Monday, December 12, 2016

Books Read: November 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016 0
Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. City of Wolves, by Willow Palacek
2. Nightshades, by Melissa F. Olson
3. The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan
4. Winter Tide, by Ruthanna Emrys
5. Ceteganda, by Lois McMaster Bujold
6. The Ghoul King, by Guy Haley
7. A City Dreaming, by Daniel Polansky
8. Passing Strange, by Ellen Klages
9. Binti: Home, by Nnedi Okorafor
10. The Fortress at the End of Time, by Joe M. McDermott
11. Elysium, by Jennifer Marie Brissett
12. Hammers on Bone, by Cassandra Khaw
13. Cold Counsel, by Chris Sharp
14. Another Brooklyn, by Jaqueline Woodson
15. Ethan of Athos, by Lois McMaster Bujold
16. Babylon's Ashes, by James S.A. Corey
17. Idle Ingredients, by Matt Wallace
18. Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers


Best Book of the Month: Any month I can read a Matt Wallace novella is a good month. I love his Sin du Jour and Wallace's forthcoming Idle Ingredients is one to wait for.

Disappointment of the Month: As much as I loved Daniel Polansky's novella The Builders, I hated his novel A City Dreaming. It was so disjointed and reminiscent in some ways of A Confederacy of Dunces - which many people would think is a complement, but I HATE A Confederacy of Dunces.

Discovery of the Month: So, I'm not a Lovecraft reader and generally don't care about anything that touches on Lovecraftian mythos - but Ruthanna Emrys' Winter Tide is a beautiful and wonderful and fantastic novel. Check it out this coming March.

Worth Noting: November was a very heavy month on Tor.com novellas. I don't know how many more months I expect to get through 18 books.

Gender Breakdown: 10 of the 18 books I read in November were written by women. This brings my total to 85 out of 155 and sneaks the percentage up to 54.83%. With one month left in the year I expect to end a second year with at least half the books I've read written by women.


Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May 
June 
July
August
September 
October

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Books Read: October 2016

Wednesday, November 02, 2016 0
Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. Heartless, by Gail Carriger
2. The Jewel and Her Lapidary, by Fran Wilde
3. Lions, by Bonnie Nadzam
4. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
5. Girls of Fire, by Robin Wasserman
6. The Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis
7. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang
8. The Vor Game, by Lois McMaster Bujold
9. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
10. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett
11. A Thousand Words for Stranger, by Julie Czerneda
12. Infomocracy, by Malka Older
13. Spiderlight, by Adrian Tchaikovsky
14. Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera

Best Book of the Month: One of my most anticipated novels of the year was Malka Older's Infomocracy and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint. I don't think it was quite was I expected, not that I'm at all sure what I did expect, but I couldn't stop thinking about Infomocracy any time I had to put the book down. It's also interesting reading the book during the closing days of this election cycle in the United States, but Older's look at how information and elections are traded at manipulated at both a global and a micro scale is friggin fascinating and intense. More, please.

Disappointment of the Month: Having heard such good things about Fran Wilde's Updraft, I was looking forward to reading this novella of hers - and somehow, I didn't care. I don't know that there was anything particularly wrong with it, but somehow it didn't grab me. I've noticed that other people who loved Updraft didn't connect with the Jewel and her Lapidary, so I'll still give Updraft a shot one day. It's just farther down my to-read list now.

Discovery of the Month: I've somehow never read Adrian Tchaivosky before despite having a few of his novels (Shadows of the Apt) on my bookshelf for years as review copies. Tor.com Publishing's release of Spiderlight was a more bite sized opportunity to jump into a standalone and - it's compelling with a cast of really distasteful characters, the heroes I mean. It's very Tolkien-esque / standard epic fantasy feeling as the core of the novel, with heroes of the Light questing out to serve a prophecy and defeat the Dark Lord - except the heroes are collectively all assholes and not in the charming asshole sort of way. They're pretty shitty people. Despite that, Thchaivoksy's storytelling is compelling.

Worth Noting: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry was a complete charmer. My wife read it, immediately handed it to me and I read the first chapter. I didn't want to put the book down. I'm not sure what, specifically, I loved about it so much that I could put into words, but it was a friggin delightful book.

Gender Breakdown: 11 of the 14 books I read in October were written by women, which is likely my strongest month of the year. This brings my total to 75 out of 137 and increases the percentage to 54.74%. With two months left in the year, I feel good about ending the year with at least half the books I've read being written by women.



Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May 
June 
July
August
September

Monday, October 03, 2016

Books Read: September 2016

Monday, October 03, 2016 2
Now that another month has come and gone (and we're halfway through yet another), let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. Everything's Eventual, by Stephen King
2. The Best Team Money Can Buy, by Molly Knight
3. The Lost Child of Lychford, by Paul Cornell
4. Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day, by Seanan McGuire
5. Tripwire, by Lee Child
6. Behind the Throne, by K.B. Wagers
7. The Girls, by Emma Cline
8. Poisoned Blade, by Kate Elliott
9. Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler
10. The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin
11. War Porn, by Roy Scranton
12. Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
13. Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch
14. Pieces of Hate, by Tim Lebbon
15. The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy

Best Book of the Month: The review is pending, but The Obelisk Gate is the best book I've read so far this year, let alone this month.

Disappointment of the Month: Depends how you want to look at this. As a whole, I've thoroughly enjoyed the Tor.com Novella line, so finding even one that doesn't quite hit is a disappointment (most recently Pieces of Hate), but I think the real disappointment has to be Roy Scranton's War Porn - a novel which was very well received on publication and I found it too disjointed to actually tell a coherent story. As three discrete novellas, I think I would have appreciated the novel far more. Perhaps the overlap of the stories was meant to be more to show the shape of the war and how people back home / soldiers / Iraqis interacted and dealt with the war, but Scranton's novel never quite came together for me.

Discovery of the Month: I expect to read much more from K.B. Wagers. I didn't review Behind the Throne because one of our other Nerds of a Feather reviewers already took the novel on. I found that I would have given the same exact score (7/10), but the review would have read much more positively. I thought Behind the Throne was delightful and fast paced and an overall kick ass novel. Loved the setting, loved the voice, loved Hail as a lead character and a source of introduction to that world - I want to see more. Good thing, there's going to be at least one more book.

Worth Noting: It won't be published until January, but keep an eye out for Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day from Seanan McGuire. It's really friggin good.

