SFF, fantasy literature, science fiction, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviewsLists and Awards

Drumroll: The Clarke Award shortlist has been announced! And it includes my BFF in book form, Ancillary Justiceas well as Kameron Hurley’s The God’s War.

And now most of the SFF award world is standing around waiting with baited breath for the Hugos and Nebulas, but you can read some thoughts on the “retro-Hugos” here if you like. I didn’t know they were a thing, and now I’m not sure I understand why they’re a thing.

Two prominent children’s book awards have also announced their shortlists—the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway medal. I can’t claim to be an expert, but I can claim to click through the illustration nominees and admire the pretty pictures.

Articles and Such

Mostly, I paid attention strictly to fun stuff this week. So, I enjoyed this video of the Game of Thrones cast voting for who should (and would) ultimately sit on the Iron Throne. Although, seriously, Tyrion? Tyrion will end up ruling over Castlery Rock. Daenerys will get the throne, possibly marrying Jon Snow. Arya will get Winterfell, after killing any lingering bad dudes. Sansa will hopefully get to kill Littlefinger and rule the Vale. Brienne and Jaimie will run off to live with the wildlings. Bran will do weird Bran stuff in the north. It’s like I don’t even need the sequels, guys.

SFF, fantasy literature, science fiction, horror, YA, and comic book and audiobook reviewsAlso, here’s seven Utopias from literature that changed our future. Except I don’t think Marxism is a Utopian vision; I think it’s a practical guide to economic organization. Also, where’s Bellamy’s Looking Backward?

On the anti-fun side of the spectrum, here’s Baen publisher Toni Weisskopf’s opinion on how political correctness/basic human decency and social justice is ruining science fiction, with bonus whining about Heinlein and how nobody used to argue about politics in science fiction. Here’s John Scalzi’s response, and Foz Meadows’s.

If that was depressing, which it was, go fill out your bracket—for Lit Madness, which pits famous characters against each other in a Hunger Games-style arena. But obviously, Gandalf will win.

Publishing and Writing              

I’ve never read a Star Wars book in my life (although I obviously watched the original movies several dozen times in my childhood, developed a serious crush on Han Solo, and wanted to live on Endor), but this essay on writing in the Star Wars universe by James Corey is somehow very moving

Here’s another gooey thing: A comic book artist on the balance between getting a paycheck and pursuing your artistic vision, and how both of them are important.

If anyone out there is writing WWI-era fantasy, a ton of British war diaries have just been digitized and made available. As a former grad student who spent weeks reading microfilm versions of 1940s Bombay newspapers: digitize everything right now.

All the Pretty Things


  • 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, 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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