Colleen Mondor Reviews Black Light Express by Philip Reeve

Black Light Express, Philip Reeve (Switch Press 978-1630790966, $17.95, 352pp, tp) Au­gust 2017.

Philip Reeve’s absolutely incredible world building again takes center stage in Black Light Express, the sequel to Railhead. The second book picks up soon after the events that brought Railhead to a stunning close, with for­mer thief and unwitting catalyst Zen Starling having fled the Network Empire along with Nova, his android girlfriend. Meanwhile, com­pletely against her ...Read More

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Rachel Swirsky Reviews Madame Zero by Sarah Hall

Madame Zero, Sarah Hall (Custom House 9780062657060, $23.99, 192pp pages, hc) July 2017. Cover by Eugenia Loli.

Madame Zero by Sarah Hall begins with a woman turning into a fox, and ends with one struggling to become herself.

Hall’s collection features nine stories, some speculative and others not. All are invigorated by her literary style of character-driven thematic ex­plorations, written in a witty, mellifluous voice.

“Mrs. Fox”, the story that ...Read More

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Martin Funds Taos Toolbox Scholarship

George R.R. Martin has announced that he will fund a new scholarship for the Taos Toolbox writing workshop, held every summer in Angel Fire NM. The “Terran Award” is intended “to bring an aspiring SF writer from a non-English-speaking country” to the workshop and will cover all tuition and fees (travel and meals not included). “Applicants will need to speak and write in English, but must be from from a ...Read More

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Lovecraft Research Fellowship

The John Hay Library at Brown University has announced the annual S.T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship “for research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.” The fellowship, established by the Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, provides a $1,500 monthly stipend for up to two months of research at the John Hay Library.

For more information, see the Brown University Library website. ...Read More

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Odyssey Workshop Scholarships

The Odyssey Writing Workshop has announced several scholarships available for students attending in 2018.

The Miskatonic Scholarship, funded by George R.R. Martin, covers full tuition, textbook, and housing costs. It will be awarded to a promising new writer of Lovecraftian cosmic horror. The winner will be selected by a panel of three judges.

The Parasite Publications Character Awards, funded by Sara King, will provide three scholarships in the amounts of ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World edited by David Brin & Stephen W. Potts

Chasing Shadows: Visions of Our Coming Transparent World, David Brin & Stephen W. Potts, eds. (Tor) January 2017.

Last month we discussed one grouping that the year’s original SF anthologies naturally falls into: the space opera/mili­tary SF group. The other major group is what we probably could call futurology anthologies, featuring near-future stories that deal with the effect of technological change on society. Many of them concern the reshaping of ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Luminescent Threads: Connections to Oc­tavia E. Butler edited by Alexandra Pierce & Mimi Mondal

Luminescent Threads: Connections to Oc­tavia E. Butler, Alexandra Pierce & Mimi Mondal, eds. (Twelfth Planet 978-1-922-10144-0, $19.99, 434pp, tp) August 2017.

Next to Philip K. Dick, Octavia Butler seems to have developed the most impressive posthumous career of any late 20th century SF writer. Kindred has become a staple of classrooms and commu­nity reading projects; the Carl Brandon Society has named both a scholarship and an award in her honor; ...Read More

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Faren Miller Reviews Corpselight by Angela Slatter

Corpselight, Angela Slatter (Jo Fletcher 978-1-78429-434-2, £13.99, 388pp, tp) July 2017. Cover by Rory Kee.

In Corpselight, second of Angela Slatter’s Verity Fassbinder series, the hybrid Weyrd/Normal heroine and narrator must keep on with urban-fantastical detection (in the screwy mod­ern Australian city she calls “Brisneyland”) while in the later stages of pregnancy. Her physical and mental state is a lot like Cedar’s: awkward, foul-mouthed, nervous, veering be­tween elation and self-doubt ...Read More

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2018 Amazing Book Awards Long List

The Sussex Coast Schools Amazing Book Awards (ABA), the “fastest growing Young Adult Book Awards in the UK,” announced its long list, including the following titles of genre interest.

  • The Hawkweed Prophecy, Irena Brignull (Weinstein)
  • Ink, Alice Broadway (Scholastic UK/Scholastic)
  • Ariadnis, Josh Martin (Quercus)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press/Switch)
  • Re-Made, Alex Scarrow (Macmillan UK)
  • Saint Death, Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook/Orion UK)
  • Contagion, Teri Terry (Orchard)

ABA organizers create the ...Read More

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JY Yang: Energy Systems

JY Yang was born July 12, 1983 in Singapore. They studied molecular biology and worked as a research scientist before becoming a writer for animation and game studios, and they have also worked in journalism and as a science communicator for Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research.

They began publishing stories in the small press in 2011 with “Captain Bells and The Sovereign State of Discordia” in The Ste­ampowered ...Read More

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2018 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees

The 2018 Philip K. Dick Award nominees have been announced:

  • The Book of Etta, Meg Elison (47North)
  • Six Wakes, Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
  • After the Flare, Deji Bryce Olukotun (The Unnamed Press)
  • The Wrong Stars, Tim Pratt (Angry Robot)
  • Revenger, Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
  • Bannerless, Carrie Vaughn (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • All Systems Red, Martha Wells (

The award is presented annually to a distinguished work of science fiction originally published in paperback ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines, Terminal Alliance (DAW 978-0-7564-1274-6, $26.00, 358pp, hc) November 2017. Cover by Daniel Dos Santos.

In a definite departure from his previous humor­ous fantasy novels, Hines’s new novel is military SF. OK, it’s humorous military SF, with zombie janitors. In space. But they’re not your usual sort of zombies, mostly. This first book in the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series is set in a universe where a zombie ...Read More

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World Book Day YA Selections

World Book Day has announced its YA selections for 2018. Titles of genre interest include Fly by Night (Macmillan) by Frances Hardinge and Summoner: The Novice (Square Fish) by Taran Matharu.

The World Book Day organization sends £1 book tokens to schools and libraries in the UK and Ireland, which can be exchanged for free or discounted books from February 26 – March 25, 2018. The 21st annual World Book ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen

The Emerald Circus, Jane Yolen (Tachyon 978-1-61696-273-9, $15.95, 282pp, tp) November 2017.

One of Jane Yolen’s abiding concerns in the hun­dreds of books she’s written or edited has been the ways in which stories and lives shape each other, so it’s not too surprising that her new collection The Emerald Circus begins and ends with actual historical figures, Hans Christian Andersen and Emily Dickinson. In between, we also briefly meet ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews The Wrong Stars by Tim Pratt

The Wrong Stars, Tim Pratt (Angry Robot 978-0857667090, $7.99, 400pp, pb) November 2017. Cover by Paul Scott Canavan.

Bloody hell, but The Wrong Stars is an amazingly good, extremely fun, very satisfying novel. It’s not like Tim Pratt doesn’t have form for fun: as T.A. Pratt, his (sadly underrated) Marla Mason novels packed an ass-kicking amount of fun, and punch, into a short and weird urban fantasy space. But The ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Persuasion, Adaptation, and the Arms Race for Your Attention

Photo by Paula Mariel Salischiker

As we all know, time travelers have to be very careful when they visit the past, because their evolved immune systems allow them to harbor pathogens that the olde timey people are defenseless against. One careless bowel movement, a single badly timed cough, a bit of blood spilled, and whole civilizations are in pandemic peril.

Surviving to the future means adapting to the risks of ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews Strange Music by Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster, Strange Music (Del Rey 978-1-101-96760-7, $27.00, 269pp, hc) Novem­ber 2017.

Pip and Flinx are back on a new adventure, the 15th novel in the series, part of Foster’s overall Humanx Commonwealth universe. Flinx is living quietly on the waterworld of Cachalot when he gets a visit from an old friend who asks him to go to the planet Largess, where a rogue human is not only violating ...Read More

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Faren Miller Reviews Heroes and Villains by Lewis Shiner

Heroes and Villains, Lewis Shiner (Subterra­nean Press 978-1-59606-840-7, $40.00, 318pp, hc) November 2017. Cover by Ken Laager.

Lewis Shiner aptly describes Heroes and Villains (“Three Short Novels and a Fable”) near the end of his brief introduction. Viewed in sequence, tales that “played out like movies in my head as I wrote them” become “a kind of Saturday matinee, starting with a black-and-white newsreel, continuing with a creature feature and ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews The Spark by David Drake

David Drake, The Spark (Baen 978-1-4814-8276-9, $25.00, 337pp, hc) November 2017. Cover by Todd Lockwood.

A young man seeks to become a Champion in this unusual novel mixing Arthuriana with an SF premise, but a definite fantasy feel. This universe appears to be a far future where shattered worlds are joined by a strange Road, the remnants, it seems, of an ancient empire with a degree of civilization and technology ...Read More

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Addison Wins HWA Lifetime Achievement Award

Linda Addison will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Horror Writers Association (HWA).

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually to “individuals whose work has substantially influenced the horror and dark fantasy genres.” Addison is the first recipient “primarily known for poetry, an important part of our field.”  The award will be presented during StokerCon 2018, at the Providence Biltmore in Providence RI, March 1-4, 2018. For more, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle

The Overneath, Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon 978-1-61696-269-2, $15.95, 336pp, tp) November 2017.

