People & Publishing Roundup, December 2020


SCOTT WESTERFELD con­tracted COVID-19 six months ago, and underwent surgery in October 2020 to recover damage the virus did to his heart. He is recovering well. “I feel like the people who think Covid is a hoax aren’t giving us hoaxers enough credit for our COMMITMENT.”

Locus Online Editor MARK R. KELLY had a heart attack on October 25, 2020. His partner drove him to the emergency room, and he had a triple bypass the next morning. He returned home a week later, and says he’s “recovering as well as the doctors and nurses hope. But it will be another month (six weeks total) before I’m fully healed and back up to speed.”


Neil Gaiman (by Liza Groen Trombi)

NEIL GAIMAN won the Forry Award for lifetime achievement in the SF field, presented by the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The award, named for Forrest J Ackerman and given annually since 1966, is normally presented at LOSCON in Los Angeles CA; due to the pandemic, LOSCON 47 has been delayed until November 26- 28, 2021.

M. JOHN HARRISON‘s The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again (Gollancz) won the £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize, given for a book by a British or Irish author “that is deemed genuinely novel and which embodies the spirit of invention that characterizes the genre at its best.”

TED CHIANG won the Imagina­tion in Service to Society Award, presented November 12, 2020 by the Arthur C. Clarke Founda­tion during their 2020 Unleash Imagination online event. The award was given “for his thoughtful and thought-provoking science fiction, leading us to examine in fresh ways our own beliefs.”

ALICE HOFFMAN‘s The World That We Knew (Simon & Schuster) won the $10,000 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the Fiction category, “the first and only annual U.S. literary award recognizing the power of the written word to pro­mote peace.”


Ted Chiang (by Arturo Villarrubia under a CCSA 2.0 license)

RICHARD KADREY & CAS­SANDRA KHAW sold supernatural serial killer novel The Dead Take the A Train and a second title to Diana Gill at Nightfire, via Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown for Kadrey and Michael Curry of Donald Maass Literary Agency for Khaw. Kelly Lonesome will edit.

BEN WINTERS sold novel Self Help to Jo Ann Peritz at Audible Originals via Joelle Delbourgo of Joelle Delbourgo Associates. Steve Feldberg will edit.

SARAH MONETTE, writing as KATHERINE ADDISON, sold Grief of Stones and another title (both sequels to Witness for the Dead), plus a third book, to Beth Meacham at Tor via Jack Byrne of the Sternig & Byrne Literary Agency.

LARA ELENA DONNELLY sold SF novel Base Notes to Gra­cie Doyle at Thomas & Mercer via Caitlin McDonald of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

CHARLIE HOLMBERG sold fantasy Star Mother and two more books to Adrienne Procac­cini at 47North via Marlene String­er of Stringer Literary Agency.

SUE BURKE sold Usurpation (third book in the Semiosis series) and novel Burning Fennel to Jen­nifer Gunnels at Tor via Jennie Goloboy of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

RICHARD CHIZMAR sold Chasing the Boogeyman to Ed Schlesinger at Gallery in a reported six-figure pre-empt via Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency. Chizmar is publisher of horror small press Cemetery Dance.

Ben Winters (by Liza Groen Trombi)

MAX PORTER sold “death fan­tasia” The Death of Francis Bacon to Jordan Ginsberg at Strange Light via Lisa Baker at Aitken Alexander. UK rights went to Faber.

ALEXANDRA ROWLAND‘s A Taste of Gold and Iron and a second book sold to Ruoxi Chen at Publishing via Britt Siess of Britt Siess Creative Management.

MEGAN GIDDINGS sold The Women Could Fly, “set in a world where witches are real,” to Rakesh Satyal at Amistad in a pre-empt via Dan Conaway of Writers House.

ZIN E. ROCKLYN sold Flowers for the Sea and an untitled novella to Ruoxi Chen at Publish­ing via Roseanne Wells of Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

RONALD MALFI sold Come with Me and a second book to So­phie Robinson at Titan via Cameron McClure at Donald Maass Literary Agency.

CHAZ BRENCHLEY sold three books in the Crater School series, a story collection, and a school cook­book to Cheryl Morgan at Wizard’s Tower Press via John Jarrold of John Jarrold Literary Agency.

Charlie N. Holmberg

CHARLES LICHTMAN sold fantasy thriller THE SWORD OF DAVID to David Bernstein at Bom­bardier Books, at via Tom Mill­er of Liza Dawson Associates.

K.S. COVERT sold literary SF novel The Petting Zoos to Russell Smith at Dundurn Press in Canada via Samantha Haywood and Laura Cameron of Transatlantic Literary Agency.

RACHEL HARRISON‘s Cack­le went to Jessica Wade at Berk­ley via Lucy Carson of Friedrich Agency.

JOMA WEST‘s novel Face and a second book went to Lee Harris at Publishing via Robbie Guillory of Kate Nash Literary Agency UK.

LEYNA KROW sold “darkly fabulist” collection Sinkhole, and Other Inexplicable Voids and feminist Western novel Fire Season to Allison Lorentzen at Viking in a pre-empt via Sarah Bedingfield at Levine Greenberg Rostan. Film rights to “Sinkhole” were optioned by Jordan Peele and Universal.

PAUL NEILAN sold SF detective novel The Hollywood Spiral to Wes Miller at Grand Central via Simon Lipskar of Writers House.

Zin E. Rocklyn (by Jolie Simmons)

JON RAYMOND‘s “anti-dys­topian” near-future thriller The Empty Chair went to Sean Man­ning at Simon & Schuster in a pre-empt via Bill Clegg of the Clegg Agency.