Gender Breakdown: 9 of the 15 books I read in August were written by women, which brings my total to 64 out of 123. The percentage continues to climb back to 52.03% through nine months.



Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May 
June 
July
August

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Books Read: August 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 0
Now that another month has come and gone (and we're halfway through yet another), let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. Pride's Spell, by Matt Wallace
2. Borderline, by Mishell Baker
3. Hamilton: A Revolution, by Lin Manuel Miranda & Jeremy McCarter
4. The Heart, by Maylis de Kerangal
5. Deep South, by Nevada Barr
6. The Core of the Sun, by Johanna Sinisalo
7. A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
8. A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson
9. The Race, by Nina Allan
10. The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo, by Amy Schumer

Best Book of the Month: I don't know how to write about this novel featuring chili peppers as a controlled narcotic in a intensely policed Sweden, but The Core of the Sun was amazing.

Disappointment of the Month: None.

Discovery of the Month: After not really appreciating Kai Ashante Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, I very much enjoyed his A Taste of Honey, a story which is so much more a tighter romance than the swords and sorcery of the previous novella.

Worth Noting: You're all reading Matt Wallace's Sin du Jour novellas from Tor.com, right? They are so freaking good and Pride's Spell is no exception.

Gender Breakdown: 7 of the 10 books I read in August were written by women, which brings my total to 55 out of 108 for the year. The percentage has now pushed back over 50% to 50.92% through eight months.





Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May 
June 
July

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Books Read: July 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016 0
Wow, folks, I'm really late on this. But - Now that another month has come and gone, let's take a look at the books I read last month.


1. The Complete Peanuts: 1999-2000, by Charles M. Schulz
2. Flesh and Wires, by Jackie Hatton
3. Consequence, by Eric Fair
4. A Time of Exile, by Katharine Kerr
5. The Sorcerer's Daughter, by Terry Brooks
6. Red Rising, by Pierce Brown
7. Hit, by Delilah S. Dawson
8. Blameless, by Gail Carriger
9. The Operators, by Michael Hastings
10. Dark Run, by Mike Brooks
11. Storm Front, by Jim Butcher
12. Roses and Rot, by Kat Howard

Best Book of the Month: Flesh and Wires. I could read another hundred pages of this and only hope that Jackie Hatton plans to write more - whether in this particular setting or elsewhere.

Disappointment of the Month: None

Discovery of the Month: The only previous Dresden Files novel I had read was last year's Hugo nominated Skin Job. Since I enjoyed that book, I decided to go back and start the series from the beginning. I had heard the first several novels were noticeably weaker, but I did very much enjoy Storm Front, though there was a bit of an odd quiet sexism running through Harry Dresden that I didn't remember from book 15 in the series.

Worth Noting: I don't remember a time in my life when I wasn't reading Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strips. Fantagraphics have collected the full 50 year run of Peanuts and have been releasing them in volumes collecting two years at a time, two volumes per year. So, I've been re-reading (and discovering strips I had never seen before) these collections for the last 13 years. And now...I'm done. Charles Schulz passed away in early 2000, so there haven't been any new strips for the last 16 years, but now there is also no more new Peanuts for me to discover either. Once again, I am sad.

Gender Breakdown: 5 of the 12 books I read in July were written by women, which brings my total to 48 out of 98 for the year. That's 48.98% and is down from the perfect 50% the first six months of the year brought me. If I keep bouncing on either side of the 50/50 line, I'll be content, but I'll be happiest if I land on the 50%+ side.


Previous Reads
January
February 
March
April  
May 
June

Monday, August 01, 2016

Hugo Awards 2016: My Final Ballot

Monday, August 01, 2016 0
Now that the deadline has passed and I have done all the Hugo reading and consuming that I am going to do this year, the final ballot I submitted is below.  The full list of nominees can be found here.

Best Novel (my thoughts)
1. The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin
2. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
3. Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
4. Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson
5. The Aeronaut's Windlass, by Jim Butcher

Best Novella (my thoughts)
1. Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor
2. The Builders, by Daniel Polansky
3. Penric's Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold
4. Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds
5. Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson

Best Novelette (my thoughts)
1. "Obits", by Stephen King
2. "And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of the Dead", by Brooke Bolander
3. "Folding Beijing", by Hao Jingfang
4. "Flashpoint: Titan", by Cheah Kai Wai
5. "What Price Humanity?", by David VanDyke

Best Short Story (my thoughts)
1. "Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer
2. "Seven Kill Tiger", by Charles Shao
3. "Asymmetrical Warefare", by S.R. Algernon
4. No Award

Best Related Work
No Vote

Best Graphic Story (my thoughts)
1. Invisible Republic: Vol 1
2. Erin Dies Alone
3. The Divine
4. Sandman: Overture
5. No Award

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form (my thoughts)
1. The Martian
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. Ex Machina
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form
No Vote

Best Editor: Short Form
1. Neil Clarke
2. John Joseph Adams
3. Ellen Datlow
4. Sheila Williams
5. Jerry Pournelle

Best Editor: Long Form
1. Liz Gorinksky
2. Sheila Gilbert
3. Toni Weisskopf
4. No Award

Best Professional Artist
1. Abigail Larson
2. Michal Karcz
3. Larry Rostant
4. Larry Elmore
5. No Award

Best Semiprozine
1. Uncanny Magazine
2. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
3. Strange Horizons
4. Daily Science Fiction
5. Sci Phi Journal

Best Fanzine (my thoughts)
1. Lady Business
2. File 770
3. Subversive SF
4. Castalia House Blog
5. Tangent Online

Best Fancast (my thoughts)
1. Cane and Rinse
2. HelloGreedo
3. The Rageaholic
4. 8-4 Play
5. Tales to Terrify

Best Fan Writer
No Vote

Best Fan Artist
1. Matthew Callahan
2. disse86
3. Christian Quinot
4. No Award

John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer
1. Andy Weir
2. Alyssa Wong
3. Pierce Brown
4. Sebastiel de Castell
5. Brian Neiemeier

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

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Hugo Award Nominees

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 0

Below are the finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards. Congratulations to all the nominees

Update 5/6/2015: Two nominees on the final ballot declined their nominations. MidAmericonII has replaced them on the ballot.

