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.

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in December 2020. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, Read More

Marion chats with M.A. Carrick (giveaway!)

Marie Brennan is the author of the LADY TRENT series and before that the ONXY COURT secret history fantasy series. Alyc Helms is best known for the MISSY MASTERS superhero urban fantasy trilogy set largely in San Francisco. These two accomplished writers are long time friends who collaborated on this year’s second world fantasy The Mask of Mirrors. Both writers live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area, and they agreed to give us an interview about their new series, worldbuilding, conventions and fashion.

A personal note, I’ve met Brennan and Helms at a California convention, and as you know, I Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2020 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. Read More

WWWednesday: January 6, 2021

Wishing Tree in Portland, Oregon, from Atlas Obscura.



Happy 2021, everyone.  Congratulations on making it this far.

Conventions:

The Baltimore Science Fiction Society reported out on the findings of an investigation into the behavior of Eric Gasior, Vice Chair of the Virtual BaltiCon 54.

Giveaway:

One commenter will get the trade paperback version of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House.

Tech and Fun:

From Boston Dynamics, the famous dancing robots.



Books and Writing: Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Our favorite books of 2020 (giveaway!)

Here are our favorite books published in 2020. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, so we know we’ve missed some good ones! Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2020. What did we miss? One commenter chooses a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF



MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF



NON-FICTION Read More

WWWednesday: Lovecraft Country, Book and TV Show

Lovecraft Country, Original Cover



One commenter with a USA mailing address will get a trade paperback edition of Lovecraft Country.

I watched Season One of HBO’s adaptation of Lovecraft Country before I read Matt Ruff’s original novel-in-stories. I liked each of them, for different reasons. I will be comparing and contrasting here.

Ruff’s book came out in 2016. It embraces and honors the pulp era of speculative fiction, especially short fiction, especially the weird (the title is a clue). Ruff wanted one important difference from the weird fiction and comic books of the 1950s—he wanted Black main characters. Three linked families, the Berrys, the Turners and the Dandridges, encounter a centuries old coven of magical practitioners and weird magic, while navigating the “everyday” horror of a racist society. In the opening passage, Attic... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read in 2020?

Hooray, 2020 is almost over! Even with all the disruptions and turmoil, 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 2020?

It doesn't have to be a book that was published in 2020. Just read in 2020. 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.

Soon we'll be telling you about our favorite SFF books published this year.

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 updating list of Read More

WWWednesday: December 16, 2020

 

Menora. Image by Navah Wolfe



The story of Chanukah is that a small but dedicated group of Jewish fighters drove the Syrian Greeks from the Holy Temple, and rededicated it. They found only one small container of holy oil for the lamps that hadn't been contaminated by the invaders, but through their faith, they made it last for eight nights. The odds may be daunting, but have faith, and don't be afraid to shine a light in the darkness.

Books and Writing: 

Youtuber Morganeua carefully, thoroughly and cleverly examines Isaac Asimov’s use of -ly adverbs. (Thanks to File 770.)



Cat Rambo offers a 20-minute overview on Tips for Pantsers (writers who don’t outline your book in advance.)
... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in November 2020. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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 and/or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in November 2020 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: In 2020, we’re thankful for escapism

To our American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays here at Fanlit. A time we normally set aside for family, close friends, and (of course) good food. A time to consider how grateful we are for those and other aspects of our lives. A chance to reflect on the larger perspective than perhaps our daily lives don’t leave us much time for.

This year, of course, is different. The time we’ll set aside for family will be Facetime. Our close friends haven’t been close enough for far too long. Our food will be less elaborate, come in smaller portions, and no, it won’t taste as good. Little, if anything this year, is “as good.” And while we’ll still take time to reflect, much of that will be on what is missing, and for too many of us, who is missing. At our tables. In our lives.

Oftentimes, we in the fantasy/science fiction world bristle when non-fans disdainfully label our genre, “escapist.... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books or films we reviewed in October 2020. Once you identify a cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author/director
3. The book/film 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 at noon EST, 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, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Seventh Annual Speculative Fiction Haiku Contest

Time for our seventh annual SPECULATIVE FICTION HAIKU CONTEST!  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:

Written in three lines, though sometimes in two or ... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in October 2020 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s your favorite scary movie?

An oversized radioactive octopus wrestling with a mad scientist in a mudpit… that is the earliest image that I have of any horror movie. This B&W scene somehow made a huge impact on my 5-year-old mind, as I sat watching it on a grainy TV screen, and was in part responsible for setting me on the road of horror filmdom.

