Jul 032024

Publishers Weekly: This swashbuckling, planet-hopping riff on The Count of Monte Cristo from Palumbo (Skin Thief) follows Virika Sameroo, who, having emigrated as a child from the Exterran Antilles to Invicta, the capital planet of the Æerbot Empire, is determined to break through the poverty and prejudice that centuries of colonization have inflicted on her people. She becomes the first Exterran Antillean commissioned to an Æerbot spaceship, the Oestra—but as a woman and an Exterran, Virika is not trusted by her crew, and one officer in particular, Lieutenant Lyric, despises her for refusing his sexual advances. When Oestra’s captain falls ill and puts Virika in command, she brings the ship home to visit her mother and her lover. Their reunion is cut short when the captain dies—and Virika is arrested for his murder. Wrongfully sentenced to life in prison, she plots revenge against the empire. After escaping, briefly joining a band of pirates, and taking on the sobriquet the Countess, she leads the Antilleans into a rebellion against Invicta. Palumbo’s post-colonial space opera take on Dumas’s novel moves at a whiplash-inducing pace. Evocative descriptions, especially of food, add texture, though a late twist disappoints. It’s not perfect, but fans of speculative revamps of classics will find plenty to enjoy.

Jun 302024

a pair of black ear budsAudio rights to Robert McCammon’s LEVIATHAN to Louise Quayle at Audible, by Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.

Abridged/dramatic audio rights to New York Times bestseller Jim Butcher’s STORM FRONT and three additional titles in the Dresden Files series, to Anji Cornette at Graphic Audio by Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.

Jun 272024

Many congratulations to DMLA authors, Martha Wells and Vajra Chandrasekera, on their 2024 Locus Awards!


  • System Collapse, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)


  • Witch King, Martha Wells (Tordotcom)


  • The Saint of Bright Doors, Vajra Chandrasekera (Tordotcom)
Jun 212024

Join us in congratulating DMLA authors, Tananarive Due and Cassandra Khaw, for being nominated for the 2023 Shirley Jackson Award!


  • The Reformatory by Tananarive Due (Saga Press/Simon and Schuster)


  • The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw (Nightfire)
Jun 202024
Locus: Like Elatsoe, Sheine Lende is much more chill than your typical YA fantasy or YA mystery. The stakes are high, but it never feels stressful. There is little on-the-page violence, and even when things get heavy or dangerous, the reader always feels safe. Little Badger guides the reader through a fascinating world. The pace is gradual without being too slow, and is light on action. Things take the time they take. Little Badger doesn’t skip the reader ahead or speed things up for the sake of drama.
You don’t need to have read Darcie Little Badger’s Elatsoe to enjoy Sheine Lende, although it helps. This is a great novel to give to tweens and teens who like mysteries and fantasy but either aren’t ready for or aren’t interested in plots with romance or more mature action sequences. It reminds me a lot of Cynthia Letitch Smith’s Harvest House, another great YA mystery about Indigenous teens dealing with a disappearance and colonial violence. Darcie Little Badger is so good at what she does, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Jun 182024

The enlivening follow-up to the award-winning sensation The Annual Migration of Clouds.

Traveling alone through the climate-crisis-ravaged wilds of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, 19-year-old Reid Graham battles the elements and her lifelong chronic illness to reach the utopia of Howse University. But life in one of the storied “domes” — the last remnants of pre-collapse society — isn’t what she expected. Reid tries to excel in her classes and make connections with other students, but still grapples with guilt over what happened just before she left her community. And as she learns more about life at Howse, she begins to realize she can’t stand idly by as the people of the dome purposely withhold needed resources from the rest of humanity. When the worst of news comes from back home, Reid must make a choice between herself, her family, and the broken new world.

In this powerful follow-up to her award-winning novella The Annual Migration of Clouds, Premee Mohamed is at the top of her game as she explores the conflicts and complexities of this post-apocalyptic society and asks whether humanity is doomed to forever recreate its worst mistakes.

Jun 182024

Some stories take more than one lifetime to tell. There are wrongs that echo through the ages, friendships that outpace the claws of death, loves that leave their mark on civilization, and promises that nothing can break. This is one such story.

