BluecrowneHappy day after tax day! I hope your April 15 was relatively painless, and maybe even happy as you discovered a lovely refund coming your way. And what better to spend it on than books? Nothing, I say: nothing. Just pick something from the most recent awards, for instance, and you’ll have hours of joy in exchange for your bills and coins. What could be better than that?

Awards News

The Aurealis Awards have been announced, celebrating the best in Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction. Here’s hoping most of these books ultimately get outside the bounds of that splendid isle, so that we can all enjoy them! Some, like Max Barry’s Lexicon (best science fiction novel) and Joanne Anderton’s The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories (best collection) are already available here, and definitely worth reading.

The 2014 Glyph Award nominations have been announced. The Glyph Award honors the best in African-American comics and characters. The winners will be announced on May 16 at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC) in Philadelphia.

The 2014 Scribe Award nominations have been announced. These awards honor excellence in licensed tie-in writing.

Pan Macmillan has announced the James Herbert Award for Horror Writing in honor of the late writer. The inaugural award will be open to horror novels written in English and published in the United Kingdom and Ireland between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. A shortlist of nominees will be announced in January 2015.

Discussing Speculative Fiction

Quirk Books thinks there could be a bit more realism in YA dystopic fiction, and offers a few “slightly more plausible” scenarios for dystopias. Actually, they’re pretty funny.

Well, what do you know. John Scalzi deliberately made his auxiliary characters in The Human Division half female and half male — and no one noticed for a long time. Well, actually, according to the comments, lots of people noticed, though it was great, and didn’t comment. But careful readers will have noticed that most characters in most novels are male, so the equal division was something of an experiment. Scalzi takes it as a good sign that his stratagem didn’t induce comment, much less outrage.

Science fiction has a universal appeal that is often ignored. Literati may turn up their noses, but those of us who read in the genre know that it’s got plenty of high literature right alongside the plot-heavy, pure fun stuff we also enjoy. It’s not a ghetto unless we make it one.

Funding Projects

Aghast, a Journal of the Darkly Fantastic, is running a Kickstarter campaign. We can always use another great horror magazine, and this one looks pretty cool. They’ve met their initial goal, and are headed for some stretch goals that promise even more good stuff for the horror lover. The cast of characters involved in the project is impressive, and the premiums being offered for contributions are generous.

The Arcana Project is running a Kickstarter for Bluecrowne, a new novel in Kate Milford‘s series. It’s a cool experiment in melding traditional publishing with self-publishing, and again, the prizes are awesome.

The Publishing Business

Amazon has purchased Comixology. This is great news for the immediate future if you’re already part of the Amazon family, as I am (as my Kindle and my Prime membership indicate), but only time will tell if it’s really good for the entire body of comics consumers. Amazon does seem to be taking over the world, doesn’t it? I, for one, appreciate our publishing overlords.

Fun Stuff

io9 gives you 13 webcomics that will make you smarter. I’m familiar with the great XKCD, but I hadn’t heard of the others, and am looking forward to curling up with my computer to explore them.

If you love fairy tales — and really, who doesn’t? — you’ll love these recommendations of the top 10 fairy tale short stories. I’m delighted that I’ve read only a few of them, and therefore have some good times ahead of me.


  • Terry Weyna

    TERRY WEYNA, on our staff since December 2010, would rather be reading than doing almost anything else. She reads all day long as an insurance coverage attorney, and in all her spare time as a reviewer, critic and writer. Terry lives in Northern California with her husband, professor emeritus and writer Fred White, two rambunctious cats, and an enormous library.

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