Help The Shelburne House

A while back, I posted up a post about one of our members in the New England Garrison: Peter Allen, asking for people to donate to a fund to help as he went into hospice care after suffering from ALS. People came through in a great way.

As an incentive, I told people that if they donated, I’d send along a perk: a copy of War Stories: New Military Science Fiction. Let’s do the same thing for the Shelburne House. This is a house that specializes in mental health services for young boys between the ages of 8-12.

Our program is home to three amazing boys that have worked through so much this year. Our residents have experienced trauma and childhoods that were not able to reflect the positive experiences during the holiday season. This fact is a major drive in why we want to raise money this year. We strive to able to provide these boys with a holiday to remember, and to restructure their ideas of what the holidays are really about. This fund me page is more then just monetary donations, its a way to prove to these boys that they are loved and supported. It is a way to prove to them that they can trust and lean on others. Most importantly, it is to show these boys are they live in a world that is good and that they have things to look forward to in their lives.

Funds from this project will go to the purchasing of gifts for the boys during the holiday such as: clothes, shoes, art supplies, winter gear, yoga balls, new sports equipment, Magic cards, meditation pillows, certificates for art and martial arts classes, yoga classes and so on.

All gifts are chosen to not only help in their treatment, but to cater to the individual interests of each resident in a therapeutic way.

They’ll take the money that they raise, and purchase a bunch of gifts and clothes for the boys currently under their care. These gifts in turn, will be delivered by members of the 501st Legion’s New England Garrison.

They need some help, and if you can, I’ll send you a copy of War Stories:

If you make a donation of $30 or more, I’ll send you a copy of War Stories: New Military Science Fiction. If you’re you’re from outside the United States, donate at least $15 and I’ll get you an ebook copy (Sorry, shipping books internationally is just too time consuming and annoying). Here’s what you can do:

  1. Make the donation.
  2. Take a screenshot or forward me your receipt for said donation, and an address where I can mail you the book.
  3. I’ll send you a copy of the book. (And maybe another random one as well!)

My e-mail address is: liptakaa [at] gmail[dot]com.

Thanks in advance.

The Expanse Is Here And It’s Amazing

So, there’s this book series that I’ve really enjoyed – The Expanse. I read the first book before it hit stores, and I’ve been hooked since. Now, it’s been turned into a TV series on SyFy, and after watching the first four episodes, I’m pretty sure that it’s as good as Battlestar Galactica. Yeah, I said it.

The show does a good job adapting Leviathan Wakes, but it does do it’s own thing. They nailed the casting, and they absolutely nailed the sets and look and feel of the world.

I’ve been doing a lot with this show: earlier this May, I wrote up a major article for Barnes and Noble about how the Expanse came together, which is a really fascinating story. I’m very proud of that article. A little after that, I reviewed the 5th book, Nemesis Games for io9.

More recently, I’ve written up a couple of things:

Speaking of which.

The pilot is now available just about everywhere, including on YouTube:


You should go watch it. It’s pretty excellent.

You Can Now Read ‘Fragmented’ Over On The Art Of Future Warfare

My short story ‘Fragmented’ is now available for reading over on the Atlantic Council’s Art of Future Warfare project!

It was originally published with Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, and after June or July 2014, it went away when a new issue went up. I hadn’t really thought about submitting it as a reprint anywhere, until Brett Cox submitted his story, ‘Where We Would End A War’ for their site. So, you can now read Fragmented over on the Atlantic Council!

August Cole, author of the fantastic novel Ghost Fleet and guy in charge of the program, did a brief Q&A with me about the story as well – you can read that here.

Playboy’s Science Fiction

Playboy announced the other day that they’re pulling all of their nude photos from the magazine. The company made the decision in order to focus more on their written content, and so forth.

Something interesting that I learned earlier this year was that Playboy published a lot of science fiction. Earlier this year, Alice K. Turner, Playboy’s longtime fiction editor, passed away, and in the ensuing tributes and obituaries, I found that it was an interesting story, one that says a little about how Science Fiction began to go mainstream.

Go read Playboy’s Science Fiction over on Kirkus Reviews.

Leaving The Day Job

So, this is something that happened in the last couple of weeks: I’m leaving my job at Norwich University. I’ve reached a point where I realized I was happier doing work writing and reviewing, and that I’d gone about as far as I could go with Norwich at this time. So, in December, I’ll be heading out for good.

I’ll admit: it’s a little nerve-wracking. I’ve been working at the school since 2007 – eight years. I’ve been there even longer when I count the years that I spent there as an undergraduate.

One of the things that I’m looking forward to is spending more time with Bram. There’s a lot that I’ve wanted to do, but just haven’t been able to do. Now, I’m hoping that there’ll be more adventures for the two of us.

I’m also excited. I’ve got a ton of projects that I’ve been wanting to get to for weeks or months, and just haven’t been able to do much on them. This’ll give me more time to devote to those things, and explore some new ones. Stay tuned: if some of these things work out, there’ll be some cool things coming!

The Cosmic Horror Of William M. Sloane

Over the last couple of  years, I’ve gotten more and more interested in the pulp era of science fiction, particularly of the science-horror genre, dominated by the likes of H.P. Lovecraft and his circle of fellow authors. Recently, the New York Review of Books sent me a copy of a very interesting looking omnibus, The Rim of Tomorrow, by William M. Sloane, introducing me to a new author of cosmic horror.

