2024 ITW Thriller Awards

The International Thriller Writers announced the 2024 Thriller Awards at ThrillerFest XIX on Saturday, June 1 in New York City.


  • S.A. Cosby – ALL THE SINNERS BLEED (Flatiron Books)


  • Gregg Hurwitz – THE LAST ORPHAN (Macmillan), Narrated by Scott Brick




  • Luke Dumas – THE PALEONTOLOGIST (Atria)


  • Lisa Unger – UNKNOWN CALLER (Amazon Original Stories)


  • Elizabeth Wein – STATELESS (Little, Brown & Co.)


  • Robert Swartwood – THE KILLING ROOM (Blackstone Publishing)



  • Tess Gerritsen
  • Dennis Lehane


  • Audible.com


  • Louise Penny

2024 ITW Thriller Awards Nominees

The finalists for the 2024 International Thriller Writers Awards were revealed on February 28. The award is given by the International Thriller Writers. ITW will announce the winners at ThrillerFest on June 1.


  • S.A. Cosby – ALL THE SINNERS BLEED (Flatiron Books)
  • Robert Dugoni – HER DEADLY GAME (Thomas & Mercer)
  • J.T. Ellison – IT’S ONE OF US (Harlequin – MIRA Books)
  • Mick Herron – THE SECRET HOURS (Soho Crime)
  • Joe Ide – FIXIT (Mulholland Books)
  • C.J. Tudor – THE DRIFT (Ballantine Books)


  • I.S. Berry – THE PEACOCK AND THE SPARROW (Simon & Schuster Audio), Narrated by Pete Simonelli
  • Gregg Hurwitz – THE LAST ORPHAN (Macmillan), Narrated by Scott Brick
  • Freida McFadden – THE HOUSEMAID’S SECRET (Bookouture), Narrated by Lauryn Allman
  • James Patterson, Mike Lupica – THE HOUSE OF WOLVES (Hachette Audio), Narrated by Ellen Archer
  • Emma Rosenblum – BAD SUMMER PEOPLE (Macmillan), Narrated by January LaVoy


  • Amy Chua – THE GOLDEN GATE (Minotaur)
  • Margot Douaihy – SCORCHED GRACE (Zando)
  • Kerryn Mayne – LENNY MARKS GETS AWAY WITH MURDER (Bantam Books)
  • Steve Urszenyi – PERFECT SHOT: A THRILLER (Minotaur)


  • Tracy Clark – HIDE (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Luke Dumas – THE PALEONTOLOGIST (Atria)
  • Tess Gerritsen – THE SPY COAST (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Lisa Gray – TO DIE FOR (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Jonathan Maberry – CAVE 13: A JOE LEDGER AND ROGUE TEAM INTERNATIONAL NOVEL (St. Martin’s Griffin)
  • J. Todd Scott – CALL THE DARK (Thomas & Mercer)


  • Chris Bohjalian – SLOT MACHINE FEVER DREAMS (Amazon Original Stories)
  • J.T. Ellison – THESE COLD STRANGERS (Amazon Original Stories)
  • Smita Harish Jain – AN HONORABLE CHOICE (Wildside Press)
  • Richard Santos – RUSH HOUR (Akashic Books)
  • Lisa Unger – UNKNOWN CALLER (Amazon Original Stories)
  • Stacy Woodson – ONE NIGHT IN 1965 (Down & Out Books)


  • Sorboni Banerjee, Dominique Richardson – RED AS BLOOD (Wolfpack Publishing LLC)
  • Darcy Coates – WHERE HE CAN’T FIND YOU (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Courtney Gould – WHERE ECHOES DIE (Wednesday Books)
  • Andrea Hannah – WHERE DARKNESS BLOOMS (Wednesday Books)
  • Elizabeth Wein – STATELESS (Little, Brown & Co.)


  • Jeff Buick – THE VULTURE FUND (Self-published)
  • Rona Halsall – THE BIGAMIST (Bookouture)
  • Matt Phillips – A GOOD RUSH OF BLOOD (RunAmok Books)
  • Lisa Regan – CLOSE HER EYES (Bookouture)
  • Robert Swartwood – THE KILLING ROOM (Blackstone Publishing)
  • Laura Wolfe – THE IN-LAWS (Bookouture)

2023 ITW Thriller Awards

The International Thriller Writers announced the 2023 Thriller Awards at ThrillerFest XVIII on Saturday, June 3 in New York City.


