Spotlight on Sara A. Mueller

The Bone Orchard is a lush, Gothic-tinged fantasy. Tell us a bit about the book: the world where it takes place, and the characters who inhabit that world.

Charm’s world is ruled by an empire stretched to the brink of collapse, held together by brute force and a single person; and he dies. Boren is trying to hold itself together against the countries it had previously beaten into submission. Its ...Read More

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Maurice Broaddus: Black AF

Maurice Gerald Broaddus was born April 30, 1970 in London, England, but moved to Indiana at age six. He grew up in In­dianapolis, where he still resides with his wife and two sons and works as a middle-school teacher.

Broaddus began publishing genre work with “Since We Can Die but Once” (2006). Though he mostly wrote horror to start, he has since expanded into urban fantasy, alternate history, and science ...Read More

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Kelly Barnhill: When Women Were Dragons

Kelly Regan Barnhill was born December 7, 1973 in Minneapolis MN. She worked various jobs, including as a bartender, activist, park ranger, and teacher, and lived in Florida and the Pacific Northwest for a time before returning to Minnesota.

Her debut novel was middle grade The Mostly True Story of Jack (2011), followed by Andre Norton Award finalist Iron Hearted Violet (2012) and The Witch’s Boy (2014). The Girl Who ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Vertically Challenged

Science fiction has a longstanding love-hate relationship with the tech tycoon. The literature is full of billionaire inventors, sometimes painted as system-bucking heroes, at other times as megalomanical supervillains.

From time to time, we even manage to portray one of these people in a way that hews most closely to reality: ordinary mediocrities, no better than you or I, whose success comes down to a combination of luck and a ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Marcela Bolívar, Artist

 

MARCELA BOLÍVAR is a Colombian digital artist based in Germany. Currently, she works as an illustrator for various international publishing houses while develop­ing further her personal work. Her work aims to disengage photomontage of its technologic and automated nature, pushing the limits of photog­raphy as she merges it with a variety of pictorial expressions. The mixture of various media such as photography, painting and sculpture brings forth a world ...Read More

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Marlon James: Dark Stars

 

MARLON JAMES was born November 24, 1970 in Kingston Jamaica. He attended the Wolmer’s Trust High School for Boys and attended the University of the West In­dies, where he studied Language and Literature, graduating in 1991. He moved to the US, where he later earned his MFA in creative writing at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006.

His debut novel was John Crow’s Devil (2005), followed by The Book ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Nilah Magruder

 

Nilah Magruder is based in Maryland. She is the author of M.F.K., a middle-grade graphic novel, and winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity, How to Find a Fox, and Wutaryoo. She has published short stories in Fireside Magazine and the All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens throughout the Ages anthology. Nilah has also written for Marvel Comics, illustrated children’s books for Disney-Hyperion, Scholastic, and Penguin, ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Rich Horton

You started reviewing short fiction for Locus in the February 2002 issue, 20 years ago. What a career! What’s the origin story for you as a reviewer; what brought you into this?

I started reviewing for the short fiction reviewzine Tangent – back when it was a print fanzine. Dave Truesdale posted a notice somewhere saying he was looking for reviewers, and I thought, ‘‘I like short fiction’’ – even ...Read More

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Eugen Bacon: Agents of Change

EUGEN MATOYO BACON was born near Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and moved to Nairobi, Kenya, with her family as a toddler. Her parents and siblings later returned to Tanzania, but she stayed in Kenya at a boarding school run by German sisters. She studied Information Technology at Strathmore College and was awarded a scholarship to the University of Greenwich in the UK. She had her son at a hospital in ...Read More

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Simon Jimenez: Resonance

Simon Emmanuel Jimenez is a Filipino-American author born in 1989. He spent time in Canada and the Philippines growing up, and attended Emerson College, where he earned an MFA in cre­ative writing.

Jimenez has published short fiction in literary venues. Debut novel The Vanished Birds appeared in 2020, and was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and a British Fantasy Award. Epic fantasy novel The Spear Cuts Through ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Science Fiction is a Luddite Literature

From 1811-1816, a secret society styling themselves “the Luddites” smashed textile machinery in the mills of England. Today, we use “Luddite” as a pejorative referring to backwards, anti-technology reactionaries.

This proves that history really is written by the winners.

