Fresh Genre Spins | Nebula Nominees 2016

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On February 20, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) announced its nominees for the 51st Annual Nebula Awards and and the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book.

Kenyon, Wilson, & a War of the Worlds Sequel | Pop Fiction Previews, Aug. 2017

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Baxter, Stephen. The Massacre of Mankind. Crown. Aug. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9781524760120. $27. SF Winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, Baxter does something daring: he offers a sequel to H.G. Wells’s iconic The War of the Worlds, featuring Wells’s narrator, Walter Jenkins. Fourteen years after the last invasion, humans complacently […]

Sherman Alexie, Alexandra Fuller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 1

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Alexie, Sherman. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir. Little, Brown. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780316270755. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316270762. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316395649. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Notable for his precise, punch-in-the-gut writing, as evidenced by his PEN/Malamud and PEN/Hemingway honors, and winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s […]

From Boylan to Karen White | Pop Fiction, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Long Black Veil. Crown. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451496324. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780451496348. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE/LGBT LGBT rights advocate, Op-Ed page contributor to the New York Times since 2007, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College, Boylan still finds time to write both fiction and […]

From Attenberg to Lesser to Schlink | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4

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Attenberg, Jami. All Grown Up. Houghton Harcourt. Mar. 2017. 208p. ISBN 9780544824249. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780544824263. LITERARY FICTION Author of the New York Times best-selling and Los Angeles Times Book Prize short-listed The Middlesteins and, more recently, of the well-received Saint Mazie, Attenberg again lays bare the soul of a woman. Her heroine here is […]

Last of the Big March 2017 Fiction | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 4

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Alcott, Kate. The Hollywood Daughter. Doubleday. Mar. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780385540636. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385540643. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL A New York Times best-selling author of historical fiction, Alcott returns to the Hollywood setting of her most recent novel, A Touch of Stardust—not surprisingly, since she was raised in Los Angeles and married into a […]

Laird Hunt, Yiyun Lee, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Dennett, Daniel C. From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds. Norton. Feb. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780393242072. $28.95. PHILOSOPHY/MIND & BODY Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and winner of the Erasmus Prize, Dennett knows how to talk to lay readers; he’s published numerous books, not just with academic presses […]

Harrison, Kadrey, Kenyon, & More | SF/Fantasy Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 3

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Carey, Jacqueline. Miranda and Caliban. Tor. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780765386793. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765386809. FANTASY Carey, who knows fantasy—she’s author of the New York Times best-selling “Kushiel’s Legacy” series—here reimagines the greatest fantasy of them all, Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Taking a different angle, she depicts Miranda as lonely and longing for friendship with the […]

Aliens Among Us: The Gender Gap in SF | SELF-esteem

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The first sf book I remember [reading] features a female engine mechanic, Lieutenant Lily, who “loves the big machines” and is the best shot on her spaceship’s crew—she’s also a frog. On my frequent library visits, I’d plunder the children’s section for more silly space adventures like Jane Yolen’s Commander Toad. As my reading advanced, however, I realized Lieutenant Lily was an endangered species. Although my parents and librarians found dozens of wonderful books with plucky heroines (no mean task in the 1990s, before YA became a publishing craze), there seemed to be a black hole on the sf shelf. Why did females, as characters or as authors, seem so rare in these stories?

Pop Fiction from Kelley Armstrong to Stuart Woods | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 4

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Armstrong, Kelley. Otherworld Chills. Plume. Oct. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780062410337. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698173569.  FANTASY Armstrong drums up the last of three anthologies featuring short stories and novellas about characters from her mega-best-selling “Otherworld” series. While the first anthology featured romance and the second mystery, this all-new collection puts Nick, Hope, Karl, and the […]