Stranger Horizons, July 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 30 July 2015 | Comments (0) »

New books: Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell have co-edited Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, which includes work by Chris Brown, Benjamin Rosenbaum, L. Timmel Duchamp, Anil Menon, Sheree Renee Thomas, and many others. A. C. Wise's collection, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again (now that's what I call a title) is out from Lethe Press. Octavia Cade's first novel The August Birds is out ("half science fiction, half science history"). Chris Willrich's fantasy The Chart of Tomorrows (the continuing adventures of poet Persimmon Gaunt and thief Imago Bone, and their baby) is out from Pyr. Margaret L. Carter's horror/erotic-romance novella Crossing the Border is out as an ebook from Ellora's Cave.

New poems: Sara Norja's chapbook micro-chapbook Watching the City is out from the Origami Poetry Project. Jeannine Galley's "Introduction to Ruby Slippers, Hot Air Balloons" is in the latest issue of newish zine FreezeRay. The latest Uncanny includes Bryan Thao Worra's "Slices of Failure in Super Science", and C. S. E. Cooney's "The Saga of Captain Jens." Sally Rosen Kindred's persona poem "Gretel, Later" is in the July issue of Rogue Agent. The latest issue of Star*Line includes work by Jenny Blackford, Mary Soon Lee, Robert Borski, and others. And speaking of SFPA, a reminder: the 2015 SFPA Poetry Contest for unpublished poems is open for submissions until 31st August.

Special comics category! Cecil Castellucci's short comic "World Junior Mustache" is in Vertigo Quarterly SFX slam #2. And Jessy Randall has five poetry comics at Knee-Jerk.

New stories: Rachael Jones, Margaret Killjoy, Sarah Pinsker, and plenty of others have stories in Accessing the Future, The Future Fire's new anthology of disability-themed SF. The latest issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet is a special on humanity's relationship with the Earth and includes stories by Christopher Brown, Carmen Maria Machado, and Sofia Samatar, among others. Nathaniel Lee's "Liveboy" (elevator pitch: "Betty Friedan with revenants") is in this month's Intergalactic Medicine Show. James Dorr's "Olé Bubba and the Forty Steves" ("yuppified zombies and the running of the bulls") is in the Terror Tree Pun Book of Horror Stories. Issue 7 of Lackington's includes work by Mat Joiner, M. Bennardo, Mari Ness, Nin Harris and others. The latest Apex includes Rich Larson's "Going Endo" and Shira Lipkin's "Never Chose This Way", among others. Natalia Theodoridou has a new story in Clarkesworld: "Android Whores Can't Cry." Upper Rubber Boot books has published Lawrence Schimel's translation of Argentine writer Teresa P. Mira de Echeverria's novelette, "Memory", which was a finalist for the Spanish national science fiction awards. Lynette Mejia wrote the Nature Future for 22 July 2015: "The memory of trees." Cat Rambo has posted her flash piece, "California Ghosts" (supported by her Patreon). Iona Sharma's "Archana and Chandni" appeared in Betwixt. Kate MacLeod's "The Onmyoji's Wife" is in the latest Abyss & Apex. Over at Daily Science Fiction you can find Kate Heartfield's "This is the Humming Hour", and Mari Ness's "Little Men with Knives" is at Crossed Genres. Orrin Grey's "Alraune" and Claire Humphrey's "Eldritch Brown Houses" are in Lethe Press's anthology Daughters of Frankenstein: Lesbian Mad Scientists. William Alexander's "Ana's Tag" is in this month's Lightspeed. And a couple of podcasts: Jei D. Marcade's "Sounding the Fall" appeared at Escape Pod, while Michelle Ann King's "Congratulations on your Apotheosis" is at PodCastle.


Non-fiction: The issue of LCRW Renay's recent column on the weight of SF backhistory in typically eloquent fashion. Abigail Nussbaum marked ten years of Asking the Wrong Questions by releasing an ebook of her writing on Iain M. Banks.




Stranger Horizons, June 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 2 July 2015 | Comments (0) »

I'm a couple of days late with the June update, for which apologies -- my excuse is that I've been on holiday (about which I might write a little more, but the short version is that you should all go and vote for Helsinki to host the 2017 Worldcon). A couple of magazine-y bits to start. First of all, congratulations to Amal El-Mohtar, whose "The Truth About Owls" won Best Short Story in the Locus Awards; we were pleased to be able to reprint the story, which first appeared in Kaleidoscope, earlier this year. Second, those in the Houston area may be interested in this Indiegogo campaign for a literary festival to be held early next year, which will feature one of our fiction editors (and co-editor of Kaleidoscope come to that), Julia Rios, as a guest.

