Paula Guran Reviews Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

Night of the Mannequins, Stephen Graham Jones (Tor.com Publishing 978-1-250-75207-9, $11.99, 138pp, tp) July 2020.

Stephen Graham Jones often takes readers into the minds of children and teens. Their fictional brains respond to consensus reality in ways that reflect convincing realities others can’t see. The results of these quirky points of view fuel plots that prove unsettling. His latest novella, Night of the Mannequins, is deeply disturbing. Sawyer, ...Read More

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2020 Edge Hill Short Story Prize Longlist

The 12-title longlist for the 2020 Edge Hill Prize for Short Story has been announced, including the following titles and authors of genre interest.

  • Salt Slow, Julia Armfield (Picador)
  • Things We Say in the Dark, Kirsty Logan (Vintage)
  • Sudden Traveller, Sarah Hall (Faber)

The £10,000 prize is given to “a single-authored collection of short stories” by writers born or residing in the UK or Ireland. Judges for ...Read More

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COVID-19 SF/F Event Cancellations as of 7/10/2020

Numerous upcoming conventions and literary events have been postponed or canceled as part of efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes respiratory illness COVID-19. The situation remains in flux as the full extent of the pandemic remains to be seen. We will update this story and our convention listing with further information about cancellations and postponements as it becomes available.

  • Readercon 31, scheduled for July 9-12,
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2020 Prometheus Awards Winners

The Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS) has announced the winner of the 2020 Prometheus Award for Best Novel, honoring works published in 2019 that “examine the meaning of freedom.”

Best Novel Award

  • WINNER: Alliance Rising, C. J. Cherryh & Jane S. Fancher (DAW)
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Random House; Nan A. Talese)
  • Ruin’s Wake, Patrick Edwards (Titan)
  • Luna: Moon Rising, Ian McDonald (TOR)
  • Ode to Defiance,
...Read More Read more

Carolyn Cushman Reviews Knife Children and The Orphans of Raspay by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold, Knife Children (Spectrum Literary Agency) 2019. (Subterranean Press 978-1-59606-954-1, $25.00, 208pp, hc) February 2020. Cover by Ryan Pentacoast.

Bujold’s latest two novellas finally out in print both involve grown men taking care of girls, but otherwise the tales are quite different. Knife Children adds to the Sharing Knife series, picking up with Barr, a young scapegrace Lakewalker from the original series, now a 33-year-old patroller back from ...Read More

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Whitehead Wins Orwell Prize for Political Fiction

Colson Whitehead has won the 2020 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction for his book The Nickel Boys (Doubleday). Given by The Orwell Foundation, the prize recognizes “outstanding novels and collections of short stories first published in the UK that illuminate major social and political themes, present or past, through the art of narrative.”

The judges for 2020 were Tom Gatti, Jude Kelly (chair), Sarah Shaffi, and Matthew Sperling. Winners receive ...Read More

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Online Hugo Voting Open

CoNZealand has announced that online voting for “the 2020 Hugo Awards, the 2020 Lodestar and Astounding Awards, and the 1945 Retrospective Hugo Awards” is now open.

Members can access their ballots logging in to https://members.conzealand.nz. For more information, including voting eligibility and a complete list of Hugo finalists, visit the CoNZealand website.

The voting deadline has been extended to July 22, 2020 at 23:59 PDT. For more information on the ...Read More

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2020 Wellman Award Shortlist

The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2020 Manly Wade Wellman Award. The award recognizes “outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors.”

  • Where Oblivion Lives, T. Frohock (Harper Voyager)
  • The Women’s War, Jenna Glass (Del Rey)
  • The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher (Saga)
  • Breaking Gods, D.J. Molles (self-published)
  • To the Bones, Valerie Nieman (West Virginia
...Read More Read more

Carolyn Cushman Reviews Voodoo Shanghai by Kristi Charish and Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers

Kristi Charish, Voodoo Shanghai (Vintage Canada 978-0-345-81592-7, $14.95, 415pp, tp) February 2020.

In this third volume in the Kincaid Strange urban fantasy/mystery series, the Seattle voodoo practitioner is getting tired of being pushed around by the local cops (one her ex-boyfriend) and her new uber-cranky ghost-boss, the sorcerer Gideon Lawrence, who’s teaching her new ways to use mirrors to manage ghosts. Then there’s the Singaporean family whose spoiled teenage daughter ...Read More

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2020 Heinlein Scholarship Recipients

Winners of the Heinlein Society’s annual undergraduate scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year were announced July 7, 2020. This year’s winners are Charles Hanson, Tulla Bee Picardi, and Samantha Townsend. The scholarship awards $2,500 to each recipient.

Townsend received the Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship, which is dedicated to female candidates majoring in engineering, math, or science. Picardi received the Dr. Jerry Pournelle Memorial Scholarship, and Hanson received the Dr. Yoji ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

All the Stars and Teeth, Adalyn Grace (Imprint 978-1-250-30778-1, $17.99, 384pp, hc) February 2020.

Adalyn Grace opens All the Stars and Teeth on a day of great importance for her protagonist, Princess Amora Montara. The princess is about to participate in her ‘‘performance,’’ the event during which she will prove herself worthy of the crown of Visidia. As Amora goes about her day in the early chapters, readers learn ...Read More

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2021 ConFusion Registration Open

ConFusion EasterCon has launched a new website and is now open for 2021 registration, with an adult attending membership rate of £70.

The convention will be held April 2-5, 2021, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, Birmingham, UK. Guests of honor will be Dan Abnett, Dave Lally, and Nik Vincent. Planned events include workshops, an art show, book signings, and a teen lounge. ConFusion 2021 hopes to “make up for 2020 ...Read More

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Evans Wins CrimeFest Award

Kathryn Evans has won the 2020 CrimeFest Award for Best Crime Novel for Young Adults for her novel Beauty Sleep (Usborne). The award “is for the best crime novel for young adults (aged 12-16) first published in the United Kingdom in 2019.”

Winners receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award and were announced July 7, 2020 on the CrimeFest website and social media pages. “Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, ...Read More

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New Copyright Registration Rules

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced that “the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a new copyright registration rule that will allow authors to register up to fifty short textual works published online for a single flat fee.”

SFWA worked with the National Writers Union, Horror Writers Association, and American Society of Journalists and Authors to request this change starting in January 2017. The new rule will ...Read More

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StokerCon UK Becomes ChillerCon UK

StokerCon UK has announced that it will be renamed ChillerCon UK and transfer to a new website, which will go live in the next few days. The convention will be held January 28-31, 2021 in Scarborough UK. The Ann Radcliffe Academic Conference and Stoker Awards ceremony will no longer take place at the convention, though there will still be a banquet.

For more information, including how to reassign convention memberships, ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer

A Peculiar Peril, Jeff VanderMeer (Macmillan/ Farrar, Straus, Giroux 978-0-374-30886-5, $19.99, 656pp, hc) July 2020.

Jeff VanderMeer’s relationship with the Lambhead family goes back to 2003 when he and Mark Roberts co-edited The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, a compendium of weird and wonderful ailments, featuring well over 30 entries (and illustrations) from authors as diverse as Neil Gaiman, Jeffrey Ford, L. ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Oasis, Katya De Becerra (Imprint 978-1-250- 12426-5, $17.99, 302pp, hc) January 2020.

Oasis begins as a traditional set-up for a teen drama involving a small group of somewhat wealthy kids off on a summer adventure/vacation. Alif and her four friends are flying from Australia to Dubai, where they will join her father’s desert archeological dig as student interns. It is, Alif is certain, the summer where she will ‘‘rediscover’’ ...Read More

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SF In India: Webinar on Science Fiction in India

It is universally acknowledged that life is para­lyzed due to pandemic spread of COVID-19. The effect encompassed every sector of soci­ety, and was not restricted any particular gender, class, age, region, race, religion and others. For the first time, a worldwide pan­demic has affected homo sapiens. Every government, voluntary organization, police, military, medical community, and essential service sector must be thanked for their timely, selfless services, which could speed up ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Full Employment

I am an AI skeptic. I am baffled by anyone who isn’t.

I don’t see any path from continuous improvements to the (admittedly impressive) ”machine learning” field that leads to a general AI any more than I can see a path from continuous improvements in horse-breeding that leads to an internal combustion engine.

Not only am I an AI skeptic, I’m an automation-employment-crisis skeptic. That is, I believe that even ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Virtue and Vengeance, Tomi Adeyemi (Holt 978-1-25017-099-6, $19.99, 416pp, hc) December 2019.

Déjà vu wracks the reading experience in Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the second novel in Tomi Adeyemi’s wildly successful Legacy of Orïsha series. That’s because it’s basically the same story as Children of Blood and Bone: the characters must recover sacred artifacts, defeat a corrupt and fascist leader, and unite despite their ...Read More

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Ian Mond and Paula Guran Review Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey 978-0-5256-207-85, $27.00, 320pp, hc) July 2020.

