May Magazines

The May editions of Clarkesworld and Lightspeed are now in the store. I’m in a bit of a rush as I need to get into Bristol to see Patrick Ness so this post will be shorter than usual.

Clarkesworld #80 features new fiction by James Patrick Kelly (“Soulcatcher”), Andy Dudak (“Tachy Psyche”) and E. Catherine Tobler (“(R + D) / I = M”). The classic reprints are from Liz Williams (“The Banquet of the Lords of Night”) and Michael Swanwick (“From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled . . .”).

Amongst the non-fiction, the interview with Yoon Ha Lee is already generating buzz on Twitter. Neil’s editorial tells about his unfortunate encounter with a giant, killer Japanese plant. The cover art is by Julie Dillon.

Lightspeed #36 has a novella from Eleanor Arnason as the ebook exclusive fiction. There are interviews with Gregory Maguire and Karen Russell, both of who very much write SF&F while being marketed as mainstream/literary.

As usual, both magazines are available in the bookstore.

Ditmar Winners

The Ditmar Award winners were announced at the Australian Natcon yesterday evening. I can’t see an official announcement yet, but based on Twitter reports the winners are as follows:

  • Novel: Sea Hearts, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Novella or Novelette: “Sky”, Kaaron Warren (Through Splintered Walls)
  • Short Story: “The Wisdom of Ants”, Thoraiya Dyer (Clarkesworld 12/12)
  • Collected Work: Through Splintered Walls, Kaaron Warren (Twelfth Planet)
  • Artwork: Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for Midnight and Moonshine (Ticonderoga)
  • Fan Writer: Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Not If You Were The Last Short Story On Earth
  • Fan Artist: Kathleen Jennings, for body of work including “The Dalek Game” and “The Tamsyn Webb Sketchbook”
  • Fan Publication: The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • New Talent: David McDonald
  • William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review: Tansy Rayner Roberts, for “Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy. Let’s Unpack That.” (

Also announced at the ceremony (but Not A Ditmar) were the following:

  • Norma K. Hemming Award: Sea Hearts, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin)
  • Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award: Nick Stathopoulos
  • A. Bertram Chandler Award for Outstanding Achievement: Russell B Farr

I’m delighted to see a Clarkesworld story winning the short fiction category. Also I note that Karen Warren’s double-winning collection is available in a bookstore near you.

I look forward to seeing long, angry articles from male fans complaining that the Ditmars are “broken”, and blaming it all on Alisa Krasnostein with her radical lesbian separatist politics. 😉

Update: Added the Chandler Award. See Sean the Bookonaut for a Storify record of the ceremony.

April Magazines

There is a new Clarkesworld out, and it is HUGE! Gardner Dozois has arrived with a bang, and there are no less than six stories in the issue.

Let’s start with the new material. The headline story is “Annex” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew. She’s a new name to me, which just goes to show that I should be reading GigaNotoSaurus and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, both of which I have heard lots of good things about.

Next up is “No Portraits on the Sky” by Kali Wallace, who has an even more impressive resume including F&SF, Asimov’s and How do people keep up with short fiction these days?

And then there’s “Melt With You” by Emily C. Skaftun, who has been in Strange Horizons, amongst others. And someone else whose name I hadn’t seen before.

I’ve only had time to skim these stories, but they look very much a Clarkesworld sort of thing. I guess my point here is that here are three very competent women writers, none of whom I’d heard of before Neil chose to publish them. And I figured I knew the field reasonably well. Sometimes the world is much more marvelous than you think.

And so to Gardner’s selections. Or at least the reprints. He’s not responsible for all of what follows. We start off with something which absolutely belongs in an issue that comes out on April Fools’ Day. Kij Johnson has done a new version of “Spar”, in which the girl and the tentacled alien, instead of having sex, spend all of their time eating bacon. It is quite bizarre, and apparently part of a charity anthology. “Spar (The Bacon Remix)” — I commend it to you.

The other two reprints, which Gardner did choose, are “Guest of Honor” by Robert Reed, which I’m not familiar with, and “Finisterra” by David Moles, which was a Hugo nominee. Reed is a favorite writer of mine, so I’m sure his story will be good. And that’s an excellent start to the reprint section.

