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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Complete 1945 Retro-Hugo Voting

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, received 521 valid ballots, down from 834 at Dublin 2019. There were 120 valid nominating ballots, down from 217.

A number of categories were dropped as having too few eligible nominees: Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form, Best Editor – Long Form, Best Fan Artist, Best Fancast, and Best Semiprozine. Some of the nominating votes for Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form were ...Read More

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Complete 2020 Hugo Voting

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, received 2,221 valid ballots, down from 3,097 at Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon, Worldcon 77. There were 1,584 valid nominating ballots, down from 1,800.

The procedure for counting nominations was the same as last three years, using the system known as E Pluribus Hugo, or EPH. The rather complicated point system gives a single point to each voter’s ballot, dividing that point among ...Read More

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CoNZealand Report

CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, took place July 29 – Aug 2, 2020, making history as the first-ever virtual Worldcon. Guests of honour were authors Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, artist Greg Broadmore, and fan Rose Mitchell. Reported membership was 2,556 attending, with over 1,800 members accessing through Grenadine and up to 1,700 accessing through Discord, compared to Dublin’s in-person 6,024 attending memberships, San Jose’s 5,440 attending members, ...Read More

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John Hornor Jacobs: The Notes You Don’t Play

John Hornor Jacobs was born January 5, 1971 in Little Rock AR. He attended a small liberal arts college in Arkansas and the Art Institute of Dallas, where he studied computer animation and multimedia. He lived briefly in Boston and now lives in Arkansas with his family, where he is a longtime designer in the advertising field.

Debut Southern Gods appeared in 2011 and was a Stoker finalist. Horror novel ...Read More

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Photo Story: Odyssey 2020

The 25th Odyssey Writing Workshop was held online this year, from June 1 – July 10, 2020. “Odyssey gave this year’s class the same intense and immersive experience as always, and more! Our fifteen students from the US, Ireland, and India had a great summer con­necting with each other and with our excellent guest lecturers!”

This story and more like it in the August 2020 issue of Locus.

While you ...Read More

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L. Penelope Guest Post–“The Optimism of Fantasy”

Over the past few months, as I’ve struggled to write the fourth and final book in my epic fantasy series, Earthsinger Chronicles, I’ve thought a lot about endings. Recently, popular culture has seen the end of several long-running series: Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Two of those series ended in ways that were wildly disappointing to many fans and should serve as cautionary ...Read More

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Tochi Onyebuchi: Power Systems

Tochi Joshua Onyebuchi was born on October 4, 1987 in Northampton MA to Nigerian immigrant parents, and grew up in Newington and New Britain CT. He studied political science at Yale, earned a MFA in screenwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a master’s degree in global economic law from the Instituts d’études politiques in France. He attended law school at Columbia, and after graduation worked in civil ...Read More

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2020 Locus Awards Online

The Locus Awards took place online on June 24-27, 2020 in their first virtual-only iteration; Connie Willis and Daryl Gregory co-emceed the ceremony. There were over 150 registrations, and paid members received a Locus t-shirt and a print program book.

Despite struggling with whether to go forward with the Locus Awards events (usually held on the ground in Seattle), and ignoring their total lack of technical experience with webinar platforms, ...Read More

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Romina Garber Guest Post–“Worldbuilding With A Worldview”

When I was sixteen, I skipped my appointment to get sworn in as a U.S. citizen because I was taking an Advanced Placement exam.  

The instant the test was over, the Principal spoke over the intercom and called me down to his office, where I was mortified to see my mom waiting for me and mystified to find her in a rage. How could I miss that appointment? What was ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: Of Men and Monsters

I got fall-down drunk a week or so ago; literally falling on the stairs and knocking down a piece of art, and the next day, I had a panic attack so severe I had to take a break from work and have a lie down.

Clearly, I have been processing a lot of emotions – or not processing, which is why my body decided to express how I felt after ...Read More

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Jordan Ifueko Guest Post–“The Watchmaker Author”

When I got serious about writing in my teens, my literary opinions involved a lot of eyerolling.  

Black and white false dichotomies attracted me, as they do many thirteen-year-olds eager to become Serious Artists™. One creed I held to be especially dear was that fake writers treat stories like games of pretend, and real writers remain conscious of their task—making art—at all times.  

