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20 Jan 2021
Bulbbul is not a self-proclaimed “feminist film” and, goodness knows, we’ve been disappointed by a lot of those. But the one aspect where Bulbbul is unapologetically feminist is that it is a story of reckoning.
18 Jan 2021
The true subject of Schweblin’s novel is not the addictive appeal of the technology itself so much as its abstract result: the relinquishment of privacy and what such a step might entail.
15 Jan 2021
Games come up a fair bit in Echoes of Another, which makes sense in a story about simulated experiences. As with the rest of this book, however, the games' various endings are a little frustrating.
13 Jan 2021
Sea Change is not the worst of all possible worlds that we can imagine, but it is certainly a likely one: not a destroyed world, but a world in terminal decline
11 Jan 2021
Part of the pleasure in these tales is figuring them out, learning how the rules work.
8 Jan 2021
Duncan Lawie: The highlight of my reading year was M. John Harrison's The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again. It is subtle and rich but could also just be the stories of two middle aged people failing to cope with their lives. The intent to remain uncategorised is core to the pleasure—and discomfort—of reading and thinking about the book. Indeed, an interview with the author at the release of his 2020 collection Settling the World was equally fascinating, with his own perspectives on his long career in fiction. Another complex delight was War of the Maps by Paul McAuley, which uses a Dyson sphere for a fantastical planetary romance reminiscent of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun and, indeed, of McAuley’s own Confluence trilogy.
6 Jan 2021
Dan Hartland: I’m sure I’m not alone in having found it difficult to settle down with fiction this year—or, in all honesty, to settle down at all. It is equally and perhaps consequently true that some of my fondest memories of 2020 are of reading, but it may nevertheless be a function of my relative focus on non-fiction, TV and doom-scrolling this year that my SFF highlights of 2020 all relate to awards. I might also hope, however, that—after some seriously fallow years for literary SFF gongs (don’t @ me)—2020’s range of heartening prize-related news suggests both a shift within the field and in how those outside view it.
4 Jan 2021
It has become a tradition to begin a new reviewing year by asking the Strange Horizons reviewers to tell us a little about the other things they've been reading, watching and playing during the previous year. Despite everything else that has happened, we're continuing that tradition as we move into 2021. During 2020 most of us have leaned harder than ever on books, TV, and games of one sort or another to fill our time, so here's what's caught our interest. I'm writing this on the last day of 2020, with no clear idea as yet what 2021 is likely to bring us.
25 Dec 2020
So far I’ve dodged the question of “what is weird fiction?” because the stories themselves have defined the term, simply because they seem, for the most part, to represent a particular, personal kind of engagement with the supernatural.
23 Dec 2020
I called a friend and tried to explain the basics of the plot to her. I’d barely gotten to “so then Nancy Drew conducts a séance to call a sea spirit to recover the bones of a ghost who is eventually revealed to be her biological mom” before the dial tone was ringing in my ear. I love this show. It’s such beautiful nonsense.
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