Finalists for the Hugo Awards and for the Astounding Award for Best New Writer have been announced by CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. Best Novel The City in the Middle of the Night, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan) The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK) The Light Brigade, Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK) A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor; Tor UK) Middlegame, Seanan McGuire
Finalists for the 1945 Retro Hugo Awards, honoring work from 1944, have been announced by CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon via their YouTube channel. Best Novel “Shadow Over Mars”, Leigh Brackett (Startling Stories Fall ’44) Land of Terror, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.) The Golden Fleece, Robert Graves (Cassell) “The Winged Man”, E. Mayne Hull & A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science Fiction 5-6/44) The Wind on the Moon, Eric
Artist and fan Tom Barber, 73, died April 4, 2020, reportedly of complications from COVID-19. Barber did cover and interior art for numerous books and magazines in the ’70s and ’80s, including Amazing Stories, Galileo, and Weird Tales. He was active in fandom, running conventions in Michigan starting in the 1970s: he was founding chair of ConClave I (1976), co-chaired ConClave II (1977) and ConClave VIII (1983), and chaired Perpetual
New titles this week are by Henri Bosco, Rae Carson, Hank Davis & Christopher Ruocchio, John Gwynne, Laurell K. Hamilton & William McCaskey, Tim Lebbon, Corry L. Lee, Louisa Morgan, Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle/Steven Bares, Veronica Roth, Emily Strutskie, Caroline Stevermer, Dan Stout, and Danielle Trussoni.
Finalists for the 2020 Colorado Book Awards include the following titles of genre interest: Science Fiction/Fantasy An Illusion of Thieves, Cate Glass (Tor) Denver Moon, Book II: The Saint of Mars, Warren Hammond & Joshua Viola (Hex) The Blood of Seven, Claire L. Fishback (Dark Doorways) The Legend of Carl Draco, Gary Reilly (Running Meter) Anthology/Collection Straight Outta Deadwood, David Boop, ed. (Baen) Rise: An Anthology of Change, Northern Colorado
With so many conventions and events postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, many organizers are moving to online alternatives. We will update this list of virtual SF events as we learn about more. If you know of other such events, please send us the information at email@example.com. Baen Books launched the weekly Baen Friday Night Live Reading Series hosted by editor Christopher Ruocchio on April 3, 2020 at 8 p.m.
The shortlist for the 2020 International Dylan Thomas Prize has been announced, and includes both titles of genre interest from the longlist: Inland, Téa Obreht (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) Lot, Bryan Washington (Atlantic) The annual Dylan Thomas prize, in partnership with Swansea University, awards £30,000 “to the best published or produced literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.” The judging panel is chaired by
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced that writer and actor Aydrea Walden will be Toastmaster at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Awards, to be presented in an online ceremony on May 30, 2020. Walden has written for the series Yin Yang Yo! and created, written, and starred in the Webby-nominated series Black Girl in a Big Dress. She has worked in the animation department on the
Artist Tim White, 68, died April 6, 2020 after a long period of poor health. White was a prolific SF cover artist from the ‘70s through the ‘90s. Timothy Thomas Anthony white was born April 4, 1952 in Erith, Kent, England. He studied art at the Medway college of Design, and subsequently worked in advertising for two years. He began doing cover paintings for New English Library and Science Fiction
Adrienne Martini Reviews One Bronze Knuckle by Kenneth Hunter Gordon and False Value by Ben Aaronovitch
One Bronze Knuckle, Kenneth Hunter Gordon (Lanternfish 978-1941360255, $20.00, 416pp, tp) March 2019. Imagine that you are sitting around a fireplace on a cold night with a mug of something warming in hand. Also in the room is a raconteur of renown, one who delights in the sounds of the words he says as well as the movement of the story he tells. Now lay that imagining over Kenneth Hunter
Winners for the 2019 Kitschies, awarded “for progressive, intelligent, and entertaining literature with a speculative element,” were announced April 6, 2020 in a virtual ceremony. The Red Tentacle (Novel) WINNER: The Fire Starters, Jan Carson (Transworld) This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Jo Fletcher) Always North, Vicki Jarrett (Unsung) The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa (Harvill Secker) From The Wreck, Jane Rawson (Picador) The
CoNZealand has announced John Flower as the designer of the 2020 Hugo Award base, and James Brown as the designer of the 1945 Retro Hugo Award base. The awards will be given during CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held July 29 – August 2, 2020 as a virtual event. For more information, see the CoNZealand website. While you are here, please take a moment to support
The Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS) has released the finalists for the Prometheus Award in the Best Novel category, honoring pro-freedom works published in 2019. Best Novel Award The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Random House: Nan A. Talese) Alliance Rising, C.J. Cherryh & Jane S. Fancher (DAW) Ruin’s Wake, Patrick Edwards (Titan) Luna: Moon Rising, Ian McDonald (Tor) Ode to Defiance, Marc Stiegler (LMBPN) All members of the Libertarian Futurist Society are
The 2020 Spectrum Awards winners for the best in contemporary fantastic art were announced on April 4, 2020. Advertising GOLD: “The Shining”, Bartos Kosowski SILVER: “Lilith”, Brom “The Magic Flute Backstage”, Anna & Elena Balbusso “The Part You Throw Away”, Alessandra Pisano “Fighting in the Harpy Nest”, Bayard Wu Book GOLD: “Ivywood”, Rovina Cai SILVER: “The Three Lords of Shambhala”, Sija Hong “Arthur Jermyn”, Sam Araya “Penric’s Progress”, Dan dos Santos “The
I woke up this morning to find several thousand unexpected dollars in my bank account, which isn’t a problem writers usually have. My literary agency gives me a heads’ up when they make a deposit, but didn’t with this one, so it’s entirely possible this was a mistaken deposit. I’m sitting here dying to allocate the money to various bills, but waiting for a confirmation that the money is mine.
Clarkesworld 12/19 Tor.com 11/6/19, 11/13/19, 12/4/19, 12/11/19 Mithila Review 12/19 In this month’s column I finally bid adieu to 2019 for good. As always, I wish I could have read more, but there were plenty of strong stories to leave me feeling good about the year and optimistic for the one ahead. My favorite story in December’s Clarkesworld was “Annotated Setlist of the Mikaela Cole Jazz Quintet” by Catherine George.
The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga 978-1-9821-3403-7, $26.00, 432pp, hc) February 2020. In his introduction to The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, Ken Liu’s much-anticipated second collection, Liu tells us that selecting the stories was easier, since he no longer felt “the pressure to ‘present,”‘ but rather decided to “stick with stories that most pleased myself.” In fact, more than half of the 18 stories (plus an
Bookstores are suffering during the COVID-19 epidemic, with many forced to temporarily close their physical locations. Barnes & Noble shops remain open (except in locations closed by public order), but CEO James Daunt warns his employees that changes are coming, with plans for “substantial reductions in cost,” including cuts of personnel already underway at the home office. He says sales continue well, especially online, but, “We have to assume that
The Thief Knot, Kate Milford (Clarion 978-1-328-46689-1, $17.99, 464pp, hc) January 2020. Attention all mystery fans! Kate Milford is back with another conundrum set in her Greenglass House world that brings together all the elements fans of the genre could want. Set in the fantastical city of Nagspeake (New England-adjacent but not part of the US) and featuring a group of five smart teens that includes a ghost, a magician,
Simon & Schuster’s parent company ViacomCBS wants to sell their publishing division. CEO Bob Bakish’s said, We’ve been conducting a portfolio review of our company. And coming out of that we’ve made the determination that Simon and Schuster is not a core asset of the company. It is not video based; it doesn’t have significant connectivity to our broader business. At the same time, there’s no question it’s a marquee
Macmillan (parent company of Tor, Tor.com Publishing, St. Martin’s, and others) has instituted layoffs company-wide, reduced pay for some employees, and has frozen hiring effective April 2 in response to the projected impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The salary reductions are expected to last through June, and only impact those making more than $60,000 a year, with greater reductions for higher salaries; senior executives are on half pay, while others
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
The Freedom Artist, Ben Okri (Head of Zeus 978-1788549592, 14.99, 368pp, hc) February 2019. (Akashic Books 978-1617757914, $30.95, 336pp, hc) February 2020. Sometimes it feels like all anyone is publishing these days is dystopian fiction. I get why. As I write, Boris Johnson has just won a landslide election victory in the United Kingdom assuring a hard-Brexit and further cuts to the country’s social welfare system; in Australia, the Liberal/National
Several titles and authors of genre interest are on the six-title shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize: The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, Shokoofeh Azar, translated anonymously (Europa) Tyll, Daniel Kehlmann, translated by Ross Benjamin (Quercus) The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa, translated by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker) The award is given “every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland.”
