Ian Mond reviews Undiscovered Territories by Robert Freeman Wexler

Undiscovered Territories, Robert Freeman Wexler (PS Publishing 978-1-786365-89-7, £25.00, 326pp, tp) October 2021.

Although Undiscovered Territories is not Robert Freeman Wexler’s first collection – that would be 2008’s Psychological Methods to Sell Should Be Destroyed – it is his most complete, featuring most of the short fiction he’s published over the last two decades in magazines like Electric Velocipede, Polyphony, and The Journal of Experimental Fiction. The fourteen stories ...Read More

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Elizabeth Miller (1939-2022)

Dracula scholar Elizabeth Miller, 82, died January 2, 2022 in Toronto, Canada.

Her non-fiction volumes include A Dracula Handbook (2005), Reflections on Dracula: Ten Essays (1997), Dracula: The Shade and the Shadow (1998), Dracula: Sense & Nonsense (2000), Dracula, a Documentary Volume (2004), and Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula (2008, with Robert Eighteen-Bisang). She co-edited The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker (2012, with Dacre Stoker). Miller was the founding editor ...Read More

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New A.C. Bose Grant

The Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) and DesiLit have announced the new co-sponsored A.C. Bose Grant, which “will annually give $1,000 to a South Asian / South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction. It supports adult fiction, but work that is also accessible to older children and teens will be given preference in the jury process.”

The grant is open for submissions until January 31, 2022. The jurors aim to announce ...Read More

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Heffner Wins Nicholls Prize

The Science Fiction Foundation has announced Kathryn Heffner’s “More Work for Mimeo-Mothers: Femme-Fans’ Labour in Post-War Fan Cultures” as the winner of the 2022 Peter Nicholls Essay Prize. The prize was inaugurated in 2001, and is “awarded to the best submission by a postgraduate or non-tenured researcher. (The latter within five years of their PhD.) The essays can be on any area of science fiction studies.”

For more information about ...Read More

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2021 Cybils Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2021 Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers’ Literary Awards (Cybils) have been announced. Books of genre interest follow.

Young Adult Speculative Fiction

  • Iron Widow, Xiran Jay Zhao (Penguin Teen)
  • The City Beautiful, Aden Polydoros (Inkyard)
  • The Gilded Ones, Namina Forna (Delacorte)
  • The Mirror Season, Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel & Friends)
  • The Ones We’re Meant to Find, Joan He (Roaring Brook)
  • Vespertine, Margaret Rogerson
...Read More Read more

Adrienne Martini reviews A Practical Guide to Conquering the World by K.J. Parker

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World, K.J. Parker (Orbit 978-0316498616, $17.99, 384pp, tp), January 2022.

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World winds up the Siege trilogy K.J. Parker started with Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City. While that first book and the second, How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It, were amusing and engaging on their own terms, the third installment ...Read More

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T.G Shenoy reviews The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction, Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, ed. (Jembefola Press, $6.99, eb) September 2021. Cover by Maria Spada.

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki. You’ll want to remember the name because if the recent past is anything to go by, then you’ll be coming across it often, very often. Ever since he burst on the scene – with a Nommo Award for his 2018 story “The Witching Hour” – he’s ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature

From 1811-1816, a secret society styling themselves “the Luddites” smashed textile machinery in the mills of England. Today, we use “Luddite” as a pejorative referring to backwards, anti-technology reactionaries.

This proves that history really is written by the winners.

In truth, the Luddites’ cause wasn’t the destruction of technology – no more than the Boston Tea Party’s cause was the elimination of tea, or Al Qaeda’s cause was the end ...Read More

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2022 WSFA Small Press Award Open

The Washington Science Fiction Association is now accepting nominations of works “published for the first time in the English language” in 2021 for its Small Press Award, given annually to an outstanding story of “imaginative literature” (17,500 words or fewer) published in the small press. The deadline for nominations is March 31, 2022.

Authors and small-press publishers are among those eligible to nominate, and need not be members of WSFA. ...Read More

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PRH Responds to DoJ

As we reported last month, the United States De­partment of Justice filed a lawsuit on November 2, 2021 to stop the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, citing concerns that the deal could lessen competition, lead to a highly concentrated publishing market, and reduce advances for authors, especially of “anticipated top-selling books.”

PRH filed their initial response in December 2021, countering that the DoJ “invents a ...Read More

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Issue 732 Table of Contents, January 2022

The January 2022 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Simon Jimenez and Eugen Bacon and spotlights on artist/author Nilah Magruder and reviewer Rich Horton. News covers the 2021 Hugo Awards winners at DisCon III, the 2023 Worldcon in China bid win, the new Ad Astra Center and Gunn Center updates, the Penguin Random House response to the Department of Justice, the Nommo, Lodestar, Astounding, Sidewise, and Ditmar winners, a ...Read More

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Ian Mond reviews The Second Shooter by Nick Mamatas

The Second Shooter, Nick Mamatas (Solaris 978-1-78108-926-2, $14.00, 400pp, tp) Novem­ber 2021.