Best Novel (3695 Ballots)
The Aeronauts Windlass, by Jim Butcher (Roc)
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

Best Novella (2416 Ballots)
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
The Builders, by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com Publishing)
Penric's Demon, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum)
Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson (Dragonsteel Entertainment)
Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)

Best Novelette (1975 Ballots)
And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead”, by Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
Folding Beijing”, by Hao Jingfang, (Uncanny 1-2/15)
“Obits”, by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
“What Price Humanity?”, by David VanDyke (There Will Be War: Volume X)
“Flashpoint: Titan”, by Cheah Kai Wai (There Will Be War: Volume X)

Best Short Story (2451 Ballots)
Asymmetrical Warfare”, by S. R. Algernon (Nature 3/15)
"Cat Pictures Please", by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
The Commuter, by Thomas A. Mays (Stealth)
“Seven Kill Tiger”, by Charles Shao (There Will Be War: Volume X)
If You Were an Award, My Love”, by Juan Tabo & S. Harris (voxday.blogspot.com 6/15)
Space Raptor Butt Invasion, by Chuck Tingle (self-published)

Thomas A. Mays declined his nomination. Naomi Kritzer's "Cat Pictures Please" has been added to the final ballot.

Best Related Work (2080 Ballots)
Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986, by Marc Aramini (Castalia House)
SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police, by Vox Day (Castalia House)
Safe Space as Rape Room”, by Daniel Eness (castaliahouse.com)
The Story of Moira Greyland”, by Moira Greyland (askthebigot.com)
The First Draft of My Appendix N Book”, by Jeffro Johnson (castaliahouse.com)

Best Graphic Story (1838 Ballots)
The Divine, written by Boaz Lavie, art by Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka
Erin Dies Alone, written by Grey Carter, art by Cory Rydell
Full Frontal Nerdity, by Aaron Williams
Invisible Republic: Volume 1, written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman
The Sandman: Overture, written by Neil Gaiman, art by J.H, Williams III

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form (2904 Ballots)
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form (2219 Ballots)
Doctor Who: Heaven Sent
Grimm: Headache
Jessica Jones: aka Smile
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic: The Cutie Map
Supernatural: Just My Imagination

Best Editor: Short Form (1891 Ballots)
John Joseph Adams
Neil Clarke
Ellen Datlow
Jerry Pournelle
Sheila Williams

Best Editor: Long Form (1764 Ballots)
Vox Day
Sheila E. Gilbert
Liz Gorinsky
Jim Minz
Toni Weisskopf

Best Professional Artist (1481 Ballots)
Lars Braad Anderson
Larry Elmore
Abigail Larson
Michal Karcz
Larry Rostant

Best Semiprozine (1457 Ballots)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Daily Science Fiction
Sci Phi Journal
Strange Horizons
Uncanny Magazine

Best Fanzine (1455 Ballots)
Black Gate
Castalia House Blog
File 770
Lady Business
Subversive SF
Tangent Online

The editors of Black Gate have declined their nomination. Lady Business has been added to the final ballot.

Best Fancast (1267 Ballots)
8-4 Play
Cane and Rinse
HelloGreedo
The Rageaholic
Tales to Terrify

Best Fan Writer (1568 Ballots)
Douglas Ernst
Mike Glyer
Morgan Holmes (Castalia House Blog, Sundays)
Jeffro Johnson
Shamus Young

Best Fan Artist (1073 Ballots)
Matthew Callahan
disse86
Kukuruyo
Christian Quinot
Steve Stiles

John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1922 Ballots)
Pierce Brown
Sebastiel De Castell
Brian Neimeier
Andy Weir
Alyssa Wong


As a side note, I expect to have some of my preliminary thoughts up in the next couple of days, either here or at Nerds of a Feather.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Books Read: March 2016

Wednesday, April 06, 2016 2
Now that we're done with March, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. Bands of Mourning, by Brandon Sanderson
2. The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Luiselli
3. The Warrior's Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold
4. Bats of the Republic, by Zachary Thomas Dodson
5. Wings of Sorrow and Bone, by Beth Cato
6. Envy of Angels, by Matt Wallace
7. Domnall and the Borrowed Child, by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
8. Patchwerk, by David Tallerman
9. Ban en Banlieue, by Bhanu Kapil
10. Of Sorrow and Such, by Angela Slatter
11. The Last Witness, by KJ Parker
12. Perfect State, by Brandon Sanderson
13. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty (unfinished)
14. The Absconded Ambassador, by Michael R. Underwood
15. Lustlocked, by Matt Wallace
16. All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders
17. Meeting Infinity, by Jonathan Strahan (editor)
18. Forest of Memory, by Mary Robinette Kowal
19. Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold


Best Book of the Month: Even though I did not read the reviews, I could not avoid seeing the massive hype for Charlie Jane Anders' debut novel All the Birds in the Sky. I was convinced there was no way it could live up to that hype. The deeper I read into the novel, the more impressed I was and the more I wanted to see how Anders could possibly wrap it up. She stuck the landing.

Disappointment of the Month: My disappointment is for the collective of this year's Tournament of Books. While I've enjoyed reading the various judgments and playing along at home with my wife, there have been far fewer books this year which I've enjoyed or even appreciated.

Discovery of the Month: Matt Wallace's novellas are batshit insane and absolutely fantastic. Everyone should be reading his Sin du Jour. Start with Envy of Angels, then don't stop.

Worth Noting: This month's count is bolstered by a whole lot of novellas. If you're wondering how I count books, if it is published as an independent volume, I count it as a book I've read (see, Tor.com Publishing's novella line or Brandon Sanderson's Perfect State). However, if it is only available as part of a collection or in a magazine, it doesn't count as a distinct book even if the page count is just as long as those published on its own. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Gender Breakdown: March was a reasonably strong month, with 9 out of 19 books written by women. This brings my total to 26 / 51, or 50.98%.  It's a small drop, but it's also a small sample amount. The numbers should solidify in the coming months. While I do not a have specific goal this year to read more books written by women than those written by men, I would like to at least keep the breakdown near a 50/50 split. Thus far I am on track to accomplish that.



Previous Reads
January
February 

Friday, April 01, 2016

My 2016 Hugo Nomination Ballot

Friday, April 01, 2016 1
Now that the nominations window has closed, here is my ballot for the 2016 Hugo Awards. I'm sure that you have all been clamoring to see how I nominated.

