2019 Costume Designers Guild Awards Nominees

The Costume Designers Guild announced its 2019 awards nominees in film and television categories. Winners will be revealed at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards on February 19.

The full slate of nominees is at Variety. Those of genre interest are listed below:

Excellence in Period Film
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)

Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film
“Aquaman” (Kym Barrett)
“Avengers: Infinity War” (Judianna Makovsky)
“Black Panther” (Ruth E. Carter)
“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (Jenny Beavan)
“A Wrinkle in Time” (Paco Delgado)

Excellence in Period Television
“The Alienist” (Michael Kaplan)
“The Man in the High Castle” (Catherine Adair)
“Outlander” (Nina Ayres & Terry Dresbach)

Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television
“American Horror Story: Apocalypse” (Paula Bradley & Lou Eyrich)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Ane Crabtree)
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Cynthia Summers)
“Star Trek: Discovery” (Gersha Phillips)
“Westworld” (Sharen Davis)

Career Achievement (previously announced)

Ruth E. Carter

2019 BAFTA Film Awards Nominees

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced the nominations for the 2019 BAFTA Film Awards. The full list is at the link. Here are the contenders of genre interest:

Animated Film

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

Adapted Screenplay

  • First Man

Supporting Actress

  • Claire Foy — First Man

Original Music

  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mary Poppins Returns


  • First Man


  • First Man

Production Design

  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • First Man
  • Mary Poppins Returns

Costume Design

  • Mary Poppins Returns


  • First Man

Special Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One

British Short Animation

  • I’m OK
  • Marfa
  • Roughhouse

Gregory Benford Wins 2019 Robert A. Heinlein Award

Gregory Benford, science fiction author and astrophysicist, is the 2019 winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award. The award is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. This award is in recognition of Benford’s body of work, including his 32 novels, over 218 short stories, and many non-fiction articles. 

Benford will receive the award on Friday, May 24 at opening ceremonies during Balticon 53, the 53rd Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention. Balticon and the Robert A. Heinlein Award are both managed and sponsored by The Baltimore Science Fiction Society. A grant from the Heinlein Society funds half of the costs associated with the award and the family of the late author Dr. Yoji Kondo provides additional funding for the award.

The Robert A. Heinlein Award is a sterling silver medallion bearing the image of Robert A. Heinlein, as depicted by artist Arlin Robins. The medallion is matched with a red-white-blue lanyard. In addition, the winner receives two lapel pins for use when a large medallion is impractical, and a plaque describing the award, suitable for home or office wall display. 

The Robert A. Heinlein Award selection committee consists of science fiction writers and was founded by Dr. Yoji Kondo, a long-time friend of Robert and Virginia Heinlein. Members of the original committee were approved by Virginia Heinlein. The current Chairman of the Selection Committee is Michael F. Flynn.

Virginia Heinlein authorized multiple awards in memory of her husband, other awards include the Heinlein Prize, which is fully funded by Virginia Heinlein’s estate, and a National Space Society award for volunteer projects.

More information on the Robert A. Heinlein Award, including past winners, can be found here.

Second Round of 2018 BSFA Awards Nominations Begins

British Science Fiction Association members have until January 31 to help choose the BSFA Awards shortlists for works published in 2018.

In the first round of voting members nominated a longlist of 45 novels, 44 short stories, 15 items of nonfiction, and 27 artworks.

Once voters have determined the shortlist, BSFA members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon will vote for the winners.

2018 RULES CHANGE: The criteria for the Best Novel award have changed this year. To match the other Awards, BSFA no longer requires that a novel be published for the first time in the UK or Ireland. Novels are eligible in the year of their first publication regardless of the place they were published.

Best Novel nominees:

