Atwood and Evaristo Win 2019 Booker Prize

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (Vintage, Chatto & Windus) and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton) were announced as joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize during a ceremony held October 14, 2019 at the Guildhall in London, UK.

The Booker rules forbid splitting the prize, but chair of judges Peter Florence said, “We were told quite firmly that the rules state we can only have one winner. ...Read More

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2018 Sidewise Award Winners

The winners for the 2018 Sidewise Awards for Alternate History have been announced.

Long Form

  • WINNER: The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
  • Summerland, Hannu Rajaniemi (Tor)
  • The Trial and Execution of the Traitor George Washington, Charles Rosenberg (Hanover Square)
  • Unholy Land, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)

Short Form

  • WINNER: Codex Valtierra, Oscar (Xiu) Ramirez & Emmanuel Valtierra (self-published)
  • “The Secret City”, Rick Wilber (Asimov’s 9-10/18)


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Colleen Mondor Reviews Trace by Pat Cummings

Trace, Pat Cummings (HarperCollins 978-0-06-269884-1, $16.99, 320pp, hc) April 2019.

Sometimes, readers want a gentle story with big-hearted characters that manages to convey powerful drama in a subtle plot. Trace by Pat Cummings is exactly that, a ghost story that combines an unfolding historical mystery with a heartfelt coming-of-age tale. It is a muted novel, as much about the struggle of adapting to a new family situation as it ...Read More

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Harold Bloom (1930-2019)

Literary critic Harold Bloom, 89, died October 14, 2019 in a New Haven CT hospital. Bloom was one of the most famous and controversial critics in America, writing and editing bestselling, influential volumes like The Anxiety of Influence (1973), Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages (1994), and How to Read and Why (2000). In all he wrote more than ...Read More

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2019 Imadjinn Awards Winners

Winners for the 2019 Imadjinn Awards were announced during Imaginarium 2019, held October 11-13, 2019 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Louisville KY. Categories of genre interest include:

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • WINNER: Storm Forged, Patrick Dugan (Falstaff)
  • The Shadow Beneath the Waves, Matt Betts (Severed)
  • Jurassic Jail, William Alan Webb (Dingbat)

Best Fantasy Novel

  • WINNER: Fey West, Michael J. Allen (Bell Bridge)
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Tiptree Award Renamed

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award has been renamed the Otherwise Award, announced by members of the Tiptree Motherboard on October 13, 2019. In a statement, they said:

The Tiptree Award was named as a joyful joke, 28 years ago.

James Tiptree, Jr/Alice Sheldon is a complicated figure who has grown more so as participants in the sff world have gained more diverse perspectives and more acute critical analyses. In ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings launched the Chorus of Dragons series, and book two, The Name of All Things, is out soon. Tell us about the series.

Fortunately for me, A Chorus of Dragons really IS about dragons. Also: gods, demons, prophecies, so much magic, and the poor fools caught in the middle of that whirlwind. But dig a little deeper and the series is about the way massive systems corrupt ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Analog, Asimov’s, and F&SF

Analog 7-8/19 Asimov’s 7-8/19 F&SF 5-6/19

I’ve always thought that if Analog was truly the central bastion of hard SF among our magazines it ought to be publishing Greg Egan but, with the exception of “Beyond the Whistle Test” 30 years ago, his work has not appeared in the magazine. Until now! And “The Slipway” qualifies as pure a hard SF story as you might want – so ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews The Thousand Demon Tree by Jeffrey Alan Love

The Thousand Demon Tree, Jeffrey Alan Love (Flesk 978-1-64041-010-7, $29.95, 93pp, hc) Au­gust 2019. Cover by Jeffrey Alan Love.

In The Thousand Demon Tree, Jeffrey Alan Love follows up his popular Notes from the Shadowed City (Flesk, 2017) with a powerful 96-page wordless graphic novel.

Love has painted an eloquent tale whose haunt­ing silhouettes and strange atmospheric effects create a timeless eerie story in which the reader is ...Read More

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Atwood Embargo Broken

Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, was under a worldwide embargo until Sep­tember 10, 2019. Amazon shipped “a small number” of copies a week early to customers who’d pre-ordered. A Penguin Random House spokesperson said the books “were distributed early due to a retailer error which has not been rectified. We appreciate that readers and booksellers have been waiting patiently… in order to ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Necropolis PD by Nathan Sumsion

Necropolis PD, Nathan Sumsion (Parvus Press 978-0-99978-423-5, $15.99, 412pp, tp) April 2019.

