The Haunted Houses and Haunted Psyches of Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

In the middle of the last century, as male writers duked it out for the Great American Novelist with stories about men trying to make it in society—Ralph Ellison! Saul Bellow! Ernest Hemingway! James Jones! Vladimir Nabokov! Philip Roth!—an acerbic faculty wife and mother of four was working away in Vermont, writing some of the most psychologically astute novels that have ever seen print, while juggling her family’s needs, a constant whirl of literary society, and her own neuroses and writer’s block.

The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle are now recognized as classics of modern Gothic literature, but Jackson also churned out stories and novels that probed the psyches of abuse survivors, tackled the symptoms of dissociative disorder, and lambasted the casual anti-Semitism and racism that was common among her fellow 1950s Americans.

Shirley Jackson could have had a very different life ...

How Being an Author Changed After the Affordable Care Act

In case you weren’t aware, it’s hard being a professional author. A veritable cornucopia of nonsense conspires against you at every stage of this endeavor. It’s not just the constant pressure to create quality content for a market whose tastes are ever-evolving, hitting your deadlines, working with sometimes fickle editors, or getting paid on nothing resembling a schedule.

It’s only once you’re about a year into it do you realize that not only do you have all the issues of the normal creative process to contend with, but all the concerns and problems that arise from running a small business. Marketing yourself, managing your brand, and dealing with eye-watering levels of what most of us consider to be double-dipping taxation in the form of the self-employment tax.

For many years, nothing about any of this has gotten any easier, especially as the nature of the author-publisher relationship has shifted to ...

Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Malka Older Talk about the Future at BEA!

Charlie Jane Anders, Malka Older, and Annalee Newitz at BookExpo America Charlie Jane Anders, author of the Nebula Award-winning All the Birds in the Sky, moderated a lively BEA panel, “Women in Science Fiction” featuring Infomocracy author Malka Older and Autonomous author Annalee Newitz. The trio talked about imagining the future, balancing worldbuilding with strong characters, and the experience of first novelist. Read on!   Anders opened by saying that Infomocracy and Autonomous share an interest in future history. How do the two writers create a realistic future, when the present is so tumultuous? Malka Older: It depends on how far in the future you want to go. Infomocracy is set about sixty years in the future. I wanted to comment on “now” with enough distance to comment on where we’re heading. Now that I’m working on the third book in the series, it’s gotten harder to keep updating a future because the present is changing so rapidly. Annalee Newitz: ...

Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, and Malka Older Talk about the Future at BEA!

Charlie Jane Anders, Malka Older, and Annalee Newitz at BookExpo America Charlie Jane Anders, author of the Nebula Award-winning All the Birds in the Sky, moderated a lively BEA panel, “Women in Science Fiction” featuring Infomocracy author Malka Older and Autonomous author Annalee Newitz. The trio talked about imagining the future, balancing worldbuilding with strong characters, and the experience of first novelist. Read on!   Anders opened by saying that Infomocracy and Autonomous share an interest in future history. How do the two writers create a realistic future, when the present is so tumultuous? Malka Older: It depends on how far in the future you want to go. Infomocracy is set about sixty years in the future. I wanted to comment on “now” with enough distance to comment on where we’re heading. Now that I’m working on the third book in the series, it’s gotten harder to keep updating a future because the present is changing so rapidly. Annalee Newitz: ...

Announcing the 2017 Locus Award Finalists

Locus Magazine has announced the finalists in each category of the 2017 Locus Awards! The winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, June 23-25, 2017; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. We are honored to see various Tor Books and Tor.com Publishing authors and titles nominated. Click through for the complete list of finalists. Congratulations to all the nominees! SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
  • Company Town, Madeline Ashby (Tor)
  • The Medusa Chronicles, Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Saga)
  • Take Back the Sky, Greg Bear (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Visitor, C.J. Cherryh (DAW)
  • Babylon’s Ashes, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK
  • Death’s End, Cixin Liu (Tor; Head of Zeus)
  • After Atlas, Emma Newman (Roc)
  • Central Station, Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon)
  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday; Fleet)
  • Last Year, Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)
FANTASY NOVEL

What is the Best Collective Noun for Authors?

Writing, when you get down to the nuts and bolts of actually putting words on paper, is one of the loneliest professions. But then there are conventions, panels, collaborative serialized storytelling experiments, and (thanks to social media) Twitter hashtag fun and Reddit AMAs, all of which see authors congregating in the same physical or digital space. But what do you call it when these famously reclusive creatures are all collected together? Like a mob of kangaroos or a unkindness of ravens, we thought writers deserved their very own descriptive collective noun. We came up with “a mischief of authors,” but we want to hear yours! A collective noun could be useful in all sorts of situations, really, including our fanfic about Lord Byron’s ghost story competition (the one that lead to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). Oddly, one never comes up in Mike Carey’s The Unwritten, which features cameos from ...
supernatural collective nouns

John Scalzi is Optimistic about Cockroaches, Novels, and the Future of Science Fiction

John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire John Scalzi made his reputation when he serialized Old Man’s War online, and attracted a huge readership and the notice of Tor Books’ Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Now he’s tackling a brand new space opera, The Collapsing Empire. He recently spoke with the good folks of The Verge about his new book, the future of publishing, and the power of optimism. Check out a few highlights below! Scalzi talked a bit about making sure his new space opera forged a new path. First, he’s drawing on the “golden age” of exploration to deal with an Empire as it runs into a major setback. The civilization of The Collapsing Empire relies on an alternate dimension called The Flow, which has allowed the populace to travel long distances… and has also resulted in planets forming a completely interdependent web of supplies and trade. In pondering the way that Europe used ocean currents and ...