Spotlight on: Sana Takeda

What was your introduction to the comics field? Who were your influences? Was there a particular artist or artists who drew you in?

You know a lot of talented artists in the field of comics. At first, I felt, ‘‘There is no room for me in this business.’’ I have not got any formal education in art and didn’t have special drawing skill. It was clear that, even if I ...Read More

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World Fantasy Convention Updates

The upcoming World Fantasy Convention, to be held November 4-7, 2021 at the Hôtel Bonaventure Montréal in Québec, Canada, has announced several changes.

Guest of Honor Nisi Shawl will not be attending in person, but will take part virtually.

Julie Czerneda has joined as a Special Guest.

The convention will have a significant online component:

Given this being the Age of Covid, we have taken steps to turn World Fantasy ...Read More

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SKRIVA Short Story Competition Winners

Results of the 2021 Fantastiknovelltävlingen, a Swedish “Fantastic Short Story Competiton” organized by writers’ email list SKRIVA, have been announced.

First Place

  • “Gro” [“Grow” or “Germinate”], Terese Säljö

Second Place

  • “Mannen på åtta trappor” [“The Man on Eighth Stairs”], Carl-Magnus Åsard

Third Place

  • “Gratis flytthjälp” [“Free Moving House Help”], Linnea Ronnholm

Honorable Mentions were awarded to Elin Frykholm, Björn Lestell, Katarina Nyman, Ambra Bolin Rojek, Louise Sahlberg, John Wide, and

...Read More Read more

Gary K. Wolfe Reviews On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim

On the Origin of Species and Other Stories, Bo-Young Kim (Kaya Press 978-1-885030-71-9, $19.95, 224pp, tp) May 2021.

When I reviewed Kim Bo-Young’s I’m Wait­ing for You and Other Stories last April, the first collection from an author widely regarded as among the most prominent voices in Korean science fiction and fantasy, I found it impressive, but also tantalizing: it consisted only of two pairs of linked stories, leaving ...Read More

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Kingfisher Wins 2021 WSFA Small Press Award

“Metal Like Blood in the Dark” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny 9-10/20) is the winner of the 2021 Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) Small Press Award for Short Fiction. Kingfisher is a pen name for Ursula Vernon. Other finalists were:

  • “Heritage Hill”, Matthew R. Davis (Outback Horrors Down Under)
  • “Myself”, Rebecca Enzor (DreamForge 12/20)
  • “Memories Taste Best When Marinated With Sadness”, Feng Gooi (Hexagon Fall ’20)
  • “Foster-Child of Silence
...Read More Read more

SMOFcon 39 Scholarship Winners

Dublin 2019 has announced there are 18 recipients of scholarships to attend SMOFcon 39, to be held December 3-5, 2021 at the VIP Executive Art’s Hotel in Lisboa, Portugal.

CanSMOF has also announced Joro Penchev of Sofia, Bulgaria, as the winner of its SMOFcon scholarship, open to “anyone involved in running conventions, regardless of their place of residence or citizenship”.

For more information, see the SMOFcon website.

[via File 770] ...Read More

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2021 Salam Award

The winner, finalists, and honorable mentions for the 2021 Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction have been announced:


  • “You Get What is Yours“, Dur e Aziz Amna


  • “Ignition” by Khizer Abbas
  • “The Calls” by Zunaira Nadeem

Honorable Mentions

  • “Nameless” by Mehr-un-Nisa Waheed
  • “Custody” by Mujtaba Ayub
  • “We All Return to the Sea” by Mashal Faraz Shamsi

The Salam Award, “a short story award to promote science fiction and related ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Near the Bone, Christina Henry (Berkley 978-0-59319-976-6, $17.00, 336pp, tp) April 2021. Cover by Spencer Fuller.

Christina Henry’s Near the Bone is a horror novel that brings together real life horrors and monsters that walk a fine line between the supernatural and the what-if world of cryptozoology. At once a narrative about abuse and survival and a tale of creatures stalking people up on a snow-covered mountain, Near the ...Read More

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Issue 729 Table of Contents, October 2021

The October 2021 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Tade Thompson and R.B. Lemberg and a spotlight on Sana Takeda, artist. Main Stories are Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki’s Otherwise win, Karen Tei Yamashita’s National Book Foundation medal win, and the Ignyte, Dragon, and Asimov’s Readers’ Awards winners. People & Publishing includes notes on milestones, awards, books sold, and more, with news this issue about N.K. Jemisin, Nancy Pearl, Susanna Clarke, ...Read More

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2021 Nielsen Bestseller Awards

The Nielsen Bestseller Awards have been announced, and include several titles and authors of genre interest. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake (Jonathan Cape) was a Platinum Bestseller; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton) was a Gold Bestseller; and The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman (Penguin UK & David Fickling) was a Silver Bestseller. Several titles by Matt Haig ...Read More

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Prior Takes Pan Macmillan CEO Role

Joanna Prior has been named the new CEO of Pan Macmillan. Current CEO Anthony Forbes Watson will step down in early 2022, but will continue to advise Stefan von Holtzbrinck and the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Prior has worked as managing director of Penguin General Books in the UK for 12 years, and has been with Penguin for 23 years, rising in the ranks from publicity and marketing. “The decision to ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar

The Escapement, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon 978-1-61696-327-9, $16.95, 256pp, tp) September 2021.

