Books for 2019 by Carolyn Cushman

I read a lot of books in familiar series this year, and only a few really stood out. Ilona Andrews’s Sapphire Flames is a fun start to a new trilogy in the Hidden Legacy series of urban fantasy romances, focusing on Catalina, the second daughter in the heavily armed Baylor family, taking over as Head of the family’s House with her rare but powerful talent as a Siren – and ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Gingerbread, Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead 978-1-59463-465-9, $27.00, 272pp, hc) March 2019.

Make no mistake: Helen Oyeyemi’s sixth novel is literary fiction, with a profound central metaphor and wander­ing, unfixed storylines. Its language is heady and attention-getting: “Flowers wilt and shed mottled petals, mold blooms greenish-white on chocolate truffles, and Harriet’s gingerbread hunkers down in its tin, no more attractive than the day it ar­rived, but no more repellent either.” But ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews All Worlds Are Real by Susan Palwick

All Worlds Are Real, Susan Palwick (Fairwood Press 978-1-933846-84-2, $17.99, 320pp, tp) November 2019.

In her introduction to All Worlds are Real, Jo Walton correctly notes that Susan Palwick is “definitely not as well known as a writer this good ought to be at this point in her career.” While one reason for this is that she’s not been especially prolific – four novels and one prior collection ...Read More

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Captions Settlement

Audible and the publishers who sued them over their planned Captions program – which cre­ates scrolling, machine-generated text that dis­plays while their audiobooks are playing – have reached a settlement. Audible’s lawyer Em­ily Resbaum wrote to the court on January 13, 2020 that “We are pleased to inform the Court that the parties have resolved their disputes. The parties respectfully request until January 21 to allow the parties to obtain ...Read More

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Anne Clarke Leaves Gollancz

Gollancz publisher Anne Clarke is leaving the Orion imprint after one year in the post. Marcus Gipps is receiving a promotion to publishing director. Gipps worked as a bookseller for ten years before joining Gollancz in 2011, and most recently held the title of editorial director of Gollancz and SF Gateway. Gipps will work with deputy publisher Gillian Redfearn and will report to Orion managing director Katie Espiner.

Rachel Winterbottom ...Read More

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British Book Awards 30 from 30 List

The Bookseller has announced 30 from 30, a “super list” of 30 books from the past 30 years of British Book Awards winners as finalists for a one-off award for the best book of the past three decades. Titles of genre interest include Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Myer (Little, Brown), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury), Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (Scholastic), and The Lovely Bones ...Read More

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2019 Cybils Awards Winners

Winners for the 2019 Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) have been announced. Books of genre interest include:

Young Adult Speculative Fiction

  • WINNER: Fireborne, Rosaria Munda (Putnam)
  • Internment, Samira Ahmed (Little, Brown)
  • The Wicked King, Holly Black (Little, Brown)
  • Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Knopf)
  • Echo North, Joanna Ruth Meyer (Page Street Kids)
  • War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill)
  • Sorcery of
...Read More Read more

Year in Review 2019 by Ian Mond

This was my first full year reviewing books for Locus. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, even the yawning, anxiety-inducing depth of the white screen as I des­perately cobbled together something coherent to say about the books I was discussing. On that note (not the yawning depth of the white screen, but the books), I’ve read some terrific genre fiction this year. As has been the case for a decade ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney

A Dream So Dark, L.L. McKinney (Imprint 978-1-250-15392-0, $18.99, 416pp, hc) Sep­tember 2019.

L.L. McKinney picks up the action right where she left off with her new “all hands on deck” sequel to A Blade So Black, A Dream So Dark. After losing one of her closest friends and discovering a major se­cret about her mentor in the closing pages of A Blade So Black, McKinney’s ...Read More

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TA First Translation Prize

The Society of Authors announced the winners of its translation prizes on February 12, 2020 in a ceremony at the British Library in London, UK. Morgan Giles’s translation of Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri (Tilted Axis) won the £2,000 TA First Translation Prize, sponsored by Daniel Hahn and the British Council, and given “for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK.” The award is shared between ...Read More

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SF by the Bay Exhibit

The San Francisco Public Library presents “SF by the Bay,” an exhibit and series of events from February 1 – April 30, 2020, showcasing the library’s J. Francis McComas Fantasy and Science Fiction Collection and celebrating the San Francisco Bay Area’s contributions SF art, film, and literature. The exhibit is located on the 3rd floor of the Main Library in the General Collections and Humanities Center, with associated displays located ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews Resurgence by C.J. Cherryh

Resurgence, C.J. Cherryh (DAW 978-0-7564-1427-6, $26.00, 340pp, hc) January 2020. Cover by Todd Lockwood.

