Cory Doctorow: Rules for Writers

In 1991, I read two documents from Bruce Sterling that changed the course of my professional and literary career. The first was “The Turkey City Lexicon”, which Sterling co-wrote with Lewis Shiner, an online classic that was finally published between covers in the 1991 Pulphouse edition of The SFWA Handbook, which I received in the mail with my newly minted SFWA membership kit.

The second was a print classic ...Read More

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Issue 712 Table of Contents, May 2020

The May 2020 issue of Locus has interviews with Elizabeth Bear and C.L. Polk. News includes the 2020 Hugo Awards ballot, 1945 Retro Hugos ballot, plans for a virtual Worldcon and SFWA Nebula Conference, Sarah Pinsker’s Philip K. Dick Award win, Akwaeke Emezi’s Otherwise win, layoffs at Macmillan and Tor due to COVID-19, Stoker and Spectrum 27 winners, the Internet Archive controversy, Marlon James’s Bradbury Prize win, ongoing ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang

Vagabonds, Hao Jingfang (Saga Press 978-1-5344-2208-7, $28.99, 608pp, hardcover) April 2020

The growing corpus of Chinese science fiction translated into English—mainly, as in this case, by that indefatigable polymath, Ken Liu—receives a welcome addition in the form of Hao Jingfang’s meditative and stimulating Vagabonds, arriving on the heels of her award-winning story, “Folding Beijing”. Part of the pleasure of such works is getting the perspective of writers from ...Read More

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Kate Heartfield: Timelines

Kate Heartfield was born January 6, 1977 in Kitchener, Ontario, and moved throughout the province with her family before settling outside Winnipeg. She spent a year after high school backpacking in Central America, then moved to Ottawa for university. She graduated with a degree in political science in 1999, then earned a master’s degree in journalism at Carleton University in 2001. She freelanced for a few years before taking a ...Read More

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Brotherhood and Magitech: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Onward

Arley: If I were grading Onward, it would get “meets expectations.” Disney/Pixar has some outstanding movies, but for me, this one doesn’t stand as their absolute best. It wasn’t outstanding or incredible, but it was solid on every front, and had emotional impact, which is basically what I expect from them. Their baseline is better than a lot of other production houses. This wasn’t as powerful as Up, ...Read More

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Tamsyn Muir: Blood Words

Tamsyn Elizabeth Muir was born March 14, 1985 in New South Wales, Australia, and relocated to New Zealand when she was nine months old; she grew up in the small town of Howick, outside Auckland, and considers herself a Kiwi. She has also lived in Waiuku and central Wellington. Muir finished school at 16 and attended university briefly before dropping out. After working in retail for two years, she earned ...Read More

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Virtual SF Events

With so many conventions and events postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, many organizers are moving to online alternatives. We will update our Conventions page with virtual SF events as we learn about more. If you know of other such events, please send us the information at locus@locusmag.com.

  • Baen Books launched the weekly Baen Friday Night Live Reading Series hosted by editor Christopher Ruocchio on April 3, 2020 at 8
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FOGcon 10 Report

The 2020 Friends of Genre convention (FOGcon 10) was held March 6-8 at the Walnut Creek Marriot in Walnut Creek CA. 234 memberships were sold, with approximately 185 warm bodies, presumably due to COVID-19 cancellations. The theme was “Turning Points”, with honored guests Mary Anne Mohanraj, Nisi Shawl (via video), and Terry Pratchett (posthumously).

Despite necessary last-minute changes, like Zooming GOH Shawl in for panels, programming included 35 items, with ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill 978-0-451-48167-2, $18.99, 464pp, hc) October 2019.

War Girls is a meditation on culture and conflict. It’s action-driven but complex, brutal but brilliant.

A strong opening in a stark, discomfiting setting introduces Onyii, a girl who has known war for most of her life. A handful of lines establish her dissonance with her own body, her social group, and her situation as a “war girl” ...Read More

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Sufficiently Advanced Tech Bros Are Indistinguishable from Dark Magicians: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Bloodshot

Based on the Valiant comic book series of the same name, Bloodshot is about a US Marine, Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel), who is brought back from the dead through the application of nanotechnology, which endows him with superhuman abilities.

The film initially follows all the standard sci-fi action fare as Garrison pieces together what has happened to him, and what he can do now, and it’s exactly as terrible as ...Read More

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Nebula Conference Going Virtual

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have announced that this year’s Nebula Conference, scheduled for May 28-31, 2020 in Woodland Hills CA, will be held as an entirely virtual event.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board of SFWA feels that holding an in-person event this May would be irresponsible.

