Teenagers Scare the Living Hell Out of Me: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Review Brightburn

Although it’s easiest to describe Brightburn as “Superman, but evil,” it’s a mistake to think of it as a superhero movie. It is, rather, a pretty straightforward horror movie. It stars Elizabeth Banks and David Denman as the Kent-like parents of Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn), an alien child they find in a crashed spaceship. They adopt and raise Brandon until he turns 12 and starts exhibiting unnatural abilities.

Arley: ...Read More

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Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Readers’ Choice Award

“Crash-Site” by Brian Trent (F&SF 5-6/18) is the winner of Baen‘s fifth annual Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF Readers’ Choice Award, announced September 1, 2019 at Dragon Con in Atlanta GA. The prize includes $500 and an inscribed plaque.

The winner was selected by public vote from 12 finalist stories published in The Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF, Vol. 5, edited by David Afsharirad (Baen).

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Forthcoming Books Through June 2020

The Locus Selected Books by Author list has been updated on our Forthcoming Books page, with information from the September 2019 issue covering upcoming titles from genre houses slated through June 2020. Find out about your favorite authors’ upcoming books!

For the complete list of books by publisher, subscribe to our print magazine or purchase the September issue in print or digital editions, available September 1, 2019.

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Foundation Call for New Editor

Paul March-Russell is stepping down as editor of Foundation, and the Science Fiction Foundation (SFF) is now accepting applications for a replacement.

Foundation is a peer-reviewed, critical science fiction magazine based in the UK. Applications “comprising a CV and letter setting out the candidate’s qualifications and plans for the journal” should be sent to Graham Sleight <grahamsleight@gmail.com> by September 30, 2019. More details can be found at the SFF website. ...Read More

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2019 Inky Awards Winners

Whisper by Lynette Noni (Kids Can) won the Gold Inky Award (for Australian titles), and The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Little, Brown) won the Silver Inky Award (for international titles).

The awards, given by State Library Victoria, are “Australia’s only YA awards decided entirely by teens.” Winners were announced during the Melbourne Writers Festival in Melbourne, Australia.

For more information, see the Inside a Dog website.

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: F&SF, Interzone, and Amazing

F&SF 7-8/19 Interzone 3-4/19 Amazing Spring ’19

In the July-August F&SF, Cassandra Khaw‘s “Mighty are the Meek and the Myriad” is very impressive. It’s set the year after a human-robot war ended in a treaty, with robots serving as humans, and, in various ways, being “humanized” by having them wear hats and mustaches and giving them corgis as pets. The story follows two somewhat unpleasant hu­man characters: ...Read More

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2019 Booker Prize Shortlist

The 6-title shortlist for the 2019 Booker Prize has been announced, including several of genre interest:

  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Vintage, Chatto & Windus)
  • An Orchestra of Minorities, Chigozie Obioma (Little, Brown)
  • Quichotte, Salman Rushdie (Jonathan Cape)

The £50,000 prize is “open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland.” This year’s judges are Liz Calder, Peter Florence (chair), Xiaolu

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Terrance Dicks (1935-2019)

SF writer Terrance Dicks, 84, died August 29, 2019.

Dicks was a prolific and celebrated writer for the British TV program Doctor Who, serving as script editor from 1968-74 and writing various episodes. He also produced more than 50 tie-in novels and non-fiction books about the series, beginning with Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion (1974) and ending with Revenge of the Judoon (2008). His final story, “Save Yourself”, ...Read More

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2019 Dragon Awards Winners

Winners of the 2019 Dragon Awards were announced at Dragon Con on September 1, 2019 in Atlanta GA.

Best Science Fiction Novel

  • WINNER: A Star-Wheeled Sky, Brad R. Torgersen (Baen)
  • Record of a Spaceborn Few, Becky Chambers (Harper Voyager)
  • Tiamat’s Wrath, James S.A. Corey (Orbit)
  • Europe at Dawn, Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • Red Moon, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
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Heller Wins 2019 Eugie Award

“When We Were Starless” by Simone Heller (Clarkesworld 10/18) is the winner of the 2019 Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction (the Eugie Award), announced September 1, 2019 at Dragon Con, held in Atlanta GA. Other finalists were:

  • “The War of Light and Shadow, in Five Dishes“, Siobhan Carroll (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 3/18)
  • “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium to Portal Fantasies“, Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/18)
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Brad Linaweaver (1952-2019)

SF writer Brad Linaweaver, 66, died August 29, 2019 of cancer at home in Apopka FL.

