Financial Times Best Books of 2021

The Financial Times has announced the five best SF books of 2021, as selected by James Lovegrove:

  • The City of Dr Moreau, JS Barnes (Titan)
  • Several People Are Typing, Calvin Kasulke (Hodder/Doubleday)
  • Five Minds, Guy Morpuss (Viper)
  • The Offset, Calder Szewczak (Angry Robot)
  • Skyward Inn, Aliya Whiteley (Solaris)

For more, see the Financial Times website.

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2021 Kirkus Best SFF of the Year

Kirkus has announced its list of the eight best science fiction and fantasy books of 2021:

  • Light from Uncommon Stars, Ryka Aoki (Tor)
  • Destroyer of Light, Jennifer Marie Brissett (Tor)
  • Machinehood, S.B. Divya (Saga)
  • The Free Bastards, Jonathan French (Del Rey)
  • Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf)
  • A Radical Act of Free Magic, H.G. Parry (Redhook)
  • No Gods, No Monsters, Cadwell Turnbull
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Washington Post Best Books of 2021

The Washington Post has published a piece on the best SF, fantasy, and horror of 2021, selected by writers Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar. Books mentioned include:

  • Unity, Elly Bangs (Tachyon)
  • His Name Was Death, Rafael Bernal (New Directions)
  • Inscape, Louise Carey (Gollancz)
  • Goddess of Filth, V. Castro (Creature)
  • Philosophy Through Science Fiction, Helen De Cruz, Johon De Smedt & Eric Schwitzgebel, eds. (Bloomsbury Academic)
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Weird Tales Presents

Weird Tales and Blackstone Publishing have announced a major new partnership, with Blackstone planning to publish 50 new books in five years under the banner “Weird Tales Presents.”

Titles will include “original novels and anthologies, compilations, and more, penned by some of the biggest names in horror and dark fiction, while also introducing new voices,” with print, e-book, and audiobook editions planned. Blackstone will also distribute the digital and audio ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, November 2021


Librarian MISHA STONE of the Seattle Public Library won the Librarian of the Year Award from the Greater Seattle Romance Writers Association. Stone is a Clarion West board member.


Composer JOHN WILLIAMS received the Forry Award for life­time achievement in the SF field, presented by The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society at their October 9, 2021 meeting.

URSULA VERNON writing as T. KINGFISHER’s “Metal Like Blood in ...Read More

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New Zealand Library Controversy

In July 2021, the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) made the controversial announcement that it would donate more than 400,000 books to the Internet Archive “so they can be digitised and preserved, ensuring future access for New Zealanders and global researchers.” The books are those being culled from the library system’s Overseas Published Collections “so we can make room to continue to grow our Māori, Pacific and New Zealand ...Read More

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Imagined Futures Prize

UK publisher Faber is launching the Imagined Futures Prize, a new YA science fiction award.

Entries should be a “young adult (for 12–18 year olds) novel or collection of short stories that can be (loosely) defined as science fiction, comprising: the first 10,000 words and a full synopsis of the novel in 500 words maximum, or a full manuscript and 500 word synopsis.” Only UK residents age 18 and up ...Read More

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DoJ Challenges PRH and S&S Merger

The United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on November 2, 2021 to stop the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. The government cited concerns that the deal would be detrimental to writers because it would “likely to substantially lessen competition,” leading to a “highly concentrated” market: “The merger would give Penguin Random House outsized influence over who and what is published, and how much ...Read More

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Angel Named FSG President

Mitzi Angel has been promoted to president of Farrar, Straus, Giroux, effective January 1, 2022. She is the first woman to hold the role, and replaces Jonathan Galassi, who has been promoted. Angel said,

I am proud to be the new president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux and to follow the distinguished years of Jonathan Galassi. I look forward to the company’s ongoing success and its contribution to literature and ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, October 2021


N.K. JEMISIN was named as one of the 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time. See the full list on their website.


NANCY PEARL will receive the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, to be presented November 17, 2021 at the National Book Awards ceremony in New York. Pearl is the influential librarian who created the ‘‘One Book, One City’’ program.

