Sony picks up WHEEL OF TIME rights

The Karaethon Cycle had it wrong, after all. Sony Pictures has thrown in its hat along with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures on a television adaptation of Robert Jordan’s prolific fantasy Wheel of Time series.

The series nominally follows Rand al’Thor, a humble farm boy from the distant edge of Andor who is unwittingly thrust towards his destiny. As the Dragon Reborn, a reviled and widely feared savior who would battle the Dark One Shai’tan for the fate of the world, thus ushering in a new age. Also of great importance are his friends Matrim Cauthon, Perrin Aybara, Egwene al’Vere, and Nynaeve al’Meara, all young people from the same village who find their own place of importance in the swifly shifting world.

This move by Sony marks the first update since legal issues were resolved in April of 2016, and details surrounding the project will probably be some time in coming. Fans of the book series – 15 books in total, 3 of which were completed by Brandon Sanderson with Jordan’s notes after the author’s 2007 death – eagerly await any hints ahead of production.

The Wheel of Time has been enticingly teased in both television and film formats since 2000, when NBC first gave us hope of a miniseries of the series. In 2008, interest flared up again as Universal acquired film rights a short time after Robert Jordan’s death. While neither of these projects came to fruition, each whisper of possibility renews hope.

The Karaethon Cycle, the Prophecies of the Dragon, claimed he would be reborn on the slopes of the Dragonmount. I suppose, in an Age that once was – an Age that is yet to be – that must’ve been what the people called Sony.




BSFA Award Winners Announced

[Banner image courtesy British Science Fiction Association]

The British Science Fiction Association held their annual awards ceremony April 14-17, 2017, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole during “Innominate,” the 68th Eastercon in Birmingham, UK. The winners are as follows:

  • Best Novel: Dave Hutchinson – Europe in Winter  (Solaris)
  • Best Shorter Fiction: Jaine Fenn – “Liberty Bird”  (Now We Are Ten, NewCon Press)
  • Best Non-Fiction: Geoff Ryman – 100 African Writers of SFF (Tor.com)
  • Best Artwork: Sarah Anne Langton – Cover for Central Station by Lavie Tidhar  (Tachyon Publications)

The BSFA Awards are based on a vote of association members and members of the British national science fiction convention Eastercon. In each category, the BSFA  awards aim to recognize the most worthy examples in each category, promote science fiction as a genre, and most importantly, get people reading, discussing and enjoying all aspects of contemporary science fiction.

Check Sci-Fi4Me’s Calendar of Events for the next Eastercon as well as other conventions and shows scheduled in your area.

 




Philip K. Dick Award Winner Announced

The 2017 Philip K. Dick Award has a winner.

It was announced Friday, April 14 at Norwescon 40 that The Mercy Journals by Claudia Casper has won the award for distinguished original science fiction paperback published for the first time in 2016.

Set thirty years in the future, the story follows a former soldier Allen “Mercy” Quincy, survivor of the third world war. Mercy suffers from PTSD, and he’s haunted by survivor’s guilt along with mnemectomy — the process of putting unwanted memories outside of self in an attempt to degrade them. After meeting a dancer named Ruby and starting to move on with his life, Mercy’s brother reappears with news that Mercy’s missing sons have been spotted, and the two begin a search for the children in a journey north to the family cabin on Vancouver Island.

Special citation went to Unpronounceable by Susan diRende.

The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust, and is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society with the award ceremony sponsored by the NorthWest Science Fiction Society. This year’s judges were Michael Armstrong, Brenda Clough, Meg Elison, Lee Konstantinou, and Ben Winters.

You can see the presentation here (thanks, Don!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAtLrF36_lM

 




WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE Book Title & Release Date Announced

In early March, the folks behind the popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale announced that they would be releasing another book. This was teased back in January 2016.

https://twitter.com/NightValeRadio/status/285419692582121472

The team already has one fiction book, Welcome to Night Vale, which hit #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list. They also have available two books that consist of episode scripts and extra goodies about the making of the podcast.

It Devours! looks to be another foray into the fictional side of the world of Night Vale. According to their website, it’s “a mystery exploring the intersections of faith and science, the growing relationship between two young people who want desperately to trust each other, and the terrifying, toothy power of the Smiling God.”

