On this, my inaugural Websday address, I’m pleased to say that the interwebs have risen to the occasion and provided me with a veritable sea of links for you all. First, in prize-giving news, we’re now in the final round of Goodreads Reader’s Choice Award, which is primarily useful as a book-recommending tool. The SFWA is now accepting nominations for the Nebula Award, although it’s a members-only affair, and Analog’s Award Ballot is also up.  Finally, Tor.com offers some thoughts on the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and why the SFF community rarely gets within spitting distance of it.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsMy favorite of the week’s best-of lists is this list of the most literary sci-fi novels, because you can give them as Christmas gifts to people who look down their noses at the genre. It’s also a great list because it includes women authors and people of color, and manages not to trivialize them as token names (Octavia Butler, Ursula LeGuin, and Samuel Delany will totally remake your world. Like, just look at that beard). Another good list comes from the Kindle Daily Posts at Amazon, which provides a list of great books that have been overlooked by readers this year, and a more general best-of  list comes from Kirkus Reviews. Also, remember that Amazon is great but it’s also a mega-corporation which eats small bookstores for breakfast while cackling with glee. Here are some cool indie bookstores to support this season.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThere have also been some really great SFF articles and conversations this week. The Nerds of Color give us an excellent article explaining why we need a Muslim superhero (the new Ms. Marvel is about a Muslim teen, and written by World Fantasy winning G. Willow Wilson). On a similar note, The Book Smugglers hosted an article by military SF writer Rachel Bach on writing female protagonists in her genre. And Stefan Raets, a retired and beloved FanLit reviewer, found himself in an admirable Twitter-battle with Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice, about problematic definitions of agency in SF and how amazing Cherryh’s Foreigner really is. The results of their discussion may be found on Stefan’s blog, Far Beyond Reality. All of these articles are perhaps related to the changing face of science fiction, a topic discussed by award-winning authors in an article in Amazing Stories. As a dignity-free fangirl, DUDES, BUJOLD HAS SPOKEN.  

In other evidence that FanLit has excellent contributors, guest reviewer Thomas Wagner has launched a new channel and booktubing series called SFF180. He also has a website with over 700 book reviews, which can be found here. Keep an eye out for potential future YouTube collaborations!

Before you send your digital fanmail or accost your favorite author at a convention, take note of these 14 ways to tick off a writer. As evidence that these rules transcend genre and time, I submit to you Mark Twain’s snarky responses to fans. Also, io9 has kindly provided a guide to some new and confusing terms in the genre, to make sure your vocab is up to scratch.

And now, because I have no self-restraint when it comes to Pretty Stuff to Look at on the Internet, here are some notes of visual interest. First, I offer you these superheroes added into great works of Western art. And then there’s this collection of science fiction literature travel posters. And then there’s this photographic archive of cosplayers from the 1930s to the present, which is weirdly mesmerizing. And, finally, here’s a bunch of Pinterest-y reading nooks that you want and can’t afford.

On a last and much more serious note, award-winning SFF author Jay Lake has recently gotten some very serious news about his cancer.  Fantasy Literature extends our condolences and best wishes to him.


  • 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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