SUSANNA ...Read More

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Pantheon Books Status Change

Penguin Random House imprints Pantheon and Schocken Books will no longer be divisions of Alfred A. Knopf, but will instead operate as an imprint alongside Vintage/Anchor, Doubleday, and Knopf, as equal parts of the Knopf Doubleday publishing group. In the announcement, group president and publisher Maya Mavjee noted that the imprints will be hiring for several new editorial positions. Recent hires include executive editor Naomi Gibbs, editorial director Denise Oswald, ...Read More

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Prior Takes Pan Macmillan CEO Role

Joanna Prior has been named the new CEO of Pan Macmillan. Current CEO Anthony Forbes Watson will step down in early 2022, but will continue to advise Stefan von Holtzbrinck and the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Prior has worked as managing director of Penguin General Books in the UK for 12 years, and has been with Penguin for 23 years, rising in the ranks from publicity and marketing. “The decision to ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, September 2021


DOMINICA PHETTEPLACE has been chosen for the Bookshop Santa Cruz Writing Residency. She will spend two weeks writ­ing at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, working on her novel Robot Country, “a dystopian sci­ence fiction novel which imagines robots as the agents of the next wave of American colonization and forced resettlement.” For details see the website.

Writers LAUREN DIXON & DALLAS TAYLOR were married July 31, 2021. ...Read More

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2021 HWA Scholarship and Grant Recipients

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) announced the recipients of its 2021 scholarships and diversity grants.

Eugen M. Bacon, Jonathan Kincade, Tonya Liburd, Somto Ihezue Onyedikachi, and Juan Manuel Pérez are winners of the $500 Diversity Grants, given to “underrepresented, diverse people who have an interest in the horror writing genre, including, but not limited to writers, editors, reviewers, and library workers.”

Shannon DeAnne Lawrence won the $2,500 Horror Writers Association ...Read More

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2021 Ladies of Horror Fiction Grant Recipients

The Ladies of Horror Fiction (LOHF) have announced the winners of their annual Writers Grant:

  • T. L. Bodine
  • Ariell Cacciola
  • Chelsea Davis
  • Jules Gachs (writes as J.V. Gachs)
  • Marissa James
  • Naching T. Kassa
  • Nicole Givens Kurtz
  • Catherine Lundoff
  • Caitlin Marceau
  • Antonija Mežnarić
  • Eva Roslin
  • Sumiko Saulson
  • Christina Sng
  • Katalina Watt
  • Stephanie M. Wytovich

Each will receive $100. The grants are “inclusive to all women who have reasonably demonstrated a commitment

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Publisher Reopenings Slow

The spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 has slowed the momentum among publishers to return to working in the office. Hachette Book Group has postponed its plans to reopen in September, with CEO Michael Pietsch explaining, “We have not set a new reopening schedule at this time. When we decide it is safe to proceed with reopening, we will provide a minimum of four weeks’ notice before we proceed.” ...Read More

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#DisneyMustPay Task Force Expands

The #DisneyMustPay Task Force, created by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and dedicated to making media giant Disney honor its author contracts, has expanded its focus. The task force is now ‘‘reaching out to all comic book and graphic novel creators who may be missing royalty statements and payments from Disney and its companies.’’ Mary Robinette Kowal, chair of the task force, says, ‘‘Writers, artists, illustrators, ...Read More

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Uncanny Magazine Announces New Staff Members

Uncanny Magazine has announced three new staff members: Meg Elison is the new Nonfiction Editor, taking over from Elsa Sjunneson. Naomi Day is moving from Assistant Editor to the newly created position of Senior Assistant Editor. Monte Lin will be assuming Naomi’s former role as Assistant Editor.

For more information, see the official announcement.

While you are here, please take a moment to support Locus with a one-time or recurring ...Read More

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JFA Editorial Collective Applications

The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (JFA) is now accepting applications for a “diverse Editorial Collective” to serve as editors-in-chief for the journal, “a volunteer scholarly position.”

JFA is an interdisciplinary journal established in 1988, and publishes analyses of fantastic work in every medium. It is the official publication for the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA).

The Editorial Collective will be responsible for ensuring ...Read More

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NPR’s 50 Favorite SF/F Books of the Decade

NPR announced “Your 50 Favorite Sci-Fi And Fantasy Books of the Past Decade”, a list that began with their 2021 summer reader poll, with a top 50 selected by Amal El-Mohtar, Ann Leckie, Fonda Lee, and Tochi Onyebuchi. Titles are separated into categories, such as “Worlds To Get Lost In” and “Will Mess With Your Head”, and include a range of subgenres and interests, such as Joe Abercrombie’s Age of ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, August 2021


TA-NEHISI COATES is joining the faculty of Howard University, his alma mater.

NNEDI OKORAFOR accepted an appointment at Arizona State University as a Professor of practice as part of the Interplanetary Initia­tive and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

TADE THOMPSON has been voted vice president of the British Science Fiction Association.

RB KELLY is now represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.