New books in June: Zen Cho has edited the exciting-looking anthology Cyberpunk: Malaysia for Buku Fixi. Daniel José Older's first YA, contemporary fantasy Shadowshaper (read an excerpt here). Jo Walton's The Philosopher Kings is the sequel to The Just City from earlier this year (read an interview about the book here). Tom Doyle's American Craftsmen is out from Tor in paperback. And a new magazine issue: the latest issue of Lontar, edited by Jason Erik Lundberg features fiction and poetry by Ng Yi-Sheng, Andrew Cheah, Eliza Victoria and others.

New poetry: Mythic Delirium has Natalia Theodoridou's "Philomela in Seven Movements" and Dominik Parisien's "A Portrait of the Monster as an Artist." Mari Ness' "Inhabiting Your Skin" appeared at Apex. The latest issue of Interfictions includes work by Neile Graham, Penny Stirling, Sonya Taaffe and others. Neile also has a poem in the latest Liminality, "The Sea Roads", alongside another SH poetry editor, AJ Odasso, with "Bone-House." The latest issue of Inkscrawl includes Sarah Norja's "Betweening", Alexandra Seidel's "Take Me", and Sonya Taaffe's "Antique Water Magic", among others. John W Sexton's "Interview" appeared in Apex. Daniel Ausema's "The Alien Ruins" appeared in The Pedestal. Elizabeth Barrette has published a number of new poems in her Schrodinger's Heroes setting. And the latest issue of StarLine includes work by Jessy Randall ("Review of Your Dream by the Dream Critic"), David C Kopaska-Merkel ("credit limit reached" and "The Spiders of Space"), and AJ Odasso ("Your last word on earth"), among others.

How about some new stories? Beneath Ceaseless Skies features Rose Lemberg's "Grandmother-nai-Leylit's Cloth of Winds" and Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's "The Girl with Golden Hair." Natalia Theodoridou's "On Post-Mortem Birds" is in Interfictions, Lightspeed's Queers Destroy Science Fiction special includes work by Sarah Pinsker, Amal El-Mohtar, Rose Lemberg, JY Yang, Bogi Takács, Susan Jane Bigelow, and others. Clarkesworld's June issue included "Forestspirit, Forestspirit" by Bogi Takács. Christina Scholz's Weird novelette "Dun da de Sewolawen: The Heart of Silence" is in issue four of The New Accelerator. James Dorr's "Raising the Dead" appears in the steampunk-through-the-ages anthology Airships & Automatons. Genevieve Williams' "Good Behaviour" can be found at Perihelion SF. LS Johnson's "Vendémiare" appears in the anthology B is for Broken. Daily Science Fiction featured Naru Dames' Sundar's "A Revolution in Four Courses" and Rachael K Jones' "Voidrunner". Kate Heartfield's "Bonzaiships of Venus" appears at Glittership. The anthology Hear Me Roar, featuring stories about strong women, includes Jenny Blackford's "The Sorrow", Alter S Reiss' "Catalysis", and others. And a podcast note: Karen Munro's "Deep Deep" appeared at Pseudopod.

Finally, non-fiction: At Interfictions, Keguro Macharia writes about Octavia Butler's Survivor. Matthew Cheney reacts to Sense8. Abigail Nussbaum has thoughts on the fifth season finale of Game of Thrones. Tom Speelman wrote for The Mary Sue about great playlists in comics. Genevieve Valentine has an essay on Mad Max and the feminine desert at The Dissolve. Nina Allan blogs about the tyranny of plot. And Sabrina Vourvoulias put together some "Not the New York Times" summer reading lists for Al Día News: for adults and for young adults.