  • Sundial, by Catriona Ward (Macmillan)


  • Things We Do in the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier; narrated by Carla Vega (Macmillan Audio)


  • The Resemblance, by Lauren Nossett (Flatiron)


  • The Housemaid, by Freida McFadden (Grand Central)


  •  “Stockholm,” by Catherine Steadman (Amazon Original Stories)


  • Daughter, by Kate McLaughlin (Wednesday)


  • The Couple at Causeway Cottage, by Diane Jeffrey (HarperCollins)

Two other awards were presented at ThrillerFest:


  • Charlaine Harris
  • Walter Mosley


  • Minotaur Books

2023 ITW Thriller Awards Nominees

The finalists for the 2023 International Thriller Writers Awards were revealed on March 17. The award is given by the International Thriller Writers. ITW will announce the winners at ThrillerFest on June 3.


  • The Violence, by Delilah S. Dawson (Del Rey)
  • Things We Do in the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur)
  • The Fervor, by Alma Katsu (Putnam)
  • The Children on the Hill, by Jennifer McMahon (Simon & Schuster)
  • Two Nights in Lisbon, by Chris Pavone (MCD)
  • Sundial, by Catriona Ward (Macmillan)


  • Young Rich Widows, by Kimberly Belle, Fargo Layne, Cate Holahan, and Vanessa Lillie; narrated by Dina Pearlman, Karissa Vacker, Helen Laser, and Ariel Blake (Audible)
  • The Lies I Tell, by Julie Clark; narrated by Anna Caputo and Amanda Dolan (Audible)
  • The Photo Thief, by J.L. Delozier; narrated by Rachel L. Jacobs and Jeffrey Kafer (CamCat)
  • Things We Do in the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier; narrated by Carla Vega (Macmillan Audio)
  • The Silent Woman, by Minka Kent; narrated by Christine Lakin and Kate Rudd (Blackstone)


  • The Resemblance, by Lauren Nossett (Flatiron)
  • Blood Sugar, by Sascha Rothchild (Putnam)
  • Dirt Creek (aka Dirt Town), by Hayley Scrivenor (Flatiron)
  • A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (Minotaur)
  • The Fields, by Erin Young (Flatiron)


  • The Lies I Told, by Mary Burton (Montlake)
  • No Place to Run, by Mark Edwards (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Unmissing, by Minka Kent (Thomas & Mercer)
  • The Housemaid, by Freida McFadden (Grand Central)
  • Anywhere You Run, by Wanda Morris (Morrow)
  • The Couple Upstairs, by Holly Wainwright (Pan Macmillan)
  • The Patient’s Secret, by Loreth Anne White (Montlake)


  • “Russian for Beginners,” by Dominique Bibeau (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], March/April 2022)
  • “The Gift,” by Barb Goffman (from Land of 10,000 Thrills, edited by Greg Herren; Down & Out)
  • “Publish or Perish,” by Smita Harish Jain (EQMM, September/October 2022)
  • “33 Clues Into the Disappearance of My Sister,” by Joyce Carol Oates (EQMM, March/April 2022)
  • “Schrödinger, Cat,” by Anna Scotti (EQMM, March/April 2022)
  • “Stockholm,” by Catherine Steadman (Amazon Original Stories)


  • Our Crooked Hearts, by Melissa Albert (Flatiron)
  • Sugaring Off, by Gillian French (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Daughter, by Kate McLaughlin (Wednesday)
  • What’s Coming to Me, by Francesca Padilla (Soho Teen)
  • I’m the Girl, by Courtney Summers (Wednesday)


  • Evasive Species, by Bill Byrnes (Self-published)
  • The Couple at Causeway Cottage, by Diane Jeffrey (HarperCollins)
  • The Seven Truths of Hannah Baxter, by Grant McKenzie (Self-published)
  • The Hollow Place, by Rick Mofina (Self-published)
  • Fatal Rounds, by Carrie Rubin (Self-published)

Two other awards will be presented at ThrillerFest:


  • Charlaine Harris
  • Walter Mosley


  • Minotaur Books

2022 ITW Thriller Awards

The International Thriller Writers announced the 2022 Thriller Awards at ThrillerFest XVII on Saturday, June 4 in New York City.


  • S. A. Cosby – RAZORBLADE TEARS (Flatiron Books)


  • S. A. Cosby – RAZORBLADE TEARS (Macmillan) — Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White


  • Amanda Jayatissa – MY SWEET GIRL (Berkley)


  • Jess Lourey – BLOODLINE (Thomas & Mercer)


  • Scott Loring Sanders – “The Lemonade Stand” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)


  • Courtney Summers – THE PROJECT (Wednesday Books)


  • E.J. Findorff – BLOOD PARISH (E.J. Findorff)


  • Frederick Forsyth
  • Diana Gabaldon

[Thanks to Todd Mason and Cat Eldridge for the story.]

