Spotlight on: Tricia Reeks of Meerkat Publishing

Tricia Reeks lives in the bear-infested mountains of Asheville, North Carolina with her mountaineer husband and her two ferocious French bulldogs. She is the founder of Meerkat Press, the co-editor of Behind the Mask: An Anthology of Heroic Proportions (a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of 2017) and Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology.

Tell us about how your press was founded. Why did you decide to get into publishing? ...Read More

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2017 Year-in-Review by Gardner Dozois

Last year I mentioned that most of the stories I was seeing were of short-story length, with few long novelettes or no­vellas. Although perhaps most of this year’s stories were still of short-story length, this year saw a dramatic resur­gence of novellas. By one count, there were over 80 novellas published in the SF/fantasy/horror genres in 2017. Most of these were published as standalone chapbooks, and the ambitious new pro­gram ...Read More

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Dark Fiction in 2017 by Ellen Datlow

2017 has been a good year for dark fiction. Here’s a mere taste of the good stuff:

Some novels I enjoyed: Kit Reed’s Mormama is a marvelous southern gothic about a cursed ancestral home with three elderly sisters living within. When a divorced relative and her young son move in and an accident victim with no memory hides out in the basement, the haunts become active, whispering ugly secrets. Alas, ...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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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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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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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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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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2017: A Year Inside the Tent by John Langan

I’ve always subscribed to the big-tent view of horror fiction. While I don’t go so far as to say that horror isn’t a genre (it is), the edges of the field can be difficult to map, especially if your view of it is rooted in its concern with (to paraphrase Stephen King) a pervasive sense of disestablish­ment, a feeling that things are in the unmaking. 2017 provided a fine example ...Read More

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James Gunn: Transcendental Machines

Grandmaster James Gunn continues to amaze with his level of productivity and commitment to science fiction as he approaches age 95.

The 2017 Campbell Conference, held at the University of Kansas June 16-18, featured a celebration of Gunn and his life in science fiction. A number of Gunn’s former students, including Pat Cadigan, Bradley Denton, Karen Hellekson, Kij Johnson, Christopher McKitterick, John Ordover, Michael R. Page, Nate Williams, Sheila Williams, ...Read More

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2017 Year-in-Review by Adrienne Martini and Tom Whitmore

2017 by Adrienne Martini

Speaking only as myself (rather than for Locus as an entity), 2017 has been the year when reading anything too full of conflict or featur­ing dark and complicated conspiracies hit far too close to home. When the non-fictional world starts to read like fiction, it’s hard to have much resilience left for the same in a made-up world. Again, I’m speaking for a sample size of ...Read More

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2017: The Year in SF by Russell Letson

[Editor’s note: part of our 2017 year-in-review essay series from the February 2018 issue of Locus]

But Serially –

Perhaps more emphatical­ly than usual, this annual reflection should be labeled My rather than The Year in SF, since the sample is not only smaller than usual but skewed: only four of the 2017 novels I reviewed are free-standing (and two of those might not count as fully such – see ...Read More

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2017 in Review by Liz Bourke

[Editor’s note: part of our 2017 year-in-review essay series from the February 2018 issue of Locus]

How do you sum up a year like 2017? It feels like it was a longer year than usual – and as I write this, it isn’t even over yet.

I don’t like writing about my favourite books, even my favourite books in any given year. At the time of writing, I’ve read 209 ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Let’s Get Better at Demanding Better from Tech

At long last, the techlash has arrived, and not a minute too soon. I have been involved in the tech industry since I got my first programming job in 1988. I’ve been a sysadmin, a CIO, a trainer, a software company founder, and an activist. I’ve argued against terrible laws and argued for good ones. I’ve dreamed of the promise of tech and been haunted by its peril. Depending on ...Read More

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2017 and Other Years That We Barely Survived (in Fiction) by Jonathan Strahan

[Editor’s note: part of our 2017 year-in-review essay series from the February 2018 issue of Locus]

The best science fiction of 2017 fell into one of two camps: tales of cli­mate change or stories of colonizing our solar system. Kim Stanley Rob­inson’s magisterial New York 2140, a personal pick for best novel of the year, showed everyone a way forward on how to discuss climate change and our collective future ...Read More

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Saving the World Through Science Fiction, Unless We’re Too Late by Gary K. Wolfe

[Editor’s note: part of our 2017 year-in-review essay series from the February 2018 issue of Locus]

According to Barnes & Noble’s year-end summary, if we set aside J.K. Rowl­ing and Rick Riordan, the bestselling genre-related novel of 2017 was Mar­garet Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, followed a few slots later by Stephen King’s It – novels originally published in 1985 and 1986, respectively. Ama­zon’s list adds Orwell’s 1984 (from way back ...Read More

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Year-in-Review: 2017 Magazine Summary

[Editor’s note: This is the first time we have run the yearly Magazine Summary online. Text has been edited for formatting.]