A quarter-century and 20 volumes into a long-running series, it’s hard to figure the exact audience to address in a review of the newest, Resurgence. When C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner sequence began in 1994, it looked like it might have been the start of a mere trilogy. Over the last 25 years, it has become ...Read More

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SLF Grant Recipients

The Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) announced several grant recipients.

María Isabel Álvarez won the 2019 Gulliver Travel Grant, which gives $1,000 annually to cover airfare, lodging, or other travel expenses. Honorable mentions were Michaux Dempster, Claire Holroyde, and Jenni Zellner.

Del Sandeen won the 2019 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants. The Diverse Writers Grant is “intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as ...Read More

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2019 by Tim Pratt

Most years I read a fair bit of science fiction and fan­tasy, but the majority of my pleasure reading tends to be mystery and crime (I don’t write in those genres, so I can enjoy them without that otherwise inevitable layer of analysis). This year, though, I’m on an award jury cover­ing speculative fiction, and as a result, I’ve read more widely and deeply in my home field than I ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill

Full Throttle: Stories, Joe Hill (Morrow 978-0-06220-067-9, $27.99, 484pp, hc) October 2019.

Joe Hill’s first collection 20th Century Ghosts – which this reviewer read, reviewed, and then interviewed the author while having no idea he was the son of Stephen King – was full of fresh, genre-bending work. It was a thrill to discover an unknown author with such talent and promise. Of course, Hill went on from there ...Read More

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Paul Barnett (1949-2020)

Scottish author and editor Paul Barnett, 70, who wrote SF mostly as John Grant, died February 3, 2020. In addition to his extensive writing career, he worked in publishing, serving as a commissioning editor at art book publisher Paper Tiger from 1997-2004; for his work there, he won a Chesley Award for best art director in 2002, and received a World Fantasy Award nomination the following year. He edited The ...Read More

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2019 Analog AnLab and Asimov’s Readers’ Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2019 Analog Analytical Laboratory (AnLab) and Asimov’s Readers’ Awards have been announced and are available to read online.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact Analytical Laboratory Award Finalists

Best Novella

  • “The Gorilla in a Tutu Principle or, Pecan Pie at Minnie and Earl’s“, Adam-Troy Castro (9-10/19)
  • “The Savannah Problem“, Adam-Troy Castro (1-2/19)
  • “You Must Remember This“, Jay O’Connell (11-12/19)

Best Novelette

  • “A Mate Not a Meal“, Sarina Dorie
...Read More Read more

Photo Story: Celebrating 90 Years of Analog

Editors, writers, scholars, and fans came together to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Analog Science Fiction and Fact and launch its milestone issue at the Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium in downtown Brooklyn NY on December 12, 2019. Organized by Jason Ellis, assistant professor of English at City Tech, and Emily Hockaday, managing editor of Analog, the event featured an editors’ roundtable, author readings, Analog-focused research paper presentations, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe and Ian Mond Review The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes

The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga 978-1-534-43986-3, $19.99, 176pp) November 2019.

Rivers Solomon’s The Deep has a pretty colorful and convoluted history, but one that suggests how SF and Afrofuturist conceits are increasingly interacting with the broader culture. The idea of a utopian under­water society built by the water-breathing de­scendants of pregnant slaves thrown overboard from slave ships was first conceived by ...Read More

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2019 BSFA Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2019 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards has been announced.

Best Novel

  • The Green Man’s Foe, Juliet E. McKenna (Wizard’s Tower)
  • Atlas Alone, Emma Newman (Gollancz)
  • Fleet of Knives, Gareth L. Powell (Titan)
  • Children of Ruin, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)
  • The Rosewater Insurrection, Tade Thompson (Orbit)

Best Shorter Fiction

  • To Be Taught, If Fortunate, Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • This is
...Read More Read more

Uncanny Magazine 2019 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll

The top five results of the Uncanny Magazine 2019 Favorite Fiction Reader Poll have been announced.

  • “Away With the Wolves“, Sarah Gailey
  • (tie): “The Dead, In Their Uncontrollable Power“, Karen Osborne and “A Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy“, Jenn Reese
  • “A Catalog of Storms“, Fran Wilde
  • “How the Trick Is Done“, A.C. Wise
  • “This Is Not My Adventure“, Karlo Yeager Rodríguez
  • Sarah Gailey ...Read More

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    2020 Splatterpunk Awards Nominees

    Nominees have been announced for the Splatterpunk Awards, “honoring superior achievement for works published in 2019 in the sub-genres of Splatterpunk and Extreme Horror.”

