2018 in Listening by Amy Goldschlager

Howdy, listeners! It’s been another year when audio­books seem ever more robust as a medium, plus another year of the inter­minable online argument about whether listening to the audiobook has equal weight with reading the book (hint: yes, yes it does).

But, as is my wont at this time of year, I’m using this space to discuss the listening time I spent being unfaithful to audiobooks, and talk about the ...Read More

Read more

Half a Year Online by Karen Burnham

At the beginning of 2018 I had no idea that I would end up reading so much short fiction from so many different venues that I would need a spreadsheet to keep track of it. Since I started reviewing online short fiction for Locus in the August issue (after the sad passing of Gardner Dozois – I very much wish I could read his 2018 year-end column this year) I’ve ...Read More

Read more

Year in Review: 2018 by Paula Guran

These days I don’t read much horror other than short fiction. It’s not what I turn to for pleasure-reading fiction. So my “year-in-review” article does not specifically discuss the dark side. Maybe not surprisingly, though, many of my favorite reads have more than a thin stream of the tenebrous trickling through them. Outside of personal inclination, this may be an indication of what seems to be becoming more of a ...Read More

Read more

Cory Doctorow: Terra Nullius

In 1660, John Locke published his Two Treatises of Government, where he set out to resolve the seeming conflict between individual property rights (which he valorized) and the Bible (ditto), which set out the principle that God had created the Earth and its bounty for all of humanity. How could a Christian claim to own something personally when God had intended for everyone to share in His creation?

Locke’s ...Read More

Read more

2018 Year-in-Review by Carolyn Cushman

There wasn’t much that really blew me away in 2018, but some entertain­ing titles turned up. At the top of my SF read­ing this year are Martha Wells’s Artificial Condi­tion, Rogue Protocol, and Exit Strategy, the last three novellas in the Murderbot Diaries quartet featuring the deadly yet oddly endearing android Murderbot, a corporate-owned security guard that apparently once went berserk and killed humans (hence its chosen ...Read More

Read more

Memories of 2018 by Rich Horton

Sadly, what sticks most with me about 2018 is how many greats we lost. Two SFWA Grand Masters, and two more who very plausi­bly could have been named Grand Masters.

On January 22, the in­comparable Ursula K. Le Guin died. She was perhaps the best writer in our field, and was plausibly men­tioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. On March 8, we lost Kate Wilhelm, who ...Read More

Read more

Competing Against Trump by Ian Mond

Nothing in 2018 can possibly compare to the breadth of imagination, range of tone, and unconventional spelling present in Donald Trump’s tweets. His early morning tantrums proved to be the most riveting, most extraordinary, most majestic fiction I read this year. It says something about authors around the world that when faced with Trump’s prodigious talent they never dropped their heads; they continued to write and publish the most astonishing ...Read More

Read more

2018: A Year on Edge by Paul Kincaid

It’s been a hard year. The rule of ignorance and self­ishness in Trump’s Amer­ica; the wilful destruction of economic probity at the behest of perceived (and probably illusory) political necessity in Brexit Britain; the continued rise of the far right in Hungary, Poland, It­aly, France, and elsewhere. All of this is, at some point, going to feed through into a wave of fictions built around the ongoing sense of fear ...Read More

Read more

Year in Review by Katharine Coldiron

By the time the clock hits 11:59 on December 31, my list of books read for 2018 will tally about 150. Because I review a wide variety of books, a small minority of those books will have been SF/F (only about a dozen, in fact). I like reading and reviewing genre books, and I especially like doing so for Locus, but it’s just a sliver of what I do as ...Read More

Read more

Photo Story: Bowes 75th Birthday Party

The New York Review of Science Fiction hosted a party to celebrate the 75th birthday of author Rick Bowes, attended by various New York-area SF lu­minaries. Ellen Datlow and Jeffrey Ford both read appreciations of Bowes, praising him as a friend, writer, storyteller, mentor, conversationalist, and living history of some of the most interesting times in New York City.

