Worldcon Moves Dates and Venue

DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, announced that it will be held as an in-person convention December 15-19, 2021, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The move comes “after nearly two-thirds of respondents to a public survey put out by DisCon III said they would prefer an in-person December convention over a virtual convention in August.” Virtual memberships to the December convention will still be available. ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews The Unfinished Land by Greg Bear

The Unfinished Land, Greg Bear (John Joseph Adams Books 978-1-328-58990-3, $26.00, hc, 365 pp) February 2021.

Greg Bear’s The Unfinished Land is not your standard-issue fantasy adventure, even if it does feature a young naïf who travels across a magical, quasi-living landscape, guided by and encountering a range of strangely powered beings, all on the way to a series of rev­elations about the true natures of said landscape, beings, ...Read More

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New Books: 6 April 2021

Allington, Patrick: Rise & Shine

(Scribe US 978-1-950354-42-9, $16.00, 240pp, formats: trade paperback, ebook, audio, April 6, 2021)

Post-apocalyptic SF novel of survivors in the only two city-states left, literally fed only by the suffering they see in graphic footage of perpetual war.

[Rise & Shine] could easily be an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Netflix series Black MirrorRise & Shine does not shy away from the ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn, Tracy Deonn (Simon Pulse 978-1-534-44160-6, $18.99, 512pp, hc) September 2020.

In Legendborn, an epic blend of Arthurian legend and Southern Black magical tradition, author Tracy Deonn incorporates the endless allure of collegiate secret societies with a lighter version of Hunger Games-esque battles (not to the death), and a cast of demons to give readers a big adventure that doesn’t stop until the final pages. (And even then ...Read More

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SFWA Statement and Plan of Support for Asian Diaspora Communities

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) board unanimously signed a statement about anti-Asian hate crimes and racism. The statement reads, in part,

Anti-Asian racism has long been a part of America’s fabric from the Page Act to the Chinese Exclusion Act and includes our own SF/F communities. We’ve seen it in the tropes and stereotypes that fetishize Asian women as dragon ladies and butterfly maidens, portray Asian ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Plotting the Way Forward

In ancient Rome, they marked the new year in March, a time which has always made far more sense to me than a dark, frigid day in January. March is when we get the first breath of spring, when winter’s grasp begins to ease, and we realize that we have survived another miserly winter season.

After a very dark COVID-19 winter surge, I have emerged bleary-eyed into a new year ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe and Paula Guran Review Burning Girls and Other Stories by Veronica Schanoes

Burning Girls and Other Stories, Veronica Schanoes (Tordotcom 978-1-250781505, $25.99, 336pp, hc) March 2021.

“History is a fairy tale”, a subtitle in Veronica Schanoes’s story “Emma Goldman Takes Tea with the Baba Yaga”, could almost serve as an epigram for the whole of her first collection, Burning Girls and Other Stories. Schanoes, who is a scholar of fairy tales, feminism, and Jewish literature and history, brings all of ...Read More

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Stine Wins 2021 Philip K. Dick Award

Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine (Mira) won the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, announced April 2, 2021 during the virtual Norwescon 43. A special citation was given to The Book of Koli by M.R. Carey (Orbit US). Other finalists were:

  • Failed State, Christopher Brown (Harper Voyager US)
  • Dance on Saturday, Elwin Cotman (Small Beer)
  • Bone Silence, Alastair Reynolds (Orbit US)
  • The Doors of Eden,
...Read More Read more

2020 BSFA Winners

The winners for the 2020 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards have been announced.

Best Novel

  • WINNER: The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Threading the Labyrinth, Tiffani Angus (Unsung Stories)
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again, M. John Harrison (Gollancz)
  • Light of Impossible Stars, Gareth L. Powell (Titan)
  • The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Club
...Read More Read more

Changes at Quirk Books

There have been big changes at Quirk Books. Brett Cohen has resigned as president and publisher, end­ing a 20-year career there, with owner/founder David Borgenicht returning as president and Jhanteigh Ku­pihea promoted to publisher. Nicole De Jackmo rises to the new position of senior vice president of sales, marketing, and publicity. Megan Dipasquale was promoted to vice president of finance, Andie Reid to art director, Jane Morley to managing editor, ...Read More

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Black Creatives Fund

We Need Diverse Books has launched a new program, the Black Creatives Fund, starting in Spring 2021. The program, sponsored by Penguin Random House, is devoted to “supporting emerging and established Black writers and illustrators,” with plans including a workshop on revision, mentorships, and marketing education in association with The Brown Bookshelf, a group devoted to pro­moting children’s literature by Black creators. The revision workshop will include stipends for a ...Read More

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Gabino Iglesias Reviews Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Remote Control, Nnedi Okorafor (Tordotcom 978-1-250-77280-0, 160pp, $17.99, hc) January 2021. Cover by art by Greg Ruth.