Sirenia Digest #164, #165, #166 Black Static 11-12/19 The Dark 11/19, 12/19 Uncanny 11-12/19 Nightmare 12/19 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 12/5/19 I mention Sirenia Digest here from time-to-time in case readers are unaware of it. Author Caitlín R. Kiernan started offering it monthly to subscribers long before Patreon became a way to help support a writer. What does it contain? Here’s a recent sampling. Despite the fact Kiernan had vowed never
Erin Underwood has won the 2020 Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF), intended to send one fan from North America to CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon. The fund is administered in North America by Paul Weimer and in Australia by Marlee Jane Ward. Weimer said, With ConZealand being a virtual Worldcon this year and [COVID-19], Erin will not be traveling to New Zealand this year, but hopes to travel to Australasia in
The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced the recipients of three awards for 2019. The 2019 Richard Laymon President’s Award, “presented to a member who has served HWA in an exemplary manner and shown exceptional dedication to the organization,” will go to Rena Mason. The winner is chosen by HWA’s sitting president. Leslie S. Klinger is the winner of the 2019 Silver Hammer Award, presented “to an HWA volunteer who
Asimov’s 1-2/20 Analog 1-2/20 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet 11/19 On Spec #112 The first 2020 issue of Asimov’s is anchored by two novellas – the latest episode of Allen M. Steele‘s series about a human colony on a planet of Tau Ceti and the colonists’ interaction with the doglike intelligent species that controls the planet, “The Palace of Dancing Dogs” – these are enjoyable somewhat old-fashioned adventures – and “Not
New titles this week are by Max Barry, James P. Blaylock, Theodora Goss, Alex Irvine, Julie Kagawa, Sarah Tarkoff, and Menna van Praag.
A Queen in Hiding, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168542, $12.99, 496pp, tp) January 2020. The Queen of Raiders, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168566, $16.99, 512pp, tp) February 2020. A Broken Queen, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168665, $16.99, 448pp, tp) March 2020. The Cerulean Queen, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168962, $16.99, 512pp, tp) April 2020. Sarah Kozloff is a chair of film studies at Vassar College, where she’s apparently been teaching for the last 30
Numerous upcoming conventions and literary events have been postponed or canceled as part of efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes respiratory illness COVID-19. The situation remains in flux as the full extent of the pandemic remains to be seen. We will update this story and our convention listing with further information about cancellations and postponements as it becomes available. Emerald City Comic Con, scheduled for
Sam J. Miller will judge the $5,000 Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards in the debut author and open author categories. A shortlist will be selected by Tarek El-Ariss, Jessica Flack, Peter Orner, Eric Schaller, and Dan Rockmore, the creator of the award program. The shortlist will be announced in May, with final winners chosen by Miller and announced in June 2020 at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. For more information,
Winners of several awards given by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) have been announced. “The Soviet Anthropocene: Desiccation, Desertification, and Environmental Horror in Dmitri Svetozarov’s Dogs” by Brittany Roberts won the Walter James Miller Memorial Award, given to the “best ICFA student paper devoted to a work or works of the fantastic originally created in a language other than English.” “White Hope” by Julia A.
Two titles debuts strongly. Patricia Briggs’ Smoke Bitten (Ace) ranks as high as #3 on the USA Today list. And Rae Carson’s Star Wars novelization The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition (Del Rey) hits #2 on the Publishers Weekly list.
