Alix E. Harrow: Questions of Power

Alix E. Harrow was born November 9, 1989 in Idaho and grew up in Colorado and Kentucky. She went to Berea College at age 16, graduating in 2009 with a degree in history. She worked various jobs, including as a research assistant, cashier, housekeeper, instructional designer, and migrant farmworker, before earning a master’s in history at the University of Vermont. She taught history at Eastern Kentucky Univer­sity before becoming a ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Apex

Jason Sizemore is the founder of Apex Pub­lications, which publishes books and also produced Hugo Award finalist Apex Maga­zine (formerly Apex Digest) from 2005-2019, when the journal went on hiatus. The magazine has now been reborn, and Sizemore talked to us a bit about the history and future of the project.

After going on hiatus in 2019, Apex is coming back. Tell us about why you shut down, and why ...Read More

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Andrea Hairston: Conjure the World

Andrea Hairston was born July 9, 1952, in Pittsburgh PA, and lived there until she moved to Massachu­setts to attend Smith College at 18, where she studied physics and math before switching to theater. She did graduate work at Brown, and has taught theater in the US and Germany. She is currently the Louise Wolff Kahn 1931 Professor of Theatre and Africana Studies at Smith College, and the Artistic Director ...Read More

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SF in Germany

German SF looks back upon a his­tory found in many other European countries: 17th and 18th-century proto-SF (such as Somnium [The Dream] by astron­omer Johannes Ke­pler), a first novel meeting modern SF criteria published at the beginning of the 19th century (Ini. Ein Roman aus dem ein und zwanzigsten Jahrhundert [Ini. A Novel from the Twenty-First Century] by Julius von Voss in 1810 – eight years before Shel­ley’s Frankenstein ...Read More

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Speculative Fiction in Translation: Novels, Collections, and Short Stories 2020

This list of 2020 speculative titles in translation was compiled by Rachel Cordasco, who founded and runs site sfintranslation.com as well as the SF in Translation Award. Corrections may be sent to locus@locusmag.com.

SF IN TRANSLATION 2020

NOVELS

  • Ashery, Asaf. Simantov, translated from the Hebrew by Marganit Weinberger-Rotman (Angry Robot, April). [Israel]
  • Barba, Andrés. A Luminous Republic, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (HMH, April). [Spain]
  • Barbery,
...Read More Read more

Cory Doctorow: Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor

As I write this in mid-November 2020, there’s quite a stir over the new version of Apple’s Mac OS, the operating system that runs on its laptops. For more than a year, Apple has engaged in a covert, global surveillance of its users through its operating system, which automatically sent information about which apps you were running to Apple, and which gave Apple a remote veto over whether that program ...Read More

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Sheree Renée Thomas: A Kind of Wonder

Sheree Renée Thomas was born September 30, 1972, in Memphis TN. Her father joined the Air Force, and her family traveled extensively. After spending 20 years in New York, she has now settled back in her hometown.

Thomas is best known for her work as an editor, including Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fic­tion from the African Diaspora (2000) and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones (2004) – both won ...Read More

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FIYAHCON Report

The inaugural FIYAHCON took place online October 17-18, 2020, held via Zoom and Dacast, and hosted by FIYAH magazine. Guests of honor were Yasser Bahjatt, Cassie Hart, and Rebecca Roanhorse. Accord­ing to convention director L.D. Lewis, the event was conceived mid-year, in the midst of protests, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the trend of conventions switching to virtual events; it was “for­mally launched” July 7, 2020, and the Ignyte awards were ...Read More

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Kim Stanley Robinson: Forward the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson was born March 23, 1952 in Waukegan IL, and grew up in Orange County CA. He earned a BA in literature from UC San Diego in 1974, a master’s in English from Boston University in 1975, and a Ph.D in literature from UC San Diego in 1982. He went to Clarion in 1975. His doctoral thesis was revised and published as The Novels of Philip K. Dick ...Read More

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2020 Sirens Conference Report

The 2020 Sirens Conference, “Sirens at Home”, an “intersectional, in­terdisciplinary conference on gender, fantasy lit, and other speculative spaces,” was held October 22-25, 2020, online in lieu of the usual Denver CO event. Amy Tenbrink and Hallie Tibbetts are the Sirens co-founders. Tenbrink was con chair and Tibbetts served as programming director. Tenbrink said, “In a year in which we all feel such isolation, we need each other more than ...Read More

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SF in India by Shweta Taneja

Gatekeepers of the publishing industry look for oriental tropes in SF narratives from the East, missing out on innovative and urgent tales of lived experiences.

