The Smithsonian Institution plans to honor Octavia E. Butler as part of their upcoming Futures exhibit, scheduled to open November 2021 in the Arts and Industries building. An Olivetti typewriter originally donated to the museum by Butler “will represent Butler’s life,” and will be displayed alongside a portrait of Butler by Nettrice Gaskins, an artist who “uses algorithms meant to be employed in machine learning to produce artworks.” The exhibit ...Read More
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City of Iron and Dust, J.P. Oakes (Titan 978-1789097108, 400pp, $15.95) July 2021.
If Joe Abercrombie climbed into his time machine to visit famed Black crime writer Chester Himes, and they then collaborated on a new version of the as-yet-unborn Cotton Comes to Harlem, the result might very well resemble Oakes’s debut novel, City of Iron and Dust. The book is a grim’n’gritty yet often blackly humorous ...Read More
She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan (Tor 978-1-250-62180-1, $27.99, 416pp, hc) July 2021. Cover by JungShan.
She Who Became the Sun is Shelley Parker-Chan’s debut novel, and it is an astounding first effort. It sets itself in China in the middle of the 14th century, in the failing years of the Yuan dynasty (the empire of the successors to the khanate inherited by Möngke Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson). ...Read More
The Past is Red, Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom 978-1-250-30113-0, $20.99, 160pp, hc) July 2021. Cover by John Hendrix.
There were quite a few provocative tales in Jonathan Strahan’s 2016 anthology Drowned Worlds, but the most memorable narrator in the book was probably Tetley Abednego from Catherynne M. Valente’s “The Future is Blue”, the Sturgeon Award winner which became the title story of Valente’s 2018 collection from Subterranean. Now ...Read More
All Our Hidden Gifts, Caroline O’Donoghue (Walker 978-1-5362-1394-2, $19.99, 384pp, hc) June 2021.
As Caroline O’Donoghue’s All Our Hidden Gifts begins, readers are introduced to Maeve Chambers, an otherwise typical Irish teenager who suffers from a bit of impulse control when it comes to her temper. After a failed attempt at obtaining popularity a few years earlier, during which she sacrificed her relationship with her lifelong best friend Lily, ...Read More
The Little Devil and Other Stories, Aleksey Remizov (Columbia University Press 978-0-23118-381-9, $16.95, 336pp) April 2021.
As fate, coincidence, or the publishing gods would have it, in the same month that New York Review Books is releasing a collection of supernatural stories by Teffi, Columbia University Press is publishing a collection of supernatural stories by Teffi’s compatriot and contemporary: Aleksey Remizov. As with Teffi, I was unaware of Remizov’s ...Read More
Wendy, Darling, A.C. Wise (Titan 978-1-78909-681-1 $15.95 336pp, tp) June 2021.
At the end of J.M. Barrie’s novel Peter and Wendy (also known as Peter Pan), Wendy, her brothers and the Lost Boys adopted by their parents have all grown up. Wendy is married and has a daughter, Jane, whom she’s filled with tales of their adventures in Neverland. When Peter Pan shows up at the nursery window, ...Read More
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Finalists for the inaugural Mike Resnick Memorial Award for Short Fiction have been announced:
- “The Measure of a Mother’s Love”, Z.T. Bright
- “Hive at the Dead Star”, Lucas Carroll-Garrett
- “Echoes of Gelise”, Christopher Henckel
- “Feel”, Torion Oey
- “Times, Needles, and Gravity”, Shirley Song
The annual award — sponsored by Galaxy’s Edge, Arc Manor, and Dragon Con — is given to the best unpublished science fiction short story by a new ...Read More
Winners of the 2020 Ladies of Horror Fiction Awards have been announced.