Crime Fiction Awards 2022 News


The International Thriller Writers have announced the finalists for the 2022 Thriller Awards.

The winners will be revealed at ThrillerFest XVII on Saturday, June 4 in New York City.


  • Megan Abbott – THE TURNOUT (Penguin/Putnam)
  • S. A. Cosby – RAZORBLADE TEARS (Flatiron Books)
  • Alice Feeney – ROCK PAPER SCISSORS (Flatiron Books)
  • Rachel Howzell Hall – THESE TOXIC THINGS (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Alma Katsu – RED WIDOW (Penguin/Putnam)
  • Eric Rickstad – I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM (Blackstone Publishing)


  • S. A. Cosby – RAZORBLADE TEARS (Macmillan) — Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White
  • Samantha Downing – SLEEPING DOG LIE (Audible Originals) — Narrated by Melanie Nicholls-King and Lindsey Dorcus
  • Rachel Howzell Hall – HOW IT ENDS (Audible Originals) — Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt
  • Gregg Hurwitz – PRODIGAL SON (Macmillan) — Narrated by Scott Brick
  • Nadine Matheson – THE JIGSAW MAN (HarperCollins) — Narrated by Davine Henry


  • Abigail Dean – GIRL A (HarperCollins)
  • Eloísa Díaz – REPENTANCE (Agora Books)
  • Amanda Jayatissa – MY SWEET GIRL (Berkley)
  • David McCloskey – DAMASCUS STATION (W.W. Norton & Company)
  • Eric Redman – BONES OF HILO (Crooked Lane Books)


  • Joy Castro – FLIGHT RISK (Lake Union)
  • Aaron Philip Clark – UNDER COLOR OF LAW (Thomas & Mercer)
  • C. J. Cooke – THE LIGHTHOUSE WITCHES (Berkley)
  • Jess Lourey – BLOODLINE (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Terry Roberts – MY MISTRESS’ EYES ARE RAVEN BLACK (Turner Publishing Company)


  • S.A. Cosby – “Not My Cross to Bear” (Down & Out Books)
  • William Burton McCormick – “Demon in the Depths” (Ellery Queen’s
  • Mystery Magazine)
  • Scott Loring Sanders – “The Lemonade Stand” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)
  • Jeff Soloway – “The Interpreter and the Killer” (Ellery Queen’s
  • Mystery Magazine)
  • John Wimer – “Bad Chemistry” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine)


  • Maureen Johnson – THE BOX IN THE WOODS (HarperCollins)
  • Nova McBee – CALCULATED (Wolfpack Publishing LLC)
  • Ginny Myers Sain – DARK AND SHALLOW LIES (Penguin Young Readers)
  • Courtney Summers – THE PROJECT (Wednesday Books)
  • Krystal Sutherland – HOUSE OF HOLLOW (Penguin Young Readers)


  • Greig Beck – THE DARK SIDE: ALEX HUNTER 9 (Pan Macmillan)
  • John Connell – WHERE THE WICKED TREAD (John Connell)
  • Wendy Dranfield – LITTLE GIRL TAKEN (Bookouture)
  • E.J. Findorff – BLOOD PARISH (E.J. Findorff)
  • S. E. Green – MOTHER MAY I (S. E. Green)
  • Andrew Kaplan – BLUE MADAGASCAR (Andrew Kaplan)
  • Karin Nordin – LAST ONE ALIVE (HarperCollins)


The winners of the 2021 Nero Award and Black Orchid Novella Award were announced December 5. These crime fiction awards are given out by a Nero Wolfe fan group called The Wolfe Pack.


The Nero Award is presented each year to an author for the best American Mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories.

  • Stephen Spotswood for Fortune Favors the Dead (Doubleday).


The Black Orchid Novella Award is presented jointly by The Wolfe Pack and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine to celebrate the novella format popularized by Rex Stout.

  • Alexis Stefanovich-Thomson for “The Man Who Went Down Under.” The novella will be published in the July 2022 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.

Honorable mentions for the Black Orchid Novella Award went to:

  • “Bad Apples” by Kathleen Marple Kalb (writing as Nikki Knight)
  • “The Inside Shake” by Jason Koontz
  • “House of Tigers” by William Burton McCormick
  • “The Mystery of the Missing Woman” by Regina M. Sestak 
  • “Lovely As” by Jacqueline Vick


The Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger Award for 2022 goes to CJ Sansom.

Sansom is the creator of the bestselling Shardlake series, set in the reign of Henry VIII and following the sixteenth-century lawyer-detective Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak.

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert and Todd Mason for these stories.]