Bradford Swain Linaweaver was born September 1, 1952 in Washington NC. He attended Florida State University, and got his MFA at Rollins College. He began publishing SF with “The Competitor” (1980), and alternate history novella “Moon of Ice” (1982) was a Nebula Awards finalist. In all he published more than 50 stories, some of ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Miranda in Milan Audiobook by Katharine Duckett

Miranda in Milan, Katharine Duckett; Saskia Maaleveld, narrator (Audible Studios, $12.99, digi­tal download, 4.5 hr., unabridged). March 2019.

Fantasy writers never want to accept Miranda’s happy ending with Ferdinand at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. And who can blame them? Ferdinand is the only young man (or perhaps the second young man, depending on how you depict Caliban) that Miranda ever meets; can this really be a ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: DRM Broke Its Promise

When states had established religions and all-powerful churches, the clergy could impose many indignities on their parishoners merely by asserting that it was “God’s will.” Our modern secular religion is the worship of markets as self-correcting, self-perfecting systems that merely demand that we all act in our own self-interest to produce an outcome that makes us all better off. Whenever corporations thrive by making us all worse off, we’re told ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley

An Affair of Poisons, Addie Thorley (Page Street 978-1-62414-713-5, $18.99, 383pp, hc) February 2019.

In 1679 there was a documented plot to assassinate King Louis XIV of France. Instigated by his discarded mistress, Madame de Montespan, a poisoned petition was prepared, and on three separate occasions there were attempts to present it to the king; all of them failed. The plot was uncovered and over 30 people were arrested ...Read More

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Issue 704 Table of Contents, September 2019

The September 2019 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Cadwell Turnbull. The issue lists US and UK forthcoming books titles through June 2020. Awards news includes the Hugo Awards winners, the 1944 Retro-Hugo Awards, World Fantasy Awards ballot, Dragon Awards nominees, Seiun Awards winners, and a name change for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Additional news covers Worldcon site selection, Audible’s ...Read More

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CMG Acquires Curtis Circulation Com­pany

Magazine distributor Comag Marketing Group (CMG) has acquired Curtis Circulation Com­pany, effective October 1, 2019. CMG will take up obligations and services for Curtis’s existing publisher agreements after that, and Curtis “will provide transition services to CMG to assure a seamless transition.”

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring donation. We rely on reader donations to keep the magazine and site ...Read More

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Baen Books & RBmedia Audiobook Partnership

Baen Books announced on August 27, 2019 a partnership with RBmedia to publish more than 170 audiobooks over the next three years.

This agreement means publication of both frontlist titles—with a primary focus on alternate history and science fiction—as well as many titles from Baen’s extensive backlist, including classics from Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Grand Masters and long-time fan favorites that have not previously been released ...Read More

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2019 James White Award Shortlist

The James White Award Short Story competition has announced this year’s shortlist, drawn from 355 submissions:

  • “The Last Words of Harry Niffen”, Stephen Cashmore
  • “Digital Nomad”, Koji A. Dae
  • “Property Crime”, Michael Donoghue
  • “Better Lost Than Loved”, Bryn Fazakerley
  • “Bug on Bug”, Mica Scotti Kole
  • “Limitations”, David Maskill

The James White Award is open to previously unpublished stories between 1,000 and 6,000 words in length by non-professional authors. The winner ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

Magic for Liars, Sarah Gailey (Tor 978-125-017461-1, $25.99, 336pp, hc) June 2019. Cover by Will Staehle.

Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars falls on the Lev Grossman’s The Magicians side of the magic schools continuum. Osthorne Academy is less Hogwarts and more Brakebills but with a touch of the former’s whimsy. That doesn’t make Magic for Liars a derivative work that lacks a fresh touch. This is a well that ...Read More

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Haikasoru on Hiatus

Haikasoru Books, an imprint of VIZ Media “dedicated to translating Japanese science fiction, fantasy, and horror into English,” will go on hiatus following the November 19, 2019 release of Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Vol. 10: Sunset by Yoshiki Tanaka (trans. Matt Treyvaud). Haikasoru editor-in-chief Masumi Washington said,

After this production, I will take a break from new acquisitions for Haikasoru a while and would like to see what I ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson

Song for the Unraveling of the World, Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press 978-156689-548-4, $16.99, 212pp, tp) June 2019.

In his story “Leaking Out”, which could be read as Brian Evenson’s characteristically oblique take on the haunted house tale, a “malformed man” (another characteristic Evenson figure) starts tell­ing a story with the warning that “this is not that kind of story, the kind meant to explain things. It simply tells ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer

Brightfall, Jaime Lee (Jo Fletcher 978-1-78747-920-3, £18.99, 312pp, hc) August 2019.