In the most exuberant sense of the word, Lavie Tidhar is something of a literary magpie, borrow­ing from – and celebrating – a dizzying variety of narrative traditions. His previous novel, By Force Alone, enlisted everything from Macbeth to Roadside Picnic in the service of radically reinventing Arthurian legends. The Escapement is if anything even more radical. ...Read More

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New & Notable Books, September 2021

Matt Bell, Appleseed (Custom House 7/21) A tripartate literary science fantasy novel that imagines Chapman/Johnny Appleseed as a faun, and spans the centuries from 18th-century Ohio to a climate-change-wracked wasteland in 2070 to a high-tech ice age 1,000 years in the future. ‘‘A thoughtful, energetic, and at times almost visionary achievement.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]


Octavia Cade, The Impossible Resurrection of Grief (Stelliform 5/21) Climate change causes an epidemic of ...Read More

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2021 MacArthur Fellowships

The 25 MacArthur Foundation Fellows have been announced for 2021, and include two creators of genre interest: Daniel Alarcón (author of 2006 fantasy story “Abraham Lincoln Has Been Shot”), and Alex Riveria (a filmmaker whose work includes 2008’s Sleep Dealer).

Each “genius grant” recipient receives a no-strings-attached “stipend of $625,000… paid out in equal quarterly installments over five years.”

Fellows are chosen by “a constantly changing pool of invited ...Read More

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2021 Roswell Award and Tomorrow Prize Open for Submissions

Light Bringer Project and Omega Sci-Fi have opened submissions for the Roswell Award for short SF by adults living anywhere, and for the Tomorrow Prize for short SF by Los Angeles County high school students. Two special awards are included: The Green Feather Award recognizing “an outstanding science fiction short story by a teen author [or team of authors] that centers on overcoming today’s environmental challenges,” and The Feminist Futures ...Read More

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2021 First Novel Prize Shortlist

The City of Good Death by Priyanka Champaneri (Restless Books) and Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith (Random House) are on the seven-title shortlist for the 2021 First Novel Prize, given by the Center for Fiction “to honor the best debut fiction of the year.”

The shortlist and winners are chosen by “a committee of distinguished American writers.” The winner will be announced during the Center’s Annual ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest

Grave Reservations, Cherie Priest (Atria Books 978-1982-16889-6, $26.00, 304pp, hc) October 2021.

My first introduction to Cherie Priest was her amazing debut Four and Twenty Blackbirds, which is about ghosts and the South and is mesmerizing. I’ve drifted in and out of this Locus award-winning (and Nebula and Hugo nominated) writer’s work since then. Even though I loved Boneshaker and am convinced I Am Princess X deserved a ...Read More

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New Books: 28 September 2021

Aoki, Ryka: Light from Uncommon Stars

(Tor 978-1-250-78906-8, $25.99, 384pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, audio, September 28, 2021)

In order to escape damnation, Shizuka Satomi makes a deal with the devil. She must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She finds a young transgender runaway to be her seventh, but also develops a crush on a starship captain who might offer some other hope.


Barker, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente

Comfort Me With Apples, Catherynne M. Valente (Tordotcom 978-1-250-81621-4, $17.99, 112pp, hc) October 2021.

Catherynne M. Valente’s love affair with language is well known, so it’s not surprising that the Song of Solomon, with its sensuous lyricism, should not only provide the title of her new novella Comfort Me With Apples, but also be echoed in her own prose (not to mention chapter titles that are all varieties ...Read More

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2021 Kindle Storyteller Award Shortlist

A Thousand Li: The Second Sect by Tao Wong (Starlit) is on the five-title shortlist for the 2021 Kindle Storyteller Award. The award, launched in 2017, includes a £20,000 prize and “is open to writers publishing in English in any genre, who publish their work through Kindle Direct Publishing” on

The winner will be announced in October after the shortlist is judged by a jury panel.

For more information, ...Read More

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Delany Fellowship Accepting Applications

CatStone Books is currently accepting applications for their inaugural Samuel R. Delany Fellowship, which will provide a $10,000 stipend for “one author from a community that has traditionally been marginalized in speculative fiction. This can include authors of color, LGBT+ authors, female authors, authors with disabilities, and authors living an immigrant experience.”

