Seanan McGuire: Out of Sync

Seanan McGuire was born January 5, 1978 in Martinez CA. She studied folklore and herpetology at the University of California, Berkeley.

She has worked as a phone sex operator, a technical support engineer, an exotic animal rescuer, a process engineer for communications company SBC, and a quality assurance engineer for a non-profit. She now writes full time.

McGuire’s debut novel Rosemary and Rue (2009) launched her October Daye urban fantasy ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe reviews Quillifer by Walter Jon Williams

Quillifer, Walter Jon Williams (Saga 978-1-4814-8997-3, $27.99, 544pp, hc) October 2017.

In one of Donald Barthelme’s funnier stories, a hapless would-be writer finds that one of the questions on the National Writer’s Examination (“a five-hour fifty-minute examination, for his certificate”) involves recognizing at least four archaic words for sword. On the basis of his new novel Quillifer, Walter Jon Williams would get that certificate with flying colors. His vocabulary of ...Read More

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Rich Horton reviews Infinite Stars by Bryan Thomas Schmidt, ed.

Infinite Stars, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, ed. (Titan 9781785655937, $24.95, 688pp, hc) Oc­tober 2017.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s new anthol­ogy Infinite Stars is a big collection of space opera stories, split roughly evenly between reprints and originals. The reprints serve to some extent as an introduction to the subgenre, with examples from such classic series as Cordwainer Smith’s Instrumentality of Man­kind, Anne McCaffrey’s Ship Who Sang books, Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, ...Read More

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Rachel Swirsky reviews Six Months, Three Days, Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders

Six Months, Three Days, Five Others, Charlie Jane Anders ( 9781250099068, $12.99, 185pp, tp) October 2017.

Charlie Jane Anders is ridiculously bril­liant.

Yes, this is going to be one of those reviews, full of glowing praise. Six Months, Three Days, Five Others collects six stories by Charlie Jane Anders, all edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden for Although some are better than others, they’re all good reads.

Anders’s unique humor ...Read More

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Audible Best of 2017

Audible has announced their Best of the Year: 2017 lists, selected by their editorial team from “over a thousand titles that received high ratings and reviews.” Among titles noted are several of genre interest:

Editors’ Picks:

  • You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir, Sherman Alexie (Hachette)
  • Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (Random House)
  • The Changeling, Victor LaValle (Random House)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Random House)


Fiction ...Read More

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Shimmer Program For Chinese Fans

Storycom has again set up the Shimmer Program to encourage “2 active Chinese fans” to attend the 76th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose CA on August 16-20, 2018. The two selected individuals will each receive RMB 10,000 to cover travel expenses with the idea that “the beneficiaries should also volunteer to work for Worldcon 76 and promise to take active ...Read More

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E. Lily Yu Wins 2017 Gar LaSalle Award

E. Lily Yu is the 2017 recipient of the Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award. Established and funded by LaSalle, and awarded through a partnership with Artist Trust, the award recognizes “outstanding work by an established or emerging author of fiction based in Washington State” and comes with a $10,000 grant. Prior recipients are Peter Mountford and Anca Szilágyi.

For more information, see the official Gar LaSalle website. ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe reviews Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi

Tool of War, Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown 978-0-316-22083-5, $17.99, 378pp, tp) October 2017.

Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker trilogy, which concludes with Tool of War, began as a disturbing ecological fable of young people trying to survive by mining ruined oil tankers for copper and other resources in a devastated southeastern US, mostly around New Orleans, then moved to an almost equally devastated DC area in The Drowned Cities. Over the ...Read More

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2017 Goodreads Choice Awards

Winners of the 2017 Goodreads Choice awards for the “best books of 2017” as chosen by users of the site, were announced December 5, 2017. There are several winners of genre interest:

Best Historical Fiction
  • Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate (Ballantine) 29,431 votes

Best Science Fiction

  • Artemis, Andy Weir (Crown) 33,957 votes

Best Fantasy

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, J.K. Rowling (Levine) 92,611 votes
...Read More Read more

Adrienne Martini reviews The Stone in the Skull by Elizabeth Bear

The Stone in the Skull, Elizabeth Bear (Tor 978-07-6538-0135, $27.99, 368pp, hc). October 2017. Cover by Richard Anderson.

Full disclaimer: I haven’t read Elizabeth Bear’s first trilogy set in the Eternal Sky world (Range of Ghosts, etc.) but am also not sure it matters. While I’m sure a read­ing of The Stone in the Skull would be enhanced by knowing about this world before dropping into it, that knowledge is ...Read More

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2018 World Fantasy Awards Judges Announced

The judges for the 2018 World Fantasy Awards have been empaneled. All forms of fantasy qualify. Only living authors and editors are eligible. All books must have a 2017 publication date, and all magazines, a 2017 cover date.

