fantasy and science fiction book reviewsDue to my lack of restraint, and an attempt to make this essay a little more legible for the speed-readers, this week’s post features subject headings and bullet points.

Lists and awards

First, Samuel “How were you not already a Grand Master” Delany has officially been made a Grand Master by the SFWA.  Delany’s work, which deals with the light themes of human sexuality, class and hierarchy, and the frayed edges of civilizations, has consistently pushed the boundaries of SFF subject matter.

And now to the lists!  First we’ve got The Guardian’s lovely list of the best science fiction, which is really excitingly international and multicultural.  Then there’s Buzzfeed’s  list of the 12 greatest fantasy books of the year and the 14 greatest science fiction books.  They include some predictable entries (The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Ancillary Justice, and Maddaddam), but they’ve also got useful “Read if you like…” notes.  Then there’s a list of debut authors this year compiled by Wesley Chu.  More snarkily, BestFantasyBooks has published a list of the worst fantasy of the year (there’s amusing crossover between the best and worst lists. See: Jordan, Robert).

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsFor your short term reading pleasure, has posted their list of upcoming short fiction in December and January.  Kirkus Reviews also has another list of the best sci-fi, fantasy, and horror coming in December, which is rapidly drawing to its middle.

Articles and such

Here’s where I assemble the mostly-random articles and vaguely on-topic-ish things I read during the week.  The most impressive and exciting and inspiring thing I read this week was Daniel Jose Older’s essay in Apex: “Another World Waits: Towards an Anti-Oppressive SFF.”  He tells us that “We’re always writing about power,” which I happen to believe very much.  In lighter news, Cory Doctorow interviewed Terry Pratchett, and there’s really cute illustrations all over it.  Plus, Ursula “You’re my hero” LeGuin has a new interview at The Paris Review.  Fangirl-it-up, dudes.  Related to nothing at all, here’s article about the history of goblins and other critters at Wonders and Marvels.

Writing and publishing

If you’ve ever thought about joining in the knock-down-drag-out world of publishing, consider this detailed comparison between self-publishing and traditional publishing written by Livia Blackburne, an author who has done both.  There are also some really interesting things happening in the digital publishing world, including the idea of moving novels.  Follow this link to see a video-preview of BlackJack: A Moving Novel, or follow this link to download it for your iPad.  More traditionally, Simon and Schuster is having a fairly massive audiobook giveaway every week in December, which is worth a like on Facebook.  On the topic of audiobooks, here’s a passionate and informed debate about the best audiobook version of Harry Potter: Stephen Fry versus Jim Dale (As an American: JIM DALE FOR THE WIN).

Things for your eyeballs


  • Alix E. Harrow

    ALIX E. HARROW, who retired from our blog in 2014, is a part-time historian with a full-time desk job, a lot of opinions, and excessive library fines. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Strange Horizons,, Apex, and other venues. She won a Hugo Award for her fiction in 2019. Alix and her husband live in Kentucky under the cheerful tyranny of their kids and pets. Find her at @AlixEHarrow on Twitter. Some of her favorite authors include Neil Gaiman, Ursula LeGuin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Susanna Clarke.

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