J.K. Rowling’s ongoing commentary online about transgender people led four authors to resign from the Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency: Fox Fisher, Drew Davies, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir, and an author who chose to remain anonymous. The authors asked their agency “to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality,” and following discussions with the company, the authors “felt that [agency leaders] were unable to commit to any action that ...Read MoreRead more
Author P.M. Griffin, 73, died August 10, 2020 in Brooklyn NY after an illness.
Pauline Margaret Griffin was born July 5, 1947 in Brooklyn. She began publishing SF with Star Commandos in 1986; the 12th volume in the series, War Prince, appeared in 2004. She collaborated with Andre Norton on Redline the Stars (1993) and Firehand (1994), and her novels Seakeep (1991) and Falcon Hope (1992) were set in ...Read MoreRead more
The 25th Odyssey Writing Workshop was held online this year, from June 1 – July 10, 2020. “Odyssey gave this year’s class the same intense and immersive experience as always, and more! Our fifteen students from the US, Ireland, and India had a great summer connecting with each other and with our excellent guest lecturers!”
This story and more like it in the August 2020 issue of Locus.
While you ...Read MoreRead more
Strange Horizons 4/6/20, 4/13/20, 5/11/20, 5/19/20 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 4/23/20, 5/7/20, 5/21/20, 6/4/20 Lightspeed 5/20, 6/20 Clarkesworld 5/20 Tor.com 4/29/20, 5/13/20, 5/20/20
Strange Horizons leads off in April with a fascinating tale centered on abstract philosophy and its intersection with life. ”The Pride of Salinkari” by Elizabeth Crowe imagines a world where philosophy is central ...Read MoreRead more
The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA) is sponsoring memberships in its organization for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) artists. As of August 12, 2020 they have 15 memberships available and are accepting donations to fund more.
For more information, including how to apply and donate, see the ASFA website.
While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time ...Read MoreRead more
The Ray Bradbury Award for Science Fiction & Fantasy is offering $1,000 scholarships for up to six students in the US and Canada, enrolled in grades 7-12, “whose writing uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, and technological themes as a key element of the narrative.“ The scholarship is sponsored by the Ray Bradbury Foundation. Submissions open September 1, 2020. “Regional deadlines vary and can be as early as December 1, 2020.” ...Read MoreRead more
Samuel R. Delany will deliver the 2020 Windham-Campbell lecture. The annual “Why I Write” lecture series is normally presented during the Windham-Campbell Prizes Festival, which is canceled this year, and will instead be available on their website, September 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. EST.
The Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize was established “to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work ...Read MoreRead more
Finalists for the 2020 Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) Small Press Award for Short Fiction have been announced:
“The Blighted Godling of Company Town H”, Beth Cato (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 1/3/19)
- “The Weight of Mountains”, L. Deni Colter (DreamForge 6/19)
- “The Sound of Distant Stars”, Judi Fleming (Footprints in the Stars)
“Give the Family My Love”, A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld 2/19)
- “Fairest of All”, Ada Hoffmann (The Future Fire
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Suzanne Collins (Scholastic 978-1-338-63517-1, $27.99, 517pp, hc) May 2020.
In all likelihood, this is the most unnecessary review I have ever written. It is the end of May and Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has already sold 500,000 copies. Few readers are waiting for reviews to decide if this is a book for them. That reality ...Read MoreRead more
Finalists for the Endeavour Award have been announced:
- Merlin Redux, Dave Duncan (Night Shade)
- Shadow Stitcher, Misha Handman (EDGE)
- What the Wind Brings, Matthew Hughes (Pulp Literature)
- Middlegame, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
- The Witch’s Kind, Louisa Morgan (Redhook)
The award is given to “a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book, either a novel or a single-author collection, created by a writer living in the Pacific ...Read MoreRead more
Peter S. Beagle has been awarded the Jack Trevor Story Memorial Prize/Prix du Goncourt by judges Jean-Luc Fromental, Rick Klaw, Guy Lawley, Michael Moorcock, Linda Steele, Lili Sztajn, and Brandy Whitten. The prize is “typically for excellence in humorous writing,” and named for author Jack Trevor Story, who died in 1992. Beagle will receive a memorial cup and a $500 prize, which
must be spent in a ‘a week to ...Read MoreRead more
A Children’s Bible, Lydia Millet (Norton 978-1-324-00503-2, $25.95, 224pp, hc) May 2020.