Novel
Black Wolves, by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Orbit)
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)

Novella
“Ur”, by Stephen King (Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing)
The Builders, by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com Publishing)
Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
Envy of Angels, by Matt Wallace (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette
“And the Balance in Blood”, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 7, November 2015)
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, by Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus)
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss”, by David Brin (Old Venus)
“Obits”, by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
“Our Lady of the Open Road”, by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, June 2015)

Short Story
“The Light Brigade”, by Kameron Hurley (Lightspeed, November 2015) – published on Patreon 2015
“Cat Pictures Please”, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
“Hello, Hello”, by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions, 2015)
“Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”, by Sunny Moraine (Cyborgology, June 2, 2015)
“Tear Tracks”, by Malka Older (Tor.com, October 21, 2015)

Graphic Story
Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine (Vol 1), by Kelly Sue DeConnick
The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud
Lazarus: Conclave (Vol 3), by Greg Rucka
Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max (Vol 2), by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen
Stand Still. Stay Silent, by Minna Sundberg

Related Work
You’re Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day
Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual Dictionary, by Michael Klastorin
Rocket Talk Podcast, hosted by Justin Landon
A History of Epic Fantasy, by Adam Whitehead
Speculative Fiction 2014, by Renay Williams and Shaun Duke (editors)

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Game of Thrones: “Hardhome”
Prune – iOS game by Joel McDonald
Traveler”, directed by Simon Brown

Editor, Short Form
John Joseph Adams (Lightspeed, Nightmare)
Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld)
Jonathan Strahan (Meeting Infinity)
Lynne M. Thomas (Uncanny)
Ann VanderMeer (Tor.Com, Sisters of the Revolution)

Editor, Long Form
Anne Lesley Groell (Fool’s Quest, Uprooted)
Lee Harris (Tor.com Publishing)
Will Hinton (Ancillary Mercy, Nemesis Game)
Devi Pillai (Black Wolves, Autumn Republic, The Fifth Season)

Professional Artist
Richard Anderson (Empire Ascendant)
Shan Jian (Illustrated Man in the High Castle)
David Palumbo (Binti)
Cynthia Sheppard (Karen Memory)
Sam Weber (Illustrated Dune)

Fan Artist
Megan Lara
Orisoni / Ariel
Gabriel Picolo
Sarah Webb

Semiprozine
Uncanny Magazine

Fanzine
Chaos Horizon
Lady Business
Nerds of a feather, flock together
SF Bluestocking
SF Mistressworks

Fan Writer
Brandon Kempner
Bridget McKinney
Abigail Nussbaum
Adam Whitehead
Renay Williams

Fancast
Cabbages and Kings
Fan Girl Happy Hour
Speculate!

John W. Campbell Award
Becky Chambers
Kat Howard
Malka Older
Kelly Robson
Andy Weir

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

NoaF: Deryni, Deverry, Hugo

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 0
Good afternoon, folks!

Just a quick update to point you to some stuff I have up over at Nerds of a Feather.

1. Reading Deryni: Saint Camber - The second in my series of essays on Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels.

2. Reading Deverry: Act One - Likewise, the first of my series of essays on Katharine Kerr's Deverry novels (this one covers the first four books - read more Deverry)

3. My Favorite Stories Don't Get Nominated: A Hugo Love Story - a meditation on why I love the Hugo Awards even though, as the essay title states, my favorite stories don't get nominated.

I've been busy.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

NoaF: Black Wolves, Black Sword, and Resolutions

Tuesday, March 01, 2016 0
Hey kids!

I'd like to point you to two recent reviews I've done over at Nerds of a Feather. The first is Kate Elliott's excellent Black Wolves. The second is Larry Correia's fairly disappointing Son of the Black Sword.

For extra Star Wars nerdery, Dean and I have a conversation about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

For the sake of being amusing, I also collected a much delayed list of New Year's Resolutions from the flock.

Forthcoming, I have my next Deryni essay coming next week on Saint Camber, a Deverry essay on the four books comprising the first Act of the series, something on the Hugo Awards, and a bit farther out - a review of Emily Foster's The Drowning Eyes. That's just what I have written and scheduled for this month.

I'm still "working" on reviews of Central Station, Meeting Infinity, Forest of Memory, Runtime, and probably Lightless. By "working", I mean I need to read these. But, if I keep talking about it, maybe I'll actually do something about it.

Books Read: February 2016

With February having come to a close, let's take a look at the books I read last month.

1. The Survivor, by Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills
2. Black Wolves, by Kate Elliott
3. The Sympathizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen
4. Hunter's Oath, by Michelle West
5. 1634: The Baltic War, by David Weber and Eric Flint
6. This Census-Taker, by China Mieville (unfinished)
7. The Force Awakens, by Alan Dean Foster
8. The New World, by Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz
9. Grantville Gazette: Volume I, by Eric Flint (editor)
10. Step Aside, Pops, by Kate Beaton
11. Oreo, by Fran Ross (unfinished)
12. The Book of Aron, by Jim Shepard (unfinished)
13. The Drowning Eyes, by Emily Foster
14. City of Blades, by Robert Jackson Bennett
15. Lightless, by C.A. Higgins

Best Book of the Month: Black Wolves was a standout. See the review over at Nerds of a Feather. This is also a virtual tie with City of Blades as to which book was the best I read in February.

Disappointment of the Month: I always count the unfinished books in my tally because I still want a record of what I've attempted, even if I elected to not finish the book. This was a rare month when I decided I didn't want to finish three books. Some years I don't hit three, but I attempted the Ross and Shepard because I'm trying to read my way through the Tournament of Books and sometimes that means I hit books I just bounce off of and probably wouldn't have read otherwise. I bounced off of Oreo and The Book of Aron for very different reasons, but bounce I did. As well as with the Mieville.

Discovery of the Month: Emily Foster's The Drowning Eyes was amazingly good. I must read more from Foster, in that particular setting if possible. So, so good. 

Worth Noting: I loved City of Stairs. City of Blades was even better.

Gender Breakdown: My gender breakdown for February was a bit weaker, with only 6 out of 15 books this month being written by women. This drops my overall percentage down to 53.12%. While I do not a have specific goal this year to read more books written by women than those written by men, I would like to at least keep the breakdown near a 50/50 split. Thus far I am on track to accomplish that.