This story and more like it in the February 2019 issue ...Read More

Read more

From Remote Cabins to Late Night Movies: Horror in 2018 by John Langan

Novels first, then: Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World is the novel of 2018. With his previous two books, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock and A Head Full of Ghosts, Tremblay an­nounced himself as among the most ambitious of his generation of horror writ­ers, producing novels that drew on the examples of the genre’s great practitioners, King and Jackson, while blending them with a 21st- century ...Read More

Read more

2018: The Triumph of “Only Different” by Russell Letson

It’s the most summarizing time of the year, and I’ve been at it long enough that I’m tempted to just summarize my old summaries, looking for meta-trends or shapes in the clouds (very like a camel, indeed) that impose order on the squirming facts of a field that is neither singular nor unified but (to plagiarize myself from a quarter-century ago) “a set of fields with readerships that only occasionally ...Read More

Read more

Year-in-Review: 2018 Magazine Summary

We are mixing it up a little this year. The following sections are sorted by Hugo Eligibility: Professional, Semiprozine, etc., and by the SFWA qualifying standard for pay rate, then sorted loosely by pay rate and amount of fiction published. We covered 70 magazines, 14 audio sites, and nine critical magazines.

The short fiction market held strong through 2018, with more new voices, more inclusivity, and more translations than we’ve ...Read More

Read more

2018 in Review: Translations, Continuations, and Deviations, by Lila Garrott

2018 has been a good year for the offbeat in speculative fiction. In fact, one of my top books of the year was released as a mainstream literary novel, even though the speculative element is central and necessary: Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation has to contain imaginary pharmacology in order for the protagonist to black out for the lengths of time she considers desirable, without having real-life ...Read More

Read more

2018: Comfort Reading in an Uncomfortable Year, by Tim Pratt

My reading was weird and scattered this year even by my usual weird-and-scattered standards, and the Goodreads shelf I’ve labeled “comfort re-reads” has a lot more entries than usual, as I retreated from the various unpleasant aspects of this year’s reality into old, be­loved fictional worlds. I wasn’t sure I’d read enough new SF, fantasy, and horror to even justify a year-end round-up this time, but going over my list ...Read More

Read more

Photo Story: Puppet Grand Master

Brad Linaweaver was associate producer of documentary Robert A. Heinlein: The Pup­pet Grand Master, included with the deluxe Blu-ray version of The Puppet Masters (1994), based on Heinlein’s 1951 novel, re­leased in December 2018. Contributors to the documentary include David Gerrold, Eleanor Wood, and others.

This story and more like it in the February 2019 issue of Locus.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus ...Read More

Read more

2018 in Review by Liz Bourke

Looking back on 2018, the year feels rather longer than mere chronological time can account for. I don’t imagine I can remember all the books I’ve read this year – a year in which I became engaged, hunted for a house, moved house, and most recently, acquired a pair of very boisterous bouncy kittens: the mere quotidian logistics of living have absorbed rather more of my energy and memory than ...Read More

Read more

Jasper Fforde Guest Post—”Genre, Speculative Fiction and the Cradle of Ideas”

I’ve often struggled over giving my books a genre label, partly because I’m not sure that labels are a great idea, nor, to be honest, is genre—which I’ve often decried as “the measles of the book world”. Sure, genre is useful to publicity and marketing, but it’s of no real use, I contend, to readers, and may in fact narrow reader choices rather than broadening them. I’ve often heard readers ...Read More

Read more

SF Crossing the Gulf—in Conversation with Ted Chiang

Episode 23: In conversation with Ted Chiang: “The Great Silence” Most people may know about Ted from “Story of Your Life” which was filmed as Arrival, but his reputation with readers and writers as a top tier craftsman of the short form was well established before then. We had the pleasure of asking Ted some questions about a short (very short!) piece of his from 2015, part of an ...Read More Read more

These are the days of miracle and wonder, don’t cry baby, don’t cry; or (mostly) short fiction that I read in 2018, by Jonathan Strahan

The way we read fiction is changing. We’ve been told this repeatedly. Where once we had a single medium – ink on paper – to deliver new stories to us and only a few ways – face-to-face discussion, mail, reviews etc. – to discuss them, now we have many. Print is not dead; digital is not king. Instead, we read the way we like and when we like: in printed ...Read More

Read more

Derek Künsken: Genesis of an Interstellar Heist Caper

DEREK STÉPHANE KÜNSKEN was born March 13, 1971 in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada. He attended the University of Guelph as an undergraduate and earned a master’s degree in molecular biology at McMaster University, but he left science behind to work with street children in Honduras. After returning to Canada he worked various jobs until he joined the Canadian Federal Public Service, working on refugee and diplomatic postings in Colombia ...Read More

Read more

2018 Year-in-Review by Adrienne Martini

These end-of-the-year lists always make me uncom­fortable, if only because I know I haven’t read even a plurality of titles published in any given 365 days. Not only that, I haven’t yet read a bunch that have been highly praised, like Blackfish City, Revenant Gun, and Unholy Land. Having said that, what I do feel comfortable with is flagging a few titles that I’m mildly infatuated with, ...Read More

Read more

Photo Story: Rowe Bikes for Diabetes Cure

Author Christopher Rowe was recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes: “Cue many major life changes…. I’ve decided to be pro­active about the whole thing… by training to ride the 62-mile leg of the Kentucky edition of this year’s Tour de Cure, an annual fund­raiser for the American Diabetes Association.” He’s raising money for the organization at <main.diabetes.org/goto/cnrowe>.

