See the full list of finalists on Tor.com!
The winners will be announced in May during the Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, California.
Congratulations to all of the honored authors!Read more
*(deadline for nominations is April 1. More details here.)
THE SNOW QUEEN by Michael Cunningham
In the “tender, funny, and sorrowful” (Booklist, starred review) new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of THE HOURS, Cunningham examines the complex dynamics between a couple and a brother and a mysterious light in the sky.
THE HOLLOW GROUND by Natalie S. Harnett
Set amongst the deadly coal mine fires of 1960s Pennsylvania, this extraordinary debut tells the coming-of-age story of Brigid Howley, a young girl struggling to keep her family together despite the "curse" laid upon them generations earlier. “This cursed Irish-American clan will grab you by the brisket and not let go.” — Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY
DARK AEMILIA by Sally O'Reilly
A tale of sorcery and passion in 17th century London—where witches haunt William Shakespeare and his dark lady, the playwright's muse and one true love. “O’Reilly casts her story with witches, doomed royals, evil courtiers, and star-crossed lovers, as if it were a Jacobean play. But her finest accomplishment is not the tribute she pays to these historical figures, but the bold imagination she displays in bringing them together.” — Publishers Weekly
INVISIBLE CITY by Julia Dahl
In Julia Dahl's accomplished debut, young journalist Rebekah Roberts finds herself drawn into her mother's tight-knit world when she's assigned to cover the murder of an Hasidic Jew. “The secretive society of Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews provides the backdrop for Dahl’s impressive debut. Dahl’s convincing dialogue and perfect pacing make for a real page-turner. And her storytelling skills illuminate the intriguing worlds of the tabloid press, Hasidism, the NYPD, and Brooklyn’s 20-somethings—as well as the fragile boundaries of family, religion, and life itself.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
BONE DUST WHITE by Karin Salvalaggio
When a young woman witnesses the murder of her mother who had abandoned her as a child, Detective Macy Greeley must solve the case and stop a killer in this “...haunting debut...that readers won't soon forget.” — Publishers Weekly
MY REAL CHILDREN by Jo Walton
Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Walton delivers the haunting and powerful tale of Patricia Cowan—a woman who lived two lives: one in which she marries and has four children, and the other in which she raises three children with her partner instead. Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs.
THE SHELF: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose
Can you have an Extreme Adventure in a library? Phyllis Rose casts herself into the wilds of an Upper East Side lending library in an effort to do just that. Hoping to explore the “real ground of literature,” she reads her way through a somewhat randomly chosen shelf of fiction, from LEQ to LES. “Rose's...understanding of readers and reading is candid and sincere.” — Library Journal
SHOTGUN LOVESONGS by Nickolas Butler
Butler's debut novel about the relationship between four friends in a small Midwest town is the #1 March Indie Next pick, and is receiving rave reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Shelf Awareness, and more. Don't miss the chance to meet him at PLA next week!
NOTES FROM THE INTERNET APOCALYPSE by Wayne Gladstone
Perfect for fans of David Wong, Chad Kultgen, and Chuck Palahniuk, Cracked.com columnist Wayne Gladstone’s novel about what happens when the world suddenly loses all Internet access is a hilarious look at life unplugged. “...the punchlines are pitch-perfect. Anyone who spends time sharing jokes in web communities will find this satire irresistible.” — Booklist
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Jeffrey Archer
The fourth volume in Jeffrey Archer's New York Times bestselling Clifton Chronicles series opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend? “Archer’s...tight plotting make for a page-turning rich man’s soap opera. Lightweight, entertaining beach reading.” — Kirkus Reviews
WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
“Sanderson’s skill at world building is unmatched, and in the 'Stormlight Archive' series he has developed an innovative magical system and combined it with rich, complex characters to create a compelling story. His eagerly awaited sequel to THE WAY OF KINGS exceeds expectations. This developing epic series is a must-read for all fantasy fans.” – Library Journal, starred review
PILLAR TO THE SKY by William Forstchen
PILLAR TO THE SKY is part of NASA-inspired Works of Fiction–a partnership between NASA and Tor/Forge aimed at raising awareness of science, technology, engineering, and math, and attracting students to those fields. The titular pillar is a controversial supertower developed by a visionary rocket scientist intent on finding a new energy source. "Forstchen’s work is as convincingly told as it is diverting." – Kirkus Reviews
LIKE A MIGHTY ARMY by David Weber