MATTHEW LYONS sold A Black and Endless Sky to Stepha­nie Beard at Turner Publishing via Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency.

EMILY HORNBURG, writing as E.E. HORNBURG, sold the last three books in the Cursed Queens series to Tee Tate at City Owl Press.

TODD BABIAK‘s Christ­mas ghost story The Spirit’s Up sold to Kelly Joseph at Mc­Clelland & Stewart via Martha Webb of CookeMcDermid.

ELIJAH MENCHACA‘s fan­tasy novel They Met in a Tavern went to Sue Arroyo at CamCat Books. Bridget McFadden will edit.

RANSOM RIGGS sold The Desolation of Devil’s Acre, latest in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, to Penguin Young Readers.

Joma West

ALICE MARSHALL sold queer supernatural YA These Fleeting Shadows and a second book to Mag­gie Rosenthal at Viking Children’s via Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS Literary Agency.

ANNA BRIGHT‘s YA fantasy The Song that Moves the Sun and a second title went to Stephanie Stein at Harper Teen via Elana Roth Parker of Laura Dail Literary Agency.

KAYLA COTTINGHAM sold YA feminist horror novel My Dear­est Darkest and a second book An­nie Berger at Sourcebooks Fire via Erica Bauman of Aevitas Creative Management.

AIDEN THOMAS sold a YA fantasy duology described as “Aztec Percy Jackson meets The Hunger Games” and a novel described as “Gay Titanic in Space” to Holly West at Feiwel and Friends via Jennifer March Soloway of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

B.L. DEAN sold YA SF novel Shades of Starlight and three more books to Rhett Bruno at Aethon via Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Liter­ary Agency.

D.B. SIEDERS sold Catching Hell, first in the Jinx McGee Demon Hunter series, and three more books to Tee Tate at City Owl Press.

Zen Cho (by Jim Hines)

JEN KARNER sold Blade-slinger, second in the Watchtower series, plus a second title to Heather McCorkle at City Owl Press via Jessica Reino at Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

H. MORRIS sold first novel, YA Breathing Fire, to Nancy Schumacher at Fire & Ice via Amy Brewer of Metamorphosis Literary Agency.

R.B. LEMBERG sold an un­titled Birdverse novella to Jacob Weisman at Tachyon via Mary Moore of Kimberley Cameron & Associates.

YU CHEN & REGINA KANYU WANG will edit an anthology of speculative short stories in trans­lation by women and nonbinary authors, including Xia Jia, R.F. Kuang, and Gu Shi, for Ruoxi Chen & Lindsey Hall at Publish­ing via Storycom.

DAN KOBOLDT will edit es­say anthology Putting the Fact in Fantasy: Advice from Experts to Bring Authenticity to Your Fan­tasy Writing for Writer’s Digest Books via Paul E. Stevens of Donald Maass Literary Agency.

EVAN ROSS KATZ will write non-fiction book I, Buffy, explor­ing the “cultural impact of the classic, ground-breaking television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” for Brant Rumble at Hachette, sold at auction via Robert Guin­sler of Sterling Lord Literistic.


Hiromi Kawakami (by Bungeishunju Ltd)

JAMES TIPTREE, JR.‘s Warm Worlds and Otherwise resold to Penguin UK via Vaughne Hansen of the Virginia Kidd Agency with Susan Smith of MBA.

ZEN CHO resold collection Spirits Abroad to Gavin Grant at Small Beer Press via Caitlin Blasdell of Liza Dawson Associates. It was previously published in 2014 by Malaysian publisher Buku Fixi (in English) with a slightly different table of contents.

MALINDA LO resold historical novel Last Night at the Telegraph Club to Melissa Cox at Hodder & Stoughton via Vanessa Kerr of Ab­ner Stein on behalf of Lauren Abramo of Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Dutton is publishing in the US.

HIROMI KAWAKAMI‘s inter­linked story collection People from My Neighborhood (translated by Ted Goossen) went to Yuka Igarashi at Soft Skull via Jackie Ko of the Wylie Agency. The book was origi­nally published in the UK by Granta.


NICOLE KORNHER-STACE delivered Jillian vs Parasite Planet to Jaymee Goh at Tachyon.


Ta-Nehisi Coates (by David Shankbone under a CCA 3.0 license)

AL ZUCKERMAN, founder of Writers House literary agency, has announced plans to retire, 47 years after the company’s founding.

ALISON RICH has been promoted to a newly created role, “senior vice president, author de­velopment,” at Penguin Random House, where she “will take the lead in helping us push further with the author brand development work.”


Film rights to TA-NEHISI COATES‘s The Water Dancer went to MGM. Plan B, Harpo Films, and Kamilah Forbes will produce, and Coates will write the adaptation.

Film and TV rights to MUR­RAY LEINSTER‘s Sidewise in Time were optioned by Universal Content Productions via Christine Cohen of the Virginia Kidd Agency and Brooke Ehrlich of Anonymous Content.

Film and TV rights to LESTER DEL REY‘s The Runaway Ro­bot were optioned by Past Present Productions via Christine Cohen of the Virginia Kidd Agency and Brooke Ehrlich of Anonymous Content.

This and more like it in the December 2020 issue of Locus.

Locus Magazine, Science Fiction FantasyWhile 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 free, but WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT to continue quality coverage of the science fiction and fantasy field.

©Locus Magazine. Copyrighted material may not be republished without permission of LSFF.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *