The RITA and Golden Heart Awards were presented by the Romance Writers of America at their annual convention in Denver CO on July 19, 2018. The RITA is presented for best novel, and the Golden Heart is a contest for the best novel by an unpublished novelist. Winners of genre interest follow. RITA for Paranormal Romance: Hunt the Darkness, Stephanie Rowe (Self-published) RITA for Young Adult Romance: Seize Today, Pintip
F&SF 5-6/18 Clarkesworld 4/18 Beneath Ceaseless Skies 4/12/18, 4/26/18 In the May-June F&SF my preferred stories were from relatively new voices. Pip Coen‘s first stories appeared last year, and Brian Trent has only been publishing a bit longer. Coen’s “Inquisitive” is the tale of the life of a decidedly non-neurotypical young woman, Saffi Kenyon, and her school career, in which her blunt inquisitiveness puts her on the path to entry
The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell (Raven) won the 2018 WHSmith Thumping Good Read Award, which has been relaunched after a 15 year hiatus. The winner of the £10,000 prize was decided by combined voting from the public and award judges Peter James and Jojo Moyes. Established in 1992 by WHSmith booksellers, the Thumping Good Read Award celebrates “the most popular books of the year” and was last awarded in
European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Theodora Goss (Saga 978-1-4814-6653-0, $26.99, 720pp, hc) July 2018. When Theodora Goss introduced us to the members of the Athena Club in last year’s The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, that fun she was having with her lively and contentious group of women was contagious, but that fun masked a more provocative reconsideration of the roles imposed on women in Victorian society –
The Expert System’s Brother, Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor.com 978-1-25019755-9, $14.99, 176pp, tp) July 2018. It’s amazing how much world building Adrian Tchaikovsky packs into so few words in The Expert System’s Brother. In other hands, this story of a young man, Handry, who is forced out of a world that literally no longer recognizes him, could be the work of a trilogy, yet, here, it is the perfect length. Because of
The winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel published in 2017 has been announced: WINNER: Dreams Before the Start of Time, Anne Charnock (47North) Sea of Rust, C. Robert Cargill (Gollancz) American War, Omar El Akkad (Picador) Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfař (Sceptre) Gather the Daughters, Jennie Melamed (Tinder Press) Borne, Jeff VanderMeer (4th Estate) This year’s judges were Charles Christian, Dave Hutchinson, Paul March-Russell, Kari
Michael Blumlein, All I Ever Dreamed (Valancourt 5/18) Blumlein’s latest collection offers 18 varied stories from 1993-2016, with notes on each by the author, who stretches the boundaries of SF, fantasy, and horror, frequently using his knowledge of medicine to address the possibilities and consequences of new biological technology. Lara Elena Donnelly, Armistice (Tor 5/18) Glamorous film stars, revolutionaries, and spies mix in a lush tropical country on the
The Hunger, Alma Katsu (Putnam 978-0-06-7352-1251-0, $27.00, 38pp, hc) March 2018. The tragic fate of the Donner Party is one of the true American horror stories of the 19th century. The collective of 87 family members and individuals set out from Missouri in May 1846 as part of a larger California-bound wagon train caravan. They epitomized the American pioneer spirit and the nation’s snowballing sense of manifest destiny. Soon thereafter,
Maria Dahvana Headley’s The Mere Wife, Seanan McGuire’s The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Expert System’s Brother, and titles by Ann Aguirre, Gail Carriger, B. Caitling, Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne, Sebastien de Castell, Jason Denzel, Craig DiLouie, Alan Dean Foster, Kathleen O’Neal Gear, Chadwick Ginther, Kameron Hurley, A. Lee Martinez, Nick Setchfield, Emily Skrutskie, Melinda Snodgrass, and Carrie Vaughn
Swedish journalist Alexandra Pascalidou has founded The New Academy Prize in Literature with the intent of providing an international literature award since the 2018 Nobel Prize in Literature is not being awarded. The New Academy plans to dissolve on December 11, 2018. A longlist of 47 authors nominated by Swedish librarians has been announced, and includes several writers of genre interest: Margaret Atwood Paul Auster Maryse Condé Don DeLillo Kerstin
Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik. (Del Rey, 978-0-399-18098-9, $28.00, 434 pp, hc.) July 2018. Naomi Novik follows Uprooted with a brilliant retelling of Rumpelstiltskin set in a medieval pseudo-Russia. Instead of a miller’s daughter, the protagonist, Miryem, is a moneylender’s daughter. Instead of spinning straw into gold, she can spin silver coins into gold, if she has time to take them through the marketplace, first. The King of the Staryk, the
The 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards winners were announced July 15, 2018 during Readercon 29 at the Quincy Marriott in Quincy MA. The awards are presented for outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction. Novel WINNER: The Hole, Hye-young Pyun (Arcade) Ill Will, Dan Chaon (Ballantine) The Bone Mother, David Demchuk (ChiZine) The Night Ocean, Paul La Farge (Penguin) The Changeling, Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau) Novella (tie)
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has named three nominees for their Grand Master award: LeRoy Gorman, David Lunde, and Ann K. Schwader. The title is given “to an individual living at the time of selection whose body of work reflects the highest artistic goals of the SFPA, who has been actively publishing within the target genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy for a period of no fewer
Frank M. Robinson (1926-2014) is the winner of the 2018 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, intended to bring attention to lesser-known SF and fantasy authors. This year’s judges were Elizabeth Hand, Barry Malzberg, Mike Resnick, and Robert J. Sawyer. The award was announced July 13, 2018 during Readercon 29 at the Quincy Marriott in Quincy MA. For more information about the award, see the Cordwainer Smith Foundation website. While you are
The 2018 David Gemmell Awards winners were announced at a ceremony July 14, 2018 at Edge-Lit 7 in Derby, UK: The Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel WINNER: Assassin’s Fate, Robin Hobb (Del Rey) Fall of Dragons, Miles Cameron (Orbit) Red Sister, Mark Lawrence (HarperCollins) Scorched Shadows, Steve McHugh (47North) Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson (Tor) The Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer WINNER: Kings of the Wyld, Nicholas Eames (Orbit) Age
The North Carolina Speculative Fiction Foundation (NCSFF) announced the winner of the 2018 Manly Wade Wellman Award during ConGregate 5 held July 13-15, 2018 at the Red Lion Hotel in High Point NC. The award recognizes “outstanding achievement in science fiction and fantasy novels written by North Carolina authors.” WINNER: Scourge, Gail Z. Martin (Solaris) Frost & Filigree, Natania Barron (Falstaff) Amazing Grace, John G. Hartness (Falstaff) The Stravinsky Intrigue,
FONDA LEE was born March 10, 1979 in Calgary, Canada, where she grew up, and lived in Toronto and the San Francisco Bay Area before settling in Portland OR. Lee received an MBA from Stanford University, and worked as a management consultant and business strategist before leaving the corporate track to focus on her writing. She is also an experienced martial artist, with black belts in karate and kung fu.
» NY Times Book Review: Matt Haig reviews Katie Williams’ Tell the Machine Goodnight » Wall Street Journal: Tom Shippey reviews S.M. Stirling’s Black Chamber » Guardian: Eric Brown reviews Franceso Dimitri, Hannu Rajamiemi, Ada Palmer, Craig DiLouie, and a 2001 anthology » Scott Edelman flashes back to 1993 for lunch with Arlan Andrews, Sr., Gregory Benford, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Charles Sheffield
WisCon 42 was held May 25-28, 2018 at the Concourse Hotel in balmy Madison WI, with Saladin Ahmed and Tananarive Due as guests of honor. 924 full memberships were sold, plus 71 single day memberships. Programming offered 140 panels, solo presentations, and roundtables, focused on SF/F literature, diversity, feminism, disability, criticism, and more. Other options included 19 reading slots with 68 authors, 23 writing workshops, 12 kids’ items, 10 gaming
The Book of Hidden Things, by Francesco Dimitri (Titan 978-1-785-65707-8, $14.95, 385pp, trade paperback) July 2018 Authors who write splendid books in languages other than their native tongue must all be rounded up and stopped, so they don’t make us struggling monolinguists look bad. Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov–well, they’re already canonized. But we still face Salman Rushdie, Hannu Rajaniemi, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, and Lavie Tidhar, among others. Their excellent prose
