Locus: Stepping into The Salt Grows Heavy is like stepping into someone else’s fever dream. This strange, dark, violent, lyrical novella contains some of Khaw’s most brilliant, elegant, haunting writing: ‘‘For all that humanity professes to delighting in its own sophistication, it longs for simplicity, for when the world can be deboned into binaries: darkness and light, death and life, hunter and hunted.’’ The use of language is immaculate, but that doesn’t detract from the great pacing. The prose is lyrical and flows like water from a broken vase, but that doesn’t diminish the impact of the gore, murders, and scenes of surgery and self-mutilation. The taiga’s cold is brutal, and the small village is a bare-bones place where life seems to barely hold on, but the wealth of details Khaw injected into the narrative rivals that of any 400-page novel. In short, this is a novella that feels much larger than its word count and shows a very talented storyteller at the height of their powers.
Congratulations to DMLA author, Kate Heartfield, for her 2023 Aurora Awards win!
- The Embroidered Book, Kate Heartfield, HarperVoyager
Also, huge shoutout to Premee Mohamed and C.L. Polk for their nominations! Premee Mohamed was nominated for best novel with her work, The Void Ascendant, and C.L. Polk for best novelette with Even Though I Knew the End.
A huge congratulations to all our DMLA authors who were named as finalists in this years World Fantasy Awards!
- Even Though I Knew the End, C.L. Polk (Tordotcom)
- “The Devil Don’t Come with Horns”, Eugen Bacon (Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology)
- “Incident at Bear Creek Lodge”, Tananarive Due (Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology)
- “Douen”, Suzan Palumbo (The Dark 3/22)
- “The Morning House”, Kate Heartfield (PodCastle 7/22)
- Breakable Things, Cassandra Khaw (Undertow)
Special Award – Non-Professional
- E. Catherine Tobler, for editing “The Deadlands”
Nebula, Aurora, and World Fantasy award-winning author Premee Mohamed’s ONE MESSAGE REMAINS, a novella about one man’s mission to recover the remains and souls of enemy soldiers after the latest round of a seemingly neverending war, to E. Catherine Tobler at Psychopomp by Michael Curry.
LJ Andrews’s SONG OF SORROWS AND FATE, book nine in The Broken Kingdom series, to Kate Runde at Podium Audio, by Katie Shea Boutillier (world English).
LJ Andrews’s THE EVER KING, to Kate Runde at Podium Audio, in a three-book deal, by Katie Shea Boutillier (world English).
Emily Childs’s THE FASTBALL, book four in The Vegas Kings series, to Kate Runde at Podium Audio, by Katie Shea Boutillier (world English).
Swedish rights to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD, the first book in the Black Jewels series, to Milla Emrén and Staffan Emrén, by Jeanine Langenberg at Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Italian rights to Robert Sheckley’s THE ALCHEMICAL MARRIAGE OF ALASTAIR COMPTON, to Mondadori, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Hungarian rights to Robert Jackson Bennett’s FOUNDRYSIDE, to Fumax, by Lola Dunton at Prava I Prevodi, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Skye Warren’s HUGHES series, to Petra Kruijt at April (The Netherlands), in a three-book deal, by Vere Bank at Sebes & Bisseling, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.
Ruthanna Emrys’s WINTER TIDE and DEEP ROOTS, to Infortress (Taiwan) by Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Congratulations to DMLA authors Cassandra Khaw and Eugen Bacon for making the 2023 British Fantasy Awards shortlist!
- Breakable Things – Cassandra Khaw (Undertow Publications)
- An Earnest Blackness – Eugen Bacon (Anti-Oedipus Press)
Newbery Honor-winning Darcie Little Badger’s SHEINE LENDE, a prequel to the Locus Award-winning ELATSOE, in which a young girl searches for her mother and a lost child – spirited away by a mysterious faery ring – as well as a return to her family’s homeland, again illustrated by Rovina Cai, to Nick Thomas at Levine Querido in an exclusive submission by Michael Curry for publication in spring 2024.
Locus: Cassandra Khaw has cemented their status as horror royalty, once and for all, with their latest novella, The Salt Grows Heavy. All hail and long live! Here’s the thing, though: I’m not even sure how or where to start telling you about The Salt Grows Heavy. Nothing I say can quite capture the creeping body horror, the marvelous disorientation, or the toothy, sumptuous, and marvelously off-putting prose of the thing. Fans of Khaw’s Nothing But Blackened Teeth will be happy to see that Khaw’s vision and aesthetic remain as dark as ever, and relish that—in my opinion—they have managed to push further into the weird and the unsettling….for those of us who find darkness irresistible, especially when beautifully presented, The Salt Grows Heavy is a grotesquely perfect feast.
- Nona the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
- “Even Though I Knew the End”, C.L. Polk (Tordotcom)
- The Founders Trilogy, Robert Jackson Bennett (Del Rey; Jo Fletcher)
- The Locked Tomb Series, Tamsyn Muir (Tordotcom)
LODESTAR AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
- Akata Woman, Nnedi Okorafor (Viking)
And special recoginition to Premee Mohamed in BEST SEMIPROZINE for Escape Pod!