Adrienne Martini Reviews Widowland by C.J. Carey

Widowland, C.J. Carey (Quercus 978-1-529-41199-7, £14.99, 436pp, hc) June 2021.

Widowland by C.J. Carey would be a very intense, engaging, and horrifying book if we didn’t live in a world that has 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Brave New World already in it.

Carey – the pseudonym of historical fiction writer Jane Thynne – has created an alternate history of 1950s Britain, one where the Prime Minister ...Read More

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Robert Thurston (1936-2021)

SF writer Robert Thurston, 84, died October 20, 2021 in Ridgefield Park NJ.

Thurston attended the first Clarion Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop in 1968, and his debut SF story, “Stop Me Before I Tell More”, appeared in Orbit 9 (1971). His final story was “Nobody Like Josh” in Asimov’s (2016). First novel Alicia II appeared in 1978. Other SF novels include Set of Wheels (1983, expanded from 1971 story “Wheels”), ...Read More

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2021 Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalists

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the Governor General’s Literary Awards finalists. There are seven categories, in both English and French: Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature – Text, Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books, and Translation.

Several authors and titles of genre interest made the list.


  • Second Place, Rachel Cusk (Harper Perennial)

Young People’s Literature – Text

  • Blood Like Magic, Liselle Sambury,
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New Zealand Library Controversy

In July 2021, the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) made the controversial announcement that it would donate more than 400,000 books to the Internet Archive “so they can be digitised and preserved, ensuring future access for New Zealanders and global researchers.” The books are those being culled from the library system’s Overseas Published Collections “so we can make room to continue to grow our Māori, Pacific and New Zealand ...Read More

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2021 Diverse Writers and Diverse Worlds Grants Winners

The Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) announced that S. Qiouyi Lu has won the 2021 Diverse Writers Grant for “Razing Babel”, and Elena Pavlova the 2021 Diverse Worlds Grant for “The Life and Adventures of Hillmeria Cat”.

The Diverse Writers Grant is “intended to support new and emerging writers from underrepresented and underprivileged groups, such as writers of color, women, queer writers, disabled writers, working-class writers, etc. — those whose marginalized ...Read More

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Gladman Wins Windham-Campbell Prize

Author Renee Gladman is among the eight winners of the Windham-Campbell Prize and will receive “an unrestricted grant” of $165,000.

The Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize was established “to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.” The prize is administered by Yale University, with a new nominating committee every year, and a jury choosing eight winners ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Analog, Interzone, Galaxy’s Edge, and Fusion Fragment

Analog 9-10/21 Interzone #290-291 Galaxy’s Edge 7/21 Fusion Fragment 7/21

Analog’s latest issue features ‘‘The Silence Before I Sleep’’, a novella in Adam-Troy Castro’s AISource future that introduces Rage Larkin, a contract killer by profession, though she emphasizes that she avoids (or voids) contracts that violate her principles and also tries to come up with alternate solutions. Rage’s latest assignment is on an artificial planet created by ...Read More

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sf-Lit Award 2021 Shortlist has announced the 2021 sf-Lit Award 2021 shortlist of five candidates. The award is open to any books that have been published in German in 2020, regardless of the author’s country of origin or the language of the first publication.

sf.Lit Award Shortlist

  • Laurent Binet, Eroberung (Rowohlt)
  • Blake Crouch, Gestohlene Erinnerung (Goldmann)
  • Tom Hillenbrand, Qube (KiWi)
  • Sameena Jehanzeb, Was Preema nicht weiß (SP)
  • Simon Stålenhag, Tales from the Loop
...Read More Read more

2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals Shortlist

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the six-title shortlist for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence for “the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U.S. in the previous year.” The fiction shortlist includes Matrix by Lauren Groff (Riverhead) and The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin (Little, Brown and Company).

The two medal winners will be announced at the Reference and

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Barnes & Noble Best Books of the Year 2021

Barnes & Noble has announced its list of 11 best books of 2021. Titles and authors of genre interest include:

  • Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr (Scribner)
  • Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
  • Under the Whispering Door ,TJ Klune (Tor)
  • The Sentence, Louise Erdrich (Harper)

For more information, including the complete list, see the B&N website.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time

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Maya C. James Reviews Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti

Walking on Cowrie Shells, Nana Nkweti (Gray­wolf Press 978-1-644-45054-3, $16.00, 200pp, tp) June 2021.

Nana Nkweti offers ten heart-warming and heart-wrenching stories that span genre, time, and species in her debut collection Walking on Cowrie Shells. From literary realism and romance, to speculative fiction and mystery, Nkweti tackles themes of familial and cultural expectations, all with effortless style and detail.

