Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 World Fantasy Award Nominees

Monday, July 11, 2016 0
(Via Tor.com)

Below are the nominees for the 2016 World Fantasy Awards. Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Novel
  • Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant (Knopf/Faber & Faber)
  • N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (Orbit)
  • Naomi Novik, Uprooted (Del Rey Books/Macmillan UK)
  • K. J. Parker, Savages (Subterranean Press)
  • Anna Smaill, The Chimes (Sceptre)
  • Paul Tremblay, A Head Full of Ghosts (William Morrow & Co.)
Long Fiction
  • Kelly Barnhill, The Unlicensed Magician (PS Publishing)
  • Usman T. Malik, “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn” (Tor.com, Apr. 22, 2015)
  • Kim Newman, “Guignol” (Horrorology, edited by Stephen Jones, Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Kelly Robson, “Waters of Versailles” (Tor.com, June 10, 2015)
  • Bud Webster, “Farewell Blues” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Jan./Feb. 2015)
Short Fiction
  • Selena Chambers, “The Neurastheniac” (Cassilda’s Song, ed. Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. Chaosium Inc)
  • Amal El-Mohtar, “Pockets” (Uncanny Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2015)
  • Sam J. Miller, “The Heat of Us: Notes Toward an Oral History” (Uncanny Magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2015)
  • Tamsyn Muir, “The Deepwater Bride” (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/Aug. 2015)
  • Alyssa Wong, “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” (Nightmare magazine, Oct. 2015)
Anthology
  • Ellen Datlow, ed., The Doll Collection (Tor Books)
  • S. T. Joshi, ed., Black Wings IV: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror (PS Publishing)
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, eds., She Walks in Shadows (Innsmouth Free Press)
  • Joseph S. Pulver, Sr., ed., Cassilda’s Song: Tales Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ King in Yellow Mythos (Chaosium Inc.)
  • Simon Strantzas, ed., Aickman’s Heirs (Undertow Publications)
Collection
  • C. S. E. Cooney, Bone Swans (Mythic Delirium Books)
  • Leena Krohn, Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction (Cheeky Frawg Books)
  • V. H. Leslie, Skein and Bone (Undertow Publications)
  • Kelly Link, Get in Trouble (Random House)
  • James Morrow, Reality by Other Means: The Best Short Fiction of James Morrow (Wesleyan University Press)
  • Mary Rickert, You Have Never Been Here (Small Beer Press)
Artist
  • Richard Anderson
  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Kathleen Jennings
  • Thomas S. Kuebler
Special Award – Professional
  • Neil Gaiman, Dave Stewart, and J. H. Williams III, The Sandman: Overture (Vertigo)
  • Stephen Jones, for The Art of Horror (Applause Theatre Book & Cinema Book Publishers)
  • Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons, The Wheel of Time Companion: The People, Places and History of the Bestselling Series (Tor Books)
  • Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre
  • Heather J. Wood, for Gods, Memes and Monsters: A 21st Century Bestiary (Stone Skin Press)
Special Award – Nonprofessional
  • Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies: Literary Adventure Fantasy
  • Jedediah Berry and Eben Kling, for The Family Arcana: A Story in Cards (Ninepin Press)
  • John O’Neill, for Black Gate: Adventures in Fantasy Literature
  • Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein, for Letters to Tiptree (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny Magazine
  • Helen Young, for Tales After Tolkien Society

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Books Read: June 2016

Wednesday, July 06, 2016 0
Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. The Unlicensed Magician, by Kelly Barnhill
2. Child of Flame, by Kate Elliott
3. A Song for No Man's Land, by Andy Remic
4. In the Hand of the Goddess, by Tamora Pierce
5. Penric's Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold
6. There Will Be War: Volume X, by Jerry Pournelle (editor)
7. Zero K, by Don DeLillo
8. East Side Stories, by Joseph Rodriguez
9. The Emperor's Railroad, by Guy Haley
10. The Fireman, by Joe Hill
11. I Know What I'm Doing, by Jen Kirkman
12. End of Watch, by Stephen King
13. Rise of the Rocket Girls, by Nathalia Holt

Best Book of the Month: Have you read the new Joe Hill novel? I didn't want The Fireman to end.

Disappointment of the Month: I've generally been a huge fan of Tor.com Publishing's novella line, and even the misses were solid efforts, but I just could not get into A Song for No Man's Land. WWI set trench warfare with werewolves should be something I'd dig into, but not this one. Despite my desire to read the entire line, I might be passing on Remic's forthcoming sequels.

Discovery of the Month: Nathalia Holt's look at the women who were doing the work of computers before there were actually computers at Jet Propulsion Labs before NASA was even a glimmer and rocketry was almost fringe science is something I want more of. I loved reading the stories of these women who helped build the space program through their work.

Worth Noting: Though he is noted for finishing otherwise great novels with endings that sort of fizzle out, Stephen King nailed a fairly note perfect conclusion to both End of Watch the novel as well as the overall Bill Hodges trilogy.

