In today's edition: two pieces from io9.
* An article on the history of Japanese science fiction, which goes a long, long way back before the first translations of Jules Verne appeared in print there (an event anime fans might remember seeing referenced in an episode of Rurouni Kenshin). While the article makes a point of the difference between the mirai-ki genre and later speculative fiction, that history still suggests that the conscious use of the image of a future as a way of commenting on the present is far older in Japanese literature than in the Western world, and perhaps anywhere else for that matter.
The article also discusses some largely forgotten authors deserving of a more prominent place in our histories of the genre, like Ryuso Gaishi.
* Charlie Jane Anders on the possibility that Random House and Penguin will merge. The more interesting speculations appear in the comments thread this time around - and raise some real questions about what a reduction of the "Big Six" to the "Big Five" would mean.
The Debate Continues . . . (As Paul Kincaid Answers)
New and Noteworthy (Self-Publishing, Stross on the Presidential Election, The Hydrogen Sonata)
New and Noteworthy (Unfilmable SF Movies, Spy Movies, Futurism)
New and Noteworthy (Star Trek)