2021 ITW Thriller Awards

The 2021 International Thriller Writers Awards  winners were announced on July 10 during the virtual Thrillerfest. The award is given by the International Thriller Writers, whose board of directors boasts such famous members as the authors Heather Graham and Kathy Reichs.


  • S.A. Cosby – Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron Books)


  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden – Winter Counts (Ecco)


  • John Marrs – What Lies Between Us (Thomas & Mercer)


  • Alan Orloff – “Rent Due” (Down & Out Books)


  • Andrea Contos – Throwaway Girls (Kids Can Press)


  • Jeff Buick – A Killing Game (Novel Words)

 [Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

#DisneyMustPay Task Force Updates

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force has reported its progress towards its goal that all WritersMustBePaid.org.

“Lee Goldberg, IAMTW, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America bring valuable experience to the Disney Task Force,” said Mary Robinette Kowal, President, SFWA. “Their support demonstrates that writers stand with each other.” 

John Palisano, President, Horror Writers Association (HWA), said, “The HWA is proud to be part of the Disney Task Force alongside SFWA, RWA, MWA, and many other organizations focused on writers. We believe writers must be paid and should not have to jump through hoops for that to happen. We’re hoping Disney will come to the table and cooperate with author organizations that are providing support to authors and agents so that there is a clear path going forward. We are all wishing for a resolution that will continue the great creative relationships that have been built over many decades.”

“Since we launched the Task Force, progress has been made; we are pleased that a few writers have been paid,” said Kowal. “However, we do notice the difference in how the lower profile writers are being treated. We should not still be having the discussion about honoring their contracts.”

Fans, fellow writers, and the creative community have taken to social media to support the authors being helped by the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force. Because of their passion, the message is being delivered. 

For writers to be paid, people need to continue to buy their books and watch their movies and programs. The Task Force strongly feels that a boycott will only hurt writers. 

There are ways fans and supporters can help.

  • Do not boycott, as this will disproportionately affect those authors who are being paid. 
  • Use #DisneyMustPay on social media. Help is needed to bring the task force’s five action items to the attention of Disney’s decision-makers.
  • Visit WritersMustBePaid.org, a new website set up by our new task force, and share it.
  • Do purchase the works of affected authors for which they are receiving royalties.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) formed the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force, which now includes the Authors GuildHorror Writers Association, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller WritersMystery Writers of America National Writers UnionNovelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime to identify and guide authors who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the task force in identifying affected authors. 

The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is making sure writers’ working conditions are fair and safe, but individual negotiations are, rightly, between the authors, their agents, and the rights holder. The Disney Task Force is working to address structural and systemic concerns. 

Additional updates and information will be available at www.writersmustbepaid.org.

[Based on a press release.]

2021 ITW Thriller Awards Nominees

The finalists for the 2021 International Thriller Writers Awards have been announced. The award is given by the International Thriller Writers, whose board of directors boasts such famous members as the authors Heather Graham and Kathy Reichs. ITW will announce the winners at a virtual ThrillerFest on July 10.


  • S.A. Cosby – BLACKTOP WASTELAND (Flatiron Books)
  • Joe Ide – HI FIVE (Mulholland Books)
  • Richard Osman – THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB (Penguin)
  • Ivy Pochoda – THESE WOMEN (Ecco)
  • Lisa Unger – CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Park Row)


  • Jasmine Aimaq – THE OPIUM PRINCE (Soho Press)
  • Don Bentley – WITHOUT SANCTION (Berkley)
  • Kyle Perry – THE BLUFFS (Michael Joseph)
  • Francesca Serritella – GHOSTS OF HARVARD (Random House)
  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden – WINTER COUNTS (Ecco)


  • Alyssa Cole – WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING (William Morrow Paperbacks)
  • Layton Green – UNKNOWN 9: GENESIS (Reflector Entertainment)
  • John Marrs – WHAT LIES BETWEEN US (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Andrew Mayne – THE GIRL BENEATH THE SEA (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Benjamin Stevenson – EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT (Penguin Random House Australia)


  • Steve Hockensmith – “The Death and Carnage Boy” (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
  • Laura Lippman – “Slow Burner” (Amazon Original Stories)
  • Alan Orloff – “Rent Due” (Down & Out Books)
  • Elaine Viets – “Dog Eat Dog” (Untreed Reads)
  • Andrew Welsh-Huggins – “The Mailman” (Down & Out Books)


  • Demetra Brodsky – LAST GIRLS (Tor Teen)
  • Andrea Contos – THROWAWAY GIRLS (Kids Can Press)
  • Kit Frick – I KILLED ZOE SPANOS (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
  • Lily Sparks – TEEN KILLERS CLUB (Crooked Lane Books)
  • Heather Young – THE DISTANT DEAD (William Morrow)


  • Sean Black – AVENUE OF THIEVES (Sean Black)
  • Jeff Buick – A KILLING GAME (Novel Words)
  • Diane Capri – FULL METAL JACK (AugustBooks)
  • Jake Needham – MONGKOK STATION (Half Penny)
  • Kirk Russell – NO HESITATION (Strawberry Creek)

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

Pixel Scroll 9/13/20 Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mrs. Pixel?