The podcast, which passed 100 episodes last December with a special episode, is still going on strong, and the team is currently touring another live show, “All Hail”. They’ve also been busy with the other podcasts on their network, with Alice Isn’t Dead just starting the second chapter.

It Devours! goes on sale October 17 in hardcover, ebook, CD, and audio, and is currently available for pre-order on their website.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




G33K Out: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

{Note: all photos by Angie Fiedler Sutton}

Episode 22: The 2017 Writers of the Future Awards

On April 2, I attended the 33rd annual Writers of the Future Award ceremony. With a dragon gracing the red carpet and the stage. the ceremony had a keynote from the co-founder and president of Dragon*Con Pat Henry, and presented this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Mike Resnick.

The 12 writers and illustrators received this year’s awards, with Jake Marley winning the Golden Pen Award for his submission “Acquisition”, and Michael Michera winning the Golden Brush Award for his illustration that went with C.L. Kagmi’s story, “The Drake Equation”.

The podcast combines some of the interviews I managed to get while attending and excerpts from the award ceremony.

Basic show notes:

  • Running time is 30 minutes, 15 seconds.
  • The main interviews were all recorded on April 2, 2017. I managed to interview the following:
  • You can view the entire Writers of the Future Award ceremony (as well as past ceremonies) on their YouTube channel.
  • For more information about the Writers of the Future Award, including ordering a copy of the 33rd annual publication, visit the official website.
  • Mid-show plug is from composer Marco Beltrami. More information on him can be found on his website.
  • Theme music is “Schoolyard Haze”, by Jari Pitkanen, available via the Free Music Archive.
  • This podcast is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license.
  • Interested in hearing other episodes of G33K Out? Check them out here.

And now, it’s time to geek out.

Created with flickr slideshow.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




2017 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

The World Science Fiction Society has announced the nominees for the 2017 Hugo Awards to be presented in Helsinki, Finland during the 75th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) to be held August 9-13, 2017.

Best Series

  • The Craft Sequence – Max Goldstone
  • The Expanse – James S. A. Corey
  • The October Daye Books – Seanan McGuire
  • Peter Grant/Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
  • Temeraire – Naomi Novik
  • The Vorkosigan Saga – Lois McMaster Bujold

Note: The “Best Series” category is not a permanent category.

Best Fan Artist

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Alex Garner
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Mansik Yang

Best Fan Writer

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Chuck Tingle

Best Fancast

  • The Coode Street Podcast – Gary K. Wolfe & Jonathan Strahan
  • Ditch Diggers – Mur Lafferty & Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour – Ana Grilo & Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia – Alisa Krasnostein, Alexander Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • The Rageaholic – Razörfist
  • Tea and Jeopardy – Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Best Fanzine

  • Castalia House Blog – Jeffro Johnson
  • Journey Planet – James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, Erin Underwood
  • Lady Business – Clare, Ira, Jodie, K. J., Renay, Susan
  • Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together – The  G, Vance Kotrla & Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank – Greg Hullender & Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking – Bridget McKinney

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies – Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine – P. Alexander
  • Gigantosaurus – Rashida J. Smith
  • Strange Horizons – Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, Staff
  • Uncanny Magazine – Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • The Book Smugglers – Ana Grilo & Thea James

Best Professional Artist

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

Best Editor – Long Form

  • Vox Day
  • Shiela E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Editor – Short Form

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

  • Black Mirror, “San Junipero”
  • Doctor Who, “The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
  • The Expanse, “Leviathan Wakes”
  • Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
  • Game of Thrones, “The Door”
  • Splendor & Misery

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

  • Arrival
  • Deadpool
  • Ghostbusters
  • Hidden Figures
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Stranger Things: Season One

Best Graphic Story

  • Black Panther Vol 1: A Nation Under Our Feet – Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze
  • Monstress Vol 1: Awakening – Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda
  • Ms. Marvel Vol 5: Super Famous – G. Willow Wilson & Takeshi Miyazawa
  • Paper Girls Vol 1 – Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, Jared Fletcher
  • Saga Vol 6 – Fiona Staples, Brian K. Vaughn, Fonografiks
  • The Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than a Man – Tom King & Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Best Related Work

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution – Kameron Hurley
  • The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg – Robert Silverberg & Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
  • The View From the Cheap Seats – Neil Gaiman
  • Women of Harry Potter – Sarah Gailey
  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books – Ursula K. Le Guin

