2018 has been a good year for the offbeat in speculative fiction. In fact, one of my top books of the year was released as a mainstream literary novel, even though the speculative element is central and necessary: Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation has to contain imaginary pharmacology in order for the protagonist to black out for the lengths of time she considers desirable, without having real-life ...Read MoreRead more
My reading was weird and scattered this year even by my usual weird-and-scattered standards, and the Goodreads shelf I’ve labeled “comfort re-reads” has a lot more entries than usual, as I retreated from the various unpleasant aspects of this year’s reality into old, beloved fictional worlds. I wasn’t sure I’d read enough new SF, fantasy, and horror to even justify a year-end round-up this time, but going over my list ...Read MoreRead more
Brad Linaweaver was associate producer of documentary Robert A. Heinlein: The Puppet Grand Master, included with the deluxe Blu-ray version of The Puppet Masters (1994), based on Heinlein’s 1951 novel, released in December 2018. Contributors to the documentary include David Gerrold, Eleanor Wood, and others.
This story and more like it in the February 2019 issue of Locus.
While you are here, please take a moment to support ...Read MoreRead more
Looking back on 2018, the year feels rather longer than mere chronological time can account for. I don’t imagine I can remember all the books I’ve read this year – a year in which I became engaged, hunted for a house, moved house, and most recently, acquired a pair of very boisterous bouncy kittens: the mere quotidian logistics of living have absorbed rather more of my energy and memory than ...Read MoreRead more
I’ve often struggled over giving my books a genre label, partly because I’m not sure that labels are a great idea, nor, to be honest, is genre—which I’ve often decried as “the measles of the book world”. Sure, genre is useful to publicity and marketing, but it’s of no real use, I contend, to readers, and may in fact narrow reader choices rather than broadening them. I’ve often heard readers ...Read MoreRead more
The way we read fiction is changing. We’ve been told this repeatedly. Where once we had a single medium – ink on paper – to deliver new stories to us and only a few ways – face-to-face discussion, mail, reviews etc. – to discuss them, now we have many. Print is not dead; digital is not king. Instead, we read the way we like and when we like: in printed ...Read MoreRead more
DEREK STÉPHANE KÜNSKEN was born March 13, 1971 in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Guelph as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree in molecular biology at McMaster University, but he left science behind to work with street children in Honduras. After returning to Canada he worked various jobs until he joined the Canadian Federal Public Service, working on refugee and diplomatic postings in Colombia ...Read MoreRead more
These end-of-the-year lists always make me uncomfortable, if only because I know I haven’t read even a plurality of titles published in any given 365 days. Not only that, I haven’t yet read a bunch that have been highly praised, like Blackfish City, Revenant Gun, and Unholy Land. Having said that, what I do feel comfortable with is flagging a few titles that I’m mildly infatuated with, ...Read MoreRead more
Author Christopher Rowe was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes: “Cue many major life changes…. I’ve decided to be proactive about the whole thing… by training to ride the 62-mile leg of the Kentucky edition of this year’s Tour de Cure, an annual fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.” He’s raising money for the organization at <main.diabetes.org/goto/cnrowe>.
This story and more like it in the February 2019 issue of Locus ...Read MoreRead more
I’m not sure this is progress: 2018 began with The Handmaid’s Tale, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Fahrenheit 451 back on the bestseller lists, and a fair number of folks remarking on how prescient Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower suddenly seemed.
Toward the end of the year, just before Thanksgiving, Vintage decided to re-release, for the first time in decades, Fletcher Knebel’s Night of Camp David, the 1965 ...Read MoreRead more
As was recently announced, Phoenix Pick will be publishing a new Robert A. Heinlein novel later this year, likely in November.
The Heinlein Prize Trust and Phoenix Pick have collaborated to piece together a complete novel based on fragments of a typewritten manuscript and notes by Heinlein.
The completed novel is about 187,000 words long. It shares the first one-third of its text with the published The Number of the ...Read MoreRead more
I write messy, incoherent first drafts. It sucks. But most of the time I’m okay with it. It’s my process, and it’s why revision exists.
Drafts aren’t what readers see. After getting that first blush of the book on paper, I spend each subsequent iteration fleshing out worldbuilding details and refining dialogue and fixing structure. Few people want to read about a bunch of characters expositing about the plot over ...Read MoreRead more
Cynthia Sheppard has been creating artwork for books and games since the mid-2000s. Her illustrations are inspired by a late 19th-century realist painting and modern fantasy art, with a focus on emotional resonance and visual storytelling. She’s currently a senior art director at Wizards of the Coast, where she create worlds and has commissioned over 2,000 illustrations for the card game Magic: The Gathering.
She told us, “If I’ve ever ...Read MoreRead more
Greg Ruth is a New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Boy and NDEH (with Ethan Hawke) and has worked making books and comics since 1993. He has published work through The New York Times, DC Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Mondo, Dark Horse, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hyperion, Simon and Schuster, the Criterion Collection, Slate, CNN, Penguin, Hachette, and Tor. He has created two music videos for Prince and Rob Thomas, ...Read More
Kathleen Dolan Jennings was born May 26, 1980 in Brisbane, Australia, and spent much of her childhood on a small cattle station in Western Queensland. She attended the University of Queensland, and worked as a lawyer for ten years (five in private practice, five for the government) before shifting her focus to illustration and writing. She recently submitted her dissertation for a MPhil degree on Australian Gothic literature.