Today, I have come to realize that the scene in question was just a snippet from – of all things – Ed Wood’s notorious 1955 cheapie Bride of the Monster, a film that elicits mainly laughter in the adult me, instead of scares and awe. But oh, what an impression it made on my kindergarten self back then!

During the intervening decades, my tastes in the arena of horror have matured a bit, and the films that I deem scary these days are a bit more sophisticated in nature. (You can find some thoughts on 22 recent horror watches of mine in this month’s annual Shocktober Film column.)

For me, the most chilling h... Read More

WWWednesday: October 21, 2020

Don't Move, byJames S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth



Security Breach:

Locus Online signal-boosted the Barnes and Nobel announcement that they were hacked on October 10, 2020.

Conventions:

Also from Locus: I didn’t know Iceland had a biannual SF convention, but it does. They are apparently hoping for an in-person conference in November, 2021.

Giveaway:

One commenter with a USA mailing address will get a copy of C.L. Polk’s new fantasy novel The Midnig... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in September 2020. 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 at noon EST, 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, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Blank Slate

When my 24 year old son (Nate) was visiting recently, he suggested that we listen to an audiobook together and asked me to introduce him to one of my favorite fantasy series.

I was delighted to do this, of course, and I downloaded my Audible copy of Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice. Within minutes, Nate was hooked. We listened to the first two books together before he had to leave.

He loved FitzChivalry's story just as much as I did and it was exciting to visit it again through his fresh eyes though, as I told Nate, I wish I didn't know what was going to happen so I could be just as surprised (and worried, and relieved, and gutted, etc) as he will be.

This reminded me that t... Read More

WWednesday: October 7, 2020

Lois McMaster Bujold. Image by Kyle Cassidy



Last week interesting enough for you all?

Books and Writing: 

Lois MacMaster Bujold fans, especially those who like the Penric stories, will be pleased by this announcement on Bujold’s Facebook page. (Thanks to File770.)

The Illinois Science Fiction in Chicago organization (ISFIC)  is holding its annual writing contest even though WindyCon has been postponed to 2021.

The Speculative Literature Foundation Read More

A chat with Megan Whalen Turner (Giveaway!)

Megan Whalen Turner writes both short stories and novels. She is best known for her popular QUEEN’S THIEF young adult fantasy series. Her first novel in this series, The Thief, was a 1997 Newbery Honor Book. The final book in this series, Return of the Thief, comes out today (I loved it!). One random commenter will win a Kindle or Audible copy of one of the books of the QUEEN's THIEF series (you pick). 

Tadiana Jones: I’ve loved the QUEEN’S THIEF series for many years, ever since one of my kids brought it home from his elementary school library and shared it w... Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in September 2020 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. Read More

WWWednesday: September 30, 2020

I'm Kovacs. I hit people and look intense.



Netflix adapted Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon into a series which has now run for two seasons. This review of Season One, which I watched via Amazon Prime, might contain spoilers for the show. In this column, my goal is to review the show without comparing it to the book.

One commenter chosen at random will win a hardcover copy of Harrow the Ninth by Tamsin Muir.

Altered Carbon, Season One is a hyper-violent, hyper-male noirish adventure set in a moody Blade-Runneresque world. It carried me right along, nicely balancing mood, exposition, special effects and action, but stumbled into cliché at the end, and I was troubled by certain aspects of the male gaze that pe... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Gifts

In Season 4 of Syfy’s space opera Killjoys, Da’vin Jacobis gives his thirteen-year-old son Jak, who was born six days ago (it’s a long story) a picture. He is sending Jak to hide out with his former-evil-overlord mother (again, long story). He doesn’t want Jak to forget him, so he gives him the only photo of himself he has — his old military ID.

It’s a touching moment, and a sweet gift.

Quest stories often include the giving, or exchange, of gifts. Some gifting follows, more or less, the steps of the Hero’s Journey, one template for a quest. Often, that gift is some sort of weapon. Sometimes it’s magic, or knowledge. A gift can be an inheritance, a legacy the giver never had time to explain. Often the gift is a mystery.

Gifts can be perilous. Not all of them can be trusted. Sometimes the gift is a betrayal. Sometimes the receiver of the gift doesn’t value it enough. (It wasn’... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in August 2020. 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 at noon EST, 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, Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Rename this horrible cover

Time for another "Rename This Horrible Cover" contest!

Actually, this cover isn't that bad, but we do feel like the book needs a better title -- one that fits the cover art better.

Can you suggest one?

The creator of the title we like best wins a book from our stacks

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