The Nebula Conference will include panels, solo presentations, conference mentorships, workshops, forums, chats, and virtual room ...Read More

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Visible Only by Gaslight: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss The Invisible Man

Josh: This is “Gaslight: The Movie”.

Arley: The first thing he does when he’s invisible is turn up the gas on the stove. Metaphor?!

H.G. Wells’ 1897 novel, and the 1933 Universal movie based on it, get a modern treatment in the latest The Invisible Man, starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen as the abusive, controlling Adrian Griffin (the world’s leading expert in optics) and Elisabeth Moss as his girlfriend, Cecilia Kass ...Read More

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SF in India by Mysore Srinarahari

The 18th Science Fiction Conference was held January 10-11, 2020 at Aurangabad, Maharashtra state, India, organized by the Indian Association for Science Fiction Studies®, Bangalore (IASFS), Indian Science Fiction Writers Association, Ayodhya (ISFWA), Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, Mumbai (MVP), Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal, Aurangabad (MSP), and Deogiri Institute of Engineering and Management (DIEM), with the host Mukthananda College, Gangapur, Aurangabad District. Highlights of the event included the celebration of Isaac Asimov’s ...Read More

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Aly Parsons (1952-2020)

Writer, fan, and organizer Aly Parsons, 67, died February 9, 2020 of a heart attack and complications of kidney failure. Parsons was a catalyst for the Washington DC science fiction writing community, founding and organizing a writers’ group that, in its 40-year history, included many prominent SF writers in the area, including Catherine Asaro, John Hemry (AKA Jack Campbell), Edward M. Lerner, Bud Sparhawk, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Robert Chase, Annette ...Read More

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Issue 710 Table of Contents, March 2020

The March 2020 issue of Locus has interviews with Nina Allan, Gareth L. Powell, and Sue Burke. The issue lists US and UK forthcoming books titles through December 2020. News includes the Nebula Awards Ballot, Muir’s Crawford win, the 2020 Dell Award winner, the Analog AnLab and Asimov’s Readers’ awards, the inaugural Ray Bradbury prize finalists, Hachette’s acquisition of more than 1,000 Disney titles, ...Read More

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2019 Nebula Awards Ballot

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) have released the final ballot for the 2019 Nebula Awards.

Novel

  • Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing)
  • A
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Homicide Squad: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Infamous DC Comics character Harley Quinn (née Harleen Frances Quinzel) changes out of her manic pixie dream girl role for Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. This latest film in the DC Universe begins immediately after the Joker dumps Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie). The end of their relationship marks the end of her protected status in the criminal underworld. Her singular goal — to ...Read More

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Year-in-Review: 2019 Magazine Summary

The following sections are primarily sorted by Hugo Eligibility: Professional, Semiprozine, etc., and then loosely by pay rate, SFWA qualifying market, and the amount of fiction pub­lished. We covered 82 magazines, 17 audio sites, and eight critical magazines.

We continue to see new venues launching under the crowdfunding format, older venues trying out print or subscription models, and of course funding by grants in non-US venues. A few magazines shut ...Read More

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“VIOLET, YOU’RE TURNING VIOLET, VIOLET!” Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Color Out of Space

This adaptation of the 1927 H.P. Lovecraft short story stars Nicolas Cage as Nathan Gardner, who lives in a secluded area of New England with his wife Theresa (Joely Richardson), daughter Lavinia (Madeleine Arthur), and sons Benny and Jack (Brendan Meyer and Julian Hilliard). All Gardner wants to do is raise alpacas and enjoy some fine bourbon, but when a meteorite crashes onto his land one night, his plans go ...Read More

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Issue 709 Table of Contents, February 2020

The February 2020 issue of Locus magazine is the annual Year in Review overview with essays, the Locus 2019 Recommended Reading List, and book and magazine summaries tracking the progress of the industry. The issue also features an interview with co-authors Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone. Mike Resnick (1942-2020) is remembered with an obituary and appreciations. News includes the Philip K. Dick Award nominees, the Stoker preliminary ballot ...Read More

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“There’s Always a Bigger Fish”: Josh Pearce and Arley Sorg Discuss Underwater

Arley: THEY KILLED THE BLACK GUY!

(We’ve put all the deep dark secrets below a spoiler line at the bottom of the review.)

In Underwater, six people at the bottom of the Mariana Trench—Norah (Kristen Stewart), Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie), Emily (Jessica Henwick), Paul (T.J. Miller), Smith (John Gallagher Jr.), and Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel)—try to reach safety after something destroys their deep sea habitat.

