Mishell Baker, Borderline
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Mar 2016)
In this quirky urban fantasy novel, disabled filmmaker Millie Roper takes a job with the Arcadia Project to help control creatures of myth and fairy tale from an alternate world who have managed to cross over into Hollywood. An entertaining first novel, the first book in The Arcadia Project series.
Darin Bradley, Aaron Leis & Misti Morrison, eds., FWA 1: A Farrago’s Wainscot Exhibition
(Underland Press Jan 2016)
Anthology of 30 pieces – 17 stories and 13 poems – that originally appeared in the noted online magazine during 2015. Authors include Forrest Aguirre, Hal Duncan, Marleen S. Barr, and Nick Mamatas.
Lindsay Eager, Hour of the Bees
(Candlewick Mar 2016)
Young-adult fantasy/magic realism novel. A 12-year-old girl helps close down her grandfather’s remote ranch and move him to a home for people with dementia, and is drawn to his family stories, particularly those about an oasis, a tree that gives immortality, and bees that keep the tree alive – magical stories that have Carolina looking at her Hispanic heritage in new ways. A promising first novel.
Jim C. Hines, Revisionary
(DAW Feb 2016)
Libriomancer Isaac Vainio finds that revealing magic to the world hasn’t worked as he hoped, in this fourth novel in the Magic Ex Libris series. As far as the government is concerned, weapons are the preferred items to be pulled from books, not miraculous medicines or scientific advances, which are stalled by government testing requirements. Around the world, organizations on both the mundane and the supernatural sides try to take over, and a fed-up Isaac joins his own group. This is darker than previous books in the series, but any decline in offbeat humor is replaced by plenty of entertaining action.
Livia Llewellyn, Furnace
(Word Horde Feb 2016)
Collection of 14 stories by an author known for her elegant, twisted, surreal, weird, and often erotic short horror fiction.
Will McIntosh, Burning Midnight
(Delacorte Feb 2016)
In this entertaining near-future young-adult SF novel, mysterious orbs hidden around the world give users special powers – but when kids hunting orbs stumble across an extremely valuable specimen, a wealthy dealer tries to take it from them.
Patricia A. McKillip, Kingfisher
(Ace Feb 2016)
Noted fantasy author McKillip turns her skills to the story of the Fisher King. Arthurian elements mix with a magical modern world ruled by kings and queens in this coming-of-age story in which a young man is lured away from his remote home by tales of King Arden’s court, unconcerned by his mother’s revelations of his family’s past difficulties at that court.
Alastair Reynolds, Poseidon’s Wake
(Ace Feb 2016)
The third book in the Poseidon’s Children hard-SF trilogy offers a mysterious message (‘‘Send Ndege…’’) that leads Ndege’s daughter Goma and a crew on a voyage to determine the message’s origin, a trip that provides unexpected information about her family and other mysteries. Originally published in the UK (Gollancz 4/15).
Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories
(Small Beer Press Mar 2016)
This fantasy novel, a companion to World Fantasy Award-winner A Stranger in Olondria, adds new and deeper worldbuilding to a tale of four women caught up in a rebellion. ‘‘The plot really turns out to be less important than the rich, immersive unfolding of an imaginary empire far more detailed than we might have suspected… and of the ways in which the women of that empire find their own destinies, and the sometimes sad, lovely, and angry ways they find to tell us about it.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Brandon Sanderson, Perfect State/Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell
(Subterranean Press Feb 2016)
This slipcased, two-novella set offers SF in Perfect State, in which a God-Emperor has to go on a date, and fantasy in Shadows for Silence in the Forest of Hell, a Cosmere series novella which originally appeared in the Dozois & Martin anthology Dangerous Women (2013).
Allen Steele, Arkwright
(Tor Mar 2016)
The first World Science Fiction in 1939 provides the starting point for this SF family saga, a fix-up novel built from four novellas first published in Asimov’s, with bridging matter woven in. Teenaged Nat Arkwright gets thrown out of the convention, but he and three others jokingly create their own Legion of Tomorrow. Much later, Nat’s granddaughter is asked to create the Arkwright Foundation to promote space travel and colonization, leading to a mix of problems technical, political, and personal.
Ann VanderMeer, ed., The Bestiary
(Centipede Press Mar 2016)
The VanderMeer custom of gathering information on imaginary things continues with this latest book, subtitled A Modern Bestiary of Untrue Tales. A wide variety of authors contribute their descriptions of creatures from A to Z, with a little added character from ‘‘Ampersand’’ by Karin Lowachee and ‘‘The ’’ by China Miéville. Illustrated weirdly by Ivica Stevanovic.