Giveaway!

Unless a Giveaway says otherwise, we can only send books to US addresses. If you’ve won a book, please contact Marion to let her know which book you’ve won and your US mailing address. If you don’t see a winner mentioned in the comment section, please let Marion know that she forgot to pick one. Good Luck!

Here’s a link to our stacks.
SIGN UP FOR EMAIL ALERTS ABOUT GIVEAWAYS.

The Expanded Universe: Where Music and Fantasy Intersect

Welcome to my first Expanded Universe column where I'll be featuring essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers, talking about anything SFF related that interests us. My guest today is Peter Orullian, author of the VAULT OF HEAVEN series.

One commenter will win a book from our Stacks.

Peter Orullian

I write epic fantasy. I’m also a musician. So, for me, when Kate and I corresponded on possible topics for an article, and she suggested “the intersection of music and fantasy,” I le... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The Nebula and Hugo Awards: You choose the winners!

(MEGA-GIVEAWAY: One lucky commenter will get a copy of each of the nominated books — that’s right, eight volumes!)

Yes, it’s award season again. With the Prometheus Awards short list announced and the Arthur C. Clarke Awards already chosen, the Nebulas and the Hugos are coming up rapidly. The Nebulas will be awarded at the Nebula Weekend in Chicago, Illinois, June 4-7. The Hugo awards will be announced on August 22, at Sasquan, in Spokane, Washington.

The Hugos made the news this year ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover!

It's time again for one of our favorite games!

Please help us rename the horrible cover of this book by Grande Dame Andre Norton.

The author of the new title we like best wins a book from the FanLit Stacks.

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat.

We love this game!

NEXT WEEK's Thoughtful Thursday column: We'll be giving away all of the Nebula and Hugo nominated novels to one lucky winner! Read More

Jana Chats with Gwenda Bond (and gives away a book, of course!)

Today, Gwenda Bond stops by FanLit to chat about her newest novel, Lois Lane: Fallout, which I thought was both a fantastic story and a refreshing take on some old YA stereotypes. She was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the book and her writing process, and one lucky U.S.-based commenter will win a copy of Lois Lane: Fallout!

Gwenda Bond

Jana Nyman: The narrative of Lois Lane: Fallout is told strictly fro... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in April 2015. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal on the Brave New Worlds Tour

I had the chance to see Marie Brennan and Mary Robinette Kowal at Copperfield's Books in Petaluma California on May 7. I have a signed copy of Kowal's Of Noble Family and a signed copy of Brennan's Voyage of the Basilisk to give away to one lucky random commenter with a U.S. address.

Mary Robinette Kowal (left, with egret feather) and Marie Brennan take questions from the audience.

“We dress like this all the time,” Mary Robinette Kowal said in response to a casual question, as she and Marie Brennan sat down at the table in Copperfield’s Books. “Mine’s really comfortable. It’s like a nightgown.”

Marie Brennan lo... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in April 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on Saturday, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.



If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, pl... Read More

Bill Chats with Ken Liu and gives away a copy of The Grace of Kings

Today Ken Liu stops by to answer a few questions about his newest work The Grace of Kings, the first in a series of “Silkpunk” and an ambitiously structured novel that won me over for its change-of-pace narrative construction and original setting, as well for its somewhat rare focus on social and technological change in a fantasy world. We'll be giving away a copy of The Grace of Kings to one random commenter with a U.S. address.

Bill Capossere: In my review, I mentioned how I’d had a hard time at the start with Grace of Kings, due to its narrative structure, which I described as both episodic and also very nearly a kind of linked-short-story form and which at the outset at... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Who’s Your Favorite Frenemy?

Urban Dictionary gives one definition of “frenemy” as “someone who is both friend and enemy, a relationship that is both mutually beneficial or dependent while being competitive and fraught with risk and mistrust.” This made me think of many of my favorite SFF heroes and their various relationships. A “frenemy” may be an old comrade who went over to the other side; it might be a former mentor, or a family member. It might be that dangerous romantic partner our main character just can’t stay away from. A frenemy is always good for cranking up the tension, and provides useful information to our protagonist when it is needed.

"The Deal" by Lowranzy6699 at Deviantart (used with permission)

Who is your favorite “frenemy” in SFF? Tell us who and why in the comments. One random commenter w... Read More

Five Questions for Robert Charles Wilson + Giveaway

Robert Charles Wilson’s new novel, The Affinities, comes out today. As I mentioned in my review of The Affinities, I was hooked from start to finish. At the end, I had a few questions for Wilson which he was willing to answer. So here are five questions and five answers for one of the 21st century’s best science fiction writers.

Ryan Skardal: Many of your works focus on watershed moments. These moments are often caused by mysterious forces from the future or outer space, but InterAlia's algorithm seems much more familiar given how much facebook apparently knows about us (or can predict). What inspired you to write about the social algorithms in The Affinities?

Robert Charles Wison[/captio... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify Last Month’s Covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in March 2015. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Marion Chats with Molly Tanzer about writing, hiking, and bears + GIVEAWAY!

In 2013, Molly Tanzer was nominated for the Sidney J. Bounds award, selected by the British Fantasy Society, for her linked story collection A Pretty Mouth. Her short fiction has appeared in Lovecraft eZine and other horror/dark fantasy markets. Vermilion is her debut novel. Tanzer has a Master’s in Humanities from Florida State University and currently lives in Colorado. Vermilion explores the adventures of Lou Merriwether; a half-Ch... Read More

Fifth Annual FOGCon + Giveaway!

