with a few pungent Russian words they’ll learn without my meaning them to and which they won’t understand until they’re older.

Finally, I’m about to release a new edition of Siren Songs that will include one of my now-famous, patented Nas Hedron Facts in the Fiction bonus sections. This is an addendum to the fictional story, sometimes more extensive than the story itself, that gives you the low-down on some of the factual elements that lie behind the ficitonal story. So for a dollar or less (depending on what currency you use) you can buy the ebook of Siren Songs and get the story that’s in ISF plus the bonus material.

You might think that Siren Songs, being a short story, wouldn’t provide a lot to work with, but you’d be mistaken. The new section will include material on:

  • the concept of deep time as applied to the future, including a look at the Long Now Foundation
  • the historical setting for the story, Part I: occupied Greece in World War II
  • historical setting, Part II: the 1973 coup in Chile
  • the future setting: the science fiction and science fact of asteroid mining

So, for the price, it might well be worth picking up the ebook even if you already have a copy of ISF #2 just to get the bonus material. You can find a sample of the Facts in the Fiction section on the Siren Songs home page.

(Speaking of which, aside from that sample the Siren Songs home page gives you even more material, including some excellent video content and a free PDF library, so you might just want to check it out.)

Siren Songs in Deep Time

Siren Songs in Deep Time, the ebook.

Getting back to ISF, did I mention that despite oozing quality, it’s free to download?

Go here and get the first three issues immediately.

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