On this day in 1789, the first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, was published in Boston.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Harry Clarke illustration of Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood

Writing, Editing, and Publishing

The nominations for Hugo Awards are now open.  On Such a Full Sea, an SF novel by Chang Rae Lee, has been nominated for a National Book Critic’s Circle award. And, I’m not sure how I missed this, but the Philip K. Dick Award nominees were announced, including Maplecroft by Cherie Priest.

In the essay collection Harry Potter and History, an essay by M.G. DuPree points out more sophistication and nuance to JK Rowling‘s invented spells. Check out a blurb from the essay here.

Jonathan Strahan shares the table of contents from the upcoming Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 9. Some great names and stories are on here, including several from the George R.R. Martin Rogues anthology, and some of my favorites from Monstrous Affections, the YA-focused anthology Kelly Link and Gavin Grant put out last year.

Kameron Hurley has another great essay about publishing and her position as an author with works that are self-published, put out by small presses, and picked up by larger publishers.

For The Guardian, Damien Walter wonders if science fiction is the religion of the 21st century.

I stumbled across the blog, “Where the Dog Star rages” a few weeks ago. The blogger behind it, Achala Upendran, writes about Taylor Swift, music videos, trashy tv shows, LOTR, Harry Potter, and lots of other pop cultural issues.that I find equally fascinating. This post, 4 Awesome Ideas for an Indian Fantasy Novel, is great; check her out.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

Cinderella and her Wicked Stepsisters, by Henry Clarke

Movies and Television:

Max Gladstone from Tor.com compares Birdman to a muppet movie.

Eden Friedman, writing for HuffPo, reviews UK Channel 4’s Black Mirror, calling it “the best TV show you’re not watching.”

Natalie Chaidez, the showrunner for SyFy’s 12 Monkeys series, talks to io9 about what she has learned about writing.

Ryan Britt ponders why Interstellar didn’t get an Oscars nod, wondering if it has something to do with the fact that it’s one of the only SF movies where science is not the enemy.

This Japanese animated short film entitled “Small Garden” is adorable and weird. It was one of Vimeo’s staff picks recently.

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

The LIttle Mermaid, by Henry Clarke

Internet Stuff:

A teenage boy in Pittsburgh, Sahil Doshi, has invented a battery that generates electricity from CO2.

Apparently the Green Bay Packers love to play Settlers of Catan in the locker room. And now, because of them, all of Green Bay, WI, has picked up an interest in the game.

This GIF-based retelling of Harry Potter is probably the thing that made me the happiest this week. What if Hermione were the main character?

The Scientific American attempts to explain our fascination with zombies.

And finally, you know nothing, George R. R. Martin, . . .  about horses.

Featured Art

Today we have more of Henry Clarke’s work, whose illustrations for Edgar Allan Poe’s work I featured last week. I love the detail and skill in the Little Mermaid illustration, but the colors in the others are so vibrant. Also, just a heads up, I’m teaching a fairy tale class this semester, so there might be a lot of fairy tale art coming up. Hope you’re ready.


  • 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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