Happy Friday, shipmates! It’s Alex, here with a closer look at the Hugo finalists for the novel category this year, and some links to take you into the weekend. I hope that y’all have had a great week that’s been as relaxing as it can be, and you’ve been able to read some good books in the meantime! Have a great weekend, and stay safe out there, space pirates. I will see you on Tuesday.
Let’s make the world a better place, together. Here’s somewhere to start: NDN Collective and Jane’s Due Process
News and Views
Netflix saved Nimona!
Artificial Intelligence in Fiction, Fact, and Our Dreams of the Future
The 1,800-Year-Old History of Science Fiction Explained
I Cooked From ‘Jurassic World: The Official Cookbook’ and Relived the Movies
Being a Better Writer: Embracing Conflict in All Its Forms
Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel on creative recklessness, time travel and her favourite science fiction novels
Doctor Who Could Have Been a Much Darker Sci-Fi Show
On Book Riot
The Future Is Not Edible: The Future of Food According to Sci-Fi
Oh Yes, It’s Ladies Fight: 10 Fiery F/F Enemies to Lovers Fantasy Books
How the Code of Chivalry of Medieval Knights Still Influences SFF Today
Afrofuturism: Its Origins, Present, and Future
This week’s SFF Yeah! podcast is about romps
This month you can enter to win $250 at Barnes and Noble, a Kindle Paperwhite, and $100 at Bookshop.org.
Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!
Free Association Friday
The Hugo finalists were announced last week, to much excitement. (At least if you’re me!) The novel and novella categories are so ridiculously good this year that I want to take some time to spotlight them in their entirety. I’m just jazzed about all of these books! We’ll talk about the novels this week and the novellas next week. I’ve also had the privilege of reading most of these already–what about you?
Shizuka made a literal deal with the devil to escape damnation. The price? She has to convince seven of her fellow violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She’s managed to swindle sixth, but in her pursuit of the final soul, she runs into complications she could have never imagined: a retried starship captain who she can’t help but love and a runaway with a wild talent who all too quickly feels like family.
The sequel to A Memory Called Empire sees Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass leaving the heart of the Teixcalaanli empire to go to the edge of space, where an alien species that no one knows how to communicate with has begun slaughtering Teixcalaanli colonies. Together, they must figure out how to talk to a species whose language quite literally makes them ill… and also how to talk to each other.
Fatma is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities in 1912 Cairo, and she’s already prevented the destruction of the universe once. Now she’s called on to investigate a mysterious murder, one committed by someone who claims to be the famous al-Jahiz, who pierced the veil between magical and mundane realms 40 years ago, now returned to judge the world for its societal sins.
The planet Gora doesn’t have anything going for it–not even an atmosphere–but it is relatively close to a lot of other, more popular worlds, which makes it basically the truck stop of the galaxy. The Five-Hop One-Top is one truck stop on the planet of truck stops, but when a freak accident halts all traffic through the planet, three strangers find it to be their new, temporary home.
When a bandit attack leaves an eighth-born son destined for greatness and his second-born sister destined for nothing orphaned, it’s another trick of fate that the son dies. The daughter takes on her brother’s name, Zhu, and in an attempt to escape her own fate, enters a monastery masquerading as a male novice. But when the monastery, too, is destroyed, Zhu must fully take her brother’s fate of greatness and make it her own.
Ryland Grace doesn’t remember who he is or why he’s hurtling through space, having just woken up with two corpses for company. This is a problem, since he’s actually the only survivor of a last-ditch attempt to save humanity, and if he doesn’t complete his mission, that’s curtains for us all. He’s got to figure out who he is and what he’s doing and fast, without help… or maybe there is someone out there for him.
See you, space pirates. If you’d like to know more about my secret plans to dominate the seas and skies, you can catch me over at my personal site.