There are at least three interesting pieces in the latest issue of The Internet Review of Science Fiction. There may be more, but I haven't read the entire issue yet.

The one I'd tell everyone to go and read, even the non-sf-fans amongst you, is Matthew Cheney's 'Of All Possibilities'. Cheney is the man behind The Mumpsimus, and as such is probably best-known for his criticism (here he is on Jeff Vandermeer's collection Secret Life; or here on Terry Gilliam's film Brazil). The IROSF article, being a con report, a personal account of his visit to this year's Worldcon, shows an altogether different side to him. It's particularly interesting because it was his first convention of any kind; he didn't (and largely, I have to suspect, still doesn't) really think of himself as 'a fan' or as part of 'fandom'. Despite the fact that he's the writer of a widely-read weblog, then, and despite the fact that every other paragraph has him chatting to one author or another, the article still offers something of an outsider's perspective. I'm trying to collate opinions on this sort of thing for Meta, from various third row types (hint, hint, y'all; or if I haven't emailed you and you think I should, speak up!), so it gave me a bit of food for thought. I also like the specific panel reports, which in some respects were depressingly familiar. Apparently good moderators are in short supply the conrunning world over.

You have to sign up to read the article, but that's not a problem because subscriptions are free--for now. John Frost's editorial this month talks about the paid-for subscription plans that will take effect towards the end of the year. It makes me nervous; I like the IROSF a lot, I think it publishes good articles (if perhaps not so many good reviews), and I know I'm willing to pay for it (particularly when it's only 12USD a year) ... but how will everyone else react? One interesting footnote to this is that they're going to accept Fan Subscriptions. Send them a proper Letter of Comment--on paper, in the actual post--and you get a four-month sub in exchange.

The third piece I want to point out is Bluejack's monthly short fiction roundup. Partly because, hey, it's short fiction reviews! but mostly for his thoughts on Charles Stross' final Accelerando story, 'Survivor'. Bluejack is a good deal more negative about the story than, say, I was (minor spoilers), partly because he seems to be under the impression that there's another story yet to come. There isn't, is there?