Isabel Yap: Full Circle

Victoria Isabel Santiago Yap was born May 23, 1990 in Manila in the Philippines and grew up in Quezon City. She at­tended Ateneo de Manila University for her first two years of undergrad, then moved to the US, where she earned a BS in Marketing from San­ta Clara University in 2013. That summer she attended the Clarion Writers Workshop, and since 2016 she has served as secretary for the Clarion ...Read More

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Amanda Bridgeman Guest Post–“The Freedom of Embracing Your Voice”

“Nice try, but she should go read Tom Clancy to see how it’s done.”

That was a review on my first novel, Aurora: Darwin. I remember being a little stumped by this at the time because I hadn’t been trying to emulate Tom Clancy at all. I’ve never actually read any of his books, and as far as I’m aware he doesn’t write science fiction…. Perhaps it was the ...Read More

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Ursula Vernon: Shiny New Idea

Ursula Vernon was born May 28, 1977 in Japan to a military fam­ily. She lived in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and grew up mostly in Oregon, Arizona, California, and Minnesota, moving 18 times by age 20. She attended Macalester College in Saint Paul MN. Vernon has lived in North Carolina for the past 17 years.

An illustrator and author, Vernon has written extensively for children and also writes ...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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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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Aliette de Bodard: Where Is It Written?

Aliette de Bodard was born November 10, 1982 in New York City to a Vietnamese mother and a French father. At age one she moved with her family to Paris, France, where she has lived ever since, apart from two years in London as a teenager. She attended the École Polytechnique, graduating in 2002 with a degree in applied mathematics, electronics, and computer science. She speaks both French and English ...Read More

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Jonathan Carroll: Mr. Breakfast

Jonathan Samuel Carroll was born January 26, 1949 in New York City to famed screenwriter Sidney Carroll and actress June Carroll. He graduated from Rutgers University in 1971 and married artist Beverly Schreiner that same year; they have a son, Ryder Carroll, inventor of the Bullet Journal. Carroll has lived in Austria since 1974, except for a two-year period in Hollywood working on films. He has taught literature at the ...Read More

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E. Lily Yu Guest Post–“Against Authentic”

Authenticity as a lived principle—that is, the choice to become more truly and deeply oneself, whatever the cost—is as necessary as soil and rain. Without it, we wither. We put forth poisoned gourds. But if we speak truth, walk in truth, and cultivate truth, like strawberry plants, around us, we can offer what we’ve grown to others when they come with honest hunger to our door. In this slow way, ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Free Markets

If you learned your economics from Heinlein novels or the University of Chicago, you probably think that “free market” describes an economic system that is free from government interference – where all consensual transactions between two or more parties are permissible.

But if you went to the source, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, you’ll have found a very dif­ferent definition of a free market: Smith’s concern wasn’t freedom from ...Read More

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The Colour of 2020 by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Our very strange year invited, among other things, mournful reflections on a past that felt abruptly truncated, and a number of non-fiction titles, though surely in production before the world’s temporary suspension, were eerily attuned to this backward gaze. Then again, SF/F/H have a tendency to steep themselves deeply in their own genre pasts and traditions, even as they often compost these into unexpected futures, so the apparent synchronicity may ...Read More

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The Casual Embrace by Paul Kincaid

Part way through The Silence by Don DeLillo (Picador) I came across a passage that resonated with me more that it perhaps might have done in other circumstances. One of the characters, in one of those archetypal DeLillo conversations that have the dispiriting and disconnecting feel of overlapping monologues, asks: “Is this the casual embrace that marks the fall of world civilization?”

DeLillo’s novella was written before the pandemic that ...Read More

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2020 in Review: Fragments from a Fragmentary Reading List by John Langan

For the first three or four months of 2020, I had a difficult time focusing on anything – reading, writing, watching movies – for long enough to complete it. I devoted the spring to forcing myself to sit with a book or piece of writing or film long enough to engage it, and to keep engaging it until I was at the other side of it. The result was a ...Read More

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Andy Duncan Guest Post–“James Gunn”

James Gunn was—indeed, still is—one of my heroes. While I didn’t meet him until 2002, when I first went to Lawrence for the Sturgeon Award ceremony, I already admired his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, and had benefited greatly from his expansive, benevolent influence on science fiction as critic, anthologist, conference organizer and educator.

