Carl Abbott, Frontiers Past and Future: Science Fiction and the American West
(University Press of Kansas Mar 2006)
An entertaining critical exploration of overlap of SF and Western fiction, from space cowboys to new frontiers, looking in depth at literature, films, and TV.
Daniel Abraham, A Shadow in Summer
(Tor Mar 2006)
The first volume in the Long Price quartet explores issues of power and long-term responsibility in a world where the powers of the ruling sorcerers are peculiarly limited and highly controlled. Careful world-building, an intricate magic system, and a simultaneous mix of romanticism and realism make this a highly impressive first novel.
Gardner Dozois, ed., Nebula Awards Showcase 2006
(Roc Mar 2006)
Noted editor Dozois marks new territory as he takes a turn editing the annual anthology of winners and selected runners-up for the Nebula Award. This year’s volume includes two Rhysling Award-winning poems, commentary on SF from five Grand Masters, and more.
L. Timmel Duchamp, ed., Talking Back
(Aqueduct Press Apr 2006)
Eighteen writers pen letters – ‘‘Epistolary Fantasies’’ – to dead people, fictional characters, famous writers, corporations, and others in this unusual and thought-provoking non-fiction anthology. Authors include Eileen Gunn (to Oscar Wilde), Nisi Shawl (to Jack Kerouac), and Carol Emshwiller (to her character Ledoyt).
Jeffrey Ford, The Empire of Ice Cream
(Golden Gryphon Press Apr 2006)
Ford’s second collection includes the Nebula Award-winning title story plus 13 more, one an original novella, with extensive notes by Ford on the writing of each. ‘‘…an exceptional book, a gallery of genius.’’ [Nick Gevers]
David Keck, In the Eye of Heaven
(Tor Apr 2006)
The gritty side of medieval warfare comes to life in this fantasy novel, the first in a series about a young knight-errant seeking a place for himself. A promising first novel.
Justine Larbalestier, Magic Lessons
(Penguin/Razorbill Mar 2006)
Australian teen Reason learned in Magic or Madness that her family’s magic came with a curse – madness if she doesn’t use it, early death if she uses too much – but her vital lessons in control are disrupted when a magic attack leaves her stranded in New York City. A powerful second volume in a distinctive YA contemporary fantasy trilogy.
Ken MacLeod, Giant Lizards from Another Star
(NESFA Press Feb 2006)
MacLeod’s revealing collection mixes poetry, stories, and 38 non-fiction pieces including convention reports, articles about SF, science fact, Scotland, politics, and more, many from small press or online venues, with new comments by the author. Published to commemorate MacLeod’s appearance as Guest of Honor at Boskone 43.
Ian McDonald, River of Gods
(Prometheus/Pyr Mar 2006)
Near-future India teems with life in this epic SF novel, which follows nine characters from all levels of a society dealing with a mystery, possible civil war, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and a mysterious artifact in space. Winner of the BSFA 2005 Best Novel award and a Hugo nominee. Originally published by Simon & Schuster UK (2004).
Farah Mendlesohn, Polder: A Festschrift for John Clute and Judith Clute
(Old Earth Books Mar 2006)
Fiction, non-fiction, and poetry are gathered in this original anthology in honor of artist Judith Clute and John Clute, the man who brought many big words to SF criticism. Contributing authors include Brian Aldiss, Joe Haldeman, Neil Gaiman, and Pamela Zoline.
Christopher Moore, A Dirty Job
(HarperCollins/Morrow Apr 2006)
A hapless secondhand-shop owner loses his wife but gains a daughter – and a new job as one of Death’s assistants, only he’s mislaid the instruction manual. Moore’s trademark humor mixes with serious moments and a realistic portrayal of San Francisco in this dark fantasy, ‘‘... his most ambitious book to date, and he brings it off in grand style.’’ [Faren Miller]
James Morrow, The Last Witchfinder
(HarperCollins/Morrow Mar 2006)
A brilliant woman dedicated to ending witchhunting travels from 17th-century England to the Americas and back, getting help from Benjamin Franklin and Sir Isaac Newton along the way, in this picaresque historical fantasy narrated by another book: Newton’s own Principia Mathematica. ‘‘With its deeply humanist convictions, its manic humor, and its shameless melodrama, The Last Witchfinder may come as a pleasant surprise even to those of Morrow’s followers who have long anointed him as the heir of Vonnegut.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Garth Nix, The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 4: Sir Thursday
(Scholastic Mar 2006)
The tension ratchets up a notch in this fourth volume in Nix’s weird and wonder-filled young-adult fantasy series. Arthur Penhaligon, the Rightful Heir to the House, is unexpectedly drafted into the army run by his latest antagonist, Sir Thursday, even as a massive invasion strikes in the ever-changing territory of the Great Maze.
Naomi Novik, Temeraire
(HarperCollins/Voyager Jan 2006); as His Majesty's Dragon
(Ballantine Del Rey Apr 2006)
A British sea captain during the Napoleonic Wars accidentally bonds with a newly hatched dragon, Temeraire, and the two set off for training in the Aerial Corps in this historical fantasy, a rousing adventure sure to delight fans of both sea stories and dragons. The first book in a diverting series, and an outstanding first novel.
John Picacio, Cover Story: The Art of John Picacio
(MonkeyBrain Books May 2006)
Art book showcasing Picacio’s distinctive cover art with over 75 full-color illustrations, each accompanied by preliminary sketches and notes by the artist on his inspirations. An in-depth interview takes an even deeper look at his thoughts on the artistic process.
Justina Robson, Living Next Door to the God of Love
(Bantam Spectra Apr 2006)
A runaway teen looking for a definition of love falls for a god hiding in the mutable world of Sankhara, part of the same universe as Natural History. Originally published by Macmillan UK (10/05). ‘‘…ambitious, inventive, disorienting, and sometimes overpacked…’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Sean Williams, The Crooked Letter
(Prometheus/Pyr Apr 2006)
The murder of a mirror twin sets off a Cataclysm that leaves the living twin in the real world and the dead one living in a world of magic, both unwittingly caught up in a war in heaven in this thrilling new fantasy full of vivid world-building with elements drawn from many cultures and myths. The first volume in the Books of the Cataclysm series, originally published by Voyager Australia (2004) and winner of both the Aurealis and Ditmar awards.