In truth, the Luddites’ cause wasn’t the destruction of technology – no more than the Boston Tea Party’s cause was the elimination of tea, or Al Qaeda’s cause was the end ...Read More

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Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki: Decolonizing the Mind

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki was born in Ughellii, Delta State, Nigeria. He studied Law at the University of Lagos and later attended law school there. He is currently writing and editing full-time.

He began publishing stories in 2018, and has produced several stories, including Nommo Award winner “The Witching Hour” (2018). “Ife-Iyoku, the Tale of Imadeyunuagbon” (2020) won the Otherwise Award and was a finalist for BSFA, Sturgeon, Nebula, and Nommo ...Read More

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Maggie Tokuda-Hall: Power & Justice

Maggie Tokuda-Hall was born in 1984 and grew up in California, living in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. She earned a BA in studio art from Scripps College in Claremont CA, and an MFA in writing from the University of San Francisco.

Her debut novel, queer YA fantasy The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, appeared in (2020) and was selected for the Otherwise Award honor list; a sequel ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Gary Villarreal, Artist

Talk a bit about the process of Kickstarting and printing Villarrte Sketchbook Vol. 1, a Locus Recommended Reading List title. What was the experience like? Highlights and hindsights?

My wife and I were extremely nervous about launching the Kickstarter during the pandemic. Too many uncertainties. So there were a lot of doubts about whether this was going to be a success. One of the highlights, though, was going through with ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Tehani Farr

What was your introduction to science fiction and fantasy art? What influences drew you in?

It’s a genre that has always simply slotted into my life and perspective. When I was 13, I fell in love with the art of Luis Royo and H.R. Giger, discovered after a long seclusion. I was born and lived off the grid for most of my childhood, was homeschooled all my life, and we ...Read More

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Betsy Wollheim: Alpha Daughter

ELIZABETH ROSALIND WOLLHEIM was born December 5, 1951 in New York, the daughter of legendary editor Donald A. Wollheim and Elsie B. Wollheim, and was closely involved with professional SF from an early age.

She attended Beloit College in Wisconsin in 1969, then transferred to Clark University in Massachusetts. She studied English at Clark while simultaneously studying art at the Worcester Art Museum School. After graduation in 1973 she lived ...Read More

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Chuck Wendig: Accidental Hauntings

CHUCK DAVID WENDIG was born April 22, 1976 and grew up in New Hope PA. He attended Queens University in Charlotte NC, where he studied English and religion, graduated in 1998, and “worked various bizarre day jobs, as many writers do” before becoming a full-time freelancer.

He published a story in 1997 as C.D. Wendig, and another in 2000 as C. David Wendig, but most of his fiction publications date ...Read More

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2021 World Fantasy Award Winners

The World Fantasy Awards winners for works published in 2020 were announced during the World Fantasy Convention 2021, held November 4-7, 2021 at the Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec.

The Life Achievement Awards, presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field, went to Megan Lindholm and Howard Waldrop.

The World Fantasy Awards winners are:

Best Novel

  • WINNER: Trouble the Saints, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Tor)
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Spotlight on: Freya Marske

 

Tell us about your debut novel A Marvellous Light—the world where it takes place and the characters who inhabit that world.

A Marvellous Light is a historical fantasy novel that follows two men as they become reluctantly embroiled in a conspiracy of murder, curses, and contracts. Robin Blyth is a sunshine-hearted jock who’s trying to ignore all his responsibilities when he’s accidentally named as the government liaison to ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: The Unimaginable

Margaret Thatcher was the least science-fictional world leader in modern history.

Her motto was “There is no alternative,” a phrase she repeated so often it became an acronym: “TINA.”

She was referring to capitalism, asserting that there is no conceivable alternative. It was a cheap but remarkably effective rhetorical device, treat­ing a demand as an observation. The true meaning of TINA isn’t “No alternative is possible,” but rather, “Stop trying ...Read More

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R.B. Lemberg: A Different Adventure

R.B. LEMBERG was born September 27, 1976 in Ukraine, and grew up there, in Russia, and in Israel. They attended graduate school at the University of Cali­fornia, Berkeley, where they studied Slavic linguistics, earning a PhD. They work as a sociolinguistics professor at a Midwestern university.