The judges will read and consider eligible materials between now and June 1, 2018 (the earlier, the better). To be considered for awards, all materials must be received by all five judges ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Fear, Procrastination, and the Thorny Problem of Demanding What You’re Worth

Fear often masks itself as procrastination.

I’ve been thinking about that statement more as I turn on my computer every morning and stare at my list of tasks for the day, the week, the month, the year. On top of my writing career, I have a full-time job in advertising, and that’s gotten tougher to balance year-over-year. Our time is finite. Jobs eat a lot of it. Once, I would ...Read More

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Stefan Dziemianowicz reviews Haunted Nights by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton, eds.

Haunted Nights, Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton, eds. (Blumhouse/Anchor 978-1-101-97383-7, $16.95, 368pp, tp) October 2017.

In the horror field it’s pretty much a given that every writer has at least one good Halloween story up his or her sleeve. Haunted Nights, edited by Ellen Datlow & Lisa Morton under the auspices of the Horror Writers Association, is an anthology of 16 previously unpublished stories on the Halloween theme that bears ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor reviews Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Wild Beauty, Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel and Friends 978-1-250-12455-5, $17.99, 352pp, hc) October 2017.

Entering into the lush, gorgeous garden of writ­ing that infuses Anna-Marie McLemore’s Wild Beauty, readers are lulled into thinking that what lies before them is a diversionary romance with moments of peril neatly inserted into a plot whose happily-ever-after ending is pre-ordained from the start. This, of course, is probably what McLemore wants readers to think; how ...Read More

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Roberts Awarded SLF Grants

Erin Roberts is the recipient of the 2017 Diverse Writers Grant (for new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups) and the Diverse Worlds Grant (for work that best presents a diverse world, regardless of the writer’s background), given by the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF). Each grant is for $500 and is intended “to foster the creation of speculative fiction work rich in diversity.”

Winners are chosen by a ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe reviews Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crow­ley

Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, John Crow­ley (Saga 978-1-4814-9559-2, $28.99, 464pp, hc) October 2017.

Toward the end of John Crowley’s aston­ishing new novel Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, the immortal crow of the title asks a Coyote what they have ever got from the humans whose world has encroached upon and finally displaced their own, and the Coyote responds, “Stories…. We’re made of stories ...Read More

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Issue 683 Table of Contents, December 2017

The December issue features interviews with Seanan McGuire and Mike Allen, a column by Kameron Hurley, an obituary for Gregory Bernard Banks, reports from World Fantasy Convention and ICon, a special feature on Borderlands Books 20th Anniversary, and reviews of short fiction and books by Rivers Solomon, Louise Erdrich, S.A. Chakraborty, Ken MacLeod, and many others.

Email Locus before ordering print issues.


Table of Contents

December 2017 • ...Read More

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Gomoll Wins 2017 Rotsler Award

Jeanne Gomoll is the winner of the 2017 Rotsler Award for “long-time artistic achievement in amateur publications of the science fiction community.” The award was announced during Loscon 44 in Los Angeles CA, November 24-26, 2017.

The award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, and includes an honorarium of $300. The Rotsler judges are Mike Glyer, John Hertz, and Sue Mason. ...Read More

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Liz Bourke reviews Horizon by Fran Wilde

Horizon, Fran Wilde (Tor Books 978-0765377876, $27.99, 416pp, hc). September 2017. Cover by Tommy Arnold.

Fran Wilde’s Horizon marks the end of her Bone Universe books – at least for now. Hori­zon follows last year’s Cloudbound and 2015’s award-winning Updraft for a strong conclusion to this powerful trilogy about bone towers, social upheaval, and building the kind of society you want to live in.

Updraft was a novel about uncovering ...Read More

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Russell Letson reviews Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction by James Gunn

Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction, James Gunn (McFarland 978-1-4766-7026-3, $25.00, 209pp, tp) November 2017. Cover photo by Jason Dailey.

I hope I might be excused for injecting personal notes into a review of James Gunn’s autobiography, Star-Begotten: A Life Lived in Science Fiction. As I read it, I couldn’t help noticing how many times and in how many ways my life in SF was affected by Gunn’s work ...Read More

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Liz Bourke reviews two Tensorate novellas by JY Yang

The Black Tides of Heaven, JY Yang ( Publishing 978-0-7653-9541-2, $3.99, 240pp, tp). September 2017. Cover by Yuko Shimizu.
The Red Threads of Fortune, JY Yang ( Publishing 978-0-7653-9539-9 $3.99, 216pp, tp). September 2017. Cover by Yuko Shimizu.