Nnedi Okorafor’s Remote Control is a dark fantasy with Africanfuturistic elements that explores life, death, and loneliness while chronicling a few years in the early life of young girl who becomes the Angel of Death. Easy to read, emotionally gritty, and wildly imaginative, this is a short novel that takes readers into ...Read More

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Serial Box Becomes Realm

Publisher Serial Box, known for serialized audio fiction by notable genre authors, has rebranded as Realm. They produce original fiction and media tie-ins by authors including Max Gladstone, Ellen Kushner, Yoon Ha Lee. Malka Older, Fran Wilde, and many more.

According to the official announcement, they are also introducing subscription plans and distributing some content via platforms such as Spotify and Apple, where audiences can listen for free.

For more ...Read More

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SF in India: The 19th Annual/5th International Science Fiction Conference by Srinarahari Mysore

The 19th Annual/5th International Science Fiction Conference was organized by the Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies Bangalore (IASFS) in collaboration with Bangalore University and held online December 7-10, 2020. The theme was “All Roads Lead to Science Fiction”, and participants included members of 58 departments at the university, faculty from 700 affiliated colleges, scientists, authors, editors, journalists, and luminaries from all over the world.

A variety of activities and ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Relics, Wrecks, & Ruins, Edited by Aiki Flinthart

Relics, Wrecks, & Ruins, Aiki Flinthart, ed. (Cat Press 978-0-648-99173-1, $29.99, 460pp) January 2021.

On her website, novelist and editor Aiki Flinthart tells us that “after being diag­nosed with terminal cancer in late 2019, [she] reached out to as many of the best sci-fi/fantasy/horror authors as would answer.” The end product of this clarion call is Relics, Wrecks, & Ruins, an anthology that, despite the tragic circumstances surrounding ...Read More

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International Costumers Gallery Relaunches

The International Costumers’ Guild (ICG) has relaunched the Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives, an online collection of “over 100,000 photos and hundreds of masquerade videos” preserving the history of science fiction fan costuming. The archive contains photos from “science fiction and fantasy conventions, masquerade competitions, fashion shows, historical dress competitions and events, and other costume events and displays.”

For more information, see the ICG online gallery.

While you are ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Ravens by Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige

The Ravens, Kass Morgan & Danielle Paige (HMH Books 978-0-358-09823-2, $18.99, 400pp, hc) November 2020.

Kass Morgan & Danielle Page’s novel The Ra­vens combines several current YA trends. The primary setting is a college sorority comprised of witches who are mostly preoccupied with furthering their own popularity. They live in a gorgeous historic house, attend a Georgia col­lege that has an appropriately creepy cemetery nearby, and spend a lot ...Read More

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Issue 723 Table of Contents, April 2021

The April 2021 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Ursula Vernon and Isabel Yap. News includes the 2020 Nebula Awards ballot, Nghi Vo’s Crawford win, the British Fantasy Awards winners, Weisskopf’s removal as DisCon III GoH, C.J. Cherryh’s Heinlein Award win, the 2020 British Book Summary, an SF in India report, and much more. The column by Kameron Hurley is entitled “Plotting the Way Forward”. Norton ...Read More

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2020 Aurealis Awards Finalists

The 2020 Aurealis Awards shortlist, recognizing the best in Australian speculative fiction, has been announced.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • Ghost Species, James Bradley (Penguin Random House)
  • Aurora Burning, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Fauna, Donna Mazza (Allen & Unwin)
  • The Animals in That Country, Laura Jean McKay (Scribe)
  • The Mother Fault, Kate Mildenhall (Simon & Schuster Australia)
  • Repo Virtual, Corey J.
...Read More Read more

Katharine Coldiron Reviews A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire

A Wild Winter Swan, Gregory Maguire (Wil­liam Morrow, 978-0-06298-078-6, $27.99, 240pp, Hardcover) October 2020.

One of the best aspects of Gregory Maguire’s work is his refusal to remove the wildness from animals, even anthropomorphized animals, in his books. Animals in his work fail to conform to human behavior and expectations in ways that are totally realistic for animals, and un­heard of in Disney films and their creative descen­dants. Maguire ...Read More

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Cover Reveal: Dare to Know by James Kennedy

Cover reveal! Dare to Know by James Kennedy from Quirk Books.

