Locus Awards

Locus Magazine has announced the winners of its 2020 Awards.
Here are the winners of best SF and Fantasy novels (winners in bold)


  • The City in the Middle of the Night, Charlie Jane Anders (Tor; Titan)
  • The Testaments, Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese; Chatto & Windus)
  • Ancestral Night, Elizabeth Bear (Saga; Gollancz)
  • Empress of Forever, Max Gladstone (Tor)
  • The Light Brigade, Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • Luna: Moon Rising, Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • The Future of Another Timeline, Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK)
  • Fleet of Knives, Gareth L. Powell (Titan US & UK)
  • The Rosewater Insurrection/The Rosewater Redemption, Tade Thompson (Orbit US & UK)
  • Wanderers, Chuck Wendig (Del Rey; Solaris)


  • Middlegame, Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
  • Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo (Flatiron; Gollancz)
  • A Brightness Long Ago, Guy Gavriel Kay (Berkley; Viking Canada; Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Raven Tower, Ann Leckie (Orbit US & UK)
  • Jade War, Fonda Lee (Orbit US & UK)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday; Harvill Secker)
  • Storm of Locusts, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)
  • The Iron Dragon’s Mother, Michael Swanwick (Tor)
  • Dead Astronauts, Jeff VanderMeer (MCD; Fourth Estate)

The full list of winners and nominees is listed at

New Rowling Book serialized

Locus magazine reports

J.K. Rowling will publish a new children’s book, The Ickabog, with free chapters appearing online every weekday in 34 installments from May 26 – July 10, 2020.

Rowling is holding an illustration competition for children between ages seven and 12, with with winning drawings to be featured in the published book.

For more, see Rowling’s introduction or The Ickabog website.

Nebula winners announced may 30th!

The winners (in bold) and finalists are as follows:


  • A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)
  • Marque of Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow (Redhook; Orbit UK)
  • A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine (Tor)
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
  • Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir ( Publishing)


  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga)
  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water, Vylar Kaftan ( Publishing)
  • The Deep, Rivers Solomon, with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson & Jonathan Snipes (Saga)
  • Catfish Lullaby, A.C. Wise (Broken Eye)

— from the full list of winners at

Nova Mob, June 3rd

We are welcome to join the online Nova Mob this Wednesday at 7:30 Adelaide time.
Alan Stewart is Nova Mob’s speaker on this coming Wednesday 3rd June.  His chosen topic is the Wilds Cards series, first published in 1987 and still going strong almost fifty books later. What is the secret of Wild Cards’ almost superhuman longevity?
Alan knows a thing or two about lengthy series and hyper-productive authors and will be bringing some keen insights to the question and the series.
For those wondering what sort of deal they are getting into, Wild Cards is described in the Clute/ Stableford Encyclopedia as an “Original-Anthology series, edited by George R R Martin, with the initially unacknowledged collaboration of Melinda M Snodgrass, variously credited from the sixth volume on, set in a Shared World, almost every volume being a Braid of stories by various authors woven into a more-or-less integrated narrative.
Martin prefers to think of these books, because their contents are planned and linked, often as “mosaic novels”…. Wild Cards is one of the better shared-worlds series, showcasing hard-edged writing by Edward Bryant, Pat Cadigan, Cherie Priest, Lewis Shiner, Carrie Vaughn, Howard Waldrop, Walter Jon Williams, Roger Zelazny and others.”

Alan Stewart: Wild Cards – persistence of a Shared World vision
7:30pm (Adelaide time), Wednesday 3rd June,  Nova Mob by Zoom
Part 1 Time: Jun 3, 2020 08:00 PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney; 7:30pm Adelaide time
Zoom Meeting duration 8.00pm to 8.40pm. Use this link to join, click on it or cut-and-paste into your browser.
Meeting ID: 417 758 3193
Password: nova

Part 2 details please log in by 8.55pm. (Do feel free to dial in earlier for general chat. Zoom will open this meeting from 8.45pm but Alan’s talk formally resumes at 8.55pm which gives a 15 minutes intermission)
8.55pm – 9.25pm Melbourne time 3rd June; 8:25 – 9:05 Adelaide time
Alan Stewart on Wild Cards Part 2
Time: Jun 3, 2020 08:45 for 8.55pm PM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney. Join at:
Meeting ID: 417 758 3193
Password: nova

Critical Mass, June 17th

We’re waiting to hear from our potential guest speaker, but while you’re waiting, you can read a couple more novellae to prepare for our discussion of Hugo nominees:

  • “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom”, Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
  • In an Absent Dream, by Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)


Details of Zoom meeting:

Time: Jun 17, 2020 07:00 PM Adelaide

Join Zoom Meeting Part 1 at 7pm June 17th

Meeting ID: 761 7820 9760
Password: 7fXx7M

Join Zoom Meeting Part 2 at 7:40 pm June 17

Meeting ID: 761 7820 9760
Password: 7fXx7M

Films from the SF past!

