A new short story guaranteed every month, for just $1, plus additional levels of Stuff!
A new short story guaranteed every month, for just $1, plus additional levels of Stuff!
Congrats to all the nominees!
Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
Roadsouls, Betsy James (Aqueduct)
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff (Harper)
The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
“Bloodybones,” Paul F. Olson (Whispered Echoes)
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)
“Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
“Little Widow,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16)
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me,” Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
Clockwork Phoenix 5, Mike Allen, ed. (Mythic Delirium)
Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)
Children of Lovecraft, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)
Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, Tina Connolly (Fairwood)
A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)
Vacui Magia, L.S. Johnson (Traversing Z Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga; Head of Zeus)
Jeffrey Alan Love
Special Award, Professional
L. Timmel Duchamp, for Aqueduct Press
C.C. Finlay, for editing F&SF
Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn, for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press)
Kelly Link, for contributions to the genre
Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre
Special Award, Non-Professional
Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Neile Graham, for fostering excellence in the genre through her role as Workshop Director, Clarion West
Malcom R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer, for their publication The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume Two: Gods and Goddesses (Michael Publishing)
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny
Brian White, for Fireside Fiction Company
The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention, which this year is November 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/
Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder TOASTMASTER: Martha Wells
What I Just Finished Reading
Millions Like Us: Women's Lives During the Second World War by Virginia Nicholson. Finally! I kept reading it on and off so it's taken me ages to get through it. It's quite long and it's hard going reading about the awful things some of these women dealt with.
Even after the war things were quite hard. Some women were happy to go back to being housewives... except that rationing got worse and they spent their time queueing for food when there wasn't enough for everyone in the queue. Other women had opportunities opened to them, but then got married and had a baby and then found they were trapped in their lives as mothers. Two of them used to spent their days drinking whisky round one of them's houses while their children played!
What I'm Currently Reading
The Mill Girls by Tracy Johnson. I found this in The Works for £2 and decided to read it next on the basis that it was short. It's a collection of four stories of women who worked in the cotton mills in Lancashire. I've read three of them so far and although they're quite similar in that their families were poor and the women went out to work at 14, they have different attitudes to the mills. Although it's interesting that what they had in common is that when they enjoyed it, it was because they were working with other women their age that they had things in common with.
What I'm Reading Next
I don't know. It depends on what I fancy reading after I finish this book.
Mirrored from my blog.
- You may nominate up to five fandoms with up to five relationships in each.
- Both parties must be women or gender questioning/queer people you'd be comfortable writing about in a femslash challenge
- All characters in nominated threesomes/moresomes must be women or gender questioning/queer people you'd be comfortable writing about in a femslash challenge.
- Please nominate crossovers as under the fandom: Crossovers - Fandom, and list the characters with their fandom after the character name (Example: Pepper Potts (MCU)/Seven of Nine (Star Trek: Voyager)
- [Canonical Character]/Original Female Character is allowed. [Canonical Character]/Any is not allowed
- [Canonical Character]/[Unnamed Character] is allowed in cases where there most likely was a woman, but we don't know exactly who she was, for example: Galadriel/Legolas' Mother in The Hobbit fandom.
- There will be one category for Original Work, in which you may nominate things such as Princess/Handmaiden, Mermaid/Ship Captain, or Starship Captain/Chief Engineer.
- You may wish to drop down into the comments below to see what fandoms and pairings others are nominating, and how to nominate large/complicated fandoms. We will be continuing to wrangle most large fandoms in the same manner as previous years, including:
- Songs with female singers and female or ambiguous pronouns are eligible.
- All of the MCU movies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Agent Carter will be listed under Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will be listed together under Marvel Netflix.
- X-Men (Movies) will now be divided into X-Men (Alternate Timeline Movies), X-Men (Original Timeline Movies) and Deadpool (2016). Wolverine movies go in Original Timeline.
- Marvel Comics will be nominated by universe, for example: Marvel 616, Marvel Adventures, etc.
- Main-continuity DC comics, including pre-Flashpoint and New 52, will be under DCU (Comics). Other DC universes such as Bombshells will be separate by universe.
- Everything set in the Doctor Who universe can be nominated under Doctor Who (including Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood).
- Tolkien fandoms will be split into The Silmarillion – J.R.R. Tolkein; The Hobbit (All Media Types), and The Lord of the Rings (All Media Types).
- All of the old-continuity Star Treks together under "Star Trek: Classic Timeline (All Series)," AOS under "Star Trek: Alternate Original Series (Movies)."
- Stargate will be grouped together under "Stargate - All Series"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel: The Series and assorted spinoffs will go together under "Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Related Fandoms."
- All variations of Sailor Moon will be nominated separately.
- All Pretty Cure series will be nominated together.
- All Rune Factory series will be nominated together.