Last month Marion and I attended FOGCon 5 in Walnut Creek, California (in the San Francisco Bay area) where I served on a panel called “When the Setting is a Character.” FOGCon, which stands for Friends of the Genre Convention, has a literary bent. Marion and I are going to discuss our experience here, and we've got a book to give away to a commenter.

Marion, what did you think of your first FOGCon?

Terry, I expected FOGCon to be fun because you recommended it, but this conference exceeded my expectations! From the Walnut Creek Marriott Hotel staff – consistently helpful, friendly and cheerful – to the thoughtful and varied panels, this was a great weekend. And I love that they had a “Ghost of Honor,” Joanna Russ, devoting an... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: SFF Speed Dating

In celebration of Kate's Saturday wedding, let's cast a romantic eye toward our favorite fantasy/science fiction characters... Imagine a speed dating night... Picture a room filled with some of your favorite characters zipping from table to table, conversing a moment or two, then moving on at the ring of a bell to the next ever-hopeful romantic spirit. If we could eavesdrop on a conversation or two, what might we hear?

Feel free to give us one conversation or several. The author of the one we love most will choose a book from our Stacks.
I’ve started you off with one possibility below.

[Seated at the table:  Arwen]

Ding!

Arwen: Hi, I’m Arwen.
Date #1:  I am Groot.
Arwen: So Groot, what do you do f... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in March 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify Last Month’s Covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in February 2015. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

C.T. Adams talks about the cover (and gives away a copy) of The Exile

Thanks to Tor, we've got a copy of C.T. Adams' The Exile (Book one in her new FAE series) to give away to a reader with a U.S. or Canadian address. Just submit the form below if you'd like to enter the drawing.

I haven't read The Exile yet, but the striking cover keeps beckoning me and I will surely give in soon. I asked C.T. Adams what she thought about the cover and whether an artist's rendering of her characters might influence how the author might view and/or write the character in future volumes of a series. Here's what she said:
The cover for The Exile is gorgeous. I think it really pops and will fly off the shelves.

 

Unlike a lot of authors, I have a clause in my contract that allows me to have cover consultation. Ultimately the publisher has the final say – they have to worry about sales after all. But Tor and my edito... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite fairies

Shakespeare gave us Oberon and Titania. J.M. Barrie gave us Tinkerbell. Jim Butcher gave us Toot-Toot. John Keats provided La Belle Dame sans Merci, and Seanan McGuire introduced us to the folks of the Shadowed Hills.

High fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance and even horror love to play around with the realm of faerie.

Which is your favorite version of the realm of faerie, and/or who is your favorite fairy?

When I wrote this question, I didn’t think I had a favorite depiction. Then I remembered the terrifying fairies in Robert Jackson Bennett’s book The Troupe, with their eerily perfect masks, so I’m putti... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Goodbye, Sir Terry Pratchett

Just an hour ago Sir Terry Pratchett's publisher, Larry Finlay, announced Terry's death. He was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease in 2007, but found ways to continue writing even after he lost the ability to type.



Terry Pratchett's last Tweets.

Terry Pratchett will be remembered for his DISCWORLD novels especially. Though they may seem like goofy satires and parodies, they are always deeply thoughtful and often emotionally striking. And they almost always include more pithy phrasing than any one person should have been allowed to craft.

Pratchett was an innovator. He was quick to embrace the computer and to use the internet in his writing and for interacting with his audience. He was a defende... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in February 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

GIVEAWAY! Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley

Our friends at Tor want you to know about Inside a Silver Box by Walter Mosley, so they've got hardback copies for three of our readers who have a mailing address in the US. To enter, simply fill out the form below the book blurb. Please submit only one request. We'll randomly pick three winners within the next 2 weeks and email you to let you know your book is on its way.

Here's info about Inside a Silver Box. We hope it's going to be awesome! (Marion will be reviewing it soon.)
INSIDE A SILVER BOX by Walter Mosley

“In this terrific genre-defying work, … [w]ild concepts and deep thoughts sit comfortably alongside the musings of ordinary people undergoing radical changes in this top-notch tale.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Fans of Mosley’s brand of sf — big ideas, careful... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Weathering a Dearth of Ideas

Today we’re pleased to welcome Rachel Hartman, currently on a blog tour for her newest work Shadow Scale, the sequel to her very well-received Seraphina (I loved Seraphina and chose it for one of our favorite books of 2012). Today she’s writing about a problem many writers encounter at some point in their careers — writer’s block. More precisely, how she overcame hers and managed to finish Shadow Scale. As someone who has been greatly looking forward to this sequel ever since I fell in love with Seraphina, I for one am happy she found a solution (and those who’ve read Seraphina won’t be surprised at what that solution was). Shadow Scale goes on sale March 10. Thanks to our friends at Random House, we've got print copies of both Seraphin... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s cover art

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in January 2015. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, please bug Marion.

And, as always, we've got Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Elizabeth Bear is a literary philanderer

Please join me in welcoming to Elizabeth Bear, who’s on a blog tour to promote her newest book, Karen Memory, a unique blend of steampunk and Wild West excitement which I definitely enjoyed. Today, she’s here to talk about the pros and cons of strict adherence to writing in one style or genre, and to ask whether readers enjoy or dislike when an author swerves from an established path. She’s also got a copy of Karen Memory to give away to one random commenter.

Hello there. I’m Elizabeth Bear and I have a confession to make.

I have a hard time sticking to a topic. A subgenre. A set of tropes. I’m a serial literary philanderer. (Maybe it would be kinder to call myself polygenreous?)

In my career (counting collaborations, 27 novels written so far and... Read More