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After nearly two decades, K.J. Parker’s identity has been revealed.

“For 17 years,” wrote Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch, who secured the opportunity to reveal Parker’s true name, “the identity of K.J. Parker has been one of fantasy literature’s most tightly-kept secrets.

Now, after a dozen novels, a collection of short stories, a handful of essays and two World Fantasy Award wins, K.J. Parker has stepped forward – as author Tom Holt.”

Fans have been trying to discover Parker’s identity for years, and the most earnest detectives will not be surprised by the reveal. Holt (or, more intriguingly, his wife) has long been considered the front runner, with Neth Space calling it way back in 2012. Some readers will be disappointed that Parker was not a woman after all, which was a another widely supported theory, even leading some to believe that Parker was Kim Holt, Tom Holt’s wife. Still, it was fun while it lasted.

In addition to the official reveal, Parker/Holt was also on the Coode Street podcast, chatting about his new serialized novel, The Two of Swords. And, if you’re looking for something really recursive, here’s an Tom Holt interviewing K.J. Parker for Subterranean Magazine in 2010.

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Rayguns, spaceships,
and selfie-sticks

Ever noticed how the computers in Star Wars are so unbelievably dumb? C3PO, a being of pure logic and electrons, needs therapy more than anyone else in the galaxy. R2-D2 doesn’t have a method of communication that is, you know, intelligible to its owners without a peripheral. The Millennium Falcon doesn’t even have autopilot. It’s no mystery why, of course. Star Wars is a product of its time: a time when a computer behaving like a human being was as far advanced as we could imagine.

We loves our technology in science fiction. Time machines, cloning machines, robots. Space elevators and spaceships, ansibles and universal translators. A lot of the science in science fiction is machinery, and a lot of the fiction is tracing through the implications of those technologies.

You know what you don’t see a whole lot of, though? Text messages. Video games. Selfies. Dating sites. You know, the everyday stuff we have right now. Read More »

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A Chinese artist, known online as Shark’s Den, is producing some of today’s most incredible science fiction and fantasy book covers. Colourful and frenetic, hyper-detailed and lovingly bold, it’s as easy to get lost in the illustrations as it is in the novels themselves. From John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, The Legend of Korra and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Shark’s Den has created incredible covers and artwork for some of SFF’s most beloved authors and series.

More of Shark’s Den’s work is available in his DeviantArt Gallery.

The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

Publisher: Saga Press - Pages: 640 - Buy: Book/eBook
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu

[Editor’s Note: What follows is a critical essay in the traditional sense: an in-depth and spoiler-filled analysis of Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings—focused particularly on the women in the novel. It’s thoughtful, beautiful, and important—but if you’re sensitive to spoilers, you might enjoy reading it more after you’ve completed Liu’s epic novel. If you’re looking for an (almost) spoiler-free review to help you determine whether to buy it, let me suggest Justin Landon’s review on Tor.com.]

Many months ago Joe Monti, editor of Saga Press, Simon & Schuster’s SFF imprint, sent me a copy out of the blue of Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings for a possible quote. More precisely, and using the proper polite etiquette, he contacted my editor at Orbit who forwarded his email to me.

I knew Ken’s name, of course. He’s a multiple award winner (Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy) for his short fiction. He has also done an important service to the sff field by translating short fiction and novels from Chinese into English, works that readers in the English-speaking market would not otherwise be able to enjoy. The Grace of Kings is Liu’s debut novel. Read More »

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Max Gladstone, celebrated author of the Craft Sequence, beginning with Three Parts Dead revealed today that he is beginning work on a Pathfinder Tale, a tie-in novel for Paizo’s immensely successful tabletop roleplaying game.

“I’m really excited about this project,” Gladstone said on his blog. “I’ve been tabletop gaming since I was a kid; it’s how I learned to talk, like in a group with people, and how I formed my closest and earliest bonds with friends.

Gladstone’s Craft Sequence is known for its weird and wonderful take on traditional fantasy tropes, and the author is excited by the opportunities presented by the deep, wide world of Golarion. “I’m itching to do something fun with the Pathfinder world’s almost but not quite medieval modes of production, murder hobos, planar travel, elves, and sideways transhumanism, with mystically reified morality axes, Vance-adjacent magic, chance-dependent physics—god, consider the sheer potential for shenanigans, and that’s just talking about the ruleset!” he said. “Then we get into dead gods, kingdoms ruled by demonic contracts, undead stuff, yes yes yes. This gnarled conceptual space has so much storytelling potential—so many dark corners and intriguing tangles to explore, Planetary style.” Read More »