(1) MINORITY REPORT? The Tampa Bay Times says “Pasco’s sheriff created a futuristic program to stop crime before it happens. It monitors and harasses families across the county.”.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a bold plan: to create a cutting-edge intelligence program that could stop crime before it happened.

What he actually built was a system to continuously monitor and harass Pasco County residents, a Tampa Bay Times investigation has found.

First the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it considers likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, unspecified intelligence and arbitrary decisions by police analysts.

Then it sends deputies to find and interrogate anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.

They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors. They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines. They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.

(2) STAR TREKKING WITH WILL SMTH? We Got This Covered’s source told them “Paramount Reportedly Eyeing Will Smith For Big Star Trek Role”.

…According to our intel – which comes from the same sources that told us Captain Pike would be getting his own spinoff long before Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was announced – the studio are keen to recruit Will Smith to play a Starfleet captain. Although, at this time, it isn’t yet clear exactly what movie they’re eying him for.

After all, the canonical Star Trek 4 and Noah Hawley’s unrelated take on the material are both still rooted firmly in development hell, and Paramount could realistically end up making none or both of those sci-fi blockbusters. Still, with Robert Downey Jr. and Brie Larson both having found themselves linked to Star Trek recently as well, it would certainly appear that the studio are actively seeking an injection of star power to ensure that the next installment in the franchise can make it into production sooner rather than later.

(3) MEET THE MAYOR. Dan Snierson, in the Entertainment Weekly story Family Guy taps Sam Elliott to succeed Adam West as Mayor: See the first photos” says that three years after Adam West’s death, Family Guy has named Sam Elliott to replace him as mayor of Quahog.  Elliott will voice Adam West’s cousin, Wild Wild West.  (Adam West’s character on Family Guy was named Adam West.)

…He’ll be playing a key role: the new Mayor of Quahog, a post that became vacant after Adam West — who played Mayor Adam West in more than 100 episodes — died in 2017. West remained a presence on the show into the following year, as several episodes recorded before his death made their debut. Family Guy paid tribute to West several times, but almost two years after the actor’s death, the show finally acknowledged his passing in an episode that saw the high school renamed after him.”We wanted to take the time to respect Adam,” executive producer Richard Appel tells EW. “In having a conversation about ‘How do you replace him?,’ the universal belief was: he’s irreplaceable. And then the next question is, ‘Do you find a new mayor?’ In the world of Family Guy, he had an important role, and a role that was necessary for a lot of stories.”

(4) READING THE TRACKS. Amal El-Mohtar’s latest New York Times Sunday Book Review column “Power and Passage: New Science Fiction and Fantasy” covers Elwin Cotman’s Dance On Saturday (Small Beer Press) and Micaiah Johnson’s The Space Between Worlds (Del Rey).

The discourse about reading fiction during the pandemic has followed two broad tracks: There are those who take comfort in the activity, and those who have found reading impossibly difficult. I belong to the latter camp, but I’m all the more excited to share the following books, which, while very different in genre and mode, shook me out of listless distraction with their originality.

(5) FACES IN SFF. Camestros Felapton made a discovery.

So that’s James Schmitz! I never saw a photo of him before. Nor saw him in person, even though he lived in LA – he didn’t come to conventions, and I wasn’t surprised when he didn’t answer my invitation to be on a Westercon program, although I suppose I made the attempt because he did interact with a few fannish book reviewers, like Paul Walker. (FYI, there’s a whole website devoted to Schmitz and his works saved at the Internet Archive.)

(6) SHREK GENESIS. [Item by rcade.] Some audio was shared on social media of Chris Farley performing as Shrek with Eddie Murphy as Donkey.

Farley, who helped the movie become greenlit by signing on to star in the title role in 1996, had completed 80 to 95 percent of the voice work for the film when he died of a cocaine and morphine overdose. Mike Myers was brought in and the script was rewritten, turning Shrek from sweet and American under Farley to acerbic and Scottish under Myers.

More details at this archived Jim Hill Media link: “How ‘Shrek’ went from being a train wreck to one for the record books”.

…Of course, back then, “Shrek” was supposed to have had a very different storyline. It wasn’t a movie about an ogre who just wanted to be left alone in his swamp. But — rather — it was about a teenage ogre who wasn’t all that eager to go into the family business. You see, young Shrek didn’t really want to frighten people. He longed to make friends, help people. This ogre actually dreamed of becoming a knight.