In the seventh entry in Weber's popular Safehold series, Merlyn Athrawes, the cybernetic avatar of a thousand-year-old warrior, has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race. "Weber’s seventh far-future Safehold novel is a complex and fascinating epic about change, identity, and the nature of faith." – Publishers Weekly
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
A half-goblin named Maia unwittingly inherits the throne to the Imperial Court and struggles to navigate the politics of being Emperor. "Addison patiently and tellingly paints in the backdrop, mingling steampunk elements and low-key magic with imperial intricacies. The result is a spellbinding and genuinely affecting drama. Unreservedly recommended." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
In the second volume of New York Times bestseller Sanderson's Stormlight Archive (after THE WAY OF KINGS), the war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, Jasnah and Shallan search for the legendary city of Urithiru, and Kaladin is learning how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant. "... the novel is weighty without being ponderous, and delivers a satisfactory story despite being part of an episodic secondary world fantasy series." – Publishers Weekly
WHY I READ: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser
Founder of the Threepenny Review, Lesser's "delectably sophisticated inquiry into why reading is a constant source of pleasure and provocation" (Booklist) is as much a memoir as it is about the craft of literature. Written in "erudite, beautiful passages," WHY I READ "will speak to booklovers of all types." – Publishers Weekly, starred review. If you're attending ALA Midwinter, make sure to meet Wendy Lesser in booth #622!
WHAT MAKE THIS BOOK SO GREAT by Jo Walton
This collection of Tor.com blog posts from Hugo and Nebula Award–winning author Walton about her favorites works of sci-fi and fantasy is "...akin to a genre version of Nancy Pearl's BOOK LUST." (Library Journal, starred review) "For readers unschooled in the history of SF/F, this book is a treasure trove; for those who recognize every title, Walton evokes the joy of returning to a well-worn favorite." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
THE SHELF: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose
No, this isn't reading while rappelling down a mountain like we hoped, but it is still an extreme library sport: to read through an entire shelf of library books. In Rose's case, her randomly chosen shelf of fiction from LEQ to LES contained a classic she has not read, a remarkable variety of authors, and a range of literary styles from mystery to humor. Perhaps it'll inspire similar challenges in your library!
Now that we're thinking about cats, here are 21 cats who are secretly excellent readers!Read more
More seriously though, whether set on distant planets or in fantasy lands, here are our favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy titles that have already received terrific early praise:
THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley
“In this epic fantasy debut, Staveley has created a complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series should enjoy this opener.” – Library Journal, starred review and Debut of the Month selection
YEAR’S BEST SF 18 edited by David G. Hartwell
“One of the best collections of the year, without a weak tale in its list, this is highly recommended for fans of the short story and of SF in general.” – Library Journal, starred review
“Almost uniformly excellent—but then when was an anthology from Hartwell ever less?” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
FIDDLEHEAD by Cherie Priest
“This is a compelling finale to a fantastic series. The good guys are complex and sympathetic; the villains are suitably clever and malign. The action rattles along at breakneck speed, and the reader can't resist coming along for the wild ride, which includes a climactic battle featuring a wheelchair-bound Abe Lincoln and a temporarily sober Ulysses S. Grant. Highly recommended for all readers of fantasy and steampunk.” – Library Journal, starred review
A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias (THREE starred reviews!)
“An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like [Robert] Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth…Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should.” – Booklist, starred review
“Cambias writes with a light touch and occasional flashes of humor, and the science supporting his novel is sound and unobtrusive. This is an impressive debut by a gifted writer.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
We'd like to think that we're a couple of dangerous women, but we're softies at heart, kinda like these guys (awww...). The thing we're the most hazardous to is your "To Read" pile.
With that warning in mind, we've got a doozy for you: DANGEROUS WOMEN, an awesome collection of 22 original short stories co-edited by A Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, featuring contributions from bestselling authors, including Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Brandon Sanderson, and Martin himself. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, or suspense, women are the stars, from feisty heroines down to villainess vixens.
