2018 Desmond Elliott Prize Longlist

The Desmond Elliott Prize longlist for “a first novel written in English and published in the UK,” by an author whose permanent residence is in the UK or Ireland, has been announced. Among ten titles listed, two are of genre interest:

  • How to be Human, Paula Cocozza (Hutchinson)
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, Imogen Hermes Gowar (Harvill Secker)

The winning title will be selected by a panel of three judges ...Read More

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John Langan Reviews She Said Destroy by Nadia Bulkin

She Said Destroy, Nadia Bulkin (Word Horde 978-1-9399-05-33-8, $16.99, 264pp, tp) August 2017.

“Intertropical Convergence Zone”, the opening story in Nadia Bulkin’s strong debut collection, She Said Destroy, details the efforts of a general to gain the abilities that will enable him to rule his native country. In consultation with a local shaman, he consumes a succession of objects, each of which grants him a new power. By the story’s ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews Phoresis by Greg Egan

Phoresis, Greg Egan (Subterranean 978-1-59606-866-7, $40.00, 163pp, hc) April, 2018.

Greg Egan’s Phoresis is, at around 40,000 words, a long novella and close to the same length as many of the mass-market, full-length paperback novels I grew up on. Into that relatively small space Egan has packed the story of several multiple-generation, low-tech engineering projects that range from geoengineering to interplanetary exploration and colonization, while also creating an exotic planetary ...Read More

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Penthouse Files for Bankruptcy

Penthouse Global Media, publisher of adult magazine Pent­house and the recently relaunched science fiction and fact magazine OMNI, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2018. The company formed in 2016 when CEO Kelly Holland acquired the Penthouse assets in a management buyout. The company revived OMNI last year, with Pamela Weintraub as editor-in-chief and Ellen Datlow as fiction editor. The Winter 2017 issue appeared in late 2017, and was ...Read More

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When It Was 2017, It Was a Very Good Year, by Graham Sleight

I’ve been writing these year-end summations for over a decade now, and I find it hard to think of a year when there’s been more really good science fiction and fantasy to record. (Of course, I’ve also read a few duds – omitted below – but then that’s always the case.) I’m not sure why 2017 has seen so many strong books. There aren’t many unifying themes across the works ...Read More

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Gardner Dozois Reviews Clarkesworld

Clarkesworld 6/17, 7/17, 8/17, 9/17, 10/17, 11/17, 12/17

The last half of the year was uneven for Clarkes­world; while a few of the issues were unexciting, they also published some of the year’s best stories along the way.

The June Clarkesworld was another good issue, with three strong stories, “My Dear, Like the Sky and Stars and Sun” by Julia K. Patt, which follows the owner of a shop that ...Read More

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New & Notable Books, March 2018

Nick Harkaway, Gnomon (Knopf 1/18) The world of Gnomon is the ultimate panopticon surveillance state, with every word and action recorded, and the overarching authority of the System can even access the memories and thoughts of its citizens. When an alleged dissident dies during an interrogation, a state inspector delves into the victim’s mind, and discovers impossible memories of various lives… and a cipher that could reveal world-altering secrets. Harkaway ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Above the Timberline by Gregory Manchess

Above the Timberline, Gregory Manchess (Saga 978-1-4814-5923-5, $29.99, unpaginated, hc) October 2017. Cover by Gregory Manchess.

Master artist Gregory Manchess’s fiction debut is a fascinating combination of art and storybook. Above the Timber­line is an illustrated tale of adventure that verges on a painterly graphic novel or movie treatment. More than 120 paintings by the much-acclaimed and -awarded artist – GoH at World Fantasy Con 2017 – do the heavy ...Read More

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On the Border by Paul Kincaid

More and more, as I look back each year on what has caught my eye, I find myself drawn to works of genre uncertainty, work that plays with what had been safely familiar tropes, and results in fiction where we cannot convincingly say: that is science fiction, or that is fantasy, or that is mainstream. It is here, it seems to me, here in these borderlands, these debatable lands, that ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews The Genius Plague by David Walton

The Genius Plague, David Walton (Pyr 978-163388-343-7, $14.95, 400pp, tp) October 2017.

David Walton, who wrote the stellar Super­position and Supersymmetry, deserves to be a lot better known than he is. The tightly plotted and smoothly written The Genius Plague proves that.

Walton took on quantum physics with the Super duo. Here he takes on biology and code-breaking. Paul Johns is a mycologist collecting fungi in the Amazon; Neil Johns, ...Read More

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2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award has been announced, including a few writers of genre interest.

