Harvey Jacobs (1930-2017)

Writer Harvey Jacobs, 87, died September 23, 2017 of a sudden bacterial infection shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Harvey Jay Jacobs was born January 7, 1930 in New York. He often wrote movingly of the Jewish experience, sometimes with a magical realist bent, and used SF elements for satirical purposes as well. His first work of genre interest was “A Wind Age” in Tomorrow (1951), and other notable ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun

After the Flare, by Deji Bryce Olukotun (Unnamed Press 978-1-9447-0018-8, $16.00, 264pp, tp September 2017)

Despite its provocative title, Deji Bryce Olukotun’s first novel Nigerians in Space escaped my attention in 2014, but as it turns out, the Nigerians don’t actually get into space in that novel, which is mostly an international thriller centered around an effort to bring expatriate Nigerian brain power back to the home country (or

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2017 Aurora Awards Winners

The 2017 Aurora Awards winners have been announced “for Canadian literary and fan works that members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) feel are exceptional” including a special “Best of the Decade” category with works “first published between 2001 and the end of 2010 by Canadians.”

Best Novel

  • WINNER: Quantum Night, Robert J. Sawyer (Penguin Canada)
  • Company Town, Madeline Ashby (Tor)
  • The Courier, Gerald
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2017 Copper Cylinder Awards

The Sunburst Award Society has announced the winners of the sixth annual Copper Cylinder Awards.

The Adult Award winner is Company Town by Madeleine Ashby (Tor). The Young Adult Award winner is The Skids by Ian Donald Keeling (ChiTeen).

The Copper Cylinder Awards celebrate “the best in Canadian fantastic literature published during the previous calendar year,” and are selected by members of the Sunburst Award Society. The award’s name comes ...Read More

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Weekly Bestsellers, 25 September 2017

Various editions of Stephen King’s It dominate lists this week; even the hardcover edition ranks, on the Publishers Weekly list.


Title Debut / #wks on any list NYT 10.01 WP 09.03 LAT 09.24 USAT 09.17 PW 09.25 Amz (09.25) UK: Amz UK (09.25) Canada: Amz.ca (09.25) Items on list -x- number of lists surveyed 30×4 10×2 15×2 150 15×3 100 100 100 Hardcovers Bardugo, Wonder Woman: Warbringer 09.11.17 / ...Read More Read more

Kit Reed (1932-2017)

Author Kit Reed, 85, died September 24, 2017 several months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. She was a prolific author with an astonishing range who published work consistently for almost 60 years, writing outstanding novels and stories in various genres for children, teens, and adults.

Her first SF story was “The Wait” (1958; AKA “To Be Taken in a Strange Country”) in F&SF. She published scores of stories ...Read More

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Arrested Developments: Homo aspergerus Revisited, by Gary Westfahl

Surely, the most unanticipated result of my 2006 article “Homo aspergerus: Evolution Stumbles Forward” (here) was commenters asserting that despite my claim, I didn’t really have Asperger’s Syndrome. I am sure those individuals meant well; on the face of it, it is daft and needlessly self-damaging to announce to the world that one suffers from a form of mental illness, so sympathetic observers might naturally be inspired to

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Classics in Reprint, September 2017

Hodgson, William Hope : The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” and Other Nautical Adventures (Night Shade Books 978-1597809207, $17.99, 512pp, trade paperback, September 2017) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Sep 2017 (First edition: Night Shade Books, September 2003)

Omnibus of the 1907 title novel plus 23 other nautical stories, the first volume in Night Shade’s five-volume series of complete works by Hodgson, now appearing in paperback. • Night Shade’s

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2017 Elgin Awards Winners

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the 2017 Elgin Awards, presented for the best poetry chapbook and the best full-length poetry book in the speculative genre. The Elgin Awards are named after the founder of SFPA, Suzette Haden Elgin.

  • First Place: Leviathan, Neil Aitken (Hyacinth Girl)
  • Second Place: Radio Heart, or; How Robots Fall Out of Love, Margaret Rhee
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New in Paperback: September 2017

Beaulieu, Bradley P. : Of Sand and Malice Made (DAW 978-0756413323, $14, 240pp, trade paperback, September 2017) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 19 Sep 2017 • The Song of Shattered Sands #2 (First edition: DAW, September 2016)

Fantasy novel, second book in a series following Twelve Kings of Sharakhai (2015), set in a great desert city rules by twelve immortal kings. • Penguin’s site has this description.