Applications are due October 31, 2021. The shortlist will be announced November 15, and the winner on December ...Read More

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Spotlight on Ryka Aoki

Tell us about your new book Light From Uncommon Stars (Tor Books). What’s the story about, and what inspired you to create that future?

Light From Uncommon Stars is about violins and deals with the Devil. It’s about recovering from transphobia and racism and trauma. It’s about space aliens fleeing a galactic war. It talks about the ultimate end of the universe and what is after that end. It talks ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, September 2021


DOMINICA PHETTEPLACE has been chosen for the Bookshop Santa Cruz Writing Residency. She will spend two weeks writ­ing at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, working on her novel Robot Country, “a dystopian sci­ence fiction novel which imagines robots as the agents of the next wave of American colonization and forced resettlement.” For details see the website.

Writers LAUREN DIXON & DALLAS TAYLOR were married July 31, 2021. ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell by Brian Even­son

The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell, Brian Even­son (Coffee House Press 978-1-56689-611-5, $16.95, 248pp, tp) August 2021.

I first came across Brian Evenson’s work more than a decade ago when I read his unconventional, hard-boiled detective novel Last Days. With its noir-inflect­ed prose and its deeply weird story about a religious cult devoted to the holy act of amputation, the book left an indelible impression. And yet, despite ...Read More

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McKay Wins Clarke Award

The Animals in that Country by Laura Jean McKay (Scribe) won the 35th Arthur C. Clarke Award. McKay receives a check for £2,021 and an engraved bookend.

Other finalists were:

  • The Infinite , Patience Agbabi (Canongate)
  • The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez (Titan)
  • Vagabonds, Hao Jingfang (Head of Zeus)
  • Edge of Heaven, R.B. Kelly (NewCon)
  • Chilling Effect,  Valerie Valdes (Orbit)

The 2021 judges were Phoenix Alexander, Nicole ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow

A Spindle Splintered, Alix E. Harrow (Tordotcom 978-1-250-76335-2, $17.99, 128pp, hc) October 2021.

There are two reasons why fairytale retellings and adaptations have remained consistently popular for centuries: one is that these old tales are deeply beloved, and the other is that they aren’t – or that they could use some serious fixing. Alix E. Harrow, or at least the narrator of her novella A Spindle Splintered, evidently ...Read More

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Readercon 32 Postponed to 2023

The Readercon board has announced that Readercon will not be held in 2022. Readercon 32 will instead take place July 13–16, 2023 at the Marriott Boston Quincy hotel in Quincy MA.

The announcement says

We just need some time to recharge and get our house in order.

The last two years have been a doozy for everyone. We all need some rest. And Readercon as an organization needs an opportunity ...Read More

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2021 British Fantasy Awards Winners

The British Fantasy Society has announced the winners for the 2021 British Fantasy Awards:

Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award)
  • WINNER: The Once and Future Witches, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook)
  • Threading the Labyrinth, Tiffani Angus (Unsung Stories)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Dark River, Rym Kechacha (Unsung Stories)
  • The Bone Shard Daughter, Andrea Stewart (Orbit)
  • By Force Alone, Lavie Tidhar (Tor)
...Read More Read more

Premio Imaginación y Futuro Award

Mexicona, the first Mexican virtual convention of speculative fiction, presented the Premio Imaginación y Futuro (Imagination and Future Award) “to celebrate, recognize and uplift speculative works created by people of Mexican origin” and to “strengthen and build a more diverse and vibrant SFF community in Mexico and Latin America.” The winners were announced September 24, 2021.

Imago by Rakel Hoyos won the Short Story Collection Prize. Entre las grietas by ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Assassin’s Orbit by John Appel

Assassin’s Orbit, John Appel (Solaris 978-1-781089156, £8.99, 430pp, pb) July 2021. Cover by Amazing15.

John Appel’s Assassin’s Orbit is another debut. This one suited me much better than For the Wolf, but then women in their sixties kicking arses and taking names while having complicated interpersonal interactions is pretty much my jam. Appel handles a diverse cast with future versions of religious faiths (Islam, and I think – ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Cossmass Infinities, Conjunctions, and Seasons Between Us

Cossmass Infinities 5-6/21 Conjunctions:76 Seasons Between Us, Susan Forest & Lucas K. Law, eds. (Laksa) August 2021.

In the May issue of Cossmass Infinities – another promising new magazine – I liked dave ring‘s “Top Ten Demons to Kill Before the World Ends“, which is both a list story and a footnotes story. It’s pretty funny, about a demon slayer who is trying to kill ten ...Read More

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