Previous Reads
January

Saturday, February 20, 2016

2015 Nebula Award Nominees

Saturday, February 20, 2016 0
Picked this up from Tor.com: Below are the nominees for the 2015 Nebula Awards (presented in 2016). I'll probably have some initial thoughts on the nominees this coming week. I will provide links to as many of the stories as become freely available online.

Congratulations to all the nominees.


Novel
Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu (Saga)
Uprooted, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, Lawrence M. Schoen (Tor)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

Novella
Wings of Sorrow and Bone, Beth Cato (Harper Voyager Impulse)
‘‘The Bone Swans of Amandale’’, C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans)
‘‘The New Mother’’, Eugene Fischer (Asimov’s 4-5/15)
‘‘The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn’’, Usman T. Malik (Tor.com 4/22/15)
Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
‘‘Waters of Versailles’’, Kelly Robson (Tor.com 6/10/15)

Novelette
‘‘Rattlesnakes and Men’’, Michael Bishop (Asimov’s 2/15)
‘‘And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead’’, Brooke Bolander (Lightspeed 2/15)
‘‘Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds’’, Rose Lemberg (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 6/11/15)
‘‘The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society’’, Henry Lien (Asimov’s 6/15)
‘‘The Deepwater Bride’’, Tamsyn Muir (F&SF 7-8/15)
‘‘Our Lady of the Open Road’’, Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 6/15)

Short Story
‘‘Madeleine’’, Amal El-Mohtar (Lightspeed 6/15)
‘‘Cat Pictures Please’’, Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld 1/15)
‘‘Damage’’, David D. Levine (Tor.com 1/21/15)
‘‘When Your Child Strays From God’’, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld 7/15)
‘‘Today I Am Paul’’, Martin L. Shoemaker (Clarkesworld 8/15)
‘‘Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers’’, Alyssa Wong (Nightmare 10/15)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation 
Ex Machina
Jessica Jones: AKA Smile
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
Seriously Wicked, Tina Connolly (Tor Teen)
Court of Fives, Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK 5/14; Amulet)
Archivist Wasp, Nicole Kornher-Stace (Big Mouth House)
Zeroboxer, Fonda Lee (Flux)
Shadowshaper, Daniel José Older (Levine)
Bone Gap, Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
Nimona, Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
Updraft, Fran Wilde (Tor)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1634: The Baltic War, by David Weber and Eric Flint

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 0
1634: The Baltic War
David Weber and Eric Flint
Baen: 2007

1634: The Baltic War is the direct sequel to Eric Flint and David Weber's novel 1633, which should make it the third novel in Flint's 1632 Universe except between the publication of 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War, Flint published three additional novels as well as an anthology set in this universe. This could complicate things, and though we are certainly never wrong to read in publication order, Eric Flint has a very handy "recommended reading order" on his website which he helpfully updated this year. That's the reading order which I am following.

As a brief re-introduction to the series, the 1632 novels posit an alternate history where a small West Virginia mining town from the year 2000 is sent back and sideways in time to the year 1631 and moved geographically to a region in central Germany in the midst of the Thirty Years War. With no way home, this community of hard working, blue collar twentieth century Americans intends to survive, adapt, and perhaps kickstart the American Revolution just a little bit earlier than in our universe. 

Despite being fairly early in both the internal chronology as well as in the overall publication order, it is easy to see why so many offshoot novels have been published outside of the "main line" of the series. 1634: The Baltic War sees story threads taking place in London, Copenhagen, central Germany, and on the ironclad ships working their way from Madgeburg into the Baltic Sea. It would be somewhat of a mistake to describe the novel as "unfocused", but as the various characters begin to move around Europe and work on behalf of the United States of Europe, the separate storylines do not necessarily come together or build together.

This works, because if you're reading 1634: The Baltic War, you've at least read 1632, 1633, the Ring of Fire anthology and possibly / probably the other novels published before this one due to the delays of Flint and Weber coordinating their schedules to get this book done. If you're reading 1634: The Baltic War, you're invested in the characters and the world and are looking to see how the political situation develops, how the ironclads will crush everything they come across, if the captives get out of the tower, and everything else surrounding the novel.

The pacing may be a bit slower than the two previous novels, but whether it is the larger moments of actually seeing the ironclads in action or the smaller moments of Thorsten Engler trying to figure out how to propose to Caroline Platzer, Weber and Flint do a heck of a job in nailing all of the beats of the story, mixing in humor, action, drama, and anything else you might want, and telling a story you don't quite want to end after 700+ pages. Good thing there are still another dozen or so novels to keep this going.

Readers of 1632 and 1633 know exactly what they are getting with 1634: The Baltic War. I'm not sure this is the novel to introduce the series to new readers as it directly picks up story threads from the previous novels,  but it will satisfy readers who are still along for the ride.



One of the most interesting (to me) things that Weber and Flint accomplished in 1634: The Baltic War is that they have made John Simpson not only a sympathetic character, but a likeable one. Simpson was introduced in the first novel, 1632, as an autocratic CEO who seemed to exist to contrast the leadership of Union Leader Mike Stearns. Simpson was set up as a minor villain, an out of touch "suit" compared to the workboots on the ground miners and union shop workers and one who quickly lost the first power struggle in Grantville. However, because Simpson had not only served as a Naval officer in Vietnam, but also had great success in running a large corporation, Mike Stearns appointed Simpson to create Grantville's Navy.

It would be very easy to argue that the primary reason Simpson has become likeable is that he is coming to appreciate the leadership of Mike Stearns - and while that is true, what is also happening is that over the course of several years in universe, the reader is seeing a very competent man do absolutely stellar work in building the Navy, building the ironclads, and running the Navy. We see John Simpson's positive qualities, and yes, it is tempered by the softening relationship with Mike Stearns. But, that relationship goes both ways, and overall the two men grow to appreciate what the other does well. It's the overall growth of John Simpson that is one of the many things Weber and Flint do so well in 1634: The Baltic War.

Though many of the characters in the series have a large amount of American idealism, they become tempered by the reality of the new situation they find themselves, though this does not cause them (yet) to stop striving to quite literally change the world. I continue to be fascinated by what Eric Flint is doing with this series and I so very much want to see how he changes the history of Europe (and the world?). I am curious, though, if there is an end point plotted out for the series and if there is a plan to see what and how these changes wrought by dropping modern Americans into the 1600's will impact the next two three hundred years. What does the world look like the late 1700's with Grantville's influence? What about in 1942? It doesn't matter for my enjoyment of these novels, but I'd love to know what happens over the course of the rest of this world's history.


