BSFA Awards 2015 Shortlist Announced

The biggest, the most exciting, the most SUPER event of the year! So THAT’S why they were out of party foods at the grocery store today…

The British Science Fiction Association announced the shortlist nominees for the 2015 BSFA Awards. The winners will be announced on March 26 at Mancunicon (Eastercon) in Manchester. This is one of my favorite SF book awards to follow, a great place to discover and celebrate excellent and sophisticated speculative fiction. The BSFA isn’t immune to cheesy sci-fi, but it’s not the pasteurized disappointment certain other big name SF book awards prove to be year after year.

The 2015 BSFA shortlists….

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More Noms: The 2014 Nebula Shortlists


Hey! Old news! The Nebula shortlist came out Friday!

Two of my picks on my shifting, fleeting, oft-reshuffled 2014 best novel shortlist were nominated. My reading overlap ratio isn’t nearly as uncanny as it was with the BSFA shortlist, but I didn’t expect to see much overlap between the two awards. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Latest SF Book Award Noms Noms Noms

So, uh, I don’t know if you noticed that all three of the novels I selected to illustrate my post about the Locus Recommended Reading list got shortlisted this weekend. Aaand, two of them received double-noms.

Remember this?


I’m super stoked that the above novels got nom’d for the exciting BSFA award! And, super-duper stoked that Lagoon and The Race also made the Red Tentacle shortlist for The Kitschies!

Let’s review the big news, then I promise I’ll get back to talking about old books.
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BSFA Award Winners Announced!

The 2013 British Science Fiction Association Awards were awarded today in Glasgow at Eastercon! You can see the list of nominees here.

Best Novel- A Tie!
Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie (Orbit) My review!
Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell (Solaris) Check out his interview with Science Book a Day!

Best Short Fiction
Spin by Nina Allen (TTA Press)

Best Artwork
Joey Hi-fi for the cover of Tony Ballantyne’s Dream London (Solaris)

Best Nonfiction
Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer (Abrams Image)

I’ll back off of the book award news for now, but don’t forget the Arthur C. Clarke Award will be announced on May 1st and the Nebula Awards on May 17th!

The 2014 Hugo Award Nom Nom Noms

The 2014 (and 1939) Hugo Award nominees were just announced at Eastercon in Glasgow! The major deets are here.

And the 2014 noms are… [with my initial thoughts in brackets.]

Best Novel:
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit) [surprise, surprise. Here’s a link to my review.]
Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace/Orbit UK) [Maybe he gets better, I tell myself.]
Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit) [Will her fans back off if she finally wins one?]
Warbound, Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia (Baen Books) [No.]
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (Tor) [No. I read the first three and you can’t make me read more.]

[Overall opinion: Very disappointed. Was hoping to have an excuse to read Christopher Priest’s The Adjacent and Gareth L. Powell’s Ack Ack Macaque.] Continue reading

2014 Arthur C. Clarke Nominees Announced!

How timely that I just read Childhood’s EndThe 2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist was announced today and it contains a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar names:

Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot)
God’s War by Kameron Hurley (Del Rey)
The Machine by James Smythe (Blue Door)
Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie (Orbit)
The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann (Gollancz)
The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Gollancz)

Seriously, why do people watch sports when there’s this going on? Click here to see the rest of the 2014 SF shortlists.

WWW: Wake (2009) by Robert J. Sawyer

“The sky above… was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel.” Wake

When Robert Sawyer winks at this opening line from William Gibson’s Neuromancer, it’s a reminder of how drastically technology has changed over the past 30 years. When Gibson wrote that line in 1984, it was intended to evoke the gray fuzziness of a disconnected screen. Two and a half decades later, Sawyer uses the same line to describe a bright blue sky. For me, five years and an awesome Sony app box later, a dead channel is as black as the night of a new moon (with an HDMI input notification in the top corner).

But that line also illustrates how drastically the cyber SF sub-genre has also changed over the past 30 years. Neuromancer is the seminal piece: dark, edgy, and weird, while Wake is safe, comfortable, and sweet. Neuromancer‘s main character is a suicidal adult male with a drug addiction. Wake‘s main character is an optimistic teen girl with good grades and high self-esteem. Both explore similar themes of emerging technology, primarily human interaction with artificial intelligence, but they go about it in completely different ways. If Neuromancer is cyberpunk, then Wake is cyberpop. Continue reading

One to read with the kiddos: The High Crusade (1960) by Poul Anderson

TheHighCrusade 1stWhen a spaceship lands in the English shire of Ansby during the middle of the Hundred Years’ War, Sir Roger, Baron de Tournville, leads his knights to battle against strange blue “demons,” then hijacks their ship to mount an attack against France. But the lone alien survivor of the Wesgorix, kept alive for information, misleads his captors and autopilots a return to his home empire. Do the merry English bat an eye? Hardly!  The sprawling interstellar empire of the Wesgorix is simply another territory for the Crusade-happy Baron to claim in the name of King Edward III and Christendom.

Monty Python meets Hitchhiker’s Guide? Why not? While the marrying of medieval romps and galactic pioneering sounds as fun today as it did over fifty years ago, the execution is sparse for modern SFers whose mash-up expectations require hundreds of pages, years of research, valid science, and ironic nihilism. But when the first tenth of a novel is dedicated to its most famous fans’ love letters, you know you’ve stumbled on to an important piece of SF history. Continue reading

The Kitschies Winners Announced Today!

The first major SF book award of the year was announced today at The Kitschies Awards ceremony in the UK!

Although The Kitschies has only been around since 2009, established by and sponsored by a rum company, it may seem like a rather un-major award, but considering the impressive panel of judges, and its mission to recognize “the year’s most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining works” of SF from the UK is quite compelling. You can see the full list of winners and nominees here. I’m tempted to squeeze of few of these into my own, already overfull reading list.

Congrats to the winners!

The Red Tentacle Award (Best Novel)  

ATaleforthetimebeingA Tale for the Time Being
by Ruth Ozeki





The Golden Tentacle Award (Best Debut Novel)


Ancillary Justice
by Ann Leckie