Stranger Horizons, May 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 31 May 2015 | Comments (0) »

Let's start with new stories this month. Kathrin Köhler kicks off the Booksmugglers' First Contact season with her interactive tale, "Application for the Delegation of First Contact: Questionnaire, Part B." Cassandra Khaw has a new story at The Dark: "An Ocean of Eyes." Arkady Martine's "Adjuva" appeared at Lakeside Circus. The current Apex includes "Remembery Day" by Sarah Pinsker and "A Sister's Weight in Stone" by JY Yang. Tiffani Angus' "The Final Voyage of the World's Oldest Time Traveler" is in Athena's Daughters vol 2, from Silence in the Library, along with stories by JY Yang, Carrie Ryan and others. LS Johnson's "Five Little Seeds" can be found at Wyvern Lit. The latest Uncanny includes A. C. Wise's "The Practical Witch's Guide to Acquiring Real Estate." Daniel José Older's "Ginga" and Kameron Hurley's "Elephants and Corpses" appeared at Tor.com. Benjamin Parzybok's "News of the Week" is in the Spring/Summer issue of West Branch Literary Journal. Jessy Randall has a story in the new Menacing Hedge anthology, and has "Maybe a Witch Lives There in Mythic Delirium. James S Dorr's "Marcie and Her Sisters" is in Reel Dark, edited by L. Andrew Cooper and Pamela Turner. Orrin Grey's "The House of Mars" ("Edgar Rice Burroughs by way of LA Confidential") is available in the collection Slow Boat to Fast City, or as a standalone ebook. Tom Greene's "The Narrative of More" and Seth Dickinson's "Three Bodies at Mitanni" are in the July/August issue of Analog. And Gwynne Garfinkle's "The Imaginary Friend", Alexandra Seidel's "The Marriage of Ocean and Dust", and Kate Heartfield's "Skulldggers" can be found in Postscripts to Darkness vol 6. On the audio front, Drabblecast featured Andrew Kozma's "The Liver" and Sarah Pinsker's "They Sent Runners Out", while Marie Brennan's "Comparison of Efficacy Rates for Seven Antipathetics as Employed Against Lycanthropes" was at Pseudopod and Lisa Morton's "And Out of the Strong Came Forth Sweetness" was at Gilttership.

New books: Angels of the Meanwhile, a benefit anthology for Elizabeth R. McClellan's medical costs edited by Alexandra Erin and Rose Fox, includes work by Sonya Taaffe, Bogi Takács, Rose Lemberg, Saira Ali, Amal El-Mohtar and others, and is available on a pay-what-you-want basis from here. Cat Rambo and Fran Wilde's SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook is available for pre-order. Tina Connolly's YA fantasy Seriously Wicked, about a girl adopted by a seriously wicked witch, is out from Tor Teen. Grant Stone's novella The Last is out from Paper Road Press, a tale of music and mystery set on a New Zealand farm. Heather Knox's first poetry collection Dowry Meat is out from Words Dance Publishing, including an expanded version of her SH poem, "VIMVIMRECOIL". Faith L. Justice's Sword of the Gladiatrix is out now from Raggedy Moon Books. Margaret L. Carter's shapeshifter erotic romance novella "Bear Hugs" has a new edition paired with Lena Lonseon's "Alpha Mountie", from Ellora's Cave. A couple of serials to finish: the first four episodes of Daniel Ausema's Spire City have gone out to subscribers -- jump on and catch up here. And chapter 10 of Jenn Grunigen's Skyglass is available from Sparkler Monthly.

And in new poetry: Peg Duthie has found poems in the latest issue of Galatea Resurrects. The Quarterly Literature Review of Singapore has published Victor Fernando R. Ocampo's experimental, "Objets trouvés de Singapour", which draws its text from Singapore government slogans and local advertising from the last half-century. Linda Addison has three poems in the Carpe Noctem 20th Anniversary Edition. Uncanny has Alyssa Wong's, "For the Gardener's Daughter." Mythic Delirium has two poems by Jane Yolen: "Mortar/Pestle" and "Eating and Being Eaten." And Elizabeth Barrette's poetry fishbowl theme this month was "language shaping thought."

Non-fiction: Liz Bourke reviews: The Mechanical by Ian Tregellis for Locus, and Radiant State by Peter Higgins for Tor.com. Brit Mandelo and Sonya Taaffe remember Tanith Lee. Abigail Nussbaum has thoughts on Tomorrowland and Mad Max: Fury Road. Maureen Kincaid Speller was among those mind melded at SF Signal on the topic of "writing in another's universe." Sofia Samatar is interviewed at Volume 1 Brooklyn. Aidan Doyle has a short article on the Pomodoro Technique for writers, on the SFWA blog. S. L. Huang's essay on intersectionality is in Invisible 2, along with pieces by Bogi Takács, Aliette de Bodard and others. Julia Rios has an essay on the top five myths about YA, at Uncanny. And Zen Cho, Bogi Takács, JY Yang, M. Sereno and Aliette de Bodard have a round-table discussion "On Diversity" at the Booksmugglers.

