Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer
(DAW Jan 2015)
In this fifth volume in the delightful Rivers of London series, about a London policeman assigned to a special detail that investigates supernatural crimes, Peter Grant is forced to leave the city (and his comfort zone) to investigate the disappearances of several children in a small Herefordshire village.
William Alexander, Ambassador
(McElderry Sep 2014)
Alexander’s debut novel Goblin Secrets (2012) won a National Book Award, and he continues to prove himself one of the most inventive and accomplished children’s writers working today. In Ambassador young Gabe Fuentes is chosen to be the ambassador for Earth, sending him on a rollicking space adventure… but he still has to deal with problems at home, including the possibility of his parents being deported.
Ben Bova & Eric Choi, eds., Carbide Tipped Pens
(Tor Dec 2014)
This anthology collects 17 original hard SF stories by luminaries including Gregory Benford, Jack McDevitt, and Robert Reed, along with work by talented newer writers like including Aliette de Bodard and Daniel H. Wilson. Includes a preface by Choi that serves as a rousing reminder of the importance and centrality of hard SF to the science fiction genre. ‘‘Does what it advertises very well: showcases contemporary hard SF.’’ [Rich Horton]
Chaz Brenchley, Being Small
(Per Aspera Press Aug 2014)
One of the modern masters of fantasy delivers a subtly chilling novella about a boy who grows up alternately comforted and haunted by the ghost of his ‘‘shadow twin’’ Small, an under-developed fetus who was removed and put in a specimen jar at a medical school.
This ‘‘Double Monster Feature’’ is the third installment in Wordcraft’s series of fabulist novellas, and includes two stories that take their inspiration from ’50s SF movies, The Quatermass Experiment and The Mole People respectively, transforming the themes and imagery of those films into dark, strange, and ambitious works of literary SF.
Paula Guran, ed., Time Travel: Recent Trips
(Prime Books Oct 2014)
Guran has compiled an anthology of time travel stories that don’t rely on the oft-collected classics, but instead focuses on stories published from 2005- 2014, with 19 entertaining and thought-provoking works by Charlie Jane Anders, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear, Eileen Gunn, Ken Liu, Michael Moorcock, Genevieve Valentine, Howard Waldrop, and more.
R. A. Lafferty, The Man with the Aura
(Centipede Mar 2015)
The second volume of the enigmatic genius’s collected short fiction includes 17 stories from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, including Hugo and Nebula Award finalist ‘‘Continued On Next Rock’’, along with an introduction and reminiscences by Harlan Ellison, and an afterword by series editor John Pelan.
Karen Lord, The Galaxy Game
(Ballantine Del Rey Jan 2015)
One of our most stunning new talents pens a standalone novel that mingles adventure, SFnal speculation, and social commentary. The Lyceum is a school for the psionically gifted, where young people with extraordinary powers are taught to control their abilities, and three students from radically different backgrounds find themselves embroiled in a clash between rival star-faring societies.
Shannon Page & Jay Lake, Our Lady of the Islands
(Per Aspera Press Dec 2014)
Page & Lake collaborated successfully on several short stories before deciding to work together on this novel, a fantasy about a middle-aged businesswoman who develops unwelcome magical powers, set in a remote corner of the world Lake revealed in his Green and Flowers series. ‘‘This collaboration… was largely written by the time [Lake] became too sick to work (four years after they first planned it, a year before he died). Thanks to a publisher’s query, Page completed it, beautifully…. An edition fine enough to honor the bittersweet, but ultimately triumphant, survival of a very special book.’’ [Faren Miller]
Richard Parks, Yamada Monogatori: To Break the Demon Gate
(Prime Books Dec 2014)
Parks is a versatile fantasy writer, but he excels at fiction inspired by Japanese culture and mythology, and this is no exception. World-weary narrator Yamada is an impoverished minor nobleman who drinks too much and has a way of getting into trouble, including tussles with demons, ghosts, courtiers, and supernatural assassins.
Tim Powers, Nobody’s Home
(Subterranean Press Dec 2014)
In this novella Powers returns for the first time to the world of his beloved 1983 time-travel/fantasy/secret history classic The Anubis Gates, with heiress-indisguise Jacky Snapps pursuing a murderer through a ghost-haunted Regency London. ‘‘For all its brevity it packs a fair amount of Powers’s uniquely evocative prose, his skill at quickly establishing a vivid, ominous setting, and his gift for extraordinarily creepy figures…. Fans of the original novel… will enjoy a quick return dip into that pool, while other readers will find a nonstop suspense tale that implies a much larger scenario and might well lead them toward a modern fantasy classic.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Sam Sykes, The City Stained Red
(Orion/Gollancz Oct 2014)
Sykes brings a welcome dose of adventure to epic fantasy in the first volume of the Bring Down Heaven series (set in the world of the Aeon’s Gate novels), with Lenk and his companions looking to retire to a life of leisure in the big city… only to find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to save the city from disaster instead.
Genevieve Valentine, Dream Houses
(WSFA Press Oct 2014)
An engaging SF novella about a crew member on a years-long cargo run from Earth to Gliese-D who wakes up to find her shipmates dead, with limited supplies and years left on her journey… and that’s just the start of her problems. ‘‘A story about family and identity…. Pure SF…. Good, affecting stuff.’’ [Rich Horton]