Looking into his background, he seems to have had a fairly minor role in the pulp world, but wrote two very interesting novels, now collected in this book. If Stephen King’s raving about it, he did something right.

Read The Cosmic Horror Of William M. Sloane over on Kirkus Reviews.


The Metamorphosis of Astounding Science Fiction

There’s few institutions like Astounding Science Fiction or editors like John W. Campbell Jr. Together, they are probably responsible for much of the tone and content of the science fiction genre in its formative years. Thus, during the tumultuous years of the 1960s, the changes to the magazine are an interesting example of how science fiction was changing: shedding one image and adapting, while positioning itself for the future.

The story of how Astounding Science Fiction became Analog Science Fact and Fiction is an interesting one, not only for what they changed, but what they didn’t change. I think that the changes and non-changes are part of the reason for why they’re still around today.

Go read The Metamorphosis of Astounding Science Fiction over on Kirkus Reviews.


  • Transformations: The Story of the Science-Fiction Magazines, 1950-1970, Mike Ashley. As always, Ashley’s work is in depth and detailed, and he provides some good background information on to how and why these changes came about.
  • I, Asimov, Isaac Asimov. Asimov has a couple of interesting words about Campbell towards the end of his life.
  • A Requiem For Astounding, Ava Rogers. This is a fannish book dedicated to the legacy of Astounding, which has some good information about the magazine and its history.
  • Astounding / Analog, Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. As always, there’s a wealth of good information at the SFE, about Astounding AND Analog.
  • Analog Website. Analog’s own history has some good revelations.

Fragmented: The Audio Podcast


My short story ‘Fragmented’ is now available as an audio podcast! Earlier this year, StarShipSofa opened up for submissions and I submitted it. A day later, I got an enthusiastic e-mail back from them saying that it blew them away, and that they’d love to publish it – that was a nice boost.

Here’s a bit of background on the origins of the story.

The story is narrated by Mikael Naramore, who did an incredible job bringing the story to life. Here’s his bio:

Mikael Naramore has worked in the audiobook industry since 2001 when, fresh out of college, he was hired as a recording engineer for publisher Brilliance Audio (now Brilliance Publishing, subsidiary of Over time, he transitioned to Director, all the while absorbing technique and nuance from the best actors in the business. To date, Mikael has narrated well over 100 titles, under his own and assumed names. Authors range from best-sellers Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Edward Klein and Clive Barker to sci-fi rising stars Wesley Chu, Ramez Naam and Mark E. Cooper.

Seriously, he did a fantastic job: I can hardly believe that I actually wrote the story, and he knocked it out of the park, and I’m hearing things differently from how I wrote it.

Give it a listen here.

Unfortunately, the text isn’t up on Galaxy’s Edge online, but you can pick up the physical copy of the magazine from Barnes and Noble and

Help Peter Allen


As some of you know, I’m a member of the 501st Legion’s New England Garrison, a group that’s known for its charitable work in addition to its costuming. Over the years, we’ve helped out a lot of people, either by participating in walks or by visiting sick kids in hospitals. One of our own members in the NEG needs some help, and I’d like to spread the word a bit.

Peter is suffering from ALS, and we’ve heard that he doesn’t have a lot of time. A couple of years ago, the NEG met Peter because of his love of Star Wars: he had been hoping to join our group, but because of his illness, he couldn’t complete his costume. The Garrison stepped in and finished it for him, and inducted him as a member. He’s now in Hospice care, and doesn’t have a lot of time.

Peter’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with some expenses, and garrison members are starting to chip in. I’d like to encourage you to do so, if you can.

I can’t do much, but I can offer a bit of a carrot. If you make a donation of $30 or more, I’ll send you a copy of War Stories: New Military Science Fiction. If you’re you’re from outside the United States, donate at least $15 and I’ll get you an ebook copy (Sorry, shipping books internationally is just too time consuming and annoying). Here’s what you can do:

  1. Make the donation.
  2. Take a screenshot or forward me your receipt for said donation, and an address where I can mail you the book.
  3. I’ll send you a copy of the book. (And maybe another random one as well!)

My e-mail address is: liptakaa [at] gmail[dot]com.

Thanks in advance.

The Early Career of Leslie F. Stone

There’s been a bit of talk about how women didn’t write SF early on: that wasn’t ever the case. Ignoring some of the earlier female authors such as Mary Shelley, women were reading and writing fiction for SF magazines early on, abeit in smaller numbers than their male counterparts. One such author was Leslie F. Stone, who enjoyed a brief career in the 1930s.

Read up on The Early Career of Leslie F. Stone over on Kirkus Reviews.


  • Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965, Eric Leif Davin. Davin’s book is a pretty exhaustive resource when it comes to women writing in the earlier days of science fiction, and he provides some excellent information on Stone here.
  • Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, Justine Larbalestier, Larbalestier has assembled a really interesting book of short stories and companion essays. Stone gets some good treatment here.
  • Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction, edited by Arthur B. Evans Istvan Csicsery-Ronay Jr., Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Rob Latham, and Carol McGuirk. This is a fantastic anthology, and there’s a good biographical sketch here.
  • The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction, by Justine Larbalestier. This book is a good examination of feminist SF during the early years.
  • SF Encyclopedia. As always, there’s a good examination of the author here.