04/06/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
We've just spotted the existence of a new sci-fi blog over at Borders, tipped off by the always-useful Swivet blog from US science fiction agent to the stars Colleen Lindsay. Borders new baby is called Babel Clash. There are only a couple of posters at the moment, but that'll probably grow over time, as Babel Clash have got some fairly organised plans for guest contributors.
Their SFF buyer, Morgan Burns, is running Babel Clash. The idea is for a new guest contributor to join the blog and introduce a new debate topic every couple of weeks.
Currently in the guest editor chair is horror writer Kim Harrison, author of Once Dead, Twice Shy (aka the current shout of genre publishers: any book: just give me some frakking teen vampires in it). Future guest bloggers will apparently include Brandon Sanderson, of Mistborn fame, and that British darling of the new weird, China Mieville.
Rich Fahle, vice president of Borders.com, told the Nest, "We wanted to get a good discussion going around the genres that really matter to our customers, so we created Babel Clash, our sci-fi blog, and Borders Ink, our Facebook page dedicated to YA fiction and graphic novels. These communities are moderated by our buyers, whose passion for books is unparalleled - and contagious."
This can best be viewed in the context of the online gold rush that fantasy author Stephen Hunt talked about recently. I asked SH for a comment on this and he told me, "Well, SFcrowsnest.com has been online for nearly twenty years, and this just reinforces what I said in my recent article. I have never seen such fierce competition for online eyeballs in those 20 years. Almost every publisher, convention, new media house, bookshop and fan group seems to now be putting some serious effort into launching science fiction and fantasy web-sites. These are often blogging platforms, and are usually after crowd-sourced content, as there sure as hell ain't any money in being online per se, and you need content to drive traffic to the shingle."
You can find the latest boys on the sci-fi new media block online over at http://scifi.bordersblog.com
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA