World Fantasy Convention 2020 Goes Online

The World Fantasy Convention (WFC) has announced that this year’s WFC, scheduled for October 29 – November 1, 2020 in Salt Lake City, will be held as an entirely virtual event.

Plans have already begun to transition many of the traditional physical experiences you’ve come to expect from World Fantasy Convention. We’ll be ironing out the details in the coming months, but we hope to provide a variety of online ...Read More

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2020 Colorado Book Awards Winners

Winners for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards include the following titles of genre interest.

Science Fiction/Fantasy

  • WINNER: An Illusion of Thieves, Cate Glass (Tor)
  • Denver Moon, Book II: The Saint of Mars, Warren Hammond & Joshua Viola (Hex)
  • The Blood of Seven, Claire L. Fishback (Dark Doorways)
  • The Legend of Carl Draco, Gary Reilly (Running Meter)


  • WINNER: Rise: An Anthology of Change, Northern Colorado
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Kameron Hurley: It’s OK if this Email Finds You Well

It’s perfectly fine if you’re doing okay right now.

The odds are against it, but it’s absolutely all right to answer ‘‘How are you?’’ with ‘‘I’m… okay?’’ Because at some point, each of us will complete the five or seven stages of grief that accompany slow-moving crises and pandemics and disasters like the one currently sweeping the globe, and we will carry on.

Humans are resilient creatures, to both our ...Read More

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New Zealand Queen’s Birthday Honours

The New Zealand Cabinet Office published the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list on June 1, 2020.

Writer Elizabeth Knox was appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature, and filmmaker Taika Waititi was appointed Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film.

For more information, see the complete list.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with ...Read More

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2020 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire Winners

The winners for the 2020 Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, honoring the best SF/F work published in France in 2019, have been announced:

French Novel

  • WINNER: Les Furtifs, Alain Damasio (La Volte)
  • Vie™, Jean Baret (Le Bélial’)
  • Le Chant mortel du soleil, Franck Ferric (Albin Michel)
  • Les Machines fantômes, Olivier Paquet (L’Atalante)

Foreign Novel

  • WINNER: Vita Nostra, Marina & Sergey Dyachenko (L’Atalante)
  • Trop semblable à l’éclair
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32nd Annual Lambda Awards Winners

The Lambda Literary Foundation has announced the winners of the 32nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”), celebrating “the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books.” Titles of genre interest follow.


  • WINNER: The Deep, Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
  • Stories to Sing in the Dark, Matthew Bright (Lethe)
  • The Rampant, Julie C. Day (Aqueduct)
  • A Spectral Hue, Craig Laurance
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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Comet Weather by Liz Williams

Comet Weather, Liz Williams (NewCon Press 978-1-912950-46-1, $15.99, 306pp, tp) March 2020.

Comet Weather, Liz Williams’s first novel in several years, is an absolutely lovely tale of an attractive if troubled family in contemporary Somerset and their increasingly hazardous interactions with the world of faerie. I suppose it falls into the broad tradition of what we might call English rural gothic, reaching all the way back through Diana ...Read More

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COVID-19 SF/F Event Cancellations as of 6/1/2020

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.

  • The 32nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards
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Issue 713 Table of Contents, June 2020

The June 2020 issue of Locus has interviews with Madeline Ashby and Tobias S. Buckell. The issue lists US and UK forthcoming books titles through March 2021. News covers the BSFA winners, the Apex relaunch, continued Covid-19 cancellations, the Aurora Awards ballot, SFWA election results, bookstore news, the print sales rebound, and much more. The column by Kameron Hurley is entitled “It’s OK if ...Read More

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Uncle Hugo’s Bookstore Burned Down in Riots

Uncle Hugo’s, the oldest independent science fiction and fantasy bookstore in the US founded in 1974, burned down during the recent riots protesting police brutality and racism in the wake of the shocking death of George Floyd during a police arrest in Minneapolis. As of May 30, at least 250 businesses across the Twin Cities had been damaged or destroyed. Some, including Uncle Hugo’s, were destroyed completely by fire or ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Gods & Lies: Season 1 by Elizabeth Vail

Gods & Lies: Season 1, Elizabeth Vail; Cary Hite & Sarah Mollo-Christensen, narrators (Serial Box, $9.99, 7 episodes, digital download, 5.5 hr., un­abridged) November-December 2019.