Susan Carol Burke was born June 21, 1955. She grew up in Milwaukee WI and lived there for more than 40 years, spent a year and a half in Texas, and then relocated to Madrid, Spain with her husband in 1999, where they stayed for 17 years. In 2016 they returned to the US, settling in Chicago. She began writing for newspapers as a teenager, attended the University of Wisconsin
Silver, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island 978-1937197285, $19.00, 414 pp, tp) November 2019. Cover by Sarah Anne Langton. [Order from Mythic Island Press, PO Box 1293, Kula HI 96790; <mythicislandpress.com>. Linda Nagata has also been revisiting old territory, turning from the near-future military-SF of the Red trilogy and The Last Good Man to the very far future of the Nanotech Succession books of the 1990s. Her new sequence builds on Deception
The Queen of Nothing, Holly Black (Little, Brown 978-0-316-31042-0, $19.99, 300pp, hc). November 2019. Holly Black brings her Folk of Air trilogy to a glorious conclusion with the intense, dramatic, and thoroughly satisfying The Queen of Nothing. If she was not already firmly acknowledged as one of the most impressive names in contemporary fantasy, then this title will surely put to rest any doubts. The tightly written plot, first-class worldbuilding,
Talk Like a Man, Nisi Shawl (PM Press 978-1-62963-711-2, $14.00, 114pp, tp) November 2019. It’s been more than a decade since Nisi Shawl’s only previous collection, Filter House, and since much of her short fiction has appeared in small-press publications that often have to be sought out, her new chapbook from PM Press provides an enticing glimpse into the fiction of an author most widely known for the Nebula Award-nominated
NPD Bookscan released numbers on sales from 2010 to 2019 and listed the top ten bestselling titles of that decade. E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey titles took the top three slots (15.2 million for Fifty Shades of Grey, 10.4 million for Fifty Shades Darker, and 9.3 million for Fifty Shades Freed, all from Random House), with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic) in fourth place with 8.7 million
Nominees for the Brave New Words Award have been announced by Starburst magazine: Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers, Sady Doyle (Melville House) This is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga; Quercus) The Imaginary Corpse, Tyler Hayes (Angry Robot) Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tor.com Publishing) New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color, Nisi Shawl, ed. (Rebellion) Rage of Dragons, Evan Winter (Orbit)
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has announced Kevin Wabaunsee as their new managing editor, Lauren Raye Snow as their new art director, and Beth Dawkins as their new volunteer coordinator. Wabaunsee will support editor-in-chief Michi Trota in overseeing SFWA’s publications and communications channels; Snow will oversee visual aspects, including graphics, branding, and design; and Dawkins will work to ensure that volunteers and services are placed where
Suicide Woods, Benjamin Percy (Graywolf 978-1-644-45006-2 $16.99. 216pp. tp) October 2019. Benjamin Percy’s writing is immaculate. Each word seems so carefully chosen the reader cannot imagine a synonym that would better suit. This slender volume is not a fast read. With such craft, a reader must slowly savor the nine stories and the single novella in Percy’s third collection. All are relentlessly dark, but the darkness springs from a variety
Clarion West is offering free writing workshops for teens and adults on a first come, first served basis. The classes and writing sprints will run from March 30 – April 24, 2020. Instructors include K. Tempest Bradford, Marie Brennan, Tobias Buckell, Curtis Chen, Andy Duncan, Eileen Gunn, Elizabeth Hand, James Patrick Kelly, Fonda Lee, Henry Lien, Seanan McGuire, Ian Muneshwar, Brooks Peck, Laurie Penny, Erin Roberts, Nisi Shawl, James Sutter,
The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) announced that they were able to negotiate an advantageous settlement with their hotel after COVID-19 fears forced them to cancel ICFA 41. IAFA president Dale Knickerbocker said, “To give you an idea just how important this is, we could have been on the hook for a $130,000 payment (not a deposit) even if they had not invoked penalty clauses, which
Forced Perspectives, Tim Powers (Baen 978-1-9821-2440-3, 384pp, hardcover) March 2020 When I reviewed the first book in this series, Alternate Routes, for Asimov’s, I said the novel “continues Powers’s invigorating investigations into spirits from the vasty deep, employing an approach and tone he has not previously offered. As is to be expected, after such a long and vital congress with specters, Powers brings his A-game to the page.” I could
