Crit Mass Aug 1st: Online novellas

Following on from our earlier discussions over the growth of the novella, we thought we’d explore the growth of online magazines, and the kinds of novellas being published recently. (Novella is a story between 17,500 and 40,000 words [Hugo Award definition]).

Accordingly, we invite you to read a couple of novellas from one or more recent issues (2018) of one or two of these online magazines, make notes on anything interesting, and be ready to discuss the state of the novella in SF today.
Online magazines:

As usual, 6:45 for a 7pm start at kappys, 22 Compton St, Adelaide. All welcome.


2018 Mythopoeic Award Winners

 The Mythopoeic Society announced the 2018 Mythopoeic Awards winners at Mythcon 49, held July 20-23, 2018 at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta GA.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature

  • WINNER: Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, John Crowley (Saga)

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature

  • WINNER: Frogkisser!, Garth Nix (Scholastic)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies

  • WINNER: The Inklings and King Arthur: J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, & Owen Barfield on the Matter of Britain, Sørina Higgins (Apocryphile)

Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies

  • WINNER: Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction, Michael Levy & Farah Mendlesohn (Cambridge University Press)

For the full list of nominees and winners, go to Locus Online

World Fantasy nominations

The World Fantasy Award Administration has announced the World Fantasy Award nominations for 2018. Nominations came from two sources. Members of the current convention as well as the previous two were able to vote two nominations onto the final ballot. The remaining nominations came from the panel of judges, David Anthony Durham, Christopher Golden, Juliet E. McKenna, Charles Vess and Kaaron Warren.
The awards will be presented at the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore, Maryland.


For 2018, the Life Achievement Award will be presented to:

  • Charles de Lint
  • Elizabeth Wollheim


  • The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager)
  • Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr by John Crowley (Saga Press)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (Saga Press)
  • Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory (Bond Street Books CA/Knopf US/riverrun UK)
  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau/Canongate Press UK)
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee (Orbit)

— visit to see the the rest of the full list of nominees


A Freebie from

On Friday, July 20, 2018, turned 10 years old.

rocket-fuel-cover_cropIn that time they published, along with over 700 pieces of original fiction, more than 30,000 articles. To commemorate this exceptional, intense, unicorn-dappled run of non-fiction, Tor have released Rocket Fuel, a freebie collecting of some of the best feature articles from’s 10-year span online. Get it from amazon, barnes & noble, or ibooks.

Best Aussie Film of the 21st Century!

A group of 51 Australian film critics named George Miller’s 2015 post-apocalyptic action thriller the best Australian film of the 21st century, in a survey conducted by Australian film site Flicks. Other films in the top 10 included David Michôd’s crime drama Animal Kingdom and Jennifer Kent’s horror film The Babadook.

Each critic ranked their 10 top Australian films since 2000, determining for themselves what “Australian film” means (virtually all of the films were either made by Australian filmmakers or produced in Australia). Mad Max: Fury Road appeared in 33 of the 51 lists, making the top three in 22 of them and the #1 spot in 10.

— full story Critics named “Mad max: Fury Road” as best Australian film of the 21st century



The best story in the March Clarkesworld, and one of the best stories published so far this year, is “The Persistence of Blood” by Juliette Wade. This is a novella set in the midst of a complex alien culture made up of several different, rigidly enforced castes (as far as I can tell, no humans appear in the story), with the protagonist, Selemei, a member of the aristocratic First Family, wife to a high government official, Xeref. The aristocrats have iron-bound traditions about birthing, believing nothing is more important than passing on their blood to the next generation, but in spite of these tradi­tions, or maybe because of them, their numbers keep falling. Selemi herself was crippled and nearly killed by her last childbirth, and knows that giving birth to another child will probably kill her.

— “Gardner Dozois Reviews Short Fiction: Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and F&SF” in Locus Online

Time Cracks Open

My favourite opening of any book ever is the first paragraph of Richard Rhodes’s masterful nonfiction giant, The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Whenever I am asked about my favourite books, I read it aloud. You should do the same. Go on. I’ll wait.

In London, where Southampton Row passes Russell Square, across from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Leó Szilárd waited irritably one gray Depression morning for the stoplight to change. A trace of rain had fallen during the night; Tuesday, September 12, 1933, dawned cool, humid and dull. Drizzling rain would begin again in early afternoon. When Szilárd told the story later he never mentioned his destination that morning. He may have had none; he often walked to think. In any case another destination intervened. The stoplight changed to green. Szilárd stepped off the curb. As he crossed the street time cracked open before him and he saw a way to the future, death into the world and all our woe, the shape of things to come.

— Hannu Rajaniemi, “Time Cracks Open for Leó Szilárd in Richard Rhodes’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb”, at

July 4th Crit Mass: The Expanse

Andrew looks at the first four novels of The Expanse, which he claims isn’t real SF — by which he means it doesn’t deal with deep, interesting philosophical questions — and Roman reviews the TV series, and suggests it raises several real questions.
Don’t miss this discussion! 6:45 for a 7pm start, at Kappy’s, 22 Compton St, Adelaide, near the central market.

Discovery devolved…

“…what began as agreat work of feminist SF soon devolved into a reactionary mess. The rot began to set in when a moment of intellectual arrogance compounded by bizarre feelings of parental attachment resulted in Martin-Green’s character murdering an alien religious figure […] Since then, Star Trek: Discovery has  indulged every right-wing fantasy from the moral necessity of torture through to the inevitability of what is effectively metaphorical racial holy war.”

— from Jonathan McCalmot’s Future interrupted column in Interzone 274