• Purchase this

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New Books : 19 September 2017

* Canavan, Trudi : Successor’s Promise (Orbit 978-0316209281, $27, 576pp, hardcover, September 2017) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 19 Sep 2017 • Ebook ISBN [link to Amazon Kindle edition]: 9780316324960 • UK edition: 978-0356501161 (Thu 21 Sep 2017) • Millennium’s Rule #3

Fantasy novel, third in a series following Thief’s Magic (2014) and Angel of Storms (2015), about a sentient book in a world where magic powers an industrial

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Ellis Wins Joan Aiken Prize

Harklights by Tim Ellis is the winner of the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize for “a standout new voice in middle grade children’s fiction.” The competition was judged by agent Julia Churchill and Lizza Aiken, curator of the Aiken estate. Ellis will receive £1,000 and a set of The Wolves Chronicles by Joan Aiken.

Ellis’ entry was originally listed in the contest shortlist under the title The Awful Orphanage. ...Read More

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Weekly Bestsellers, 18 September 2017

Sarah J. Maas’s Tower of Dawn (Bloomsbury) debuts impressively at #3 on the combined Publishers Weekly list, and #2 on the Publishers Weekly Frontlist Children’s list.


Title Debut / #wks on any list NYT 09.24 WP 09.03 LAT 09.10 USAT 09.10 PW 09.18 Amz (09.18) UK: Amz UK (09.18) Canada: Amz.ca (09.18) Items on list -x- number of lists surveyed 30×4 10×2 15×2 150 15×3 100 100 100 Hardcovers ...Read More Read more

Matt Ruff: Lovecraft Country

Matthew Theron Ruff was born September 8, 1965 in New York. He attended Cornell University, where he studied English. His senior thesis became first novel Fool on the Hill (1988), a fantasy set at the college, and a Mythopoeic and Crawford Award nominee. He has been a full-time writer ever since.

Second book Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy (1997) was a satirical SF novel, and established Ruff’s

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Jeff Noon

A Man of Shadows, by Jeff Noon (Angry Robot 978-0-85766-670-3, $14.99, 352pp, trade paperback) August 2017

Even for a reader old enough to have lived through the year 1993 and its associated fantastika publications, that period now seems impossibly distant and alien, an era akin to the Enlightenment or the Renaissance–or maybe the Dark Ages, given one’s particular slant on the past. For younger readers, the events and atmosphere

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Russell Letson Reviews The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross

The Delirium Brief, Charles Stross (Tor.com Publishing 978-0-7653-9466-8, $24.99, 381pp, hc) July 2017. Cover by Peter Lutjen

The harried operatives of the demon-wrangling covert service called the Laundry can’t catch a break in Charles Stross’s The Delirium Brief, which picks up in the aftermath of the disastrous cross-universe invasion of last year’s The Nightmare Stacks. The pitched battles with hordes of elven warriors riding unicorns and dragons

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Machado and Egan Make NBA Fiction Longlist

The longlist for the National Book Award for Fiction has been announced, including Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado (Graywolf) and Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Scribner)

The Young People’s longlist was revealed September 12. The National Book Awards (NBA) longlists for other categories will be announced throughout September, and finalists will be announced October 4, 2017. Winners will be announced at a ceremony and benefit ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews C. Robert Cargill

Sea of Rust, by C. Robert Cargill (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-240583-8, $27.99, 384pp, hardcover) September 2017

Robots are obviously an SF “power chord,” an essential, irreplaceable, infinitely mutable trope. And so long as there have been robots, there have been tales of robot rebellions or uprisings. Obviously, Karel Čapek’s R.U.R from 1920 is a primary starting point. But today we are concerned only with a subset of the robot rebellion

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2017 Man Booker Shortlist

The 6-title shortlist for the Man Booker Prize includes several titles of genre interest:

  • 4 3 2 1, Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)
  • Exit West, Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Bloomsbury)

The award, which includes a £50,000 prize, is presented annually to the best original novel in the English language by a living author. This year’s judges are Sarah Hall, Tom Phillips, ...Read More

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New Books : 12 September 2017

* Abraham, Brad : Magicians Impossible (St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne 978-1-250-08352-4, $27.99, 400pp, hardcover, September 2017) • Nominal Publication Date: Tue 12 Sep 2017 • Ebook ISBN [link to Amazon Kindle edition]: 9781250083531

Fantasy novel, the author’s first novel, about a man who discovers his late father was a secret agent in a society of magical spies. • Macmillan’s site has this description with an excerpt. • The Publishers Weekly review

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2017 NBA Young People’s Longlist

The longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature has been announced, including titles of genre interest: All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (Algonquin Young Readers), Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (Walden Pond), and American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray).