Peter S. Beagle’s late career has been something of a marvel, shifting between deeply resonant and apparently autobiographical fictions like “The Rabbi’s Hobby” and “The Rock in the Park” (both in his earlier Tachyon collection Sleight of Hand) with occasional revisits to the greatest-hits territory of The Last Unicorn or The Innkeeper’s Song. His new collection, The Overneath, ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Breach of Containment by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Breach of Containment, Elizabeth Bonesteel (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-241368-0, $16.99, 576pp, tp) October 2017.

Breach of Containment is Elizabeth Bonesteel’s third novel, the latest in her Central Corps series after The Cold Between and Remnants of Trust. Like the rest of Bonesteel’s novels, this is a book I wanted to like more than I did, but a book I enjoyed nonetheless, despite some flaws.

At the end of Remnants of Trust, ...Read More

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John Langan Reviews Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste

Pretty Marys All in a Row, Gwendolyn Kiste (Broken Eye Books 9781940372310, $9.99, 90pp, tp) November 2017.

Gwendolyn Kiste’s recent collection, And Her Smile Will Untether the Universe, was one of the more impressive debuts of the past year, com­bining a graceful style with a striking and original vision. With her new novella, Pretty Marys All in a Row, Kiste tries her hand at a longer form. The result is ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Kevin Hearne, A Plague of Giants (Del Rey 978-0-345-54860-3, $28.99, 616pp, hc) October 2017. Cover by David G. Stevenson & Gene Mollica.

Hearne’s new Seven Kennings series looks to be a considerable departure from his Iron Druid books, set in a fantasy world of varied realms. Each has a special kenning, magic powers that come to a select few: water-based in one land, plant-based in another, while others have pow­ers ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland, eds. (Upper Rubber Boot 9781937794750, $13.99, 255pp, pb) August 2017

Falling into the futurology/climate change category we discussed last month, like David Brin & Stephen W. Potts’s Chasing Shadows, is Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco- Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner & Brontë Christopher Wieland. It’s a bit unclear precisely what ‘‘solarpunk’’ is, or what distinguishes it from ...Read More

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Shatner Receives Canadian Honor

Actor and author William Shatner has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s highest civilian honors, in recognition of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community, and service to the nation. Recipients will be presented with their insignia at Ottawa’s Rideau Hall at a future date. The full list of recipients was released by Governor-General Julie Payette and can be viewed here. ...Read More

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2017 Cybils Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2017 Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) have been announced. Books of genre interest are listed below:

Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novels

  • Pashmina, Nidhi Chanani (First Second)
  • Where’s Halmoni?, Julie Kim (Little Bigfoot)
  • The Dam Keeper, Robert Kondo & Dice Tsutsumi (First Second)
  • Suee and the Shadow, Ginger Ly & Molly Park (Abrams)

Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction

  • A Properly Unhaunted Place, William Alexander (McElderry)
  • Miss Ellicott’s
...Read More Read more

2017 Parsec Awards Winners

Winners for the 2017 Parsec Awards, honoring excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, have been announced:

Best Speculative Fiction Comedy/Parody Podcast

  • WINNER: Star Wars Best in Galaxy Season 3
  • Are You Scared of These Stories?
  • GnomeMatter: Cadavorue & Macoy in 2016
  • Kakos Industries
  • Nerdy Show: Nerdcasting the Multiverse: Thanksgiving Special 
  • Wynabego Warrior The Tale of John Waynnabe

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

  • WINNER: Calliope Writing Coach Podcast
  • Audio Drama
...Read More Read more

Rachel Swirsky Reviews The Beautiful Ones by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia

The Beautiful Ones, Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (Thomas Dunne Books 978-1250099068, $26.99, 323pp, hc) October 2017.

The Beautiful Ones by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia lives up to its title – it’s beautifully written, both in the sentences themselves and the images they create.

Garcia’s historical fantasy is set in Paris-like Loisail, where rich people gather for summers of courtship, parties, and simply being seen. The main character, Antonina, is a rural girl from a ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews Austral by Paul McAuley

Austral, Paul McAuley (Gollancz, 978-1-473-21731-7, £14.99, 276pp, tp) October 2017.

As I was preparing this piece, virtual-paging through 26 years’ worth of reviews of Paul McAuley’s work, I recognized (again) how his stories refuse to drop neatly into single categories – they like to squirm out of whatever boxes they’re stuffed into and find their own shapes. What remains stable is the sharp ob­servation of each imagined world, whether it’s ...Read More

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