Monday, March 2, 2015

The Romanian Argos Magazine celebrates its 10th appearance

To run a genre magazine in Romania is no easy task. I think it’s no easy task no matter the location of such magazines, but it seems that our speculative fiction periodicals face more obstacles than what it is the usual, especially when we are talking about professional magazines. Then, it is more the joy when such a periodical celebrates its 10th appearance, as Argos Magazine did with its winter 2014-2015 issue. Born almost two years ago, with the first issue published on April 2013, Argos Magazine started with the desire of supporting the fantasy and science fiction Romanian literature, the objective of discovering and promoting both the new and old local genre writers, by interviewing them, publishing and promoting their works, all done and compensated at a professional level. So far, Argos Magazine met its objectives wonderfully, as it can be easily seen through all their ten issues released so far. The latest comes with the same assortment of editorials (both excellent articles on the state of Romanian fandom, events, conventions and awards), reviews of two Romanian genre titles, an interview with Florin Pîtea (one of the most active figures of the local speculative fiction) and a new haul of short stories. Better still, all these are not only available in Romanian, but in English as well, so if you fancy a taste of what we have to offer when it comes to speculative fiction you can head to Argos Magazine's website and grab a sample from there. I hope you’ll enjoy it, as I hope that Argos, and other such magazines, would live to celebrate at least 100 appearances.

Editorial

“Events” by Michael Haulică
“Otherwise about fans and readers” by Michael Haulică

Interview

“I will spend the rest of my life in the future”, an interview with Florin Pîtea by Horia Nicola Ursu

Reviews

“True Science Fiction” – “Suspended in a Sunbeam” by Ben Ami reviewed by Tudor Ciocârlie
“Future versus Past” – “Atavic” by Liviu Surugiu reviewed by Oliviu Crâznic

Stories

“Renewal” by Alexandra Medaru
“Fragile” by Ana-Maria Negrilă
“Burn, Costică Burn!” by Florin Purluca
“Tursas” by Andrei Panţu
“In Nothingness” by Mihai Alexandru Dincă

Friday, February 27, 2015

2014 Aurealis Awards finalists

The finalists of the 2014 Aurealis Awards have been announced. The winners will be announced on April 11th at the University House, Canberra.

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

“Fireborn” by Keri Arthur (Hachette Australia)
“This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
“The Lascar’s Dagger” by Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)
“Dreamer’s Pool” by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
“Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)
“Daughters of the Storm” by Kim Wilkins (Harlequin Enterprises Australia)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

“The Oud” by Thoraiya Dyer (Long Hidden, Crossed Genres Publications)
“Teratogen” by Deborah Kalin (Cemetery Dance, #71, May 2014)
“The Ghost of Hephaestus” by Charlotte Nash (Phantazein, FableCroft Publications)
“St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls” by Angela Slatter (The Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3)
“The Badger Bride” by Angela Slatter (Strange Tales IV, Tartarus Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

“Aurora: Meridian” by Amanda Bridgeman (Momentum)
“Nil By Mouth” by LynC (Satalyte)
“The White List” by Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)
“Peacemaker” by Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot)
“This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
“Foresight” by Graham Storrs (Momentum)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“The Executioner Goes Home” by Deborah Biancotti (The Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)
“Wine, Women and Stars” by Thoraiya Dyer (Analog Vol CXXXIV nos 1&2 Jan/Feb)
“The Glorious Aerybeth” by Jason Fischer (OnSpec, 11 Sep 2014)
“Dellinger” by Charlotte Nash (Use Only As Directed, Peggy Bright Books)
“Happy Go Lucky” by Garth Nix (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

“Book of the Dead” by Greig Beck (Momentum)
“Razorhurst” by Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin)
“Obsidian” by Alan Baxter (HarperVoyager)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

“The Executioner Goes Home” by Deborah Biancotti (The Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)
“Skinsuit” by James Bradley (Island Magazine 137)
“By the Moon’s Good Grace” by Kirstyn McDermott (The Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 12, Issue 3)
“Shay Corsham Worsted” by Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, Chizine)
“Home and Hearth” by Angela Slatter (Spectral Press)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

“The Astrologer’s Daughter” by Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing)
“Afterworld” by Lynnette Lounsbury (Allen & Unwin)
“The Cracks in the Kingdom” by Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)
“Clariel” by Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
“The Haunting of Lily Frost” by Nova Weetman (UQP)
“Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“In Hades” by Goldie Alexander (Celapene Press)
“Falling Leaves” by Liz Argyll (Apex Magazine)
“The Fuller and the Bogle” by David Cornish (Tales from the Half-Continent, Omnibus Books)
“Vanilla” by Dirk Flinthart (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)
“Signature” by Faith Mudge (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

“Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband #4” by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
“Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy” by Karen Foxlee (Hot Key Books)
“The Last Viking Returns” by Norman Jorgensen and James Foley (ILL.) (Fremantle Press)
“Withering-by-Sea” by Judith Rossell (ABC Books)
“Sunker’s Deep: The Hidden #2” by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)
“Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5” by Carole Wilkinson (Black Dog Books)

BEST COLLECTION

“The Female Factory” by Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter (Twelfth Planet Press)
“Secret Lives” by Rosaleen Love (Twelfth Planet Press)
“Angel Dust” by Ian McHugh (Ticonderoga Publications)
“Difficult Second Album: more stories of Xenobiology, Space Elevators, and Bats Out Of Hell” by Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)
“The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings” by Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)
“Black-Winged Angels” by Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

“Kisses by Clockwork” edited by Liz Grzyb (Ticonderoga Publications)
“Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories” edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Twelfth Planet Press)
“Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction” edited by Dominica Malcolm (Solarwyrm Press)
“Reach for Infinity” edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris Books)
“Fearsome Magics” edited by Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Solaris Books)
“Phantazein” edited by Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL/ILLUSTRATED WORK

“Left Hand Path #1” by Jason Franks & Paul Abstruse (Winter City Productions)
“Awkwood” by Jase Harper (Milk Shadow Books)
“A Small Wild Magic” by Kathleen Jennings (Monstrous Affections, Candlewick Press)
“Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye” by Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)
“The Game” by Shane Smith (Deeper Meanings Publishing)

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Sir Julius Vogel Awards nominees

SFFANZ (Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand) has announced the list of nominees for the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Awards, awarded yearly in recognition of the achievements in New Zealand science fiction, fantasy, horror and science fiction fandom. The winners of the 2015 Sir Julius Vogel Awards will be announced during the 36th New Zealand National Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Convention, Reconnaissance, taking place from 3rd to 6th April in Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand.

PROFESSIONAL AWARDS NOMINEES
BEST NOVEL

“Dreamer's Pool” by Juliet Marillier (Pan MacMillan)
“The Sovereign Hand” by Paul Gilbert (Steam Press)
“Engines of Empathy” by Paul Mannering (Paper Road Press)
“The Caves of Kirym” by Derrin Attwood (Worldly Books)
The Seventh Friend” by Tim Stead
“Onyx Javelin” by Steve Wheeler (HarperCollins, Australia)

BEST YOUTH NOVEL

“The Caller: Shadowfell” by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan)
“Tantamount” by Thomas J. Radford (Tyche Books)
“Wee Mac” by Linda Dawley (Little Red Hen Community Press)
“Donnel's Promise” by Anna Mackenzie (Longacre Press)
“Watched” by Tihema Baker (Huia Press)

BEST NOVELLA

“A Mer-Tale” by Jan Goldie (Published in Conclave: A Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Leapy Sheep)
“Trading Rosemary” by Octavia Cade (Masque Books)
“Ranpasatusan” by Shelley Chappell
“Peach and Araxi” by Celine Murray (Published in Conclave: A Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy by Leapy Sheep)
“The Last Homely Housekeeper” by Rolf Luchs
“In the Spirit” by J. C. Hart

BEST SHORT STORY

“Inside Ferndale” by Lee Murray (SQ Mag, Issue 12, January 2014)
“The Watch Serpent” by Eileen Mueller (Disquiet, Creativa)
“Chiaroscuro” by Charlotte Kleft (Disquiet, Creativa)
Water” by Lee Pletzers (Disquiet, Creativa)
“Santa's Sack” by Simon Fogarty (The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales, Phantom Feather Press)

BEST COLLECTED WORK

“Lost In The Museum” by Phoenix Writers Group (Makaro Press)
“Corpus Delecti” by William Cook (James Ward Kirk Publishing)
“Dreams of Thanatos” by William Cook (King Billy Publications)
“The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales” edited by A. J. Ponder, E. Mueller and P. Friend (Phantom Feather Press)
“Write Off Line 2014: They Came In From The Dark” edited by Lauren Haddock and Jessica Harvey (Tauranga Writers Publishing)
“Beyond The Briar” by Shelley Chappell

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTWORK

Cover for Lost In The Museum – Geoff Popham
Cover for The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales – Geoff Popham

BEST PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTION/PUBLICATION

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Chronicles: Cloaks and Daggers Daniel Falconer / Weta Workshop
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Chronicles: Unleashing the DragonDaniel Falconer / Weta Workshop
Cosplay New ZealandSylvie Kirkman
Weta Digital: 20 Years of Imagination On ScreenClare Burgess with Brian Sibley with the support of Weta Digital
Weta Workshop: Celebrating 20 Years of CreativityLuke Hawker with the support of Weta Workshop

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION

“What We Do In The Shadows” directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, produced by Chelsea Winstanley and Taika Waititi / (c) Shadow Pictures 2014
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” directed by Sir Peter Jackson, written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro
“Housebound” directed by Gerald Johnstone