Valentina Gosetti & Eliza Kent are the winners of the 2020 Jamie Bishop Memorial Award, given by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) “for a critical essay on the fantastic written in a language other than English.” Their winning essay is “Maribas et la sorcellerie masculine” [Maribas and Male Witchcraft], published in Revue Bertrand 9/19. They receive $250, an honorary plaque, and one year’s membership in the
The YA Book Prize 2020 shortlist includes several titles and authors of genre interest: Crossfire, Malorie Blackman (Penguin) Deeplight, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan) The Quiet at the End of the World, Lauren James (Walker) The Deathless Girls, Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Orion) The YA Book Prize is awarded to a YA title written by an author living in the UK or Ireland. Finalists and winners are selected by a panel of judges
Andrea Lawlor and Ling Ma are among the winners of the 2020 Whiting Awards, which annually gives $50,000 each “to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.” The award is funded by the Whiting Foundation, created by New York investor and philanthropist Flora Ettlinger Whiting in 1971. Recipients of the award are selected by an anonymous committee appointed by the Foundation. For more information, including the complete list
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” –
Dracopedia Field Guide, William O’Connor (Impact 978-1-4403-5384-0, $26.99, 159pp, hc) May 2019. Cover by William O’Connor. Over the course of William O’Connor’s 20-plus-year career, he won many industry awards, was nominated for a Chesley, and created over 3,000 illustrations for gaming and publishing businesses including Wizards of the Coast, Impact Books, Blizzard Entertainment, WhiteWolf/CCP, Lucas Films, and Activision. He also devoted his time to writing and illustrating the best-selling Dracopedia
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
The 2019 Aurealis Awards shortlist, recognizing the best in Australian speculative fiction, has been announced. Best Science Fiction Novel The Subjects, Sarah Hopkins (Text) Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin) The Trespassers, Meg Mundell (University of Queensland Press) The Year of the Fruit Cake, Gillian Polack (IFWG Australia) The Glad Shout, Alice Robinson (Affirm) Daughter of Bad Times, Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin) Best Science Fiction
Winners of the 2020 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award have been announced. Grand Prize: “Bagala Devi Objective”, M.T. Reiten First Runner-up: “Spinners”, Kate MacEachern Second Runner-up (tie): “Sample Return”, C. Stuart Hardwick Second Runner-up (tie): “The Caretaker”, Tiffany Smith Judges for the contest were David Drake and the editors of Baen Books. The Grand Prize winning story will be featured on the Baen website in June 2020. The author will be
Sean Adams, The Heap (Morrow 1/20) Debut novel about the collapse of “Los Verticalés” – a socially stratified high-rise that once stood 500 stories tall – and the survivors who search for family among its rubble. A social commentary that’s as incisively satirical as the best of Thomas Pynchon and J.G. Ballard. Mike Chen, A Beginning at the End (Mira 1/20) You don’t often come across post-apocalyptic tales full
Trinity Sight, Jennifer Givhan (Blackstone 978-1-53855-672-6, $25.99, 288pp, hc) October 2019. There’s a lot to love about Trinity Sight, a dense debut novel packed with Native stories and myths, conceived and plotted as carefully as a nationwide conference, full of organic stakes and interesting characters. There are also significant imperfections: an author who gets too far ahead of her audience sometimes, a narrator whose stubborn streak makes her unsympathetic, and
CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon, has announced it will be the first ever “virtual Worldcon.” Con-chairs Kelly Buehler and Norman Cates said, This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but one that had to be made now to give our guests and members some certainty during this extraordinary time for the world. The changes are coming fast and furious as New Zealand enters a four week lockdown. We are all dealing
Amid growing coronavirus concerns, some booksellers and distributors have canceled new magazine orders. Barnes and Noble announced they will cease taking new magazine product, effective March 23, 2020, across all stores. Krifka Steffey, director of newsstand merchandising, said, We will continue to sell the product currently on our Newsstands, and will look forward to the day that we can re-establish this critical part of our bookstore offering. Diamond Comic Distributors
