The Atlantic‘s Best Books of 2020

Several titles of genre interest made The Atlantic‘s list of the 15 best books of 2020: Beowulf: A New Translation by Maria Dahvana Headley (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo, translated by Jamie Chang (Liveright), and Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu (Pantheon).

For the full list, see The Atlantic‘s website.

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EW‘s 10 Best Books of 2020

Entertainment Weekly has released their list of the 10 best books of 2020, compiled by Leah Greenblatt and David Canfield. Titles of genre interest include The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf) in the top spot, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Ecco) at number four, and Memorial by Bryan Washington (Riverhead) at number five.

For the full list, see EW‘s website.

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SFF Rosetta Awards

The new Science Fiction and Fantasy Rosetta Awards (SFFRA) were launched December 26, 2020, “initiated and organized by a group of SFF enthusiasts with faith to promote and recognize the SFF literatures from various cultures and languages along with the efforts of those authors and translators.”

The awards will be given in long- and short-form categories, as well as a special service award category. Eligible works must be science fiction ...Read More

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HuffPost‘s Best Books of 2020

HuffPost has announced its list of the best books of 2020, compiled by Claire Fallon, including several titles of genre interest:

  • Leave the World Behind, Rumaan Alam (Ecco)
  • Parakeet, Marie-Helene Bertino (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
  • Red Pill, Hari Kunzru (Knopf)
  • Temporary, Hilary Leichter (Coffee House)
  • The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)
  • Death in Her Hands, Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin)

For the complete list, see

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NPR’s Best Books of 2020

NPR’s Book Concierge has an extensive list of Best Books in an assortment of categories heavy with genre content, including The Dark Side and Young Adult, “nearly 2,500 recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics.” The Sci Fi, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction category offers 64 recommendations covering a range of themes and topics, such as Bestiary by K-Ming Chang (One World), Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Amulet), Riot Baby by Tochi ...Read More

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2021 SFWA Givers Fund Grants

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced the recipients of the 2021 Givers Fund Grants for organizations which further SFWA’s mission: “To promote, advance, and support science fiction and fantasy writing in the United States and elsewhere, by educating and informing the general public and supporting and empowering science fiction and fantasy writers.” Grant recipients are “Any 501(c)(3) or similar organization… with a program related to the ...Read More

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James Gunn (1923-2020)

Grand Master James Gunn, 97, died December 23, 2020. Gunn was one of the field’s true polymaths, excelling as an SF author, editor, and scholar. Gunn served as President of Science Fiction Writers of America in 1971-1972 and the organization honored him with a Damon Knight Grand Master Award in 2006. He was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame in 2015.

James Edwin Gunn was born July 12, 1923 ...Read More

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The Boston Globe‘s Best Books of 2020

The Boston Globe has released its list of the Best Books of 2020, including several authors and titles of genre interest:


  • The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)
  • The Awkward Black Man, Walter Mosley (Grove)
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)
  • Memorial, Bryan Washington (Riverhead)


  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, Roseanne A. Brown (Balzer + Bray)
  • King
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PEN America Literary Awards Longlist

The longlists for the 2021 PEN America Literary Awards have been announced, and include several works of genre interest.

PEN/Jean Stein Book Award ($75,000)
  • The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)
  • Pew, Catherine Lacey (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)

PEN Open Book Award ($10,000)

  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn (MCD)

PEN/Robert W. Bingham

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Wired‘s Best Fantasy Books of 2020

Wired announced its list of best fantasy books of 2020, selected by Jason Kehe:

  • A Luminous Republic, Andrés Barba, translated by Lisa Dillman (Mariner)
  • Tender Is the Flesh, Agustina Bazterrica, translated by Sarah Moses (Scribner)
  • Piranesi, Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
  • Surrender, Ray Loriga, translated by Caroline de Robertis (Mariner)
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi ( Publishing)
  • Network Effect, Martha Wells ( Publishing)

The article includes discussions

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ISFiC Writers Contest Results

Results of the 2020 Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago (ISFiC) short fiction contest for unpublished writers of science fiction and fantasy have been announced. No winner was selected, but the judges did choose “The Adventures of Nel” by S.Y. Kaplan as an honorable mention. Kaplan receives a one ounce silver coin.