Also, Neil said on Twitter that if he can add another 500 subscribers then there will be enough budget for a fourth original story. So if you haven’t subscribed yet, please consider doing so.

Meanwhile there is non-fiction, and Ken Liu has produced a fascinating article about translation. I feel for Neil having to do the layout on that with all the Chinese in it, but it was well worth doing. Goddess, I wish I had bought this article.

Jeremy’s interview is with Myke Cole, while Daniel Abraham gets his teeth into Grimdark in is usual, highly intelligent manner. Neil’s editorial talks about the Hugo nominations, and about the origins of the magazine.

This month’s cover is “The Awakening” by Alexandru Popescu, who is originally from Bucharest but now lives in London.

As usual, the magazine is available for purchase from the bookstore, and every purchase helps keen the authors paid, and the material free online for everyone else to enjoy.

We also have the new Lightspeed available. It has an awesome cover. It has fiction by Kathleen Ann Goonan, Robert Silverberg and Bruce Sterling, amongst others. The ebook-only material is a novella by Nina Allan. And most importantly it includes a brand new story by Karin Tidbeck. Go buy it now.

New From Twelfth Planet

We have a new Australian title in the bookstore today. Technically its an anthology, but in keeping with Twelfth Planet’s preference for shorter books it contains only two stories. They are “The Company Articles of Edward Teach” by Thoraiya Dyer and “The Angaelien Apocalypse” by Matthew Chrulew. Dyer is someone whom my Aussie pals have been enthusing about for some time, and there’s a quote from Charles de Lint enthusing about her on the cover. If you want to check her out before buying, try “The Wisdom of Ants” from the December Clarkesworld.

March Magazines

It is that time of the month again. What have we got for you in March? Well, if you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me mention how excited I was about the table of contents for the new Clarkesworld. Now I can tell you why.

The winner of last year’s Readers’ Poll was “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard. This month she’s back. The story is called “The Weight of a Blessing”, and I have just seen Aliette tweet that it is a very angry story. The audio version is available here.

If a new story from Aliette wasn’t enough, there’s a story from Genevieve Valentine, the intriguingly titled “86, 87, 88, 89”. There is also the more straightforward but equally intriguing “The Last Survivor of the Great Sexbot Revolution” by A.C. Wise. Those two will be podcast later in the month.

Jeremy has an interview with M.C. Planck, and the non-fiction article is “Videodrome at Thirty” by Keith Phipps. That’s a look back at David Cronenberg’s classic movie. The Another Word column for this month has been taken over by Princess Alethea Kontis, who is talking about “Original Sin”. Ooh, err, whatever can she be on about?

Neil’s editorial contains the exciting but slightly old news that, as of the April issue, Gardner Dozois will be taking up the post of Reprints Editor, meaning that a fourth story will be added to each issue. It also includes the excellent news of the magazines four Nebula nominees.

This month’s cover is “The Emperor’s Arrival” by David Demaret.

As usual, the issue is available in the bookstore as well as online. Those of you who by issues help keen the magazine free for those who can’t afford to do so.

We also have the March issue of Lightspeed. The top features there (at least as far as I am concerned) are a story and interview from the fabulous Argentinian author, Angélica Gorodischer.

We Have Nebulas

The short lists for this year’s Nebula Awards were announced yesterday while I was out and about in Bristol. You can find them here. As usual, I’m delighted to see so many of my friends getting a chance at glory. Special shout outs go to Aliette de Bodard and Tom Crosshill for flying the flag for the world outside North America. Also, of course, to Caitlín R. Kiernan. I’m delighted to see The Drowning Girl on the ballot.

I see that we have four Clarkesworld stories listed. That’s compared to three each from Asimov’s and, and none for Analog. The world is changing.

February Magazines

This post should have gone up on Friday night or Saturday morning, but I was busy hobnobbing with mayors and the like so it has been a bit delayed. Here’s what we have from the February magazines.

