The Science Fiction & Fantasy Conventions Of New Zealand Incorporated (SFFCONZ, Inc.) non-profit society has won the bid to host the 78th World Science Convention at the TSB Bank Arena and Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, New Zealand from July 29 – August 2, 2020, receiving 643 of the 726 votes cast. There were no other registered candidates. George R.R. Martin will be the master of ceremonies. For more information, ...Read More
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Point of Sighs, Melissa Scott (Lethe Press 978-1-59021-645-3, $18.00, 276pp, tp) May 2018. Cover by Ben Baldwin.
Melissa Scott’s Astreiant is a city to conjure with. It shares some commonalities with Ellen Kushner’s Riverside, though the first book, Point of Hopes (co-written with the late Lisa A. Barnett) was initially published in 1995 to Kushner’s Swordspoint‘s 1987. (And it involves a little less duelling.) Astreiant is a rich, complex setting, ...Read More
Just as I was preparing this month’s column I heard the stunning news of the hospitalization, rapid decline, and death, of my colleague here at Locus, Gardner Dozois. Gardner was not just my colleague, both as Locus short fiction columnist and as anthologist, he was a friend. He treated me from the first as an equal, as I surely was not; always happy to ...Read More
Born to the Blade, Season 1, Episodes 1–6 (of 11), Michael R. Underwood, Marie Brennan, Cassandra Khaw & Malka Older; Xe Sands, narrator (Serial Box, $1.59 per episode, digital download, 1-1/5 hr. per episode), April–May 2018.
This new shared-universe effort created by Michael R. Underwood is a fun little exercise in political fantasy that boasts several sorts of magic. A somewhat contentious alliance of floating island nations practice diplomacy on ...Read More
The Underwater Ballroom Society, Tiffany Trent & Stephanie Burgis, eds. (Five Fathoms Press, $4.99, 330pp, eb) April 2018.
Around the turn of the last century, speculator and con man Whitaker Wright built an underwater aquarium and smoking room beneath one of the lakes stippling his mansion’s grounds. Due to its shape, the room came to be referred to as a ballroom. A description from a 1903 article in The West ...Read More
The End of All Our Exploring, by F. Brett Cox (Fairwood Press 978-1933846712, $17.99, 306pp, trade paperback) August 2018
Like a fine vintage wine, Brett Cox’s career has been slowly ripening, almost subliminally, for some time now, a vault-ensconced treasure that we handle and inspect at intervals, as if turning a precious stored bottle to prevent sedimentation, always anticipating the day when the long season’s whole batch is ready ...Read More
Fire Dance, Ilana C. Myer (Tor 978-0-7653- 7832-3, $27.99, 368pp, hc) April 2018. Cover by Stephan Martinière.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Ilana C. Myer’s Fire Dance. Myer’s first novel, Last Song Before Night, left me feeling a little distant and disengaged from its action and characters. Fire Dance is its sequel, set a handful of months later. It has a few changes among its viewpoint characters ...Read More
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Several awards for services to SF fandom were presented during opening ceremonies at Worldcon 76, August 16, 2018 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose CA.
First Fandom Hall of Fame Award
- Robert Silverberg
First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame Awards
- Len & June Moffatt
Sam Moskowitz Archive Award
- Hal W. Hall
David A. Kyle Big Heart Award
- Mike Glyer
While you are here, please take a ...Read More
Winners for the 1943 Retro Hugo Awards, honoring work from 1942, were announced by Worldcon 76, during an award ceremony held at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose CA:
WINNER: Beyond This Horizon, Anson MacDonald (Robert A. Heinlein) (Astounding Science-Fiction 4-5/42)
- The Uninvited, Dorothy Macardle (Doubleday, Doran/S.J.R. Saunders)
- Donovan’s Brain, Curt Siodmak (Black Mask 9-11/42)
- Second Stage Lensmen, E. E. “Doc” Smith (Astounding Science-Fiction 11/41-2/42)
Writer Michael Scott Rohan, 67, died August 12, 2018 in an Edinburgh, Scotland hospital.
His debut novel was Run to the Stars (1983), but he was best known for the Winter of the World fantasy series that began with The Anvil of Ice (1986) and continued with The Forge in the Forest (1987), The Hammer of the Sun (1988), The Castle of the Winds (1998), The Singer and the Sea ...Read More
Finalists for the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been announced, including Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead), Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (Little, Brown), and Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner) in the fiction category, and We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World) in non-fiction.
The prize “honors writers whose work uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice, and global ...Read More
Nominees for the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award have been announced and include several titles of genre interest:
- Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Holt)
- Leila, Prayaag Akbar (Simon & Schuster)
- The House With Chicken Legs, Sophie Anderson (Scholastic)
- Swansong, Kerry Andrew (Jonathan Cape)
- Out of the Blue, Sophie Cameron (Roaring Brook)
- In the Valley of the Sun, Andy Davidson (Skyhorse)
- The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock, Imogen
In a 5-4 decision in late June, the US Supreme Court overturned Quill Corp v. North Dakota – the 1992 case that ruled states could only collect sales tax from companies with a physical presence in that state. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion:
The physical presence rule has long been criticized as giving out-of-state sellers an advantage. Each year, it becomes further removed from economic reality and ...Read More
A memorial service for the late Gardner Dozois was held at the Friends Center in downtown Philadelphia on July 7, 2018, with attendees including Ginjer Buchanan, Michael Capobianca, Neil Clarke, Jack Dann, John Douglas, Ellen Datlow, Claire Eddy, Scott Edelman, Gregory Frost, Joe & Gay Haldeman, Peter Heck, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessel, Kay McAuley, Shawna McCarthy, Michael Swanwick, Gordon Van Gelder, Janeen Webb, Sheila Williams, and others. Ellen Datlow ...Read More
Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller; Vikas Adam, narrator (Harper Audio and Blackstone Audio 978- 1538497173, $39.99, CD, 10.5 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) April 2018.