Gender Breakdown:  6 of the 13 books I read in June were written by women, which brings me to a perfectly even 43 out of 86 for the year. That sticks me right at 50%, which is a nice percentage to have. Since the only real goal that I have is to keep the number near a 50/50 split, I have finished the first six months of the year holding that line.


Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Books Read: May 2016

Thursday, June 09, 2016 1
Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.


1. The Art of Rube Goldberg, by Jessica George
2. The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson
3. Camber the Heretic, by Katherine Kurtz
4. Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire
5. This Is Mars, by Xavier Barral
6. The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle
7. Playground, by James Mollison
8. Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning, by Elizabeth Partridge
9. The Devil You Know, by K.J. Parker
10. A Criminal Magic, by Lee Kelly
11. An Apprentice to Elves, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
12. Wylding Hall, by Elizabeth Hand
13. Changeless, by Gail Carriger
14. Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick
15. 1634: The Ram Rebellion, by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce (editors)
16. The Aeronaut's Windlass, by Jim Butcher
17. Then Will the Great Ocean Wash Deep Above, by Ian Sales


Best Book of the Month: Every Heart a Doorway is everything I didn't know I wanted from a book. Read it. Then, read it again.

Disappointment of the Month: I've enjoyed all of Eric Flint's 1632 universe novels / stories I've read so far, but 1634: The Ram Rebellion was a bit of a slog. It's not a proper novel, but it is also not quite an anthology. It's more like a mosaic novel (like George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards series), where there is mostly a single storyline running through (the titular rebellion) - but the writing is generally weaker and the stories are much less interesting than anything that has come before.

Discovery of the Month: We're probably all familiar with Dorothea Lange's famous Migrant Mother photograph, but Patridge's part biography / part photo collection is an essential look at both the life and life work of a excellent and important photographer.

Worth Noting: Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City is every bit as good as everyone has said it was, and I really should have read it years ago. But, at least I did read it just in time to visit Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend and sort of recognize a couple of locations mentioned in the book.

Gender Breakdown: After the relative paucity of April reading, I somehow exploded with a 17 book month in May. 9 of those were written by women, which brings my total to 37 / 73 for the year, or just a smidge over 50% (50.68%). Since the only real goal that I have is to keep the number near a 50/50 split, I am so far on track to accomplish that.



Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April

Sunday, May 15, 2016

2015 Nebula Award Winners

Sunday, May 15, 2016 0
Picked this up from Locus, but it was all over the internet.

Below are the winners of the 2015 Nebula Awards.  Congratulations to all the winners (an an extra congratulations to Sarah Pinsker and Nnedi Okorafor - I LOVED those stories)

Novel: Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Novella: Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
Novelette: "Our Lady of the Open Road", by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov's June 2015)
Short Story: "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers", by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare Oct 2015)
Andre Norton Award: Updraft, by Fran Wilde (Tor)
Ray Bradbury Award: Mad Max: Fury Road
SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master: C.J. Cherryh

Friday, May 06, 2016

Hugo Award Updates: Naomi Kritzer, Lady Business

Friday, May 06, 2016 0
Since the original announcement of the Hugo Award finalists, both Black Gate and Thomas A. Mays declared their intention to decline their nomination / position on the final ballot.

MidAmeriConII has announced the new Hugo Award finalists taking those previously vacant spots.

Thomas A. Mays has withdrawn his short story "The Commuter". It will be replaced on the ballot by the story "Cat Pictures Please" by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015).

John O'Neill has withdrawn the fanzine Black Gate. It will be replaced on the ballot by Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan.

Congratulations to both Naomi Kritzer and Lady Business. 

The list of the finalists has been updated to reflect theses changes.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

2016 Locus Award Finalists

Wednesday, May 04, 2016 0
Locus announced the finalists for their annual Locus Award yesterday.

This is likely worth a longer discussion, but this year's Locus Awards are pretty close to what the Hugo Awards should have looked like in the absence of the Rabid Puppy participants voting a slate in apparent lockstep.

Granted, Locus splits Science Fiction and Fantasy, and from the best of my memory, if a book hits First Novel it will not also be in one of the two other categories (which allows Locus to spread the recognition around).

I've read nearly half of the fiction nominees, and they're almost all really darn good. I also seem to be in the minority on the the ones I didn't appreciate quite so much.

Now, there are things we can argue with because it isn't an awards list or a list of books at all if there isn't something to argue with. For example, the YA category features five books written by men even though a huuuuuuge number of YA novels are written by women. Further, Navah Wolfe points out that the nominees in this category are, across the board, writers best known for adult science fiction and fantasy.

In terms of the Locus Awards, I think this is a bug rather than a feature. Locus (and it's readers who voted / nominated), as a whole, is far more plugged into the adult SFF scene. Their nominees for Young Adult Book very strongly reflects this.

This isn't to say that these finalists are bad, because they very much are not, but they are also not reflective of the YA field.

If you want a good overview of what some of the best science fiction and fantasy is today, and what is happening and current in the genre, you can do far worse than reading the finalists for the 2016 Locus Awards.

SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL 
The Water Knife, Paolo Bacigalupi (Borzoi; Orbit UK)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Seveneves, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)
A Borrowed Man, Gene Wolfe (Tor)

FANTASY NOVEL 
Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard (Roc; Gollancz)
Wylding Hall, Elizabeth Hand (PS; Open Road)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

YOUNG ADULT BOOK 
Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Harper Voyager UK)
Half the World, Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey)
Harrison Squared, Daryl Gregory (Tor)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
The Shepherd’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper; Doubleday UK)

FIRST NOVEL 
Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (Ace; Macmillan UK)
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)
Signal to Noise, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris)
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury US; Bloomsbury UK)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com)

NOVELLA 
Penric’s Demon, Lois McMaster Bujold (self-published)
‘‘The Citadel of Weeping Pearls’’, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 10-11/15)
‘‘The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred’’, Greg Egan (Asimov’s 12/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Slow Bullets, Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

NOVELETTE 
‘‘The Heart’s Filthy Lesson’’, Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
‘‘And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead’’, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
‘‘Black Dog’’, Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning)
‘‘Folding Beijing’’, Hao Jingfang (Uncanny 1-2/15)
‘‘Another Word for World’’, Ann Leckie (Future Visions)

SHORT STORY 
‘‘Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight’’, Aliette de Bodard (Clarkesworld 1/15)
‘‘Madeleine’’, Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
‘‘Cat Pictures Please’’, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
‘‘The Dowager of Bees’’, China Miéville (Three Moments of an Explosion)
‘‘Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers’’, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

ANTHOLOGY 
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-second Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Old Venus, George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds. (Bantam)
Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories of Crime From and About Japan, Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington, eds. (Haikasoru)
Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, Nisi Shawl & Bill Campbell, eds. (Rosarium)
Meeting Infinity, Jonathan Strahan, ed. (Solaris US; Solaris UK)

COLLECTION
The Best of Gregory Benford, Gregory Benford (Subterranean)
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, Neil Gaiman (Morrow)
The Best of Nancy Kress, Nancy Kress (Subterranean)
Dancing Through the Fire, Tanith Lee (Fantastic Books)
Three Moments of an Explosion, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey 2016)

MAGAZINE 
Asimov’s
Clarkesworld
F&SF
File 770
Tor.com

PUBLISHER 
Baen
Gollancz
Orbit
Tor
Subterranean

EDITOR 
John Joseph Adams
Ellen Datlow
Gardner Dozois
David G. Hartwell
Jonathan Strahan

ARTIST 
Galen Dara
Julie Dillon
Bob Eggleton
John Picacio
Michael Whelan

NON-FICTION 
The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks, Simone Caroti (McFarland)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Edward James (University of Illinois Press)
Letters to Tiptree, Alisa Krasnostein & Alexandra Pierce, eds. (Twelfth Planet)
Frederik Pohl, Michael R. Page (University of Illinois Press)
Ray Bradbury, David Seed (University of Illinois Press)

ART BOOK
Julie Dillon’s Imagined Realms, Book 2: Earth and Sky, Julie Dillon (self-published)
Women of Wonder: Celebrating Women Creators of Fantastic Art, Cathy Fenner, ed. (Underwood)
Spectrum 22: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, John Fleskes, ed. (Flesk)
Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art & Design, Steven Heller, ed. (Pomegranate)
The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume One: Lands & Legends, Malcolm R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer (Michael Publishing)

Monday, May 02, 2016

Books Read: April 2016

Monday, May 02, 2016 0
Now that another month has come, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. Runtime, by SB Divya
2. The Tempering of Men, by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear
3. Central Sation, by Lavie Tidhar
4. The Crimson Campaign, by Brian McClellan
5. Nemesis Games, by James S.A. Corey



Best Book of the Month: Because I take so long in between reading each volume, I forget just how good The Expanse is - both as a series and as individual volumes. Despite separating the crew of the Rocinate, Nemesis Games holds together and feels both broad and tight. And wonderful.

Disappointment of the Month: Despite reading the praise for years, I've not read Lavie Tidhar's work before. I had reasonably high expectations and despite the praise this particular book is receiving, I bounced off of Central Station. I expect this is a case of wrong book / wrong reader. Or right book, / wrong reader. Whichever is most appropriate for the situation.

Discovery of the Month: None. Having only read five books this month, it is difficult to discover much.

Worth Noting: In terms of reading, this was a very down month. Due to a temporary change in my work schedule, I didn't have my usual lunchtime reading hour. To add to that, we were doing some work to the family room, so I lost some time in the evenings after we put the kid to bed where I might be able to do some additional reading. I hope / expect that I'll get more done in May. Five books just seems extra disappointing.

Gender Breakdown: With such a small volume of books read, it is difficult to analyze much of what happened except to say that 2 out of the 5 books were written by women. This brings my total to 28 / 56, or an even 50%. Since the only real goal that I have is to keep the number near a 50/50 split, I am so far on track to accomplish that.



Previous Reads
January
February 
March
 
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