  • “F.A.Q.s”, Allegra Goodman (The New Yorker 9/11/17)
  • “The Metal Bowl”, Miranda July (The New Yorker 9/4/17)
  • “Do-Over”, Curtis Sittenfeld (You Think It, I’ll Say It)

Co-founded in 2010 by EFG International Private Banking and The Sunday Times, “the prize is an international award that aims to promote and celebrate ...Read More

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2017 Kitschies Shortlists

Finalists for the 2017 Kitschies, awarded to “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining science fiction,” have been announced.

The Red Tentacle (Novel)

  • The Rift, Nina Allan (Titan)
  • Fever, Deon Meyer, translated by L. Seegers (Hodder)
  • City of Circles, Jess Richards (Hodder)
  • We See Everything, William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)
  • Black Wave, Michelle Tea (& Other Stories)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut)

  • Age of Assassins, RJ Barker (Orbit)
  • How Saints Die, Carmen Marcus
...Read More Read more

2018 Jim Baen Memorial Award Winner

Baen Books has announced the winner of the 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award:

  • Grand Prize: “Homunculus”, Stephen Lawson
  • First runner-up: “Dangerous Company”, C Stuart Hardwick
  • Second runner-up: “Falling to the Moon”, Wendy Nikel

Other finalists include:

  • Stewart C Baker
  • Gustavo Bondoni
  • Jonathan Edelstein
  • Angus McIntyre
  • Julie Novakova
  • Patrice Sarath
  • Martin L. Shoemaker

The winning story will be featured on the Baen website. The author will be given a ...Read More

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Karen Anderson (1932-2018)

Writer Karen Anderson, 85, died March 18, 2018 in Los Angeles. Anderson began publishing work of SF interest with “The Innocent Arrival” in Galaxy (1958), and is best known for novels written in collaboration with her husband Poul Anderson. They co-wrote Roma Mater (1986), Gallicenae (1987), Dahut (1988), and The Dog and the Wolf (1988) in the King of Ys series, and The Golden Horn (1980), The Road of the ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties, Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf 978-1-55597-788-7, $16.00, 250pp, tp) October 2017.

Award nominations are no way to judge anything, but it would be nice to think that the recogni­tion afforded Carmen Maria Machado’s first collection Her Body and Other Parties might represent, if not a complete blurring of the lines between “literary” and genre fiction, at least a diminishing level of mutual intolerance. Not only was ...Read More

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Angela Slatter: Between the Worlds

Angela Gaye Slatter was born May 16, 1967 in Cairns Australia, and grew up mostly there and in Brisbane and Ipswich. She studied French and history at the University of Queensland, later earned a master’s, and received a PhD in creative writing in 2012. She attended Clarion South in 2009, Tin House in 2006 and has taught writing at vari­ous writers’ centres, universities and festivals.

Slatter’s short fiction is highly ...Read More

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Amazon Layoffs

Online retailer Amazon.com is laying off “low hundreds” of employees, mostly at the Seattle headquarters. The terminations are primarily positions related to the established parts of the company, mainly the consumer retail business (the part that sells books, among other things). The company plans to hire new employees in growing areas, including their digital assistant Alexa, their digital entertainment division, and their Amazon Web Services technology segment. A spokesper­son said, ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jeffrey Alan Love

Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love (Candlewick Studio 978-0-7636-9500-2, 226pp, hc, $27.99) September 2017. Cover by Jeffrey Alan Love.

When the combination of writer and illustrator is just right, the result is a memorable book both to read and to look at. Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jeffrey Alan Love is a happy collaboration ...Read More

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Print Sales Up

Sales of print books continue to climb, with unit sales up 1.9% in 2017 over 2016, according to NPD Bookscan (which cap­tures an estimated 80-85% of total print sales): 687.2 million books were sold in every format, up from 674.1 million in 2016. Print sales have climbed every year since 2013, and are now 10.8% above that year’s numbers.

Most of the increase comes from bookstores and online retailers, which ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz

The Wingsnatchers, Sarah Jean Horwitz (Al­gonquin 978-1-61620-663-51, $17.95, 368pp, hc) April 2017.