Best Short Story

  • “The City Born Great” – N. K. Jemisin
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers” – Alyssa Wong
  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” – Brooke Bolander
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron” – Amal El-Mohtar
  • “That Game We Played During the War” – Carrie Vaughn
  • “An Unimaginable Light” – John C. Wright

Best Novelette

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind by the T-Rex – Stix Hiscock
  • The Art of Space Travel – Nina Allan
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary – Fran Wilde
  • The Tomato Thief – Ursula Vernon
  • Touring With the Alien – Carolyn Ives Gilman
  • You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay – Alyssa Wong

Best Novella

  • The Ballad of Black Tom – Victor LaValle
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson
  • Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
  • Penric and the Shaman – Lois McMaster Bujold
  • A Taste of Honey – Kai Ashante Wilson
  • This Census-Taker – China Miéville

Best Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky – Charlie Jane Anders
  • A Closed and Common Orbit – Becky Chambers
  • Death’s End – Cixin Liu
  • Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee
  • The Obelisk Gate – N. K. Jemisin
  • Too Like the Lightning – Ada Palmer

The WSFS also presents the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, given to the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer in the previous two years.

John W. Campbell Award

  • Sarah Gailey
  • J. Mulrooney
  • Malka Older
  • Ada Palmer
  • Laurie Penny
  • Kelly Robson

The finalists were announced via YouTube:

https://youtu.be/jm5zVLFWbqE

2,464 nominating ballots were cast this year, the second highest total in the history of the Hugos. Voting on the finalists will continue until July.

The Hugo Awards are presented every year by the World Science Fiction Society to honor the best of science fiction and fantasy from the prior calendar year. Only members of the WSFS may vote on the finalists to decide the winners. For more information on the Hugo Awards, see www.thehugoawards.org. For more information about the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, see www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell.

 

 




Dragon-Themed Writers and Illustrators of the Future Award April 2

{All images courtesy Steve Moyer Public Relations and Galaxy Press.}

It’s time again for tales of dragons and spaceships. Next Sunday, April 2, are the the 33rd Annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers & Illustrators of the Future Achievement Awards.

https://youtu.be/lk8OZVU3aRk

Honoring 12 writers and illustrators for their excellence in science fiction and fantasy, the awards are presented by Galaxy Press and Author Services, Inc. Each of the writers and illustrators are quarterly winners. Additionally, there will be a grand prize winner for each: the Golden Pen Award for the Writers of the Future Contest, and the Golden Quill Award for the winner of the Illustrators of the Future Contest.

Started in 1983, the contest was created to inspire more beginning writers to help break into the industry. It was so successful that the Illustrators award was created in 1988. Each year, the winners are invited to a week-long workshop that ends in the awards ceremony, which is also where the winning entries are released into a published anthology. The success of the program is apparent: since starting, the writing winners have published 1,150 novels and 4,450 short stories, producing 32 New York Times bestsellers. Meanwhile, the illustrators have produced over 4,500 illustrations, 356 comic books, and produced visually to 36 television shows and 46 movies.

Writers and Illustrator of the Future Awards trophies.

The event this year is themed ‘medieval fantasy’, and as such there will be a 12-foot long dragon head included in the red carpet. Dress code is listed as black tie-optional or medieval fantasy formal. The keynote speaker this year will be Pat Henry, the president and co-founder of Dragon*Con, Pat Henry. The awards will also have performances from EMCirque, and will also have artists Rob Prior and Larry Elmore create a painting from scratch. Finally, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to author Mike Resnick, author of 62 novels and over 250 short stories, and editor of over 40 anthologies.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, the event is free and open to the public. It will be at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and doors open at 5:30 pm, with the event starting at 6:30 pm. Following the show, there will be a book signing by the winning writers and illustrators.

The event will once again be livestreamed on the Writers of the Future website, starting at 6:30 pm PST. (Prior award ceremonies are available to view on the Writers of the Future YouTube channel.

For more information about the awards, and to RSVP if you want to attend, visit the Writers of the Future Award website.

You can see more of Angie’s work (and her social media connections) over at her website.




