2020 Nommo Awards Shortlist

The African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) has announced the shortlist for the 2020 Nommo Awards, for speculative fiction by Africans living anywhere.

Best Novel

  • Sing Down the Stars, Nerine Dorman (Tafelberg)
  • Triangulum, Masande Ntshanga (Penguin Random House South Africa/Two Dollar Radio)
  • David Mogo, Godhunter, Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Abaddon)
  • War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill)
  • The Old Drift, Namwali Serpell (Hogarth)
  • Rosewater Insurrection, Tade Thompson (Orbit)
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Apex Relaunch

Jason Sizemore has announced that Apex magazine will relaunch in January 2021, on “a new bi-monthly publication schedule with one issue every two months for a total of six issues a year. The amount of yearly fiction published will remain the same as before, but this will allow for a more manageable production schedule of the zine.” He plans to run a subscription drive and a Kickstarter in July 2020 ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez (Del Rey 978-0-593-12898-5, $27.00, 394pp, hc) January 2020.

Simon Jimenez’s The Vanished Birds comes to us from Del Rey, with its long and distinguished SF/F history, but with a cover that pointedly eschews any suggestion of the space opera elements that are central to the novel’s action. The central character sees herself as something of a vagabond. Nia Imani is captain of a space ...Read More

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SFWA Opens to Comic and Graphic Novel Writers

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) voted to accept active membership applications from comic and graphic novel writers.

The decision was made by a membership-wide vote during the 2020 SFWA Officer Election. Specific dates and rules are yet to be announced. The voting results are available on the SFWA site.

SFWA also voted to change the membership class name from “active member” to “full member.”

For more ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Interference by Sue Burke

Interference, Sue Burke (Tor 978-1-250-3784-1, $27.99, 324pp, hc) October 2019.

Sue Burke’s Interference picks up where her meditative Semiosis left off. After a brief opening chapter on Earth, she brings us back to the far-flung Pax Colony, which has come to a negotiated peace between its human colonists, its other alien species (the Glassmakers), and its sentient plant. Things are going about as well as can be expected on ...Read More

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G.-J. Arnaud (1928-2020)

French SF writer G.-J. Arnaud, 91, died April 26, 2020 at home in the Var in France. George-Camille Arnaud, who wrote as G.-J. Arnaud and Georges-Jean Arnaud, was born July 3, 1928 in Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, Camargue, France. Arnaud began his career writing mystery and thriller novels, producing at least 200 under his own name and various pseudonyms before turning to science fiction. He began publishing SF with Les Croisés de Mara ...Read More

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Aguda Wins 2020 Rogers Award

The Suicide Mothers by ’Pemi Aguda won the 2020 Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers Award. The award “gives £10,000 to an unpublished writer to enable them to complete a first book.” Aguda’s novel “begins with a real wow moment and sustains momentum as it draws us into a world that is utterly contemporary yet has room for the mythic and the supernatural.”

Judges for the 2020 award were Sarah Perry, Max ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Bubblegum by Adam Levin

Bubblegum, Adam Levin (Doubleday Books 978-0-385-54496-2, $29.95, 784pp, hc) April 2020.

Back in 2010, as part of McSweeney’s now lapsed “Book Release Club,” I was sent a copy of The Instructions by debut au­thor Adam Levin. Like everything published by McSweeney’s, the novel was a beautiful artefact, a bright red cover depicting multiple versions of a hooded boy reaching for a girl. It was also over 1,000 pages long, ...Read More

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Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Review Upload and Motherland: Fort Salem

Josh: Well, theaters are still closed, and most of the movies we were scheduled to review have been pushed back to the end of the year or 2021. So instead we’ll talk about the many science fiction and fantasy shows available on streaming services!

Arley: Some shows I’ve been watching, and enjoying, are The Expanse, Westworld, and Watchmen.

Josh: Nice. I like The Boys, Tales from ...Read More

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Carolyn Reidy (1949-2020)

Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, 71, died May 12, 2020 of a heart attack. She began her career in publishing in 1974, working in the subsidiary rights department at Random House, and rose to became associate publisher of the Random House imprint. In her long career she also served as publisher of Vintage Books, and was president and publisher of Avon. She joined S&S in 1992 as president of ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, Edited by Michael Kelly, and Out of Water by Sarah Read

Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8, Michael Kelly, ed. (Undertow 978-1-988964-17-1, $27.99, 269pp, hc) March 2020.

Shadows & Tall Trees, Vol. 8 lives up to the high standard previously set by editor Mi­chael Kelly with this series. The anthology’s 18 original stories serve as a good entry drug to the best in modern short fiction as well as reliable reads for those already addicted. Many tend toward the ...Read More

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2020 Xingyun Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 11th annual Xingyun Awards for Chinese science fiction were announced by the World Chinese Science Fiction Association.

