Well, I haven’t been very productive, writing-wise, this week, but I have been busy. I did do some training for the new day job, which I’m starting for real tomorrow (at the ungodly hour of 5:15 am, but I’m sure I’ll adjust in a week or two). However, much of my time this week has been spent reading short fiction. I’ve read three magazines (Uncanny #20, Fiyah #5, and Apex #104) cover to cover, and I’ve caught up on selections from Lightspeed, Luna Station Quarterly, Clarkesworld, Podcastle and Fireside as well, which pretty much wraps up all of my short fiction reading until sometime in February. I also read the novellas Binti: The Night Masquerade and The Only Harmless Great Thing, of which I am hoping to have reviews finished this coming week. Spoiler alert: they were both excellent.
Also this coming week, I’ll be working on reading through some first week of February releases; I just started Alex Wells’ Blood Binds the Pack, the sequel to last year’s Hunger Makes the Wolf, and I should also have time to get through Sue Burke’s debut novel about intelligent alien plants, Semiosis, and Jasmine Gower’s 1920’s influenced Moonshine. My plan is to have reviews of those written and published in the first week of February as part of my more general goal of writing about what I read and posting book reviews promptly in 2018. It’s still early, but I’m feeling good about it so far.
If, like me, you’re always on the lookout for something new to read, be sure to check out this list of 25 Sci-fi and Fantasy Debuts to Watch Out for in 2018.
As annoyed as I am that we have to wait for the Ellie Sattler Pop! figure, I definitely need this Target exclusive Ian Malcolm one:
I am sad to report that The Shannara Chronicles has been cancelled at the Paramount Network. I genuinely liked the show and found it a pleasant and entertaining YA-friendly alternative to the grimdark fare that has been dominating the fantasy genre in recent years.
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry’s essay, “I Belong Where the People Are: Disability and The Shape of Water,” is required reading.
Chloe N. Clark’s Horror 101 series continues with a look at pod people.
The newest entry in Mari Ness’s Tor.com series on fairy tales covers Thumbelina.
There’s a teaser trail for HBO’s Fahrenheit 451:
Millie Ho’s “Hehua” at Fireside Fiction is an early favorite short story of 2018.
And speaking Fireside, they will soon be producing a quarterly print edition of the magazine!
I highly recommend buying the current issue (and, frankly, every issue) of FIYAH, but one of my favorite things in the issue is the reprinted P. Djeli Clark essay on George Schuyler. You can still read the original essay, “Black Empire: George Schuyler, Black Radicalism and Dieselpunk,” at Beyond Victoriana.
Coincidentally, there’s also an essay this week at the New York Review of Books about George Schuyler’s ahead-of-his-time Afrofuturism.
Skiffy and Fanty’s Month of Joy continues.
In this month’s Apex Magazine:
- “Asylum of Cuckoos” by Lila Bowen (plus an interview with the author)
- “A Night Out at a Nice Place” by Nick Mamatas
- “The Best Friend We Never Had” by Nisi Shawl
The first half of content from Uncanny Magazine #20 was released a couple weeks ago, but I only just got around to reading the magazine this week. Unfortunately, my favorite bits of this issue aren’t in the first half available online, but there are still some great pieces:
- “Contingency Plans for the Apocalypse” by S.B. Divya (with author interview)
- “The Hydraulic Emperor” by Arkady Martine
- “We Will See You Now” by Fran Wilde
At Podcastle, be sure to check out LaShawn M. Wanak’s “No Wrong Answers.”
Clarkesworld has a new novelette by Tobias S. Buckell, “A World to Die For.”
Also at Clarkesworld, a great interview with Sue Burke about her upcoming debut novel, Semiosis, out from Tor on February 6.