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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Introducing Aethernet Magazine - Serial Fiction with Novels by Chris Beckett, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Several Other Well Known Authors (with comments and a review of issue 1 by Liviu Suciu)

Order Aethernet from Amazon US (single issue) or Amazon UK (single issue) or Direct (subscription)

A few months ago I have heard on Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt site about the new online magazine Aethernet which is geared towards serialized fiction rather than short stories and where the author of the hugely favorite Apt series (now with 8/10 books out and #9 tbp August)  is publishing his novel Spiderlight.

As mentioned in a recent post, Chris Beckett has also announced that Gela's Ring, his (two centuries later) sequel to the wonderful Dark Eden will be first serialized here (with book publication in 2014) so the magazine became a buy on publication. 

As the math of subscription (20 pounds or about $31 at current exchange) versus single issue (3.09 pounds on and $5 on works decisively in favor of the subscription - especially considering the nature of Aethernet as serial fiction rather than hit-or-miss short story magazine - going direct was the clear choice and everything worked out pretty smoothly with the first issue showing in my inbox a few days ago, in all 3 main formats - epub, mobi and pdf. 

I will include below the table of contents and the upcoming highlights and of course I recommend checking the Aethernet website for much more, while if you are a fan of any of the authors below or if you want to try stuff that announces itself as great sff, I strongly recommended getting the magazine too!

Update April 5: I finished reading the first issue and I quite enjoyed it so I am looking forward to the next one; the clear piece of resistance of the magazine and the one clearly superior novel here is Gela's Ring, which gets to the interesting part and skips too much set-up with only a quick reminder about the events in Dark Eden of a couple centuries ago.

Spiderlight is a mostly tongue-in-cheek take on classic Sword and Sorcery and as is written by A. Tchaikovsky, I enjoyed it for what it is but so far it is quite light sff. 

Murder of the Heart is a first person narration from the sister of a recently dead girl, whose ghost warns her about the charismatic and successful writer former fiancee (of the now ghost girl). Something different from Philip Palmer who has written mostly variants of space opera and planetary adventure so far and while the story is something seen  tons of times, I kind of like the writing so far.

The Smallest of Things by Ian Whates seems to be the old cliche - supernatural detective story in London - but it was interesting in a small dose.

The Ties that Bind by Juliet McKenna is set in a secondary pre industrial world and concerns a young woman married into a richer trader family whose husband is presumed dead; this actually has the greatest potential of the rest of the novels outside Gela's Ring so far but the piece in the first issue was mostly set-up.

As befits serial fiction all the pieces above end at "hook" points, mostly of the "and now..." version and that is quite an attractive quality of serialization in my opinion...

In addition there is a short non-fiction piece by Eric Brown, presenting a prolific but not that well known author, Rupert Croft-Cooke, piece that is quite interesting and for once complete in itself.

Overall, a very strong beginning and I expect to read issue 2 the moment it pops in my inbox in a month or so.

Table of Contents:


Gela’s Ring Part I: The Fiery Light by Chris Beckett
Prelude: The Tree of Drowned Men
(Chapter 1)
(Chapter 2)

The Ties that Bind by Juliet E McKenna
The Smallest of Things by Ian Whates

Non Fiction: Serial Inspirations by Eric Brown
Rupert Croft-Cooke: the Enigma Behind the Memoirs

Spiderlight by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Mirkwood Blues

Murder of the Heart by Philip Palmer
Part One

Coming up:

Starting next issue:
Cosmopolitan Predators! by Tony Ballantyne
Still to come:
Stories by Eric Brown, Keith Brooke and others..."



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