Clive Barker, Infernal Parade
(Subterranean Press Mar 2017)
A dark fantasy novella told in six parts, finally bringing together pieces of story previously only available with action figures issued in 2004, now with new illustrations by Bob Eggleton. Convicted criminal and King of Showmen Tom Requiem leads a parade of humans and fantastic creatures from North Dakota to the mythical city of Karantica. “Infernal Parade features some wonderful imagery that serves to remind us just how well Barker writes when he’s at the top of his game.” [Stefan Dziemianowicz]
Gregory Benford, The Berlin Project
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press May 2017)
The US develops the atomic bomb in time for D-day in this meticulously researched alternate-history SF spy thriller of WWII and the brilliant scientists and engineers involved in building the A-bomb, by one of SF’s noted authors of hard SF.
Julie E. Czerneda, ed., Nebula Awards Showcase 2017
(Prometheus/Pyr May 2017)
The best works of 2015, as chosen by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, are presented here in a grand mix of stories, poems, essays, and novel excerpts. All the fiction winners are included, plus all the short story nominees and novel nominees (as excerpts), the Rhysling and Dwarf Star Award-winning poems, and essays on winners in other categories, plus two excerpts from novels by Grand Master C.J. Cherryh.
Sean Danker, Free Space
(Ace May 2017)
This follow-up to the popular SF novel Admiral finds the enigmatic title character attempting to spend a pleasant weekend with Salmagard, only to end up kidnapped. Fortunately, the kidnappers underestimate the young lady, a highly trained, genetically engineered soldier. A fun second installment in a series with a highly entertaining mix of military SF, mystery, and intrigue.
K. W. Jeter, Grim Expectations
(Angry Robot Jun 2017)
Jeter, one of the originators of steampunk, brings his own brand of warped and wry weirdness to the form in this rather grim third volume in the George Dower series. Miss McThane dies, leaving George a clockwork box full of hundreds of letters about a search for an unspecified person, a mystery that sends George on a new quest of his own.
Paul Kincaid, Iain M. Banks
(University of Illinois Press May 2017)
Kincaid’s critical biography, part of the Modern Masters of Science Fiction series, offers new insights on Iain M. Banks’s life and works, exploring the split between his literary works and his SF, and taking a close look at his Culture series.
Stephen King & Richard Chizmar, Gwendy’s Button Box
(Cemetery Dance May 2017)
The inimitable Stephen King and noted horror editor and author Richard Chizmar team up in this oddly sweet dark fantasy novella about a girl given a magic box with horrifying potential.
K. J. Parker, Mightier than the Sword
(Subterranean Press Jun 2017)
A royal Imperial legate, charged with stopping pirate bands attacking monasteries, finds mystery and family intrigues, leading to a grand battle and typically ironic ending. “Few fantasy writers achieve their effects as purely from voice and tone as K.J. Parker. His narrators are at once exasperated, sarcastic, self-critical yet despicable… if it’s not quite one of Parker’s most acerbic comedies of violence, it’s fully enjoyable on its own cheerfully cynical terms.” [Gary K. Wolfe]
A. Merc Rustad, So You Want to Be a Robot
(Lethe May 2017)
Rustad’s first collection, already gathering critical acclaim, presents 21 stories, two new, of unconventional SF and fantasy. “This is a strong debut collection from a writer of whom I expect we will be seeing a great deal more in the years to come.” [Liz Bourke]
John Scalzi, The Dispatcher
(Subterranean Jun 2017)
First published as an exclusive audiobook in 2016 and appearing in print for the first time, this fascinating near-future fantasy novella presents an intriguing future in which those deliberately killed almost always come back to life. Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher hired to kill people so they don’t die permanently from things like accidents or surgery, but when a fellow dispatcher is kidnapped, Tony has to save him from a frighteningly different kind of death.
Catherynne M. Valente, The Refrigerator Monologues
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Jun 2017)
“Fridging” refers to a comic-book trope: bad things happen to women who become involved with male superheroes, such as ending up dead in refrigerators. Valente explores the phenomenon in this collection of six linked stories, narrated by dead women who were refrigerated. “Each monologue is full of voice and a nearly surgical attention to detail that would make it amazing on stage.” [Adrienne Martini]
Martha Wells, All Systems Red
(Tor.com May 2017)
This highly entertaining SF novella, the first in the Murderbot Diaries series, follows a scientific mission on a largely unexplored planet. They have their required security android, but they’re unaware that this unit is damaged: self-aware, it has hacked its own controls, and now thinks of itself as “Murderbot.” When things start going wrong and a neighboring team goes dark, however, the scientists soon realize their Murderbot has some handy – if unexpected – skills for finding out what’s really going on.