  • Rachel Armstrong – Origamy (NewCon Press)
  • Andrew Bannister – Stone Clock (Bantam Press)
  • RJ Barker – Blood of Assassins (Orbit)
  • EM Brown – Buying Time (Solaris)
  • Pierce Brown – Iron Gold (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Becky Chambers – Record of a Spaceborn Few (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Andrew Crumey – The Great Chain Of Unbeing (Dedalus)
  • Juno Dawson – Doctor Who: The Good Doctor (BBC Books)
  • Aliette de Bodard – In the Vanishers’ Palace (JABberwocky Literary Agency)
  • Dominic Dulley – Shattermoon (Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Berit Ellingsen – Now We Can See the Moon (Snuggly Books)
  • Rachel Fellman – The Breath of the Sun (Aqueduct Press)
  • Daniel Godfrey – The Synapse Sequence (Titan Books)
  • Sam Hawke – City of Lies (Bantam Press)
  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe at Dawn (Solaris)
  • Simon Ings – The Smoke (Gollancz)
  • T Kingfisher – The Wonder Engine (Argyll Productions)
  • Mary Robinette Kowal – The Calculating Stars (Tor Books)
  • RF Kuang – The Poppy War (HarperVoyager)
  • Derek Künsken – The Quantum Magician (Solaris)
  • Rich Larson – Annex (Orbit)
  • Yoon Ha Lee – Revenant Gun (Solaris)
  • Roger Levy – The Rig (Titan Books)
  • Ling Ma – Severance (Text Publishing Company)
  • Ed McDonald – Ravencry (Gollancz)
  • Sam J Miller – Blackfish City (Orbit)
  • Patrick Ness – And the Ocean Was Our Sky (Walker)
  • Emma Newman – Before Mars (Ace Books)
  • Naomi Novik – Spinning Silver (Macmillan)
  • Malka Older – State Tectonics (Tor.com)
  • Gareth L Powell – Embers of War (Titan Books)
  • Christopher Priest – An American Story (Gollancz)
  • Elizabeth Priest – Concrete Faery (Luna Press)
  • Alastair Reynolds – Elysium Fire (Gollancz)
  • Adam Roberts – By the Pricking of Her Thumb (Gollancz)
  • Audrey Schulman – Theory of Bastards (Europa Editions)
  • James Smythe – I Still Dream (The Borough Press)
  • Anna Stephens – Darksoul (HarperVoyager)
  • Tasha Suri – Empire of Sand (Orbit)
  • EJ Swift – Paris Adrift (Solaris)
  • Tade Thompson – Rosewater (Orbit; first UK publication 2018)
  • Stuart Turton – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Raven Books)
  • Peter Watts – The Freeze-Frame Revolution (Tachyon Publications)
  • Aliya Whiteley – The Loosening Skin (Unsung Stories)
  • Jen Williams – The Bitter Twins (Headline)

Best Shorter Fiction nominees:

  • Nina Allan – The Gift of Angels: an introduction (Clarkesworld) – https://bit.ly/2CS47bX
  • GV Anderson – Crook’s Landing, by Scaffold (Nightmare #71) – https://bit.ly/2RxFTvR
  • GV Anderson – Waterbirds (Lightspeed #98) – https://bit.ly/2FcHTUG
  • Brooke Bolander – The Only Harmless Great Thing (Tor.com)
  • Beth Cato – The Library is Open (Daily Science Fiction) – https://bit.ly/2QqbOtK
  • Vajra Chandrasekera – When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven (Liminal Stories #5) – https://bit.ly/2CRADej
  • Tina Connolly – The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections (Tor.com) – https://bit.ly/2LGjdqh
  • Aliette de Bodard – A Slow Unfurling of Truth (Shoreline of Infinity #11)
  • Aliette de Bodard – The Tea Master and the Detective (JABberwocky Literary Agency)
  • Malcolm Devlin – The Purpose of the Dodo is to be Extinct (Interzone #275)
  • Dilman Dila – Safari Nyota: A Prologue (AfroSFv3, ed. Ivor W Hartmann, StoryTime)
  • Hal Duncan – The Land of Somewhere Safe (NewCon Press)
  • Stephen Embleton – Journal of a DNA Pirate (AfroSFv3, ed. Ivor W Hartmann, StoryTime)
  • Alix E Harrow – A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies (Apex Magazine) – https://bit.ly/2QtcpL0
  • Rita Indiana – Tentacle (And Other Stories)
  • Allison Jamieson-Lucy – Sequestration; Vitrification (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2TAEOB3
  • Rich Larson – Meat And Salt And Sparks (Tor.com) – https://bit.ly/2CT90BG
  • Tim Major – Throw Caution (Interzone #276)
  • Nick Mamatas – A Night Out at a Nice Place (Apex Magazine) – https://bit.ly/2RfC4wh
  • Biram Mboob – The Luminal Frontier (AfroSFv3, ed. Ivor W Hartmann, StoryTime)
  • Ian McDonald – Time Was (Tor.com)
  • Samantha Mills – Strange Waters (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2SMZup3
  • Ian Muneshwar – Salt Lines (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2Fd4XBR
  • Daniel Mallory Ortberg – The Daughter Cells (The Merry Spinster, St Martin’s Press)
  • Erin Roberts – The Grays of Cestus V (Asimov’s Sept/Oct 2018)
  • A. Merc Rustad and Ada Hoffmann – I Sing Against the Silent Sun (Lightspeed #97) – https://bit.ly/2NiXEtX
  • Gabriela Santiago – Tamales in Space, and Other Phrases For the Beginning Speaker (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2xulA6I
  • Gavin Schmidt – Under the Sun (Motherboard) – https://bit.ly/2vgXmPn
  • Vandana Singh – Requiem (Ambiguity Machines, Small Beer Press)
  • Anna Stephens – Flesh and Coin (Art of War, ed. Petros Triantafyllou, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
  • Adrian Tchaikovsky – The Expert System’s Brother (Tor.com)
  • Natalia Theodoridou – Birnam Platoon (Interzone #278)
  • Natalia Theodoridou – The Names of Women (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2KdcZLE
  • Tade Thompson – Kaseem’s Way (Creatures: The Legacy of Frankenstein, ed. David Thomas Moore, Abaddon)
  • Tade Thompson – Yard Dog (Fiyah #7)
  • Lavie Tidhar – Talking to Ghosts at the Edge of the World (Infinity’s End, ed. Jonathan Strahan, Solaris)
  • Martha Wells – Exit Strategy (Tor.com) – https://bit.ly/2RuVnAZ (excerpt)
  • Aliya Whiteley – Territory: Blank (Interzone #277)
  • Fran Wilde – Ruby, Singing (Beneath Ceaseless Skies #261) – https://bit.ly/2Rd6tLx
  • Liz Williams – Phosphorus (NewCon Press)
  • Marian Womack – Kingfisher (Lost Objects, Luna Press)
  • JY Yang – The Descent of Monsters (Tor.com) – https://bit.ly/2SGr07K (excerpt)
  • Isabel Yap – Asphalt, River, Mother, Child (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2GWG3c1
  • Cristy Zinn – The Girl Who Stared at Mars (AfroSFv3, ed. Ivor W Hartmann, StoryTime)

Best Non-Fiction nominees:

  • Nina Allan – Time Pieces column 2018 articles (Interzone)
  • Claudie Arseneault – Constructing a Kinder Future (Strange Horizons)
  • Mike Ashley – Introduction to Moonrise: The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures (British Library Publishing)
  • Ruth EJ Booth – Noise and Sparks column 2018 articles (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • Liz Bourke – Sleeps With Monsters column 2018 articles (Tor.com) – http://bit.ly/2lBE3rQ
  • Vajra Chandrasekera – Rupture & Complicity: The 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2QvN8Qz
  • Will Davies (ed.) – Economic Science Fictions (Goldsmiths Press)
  • Aliette de Bodard – On motherhood and erasure: people-shaped holes, hollow characters and the illusion of impossible adventures (Intellectus Speculativus blog) – https://bit.ly/2FeeyZc
  • Andy Hedgecock – Future Interrupted column 2018 articles (Interzone)
  • Erin Horáková – Erin Groans: A Gormenvast Review of Every Adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s Titus Books (Strange Horizons) – https://bit.ly/2zyiZcN
  • Nick Hubble, Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Joseph Norman (eds) – The Science Fiction of Iain M. Banks (Gylphi)
  • Polina Levontin – Scientists in Nigerian Science Fiction (in The Evolution of African Fantasy and Science Fiction, Luna Press)
  • Robert S Malan – Portrayals of South Africans in Popular Entertainment: Bad Accented Baddies, Prawns and Black Panther (in The Evolution of African Fantasy and Science Fiction, Luna Press)
  • Laura Miller – Ursula K. Le Guin and the Three Obstacles (Slate) – https://bit.ly/2QtoLTx
  • Adam Roberts – Publishing the Science Fiction Canon: The Case of Scientific Romance (Cambridge University Press) – https://bit.ly/2GYQbBd

Best Artwork nominees:

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth for the story.]

William Gibson Named SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) has named William Gibson the 35th Damon Knight Grand Master for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Gibson joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as C. J. Cherryh, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Joe Haldeman. The award will be presented at the 54th Annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in Woodland Hills, CA, May 16th-19th, 2019.

