On this day in 1889, at high noon, thousands rushed to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of at least 10,000.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

By Jensine Eckwall

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

In what might be the most surprising news of the week, the identity of fantasy author K.J. Parker has been revealed as Tom Holt, another genre author. For a truly surreal moment, read this, in which Holt interviews Parker … er… himself.

Also, K.J. Parker‘s new fantasy epic, The Two of Swords, will be serialized by Orbit, starting April 22 (hey, that’s today!). The “episodes” will be released as monthly e-versions before all are collected for both print and digital versions.

RJ Blain writes in honor of SFWA’s 50th birthday, explaining what the organization means to her. Her perspective as a self-published author, a demographic SFWA only recently allowed membership, is particularly interesting.

Several genre authors have won the 2014 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice and Career Achievement Awards. Jo Walton, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare, and Ilona Andrews are among several who won.

There have been more revisions to this years hotly contested Hugo ballot, as a result of more declined nominations. At this point, the ballot is final.

And Monica Byrne, author of Girl in the Road, writes partly in response to the Hugos but also about sexism in the book world in general.

Nnedi Okorafor has a novella, Binti, coming out this September. It’s Okorafor’s first work set in space!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

By Jensine Eckwall

Movies and Television:

The trailer for Batman Vs. Superman has been released. It looks great, of course. But I don’t really get it, either. Are they gonna fight?

A new teaser trailer for new Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released. At the end, we see Hans and Chewie–sweet!

The BBC is interested in making another Doctor Who movie, but writers are resisting pressure to rush on this.

Orphan Black is back, and if you haven’t gotten into this addictive and amazing show, here’s Brian Moylan with his take on what he learned from binge-watching seasons 1 and 2.

Mari Ness, for Tor.com, has started a new series that I wish I’d written–a read/watch of the major Disney films and their fairy tale counterparts. Here is her essay on the Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, comparing it to various fairy tale versions, including the Grimm version.

Here’s the trailer for Tale of Tales, the coolest-looking movie since The Fall, and based on Basile’s Pentamerone, one of the seminal European collections of fairy-tales.

There might be a Galaxy Quest TV show!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

By Jensine Eckwall

Internet Stuff:

Because finding proof of alien life during my lifetime is my dearest wish and highest dream, this article about why NASA thinks we will accomplish that by 2025 is my favorite thing on the Internet this week.

This is pretty neat; researchers studying a recently discovered Amazonian tribe have learned that the people in this tribe harbor about 40% more bacteria in their bodies and on their skin than people from industrialized countries. This research into the human “microbiome” could have some really important conclusions for human health and the environment.

Art Feature: 

Today I’m featuring the work of illustrator Jensine Eckwall, whose whimsical, fantastic work I encountered through the Spectrum nominations. Here’s what she says about herself:

I’m an illustrator based out of Brooklyn. My family moved around a lot when I was growing up and settled in the northeast. I then moved to New York and graduated from SVA. I love the internet, and use it to do things like order dried berries. My first favorite song was “Leader of the Pack.” My first name is pronounced JEN-sen.

Jensine’s work has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Spectrum Fantastic Art, and 3×3. She was named Zankel Scholar in 2012.

Extra Feature:

My colleagues here at FanLit demanded … I mean, asked politely for … a picture from my recent wedding to my lovely husband Wil so, at the risk of extreme narcissism, here it is. Don’t we look cute? “Those were the days,” I’m sure we’ll be saying in a few years as we retire on Europa, tiny robots zooming around our heads, delivering snacks and drinks.

Kate and Wil tie the knot.

Kate and Wil tie the knot.


  • Kate Lechler

    KATE LECHLER, on our staff from May 2014 to January 2017, resides in Oxford, MS, where she divides her time between teaching early British literature at the University of Mississippi, writing fiction, and throwing the tennis ball for her insatiable terrier, Sam. She loves speculative fiction because of what it tells us about our past, present, and future. She particularly enjoys re-imagined fairy tales and myths, fabulism, magical realism, urban fantasy, and the New Weird. Just as in real life, she has no time for melodramatic protagonists with no sense of humor. The movie she quotes most often is Jurassic Park, and the TV show she obsessively re-watches (much to the chagrin of her husband) is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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