There’s royalty on this week’s list of new books with A BROKEN QUEEN, THE POET KING, and THE EMPRESS OF SALT AND FORTUNE. New titles this week are by David Dalglish, Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, Rachel Harrison, Robert A. Heinlein, N.K. Jemisin, Zack Jordan, Sarah Kozloff, Paul McAuley, Ilana C. Myer, and Nghi Vo.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies 10/24/19, 11/21/19 Strange Horizons 10/19, 11/19 Mysterion 11-12/19 Beneath Ceaseless Skies opens issue #289 with Norse fiction from Rich Larson in “The Star Plague“. Larson ratchets up the tension masterfully as we learn of Bragi, a Viking rescued from some traumatic event by British monks. Bragi is entirely disaffected, which isn’t helped by a language barrier, as some force starts stealing corpses and he is expelled from
Gareth Lyn Powell was born September 3, 1970 in Clifton, Bristol, England; he grew up in Bristol, and lives there still. He studied humanities and creative writing at the University of Glamorgan (later renamed the University of South Wales). He has taught creative writing at various universities. He worked in call centers and in marketing before turning to writing more seriously in 2008. Powell began publishing SF with “Morning Star”
New titles by Cassandra Clare and Sarah J. Maas slip from the debut positions last week but still rank significantly. Again this week, the hourly-updated bestseller lists on Amazon sites, especially in the US and Canada, are overwhelmed by orders for children’s books.
…And Other Disasters, Malka Older (Mason Jar Press 978-0996103787, $17.95, 201pp, tp) November 2019. Although it’s a slim book, the nine stories and three poems that feature in Malka Older’s debut collection …And Other Disasters showcase an eclectic and vivid imagination. This includes a future history detailing the break-up of the United States of America (cleverly split into seven individual sections across the collection to mimic the dissolution of the
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
Dreamspinner Press, a small publisher of LGBTQ romance founded in 2006, has reportedly failed to pay many authors their royalties; by some reports, hundreds of writers have been affected. The press has more than 3,000 titles in its inventory – some genre-related – and authors say that as early as 2017, royalties began to arrive late, or not at all, or, at least once, in the form of a postdated
I Hope You Get This Message, Farah Naz Rishi (Harper Teen 978-0-06-274145-5, $17.99, 420pp, hc) October 2019. It’s possibly the end of the world, according to the aliens threatening everyone on Earth, and three teens are grappling with what they want to get done in the seven days they have left. Cate wants to find the father she never knew, Adeem wants to find his beloved older sister, and Jesse
Stanislaw Lem’s The Seventh Voyage, Jon J. Muth (Graphix/Scholastic 978-0-545-00462-6, $19.99, 80pp, hc) October 2019. Cover by John J. Muth. Imagine Buster Keaton in space, trying to fix his disabled craft while beset by a growing number of paradoxically created versions of himself, and you have an idea of the deadpan insanity that informs The Seventh Voyage, Stanislaw Lem’s droll, subversive tale of hapless Spaceman Tichy’s space-time dilemma. Beautifully adapted
Penguin Random House has removed its audiobooks from various unlimited audio subscription programs worldwide, including Storytel and Scribd. An announcement from PRH explained that the company “has decided that at this stage, we will not participate in unlimited access subscription models. Our decision was made collectively by the company’s international leadership team to preserve a diversity of content in the marketplace and the actual and perceived long-term value of our
The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World 978-0-399-59059-7, $28.00, 408pp, hc) September 2019. I missed Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first novel The Water Dancer when it appeared last fall to generally glowing reviews, and it didn’t seem to garner much attention from fantasy readers in general, despite a key fantastic trope being central to its plot. Reading it now, after reviewing Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, it seems apparent that Coates’s novel is
The Bookseller has announced the shortlists for the 2020 British Book Awards, including several titles of genre interest. Fiction Book of the Year The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese; Chatto & Windus) The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth, Philip Pullman (Knopf; Penguin UK & David Fickling) Début Book of the Year The Binding, Bridget Collins (Morrow; Borough) Audiobook Book of the Year The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (Penguin