Jennings has ...Read MoreRead more
The Future Affairs Administration brought another group of SF writers to China, with Carolyn Ives Gilman, Naomi Kritzer, and Fran Wilde coming from the US and Samantha Murray from Australia. They visited Danzhai village from December 1-3, 2018, along with Chinese writers Tang Fei, Lei, Liang Ling, Han Song, and Su Wanwen. Vera Sun and Emily Gu organized the trip for FAA.
This feature and more like it in the ...Read MoreRead more
Having created illustrations for many publishers, including Simon & Schuster, Random House and Hyperion/Disney, Omar Rayyan’s primary market was geared towards children’s and young adult’s magazine and books, doing cover and interior illustrations. He also illustrated several children’s picture books.
Other genres he has worked in include the gaming market, most notably for Magic: The Gathering, where he has done card art and concept work. Omar was also among the ...Read MoreRead more
Charles Vess was born June 10, 1951 in Lynchburg VA. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating in 1974 with a BFA, and worked in commercial animation until moving to New York City in 1976. There he became a freelance illustrator, working for many publications including Heavy Metal, Klutz Press and National Lampoon. For over 10 years he worked for various comic book publishers, including Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. He ...Read MoreRead more
Rounding off our triad of podcasts about the end of the world as we know it, we are honoured to welcome Kij Johnson to discuss her apocalypse-themed fantasy story (with strong hints of science fiction!) “The Privilege of the Happy Ending”. The research, the worldbuilding, and the structural and narrative choices that went into this story make ...Read More
The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge MA is hosting “Gregory Manchess: Above the Timberline,” a showcase exploring the artist/writer’s illustrated novel Above the Timberline, featuring 30 paintings, props, archival materials, photographs, and videos of the artistic process, plus life-sized sculpture of characters. The show opened November 10, 2018 and will run through February 24, 2019. For more, see the Norman Rockwell Museum website.
This feature and more like it ...Read MoreRead more
Even better than reading an excellent story is discussing with the author how and why they wrote it! We are so pleased to have Daryl Gregory with us to discuss the nuances, secrets and personal touches in his apocalypse-themed science fiction story “Nine Last Days on Planet Earth”. (But first listen to episode 22 of the podcast ...Read More
Victo Ngai is a Los Angeles based illustrator from Hong Kong, graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. “Victo” is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria – a leftover from the British colonization.
Ngai’s work appears in advertising, packaging, magazines, books, newspapers and animation, her clients include The New York Times, The New Yorker, Apple, Prophecy Wines, Johnnie Walker, American Express, Lufthansa ...Read MoreRead more
The Silicon Valley gospel of “disruption” has descended into caricature, but, at its core, there are some sound tactics buried beneath the self-serving bullshit. A lot of our systems and institutions are corrupt, bloated, and infested with cream-skimming rentiers who add nothing and take so much.
Take taxis: there is nothing good about the idea that cab drivers and cab passengers meet each other by random chance, with the drivers ...Read MoreRead more
Nnedi Okorafor was named Person of the Year at the 2018 African Diaspora Awards, presented December 1, 2018 during an awards ceremony hosted by the Society for Africans in Diaspora held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.
This and more like it in the January 2019 issue of Locus.
While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus ...Read MoreRead more
This list of 2018 speculative titles in translation was compiled by Rachel Cordasco, who founded and runs site sfintranslation.com as well as the SF in Translation Award which can be voted on here until March 1, 2019. Corrections may be sent to email@example.com.
SF IN TRANSLATION OUT IN 2018
Total books/collections/anthologies: 79
Top 3 languages:
Top 3 publishers:
Black Coat Press (13.9%)
Haikasoru (6.3%) ...Read More
Forbidden Planet in London hosted a multi-author signing for The Mammoth Book of Halloween Stories and The Mammoth Book of Vampire Stories by Women (both edited by Stephen Jones) on October 27, 2018.
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 magazine and site going, and would like to keep the site paywall ...Read MoreRead more
I’ve never worried about the future over some Terminator scenario, although I will admit that the Boston Dynamics dog creeps me out. My concerns about the future my son will inhabit are a bit more mundane, mostly on the technological labour market disruptions.
AI and robotics are poised to drastically reduce a number of labour market needs in the next 10-30 years. Everything from car and truck drivers, to airplane ...Read MoreRead more
Rebecca Marie Chambers was born in 1985 in Southern California and grew up outside Los Angeles before relocating at 18 to study theater at the University of San Francisco. She worked in theater for years before becoming a freelance writer, and spent time in Iceland and Scotland before returning to California, where she lives now with her wife, Berglaug Asmundardottir.
Chambers crowdfunded her debut novel The Long Way to a ...Read MoreRead more
Since 2014, Brazil has been plunged into a political and economic crisis triggered by unprecedented levels of corruption, plots against the democratic order, and numerous state acts of budget recklessness. Book-buying habits were affected, of course, but during the current slow economic recovery the book selling market was hurt again when major bookstore chain Saraiva decided to hold payments to publishers.
Saraiva has been Brazil’s biggest bookstore chain since 2008, ...Read MoreRead more
Despite the earlier revolting Cannibal Holocaust in 1980, The Blair Witch Project firmly established found footage as a film genre in1999. The shaky-cam unreliable narrator film about three students who disappeared in a Pennsylvania forest opened the door for the immensely popular Paranormal Activity franchise. Seeing events unfold on a second internal screen somehow made them feel more real to the viewer. The horror we felt while watching was predicated ...Read MoreRead more