Adulthood shrunk my head a few sizes. ...Read More

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Flights of Foundry: From Idea to Convention in Seven Weeks

Flights of Foundry, a completely online speculative media conference, took place May 16-17, 2020. The event was co-founded by Jessica Eanes and Cislyn Smith, and featured 8,300 minutes of programming, which ran non-stop from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday. Guests of honor included Suzanne Walker, Wendy Xu, Ken Liu, Liz Gorinsky, An­drea Phillips, Rachel S. Cordasco, Grace P. Fong, and Alex Shvartsman. Not wanting to crowd out or ...Read More

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Django Wexler Guest Post—”Science Fantasy”

Genres and sub-genres are always tricky things to pin down, and never more so than with works that live at the boundary between two categories. Ashes of the Sun has been called, among other things, “science fantasy”—it’s not the only way to describe it, but it definitely fits. (Aside—as with all genre discussions, your terms and definitions may vary! There are many different lenses with which to examine these categories. ...Read More

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Veronica Roth: Chosen One

Veronica Anne Roth was born August 19, 1988 in New York and grew up in Barrington IL. She attended Carleton College for a year, then transferred to Northwestern University, where she studied and writing. In 2011, Roth married photographer Nelson Fitch.

Roth sold her debut novel, Divergent, while she was still an undergrad. The bestselling, young-adult SF series continued with Insurgent (2012), Allegiant (2013), and collection Four (2013), and ...Read More

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Photo Story: Fenners Take Over Spectrum

ARNIE FENNER retired as senior art director at An­drews McMeel on May 29, 2020. He & CATHY FENNER will take over as directors of the Spectrum Fantastic Art competi­tion and editors of the annual Spectrum art book, replacing JOHN FLESKES, beginning with the 28th competition this Fall. The Fenners founded the compe­tition in 1994 and ran it until Fleskes took over in 2013. Further announce­ments regarding the new advisory ...Read More

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Estelle Laure Guest Post–“The Lost Boys”

Writers are in a retelling frenzy, borrowing from what already exists to pay homage or lend perspective, to modernize or fracture or fanfic. I believe it’s an act of love to take a story that’s in danger of disappearing and make it new, provided you have something to add to the mix. But what happens when the inspiration for your current novel is and has only ever been a movie? ...Read More

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Steven Erikson: Undercurrents

Steve Rune Lundin, who writes fantasy as Steven Erikson, was born October 7, 1959 in Toronto, Canada, and grew up in Winnipeg. He trained as an anthropologist and archaeologist and is a graduate of the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop; his thesis, a collection of linked stories, became his debut publication, A Ruin of Feathers (1991), written as Steve Lundin. He followed that with two more collections and debut novel This ...Read More

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Kalynn Bayron Guest Post–“We Have Always Lived in the Castle: Black Women in Horror”

Black women have always contributed significantly to the horror genre, though our roles have been massively downplayed and overlooked by the larger genre fiction community. As a result, Black women have had to carve out a space and make a way out of no way. Our relationship to trauma, our storytelling culture, our willingness to show that everyday life has the potential to be a horror in and of itself ...Read More

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SF In India: Webinar on Science Fiction in India

It is universally acknowledged that life is para­lyzed due to pandemic spread of COVID-19. The effect encompassed every sector of soci­ety, and was not restricted any particular gender, class, age, region, race, religion and others. For the first time, a worldwide pan­demic has affected homo sapiens. Every government, voluntary organization, police, military, medical community, and essential service sector must be thanked for their timely, selfless services, which could speed up ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Full Employment

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.

Not only am I an AI skeptic, I’m an automation-employment-crisis skeptic. That is, I believe that even ...Read More

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WisCon 44 Report

WisCon 44 was scheduled for May 22-25, 2020 at the Concourse Hotel in Madison WI, with Rebecca Roanhorse and Yoon Ha Lee as guests of honor. Because of the CO­VID-19 pandemic, the convention was converted to a virtual event, their first “all-online con,” held on the same dates, with additional events on the evening of the 21st. Roanhorse attended virtually, but Lee was unable to take part.

There were 1,084 ...Read More

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2020 SFWA Nebula Conference

The 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference morphed mid-COVID from an in-person conference into an impressive online event, held May 29-31, 2020. There were 808 members from 33 countries, a record, up from 2019’s record-breaking 475 registered members.

Online programming began before the event proper on May 23, with a Mentorship Meeting, pairing experienced congoers with newer attendees, and the Nebula Finalist Reception. Weekend programming focused on industry-relevant topics, such as “Too ...Read More

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