2018 Lord Ruthven Awards

The winners of the 2018 Lord Ruthven Assembly awards, presented for the best fiction on vampires and the best academic work on the study of the vampire figure in culture and literature, were announced at this year’s International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts.

The current officers of the Lord Ruthven Assembly are: Amanda Firestone, Ph.D., (President); longtime vampire writer Margaret Carter (VP) and Carol McMullen-Pettit (Secretary/treasurer).

This year the members voted for:

Lord Ruthven Award: Fiction

  • Charlaine Harris: The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories

Lord Ruthven Award: Non-Fiction

  • Gary A. Smith: Vampire Films of the 1970s

Lord Ruthven Award: Media/Popular Culture

  • Midnight, Texas Season 1

Special Recognition

  • Powers of Darkness: The Lost Translation of Dracula for both the “translation” from Stoker’s text and the scholarship added by Hans de Roos.

The awards take their name from the vampire antagonist in John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” (1819) and are given by the Lord Ruthven Assembly, an organization affiliated with the IAFA whose objectives include the serious pursuit of scholarship and research focusing on the vampire/revenant figure in a variety of disciplines. The Lord Ruthven Assembly as a public group on Facebook.

Stephen Lawson Wins 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

What the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award looks like.

The winner and runners-up for the 2018 Jim Baen Memorial Award competition have been announced.


  • “Homonculus” by Stephen Lawson


  • “Dangerous Company” by C. Stuart Hardwick


  • “Falling to the Moon” by Wendy Nikel

Stephen Lawson’s win comes on the heels of taking the first runner-up spot in 2017.

The contest is focused on stories of human space exploration and discovery, with an optimistic spin. Judges for the award were the editors of Baen Books and special guest judge, author David Drake. Stories were judged anonymously.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award will be presented May 26, 2018 in a ceremony at the annual International Space Development Conference held this year in Los Angeles, CA. The winner receives professional publication of their story in June 2018 at the Baen.com web site, where new fiction is featured each month.

“The National Space Society and Baen Books applaud the role that science fiction plays in advancing real science and have teamed up to sponsor this short fiction contest in memory of Baen Books founder, Jim Baen” said William Ledbetter, contest administrator. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the winner to meet scientists and space advocates from around the world.”

2017 Kitschies Shortlist

The 2017 Kitschies Award shortlist has been revealed. The prize, sponsored by Blackwell’s, is given to “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining science fiction.” The winners will be announced in a ceremony on April 9, and receive a total of £2,000 in prize money, as well as one of the prize’s iconic Tentacle trophies.

This year’s shortlisted books was winnowed down from 142 submissions, coming from over 48 publishers.

The Red Tentacle (Novel)

Judged by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Leila Abu El Hawa, Joshua Idehen, Ewa Scibor-Rylska, and Alasdair Stuart.

  • Black Wave by Michelle Tea (& Other Stories)
  • The Rift by Nina Allan (Titan)
  • We See Everything by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury)
  • Fever by Deon Meyer, translated by L. Seegers (Hodder)
  • City of Circles by Jess Richards (Hodder)

The Golden Tentacle (Debut)

Judged by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Leila Abu El Hawa, Joshua Idehen, Ewa Scibor-Rylska, and Alasdair Stuart

  • How Saints Die by Carmen Marcus (Harville Secker)
  • Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex “Acks” Wells (Angry Robot)
  • Age of Assassins by RJ Barker (Orbit)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang (Tor.com)
  • Mandlebrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska (Tor.com)

The Inky Tentacle (Cover Art)

Judged by Dapo Adeola, Sharan Dhaliwal, Jet Purdie, and Stuart Taylor.

  • The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunder; Illustrated by David Dean (Faber and Faber)
  • Black Wave by Michelle Tea; llustrated by Rose Stafford at Print Club, design by Hannah Naughton (& Other Stories)
  • The History of Bees by Maja Lunde; design by Jack Smyth and the S&S Art Department (Scribner)
  • The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts; Jacket design and illustration by Black Sheep (Gollancz)
  • Our Memory of Dust by Gavin Chait; Design by Richard Shailer (Transworld)

The prize, sponsored by Blackwell’s, is now in its eighth year, with previous winners including Margaret Atwood, Tade Thompson, Hermione Eyre, Nick Harkaway, Lauren Beukes, China Miéville, and Patrick Ness. More details can be found on the Blackwell’s dedicated Kitschies website.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

Brave New Words Award 2017

Starburst Magazine announced its Brave New Words Award winner at the Starburst Media City Festival on March 17.

