New and Notable Books, March
Kelley Armstrong, Forsaken
(Subterranean Feb 2015)
A lavish, limited-edition novella of supernatural suspense, set in the author’s popular urban fantasy Otherworld series, features gorgeous full-color illustrations by French artist Xaviére Daumarie.
Holly Black, The Darkest Part of the Forest
(Little, Brown Jan 2015)
The acclaimed YA author returns to her fairytale roots with this dark and compelling story about a pair of siblings who live in a town where humans and the fae live side-by-side. ‘‘What makes it a delight is how nuanced and three-dimensional her characters are. It’s a story about growing up… and about secrets kept both from others and from ourselves. There’s a swagger to Darkest, too, one that shows just how sure Black’s hand has become.’’ [Adrienne Martini]
Julia Elliott, The Wilds
(Tin House Oct 2014)
This talented writer’s debut collection gathers 11 stories, most revised from their initial publications in leading literary journals, and many with elements of the weird, supernatural, and Southern Gothic – an impressive first offering from a distinctive new voice.
Harlan Ellison, The Top of the Volcano: The Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison
(Subterranean Press/Edgeworks Abbey Dec 2014)
This immense collection features 23 stories published over a span of 40 years by one of the field’s most important authors, every one an award-winner, including Hugo, Edgar, and Nebula Awards, featuring classics like ‘‘’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman’’, ‘‘I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream’’, ‘‘A Boy and His Dog’’, ‘‘Jeffty Is Five’’, ‘‘The Deathbird’’, and many more. A delight for existing fans, and an invaluable resource for new Ellison readers. ‘‘The single most useful Ellison collection to date.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Kelly Link, Get in Trouble
(Random House Feb 2015)
This first collection for adults since 2005’s Magic for Beginners brings us nine wonderful, hard-to-define stories by one of our most beloved voices, including new story ‘‘The Lesson.’’ ‘‘A new Link collection is… major news, in part because you can never really read a Link story for the second time, much like you can’t step in the same river twice… There are, to be sure, some recurring themes… but there’s also a sense of a master chef improvising with available ingredients.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Michael Moorcock, The Whispering Swarm
(Tor Jan 2015)
The Grand Master of mind-bending SF begins his new Sanctuary of the White Friars series, weaving the story of an ancient section of London ruled over by mysterious monks who offer sanctuary to anyone who needs it with the semi-autobiographical tale of a young post-WWII writer named Michael.
James Morrow, Galapágos Regained
(St. Martin’s Jan 2015)
One of our most thought-provoking writers outdoes himself in this hilarious historical adventure about an out-of-work actress who takes a job caring for Charles Darwin’s menagerie, learns about his theory of natural selection, and embarks on a quest to prove the non-existence of God – so she can win a contest and save her father from the workhouse. ‘‘I can think of few authors who would try to cast a deeply intellectual psychomachia in the form of a wildly comic picaresque tall tale, and fewer still who could get away with it and have so much fun in the process.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Walter Mosley, Inside a Silver Box
(Tor Jan 2015)
The acclaimed author, best known for his crime fiction, returns to SF with a book full of big ideas and deftly drawn characters. Two New Yorkers from different backgrounds are brought together to fight the cosmic menace of an alien race that seeks a dangerous artifact… and to figure out how to repair their own lives. Mosley skillfully combines SFnal wonder with social commentary and interpersonal dynamics.
Brian Staveley, The Providence of Fire
(Tor Jan 2015)
This sequel to last year’s powerful debut novel The Emperor’s Blades continues the epic fantasy Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, with the three children of a murdered emperor all waging separate efforts to avenge their father, gain power, or take control of their destinies. ‘‘Staveley acknowledges genre tradition, yet still finds ways to undermine it.’’ [Faren Miller]
Jo Walton, The Just City
(Tor Jan 2015)
In Walton’s latest novel, the goddess Pallas Athene creates a remote island city based on the Utopian ideals of the philosopher Plato, populated with people drawn from throughout history (plus the odd god in disguise and some helpful robots) – including Plato’s teacher Sokrates, with all his troublesome questions. ‘‘Walton has emerged over the last few years as one of the most unpredictable writers in our field.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]