Noemí Taboada is a flighty but intelligent young socialite in 1950 Mexico City. Perhaps she’s growing out of her capriciousness, though. She seems focused on a career in anthropology and is determined to live up to family duty and her father’s trust. Her recently married cousin Catalina has written Noemí’s father a distressing letter stating her husband ...Read More

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Publishing News

What if you held a book fair, but nobody came? The annual Frankfurt Book Fair is still scheduled for October 2020 (albeit at a smaller than usual scale), but Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Lagardere Publishing, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and numerous smaller publishers have announced that they will not attend or exhibit, though many plan to take part in the fair’s virtual activities. Although Canada is the “guest of ...Read More

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Rowling Controversy

J.K. Rowling sparked controversy with remarks she made in June regarding trans people. In a tweet June 6, she tweeted about an article headlined “Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate,” saying, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” She went on to say, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews American Demon by Kim Harrison and Spells for the Dead by Faith Hunter

Kim Harrison, American Demon (Ace 978-0- 593-10141-4, $28.00, 473pp, hc) June 2020. Cover by Chris McGrath.

Rachel Morgan’s back in the Hollows for her 14th novel in the series, set before the happily-ever- after epilogue in the previous volume. She’s been outed as a demon and blamed for letting the demons free, the old church that was her home and office is unliveable, her living vampire housemate Ivy seems to ...Read More

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WisCon 44 Report

WisCon 44 was scheduled for May 22-25, 2020 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison WI, with Rebecca Roanhorse and Yoon Ha Lee as guests of honor. Because of the CO­VID-19 pandemic, the convention was converted to a virtual event, their first “all-online con,” held on the same dates, with additional events on the evening of the 21st. Roanhorse attended virtually, but Lee was unable to take part.

There were 1,084 ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Unbecoming by Lesley Wheeler

Unbecoming, Lesley Wheeler (Aqueduct 978-1-61976-167-4, $18.00, 236pp, tp) May 2020.

Lesley Wheeler is an accomplished poet and a named professor at Washington and Lee, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that her first novel is peppered with striking language (“She was already a ghost of linen and warm air”; kids “flock and wheel”) and shrewd portraits of some familiar denizens of academia. Wheeler’s major previous venture into fantasy, ...Read More

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CoNZealand Hugo Voting Deadline Extended

CoNZealand has announced on twitter that they plan to make online Hugo voting available by July 8, 2020 latest. To account for the delay, they are extending the voting deadline to July 22, 2020.

Mail and email ballots will also be accepted if they are received before the deadline, but voters are strongly encouraged to wait for the online voting system to open at this point. A fillable pdf has ...Read More

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2020 SF&F Hall of Fame Inductees

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) announced the 2020 inductees to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame: short story writer Ted Chiang, Star Trek writer D.C. Fontana, the Star Wars movie series, and the Hugo Award-winning graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore, illustrated by Dave Gibbons. The inductees will be included in the SF&F Hall of Fame display later this year.

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame was ...Read More

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2020 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Finalists

Finalists for the seventh annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award have been announced:

  • “Hero”, L.R. Braden
  • “The Strength of Summer Storms”, Evey Brett
  • “Humanslayer”, Scott Huggins
  • “A Hole in the Gut”, M.T. Kadisin
  • “From Darkest Depths”, Sean CW Korsgaard
  • “The Power”, Stephen Lawson
  • “Gently They Took What Was Hers”, Amanda J. Lee
  • “Who Will Know?”, Scott R. Parkin
  • “The Chilling Account of the Wolf-Bann of Krallenburg”, J.E. Tabor
  • “Seidh”, Morgan Welch
...Read More Read more

Paula Guran Reviews Londonia by Kate A. Hardy

Londonia, Kate A. Hardy (Tartarus Press 978-1-912586-19-6, £35.00, 405pp, hc) April 2020.

Kate A. Hardy’s London of 2072 in Londonia is divided into two worlds. In the Cincture (hyper-center of old London Town, also called the Egg), the elite live a more-than-comfortable, mostly frivolous life, protected from the harsh realities of dire post-apocalyptic weather and a hand-to-mouth existence. Londonia (also known as The Pan), where life is nasty, brutish, ...Read More

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Rudolfo Anaya (1937-2020)

Writer Rudolfo Anaya, 82, died June 28, 2020 at home in Albuquerque NM after a long illness. Anaya was a major Chicano writer, best known for his debut Bless Me, Ultima (1972), adapted as a film in 2013. His work occasionally had genre elements, notably in his Sonny Baca mystery series: Zia Summer (1995), Rio Grande Fall (1996), Shaman Winter (1999), and Jemez Spring (2005). Mystery Curse of the ChupaCabra ...Read More

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2020 SFWA Nebula Conference

The 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference morphed mid-COVID from an in-person conference into an impressive online event, held May 29-31, 2020. There were 808 members from 33 countries, a record, up from 2019’s record-breaking 475 registered members.

Online programming began before the event proper on May 23, with a Mentorship Meeting, pairing experienced congoers with newer attendees, and the Nebula Finalist Reception. Weekend programming focused on industry-relevant topics, such as “Too ...Read More

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