Gibson is known for his cyberpunk novels Neuromancer, Virtual Light, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, and co-wrote the steampunk novel The Difference Engine with Bruce Sterling. Gibson’s writing, through novels such as Pattern Recognition and The Peripheral, continues to break new ground and stimulate conversation about the cyberworld. The influence of Gibson’s writing has not only been felt within the science fiction community, but has expanded to other forms of art, as seen in the music of Billy Idol and Warren Zevon and the Matrix films, as well as throughout computer culture. 


William Gibson coined the word cyberspace in his story “Burning Chrome,” expanding on that concept two years later in the novel Neuromancer. He forged a body of work that has played a major part in the coalescing of the cyberpunk movement, influencing dozens of writers of cinema, fiction, and games, among other creatives. Not content to be one of the definitive writers in only one subgenre, he then went on to help engender steampunk with Bruce Sterling in their collaborative work, The Difference Engine. Gibson continues to produce taut, evocative works that reflect the despair and hope of the 21st century. To be a SFWA Grand Master is to be a speculative fiction writer that has shaped the genre and make it what it is today. Gibson fills that role abundantly.??

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award will be presented along with the Nebula Awards during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 16th-19th and features seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions. On May 18th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills and is open to the public.

The Nebula Awards, presented annually, recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.

The Nebula Awards include four fiction awards, a game writing award, the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. SFWA also administers the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

2019 WSFA Small Press Award Taking Submissions

The Washington (DC) Science Fiction Association (WSFA) has announced that the submission period for the 2019 WSFA Small Press Award is open. Entries will be taken through April 7, 2019.

The WSFA Small Press Award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2018). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association and presented at their annual convention, Capclave, held on October 18-20, 2019.

Submissions should be sent to admin@wsfasmallpressaward.org

See The Rules webpage for details.

2018 Cybils Shortlists

The 2018 finalists for the Cybils (Children’s and Young Adults Bloggers’ Literary Awards) were announced on January 1. They were selected from 1,335 books nominated across all categories.

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious.

Here are the results from the speculative fiction categories, plus other finalists of genre interest.

Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction

by Kenneth Oppel
Harper Collins Canada

Have you ever had an inkling that something was about to happen? For the Rylance family things have been tough since Mom died. Dad has writer’s block, Ethan’s school project is overwhelming and Sarah, who has Down’s Syndrome, is fixated on getting a puppy. Then, one night, a little blot of ink jumps off Dad’s sketchbook and begins to explore the world by devouring the books it encounters. Ethan names it Inkling, and its inquisitive and caring nature helps the Rylance family work through their grief and learn about themselves. Thought-provoking dilemmas, great characterization, and a swift plot, all make this a book that kids will devour.

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble
by Anna Meriano
Walden Pond Press

It’s not easy being the youngest of 5 sisters, but what makes it worse for Leo is being told she is too young to help in the family bakery for the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. To top it off, the family secret is revealed by accident – they are Mexican brujas, who put magic to work in their baking! Leo knows could help, if they’d let her. When her best friend starts to fall for a boy, she decides to test her baking magic and prove her talent so she can join in the family traditions. It’s magically realistic, with a family that makes mistakes and forgives and fills the pages with baking love. Readers will warm to this story full of spells going hilariously wrong, baking, family love and friendship.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
by Jessica Townsend
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Cursed from the day she was born, Morrigan never expects anything good to happen to her. Then, on her eleventh birthday, she is whisked away to the secret, magical city of Nevermoor and invited to compete in the trials to become a member of the Wundrous society. There is plenty of suspense and action as readers follow Morrigan through the trials, hoping that she will be chosen to stay. This is a very readable fantasy adventure that will keep readers wondering what will happen next, and especially delight Harry Potter fans!