Finally, a couple of congratulations! Tom Greene's "Another Man's Treasure" won first place in the Analog AnLab Best Short Story category for 2014 (tied with Kristine Kathryn Ruscha), while Usman T. Malik's "Vaporization Enthalpy of a Peculiar Pakistani Family" won the Bram Stoker Award for short fiction (tied with Rena Mason). And Alyssa Wong and Carmen Maria Machado are among the nominees for the Shirley Jackson Awards. Well done to all.




SH at Wiscon: The photos!

posted by Niall Harrison on 26 May 2015 | Comments (0) »

Thanks to Mary Anne Mohanraj, a few photos of the tea party at this year's Wiscon, hosted by fiction editor Catherine Krahe. By all accounts, a good time for everyone who could make it -- thank you to everyone who dropped by!

Also at the tea party, some fill-it-yourself posters in recognition of our fifteenth anniversary, coming up this September. Where does the time go?




SH at Wiscon

posted by Niall Harrison on 18 May 2015 | Comments (0) »

This year's Wiscon is just around the corner, and that means a Strange Horizons tea party! Fiction editor Catherine Krahe will be your host this year, and can be found in room 627 on Sunday afternoon from 3pm:

Celebrate and discuss Strange Horizons at our tea party! The magazine is in its fifteenth year, ready to start asking for the car and bringing it back empty. What's in store for the future? What have you loved, and what do you want to see? Chat with some of our staff and writers, and enjoy your tea.

We're also a co-sponsor of this year's Floomp, on Saturday evening, and you can find various SH contributors and staff across the programme. It looks like being a good con! Hope everyone who's going has a great time.




On History

posted by Niall Harrison on 4 May 2015 | Comments (0) »

As some of you may or may not have noticed, there has been a theme to some of our non-fiction over the past few months; we've had a number of articles, round-tables and columns about history and the fantastic. We're quite pleased with how this has worked out, so we're going to be doing some additional themed strands in the future -- not that all of our material will be squeezed into a theme, or that we will only publish material on these themes, of course. Anyway, you can see some of our future ideas on our non-fiction guidelines page, and for reference, here's all of the "history" material:




Stranger Horizons, April 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 30 April 2015 | Comments (0) »

Time to find out what SH contributors got up to elsewhere in April.

New books: Ken Liu's first novel, epic fantasy The Grace of Kings, is out from Saga; listen to him discuss the book on the Coode St podcast. Cat Rambo's fantasy novel, Beasts of Tabat, is out from Tabat Press. Mary Robinette Kowal's latest novel, the fifth and final volume in her Glamourist Histories, is Of Noble Family. Aliya Whiteley's new novel Skein Island (more here) is out from Dog Horn Publishing. And Joanne Merriam has two anthologies out through Upper Rubber Boot: Choose Wisely: 35 Women Up To No Good, and How to Live on Other Planets: A Handbook for Aspiring Aliens (both of which feature a number of SH contributors).

New stories everywhere! Zen Cho's latest is "Monkey King, Faerie Queen", in Kaleidotrope. Sarah Pinsker's "Today's Smarthouse in Love" is in the May/June F&SF (which is on newsstands now). The latest Apex included A.C. Wise's "Silver Buttons All Down His Back", and Octavia Cade's "Crow", the latest in a series of stories about the future of New Zealand's fishing industry. Tor.com this month featured Vandana Singh's "Ambiguity Machines: An Examination", Sabrina Vourvoulias' "The Ways of Walls and Words", and Usman Malik's novella "The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn." The latest Farrago's Wainscot features Paul Jessup's "The Days of Talking Mountains", Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's "Dance Our Shoes to Pieces", and Romie Stott's "Every Hand a Winner." Karen Munro's "The Dead Must Make Way for the Living" appeared at Necessary Fiction. James S. Dorr's "Dead Lines" appeared at Daily Science Fiction. Orrin Grey has a story in Giallo Fantastique, edited by Ross E. Lockhart. L. S. Johnson has one story in the anthology Strange Tales V from Tartarus Press, and another picked as the winner of the 2015 OddContest. Alison Wilgus' "The Last Wild Place" appeared in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. Mat Joiner has a new tale, "Half The War is a Memory of Trees", in Not One of Us #53, just out. Andrew Kozma's "Coin in My Mouth, Coins on My Eyes" appeared in Juked. Virginia M. Mohlere's flash, "A Million Tiny Ropes", appeared in The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia, along with Carlie St. George's "Break the Face in the Jar by the Door." A podcast note: Kate Heartfield's "Traveller, Take Me" appeared at Podcastle. And a reprint note: Gwynne Garfinkle's SH story "In Lieu of a Thank You" has been reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk.

