WWWednesday: February 26, 2014

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsLists and Awards

First and most excitingly, the Nebula nominees have been announced! And it’s a neck-to-neck race between some of my favorite books from the last year, including Hild, Ancillary Justice, The Golem and the Jinni, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and A Stranger in Oolandria. If I had to choose between them (which I will never be asked to do), I’d melt into a puddle of indecisive tears. Also, this feels like it has to be some kind of a record for female and POC writers.

The Skylark Award, given by The New England Science Fiction Association, has also been awarded to Robert J. Sawyer. Other than that, I can offer you Tor.com’s list of upcoming releases for March, and this unusual list of Books You Should Read (if you want to). It includes things like “the book that your history professor mentions and then says, “which, by the way, is a great book,” offhandedly.”

Articles and Such

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThis week, we apparently have a theme of imagined cartographies and bibliographies. First, here’s a strangely fascinating list of books that don’t exist that were mentioned in other fictional works. And then there’s this look into Wikipedia’s entries on “lost lands.” Which reminded me of Sumathi Ramaswamy’s amazing The Lost Land of Lemuria: Fabulous Geographies, Catastrophic Histories, which everyone interested in colonial theory, made-up worlds, and the weird history of science in the 19th century should read.

In other history news (I am Link Tzar! I direct you as I please!), here’s a pretty cool article on the “real-life Tyrion.” And this fun list of “lost” cities in Africa that make medieval Europe look like it wasn’t trying. It’s a little bit duh, and a little bit exoticized, but the pictures are pretty sweet.

Lastly, may I direct you to this silly lady who’s been telling JK Rowling to stop writing books, or to go back to writing those silly kid’s books which no self-respecting adult should spend their money on, because she’s somehow using up the market for real writers. “This might sound like sour grapes,” says mid-level author almost definitely suffering from sour grapes.

Writing and Publishing

For five seconds, just imagine you got to do this: Amtrak is evolving a program to offer low-cost train ride just for writers to write. Riding on a train. Writing. Low-cost. This is the future. Also fantastic news: They’re making another Jungle Book. As someone who watched the Disney version about a million times, and then the amazingly cheesy/awesome live action version with Cersei in it another million times, then read it another half-million times, then based my thesis partially on it—this is A Big Deal to me. That is all.

Somewhat less happily, N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season has been pushed back to 2015. Jemisin reportedly cackled and said “all shall love me and despair,” before snatching the book from the grasping hands of bloggers everywhere.

Pretty Things

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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, Tor.com, 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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  1. Sandy Ferber /

    Hey, Alix, are you familiar with the famous David Pringle book “Science Fiction: 100 Best Books”? It has been a bible of mine for many years now, so I was happy to see that a sequel has just come out. LOTS of stuff for me to catch up with….


  2. Well, I will never ever ever purchase a book written by Lynn Shepherd. It amazes me that she thought that would go over well in the Huff Post book column!

    Here’s a response by author Mark Pryor: http://huff.to/1hpGaGW

  3. Dear Lynn; Envy is never pretty. I didn’t read The Casual Vacancy because it’s not my kind of book. I did read the Cuckoo’s Calling because it was a mystery. My limited experience, reading reviews and talking to bookstore clerks, is nothing like what Shepherd is describing here. The books are not selling like crazy in my town. As someone who is trying to get published, I know how tempting it is to blame someone else for lack of sales, but I also know it’s childish. Rowling is an inspiration to writers everywhere — except at Lynn Shepherd’s house, I guess.

  4. And Alix, I was thinking this morning that Fanlit should do a Nebula column this year, since we’re reviewed so many of the nominees. Maybe a “who should win, who will win,” kind of thing? It will be painful, I know.


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