2010 World Fantasy Award Finalists Announced

by Jeff VanderMeer at Omnivoracious
As reported by Locus Online, the 2010 World Fantasy Award finalists have been announced, including the five finalists for best novel, first published in 2009. The winners will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus OH, in late October.

Blood of Ambrose, James Enge (Pyr)
The Red Tree, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Roc)
The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan UK/ Del Rey)
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer (Underland/Atlantic-Corvus)
In Great Waters, Kit Whitfield (Jonathan Cape UK/Del Rey)

The World Fantasy Award finalists in each category are comprised of the top two selections chosen by voters who attended the World Fantasy convention the year before, along with three to four selections by a panel of judges.

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Eoin Colfer’s 6 favorite books

via The Week
What keeps the Artemis Fowl author in thrall? Everything from Robert Lewis Stevenson classics to neo-noir comic books…

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (Del Rey, $8). The 1963 sci-fi novel that spawned a movie empire. A disturbing classic that makes the preposterous believable. Beautifully written and totally captivating. A short, sharp shock to the system. The father of all talking-monkey fiction—which is a bigger subgenre than you might think.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Dover, $2). This is always on any list I compile. Scary, funny, and loaded with the kind of unforgettable characters that make all writers want to try harder. This novel has featured on best-of compilations for more than 100 years.

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The Chart of Fantasy Art Part 4: Title Trends and Fonts

via Orbit
Every year we ask our summer intern to do a survey of cover art elements for the top US fantasy novels published in the previous year. You can find more of our findings on the Chart of Fantasy Art, the Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines, and Color Trends in Dragons. Today we look at book titles — both what the titles say AND how they look. Note: Words have been generalized into one form, so for example “death” and “dead” and “deadly” all count in “death.”

First off, lets look at the content of 2009′s fantasy titles. This was a new category of inquiry for us this year and there were many surprises in store once the data was collected and analyzed. In the chart above the size of the word is in proportion to the number of books on which it appears in the title (no subtitles or series titles this time). As you can see, there are some pretty predictable words in heaviest usage: “Dragons”, “Magic”, and “Shadows” were no-brainers. However we were surprised at how high “Death” rated — was fantasy turning dark and morbid? (or more dark and more morbid than usual, at least?) But no, there was a single culprit to blame. All the Sookie Stackhouse books were re-released last year because of True Blood’s success, and that accounted for the extra “Death” usage.

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David Goyer’s alien armageddon book series gets a movie deal

By Meredith Woerner at io9
The Dark Knight co-writer David S. Goyer just landed a movie deal for his still yet-to-be-published book trilogy about aliens careening towards the Earth, called Heaven’s Shadow.

According to Deadline. Goyer is writing the novel, which will be in stores in the summer of 2011, with Michael Cassutt:

The trilogy begins when an object is discovered heading for earth. Initial panic gives way to a competition between governments to be first to intercept what they believe is a breakaway meteor. What the astronauts discover leads to an encounter with alien forces that are a threat to humanity.

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Seasons of Wither: Is Science Fiction Dead?

by paulgoatallen at Barnes and Noble
“Is science fiction dying?” I posted a blog asking this same question last year – hoping to rile up some hardcore science fiction readers I know – but instead of sparking a firestorm, all I found were literally hundreds of readers who all but accepted the fact that science fiction was already dead and gone.

I’ve read some great articles on this topic since then – and talked with a lot of knowledgeable people – and I thought it would be a good idea to revisit this question, which, in my opinion, is hugely significant relating to the future of genre fiction.

As a longtime genre fiction book reviewer and a moderator for’s Fantasy/Science Fiction and Paranormal Fantasy forums, I’ve asked myself questions like this countless times over the last two or three decades: Is science fiction really dying?

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I think whenever Sci Fi has a resurgence in popularity, and then the media frenzy about it starts to die down, people start asking whether or not Sci Fi is going to disappear. But people have been thinking “Oh, this is the end” for decades, and sci fi remains on bookshelves. It’s just evolving, not disappearing. I hate hearing  that it’s disappearing, because it’s ridiculous. I thought the font chart was really interesting; I love seeing anything to do with the book making process. And they mentioned clichés, but that’s how marketing works–you can tell a lot about the type of  book based on the cover design.

What do you think of the World Fantasy nominees? Do you think Sci Fi is here to stay?