JY Yang’s first two Tensorate novellas, The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune, provide an interesting contrast to In Evil Times. Although the world the Tensorate novellas are ...Read More

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Russell Letson reviews Provenance by Ann Leckie

Provenance, Ann Leckie (Orbit, 978-0-316-38867-2, $26.00, 393pp, hc) September 2017. Cover by John Harris.

Ann Leckie’s Provenance takes place in the same far future as her Ancillary novels and shares some of that trilogy’s underlying issues: legal versus actual identity and citizenship status; the burdens, benefits, and oddities of cultural artifice or convention; the ways that polities can be subverted or per­verted. But there are no ancillaries or emerg­ing AIs ...Read More

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IMPAC Dublin Award Longlist

The nominations for the 2018 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award longlist have been announced, and include several works and authors of genre interest.

  • The Power, Naomi Alderman (Little, Brown)
  • Moonglow, Michael Chabon (Harper)
  • The Wonder, Emma Donogue (Little, Brown)
  • LaRose, Louise Erdrich (Harper)
  • The Regional Office Is Under Attack!, Manuel Gonzales (Riverhead)
  • Faithful, Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster)
  • Human Acts, Han Kang (Hogarth)
  • Scythe, Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster Books
...Read More Read more

Locus Bestsellers, November 2017

on list Last

1) The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland (Morrow) 3 1 2) Beren and Lúthien, J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 3 4 3) Monster Hunter Siege, Larry Correia (Baen) 1 – 4) Meddling Kids, Edgar Cantero (Doubleday) 1 – 5) The Clockwork Dynasty, Daniel H. Wilson (Doubleday) 1 – 6) The Delirium Brief, Charles Stross ( Publishing) 2 ...Read More Read more

Adrienne Martini reviews The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts

The Real-Town Murders, Adam Roberts (Gollancz 978-14-73221-45-1, £16.99, 234pp, hc). August 2017.

Adam Roberts’s The Real-Town Murders is his version of a locked-room mystery, which is to say, it is both familiar and strange by equal turns. It is also delightful.

What is familiar is the set-up. Alma, a near-future private investigator, is delivered a case about a body found in the trunk of a car. Given that these particular ...Read More

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Faren Miller reviews The Strange Bird by Jeff VanderMeer

The Strange Bird, Jeff VanderMeer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 978-0-374-714932 $2.99, 86pp, eb) July 2017.

Jeff VanderMeer’s short novel The Strange Bird is a spinoff from the novel Borne, with the same background: a wrecked, far-future Earth, now be­ing devastated by techno/magical, quasi-mythic Company Wars. The title character was conjured in a lab where what had been a woman is turned into a creature that’s part avian and capable of ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois reviews Short Fiction

A Flight to the Future, Kathryn Cramer, ed. (XPrize/ANA).
The Best of Subterranean, William Schafer, ed. (Subterranean Press) July 2017.

A Flight to the Future is a multimedia proj­ect edited by Kathryn Cramer (although Eric Desatnik is also listed as “Creator and Producer”). Sponsored by XPrize and the Japanese airline company ANA, A Flight to the Future collects 30 very short stories, many by leading science fiction authors, all working ...Read More

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Liz Bourke reviews In Evil Times by Melinda Snodgrass

In Evil Times, Melinda Snodgrass (Titan 978-1-7832-9584-5, $14.95, 400pp, pb). July 2017. Cover by Alex Ronald.

I wanted to have good things to say about In Evil Times, sequel to Melinda Snodgrass’s The High Ground (2016). Instead, I found reading it to be a very alienating experience. This is not, I hasten to add, because of any insufficiency in Snodgrass’s prose or skill as a novelist. Rather, it’s because of ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe reviews A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan El­lison by Nat Segaloff

A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan El­lison, Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press 978-1610373234, $35.00, 416pp, hc) July 2017.

For decades, people (myself included) have asked Harlan Ellison when he might get around to writing an autobiography, bringing together in one volume those voluminous anecdotes and memoirs that have peppered his speeches, introductions, and essays almost since his first story collections and conven­tion appearances. His response, at least when I ...Read More

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Faren Miller reviews The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

The Last Magician, Lisa Maxwell (Simon Pulse 978-1-4814-3207-8, $18.99, 500pp, hc) July 2017. Cover by Craig Howell & Cliff Nielsen.

The Last Magician is billed as YA and its chief protagonist is a girl in her late teens, but Lisa Maxwell doesn’t write down or pull many punches. Only after reviewing Belcher did I notice how the dialog sidesteps around Anne Bonny’s favorite word, while allowing an occasional “shit.” Although ...Read More

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Spotlight on Andy Weir, Author

Photo by Aubrie Pick

Andy Weir was first hired as a program­mer for a national laboratory at age 15 and has been work­ing as a software en­gineer ever since. He is also a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of sub­jects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. First novel The Martian was a bestseller and was adapted as a popular feature film. New novel ...Read More

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