Just a few updates on the poetry front. Stone Telling released its joke issue, including work by Susannah Mandel, Mari Ness, Emily Jiang, Jaymee Goh, Alexander Seidel, and others. Margarita Tenser has a poem in the latest issue of Meniscus. Jeannine Hall Gailey's "Post-Apocalypse (With HGTV Magazine)" was featured on the Rumpus. Sara Norja's "The World in Springtime" appeared in The Stare's Nest. A. J. Odasso's "Your last word on earth" is in Star*Line 38.2. Deborah P. Kolodji's haiku "eerie notes" is in the latest Eye to the Telescope, along with work by Mari Ness, Ruth Berman, Marge Simon & Mary Turzillo, and others. And Jessy Randall's "Are All of These Shovels Our Shovels? appeared at Eclectica.


And some non-fiction to finish. Sofia Samatar explains why everyone should be reading Carmen Maria Machado; and Carmen reviewed classic lesbian novel Rubyfruit Jungle for Uncovered Classics. Ada Hoffmann has reviewed Michelle Sagara's Silence and T. Michael Martin's End Games for Disability in Kidlit's Autism Month. Abigail Nussbaum has thoughts on Daredevil. The latest Mad Norwegian Press Doctor Who collections is Companion Piece, in which women celebrate the companions that have mattered to them; it includes essays by Gwynne Garfinkle, Foz Meadows, Nina Allan, Amal El-Mohtar, and others. Electra Pritchett has a retrospective review of Kate Elliott's Highroad Trilogy at SF Misstressworks. Matthew Cheney ponders The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. Maureen Kincaid Speller writes about John Mullan's wrongness about fantasy. And Nina Allan has read the Clarke shortlist.




Clarke Day 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 8 April 2015 | Comments (0) »

It's Clarke shortlist time, but alas I could not get online until now; so let's see, without looking beforehand, how close my thoughts on the shortlist come to whatever the conventional wisdom has turned out to be. As a reminder, the Kitschies gave us Allan, Gibson, Okorafor, Smith, and Wiles (with Smith winning), plus Byrne, Chambers, Eyre, Itaranta, and Yanagihara (with Eyre winning). The BSFA showcased Allan, Hardinge, Hutchinson, Ings, Leckie, North, Okorafor and Williamson, with Leckie taking the prize. For the Clarke I predicted Byrne, Gibson, Hutchinson, Leckie, Mandel and Okorafor, and hoped for Allan, Byrne, Faber, Mitchell, Swift, and Yanagihara. And what have they given us, in the end?

The Girl With All The Gifts by MR Carey (Orbit)
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Canongate)
Europe in Autumn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta (HarperVoyager)
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (Orbit)
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel (Picador)

Put another way, that's one from the Kitschies, two from the BSFA, two from my prediction, and one from my wishlist. But 2014 had a very deep bench. The winner of the BSFA Award isn't shortlisted, nor is either winner of the Tiptree Award (I can live without Jo Walton, but the absence of The Girl in the Road strikes me as a serious omission), and the winner of the Kitschies wasn't submitted. There's no Jeff VanderMeer -- an unexpectedly complete washout in UK awards so far -- no Nnedi Okorafor (and nothing from Hodderscape at all, which seems off), no Adam Roberts (whose Bete I haven't yet read, but has been reviewed as one of his best), no Nina Allan (the biggest omission?), no Hanya Yanagihara, no EJ Swift, no William Gibson, no Simon Ings, no Peter Watts, no David Mitchell, no Ann Leckie …


So what do we have?