National Book Awards (NBA) longlists for other categories will be announced throughout September, and finalists will be announced October 4, 2017. Winners will ...Read More

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Weekly Bestsellers, 11 September 2017

Two media tie-in novels debut this week: Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Random House), on two children’s lists, ranking as high as #3; and Delilah S. Dawson’s Star Wars: Phasma (Del Rey), ranking #10 on two lists.


Title Debut / #wks on any list NYT 09.17 WP 09.03 LAT 09.10 USAT 09.03 PW 09.11 Amz (09.11) UK: Amz UK (09.11) Canada: Amz.ca (09.11) Items on list -x- number of ...Read More Read more

2017 Dwarf Stars Winners

The Science Fiction Poetry Association has announced the 2017 Dwarf Stars Award winners.

  • First Place: “aster than the speed of lightf”, LeRoy Gorman (Scifaikuest 11-16)
  • Second Place: “Lover”, Holly Day (Homestead Review Spring 2016)
  • Third Place: “Loss”, Sandi Leibowitz (Through the Gate 11-16)

The Dwarf Stars Award is given by the SFPA to recognize the best speculative poem of one to ten lines published in the previous year. Winners will ...Read More

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Lunacon 2018 Canceled

The New York Science Fiction Society (the Lunarians (2), Inc.) has decided not to hold Lunacon in 2018. Lunacon was previously canceled for 2015 but was held again in 2016 and 2017. In a press release, Lunarians (2) president Stuart C. Hellinger said:

Our organization has the future of Lunacon under complete review and evaluation. Once a decision has been finalized as to how and if to proceed, we will ...Read More

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Into the Black Short Story Contest

The Economic Security Project has launched the Into the Black short story contest to explore the impact of basic income on future society. The grand prize winner will have their story published on io9 and will receive a $12,000 “basic income” for 2018. Additionally, short list winners will each receive $1,000 and have their story published on the Economic Security Project website or io9. Deadline for submissions is November 1, ...Read More

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Karin Tidbeck: Language Matters

Karin Margareta Tidbeck was born April 6, 1977, in Stockholm, Sweden, and grew up in the suburbs. She briefly attended university before dropping out. She worked at various jobs, including in a bookshop, and just before she turned 30, enrolled in a three-year arts program. She attended the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2010.

Her debut collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? (2010) appeared in Sweden. First English-language

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Periodicals, early September 2017

Apex Magazine • Quarterly magazine of SF and horror, since 2005; current editor Sigrid Ellis • Format: Online; Ebook formats • Frequency: Monthly • http://apex-magazine.com/

September 2017— Issue 100, cover art by Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor • This 100th issue has fiction by Andrea Tang, Kameron Hurley, Carrie Laben, Kristi DeMeester, and Lucy A. Snyder. • Nonfiction includes interviews with Kameron Hurley and artist Carolina Rodriguez Fuenmayor, an essay on

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Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017)

SF writer Jerry Pournelle, 84, died September 8, 2017, at his home in Studio City CA after a sudden illness.

Jerry Eugene Pournelle was born August 7, 1933 in Shreveport LA. He served in the US Army from 1950-52, and attended the University of Iowa from 1953-54. He earned his bachelor’s at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1955, where he also took a master’s in statistics and systems ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews James Bradley

Clade, by James Bradley (Titan 978-1785654145, $14.95, 320pp, trade paperback September 2017; Penguin Australia, January 2015)

Clade is an irresistible title for a hardcore SF novel. I thought so in 2003 when a promising cyberpunk author named Mark Budz used it for his debut novel. (I ended up reviewing the subsequent well-done trilogy for Scott Edelman at SF Weekly. Alas, Budz has fallen silent since 2007.) I would stake

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Blinks: Reviews by Everdeen Mason, N.K. Jemisin, Gary K. Wolfe; Le Guin blogs; Edelman and Kelly dine

» Washington Post: Everdeen Mason reviews Maggie Shen King, Ann Leckie, Marie Lu

» NY Times: N.K. Jemisin reviews Ann Leckie, Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda, J.Y. Yang, Jeffrey Ford

» Chicago Tribune: Gary K. Wolfe reviews Nnedi Okorafor, Annalee Newitz, James Bradley

» New Republic: What Happens When a Science Fiction Genius Starts Blogging?, about Ursula K. Le Guin’s new book No Time to Spare, due in December ...Read More

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Locus Bestsellers, September 2017

HARDCOVERS Months on list Last month

1) Beren and Lúthien, J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 1 – 2) The Rise and Fall of D. O. D. O., Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland (HarperCollins/Morrow) 1 – 3) Assassin’s Fate, Robin Hobb (Ballantine Del Rey) 2 2 4) Walkaway, Cory Doctorow (Tor) 3 1 5) The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi (Tor) 4 4 6) The Black Elfstone
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