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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The Municipalists, Seth Fried (Penguin 975-0-14-313373-5, $16.00, 268pp, tp) March 2019. Cover design by Lucia Bernard.
Imagine Metropolis, the fictional comic book-based city that feels loosely based on Manhattan. Now imagine, instead of Superman flying around and saving the day, the hero is a city planner, one who only feels satisfaction when the sewer system’s efficiency is improved by 4.73 percent, which is .03 percent above requirements. In Seth ...Read More
Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected, Nnedi Okorafor (Simon & Schuster 978-1-5011-9547-2, $16.99, 96pp, hc) June 2019.
Nnedi Okorafor’s surprisingly and sometimes achingly personal account of her battle with scoliosis and post-surgical paralysis, Broken Places & Outer Spaces, isn’t exactly a literary memoir, but one anecdote strikes me as ironically emblematic of her unique relationship with SF: when she was hospitalized, she was ...Read More
Spellswept and Snowspelled, Stephanie Burgis; Emma Newman, narrator (Tantor Audio 978-1-40012121-2, $19.99, digital download, 7.25 hr., unabridged) May 2019.
I have a great fondness for those stories where the romance and the fantasy genres kiss and commingle. Snowspelled, book one of the Harwood Spellbook, and its prequel novella, Spellswept, definitely hit that sweet spot for me.
This previously self-published series is set in an alternate world ...Read More
The Last Supper Before Ragnarok, Cassandra Khaw (Abaddon Books 978-1-78108-645-2, $11.99, 352pp, pb) June 2019.
What an odd book Cassandra Khaw has written. It’s extraordinarily immediate, inherently diverse, jammed with whip-fast wisecracks, and peppered with language so precise and sophisticated it awes. But the book is also chaotic, unevenly characterized, and weakly plotted. The difficulty comes in judging the book as a whole, because its elements divide so steeply ...Read More
Mission Critical, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris 978-1781085806) July 2019.
Jonathan Strahan’s new anthology is Mission Critical. The theme is characters responding to desperate situations, when something goes pear-shaped. Oddly, many of the stories, all well executed, seem a bit too much the same in adhering to the theme. The best are “Hanging Gardens” by Gregory Feeley, and “Cyclopterus” by Peter Watts. Feeley’s ...Read More
As Good as New, Charlie Jane Anders; Frankie Corzo, narrator (Macmillan Audio 978-1-25062443-7, $1.99, digital download, 0.75 hr., unabridged) August 2019. The President’s Brain Is Missing, John Scalzi; P.J. Ochlan, narrator (Macmillan Audio 978-1-25062438-3, $1.99, digital download, 0.75 hr., unabridged) August 2019. This World Is Full of Monsters, Jeff VanderMeer; Vikas Adam, narrator (Macmillan Audio 978-1-25062445-1, $1.99, digital download, 1.5 hr., unabridged) August 2019. Warm Up, ...Read More
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Black Static 7-8/19 Uncanny 7-8/19 Nightmare 8/19, 9/19 The Dark 7/19, 8/19 Cemetery Dance 7/19
An outstanding issue of Black Static (#70) leads off with Ralph Robert Moore‘s novelette “I Write Your Name“. Roger was 14 when he met infant Mia. They meet again when Roger turns out to be 30-year-old Mia’s next-door neighbor – not that they recall their initial encounter. They fall in love and ...Read More
The China Science Fiction Research Institute was jointly established by Sichuan University, the Sichuan Association for Science and Technology, and Science Fiction World magazine with “the aim of supporting the development of the sci-fi industry and related literary and artistic endeavours,” and was announced during the fifth China Science Fiction Conference in Chengdu, China. Chengdu is currently supporting a bid to host the 2023 Worldcon.
The institute will also publish ...Read More
Alison Scott is the winner of the 2019 Rotsler Award for “long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community.” The award was announced during Loscon 46, held November 29 – December 1, 2019 at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles CA.
The award is sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests, and includes an honorarium of $300 and a plaque. ...Read More
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
Wounds, Nathan Ballingrud (Saga Press 978-1-534-44992-3, $26.99, 288pp, hc) April 2019.
Wounds, Nathan Ballingrud’s stellar sophomore collection, is bracketed by a pair of stories concerning Hell. In “The Atlas of Hell”, an antiquarian bookseller is sent by a local gangster deep into the Louisiana bayou to retrieve the titular object; while in “The Butcher’s Table”, a group of 18th-century diabolists undertake the perilous sea voyage to the near ...Read More
Vultures, Chuck Wendig (Saga 978-1481448772, $27.99, 416pp, hc) January 2019.