Clarkesworld has three science fiction stories. The first, “Gravity” is from Erzebet Yellowboy whose work I know so I’m sure that will be good. As usual, it is available in audio, read by Kate Baker.

The second story, “The Wanderers” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, sounds very interesting. Here’s how it begins:

We came to your planet because we knew that you, the peoples of Kill Bill and Saw and Vietnam and Columbine Massacre would understand us.

Oh dear.

Story three is “Vacant Spaces” by Greg Kurzawa. As usual, the second and third stories will be podcast later in the month.

There is a non-fiction article about SF and social media. Jeremy’s interview subject for the month is the fabulous Karen Lord, and probably by coincidence Daniel Abraham’s Another Word column reflects some of the themes of The Best of All Possible Worlds.

In his editorial the newly cyborged Neil Clarke gives the results of the 2012 readers’ poll. The top three stories are:

  1. “Immersion” by Aliette de Bodard
  2. “Fade to White” by Catherynne M. Valente
  3. “Mantis Wives” by Kij Johnson

It would not surprise me to see all three on the Hugo ballot this year.

And finally this month’s cover is “Concrete 9” by Chinese artist, Yang Xueguo.

Issue 77 of Clarkesworld is, of course, available from the bookstore.

Over at Lightspeed, we have a new story by Genevieve Valentine, which is always something to look forward to. There’s an interview with Maureen McHugh, and a reprint story from John Crowley. The ebook exclusive content includes a novella by Tad Williams and an except from Karen Lord’s The Best of All Possible Worlds, which definitely makes it worth buying.

January Magazines

There are no vacations for the editors of monthly magazines. The new issues of Lightspeed and Clarkesworld popped into my mailbox bang on schedule. I have now done my bit and put them on sale.

So what do we have for you? We’ll this month’s Clarkesworld looks pretty special. The headline story is “Driftings” by one of my favorite authors, Ian McDonald. Ian said on Twitter that this is his first online publication, and I’m delighted he has chosen Clarkesworld in which to make that debut. Kate Baker’s audio version is, of course, already available.

The second story is “Variations on Bluebeard and Dalton’s Law Along the Event Horizon” by Helena Bell. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but it will be well worth reading because Ken Liu has described it as “One of the loveliest stories you’ll read all year”. Ken Liu. Really.

Finally we have “Effigy Nights” by Yoon Ha Lee. Her work should be familiar to Clarkesworld readers (you may remember “Ghostweight” from 2011). This one has a great opening. As usual, Kate will record the second and third stories during the month.

In the non-fiction we have a fascinating-sounding article called “The Wine-Dark Sea: Color and Perception in the Ancient World”. It is by Erin Hoffman and it opens with the revelation that there is no word for “blue” in ancient Greek. Wow, I wish I’d bought that one.

Jeremy’s interview this month is with Jesse Bullington, while in the Another Word column E.C Ambrose takes on the thorny topic of spoilers. There is also the annual Readers’ Poll.

This month’s cover is “Winding Down” by Australian artist, Alex Ries.

The January Lightspeed includes amongst the reprints a short story that came 8th in the Locus Centuries Poll for the 21st Century, “The Cambist and Lord Iron” by Daniel Abraham. There’s also a Theodora Goss story. The book exclusive novel is “The Fear Gun” by Judith Berman and there are interviews with Cory Doctorow and Lemony Snicket.

As usual, both magazines are available in the bookstore.

December Magazines

The December issue of Clarkesworld marks the 75th monthly issue, which is quite an achievement, as I remember from Emerald City days. It will be another couple of years before Neil reaches the magical century mark, but given his reliability to date I’m sure he’ll get there.

This issue seems to be full of people I want to read. The lead story is “Your Final Apocalypse” by Sandra McDonald, which is temptation enough. And the first chapter contains the sentence, “There is no gender in this corner of the future.” Oh ho… As usual, the story is available in audio, read by Kate Baker.