- FF X and FF X-2 will be nominated as "Final Fantasy X & Final Fantasy X-2"
- All of Dragon Age goes together under "Dragon Age - All Media Types"
- Kamen Rider variations go together under Kamen Rider - All Media Types
- Various Sentai properties go together under Super Sentai Series
- The Les Mis tag will be "Les Miserables (All Media Types)."
- Law and Order series will be nominated separately by series name.
- Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow tv shows will be nominated together as "Arrowverse (CW TV)"
If you're unhappy with any of those combinations/divisions, the mods are willing to negotiate, but the sooner you mention it, the more likely we are to be able to change it. If you believe your fandom has changed over the last year in a way that makes the above no longer accurate, or you plan to nominate a new fandom that may need special treatment in a similar manner, please let us know!
If you spot any doubles, misfiled fandoms, random pairing popping up under other fandoms or pairings that don't qualify, comment here. We're going to do our best to wrangle as we go.
Don't waste a nomination! Before you nominate anything, check the tag set to see if your pairings and fandoms are already there.
We also won’t be running a separate nomination discussion post this year due to the timeline being moved up a little, so in addition to any wrangling issues please feel free to talk about what you're thinking of nominating in the comments, discuss eligibility, negotiate free spaces in your nominations with other users, etc.
Okay, ready to go? More than ready to go?
Click here to nominate some femslash.
Nominations will remain open until 6pm EDT, 10 August 2017.
How can it only be Wednesday? Yesterday felt like it was 8 days long in and of itself. Sigh.
What I've just finished
What I'm reading now
Still on Abaddon's Gate. I like it but not as much as the first two books so it's taking me longer to read (the fact that I haven't been getting a seat on the train hasn't helped). I feel like the new characters are not nearly as interesting as Avasarala and Bobbie, though I like Anna and Bull just fine. Melba, otoh... On the plus side, ( spoilers ) I'm about a hundred pages from the end so I'm guessing there's still some excitement to come.
What I'm reading next
Regardless, I did pick up the next book - Cibola Burn - because I do want to see what happens next. I just also wish we got the POV from the others on the Roci instead of all Holden all the time there.
( Cut to keep from clogging your reading page )
The Disabled People Destroy SF Kickstarter*, to produce a disability-themed special issue of Uncanny magazine, is up and running here and well on its way to meeting the initial funding goal (about 80% funded with 29 days to go).
And the first of their personal essays on disability and SF is up here, a good piece on Mental Health/neurodiversity** getting in the way of growing up to be the SF protagonist you dreamed of, that the genre allows you to be, so sitting down and setting to work to change the genre to allow for protagonists with MH/neurodiversity. I'm so glad the first piece talks about MH/neurodiversity and invisible disability, as they're the most invisible/most often cured of SFnal disabilities.
* If you aren't familiar with the 'x' People Destroy series, it has already done POC Destroy SF and Queers Destroy SF to significant success. I was initially a little disconcerted it's swapped magazines for the disability issue, from Lightspeed to Uncanny, but the editors of Uncanny have a disabled child and they've assembled a solid team of disabled editors for the special issue, so my worries seem unfounded.
** The author talks about a bipolar diagnosis, but then settles on neurodiversity as their preferred community label. It's a view I have some sympathy with, though it can confuse people about non-MH related neurodiversity.
The tv show cut or compressed various characters and slimmed down events, and given that they do two books per season so far, that's not surprising. But even if they took a longer time, I think some of the changes and cuts were to the narrative's benefit. For example: Cornwell has to come up with some pretty convoluted circumstances and far-stretched plots to have a teenage Uthred who is still with the Danes secretly present when Prince (not yet King) Alfred confesses about his carnal lapses to Beocca. In the book, he needs to be because he's the narrator and neither Alfred nor Beocca would have told him about this. The tv show dispenses with said circumstances and just has the scene between Alfred and Beocca, without Uthred secretly listening in, because he doesn't need to be in order for the audience to get this information about the young Alfred.
Mind you, dispensing with the first two times Uthred meets Alfred and letting their first encounter not happen until after Ragnar the Elder's death creates one important difference between book and show relationship that's worth mentioning. Book Uthred lies to Alfred (and Beocca) these first two times and point blank spies on them for the Danes, so the later "why do you keep distrusting me?" indignation rings a little hollow in this regard. Show Uthred does no such thing, so Alfred is accordingly less justified in his lingering ambiguity.
Another cut that somewhat shifts perception: the first novel has Uthred participating in a few Danish raids led by Ragnar, including one on Aelswith's hometown (though she doesn't know he took part). Now, in the show we go from Uthred the child to adult Uthred directly and adult Uthred is solely seen at Ragnar's home, with the deaths of Ragnar & Co. impending, but given adult Uthred later is shown to be already a skilled fighter, it stands to reason he practiced these skills. But I suspect the show avoided showing Uthred fighting against Saxon civilians this early on deliberately. Both show and books have Uthred loving the Danes but staying with the Saxons post Ragnar's death because various circumstances (and then Alfred's machinations) make it impossible for him to do otherwise. Only the book, though, spells out that Uthred doesn't start to feel any kind of identification/emotional connection to the Saxons until he sees them winning a battle (until then, narrator Uthred says, he hadn't thought Danes could lose, which makes sense given that throughout Uthred's childhood and adolescence, they were winning), when before he regarded them as weak and didn't want to think of himself as belonging to them. Which makes sense given Uthred is raised in a warrior culture and is a young, arrogant adolescent at the time, but again, I suspect the tv version avoids spelling this out in order not to make him off putting early on when establishing the character.