Snared: Escape to the Above (Wily Snare)
by Adam Jay Epstein

Wily Snare has never left the Carrion Tomb, where he works as a trapsmith for its cavern mage Stalag, designing elaborate traps to foil treasure seekers. Then an acrobatic elf, a moss golem, and a former knight with a floating arm named Righteous evade all of his traps, ambush Stalag and take his most valuable treasure, Wily himself. They want Wily’s quick fingers, wit, and ability to detect and disable traps to raid some of the most challenging dungeons in the realm. But by the end of their adventure, treasure isn’t important to the group–they have become a family. Snared is an action-packed and heartwarming adventure filled with twists and turns and memorable characters, that’s sure to captivate fans of dungeon crawling.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier
Harry N Abrams

Life is hard for the kids who clean the chimneys of Victorian London, especially if the kid is a girl. Nan Sparrow was once looked after by the Sweep, who made her story soup when times were tough. But since his disappearance, Nan’s been forced to climb chimneys for a cruel master. Then the glowing coal the Sweep left her becomes a living creature of ash, her friend and protector, “Charlie.” Nan’s adventure is a heartwarming journey of the magic of love and story, full of vividly drawn characters, from the cruel sweep master Crudd to Nan’s friend the mudlark Toby Squall and the kind teacher Miss Bloom – the last two keeping their Jewish heritage a secret from almost everyone but Nan. And Charlie, the soot “monster,” is the most marvelous of all.

The Stone Girl’s Story
by Sarah Beth Durst
Clarion Books

For Mayka, a living girl carved from stone, and the rest of her stone family, the stories of their lives are carved directly onto their surfaces by their maker, and as the marks erode so do they. When there is no one left to refresh the carvings, Mayka ventures into the world of humans to find someone to take up the task, but she learns that not all people can be trusted and that the rules may be different for people of flesh and stone. Old fears and secrets (and a giant carved monster) must be confronted before she finds a way to save her stone family and their stories. This unique fantasy world offers both adventure and thoughtful contemplation about selfhood and story.

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain
by Zac Gorman

No one would have picked Thisby Thestoop to be the heroine of a great adventure. And yet, this foundling girl (whose only friend is a slime named Mingus), who lives in a dungeon, feeding and cleaning up after its monsters, saves a prince and princess. The perilous journey of the two very different girls, Thisby shy and grubby and Iphigenia beautiful and entitled, shows how a friendship can be made under the most challenging of circumstances, and the challenge of maintaining a friendship even when trust is broken. Witty, funny, and full of feeling, with memorable characters, both major and minor, this will appeal to gamers and fantasy fans of all stripes, especially those who are looking for real characters with whom they can sympathize and identify.

Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Dread Nation
by Justina Ireland
Balzer + Bray

In the 1880s, the world has been infested with shamblers — or zombies as we’d call them. Jane McKee is a young black woman attending school to become an Attendant, protecting rich white women from shamblers. A series of events and betrayals lands her in the unregulated and unprotected West. Full of action, suspense and humor, but with an underlying critique of racism, sexism, and zealotry, Dread Nation gives us an #ownvoices re-imagined history that no one will want to put down.

Mirage: A Novel
by Somaiya Daud
Flatiron Books

When Amani is kidnapped by the Vathek, the cruel conquerors of her moon, she learns that she is to serve as the body double for the hated half-Vathek princess Maram, perhaps to be assassinated in her place. Daud builds a fascinating Moroccan-inspired futuristic world around this irresistible hook, one where old-world poetry and glittering palaces exist alongside robots and space travel. Danger haunts Amani’s every step as she becomes caught up in a plan to overthrow the Vathek rulers, even as her relationship with Maram, once purely antagonistic, gradually deepens.  Mirage tackles the real-world issue of the evils of colonization and combines it with a high-stakes plot, rich character relationships, and stellar world-building to create a story that teens won’t soon forget.

Not Even Bones (Market of Monsters)
by Rebecca Schaeffer
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Not Even Bones lives up to its hyped pitch as a cross between “Dexter” and “The Savage Song.” In a world where humans traffic in fresh body parts of unnatural species, Nita’s job is to dissect the bodies her mother brings her. When her mother brings home a live boy in a cage, however, Nita knows she has to save him. Nita has the most villainous mother in YA lit: when crossed, her punishment is worse than death. Nita fights for her freedom, but a surprise twist at the end blows up the entire book, setting the stage for book two. With page turning action and ghastly description, Not Even Bones is a YA masterpiece of horror! Kudos to Rebecca Schaeffer for the BAM! Epic twist that will leave teen readers reeling.