The Quantum Magician, Derek Künsken (Solaris 978-1781085707, $11.99, 480pp, tp) October 2018. This debut novel will do well. It is a fat, fun SF heist-thriller, a sort of Ocean’s 2487. Or The Superstring Sting. Or The It’s-alien Job. Or anything, really, rather than the oddly sword-and-sorcery-ish title Künsken has gone with. Get past the title, though, and the reader settles into a readable, eventful adventure narrative in which the jinks
Finalists for the 2018 Endeavour Award have been announced: CrossTown, Loren W. Cooper (Xeno) Ironfoot, Dave Duncan (Night Shade) Portal of a Thousand Worlds, Dave Duncan (Open Road) The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman (Saga) A Secret History of Witches, Louisa Morgan (Orbit) The award “honors a distinguished science fiction or fantasy book, either a novel or a single-author collection, created by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest.” The
The Descent of Monsters, JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing 9 78-1-250-16585-5, $14.99, 168pp, tp). July 2018. Cover by Yuko Shimizo. JY Yang has garnered several award nominations for The Black Tides of Heaven. Along with The Red Threads of Fortune, to which it is closely linked, The Black Tides of Heaven – a Hugo finalist in the Best Novella category, as well as a Nebula nominee – was published last August
The European Science Fiction Society (ESFS) Hall of Fame Awards, Achievement Awards, and Chrysalis Award nominees have been announced, along with the names of the nominating countries: Hall of Fame Awards: Best Author Andreas Brandhorst (Germany) Marc Elsberg (Austria) Clelia Farris (Italy) Laurent Genefort (France) Derek Landy (Ireland) Anna Starobinets (Russia) Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine) Best Artist Igor Baranko (Ukraine) Paul Bolger (Ireland) Milivoj Ćeran (Croatia) Didier Cottier (France) Andrew Ferez
Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver, Jonathan Strahan’s Infinity’s End, Neil Clarke’s The Final Frontier, and titles by Taylor Anderson, Mike Carey, Adam Christopher, Ruthanna Emrys, Theodora Goss, Rachel Heng, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kim Liggett, Thea Lim, Zachary Mason, Jay Schiffman, John Schoffstall, Kiersten White, and Rio Youers.
HARDCOVERS Months on list Last month 1) Head On, John Scalzi (Tor) 1 – 2) Noir, Christopher Moore (Morrow) 1 – 3) Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson (Tor) 6 4 4) Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga) 1 – 5) The Power, Naomi Alderman (Little, Brown) 6 6 6) Scourged, Kevin Hearne (Del Rey) 1 – 7) Burn Bright, Patricia Briggs (Ace) 2 1 8) Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey (Orbit) 4
Lightspeed 5/18 Tor.com 4/11/18 Giganotosaurus 2/18, 3/18, 4/18 The SF in the May Lightspeed interested me most. Carolyn Ives Gilman’s “We Will Be All Right” is a very short, dark reflection on a future in which a gender-based pathogen kills men when their lovers conceive. The narrator is ready to meet her son’s girlfriend… as I said, it’s a short piece, and mostly a meditation, and quite effective in its
The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor 978-0765378385, $15.99, 432pp, tp) July 2018. Mary Robinette Kowal was writing about midcentury female NASA workers before they hit the pop culture mainstream. While Hidden Figures – both book and movie – brought our collective attention to the women who worked as ‘‘calculators’’ at NASA, Kowal started noodling around with the idea in 2012. Her ‘‘The Lady Astronaut of Mars’’ started life as
Finalists for the fifth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award have been announced: “Spun of Salt and Stone”, Deborah L. Davitt “The Lady of Pain”, Steve DuBois “Deny the World with a Thought”, Benjamin Scott Farthing “The Puzzle Vault”, Auston Habershaw “The Memory Bank & Trust”, Patrick Hurley “Ashes for Ashes”, Kevin Kauffmann “Luchadora”, Melissa Mead “The Deadliest Dish”, David Samuels “Ash-Eater”, Benjamin Tyler Smith “Dragon’s Hand”, David VonAllmen The contest
Winners of the Heinlein Society’s annual undergraduate scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year were announced July 7, 2018. This year’s winners are Carson Butler, Reese Caldwell, and Emma Sebesta. The scholarship awards $1,500 to each recipient. Butler received the Virginia Heinlein Memorial Scholarship, which is dedicated to female candidates majoring in engineering, math, or science. Caldwell received the Dr. Jerry Pournelle Memorial Scholarship, and Sebesta received the Dr. Yoji Kondo Memorial Scholarship.
The Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS) has announced the winner of the 2018 Prometheus Award for Best Novel, honoring works published in 2017 that “examine the meaning of freedom.” Best Novel Award WINNER: The Powers of the Earth, Travis J I Corcoran (Morlock) Drug Lord: High Ground, Doug Casey and John Hunt (High Ground) Torchship, Torchship Pilot, and Torchship Captain, Karl K. Gallagher (Kelt Haven) Darkship Revenge, Sarah Hoyt (Baen) The Corporation
Stephen King’s The Outsider remains in the top 5 on the four print lists compiled here. Meanwhile, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine has issued 20th-anniversary editions of the seven Harry Potter books, with new covers by Brian Selznick; two of them rank on the Publishers Weekly children’s list this week.
Laura Anne Gilman was born August 25, 1967 and grew up in New Jersey. She attended Skidmore, a liberal arts college in upstate New York, where she majored in English and history. She did internships at the Book of the Month Club and William Morrow while in college, and after graduation spent six months as an assistant at Putnam. She then made a lateral move to the Berkley Publishing Group
The 2018 SFWA Nebula Conference was held May 17-20 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center in humid PA for the second of two years. There were 356 registered members (including 18 who only attended the banquet), up from last year’s 307. The hotel was comfortable, with suitable mingling spaces, friendly staff, and nearby eateries. SFWA-organized tours brought attendees to Allegheny Observatory on Thursday evening. Other sightseeing options included the Andy
Greg Egan’s Dichronauts, Joe Hill’s Strange Weather, Fonda Lee’s Jade City, Charles Stross’ The Delirium Brief, and titles by Katherine Arden, Ruthanna Emrys, James Islington, Jay Kristoff, David D. Levine, Victor Milán, Rob Reid, Anthony Ryan, and S.M. Stirling.
New issues of Abyss & Apex, Apex, Aphelion, Aurealis, Clarkesworld, The Dark, GigaNotoSaurus, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Kaleidotrope, Lightspeed, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Nightmare, Shimmer, and Uncanny
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has announced the winners of the annual Rhysling Awards for SF, fantasy, and horror poetry in short and long form categories. This year’s winners are: SHORT POEM: First Place “Advice to a Six-Year-Old”, Mary Soon Lee (Star*Line 40.2) Second Place “How to Grieve: A Primer for Witches”, Sara Cleto (Mythic Delirium 5/17) Third Place “Gramarye”, F.J. Bergmann (Polu Texni 12/26/17) LONG POEM:
The British Fantasy Society has announced the shortlist for the 2018 British Fantasy Awards. The nominees are: Best Fantasy Novel (the Robert Holdstock Award) Age of Assassins, RJ Barker (Orbit) The Court of Broken Knives, Anna Smith Spark (HarperVoyager) The Ninth Rain, Jen Williams (Headline) Best Horror Novel (the August Derleth Award) The Boy on the Bridge, M.R. Carey (Orbit) The Changeling, Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau) Relics, Tim Lebbon (Titan) The
Black Chamber, S.M. Stirling (Ace 978-0399586231, $16.00, 400pp, tp). July 2018. I’ll confess I wasn’t expecting as many good things from S.M. Stirling’s Black Chamber as I actually found. I have a peculiar relationship with Stirling’s novels. I’ve read quite a few of them, starting with Island in the Sea of Time, and I liked them quite a bit more before I encountered the author on the internet, explaining history
Uncharted, by Kevin J. Anderson & Sarah A. Hoyt (Baen 978-1-4814-8323-0, $25, 272pp, hardcover) May 2018 American history is over five hundred years deep–much deeper, of course, if you venture beyond the European presence. The latest findings put the first human footprint in North America at 130,000 years ago. Given this vast tract of time, populated with myriad fascinating cultures and personages, knowable and conjecturable, it seems silly and shortsighted
The Book of Hidden Things, Francesco Dimitri. (Titan Books 978-1-785-65707-8, $14.95, 400pp, pb) July 2018. Francesco Dimitri is a well-regarded fantasy author in Italian. He’s published several novels and graphic novels, and his work has been adapted for film (La ragazza dei miei sogni/The girl of my dreams, 2017). The Book of Hidden Things is his first novel written in English, and it is ambitious in several directions. It’s set
Revenant Gun, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris 978-1781086070, $9.99, 400pp, pb). June 2018. Cover by Chris Moore. Revenant Gun is the third volume in Yoon Ha Lee’s (excellent) Machineries of Empire trilogy. It’s an untraditional sort of trilogy: while all of the volumes continue the same story, they do so with different approaches and different major characters. Where Ninefox Gambit, the first book, focused on Kel Cheris, a mathematically talented military
Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-fifth Annual Collection, Jeff VanderMeer’s revised Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, Francesco Dimitri’s The Book of Hidden Things, Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars, and titles by T.J. Berry, Rachel Caine, Larry Correia & John Ringo, Kurt Fawver, Kim Foster, Sam Hawke, Benedict Jacka, Sarah Kuhn, Christopher Ruocchio, Anthony Ryan, S.M. Stirling, Michael J. Sullivan, Michael Z. Williamson, and Micah
Summerland, Hannu Rajaniemi (Tor 978-1-250-17892-3, $25.99, 304pp, hc) June 2018. Those who are as impressed as I was with the coruscating style and dense information environment of Hannu Rajaniemi’s Quantum Thief trilogy might be a bit taken aback at the very different sort of world of his Summerland, which is essentially an espionage procedural set in 1938 Britain. It quickly becomes apparent that this isn’t our 1938, and Rajaniemi’s England
The 2020 Worldcon bid, NZ in 2020, has changed their proposed dates to July 29 – August 2, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand, due to a lack of facility availability for their original dates (August 12-16, 2020). The event would still be held at the TSB Bank Arena and Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Chair Norman Cates said, “We appreciate that this date change would make our Worldcon early compared to
For 20 years, privacy advocates have been sounding the alarm about commercial online surveillance, the way that companies gather deep dossiers on us to help marketers target us with ads. This pitch fell flat: by and large, people were skeptical of the efficacy of targeted advertising; the ads we got were rarely very persuasive, and when they did work, it was usually because the advertisers had figured out what we
New issues of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Black Static, Interzone, and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
» NY Times Book Review: Amal El-Mohtar reviews Claire North, Nicola Griffith, Rebecca Roanhorse, Eliot Peper » Wall Street Journal: Tom Shippey reviews Hannu Rajamiemi’s Summerland » Scott Edelman shares BBQ brisket with Matthew Kressel
Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press 978-1534413498, $27.99, 304pp, hc). June 2018. Like many of this year’s debuts, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning has a great deal of anticipatory hype to live up to. A fantasy published by a major press that features Native American mythology, written by a Native author, Trail of Lightning carries a weight of expectations for representation that most works by (non-queer, at least) white
Members of the children’s book industry have launched the “Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages” campaign to raise funds to oppose family separation immigration policies in the US. The campaign initially started with the goal of $42,000 to purchase a full-page ad in The New York Times Book Review, which it reached within 24 hours, and later extended the goal to $200,000 to be distributed among charities and organizations
Award winning editor and author Harlan Ellison, 84, died in his sleep on June 28, 2018. Harlan Jay Ellison was born May 27, 1934 in Cleveland OH. His first stories, “The Gloconda” and “The Sword of Parmagon”, appeared in 1949 in the Cleveland News. He attended Ohio State University from 1951-53 before being expelled and moved to New York City in 1955 where he lived in the same boarding house
Shelter, Dave Hutchinson (Solaris 978-1-78108-504-2, 304pp, £7.99, pb) June 2018. Cover by Sam Gretton. Dave Hutchinson’s new novel Shelter is what Brian Aldiss called a cozy catastrophe, though such stories were never truly cozy and not always a catastrophe. The question is, of course, why we might need another such catastrophe story, and why now? The answer lies not in finding a new way to tell an old story (though
The shortlist for the 2018 Prix Utopiales award has been announced. L’Or du diable, Andreas Eschbach (L’Atalante) Espace Lointain, Jaroslav Melnik (Agullo) L’âme des horloges, David Mitchell (de l’Olivier) Station: La chute, Al Robertson (Denoël) Amatka, Karin Tidbeck (La Volte) The winner of the Utopiales prize will be selected by jury and announced at the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, to be held October 31 – November 5, 2018 in
Regional winners for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize have been announced, including several titles of genre interest: “Ghillie’s Mum” by Lynda Clark is the winner for the Canada and Europe region; “The Divine Pregnancy in a Twelve-Year-Old Woman” by Sagnik Datta is the winner for the Asia region; and “Passage” by Kevin Hosein is the winner for the Caribbean region. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the