Lydia Millet’s 12th novel, A Children’s Bible, may feature some of the worst parents ever committed to prose. We’re not talking a single mother or father (like Queen Gertrude from Hamlet or Jack Torrance from The Shining) or even a couple (like Ma and Pa Wormwood from Matilda) but rather a gaggle of horrible ...Read MoreRead more
The James White short story competition will not be held in 2020, due to “technical issues with the current website, and problems caused by a certain global crises.”
The competition, founded in 2000, is open to non-professional writers. Winners receive £200 and publication in Interzone. Award administrator Martin McGrath said,
We have been put off this decision for months, hoping (perhaps increasingly foolishly) that we could come up with a ...Read MoreRead more
Dragon Con has announced the ballot for the 2020 Dragon Awards. Voting is open to the public at the Dragon Awards website; registration for voting is open until September 4, 2020. Winners will be announced at Dragon Con, to be held online September 3-7, 2020.
Best Science Fiction Novel
- The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese)
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook)
- Gideon the
Head of Zeus announced a new imprint, Ad Astra, which will publish “the best high-concept SFF our world can offer.” Cixin Liu will be Ad Astra’s “talisman.”
Ad Astra will launch six books on October 1, 2020: Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow; Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott; Hold Up the Sky by Cixin Liu; Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker; The Lost Colony by A.G. ...Read MoreRead more
Thin Places, Kay Chronister (Undertow 978-1-988964-18-8, $14.99, 140pp, tp) May 2020.
The final, eponymous story in Kay Chronister’s debut collection Thin Places explains what is meant – in this context anyway – by the phrase ”thin places”:
Thin places are parts of the world where the barrier between the clay and the mist is more fragile, where it can be broken…. Things happen in thin places that can’t happen ...Read MoreRead more
The Dream Foundry short story contest “for beginning professionals” is open to submissions from August 10 – October 11, 2020. The contest is open to writers who have published, in total, fewer than 4,000 words, earned less than $320, and have never been nominated for a major award.
Contest coordinators will select ten finalists, and judges will select first, second, and third-place winners from those finalists. First prize is $1,000, ...Read MoreRead more
Winners have been announced for the Splatterpunk Awards, “honoring superior achievement for works published in 2019 in the sub-genres of Splatterpunk and Extreme Horror.”
- WINNER: Lakehouse Infernal, Christine Morgan (Deadite)
- Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Max Booth III (Cinestate/Fangoria)
- Killer Lake, W.D. Gagliani & David Benton (Deadite)
- Reception, Kenzie Jennings (Death’s Head)
- Merciless, Bryan Smith (Grindhouse)
- Toxic Love, Kristopher Triana (Blood Bound)
- They Kill
Tochi Joshua Onyebuchi was born on October 4, 1987 in Northampton MA to Nigerian immigrant parents, and grew up in Newington and New Britain CT. He studied political science at Yale, earned a MFA in screenwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a master’s degree in global economic law from the Instituts d’études politiques in France. He attended law school at Columbia, and after graduation worked in civil ...Read MoreRead more
Little Eyes, Samanta Schweblin (Oneworld 978-1-786-07792-9, £14.99, 256pp, hc) March 2020. (Riverhead Books 978-0-525-54136-3, $26.00, 256pp, hc) May 2020.
In 2017 Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin caught the attention of English-language readers, critics, and the judges of the International Man Booker Prize with Fever Dream, a nightmarish novella that, amongst other things, critiqued the environmental effect of pesticides. She followed this up in 2019 with a collection of ...Read MoreRead more
In June, John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, sent a memo to staff outlining plans to change their leadership structure. “It is clear that we have to change who occupies the seats at the table when the important decisions are being made.” They plan to create a new Trade Management committee with 13 members “who will meet regularly to decide on the key issues for Macmillan” and “focus on running the ...Read MoreRead more
FIYAHCON has announced the creation of the Ignyte Awards “to celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts toward inclusivity of the genre.”