The other two stories are by Australian women writers. Thoraiya Dyer, who contributes “The Wisdom of Ants”, will be well known to listeners to Galactic Suburbia. Given that, in Australia, anything with too many legs or not enough legs is trying to kill you, I’m a bit nervous about this one. Finally we have “Sweet Subtleties” by Lisa L.Hannett, who is actually Canadian by birth but lives in Adelaide. Her latest collection, Bluegrass Symphony, won an Aurealis award, and how can you resist a writer with a PhD in medieval Icelandic literature? As usual, the these two stories will appear in audio in due course.

The non-fiction column sees SJ Chambers (of Steampunk Bible fame) writing about Victorian SF (and in particular mummies). This issue’s interview is with the brilliant artist, Todd Lockwood. And Daniel Abraham deftly puts the boot into a mainstream literary critic. Neil’s editorial is thankfully all good news.

This month’s cover art is “The Lost City” by David Demaret.

And if you want to support Clarkesworld, one option is to buy copies from my bookstore.

In addition I have two issues of Lightspeed new in the store. Issue #30 managed to go AWOL in the chaos that was World Fantasy, but we have it in stock now. It also has original fiction by Sanda McDonald, and from my friend Tom Crosshill. There’s a reprint story by Tobias Buckell that was the cause of a massive comment meltdown a couple of days ago. The new issue, #31, includes a new story by Ken liu, which should make it a must read. As always, the ebook editions of Lightspeed contain bonus material that is not available online, so click those bookstore links.

Neil Clarke Benefit from Cheeky Frawg

As most of you will know, Neil Clarke is going through a fairly rough time at the moment. One of the things he can do to help make ends meet is produce ebooks. He does this for Ann & Jeff VanderMeer’s Cheeky Frawg imprint. And today Jeff announced that they’d be donated $1 from each ebook sale of Jagannath made during November and December to Neil. This makes me very happy, because Jagannath was the top selling book in the Finnish book buying spree earlier this week. But you don’t have to be Finnish or Swedish to buy it. Jeff says it is selling like hot cakes. And he’ll get more money if you buy it from me than he will from any of the other stores he lists. So why not take this opportunity to pick up one of the best single-author collections of 2012?

New Clarkesworld

Hurricanes, it seems, cannot stop Clarkesworld from being published on time. Nor, for that matter, can heart attacks. See what I mean about Neil deserving a Howie? Anyway, issue #74 is now live online, and available in the store.

The fiction this month comes from E. Catherine Tobler (“(To See the Other) Whole Against the Sky”), Maggie Clark (“Aquatica”) and Brooke Wonders (“Everything Must Go”). The first story is SF about starships; the second SF about marine life; and the third something decidedly weird about houses. As usual, the first story is available in audio from Kate Baker, with the others to follow through the month.

Non-fiction includes an article by Mark Cole about psychohistory and whether it could ever be a real science, and article with Bristol-based writer, Mark Lawrence, and Lev AC Rosen talking about queer characters in SF&F.

Neil’s editorial contains the somewhat scary but hopefully long-term good news that he is to become a cyborg, and an announcement that Kate Baker, as if she wasn’t busy enough already, will be taking over as non-fiction editor. (If you need help, Kate, just ask.)

And finally, this month’s cover art is “New World” by Ken Barthelmey who is from Luxembourg (Hugo Gernsback, I hope, would be proud).

I don’t have the November Lightspeed yet, which maybe my fault as I’ve had my attention elsewhere for the past two weeks, and may be due to JJA being at World Fantasy.

October Magazines

As we move inexorably into winter, the new issue of Clarkesworld comes to spread a little snow on our lives. Genevieve Valentine is on Europa. “A Bead of Jasper, Four Small Stones” tells of an attempt to build a colony on that icy moon of Jupiter. Kate Baker’s audio version appears to have got lost in the fog. Hopefully she’ll get back to us soon. Meanwhile Theodora Goss is much closer to home, finding out about life in “England Under the White Witch”. There at least, winter has indeed come. There are no obviously wintery references in Yoon Ha Lee’s “The Battle of Candle Arc”, but it does has space-faring moths.

In the non-fiction, Matthew Johnson talks abut Campbell’s Rule in “The Future, One Thing at a Time”. Jeremy interviews John Varley and talks about bacteria. In the Another Word column, Daniel Abraham talks about “Practicing Dissatisfaction”, by which he means the art of writing book reviews. He says some good stuff, though I might gently pick holes in it tomorrow if I’m not busy.

