So a few days ago I posted the trailer for Childhood’s End from Syfy at which time I commented that it looked like Syfy was trying to up their game. Today I saw this trailer for The Magicians over on SF Signal and it just further solidified that notion.
You have to appreciate the effort they’re displaying and I love that they’re going old school with Clarke and also very new school with Grossman at the same time. It’s like they’re actually listening to genre fans now and I, for one, am starting to feel some love for Syfy again. Who’d have thunk it?
I’ve not read the Fillory series yet, they’re in my stack somewhere, so I don’t know if this looks like a faithful adaptation but I have to say I think it looks promising. It has certainly made me want to move The Magicians closer to the top of the pile so I can read the original before the show comes out next year.
Any Grossman fans out there want to chime in? Has this show been on your radar or is this the first you’ve heard of it like me? Are you feeling any more sanguine about Syfy or are you still trying to get over Sharknado I, II, and III?
So this. I don’t know. I just read Childhood’s End a few weeks ago and it did not look like this in my mind. It’s not a bad trailer at all… it just reads more as a horror film than a sic-fi one to me what with the gnarly spider veins and the screaming and all. Spider veins? Where was that in the book?
Of course, it’s Syfy, so we have to cross our fingers and hope more than usual that they don’t screw the pooch completely. The big reveal should be interesting to see at least. I wonder how many people will be surprised by that? It’s been out forever and I was certainly aware of it before I picked up the book. I guess we should keep it on the down low in case there’s a few folks left who don’t know. In which case I need to shut up.
What do you think? I know we’re all gonna watch it but is anyone actually looking forward to it?
The finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science-fiction novel have been announced by the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. The awards will be presented on Friday, June 12, as part of the Campbell Conference held annually at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
The finalists for the best SF novel of 2014 are:
- The Race – Nina Allan (Newcon)
- A Darkling Sea – James L. Cambias (Tor)
- The Peripheral – William Gibson (Putnam)
- Afterparty – Daryl Gregory (Tor)
- Europe in Autumn – Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
- Wolves – Simon Ings (Gollancz)
- The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu (Tor)
- Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf)
- Defenders – Will McIntosh (Orbit)
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North (Redhook)
- The Bees – Laline Paull (Ecco)
- Bête – Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
- Lock In – John Scalzi (Tor)
- The Martian – Andy Weir (Broadway)
- Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
- Echopraxia – Peter Watts (Tor)
Our congrats to all the finalists for being part of such an impressive list! How do you pick from so many great books? What do you think of this lineup?
Our congrats to Mr. Tem and all the nominees.
- Suffer the Children, Craig DiLouie (Gallery)
- Jade Sky, Patrick Freivald (JournalStone)
- Beautiful You, Chuck Palahniuk (Jonathan Cape/Vintage)
- The Vines, Christopher Rice (47North)
The award presentation occurred during the World Horror Convention in Atlanta, Georgia on the evening of Saturday, May 9, 2015.
See the complete list of winners in all categories on the official press release.
What do you think of this result?
The nominees for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award have been announced. The noms in the novel category are:
- Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals)
- Bird Box – Josh Malerman (Ecco)
- Broken Monsters – Lauren Beukes (Mulholland)
- Confessions – Kanae Minato (Mulholland)
- The Lesser Dead – Christopher Buehlman (Berkley)
- The Unquiet House – Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books)
The Shirley Jackson Awards are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology. You can see the complete list of noms in all categories in the official press release.
Our congrats to all the nominees! What do you like from this list? Any surprise inclusions?
The 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award has been announced. The judging panel, nominated by the British Science Fiction Association, the Science Fiction Foundation and SCI-FI-LONDON, selected:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Alfred A. Knopf) as this year’s winner.
The winner received a check for £2015.00 and a commemorative engraved bookend trophy. Congratulations to Emily St. John Mandel for the win and to all the other nominees:
- The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey (Orbit)
- The Book Of Strange New Things, Michel Faber (Canongate)
- Europe In Autumn, Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
- Memory Of Water, Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)
- The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August, Claire North (Orbit)
So what do you think of the result?
The nominees for the 2015 Locus Awards have been announced. Here they are for the novel categories:
- The Peripheral – William Gibson (Putnam; Viking UK)
- Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Three-Body Problem – Cixin Liu (Tor)
- Lock In – John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz)
- Annihilation/Authority/Acceptance – Jeff VanderMeer (FSG Originals; Fourth Estate; HarperCollins Canada)
- The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison (Tor)
- Steles of the Sky – Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
- City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway; Jo Fletcher)
- The Magician’s Land – Lev Grossman (Viking; Arrow 2015)
- The Mirror Empire – Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot US)
- Elysium – Jennifer Marie Brissett (Aqueduct)
- A Darkling Sea – James L. Cambias (Tor)
- The Clockwork Dagger – Beth Cato (Harper Voyager)
- The Memory Garden – Mary Rickert (Sourcebooks Landmark)
- The Emperor’s Blades – Brian Staveley (Tor; Tor UK)
- Half a King – Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Voyager UK)
- The Doubt Factory – Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown)
- Waistcoats & Weaponry – Gail Carriger (Little, Brown; Atom)
- Empress of the Sun – Ian McDonald (Jo Fletcher; Pyr)
- Clariel – Garth Nix (Harper; Hot Key; Allen & Unwin)
For the complete list of noms in all categories check out the official press release from Locus. Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 26-28, 2015; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony. Our congratulations to all the nominees!
What do you think of these lists? Any surprises? Any favorites?
