Laura Jean McKay Wins the 2021 Arthur C. Clarke Award

The Arthur C. Clarke Award has announced this year’s winner of the award: debut novelist Laura Jean McKay, for her book The Animals in that Country. This year marks the thirty-fifth year of the award, and according to the award’s director Tom Hunter, her win “repositions the boundaries of science fiction once again, and we’re delighted to welcome her to the genre.”

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Tripping the Light Fantastic in Andre Norton and Sherwood Smith’s Derelict for Trade

After the earnestness of Atlantis Endgame, this entry in the Solar Queen series is quite a lot of fun. Norton’s own solo works in the series feature a somewhat raffish, somewhat beat-up spaceship with a crew of Free Traders and a tendency to fall into the worst kinds of bad luck. “What’s the worst that can happen?” isn’t a rhetorical question for the Queen. Not only does it happen, the crew has to go through complicated contortions to get back out of the mess—and just about every time, they fall right back into a new mess.

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Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Human Error”

“Human Error”
Written by André Bormanis & Kenneth Biller & Brannon Braga
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Season 7, Episode 18
Production episode 264
Original air date: March 7, 2001
Stardate: unknown

Captain’s log. We open with Seven playing the piano. Her hair is down, and her Borg implants are gone. She then goes to a baby shower for Torres, makes a toast and also has a conversation with Janeway about her future. She wants to be issued a uniform and also quarters since she no longer needs to regenerate.

[You’re beautiful when you’re chopping.]

Series: Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch

Midnight Mass Offers Up Raw, Unsettling Horror

Mike Flanagan’s latest horror series is just as traumatizing as his adaptations of Haunting of Hill House and Haunting of Bly Manor. Midnight Mass gives us an isolated, inherently spooky setting, a whole town of troubled folks with secrets, some beautiful, twisting monologues, and more ACTING than I’ve seen all year. This series is a raw, sometimes gory, deeply unsettling take on religious horror.

In some ways it’s better than Flanagan’s previous Netflix outings, but even more than Hill House and Bly Manor, it’s a character study being told through horror. Let me begin by saying that Midnight Mass is beautiful and unique, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  Or, to quote myself from a group text on Friday night: “i’m 40 minutes in on midnight mass and its everything I could ever want.”

Here is some lightly-spoilery blathering about Midnight Mass!

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New Stranger Things Season 4 Trailer Introduces Viewers to the Creel House

Of all the shows that Netflix brought to last weekend’s Tumdum event, none are probably quite as anticipated as the upcoming fourth season of its supernatural series Stranger Things.

It’s been three years since we last saw the kids from Hawkins, Indiana, and in this upcoming season, it looks like we’ll get to see them checking out a new supernatural mystery at an abandoned mansion known as the Creel House.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Makes Some Puzzling Detours in Its Quest For More Box Office Gold

Before we begin looking at The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and its two sequels, let us pour one out for the Hobbit film series that could have been. After the phenomenal success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was inevitable that a live-action Hobbit movie (or movies) would follow. The studios had to delicately untangle the various film rights for Tolkien’s children’s book, but they must have known it would be worth the effort: a Hobbit movie would almost certainly rake in hundreds of millions, if not billions, at the box office.

When the Hobbit movie was finally announced, it was to be a duology, with Guillermo del Toro as director and Peter Jackson in a producing role. I was excited. I’m not a huge del Toro fan, but he seemed like a good choice for the material, and would allow for the Hobbit movies to both fit the world of Jackson’s Rings movies, and be their own thing. That latter point is key: The Hobbit is a very different book than The Lord of the Rings, in genre, tone, and style, and a director like del Toro would help ensure the movie versions kept that distinction.

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Netflix Has Renewed The Witcher for a Third Season

Over the weekend, Netflix held its virtual Tudum event, where it unveiled first looks, panels, and teasers of some of its upcoming shows. Amongst those reveals? Word that its hit fantasy series The Witcher is coming back for a third season. And that’s not all: The streaming service revealed that it’s producing another animated film, and a “kids and family” series set in the same world.

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Y: The Last Man Goes on a “Mann Hunt” to Find Humanity’s Reluctant Savior

This week’s Y: The Last Man gave us a heartwarming reunion for the comic’s greatest love story—no, I’m not talking about Yorick and Beth, obviously I mean Agent 355 and her collapsible baton. Roadtripping to Boston reveals some very wordy graffiti, one wonderfully acerbic geneticist who has a lot of feelings about being tasked with bringing back cis men, and an intriguing Culper Ring mystery—not to mention an unforeseen destination for our newly-minted trio. Back in Washington, Regina Oliver’s return may prove to be less of a power grab than the new biological development happening in Jennifer Brown’s office. Let’s hit the road with Y!

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When Authors Collide: Five SFF Works of Collaborative Fiction

The writing of prose is often depicted as a solitary activity, an occupation suited to hermits sealed into poorly lit garrets, sliding their manuscripts out under their front door, receiving flat food under the same door. Now this can be a perfectly functional approach to writing…but it is not the only one. Many authors not only appear in public, but they also write with others. If these writing partners have complementary strengths, the pair can produce marvelous works neither could have written alone…

I hasten to add that some collaborations have produced utter dreck. I’m going to tell you about five that worked well… at least for me.

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A Fairy Tale of Farcical Government: Announcing High Times in the Low Parliament by Kelly Robson

Tordotcom Publishing is thrilled to announce that Ellen Datlow has acquired Kelly Robson’s newest novella High Times in the Low Parliament, a lighthearted romp through 18th-century London featuring flirtatious scribes, irritable fairies, and a fraying Parliamentary government. The deal for World English rights was brokered by Hannah Bowman at Liza Dawson Associates.

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