Yahoo Groups, which provided mailing lists and online forums for a variety of subjects (including SF/F) announced plans to shut down a large number of their features including deleting archived messages and files, with all groups closing on October 21, 2019. All the archived data in those groups and lists will be deleted by December 14. Writer and historian Ada Palmer says, “This means we have only a few weeks ...Read More
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Science Fiction & Fantasy ReviewsView All
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook 978-0-316-42199-7, $27.00, 384pp, hc) September 2019.
The idea of locking out historical change in order to preserve a particular version of male hegemony is an important theme in Alix E. Harrow’s remarkable first novel, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, but for me to explain further might compromise some of the readerly pleasures of unfolding Harrow’s multilayered, origami-like ...Read More
Minor Mage, T. Kingfisher (Argyll Productions 978-1-614-50500-6, $12.95, 174pp, tp) July 2019.
Despite the missing mother and the adolescent mage in potentially fatal situations, Minor Mage is a book for kids – and for adults who enjoy the rich, whimsy-adjacent stories by Ursula Vernon, the writer behind the T. Kingfisher pen name.
Oliver is a nearly teenage mage who is the only source of magic his village has. While ...Read More
The Saturday Night Ghost Club, Craig Davidson (Knopf Canada 978-0-735-27482-2, C$27.00, 272pp, hc) August 2018. (Penguin 978-0-14-313393-3, $16.00, 206pp, tp) July 2019.
The Saturday Night Ghost Club is only the slightest wisp of a ghost story. It is far more a memory of childhood, a winsome look back by a narrator who now works in a difficult profession (as a surgeon) and is remembering the most significant summer of ...Read More
World Engines: Destroyer, Stephen Baxter (UK: Gollancz 978-1473223172, £20, 576pp, hardcover) September 2019
As nearly as I can suss out, Stephen Baxter currently has no publisher in the USA. His last three books in his classic Xeelee series—Xeelee Endurance (2015), Xeelee Vengeance (2017) and Xeelee Redemption (2018)—appeared from Gollancz in the UK, but not here. And this newest one has no American edition either.
Now, thanks to the ...Read More
Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Uncanny, Interzone, Galaxy’s Edge, Bourbon Penn, and Amazing Stories
F&SF 9-10/19 Uncanny 7-8/19 Interzone 7-8/19 Galaxy’s Edge 7/19 Bourbon Penn 7/19 Amazing Stories 7/19
The September-October F&SF is notable for stories by some prominent writers. Maureen McHugh‘s “Under the Hill” is a very well-done, second person point-of-view story about Amelia, who matriculates at Burkman College, a prestigious institution that we quickly learn has an unusual student body – a significant subset are Fair Folk. The arc ...Read More
Liz Bourke and Amy Goldschlager Review This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga 978-1-5344-3100-3, $19.99, 200pp, hc) July 2019.
A novel – or rather a novella – that does find me part of its enthusiastic readership is Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone’s first traditionally published collaboration, This Is How You Lose the Time War. Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. This is the time-travelling queer epistolary romance ...Read More
New Titles & BestsellersView All
The Old Lie, Claire G. Coleman (Hachette Australia 978-0-733-64084-1, A$32.99, 368pp, tp) August 2019.
You’d be forgiven for initially mistaking the setting of Claire G. Coleman’s sophomore novel, The Old Lie, as the battlefields of the First World War. The opening chapter begins with a stanza from “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by poet and WWI soldier Wilfred Owen, and features a death march through a devastated terrain redolent ...Read More
FKA USA, Reed King (Flatiron Books 978-1-25010-889-0, $27.99, 480pp, hc) June 2019.
Whether Reed King’s FKA USA works for you is going to depend on who you are as a reader. To some extent, this is true of any book in the world, but it’s particularly true for this book, a sprawling, self-conscious novel of the American apocalypse inspired by equal parts David Foster Wallace and The Wizard of ...Read More
The Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth College is open to submissions for its 2020 Literary Arts Awards now until December 31, 2019. Results will be announced in spring 2020, with $5,000 awarded to each winner in playwriting, established author, and debut author categories. The playwriting prompt is, “What does it mean to be a human in a computerized world?”
For more information, see the Neukom Institute website.
While ...Read More
Andy Duncan has stepped down as SFWA Member at Large because the position “deserves to be held by someone who can devote much more time and energy to the job than I can.” He will continue “serving the organization in other capacities” and remains “committed to the mission of SFWA.” He is replaced by James Beamon, one of the runners-up in the election.
While you are here, please take a ...Read More
The Future of Another Timeline, Annalee Newitz (Tor 978-0-7653-9210-7, $26.99, 352pp, hc) September 2019.
Stories about time wars, or temporal wars, or change wars (in Fritz Leiber’s classic formulation), along with related tales about time police, time guards, time patrols, time referees, or even just time nudniks, have gotten so ubiquitous that even Sarah Connor must be getting bored. Collectively, they constitute a kind of sub-subgenre somewhere in the ...Read More
Amazon.com published its yearly array of lists to promote the best books of 2019, with editors’ selections in various categories.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese) was the Amazon editors’ “#1 pick for best book of 2019.” Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing) was the editors’ pick for best science fiction and fantasy book of the year.
