The Qwillery | category: Ian McDonald


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists

The Finalists for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel have been announced.

2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists
2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists
2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists
2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists
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Finalists for the 2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award
  • Semiosis by Sue Burke (Tor Books)
  • A Spy in Time by Imraan Coovadia (Rare Bird Books)
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books)
  • Time Was by Ian McDonald (
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco)
  • Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Press)
  • Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman (Europa Editions)
  • Unholy Land by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Gallery / Saga Press)
  • The Freeze-Frame Revolution by Peter Watts (Tachyon Watts)
  • The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley (Unsung Stories)

The awards will be presented during the Campbell Conference Award Banquet on Friday, June 28, 2019.

2018 BSFA Awards

The Winners of the 2018 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards have been announced. at Ytterbium, the 70th Eastercon. Winners in green.

2018 BSFA Awards
Best Novel
2018 BSFA Awards
Best Shorter Fiction

Best Novel
  • Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)
  • Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Before Mars by Emma Newman  (Ace Books)
  • Embers of War by Gareth L Powell (Titan Books)
  • Rosewater by Tade Thompson (Orbit)

Best Shorter Fiction
  • The Gift of Angels: an Introduction by Nina Allan (Clarkesworld)
  • The Purpose of the Dodo is to be Extinct by Malcolm Devlin (Interzone #275)
  • The Land of Somewhere Safe by Hal Duncan (NewCon Press)
  • Time Was by Ian McDonald (
  • Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (
  • Phosphorus by Liz Williams (NewCon Press)
  • Kingfisher by Marian Womack (Lost Objects, Luna Press)

Best Non-Fiction
  • Nina Allan’s Time Pieces column 2018 articles (Interzone)
  • Ruth EJ Booth’s Noise and Sparks column 2018 articles (Shoreline of Infinity)
  • Liz Bourke’s Sleeps With Monsters column 2018 articles (
  • Aliette de Bodard – On motherhood and erasure: people-shaped holes, hollow characters and the illusion of impossible adventures (Intellectus Speculativus blog) [link]
  • Adam Roberts – Publishing the Science Fiction Canon: The Case of Scientific Romance (Cambridge University Press)

Best Artwork
  • Ben Baldwin’s wraparound cover for ‘Strange Tales’ slipcase set (NewCon Press)
  • Joey Hi-Fi’s cover for ‘Paris Adrift’ by EJ Swift (Solaris)
  • Sarah Anne Langton’s cover for ‘Unholy Land’ by Lavie Tidhar (Tachyon Publications)
  • Sing Yun Lee and Morris Wild’s artwork for ‘Sublime Cognition’ conference (London Science Fiction Research Community)
  • Likhain’s In the Vanishers’ Palace: Dragon I and II (Inprnt)
  • Bede Rogerson’s cover for ‘Concrete Faery’ by Elizabeth Priest (Luna Press)
  • Del Samatar’s artwork for ‘Monster Portraits’ by Sofia and Del Samatar (Rose Metal Press)
  • Charlotte Stroomer’s cover for ‘Rosewater’ by Tade Thompson (Orbit)

Melanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014

I'm baaaacccckkkkk! Did you miss me? I had hoped that in the last 2 weeks that I would have read more books than I did but hey, I was sight seeing in the lovely Edinburgh for a few days. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it. So what did I manage to read?

Melanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014
I got Empress of the Sun which is the third book in the Everness series by Ian McDonald from NetGalley quite a few months ago. If you have a really good memory you might remember that I finished Be My Enemy and discussed it in my last WIR. I had convinced myself (although I am sure that I had read it somewhere) that Empress of the Sun was the final book of the series. I spent the whole book thinking 'oh McDonald is really wrapping things up well' until I got closer and closer to the end when I started to think the exact opposite. By the time I finished I was quite disappointed that this wasn't the final book and I need to read more about the plucky, teenager Everett Singh.

Empress of the Sun is split between telling the story of the original Everett Singh who finds himself ship wrecked on a disc shaped planet surrounded by murderous bird/robot-like aliens. Everything seems quite bleak as the airship Everness has taken quite a beating and Everett feels responsible for what has happened to her (the ship) and to her crew. The story then alternates to Everett M Singh, the genetically enhanced 'other' Everett introduced in book 2. Everett M is doing everything he can to blend into the original Everett's life while at the same time trying to control the Nahn who he encounters in book 2. I really looked forward to the Everett M chapters, much more so than the original Everett.  I didn't really engage with the original Everett story line and thought the Jiju. These were the dominant species on this new world who decide to help Everett. They reminded me of JaJa Binks from Star Wars for no other reason than I found them irritating. Everett M however, was quite amusing especially the parts where his ass is getting more hits on Facebook than he is. These chapters were convincingly written from the viewpoint of a troubled teen.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed mainly because I thought this was the end of the series. The final pages end with a good twist but getting there was a bit too much of a struggle and I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014My flight back to London was delayed by over an hour and on top of doing some impulse shopping I also purchased a book that I later regretted. I found Touched by Darkness, the first in the Sentinels series, which was recommended to me on Amazon. Boy, did Amazon get that recommendation completely wrong. I was just lucky that this book was free as I would have had to complain if I paid for it. I am not going to go into too much detail but this book verged into the ridiculous category for me and had I saw the cover before I downloaded it I wouldn't have have wasted my time. Is he wearing a wig?