After a variety of political and environmental disasters, most of the great nations of the world are either gone or on the verge of collapse. One of the few refuges remaining is Qaanaaq, a city floating on the waters of the Arctic ...Read More
Finalists for the 2018 Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) Small Press Award for Short Fiction have been announced:
- “Probably Still the Chosen One”, Kelly Barnhill (Lightspeed 2/17)
- “Floaters Can’t Float”, Pip Coen (Compelling Science Fiction 4/17)
- “A Vague Inclination to Please”, Brandon Daubs (All Hail Our Robot Conquerers)
- “Oba Oyinbo”, Jonathan Edelstein (Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show 10/17)
- “Through Milkweed and Gloom”, Wendy Nikel (Submerged)
on list Last
month 1) Head On, John Scalzi (Tor) 2 1 2) Noir, Christopher Moore (Morrow) 2 2 3) King of Ashes, Raymond E. Feist (Harper Voyager US) 1 – 4) Artificial Condition, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing) 1 – 5) Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey (Orbit) 5 8 6) Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga) 2 4 7) The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US) 1 ...Read More
The City of Lost Fortunes, Bryan Camp (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 978-1-328-81079-3 $24.00, 367pp, hc) April 2018.
If Neil Gaiman wrote a post-Katrina novel about New Orleans, it just might be The City of Lost Fortunes. It’s stuffed with more-than-meets-the-mortal-eye cityscapes (Neverwhere), immortal schemes and meddling (American Gods), and historical myth and meaning (Norse Mythology). Although many of the novel’s fantasy elements are relatively familiar, the gumbo made from them by ...Read More
Tim Powers’ novel Alternate Routes, Jo Walton’s An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000, Martha Wells’ Rogue Protocol, Nebula Awards Showcase 2018 edited by Jane Yolen, and other titles by RJ Barker, John Dixon, Nicky Drayden, L. Timmel Duchamp, V.M. Escalada, Rachel Fellman, Eric Flint, Laurell K. Hamilton, Mercedes Lackey et al, Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro, Dale Lucas, Ari Marmell, Mary ...Read More
Dragon Con has announced the ballot for the 2018 Dragon Awards. Voting is open to the public at the Dragon Awards website; registration for voting is open until August 31, 2018, 11:59PM (EDT). Winners will be announced at Dragon Con, held August 30 – September 3, 2018 in Atlanta GA.
Best Science Fiction Novel
- Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Mutineer’s Daughter, Chris Kennedy &
Melissa Caruso, The Defiant Heir (Orbit US 978-0-316-46690-5, $15.99, 515pp, tp) April 2018. Cover by Crystal Ben.
The second volume in the Swords & Fire fantasy trilogy finds Lady Amalia scrambling to stop a war with the Witch Lords of Vaskandar. Meanwhile, someone is killing Falconers and the magic-wielding Falcons they control, and reluctant Falconer Amalia and her powerful fire warlock Zaira are probable targets. Then Amalia meets a Witch ...Read More
The Guardian announced the shortlist for the third annual Guardian and 4th Estate BAME short story prize, which offers “a chance to win £1,000, an exclusive one‑day publishing workshop and a taste of online publication.” The six authors shortlisted are Savannah Burney, Jason Deelchand, Kit Fan, Gurnaik Johal, Yiming Ma, and Varaidzo, and include short stories of genre interest.
“The prize is open to all black, Asian, minority ethnic writers ...Read More
John Teehan announced August 1, 2018 via Facebook that the SFWA Bulletin will no longer publish in print:
End of an era. As production manager and occasional editor, I worked on 56 issues over 15 some odd years. The SFWA Bulletin is now going digital, and the current issue is the last print one I’ll be involved with. It was a great run—one of the best gigs ever. Had some ...Read More
“Dragon’s Hand” by David VonAllmen won the fifth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award, announced at the Writer’s Symposium during Gen Con, August 4, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis IN. Second place went to “Deny the World with a Thought” by Benjamin Scott Farthing and third place went to “The Lady of Pain” by Steve DuBois.
Other nominees were:
- “Spun of Salt and Stone”, Deborah L. Davitt
Readercon 29 was held July 12-15, 2018, in Quincy MA. Guests of honor were Ken Liu and Nisi Shawl; E. Nesbit was the memorial guest of honor. There were an estimated 740 attendees over the entire weekend. The focus of Readercon is “imaginative literature” – literary science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their intersections. Programming was, as always, carefully organized and curated, with topics ranging from casual book-club style discussions to ...Read More
The Locus Awards were held June 22-24, 2018 at the Best Western Executive Inn in balmy Seattle for the thirteenth consecutive year. Connie Willis was MC, with Daryl Gregory presenting the awards. Willis and Yoon Ha Lee taught the Locus Writers workshops that book-ended the weekend. Attendance numbered 150. Events kicked off Friday with readings by Willis and Lee, followed by a Clarion West-hosted party in honor of first-week instructor ...Read More