KEVIN J. ANDERSON and ...Read More

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Tor Presents: Voyage into Genre Podcast

Tom Doherty Associates and Literary Hub have announced the launch of a new biweekly podcast, Tor Presents: Voyage into Genre, hosted by Drew Broussard. “The limited series will feature authors of all backgrounds from the science-fiction fantasy imprints Tor Books, Tor­dotcom Publishing, and Tor Teen, discussing new books, the future, and the future of genre. Episodes will be available for download on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, LiteraryHub, or wherever you stream ...Read More

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Publishing News, August 2021

Madeline McIntosh, CEO of Penguin Random House US, has announced plans to reopen offices gradually beginning September 13, 2021 “assuming all goes well health-wise.” She said the company will require “full vaccination” from COVID-19 for employees and visitors enter­ing their offices: “We understand that not everyone is vaccinated, and, as a reminder, it is completely ok to continue to work in full-time remote mode. The requirement only applies to those ...Read More

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Curious Fictions to Close

Publishing platform Curious Fictions announced that it will go on indefinite hiatus starting August 27, 2021. The site featured many speculative fiction writers in a subscription model format. Founder and CEO Tanya Breshears said,

As much as I love this site, the stories you’ve published, and the wonderful people I’ve met through it, keeping it going is no longer sustainable. The business had a little outside funding at first, but ...Read More

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Trota Resigns as SFWA Editor-in-Chief

Michi Trota has stepped down as editor-in-chief of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s (SFWA) publications department, which produces The Bulletin, the annual Nebula Showcase Anthology, The Singularity, and New Releases Newsletter. Trota said,

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve as SFWA Editor-in-Chief. Being the first person of color to step into this role at SFWA was an opportunity I had never envisioned ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, July 2021


KAT HOWARD is now represent­ed by Allie Levick of Writers House.


V.E. SCHWAB‘s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (Tor) won the Bisexual Book Award in the Specu­lative Fiction category, presented by the Bi Writers Association.

DAVID DIOP‘s At Night All Blood Is Black (Pushkin), translated by ANNA MOSCHOVAKIS, won the 2021 International Booker Prize. The £50,000 prize is divided equally among the author and ...Read More

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Ginger Clark Literary Launched

Agent Ginger Clark has left her position as vice president at Curtis Brown to found her own agency, Ginger Clark Literary. She is joined by Nicole Eisenbraun (also formerly of Curtis Brown), as agent and translation rights manager.

Clark began her career as an agent at Writers House, and joined Curtis Brown in 2005. She represents Richard Kadrey, Tim Pratt, Patricia C. Wrede, and the estate of Ursula K. Le ...Read More

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Publishing News, July 2021

Dave Eggers’s upcoming novel The Every (McSweeney’s), sequel to The Circle, is being published on October 5, 2021 as a hard­cover exclusively available from indie bookshops and the publisher’s website. Eggers explained the decision, in an email to Publishers Lunch: “I don’t like bullies. Amazon has been kicking sand in the face of independent bookstores for de­cades now.” Trade paperback and ebook editions published by Vintage will follow on ...Read More

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Uncanny Nonfiction Editor Search

Uncanny Magazine nonfiction editor Elsa Sjunneson will be stepping down after issue #42 (September/October 2021) to focus on other projects. The magazine is seeking applicants to fill the position, which will begin in August 2021 and includes a modest stipend.

We’re looking for someone with a deep love and knowledge of science fiction and fantasy, and some experience in editorial work and publishing. The Nonfiction Editor position will allow opportunities ...Read More

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Publishing News, June 2021

The merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster has been approved in the UK by the Competition & Markets Authority. Simon & Schuster’s UK division had 2019 sales of £41.5 million. The merger is still under review by the Department of Justice in the US.

Arc Manor Publishing now has two speculative fiction imprints: Phoenix Pick produces print-on-demand work, while CAEZIK SF & Fantasy has traditional distribution via ...Read More

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Publishers Plan Reopening

As vaccination be­comes more widespread and the pandemic seems to be on the wane in the US and UK, major publishers in in both countries have begun planning to return to the office, but they’re not just going back to the way things used to be.

Madeline McIntosh, CEO of Penguin Random House, wrote to staff that the company is “planning for the next normal,” and expects to reopen some ...Read More

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People & Publishing Roundup, June 2021


TOBIAS S. BUCKELL has joined Bluffton University in Bluff­ton OH as a full-time member of the creative writing faculty. He will be teaching writing and American Literature classes, and directing literary magazines Shalith and The Bridge. “I’ve ordered a jacket with leather patches, and expect your mental image of me to be updated accordingly!”

DAVID CRAIG is now repre­sented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.



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