Sitting rapt in Jim’s KU office as he talked about the field he loved, I realized ...Read More

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SF in a Plague Year by Rich Horton

As I write, distribution of two separate COVID-19 vaccines is in progress in the United States. A new Presi­dent has been elected and will soon be inaugurated. And on a personal note, I have welcomed my first grandchild into the world. A time of optimism, right?

At the same time, COVID cases are at or near their highest rate of incidence in the US (and indeed, in many countries). The ...Read More

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The Year in Review 2020 by Ian Mond

Several things kept me sane over the last 12 months. My family, the privilege of having a job while in lockdown, the Backlisted and Coode Street podcasts (particularly Coode Street‘s “10 minutes with” series), and the books I read. Yes, there were times in 2020 where I struggled to read more than a handful of pages, but the novels, novel­las, and collections I did complete (47 of which I ...Read More

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Horrific Year, Superb Horror by Gabino Iglesias

We all know 2020 was a horrific year, but it was also a superb year for horror. As the world struggled through the pandemic, readers stuck at home turned to horror narratives as much – if not more so – than they regularly do because fictional horrors offer us an escape from real ones. As always, the genre delivered.

The greatness started early with Andy Davidson’s The Boatman’s Daughter, ...Read More

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Brandon Sanderson: Ever More Epic

BRANDON SANDERSON was born December 19, 1975 and grew up in Lincoln NE. He attended Brigham Young University, where he studied biochemistry before switching to English literature. He paused his studies from 1995-97 to do missionary work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Korea, but returned and graduated in 2000. He earned his MA in English with a creative writing concentration in 2004.

Sanderson’s debut ...Read More

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Year End Review by Colleen Mondor

While reading for Locus this year, I kept an unof­ficial list of notes about things I wanted to mention in my end-of-the-year es­say. The biggest word on the list is “WITCHES,” which cropped up in more than one memorable title to cross my desk. From the field hockey team that takes a solemn oath within an Emilio Este­vez notebook in Quan Bar­ry’s We Ride Upon Sticks to the mill workers ...Read More

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Ten for 2020 by Tim Pratt

I was on not one but two award juries in 2020. I told myself it was reasonable because there was a lot of overlap in the potential nom­inee pools, so it wouldn’t be that much extra reading. I didn’t count on 2020 being a year of unusual strain and psychic deterioration, which increased the difficulty of reading, thinking, making critical judgments, and re­ally doing anything that required executive function. Still, ...Read More

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2020 Year in Review by Graham Sleight

Publishing lead-times being what they are, the extraordinary events of 2020 largely weren’t reflected in the books that came out in the year – or at least, not intentionally. I managed to read a good deal of thought-provoking SF and fantasy this year, but some books seemed even more relevant than expected because of the pandemic-shuttered world they emerged into. How posterity will view them – let alone how it’ll ...Read More

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Year-in-Review: 2020 Magazine Summary

For the summary, the genre magazines are pri­marily sorted by Hugo Eligibility: Professional, Semiprozine, etc., and then loosely by pay rate, SFWA qualifying market, and the amount of fiction published. We covered 81 magazines, 18 audio sites, and 11 critical magazines.

It’s no surprise that many magazines shut down this year, several went into hiatus or shifted to digital only, but we still added a few new markets to our ...Read More

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2020 by Alex Brown

2020 has been a hellish year for so many reasons, but one of the few bright spots has been the mass of absolutely incredible fiction that managed to get published. Usually I’m able to read a good chunk of new books, particularly young-adult speculative fiction, but what with – waves hands dramatically – everything, my reading this year took a sharp left into romance fiction. It’s become my main reading ...Read More

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Tumultuous Pleasure: 2020 in Review by Arley Sorg

As rough as the year has been for the country, it’s been a great time for reading. As if in response to the year itself, a slew of powerful books came out, expanding the scope of genre and engaging in conversations long overdue.

