“Challenge Coin” now available in NATO 2099 anthology

If you told me even just a few years ago that I would someday write a piece of science fiction for NATO, I would not have believed you. But then Russia invaded Ukraine, and suddenly the relevance of NATO as a deterrent against naked Russian aggression in Europe suddenly made a lot of sense again.

So, when the NATO Defence College said that for the 75th anniversary of NATO they wanted me to write a piece of “fictional intelligence” (FICINT) about what NATO might look like in another 75 years, I said yes.

Figuring that a lot of the stories in the anthology might be a bit dystopian in nature, I deliberately injected my story, “Challenge Coin,” with some ‘hopium,’ since I think we could all use a little optimism these days. And if certain things break the right way, some of my forecasts might be less pie-in-the-sky and turn out to be pretty reasonable.

I will say, to their credit, no one at the NATO Defence College flinched or asked me to change anything when I hinted in my story that Donald Trump wins the 2024 election and promptly withdraws the United States from NATO for four years. Definitely an outcome I don’t want to see happen, but one I’m sure someone somewhere in NATO is bracing for and gaming out.

You can download the entire NATO 2099 science fiction anthology for free here.

Amazing Stories loves Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One

Had to share this glowing review of Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One just published in Amazing Stories.

“[A] real powerhouse of quality fiction sparkling with originality, brilliant perception and sophisticated subtlety; the kind of reading session which leaves me feeling inspired and excited… In my opinion, this volume of The Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction belongs on every Canadian reader’s bookshelf. The second volume is underway. I’d like to see it become an annual tradition. As many readers of my reviews are aware, there is a lot of excellent genre fiction being written in Canada. May this series become the definitive annual sample…You owe it to yourself to purchase it for your bookshelf.”

I’m biased, of course, but I agree 🙂

You can read the full review (which includes some shout-outs for specific stories and poems) at the Amazing Stories site here.

CLUBHOUSE: Review: “Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction” Vol 1.

 

Ottawa Review of Books on Year’s Best Canadian F&SF

Hello all!

Wanted to share a very positive, very thoughtful review of the anthology that was published today by the Ottawa Review of Books.

While a number of authors in the book get individual shoutouts, the reviewer felt the stories in the collection “ranged from ‘solid’ to ‘outstanding’ with the overall weighting tipped heavily towards the ‘excellent’ end” and that the collection is a good “reflection of how Canadian speculative fiction has expanded and matured” in recent decades. “Overall,” he writes, “it is a great collection, [and] a great reflection on what Canadian speculative fiction has to offer…”

I couldn’t agree more 😉

I’m so pleased that so much of what I was hoping to do with the collection came across to the reviewer. I don’t have them often, but once in a while even I have a good idea 🙂

You can read the whole review here.

– S.

Exclusive Interview: “Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy And Science Fiction: Volume One” Editor Stephen Kotowych

Not only is Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One now available, but this interview with me about the project is now live, too! For those of you interested in process, it gives a bit of insight into my thinking as I put the project together, plus a look at some future plans. Thanks to @paulsemel for setting this up!

And once you’ve read the interview, check out the book!

Print & Ebook:

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Years-Canadian-Fantasy-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B0CP88Q46M/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Years-Canadian-Fantasy-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B0CP88Q46M/

Ebook only:

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/year-s-best-canadian-fantasy-and-science-fiction-volume-one

Everywhere else (incl. B&N, Apple Books, Smashwords, overseas retailers, etc.): https://books2read.com/u/m06V50

 

Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One AVAILABLE NOW!

Happy Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One Publication Day to all who celebrate…which I hope will be all of you!

That’s right—the trade paperback and e-book of Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One is now available (links below)!

This thing is all killer, no filler, folks. I know you’re going to love it!

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ebook/year-s-best-canadian-fantasy-and-science-fiction-volume-one

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Years-Canadian-Fantasy-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B0CP88Q46M/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Years-Canadian-Fantasy-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B0CP88Q46M/

Everywhere else (incl. B&N, Apple Books, Smashwords, overseas retailers, etc.): https://books2read.com/u/m06V50

S.

2023 Awards Eligibility – Stephen Kotowych

UPDATED: Aurora Award nominations are now OPEN! You can find details about how to vote here. Nominations close on April 6 at 23:59 EDT

Well, it appears that ’tis the season! I see lots of awards eligibility posts popping up from authors I know, and since everyone else is jumping off a cliff…

It’s actually been a crazy busy year for me, with not only a couple of short stories published, but my first forays into editing anthologies now under my belt! You can find details below.