Worldcon 76 has released a voter packet with information on the 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards finalists. Members of Worldcon 76 can download the packet from the Worldcon 76 website. “Not all works shortlisted for the 1943 Retrospective Hugo Awards appear in the Retro-Hugo Voter Packet due to challenges with obtaining rights to distribute them.” Voting is open until July 31, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT. Ballots are available to Worldcon 76
The Bend at the End of the Road, Barry N. Malzberg (Fantastic Books 978-1-5154-1038-6, $13.99, 161pp, tp). May 2018. When I started reviewing for this magazine, the only instruction I recall getting from Charles Brown was ‘‘Don’t argue with the book.’’ I have tried to follow that dictum over the years, but it is very hard not to argue with Barry Malzberg’s The Bend at the End of the Road
Hannu Rajamiemi’s Summerland, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trial of Lightning, Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World, and titles by Laura Anne Gilman, Paul Jessup, Morgan Llywelyn, Pittacus Lore, James S. Murray & Darren Wearmouth, Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman, Philip Ridley, Patrick S. Tomlinson, and Alex White.
Tor.com Publishing will open to novella submissions for two weeks beginning July 30, 2018. Until the end of this open period, Tor.com Publishing will be considering novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words in both the science fiction and fantasy genres. If it’s speculative and fits the bill, we want to take a look at it. Lee Harris, Carl Engle-Laird, and Ruoxi Chen all actively request submissions from writers from
Clarkesworld 3/18 Lightspeed 3/18 F&SF 3-4/18 The best story in the March Clarkesworld, and one of the best stories published so far this year, is “The Persistence of Blood” by Juliette Wade. This is a novella set in the midst of a complex alien culture made up of several different, rigidly enforced castes (as far as I can tell, no humans appear in the story), with the protagonist, Selemei, a
Jim Butcher’s Brief Cases debuts on two more lists, while Stephen King’s The Outsider remains in the top 5 on all four print lists compiled here.
Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente (Saga Press 978-1-4814-9749-7, $19.99, 304pp, hc) April 2018. Strap in, kiddos. Cat Valente wants to take you on a wild, glitter-filled ride. You’ll know if you’re ready for it after you read the first sentence of Space Opera: Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the
The Genius Plague by David Walton (Pyr) is this year’s John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner for the best science fiction novel published in 2017, and “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” by Charlie Jane Anders (Global Dystopias) is the winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short fiction of 2017. Other finalists were: John W. Campbell Memorial Award The Rift, Nina Allan (Titan) Tropic of Kansas, Christopher Brown (HarperCollins)
The shortlist for the 2018 Prix Utopiales Jeunesse has been announced. The Rain, Virginia Bergin (Bayard) Les Puissants, tome 1: Esclaves, Vic James (Nathan) Nouvelle Sparte, Erik L’Homme (Gallimard Jeunesse) Star Trip, Éric Senabre (Didier jeunesse) Le Mort du Temps, Aurélie Wellenstein (Scrineo) The winner of the Utopiales “Youth Prize” will be selected by jury and announced at the Nantes International Science Fiction Festival, to be held October 31 – November 5, 2018. For
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, Alex White (Orbit 978-0-316-41206-3, $15.99, 470pp, tp). June 2018. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting from Alex White’s A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, but as it transpires, what I experienced is a lot weirder than I really anticipated. Good, but weird. White (Every Mountain Made Low, Alien: The Cold Forge) has written a compelling science
The Locus Science Fiction Foundation announced the winners of the 2018 Locus Awards during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 22-24, 2018: SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL WINNER: The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi (Tor US; Tor UK) Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK) Walkaway, Cory Doctorow (Tor; Head of Zeus) The Stars Are Legion, Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK) Provenance, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