- WINNER: Tender Is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica (Scribner)
- The Hollow Places, T. Kingfisher (Saga)
- Betty, Tiffany McDaniel (Knopf)
- Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
- Saltblood, T.C. Parker (self-published)
- The Sun Down Motel, Simone St. James (Berkley)
Best Young Adult
- WINNER: Blood Countess, Lana Popović (Amulet)
- Category Five, Ann
The 2021 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced at Comic-Con@Home online on July 23, 2021. Winners of SF/F interest include:
Best Single Issue
- Sports Is Hell, Ben Passmore (Koyama)
Best Continuing Series
- Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai (IDW)
Best Limited Series
- Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, Matt Fraction & Steve Lieber (DC)
Best New Series
- Black Widow, Kelly Thompson & Elena Casagrande (Marvel)
Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
The Hidden Palace, Helene Wecker (Harper 978-0062468710, 480pp, $28.99) June 2021.
Helene Wecker’s sequel to her stunning 2013 debut, The Golem and the Jinni [reviewed here], succeeds 100 percent in recapturing the assured voice, the delicate magic, the solid historical verisimilitude, and the engaging interplay of personalities that she delivered in the first book. But she does not merely replicate all the pleasures, plot points, devices, and charms of ...Read More
Not One of Us 1/21, 4/21 Bourbon Penn 3/21 Speculative Los Angeles, Denise Hamilton, ed. (Akashic) February 2021.
The always intriguing Not One of Us has gone to slimmer issues. I have two at hand. January opens, appropriately enough, with “January House“, an absolutely lovely story by Alexandra Seidel. Isla Glas returns to her childhood home perforce, as her mother has died and she’s now the ...Read More
How to Mars, David Ebenbach (Tachyon 978-1-61696-356-9, $16.95, 256pp, tsk) May 2021. Cover by Elizabeth Story.
David Ebenbach’s How to Mars is one of those books that could be easy to write-off as a delightful bit of fluff. Six humans from various backgrounds take a one-way trip to the red planet, sent there by a publicity-seeking corporation that monetizes their training and early days via a reality series. The ...Read More
The Chosen and the Beautiful, Nghi Vo (Tordotcom 978-1-250-78478-0, $26.99, 272pp, hc) June 2021. Cover by Greg Ruth.
When the copyright protection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby expired at the beginning of this year, the speculation was predictably rampant and occasionally dire. The tale of Gatsby’s fabulous but shady wealth, his giant parties, his pining for the love of Daisy (now married to a racist millionaire), all ...Read More
The World Fantasy Awards ballot for works published in 2020 has been announced. The awards will be presented during World Fantasy Convention 2021, to be held November 4-7, 2021 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec.
The Life Achievement Awards, presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field, will go to Megan Lindholm and Howard Waldrop .
The World Fantasy Awards finalists are:
Best Novel ...Read More
Winners for the 2020 Kitschies, awarded for “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic,” have been announced.
The Red Tentacle (Novel)
- WINNER: Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
- A Tall History of Sugar, Curdella Forbes (Canongate)
- The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- The Lost Future of Pepperharrow, Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury)
- The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley
Michi Trota has stepped down as editor-in-chief of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s (SFWA) publications department, which produces The Bulletin, the annual Nebula Showcase Anthology, The Singularity, and New Releases Newsletter. Trota said,
It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as SFWA Editor-in-Chief. Being the first person of color to step into this role at SFWA was an opportunity I had never envisioned ...Read More
A Chorus Rises, Bethany C. Morrow (Tor Teen 978-1250316035, $17.99, 272pp, hc) June 2021.
In A Chorus Rises, sequel to A Song Below Water, Bethany C. Morrow continues to give her penetrating attention to the hazards young Black women face when they possess a significant amount of magic and power. Following closely on the heels of the earlier book’s shattering finale, A Chorus Rises picks up the ...Read More
SF60, the 60th Nihon SF Taikai convention held in Japan, has announced the winners for the 2021 Seiun Awards (the Japanese equivalent of the Hugo Awards), honoring the best original and translated works published last year in Japan.