The contest was “open to any resident of Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, or Wisconsin or ...Read More

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2020 Darrell Awards Winners

Winners for the 2020 Darrell Awards, “presented annually in support of Midsouth Literacy by recognizing the best published Science Fiction, Fantasy and/or Horror in Short Story, Novella, Novel, Young Adult & Other Media formats,” have been announced:


  • WINNER: Above the Ether, Eric Barnes (Arcade)
  • First Runner-up: Carl Perkins’ Cadillac, John G Hartness

Young Adult

  • WINNER: House of Salt and Sorrows, Erin A. Craig (Delacorte)
  • First Runner-up:
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Editorial Changes at Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories publisher Steve Davidson announced on December 17, 2020 that editor-in-chief Ira Nayman is resigning from his position. Davidson added:

Mr. Nayman will remain and complete the current issue in progress and additionally offered to perform a subset of his previous duties until they are transitioned to a new Editor.

Authors whose stories have been accepted, authors whose work is currently in the submission queue, all will all be ...Read More

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Barack Obama’s Favorite Books Of 2020

President Barack Obama announced his list of Favorite Books of 2020 via Twitter, including several of genre interest:

  • The Glass Hotel, Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)
  • The Ministry for the Future, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
  • Sharks in the Time of Saviors, Kawai Strong Washburn (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)
  • How Much of These Hills Is Gold, C Pam Zhang (Riverhead)

For more information, see Barack Obama’s Tweet.

While ...Read More

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2019 Parallax and Kindred Award Winners

The Carl Brandon Society has announced the winners of its Parallax and Kindred Awards.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World) is the winner of the 2019 Carl Brandon Parallax Award, given to “works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color.”

“Doll Seed” by Michele Tracy Berger (FIYAH Summer ’19) is the winner of the 2019 Carl Brandon Kindred Award, for “any work of speculative fiction ...Read More

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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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People & Publishing Roundup, December 2020


SCOTT WESTERFELD con­tracted COVID-19 six months ago, and underwent surgery in October 2020 to recover damage the virus did to his heart. He is recovering well. “I feel like the people who think Covid is a hoax aren’t giving us hoaxers enough credit for our COMMITMENT.”

Locus Online Editor MARK R. KELLY had a heart attack on October 25, 2020. His partner drove him to the emergency room, and ...Read More

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2020 Dream Foundry Contest Winners

Dream Foundry, a “non-profit dedicated to bolstering the careers of nascent professionals working with the speculative arts,” has announced the winners for its 2020 contests:

Writing Contest

  • First place: “Surat Dari Hantu”, Lisabelle Tay
  • Second place: “The Failed Dianas”, Monique Laban
  • Third place: “The Loneliness of Former Constellations”, P.H. Low
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“Read the Room” Virtual Event Series

Tom Doherty Associates, in partnership with 12 independent bookstores, is launching “Read the Room”, a virtual event reading series “meant to bring authors, booksellers, and readers together into the same virtual ‘room.'” Events will be hosted the fourth Wednesday of every month on Crowdcast and will feature authors from Tor, Tor Teen, Forge, Nightfire, and Tordotcom Publishing.

The first event, co-hosted by Loyalty Bookstores, is scheduled for January 27, 2021 ...Read More

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Clement Wins 2020 Gulliver Travel Grant

Nigerian writer Justin Clement has won the 2020 Gulliver Travel Grant, given by the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF) “to assist writers of speculative literature (in fiction, poetry, drama, or creative nonfiction) in their research.” The $1,000 grant is intended to cover airfare, lodging, or other travel expenses.

For more information, see the SLF website.

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Phyllis Eisenstein (1946-2020)

Author Phyllis Eisenstein, 74, died December 7, 2020. She suffered a stroke in January 2020 and entered hospice care not long after.