Neil’s editorial talks a bit more about sources of finance — in particular new books you’ll be able to buy. And the cover art is another fabulous piece of work by Julie Dillon. One of the ways you can help the magazine is, of course, to buy it, like you can do here.

The October issue of Lightspeed is also in the store. The original SF includes a story by Robert Reed, which has me interested immediately. And the ebook exclusive novella — the content you can’t get for free online — is “Dragonfly” by Ursula K. Le Guin. So you should buy it, of course.

Finally on the subject of magazines, the new Locus has an article in it by Kevin and myself. It is basically a report on the WSFS Business Meeting from Chicago, so you’ll know most of what it says, but it is always an honor to be asked to write these things.

September Magazines

Just because Worldcon is happening it doesn’t mean that magazine production schedules get put on hold. The new issues of Clarkesworld and Lightspeed continue to come out like clockwork. What have we got for you this month?

The headline story from Clarkesworld is a team effort by David Klecha and Tobias S. Buckell. It is a science fiction story called “The Found Girl”, and as usual is also available in audio, narrated by Kate Baker.

Also in fiction is “Robot” by Helena Bell which, on a quick glance, is not about a robot at all. And then there is “muo-ka’s Child” by Indrapramit Das, a Clarion graduate from Kolkata. Jonathan Strahan and Ian Mond were talking about Das in the inaugural Last Short Story podcast. I have a feeling we’ll be discovering a lot of writers from India in the coming years.

The non-fiction starts with a fascinating biography of Canadian scientist, Omond Solandt, written by Jason S. Ridler. Jeremy interviews Nick Mamatas and Paul Tremblay about the practice of satire. And Chesya Burke’s Another World column looks at a new form of magical negro stereotype.

The cover for this issue is “Awe at Thistledown” by Angel Nieves.

That leaves us with Neil Clarke’s editorial. Firstly I’m delighted to see that his health is much improved, and I wholeheartedly support those who encouraged him not to go to Worldcon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for him in the Editor: Short Form category. The editorial, however, focuses more on the Word Fantasy Award nomination. The “Special Award Non-Professional” tends to irritate most of the people who get nominate for it because no one likes it being suggested that they are unprofessional. For Clarkesworld, however, it is an acknowledgement that the people who produce it are largely unpaid (except in Hugos). Neil has taken the opportunity to announce that he has set a new goal – to be able to pay the staff. I’m delighted to see him do that, and I hope he succeeds. You can help, by paying money for the magazine rather than reading it for free.

The new issue of Lightspeed is also available in the store. I’m pleased to see them include a Harry Harrison story in the issue. There’s the usual profusion of fiction, both original and reprint. Non-fiction includes an interview with John Scalzi. And the ebook exclusive novella is Walter John Williams’ Nebula winning “The Green Leopard Plague”.

World Fantasy Award Nominees

The nominees for this year’s World Fantasy Awards have been announced. The full list is here, and there is much to rejoice about.

In the Novel category I am delighted to see a nod for Lavie Tidhar’s Osama, a book I was very impressed with.

The short fiction categories see two nominees from Clarkesworld, both of them also on the Hugo ballot: Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente and “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu. I’m also delighted to see nods for “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu and “Near Zennor” by Elizabeth Hand.

The excellent VanderMeers have two nominees in the Anthology category: The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities and The Weird.

Collection looks particularly strong this year. I’ve heard great things about the Hannett, Kiernan and McHugh, and The Tim Powers book from my pals at Tachyon is excellent.

More cheering for the Artist category. There are two women on the ballot, including Julie Dillon whom we have showcased at Clarkesworld. My good friend Mr. Picacio is also there, but the nomination I’m really pleased about is John Coulthart, whom you may remember I chose for the cover of Salon Futura #1.

The VanderMeers are there again in Special Award: Professional for The Steampunk Bible, which is great because it would have been very sad if the other two books had got on but SJ Chambers had missed out. Also huge congratulations to Brett and the team at ChiZine whose very fine books I happen to sell. And I’m pleased to see Eric Lane pick up a nod for his work publishing translations at Dedalus Books.