Adaptations 4 You: 21 Laps Continue Their Sci-Fi Run

With the successes of Oscar nominee Arrival and the Netflix hit Stranger Things, Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps is going to continue down the sci-fi rabbit hole. They now have deals for the adaptations of four different stories: Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles, Raymond A. Villareal’s A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising, Larry Niven’s Inconstant Moon, and Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns.

The Age of Miracles is Karen Thompson Walker’s debut novel, published by Random House in 2012. It follows a Southern California teen when she and her family wake up to find the rotation of the Earth has slowed down. The days and nights grow longer, gravity is affected, and people begin to fall sick to a new mysterious illness. She is forced to deal with the disasters of everyday life, struggling with her parents’ marriage falling apart and the loss of friends.

The book received positive reviews and been translated into many major languages. It was also nominated as part of the Waterstones 11 literary award in 2012.

Sinead Daly (The Get Down) will pen the script. AMC, who acquired the TV rights, will have Rafael Ruthchild and Allie Moore join Levy’s producing team of himself, Dan Levine, and Emily Morris.

Next, in the light of Paramount’s pulling of World War Z 2, it looks like 21 Laps and 20th Century Fox are ready to step into its place. Fox has acquired the rights to A People’s History Of The Vampire Uprising. Levy will direct as well as produce with Dan Cohen.

The book was sold to Little, Brown in a four-publisher auction and will be printed at Mulholland Books and published next year. It is the first of a four volume series from Raymond A. Villareal and told in an oral history format.

Characterized as a World War Z with vampires, the novel is an “oral history” of the appearance, assimilation, and ultimately epic and violent confrontation of vampires with the human race. Chronicling the rise of The Gloaming (the name the vampires have given themselves) are multiple points of view, including a CDC investigator who discovers a mysterious virus, an FBI agent who forms the Gloaming Crimes Unit; a civil rights attorney’s analysis of the Gloaming Equal Rights Act, an obsessive Vatican librarian; and, of course, TMZ.

Fox and 21 Laps will continue their partnership with the adaptation of sci-fi legend Larry Niven’s short story, Inconstant Moon. Joining Levy will be Dan Cohen (Stranger Things) with James Ponsoldt (The Circle) directing and Daniel Casey (Kin, 10 Cloverfield Lane) penning the script.

The Hugo Award winning Best Short Story, Inconstant Moon, was released in the 1971 short story collection All the Myriad Ways. It follows a Los Angeles couple who notice the moon is unusually brighter and realize that a massive solar flare has destroyed the Eastern Hemisphere, which will eventually cause catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere. They prepare for what could be the last night on Earth.

The story was adapted in 1996 for The Outer Limits television series.

Finally, also with Fox, 21 Laps will be producing a feature film based on Kendare Blake’s young adult’s novel Three Dark Crowns, which is the first of a series of four. Levy will produce with Dan Levine and Natalie Lehmann.

Published by HarperTeen last September, the story follows triplets who are equal heirs to the crown. Each have a magical powers, one controls the elements a the snap of her fingers, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons, and one who can bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. Ascending the throne is not a matter of birthright; they have to fight to the death for it beginning the night of their sixteenth birthday.

The second book will be released this September. The following three novels will also become movies, based on the success of the first.

 




SFWA Announces Nebula Award Nominees, Heinlein Award

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America have announced their nominees for this year’s Nebula Awards, with a corrected ballot that was announced on February 20th.

Due to an error in word count verification, Cat Rambo’s “Red in Tooth and Cog” was replaced on the Novelette ballot by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s “The Orangery”. Turns out Rambo’s work came in with a word count under the eligibility threshold of 7,500 words.

Rambo, who’s also the current president of the SFWA, said, “The Nebula Awards are about celebrating amazing works by talented writers in our genre. I choose to see the silver lining in that we elevate another writer to the stage, and keep the ballot otherwise intact.”