And, since you’re here, I’m going to take the liberty of letting you know about the wonderful stories by Canadians that appeared in those anthologies. Again, see below, and thanks for your consideration.

– S.

Anthologies (eligible in the Aurora Award for Best Related Work category)

  • Game On!, edited by Stephen Kotowych and Tony Pi (ZNB, July 2023)
    • Games are about more than winning and losing. They’re about risk and reward, strategy and blind fortune, our need to win and our fear of being outplayed. And when magic and science infuse a game, the stakes can be of cosmic importance. Each move could decide life or death. Are you ready to play?
    • Featuring new stories by Aliette de Bodard, Cat Rambo, James Alan Gardner, Ed Greenwood, Sean Williams, and many more
    • “…each story exhibit[s] wry and subtle writing embedded with numerous original concepts. A feast for the imagination, I’d say. Highly recommended.” – Amazing Stories
  • Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One, edited by Stephen Kotowych (Ansible Press, December 2023)
    • Award winners. Award finalists. Hidden gems. All Canadian. All in one anthology. Curated from top markets like AnalogF&SFLightspeedOn SpecStrange Horizons, and Tor.com, the Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction is your definitive guide to the very best fantastical fiction written by Canadians today.
    • “[A] real powerhouse of quality fiction sparkling with originality, brilliant perception and sophisticated subtlety; the kind of reading session which leaves me feeling inspired and excited… In my opinion, this volume of The Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction belongs on every Canadian reader’s bookshelf. The second volume is underway. I’d like to see it become an annual tradition. As many readers of my reviews are aware, there is a lot of excellent genre fiction being written in Canada. May this series become the definitive annual sample…You owe it to yourself to purchase it for your bookshelf.” – Amazing Stories
    • “Overall, it is a great collection, [and] a great reflection on what Canadian speculative fiction has to offer…” – The Ottawa Review of Books

Short Stories for Your Consideration

If I may be allowed a little bit of log rolling… The following are short stories that appeared in Game On!, the anthology of original SFF that I edited this year. While I am biased, I think these are wonderful stories and deserve your consideration this award season.

I’ve included the full TOC so you can see the overall calibre of the stories, and have noted each eligible Canadian author. I hope you’ll keep those Canadians in mind for the Aurora Award for Best Short Story category.

Game On!

  • “Turtle Cliffs” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Machines” by Jennifer R. Povey
  • “Not His Best Feint” by Ed Greenwood (Canadian)
  • “Persistence of Memory” by Cory Swanson
  • “The Grim Reaper’s Game” by David Hankins
  • “The Cards as They Were Dealt” by Cat Rambo
  • “The Saltmarsh” by Wulf Moon
  • “Guilty Until Proven Victorious” by Jo Miles
  • “Solitaire for Three” by James Alan Gardner (Canadian)
  • “Connection” by Karen Aria Lin
  • “Dead Man’s Hand” by Mike Rimar (Canadian)
  • “Random Access Memory” by Eric Choi (Canadian)
  • “Worldplay” by Tris Lawrence
  • “Mythbot” by Mark Silcox
  • “Beat the Haunted House” by Melissa Yi (Canadian)
  • “The Prescience Game” by Michael Picco
  • “The Long Game” by Sean Williams

Announcing the full Table of Contents for Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One

I’m thrilled this morning to announce the full Table of Contents for Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One!

  • Give Me English – Ai Jiang
  • The Voice of a Thousand Years – Fawaz Al-Matrouk
  • Bottom’s Dream – Glenn Clifton
  • And in the Arcade, Ego – Kate Heartfield
  • The Secret Lives of Shellwomen – Geneviève Blouin. Translated from the French by Margaret Sankey
  •  Poem: In Stock Images of the Future, Everything is White – Terese Mason Pierre
  • Michif Man – Chelsea Vowel
  • Sunday in the Park With Hank – Leah Bobet
  • A New Brave World – Eric Choi
  • Poltergeist – Rhonda Parrish
  • One Day in the Afterlife of Detective Roshni Chaddha – Rati Mehrotra
  • Big Trouble in Droidtown – Hayden Trenholm
  •  Poem: First Contact – Lisa Timpf
  • Distant Skies – Charlotte Ashley
  • Shattered – Marie Bilodeau
  •  Poem: Necklace – Carolyn Clink
  • All That Burns Unseen – Premee Mohamed
  •  Poem: Rapunzel in the Desert – Melissa Yuan-Innes
  • Redfin Spine – Jonathan Olfert
  • Maximum Efficiency – Holly Schofield
  • Choose Your Own – C. J. Lavigne
  •  Poem: After the Apocalypse – Colleen Anderson
  • Rare Earths Pineapple – Michèle Laframboise
  • Choke – Suyi Davies Okungbowa
  •  Poem: Three Herons – Geoffrey W. Cole
  • Folk Hero Motifs in Tales Told by the Dead – KT Bryski
  • Vi’Hun Heal – Michelle Tang
  • Bleak Communion of Abandoned Things – Ariel Marken Jack
  •  Poem: a sinkhole invites a street to consider its future – Dominik Parisien
  • Broken Vow: The Adventures of Flick Gibson, Intergalactic Videographer – Peter G. Reynolds
  • Green Witch – Elizabeth Whitton
  •  Poem: The Mall at Night – Millie Ho
  • Homeplus – Liz Westbrook-Trenholm
  • Into the Frozen Wilds – P.A. Cornell
  •  Poem: The Wolf of Your Passions – Lynne Sargent
  • Critical Mass – Peter Watts
  • Douen – Suzan Palumbo