A memorial service for author Michael Blumlein, who died last October, was held January 25, 2020 at the San Francisco Film Centre in the Presidio in San Francisco CA. More than 200 people attended a two-act performance with an intermission, celebrating Blumlein’s “many worlds, passions, and relationships,” hosted by the author’s daughter, Risa Blumlein. An actor performed sections from Blumlein’s last novella Longer, and several authors read from essays in
Adrienne Martini Reviews Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan and Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes
Turning Darkness into Light, Marie Brennan (Tor 978-0-7653-7761-6, $27.99, 416pp, hc). August 2019. Cover by Todd Lockwood. Marie Brennan wrapped up the five-book Memoirs of the Lady Trent series in 2017. That, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t another generation of curious, dragon-focused naturalists ready to move Lady Trent’s work forward. In Turning Darkness into Light, Brennan introduces us to Audrey Camherst, Lady Trent’s granddaughter, who is about to begin her
Fiction writers Yiyun Li and Namwali Serpell are among the eight winners of the Windham-Campbell Prize and will each receive “an unrestricted grant” of $165,000. The Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize was established “to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.” The prize is administered by Yale University, with a new nominating committee every year, and
Rambunctious, Rick Wilber (WordFire Press 978-1-68057-068-7, hardcover) March 2020 Hewing to the high standards of probity that all reviewers should follow, I solemnly promise not to employ any easy baseball similes, metaphors, or analogies during this review of Rick Wilber’s new story collection, despite the fact that he is most famous, perhaps, for his alternate-history stories involving Moe Berg, Major League Baseball catcher and spy. And despite the fact that
Penguin Random House UK has announced it will produce and distribute audio versions of fiction and graphic novel titles from Rebellion Publishing. The partnership will produce around 30 science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles a year from authors such as Katherine Addison, Derek Künsken, and Adrian Tchaikovsky, as well as adaptations of five new graphic novels in the 2000 AD series. The first title, available now, is Wanderers by Chuck Wendig, read
The shortlists for the Carnegie Medal for best children’s book and the Kate Greenaway Medal for best illustrations in a children’s book have been announced. Titles of genre interest follow. Carnegie Medal Nowhere on Earth, Nick Lake (Hachette) Lampie, Annet Schaap (Pushkin) Voyages in the Underworld of Orpheus Black, Marcus Sedgwick & Julian Sedgwick (Walker) Girl. Boy. Sea., Chris Vick (Head of Zeus) Greenaway Medal Mary and Frankenstein, Linda Bailey,
Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton (Grand Central 978-1-53874-582-3, $27.00, 320pp, hc) August 2019. Kira Jane Buxton’s Hollow Kingdom is likely to bewitch quite a lot of readers. It uses breakneck adventure, unusual apocalyptic circumstances, and the natural allure of an intelligent animal world to appeal. The book has generous sprinkles of both humor and pathos, and extraordinarily lavish descriptions which characterize both the author and the world she builds. However,
Authors Melanie Conklin, Ellen Oh, and Christina Soontornvat have started the Everywhere Book Fest, a “virtual gathering of kidlit authors, books, and readers that will bring the book festival experience to everyone,” in response to several literary festival closures due to coronavirus concerns. The two-day event will happen May 1-2, 2020 and include live and pre-recorded panels. A schedule and author lineup will be announced in April. Panel proposal submissions
The Locus Bestsellers for March include top titles Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, and Star Wars: Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray.
Carolyn Cushman Reviews A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris and The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey
Charlaine Harris, A Longer Fall (Saga 978-1-4814-9495-3, $25.99, 293pp, hc) January 2020. The second book featuring gunslinger Lizbeth Rose, AKA “Gunnie Rose,” finds her working for a new crew trying to deliver a crate to the town of Sally in Louisiana, in the country of Dixie. As seems to happen a lot to her, things go bad quickly; an attempt at train robbery is followed by a derailment, and Gunnie