 

Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
  • The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Ninefox Gambit,Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Everfair, Nisi Shawl (Tor)

Novella

  • Runtime, S.B. Divya (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
  • The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “The Liar”, John P. Murphy (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette      

  • “The Long Fall Up”, William Ledbetter (The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction)
  • “Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea”, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed)
  • “Blood Grains Speak Through Memories”, Jason Sanford (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • “The Orangery”, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
  • The Jewel and Her Lapidary, Fran Wilde (Tor.com Publishing)
  • “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay”, Alyssa Wong (Uncanny)

Short Story

  • “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies”, Brooke Bolander (Uncanny)
  • “Seasons of Glass and Iron”, Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
  • “Sabbath Wine”, Barbara Krasnoff (Clockwork Phoenix 5)
  • “Things With Beards”, Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
  • “This Is Not a Wardrobe Door”, A. Merc Rustad (Fireside Magazine)
  • “A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers”, Alyssa Wong (Tor.com)
  • “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station│Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0”, Caroline M. Yoachim (Lightspeed)

In addition to the Nebulas, the SFWA also presents the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, the Kevin O’Donnell, Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

Bradbury

  • Arrival, Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer, 21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films/Xenolinguistics
  • Doctor Strange, Directed by Scott Derrickson, Screenplay by Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill, Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Kubo and the Two Strings, Directed by Travis Knight, Screenplay by Mark Haimes & Chris Butler; Laika Entertainment
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Directed by Gareth Edwards, Written by Chris Weitz & Tony Gilroy; Lucusfilm/ Walt Disney Studio Motion Pictures
  • Westworld: ‘‘The Bicameral Mind’’, Directed by Jonathan Nolan, Written by Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan; HBO
  • Zootopia, Directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, & Jared Bush, Screenplay by Jared Bush & Phil Johnston; Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Animation Studios

Norton

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • The Star-Touched Queen, Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin’s)
  • The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK; Abrams)
  • Arabella of Mars, David D. Levine (Tor)
  • Railhead, Philip Reeve (Oxford University Press; Switch)
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies, Lindsay Ribar (Kathy Dawson Books)
  • The Evil Wizard Smallbone, Delia Sherman (Candlewick)

The latest Grand Master to be added to the roster is Jane Yolen, who was selected in November 2016. Yolen’s reaction: “To know I am now on the same list as Isaac Asimov, Andre Norton, and Ursula Le Guin is the kind of shock to the system that makes me want to write better each day. Revise, revision, and reinvent.”

Voting will begin among active members on March 1, 2017, with the award presentation during the 51st annual Nebula Conference, held this year May 18-21 in Pittsburgh, PA at the Marriott City Center.

 

First presented in 1966, the Nebulas are given to 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, made up of professional science fiction and fantasy authors.

More information here: http://nebulas.sfwa.org/nebula-conference/

_______________

The SFWA has also announced that this year’s Robert A. Heinlein Award for “outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space” will be presented to Robert J. Sawyer.

The award will be presented during the 51st Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention (Balticon 51), and Sawyer will join via Skype while he attends ConQuesT in Kansas City.

The Heinlein Award was founded by the Grand Master’s long time friend Dr. Yoji Kondo, and recipients are selected by a committee of science fiction writers.

More information here: http://www.sfwa.org/2017/02/robert-j-sawyer-wins-2017-robert-heinlein-award/

 




If David Cronenberg and TREMORS Had a Baby, They’d Name It LITTLE HEAVEN

Little Heaven
Written by Nick Cutter Illustrations by Adam Gorham
Published by Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster (January 2017)
400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-5011-0421-3

I wouldn’t recommend Nick Cutter’s latest novel as a light read for your lunch hour – unless you want to risk losing your lunch.

However, Little Heaven is a must-read novel if you –

A) Think Cormac McCarthy’s novel (and/or the Coen brothers movie) No Country for Old Men needed more blood, some monsters,  and a bit of  Cronenbergian body horror to really qualify as a classic.

B) Are looking for a horror writer who consistently delivers books that combine tight plotting, interesting characters, and truly excruciating moments of “did I just read that?” gruesomeness.

Here’s a sample from page four:

In the darkness, something shambled from the den. The moon touched upon its strange extrusions, its flesh shining wetly in the pale moonlight. It breathed through many mouths and gazed through a cluster of eyes lodged in a knot of fatted, blood-streaked fur.

 

Still with me?

Good.

The story in Little Heaven alternates between “present day” (1980) and events in 1965 that bring a trio of mismatched criminals together. Micah Shughrue, Minerva Atwater, and Ebenezer Elkins are joined together by circumstance and on the run from the law.

