Hugo Nominations

Hugo nominations for Dublin 2019 are closed now. Despite being rather swamped by… well, everything… I still managed to nominate a few works and people.



  • In the Vanishers’ Palace; Aliette de Bodard
  • Swordheart; Ursula Vernon
  • The Phoenix Empress; K. Arsenault Rivera
  • The Wild Dead; Carrie Vaughn
  • Deep Roots; Ruthanna Emrys


  • The Tea Master and the Detective; Aliette de Bodard; Subterranean


  • The Black God’s Drums; P. Djeli Clark;
  • The Barrow Will Send What It May; Margaret Killjoy;
  • The Descent of Monsters; JY Yang;
  • A Glimmer of Silver; Juliet Kemp; The Book Smugglers

Short Story:

  • She Still Loves The Dragon; Elizabeth Bear; Uncanny
  • The Rose McGregor Drinking and Admiration Society; T Kingfisher; Uncanny

Related Work:

Dramatic Long:

  • Black Panther

Editor Long:

  • Gillian Redfearn, Gollancz
  • Devi Pillai, Tor


  • Uncanny
  • Strange Horizons
  • Lightspeed


  • LadyBusiness

Fan Artist:

John W. Campbell (Not-A-Hugo) New Writer:

  • Rivers Solomon
  • K. Arsenault Rivera
  • Vivian Shaw



Round-up of published things

My ability to stay on top of everything has slid significantly lately. (Planning a wedding is stressful, guys! Everyone wants to sell you shit and you have a budget here!) I’m doing my best with that on top of the usual strains, but my best is significantly less great than I’d like.


But! Here are my three most recent posts on


Sleeps With Monsters: Intimate Space Operas

An Explosive Debut: The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore

A Shaky Resolution: Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald

THE VELA by Yoon Ha Lee, Rivers Solomon, S.L. Huang, and Becky Chambers

A new review over at

The Vela is the latest in Serial Box’s slate of speculative fiction offerings. This one’s space opera, with an approach to politics ever so slightly reminiscent of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse. Its concept is credited to Lydia Shamah, Serial Box’s director of original content, but its execution is down to an award-class writing team: Becky Chambers, Yoon Ha Lee, Rivers Solomon, and S.L. Huang. All of their individual talents combine to make The Vela a potent brew.

ALICE PAYNE RIDES by Kate Heartfield

The latest review over at

I’m coming to the conclusion that Kate Heartfield may be the author whose work proves the exception to my “time travel stories never satisfy me” rule. Time travel is messy, and in a story where time travel is the focus, a classic linear narrative never quite works out. But in Heartfield’s Alice Payne novellas—first in last year’s Alice Payne Arrives, and now in its sequel, Alice Payne Rides—the mess is part of the point. The false starts, the paradoxes, the putative dead ends: these are part of the time war that the characters are either fighting or have got themselves caught up in.


I managed to miss when this went live over at, but hey! I’m linking now!

When I heard of Chronin: The Knife At Your Back, the first in a time-travel graphic novel duology, I was intrigued. A comic set in 1864 Japan, featuring a time-travelling female college student from our future, disguised as a male samurai and stuck in the past? Sounds interesting!

Sleeps With Monsters: Intrigue, Espionage, and Capers

I’m behindhand in crossposting. Here’s the latest column over at

I’ve been waiting for a follow-up to Amanda Downum’s Kingdom of Dust for years. Downum’s first three novels, The Drowning City, The Bone Palace, and Kingdom of Dust were rich, detailed works involving plenty of magic and even more intrigue. Now she’s published The Poison Court, an excellent novel of murder and palace intrigue, and it’s every bit as good as I’d been hoping for.


A new review over at

The last standalone epic fantasy of significant length I read was Jacqueline Carey’s magisterial Starless (2018), a novel told from the perspective of its sole narrator, and one so deftly paced that it seems precisely as long as it needs to be, and no longer. Samantha Shannon is a younger and less experienced writer than Carey, and The Priory of the Orange Tree is her first published epic fantasy and her first published standalone novel. It may be unfair of me to judge them by the same standards, but while The Priory of the Orange Tree does eventually get its legs underneath it for a satisfying endgame, it remains something of an unbalanced, unwieldy beast.