- The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (St. Martin’s Press)
- The Deep by Michaelbrent Collings (self-published)
- The Cure by JG Faherty (Samhain Publishing)
- Black Tide by Patrick Freivald (JournalStone Publishing)
- A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay Paul (William Morrow)
You can see the complete list of noms in all categories in the official press release. The presentation of the Bram Stoker Awards will occur during the inaugural StokerCon in Las Vegas, Nevada on the evening of Saturday, May 14, 2016.
Congrats to all the nominees! Anything in this list piqued your interest? Any favorites?
The Kitschies reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic published in the UK.
- The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (Bloomsbury)
- Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
- The Reflection by Hugo Wilcken (Melville House)
- The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit)
- The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
- The Shore by Sara Taylor (William Heinemann)
- Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett (Chatto and Windus)
- The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (Harvill Secker)
- The Night Clock by Paul Meloy (Solaris)
- Making Wolf by Tade Thompson (Rosarium)
Our congrats to all the finalists! What do you think of this crop of books? Anything stand out to you? Let us know in the comments.
- Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly (Tor Teen)
- Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (Little, Brown)
- Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan UK 5/14; Amulet)
- Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace (Big Mouth House)
- Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee (Flux)
- Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older (Levine)
- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Balzer + Bray)
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen)
- Updraft by Fran Wilde (Tor)
Our congrats to all the nominees! Updraft was also just nominated for the Nebula so it’s a particularly good day for Fran Wilde. Eight out of nine nominees are women which continues the tradition of female dominance of this award and YA books in general it seems. What do you think of this lineup?
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2015 Nebula Awards. In the Novel category the nominees are:
- Raising Caine by Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu (Saga)
- Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
- Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen (Tor)
- Updraft by Fran Wilde (Tor)
See the official press release for a complete list of nominees in all categories.
What do you think of this list? Any favorites?
The finalists for the 2015 Aurealis Awards have been announced. The nominees in the SF and Fantasy categories are:
- Crossed by Evelyn Blackwell (self-published)
- Clade by James Bradley (Penguin)
- Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
- Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)
- Renegade by Joel Shepherd (Kindle Direct)
- Twinmaker: Fall by Sean Williams (Allen & Unwin)
- In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
- Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (HarperCollins)
- Day Boy by Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
- The Dagger’s Path by Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)
- Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)
- Skin by Ilka Tampke (Text Publishing)
Interestingly, there was no Best Horror Novel shortlist presented this year. See the official press release for the all the nominees in all categories.
Winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, on the evening of Friday 25 March, 2016 as part of the Contact national convention at the Hotel Jen, Brisbane. Details of the event are available at www.aurealisawards.org
What do you think of these lists? Anything look good to you?
David Sarella works with a trusted crew. His accomplice Nadia is a gorgeous redhead dressed in black leather. Jorgo may be a bit simple-headed, but he is an excellent driver. They plan to break into an upscale jewelry store in an exclusive shopping district and empty the safe. Their immediate problem is that the sleek, black automobile they have chosen for this escapade is transforming into a shark. The metal frame has become slimy and the fish smell is unbearable. These are “stability issues,” and Nadia’s job is to monitor David, to see that he takes the proper maintenance drugs. The team is operating at a depth of 3300 feet, but they are already rising. David must complete the theft before he is forced to surface.
David is a master thief but a professional dreamer. In Serge Brussolo’s near-future Paris, mediums like David enter their dream worlds, perpetrate their crimes, and bring back their takes to the waking world. David’s dreams are informed by the pulp fiction he’s read since childhood, and the dreaming process is, as for most mediums, experienced as a plunge into ocean depths. He absconds with jewels that on the surface manifest themselves as mounds of ectoplasm, that white sticky stuff nineteenth century mediums supposedly exuded from their mouths, noses, and other orifices during séances.
But David and his fellow dreamers are not fakes. Their ectoplasmic creations, delicate a newborns, get whisked away for quarantine and testing. Once they are stable they go onto the art market, a market they have destroyed and transformed. Museums have sold off their collections of old art to junk dealers and replaced paintings and sculptures with ectolplasmic abstractions, the most accomplished of which sell in auction for millions. Our hero is not in that league. He makes a living as a minor artist whose works end up in museum gift shops. He’s more or less made his peace with that, but he is facing a crisis. Recently he’s come up empty handed after his dives, and some of what he has brought back is too feeble to make it past quarantine. His is the uncertain future of a failed artist.
Readers are left wondering for the first half of the story just what is the deal with this new art form? The descriptions of the objects are vague and not particularly appealing, but we learn that these creations make people feel good. They can make them feel really good. Even David’s tchotchkes lighten the spirits of those who collect them. A major work, like the monumental creations of Soler Mahus, can transform lives. David goes to revisit Soler’s magnum opus in its permanent public installation.
