10 Hugo Winning & Nominated Stories To Read Online Right Now

10 Hugo Winning & Nominated Stories To Read Online Right Now

If you don't know the Hugo Awards, they're kind of like the Oscars for sci-fi and fantasy (literally, as the idea was based on the Academy Awards). This year's votes have been tallied and the winners were announced last Friday. Sad puppies only got sadder as all the amazing women who won rejoiced.

Amazing women like NK Jemisin, who won the Best Novel award for The Obelisk Gate, the second book in her apocalyptic fantasy trilogy that is the very essence of dope. She won this award last year too — making her the first black author to ever win it, and now she's won it two years in a row. I don't want to jinx anything for next year, but the third and final book in the trilogy, The Stone Sky, was released this week. I'm just saying.

Lots of other awesome people won lots of other awards as well. Check out the full list of winners here.

What I really love about the Hugos is how they recognize not just the novel format, but everything from fanzines to movies in the SFF genre. And, of course, short stories of all lengths. If you're like me and love a good short story, you're in luck — here are all of this year's Hugo Award winning and nominated short stories and novelettes that are online for you to read right now, totally free. You're welcome.

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: August 14-20

New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books: August 14-20

I'm finally back after the short hiatus I took to move this website. And yes, it did end up taking a wee bit longer than I thought it would (did I say I'd return July 31? Just kidding, I totally meant mid-August!). For that, I blame Mercury retrograde. But now I'm well-rested and ready to go with a shiny new website and a list of brand-spanking new SFF books for your perusal.

There isn't much new sci-fi to share, as this week is all about fantasy in its many flavors. From the ghostly paranormal of Kate Hamer's latest, to the urban fantasy of Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series conclusion and the awesome-flavored apocalyptic fantasy of NK Jemisin's Broken Earth series conclusion — with plenty of magical, creature-filled, second-world portal fantasy in between — there's something for all fantasy lovers!

Here are this week's new sci-fi and fantasy books...

On A Short Break

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Hey there! I’m in the process of moving this blog from tumblr, where it currently lives, to a hosted platform that will be better for actual blogging and websiting. The blog address won’t change and I’ll still have tumblr for those who follow me, but the weekly new releases and other long bloggy-type posts will go on the blog, and this here tumblr (at cherita.tumblr.com) will just be for tumblry micro-bloggy type stuff.

In between that and writing and enjoying the summer, it’s taking longer than I hoped (I fully admit the enjoying the summer part may be getting in the way), so I’m taking a short blogging break until I finish. I’ll be back July 31! Maybe with a new look… 👀.

Until then, enjoy this dope light graffiti skeleton break-dancing on Venice Beach!

5 Post-Potter YA Books With Dope Magic Systems

5 Post-Potter YA Books With Dope Magic Systems

I recently asked why are witches so compelling, and there’s one big reason I forgot to include: MAGIC. Doh! That one’s kind of a biggie, considering that, unlike elves or dragons or dwarves, a magician is something one can actually strive to be IRL – and people have been doing just that for millenia. Even Isaac Newton studied the occult!

But it’s not just a proximity to the real world that makes magic so beguiling – there are scores of people who don’t believe that chanting and incense and the right colored candle can alter their reality. But, put Harry Potter in their hands and watch how those same people become thoroughly enchanted by J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Because, magic (among other things).

It’s been 20 years since Harry Potter took the world by storm. Since then, so many young adult and teen books have crossed over to adult audiences – books featuring everything from emo teen vampires to oppressive dystopian worlds. And, of course, magic. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the world’s favorite boy wizard, here are five magical post-Potter YA series.

About the Author: Lindsey R. Loucks

About the Author: Lindsey R. Loucks

As you may know, I have a story in Secrets & Sorcery, a paranormal romance and urban fantasy anthology featuring eccentric witches and unique magical abilities. There are 17 brand new stories in this set, written by 20+ authors, so I thought it’d be fun to put the spotlight on each of them! First up is author Lindsey R. Loucks.

Lindsey R. Loucks is a USA Today bestselling author living in rural Kansas. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate-induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to re-energize

Get to know more about Lindsey in this fun Q&A...

