Not surprisingly, science fiction (though not overly successful at predicting its rise) has taken to this futuristic resource in a big way. But how to choose which sites to visit?
Here’s one way: visit the ones I visit!
Let’s start with general news sites. I’ve previously mentioned Locus Online, the website of the most important science fiction news magazine. Besides publishing news, links to interviews and reviews and more, there alone you’ll find a links page directing you to more sites than you could possible visit without the assistance of an army of clones. Locus Online is always at the top of my list.
I also like SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo. I like many of its regular features, including SF Tidbits, which provides links to interviews, news, articles, art and more every day of the week. There’s also a weekly roundup of free online fiction and the regular Mind Meld feature where writers are asked their opinion about some related topic (i.e., “The best opening scenes in science fiction,” “How to create drama for posthumans.”)
Then there’s SF Scope, “your source of news about the speculative fiction fields,” which is just what it says on the tin. Its many news and opinion features are edited by Ian Randall Strock (who bought two short stories from me back when he edited Artemis Magazine).
A third one is SF Site. This one is very focused on books, with tons of reviews, along with interviews and more. It has regular columns on both TV SF and graphic novels.
Moving on to writers’ organizations, there are three to mention. First and foremost is the website of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, which includes news about members, publishing news and (most valuable for those wanting to break into the field) some well-worth-your-time articles on the practice of writing SF and fantasy.
On this side of the border, there’s the site SF Canada, our homegrown equivalent of SFWA (I was president for a couple of years).
For those on the dark side, I should also point out the Horror Writers’ Association, at the easy-to-remember horror.org.
Looking for places to sell your science fiction and fantasy? There are numerous market-listing sites. One I like goes by the unlikely name of Ralan’s SpecFic and Horror Webstravaganza—or just Ralan.com for short. Ralan’s website has been around since 1994, and breaks down markets by pay: pro, semi-pro, token and “expo” (i.e., no pay!). He lists both book and short-fiction markets, and also tracks response times.
Of course, just about everyone who is already selling science fiction and fantasy has a website. I have two: edwardwillett.com and leearthurchane.com. One you should definitely check out (besides mine!) is Robert J. Sawyer’s, at sfwriter.com (Rob was a very early Web pioneer, which is how he landed such an awesome URL; SFWRITER is also his license plate!).
You should also pay a visit to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s site. Rusch is the author of the invaluable Freelancer’s Survival Guide, and regularly posts long, thoughtful essays on the state of publishing today—and how writers can surf the waves of change and hopefully arrive safe on the other side of that dangerous reef we call electronic publishing.
There are some interesting group blogs run by science fiction writers, as well. Deadline Dames is a fun one: subtitled “Nine authors, one website, no excuses,” it details the writing adventures of Devon Monk, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Black, Karen Mahoney, Keri Arthur, Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Vincent, Rinda Elliott and Toni Andrews, working mainly in the field of urban fantasy.
I also like Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists, an invitation-only group blog with an impressive list of contributors and always-interesting posts. (I particularly recommend “A Writer’s Letter to Santa,” which any writer, SF- or non, should find amusing.
Finally, no list of sites would be complete without Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group sponsored by SFWA with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America. Writer Beware “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls” and also provides “industry news, writing advice, and a special focus on the wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world.” If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check it out at Writer Beware first!
This only scratches the surface. There are dozens more that could be listed. But the Web being the linkful place it is, any one of these sites will lead you to some of those dozens more.
And when you think about it, what better use could there be of today’s science-fictional technology than using it to learn more about science fiction?