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.
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Expanded Universe: Why I Write About Gay Dragons

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. My guest today is Annabelle Jay. If there’s one thing author Annabelle Jay believes with all her heart, it’s that there is no such thing as too many dragons in a book. As a fantasy writer with few other hobbies, she spends every day following her imagination wherever it leads her. A hippie born in the wrong decade, Annabelle has a peace sign tattoo and a penchant for hugging trees. She often gets confused for a student, though she is actually a young professor; when this stops happening, she will probably be very sad.

Annabelle Jay

I sit at my Outwrite Book F... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Favorite SFF romances

Valentine's Day is around the corner!

Love is in the air and everyone's thoughts turn to romance.

We all have our favorite fantasy and science fiction romances.

Who is your favorite SFF couple, and why?
And, are there any SFF couples that you really despise? If so, why?

As usual, one random commenter picks a book from the stacks. Read More

Kevin Hearne talks about IRON DRUID CHRONICLES and gives away four books!

Thanks to retired reviewer Justin Blazier who recently caught up with Kevin Hearne at his local bookstore. Kevin is celebrating the release of Staked, the next installment in his popular IRON DRUID CHRONICLES. Leave a comment for a chance to win one of three paperback copies of Hounded, the first book of the series, or one hardcover copy of Staked. This giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada... And here's Justin:Last week, Kevin Hearne, author of THE IRON DRUID CHRONICLES, was scheduled for a book signing in Crescent Springs, KY, which just happens to be about a mile from my house. I had just recently discovered Kevin’s work at that very book ... 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, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in January 2016 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 ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in December 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

Robert Jackson Bennett talks CITY OF BLADES (and gives away a book!)

Since the publication of Mr. Shivers in 2010, award winning writer Robert Jackson Bennett has not looked back. He has won the Shirley Jackson award twice, once for Mr. Shivers and once again for American Elsewhere in 2013. His current series is the brilliant second-world fantasy THE DIVINE CITIES. Bennett’s work is wildly imaginative and heart-breakingly human. City of Stairs introduced us to The Continent, a collection of conquered city-states still mourning their fall from glory, and the island nation of Saypur, who rebelled against the slavery imposed by the Continent and became conquerors themselves.... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Character-Driven Narrative or, How to Make Fictional People Do All the Work, Part 3

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. My guest today is Sarah Gailey. Gailey is a Bay Area native and an unabashed bibliophile, living and working in beautiful Oakland, California. She enjoys painting, baking, vulgar embroidery, and writing stories about murder and monsters. She livetweeted Star Wars and the internet got very excited about it, but mostly she writes short SFF and horror. Her fiction has appeared in Mothership Zeta and The Colored Lens, and is pending publication in lots of other places. You can find links to her work at her website. She tweets  Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Which 2016 releases are you waiting for?

Another year, another round of amazing novels! I can feel myself almost salivating at the delicious, delicious sequels and debuts set to be published this year! Right now I’m envisioning curling up in a comfy chair with a 2016 release and a big plate of cookies... and it’s really distracting…

Anyway, here are the two releases I’m most excited about this year:

1. Daniel Abraham’s The Spider's War, out March 8, is the conclusion to his acclaimed THE DAGGER AND THE COIN series. I’ve been waiting for this one for two years! Here's the publishers's blurb:

The epic conclusion to THE DAGGER AND THE COIN series, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin. Lord Regent Geder Palliako's great war has spilled across the world, nation after nation falling before the ancient priesthood and weapon of dragons... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Reading Resolutions 2016

It’s that time of year again; full of optimism and champagne, we set a great list of goals for ourselves. Gyms, exercise machines sales reps and diet programs do gangbuster business the first two months of the year.

I take the easy way out and make reading resolutions. Here are mine for 2016:

I resolve to make my writing a priority.
I resolve to delve deeper into the sub-genre of Military SF.
I resolve to go to more conventions.

I’ve already registered for Northern California’s small and dynamic FogCon in March, and WorldCon in August. Look how well I’m doing!

How did I do on last year’s? Well, pretty well on the Mil-SF resolution, I think, and I read several good books on literary criticism, but I fail... Read More

Daniel José Older talks MIDNIGHT TAXI TANGO and gives away 2 books!

Daniel José Older wrote the YA urban fantasy Shadowshaper, co-edited the fantasy anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, and has had his short fiction published at Tor.com. He is the author of the new urban fantasy series BONE STREET RUMBA, the latest of which, Midnight Taxi Tango, was released on January 5, 2016. When he’s not writing fantasy, Older composes and plays music, conducts writing workshops, and blogs about his decade of experiences driving an ambulance. Despite this busy schedule, Older took some time to answer some questions for Marion and Jana about social media, music, and his latest book.

One commenter with an address in the USA or Canada will win copies of both Half... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 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... Read More

The Expanded Universe: Crossing Genres, or Dear Robot as Literary Science Fiction

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. My guest today is Kelly Ann Jacobson. Jacobson is a fiction writer, poet, and editor who lives in Falls Church, Virginia. She received her MA in Fiction at Johns Hopkins University, and she now teaches as a Professor of English. She is the author of several published books, including the novel Cairo in White, and her first book of poetry, I Have Conversations with You in My Dreams, will be published in 2016. Jacobson has edited several anthologies, including Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Science Fiction and  Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in 2015?

It's the last day of 2015! We hope you've had a wonderful reading year and that our work here at FanLit helped you achieve that.

