Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Marion Deeds


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WWWednesday: February 21, 2024

The saga of the Hugos continues, and now there is documentation of obvious manipulation by the committee. Chris M. Barkley and Jason Sanford published this article which details most of the problems with the ballot process. They lay most of the blame on Dave McCarty, who has said publicly that he believes he did the right thing. Diane Lacey published a statement of apology when the article came out. Kat Jones released this statement. Glasgow WorldCon  has released Kat Jones from all her assignments.

NBC interviewed Paul Weimer about the fracas.


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Starter Villain: You’ll want to get your cat a keyboard

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

“It’s easier to be a villain than a pub owner, I’ll tell you that much.”

I think most people know the plot of John Scalzi’s 2023 novel, Starter Villain. Our protagonist, Charlie, is divorced. He’s been downsized out of his job as a business journalist, and is eking out a living as a substitute math teacher. When the story opens, his best or only friend is his cat Hera. Then Charlie learns that his enigmatic Uncle Jake,


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The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles: Come for the mystery, stay for the great characters

The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older

On Jupiter, known as Giant, Mossa, an Investigator, and Pleiti, scholar and instructor, are on a new case, involving the disappearance of a student. As Mossa explores, she finds not one, but seventeen university students, faculty and staff have gone missing. What the two sleuths will uncover in 2024’s The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles, by Malka Older, will destabilize Pleiti’s already-shaky faith in the university system, and her life’s work, even further.

These novellas are a pure pleasure to read.


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The Void Ascendant: Cosmic horror that leaves us with a breath of hope

The Void Ascendant by Premee Mohamed

The Void Ascendant (2022) follows Nick Prasad as he tries to reconcile himself to a universe dominated by the Ancient Ones. The book brings to a close Premee Mohamed’s magnificent VOID trilogy.

This review contains spoilers for the two previous books, Beneath the Rising and A Broken Darkness.

Seven years have passed since Earth was destroyed, and Nick escaped into another world, one ruled by the chaotic,


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WWWednesday: February 7, 2024

Marvel’s Squirrel Girl will finally get her due when the comics release special covers of Marvel heroines. It won’t be until March, but still.

Last week the PBS Newshour did a segment on “romantasy,” the stories that feature magic or a fantastical setting but also have a romance story that is nearly as important. Now the U.K. Guardian has an article about it. I think two things; 1) this is not a new phenomenon, but the mainstream as “discovered” it, and 2) regardless of how I feel about it, “romantasy” as a term is sticking around.


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Labyrinth’s Heart: Can Ren and Grey save a city and find a home?

Labyrinth’s Heart by M.A. Carrick

2023’s Labyrinth’s Heart is the third and final book in the ROOK AND ROSE TRILOGY by M.A. Carrick. It addresses the mysteries unfolded in the previous two books, and ushers in dramatic changes to the lives of our protagonists and the delta city of Nadežra.

This review contains spoilers for this book, The Mask of Mirrors and The Liar’s Knot.

As Book Three opens,


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WWWednesday: January 24, 2024

The Japanese lunar lander made the most precise lunar landing in history. The craft was experiencing a problem with its solar panels, but the earth crew may be able to correct that.

We seemed so far out of the blast radius of any 2023 Hugo fallout (did I just mix metaphors there?) that I was shocked when the latest one(s) blew up. It might be two scandals, it might be more, it might be none. It’s hard to tell. When the 2023 Hugo nominating data was released last weekend, hours before the mandated deadline, people discovered that the nominating patterns in several categories were,


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WWWednesday: January 17, 2024

Effective January 23, Tor.com the website will become Reactor. After Tor.com announced this, there was confusion (even confusion about whether it was tor.com or Tordotcom Publishing. I don’t see how that could have happened, she said sarcastically). Future Reactor addressed those questions.

StokerCon has added Justine Ireland and Nisi Shawl to the Guest of Honor slate in 2024. Thanks to File770.

Atlas Obscura follows the history of forgotten women astronomers at University of Chicago’s Lake Geneva- based observatory.


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WWWednesday: January 10, 2024

To my personal dismay, the Peregrine One lunar lander did not make moonfall because of fuel problems. Space.com has more technical information. (Personal because among the many things meant for the moon is a digitized library that includes a short story I wrote.)

Nerds of a Feather reviews That We Maye with Free Heartes Accomplishe Those Thynges, by Thomas M. Waldroon, as part of their Novella Project.

Tor.com previews Paolo Bacigalupi’s new fantasy novel (that’s right, fantasy), Navola due out in July,


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A Power Unbound: Comprehensively wraps up the overarching storyline

A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

In 2023’s A Power Unbound, Book Three of the LAST BINDING trilogy, Freya Marske resolves the complex and tantalizing issues she set out in the first book. The riddle of the Last Contract is explained, magic (in Britain, at least) is changed forever, and arrogant, broody aristocrat Jack, Lord Hawthorn, gets a boyfriend.

This review may contain mild spoilers for the first two books.

At the end of A Restless Truth,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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