World Fantasy Awards Announced

by Chris SchluepNovember 07, 2017, first appearing on Omnivoracious

The winners of the 2017 World Fantasy Awards have been announced. The ceremony was held earlier this month in San Antonio, Texas at the World Fantasy Convention. The Lifetime Achievement Awards, presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to the fantasy field, went to Terry Brooks and Marina Warner.

Below is a list of the winners from selected categories. You can see all of the winners listed on Locus.

Best Novel

  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North
  • Borderline by Mishell Baker
  • Roadsouls by Betsy James
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
  • Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

Best Long Fiction

  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
  • The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  • Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

Best Short Fiction

  • Das Steingeschöpf” by G.V. Anderson
  • Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander
  • Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar
  • Little Widow” by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me” by Rachael K. Jones

Best Anthology

  • Dreaming in the Dark edited by Jack Dann
  • Clockwork Phoenix 5 edited by Mike Allen
  • Children of Lovecraft edited by Ellen Datlow
  • The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016 edited by Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams
  • The Starlit Wood edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

Best Collection

  • A Natural History of Hell by Jeffrey Ford
  • Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie
  • On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories by Tina Connolly
  • Vacui Magia by L.S. Johnson
  • The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

10 Space Operas to Read Before You See Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Photo by NASA on Unsplash

With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” due to arrive in theaters on December 15th, we still have a fair amount time to kill before we find out what the deal is with bearded, hermit Luke and to see the brilliance of the late Carrie Fisher onscreen one final time. Fortunately, there are quite a few literary options to both pique and maintain your love of all things space opera in the interim. With that in mind, here are eight of our recent space-faring, swashbuckling faves.

The cover of the book Phasma (Star Wars)

Phasma (Star Wars)


What better way to get in the mood for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” than reading a novel under the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi banner? This latest novel from Delilah S. Dawson centers on one of the most mysterious new additions to Star Wars canon: Captain Phasma. This origin story lays out the dark and brutal background of one of the First Order’s most ruthless and relentless officers and is not to be missed.

The cover of the book Armada



Ernest Cline is best-known for the pop-culture extravaganza of Ready Player One. Armada is his sophomore effort and sees the author turns his nerd-approved eye toward the stars for an alien invasion thriller. Armada centers on Zack Lightman, a gaming maven and sci-fi junky whose life is changed forever when he sees a flying saucer and realizes the his favorite game, a flight simulator called Armada, is far more than it seems.

The cover of the book Aftermath: Star Wars

Aftermath: Star Wars


Wondering what took place in the years between “The Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens”? Don’t worry, Chuck Wendig has you covered. The Aftermath trilogy picks up following the infamous Battle of Endor and sees the fledgling New Republic working to maintain its foothold over the reeling Empire – but the Empire may have still have a few tricks left up its sleeve.


The cover of the book Artemis



Following the runaway success of Weir’s debut novel, The Martian, expectations are running high for his second effort: Artemis. The story follows Jazz Bashara, a smuggler on Artemis, the first and only city on the Moon. Struggling to make ends meet, Jazz lives a difficult and sometimes dangerous life. All of that changes, however, when Jazz lands the opportunity to commit the perfect crime. The crime is an impossible one. Artemis is an edge-of-your-seat thriller like only Andy Weir can write. It’s also a heist story. On the moon. What more do you need to know?

The cover of the book Lightless



In this intriguing sci-fi thriller, C.A. Higgins takes readers aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft funded by the ruthless organization that controls Earth. The novel centers on Althea, a computer scientist with an closer emotional bond to the ship’s systems than any of her crewmates. When a pair of terrorists gain access to the ship, it falls to Althea to defend the Ananke from its twisted saboteurs.

The cover of the book Empress of a Thousand Skies

Empress of a Thousand Skies


This revenge epic from Rhoda Belleza falls somewhere on a spectrum that includes Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Saga and Joss Whedon’s “Firefly.” Rhee is the crown princess and sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. Aly is a war refugee falsely accused of murdering Rhee. With war looming just on the horizon, Rhee and Aly forced together to confront a ruthless evil putting the entire galaxy at risk.

The cover of the book Ascension



Featuring a quirky and eclectic cast of space-faring ne’er-do-wells, plenty of interstellar adventure, and even a bit of romance, Ascension is just the ticket for Star Wars fans not so patiently waiting for “The Last Jedi.” The story centers on Alana Quick, an ace starship mechanic who stows away on the Tangled Axion and gets way more than she bargained for.

The cover of the book On a Red Station, Drifting

On a Red Station, Drifting


Set in the same universe as Aliette de Bodard’s award winning ImmersionOn a Red Station, Drifting centers on Prosper Station – which has thrived for generations under the guidance of artificial intelligence born from a human womb. When the station’s people are called to war to defend the Emperor, life as those on the station have long known quickly begins to unravel.

The cover of the book Red Rising

Red Rising


If you haven’t picked up Brown’s bestselling Red Rising Saga, now’s the perfect time. Reading like The Hunger Games by way of Ender Wiggin, Red Rising centers on Darrow, a red and member of the lowest caste of a color-coded society. He and his kind have spent generations toiling underground to make the surface of Mars livable for those remaining. When tragedy strikes, Darrow discovers that the world he has long known is built on a lie and he sacrifices everything to infiltrate the dominant Gold caste and exact his brutal revenge.

The cover of the book Star Wars Rebel Rising

Star Wars Rebel Rising


Jyn Erso’s story may have come to a heroic, if tragic, end in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” but there were a lot of questions about the pivotal Rebel hero left unanswered in the film. Thankfully for Star Wars fans, Rebel Rising fills in those gaps. The novel takes place in the years between the moment a five year-old Jyn saw her mother murdered and her father taken away and the events of “Rogue One,” including Erso’s years with the infamous outlaw Saw Gerrera.


