An Unquiet Revolution: A People’s Future of the United States of America


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There are a couple of ways to judge an anthology.

The simplest way to appraise one is to reduce the book down to its constituent parts. An anthology is, after all, a collection of stories. And A People’s Future of the United States of America—edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams—is, indeed, a collection of stories. 25 original stories, from a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary American speculative writers.

And, as a collection of stories, A People’s Future does, indeed, collect some very good stories. Reviewed through this entirely arbitrary lens, A People’s Future is, in fact, a stonking success. N.K. Jemisin’s glorious “Give Me Cornbread, or Give Me Death”, Malka Older’s inventive “Disruption and Continuity” and Omar El Akkad’s heart-breaking “Riverbed” are all utterly exceptional works. These three alone are worth the price of a copy. If that’s all an anthology is—a collection of stories—well then, ...

Stories Within Stories Within Nightmares: Dale Bailey’s In the Night Wood


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In The Night Wood Dale Bailey

There’s a point midway through Dale Bailey’s novel In the Night Wood wherein protagonist Charles Hayden ventures out to the forest around the English manor where he and his wife Erin have relocated following a tragedy on the other side of the Atlantic. In his exploration, Charles discovers a part of the forest that seems somewhat different from the rest: some of that can be chalked up to a sense of fundamental wrongness, and some of that can be be ascribed to a difference in temperature. But the sense of two places bordering one another, similar but with fundamentally different properties underlying their very nature, is a convenient metaphor for this novel as well, which is both a story about literary obsession and a story whose twists and turns may well lure in literary obsessives.

At the center of In the Night Wood is a fictional book, also titled ...

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The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy Took to the Stage at NYCC!


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New York Comic Con, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy panel

Writers of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 anthology came to New York Comic Con to talk about the state of genre fiction today. Fans heard from Charlie Jane Anders, Maria Dahvana Headley, Matthew Kressel, and Carmen Maria Machado, along with guest editor N. K. Jemisin and series editor John Joseph Adams!

Jemisin apparently had to keep away from short fiction for a while before diving into the anthology selections, so that she could come into them blind when reading. Each author on the panel got the chance to talk about their fiction that was selected for the anthology and what inspired these particular stories.

At one point an audience member asked about Star Trek-esque stories, the escapist fare that show us a better future, and Jemisin had some thoughts to that effect:

“The expectation that fiction will [provide escapism] in times of strife is an expectation that ...

Revealing A People’s Future of the United States, A New Anthology from Editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams


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We’re excited to share the cover for A People’s Future of the United States, a new anthology edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams showcasing twenty-five speculative stories that challenge oppression and imagine new futures for America. Get more details and check out the full cover below!

A People’s Future of the United States publishes February 2019 with One World.

In these tumultuous times, in our deeply divided country, many people are angry, frightened, and hurting. Knowing that imagining a brighter tomorrow has always been an act of resistance, editors Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams invited an extraordinarily talented group of writers to share stories that explore new forms of freedom, love, and justice. They asked for narratives that would challenge oppressive American myths, release us from the chokehold of our history, and give us new futures to believe in.

They also asked that the stories be badass.

...

Low Chicago


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The stakes where already high enough at Giovanni Galante’s poker table that night in Chicago. Poker. Dealer’s choice. Seven players. A million-dollar cash buy-in.

But after a superpowered mishap, the most high profile criminals in the city are scattered throughout the past and their schemes across time threaten the stability of the world in George R. R. Martin’s latest Wild Cards adventure.

Perfect for current fans and new readers alike, Low Chicago is an all-new time travel adventure that leads to the criminal underworld of 1920s Chicago, starring a fresh cast of characters from the Wild Cards universe. Available June 12th from Tor Books, Low Chicago features the writing talents of Saladin Ahmed, Paul Cornell, Marko Kloos, John Jos. Miller, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Christopher Rowe, and Melinda M. Snodgrass.

 

 

A Long Night at the Palmer House

by John Jos. Miller

Part 1

...

Growing an Anthology Series: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016


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basff-2016 Last year, John Joseph Adams and guest editor Joe Hill introduced the inaugural edition of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, bringing together twenty of the best stories published in the year 2014, a mixture of rockets and robots, magic and myths. That the rich worlds of science fiction and fantasy short fiction were finally getting their recognition in the mainstream was a joy to many, and Adams and Hill nailed it, crafting a brilliant collection that celebrated writers new and old, across a wide spectrum of identities, as accessible to newcomers as it was to seasoned readers. And with such a success in the first volume, there inevitably came the question: what will next year’s look like? In the hands of Adams and guest editor Karen Joy Fowler, Volume Two continues to spotlight amazing writers exploring difficult and brilliant concepts, and while the overall styles of the ...

Short Fiction Spotlight: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 edited by John Joseph Adams and Joe Hill (Part 2)


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BASFF-2015 Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around we looked at the first half of the intriguing new Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy collection, helmed by John Joseph Adams as series editor and Joe Hill as guest editor—and this week, I’d like to round that out with the last ten stories in the 2015 edition. Three of these last ten pieces are from mainstream publications (two from The New Yorker and one from McSweeney’s), while the rest are from various anthologies and magazines published in-genre. The Kelly Link story also appeared in her recent collection, Get in Trouble; I had read it first there. None of them had I previously written about in this column, unlike a couple in the first half of the collection. While most of the stories in the 2015 edition have ...