This was the version of “Shrek” that Chris Farley was working on just prior to his untimely death in December 1997. According to folks that I’ve spoken with who worked on this version of the film, Farley’s voice work on the project was nothing short of heroic.

(7) YOU’RE THE TOP. The Guardian’s E Foley and B Coates rank “Top 10 goddesses in fiction”. Tagline: “In ancient myth – and novels by authors from Neil Gaiman to Toni Morrison – these ambiguous figures are sometimes repressive, sometimes inspiring.” Free registration required to read.

(8) SHORT CHANGED. Camestros Felapton finds out “Which Hugo story finalists don’t have a Wikipedia page”. But should they?

My capacity to generate (rather than just make-up) trivia increases every week. Today I get to tell you which Hugo Finalists in Novel, Novella, Novelette and Short Story do not currently have a Wikipedia page.

(9) CAMPAIGN BEGINS. “300 years on, will thousands of women burned as witches finally get justice?”The Guardian reports they might.

It spanned more than a century and a half, and resulted in about 2,500 people – the vast majority of them women – being burned at the stake, usually after prolonged torture. Remarkably, one of the driving forces behind Scotland’s “satanic panic” was no less than the king, James VI, whose treatise, Daemonologie, may have inspired the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Now, almost 300 years after the Witchcraft Act was repealed, a campaign has been launched for a pardon for those convicted, an apology to all those accused and a national memorial to be created.

“There should be an acknowledgement that what happened to these women was a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Claire Mitchell QC, the campaign’s founder, told the Observer. She pointed out that in Salem, the Massachusetts town where a series of infamous witchcraft trials took place in the 1690s, a formal apology for the 200 accused and 20 executed was issued in 1957. In Scotland – where 3,837 people were accused, two-thirds of whom are believed to have been put to death – there has been no such recognition….


September 2005 — Fifteen years ago at Interaction, Susanna Clarke‘s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell won the Best Novel Hugo. The other finalists were River of Gods by Ian McDonald, The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks, Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross and Iron Council by China Miéville. It would be her last novel for fifteen years with only her only other work then being a collection, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories with illustrations by Charles Vess. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is also available in audiobook form as narrated most excellently by Simon Prebble. A BBC television adaptation was done ten years after publication. In 2006, it was reported that she suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome which she very recently reported that she had recovered from. Her second and soon-to-be-released novel is Piranesi which is not follow-up to Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. 