Serial Box continues to fuel my love for SF/F buddy-cop dramas with this slightly predictable yet incredibly adorable romantic mystery mini-series.

Set in a modern city in an alternate world where the gods take an active role among mortals, Justix Iris Tharro, priestess and ...Read More

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2020 Locus Awards Finalists

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the top ten finalists in each category of the 2020 Locus Awards.

Winners will be announced June 27, 2020 at the virtual Locus Awards Weekend; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Additional weekend events include planned author readings and panels with leading authors. Supporting/virtual memberships are available and come with a Locus t-shirt.


  • The City in the Middle of
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Marshall B. Tymn (1937-2020)

SF Scholar Marshall B. Tymn, 82, died May 24, 2020 of pneumonia. Tymn was an essential figure in the field in the ’70s and ’80s, and did much to further the study of SF in academia. He won a Pilgrim Award for lifetime contributions from the Science Fiction Research Association in 1990, and the Robert A. Collins Service Award from the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts in ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

Sensational, Jodie Lynn Zdrok (Tor Teen 978-0-7653-9971-7, $17.99, 336pp, hc) February 2020.

Jodie Lynn Zdrok concludes the adventures of late-19th-century teen reporter Nathalie Baudin with her second book, Sensational. As readers of the first book, Spectacle, will recall, Nathalie has a powerful ability to see the last moments of a murder (courtesy a bit of mad scientist intervention involving her parents before she was born). She has ...Read More

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Penguin Classics Launches Science Fiction Series

Penguin Classics plans to “celebrate science fiction as the essential genre of modern times” with a new series of science fiction classics. Titles launching in August include Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Flatland by Edwin Abbott, and Ten Thousand Light-years from Home by James Tiptree, Jr. Penguin also plans to publish well-known international science fiction translated into English, such as The Hair Carpet Weavers by Andreas Eschbach (Doryl Jensen, translator) ...Read More

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Karp New Simon & Schuster CEO

Jonathan Karp has been named president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, taking over after former president Carolyn Reidy died unexpectedly of a heart attack on May 12. He was promoted from president of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, where he oversaw key books like What Happened by Hillary Clinton, Fear by Bob Woodward, and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. He plans to “continue to build on the strong foundation ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh

Death in Her Hands, Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Press 978-1-984-87935-6, $18.99, 272pp, hc) April 2019.

Vesta Gul (pronounced “like the ocean bird”) is walking her dog, Charlie, through the woods when she finds a note on the ground. The note reads:

Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.

Except there is no body, “no bloodstain. No tangle of ...Read More

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2020 Dalkey Literary Awards Shortlists

The Fire Starters by Jan Carson (Black Swan Ireland) is on the shortlist for the €20,000 Novel of the Year category in the inaugural Dalkey Literary Awards, given by the Dalkey Book Festival. There are also finalists in the €10,000 Emerging Writer category. Winners will be announced June 20, 2020 at a digital awards ceremony.

For more information, including the complete shortlists, see the Dalkey Literary Awards website.

While you ...Read More

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Wagner Wins Lambda Visionary Award

The Lambda Literary Board of Trustees has awarded the 2020 Visionary Award to playwright and author Jane Wagner. The Visionary Award “honors those who, through their achievements and passionate commitment, have contributed to the LGBTQ literary community in significant and tangible ways.” Wagner’s work of genre interest includes The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (1986).

The members of the 2020 Lambda Literary Board of Trustees are ...Read More

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New & Notable Books, May 2020

Max Barry, Providence (Putnam 3/20) Barry min­gles classic SF ideas, touches of satire, and deeply drawn characters in this entertaining SF thriller of war with aliens, a four-man mission sent to fight them, and the realization that their ship – and the people who sent them – are unreliable.


Elizabeth Bear, The Best of Elizabeth Bear (Subterranean 1/20) Bear’s wide-ranging skill is displayed in this collection of 27 stories, ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Analog, Asimov’s, Pulp Literature, and Uncanny

Analog 3-4/20 Asimov’s 3-4/20 Pulp Literature Winter ’20 Uncanny 3-4/20

Analog offers several impressive stories in its March-April issue. Andy Dudak can be counted on for wild ideas, and “Midstrathe Exploding” delivers on that account. Ciaran is a pickpocket in Midstrathe City, which seems mainly known for the weirdly time-shifted explosion that engulfed it 200 years before and is still expanding with its victims frozen inside it. He ...Read More

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2019 Australian Shadows Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2019 Australian Shadows Awards have been announced. The award is given by the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) for “the finest in horror and dark fiction published by an Australasian within the calendar year.”

