I’m back and feeling good which means this column has all sorts of goodies in it for you. If you can’t find something interesting in here to read, watch, or listen to, you’re not trying hard enough!

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

The Sunday Rumpus interviews Margaret Atwood. Also, this week marks the 63rd anniversary of George Orwell’s death, and Margaret Atwood wrote a column about her experiences reading Orwell as a child.

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s LIADEN Universe hits its 25th anniversary this year. This is one of my best love worlds. It probably would best be defined as space opera, but its a complex world of space ships and loyalty and magic and a sentient tree and honor giant turtles and…well, let’s just say its fantastic, in the many senses of that word. And I just realized that we have no reviews of any of the Liaden books and that MUST. BE. REMEDIED. They have a new book coming out and every book in the universe is currently available in either print or electronically. Here’s a short story by them you can read to get a taste for their style.

A fantastic comic back from 2009 about books. Also, RIP Borders.

The SF Signal’s Podcast features a great group of panelists talking about what books, movies, tv shows and comics they are most looking forward to in 2013.

Winter in fantasy. Appropriate here because it hasn’t been above freezing this year.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

Jo Walton discusses whether or not there is a right age to read a book It makes me feel like I should give Sense and Sensibility another try.

SF Signal is hosting their February Book Cover Smackdown, featuring dragon covers. Sarah, I included this just for you, but the rest of you can feel free to click on over and decide which of the five featured dragon covers of books debuting next month you like best.

And in more book cover news, Harper/Voyager is rereleasing seven classic fantasy and science fiction books with gorgeous new minimalist covers. I may end up rebuying some books just because I am a sucker for beautiful art.

To encourage you to read outside your normal sphere, Random House Canada published aReading Bingogame. Bonus points if you can use one book to give yourself a bingo!

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTor.com is hosting a reread of Neil Gaiman’s iconic The Sandman graphic novel series. Maybe this is the kick I need to finally read these?

Jim C. Hines publishes the income he makes as an author every year. It’s interesting to see how his income varies, and where it comes from. John Scalzi has done something similar in the past. I don’t often think of the job of being an author, I just enjoy the fruits of their labors, and it’s kind of eye-opening to see what exactly goes into being a successful author.

Sword and Laser interviews Terry Brooks.

I stumbled upon a lovely website where people write in about the children’s books that had lasting impacts upon them. They aren’t all fantasy books, but for anyone who has children or just loves children’s books, this is an amazing website that deserves a wider audience.

Ryan alerted me to this fascinating article about whether or not there is a viable business model for Artificial Intelligence.

William Ledbetter writes about what space exploration missions are learning about Mercury and Pluto. It’s a fascinating read for anyone who loves science fiction, and it’s interesting to consider how much old science fiction got right. And wrong.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsTor is also offering a special extended excerpt from Wool by Hugh Howey, which I named one of the best books of 2012. If you haven’t succumbed and purchased a copy yet, try this and you’ll be hooked.

SF Signal announced the nominees for the 2012 Kitschies (awarded to the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic). I’ve never heard of this award before, but apparently the winner gets a statue of a tentacle and a bottle of rum. I also like their taste in books.

I am intrigued by this excerpt from The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston. I love books set in the early 1800s, and am not opposed to a bit of romance. Maybe this is a “what would happen if Elizabeth Gaskell wrote fantasy?” option.

The British Science Fiction Association announced the finalists for their 2012 awards. We don’t get all of the same books on the same schedule in the USA, but for our British readers, or those who are Brit-curious, here’s the list of nominees.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsGotta give Patrick Rothfuss props for putting his money where his mouth is with this gender-swapped book cover. Jim C. Hines, one of the other authors baring more than they probably wanted to on that cover, has a great column on the problem with cover art.

Subterranean Press (which really is one of the most excellent small presses in the history of small presses) has released their Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 issues of  Subterranean Magazine in both epub and mobi formats for free. Check them out for some of the best short fiction available.



  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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