Writing the Other: intensely practical advice for representing other cultures in fiction

For more than a decade, science fiction and fantasy writers have handed around Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward's Writing the Other, an intensely practical and thoughtful guide to inclusive, representative writing that includes people of genders, ethnicities, races, and orientations other than the writer's.

Tolkien elf or prescription drug name?

I scored badly enough on this that I'm thinking that my fallback career will be raiding The Silmarillion for Elvish names to sell to Big Pharma. Read the rest

Every Heart a Doorway: Seanan McGuire's subversive, gorgeous tale of rejects from the realms of faerie

Seanan McGuire is one of science fiction's most passionate voices, no matter whether she's writing under her Mira Grant pseudonym or her own name, you always know that you're going to be reading a story that moves and inflames, illuminating the cause of the underdog and the overlooked with stories that are firmly adventures first and allegories second, the best kind of political fiction, and now, with her new novella Every Heart a Doorway, McGuire shows us that she can weaponize that talent and use it as a skewer to pin the reader, right through the heart.

A Fairy Friend: storybook illustrated by a Disney animation legend

Claire Keene is a legendary Disney animation artist whose work has appeared in Frozen and Tangled; she provides such lively illustrations for children's author Sue Fliess's poem A Fairy Friend that readers are transported to an enchanted world where play and imagination can take you out of this world.

Kickstarting two YA fantasy novels from the press behind the Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

Jenise writes, "Dreaming Robot Press is a teensy little publisher in New Mexico trying to fill a much-needed niche: they publish science fiction for children. In particular, they publish the Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, an annual anthology of SF short stories, most of which are for middle grades readers written by such luminaries as Nancy Kress and Beth Cato." Read the rest

Kickstarting Tak, a new Cheapass Game based on Patrick Rothfuss's "Wise Man's Fear"

Carol from Cheapass Games writes, "About a year ago, James Ernest started working with Patrick Rothfuss to make the game Tak a reality. Tak features in Patrick's novel, The Wise Man's Fear." Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: reading with Peter Beagle and Carter Scholz

The next installment in the SF in SF reading series is a reading by Peter "Last Unicorn" Beagle and Carter Scholz, hosted by Terry Bisson, on April 17: it's $10 at the door, at the American Bookbinders Museum. Read the rest

Today is the deadline to nominate for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

Vote for your favorite "Creation" and "Creator." (Disclosure: I'm a volunteer on this year's jury) (via IO9) Read the rest

The Nameless City: YA graphic novel about diplomacy, hard and soft power, colonialism, bravery, and parkour

Faith Erin Hicks (Zombies Calling, Friends with Boys, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong) is back with the first volume of a new, epic YA trilogy: The Nameless City, a fantasy adventure comic about diplomacy, hard and soft power, colonialism, bravery, and parkour.

Kickstarting the next Girl Genius collection

Phil Foglio, co-creator of the amazing Girl Genius comics, writes, "We are Kickstarting our latest Girl Genius collection; City of Lightning through April 12." Read the rest

Medusa's Web: Tim Powers is the Philip K Dick of our age

Tim Powers is a fantasy writer who spins out tales of wild, mystic conspiracy that are so believable and weird, we're lucky he didn't follow L Ron Hubbard's example and found a religion, or we'd all be worshipping in his cult. Along with James Blaylock and KW Jeter, Powers was one of three young, crazy genre writers who served as Philip K Dick's proteges, and Powers gives us a glimpse of where Dick may have ended up if he'd managed to beat his own worst self-destructive impulses.

Campbell Award anthology: a million words of free fiction from tomorrow's SFF superstars

The Campbell Award for best new writer is voted on and presented with the Hugo Awards -- to be eligible, you must have made your first professional sale in the previous two years. Read the rest

Donate: scholarship fund for the Alpha teen sf/f writing workshop

Lara writes, "The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop For Young Writers is running a scholarship drive February 16-23. Make a tax-deductible donation to change a teen writer's life!" Read the rest

Free Kindle e-book: "Imhotep" by Jerry Dubs

Imhotep, by Jerry Dubs, is free for a limited time as a Kindle e-book. It has 4.3/5 stars with over 500 reviews. It sounds like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court but this time the Hank Morgan character winds up in ancient Egypt. Read the rest

Rhianna Pratchett remembers her father, Terry

The long-dreaded death of Terry Pratchett finally arrived in 2015, years after his inital prognosis predicted it would come. Pratchett spent his last years on Earth working his guts out, leaving behind a literary legacy of enormous breadth and depth. Read the rest

The Paradox: a secret history of magical London worthy of Tim Powers

In The Oversight, Charlie Fletcher introduced us to a secret history of London and the ancient order that defended it from the creatures of the dark. Now, with The Paradox, a sequel, Fletcher plunges the bedraggled heroes of the Oversight into danger that they may not be able to best.

The final Pratchett: The Shepherd's Crown

I really tried to make this book last. It's the last Discworld novel, written by Terry Pratchett in the last days of his life, as his death from a tragic, unfair, ghastly early onset Alzheimer's stole up on him. But I couldn't help myself. I read it, read it all. I wept. Then I read it again.

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