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Passing the Turing test

The other day I blogged about Chris Beckett's THE TURING TEST winning the Edge Hill Prize. The interesting thing, for me, was how chagrined the judges were to admit that they really like this collection of 14 science fiction stories. In spite of their prejudice, they described the stories in what can only be called glowing terms: “imaginative and endlessly inventive,” “fizzing with ideas,” “strong characters and big contemporary themes.”

So I checked Amazon and found the book, but it wasn't on Kindle! No worries! Turns out, Fictionwise had it and Mobi (Amazon's basic format) was one of the options. So, for only $8.00 plus a small fee (50¢) for paying with PayPal instead of their deposit system, I had THE TURING TEST sent wirelessly to my Kindle. Fictionwise added the “Send to your Kindle” option a while ago; it works great! Of course, Amazon will probably charge me the 15¢ email delivery fee, but so what.

Anyway, I started checking out the book, and the interesting thing to me was where these inventive, imaginative, fizzing with ideas stories had first seen the light of publication. Three of them were first published in Asimov's and the remaining 11 were from Interzone. As Beckett points out in his acknowledgments, the editors of science fiction magazines and anthologies often work for little pay and as much for love of the genre as anything else.

So maybe some mainstream critics need to start reading outside their comfort zone, hey? Chris Beckett is not alone!

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