The volume will also include an Introduction from yours truly.

Backers of the Kickstarter will be receiving their e-books and print copies in November, and the book will be available to book lovers everywhere December 5, 2023 at your favourite independent, brick-and-mortar, or online book retailer.

This thing is all killer, no filler, y’all. Can’t wait to get it into your hands!

– S.

Amazing Stories loves GAME ON!

Thrilled to see this glowing review of GAME ON! from Amazing Stories, the oldest science fiction magazine in the world, launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback himself (for whom the Hugo Awards are named).

While the reviewer only reviews some stories in-depth, overall he concludes by saying “…each story exhibit[s] wry and subtle writing embedded with numerous original concepts. A feast for the imagination I’d say. Highly recommended.”

My co-editor Tony and I couldn’t agree more.

Still need to grab your copy? I mean, Christmas is right around the corner… Find the anthology here:

My new Kickstarter for the Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One.

I’m thrilled to announce my new Kickstarter for the Year’s Best Canadian Fantasy and Science Fiction: Volume One.

The campaign launches at noon EST on June 6, but in the meantime please follow this link and click the ‘Notify me on launch’ button to be told the minute it is live.


The world needs more Canada (as the old saying goes) and that includes a showcase anthology of the best short fiction the Canadian SFF community publishes every year. I’ll be acting as the volume editor and publisher through my imprint, Ansible Press.

If you are at all inclined to back the project, please do so on the first day—preferably as close to noon EST as you can. That early momentum will help juice the algorithm and help get the project noticed (at least, so I’m told).

And please feel free (and encouraged!) to share that link around. The more followers the campaign has prior to launch and the more backer activity the project gets in the first few hours of launch (even at the lowest levels of support) also helps boost the project in the Kickstarter algorithm and will help drive organic reach (i.e.: people just stumbling across it on Kickstarter).

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #CanadaYearsBestFSF and #KickstarterReads when you share on social media, and if you mention the campaign on Twitter please tag @KickstarterRead (no ‘s’). And steal that promo image above, too, and share it around!

Note to those of you in the US, UK, and EU, remember: this campaign is running in Canadian dollars, so with your positive exchange rate it’s like I’m practically giving this book away! 😉 YMMV for exchange rates from other countries.

#CanadaYearsBestFSF #KickstarterReads

New “Oasis” album fronted by an AI Liam Gallagher

I’m really fascinated by the prospects and power of artificial intelligence (AI) as a creative tool…but this is bonkers.

Bobby Geraghty, a 32-year-old singer, songwriter and producer, along with his band Breezer, recorded an eight-song album of Oasis-esque tunes and then trained an AI on a cappella recordings of Oasis singer Liam Gallagher so the AI could stand in as the lead singer.

The result is eerily good.

If you’d told me this was a lost Oasis album from 1998, I’d have believed you. If you were an Oasis fan back in the mid to late 90s (or covered any of their songs at coffee houses, like a certain blogger who shall remain nameless) this album by AIsis (get it?) will bring you back.

If you’d told me this was a lost Oasis album from 1998, I’d have believed you. Not sure the guitar style or tone is 100% Noel Gallagher, but I might not have put my finger on that if I hadn’t known in advance it was another band playing.

I’d always assumed AI would eventually be able to replicate the sound of dead singers or actors…but it was always one of those things that would happen in the future, instead of the now.

Can The BeAItles or Frank SinAItra be far behind? O brave new world, that has such algorithms in’t!

Better listen to it quick, though: an AI song that replicates Drake and The Weeknd’s vocals that went viral (15 million+ streams!) has already been pulled from multiple streaming platforms following a copyright complaint from label Universal Music Group (UMG).