Nkweti’s writing style is a mixture of sobering ...Read More

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Catherine M. Morrison (1969-2021)

Writer Catherine M. Morrison, 52, died September 25, 2021 in London after a brief illness.

Morrison was a member of the Clarion class of 2003, and also attended the Blue Heaven workshop. She published several stories, including Darrell Award winner “Elvis in the Attic” in Sci Fiction (2004), with others appearing in Fantasy and small press publications.

Born January 13, 1969 in Stoughton MA, Morrison was known as Cathy and ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Artifact Space by Miles Cameron

Artifact Space, Miles Cameron (Gollancz 978-1-473-23260-0, £18.99), 568pp, tp) June 2021.

If you are a fan of space operas with buckets of world building and solid characters, Miles Cameron’s Artifact Space is the book you need. I know this because I am always on the look-out for exactly this, and this book sparked joy.

Humanity has gone through an Age of Chaos – the details of this aren’t super ...Read More

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Jim Fiscus (1944-2021)

SF writer, fan, and award administrator Jim Fiscus, 76, died suddenly on November 7, 2021 at home in Oregon.

Fiscus began publishing short SF in 1986, with a handful of additional stories appearing in the 2000s. He was best known in the field as administrator of the Endeavour Awards honoring Pacific Northwest authors and for his decades of work as a SFWA volunteer. He hosted SFWA events at Westercons in ...Read More

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Chuck Wendig: Accidental Hauntings

CHUCK DAVID WENDIG was born April 22, 1976 and grew up in New Hope PA. He attended Queens University in Charlotte NC, where he studied English and religion, graduated in 1998, and “worked various bizarre day jobs, as many writers do” before becoming a full-time freelancer.

He published a story in 1997 as C.D. Wendig, and another in 2000 as C. David Wendig, but most of his fiction publications date ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The First Law of Thermodynamics by James Patrick Kelly

The First Law of Thermodynamics, James Pat­rick Kelly (PM Press 978-1629638850, $14.00, 128pp, tp) August 2021.

As I’ve mentioned in this space before, PM Press’s Outspoken Authors series, which began in 2009 with titles by Kim Stanley Robinson and series editor Terry Bisson, has become a reliable literary loot box, now up to its 27th volume with James Patrick Kelly’s The First Law of Ther­modynamics. My immediate thought ...Read More

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T.G. Shenoy reviews Cyber Mage by Saad Z. Hossain

Cyber Mage, Saad Z. Hossain (Unnamed Press 978-1-95121-328-2, $18.00, 288pp, tp) Decem­ber 2021.

Saad Z. Hossain continues to break down genre boundaries, weaving mythology and magic into science fiction (and vice versa) with his third novel, Cyber Mage. Set in the same universe as Hossain’s novel Djinn City and the novellas The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday and the forthcoming Kundo Wakes Up, the standalone Cyber ...Read More

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2021 World Fantasy Award Winners

The World Fantasy Awards winners for works published in 2020 were announced during the World Fantasy Convention 2021, held November 4-7, 2021 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec.

The Life Achievement Awards, presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field, went to Megan Lindholm and Howard Waldrop.

The World Fantasy Awards winners are:

Best Novel

  • WINNER: Trouble the Saints, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Tor)
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Otacílio Costa d’Assunção Barros (1954-2021)

Brazilian cartoonist and veteran magazine editor OTACÍLIO COSTA D’ASSUNÇÃO BARROS, 67, who signed his works as “Ota” (1954-2021), was found dead in his apartment in Rio de Janeiro on September 24, 2021, after two days without contact by neighbors. The cause of death has not been disclosed.

Ota was the editor of the Brazilian version of the famous Mad magazine from the 1970s up to 2008, when it was closed ...Read More

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Imagined Futures Prize

UK publisher Faber is launching the Imagined Futures Prize, a new YA science fiction award.