Awards will be given in categories such as “Best Novel – Adult,” “Critics Award,” and “Best in Creative Nonfiction.” The awards also include “The Ember Award for Unsung Contributions ...Read MoreRead more
The World Fantasy Convention 2020 committee is ”hard at work designing an online convention that includes many of the elements you’ve come to identify with World Fantasy Convention – and maybe a few new ones.” They ”hope that our virtual convention will be attended by a diverse membership, many of whom are using their craft to create literature and art that not only entertain but introduce fantasy enthusiasts to a ...Read MoreRead more
Science Fiction: Documents of Contemporary Art, Dan Byrne-Smith, ed. (The MIT Press 978-0262538855, $24.95, 240pp, pb) April 2020.
The question of who the intended readership is for the non-fiction anthology Science Fiction, edited by Dan Byrne-Smith for the Documents of Contemporary Art MIT Press series, kept nagging at me throughout. The series, we are told, focuses on subjects ‘‘of key influence in contemporary art internationally’’ and seeks to ...Read MoreRead more
The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced the shortlists for the 2020 Dagger Awards, including several titles and authors of genre interest.
Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
- The Whisper Man, Alex North (Michael Joseph)
Sapere Books Historical Dagger
- Metropolis, Philip Kerr (Quercus)
Short Story Dagger
- “The New Lad”, Paul Finch (Exit Wounds)
- “The Washing”, Christopher Fowler (Invisible Blood)
- “Easily Made”, Syd Moore (12 Strange
Of Ants and Dinosaurs, Cixin Liu (Head of Zeus 978-1-789-54611-8, 256pp, £18.99, hc) April 2020.
Cixin Liu’s satirical novel Of Ants and Dinosaurs seems to have a complex history. A novella with this title was published in China in 2004, later appearing as a standalone book in 2012, translated by Holger Nahm. This was included in Liu’s 2013 collection The Wandering Earth published in Beijing – but not in ...Read MoreRead more
Wicked As You Wish, Rin Chupeco (Sourcebooks 978-1-4926-7266-1, $17.99, 400pp, hc) February 2020.
Rin Chupeco’s Wicked As You Wish is a sometimes dizzying combination of classic fairy tales and alternate history that draws heavily from the real world and somehow manages to include everything from the Snow Queen to King Arthur to Wonderland to ICE. (Here’s the unlikeliest quote to appear in a YA fantasy novel ever: ”So ICE ...Read MoreRead more
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino CA has created a new Octavia E. Butler Fellowship.
The Huntington is the repository of the literary archive of Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur “genius” award and the first African-American woman to win widespread recognition writing in that genre. Applicants may be working from a variety of disciplinary perspectives on ...Read MoreRead more
Things We Say in the Dark by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker) is on the shortlist for the 2020 Polari Prize, given to writers born or based in the UK and Ireland “for emerging and established LGBTQ+ literary talent.”
The shortlists were announced in an online ceremony July 31, 2020, with winners to be announced in October. The Polari Prize is sponsored by DHH Literary Agency, and the winner will receive ...Read MoreRead more
FIYAHCON, an online convention for BIPOC+ in SF/F publishing, is accepting programming pitches until August 21, 2020. Programming ideas can be submitted directly through their website.
Over at FIYAH Literary Magazine, we’ve wanted to host a convention almost since our inception and now we’re in a place to pull it off. Our mission for the convention is to reach beyond the magazine’s origins centering Black voices, to celebrate the contributions ...Read MoreRead more
Susan Ellison, 60, died August 1, 2020 at home, in the “Lost Aztec Temple of Mars,” in Sherman Oaks CA.
Susan Toth was born in 1960 in the British Midlands. She met Harlan Ellison at a convention in Scotland in 1985 and they married in 1986. She was his fifth wife and the love of his life: the two were inseparable for the next 32 years, until his death in ...Read MoreRead more
The Locus Awards took place online on June 24-27, 2020 in their first virtual-only iteration; Connie Willis and Daryl Gregory co-emceed the ceremony. There were over 150 registrations, and paid members received a Locus t-shirt and a print program book.
Despite struggling with whether to go forward with the Locus Awards events (usually held on the ground in Seattle), and ignoring their total lack of technical experience with webinar platforms, ...Read MoreRead more