Brightfall is Jaime Lee Moyer’s first novel since her debut trilogy (Delia’s Shadow, A Barricade in Hell, and Against A Brightening Sky, the last of which came out in 2015). Brightfall is both like and unlike these previous books. Like, in that it shares a similar tone and a similar interest in women’s lives ...Read More

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Campbell Award Renamed

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer has been renamed The Astounding Award for Best New Writer. The award, which is sponsored by Dell Magazines and administered by the World Science Fiction Society, was named for the editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later Analog Science Fiction and Fact). Current Analog editor Trevor Quachri said,

Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters often reflected positions ...Read More

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2019 BFS Short Story Competition

Results for the British Fantasy Society’s (BFS) short story competition have been announced:

  • First place: “Encumbrance”, Steven Poore
  • Second place: “Vicarious”, Philip Harris
  • Third place: “Sibling Rivalry”, Amy McNee

First prize is £100 and a year’s membership in the BFS. Second prize is £50 and a year’s membership. Third prize is £20. All three stories will be published in BFS Horizons. The contest was judged by Allen Ashley.

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Ian Mond Reviews The Laws of the Skies by Grégoire Courtois

The Laws of the Skies, Grégoire Courtois (Coach House 978-1552453872, $16.95, 160pp, tp) May 2019.

In March this year, my eight-year-old son Joshua went camping for the first time. A month later I read The Laws of the Skies by French author Grégoire Courtois (translated by Rhonda Mullins), which involves a group of six-year-olds embarking on their first-ever camp trip. If the order of these two events had been ...Read More

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2019 Splatterpunk Awards Winners

Winners of the 2019 Splatterpunk Awards, honoring “superior achievement in the sub-genres of Splatterpunk/Extreme Horror fiction,” were announced during Killercon 2019 at the Wingate by Wyndham Conference Center in Round Rock TX, August 16-18, 2019.

Best Novel

  • WINNER: Full Brutal, Kristopher Triana (Grindhouse)
  • Ring of Fire, David Agranoff (Deadite)
  • Camp Slasher, Dan Padavona (self-published)
  • Last Day, Bryan Smith (self-published)
  • A Gathering of Evil, Gil Valle
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2019 ESFS Awards Winners

The European Science Fiction Society (ESFS) Hall of Fame Awards, Achievement Awards, and Chrysalis Award winners were announced during Eurocon 41, held August 22-25, 2019 in Belfast, Ireland.

European Grand Master

  • Ian McDonald (United Kingdom)

Hall of Fame Awards:

Best Author

  • WINNER: Charles Stross (United Kingdom)
  • Ismael Martínez Biurrun (Spain)
  • Philippe Curval (France)
  • Yana Dubynianska (Ukraine)
  • Victor Pelevin / Виктор Пелевин (Russia)
  • Maria Turtschaninoff (Finland and Sweden)
  • João Ventura (Portugal)
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Vanderburgh Wins Munsey Award

Publisher George Vanderburgh is the winner of the 2019 Munsey Award, presented annually by PulpFest “to an individual or institution that has worked for the betterment of the pulp community.” Nominees are selected by the general pulp community, and the winner is selected by a vote of past Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Awards winners.

Vanderburgh received a fine art print by David Saunders as his award, presented by Bill Lampkin ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Longer by Michael Blumlein

Longer, Michael Blumlein (Tor.com Publishing 978-1-250-22981-6, $15.99, 234pp, tp) May 2019.

In direct contrast to Stephenson’s much-muchness sits Michael Blumlein’s Longer. In this novella, he folds idea upon idea and builds distinct characters who are in constant and subtle movement. Longer packs so many interesting moments into its compact structure that it is a challenge to not turn immediately back to the first pages after you read the ...Read More

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Science Fiction Trails Closes

Science Fiction Trails maga­zine has closed following the publication of their 14th issue in April 2019, with magazine editor David B. Riley citing a “huge drop” in sales for the last two issues. The magazine published sci­ence fiction weird Westerns. This does not affect Science Fiction Trails Books, which will release its 11th anthology, Tales from Dry Gulch, in September 2019.

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

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PRH Acquires F+W Media

Penguin Random House has acquired the publishing-related assets of F+W Media, including around 2,000 backlist titles, most illustrated non-fiction. PRH made the winning bid on June 6, 2019 in the auction held by the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. F+W Media’s parent company filed bankruptcy in March 2019.

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

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Unraveling by Karen Lord

Unraveling, Karen Lord (DAW 978-0-7544-1520-4, $26.00, 258pp, hc) June 2019.

I don’t think it’s giving anything away to note that the final section of Karen Lord’s Unraveling is titled “Metanoia”, since that term has at least a couple of meanings that are relevant not only to the new novel (her fourth), but to the whole body of her work to date. The more-or-less theological meaning, which has to do ...Read More

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