Entries should be a “young adult (for 12–18 year olds) novel or collection of short stories that can be (loosely) defined as science fiction, comprising: the first 10,000 words and a full synopsis of the novel in 500 words maximum, or a full manuscript and 500 word synopsis.” Only UK residents age 18 and up ...Read More

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2021 BFS Short Story Competition

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

  • First place: “All That Water”, Eris Young
  • Second place: “Archive of Trapped Souls”, Mikaela Silk
  • Third place: “Changeling”, James Bennett

Honorable mention goes to “Idomeneja” by Eris Young, which was withdrawn after tying for first place. First prize is £100 and a year’s membership in the BFS. Second prize is £50 and a year’s membership. Third prize

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Lackey Named SFWA Grand Master

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has named Mercedes Lackey the 38th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy said,

From the time I read my first Mercedes Lackey book as a young woman, her stories have illuminated my imagination and brought joy to my life. With multi-layered fantasy worlds, canny magical systems, and characters who step off the page as ...Read More

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2021 FIYAHCON Report

The second annual FIYAHCON took place online September 16-19, 2021, held via Airmeet and hosted by FIYAH magazine. Guests of honor were Vita Ayala, Malka Older, and Njeri of Onyx Pages. The original event was conceived in the midst of protests and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the inaugural Ignyte awards were conceived following the 2020 Hugo Awards ceremony. Organizer L.D. Lewis, in her 2020 FIYAHCON retrospective on her website, described ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Darling by K. Ancrum

Darling, K. Ancrum (Imprint 978-1-250-26526-5, $18.99, hc, 281pp) June 2021.

As author K. Ancrum opens Darling, her dark and mysterious take on Peter Pan, she offers up an epigraph from Barrie’s Peter Pan and Wendy as a hint of what’s to come. Here’s a bit:

The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to ...Read More

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OryCon on hiatus

OryCon, “Oregon’s Premier Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention”, has announced that the con will be going on hiatus.

They announced on Twitter:

For over 40 years, OryCon has worked to bring you some of your favorite writers, artists, and creators in the science fiction and fantasy fandoms… We had to postpone OryCon in 2020 due to the pandemic. That means that all of our staff have been planning OryCon42 for two years; ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews The Escapement by Lavie Tidhar

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

It’s been a busy year for Lavie Tidhar. Due to the vagaries of publishing, made all the more uncertain by COVID, 2021 has seen Tidhar author two novels (The Escapement and The Hood), a collection (The Lunacy Commission), and short stories (including ‘‘Judge Dee and the Three Deaths of Count Werdenfels’’), and edit an ...Read More

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Drager Wins Bard Fiction Prize

Lindsey Drager’s The Archive of Alternate Endings (Dzanc) won the $30,000 Bard Fiction Prize, awarded annually by Bard College “to a promising emerging writer who is an American citizen aged 39 years or younger at the time of application.” Drager will also serve a one-semester residency at the college.

Applications for next year’s prize are open now through June 15, 2022. For more information, see the Bard College website.

While ...Read More

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Alex Brown Reviews Bacchanal by Veronica G. Henry

Bacchanal, Veronica G. Henry (47North 978-1542027816, $24.95, 352pp, hc) June 2021.

In her debut historical fantasy novel Bacchanal, Veronica G. Henry takes readers on a tour of the Depression-era American south and southwest. In Louisiana, lonely Eliza Meeks encounters the mostly all-Black carnival as it comes to her town. With no prospects, no family, and no money, joining the carnival may be her only chance at independence. Clay, ...Read More

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New Books: 2 November 2021

Bardot, Charlatan, Guignard, Eric J., eds.: Professor Charlatan Bardot’s Travel Anthology to the Most (Fictional) Haunted Buildings in the Weird, Wild World (2021 Edition)

(Dark Moon 978-1-949491-48-7, $19.95, 423pp, formats: trade paperback, hardcover, November 2, 2021)

Anthology of 63 pieces (27 stories and 36 microfictions) about haunted places around the world. Preface by Guignard, introduction by Bardot. Authors of short stories include Eugen Bacon, Ramsey Campbell, Terry Dowling, Jeffrey Ford, ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Freya Marske



Tell us about your debut novel A Marvellous Light—the world where it takes place and the characters who inhabit that world.

A Marvellous Light is a historical fantasy novel that follows two men as they become reluctantly embroiled in a conspiracy of murder, curses, and contracts. Robin Blyth is a sunshine-hearted jock who’s trying to ignore all his responsibilities when he’s accidentally named as the government liaison ...Read More

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New Children’s Awards in China

The Xingyun (“Nebula”) Awards for Chinese science fiction have expanded to include works for children. The new awards were originally intended to launch in 2020, but were postponed until this year due to the pandemic.

The City of Ants by Ma Shuansi won the 2020 award for Best Children’s Science Fiction Novel, and China Orbit by Wu Yan was the winner for 2021. Other awards were presented for short fiction, ...Read More

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DoJ Challenges PRH and S&S Merger

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. The government cited concerns that the deal would be detrimental to writers because it would “likely to substantially lessen competition,” leading to a “highly concentrated” market: “The merger would give Penguin Random House outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much ...Read More

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