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SFF Author: Nisi Shawl

Nisi Shawl is a writer of science fiction and fantasy short stories and a journalist. She is the co-author (with Cynthia Ward) of Writing the Other: Bridging Cultural Differences for Successful Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s SF Magazine, Strange Horizons, and numerous other magazines and anthologies.


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Everfair: A history of a country that could have existed, with problems, power, magic

Everfair by Nisi Shawl

I admired Nisi Shawl’s alternate history fantasy Everfair (2016) more than I loved it, and I admired it a lot. Shawl creates an African country at the turn of the 20th century, a country that could have existed, and gives it challenges, troubles, and magic.

Everfair starts in 1889. In Europe, the Fabians negotiate with the king of Belgium, Leopold II, to purchase land in Africa adjacent to Leopold’s personal colony, the so-called Congo Free State.


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SHORTS: Barthelme, McGuire, Hurley, Wong, Vaughn, Anders, Headley, Shawl, Bolander, Walton, El-Mohtar, Valente, Dick

Our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Report” by Donald Barthelme (1967, originally published in the New Yorker, free at Jessamyn.com (reprinted by permission), also collected in Sixty Stories)

“Our group is against the war. But the war goes on. I was sent to Cleveland to talk to the engineers. The engineers were meeting in Cleveland. I was supposed to persuade them not to do what they were going to do.”

“Report,” by Donald Barthelme,


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Magic City: Recent Spells: A solid urban fantasy anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

Things you should know:
1. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
2. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you’re a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven’t read these stories before.


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Next SFF Author: Vivian Shaw
Previous SFF Author: Samantha Shannon

We have reviewed 8227 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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