"Venerable editors Martin and Dozois (Warriors) have invited writers from many different genres of fiction to showcase the supposedly weaker sex’s capacity for magic, violence, and mayhem. These 22 brand-new short stories prove that women are men’s equals—at least—in lethal potential. This meaty collection delivers something for nearly every reader’s taste as it explores the heights that brave women can reach and the depths that depraved ones can plumb." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
"VERDICT: The wide selection of authors guarantees something to please almost every reader's tastes." – Library Journal, starred review
"When genre collections include this many big-name authors, they’re typically a grouping of series outtakes and Easter eggs. Readers...will surely be satisfied by these [series-related stories] and other entries. Everyone will find something to like here." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Get whitelisted and download your review copy on Edelweiss.
The full-page New York Times Book Review (9/22 issue) had this to say about DUPLEX, the coming-of-age love story where time, place, and mind all bend in extraordinary ways:
"[I fell] in love with Davis's writing, what it did to me, that combination of horror and excitement that spilled out of the book, into my past, into the now, into everything around me. Few books have given me this sort of real-time thrill.... [DUPLEX] wormholes through the real and unreal in a way that is always compelling even if it doesn't make immediate sense to the top of the mind, the human experience always recognizable even in a world that feels like a much-needed nightmare version of 'Brigadoon.' When you are lost in the uncanny woods of this astonishing, double-hinged book, just keep reading, and remember to look up. Kathryn Davis knows right where you are." (Lynda Barry, author of CRUDDY)
DUPLEX is available now from Graywolf Press.
And... Hitting your shelves in November is Gene Wolfe's latest standalone novel, THE LAND ACROSS.
Wolfe is generally known as one of the greatest living writers of science fiction and fantasy. He's won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007, and just this year he received the SFWA Grand Master award.
With all that acclaim, we're very excited for THE LAND ACROSS, a new fantasy that seamlessly blends mystery, travelogue, authoritarianism and the supernatural. Set in the present in an imagined Eastern European country, an American travel guide writer is trapped the moment he crosses the border. At first it seems like pure bureaucracy--only later it's evident that there are supernatural agencies at work. But why? Is our hero a spy or is he an innocent citizen caught in a Kafkaesque trap?
THE LAND ACROSS has already received two starred pre-publication reviews:
"Wolfe, in masterful mood, builds his characters, explores the puzzles, links the elements together and contrives to render the backdrop both intriguingly attractive and creepily sinister. Sheer enjoyment." --Library Journal, starred review
"Wolfe evokes Kafka, Bradbury, and The Twilight Zone in combining the implausible, creepy, and culturally alien to create a world where every action is motivated by its own internal logic, driving the story forward through the unexplored and incomprehensible." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
When Talia told me that the brilliant minds at EarlyWord approached her about setting up a blog for Readers' Advisory librarians to learn more about the Science Fiction and Fantasy books coming out of Macmillan I whispered, "mine."
Finally! A place to highlight some of our fantastic fiction for the curious minded!
Each season I'll pick a few titles that I love and tell you a little bit about why I think they're so special. Uncharted Pages will cover a wide range of genres under the speculative fiction umbrella written for teens, adults, and immortals.
Ready to take a peek? Hop on your unicorn/magic carpet/transport zombie and head over to Uncharted Pages!
To celebrate we're giving away one slick, single-shouldered A MEMORY OF LIGHT backpack that we crammed full of finished books!
This contest has ended. Congratulations to our winner: Brianna Glenn, Library Director at De Soto Public Library!
Head over to Uncharted Pages, click the pale blue envelope icon under my picture, and send me an e-mail introducing yourself. Tell me one thing that you or your patrons love about speculative fiction and I'll enter you in the drawing!
This sweepstakes is open to librarians in the United States. More eligibility details below.
So I've been in a bit of a reading frenzy lately. I mean, I'm always reading a lot, but it's been more than usual.
One of the latest books I've read wasn't a Tor book. It wasn't even a Macmillan book. Nope, it was an Orbit book. Oops. But yeah, still fantasy. The book? The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
"In an increasingly deep Zelaznyesque series of political maneuverings, Yeine, nearly powerless but fiercely determined, finds potential allies among her relatives and the gods who are forced to live in Sky as servants after losing an ancient war." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)Read more