A few years ago, as a naïve young writer, I enthusiastically knocked on an ancient door in a busy street of London. I was there to meet a reputed literary agent – a meeting which had been set up by a Booker long-listed author and ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: It’s Easy Being the Bad Guy

I grew up on a steady diet of feel-good fantasy novels: noble tales about good folks who could be counted on to do the right thing, and bad guys that could be counted on to do the worst thing. I knew who would prevail, and who would fall.

As a kid I found this predictability boring and formulaic after the first three or four novels. It would be decades before ...Read More

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2020 World Fantasy Convention Report

Originally scheduled to take place at Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City UT, the 46th World Fantasy Convention transitioned into an online event on June 1, 2020. Nonetheless, the event maintained their target run dates of October 28 – November 1, 2020. Guests of honor were David A. Cherry, Stephen Gallagher, and Anne Groell; special guests were C.J. Cherryh, Stephen Graham Jones, and Cindy Pon; and toastmasters were Tracy ...Read More

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Meg Elison: They’re Made Out of Stories

Meg Elison was born May 10, 1982. Her military family moved frequently, living in Europe and more than a dozen US states. She left home at 14 and dropped out of high school, but later attended community college and completed her degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

Elison’s debut, feminist postapocalyptic novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (2014), won the Philip K. Dick Award and launched the Road ...Read More

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Spotlight on: We Need Diverse Books

Tell us about the mission of We Need Diverse Books.

We Need Diverse Books, AKA WNDB, is a non-profit, grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates for es­sential changes in the publishing industry. Our aim is to create a world in which every child can see themselves in the pages of a book.

Fill us in on the organization’s history: when was it founded, and by whom? What achieve­ments

...Read More Read more

EstCon 2020 Report

Estcon 2020 was special in a number of ways. The timing of COVID-19 in Esto­nia was close to perfect, as the pandemic retreated from the first wave and politely held off on a second wave long enough for allow for the gathering. The farm site meant that it was easy to put extra measures in place, for example encouraging attendees to bring their own tents, which meant that beds could ...Read More

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Victor LaValle: Destroy the Reader

Victor LaValle was born February 3, 1972 in Manhattan and grew up in Queens. He earned an English degree from Cornell University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Co­lumbia University.

His debut collection was Slapboxing with Jesus: Stories. (1999). First novel The Ecstatic was published in 2002, fol­lowed by Shirley Jackson Award winner Big Machine (2009), Shirley Jackson Award finalist The Devil in Silver (2012), ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Fantasy Magazine

Fantasy Magazine, which shut down in 2012, has reopened under the editorship of Arley Sorg & Christie Yant, with the first issue of the new incarnation out this month. We asked the new editors to give us a little history and tell us their plans for the magazine. For more: <www.fantasy-magazine.com>.

After going on hiatus in 2012, Fantasy Magazine has been reborn! Tell us about why it’s coming back and ...Read More

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ICon 2020 Online Report

The theme for ICon is usually announced around April, and that’s when the work on the festival kicks into high gear. For a while we held on to the hope that ICon could be held in the usual manner, in person. Around July, it became clear this wouldn’t happen, and the team running it faced a difficult choice. Aptly, “choices” was the theme of the festival this year. What they ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Past Performance is Not Indicative of Future Results

In “Full Employment“, my July 2020 column, I wrote, “I am an AI skeptic. I am baffled by anyone who isn’t. I don’t see any path from continuous improvements to the (admittedly impressive) ‘machine learning’ field that leads to a general AI any more than I can see a path from continuous improvements in horse-breeding that leads to an internal combustion engine.”

Today, I’d like to expand on that. Let’s ...Read More

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Marshall Ryan Maresca: Choosing Magic

Marshall Ryan Maresca was born March 31, 1973 in Syracuse NY and grew up in upstate New York. He attended Penn State, where he got a degree in video and film production, and was active in the theater world. He settled in Austin TX, where he lives with his wife and son.