Short Fiction Spotlight: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 edited by John Joseph Adams and Joe Hill (Part 1)


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BASFF-2015 Welcome back to the Short Fiction Spotlight, a space for conversation about recent and not-so-recent short stories. Last time around we discussed Nalo Hopkinson’s new collection, Falling in Love with Hominids. Now, I’d like to spend a couple of columns on a fresh new best-of annual: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, first installment from series editor John Joseph Adams with guest editor Joe Hill. The Best-American series uses a particular blind reading model that I’ve always found intriguing—the series editor gathers a large group of stories and the guest editor reads them all blind to pick the top twenty—and here, it definitely produces interesting results in terms of the “year’s best” sf. The thing I found pleasing in specific about this collection of stories published in 2014 is that, despite the blind-read aspect, it’s still—no surprise—rather diverse. There are writers of all stripes, both fresh faces ...

John Joseph Adams to Launch New SFF Book Line for HMH


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John Joseph Adams Books HMH SFF line

Earlier this year, John Joseph Adams—editor of LightspeedNightmare, and countless anthologies—curated the first edition of The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Today, HMH announced that Adams will be editor-at-large of John Joseph Adams Books, a new line at the publishing house that will curate science fiction and fantasy titles.

Bruce Nichols, senior VP and publisher at HMH explained in a press release the publisher’s decision to have Adams launch their new SFF line:

After working with John as the series editor for [Best American Stories], we realized he is the perfect person to help us curate a focused, high-quality fiction list.

The first three titles from John Joseph Adams Books will be simultaneous hardcover and paperback editions of three Hugh Howey novels: ShiftDust, and Beacon 23. All three will be available in February 2016. Adams discussed his excitement in exploring ...

Welcome to the Neighborhood: The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015


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BASFF-2015

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015, collected by series editor John Joseph Adams and guest editor Joe Hill, has a very important job: it must bring our rocketships, our magic, our monsters, and our hearts to the rest of the reading world. But it has to be more than an olive branch to the world of readers who want to know more about the state of American science fiction and fantasy; it has to be a welcoming present to the neighborhood. And what a present it is: together, Adams and Hill have run through the collective summer forest of our community, coaxed twenty bright, beautiful, and ethereal fireflies into a jar, and given them to the world to enjoy in this collection.

Is one firefly brighter than the others? Does one story cut deeper, or make you feel larger or smaller in your existence? Maybe. All mileage ...

Saga Press Cover Reveal Roundup


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Saga-Covers

Tor.com is pleased to reveal the covers for Saga Press’ full Summer 2016 line-up! Click through for more on the sequel to Genevieve Valentine’s Persona, a new Constance Verity adventure from A. Lee Martinez, and the conclusion of Zachary Brown’s Icarus Corps trilogy, plus four novels from debut authors, and a new short fiction anthology covering the range from straight out horror to humor.

Joe Monti, editorial director Saga Press had this to say on behalf of editor Navah Wolfe, art director Michael McCartney, et al.:

It’s our fifth season at Saga Press, officially the Summer 2016 season, and it feels incredibly fast and yet almost two years in the making! We have four debut voices with Mike Brooks’ action-packed space opera, Brian Lee Durfee’s epic fantasy which gave me all the 90’s fantasy chills but with a different perspective, World Fantasy Award finalist Kat Howard’s novel ...

Saga-DarkRun
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Saga-WTF

Is There Any Room in Epic Fantasy for the Small Story?


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Sunset Mantle art Richard Anderson crop

It is late in the workday and I am really annoying Carl Engle-Laird, assistant editor for Tor.com Publishing and the acquiring editor for Alter S. Reiss’ novella Sunset Mantle. He explains the plot of the story to me, this congenial monolith standing before a shrieking, bone-wielding ape, but it is not enough.

“Okay, Carl…but what is the book about?”

Two days later I have read Reiss’s story—the prose is speedy, engaging, and ideal for 45-minute commutes on the subway—but I still don’t have an answer to my own question. Sunset Mantle, as far as I can tell, is about a man who thinks he is done fighting but who ends up becoming the figurative rock that allows an enormous independent community to withstand the tide of culturalization. Richard Anderson’s cover is very apt in this regard, a scene from the book exaggerated in scale so that ...

Sunset Mantle art by Richard Anderson
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Carl shrugs and is generally adorbs

Meet Your Favorite Authors at the Tor Author Drinkup!


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Tor author drinkup Nebula Awards weekend Chicago

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s (SFWA) 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, from June 4-7. The weekend will include tours, autographing sessions, legal workshops, and the Nebula Awards ceremony on June 6.

One particularly fun bit of programming is the Tor Author Drinkup, held at Chicago’s Geek Bar Beta on June 6 from 2-5 p.m. Attendees will have the rare chance to hang out (and maybe grab a beer) with Tor Books and Tor.com authors including John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu, Fran Wilde, and more!

Here’s the full lineup and more information:

Tor Author Drinkup Geek Bar Beta Nebula Awards Weekend

And here’s the full lineup of events for the Nebula Awards Weekend!