Best Novel

  • Memory Deviation, Wu Chu
  • The Cosmic Egg, Wang Jinkang
  • A Voyager in the Sea of Stars, A Que
  • The Stars, Qi Yue

Best Novella

  • “Astronomical Priests”, Baoshu
  • “Host”, Cheng Jingbo
  • “The Algorithms for Life”, Chen Qiufan
  • “Forget-Me-Not”, A Que

Best Short Story

  • “The Man
...Read More Read more

2020 Best Translated Book Awards Finalists

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon), and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Riverhead), are among the finalists for the 2020 Best Translated Book Awards.

The award was founded by Three Percent at the University of Rochester and awards $10,000 to be split by the author and translator of the winning titles. The fiction jury ...Read More

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2020 Glass Bell Award Shortlist

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank (HQ) and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (Harvill Secker) are on the six-title shortlist for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award.

The award was established in 2017 by independent bookstore Goldsboro Books for novels with “compelling storytelling with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised.” The winning title will be announced July 2, 2020 and the author ...Read More

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Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award Shortlist

Shortlisted titles for the Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award have been announced:

  • “The Shape of the World”, Amy Borg
  • “The Scent of Cloves”, Dan Buchanan
  • “Kali’s Call”, Dolly Garland
  • “The Reeves’ Guild”, Kyla Jardine
  • “The Principles of Moments”, Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson
  • “Nowhere more Changeable than the Mortal Heart”, Ewen Ma
  • “Blood of the Wolf”, Jaya Martin
  • “Seeds of Heaven”, Victor Ogana

The award was launched in 2019 by ...Read More

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Elizabeth Bear: Everyone’s Utopia Is Someone’s Dystopia


Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky was born September 22, 1971, in Hartford CT. She attended the University of Connecticut, where she studied English and anthropology, though she did not take a degree. She has worked as a technical writer, stable hand, reporter, and in assorted office jobs, and has been writing full-time since 2006. She married Christopher Kindred in 2000, divorcing in 2007. She became involved with fantasy writer and firefighter ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews City of a Thousand Feelings by Anya Johanna DeNiro and The Menace from Farside by Ian McDonald

City of a Thousand Feelings, Anya Johanna DeNiro (Aqueduct) February 2020.

Another entry in Aqueduct Press’s long and always challenging Conversation Pieces series. This is a novelette, City of a Thousand Feelings by Anya Johanna DeNiro, a trans woman whose work I’ve long liked and have missed. This story doesn’t quite work for me, but it’s fascinating and well written, with some spectacular imagery. It’s opens with two ...Read More

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Bookstore News

Bookstores are still in dire shape, with the pandemic causing store closures all over. WH Smith in the UK reports that sales were down 25% in March, and in the first week of April they were down 85% over the same period in 2019. They predict similar losses through the end of August, then hope for “gradual improvement in trading through to the end of Decem­ber.” About 60% of their ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews Meat Cute Audiobook by Gail Carriger

Meat Cute, Gail Carriger; Emma Newman, narra­tor (self-published, $4.99, digital download, 1.25 hr., unabridged) January 2020.

The website TV Tropes has coined the lovely term “noodle incident” to refer to a peculiar-sounding event that characters mention in a story but never fully explain. A classic example is Watson’s brief reference to the Giant Rat of Sumatra in the Sher­lock Holmes mysteries.

Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has the “hedgehog ...Read More

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Pandemic Help

James Patterson extended his philan­thropy toward independent bookstores with a personal donation of half a million dollars to help stores impacted by coronavirus closures. The funds were administered by the Book Industry Charity Foundation, with money to be distributed by May 15, 2020. Patterson joined with the American Booksellers Association in the #SaveIndieBookstores fundraising campaign, which ran in April. The funds “will go toward helping hundreds of indie bookstores across ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Regrets Audiobook by Amy Bonnaffons

The Regrets, Amy Bonnaffons; Jay Ben Markson, Christie Moreau & Gary Tiedemann, narrators (Hachette Audio 978-1-47899966-9, $25.98, digital download, 6.75 hr., unabridged) February 2020.

When Thomas was a boy, a mistaken encounter with an angel of death turned him into a thrill-seeker, flirt­ing with death out of a longing to see the angel again. When he finally gets his wish in a car accident, the afterlife bureaucracy determines that ...Read More

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2020 Aurora Awards Ballot

The 2020 Aurora Awards ballot has been announced. The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. The top five nominated works were selected, with additional works included when there was a tie for fifth place.