The award judges were: urban fantasy author Russell Smith, games designer Mikey Smith, “hardcore word nerd” Rebecca Derrick, and podcaster/author Alasdair Stuart.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

CLFA 2018 Book of the Year Shortlist

The finalists for the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance’s 2018 Book of the Year award have been announced.

  • Hans G. Schantz: A Rambling Wreck
  • Moira Greyland: The Last Closet
  • Jon del Arroz: For Steam and Country 
  • Kacey Ezell: Minds of Men 
  • Jagi Lamplighter: The Awful Truth About Forgetting
  • Chris Kennedy: The Golden Horde 
  • Chris Kennedy/Mark Wandrey (ed.): A Fistful of Credits 
  • John C. Wright: Daughter of Danger 
  • Richard Paolinelli: Escaping Infinity
  • Karl K. Gallagher: Torchship Captain

The public survey opens April 2. Check the website.

[Thanks to L. Jagi Lamplighter for the assist.]

Arthur Davis Wins 2018 Dell Magazines Award

The winner of the 2018 Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing was announced on January 31.

  • Winner: Arthur Davis of Swarthmore College for the story, “Happy? Sad?”
  • First Runner-up: Claire Spaulding of Columbia University for the story, “Four Days to Opening Night.”
  • Second Runner-up: Rebecca Kuang of Georgetown University for the story, “The Corpse Return.”
  • Third Runner-up: Brittney Hubley of the University of Alberta for the story, “Shitbucket.”
  • Honorable Mention: Garrison Kammer of Bellevule College for the story, “Venus Return.”
  • Honorable Mention: Alexandra Barr of the University of Alberta for the story, “Flood Daughter.”
  • Honorable Mention: Charlotte McGill of North Carolina State University for the story, “Sapphire, Dagger, Hall.”

The $500 award goes to the best unpublished and unsold science fiction or fantasy short story submitted by a full-time undergraduate college student. The winner is invited to the IAFA annual Conference on the Fantastic, and the winning story gets considered for publication in Asimov’s. (The Dell Award was formerly known as the Isaac Asimov Award.)

The award was started in 1992 by Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine editor Sheila Williams and science fiction writer and journalism professor Rick Wilber who are the co-judges.

[Via Locus Online.]

Arthur C. Clarke Award 2018 Submissions List

The full list of eligible titles submitted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2018 has been posted.

This is not a longlist but a tally of all the books under consideration by the judges — 108 titles submitted by 46 publishing imprints and independent authors.

The shortlist for the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction literature will be announced on May 2 and the winner on July 18.


[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

2018 Saturn Awards Nominees

The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films has announced the 2018 nominees for the Saturn Awards. (The full list follows the jump.)

The winners of the 44th annual awards show will be announced by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films in June.

The Saturn Awards Organization is part of The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films which is a non-profit corporation founded in 1972 by Dr. Donald A. Reed.  The organization is dedicated to honoring film and television genre entertainment.

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2017 James Tiptree Jr. Award

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council has selected the winner of the 2017 Tiptree Award — Virginia Bergin for her novel Who Runs the World?  (Macmillan, UK, 2017). (Bergin’s novel is scheduled to be published in the US in September 2018 under the title The XY by Sourcebooks).

The James Tiptree Jr. Award is presented annually to works of science fiction or fantasy that explore and expand the understanding of gender and gender roles.

The 2017 award judges were Alexis Lothian (chair), E.J. Fischer, Kazue Harada, Cheryl Morgan, and Julia Starkey.


About the Winner:

Who Runs the World? is a young adult novel that tells an intricately layered tale of intergenerational struggle and cooperation, the dehumanizing force of gender stereotypes, and the moral courage it takes to challenge cultural and political norms. Bergin invokes a premise familiar in feminist science fiction—a plague that kills nearly everyone with a Y chromosome. Without relying on biological determinism, Bergin uses this premise to develop a vividly imagined feminist society, and to grapple with that society’s changes and flaws over time.