Having skewered everything from late-stage capitalism to America’s political and cultural malaise in his last novel, Sabbath, Nick Mama­tas boldly turns his attention to the intractable issue of gun violence and mass shootings with his highly entertaining follow-up, The Second Shooter.

The story centres on journalist and hack-for-hire Mike Karras as he travels across America ...Read More

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Lit Hub Best Books of 2021

Lit Hub has announced its 48-title list of the best books of 2021. Titles and authors of genre interest follow.

  • Detransition, Baby, Torrey Peters (One World)
  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, Mariana Enriquez (Hogarth)
  • The Vixen, Francine Prose (Harper)
  • Light Perpetual, Francis Spufford (Scribner)
  • The Scapegoat, Sara Davis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Dear Senthuran, Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)
  • The Wrong End of the Telescope
...Read More Read more

Maya C. James reviews God of Mercy by Okezie Nwọka

God of Mercy, Okezie Nwọka (Astra House 97801-66260-0-838, $27.00, 304pp, hc) Novem­ber 2021.

Content warning: child abuse.

Supreme beings, elders, and ancestors clash in Okezie Nwọka’s God of Mercy, a decolonized, magical realist novel about a young girl named Ijeọma who can fly. Uncertain if her power is a curse or a blessing from feuding gods, a cast of bitter family members, sage elders, and violent pastors attempt ...Read More

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Magazines Received, December 2021

This list covers new SF/F/H print, online, and electronic periodicals (including regularly updated websites) seen by Locus magazine, focusing on those that publish fiction or reviews and criticism. To submit titles for listing on these pages, please send to Locus Publications, 655 13th St. #100, Oakland CA 94612 or email locus@locusmag.com.

Conjunctions: 77 States of Play

  • Bradford Morrow, ed.
  • No. 77, Fall 2021 $20.00 individuals/$30 institutions and internationally, biannual, 327pp
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Mosley Wins Sankofa Freedom Award

Tusla City-County Library’s African-American Resource Center and the Tusla Library Trust have named Walter Mosley as the winner of the 2022 Sankofa Freedom Award.

The Sankofa Freedom Award is given to “a nationally acclaimed individual who has dedicated his or her life to educating and improving the greater African-American community.” It includes a $10,000 prize and an engraved medallion. The award will be presented in a ceremony on February 12, ...Read More

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Book Piracy Lawsuit

Penguin Random House, Amazon, and a number of authors including Sylvia Day, RL Stine, Stuart Woods, and John Grisham, have been awarded a total of $7.8 million after suing Ukrainian ebook pirate site Kiss Library.

They sued the site after copyrighted works were made available at discounted prices without permission, and without the publishers or authors receiving payment for the sales.

The judge said, “Given the extent of the piracy ...Read More

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Alex Brown reviews Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis

Bad Witch Burning, Jessica Lewis (Delacorte 978-0-593-17738-9, 352pp, $17.99, hc) August 2021.

“I’m painting Will’s nails when she asks me to talk to her dead grandma.” Jessica Lewis opens her debut young adult fantasy Bad Witch Burning with a killer hook that, once you have finished the novel, you realize is packed with worldbuilding tidbits. Katrell is our protagonist, and she can communicate with the dead. When she’s not ...Read More

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Do I Make You Horny, Baby? Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Antlers

Josh: Here’s one that I think deserves a little more attention than it got. It got delayed a couple of times, was in and out of theaters really quick, and didn’t make a lot of money.

Arley: I’d been waiting a while to see this one! I’m a horror fan, and this was a solid horror movie.

Josh: Definitely a horror movie, but it ended up being more sad than ...Read More

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2021 Dream Foundry Contest Winners

Dream Foundry, a “non-profit dedicated to bolstering the careers of nascent professionals working with the speculative arts,” has announced the winners of its 2021 writing contest.

Writing Contest

  • FIRST PLACE: “Cooking: A Science”, Shinjini Dey
  • SECOND PLACE: “Amadi on the Concrete”, Jarred Thompson
  • THIRD PLACE: “Clear As Water, Red As Ruin”, Sigrid Marianne Gayangos

Other finalists were

  • Brienne D. Hayes
  • Amy Johnson
  • Kellye McBride
  • Kay Orchison
  • Robin Sebolino
  • Cat T.
...Read More Read more

Buzzfeed Best Books of 2021

Buzzfeed has announced its 22-title list of the best books of 2021. Titles and authors of genre interest follow.