Otoh, the scenes the tv show adds in the two seasons where Uthred isn't present all serve to flesh out the characters in question more and work to their benefit, whether it's Alfred, Hild, Aelswith or Beocca. The notable exception is Guthred in s2, whose additional scenes make him look worse, not better than the novel does. Possibly, too, because in the novel Guthred is described having an easy charm that makes Book!Uthred forgive him even the truly terrible thing Guthred does to Uthred, and the actor playing Guthred on the show doesn't have that at all, and instead comes across as nothing but fearful, easily influenced and weak. (And show!Uthred while coming to terms with him doesn't forgive him.) I have to say, lack of actorly charm aside, given that Guthred ( does something spoilery to Uthred ), I find the tv version more realistic.
The push-pull relationship between Uthred and Alfred is there in both versions, but in the tv show, it comes across as more central. As my local library has it, I also read "Death of Kings", the novel in which, Alfred dies, not without manipulating Uthred one last time into doing what he wants him to do, and Uthred's thoughts on the man later, summing him up, are Cornwell's prose at its best:
I stood beside Alfred's coffin and thought how life slipped by, and how, for nearly all my life, Alfred had been there like a great landmark. I had not liked him. I had struggled against him, despised him and admired him. I hated his religion and its cold disapproving gaze, its malevolence that cloaked itself in pretended kindness, and its allegiance to a god who would drain the joy from the world by naming it sin, but Alfred's religion had made him a good man and a good king.
And Alfred's joyless soul had proved a rock against which the Danes had broken themselves. Time and again they had attacked, and time and again Alfred had out-thought them, and Wessex grew ever stronger and richer and all that was because of Alfred. We think of kings as privileged men who rule over us and have the freedom to make, break and flaunt the law, but Alfred was never above the law he loved to make. He saw his life as a duty to his god and to the people of Wessex and I have never seen a better king, and I doubt my sons, grandson and their children's children will ever see a better one. I never liked him, but I have never stopped admiring him. He was my king and all that I now have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live and the swords of my men, all started with Alfred, who hated me at times, loved me at times, and was generous with me. He was a gold-giver.
Last Yuletide I added a Last Kingdom request at the last minute because I'd seen it had been nominated, and accordingly it was short, but this Yuletide I think I'll also offer, and will request in more detail and more characters. While the other historical tv shows I consumed during the last year were entertaining in various degrees, this was the only one which was also good.
Still slowly but surely making my way through The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. I've taken to listening while ironing instead of watching Netflix, so I can get a chapter or two in that way. About 75% of the way through now.
Also still reading The Scarab Path, but I'm quite close to the end. After that, this series will no longer be re-read, because this is as far as I ever got. I do remember the stuff that's going on in the book right now, but I'm quite pleased to not being able to remember what the big mystery was or even if an answer was given yet. I've got a suspicion, but on the other hand rather doubt it can be that simple. Also, more than ever I want to firmly whack a specific character over the head with a shovel. I remember growing to disliking that character over the course of this book the first time around, and it has happened all over again. Very much hope they will get over it. Soon. Soon would be good.
Finally, I've found myself suddenly picking up the first book of the Belgariad series by David Eddings and proceeding to chew through three more and half of a fourth. So actually nearly finished with the series. Again x many. Intend to power straight through the Mallorean series as well afterwards. Familarity = good de-stressor.
I need to not write stuff when trying to deal with my meds clashing. Also when I'm in low mood because I can't really process properly. Still not doing too good there atm, but self awareness is kicking in so that's something.
Better updates will come.
... Here's the Bat Out of Hell: the Musical trailer
Court of Fives by Kate Elliott was too nerve-wracking and painful for me to read right now; I finished it, but the sequels will definitely have to wait. The race and class issues were very well-depicted, I thought, and the suspense was excellent. I am just too stressed about the world to handle this sort of thing in fiction right now.
The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch was, alas, much shorter than I had hoped. Abigail was so great! I want all the Abigail stories!!!
I was happily surprised that Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb, 43rd in the series, was much better than several of the previous volumes. There were a lot of twists and barriers to solving the mystery, capturing the perpetrators, and bringing them to justice, and remarkably little checking in with the huge recurring cast, which can become tedious. I read this partly because mysteries are comforting (justice wins!) and partly for purposes of analysis. I need to write down notes on its structure and character types and things like that.
We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.
Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.
I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=