Born three generations after the plague, into a social order rebuilt around consensus, 14-year-old River views her world as idyllic––until she discovers Mason, a teenage boy who has escaped from one of the “Sanctuaries” where “XYs” are held. As River, along with her mother and grandmother, learns about the violence of Mason’s life, she sees her community’s norms upended and hidden biases exposed. But the story does not end with the exposure of the seeming utopia’s hidden subjugations. For River has been shaped by a society that built itself with purpose and care around principles of justice. Growing up amid those principles has given River the tools to challenge her own culture’s fundamental contradictions. In an ultimately optimistic vision, Bergin dares to depict a future in which principles of transformative justice can have, if not victory over, at least even footing with the incentives of profit and exploitation.

Honor List: In addition to selecting the winners, the jury chooses a Tiptree Award Honor List.

The Honor List is a strong part of the award’s identity and is used by many readers as a recommended reading list.

These notes on each work are excerpted and edited from comments by members of this year’s jury.

  • Charlie Jane Anders, “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” (Boston Review, USA, 2017)This graphic and visceral dystopia shows trans people stripped of their legal rights, abducted, and operated on in the name of “curing” their gender identities. Harrowingly portrayed through the viewpoints of both victim and perpetrator, the story describes a medicalized torture resonant with real-world histories of violent “treatment” for gender deviance that were routine only a few decades ago.  Showing how fragile the human rights of marginalized people can be, Anders gives readers a glimpse of what has been a lived nightmare for many, and remains a terrifying possible future.
  • Indra Das, The Devourers (Del Rey, USA, 2016) A fascinating, memorable novel that uses a nested narrative to thread its story through Indian history, from the 17th-century Mughal Empire to contemporary Kolkata. The structure uses multiple points of view to mirror the perspective of the book’s magical characters: a species of predatory shape-shifters who gain access to the memories of the people they consume. Inspired by mythological beings that include werewolves, djinn, and rakshasa, Das’s shape-shifters perceive gendered human behavior in illuminating ways, as the novel’s initial narrator––a queer present-day historian––comes to learn. The novel is beautifully written, using its original speculative framework to explore questions of gender, culture, and identity in new ways.
  • April Daniels, Dreadnought and Sovereign (Diversion, USA, 2017)The first two books of a trilogy, these novels follow Danny, a transgender teenage girl stuck living as a boy. A chance meeting with a dying superhero allows Danny to have her deepest desire granted, with the side effect that she’s now the most powerful superhero on the planet. Daniels’ familiarity with the issues faced by trans people invests these books with a rarely achieved feeling of authenticity. The novels explore the family stress experienced by trans youth and dive headlong into contemporary political controversies surrounding trans rights. That they are excellent superhero fiction as well should see them widely enjoyed, and their message received by a broad audience.
  • Maggie Shen King, An Excess Male (Harper Voyager, USA, 2017)  — A novel of exquisitely deep, nuanced characterization, set in a future China where there are forty million more men than women. This book explores polyandrous marriage, non-neurotypical cognition, state-sanctioned homophobia, and the dynamics of bonding in male-only spaces. It also features an exciting and unusual plot structure, beginning as a contemplative study of family that gradually accelerates to the pace of a techno-thriller.
  • Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties (Gray Wolf, USA, 2017)  — A collection of short stories that explore the cultural treatment of women’s bodies, written with stunning artistry. These formally inventive tales use the speculative to illuminate the interiors of gendered worlds, from a worldwide plague viewed through its last survivor’s erotic connections to a reinterpretation of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes that becomes a meditation on sexual violence. Machado offers a multifaceted view of the insides and undersides of queer kinds of femininity that we mostly never see, brought into the light in all their darkness and brightness, sweetness and ugliness.
  • Rivers Solomon, An Unkindness of Ghosts (Akashic, USA, 2017)  — A powerful novel of individual and collective survival in the face of generational trauma. On a generation ship, the Black inhabitants of the lower decks live and work under brutal conditions that recall slavery in antebellum America. The story follows lowerdecker Aster as she struggles to survive and make sense of her world. The capacity to maintain culture and possibility within bondage are key to Aster’s story, as is the way that the main characters––none of whom are wholly neurotypical––give one another space for their difference even when they are incomprehensible or even dangerous to one another.
  • JY Yang, “Black Tides of Heaven” and “Red Threads of Fortune” (Tor, USA, 2017)  — Set in a society where children are without gender until they choose to be confirmed into a specific identity, these paired silkpunk novellas follow aristocratic twins from their identical childhoods through increasingly divergent adulthoods. The first is a bildungsroman of Akeha, the male twin, who must learn himself at a young age because he lacks any defined place within his family or culture. The second is a recovery narrative of Mokoya, the female twin, whose relatively frictionless path through life demands of her little introspection, until a traumatic event upends her sense of self, requiring she build a new understanding of her identity to navigate her grief. Both stories explore the process of struggling past expectation to achieve self-definition.

