Margaret Atwood, In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination
(Doubleday/Talese Oct 2011)
Atwood explores her complicated relationship with SF in this non-fiction collection dedicated to Ursula K. LeGuin which includes essays, reviews, lectures, and five "tributes" in the form of brief SF stories. "An honest work in progress by a distinguished author whose sympathy for the field as she understands it is quite a bit more thoughtful than we suspected it was." [Gary K. Wolfe]
Beth Bernobich, Fox & Phoenix
(Viking Oct 2011)
The author’s first book for younger readers is set in a China-inspired fantasy world populated by ghost dragons, animal spirit companions, and magical technology, with young Kai sent on a journey to the mysterious Phoenix Empire to bring a message to a princess.
Philip K. Dick, edited by Pamela Jackson & Jonathan Lethem, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Nov 2011)
This vast non-fiction compendium, edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, collects portions of Dick’s personal journals from 1974 until his death in 1982, most wrestling with the implications of his famous visionary experience on 2/3/74. Includes annotations edited by Erik Davis, notes, a glossary, and indexes. Richard Doyle provides an afterword.
Matthew Hughes, The Other
(Underland Nov 2011)
This latest novel in the Jack Vance-flavored far-future Archonate series concerns confidence man, thief, and forger Luff Imbry, stranded by his enemies on an isolated planet where the dominant culture is devoted to enforcing physical conformity at all costs and where the corpulent Imbry is seen as dangerously irregular.
Stephen Jones, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: 22
(Running Press Oct 2011)
The all-horror year’s best anthology presents 23 stories by the most compelling voices in horror today, including Ramsey Campbell, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Joel Lane, Joe. R. Lansdale, Norman Partrige, Robert Shearman, Michael Marshall Smith, Steve Rasnic Tem, and others. Also includes an overview of the year in publishing by Jones, and a necrology by Jones & Kim Newman.
Caitlín R. Kiernan, Two Worlds and In Between: The Best of Caitlin R. Kiernan (Volume One)
(Subterranean Press Oct 2011)
The first of two retrospective volumes collecting the best short fiction by this ambitious writer of dark and strange tales, including 26 stories published from 1993-2004, most revised, some significantly. Includes an introduction by the author. "One of the most distinctive voices of fantastic literature of the last few decades... This is certainly one of the major collections of the year, and it makes you wish the second volume were here now." [Gary K. Wolfe]
Jay Lake, Endurance
(Tor Nov 2011)
The saga of the eponymous courtesan/assassin from Green (2009) continues in this second volume of the series. Lake further reveals his exotic fantasy world as Green is hired to protect the Lily Goddess from the forces of the Godslayers bent on eradicating all deities.
George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, eds., Down These Strange Streets
(Ace Oct 2011)
The latest cross-genre original anthology from the powerhouse editing duo focuses on urban fantasy with a noir twist, featuring 16 stories by authors including Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Joe R. Lansdale, and Martin himself, among others. "One masterwork like Bradley Denton’s ‘The Adakian Eagle’, one of the best stories of the year so far, would justify a book of duds, and Down These Strange Streets is not that. Stories by Carrie Vaughn, Laurie R. King, and Glen Cook, among others, justify the price of admission." [Rich Horton]
Maureen F. McHugh, After the Apocalypse
(Small Beer Press Nov 2011)
This new collection gathers nine recent stories by the acclaimed author, three of them original, about the aftermath of catastrophes, including pandemics and zombie uprisings along with more personal disasters. "McHugh has an uncanny ability to layer emotions and backstory in a way that captures what it feels like to be human, no matter what the world might be doing around you. Her stories are not blunt force works; instead they are delicate yet strong, like wrought iron." [Adrienne Martini]
Tamora Pierce, Mastiff
(Random House Nov 2011)
The final book in the Provost’s Dog YA fantasy series (set in the world of the Tortall series) follows heroine Beka Cooper as she hunts a kidnapper and deals with the death of her fiancé. "It’s hard to say good-bye to Beka, but the connection to the Song of the Lioness series brings a powerful sense of closure to the trilogy." [Carolyn Cushman]
Terry Pratchett, Snuff
(Harper Oct 2011)
The latest installment in the long-running and beloved Discworld series sees Commander Vimes of the City Watch forced to take a holiday on his noble wife’s country estate. Vimes doesn’t see the point of vacations, but fortunately, he soon finds evidence of nefarious acts in the area, ranging from smuggling to darker plots involving the local goblin population.
Delia Sherman, The Freedom Maze
(Small Beer Press/Big Mouth House Nov 2011)
In this ambitious book for young readers, 13-year-old Sophie encounters a strange creature in a garden maze during a boring summer in 1960s Louisiana, and asks for an adventure. The creature obliges by transporting her back in time 100 years, when the family property was a sugar plantation worked by slaves and where Sophie is mistaken for a slave herself. "An inviting and yet utterly complex story aimed at middle grade readers, but which will surely hold appeal for teens and adults as well." [Gwenda Bond]
Ian Whates, ed., Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction
(Solaris Nov 2011)
This original anthology of 19 stories resurrects the moribund Solaris Book of Science Fiction series, with excellent work by Stephen Baxter, Dave Hutchinson, Ken MacLeod, Ian McDonald, Alastair Reynolds, Lavie Tidhar, and others. "One of the three or four best SF anthologies published this year... a very solid debut for a series I hope will continue." [Gardner Dozois]
Rob Ziegler, Seed
(Night Shade Books Nov 2011)
This first novel by a bold new voice in science fiction takes place in a 22nd century devastated by war and climate change. The United States is dominated by Satori, a corporation and "intelligent, living city" that supplies climate-resistant seeds to the populace, but also hides dark secrets.