- Aishwarya Subramaniam talks about her nominations for the Future Classics poll
- Michael Froggatt on 2017 by Olga Slavnikova
- Cold Iron and Rowan Wood on The Meat Tree by Gwyneth Lewis, part of Seren Press’ “new stories from the Mabinogion” series.
- Jonathan McCalmont on The Red Tree by Caitlin R Kiernan and Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard
- Tansey Rayner Roberts talks about the new Norma K Hemming Award, for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in sf published in Australia or written by an Australian citizen
- Details of the latest Galactic Suburbia podcast
- David Hebblethwaite on An A-Z of Possible Worlds by AC Tillyer and on Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
- Matt Denault on Walking the Tree by Kaaron Warren, and its marketing:
I wrote at the outset that my two chief frustrations with Walking the Tree involve its outside and its inside. The frustration with the outside is easy enough to describe: the book’s cover. The back cover of my published UK edition contains the instruction to “FILE UNDER: FANTASY” and a quote from Ellen Datlow, best known in recent times for her work editing dark fantasy and horror; the front cover bears a quote from Trudi Canavan, “bestselling author of the Black Magician trilogy,” a fantasy work. Additionally the publisher, Angry Robot, is marketing as similar two more of its books on the back cover: Warren’s debut novel Slights and Aliette de Bodard’s Servant of the Underworld, a dark fantasy. In short, this is a science fiction book by a female author that is being marketed very hard to look like a fantasy book—and a fantasy book for a primarily female audience. This was done, I’m sure, with the best of intentions. But there is a deeply insidious notion about the relationship between women and science that’s suggested by this chosen marketing. Labeling a science fiction book by a female author as fantasy contributes to the fallacious but widespread idea that women don’t write science fiction. This in turn can only reinforce the stereotype that women aren’t any good at science. Parallel to this, to fixate the book’s marketing so squarely on women reinforces that damaging gender paradigm that men’s stories should be of interest to both men and women, while women’s stories should be of interest only to women. The two problems are entwined: men’s stories are important to all because they are seen as real, and thus can be grounded in something real like science; women’s stories are dismissed as fantasy, nothing that could ever happen and so nothing that’s worth treating as actionable. So I’d argue that the book’s marketing, whatever its intentions, is actively, damagingly in opposition to the ideas of the book’s content.