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born September 13, 1898 – Arthur J. Burks.   Served in the U.S. Marines during both World Wars, eventually retiring as lieutenant colonel.  Resigned after WW I, became a million-word-a-year man for the pulps, re-enlisted, wrote again afterward, perhaps 800 stories for us and others.  Interviewed in the May 33 SF Digest by Julie Schwartz and Mort Weisinger, later more famous than he.  (Died 1974) [JH]
  • Born September 13, 1926 Roald Dahl. Did you know he wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice? Or that he hosted and wrote for a sf and horror television anthology series called Way Out which aired before The Twilight Zone for a season? He also hosted the UK Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected.  My favorite Dahl work is The BFG. What’s yours? (Died 1990.) (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1931 Barbara Bain, 89. She’s most remembered for co-starring in the original Mission: Impossible television series in the 1960s as Cinnamon Carter, and Space: 1999 as Doctor Helena Russell. I will confess that I never watched the latter. Her first genre role was as Alma in the “KAOS in CONTROL” episode of Get Smart! (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1937 – Dick Eney.  Active fan from 1949, including fanzines, filking, cons; also our neighbor the Society for Creative Anachronism.  Program Books for Discon I and II the 21st and 32nd Worldcons.  Toastmaster at the first Conterpoint.  Published Fancyclopedia II.  Fan Guest of Honor at L.A.con II the 42nd Worldcon.  Witty but pushed his prejudices; could be pithy and poisonous: earned applause, but we all knew It’s Eney’s fault!  (Died 2006) [JH]
  • Born September 13, 1943 – Mary Kay Bray.  Scholar whose work in the Black American Literature ForumExtrapolationFantasy ReviewThe Review of Contemporary Fiction, and the SF Research Ass’n Review led the SFRA in 2002 to establish the annual Mary Kay Bray Award for the best essay, interview, or extended review to appear in SFRA Review.  Filer Rich Horton is currently on the Award Committee.  (Died 1999) [JH]
  • Born September 13, 1946 Frank Marshall, 74. Producer of Raiders of the Lost ArkPoltergeistIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Indian in the Cupboard to name but a few he’s produced; there’s an even a longer list of films that he’s been involved in as an executive producer. His upcoming projects are the animated Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous series and the Jurassic World: Dominion film. (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1947 Mike Grell, 73. He’s best known for his work on books such as Green Lantern/Green ArrowThe Warlord, and Jon Sable FreelanceThe Warlord featuring Travis Morgan is a hollow Earth adventure series set in Skartaris which is a homage to Jules Verne. As Grell points out “the name comes from the mountain peak Scartaris that points the way to the passage to the earth’s core in Journey to the Center of the Earth.” The Justice League Unlimited “Chaos at the Earth’s Core“ episode made use of this story. (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1960 – Bob Eggleton, F.N., 60.  Almost five hundred covers and eight hundred interiors.  Magic, the Gathering cards.  Fellow of NESFA (New England SF Ass’n; service award).  Many times a Guest of Honor, e.g. Loscon 27, Norwescon XXIV, Balticon 39, MidSouthCon 26, Lunacon 60 (with wife Marianne Plumridge); Chicon 6 the 58th Worldcon.  Artbooks Alien HorizonsGreetings from Earth, seven more.  Gaughan; Skylark; twelve Chesleys including Artistic Achievement; eight Hugos. International expert on Godzilla.  Here is Thrust 26.  Here is Why Do Birds.  Here is the Chicon 6 Souvenir Book (logograph “Chicon 2000” with Space ships at upper right).  Here is the Jul-Aug 08 Analog.  Here is A Bicycle Built for Brew.  Here is the Nov-Dec 19 F&SF.  [JH]
  • Born September 13, 1961 Tom Holt, 59. Assuming you like comical fantasy, I’d recommend both Faust Among Equals and Who Afraid of Beowulf? as being well worth time. If you madly, deeply into Wagner, you’ll love Expecting Someone Taller; if not, skip it. (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1974 Fiona Avery, 46. Comic book and genre series scriptwriter. While being a reference editor on the final season of Babylon 5, she wrote “The Well of Forever” and “Patterns of the Soul” as well as two that were not produced, “Value Judgements” and “Tried and True”. After work on the Crusade series ended, she turned to comic book writing, working for Marvel and Top Cow with three spin-offs of J. Michael Straczynski’s Rising Stars being another place where her scripts were used. She created the Marvel character Anya Sofia Corazon later named Spider-girl. (CE) 
  • Born September 13, 1977 – Pola Oloixarac, 43.  One of Granta’s Best Young Spanish Novelists (2010).  Founding editor of bilingual Buenos Aires Review.  Savage Theories and Dark Constellations translated into English.  Has presented at Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford, Univ. Toronto.  Of Theories she says “The book has sparked verbal violence and a sexist uproar precisely because it doesn’t deal with … issues … traditionally associated with ‘women’s literature’, but instead contains … traits solely reserved for men.”  [JH]
  • Born September 13, 1978 – Scarlett Algee, 42.  A dozen short stories for us; since Apr 2019 managing editor at JournalStone Publishing.  Has read nine of the sixteen Sheckley collections I know of, and ranks them, low to high: Divine Intervention (about even with How the Irish Saved Civilization), The People TrapShards of Space and Can You Feel Anything When I Do This?Pilgrimage to Earth and Notions UnlimitedCitizen in SpaceUntouched by Human HandsStore of Infinity (above Les Misérables).  [JH]


  • Bizarro shows the kind of episode you can end up with if you misspell Star Trek.
  • And is Ziggy witnessing the Prime Directive being applied to himself?

(13) STAY HOME. Some of the principals of an independently-produced genre movie are asking that you not go out to see it. Gizmodo/io9 has the story: “Directors of Synchronic Ask You to Please Not Go See Their Movie”.

In a statement posted on Instagram, the three creators say that, “at the time of writing this, we personally wouldn’t go to an indoor movie theater, so we can’t encourage you to.” They explain that the film’s distribution situation is out of their control, and assure audiences that the film will be available via on-demand “in a few months” for those who want to watch it without risking their lives.  

(14) ANOTHER THREE-LETTER WRITERS GROUP REPLACES MOST OF ITS BOARD. The International Thriller Writers are regrouping and electing a new board after an internal meltdown almost as bad as though less public than RWA’s – Publishers Weekly has the story: “International Thriller Writers Regroup After Resignations”.

Less than three months after the resignations of all but two members of the International Thriller Writers association’s board of directors, the organization is rebuilding to better serve its members with an eye towards avoiding the recent controversies that have plagued it and several other organizations serving writers. Like other organizations, including most recently, the National Book Critics Circle, ITW has been forced to confront charges of racial insensitivity. ITW is also dealing with the aftermath of charges lodged with the organization as well as with Dallas, Tex. police that a male author affiliated with ITW allegedly assaulted a female author during a conference in late fall, 2019.