“Why am I always a few steps behind every conversation I get into?” asks Jake Green, the protagonist of Nathan Sumsion’s Necropolis PD, about halfway through this overlong, rudimentary novel. The potential answers to this question: Jake is an idiot, or Sumsion relies on thin narrative strategies to maintain tension. Or both. Although the novel moves ...Read More

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ALA Petitions Macmillan

The American Library Association launched a petition to protest Macmillan’s “recent efforts to limit library access to ebooks.” The petition reads, in part,

Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmil­lan Publishers will allow libraries to pur­chase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release.

Readers cannot stay silent! We need your help!

This embargo would limit libraries’ abil­ity to provide access to information ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Midnight at the Organporium by Tara Campbell

Midnight at the Organporium, Tara Campbell (Aqueduct Press 978-1-61976-163-6, $12.00, 112pp, tp) March 2019.

Tara Campbell’s Midnight at the Organporium (Conversation Pieces: Volume 67) is a more eclectic collection, showcasing an array of moods and story-telling techniques. In the opening piece, “Death Sure Changes a Person”, Harlan is visited by his dead wife, Lucille, who orders him to start dating again. This surprises Harlan, not because the advice is ...Read More

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Curtis Brown First Novel Prize

Dazzling by Chikọdili Emelumadu has won the inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel Prize. Emelumadu will receive £3,000 and an offer of representation from the Curtis Brown agency. The Wickedry of Mrs Wood by Lucy Barker was runner-up, and Barker will also receive an offer of representation; Monkeyflower by Debra Hills won a special commendation prize, earning Hills “a place on a three-month novel-writing course.” Curtis Brown Creative received “more than ...Read More

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Photo Story: Deep Dish Reading Series

The latest Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) Deep Dish Reading series was held August 8, 2019 at Volumes Book Cafe in Chicago IL. Co-hosted by Mary Anne Mohanraj & Chris Bauer, the event featured readings by Scott Woods, S.L. Huang, and T.J. Martinson. Other readers included Dawn Bonanno, Richard Chwedyk, Beth Kander, and Aurelius Raines II. These events are sponsored by the SLF with assistance from SFWA grants. The next reading ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Finder by Suzanne Palmer and The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Kath­erine Howe

Finder, Suzanne Palmer (DAW 978-0-7564-1510-5, $26.00, 400pp, hc) April 2019.

Hugo Award winner Suzanne Palmer’s Finder gets off to slow start, despite its action packed opening scene. Fergus Ferguson, an Earth-born repo man/thief/finder of lost things, is traveling in a cable car between space habitats. The other passenger in the car, Mother Vahn, assures him that the ride will smooth out soon. It doesn’t. Instead, they are attacked, the ...Read More

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Tokarczuk and Handke Win Nobels

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk has won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature “for a narrative imagination that with encyclopedic passion represents the crossing of boundaries as a form of life.” Her genre work includes Flights (Riverhead) and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (Riverhead).

Austrian author Peter Handke was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the ...Read More

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2018 D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award Winners

Twelfth Planet Press announced two winners of the 2018 D Franklin Defying Doomsday Award, given in recognition of “work in disability advocacy in SFF literature”: R.B. Lemberg for blog post “Sergeant Bothari and Disability Representation in the Early Vorkosiverse” (Strange Horizons 7/16/18) and Ace Ratcliff for blog post “Staircases In Space: Why Are Places In Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?” (io9 7/31/18).

The prize is judged by Tsana Dolichva, Holly Kench, ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Yoshitaka Amano and James Cawthorn

Yoshitaka Amano: The Illustrated Biography/Beyond the Fantasy, Florent Gorges (Dark Horse 978-1-50670-753-2, $49.99, 336pp, hc) November 2018. Cover by Yoshitaka Amano.

The illustrated biography of Yoshitaka Amano is another hefty, handsome volume, so large that it seems to have required two sub-titles besides its main title. The 335-page retrospective pays homage to the revered Japanese fine artist, il­lustrator, character designer, and scenic and costume designer.

Amano began his remarkable ...Read More

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Fiyah, and BCS

Clarkesworld 6/19 Fiyah Spring ’19 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/6/19, 6/20/19

Clarkesworld starts its June issue with a gut punch of a story, “The Painter of Trees” by Suzanne Palmer. Colonizers of an alien world have a society with very strict protocols. As their terraforming efforts kill off the last of the indigenous population, one colo­nizing individual maintains contact with the last representative, Tski, hoping to gain insight ...Read More

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Audible Captions News

Audible was recently sued by seven publishers who allege that the audiobook publisher’s new “Captions” feature, which scrolls machine-generated text along with audio narra­tion, violates their copyrights. Audible agreed not to enable the feature “for all audiobooks for which Publishers own, or are the exclusive licensee of, the text or audiobook rights” until the court rules on the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction.