Debut novelist Sarah Jean Horwitz brings together some of the best aspects of ste­ampunk and fantasy in The Wingsnatch­ers, a fun novel set in the Victorian London-ish town of Skemantis. (Where the streets teem with “a churning mass of steam carriages, bicycles, velocycles and pedestrians….”) Thirteen-year-old Felix Carmer works as an apprentice to the con­genial but fading magician ...Read More

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2018 British Book Awards Nominees

The Bookseller has announced the nominees for the 2018 British Book Awards, including several titles of genre interest.

Children’s Book of the Year
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo (Particular)
  • La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust, Philip Pullman (David Fickling)
  • The Lost Words, Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton)

Fiction Book of the Year

  • How to Stop Time, Matt Haig (Canongate)

Audiobook of ...Read More

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2018 Dell Award Winner

“Happy? Sad?” by Arthur Davis is the winner of the 2018 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science fiction and Fantasy Writing. The award is given to “the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student,” and is accompanied by a $500 cash prize, publication in Asimov’s, and an invitation to ICFA (International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts), ...Read More

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Discomfort Reading by Tim Pratt

I didn’t read much new SF and fantasy this year. I spent a lot of time being anxious for reasons outside the scope of this essay (cough politics cough), and in times like that, I tend to revisit old beloved books, so I spent some time returning to works by Connie Willis, and Terry Pratchett, and Joe Abercrombie (I know, Lord Grimdark might seem an odd choice for comfort reading, ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Paris Adrift by E.J. Swift

Paris Adrift, E.J. Swift (Solaris 978-1-7810-8593-6, $15.99, 320pp, tp). February 2018.

E.J. Swift’s previous series, The Osiris Project (Osiris in 2012, Cataveiro in 2014, and Tamaruq in 2015), seems to have fallen foul of the dissolu­tion of then-independent publisher Night Shade Books, as Osiris came out from Night Shade in the US and Del Rey in the UK – but in the US, its sequels came as electronic versions only. ...Read More

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Hopkinson Receives Butler Memorial Award

Nalo Hopkinson received the 2018 Octavia E. Butler Memorial Award from Cal State Los Angeles in a ceremony during Eagle-Con, held March 8, 2018 at the University-Student Union of the Cal State campus in Los Angeles CA. The award “is given in recognition of impactful contributions to the world of science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, with the spirit and conviction demonstrated by multi-award winning author and Cal State LA ...Read More

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2018 Fan Fund Candidates

Voting is open for the DUFF, TAFF, and GUFF races.

The Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) to send fans from Australasia to Worldcon 76, or to other major conventions in North America in 2018, has one candidate: Marlee Jane Ward. Voting is open until March 31, 2018. DUFF is open to “anyone who has been active in science fiction fandom” before the start of the previous year. Candidates for a ...Read More

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2018 Carnegie and Greenaway Medal Shortlists

The shortlists for the Carnegie Medal for best children’s book and the Kate Greenaway Medal for best illustrations in a children’s book have been announced. Titles of genre interest follow.

Carnegie Medal

  • Wed Wabbit, Lissa Evans (David Fickling)
  • Release, Patrick Ness (Walker)

Greenaway Medal

  • Night Shift, Debi Gliori (Hot Key)
  • The Song from Somewhere Else, A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Pinfold (Bloomsbury)

The awards are presented ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews A Conversation Larger than the Universe by Henry Wessells

A Conversation Larger than the Universe: Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, Henry Wessells (Oak Knoll Books 978-1-60583-074-2, $35.00, 288pp, tp) Janu­ary 2018.

Sometimes an exhibition catalog can provide a much-needed opportunity to step back and regain some perspective on what makes us like this stuff in the first place, even if we can’t make it to the exhibition itself. A few years ago the British Li­brary mounted ...Read More

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Bergin Wins 2017 Tiptree Award

Virginia Bergin’s novel Who Runs the World? (Macmillan) won the 2017 James Tiptree, Jr. Award, given annually to works of science fiction or fantasy that explore and expand gender roles. Bergin will receive $1,000, original artwork created to honor the novel, and chocolate. She will be honored at a ceremony during WisCon 42, to be held at the Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club, May 25-28, 2018 in Madison WI.

The ...Read More

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2017 Year-in-Review by Carolyn Cushman

Usually the bulk of my reading is fantasy, but some noteworthy SF titles snuck in this year. I particularly enjoyed Jim C. Hines’s Terminal Al­liance, a humorous military SF adventure featuring zombie janitors in space – but they’re wonderfully dangerous janitors, and the gradual revelation of the truth about how hu­manity came to this state is a gripping part of this first volume in the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series. ...Read More

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