At Micah’s urging, the trio agrees to help Ellen Bellhaven in her quest to check on the wellbeing of her nephew Nate. Her sister’s ex took the boy to a remote religious community in New Mexico called Little Heaven, led by the weirdly charismatic Reverend Amos Flesher.

Once the group arrives at the ramshackle settlement, they discover Little Heaven resembles a fundamentalist Hotel California; you can check out any time you like, but something in the woods won’t let you leave. Revered Flesher thought he heard the voice of God calling him to this corner of the Land of Enchantment. By the end of Little Heaven, it seems much more likely he heard the call of Cthulhu (or one of his relatives).

If there’s any issue I had as a reader with Little Heaven, it was more of pacing than quibbles with content or story. The initial sections introduce us to the 1980 versions of Micah, Minerva, and Ebenzer, and then flash back to the events that brought them together. While these sections are interesting, I found myself wondering – when are we getting to the main story?

The excerpt at the beginning of this review clues you in to where Little Heaven lies on the horror spectrum. But while it has plenty of gut churning moments, it is not “torture porn.” Like the best splatterpunk in this books’ ancestry, the violence is not an end in itself, with forgettable characters dying in gruesome ways just to gross out the reader. Even the worst miscreant (cough Reverend Amos cough) remains a person, not a prop.

The National Post’s review of Cutter’s first horror novel The Troop mentioned a feature of that book that makes his books “must reads” for me. “It highlights the organic inevitability of the best horror fiction while never being predictable.”

Little Heaven – the little town you can’t forget, and a book worth any horror fan’s time.

 

 




ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY Wins Crawford Prize

[Featured image courtesy Charlie Jane Anders Official Facebook page]

In the year since its publication, Charlie Jane Anders’ All The Birds In The Sky  has garnered much recognition and praise. Yet while it appears on nomination lists and Top Ten Book sites across the spectrum, the book has not taken home a hefty industry trophy.

Until now.

The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) awards the William L. Crawford Award to exemplary authors whose first fantasy novel has appeared during the previous calendar year. For 2017, the IAFA has awarded the Crawford prize to Anders and All The Birds In The Sky.

The 38th annual awards ceremony will be held March 22nd – 26th, 2017 at the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside in Orlando Florida.

All the details, including the shortlist for this year’s nominees, can be found at the IAFA site.

 




Review: TURBULENCE Offers Up Original Super Heroes

Turbulence
Written by Samit Basu
Published by Titan Books on July 6, 2012
360 pages (paperback)
ISBN: 9781781161197

Turbulence is my first experience in reading an origin story for superheroes. I enjoyed it. I did not know what to expect from Samit Basu’s book; I simply found the description interesting: smart young man who is on a flight where the passengers board as a normal person and deplane with some sort of super power. He wants to help ‘heal’ the world but discovers it may mean hurting others at the same time.

After his fateful flight from London to Delhi, Aman discovers he as the power to tap into the internet, mentally. He uses this new talent to determine which other passengers also developed special abilities as well. Aman manages to connect with a few individuals who move into a safe house with him: Tia, a woman who can multiply herself; Bob, who controls the weather through his stomach (they keep him full of cold food to keep the air conditioning bill low); Narayan, the mad scientist who can work in his sleep; and Uzma, a woman who can charm people into liking her.

Aman wants to use these powers to make the world better. He wants to balance out the economy so everyone has food, money is used for experiments that can help humanity, and people who are corrupt are brought down from powerful positions in companies and governments (calling his set of comics Rural Infrastructure Development League). He also wants to know why some people on that plane have completely vanished.

Aman and the others discover from Vir, a flying super human, that there is a rogue Indian super human military officer, Jai, who is collecting other super humans that have extremely powerful abilities. Jai is set on building a super army; anyone with an inferior power is killed. Since Jai’s own power has made him indestructible, he is not resisted by many.

Aman’s group attempt to fight Jai, only to become both prisoners and then partners. Aman thinks he can save the super humans by helping Jai take over the world. What they are not prepared for is a mysterious mob controller who creates havoc in large public places. In an attempt to discover and destroy this villain, they create a showdown worthy of a superhero story, as well as a surprising twist.