For complete lists in each category, see Amazon’s site. ...Read More
Barnes & Noble announced the eight finalists for its inaugural Book of the Year award. Titles of genre interest include The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese) and Mythos by Stephen Fry (Chronicle). Finalists were selected by committee from a list of titles nominated by Barnes & Noble booksellers. B&N CEO James Daunt said:
The Barnes & Noble Book of the Year is unlike any other U.S. literary prize, ...Read More
Five Midnights, Ann Dávila Cardinal (Tor Teen 978-1-250-29607-8, $17.99, 288pp, hc) June 2019.
Welcome to the seedy side of Puerto Rico, where at an early age teens are roped into gangs and drug dealing, the economy is under perpetual attack by greedy US business interests, and a terrifying murderer is on the prowl. It looks like a couple of young men walking on the wrong side of the law ...Read More
Following various allegations of late payments, non-payment, harassment of authors and staff, and other improprieties (as documented extensively at File 770), Sandra Kasturi & Brett Savory have stepped down from all publishing-related duties at ChiZine Publications, effective immediately. Christine Harkin is now interim publisher, and can be reached by email for author-related requests. Kasturi and Savory said:
It is important to us that we clear all outstanding arrears as soon ...Read More
Kirkus has announced its selections for Best Fiction of 2019, including titles and authors of genre interest in several categories:
Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
- The Kingdom of Copper, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
- How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse, K. Eason (DAW)
- Early Riser, Jasper Fforde (Viking)
- A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, C.A. Fletcher (Orbit)
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf,
All Worlds Are Real Era, Susan Palwick (Fairwood 978-1933846842, $17.99, 322pp, hardcover) November 2019
With the publication of her new story collection, All Worlds Are Real, Susan Palwick charts her sixth book over the course of her 35 years of professional publication. Measured reductionistically by number of pages produced, she has not been extremely prolific. But when gauged by the quality of her prose and the allure and ...Read More
George R.R. Martin received the 2019 Sir Arthur Clarke Imagination Award “for creating engrossing worlds of science fiction and fantasy” at the Unleash Imagination 2019 awards ceremony and dinner, held October 17, 2019 at Harman Hall in Washington DC. Scott Shannon of Random House presented the award, which is sponsored by the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.
For more information, see the Clarke Foundation website.
While you are here, please take ...Read More
Blood Orbit by K.R. Richardson (Pyr) has won the 2019 Endeavour Award, announced during Orycon 41 on November 8, 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel in Portland OR. Other finalists were:
- Trial by Treason, Dave Duncan (Night Shade)
- Moonshine, Jasmine Gower (Angry Robot)
- The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Seanan McGuire (DAW)
- Irontown Blues, John Varley (Ace)
The award is given “for a distinguished science ...Read More
Apex 5/19 Clarkesworld 7/19 Lackington’s Spring ’19
Issue #120 marks the passing of Apex Magazine. After a major health concern, editor Jason Sizemore has put the magazine on indefinite hiatus, but the final issue goes out in style with guest editor Maurice Broaddus elaborating on the theme of Afrofuturism with a mixture of original and reprint stories and essays. The three original stories cast a very wide net, starting with ...Read More
Poisoned Pen Press (the mystery imprint at Sourcebooks) will launch a new line, the Haunted Library of Horror Classics, edited by Eric J. Guignard and Leslie S. Klinger and conceived by Lisa Morton. The first title will be a new trade paperback edition of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1911), out in January 2020. Each book will include a new introduction by horror authors including Ramsey Campbell, ...Read More
The Grand Dark, Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-267249-0 $26.99, 419 pp, hc) June 2019.
Richard Kadrey’s new novel is a departure from his usual contemporary-setting dark fantasies, or maybe not. Set in a SF version of a middle-European city (Lower Proszawa) after one war has finished, where everyone knows that a new one is on the way, it has the feeling of an alternate world that is very close ...Read More
Time’s Demon, D.B. Jackson (Angry Robot 978-0-85766-793-9, $14.99, 490pp, pb) May 2019. Cover by Jan Wessbecher.
D.B. Jackson’s Time’s Demon is the second book in a series, the Islevale Cycle, that began with Time’s Children. I had been under the impression that it was the second book in a duology, but events proved this assumption wrong. It does its readers the courtesy of recapping the events of the ...Read More
The Fox and Dr. Shimamura, Christine Wunnicke (New Directions 978-0-81122-624-0, $15.95, 160pp, tp) April 2019.
The Fox and Dr. Shimamura is a puzzling, unsettling book. It has the feel of a story told half-asleep, with clear details and vague overall effect. What begins in promising magical realism veers into surrealist historical fiction, leans toward medical interests, and is likely to leave most readers behind with that turn. Christine Wunnicke ...Read More
Ed Kramer, co-founder of Dragon Con and convicted child molester, is in legal trouble again, this time in a complicated computer hacking case that involves various figures in the Georgia legal system. Superior Court judge Kathryn Schrader has been indicted, along with Kramer, a private investigator named TJ Ward, and a former sheriff’s deputy named Frank Karic. Schrader alleges that Gwinnett County district attorney Danny Porter hacked her computer (which ...Read More
Frozen Hell, John W. Campbell, Jr. (978-14794-4283-6, $29.99, 159pp) June 2019. Cover by Bob Eggleton.
When F. Orlin Tremaine, editor of Astounding Stories, was promoted to supervision of Street & Smith’s magazine division in 1937, his hand-picked successor was one of his star authors, a young man named John W. Campbell, Jr. Despite being a popular author, Campbell was struggling with the unreliable income of a freelance writer; he ...Read More