Pitch Dark
by Courtney Alameda
Feiwel & Friends

The premise of Pitch Dark is simple: a hacker terrorist takes control of the Conquistador, crashing the ship into the USS John Muir, a starship that has been lost in space for over four hundred years. The John Muir’s inhabitants had woken up from a 400 year stasis about twenty-two months before that. Laura is blamed for the crash because unfortunately she had been hacking the system at the same time as an ecoterrorist, making her the perfect scapegoat for the Smithson family, who are trying to sabotage Laura’s family’s leadership (her mother is the captain). It’s a fight for survival against the clock and monstrous creatures that kill with sound in the dark. We loved the big ideas, the world-building, the excitement and creep-factor Alameda presented in this #ownvoices science fiction/horror novel. Her protagonist Laura is Latina and will connect with teen readers as they read about her and Tuck trying to save the John Muir and everyone aboard ship.

Summer of Salt
by Katrina Leno

This is one for readers who love magic in the real world. It’s a family story, with two very different twin sisters figuring out how they fit together as they get ready to leave the island where they’ve lived all their lives to go to different colleges. It is a story of women with magical talents. It is a murder mystery, with a most unusual victim. It is a very sweet teen lesbian love story. It is also a sensitive story about rape and mass hysteria. These threads all combine to make a gripping page turner, that despite everything bad that happens, is very sweet and very magical.

Tess of the Road
by Rachel Hartman
Random House Books for Young Readers

Set in the same world as the author’s earlier Seraphina, Tess of the Road follows seventeen-year-old Tess as she casts off her hyper-critical family and heads out on the road with only a small dragon companion, intent on finding the self she lost three years before. The novel moves between the past, slowly revealing the events that traumatized a fourteen-year-old Tess, and the present, as she confronts her memories, rediscovers her own strength, and slowly transforms from an angry, unhappy girl to one at peace with her past and looking forward to her future.

This Mortal Coil
by Emily Suvada
Simon Pulse

With a plot more twisty than a strand of DNA, and a terrifying apocalyptic world decimated by plague, This Mortal Coil keeps readers on the edge of their seats following Catarina Agatta, master gene hacker, as she races to code a cure with a soldier she doesn’t trust. What if you could hack your own DNA? What if you could hack everyone’s? Emily Suvada explores identity and free will in the best sci fi tradition in this fast-paced, mind-blowing adventure.


Graphic Novels

The Tea Dragon Society
by Katie O’Neill
Oni Press

Greta is training as a blacksmith—a dying art—when she rescues a tea dragon and discovers another tradition in danger of being lost: the care and tending of delicate little tea dragons, who grow tea leaves from their horns. Katie O’Neil’s enchanting graphic novel features an endearing and diverse cast of characters rendered in charming illustrations and a lush color palette. This is a story about facing your fears, discovering your purpose, and dedicating yourself to your calling. And don’t be surprised if you find yourself longing for your very own tea dragon by the end!

The Witch Boy
by Molly Knox Ostertag

Aster, a thirteen-year-old boy living in a secluded community with strict magical rules, longs to learn practices that are forbidden to boys. Rich, believable characters support this appealing tale of breaking free from traditional gender roles. Ostertag has created a fully-realized magical world that will leave middle-grade and teen readers clamoring for more.


In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years
by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Candlewick Press

Elliott pays tribute to prehistoric creatures with succinct poems filled with subtle humor. Both the subject matter and the humor will entice kids to open this book. The poems will leave them laughing while the facts at the end will send them on to learn more about the creatures.

Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein
by Lita Judge
Roaring Brook Press

Mary’s Monster is a gripping verse novel filled with imagery and emotion that draw readers into Mary Shelley’s tragic life…and into her process for creating the most famous “creature” of British literature. Lita Judge’s text perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of Mary’s turbulent world and times. Her book is an empathic portrayal of an independent, imaginative teenager who defied tradition, suffered great personal losses, and wrote the world’s first science fiction novel.

Junior/Senior High Non-Fiction

Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything
by Martin W. Sandler
Candlewick Press

1968 was a difficult year for the United States, but it ended with at least one bright spot—the successful mission to orbit the moon. 50 years later, Sandler expertly reveals the true tale of Apollo 8 from many important angles: the science and technology behind the mission, the lives of the individuals involved in making it happen, and the cultural and historical relevance of both the mission itself and its most iconic image, the Earthrise photograph. The gorgeous design and absorbing storytelling combine to offer something for every reader.

Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America
by Gail Jarrow
Calkins Creek Books

Author Gail Jarrow reflects on how far hoaxes can undermine trust in legitimate sources in this exceptional history about the 1938 radio broadcast of a Martian invasion. Hoax aficionados will find the well-designed book both informational and engrossing reading. A nifty graphic spread reveals the level of audience outrage from excerpts of letters, postcards and telegrams CBS received following the radio broadcast. Published complete with timeline, a “More to Explore” section, source notes, selected bibliography and index.