FAN AWARDS NOMINEES
BEST FAN PRODUCTION/PUBLICATION

NovazineJacqui Smith
Phoenixine – John & Lynelle Howell

BEST FAN ARTWORK

Keith Smith, for contributions in Novazine 
Matt Cowens, for “Gorgth Goes Shopping” (Au Contraire 2013 convention book, carried over from 2014)

BEST FAN WRITING

Rebecca Fisher
Jacqui Smith

BEST NEW TALENT

Tihema Baker
Tim Stead
A.J. Fitzwater
Shelley Chappell
William Cook
Paul Gilbert

SERVICES TO SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND HORROR

Eileen Mueller
Hugh Cook

Congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cheeky Frawg Books publishes "The Best of Spanish Steampunk" too

One of the titles I plan on reading this year, “The Best of Spanish Steampunk”, was released a couple of days ago. But since the initial plan of the editors Marian and James Womack of making this anthology, dedicated to what Spanish and Latin American steampunk has best to offer, available only in e-pub format, as a starting point, things have taken a turn for the better. It cannot be otherwise since Cheeky Frawg Books joined the effort of Ediciones Nevsky in bringing more awareness to the Spanish speculative fiction and published a Kindle compatible edition of “The Best Spanish Steampunk” too. So, if you wish to see how steampunk fares  in Spain and Latin America, now you can find Marian and James Womack’s “The Best of Spanish Steampunk” on Ediciones Nevsky (for the e-pub format), on Amazon (US/UK for the Kindle compatible format) and on Barnes & Nobles (for NOOK compatible format).

Monday, February 23, 2015

TOC & Cover art - "She Walks in Shadows" edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign for an all-woman Lovecraftian anthology Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles began the work of gathering stories, besides those already booked at the start of the project, and artwork for “She Walks in Shadows”, the title of this collection. With all the latest rise of Lovecraftian fiction “She Walks in Shadows” is the first all-woman anthology dedicated to this sub-genre, a welcomed addition to the powerful collections and stories already published so far. Of course, plenty of those were written by extremely talented women, but this time they rightfully have the stage for themselves. For me, this anthology held promise even from the early days of its crowdfunding campaign. My experience with Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s editorial works, and not only, was nothing but rewarding. The presence of Angela Slatter, Gemma Files, Molly Tanzer, E. Catherine Tobler and Benjanun Sridungkaew on board of the project from the early stages of “She Walks in Shadows” was another point that bolstered my faith in this anthology. I cannot say that after the revealing of the full table of contents many other names ring a bell, but that never stopped me from giving such authors a fair chance. After all, how could I add writers to my list of favorites if I am not open to the ones with whose works I am unfamiliar? As a lover of beautiful artworks I was also thrilled to see this project boosted by interior illustrations, I am not the one to hide my love for the glamorous volumes containing excellent artwork next to wonderful fiction. It seems I’d count “She Walks in Shadows” among these volumes too, since the first glimpses of the interior illustrations are alluring and that without mentioning the awesome cover artwork made by Sarah K. Diesel. All these elements, the take on Lovecraftian fiction, two experienced editors, 24 authors from around the world and 10 artist covering the cover and interior artwork, promise to make “She Walks in Shadows” one of the highlights of my 2015 reading year. The anthology is due to be released on the fall by Innsmouth Free Press, but I am certain that Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles’ collection will worth the wait.

“Bitter Perfume” by Laura Blackwell
“Violet is the Color of Your Energy” by Nadia Bulkin
“Body to Body to Body” by S. J. Chambers
De Deabus Minoribus Exterioris Theomagicae” by Jilly Dreadful
“Hairwork” by Gemma Files
“The Head of T’la-yub” by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia)
“Bring the Moon to Me” by Amelia Gorman
“Chosen” by Lyndsey Holder
“Eight Seconds” by Pandora Hope
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” by Inkeri Kontro
“Turn out the Lights” by Penelope Love
“The Adventurer’s Wife” by Premee Mohamed
“Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ by Sharon Mock
“The Eye of Jupiter” by Eugenie Mora
“Ammutseba Rising” by Ann K. Schwader
“Cypress God” by Rodopi Sisamis
“Lavinia’s Wood” by Angela Slatter
“The Opera Singer” by Priya Sridhar
“Provenance” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” by Molly Tanzer
“Lockbox” by Elise Tobler
“When She Quickens” by Mary Turzillo
“Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses” by Valerie Valdes
“Queen of a New America” by Wendy Wagner

Interior illustrations by
Sara Bardi
Shelby Denham
Lisa A. Grabenstetter
Karen Hollingsworth
Cindy Lewis
Liv Rainey-Smith
Pia Ravenari
Diana Thung
Kathryn Weaver