Previous Reviews
1632

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds

Thursday, February 11, 2016 0
Slow Bullets
Alastair Reynolds
Tachyon: 2015

Slow Bullets opens with a soldier (Scur) being captured and tortured at the tail end of a war, after a cease fire is declared. When she wakes, she finds herself in a pod on a ship and doesn't know how or why she got there. By this point, things have already gone very wrong and they're about to get worse. The ship is populated by soldiers from both sides of the war, not much crew, and the various systems on the ship are gradually failing.  Oh, and everyone has been asleep for much longer than they could have imagined.

Once the initial conflict of Scur and her torturer (also on the ship) is mostly resolved, Reynolds gets us to the heart of the real conflict: what happens when civilization breaks down? We're talking about the ship, but we're also not because the ship is orbiting a planet that has seen better days.  So has that corner of the galaxy, for that matter. Whether on the micro scale of the ship or the macro scale of the galaxy, Slow Bullets is a story of survival. There is a looming sense of dread that pervades the novella, with the very real chance that what is left will be a derelict husk of a ship orbiting a dead planet waiting for someone else to come by and benefit from the information left behind. This works and it works very well.

After the groan inducing realization of "of course Scur's torturer is on the ship!", Reynolds settles down and ratchets up the tension bit by bit as the survivors choose which memories and personal and cultural knowledge they might need to give up to serve the greater good, to allow for the greatest chance of survival.  It's fantastic.

The novella's title comes from the idea of "slow bullets" that are capsules containing a wealth of knowledge and information and memory that can be inserted into an individual's leg and it will then ever so slowly travel painlessly through the body until it comes to rest in that person's chest, which is a fascinating concept.


Recommended.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

NoaF: The Fifth Season and Other Stuff

Wednesday, February 03, 2016 0
Hey kids!

I'd like to point you to another review that I did (!!!) over at Nerds of a Feather. This time, I've reviewed N. K. Jemisin's phenomenally good The Fifth Season. Seriously, the more I think about it, the more I like the book. If had read it last year, it would be the top book on my 2015 list. It's that good.

In other news, I contributed to the collected Nerds of a Feather Hugo Recommendation Longlists and even did the work compiling / formatting two of them!. Here are the links to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Even more exciting (and I'm really excited about this), I set up two mini interviews in the 6 Books Series with authors Charlie Jane Anders and Lois McMaster Bujold. Pretty awesome, y'all.

Coming up, I have a review of Larry Correia's Son of the Black Sword, my next entry in my Reading Deryni Series, a joint conversation what we might expect to see in Star Wars VIII next year, a potential post on reading resolutions, a Hugo Awards essay, and the first entry in a four part Reading Deverry series that could take several years to finish.  I haven't been this busy blogging in years, nor had this much fun doing it.

I'm also working on reviews of Black Wolves, Meeting Infinity, and Central Station. By "working on", I mean I'm still reading the books / have to start, so they'll be a while. I have some other ideas on more authors to include in the 6 Books series, and eventually, a new entry in the Nerd Music series.  We'll see when I get back to that, though.

Until next time!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Books Read: January 2016

Tuesday, February 02, 2016 0
Now that we've completed the first month of the year, we can take a look at the books I read during January. It's a doozy, even by my standards.


1. Chimera, by Mira Grant
2. The Dragon Revenant, by Katharine Kerr
3. The Fifth Season, by N. K. Jemisin
4. Rules of Conflict, by Kristine Smith
5. Son of the Black Sword, by Larry Correia
6. Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, by Michael Klastorin
7. Going Dark, by Linda Nagata
8. Future Visions, by Jennifer Henshaw and Allison Linn (editors)
9. The Shootout Solution, by Michael R. Underwood
10. The Invaders, by Karolina Waclawiak
11. The Complete Peanuts: 1997-1998, by Charles M. Schulz
12. Saint Camber, by Katherine Kurtz
13. Our Souls at Night, by Kent Haruf
14. A Spool of Blue Thread, by Anne Tyler (unfinished)
15. The Whites, by Harry Brandt
16. Planetfall, by Emma Newman
17. Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott


Best Book of the Month: The Fifth Season. This book is so good I am actually mad I haven't read any of Jemisin's other novels and it moves The Obelisk Gate to my #1 must read novel of 2016, no matter what else comes out (and yes, this includes *that* book)

Disappointment of the Month: While I mostly read science fiction and fantasy, I'm following along with the short list for the Tournament of Books and will try to read as much of that as I can before the tournament begins in March. I wouldn't say that A Spool of Blue Thread is bad, and I will still read at least one more Anne Tyler novel (the Pulitzer Prize winning Breathing Lessons), but I was disinterested. So, why continue if I don't care?

Discovery of the Month: Planetfall. This could well have been The Fifth Season, because I have no idea how I've gotten by in life without having read Nora Jemisin's novels. But - The Fifth Season was also the best book of the month by a solid margin and I don't like to double up here. Emma Newman's Planetfall is likewise one of the top novels of the month and of 2015 and I wish I had read it last year.

Worth Noting: I'd have to do some digging, but I feel that 17 books in January my strongest month of reading in a long time. I'm not quite sure how that happened.

Gender Breakdown: Having finished 17 books this month, I'm happy to report that 11 of them were written by women. My year in reading opens with a 64.70% percentage. While I do not a have specific goal this year to read more books written by women than those written by men, I would like to at least keep the breakdown near a 50/50 split.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

My 2016 Hugo Awards Longlist Recommendations

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 11
After somewhat of an exhausting year of awards, especially with everything that went down with the Hugo Awards in 2015, it's time to restart that entire cycle this year. But, here at Adventures in Reading, we're going to do things just a little bit differently. In past years I would piece together my ballot over a series of posts beginning in late January.

That's not going to happen this year.  Even though I have never viewed how I worked out my nomination ballot as anything other than doing my thinking in public with little expectation of having an audience or influencing anyone beyond maybe a potential "hey, this is awesome, you should read this and think about it" - because that's all that a recommendation list really is - I'm not going to do it this time.  Not like I have in the past where I would end up with my final ballot posted before the nomination period closed.

With all of the shenanigans regarding groups putting together slates to directly influence what gets on the final ballot, what I'm going to do instead is post a growing long list of stuff I thought was awesome in 2015. This list will likely grow and change as I continue to discover stuff published in 2015 that I likewise think is awesome.