Mike Glyer writes in Pixel Scroll, File770

  • April 27, 1955 The Devil Girl From Mars premiered. It was produced by Edward J. Danziger and Harry Lee Danziger as directed by David MacDonald. It was written by James Eastwood and John C. Maher  It starred Patricia Laffan, Hugh McDermott, Adrienne Corri and Hazel Court. Critics in general called it a delightfully bad film with the Monthly Film  Bulletin saying  “Everything, in its way, is quite perfect.” The audience reviewers over at Rotten Tomatoes apparently don’t agree as they give it a 22% rating. You can decide for yourself as you can see it here as it’s in the public domain.Devil-Girl-from-Mars-1024x796

  • April 27, 1963The Day of the Triffids premiered in the USA. It was produced by George Pitcher and Philip Yordan, as directed by Steve Sekely.  It’s rather loosely based on the 1951 novel of the same name by John Wyndham (who was toastmaster at Loncon 1) as scripted by Bernard Gordon and Philip Yordan. It starred Howard Keel, Nicole Maurey, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore and  Mervyn Johns. Critics who were familiar with the novel weren’t terribly happy with the film. It currently rates a 52% rating among audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.  Yes, it’s in the public domain, so you can watch it here.Day-of-the-Triffids 

The Case of the Somewhat Mythic Sword

Garth Nix has a new story in

Sir Magnus Holmes, cousin to the more famous Sherlock, is asked to investigate the appearance of an otherworldly knight carrying a legendary sword in the cellar of a Victorian London pub.

“We was ’oping for t’other ’Olmes to take an interest,” said the publican. He wiped his fingers again on his striped apron as if this might somehow remove the strong aroma of beer that emanated not just from his hands, but his entire being. “Meaning no hoffence, your ’onour.”

— read the full story at

John Scalzi on writing SF

When I set out to write my first novel some 24(!) years ago now, I rather famously flipped a coin to see which genre I would write it in — science fiction or crime/thriller, and it landed on heads, which meant science fiction. At this point people expect science fiction from me, and I can write other genres while also writing science fiction (see: The “Lock In” books, which are crime/thriller books set in the near future), so I don’t feel especially constrained by writing science fiction.

Highlights from John Scalzi’s r/Books AMA at

Frankenstein on-line

London’s National Theatre has been keeping audiences at home the world over on the edge of their sofas during lockdown by streaming plays from its archive on YouTube for free.

The highlight is likely to be Danny Boyle’s take on ‘Frankenstein’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller – who famously alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation when the play came to stage in 2011.

Elizabeth Lavenza — Naomie Harris; The Creature —  Johnny Lee Miller, photo:Catherine Ashmore

National Theatre at Home audiences will be blessed with the opportunity to see them play both parts in this vision of Mary Shelley’s gothic tale, with the two versions airing on YouTube for free on consecutive nights (April 30 and May 1).

National Theatre at Home launched on YouTube on April 2, and now, every Thursday (7pm BST/3:30am Adelaide time) sees a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creatives Q&As and post-stream talks.

Extra! another Crit Mass on May 20th

After a discussion with Adam, we agreed that it might be a good idea to have another online meeting for Critical Mass each month. We thought we’d repeat last year’s experiment of reading and ctitiquing all the novellae nominated for Hugo awards this year. there are six in all, so we thought we’d spen some time discussing two each month.

So for the meeting on may 20th, we ask you to read these two novellae

  • The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèlí Clark ( Publishing)
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (Saga Press; Jo Fletcher Books)

after the tea break, we invite you to share something interesting you’ve found in SF&F during your isolation: book, game, film, TV, comic, audio drama, website, fanzine or whatever!

Details of the May 20th zoom meeting of crit mass:

Join Crit Mass Zoom Meeting May 20, 2020 7:00 PM Adelaide

Meeting ID: 757 6890 9497
Password: 7fXx7M
Critical Mass, Part2  May 20, 2020 07:50 PM Adelaide


Meeting ID: 781 9327 8157
Password: 7fXx7M