Now, the challenge that Basu faces with this book is to make it different from other superhero stories, which he did. He places his characters into our current world, which is littered with comic book heroes and stories. He keeps humor in the story by adding little comments from Aman referencing this, whether an action is acceptable behavior in a comic book, referring to Vir as Superman, or comparing themselves to the X-Men or the Justice League…of India, constantly poking fun that they have B-Level superpowers. Basu also keeps the characters fresh; when you think they will turn left, they turn right. A moment that gave me a good laugh was when Aman decided to punish certain political and social groups by rerouting their website links to the YouTube video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

The fights scenes in the book are well expressed, giving the reader a great visual to create in their mind. There are three major scenes and they do not disappoint. Basu manages to keep the pace of the fight steady, building to its climax and adding witty dialog from the characters. At the end of any action scene, the reader left standing there, shaking their head, asking themselves, “Wait, did that just happen?”

But what I like the most is the internal conflict Aman and the others have with themselves about how they should act with these new powers they possess. Unlike movies, books allow you more insight imto the characters, their motivation and fears. I enjoyed this: the main character Aman’s conflict with trying to accomplish what he wants while accepting how his actions have effects on others. Vir wants to be a super hero, but only if he can do it in the name of his country, India. Uzma does not want to be a super hero. She just wants to pretend nothing has changed and move on with her spectacular life, even though it’s her powers that are helping create it. Jai simply wants to rule the world; if people object, they die. Vir and Jai are clean cut hero and villain. However, what about the individuals in the middle who are deciding on how to best use their new powers without crossing the fine line of doing more harm than good?

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading its sequel, Resistance, at some point. This story ends at a good place so that I feel satisfied, but I am curious to see what is up next for our characters, especially after a conversation between a couple of them (I will not spoil). I think this book is good for readers who enjoy super heroes and understand how origin stories are developed. I also think this is a good read for the newer fans, so they can take their time and truly soak in the depth it takes for the development of a superhero, which cannot always be easily conveyed in a two-hour film.

 




2017 Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced

On January 20th, the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust announced the 2017 nominees for the Philip K. Dick Award. The PKD Award recognizes the best original paperback science fiction published in the United States the previous year.

The 2017 nominees are:

A distinguishing feature of this year’s titles? With the exception of Graft from “mid-major” publisher Angry Robot, the other titles are all from small independent presses.

Barnes & Noble selected Super Extra Grande as one of their “Best Science Fiction” picks for 2016 and Consider was a “Top YA Science Fiction” title for 2016.

The winner will be announced on Friday, April 14, 2017 at Norwescon 40 (see our conventions calendar for details).

 

 




Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), located in Seattle, Washington, has announced its Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inductees for 2016.

The typical year sees four new members added, though there have been a couple of years that inducted five instead. The hall of fame began with stricter guidelines for inductees than what are currently used. Originally, only writers and editors were included, two of whom were living and two of whom had passed. In 2005, they began including non-literary inductees, as well. While the nominations are sent in by the public, the decision on who to induct is made by a committee of “award-winning science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, editors, publishers, and film professionals.”

The four inductees being added to the current 84 members, which include the likes of David Bowie, J.R.R. Tolkien, George Lucas, Hayao Miyazaki, and many more, are Star Trek, Blade Runner, Terry Pratchett (author, Discworld series), and Douglas Adams (author, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

Star Trek

Star Trek is an American science fiction franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. It aired its first episode in 1966 with The Original Series. The franchise has had many iterations in the last 51 years, including seven TV series (The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery, which debuts this year), 13 feature films, books, comics, games, and more.

The franchise continues today with the addition of Discovery and the continuation of the reboot films, which take place in an alternate timeline. The series had a huge cultural impact when it was released because of its diverse cast and interracial relationships.

 

Blade Runner

Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford and directed by Ridley Scott, was released in 1982 as an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Though the film received mixed reviews from critics upon release, it has since been studied endlessly for its philosophical questions on humanity. It eventually became a cult classic and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

The dystopic world, set in 2019, has achieved the 139th place on IMDB’s top 250 movies. It won three BAFTA awards, including Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design, a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Cinematography, and a London Critics Circle Film Award, as well as other awards and nominations throughout the years.

