Saturday, January 1, 2022

Happy New Year: and 2021 Awards Eligibility Post

Happy 2022, and let's hope it's far better than the previous 2 years!

I'll open with an announcement -- I have "retired" from my post as Locus Short Fiction reviewer. My final column will appear in the February 2022 issue, exactly 20 years after the first column appeared. I've written a couple of things that appear in Locus -- in the January issue (available now) and in the February issue, talking about my decision. But the reasons are simple: I've been at it for a long time, and I sort of feel it's time for a) a different voice; and b) for me to have more time to do some other things I want: concentrate more on some other projects such as my forthcoming anthology (with Eric Schwitzgebel and Helen De Cruz) on the best philosophical SF of all time, for MIT Press; to write more about other subjects (getting back to my project about Cele Goldsmith's Amazing/Fantastic career, for example); and just plain to read more -- to keep up with SF novels, to read more in other fields (Victorian novels, early 20th century popular fiction, contemporary fiction, etc.) I also still plan to contribute occasional pieces to Locus; and my Best of the Year anthologies will continue as long as my publisher wants them.

Also, there is a great personal reason: my grandchildren: Addy is 15 months old today, Gus is two weeks old, and another grandson is due May 31! I'll certainly be devoting plenty of time to doting on them! (And this is a reminder to me that even when things are depressing in the wider world, there is joy!)

Having said that, I figured I'd make a post about my awards eligibility. The only award I'm really eligible for is Best Fan Writer. (Whether I'm worthy is not for me to decide.) I think my columns in Locus are fan writing, for one thing, and I'm certainly very proud of them. In addition, there are my posts at this blog, which include a great many looks at SF novels, both recent and old; and occasional other discussions. And this year I contributed several pieces to fanzines, mostly to Black Gate, but also a piece on Firefly to the special issue of Journey Planet on the subject of SF TV shows that were Cancelled Too Soon

Here are my Black Gate posts. I'm particularly proud of the several I've written (with more to come) taking a close look at how some notable (and maybe less notable) SF stories work. I'll start with the first of that series, which actually appeared in 2020, then the ones from 2021:

"The Star Pit", by Samuel R. Delany;

Three Stories by Idris Seabright;

"Winter Solstice, Camelot Station", by John M. Ford;

"It Opens the Sky", by Theodore Sturgeon;

(The next planned entry will be on "Winter's King", by Ursula K. Le Guin (both versions,) hopefully sometime this month; and then, I hope, one on "The Last Flight of Dr. Ain", by James Tiptree, Jr.)

Other Black Gate posts (a couple of reviews, a look at an old F&SF, and something slightly different):

Review of The Gentleman, by Forrest Leo;

Review of Underneath the Oversea, by Marc Laidlaw;

Snippet about finding a signed copy of the Twayne Triplet Witches Three;

Retro-Review of F&SF, Summer 1950;

Here's a few highlights from this blog (in my opinion):

The Complete Stories of Robert H. Rohrer (an obscure Goldsmith discovery);

Quiz: Aliens in SF (with Images);

Space Opera: Then and Now;

Review: Lent, by Jo Walton;

Review: The Goblin Emperor, by Katherine Addison;

Cordwainer Smith Award Review: The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, by D. G. Compton;

Review: Tropic of Kansas, by Christopher Brown;

Review: Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho;

Review: Beer! Beer! Beer!, by Avram Davidson;


  1. I look forward to your best philosophical SF of all time anthology!

  2. Congratulations and enjoy your family time and other projects.

  3. " forthcoming anthology (with Eric Schwitzgebel and Helen De Cruz) on the best philosophical SF of all time, for MIT Press"

    Well, now. That sounds interesting.

    And in the meantime, happy near year.