Best Translated Novel
- WINNER: The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu, translated by Nozomi Ohomori, Touya Tachihara, Kaori Uehara & Ko Tomari (Hayakawa)
- All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders,
Appel, John: Assassin’s Orbit
(Rebellion/Solaris US 978-1-78618-915-6, $14.99, 448 pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, July 20, 2021)
Far-future SF mystery novel. An assassination threatens a planet’s vote to join the Commonwealth, and police and private detectives work together to uncover an old threat that could spark interplanetary war.
Ashley-Smith, J.: The Ariadne, I Love You
(Meerkat Press 978-1-946154-50-7, $10.95, 76 pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, July 20, 2021) ...Read More
Other Worlds: Peasants, Pilgrims, Spirits, Saints, Teffi (NYRB Classics 978-1-68137-539-7, $17.95, 256pp, tp) April 2021.
New York Review Books’ publication of Other Worlds: Peasants, Pilgrims, Spirits, Saints continues a rediscovery of Teffi’s short fiction that began with the Pushkin Press release of Subtly Worded back in 2014. I should note that before picking up a review copy of Other Worlds, my interest piqued by references to the occult ...Read More
Author and editor Joe McKinney, 52, died in his sleep July 13, 2021 in San Antonio TX. McKinney wrote horror, crime, and SF.
Joe Clayton McKinney was born September 22, 1968 in Cambridge MA, and was a longtime member of the San Antonio Police Department, where he served as a homicide detective, patrol supervisor, and disaster mitigation specialist.
He was best known for the Dead World series: debut novel Dead ...Read More
Sidewinders, Robert V.S. Redick (Talos 978-1945863608, 672pp, $25.99) July 2021.
Worldbuilding has developed a bad rap lately. The meticulous and detailed creation of another realm “beyond the fields we know,” with novel cultures, languages, religions, history, geography, flora and fauna, is somehow deemed oppressive and pedantic and tiresome. Well, duh, yeah—if it’s done badly and ham-handedly. Like any tool in the writer’s toolkit, worldbuilding can be employed deftly and ...Read More
Artist and author Stephen Hickman, 72, died of natural causes July 16, 2021 at home in Red Hook NY.
Stephen Forrest Hickman was born April 9, 1949 Washington DC. His father was in the foreign service, and as a child he spent time in the Philippines and Pakistan. Stateside they lived in Texas and Arizona before settling in Alexandria VA.
He studied art at the Richmond Professional Institute of Virginia ...Read More
Shortlists for the 2021 Prix Utopiales (for best French SF) and Prix Utopiales Jeunesse Awards (for best French SF for young adults) have been announced.
- Esther, Olivier Bruneau (Le Tripode)
- Le chant des glaces, Jean Krug (Critic)
- Ru, Camille Leboulanger (L’Atalante)
- Quitter les Monts d’Automne, Émilie Querbalec (Albin Michel Imaginaire)
- After®, Auriane Velten (Mnémos)
Prix Utopiales Jeunesse
- La honte de la galaxie,
The European Science Fiction Society (ESFS) Hall of Fame Awards, Achievement Awards, and Chrysalis Award winners were announced during Eurocon 2021 held July 15-17, 2021 in Fiuggi, Italy.
European Grand Master
- Maurizio Manzieri (Italy)
Hall of Fame Awards:
- Victor Pelevin / Виктор Пелевин (Russia)
- Igor Baranko (Ukraine)
Best Magazine (tie)
- Helion (Romania)
- Mir Fantastiki / Мир фантастики (Russia)
Best Publisher (tie)
- Azbooka / Азбука (Russia)
Winners for the 2021 Premio Italia Awards have been announced:
International SF Novel
- Notte d’ottobre [A Night in the Lonesome October], Roger Zelazny (Hypnos)
Science Fiction Novel
- Avrai i miei occhi, Nicoletta Vallorani (Zona 42)
- Il ragno del tempo, Maico Morellini (Providence)
- Biblioteca di un sole lontano
- Mondi paralleli. Il meglio della fantascienza italiana indipendente 2019, Carmine Treanni, ed. (Delos)
Short Fiction —