I'm listing everything alphabetically either by title or author, so don't view anything listed at the top of a category as being my ranked order. It's not.

It is also worth nothing that several individuals are already recusing themselves from this year's Hugo Awards. I will still list them as part of my long list recommendations (and may even nominate them anyway), but these individuals have publicly stated they will not accept a Hugo Award nomination. I will note this as they appear on my list.

Novel 
Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear (Tor) 
Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho (Ace)
The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard (Roc)
The Traitor Baru Cormorant, by Seth Dickinson (Tor) 
Black Wolves, by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
Fool’s Quest, by Robin Hobb (Del Rey)
Empire Ascendant, by Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot)
The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie (Orbit) 
Signal to Noise, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (Solaris)
Planetfall, by Emma Newman (Roc)
Uprooted, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
The End of All Things, by John Scalzi (Tor)  (will not accept a nomination)
Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)

Novella 
The Witches of Lychford, by Paul Cornell (Tor.com Publishing)
“Ur”, by Stephen King (Bazaar of Bad Dreams)*
Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds (Tachyon)
Binti, by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com Publishing) 
The Builders, by Daniel Polansky (Tor.com Publishing)
Sunset Mantle, by Alter S. Reiss (Tor.com Publishing)
The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
*King notes that "Ur" is "considerably revised" from its original 2009 publication on Amazon.com

Novelette 
And the Balance in Blood”, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 7, November 2015) 
“The Heart’s Filthy Lesson”, by Elizabeth Bear (Old Venus) 
“The Tumbledowns of Cleopatra Abyss”, by David Brin (Old Venus) 
“Obits”, by Stephen King (The Bazaar of Bad Dreams)
"Another Word for World", by Ann Leckie (Future Visions)
Our Lady of the Open Road”, by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s, June 2015)

Short Story
In Libres”, by Elizabeth Bear (Uncanny Magazine, Issue 4, May 2015)
"Elephants and Corpses”, by Kameron Hurley (Tor.com, May 13, 2015)
The Light Brigade”, by Kameron Hurley (Lightspeed, November 2015) – published on Patreon 2015 “Cat Pictures Please”, by Naomi Kritzer (Clarkesworld, January 2015)
Points of Origin”, by Marissa Lingen (Tor.com, November 4, 2015)
"Hello, Hello", by Seanan McGuire (Future Visions)
Eyes I Dare Not Meet in Dreams”, by Sunny Moraine (Cyborgology, June 2, 2015)
Tear Tracks”, by Malka Older (Tor.com, October 21, 2015)
The Merger”, by Sunil Patel (The Book Smugglers, June 23, 2015)
Oral Argument”, by Kim Stanley Robinson (Tor.com, December 7, 2015)

Graphic Story
Bitch Planet: Extraordinary Machine (Vol 1), by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Lazarus: Conclave (Vol 3), by Greg Rucka
Lumberjanes: Beware the Kitten Holy (Vol 1), by Noelle Stevenson*
Lumberjanes: Friendship to the Max (Vol 2), by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson*
Rat Queens: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth (Vol 2), by Kurtis S. Wiebe
Saga, Volume 5, by Brian K. Vaughan.
The Sculptor, by Scott McCloud
Stand Still. Stay Silent: Book One, by Minna Sundberg
*The first collection of Lumberjanes was published in 2015, but the issues were all from 2014. I am unsure of its eligibility. The collected edition of Nimona was also published in 2015, but the webcomic is from 2012. Is it eligible?

Related Work
A History of Epic Fantasy, by Adam Whitehead
Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History, by Michael Klastorin
Prune – iOS game from Joel McDonald
Rocket Talk Podcast
Speculative Fiction 2014, by Renay Williams and Shaun Duke (editors)*
The Wheel of Time Companion
You’re Never Weird on the Internet, by Felicia Day
*I have an essay in the Speculative Fiction 2014 anthology

Dramatic Presentation, Long Form 
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dramatic Presentation, Short Form 
Game of Thrones: “Hardhome”

Editor, Short Form
John Joseph Adams (Lightspeed, Nightmare, everything)
Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld)*
Lee Harris (Tor.com Publishing)
Jonathan Strahan (Meeting Infinity)
Lynne M. Thomas (Uncanny)
Michael Damien Thomas (Uncanny)
Sean Wallace (Clarkesworld)
*Sean Wallace suggests recognizing Neil Clarke rather than himself

Editor, Long Form 
Anne Lesley Groell (Uprooted, Fool's Quest - US)
Jane Johnson (Fool's Quest - UK, Liar's Key, Half a World)
Beth Meacham (Karen Memory)
Bella Pagan (Sorcerer to the Crown)
Marco Palmieri (Traitor Baru Cormorant)
Jessica Wade (House of Shattered Wings)


Professional Artist 
Richard Anderson (Empire Ascendant)
Daniel Dociu (Nemesis Games)
Shan Jiang (Illustrated Man in the High Castle)
Stephan Martiniere (The Dark Forest, Dragondrums)
Victor Mosquera (Luna: New Moon)
David Palumbo (Binti)
Cynthia Sheppard (Karen Memory)
Sam Weber (Illustrated Dune)
Stephen Youll (Navigators of Dune)

Fan Artist 
Ariel / Orisoni
Megan Lara
Gabriel Picolo
Sarah Webb

Semiprozine 
Uncanny Magazine

Fanzine 
Chaos Horizon (will not accept a nomination)
File 770
Lady Business
Nerds of a feather, flock together*
SF Mistressworks
*I am a contributor to Nerds of a Feather

Fan Writer 
Rob Bedford
Brandon Kempner (will not accept a nomination)
Abigail Nussbaum
Paul Weimer
Adam Whitehead
Renay Williams*
*Renay is the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2014, which contains one of my essays

Fancast 
Cabbages and Kings
Fan Girl Happy Hour*
Speculate!
*One half of FGHH is Renay, co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2014

John W. Campbell Award
Lou Anders
Becky Chambers 
Malka Older
Kelly Robson 
Andy Weir
Alyssa Wong 
Isabel Yap


Monday, January 04, 2016

NoaF: Uprooted

Monday, January 04, 2016 0
Hey all! I have a couple of new articles up on Nerds of a Feather. The most recent is my review of Naomi Novik's Uprooted, which you can check out here.