Most of Maresca‘s work is in the Maradaine world, an epic fantasy setting he has explored in four ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Francesca Myman

Francesca Myman is the design editor at Locus, where she has worked for 13 years. At Locus she’s been responsible for cover art and interior interview designs since 2011, as well as spot and ad graphics, convention coverage and photography, ad hoc interviews, event planning, and art book acquisitions and wrangling for the Recommended Reading List, and more. She is a Clarion West graduate and a graduate of Yale University, ...Read More

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Naomi Kritzer: CatNet

Naomi Katherine Kritzer was born April 23, 1973 in North Carolina and lived in Indiana and Texas before age five; she grew up in Madison WI and lived in London for a year at 13. She moved to Minnesota to attend Carleton College and remained there after graduating in 1995, settling in St. Paul. She is married with two children.

Kritzer’s first SF story was “Faust’s SASE” (1999), and she ...Read More

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The Outer Dark Report

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird was held online August 14-16, 2020 for 232 registered attendees, organized by Anya Martin, co-producer of The Outer Dark podcast hosted by This Is Horror.

Scheduled programming featured 12 reading sessions with Mike Allen, Gregory Norman Bossert, Gabriela Damián Miravete, and others. Panels included “From Yellow Wallpaper to Spectral Hues: Color in Weird Fiction” with Daniel Braum, Craig Laurance Gidney, Brian ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Measuring Life in Keurig Cups

I spent all summer building a pond in the backyard with my spouse. It was the perfect project to take my mind away from the world outside of the fence, a world I increasingly only experience virtually.

I could try and avoid the news, but the news is the world around me. The news is neighbors who have big parties. The news is the asshole at the grocery store who ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Ho Che Anderson

Born in London, England, Ho Che Anderson was named after the Vietnamese and Cuban revolutionaries Ho Chi Minh and Che Gue­vara. Anderson began his career as the author of nu­merous graphic novels, including King, a biography of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.; the horror thriller Sand & Fury; and the science fiction action-adventure Godhead. Anderson wrote and directed his first feature in 2018, the supernatural ...Read More

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Spotlight on: C. T. Rwizi

Tell us about your debut novel Scarlet Odyssey. What’s it about, and what inspired you to write it?

Scarlet Odyssey follows a young man whose bookish nature and affinity for magic puts him at odds with the rest of his society, in which the path of books and magic is considered feminine, while the art of warfare is seen as the worthiest masculine pursuit. As the first-born son of a ...Read More

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K. S. Villoso Guest Post–“In Search of What Was Lost: Decolonization Through Fantasy Fiction”

I write as if from the memory of a dream. Bits and pieces of who I am and what I’ve experienced or longed for, forming parts of a whole. Fantasy made this easier. As a child of a country conquered three times over before it had the chance to know what it was, I told myself the things I couldn’t find, I could fill in.

Most fantasy writers don’t create ...Read More

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Maria Dahvana Headley: From the Wilds

MARIA DAHVANA HEADLEY was born June 21, 1977 in Estacada OR. She attended NYU, where she studied dramatic writing.

Headley’s first book was memoir The Year of Yes (2006), chronicling a year in which she said “yes” to every person who asked her on a date. Story “Give Her Honey When You Hear Her Scream” (2012) was a Nebula Award finalist, and other notable short works include novella The End ...Read More

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Lilliam Rivera Guest Post–“This Is A Latina Remix, The Dystopian Edition”

There is a line from a famous Puerto Rican song “La Borinqueña” that I’ve carried with me all my life: “Awake from your sleep, for it’s time to fight.” What I love most about these words is how they came about. Puerto Rican poet Lola Rodriguez de Tío was born on the island during Spain’s occupation in 1843. She came from a privileged background and was educated, which was a ...Read More

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The Festival That Did: A Report from Celsius 232 by Ian McDonald

In July 2020 there was an SF/F festival. Live, not virtual. It ran from July 14-19, with inter­national guests and visitors, editors, artists, film-makers, translators, and fans. I’ve just come back from it, and I shall explain.

Celsius 232 is a festival in Avilés, in Asturias, in Northern Spain. It has run for nine years, over which it’s become a major Spanish festival, with the ability to attract international guests ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: IP

You’ve probably heard of “open source software.” If you pay at­tention to the politics of this stuff, you might have heard of “free software” and even know a little about the ethical debate underpin­ning the war of words between these two labels. I’ve been involved since the last century, but even I never really understood what’s going on in the background until recently.

I was looking up the history of ...Read More

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