* Farah Mendlesohn has a provocative article in the March/April 2009 issue of The Horn Book Magazine on science fiction for teens: "The Campaign for Shiny Futures." Some of her points seem to anticipate her forthcoming book The Inter-Galactic Playground: A Critical Study of Children's and Teens' Science Fiction as well as Noga Applebaum's forthcoming book Representations of Technology in Science Fiction for Young People.
* The contents of the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of the journal Mythlore are now listed here. This volume includes articles of particular interest to readers of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling; also, it contains my long review of K. Dale Koontz's recent book Faith and Choice in the Works of Joss Whedon.
* StarShipSofa has unabridged readings of all of the 2008 Nebula Award best short story nominees. Head on over to hear these stories:
-- "The Button Bin" by Mike Allen
-- "The Dreaming Wind" by Jeffrey Ford
-- "Trophy Wives" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
-- "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss" by Kij Johnson
-- "The Tomb Wife" by Gwyneth Jones
-- "Don't Stop" by James Patrick Kelly
-- "Mars: A Traveler's Guide" by Ruth Nestvold
* For your amusement:
1) "Things I've Learned from British Folk Ballads"
2) "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from American Folk Songs"
* I'm a great fan of Tori Amos, and I have been since her first solo album in 1992; I consider the release date of each new album of hers to be something of a personal holiday. Her next release is due out next month, and I'm already quite taken with the first single:
"As Perry Nodelman noted in an article in Science-Fiction Studies 12 (1985), instead of an attitude that basically said, “Whee, kids! Look at all this bright shiny new New!” young readers were taught that innovation, new technology platforms, genetic engineering, and birth control would all rot their minds, sap their human spirit, and turn them into soulless and uncaring vegetables. Consider M. T. Anderson’s Feed, a book that is beautifully written and offers a brilliantly visualized future but clearly regrets the day we all stopped learning The Odyssey by heart and began writing things down, where they could be looked up by the ignorant."
- Farah Mendlesohn, "The Campaign for Shiny Futures"