[Via Locus Online.]

Four Winners Refuse Parsec Awards

Four 2018 Parsec Awards winners announced today they will decline their awards because the committee has sustained the award given to an alleged harasser.

The December 17 announcement of the 2018 Parsec Awards for sff podcasting was hailed by protests that one of the winners “has a history of extremely disturbing behavior”, according to a follow-up statement the committee issued the same day. The person was not named in that statement, nor in the committee’s December 19 release explaining why they were allowing the award to stand. The reasons given were —

…It is the goal of The Parsecs to judge solely on the merit of the content and not on gender, heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, politics, or other factors not in the podcast as presented to the audience. To do more would be to fail at our core purpose.

There is neither precedent nor procedure for The Committee to intervene in the results based on information outside of the stated policies….

The target of the protests is Edward Champion, winner of the 2018 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form).

Some of the allegations against Champion were covered by Gawker in 2014:

Last night, a Brooklyn-based literary blogger/podcaster/personality named Edward Champion suddenly began attacking the novelist Porochista Khakpour on Twitter, after Khakpour tweeted about Champion’s private threats against her. Before the night was over, Champion had been kicked off Twitter, and several other writers and literary agents had come forward to tell stories of Champion’s threatening and bizarre behavior….

A Parsec Awards judge, Wil Williams, also says she has been harassed by Champion. Her thread starts here.

Several winners have answered the Parsec Awards committee’s decision not to take away Champion’s award by refusing to accept theirs.

Escape Artists has publicly declined their two 2018 Parsec Awards, as explained in the post “If You Stand for Nothing, What’ll You Fall For?”

In light of recent events, Escape Artists is declining its 2018 Parsec wins.

Escape Pod, edited by Mur Lafferty and S. B. Divya, won Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast.

PodCastle, edited by Jen R. Albert and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali won Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form) for its production of “Six Jobs” by Tim Pratt, narrated by Stephanie Malia Morris.

EA co-owners Alasdair Stuart and Marguerite Kenner have been in consultation with both editorial teams and Mr. Pratt, and we have unanimously decided to reject both awards. We also reached out to Ms. Morris, but have not head back from her as of the time of this post.

… The systemic failure of care that has taken place with this year’s Parsec Awards can’t go unanswered and this is one of the strongest ways we can express our displeasure.

Pendant Productions has rejected the award they won for Best Speculative Fiction Video Story:

And Grant Baciocco of Saturday Morning Media has refused the award for Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation.

Escape Artists co-owner Alasdair Stuart gave an overview of their decision in “The 2018 Parsec Situation”. He concluded:

…Letting down judges like this is bad. Lacking a complaints policy at a minimum in this day and age borders on unforgivable. The community’s trust in the Parsecs has, at the very least, been torpedoed by this incident and the committee’s response to it. Whether that torpedo hit under the water line remains to be seen.

For me, I’d love to see some changes. A complaints policy is years overdue. More awareness of the field and problematic behaviour within it even more so. That doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, be political either but rather based on fundamental decency. Sexism, racism, homophobia, harassment. These aren’t political lines, they’re lifestyle choices and choices that podcasters up for awards should be aware of, just as prose authors are slowly starting to be. Blindness isn’t necessary here, and ignorance is the opposite of bliss. Engagement, compassion, dialogue and change are all needed. I hope the committee feels the same way and I hope that next year, these awards can be what they deserve to be; celebrated.

Escape Pod assistant editor Benjamin C. Kinney added his thoughts in “The Year of Declines: Parsecs and WOTF”:

…I understand the appeal and principles of above-the-fray neutrality. But in practice, any organization must choose between those who would act abusively, and their victims. If you won’t banish anyone, the harmful people will do the banishing….

And Adam Pracht, who worked on Escape Artists’ Parsec Award submissions, endorsed the decision in a thread that starts here.

2018 Parsec Awards Committee Responds to Complaint

The 2018 Parsec Award winner alleged to have “a history of extremely disturbing behavior” has not been identified, and whoever it is, the Parsec Awards committee has decided they can keep the award.