Chuck Wendig’s Vultures is the sixth and final book in his Miriam Black series. If you’re already familiar with this “take-no-shit, give-no-fucks kinda lady,” as she describes herself, you know if her foul mouth and pitch-black sass are your jam. Wendig sticks the landing on the series – and, possibly, sets up a tangential new series, should he so ...Read More
Aconyte Books, the fiction publishing imprint of Asmodee Entertainment, made a multi-year deal with Marvel Entertainment to publish tie-in novels based on Marvel Comics properties. Publisher Marc Gascoigne says, “The Marvel comic book universe has featured a host of great characters and storylines crying out to be told over the years, and now is the time to step into the spotlight. You can look out for legends from Asgard, several ...Read More
Ivory Apples, Lisa Goldstein (Tachyon 978-1-61696-298-2, $15.95, 276pp, tp) September 2019.
In a career now well into its fourth decade, Lisa Goldstein has made something of a habit of confounding expectations: she made a stunning debut with her Holocaust fantasy The Red Magician, veered off into student revolutions and Surrealism in The Dream Years, dabbled with dystopia in A Mask for the General and her own brand ...Read More
To Be Taught, If Fortunate, Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton 978-1-473697164, £12.99, 140pp, hc) August 2019. (HarperVoyager 978-0-062-93601-1, $12.99, 176pp, tp) September 2019.
I wish I had enjoyed Becky Chambers’s To Be Taught, If Fortunate nearly as much. Where Chambers’s previous works (The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, and Record of a Spaceborn Few) took place in her ...Read More
The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa (Pantheon 978-1-101-87060-0, $25.95, 288pp, hc) August 2019.
The Memory Police is, by my count, the fifth book by Yoko Ogawa to be translated into English (all by Stephen Snyder). These include The Diving Pool: Three Novellas, which was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award back in 2008. While it’s only a small slice of a career that spans three decades and the publication ...Read More
CoNZealand, the 78th Worldcon to be held July 29 – August 2, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand, has opened the competition to design the base for the 2020 Hugo and 1945 Retro Hugo Awards. The competition is open to artists “living and working in New Zealand.” The deadline to submit proposals is January 17, 2020, with a winner to be selected by early February.
The winner will receive a membership ...Read More
Analog magazine is celebrating its 90th anniversary with “An Astounding 90 Years of Analog Science Fiction and Fact: The Fourth Annual City Tech Science Fiction Symposium”, to be held in conjunction with City Tech College on December 12, 2019 in New York NY.
There will be an author reading and panel, an editorial panel including Trevor Quachri and Stanley Schmidt, a keynote speech from Michael F. Flynn, and various presentations ...Read More
Escaping Exodus, Nicky Drayden (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-286773-5, $15.99, 300pp, tp) October 2019.
On a generation ship, two young people from different classes meet and fall in love. One rises, one falls, and their complex and forbidden relationship causes a major rupture in the society. This is a classic SF trope: Drayden takes it to new places.
In Escaping Exodus, people use a pod of space whales as generation ...Read More
The Financial Times has released its Books of the Year 2019 lists, selected by “FT commentators, critics and guests.” The Best Books of 2019: Science Fiction were chosen by James Lovegrove:
- Exhalation, Ted Chiang (Picador)
- The Warehouse, Rob Hart (Bantam)
- Always North, Vicki Jarrett (Unsung Stories)
- Cold Storage, David Koepp (HQ)
- Emily Eternal, M.G. Wheaton (Hodder & Stoughton)
While you are here, please take a ...Read More
Dream Foundry, a “non-profit dedicated to bolstering the careers of nascent professionals working with the speculative arts,” has announced the winners of its inaugural writing contest, “open to anyone with a completed short story who had not yet been professionally paid for their work”:
- First place: Jamie Adams
- Second place: Claire Whitmore
- Third place: Rose Wachowski
- Honorable mention: Samantha Lynne Sargent
The contest coordinator was William Ledbetter. Judges for 2019
The winners of the Deutscher Phantastik Preis were announced on November 23, 2019 during BuchBerlin in Berlin, Germany.
Best Novel in German
- Vermächtnis der Grimms – Wer hat Angst vorm bösen Wolf?, Nicole Böhm (Drachenmond)
Best Debut Novel in German
- Der fünfte Magier: Schneeweiß, Christine Weber (self-published)
Best YA Novel in German
- Loa – Die weiße Mambo, Petra Reneé Meineke (Sad Wolf)
Best International Novel
- Elfenkrone [The
Writer Aidan Moher has reported on Twitter that he and all other freelancers writing for the Barnes & Noble Sci Fi and Fantasy Blog have been let go, effective immediately:
All freelancers at B&N SFF Blog were informed today they’d no longer be contracting work and to invoice for outstanding work immediately. I’ve LOVED my time writing for @BNSciFi, and I’m bummed to see it come to an end.
Writer ...Read More
Echoes: The Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Saga 978-1-53441-346-7, $32.99, 816pp, hc) August 2019.
Ellen Datlow has delved into ghost story-themed anthologies twice before: the all-original The Dark: New Ghost Stories in 2003 and Hauntings, a reprint compilation, in 2013. This massive (over 200,000 words in 816 pages, 30 stories) tome is one of the best works yet by Datlow – and, considering her stellar ...Read More