Diverse Urban Fantasy, PNR & Dystopian Reads

Diverse Urban Fantasy, PNR & Dystopian Reads

We live in interesting times – especially regarding issues of diversity. On the one hand, an openly racist and sexist man sits as president here in the US, which has seemingly made extremists more brazen and bold. On the other hand, people are standing up and speaking out against this in record numbers – sadly, even giving their lives as a result. Unfortunately, diversity is still lacking in publishing, as a recent post I read in a Facebook group reminded me:

About a month ago, a good friend of mine who happens to be an author who writes diverse books, shared a story with me. She was told by two very successful authors that her books could be successful “if only she used a white protagonist, instead of a Japanese one.” I was horrified and felt her hurt and anger were completely justified. Representation matters, and I believe readers are eager to see books that feature more than the so-often used heterosexual white MCs.

In response to that post, genreCRAVE decided to run a Celebrating Diversity Book Blitz. Awesome, right? Publishing needs more of this! They selected books in the urban fantasy, paranormal romance, fantasy and dystopian genres featuring diverse protagonists – here are six of those books.

Octavia Butler, Grande Dame of Sci-Fi

Octavia Butler, Grande Dame of Sci-Fi

Octavia Estelle Butler (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer. A multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, Butler was one of the best-known women in the field. In 1995, she became the first science fiction writer to receive the MacArthur Fellowship, nicknamed the “Genius Grant”.

Octavia Butler was the first black sci-fi author I ever read, and it was sort of life changing for me as a young black girl very into speculative fiction of all kinds. It let me know that I wasn’t alone or as weird as I thought, and that it was okay to be black and female and like science fiction. Not only was it okay to like sci-fi, Butler showed me it was possible to be represented in those stories, and even to create those stories myself (which I’ve since done). It sounds almost silly now, but it was a very big deal for thirteen-year-old me.

While gearing up to re-read her Parable of the Sower series (since dystopian reads are all the rage now, thanks to our current political climate), I discovered there were people who haven’t heard of her! So, in honor of new discoveries, I’m reblogging this Octavia Butler starter list in case you’ve not read her before (or if you just need a refresher).

Book Blitz: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Book Blitz: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

I love fairy tales and a well done retelling. I will always be down to read a great new version of a beloved classic story. But here’s the thing: of all the speculative fiction genres, I probably love dystopian sci-fi the most, and fairy tale retellings are very often fantasy. So when I found out about Ensnared, a near future sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast, of course I was in.

Ensnared comes out later this month, but you can get a sneak peek today – and don’t miss the giveaway of beautiful swag at the end!

Book Blitz: Deathbringer by Tamara Grantham

Book Blitz: Deathbringer by Tamara Grantham

I have a thing for multiple-books-long paranormal and urban fantasy series that I can binge read all at once. If they have vampires, witches, or fairies, so much the better. Which is why I was excited to discover Deathbringer, the sixth book in the Fairy World M.D. series.

This world sounds so interesting: it’s not all fairies and unicorns – when people come back from a visit to Fairy World, they do so with lost memories and mental problems! The series follows Olive Kennedy, a half-elf, half-human Fairy World medical doctor treating those suffering from the world’s side effects. Sounds fun, right? Check out Deathbringer and the Fairy World M.D. series for yourself – there’s even a giveaway too!

The Operative (Part 2)

The Operative (Part 2)

The Operative - Part 2: In which the vampire operative completes his assignment ● Urban Fantasy (850 words). Continued from Part 1

Another Operative had introduced him to the Hematic life many moons ago. Spoke of the power to be had by drinking in the blood upon which quintessence floated. Said it was like a direct hit of bliss, emotion and vibrant energy all pouring forth, no effort or volition required. Said it could quench the thirst, that unyielding, brutal thirst which vexed those of his kind.

Initially, he hadn’t believed such a thing possible. And it all seemed rather distasteful, besides. Initially, that is.

But, one long ago day when he was still young and mortal men fought hand-to-hand battles with swords and knives, he’d gotten a taste of the blood purely by accident. It had been exactly like a tiny shot of bliss. And the memories — the memories were even more thrilling than that...