Tochi Onyebuchi’s Riot Baby kicked things off in January, on the heels of his excellent late-2019 release War Girls. The story follows Ella as her powers ...Read More

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Chris McKitterick Guest Post–“Goodbye Dad”

Around 11 a.m. on December 23, 2020, James Edwin Gunn died. He’s survived by his son, Kevin, and his cat, Annie—and by the many for whom he was ‘‘Science Fiction’s Dad.’’

Deepest condolences to all who cared about Jim, whose lives he touched and careers he influenced. This amounts to almost everyone in our field today, whether or not they’re aware of his intellectual parentage.

Career highlights: In 2007, SFWA ...Read More

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2020 by Karen Burnham

I’m sure I won’t be the only person in these pages remark­ing that 2020 was an unusual year, to say the least. The global pandemic caused mas­sive overnight disruptions but has also lasted long enough to yield something that’s like a new (horrible) “normal.” Given the relatively quick turnaround times for short fiction, it’s not surprising that the crisis that started early in 2020 started showing up in short fiction ...Read More

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2020: As I Liked It; or, Like, Whatever by Russell Letson

For pretty much the reasons anyone can figure, I didn’t get through as many titles as I would usually review in a year. Some anticipated books were held back, but mostly it was lack of appetite on my part – a mild case of what my mother used to call “the blahs” – that condition when energies flag, the palate dulls, and this goodly frame, the Earth, while not quite ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: How to Survive a Decade in Publishing

This January marked the tenth anniversary of my first published novel, God’s War, back in the halcyon days of 2011.

It was a long road to publication.

I finished the book in early 2007, shopped it in late 2007, had it picked up, then cancelled in early 2009 after the crash of 2008. Another publisher eventu­ally bought it for the second time, then that publisher was sold, and the ...Read More

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Notes from a Year Spent Indoors…. by Jonathan Strahan

I started the year with good intentions. I intended to read every piece of short fiction that I could lay my hands on, every major novel, every exciting debut or anthology or short story collection and more. I would read all the things. This is the story of how I did not read all the things. I did not even read most of the things.

Way back in January, everything ...Read More

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SF in Brazil, 2020 by Roberto Causo

Under a denialist president, Brazil has suffered dearly with the COVID-19 pandemics. As I write this, the official death-toll is just over 200,000, and there’s no town or city in the country free of cases. Most economy sectors have been impacted – yet, surprisingly, translated science fiction novels became a sure-footed presence in the bestselling lists. These works are mostly dystopian novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale & The Testaments ...Read More

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The Year in Review: 2020 by Paula Guran

I often shy away from these annual summations. Even in late December, I haven’t seen everything, so it is never truly complete. Plus, I always fear I will forget something important. Nevertheless, I’m giving it a shot this year. After all, despite 2020 being a horrific year in the real world, there was a lot of great horror and other dark fiction.

My favorite debut of the year is most ...Read More

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Jaroslav Veis Guest Post–“Robot, the Most Famous Czech, Celebrates 100 Years”

About a hundred years ago, in the village of Petrovichi near the Russian-Belarusian border, a baby was born in the Jewish family of Azimovs. The parents named their son Isaac. The exact date of his birth is unknown; it was sometime between October 1919 and early 1920. Nevertheless, the family, which arrived on RMS Baltic from the newborn Soviet Russia to New York on February 3, 1923, gave as the ...Read More

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The Year of the Jackpot by Gary K. Wolfe

It should have been a good year for reading. Many of the usual distractions seemed to go on hold in the spring, and most of them never came back. What had previously been the most boring soft­ware to emerge from the corporate app world, Zoom, suddenly became a lifeline for many, especially those without pants, while a simple trip to pick up groceries be­gan to feel like going out on ...Read More

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