Annelid and Leveret met as children in the middle of the Sri Lankan civil war. They found each other in a torn-up nation, peering through propaganda to grasp a deeper truth. And in a demon-haunted wood, another act of violence linked them and propelled their souls on a journey throughout the ages. No world can hold them, no life can bind them, and they’ll never leave each other behind.

Tracing two souls through endless lifetimes, Rakesfall is a virtuosic exploration of what stories can be. As Annelid and Leveret reincarnate ever deeper into the future, they will chase the edge of human possibility, in a dark science fiction epic unlike anything you’ve read before.

Jun 172024
Locus: To quote Tom Clancy (or was it Jeff Bezos?), it takes ten years to become an overnight success. I suspect Vajra Chandrasekera can relate. He spent a decade working on his craft, with short fiction published in various genre magazines and anthologies. Then, last year, Chandrasekera published his first novel, The Saint of Bright Doors, which immediately caught fire, drawing plaudits and praise from critics and fans. Fast-forward to the present day, and the novel has been nominated for multiple prizes (the Hugo, the Nebula, the Lammy) and recently took home the Crawford award. I featured The Saint of Bright Doors on my Locus ‘‘Year in Review’’ essay and spoke ecstatically about the novel on The Writer and the Critic podcast. What makes it such an astonishingly good debut is Chandraesekera’s boldness – the imaginative, radical manner in which he fuses science fiction and fantasy, social realism, and surrealism. But if The Saint of Bright Doors is an experimental novel in (mostly) conventional storytelling clothing, Rakesfall bares it all, a full-frontal deconstruction of narrative and genre.
The patchwork, ‘‘fix-up’’ quality of Rakesfall means it never settles into a narrative groove. The setting, the voice, and the structure regularly change, forcing the reader to pause, to re-evaluate what’s happening. But while I might have been bewildered, I never felt lost. If anything, my mind was all abuzz, striving to keep hold of the threads, the intricate web, that ties these lives, these realities together.
What propels the narrative isn’t so much the dramatic set pieces (though the novel isn’t short on those; several of the chapters set in the far future are genuinely jaw-dropping) but the constant flood of ideas and new ways of thinking and perceiving the world. Chandrasekera reconceptualises Hindu and Buddhist beliefs such as akasha or the Akashic Record. He reframes Sri Lanka’s history of European colonialism as a play with a distinctively postmodern vibe. He brilliantly breaks the narrative to tell us a fable about Heroes, Wasps, and Kings and deliberately leaves out the moral (because ‘‘this is history rather than a story’’). He depicts a far future where tech lords and multinationals have devastated the Earth and have now colonised digital space, including the singularity. And undergirding this flurry of invention is a voice that is sometimes plain, sometimes wry and knowing, but more often than not overwhelmed with grief and anger. And even here, when the story is at its most vibrant, there’s an awareness, a recognition that a novel this playful, erudite, and caustic has its limits when recalling the histories, the stories, and the beliefs of those who died for the sake of Empire, progress and profit. Rakesfall may not seem as polished as The Saint of Bright Doors, but in my mind, it cements Chandraesekera as one of the genre’s most important, most vital voices.
Jun 132024

This past weekend the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) announced the 59th Annual Nebula Awards® winners, and we’re excited to share that Vajra Chandrasekera and RSA Garcia were recognized in these categories!

Nebula Award for Novel

  • The Saint of Bright Doors, Vajra Chandrasekera (Tordotcom)

Nebula Award for Short Story

  • “Tantie Merle and the Farmhand 4200“, R.S.A Garcia (Uncanny 7-8/23)

Author Martha Wells has graciously declined her nomination as a novel finalist this year for System Collapse published by Tordotcom. In 2022, Wells also declined a nomination for novella and felt that the Murderbot Diaries series has already received incredible praise from her industry peers and wanted to open the floor to highlight other works within the community.

Jun 112024

Congratulations to DMLA author, Premee Mohamed, for THESE LIFELESS THINGS (Catalan translation) for winning an Ictineu Award! The Ictineu Awards were handed out at CatCon, the Catalan fantasy, science fiction and horror convention organized by the Catalan Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy (SCCFF).