 

Terry Pratchett
(April 28, 1948-March 12, 2015)

Sir Terry Pratchett was an English author of fantasy best known for his 41 novel Discworld series. He had his first story published at the age of 13, with his first novel being published when he was 23. He published the first of his Discworld books in 1983 titled The Colour of Magic. His third Discworld novel, Equal Rites, included some of the emerging ideas of feminism and was broadcast on Woman’s Hour radio. In 2002, Pratchett won the Carnegie Medal for his children’s book The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, which was the award he was most proud of. He was knighted by the Queen in 2009 for services to literature just two years after being diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s Disease.

He won a BAFTA and Emmy for his documentary on assisted dying, Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die. He succumbed to his disease in 2015, a few months after finishing his 41st novel in the Discworld series.

 

Douglas Adams
(March 11, 1952-May 11, 2001)

Douglas Adams was an English author best known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which began as a BBC radio comedy in 1978 before becoming a five book series. He also wrote the Dirk Gently series and three stories for the Doctor Who TV series. He was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation for The Highhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series. He had two brief appearances in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well.

He was slated to give the commencement address at Harvey Mudd College, but passed away two days before from a heart attack.

 

 

 

In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hall of fame, 20 additional inductees have been chosen from the almost 2,000 public submissions. In addition to individuals who have had an influence on the genres, the museum is also including the genres’ most impactful creations this year. Those 20 additional inductees are:

Creators:

Margaret Atwood, Keith David, Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam, Jim Henson, Jack Kirby, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Leonard Nimoy, George Orwell, Rumiko Takahashi, John Williams

Works:

2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Dungeons & Dragons, The Matrix, Myst, The Princess Bride, Star Trek, Wonder Woman, X-Files

The exhibition not only honors these inductees, but also gives visitors the chance to explore the lives and legacies of the now 108 members of the hall of fame. It includes artifacts like Luke Skywalker’s severed hand (Empire Strikes Back), the Staff of Ra headpiece (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Isaac Asimov’s typewriter, and the “Right Hand of Doom” (Hellboy), as well as interactive kiosks and interpretive films.

When asked why something like this is so important, Brooks Peck, curator of the Museum of Pop Culture and co-curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibition commented, “Science fiction and fantasy are a central part of our popular culture. With the Hall of Fame we want to both honor the pioneers of those genres as well as recognize today’s most innovative creators and works.”

Indeed, these genres are a staple for literature and movie fans alike. The surge of superhero movies, plus the resurgence of the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises, combined with the best-selling novels of today, which themselves are being turned into movies and TV shows, have all contributed to the popularity of both science fiction and fantasy.

The new exhibition will be opening on March 4, 2017, with more details still to come. For a full listing of the current inductees, as well as information on MoPOP and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, you can visit their website.

 




World Fantasy Award Judges Announced

The judges for the World Fantasy Awards have been impaneled and announced. Presented by the World Fantasy Convention, the awards recognize excellence in several fantasy categories:

  • Life Achievement
  • Best Novel
  • Best Novella (10,001 to 40,000 words)
  • Best Short Story
  • Best Anthology
  • Best Collection
  • Best Artist
  • Special Award—Professional
  • Special Award—NonProfessional

The awards will be presented at the World Fantasy Convention, held at the Wyndham Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas November 2-5, 2017. This year’s theme is “Secret Histories – The Use of History in Fantasy”. All forms of fantasy are eligible, and submissions in each category can be sent to the judges for consideration:

Elizabeth Engstrom*
298 Hambletonian Drive, Eugene, OR 97401
EngstromWF@gmail.com

Daryl Gregory** §
3124 Sylvan Avenure, Oakland, CA 94602
darylgregory+wfc@gmail.com

Nalo Hopkinson
1447 7th Street #1, Riverside, CA 92507
hopkinson.wfa@gmail.com

Juliet Marillier* §
P.O. Box 189, Guildford, WA 6935 Australia
world.fantasy.marill@gmail.com

Betsy Mitchell*
884 Lincoln Place, Brooklyn, NY 11213
betsymitchell.editorial@gmail.com
(prefers PDF submissions)

(Judges marked with an * can accept pdfs; ** can accept mobi; *** both; § can accept ePub)

Copies of each submission should also be sent to:

Peter Dennis Pautz, president
World Fantasy Awards Association
8050 Mukilteo Speedway, # 43; Mukilteo, WA 98275-0043; USA
SFExecSec@gmail.com

 

See the World Fantasy 2017 site or the World Fantasy convention home page for more.