Best Novel

  • Haunting the Haunted, E.C. Bell (Tyche)
  • The Gossamer Mage, Julie E. Czerneda (DAW)
  • A Brightness Long Ago, Guy Gavriel Kay (Viking Canada)
  • The
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Chinese New Year SF Gala by Derek Künsken

The Chinese publishing company Future Af­fairs Administration (FAA) which, among other things, publishes the online Manda­rin-language SF magazine Non-Exist, recently celebrated the Lunar New Year with its Chinese New Year SF Gala. Lunar New Year is a couple of weeks of celebration in China, very focused on family and roots. For the last five years, FAA has been commissioning SF writers to create stories based on different themes. International authors ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews The Last Smile in Sunder City by Luke Arnold and Potions Are for Pushovers by Tamara Berry

Luke Arnold, The Last Smile in Sunder City (Orbit US 978-0-316-45582-4, $15.99, 316pp, tp) February 2020.

Fetch Phillips is a hard-boiled (or possibly well-pickled) detective type, working in a city that once ran on magic and hasn’t really recovered since the magic ran out in a devastating war. Being human, Fetch is less affected by the loss of magic than many of the supernatural races that used to run things, ...Read More

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2020 Seiun Awards Nominees

The Science Fiction Fan Groups’ Association of Nippon (SFFAN) has announced the finalists for the 2020 Seiun Awards (the Japanese equivalent of the Hugo Awards), honoring the best original and translated works published last year in Japan.

Best Translated Novel

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers, translated by Youko Hosomi (Tokyo Sogensha)
  • The Paradox Men, Charles L. Harness, translated by Tohru Nakamura (Takeshobo)
  • Jade
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Adrienne Martini Reviews Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars by Marko Kloos

Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars, Marko Kloos (47North 978-1-5420-4355-7, $24.95, 282pp, hc) July 2019.

In Aftershocks: The Palladium Wars, Marko Kloos is setting up a series that will look at what happens once a war is over. It’s a nice change from the smash and bang of what happens during the fighting; instead, here he puts the focus on the aftermath of occupation.

Kloos opens on Aden Robertson, a ...Read More

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SFWA Nebula Conference Online Registration

Registration is now open for the SFWA Nebula Conference Online, and the website for the event, “complete with an artistic redesign of SFWA’s logos and spaces,” is now live.

Taking place on May 29th – 31st, 2020, and focusing on content relevant to professionals in the genre, attendees will be able to choose from career management, professional development, and expert knowledge panels and workshops. The event will also include solo ...Read More

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Us in Flux

The Center for Science and the Imagi­nation at Arizona State University launched Us in Flux, “a series of stories and virtual events about community, collaboration, and collective imagination in times of transformative change.” They will publish an original flash fiction story each Thursday, and host a virtual event with the author in conversation with an expert in a related field on the following Monday at 4 p.m. Eastern. The first ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination by Rick Wilber

Rambunctious: Nine Tales of Determination, Rick Wilber (WordFire 978-1-68057-068-7, $24.99, 289pp, hc) March 2020.

There are a few things we can reliably expect in a collection of stories from Rick Wilber (whose Alien Morning was a finalist for the Campbell Award a couple of years ago, but whose only previous collection was 1999’s Where Garagiola Waits and Other Baseball Stories). Two of these are pretty common SF preoccupations ...Read More

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Borderlands Press Writers Bootcamp

Applications are now being accepted for the Writers Bootcamp, organized by Borderlands Press, to be held January 29-31, 2021 in Baltimore MD. Robert McCammon is special guest instructor. Other instructors include Ginjer Buchanan, Thomas F. Monteleone, F. Paul Wilson, and Douglas E. Winter. The Tracie Orsi Memorial Scholarship grants free tuition to “the applicant who best exem­plifies Tracie’s talent and energy and determination to improve.” For more, or to apply: ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews A Phoenix First Must Burn, Edited by Patrice Caldwell

A Phoenix First Must Burn, Patrice Caldwell, ed. (Viking 978-1-9848-3565-9, $18.99, 306pp, hc) March 2020.

In the new teen anthology A Phoenix First Must Burn, editor Patrice Caldwell has collected a group of 16 stories celebrating “Black girl magic.” The authors include several YA heavy hitters such as L.L. McKinney, Dhonielle Clayton, Justina Ireland, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Rebecca Roan­horse, and the topics range from an interstellar confrontation about ...Read More

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2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards Finalists

Finalists for the 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ).

Best Novel

  • The Blacksmith, Barbara Howe (IFWG Australia)
  • The Prince of Secrets, A.J. Lancaster (Camberion)
  • Solar Federation, S.E. Mulholland (self-published)
  • Into the Ashes, Lee Murray (Severed)
  • The Dawnhounds, Sascha Stronach (Little Hook)

Best Youth Novel

  • Light in My Blood, Jean Gilbert &
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