The short fiction market was strong throughout 2017. We added a few online markets to our review, though we did see a number of print markets shift to online only (that sticky distribution problem) and a number of venues went on hiatus or closed because of financial difficulties.

The ...Read More

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SF Crossing the Gulf – Season 2 Update!

Back in October of 2017 we announced that that SF Crossing the Gulf podcast, hosted by Karen Burnham and Karen Lord, had been made available via a dedicated archive page.

At that time, we shared that the archive page featured short descriptions of each episode (and links to the full details at SF Signal) for Season One, and that the rest of the episodes would be following soon. We’re pleased ...Read More

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Mad Hatters and March Hares Signing

Editor Ellen Datlow and contributors to her anthology Mad Hatters and March Hares read for the Fantastic Fiction at KGB reading series at KGB Bar in New York on December 18, 2017.

This article and more like it in the February 2018 issue of Locus.

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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Carrie Vaughn: Writing the Good Parts

Carrie Vaughn was born January 28, 1973 in Sacramento CA to a military family, and grew up all over the country before settling in Colorado, where she graduated high school. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, and got her Master’s in English Literature at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 1998, and taught there in 2009. Vaughn began publishing  short fiction in ...Read More

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E.C. Ambrose Guest Post–“History and Fantasy, Made for Each Other”

Sometimes the question is raised—on either side of a perceived divide—as to why an author would combine history with fantasy rather than stick to one or the other. Well-crafted history and fantasy both have the effect of transporting the reader. Employing them in the same work can illuminate questions about history and historical perspectives, using the tools and possibilities of magic to explore the potential of humanity, then and now. ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: What I’ve Learned About Being a Writer

You will fail more than you succeed. You will remember the failures more often than the successes.

The people who believe in you now will believe in you always. Get rid of everyone else.

Readers will love your work. They will think this means they love you. They will be wrong, but do not correct them. You will no longer be yourself when you’re among readers, but an amalgamation of ...Read More

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David Mack Guest Post–“Beautiful Lies: Facts vs. Story in Secret History Fiction”

What is more important in historical fiction: factual accuracy or dramatic effectiveness? As with almost all questions pertaining to the art and business of publishing, the most truthful answer is “it depends.”

For starters, the expectation of factual accuracy is often higher for “serious” literary historical fiction than it is for its speculative cousins, alternative (or “alt”) history and “secret” history. For those who aren’t familiar with those two subgenres, ...Read More

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SF in Ukraine by Michael Burianyk

Ukrainian SF, fantasy, and horror is little known in the English-speaking world, leaving not much of a shadow in publish­ing or on the internet, but there is a long, solid, and growing tradition in what is usually called “Fantastyka.”

Ukraine has long been a bilingual – Ukrainian and Russian – country. Ukraine was an important part of the Russian Empire and even more criti­cal to the Soviet one. The language ...Read More

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Alex Marshall and Nicholas Eames In Conversation

Fantasy authors Nicholas Eames and Jesse Bullington (a.k.a. Alex Marshall) join us to talk about the musical inspiration behind their latest books.

NICK: Kings of the Wyld was inspired largely by ’70s rock, though a few gems from other eras snuck in there as well (here’s looking at you, Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack). The artists I found particularly inspiring included classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and ...Read More

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Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018)

Grand Master Ursula K. Le Guin, 88, died January 22, 2018 in Portland OR.

Le Guin was a towering figure in the field, famed for her fiction and non-fiction alike, with a career in SF that spanned more than 50 years. She was a Hugo Award nominee 23 times and won five, and won six Nebula Awards, with 18 nominations. Other major awards included the World Fantasy Award for life ...Read More

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John Crowley: As the Crow Flies

John Michael Crowley was born December 1, 1942 in Presque Isle ME, where his father, a doctor and captain in the Army Air Corps, was stationed. The family moved several times, settling in Indiana in 1953 when his father took a position as a doctor at Notre Dame. Crowley attended Indiana University, earning a degree in English in 1964. He moved to New York and worked as a photographer’s assistant, ...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 also worked in journalism and as a science communicator for Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research.

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

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

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 the past. Our ancestors harbored ...Read More

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Sarah Gailey Guest Post–“Gods and Beggars”

How might a God test the worthiness of their people?

Religious traditions the world over are fascinated by this question. How will we prove to our Gods that we are following their rules, that we are just and virtuous, that we are deserving of reward?

A worthy answer to this question lies in an oft-repeated fable: the god disguises themself as a beggar, sits at the roadside, and waits to ...Read More

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Mike Allen: The Allure of the Forbidden

MICHAEL LOUIS ALLEN was born Febru­ary 1, 1969 in Minneapolis MN to academic parents, who moved often for teaching jobs. He lived in Guam until after kindergarten, spent a year outside Chicago, then spent eight years in the small mining town of Wise VA before finally settling in Roanoke VA, where he has lived ever since. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a liberal arts degree, then earned his Master’s ...Read More

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