Arley: Okay. Overall I thought ...Read More

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Chiang Named Notre Dame Artist-in-Residence

Ted Chiang will be artist in residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study for the 2020-21 academic year. He will take part in a two-day workshop, engage with Notre Dame faculty, and participate in weekly seminars. His Exhalation (Knopf) appears on the New York Times 10 Best Books of 2019 list.

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

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Robots and Nonsense: Arley Sorg and Josh Pearce Discuss Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Tim Pratt, via Twitter: Two things they got a lot of in Star Wars is droids and shit that don’t make no sense.

Josh: I liked it more than The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

Arley: Me too!

Josh: Good! I recognize that The Last Jedi was trying to do a lot more, storywise. But when I rewatched it I was bored by a lot of parts, like ...Read More

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Issue 708 Table of Contents, January 2020

The January 2020 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Joe Abercrombie and Arkady Martine. News includes Lois McMaster Bujold‘s induction as a SFWA Grand Master, an eleventh hour save for venerable San Diego bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, George R.R. Martin’s new bookstore Beastly Books, the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award finalists, B&N news, and much more. Gahan Wilson, Andrew Weiner, Ian Covell, ...Read More

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Arley Sorg Reviews Best New Horror #29, Edited by Stephen Jones

Best New Horror #29, Stephen Jones, ed. (PS Pub­lishing/Drugstore Indian Press 978-178636-392-3, £14.99, 579pp, tp) February 2019. Cover by Howard Nostrand.

In 1990 Constable & Robinson published the first Best New Horror, edited by Stephen Jones & Ramsey Campbell, featuring horror short fiction from 1989. That volume won a British Fantasy Award, a World Fantasy Award, and began a legacy. Jones became sole editor with 1995’s The Best ...Read More

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Taos Toolbox and Odyssey Applications Open

Applications for the 2020 Taos Toolbox writing workshop are open now through April 1, 2020. The two-week workshop will be held June 7-20, 2020 in Angel Fire NM and will feature Walter Jon Williams and Nancy Kress as instructors, with George R.R. Martin and E.M. Tippetts as special guest lecturers. Martin is sponsoring the Terran Award, “providing full tuition for an applicant from a non-English-speaking country.” Other scholarships are also ...Read More

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New Clarion West Scholarship for Native American Writers

Publishing firm Blue Corn Creations has gifted $1,000 to create a scholarship for writers of Native American descent who wish to attend the Clarion West Writers Workshop. Blue Corn Creations owner Rob Schmidt said,

We’re excited about developing the next generation of Native superhero, science fiction, and action/adventure stories. To do that, we also need to develop the next generation of Native writers. This scholarship will help accomplish that.

The ...Read More

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McIntyre Gives to Clarion West

Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019) has left her literary assets to Clarion West, expressing her wish that “the organization manage her liter­ary copyrights in perpetuity.” She also left a bequest of $387,129 to the program, the largest single financial gift in the organization’s history: “The bequest will bolster the Clarion West endowment, strengthening our mission and ensuring our financial stability for years. Vonda’s extraordinary generosity will allow Clarion West to continue ...Read More

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Can*Con 2019 Report

Can*Con 2019 was held October 18-20 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ottawa, Canada. There were 452 registered memberships; 436 members were in attendance. There were seven guests of honour: Charlie Jane Anders, Lee Harris, DongWon Song, Kelly Robson, and Science Literacy guests Brock Dickinson, Stephen Leahy, and Deborah Raji.

Programming featured 164 panelists at 134 sessions, discussing science, writing, publishing, literature, and more, including “Behind the Scenes of Grant Applications”, ...Read More

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2019 World Fantasy Convention Report

The 45th World Fantasy Convention was held October 31 – November 3, 2019 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott in a still-smoky California. Guests of honor were Margo Lanagan, Beth Meacham, Reiko Murakami, Sheree Renée Thomas, and Tad Williams, with toastmaster Robert Silverberg. Life Achievement Awards winners were Hayao Miyazaki and Jack Zipes.

Attendance was down from the prior year, with 660 warm bodies out of 762 total memberships purchased, ...Read More

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Clarion West 2020 Applications

Applications for Clarion West’s six-week summer workshop are open now through March 1, 2020. The workshop will be held June 21 – July 31, 2020 in Seattle WA, and will feature Ted Chiang, Neil Clarke, Tina Connolly, Andy Duncan, Eileen Gunn, Nalo Hopkinson, and Caroline M. Yoachim as instructors. For more information, see the Clarion West website.

A.T. Greenblatt has announced that she will cover the application fees for two ...Read More

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