Now we want to know: What is the best book you read in 2015?

It doesn't have to be a book that was published in 2015. Just read in 2015. It doesn't even have to be speculative fiction.

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.

If you haven't yet, please check out our favorite books published in 2015. And, as always, we have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly up... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy Holidays!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!
(And for those who don't celebrate Christmas, we wish you a lovely holiday season!)

We hope you are able to have a joyful time with the people you love.

We also hope you'll have time to spend with some wonderful books.

How are books involved in your holiday? Will you be giving any books as gifts? If so, which ones and why?

Do you hope to receive any particular books? Or perhaps gift cards or cash to spend on books?

If so, which books do you hope to acquire, and why? We want to know!

One commenter gets a FanLit T-shirt or a book from our stacks.

  Read More

The Expanded Universe: Fantastic Romantics, Byron Edition

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. My guest today is Terry Weyna, who has been on our staff since December 2010. Terry would rather be reading than doing almost anything else. She longs to be a full-time reviewer, critic, scholar and writer, but nonetheless continues to practice law as a civil litigator in California. Terry lives in Northern California with her husband, professor emeritus and writer Fred White, the imperious but aging Cordelia Louise Cat Weyna-White, and a forever-growing personal library that presently exceeds 15,000 volumes.

Lord Byron, George Gordon, in Albanian dress
Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in November 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: 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 November 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

Greg Van Eekhout talks about OSTEOMANCY with Marion (and gives away a book!)

Greg Van Eekhout has written middle grade novels like Kid vs Squid, adult SF (The Norse Code) and his well-known OSTEOMANCY trilogy, set in a magical California, where sorcerers absorb the magic of mythical creatures by eating their bones. Against this backdrop, Daniel Blackland struggles to survive, and maintain his created family. The final book in the trilogy, Dragon Coast, is out now. Greg chatted with me about magic, families, tacos and the awesome power of the avocado. One commenter with a USA or Canadian address will win a copy of Dragon Coast.

Marion Dee... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

To all our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it invites us to take stock, to reflect, and to be grateful. As a big fan of SFF, I've had a great deal to be thankful this year, including new novels by Robert Charles Wilson, China Miéville, and Neal Stephenson. However, perhaps this year will be remembered as a great year for SFF films, including Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, and soon -- though not soon enough as far as I'm concerned -- another Star Wars film.

What are you grateful for?

One random commenter will choose a ... Read More

Michael Livingston talks about THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN (and gives away a book!)

Jason talks with Michael Livingston, historian, author, and Professor of Medieval Literature at The Citadel in South Carolina. Michael's fiction debut was recently released: The Shards of Heaven, a historical fantasy mashup set in the ancient Roman Empire. Jason and Michael talk about the worries of a historian moving into the world to fiction and his passion for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Plus, we're giving away a copy of his book to one U.S. and one Canadian commenter. See below for details.

Jason Golomb: You've written a lot of in-depth and detailed history like ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Second annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Last year we started our annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST! Now it's time for round two. Anyone can do this!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

For haiku, the typical subject matter is nature, but if you decide to be traditional, you must give it a fantasy, science fiction, or horror twist. We expect to be told that the peaceful wind you describe is blowing across a landscape of an unfamiliar, distant planet. And if your poem is about a flower, we hope that elegant little touch of beauty is about to be trampled by an Orc. We welcome the sublime as well as the humorous, the pedestrian along with the momentous.

Though you may use the traditional three-line haiku following a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, feel free to break that pattern. Many poets who write English haiku adhere to other expectations:

Writt... Read More

Stuart chats with Cixin Liu, author of ’15 Hugo winner THE THREE BODY PROBLEM

Cixin Liu is the most popular SF writer in China, having won the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) nine times, but it wasn’t until 2014 that The Three-Body Problem, the first volume of his enormously popular THREE BODY trilogy, was first published in English. Amid the Sad Puppies controversy, it deservedly won the 2015 Hugo Award (first time for an Asian writer and first translated novel to win) and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award. The Three-Body Problem was translated by Ken Liu, author of the highly-regarded fantasy novel The Grace of Kings Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s book covers (giveaway!)

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in October 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

Ann Leckie Chats About ANCILLARY MERCY with Marion (plus giveaway!)

In 2013, Ann Leckie published Ancillary Justice, the first book in her RADCH EMPIRE series. The book swept the 2014 awards, garnering a Nebula, an Arthur C Clarke and a Hugo award for best novel. In 2014, Leckie followed it up with Ancillary Sword, and the final book of the trilogy, Ancillary Mercy, came out this October, and landed on the New York Times best-seller list. Leckie keeps a busy schedule with writing, book promotion, managing a family, and occasionally beading. She took a few minutes out of her day to chat about Ancillary Mercy, distributed consciousness and working on a surveying crew. One commen... Read More

Giveaway! Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers

Thanks to our friends at Simon & Schuster, we've got 10 copies of Matt Kaplan's Science of the Magical:
From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers to give away to 10 lucky winners with a US mailing address! I recently enjoyed Kaplan's "light look at what truth might lie behind tales of magic."

Here's what the publisher says:

From the author of The Science of Monsters, this engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical objects—from the philosopher’s stone, to love potions to the oracles—from ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture.

Can migrations of birds foretell our future? Do phases of the moon hold sway over our lives? Are there sacred springs that cure the ill? What is the best way to brew a love pot... Read More