This story and more like it in the February 2019 issue of Locus. ...Read More

Read more

A Year of Looking Backward by Gary K. Wolfe

I’m not sure this is prog­ress: 2018 began with The Handmaid’s Tale, Nine­teen Eighty-Four, and Fahrenheit 451 back on the bestseller lists, and a fair number of folks re­marking on how prescient Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower suddenly seemed.

Toward the end of the year, just before Thanksgiv­ing, Vintage decided to re-release, for the first time in decades, Fletcher Knebel’s Night of Camp David, the 1965 ...Read More

Read more

Shahid Mahmud Guest Post–“Alternity Squared”

As was recently announced, Phoenix Pick will be publishing a new Robert A. Heinlein novel later this year, likely in November.

The Heinlein Prize Trust and Phoenix Pick have collaborated to piece together a complete novel based on fragments of a typewritten manuscript and notes by Heinlein.

The completed novel is about 187,000 words long. It shares the first one-third of its text with the published The Number of the ...Read More

Read more

Kameron Hurley: Are You Overthinking It?

I write messy, incoherent first drafts. It sucks. But most of the time I’m okay with it. It’s my process, and it’s why revision exists.

Drafts aren’t what readers see. After getting that first blush of the book on paper, I spend each subsequent iteration fleshing out worldbuilding details and refining dialogue and fixing structure. Few people want to read about a bunch of characters expositing about the plot over ...Read More

Read more

Spotlight on: Cynthia Sheppard, Artist

Cynthia Sheppard has been creating artwork for books and games since the mid-2000s. Her illustrations are inspired by a late 19th-century realist painting and modern fantasy art, with a focus on emotional resonance and visual storytelling. She’s currently a senior art director at Wizards of the Coast, where she create worlds and has commissioned over 2,000 illustrations for the card game Magic: The Gathering.

She told us, “If I’ve ever ...Read More

Read more

Spotlight on: Greg Ruth, Artist

Greg Ruth is a New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Boy and NDEH (with Ethan Hawke) and has worked making books and comics since 1993. He has published work through The New York Times, DC Com­ics, Fantagraphics Books, Mondo, Dark Horse, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Hyperion, Simon and Schuster, the Criterion Collection, Slate, CNN, Penguin, Hachette, and Tor. He has created two music videos for Prince and Rob Thomas, and ...Read More

Read more

Kathleen Jennings: Raised by Wolves

Kathleen Dolan Jennings was born May 26, 1980 in Brisbane, Australia, and spent much of her childhood on a small cattle station in Western Queensland. She attended the University of Queensland, and worked as a lawyer for ten years (five in private practice, five for the government) before shifting her focus to illustration and writing. She recently submitted her dissertation for a MPhil degree on Australian Gothic literature.

Jennings has ...Read More

Read more

Photo Story: SF Writers in China

The Future Affairs Administration brought another group of SF writers to China, with Carolyn Ives Gilman, Naomi Kritzer, and Fran Wilde coming from the US and Samantha Murray from Australia. They visited Danzhai village from December 1-3, 2018, along with Chinese writers Tang Fei, Lei, Liang Ling, Han Song, and Su Wanwen. Vera Sun and Emily Gu organized the trip for FAA.

This feature and more like it in the ...Read More

Read more

Spotlight on: Omar Rayyan, Artist

Having created illustrations for many publish­ers, including Simon & Schuster, Random House and Hyperion/Disney, Omar Rayyan’s primary market was geared towards children’s and young adult’s magazine and books, doing cover and interior illustrations. He also illustrated several children’s picture books.

Other genres he has worked in include the gam­ing market, most notably for Magic: The Gathering, where he has done card art and concept work. Omar was also among the ...Read More

Read more

Charles Vess: Narrative Impulse

Charles Vess was born June 10, 1951 in Lynchburg VA. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University, graduating in 1974 with a BFA, and worked in commercial animation until moving to New York City in 1976. There he became a freelance illustrator, working for many publications including Heavy Metal, Klutz Press and National Lampoon. For over 10 years he worked for various comic book publishers, including Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. He ...Read More

Read more