“My name is James Tiberius Kirk.”

Happy (eventual) birthday Captain Kirk !


Now available in Original and Alternate Time-Line!


On this day, March 22, in fictional future history, 216 years from now, another of the best imaginary captains to ever fictionally exist will have been born in Riverside, Iowa… or deep space, depending on which reality you’re in… The place doesn’t really matter. You celebrate the day after all and now is the time.

Feeling nostalgic and/or confused? Want to revisit the adventures of one of the best commanders in Starfleet history and/or figure out what the heck I am talking about? The Moline Library has you covered. Come check out Star Trek: The Original series, the movies, the”reboot” movies, or any of a number of Star Trek novels to fill in the gaps between the episodes and movies! It could keep you busy for a while. And if you get hooked, there is alway the Next Gen series, movies and books – vive le Jean-Luc!

Author Birthdays – Goodbye August, Hello September

John Locke (b. August 29, 1632, Wrington, UK; d. October 28, 1704, High Laver, UK)

Wow...“The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Two Treatises on Government, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Some Thoughts Concerning Education

For more information on John Locke, click here.


Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (b. August 30, 1797, London, UK; d. February 1, 1851, London, UK)

Is it the forehead or the droopy shoulders that makes me feel like she is an 92 year old in this portrait?“Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” You can find more quotes here.

What you should read: Frankenstein

For more information on Mary Shelley, click here.



Edgar Rice Burroughs (b. September 1, 1875, Chicago, IL; d. March 19, 1950, Encino, Los Angeles, CA)

Looks like he would be friends with Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade“The more one listens to ordinary conversations the more apparent it becomes that the reasoning faculties of the brain take little part in the direction of the vocal organs.” Read more quotes here.

What you should read: Tarzan of the Apes (first of the Tarzan series) and/or A Princess of Mars (first in the Barsoom series)

For more on Mr. Burroughs, click here.

Introducing… BIRTHDAYS!

The cake is a lie!Okay. So, maybe we didn’t actually come up with the idea of birthdays but you should still be intrigued, and so…

We love books here at the library. Little books and big books, paranormal mysteries and exam prep books, audio books and ebooks, all of them. And where do all these books come from? Authors! So, by extension, we love authors too. We think they, and their hard work, should be celebrated. So, starting today, with this very post, we are going to regularly highlight the upcoming birthdays of notable authors (or at least as many of them as we can think of – there will inevitably be some that fall through the cracks and I apologize in advance to them and to you for the oversight). If this inspires you to pick up a book by one of those authors then great (especially if you were to pick it up at your favorite library), if not then at least you will learn a little bit about them and that’s good too.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (b. July 4, 1804, Salem, MA; d. May 19, 1864, Plymouth, NH)

Why did all the great transcendentalists have that wing-thing going on with their hair?“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” Read more quotes here.

Hawthorne was a contemporary of the American Transcendentalism movement but never fully got on board – his time as a part of a utopian, agrarian community did not turn into his Walden but rather The Blithedale Romance, viewed by many as critical of transcendentalist ideas. His writing is generally seen as more closely aligned to the Romanticist movement, more specifically Dark Romanticism. Hawthorne’s novels and short stories often showed his Puritan roots (he was, after all, the descendant of one of the judges at the Salem witch trials, much to his chagrin) and were heavy with themes of morality and sin. Today, he is probably best known for his novel, The Scarlet Letter. For more on Nathaniel Hawthorne, click here.

 Barbara Cartland (b. July 9, 1901, Birmingham, UK; d. May 21, 2000, Hatfield, UK)

I know, I know. But at least she looks happy in addition to creepy.“A historical romance is the only kind of book where chastity really counts.” More quotes to be had here.

Barbara Cartland is one of the most successful and prolific romance authors in history. During her 98 years she published more than 700 romance novels, with more published after her death in 2000. She holds that Guinness World Record for the most novels written in a single year (that would be the 23 that she wrote in 1976) and sold more than 750 million copies of her work. Given the sheer number of titles and span of years that her career included it is pretty unlikely that any normal library would have anywhere close to all of her works but, given the sheer number of titles and span of years that her career included, it is pretty likely that any normal library would have at least some of her works. Here is what you can find at Moline Library. For more information on the lady herself, click here.

Robert A. Heinlein (b. July 7, 1907, Butler, MO; d. May 8, 1988, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA)

Space Marines! Hurrah!“Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.” You can find more quotes here.

Robert A. Heinlein was one-third of the much lauded “Big Three” of science fiction in the second half of the 20th century (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke). A former Navy man turned sci-fi writer, much of his work focused on self-reliance and individuality set against a military or space-traveling background (often both). Starship Troopers is quite possibly his most well known novel but if you are a fan of 60s style cultural revolutions and social experimentation  you can dive into the deep end and start with Stranger in a Strange Land. For more Heinlein information, click here.

Dean Koontz (b. July 9, 1945, Everett, PA)

Oh my God! Are you Stephen King?!“Nothing gives us courage more readily than the desire to avoid looking like a damn fool.” More Koontz quotes here.

Dean Koontz, the only author this week that is still writing (read “living”), is a best-selling author of suspense-thrillers. Many of his books include elements of the horror, dark fantasy and mystery genres as well, drawing inevitable comparisons to other authors that write on similar topics; most notably (and sometimes controversially) Stephen King. Koontz is best known for his successful Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series. For up-to-date information on Dean Koontz and his books you can go to his website, here.