We have a list of six first-time nominees (which I believe has not happened since 1991), hailing from Canada, Finland, the Netherlands via Scotland, and three times from England (the last year without an American being 2008); we have three men and three women (back to 2002 for that), an all-white list (true most years, sadly), and one writer in (self) translation (and I think you have to go all the way to 1988 to find another translated nominee). Five publishers represented, putting Orbit on a 7-5 lead over Gollancz as the publisher with the most nominations this decade. In marketing terms, we've got two commercial-genre titles (Carey and North), two literary-genre (Hutchinson and Itaranta), and two genre-literary (Faber and Mandel). They comprise a zombie story, a missionary-to-aliens story, a near-future thriller, a near-future collapse, a further-future dystopia/collapse, and a repeated life. Compared to last year we've come back down to Earth, and closer to now. The presence of Hutchinson and Itaranta makes Europe a venue in a way it hasn't been on recent shortlists; on the other hand, the absence of Okorafor and Byrne keeps us on that continent, and the absence of Ings, Allan and Roberts means we don't get a good look at England.


What of quality? It's arguably the strongest list since 2010, yet not a list I am greatly in love with myself.

The Girl With All The Gifts has done very well, and has many fans, but I drifted away from it part-way through; I'll give it another go now. AS Moser reviewed it for us: "But for the reliance on all too familiar tropes, it might have been a great book."

The Book of Strange New Things got a bit of a knock from Nina Allan in our pages: "Whether the book is an honourable failure, or so massively wrongheaded that it beggars belief, I cannot bring myself to decide." It might be my favourite review of all those Nina has written for us, and I recognise the book she describes, and yet I disagree with her verdict almost entirely. Count me instead with James Bradley, who sees in it an "interest in the deadening effects of contemporary culture." I found it a novel defined by its tone, oddly mesmerising. It's the one book from my wishlist to make the shortlist, and I'm still thinking about it.

Europe in Autumn is the one I haven't read, but it has been stealthily picking up praise from all corners. Here's Maureen Kincaid Speller: "A deceptive piece of work, seemingly straightforward, but intricately layered." David Hebblethwaite was a bit more reserved in his review for us: "the seeds of the climactic revelation emerge a little too late to work as effectively as they might; and maybe the whole novel is that bit too quiet for its own good."

Memory of Water has also been a little under the radar, and has picked up some mixed responses (Nina wasn't keen on this one, either), but Katherine Farmar's take was enthusiastic: "a carefully crafted, finely observed, and ultimately deeply moving novel." I might moderate that a little, but I'm much more on the side of the positive than negative. Like the Faber, it has a very close focus on its central character with a somewhat hazy surround, an estranging device that I found effective in both novels.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North is the book with all the buzz: the one almost everyone at Eastercon mentioned to me. Which is not to say they all liked it, but most did; Paul Kincaid's measured response here gets at the appeal, the parallax between the scale of the background and the precision of the foreground: "the emotional investment is in what affects the person, not in what shapes the world."

Which leaves Station Eleven, winner of this year's Tournament of Books and seemingly beloved by almost everyone except me. It's the one we haven't reviewed, so I'll direct you to Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond's dissection of the book on The Writer and The Critic podcast. To be clear: it's a beautiful novel, with a wonderfully controlled structure and use of viewpoint; but it also seems to me (and Kirstyn, if you listen to the podcast) to be fatally disingenuous in its treatment of apocalypse. Christopher Priest, on the other hand, considers it "subtle, wise, beautifully written, layered, original, and often moving"; so what do I know?


What does it all add up to? A crowd-pleasing shortlist, I think; no obvious clunkers, and if I don't feel that it's quite as strong as 2014 deserved, there's at least one book for almost everybody to love. The winner is anybody's guess. I'll say that Hutchinson, North, and Itaranta are all in with a shot, Carey will probably fade on a second read, Faber will prove too divisive, and that in the end Mandel will take the prize. But we'll find out in about a month. In the meantime, I'll go and find out what everyone else thinks about this list.




Stranger Horizons, March 2015

posted by Niall Harrison on 31 March 2015 | Comments (0) »

New books! How to Live on Other Planets, an anthology exploring immigrant experience in SF settings, is out now from Upper Rubber Boot, edited by Joanne Merriam; it includes a lot of SH contributors, such as Zen Cho, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Nisi Shawl, and Indrapramit Das, plus a number of pieces from SH, including Tom Doyle's "The Floating Otherworld", Tina Connolly's "Turning the Apples", Rose Lemberg's "The Three Immigrations", and Tom Greene's "Zero Bar." Brenda Cooper's latest novel is Edge of Dark, from Pyr: "What if a society banished its worst nightmare to the far edge of the solar system ... and yet, that life thrived?" Genevieve Valentine's new noel Persona is out from Saga books: "In a world where diplomacy has become celebrity, a young ambassador survives an assassination attempt and must join with an undercover paparazzo in a race to save her life, spin the story, and secure the future of her young country." The third volume of Marie Brennan's "Lady Trent" series is The Voyage of the Basilisk, detailing "the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk." Stefon Mears' new epic fantasy, Twice Against the Dragon, is out from Thousand Faces Publishing. And Bill Kte'pi's horror novel Frankie Teardrop is out from Fey Publishing.