    Best Novel

    • Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Max Booth III (Cinestate/Fangoria)
    • Killer Lake, W.D. Gagliani & David Benton (Deadite)
    • Reception, Kenzie Jennings (Death’s Head)
    • Lakehouse Infernal, Christine Morgan (Deadite)
    • Merciless, Bryan Smith (Grindhouse)
    • Toxic Love, Kristopher Triana (Blood Bound)
    • They Kill,
    ...Read More Read more

    2020 Dell Award Winner

    “Imitation Game” by Rona Wang is the winner of the 2020 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. The award is “given annually to the best short-story written in the science fiction or fantasy genres by a full-time undergraduate college student,” and is accompanied by a $500 cash prize, publication in Asimov’s, and an invitation to ICFA (International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts), ...Read More

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    2020 Compton Crook Award Finalists

    The Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) has announced the finalists for the 2020 Compton Crook Award:

    • Here and Now and Then, Mike Chen (Harlequin/Mira)
    • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix Harrow (Redhook)
    • The Outside, Ada Hoffman (Angry Robot)
    • A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
    • A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)

    The award honors the best first SF/fantasy/horror novel of the ...Read More

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    2019 by Colleen Mondor

    I read a lot of great young adult SF/F books in 2019 and was most struck by the diversity of subjects that came across my desk. There continues (thank­fully) to be no dominant theme in YA fantasy, a welcome departure from the past. With the excep­tion of a cluster of titles set in Paris (which is fine; what’s not to like about Paris?), it’s really impossible to point in any ...Read More

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    Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone: Letter Space

    Amal El-Mohtar was born December 13, 1984 in Ottawa, Canada, and grew up there, apart from two years spent in Lebanon, where her family is from. She began publishing short fiction with “The Crow’s Caw” (2006) and has published scores of stories and poems, nota­bly Hugo, Locus, and Nebula Award winner “Seasons of Glass and Iron” (2016, also a World Fantasy, Sturgeon Memorial, and Aurora Award final­ist), Nebula Award finalists ...Read More

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    Adam Roberts Reviews The Quantum Garden by Derek Künsken

    The Quantum Garden, Derek Künsken (Solaris 978-1781085714, $11.99, 300pp, tp) October 2019.

    I reviewed Künsken’s debut novel The Quan­tum Magician for Locus and was, I can be honest, unsurprised Solaris elected not to use my summary judgment as a cover-blurb, viz.: “It’s not Proust but it passes the time.” Now here’s the follow-up volume: The Quantum Garden, Quantum Evolution #2. It is more of the same. If you ...Read More

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    Russell Letson and Gary K. Wolfe Review Agency by William Gibson

    Agency, William Gibson (Berkley 978-1-101-98693-6, $28.99, 416pp, hc) January 2020.

    In Agency, William Gibson has produced a sequel to The Peripheral – or as much of a sequel as can be expected of a story space built, not on one alternate history or timeline, but on branching sets of them. Of course, the “multiple alternate histories” enabling device has been around SF for decades, going back as far ...Read More

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    Barnes & Noble Legal News

    Barnes & Noble has requested a jury trial in the age discrimination lawsuit filed by Barbara Tavres in the US Dis­trict Court in Northern California. Tavres was fired on September 6, 2019 after a career that be­gan in 2006, and claimed Barnes & Noble fired her because of her age, and also used policies, practices, and procedures which disproportion­ately affected employees age 40 and older. She seeks class action status. ...Read More

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    Mr. Russell’s Neighborhood by Russell Letson

    Let’s try a different metaphor for this annual make-sense-of-the-field exercise: a ramble through my science-fictional reading neighborhood, which is a virtual space instantiated from the manifold of all-the-books-published and distinct from the neighborhoods described elsewhere in these pages by my colleagues. As I have pointed out nearly every year of the 30 I’ve been writing these wrap-ups, my reading is not statistically or demographically or subculturally representative – it’s the ...Read More

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    Ian Mond Reviews Jakarta by Rodrigo Márquez Tizano

    Jakarta, Rodrigo Márquez Tizano (Coffee House Press 978-1566895637, $16.95, 160pp, tp) No­vember 2019.

    The fact that Rodrigo Márquez Tizano’s debut, Jakarta, (originally published in 2016 and trans­lated by the always brilliant Thomas Bunstead) does not take place in Indonesia is one of the least puzzling aspects of this hallucinogenic novel. The setting is the city of Atlantika, a crumbling dys­topia, struggling to recover from the Z-Bug, the latest ...Read More

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    PRH Belongs to Bertelsmann

    German conglomerate Bertelsmann is now the sole owner of Penguin Random House after Pearson sold them its 25% owner­ship stake for an estimated $675 million. The deal is expected to be complete in the spring. Pearson owned Penguin, and Ber­telsmann owned Random House, before the merger in 2012, at which point Bertels­mann had a 53% share and Pearson 47%. Pearson later sold 22% of its shares to the other company ...Read More

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