Intimations of Death by Felix Timmermans (Valancourt Books 978-1948405409, $15.99, 152pp, trade paperback) July 2019
The past is a seemingly inexhaustible trove of forgotten wonders. At least so the current literary rediscovery and reprint bonanza would tell us. (With concurrence from the music world, where lost tapes of fabulous concerts resurface regularly.) Formerly rare and unobtainable and legendary volumes such as The Ship That Sailed to Mars and The Temple ...Read MoreRead more
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull (Blackstone 978-1538584644, $26.99, 290pp, hardcover) June 2019
The nations of the Caribbean are so close to the USA, and share such a rich, tangled, fraught history with the States, that one would imagine many writers would have capitalized on the consanguinity to set their fantasies or futures there. And yet the bibliography at the handy website Caribbean SF lists titles for only thirty-some relevant novels. ...Read MoreRead more
The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-267249-0, $26.99, 432pp, hardcover) June 2019
The history, culture, folklore, politics and superstitions of Middle Europe — otherwise Central Europe or, more exotically, Mitteleuropa, countries including Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Albania — offer a rich mine of narrative and thematic possibilities. The same goes for the lands ...Read MoreRead more
Recursion by Blake Crouch (Crown 978-1-5247-5978-0, $27, 336pp, hardcover) June 2019
It’s easy to recognize a certain kind of technothriller bestseller, even one that’s skillfully done. The characters are not necessarily flat, but, for easy readerly absorption, they spring from readily identifiable societal niches: cop, businessman, housewife, general, terrorist. The language is pared down and highly cinematic, with lots of scenes plainly intended for the big screen. Not much introspection ...Read MoreRead more
Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters is not the worst Godzilla movie ever made, and when referring to the American films, that constitutes a high compliment; for after watching the first American Godzilla (1998), I personally thought that it was the worst Godzilla movie ever, until I watched the 2014 American Godzilla (review here) and concluded, somewhat controversially, that it was even worse. Nevertheless, any list of the top ...Read MoreRead more
Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker (Night Shade Books 978-1-59780-992-4, $24.99, 504pp, hardcover) May 2019.
It’s been a highly productive year or so for Rudy Rucker. In August of 2018 he self-published the excellent Return to the Hollow Earth (review here). Now, only nine months later, from his new publisher Night Shade, comes Million Mile Road Trip, along with reissues of nine of his classics. Who says life ...Read MoreRead more
Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit 978-0316452533, $15.99, 608pp, trade paperback) May 2019.
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s opener in this series, Children of Time, snapped up the Clarke Award for its year of publication, and it’s easy to see why. The book combines Stapledonian vistas with intimate human dramas, along with top-notch conceptualizations of an alien civilization. Toss in an Armageddon-extinction scenario, a generation starship, and a half-bonkers AI-posthuman godling, ...Read MoreRead more