The great dream that had stopped the war had sat enthroned on Bliss Plaza for five years…It’s presence had driven up the apartment prices in the neighborhood, everyone wanting to live close to the work to benefit from its soothing emanations…residents in buildings overlooking Bliss Plaze were totally free of psychosomatic complaints. Better still: incurable diseases had completely vanished in a three hundred yard radius of the oneiric object. The lucky few lived with their windows open, naked most of the time…Those without the means to rent apartments nearby made pilgrimages to Bliss Plaza…a silent, naked crowd sprawled on the steps and grass.
As a practicing dreamer, David also knows the downside of ectoplasmic art. The objects have a shorter shelf life that of the old art. When they begin to decompose they not only stink, they become sticky and toxic. Art disposal is a growth industry, but there is a “finger in the dike” element to its struggle against a growing mountain of fetid art. And then there are the health problems faced by its creators. All that ectoplasm can never be fully expelled, and build up over time causes esophageal and pulmonary issues.
On one level, Brussolo’s novel is a satire on the distinctly Parisian vision of the starving artist in his garret, the failed genius in feverish pursuit of a vision that remains beyond his grasp. Despite his lessening powers and declining health, David cannot forsake his dream world, which is admittedly more vivid than the drab life he lives between dives. He will be willing to risk all for a final plunge to a greater depth than any dreamer has either ever attempted or lived to tell about.
The publishers describe The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome as a “visionary neo noir thriller.” There is a trace of marketing legerdemain here. David may be a trapped man in a system that once supported him and that now has little use for him, but Brussolo doesn’t employ the mounting tensions of David’s predicament to build suspense or a sense of panic. He creates an inventive progression of scenes that illustrate aspects of this bizarre world. The novel might better be described as “entertaining and very cerebral science fiction,” which admittedly doesn’t have the ring of ”visionary neo noir thriller.”
The good news for readers who find they like Brussolo’s technique and vision is that in France he has published somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 novels. The bad news is that this is his only work to have made its way into English, and there are no plans in place for future translations.
I’ve got to start with a misconception that people who don’t know artists or other creative people often have. Many people think that the creative process starts and ends in the space between the artist and the work. That is, in that space between the blank page and the writer, the blank canvas and the painter, or the raw stone and the sculptor. This is only partially true and this partial truth gives rise to the myth, yes Myth, of the writer in a lonely garret, the Eiffel Tower in the background, out the window. Yes, in that space is where everything collides in the struggle right then and there to create, but any artist will tell you that this point is only 50% of the process. (Some say more, some say less.) There is a wholly different side to the creative process which those who don’t know artists, know nothing about.
That is Bandersnatch: the other side where creativity is forged in the crucible of fellowship.
In terms of the 20th century, the Inklings, this select group of men, who met, talked, and critiqued each others work, has now become The Example for how a fellowship is supposed to work. Even Paris of Hemingway’s lost generation, with their salons, and creative minds from far more disciples, seems now a pale second place.
Bandersnatch takes us into this crucible, trying to reconstruct from a fly-on-the-wall perspective this extraordinary time and place. Glyer is concerned with two fundamental questions: What did they talk about when they discussed the various works in progress? and What difference did it make within the books they were writing?
These are simple but seemingly unanswerable questions. Until now, of course. It is positively amazing what a determined scholar can find, especially going into a headwind of opinion from friends, mentors, teachers, that these questions Can Not be answered, so one shouldn’t waste one’s time trying.
Thank goodness she didn’t listen to those little minds. The end result was the book The Company They Keep: Lewis, Tolkien as Writers in Community. Bandersnatch then is not the Good Parts version, the dumbed down for a general audience version, nor a more intimate treatment with the author as narrator version, although all three facets do come into play. Think of Bandersnatch as a distillation with an eye on bringing the practice, that is, the wisdom of The Inklings, into our own lives as creative people.
What did they talk about? What difference did it make? The answer is everything and the other answer is that it made a huge difference. You’ll have to get the details from the book!
For me, the book highlighted not just the critique part of fellowship, but also the resonating aspect, that is, someone who gets it like you get it. If, say, two anime Otaku (obsessed fans of Japanese animation) get together and one of them says “SAO” that’s all they need to engage in a 40 minute conversation concerning the minutia of “SAO” that is as incomprehensible to an outsider as if the outsider was listening to two astrophysicists. From what Glyer has gleamed from The Inklings and from a lot of current research and thought on the subject, this resonating aspect by itself is huge, in terms of creativity.
Glyer goes on to illuminate a half dozen other forms of feedback within the fellowship and what effect it had on the individual writers and their work. She also, fortunately or unfortunately, illuminates what ultimately sunk their ship: what went wrong and why it was their undoing. This, of course, should be a lesson for our own creative process.
If you are a Lewis or Tolkien fan, what are you waiting for? Go and get this book. If you don’t care for those two but the issues surrounding creativity, or writers in general are of interest, this book offers plenty for you as well.