I then started to read The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan. I am writing a full review of this book so can't say too much plus it is very long and I am only about a quarter of the way through.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014
I started to get a bit desperate that I wouldn't have that much to tell you about as The Dark Defiles was taking me so long to read so I quickly went back to my Amazon recommendations. They didn't let me down this time as I found Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartsrikers 1) by Rachel Aaron. You might remember I read this author's sci-fi series (under the pseudonym Rachel Bach) and I also started the first of her Eli Monpress series. NDFL (can't type the whole thing...sorry) was a great reprieve from the intensity of The Dark Defiles and was very amusing. This is the story of Julius who is the runt of a dragon clan who has spent most of his life avoiding the rest of his family until his mother seals him in a human body and leaves him to fend for himself. Julius is too nice to be a dragon...just as a the title suggests but delivers some PDF (public displays of funny) lines which I have highlighted for future reference. His task is to hunt down another dragoness and redeem himself in his mother's eyes. This isn't an easy task for Julius as he isn't your typical dragon. With the help of a human mage, Marci - Julius finds his way in the world and off his mother's hit list (for the time being anyway).

I quit enjoyed this book and there was some public chortling at some of the lines. Aaron needs to watch Julius as he can be a bit too virtuous at times which made the story a bit dull at points. Also, avoid too many fight scenes as this also gets a bit repetitive. Other than that this is a great start to what I hope is a light hearted, amusing series. Go Julius Go!

That is all for me for this week. I hope you are all enjoying whatever it is you are reading. I am hoping to keep the momentum going and have more to tell you about next week. Until then Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014

Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014

Dear Authors

I am writing to apologize for not reading your books sooner. I have no excuse for missing the release other than my overly jam packed TBR. I have been making a concerted effort to pay more attention to my unread books and came across your novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it. For what I really thought read on.

I promise to try really hard not to miss the release of your future novels but if I do please forgive me.

Your humble reading servant


Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014
I started my week by finishing Seven Kinds of Hell which is the first in the Fangborn series by Dana Cameron. Qwill reviewed this same book back in March 2013. I was quite lucky that I was able to receive a copy from NetGalley even after all this time.

I enjoyed this novel but I think I have over indulged in urban fantasy where the heroine has a hard, deprived/abusive upbringing. This story's heroine, Zoe Miller has had just that upbringing. A transient lifestyle, always on the run, struggling to make friendships but when she does something evil jeopardises it all. She was believable and it was easy to empathize with her and her situation. I also had a hard time imagining what some of the characters looked like, especially the snakelike vampires. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read so much urban fantasy recently. I will still continue with this series but give it a couple of months before I tuck into Pack of Strays.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014A few months ago I requested book 3 of the Everness series by Ian McDonald from NetGalley. I realised after I requested it that I should really do the series justice and read book 2 so I bought Be My Enemy a couple of weeks ago. I really liked Planesrunner (book 1) and thought it was one of the few series aimed at younger readers that was accessible to adults. Book 2 starts immediately after the events of book 1 with Everett and the crew of the Everness alone in a frozen, alternate version of Earth trying to find his Dad. We are also introduced to Everett M who is an alternate Everett that has been by turned into a cyborg boy by the evil Charlotte Villiers in order to locate the real Everett and steal back the Infundibulum. Multiple alternative universes, 2 Everetts, some seriously evil baddies - this book has it all.  The action is almost non-stop and there is further development of Everett (the original) but more so of Sen, his teenage shipmate. This is great for any age.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014
I rounded out my week with Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell. How have I missed this book?  I LOVED IT! Qwill also wrote a review of this book back in 2012. What have I been doing for the last 2 years to have missed out reading it? Powell has everything  - great characters, a fantastic plot and an interesting world. I could wax lyrical a bit longer about Ack-Ack and friends but I can't think of anything new to say that Qwill hasn't already (and in a much more eloquent fashion).

That was it for me. I am hoping to update you next week on everything I have read but I am off to Edinburgh with my sister and brother-in-law and may not get my WIR written. In case you don't hear from me Happy Reading for the next fortnight.

2019 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalists2018 BSFA AwardsMelanie's Week in Review - July 27, 2014Melanie's Week in Review - July 13, 2014

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