- Sarah Hall’s “tough portrait of life in a near-future Britain after the oil runs out”, The Carhullan Army, has won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize, which recognises the best work of literature from Britain or the Commonwealth by an author under 35. Hall talks about the book’s inspiration:
One novel in particular inspired me in writing Carhullan – Z For Zachariah by Robert O’Brien. Its setting is agricultural, and the human struggle is of a defiant female spirit. I first encountered this novel in my early teens, when I was not a great reader of fiction. I found reading a lonely and difficult undertaking. I was never quite convinced by the worlds portrayed, nor did I did connect with the characters. But this book resonated. Perhaps because it was a novel about being alone and in difficulty, or perhaps because its protagonist was only a little older than me.
- Matt Cheney points out several conversations about The Book of the New Sun. Waggish:
But because Gene Wolfe is praised to the skies by many “intellectual” sci-fi fans while being ignored by everyone else, I think he represents a position that is worth exploring. I.e., why is Wolfe still occupying a marginal place in literature in spite of praise from the likes of John Clute and Michael Swanwick, while Philip K. Dick, Neal Stephenson, and William Gibson have made it into the mainstream canon?
I think there are discernible reasons for this. Wolfe may not be any worse than Stephenson or Gibson, but his particular weaknesses are much more problematic for non-sf readers than theirs.
- Sarah Monette’s rewatch of the first season of Due South reaches “Victoria’s Secret”.
- Paul McAuley’s introduction to Alastair Reynolds’ collection Zima Blue and Other Stories: “Before I tell you about Al Reynolds and the stories collected here, I need to say something about the New Space Opera.”
- Abigail Nussbaum reviews Battlestar Galactica: Razor.
- Daniel Abraham on the role of setting for fantasy: “There was a time when we read books for excitement. The word itself — novel — is a give-away. Reading was the way people could go places they couldn’t go, see things they’d never seen, experience things they would never do. That role has been taken up by some other media and the relative ease of air travel. For the most part, those of us who are still reading are doing it for comfort.”
- “Hachette Livre UK is taking the radical step of moving its backlist publishing to a firm sale basis for environmental reasons.” I do not know what this actually means, specifically: is it going to make it easier or harder to find books that are a few years old in bookshops? On Amazon?
- Andrew Wheeler posts the sales figures for the books in the SF Awards Watch “poll of polls”.
- Hey look, another unthemed original anthology.
- Farah Mendlesohn is editing a book of critical essays about fantasy for Cambridge University Press.
- Contents for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 2.
- And finally: “I, Malcolm” (Reynolds).