Audible also notified its self-published authors ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War, Julie Berry (Greenwillow 978-0-451-46993-9, $18.99, 468pp, hc) March 2019.

From the cover, Lovely War by Julie Berry appears to be the historical novel that it is. You have a young woman in period dress, a photo of WWI soldiers in the background, and a statue of the Eiffel Tower encircled with biplanes in the woman’s hands. There is nothing to suggest fantasy from the cover, but rest ...Read More

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New Editor at GigaNotoSaurus

LaShawn M. Wanak is the new editor of GigaNotoSaurus, taking over from Elora Gatts. As previously announced, Gatts had assumed the role in December of 2018.

Wanak is a book reviewer for Lightspeed and served as an associate editor at PodCastle from 2013 to 2015. She says,

I know it’s been a while since GigaNotoSaurus has published a new story. Therefore, I’ll be closing submissions this Friday, August 9, 2019, ...Read More

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2019 National Book Awards Finalists

Finalists for the National Book Awards (NBA) have been announced, including titles of genre interest.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (Riverhead) is a finalist in the Fiction category. The Young People’s Literature category includes Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me A World) and Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby (Balzer & Bray). The Translated Literature category includes The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Everything is Made of Letters by Sofía Rhei

Everything is Made of Letters, Sofía Rhei (Aqueduct 978-1-61976-149-0, $12.00, 152pp, tp) February 2019.

Since 2004, Aqueduct Press has published a small paperback series, called Conversation Pieces, that aims to “document and facilitate the grand conversation” of feminist science fiction. The more than 60 volumes issued so far collect essays, poetry, novellas, and short fiction authored by an impressive range of writers, a veritable who’s who of the field ...Read More

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Hambly Wins Forry Award

The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS) has selected Barbara Hambly as this year’s recipient of the Forry Award for lifetime achievement in the SF field. The award, named for Forrest J Ackerman and given annually since 1966, will be presented by LASFS president Marty Cantor at Loscon 46, to be held November 29 – December 1, 2019 at the LAX Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles CA.

[via File 770] ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Why Does Writing Books Get Tougher Instead of Easier?

One of the ironies of the writing craft is that the more novels many of us write, the more difficult it is to write a novel. This appears to be a contradiction, but I hear it again and again from other professional writers, and I encounter it in my own work. It’s as if, once you know how to write a book, it gets easier to see the flaws in ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett and Stormrise by Jillian Boehme

Claire Eliza Bartlett, We Rule the Night (Little, Brown 978-0-316-41727-3, $17.99, 390pp, hc) April 2019.

Young women get the unprecedented chance to serve in the military as pilots in this thrilling young-adult tale set in a magical version of WWII Soviet Russia, and based on actual history. The Union of the North faces an enemy with superior technology, includ­ing deadly aircraft powered by forbidden Weave magic. The Union, strapped for ...Read More

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2019 Sunburst Awards Winners

The winners for the 2019 Sunburst Awards for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic have been announced:

Adult Fiction

  • WINNER: Plum Rains, Andromeda Romano-Lax (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Sodom Road Exit, Amber Dawn (Arsenal Pulp)
  • Armed in Her Fashion, Kate Heartfield (ChiZine)
  • Annex, Rich Larson (Orbit)
  • Trickster Drift, Eden Robinson (Penguin Random House Canada)

Young Adult Fiction

  • WINNER: Tess of the Road, Rachel
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Karen Haber Reviews The Electric State by Simon Stålenhag

The Electric State, Simon Stålenhag (Skybound 978-1-5011-8141-2, $35.00, 141pp, hc) September 2018. Cover by Simon Stålenhag.

The Electric State is a fascinating work, an il­lustrated novel in which the art carries the burden of the narrative. The tale is one of an alternative reality in the recent past in the western US where the accelerated development of AI and VR in the wake of a civil war has led ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews If, Then by Kate Hope Day

If, Then, Kate Hope Day (Random House 978-0-52551-122-9, $26.00, 272pp, hc) March 2019.

Kate Hope Day’s debut novel, If, Then, is a sliding doors narrative revolving around a group of characters living in the same neighborhood, all of whom have reached a gloomy kind of breaking point in their personal lives. Ginny, a neurosur­geon, is working herself to death and inhabits a marriage that’s on life support. Her ...Read More

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Tiptree Award to Be Renamed

The Tiptree Motherboard, the seven-member committee in charge of the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award for books “encouraging the exploration and expansion of gender,” has an­nounced plans to change the name of the award in the future. In a post titled “Alice Sheldon and the name of the Tiptree Award” updated on Sep­tember 11, 2019, they wrote

We said we would be listening and we have. We’ve read your thoughtful ...Read More

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