fantasy and science fiction book reviewsLists and Awards

First, the Lambda Award nominees are up—this is a literary prize for LGBT fiction, which has had a historically friendly relationship with SFF. This year, I see that Nicola Griffith’s Hild has been nominated. Chant with me: HILD, HILD, HILD.

Next we have the Spectrum Fantastic Art Award finalists. I know almost nothing about speculative art, but I know has a very pretty blog post of some of the finalists’ work. On the subject of art, there’s also an amateur art contest being judged by Jane Lindskold. If I were submitting, which I won’t be because apparently “childish scrawlings with crayons” isn’t a category, I’d do something wolf-themed. It’s a particular weakness of Lindskold’s.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Articles and Such

First, because it seems unavoidable that it Must be Talked about, here are some relevant links on the ten-minute scandal of Jonathan Ross hosting the Hugos and then shortly thereafter not hosting the Hugos. Some of the more rational responses I’ve seen include Foz Meadows’s post about how the organizers really could have avoided all this, and Kameron Hurley’s, which explains that the SFF community had legit fears about being bullied. Neil Gaiman, who originally got Jonathan Ross on board in the first place, has posted his own response to the Twitter Tornado, which is a combination of confused, contrite, and defensive.

Sidling cautiously away from that mess, we’ve got a much safer little piece on medicine in SFF, coming from Fantasy Faction. The only thing missing is a discussion of reproductive health in SFF—give a lady-author free speculative reign, and she’ll have a convenient, foolproof, and menstruation-free form of birth control in about five seconds. I’ve always been jealous.

Speaking of ladyfolk, it was International Women’s Day on Saturday! So, here’s some women writers talking about SF, characters, and role models. And here’s a quiz on YA female characters from the Guardian. And here’s an Amazon link to bell hooks’s Feminism is for Everybody. Gee, how did that get there.

Publishing and Writing

I ran across two interesting writerly articles this week. First, we have an exceptionally clever and good article about the 10 things that every new SFF writer should know. Actually, everything Charlie Anders has written about writing SF has rung true to me. Check her out. Less practically, here’s a map of the most popular books by US state. I do not know what to do with this information.

All the Pretty Things

  • Look, I think the Disney-worship is way over the top. But I also wanted to grow up to be a combination of Aladdin, Simba, and Mowlgi as a kid, so I’m more or less stuck. And these posters are just gorgeous, I don’t care who you are. Snow White is downright noir.
  • This concept art from The Fifth Element makes me wish it was a graphic novel instead of a cultish 90s movie with Bruce Willis.
  • And here’s all the stabbings and murders in Shakespeare. A fun way to remember that the 16th century was pretty much brutal medieval insanity lightly gilded with the Renaissance.


  • 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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