Dark Matter meets Annihilation in this mind-bending and emotional speculative thriller set in a world where the exact moment of your death can be predicted–for a price.

From the publisher:

Our narrator is the most talented salesperson at Dare to Know, an enigmatic company that has developed the technology to predict anyone’s death down to the second. Divorced, estranged ...Read More

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2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Awards

Winners of the 2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Awards have been announced, including authors of genre interest.

Laura van den Berg won the $200,000 Mildred & Harold Strauss Livings Award, given “in recognition of literary excellence and to provide freedom to devote time exclusively to writing.”

Chang-rae Lee won the $25,000 Award of Merit for the Novel, given “to an outstanding writer representing excellence in the craft ...Read More

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2021 International Booker Prize Longlist

Several titles and authors of genre interest made the 13-title longlist for the 2021 International Booker Prize:

  • At Night All Blood Is Black, David Diop, translated by Anna Mocschovakis (Pushkin)
  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell (Granta)
  • When We Cease to Understand the World, Benjamín Labatut, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Pushkin)
  • The Employees: A workplace novel of the 22nd century
...Read More Read more

Mourlevat Wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

French author Jean-Claude Mourlevat is the winner of the 2021 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, honoring children’s and young-adult literature. The award, presented by the Swedish Arts Council, is accompanied by a cash prize of 5 million krona (approximately $572,000), and is the world’s largest financial award for children’s and young-adult works. The jury said,

Jean-Claude Mourlevat is a brilliant renewer of fairy tale traditions, open to both hardship and beauty. ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews The Weak Spot by Lucie Elven

The Weak Spot, Lucie Elven (Soft Skull 978-1-593-76630-6, $15.95, 176pp, tp) February 2021.

Lucie Elven’s novella, The Weak Spot, is set in a village somewhere in Europe; “an unrushed place” situated at the top of a mountain, which can only be reached by a funicular. Into this secluded environment comes our unnamed narrator, a young pharmacist who scores a gig at the local chemist, under the tutelage of ...Read More

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New Books: 30 March 2021

Brown, Eli: Oddity

(Candlewick Press/Walker US 978-1-5362-0851-1, $18.99, 368pp, formats: hardcover, ebook, Mar 30, 2021)

Middle-grade alternate-history fantasy novel set in a 19th century where the Louisiana Purchase never went through, leaving the US in conflict with France. The daughter of a murdered doctor protects a magical Oddity he left behind. Illustrated by Karin Rytter.

 

Langmead, Oliver K.: Birds of Paradise

(Titan Books US 978-1789094817, $15.95, 304pp, formats: trade ...Read More

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Wanda June Alexander (1951-2021)

Editor and fan Wanda June Alexander, 69, died February 14, 2021 in Santa Fe NM. She was an editor for Tor from 1984 until 2006, where she worked with authors including George R.R. Martin. She was active in fandom starting in the ’70s.

Alexander was born June 15, 1951 and grew up in Montrose NY. She worked for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in the ’70s, then returned ...Read More

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Inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards Shortlist

Finalists for the inaugural Barnes & Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards Shortlist have been announced. Authors and titles of genre interest include:

Young Adult

  • Felix Ever After, Kacen Callender (Balzer + Bray)
  • These Violent Delights, Chloe Gong (Margaret K. McElderry)
  • Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas (Swoon)
  • Punching the Air, Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam (Balzer + Bray)

Young Readers

  • Amari and the Night Brothers, B.B.
...Read More Read more

News Corp to Acquire HMH

News Corp, parent company of HarperCollins Publishers, has announced that it will acquire Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) publishing company, HMH Books & Media, for $349 million in cash.

HMH will become part of HarperCollins, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world. The deal will add more than 7,000 titles to the HarperCollins backlist, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and other titles by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1984 and Animal ...Read More

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Singh Wins A.C. Bose Grant

Sanjna N. Singh is the recipient of the 2021 A.C. Bose Grant for South Asian Speculative Literature, presented by the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) and DesiLit. The $1,000 grant is given annually to “a South Asian / South Asian diaspora writer developing speculative fiction.”

Singh has worked in New York City for over fifteen years, at HBO, and as a television producer for shows such as Mob Wives, Storm ...Read More

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Martin Signs HBO Deal

George R.R. Martin has signed a five-year contract with HBO, reportedly worth “mid-eight figures.” The network is developing six Game of Thrones prequel projects based on Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, including House of the Dragon, scheduled to air in 2022.

Martin will also executive produce an adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s post-apocalyptic novel Who Fears Death, and an adaptation of Roger Zelazny’s fantasy novel Roadmarks ...Read More

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