Additional Recommended Works: In addition to the honor list, this year’s jury also compiled a long list of twenty-six other works they found worthy of attention.

The Tiptree Award winner, along with authors and works on the Honor List will be celebrated during Memorial Day weekend at WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin. The winner will receive $1000 in prize money, a specially commissioned piece of original artwork, and (as always) chocolate.

Help Needed for 2018 Award: Reading for 2018 will soon begin. The panel will be chaired by Margaret McBride.

The Tiptree Award invites everyone to recommend works for the award via the recommendation page of Tiptree Award website. On the website, you can also donate to help fund the award and read more about past winners and works it has honored.

Tiptree Award History: The James Tiptree Jr. Award was created in 1991 to honor Alice Sheldon, who wrote under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr. By her choice of a masculine pen name, Sheldon helped break down the imaginary barrier between “women’s writing” and “men’s writing.” Her insightful short stories were notable for their thoughtful examination of the roles of men and women in our society.

Since its inception, the Tiptree Award has been an award with an attitude. As a political statement, as a means of involving people at the grassroots level, as an excuse to eat cookies, and as an attempt to strike the proper ironic note, the award has been financed through bake sales held at science fiction conventions across the United States, as well as in England and Australia. Fundraising efforts have included auctions conducted by Ellen Klages and Sumana Harihareswara, the sale of t-shirts and aprons created by collage artist and silk screener Freddie Baer, and the publication of four anthologies of award winners and honor-listed stories. The anthologies are in print and, along with two cookbooks featuring recipes and anecdotes by science fiction writers and fans, The Tiptree Quilt Story, and other Tiptree-related publications, can be purchased through tiptree.org/store.

In addition to presenting the Tiptree Award annually, the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council presents two annual $500 fellowships to provide support and recognition for the new voices who are making visible the forces that are changing our view of gender today. The Council also occasionally presents the Fairy Godmother Award, a special award in honor of Angela Carter. Described as a “mini, mini, mini, mini MacArthur award,” the Fairy Godmother Award strikes without warning, providing a financial boost to a deserving writer in need of assistance to continue creating material that matches the goals of the Tiptree Award.

[Based on the press release.]

2018 Darrell Awards

The winners of the Darrell Awards for 2018 were announced at Midsouthcon in Memphis on March 10.

The annual Darrell Awards support Midsouth Literacy by recognizing the best published Science Fiction, Fantasy and/or Horror in Short Story, Novella, Novel, Young Adult & Other Media formats.

Best Midsouth Novel

  • Winner – Land of Wolves by T. J. Turner
  • First Runner-Up – Wild Hunt by Nick Rowan
  • Finalist – Seek and Destroy by William C. Dietz

Best Midsouth Novella

  • Winner – A Night at the Quay by William A. Webb (as seen in Sharp Steel and High Adventure: Volume 3)
  • First Runner-Up – Luminaria by John Horner Jacob (as seen in Apex Magazine # 94)

Best Midsouth Young Adult Work

  • Winner – Coney Island Book of the Dead by Sheila Martin

Best Midsouth Short Story

  • Winner – From Hair to Eternity by Phyllis Appleby (as seen in Malice in Memphis: Elmwood Stories)
  • First Runner-Up – Black Like Them by Troy L. Wiggins (as seen in Fireside Magazine)
  • Finalist – A Very Worthy Human Being by Richard Powell (as seen in Malice in Memphis: Elmwood Stories)

The related Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame Award is given to an author who has made exceptional contributions to Midsouth Literacy by having published a substantial body of work that is or would have been eligible for the Darrell Award.

Dal Coger Memorial Hall of Fame Award

  • Robin Burks, for her extraordinary contributions to Midsouth literacy, more specifically her trilogy (Zeus, Inc; The Curse of Hekate; and The Return of the Titans)