Her first SF story was “The Trouble with the Past” (1971), co-written with husband Alex Eisenstein, who collaborated with her on many other works as well. Her debut Born to Exile (1978) collects her stories about Alaric the Minstrel, who also appeared in novel In the Red Lord’s ...Read More

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Amazon News, December 2020

The European Union’s European Commission is continuing its antitrust investigation of, announcing a “preliminary view that [Amazon] has breached EU antitrust rules.” The Commission alleges that the company engages in “the abuse of a dominant market position,” and that Amazon competes with the third-party sellers hosted on the site unfairly by using proprietary data. The Commission has opened a second investigation into whether Amazon gives illegally unfair treatment to ...Read More

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Legal News, December 2020

Former B&N CEO Demos Parneros has settled his lawsuit against the company. An agree­ment was reached less than a week before a planned pre-trial conference. The settlement terms were not disclosed, but each party will pay their own court costs and fees. Parneros sued for breach of contract and defamation of character in August 2018, and added additional claims later that year. He was fired on July 3, 2018 for ...Read More

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Inaugural Shaded Choice Awards Winners

Winners of the inaugural Shaded Choice Awards, “created to celebrate new releases in 2020 from BlPOC Authors,” have been announced, including several titles of genre interest.

Debut Novel

  • Legendborn, Tracy Deonn (McElderry)

Science Fiction

  • The Space Between Worlds, Micaiah Johnson (Del Rey)


  • Black Sun, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)


  • Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)

Mystery & Thriller

  • The Only Good Indians, Stephen Graham Jones
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2020 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Award Winners

Winners for the 13th annual Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards have been announced.

Titles of genre interest include Teen Choice Book Award winner Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita (Disney-Hyperion), and Pandora’s Legacy by Bones Leopard, illustrated by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!) which received Honor in the Fifth–Sixth Grade category.

The awards are presented by non-profit literacy organization Every Child a Reader and are

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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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Richard Corben (1940-2020)

Artist Richard Corben, 80, died December 2, 2020 after heart surgery.

Though best known for his comics work and album art (most famously for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell, 1977), Corben also created numerous SF book covers, including for titles by Edgar Rice Burroughs, L. Sprague de Camp, Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, Harry Harrison, Damon Knight, and more. He produced interior art for magazines, and for fanzines devoted ...Read More

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Dean Ing (1931-2020)

SF writer Dean Ing, 89, died July 21, 2020 at home in Ashland OR. He was best known for his technothrillers and near-future survivalist novels.

Ing was born June 17, 1931 in Austin TX. He served in the US Air Force from 1951-55, graduated from Fresno State University in 1956, earned a master’s at San Jose State University in 1970, and got his doctorate at the University of Oregon in ...Read More

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2020 Mythopoeic Awards Finalists

The Mythopoeic Society has announced the 2020 Mythopoeic Awards finalists. Winners will be announced in early 2021.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark (Tordotcom Publishing)
  • Snow White Learns Witchcraft, Theodora Goss (Mythic Delirium)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook)
  • Lent: A Novel of Many Returns, Jo Walton (Tor)
  • The Bird King, G.
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Vanity Fair‘s 15 Best Books of 2020

Vanity Fair has released its list of the 15 Best Books of 2020, including several authors and titles of genre interest:

  • Felix Ever After, Kacen Callender (Balzer + Bray)
  • Find Layla, Meg Elison (Skyscape)
  • The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead)
  • The City We Became, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
  • Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
  • Memorial, Bryan Washington (Riverhead)
  • Interior Chinatown, Charles Yu
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VanderMeer Creative Spotlight Award Winners

Ann & Jeff VanderMeer have announced Martha Grover and Kai Ashante Wilson as the winners of the inaugural VanderMeer Creative Spotlight Award, intended “to recognize talent and reward it for creativity and risk-taking.” Each winner receives $1,000 and a medallion.

“VanderMeer Creative represents the creative endeavors of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and engages in charitable giving to arts organizations, environmental groups, and political efforts on a local, national, and international ...Read More

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Polack Wins Chandler Award

The Australian Science Fiction Foundation (ASFF) has announced Gillian Polack as the winner of the 2020 A. Bertram Chandler Award, given for “Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction.” The winner is usually announced at the annual Australian Science Fiction Convention.

For more information, see the ASFF website.

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