  • What Strange Paradise, Omar El Akkad (Knopf)
  • Detransition, Baby, Torrey Peters (One World)
  • The Sentence, Louise Erdrich (Harper)
  • The Wrong End of the Telescope, Rabih Alameddine (Grove)

For the full list of Buzzfeed‘s recommendations, see their post.

While you are here, please take a moment to support ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor reviews Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad

Mercury Boys, Chandra Prasad (Soho Teen 978-1-64129-265-8, $18.99, 360pp, hc) August 2021.

When Saskia Brown persuades her friend Lila to let her “borrow” a daguerreotype from the library archive where she works, neither girl can imagine that the old photograph will be a vehicle for time travel, romance, and a near-death experience. The twist in Chandra Prasad’s Mercury Boys is that the nightly adventures in the past are not ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe reviews Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Noor, Nnedi Okorafor (DAW 978-0756416096, $23.99, 224pp, hc) November 2021.

As vibrant and inventive as her settings are, Nnedi Okorafor’s most consistent theme may simply be the discovery of unexpect­ed inner powers. Zahrah the Windseeker finds that her dreadlocks give her the power to levitate and fly; Ejii in The Shadow Speaker learns she can hear at great distances and even read minds; On­yesonwu in Who Fears Death? not ...Read More

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Discon III Sponsorship Apology

Discon III chair Mary Robinette Kowal has posted an apology regarding the controversial sponsorship of the Hugo Awards red carpet event by Raytheon Intelligence and Space, a division of weapons manufacturer Raytheon Technologies.

The statement reads:

I am Mary Robinette Kowal, and I was the chair for DisCon III. I take full responsibility for accepting Raytheon Intelligence and Space as a sponsor, and I apologize for doing so.

The decision ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews The Liar of Red Valley and The Last Graduate

Walter Goodwater, The Liar of Red Valley (Solaris 978-1-78108-911-8, $24.99, 359pp, hc) September 2021.

Red Valley, a dying town in rural California, pro­vides the colorful backdrop for this twisted dark fantasy novel. Sadie lives an outsider’s life as the daughter of the town’s Liar, but then her mother dies. Suddenly, Sadie learns she has to be the Liar, only her mother never told her how to take people’s lies, the ...Read More

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Diversity in Publishing Initiatives

Penguin Random House published their latest annual report on their workplace demographics, tracking their efforts to improve diversity. The majority of employees in both office and warehouse jobs are still white (74% and 75%), but 52% of new hires in 2021 are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). That’s an increase from 43% the year before. 17% of new hires were of Asian descent (up from 9.9%), 14% were ...Read More

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Carnegie Scholars’ Best Books of 2021

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has announced their Scholars’ Best Books of 2021. The list includes titles and authors of genre interest, such as Colm Tóibín for The Magician (Scribner) and V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Tor).

For more information, including the complete list, see the official announcement.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely

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Best Canadian Middle-Grade And YA 2021

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has released a list of the best Canadian middle-grade and YA books of 2021. Titles of genre interest include Nafiza Azad’s The Wild Ones (Margaret K. McElderry), Wab Kinew’s Walking in Two Worlds (Penguin Teen), The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley (Margaret K. McElderry), Liselle Sambury’s Blood Like Magic (Margaret K. McElderry), Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands (Viking BFYR), and Iron Widow ...Read More

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New York Library Top Check Outs

The New York Public Library (NYPL), the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queen’s Public Library have each released lists of their most checked out books of 2021. Many titles of genre interest ranked high in the lists, including Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic (Del Rey), Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf), and Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library (Viking). There are lists for young adult, breakout lists by borough, a ...Read More

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Ian Mond reviews This Weightless World by Adam Soto

This Weightless World, Adam Soto (Astra House 978-1-66260-063-0, $27.00, 320pp, hc) November 2021.

Recently, on The Writer and the Critic podcast, Kirstyn McDermott and I spoke glowingly about Olga Ravn’s The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century (longlisted for this year’s International Booker Prize). During the discussion, I pas­sionately argued (some might say ranted) that mainstream genre publishers no longer seemed interested in publishing radical science-fiction; that ...Read More

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DisCon III COVID-19 Tracking Update

DisCon III has sent out an updated tracking email for positive COVID-19 attendees, as well as tips for fellow attendees, including suggestions to test five to seven days after the convention, and to wear a mask indoors in public for two weeks, or until testing negative.

There are now five people who have reported positive test results. The first was reported on Friday, and was a “false positive.” The next ...Read More

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Embracer Group Acquires Dark Horse Comics

Embracer Group, a Swedish video game company, has acquired Dark Horse Comics, an independent comic publishing house. Dark Horse founder Mike Richardson, and Dark Horse COO Neil Hankerson will continue to direct Dark Horse operations, and there are currently no plans to restructure.

Richardson says of the acquisition:

I can’t express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse moves into this new chapter in our history. The synergies that exist ...Read More

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