Second, we've got a series going over there called Nerd Music. Guess what it is about. My contribution is on Tori Amos.


Books Read: December 2015

The beginning of a new month brings with it the opportunity to look back at the month gone by and to give one last glance at what I most recently read. The below listed books are what I read during the month of December. Let's see how I closed out the year, shall we?

1. Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie
2. Dear Mr. You, by Mary Louise Parker
3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers
4. Fool's Quest, by Robin Hobb
5. Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
6. Gemini Cell, by Myke Cole
7. Slow Bullets, by Alastair Reynolds
8. Extremes, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
9. The Wheel of Time Companion, by Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, Maria Simons


Best Book of the Month: I am so happy all of the hype over Uprooted was justified, because after 7+ months of folks talking about it, I was nervous. Uprooted is so good, people. It plays with fairy tale tropes, while feeling both like a fairy tale and a novel for adults.

Disappointment of the Month: The Wheel of Time Companion had such an opportunity to be something truly special for fans of The Wheel of Time, and after The World of Ice and Fire last year showing how to make a high quality fantasy "guide / compendium", I think our expectations were high. Turns out that this is a very comprehensive encyclopedia, but it contains very little that was not already included in the books themselves. I would have preferred and expected some glimpses into the future (what happened with Mat in Seanchan, what about Elayne and Aviendha and their children?). This was dry and frequently dull.

Discovery of the Month: If I hadn't read Uprooted this month, The Fifth Season would have easily been my #1 book and even here, it's so damn close. The Fifth Season was a revelation and I was surprised each time one of the three storylines finally merged with others.

Worth Noting: Slow Bullets. Reynolds has written an excellent novella. One worth remembering at awards time.

Gender Breakdown: I'm not sure how to quantify The Wheel of Time Companion but I am categorizing it as male authored since Robert Jordan's name is first on the cover (though there is an even split of credited authors).So, with that, 6 of the 9 books I read in December were written by women. This brings my final total to 75 out of 128, or 58.59% of the books I read in 2015 were female authored. I'll have a lot more to say about this in a future article,  but suffice it to say for now that my goal was achieved. Hurrah.


Previous Months:
January
February
March 
April 
May  
June
July
August 
September
October 
November

Friday, January 01, 2016

29 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2016

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Let's start the year off right, shall we?  I gave a quick look through the LocusForthcoming List as well as a nice list from Barnes and Nobles, did a quick search on stuff I have saved on Goodreads, and voila! We have list!   

As such, this isn’t exhaustive or authoritative.  While this list is far larger than any I've put out in the past, this is still just a list of 29 books, in presumed publication followed by alphabetical order, that I’d like to read this year.  I’m sure I missed something awesome.  Maybe many somethings awesome. I probably did.

January (4): This is an exciting month. City of Stairs was my top read of 2015, a new China Mieville demands to be read, of course I'm going to read new Sanderson, and I've been excited to read Charlie Jane Anders' debut since discovering her short fiction.

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders
City of Blades, by Robert Jackson Bennett
The Census Taker, by China Mieville
Bands of Mourning, by Brandon Sanderson

February (2): I am so behind on Bujold, but this is a Cordelia story and the two Bujold's I've read have focused on Cordelia. A Criminal Magic imagines a Roaring Twenties where Prohibition passed, but the Prohibition was on magic. Bootlegging sorcerers! Count me in!

Gentleman Jolie and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Criminal Magic, by Lee Kelly

March (1): Quiet month, I think, but we've got an MRK novella from Tor.com Publishing.

Forest of Memory, by Mary Robinette Kowal

April (2): A Joe Abercombie First Law short story collection AND Valentine's sequel to Persona. Have I mentioned that I'm a big fan of Valentine's fiction?

Sharp Ends, by Joe Abercrombie
Icon, by Genevieve Valentine

May (2): A new Joe Hill novel should be considered an event. He's one hell of a writer. While the last two books from Terry Brooks have taken a step back (after the improved Dark Legacy trilogy), I don't think I can step away from Brooks at this point. I've been reading him for far too long.

The Sorcerer's Daughter, by Terry Brooks
The Fireman, by Joe Hill

June (5): The biggest month of the year. New King, new Expanse. Exciting debuts from Yoon Ha Lee and Malka Older, and a new Strahan anthology. Can't miss this month!

Babylon's Ashes, by James S. A. Corey
End of Watch, by Stephen King
Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee
Infomacracy, by Malka Older
Drowned Worlds, by Jonathan Strahan

July (3): I have a copy of Chu's Time Salvager sitting at home. I loved his Tao novels, so I really should pick read Time Salvager so I'm ready for Time Siege. Likewise, I've had Republic of Thieves sitting on my shelf for at least a year. At this point, do I re-read the first two books or just jump right in with The Thorn of Emberlain dropping this year? Ghost Talkers is the first in a new series from MRK.

Time Siege, by Wesley Chu
Ghost Talkers, by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Thorn of Emberlain, by Scott Lynch

August (3): It's like this: I assume I'm going to love the first books in the respective series from Elliott and Jemisin. If so, I will jump right in to the next.

Poisoned Blade, by Kate Elliott
The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin
The Last Days of New Paris, by China Mieville

September (1): KKR brings us an anthology of classic science fiction stories written by women. Here's a chance to dip into some of the fiction that helped shape the genre.

Women of Futures Past, by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

October (2): By now, you all know how much I love the White Trash Zombie series, so the announced publication of a new volume is a cause for joy and celebration. As is the second novel from Sylvia Moreno-Garcia (Signal to Noise was her excellent debut).

Certain Dark Things, by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia
White Trash Zombie Unchained, by Diana Rowland

Unknown (4): The trouble with doing this list at the beginning of the year is that except for the hugely major releases, we don't have many announced publication dates for late in the year and the farther away we are from publication, the greater the chance that dates will shift. So, I know that the Hurley, Bear, and Hobb are tentatively scheduled for 2016. I hope to see them. George R. R. Martin will always be on this list, even without announcing that the book is finished. The publisher will probably be insanely happy to rush the production schedule if he finishes early enough in the year. I could probably put another half dozen books in this section of the list, but I think there is enough uncertainty on those books being finished.

The Winds of Winter, by George R. R. Martin
The Stars are Legion, by Kameron Hurley
Ancestral Night, by Elizabeth Bear
Assassin's Fate, by Robin Hobb
 
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