Lemberg began publishing poetry and fiction of genre interest in 2008, initially under the byline Rose Lemberg. Some of their poetry is collected in ...Read More

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Tade Thompson: Unified Field Theory

TADE THOMPSON was born in South London in the 1970s. He traveled a lot as a child due to his parents’ separation and his father’s work as a lawyer (some of which was behind the Iron Curtain). Thomp­son’s qualifications include medicine, psychiatry, and social anthropology, though he flirted with Industrial Chemistry in 1988. He has been a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists since 2007.

He sold his first ...Read More

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Spotlight on: Sana Takeda

What was your introduction to the comics field? Who were your influences? Was there a particular artist or artists who drew you in?

You know a lot of talented artists in the field of comics. At first, I felt, ‘‘There is no room for me in this business.’’ I have not got any formal education in art and didn’t have special drawing skill. It was clear that, even if I ...Read More

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Spotlight on Ryka Aoki

Tell us about your new book Light From Uncommon Stars (Tor Books). What’s the story about, and what inspired you to create that future?

Light From Uncommon Stars is about violins and deals with the Devil. It’s about recovering from transphobia and racism and trauma. It’s about space aliens fleeing a galactic war. It talks about the ultimate end of the universe and what is after that end. It talks ...Read More

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Zen Cho: Gods, Ghosts, Gangsters & Grandmas

ZEN CHO was born in Selangor Malaysia in 1986 and grew up in Malaysia, apart from a year and a half spent in the US around age six. She moved to the UK at 18 for university, where she met her husband. She earned a law degree at Cambridge, and now works as a lawyer. She lives in the UK with her family.

Cho began publishing genre fiction in 2010, ...Read More

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Lavie Tidhar: Between the Cracks

LAVIE TIDHAR was born November 16, 1976 and raised on a kibbutz in Israel. He has traveled extensively since he was a teenager, living in South Africa, the UK, Laos, and the small island nation of Vanuatu.

Tidhar began publishing with a poetry collection in Hebrew in 1998, but soon moved to fiction, becoming a prolific author of short stories early in the 21st century. Story “Temporal Spiders, Spatial Webs” ...Read More

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Cory Doctorow: Breaking In

When I was a baby writer, I obsessively collected career advice from established writers, reading books and essays and attending panels on ‘‘How I broke in’’ featuring established pros. It’s a testament to the irrational, burning desire to publish that I continued to do this long after it became apparent that there was nothing of contemporary applicability in these discussions.

I mean, it was entertaining to hear a writer describe ...Read More

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TJ Klune: The Idea of Kindness

Travis John Klune was born May 20, 1982, in Roseburg OR, where he lived until his family relocated to Tucson AZ when he was 16. He moved to Virginia in 2013, where he worked in insurance before becoming a full-time writer in 2016.

Klune began publishing with Bear, Otter and the Kid (2011), and has authored numerous queer romances. His first work of genre interest was Burn (2012). Lambda Award ...Read More

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Stephen Graham Jones: Slasher Cycle

Stephen Graham Jones, a member of the Blackfeet Tribe, was born in 1972 in Midland TX, and grew up in Texas apart, from a year in Colorado when he was a teenager. He attended Texas Tech University, studying English and philosophy, and attained a master’s degree at the University of North Texas. He earned his PhD in creative writing at Florida State University. Jones taught at Texas Tech before accepting ...Read More

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Kameron Hurley: When Should You Compromise? How to Evaluate Editorial Feedback

Here’s some feedback I’ve received from editors, agents, and mar­keting managers in response to my work over the years:

“This is just a jumble of words.”

“I think this suffers from a failure of the imagination.”

“This is sorta too emotional.”

“Try again.”

One of the most difficult skills a writer must learn – whether writing novels, screenplays, marketing copy, or news articles – is how to receive, process, and ...Read More

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Cassandra Khaw: All-Consuming

Zoe Khaw Joo Ee was born August 31, 1984 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but has gone by Cassandra Khaw for the past 20 years. Khaw lived in Malaysia until age 25, then spent ten years traveling before settling in Montreal, Canada. Khaw worked as a journalist and video game writer in addition to writing fiction, and is currently a senior scriptwriter at Ubisoft Montreal.

Khaw began publishing short fiction in ...Read More

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