Finally we have Special Award: Non-Professional, which sees nods for Charles A. Tan and Cat Rambo, and also for a certain Clarkesworld magazine. And because this is for work done in 2011, that means yours truly gets another Howie pin. I think there’s a reasonable chance that we got there by dint of the popular vote, so thank you to everyone who voted for us. I’m sorry I can’t be at the ceremony, but I’m sure Neil will do us proud.

August Magazines

And lo, a new month starts, and a whole pile of new reading material arrives. What’s more, Clarkesworld has a new look to the website.

But what’s inside? I hear you ask. Well, how about stories by Kij Johnson (“Mantis Wives”) and Cat Valente (“Fade to White”)? I feel kind of sorry for Sofia Samatar being sandwiched between those two, but I’m sure that “Honey Bear” must be really good or it would not have got in. Kate Baker, as always, narrates the stories, starting with “Mantis Wives” with the other two to follow.

In the non-fiction, Jeff Seymour talks about magic systems, Jeremy interviews China Miéville, and Daniel Abraham discussed the relationship between plausibility and truth.

In his editorial, Neil talks about suffering a heart attack while at ReaderCon, and having a kidney stone operation soon thereafter. Take it easy, buddy. We all want to see you well.

The cover is “Space Journey” by Martin Faragasso who is from Argentina. As always, the magazine is available in the bookstore.

Not to be outdone in the big names stakes, the August issue of Lightspeed contains a new story by the magnificent Ken Liu, and the ebook exclusive is a novella by Joe Haldeman.

Million Writers Award

Here’s some more good news from Clarkesworld. E. Lily Yu’s wonderful story, “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees“, is a finalist for the Million Writers Award. This is a general award for online short fiction. SF&F stories have traditionally done very well in it, though this year the Clarkesworld story is the only one from a specialist genre magazine to make the short list. There’s a public vote for the winner, and you can participate here.

July Magazines

Another month, and another set of magazines arrives in the store. In the July Clarkesworld we have fiction from Carrie Vaughn (“Astrophilia”), Sarah Stanton (“The Switch”) and Sunny Moraine (“Iron Ladies, Iron Tigers”). The Carrie Vaughn story is available in audio from Kate Baker, and the other two stories will follow later in the month.

I’m pleased to see Mark Cole back with an article on Hammer Horror movies. Jeremy interviews Nancy Kress. And Ekaterina Sedia contributes some thoughts on heroines in urban fantasy.

The cover is “Launch Day” from Romanian artist, “Cristi Balanescu”.

As usual the issue is available in the Wizard’s Tower store. I know the content is all available for free, but if you can afford to buy copies please do so as it helps keep the material free for everyone.

The new issue of Lightspeed is also in the store. That does have content that is exclusive to the ebook, and this month it is “Lune and the Red Empress”, a novella by Liz Williams and Alastair Reynolds. That’s an intriguing collaboration, and both Al and Liz have said how much they enjoyed writing it. It sounds well worth checking out.

June Magazines

Another month, more magazines. This month’s Clarkesworld is full of science fictional goodness. All three stories this month have an SFnal tinge to them. We have:

The non-fiction opens with a great article by Stephen Gaskell that surveys the various sources science fiction novels have used for energy — all the way from Verne shooting his astronauts out of a cannon to zero point field energy.

Also in non-fiction, Jeremy has a round table about economics which ought to be interesting but has a very mixed bag of participants. Daniel Abraham talks about multiculturalism, and Neil presents some fascinating statistics about the magazine.

This month’s cover is “Target Detected” by Max Davenport.

Also new out is issue #25 of Lightspeed. It has plenty of great short fiction, but as usual I’ll focus on the carrots for buying the ebook edition — material you won’t find for free online. If you enjoyed the first part of Jeff Ford’s novel, The Cosmology of the Wider World (which I reviewed here when it first came out from PS Publishing) then you can read the concluding part in this issue. There are also sample chapters from the new novels by David Brin and N.K. Jemisin.