What do we have in the way of new stories? A whole lot! The new Lackington's includes L. S. Johnson's "Littoral Drift" and Dominik Parisien's "Spider Moves the World." Sofia Samatar's "Those" can be read in Uncanny; Sarah Pinsker's "When the Circus Lights Down" is in the same issue, due up in a couple of weeks. Eugene Fischer's novella "The New Mother" is in the April/May Asimov's; see a long extract here and Amal El-Mohtar's review Cassandra" appeared in Clarkesworld. Lightspeed featured Marissa Lingen's story "Surfacing"and reprinted Naomi Kritzer's "The Good Son." New anthology Cranky Ladies of History includes Nisi Shawl's "A Beautiful Stream", Foz Meadows' "Bright Moon", Sandra McDonald's "Cora Crane and the Trouble with Me", and others. Rich Larson's "Brainwhales Are Stoners, Too" is in the latest Interzone. Jenn Grunigen's "The Surprising Intellect of Combat Chickens" is out from Chromatic Press. Mari Ness's "The Fox Bride" appeared at Daily Science Fiction, as did Kate Heartfield's "Isabelle the Stupendous" and Natalia Theodoridou's "A Domestic Lepidopterist". Aidan Doyle's "Pride and Profanity" appeared at Fireside. Ada Hoffmann's "Lady Blue and the Lampreys" is in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, edited by Claude Lalumière and David Nickle. Daniel Ausema's "Apprentice in the Steam Library" can be found in Steampunk: The Other Worlds, and Orrin Grey's "Programmed to Receive" is in the Martian Migraine Press anthology RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond. James Door's story "Raising the Dead" is in the Kindle anthology Airships and Automatons (print edition to follow). Sara Norja's "The Ruin" is in Luna Station Quarterly. A. C. Wise has a story in Mark Teppo's anthology XIII. Tina Connolly's "Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day" gets a full-cast reading at Podcastle. Finally, Ursula Pflug is editing an anthology on the theme of "lost toys", with Colleen Anderson; details here.

On the poetry front: Jessy Randall has some poetry comics in Ohio Edit. Wendy Rathbone's "Layover" is in the April/May Asimov's. Jenny Blackford has three poems reprinted in Neon. Uncanny has C. S. E. Cooney's "Deep Bitch." Ting Gou's "The Fig Wasp" is in The Best of the Net Anthology. Peg Duthie's "A Mermaid Mama" appeared at First Class Lit. The latest Through the Gate includes Neile Graham's "Cassandra Now", Lisa M Bradley's "Levity", and work by Sonya Taaffe, Bogi Takács, M. Sereno and Elizabeth R. McClellan to boot. Deborah P Kolodji has two haiki in Bones (pdf link). Alexandra Seidel's "On the Tree" appeared in Liminality. David C. Kopaska-Merkel's "Mountain" is in the print zine Tales of the Talisman (vol 10, no 3). Jeannine Hall Gailey's new collection The Robot Scientist's Daughter is out from Mayapple Press: "A world of radioactive wasps, cesium in the sunflowers, and robotic daughters." Not quite here yet but on the way: the special joke issue of Stone Telling. Last but not least, you can read Elizabeth Barrette's Frakenstein's Family series, gothic fluff with a queerplatonic family.

And some non-fiction to round things out. Not one but two SH alumns on the New Yorker this month: Sara Polsky with an essay on Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time andthe reinternment of Richard III; and Carmen Maria Machado with her essay, "O Adjunct! My Adjunct!" Tom Speelman wrote for The Mary Sue on Mae Jemison's appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Matthew Cheney writes about the new Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction. Renay has some thoughts on styles of reviewing.




Closing to Fiction Submissions in April

posted by Niall Harrison on 25 March 2015 | Comments (0) »

Just a brief notice, as it says in the subject line: we're going to be closing to fiction submissions for the month of April, so if you've been meaning to send us a piece, now's the time. (The deadline for applying to be one of our first readers is the end of this month, too!) Fiction will be back open again in May, and other departments remain open as usual.




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