Showing posts from January, 2023

Recent Reading: The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida and The Birth Lottery by Shehan Karunatilaka

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is, of course, last year's Booker winner, a slightly out-of-nowhere choice for an award that has been getting more adventurous and interesting in recent years. The Birth Lottery and Other Surprises is a collection of Karunatilaka's short fiction, currently slated for publication in the US and UK in the spring, but I was able to snag a copy during a work trip to India earlier this month. Taken together, they not only make for some engrossing and delightful reading, but reveal Karunatilaka as firmly embedded in the SFF tradition. There's an entirely defensible case for Seven Moons as a nominee in the upcoming Hugo awards (or if not that, one of the wider-ranging genre awards like the Crawford or World Fantasy), and my only real complaint about The Birth Lottery is that it doesn't include a publication history, making it impossible to know which of the stories in it are awards-eligible. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida begins with the

Recent Reading: Deep Wheel Orcadia by Harry Josephine Giles

Every Clarke Award shortlist includes at least one utterly unexpected nominee, a complete wildcard. Think Iain Pears's Arcadia , originally envisioned as an app experience in which readers would choose for themselves the order of the story's chapters. Or Patience Agbabi's middle grade novel The Infinite . It's less common for these nominees to win the whole thing, so Harry Josephine Giles's Deep Wheel Orcadia , a verse novel written in the Orkney dialect (on offshoot of Scots spoken on the Orkney archipelago), was a book that I approached with some interest, having claimed the award over more conventional nominees like Arkady Martine's A Desolation Called Peace , and much bigger names like Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun . While I'm not quite certain that I would have made the same choice (Mercurio D. Rivera's Wergen , and Aliya Whiteley's Skyward Inn , strike me as no less worthy winners), Deep Wheel Orcadia is an exciting winner, one whose