ITW members recently voted on a slate of 11 mystery and thriller authors who will join its board beginning in mid-October, including such notables as Anthony Horowitz and C.J. Box. Half of the new members are female, including Karin Slaughter, Kathy Reichs, and Lisa Gardner. ITW has created a new committee, diversity and outreach, headed by incoming board member Alexia Gordon. Veteran board officer Heather Graham and incoming board member Gregg Hurwitz will serve as co-presidents of the 12-member board.

In addition, in July the 16-year-old organization established a security and safety committee to draft a comprehensive process for dealing with violations of its code of conduct policies. The six-member committee includes at least one survivor of assault, a law enforcement officer, a district attorney, a psychologist, and a victim’s rights lawyer.

(15) RETRO VISIONS CONTINUE. Cora Buhlert recently revisited the first two Jirel of Joiry stories by C.L. Moore, “Black God’s Kiss” and “Black God’s Shadow,” gaining insights into the sword and sorcery genre in the process:

As I said a few posts ago, I will be reviewing vintage SFF stories beyond the confines of the Retro Hugos as well, beginning with “Black God’s Kiss”, a sword and sorcery novelette by C.L. Moore that was the cover story of the October 1934 issue of Weird Tales and also introduced the swordswoman Jirel of Joiry to the world. The story may be read online here. This review will also be crossposted to Retro Science Fiction Reviews.

Warning: Spoilers beyond this point! Also trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.

…Warning: Spoilers beyond this point! Also trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.

“Black God’s Shadow” takes place a few weeks or even months after “Black God’s Kiss”. Our heroine Jirel of Joiry is still haunted by the events in the previous story and it shows… 

(16) RAMMING SPEED. [Item by Contrarius.] The beginning of the rebellion of nature? A plot for a new movie — “The Orcas” instead of “The Birds”? “Scientists baffled by orcas ramming sailing boats near Spain and Portugal” in The Guardian.

In the last two months, from southern to northern Spain, sailors have sent distress calls after worrying encounters. Two boats lost part of their rudders, at least one crew member suffered bruising from the impact of the ramming, and several boats sustained serious damage.

The latest incident occurred on Friday afternoon just off A Coruña, on the northern coast of Spain. Halcyon Yachts was taking a 36ft boat to the UK when an orca rammed its stern at least 15 times, according to Pete Green, the company’s managing director. The boat lost steering and was towed into port to assess damage.

A second article in The Guardian — Whalemageddon! “‘I’ve never seen or heard of attacks’: scientists baffled by orcas harassing boats”.

…The pod rammed the boat for more than an hour, during which time the crew were too busy getting the sails in, readying the life raft and radioing a mayday – “Orca attack!” – to feel fear. The moment fear kicked in, Morris says, was when she went below deck to prepare a grab bag – the stuff you take when abandoning ship. “The noise was really scary. They were ramming the keel, there was this horrible echo, I thought they could capsize the boat. And this deafening noise as they communicated, whistling to each other. It was so loud that we had to shout.” It felt, she says, “totally orchestrated”.

The crew waited a tense hour and a half for rescue – perhaps understandably, the coastguard took time to comprehend (“You are saying you are under attack from orca?”). To say this is unusual is to massively understate it. By the time help arrived, the orcas were gone. The boat was towed to Barbate, where it was lifted to reveal the rudder missing its bottom third and outer layer, and teeth marks along the underside….

(17) D@MN ROBOTS. Abandon hope, all ye who own phones. Inverse reports a study: “Does ignoring robocalls make them stop? Researchers uncover 2 key findings”.

More than 80 percent of robocalls come from fake numbers – and answering these calls or not has no effect on how many more you’ll get. Those are two key findings of an 11-month study into unsolicited phone calls that we conducted from February 2019 to January 2020.

To better understand how these unwanted callers operate, we monitored every phone call received to over 66,000 phone lines in our telephone security lab, the Robocall Observatory at North Carolina State University. We received 1.48 million unsolicited phone calls over the course of the study. Some of these calls we answered, while others we let ring. Contrary to popular wisdom, we found that answering calls makes no difference in the number of robocalls received by a phone number. The weekly volume of robocalls remained constant throughout the study.

(18) DAY GO SNOW, DAY GO SLEET, DAGOBAH. Starbuck’s “Been There” series of cups includes this souvenir of Dagobah. This one is “pre-owned.” I wonder when this series came out.

[Thanks to John Hertz, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian, JJ, Michael Toman, Cora Buhlert, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Ken Richards.]