Like most authors, I have more experience writing beginnings than I do endings, but perhaps not in the way one would expect. Some of this is an artifact of the linear way we have evolved to see time. It’s how many of us were taught to approach narrative. For many years I began every story with a scene, an inciting incident, a mood, a situation, and wrote until I figured ...Read MoreRead more
Reiko Murakami is a US-based concept artist and illustrator specializing in surreal fantasy and horror art. With her subtle and expressive gesture drawings she focuses on capturing moments filled with unspeakable emotions. Her illustrations have appeared on many projects such as Tor.com, Magic: the Gathering, and Basketful of Heads (Hill House Comics, DC). Her work has been exhibited at Nucleus Portland, Helikon Gallery, Krabjab Studio, Light Grey Art Lab and ...Read MoreRead more
Bacchanal is a richly imagined historical fantasy. Tell us a bit about the book: the world where it takes place, and the characters who inhabit that world.
Bacchanal is set against the backdrop of The Great Depression and culminates with the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. At the center of this maelstrom is an unusual young woman, Eliza Meeks. She’s alone, ostracized and struggling to navigate her reality – a family that ...Read MoreRead more
The Library of the Dead is the first book in a new series from Tor. Tell us a bit about it — the world where it takes place, and the characters who inhabit that world
My new book, The Library of the Dead, is the first in a brand-new series called Edinburgh Nights. It tells the story of Ropa Moyo, a young girl who delivers messages from ghosts to ...Read MoreRead more
Nghi Dong Vo was born December 4, 1981 in Peoria IL. She lived there until attending college at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she studied political science and media studies. In 2007 she settled in Milwaukee WI.
Vo’s first story was “Gift of Flight” in 2007, and she has since published almost 20 stories in various publications. Her first book was Crawford Award winning novella The Empress of ...Read MoreRead more
It’s a little dangerous, after selling a story to a professional science fiction or fantasy publication, to start calculating the odds of pulling in an award nomination. The draw is inexorable though – the Nebula Awards, the Hugos, World Fantasy, Locus. It’s the stuff of legends. Through the years, now-familiar SF/F names have stood to accept these awards, held them up to the light and heard that applause. It’s accomplishment, ...Read MoreRead more
Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor was born April 8, 1974 in Cincinnati OH to Igbo parents who emigrated from Nigeria in 1969. She earned a BA in rhetoric at the University of Illinois in 1996 and an MA in journalism from Michigan State University in 1999. She attended the University of Chicago, getting her MA in English in 2002 and completing her PhD in 2007. She attended the Clarion writing workshop in ...Read MoreRead more
Tell us about Windumanoth. Where are you based, how often are issues released, and what kind of material do you publish?
Windumanoth is officially based in Barcelona, Spain. But the reality is that most of the staff live in different places in the country, and we’ve worked remotely from the beginning.
The issues are released every four months. This is a somewhat long publication cadence to be able to ...Read MoreRead more
Norwescon 43 was held April 1-4, 2021 as an online event; the theme was “The Longest Night”. Guests of honor, held over from 2020, were Jacqueline Carey (writer), Sana Takeda (artist), and Susan Langley (science). Tor was the spotlight publisher, represented by Claire Eddy. There were 1,469 registrations and over 1,000 attendees. The weekend included over 250 hours of programming with hundreds of panels, 40 readings, 69 gaming slots, ten ...Read MoreRead more
The 41st International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (ICFA 42) took place virtually March 17-20, 2021, with a theme of “Climate Change and the Anthropocene”. Academics, writers, publishers, editors, artists, students, independent scholars, and more participated, with a record 555 people registered (compared to 2019 with 480 attending), and about 340 either presenting a paper or appearing on a panel (up from 285 in 2019). Jeff VanderMeer was ...Read MoreRead more
Last summer, the pandemic was in its first wave and the nation was in chaos. A lack of federal leadership left each state to figure out how to interpret the science, and many states punted public health decisions to counties or cities or even smaller units, like universities.
Leaders, left to their own, often winged it, letting wishful thinking trump prudence in the drive to find ways to “reopen safely.” ...Read MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
“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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more
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 MoreRead more