Best Novel

  • The Flower and the Serpent, Madeleine D’Este (Madeleine D’Este)
  • Shepherd, Catherine Jinks (Text)
  • Fusion, Kate Richards (Hamish Hamilton Australia)

Best Short Fiction

  • “Steadfast Shadowsong”, Matthew R. Davis (
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George R.R. Martin Buys Railroad

George R.R. Martin (and two other investors) have purchased 18 miles of abandoned railway connecting the historic depot in Lamy NM with Santa Fe. He plans to restore the line as a tourist attraction and film shooting venue by 2022.

For more, see Martin’s announcement.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely on reader donations to keep the ...Read More

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New Rowling Book Serialized

J.K. Rowling will publish a new children’s book, The Ickabog, with free chapters appearing online every weekday in 34 installments from May 26 – July 10, 2020.

The complete version will be published in November 2020 by Scholastic in the US and Little, Brown in the UK, with all royalties being donated to “help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the pandemic.”

Rowling is holding an illustration competition for ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs and Bears Behaving Badly by MaryJanice Davidson

Patricia Briggs, Smoke Bitten (Ace 978-0-440-00155-3, $28.00, 342pp, hc) March 2020. Cover by Daniel Dos Santos.

A new foe with a really nasty bite and some creepy magic keeps Mercy busy trying protect friends and family. At the same time, she’s re­ally worried about her mate. Alpha werewolf Adam hasn’t really recovered emotionally from the last big battle, retreating inside himself so far he’s even shut down their mage bond. ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Finna by Nino Cipri

Finna, Nino Cipri ( 978-1-250-24573-1, $14.99, 138pp, tp) February 2020.

I suppose the giant retail emporium has served as a portal into shadowy realms at least since John Col­lier’s “Evening Primrose” almost eighty years ago, but the deliberately labyrinthine layout of IKEA stores seems almost designed for creepy stories – something that Nino Cipri enthusiastically takes advantage of in their novella Finna, which is partly a testy workplace ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats Audiobook by James Patrick Kelly

King of the Dogs, Queen of the Cats, James Patrick Kelly; Stefan Rudnicki, narrator (Skyboat Media 978-1-09413898-5, $12.22, digital download, 2.25 hr., unabridged) January 2020.

Veteran narrator Stefan Rudnicki’s deep, nasal, al­most lugubrious, voice (last appearing in this column in connection with Adam-Troy Castro’s short-story collection My Wife Hates Time Travel, and Other Stories) anchors the more absurd aspects of this no­vella, in which a circus serves as ...Read More

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Free Reads

Numerous authors, editors, and pub­lishers are offering free material for readers stuck in isolation, including several of genre interest.

J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, Audible, Overdrive, Pottermore, and Scholastic launched the “Harry Potter at Home” initiative, making the ebook and audiobook of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone free, and issuing a general read-aloud license for teachers so they can read from the book on video. There are also special activities for ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Audiobooks: An Orc on the Wild Side by Tom Holt and Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City by K.J. Parker

An Orc on the Wild Side, Tom Holt; Ray Sawyer, narrator (Hachette Audio 978-1-47898841-0, $24.98, digital download, 14 hr., unabridged) Sep­tember 2019.

Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, K.J. Parker; Ray Sawyer, narrator (Ha­chette Audio 978-1-54915698-4, $24.98, digital download, 13.25 hr., unabridged) Decem­ber 2019.

In the late 1980s, I fell in love with Tom Holt’s first novel, Expecting Someone Taller, an amusing work that took the ...Read More

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2020 Neukom Award for Playwriting

The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College has awarded the $5,000 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Playwriting to Drive by Deborah Yarchun.

A second-place prize, with a $750 honorarium, was awarded to Override by Elizabeth Keel.

The Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards program was established in 2017 as an open competition to honor and support creative works around speculative fiction. The playwriting award is offered to ...Read More

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Woodson Wins Andersen Award

The International Board on Books for Young People awarded the 2020 Hans Christian Anderson Award to author Jacqueline Woodson. Awarded biyearly, the Hans Christian Anderson Awards “recognize lifelong achievement and are given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children’s literature.” Woodson’s work of genre interest includes Harbor Me (2018) and “The Other Half of Me” in Tomorrowland: Ten Stories about ...Read More

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