The Parsec Awards Steering Committee met on Dec 18, 2018 to discuss the feedback received after the press release of 2018 Winners was distributed to the mailing list. It was suggested that awarding a Parsec to a particular content creator gave legitimacy to their behavior and through that award the Parsecs would be responsible for promoting that behavior. The situation was unprecedented in our experience with The Parsecs and having no relevant policy we felt that the situation required a thoughtful response.

The Committee reviewed the General Information, Nominating FAQ, Eligibility Criteria and Rules stated on the Parsec Awards website as well as existing procedures for certifying nominations and the judging process. We found that the 2018 Parsec Awards were processed and judged in accordance with the stated policies and procedures.

The Parsecs are awarded to the podcast based on the media presented to the audience in the feed. The extent to which we are able to provide this “level playing field” for all podcasts regardless of popularity or exposure is the strength and value The Parsecs provides to the podcasting community. As the medium of podcasting has grown and become increasingly corporate we feel the mission of The Parsecs, to identify excellence in speculative fiction podcasting, is ever more valuable.

We are a volunteer committee of six individuals, give or take, and many volunteer judges, each devoting countless hours to podcast listening. It is the goal of The Parsecs to judge solely on the merit of the content and not on gender, heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation, politics, or other factors not in the podcast as presented to the audience. To do more would be to fail at our core purpose.

There is neither precedent nor procedure for The Committee to intervene in the results based on information outside of the stated policies. We feel that doing so would undermine the integrity of The Parsecs as being judged solely on the merit of the content. It would also be a disservice to the judges, who lend their time and credibility to evaluate so many hours of content, to discard their work.

The Parsec Awards 2018 Steering Committee
Bruce Press, Chair
Taylor Fisher
Natalie Metzger
Patrick Sponagle
Kreg Steppe
Bob Tarr

Update 12/20/2018: Brian White reveals the mystery for the rest of us:

Champion won the 2018 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Story: Large Cast (Short Form).

Gawker covered the allegations about Campion in 2014:

Last night, a Brooklyn-based literary blogger/podcaster/personality named Edward Champion suddenly began attacking the novelist Porochista Khakpour on Twitter, after Khakpour tweeted about Champion’s private threats against her. Before the night was over, Champion had been kicked off Twitter, and several other writers and literary agents had come forward to tell stories of Champion’s threatening and bizarre behavior….

[Thanks to Camestros Felapton for the info in the update.]

Best Professional Artist Hugo: Eligible Works from 2018

(warning: this post is heavily image-intensive, and will probably not work well on mobile devices: flee now, or prepare to meet your doom extremely slow page download)

By JJ: To assist Hugo nominators, this post provides information on the artists and designers of more than 560 works which appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy for the first time in 2018.

These credits have been accumulated during the course of the year, from copyright pages, Acknowledgments sections, and public posts by artists, authors, and publishers, as well as other sources on the internet.

Because it is difficult to provide a list ordered by name when artwork is frequently credited to two or more artists and/or designers, I have uploaded my main spreadsheet with all accumulated data here.

In this post I will display up to 12 images of artworks for each artist for whom I have identified 4 or more works which appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy for the first time in 2018.

Please note carefully the eligibility criteria according to the WSFS Constitution:

Professional Artist

3.3.12: Best Professional Artist. An illustrator whose work has appeared in a professional publication in the field of science fiction or fantasy during the previous calendar year.

3.2.11: A Professional Publication is one which meets at least one of the following two criteria:
(1) it provided at least a quarter the income of any one person or,
(2) was owned or published by any entity which provided at least a quarter the income of any of its staff and/or owner.

3.10.2: In the Best Professional Artist category, the acceptance should include citations of at least three (3) works first published in the eligible year.

Under the current rules, artwork for semiprozines and fanzines is not eligible in this category. You can check whether a publication is a prozine or a semiprozine in this directory (the semiprozine list is at the top of the page, and the prozine directory is at the bottom).

Please be sure to check the spreadsheet first; but then, if you are able to confirm credits missing 2018-original works and the names of their artists from Acknowledgments sections, copyright pages, or by contacting authors and/or artists, go ahead and add them in comments, and I will get them included in the spreadsheet, and if the artist is credited with at least 4 works, in this post. If you have questions or corrections, please add those also. Please note that works may or may not be added to the list at my discretion.


Artists, Authors, Editors and Publishers are welcome to post in comments here, or to send their lists to jjfile770 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Only those bying stoute of heyrte and riche in bandwydthe shouldst click hither to proce’d…