The Prometheus Award, sponsored by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in SF. Presented annually since 1982 at the World Science Fiction Convention, the Prometheus Awards include a gold coin and plaque for the winners. For more than three decades, the Prometheus Awards have recognized outstanding works of science fiction and fantasy that stress the importance of liberty as the foundation for civilization, peace, prosperity, progress and justice.
WWEnders have been after us to get the Prometheus into the database for some time and thanks to the work of our Uber User volunteers we’ve finally gotten it done. Our thanks to them for the excellent work and continued support with the awards and lists. Stand by for a new list addition later this week too!
Editor’s note: The Goblin Emperor has been receiving a lot of attention lately because of its inclusion on the Hugo ballot. It seems to be one of those books that polarizes readers—the elements that some love are the specific elements that others find annoying. In order to honor these divisions, this version of 3 Rs will show both sides through two reviews written especially for WWEnd.
Noclichehere’s review is generally positive while illegible _scribble’s is more lukewarm. This blog begins with illegible_scribble’s review in full and offers a closing counterpoint from Noclichehere.
An enjoyable book, but…
I hadn’t gotten around to reading this yet, partly because, based on the synopsis, I wasn’t sure it would be my cup of tea. But I’ve seen so many people rave about this book on Facebook and blogs, and it managed to make it onto the Hugo ballot as a legitimate entry. So I moved it up on my to-be-read list.
This story is a mix of steampunk, murder-mystery, character-study, and royal-court-political-intrigue. It features a half-breed prince who has been scorned and locked away since childhood, but who suddenly ascends to the throne when his emperor father and three favored half-brother princes all die mysteriously in an airship accident.
I found the story interesting – even engrossing. But I fall short of raving about it. Although he’s appealing, the main character feels to me rather one-dimensional. He’s a good person who consistently behaves with honor and forbearance, who wins unlikely friends out of many of his enemies and, despite having had a pretty horrible life, almost never has bad urges – and gives into those urges even less often.
Part of the reason for my sense of lack of dimension may be due to the fact that the story starts as the prince ascends to the throne. We are told a little bit, here and there, about the bullying and abuse previously suffered by him prior to this – but we don’t experience it along with him. We aren’t given much background about how his character evolved.
With regard to the worldbuilding, I’m mystified as to the reason for having the two main races be goblins and elves. It bears no relevance to the story. These aren’t goblins and elves from fairy stories. They could just have easily been linbogs and veles, or sariths and calires. It seems like rather lazy worldbuilding to me, to have used goblins and elves.
The mystery is interesting, but the solution is not that unpredictable or mysterious. The court intrigue is engaging, but not that gripping or revelatory. When I got done reading, I felt as though I had eaten a meal, which was quite tasty at the time, but afterward left me feeling still a bit hungry and unsatisfied.
I’m glad I read it, and I enjoyed it – but I would probably not have put it on my Hugo nominee list.
Other readers’ mileage may – and obviously does – vary. I’ve seen review reactions ranging from “OMG, this is fantastic!” all the way to “I couldn’t finish this, it was just too tedious.” I’ve also seen comments from a couple of people who say that, having been bullied and abused as children, they found especially heartening the main character’s basic decency, and the fact that he survives such a background and comes into his own as a wise, beneficent ruler despite it.
I do sincerely recommend giving this novel a try – but not feeling bad, if it turns out to not be your “thing”.
As an aside, I’ve seen several people express difficulty remembering and understanding all the people and place names. There is a Name Glossary at the back of the book (at least in the printed version), which many people will likely find helpful.
Counterpoint from Noclichehere:
The Goblin Emperor is a wondrously-told, rags-to-riches story set in a vividly interesting, steampunk-ish, fantasy world. The mystery aspect to the story is very subtle to start, taking a back seat to all the other goings-on, and indeed much isn’t revealed to the reader until they’ve read more than halfway through the novel. But even with that fact aside, the pace of the story is by no means boring.
There are countless other things that demand the emperor’s attention while the investigation is being conducted, and the reader will not at all be bored in the meantime as they watch Maia grow and learn about the subtle social conventions of nobility; understand the relationships between feuding families; explore the baffling expanse of the city-sized palace; and much more. Maia is a genuinely kindhearted young man among a sea of cut-throat, two-faced officials looking to gain his favor for their own selfish reasons. His sudden promotion to emperor did nothing to smite his humble nature from living modestly all his life. Because of this he is unusually gracious and kind for an emperor who more often times offends and confounds his courtiers than it does make them like him […].
Overall, I really loved this novel and I would recommend it to anyone who’s infatuated with the idea of courts and kingdoms; lords and ladies; nobility and royalty; elves and goblins; magic and fantasy; and last, but surely not least, mystery and romance.
A few days ago we added the Aurealis Science Fiction Award to WWEnd and now we’ve followed up with the Aurealis Fantasy and Aurealis Horror. We’re now representin’ Down Under like never before and with all these new Australian authors in our database I thought it would be fun to start a new Roll-Your-Own Reading Challenge.
We’ve been getting a lot of comments from our members about just how few Aussie authors they’ve read and how those blanks in their awards stats are really bugging them. Thus was born the Keep Calm and Read SF from Down Under Reading Challenge.
This challenge is simplicity itself. All you have to do is read some books from the Aurealis Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Awards we’ve just added to the site or any Aussie author you like. The SF in this case is “Speculative Fiction” rather than just “Sci-Fi”. We have 4 reading levels, named after Australian candies, for this challenge so you can jump in at a level that’s right for you. Sweet!