No one goes to a Jurassic Park movie to experience brilliant acting performances or profound explorations of complex human relationships; they want to see dinosaurs, lots of dinosaurs, and in its two hours and eight minutes Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom provides more than enough of them. Further, after a slow-paced and meandering first hour that emphasizes the menace of an erupting volcano more than the menace of ravenous dinosaurs, the
The Freeze-Frame Revolution, by Peter Watts (Tachyon Publications 978-1-61696-252-4, $14.95, 192pp, trade paperback) June 2018 In 2014, I concluded my Locus Online review of Peter Watts’s Echopraxia by saying, “Peter Watts is some precisely engineered hybrid of Lucius Shepard and Gregory Benford, lyrical yet hard-edged, purveyor of sleek surfaces and also the ethical and spiritual contents inside.” I am happy to report, after a torturous wait of four years, that
The Outsider, Stephen King (Scribner 978-1-5011-8098-9, $30.00, 576pp, hc) May 2018. Stephen King’s last three published novels – excluding his collaborations with Richard Chizmar and his son Owen King – comprise a triptych informally known as the Bill Hodges trilogy, named for the retired police detective who is their main character. As a unit – and they are a unit, forged by Hodges’s recurring pas-de-deux through them with supernaturally endowed
Head On, John Scalzi (Tor 978-07-6538891-9,$25.99, 336pp, hc) April 2018. John Scalzi’s Head On picks up where Lock In left off, for the most part. FBI agent Chris Shane still has Haden’s Syndrome, a condition where an infected person’s body remains inert while his or her mind roams free in a robotlike machine called a threep. Chris’s partner Leslie Vann, who does not have Haden’s, still remains the more impulsive
Locus will present winners of the annual Locus Awards with a new trophy, designed by Francesca Myman with art by Shaun Tan. The trophy will be awarded starting with the 2018 Locus Awards, and replaces the previous plaque design. The 2018 Locus Awards will be held June 22-24, 2018 at the Best Western Executive Inn in Seattle WA. For more information, see the 2018 Locus Awards page. While you are
Annex, Rich Larson (Orbit 978-0-316-41654-2, $15.95, 336pp, tp) July 2018. By his own count, Rich Larson has published over 100 stories since 2012, with an impressive number of them making it into year’s best anthologies. That amounts to one of the more stunning debuts in recent SF, even as he’s largely been under the radar for major awards (possibly in part because of that very prolificity). This inevitably creates a
Alex Bledsoe, The Fairies of Sadieville (Tor 4/18) This is the sixth and final volume of the Tufa series, begun with The Hum and the Shiver (2011), about a hidden community of people descended from fairy folk living the modern Appalachian mountains. Film students Justin and Veronica discover a silent film that’s more than a century old, depicting a young woman transforming into a winged creature, and set off on
Meet Me in the Strange, Leander Watts (Meerkat 978-1-946154-15-6, $16.95, 234pp, hc) March 2018. This is one unique book. I was chapters into Meet Me in the Strange before I fully realized that the reviewer part of my brain needed to be turned off (stop noting names and locations, stop paying attention to setting descriptions and plot development) and I just needed to take the ride this book was offering.
Gary Westfahl’s “Modern Master of Science Fiction” volume about Arthur C. Clarke, and fiction by Siobhan Adcock, Demetra Brodsky, Terry Brooks, Mike Carey, Daniel Godfrey, TOBI Hirotaka, Tanya Huff, Greg Keyes, Todd McAulty, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., C.L. Polk, and Jeff Wheeler.
Ann Dávila Cardinal and J Tullos Hennig are the winners of the 2018 Older Writers Grant, given by the Speculative Literature Foundation (SLF). The Speculative Literature Foundation’s $500 Older Writers Grant is awarded annually to a writer who is fifty years of age or older at the time of grant application, and is intended to assist such writers who are just starting to work at a professional level. The SLF
Gnomon, Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann 978-1785151279, £14.99, 704pp, hc) November 2017. (Knopf 978-1524732080, $28.95, 688pp, hc) January 2018. I know I’m late to the work of Nick Harkaway. I’ve meant to read his fiction since the publication of The Gone-Away World back in 2008, I even bought the book, but, for whatever reason, never cracked open the covers. I was planning on picking up Gnomon, until I saw it was
Shimmer magazine has announced that it will close with the November 2018 issue, after 13 years of publication. A final anthology will be released in late 2018. Publisher Beth Wodzinski says, If you’re a reader — the site will stay up indefinitely, and we’ve got lots of great fiction for you to browse and buy. If you’re a subscriber with a subscription that goes past November, you’ll get a separate