Kage Baker, The Machine's Child
(Tor Sep 2006)
The saga of the Company approaches its eagerly awaited conclusion in this penultimate novel, which finds the cyborg Mendoza rescued by her recurring love with his various personalities now in one body. A manic, satirical time-traveling romp with ‘‘a pervasive sense of antic doom… moving inexorably to psychological breakdown. The resolution is masterful.’’ [Nick Gevers]
Peter S. Beagle, The Line Between
(Tachyon Publications Jul 2006)
The latest collection of recent stories by the famed fantasy writer presents two original stories and six reprints, including the Hugo-winning novelette ‘‘Two Hearts’’. ‘‘A cornucopia of delights; mark this as a major contender for Collection of the Year.’’ [Nick Gevers]
Eric Brown, Threshold Shift
(Golden Gryphon Press Sep 2006)
The first American collection from an underappreciated UK writer, this gathering of ten stories includes two BSFA winners, and three set in the universe of the alien Kéthani. Reviewed in this issue.
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Stamping Butterflies
(Bantam Spectra Sep 2006)
SF novel of two men dreaming of each other millennia apart, a mix of near-future thriller and evocative far-future tale of the emperor of a decadent world. ‘‘A major novel from an author who by now deserves to be called one of the major figures of the new British SF.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe] Previously published in the UK by Gollancz (2004).
Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois, eds., Escape from Earth: New Adventures in Space
(SFBC Sep 2006)
Return to the good-old-days of classic YA SF adventure with this anthology of seven all-new stories that attempt to resurrect that sense of wonder and fun. Authors include Orson Scott Card, Allen M. Steele, Elizabeth Moon, Geoffrey A. Landis, and Joe Haldeman.
Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds., The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2006: Nineteenth Annual Collection
(St. Martin's Griffin Aug 2006)
The heavyweight year’s best anthology in the fantasy and horror field weighs in with 35 stories, five poems, and over 100 pages of commentary on the year. Authors include Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Hand, Howard Waldrop, and Kim Newman.
Joe Haldeman, A Separate War and Other Stories
(Ace Aug 2006)
This collection of 15 stories, from Haldeman’s first sale to recent works, includes Haldeman’s previously unpublished Last Dangerous Visions story. Notes by the author on the writing of each story are included.
Robin Hobb, Forest Mage
(HarperCollins/Eos Sep 2006)
Being fat and despised was never so fascinating as in this atmospheric second volume in the Soldier Son fantasy trilogy, which finds lord’s son Nevare devastated when his rare reaction to plague (and magic) causes uncontrolled weight gain, resulting in his dismissal from the military academy and sending him to the frontier in an attempt to find a commander desperate enough to let him enlist. ‘‘At once harrowing, unexpected, and morally complex… I’m eager to see what happens next.’’ [Faren Miller]
James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel, eds., Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology
(Tachyon Publications Jun 2006)
Yet another attempt to define ‘‘slipstream,’’ this anthology gathers 15 stories by noted authors including Michael Chabon, Ted Chiang, Karen Joy Fowler, Kelly Link, and Howard Waldrop.
Caitlín R. Kiernan, Alabaster
(Subterranean Press Sep 2006)
This collection gathers six dark fantasy stories, one original, featuring Kiernan’s strikingly unlikely heroine Darcy Flammarion, introduced in Threshold, an albino teen in the Deep South who fights monsters with the guidance of angels.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Voices
(Harcourt Sep 2006)
Young-adult fantasy, a companion to Gifts in the Annals of the Western Short, about a city controlled by desert invaders who oppose all books except their own holy writ. A powerful tale of cultural conflicts, prejudice, and religious fanaticism by a ‘‘writer who refuses to pull her punches, even for YA fantasy.’’ [Faren Miller] First published in the UK by Orion Children’s Books (5/06).
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon
(St. Martin's Aug 2006)
Fascinating biography of the brilliant author who stunned the SF field when ‘‘he’’ was revealed to be a woman. This draws heavily on Tiptree’s extensive correspondence with others in the SF field including Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Joanna Russ.
Delia Sherman, Changeling
(Penguin/Viking Aug 2006)
Manhattan gets a fascinating, otherworldly makeover in this young-adult urban fantasy about a human child raised by supernatural Folk in a magical world seemingly coexisting with New York City.
Jonathan Strahan, ed., Science Fiction: The Very Best of 2005
(Locus Press Sep 2006)
Jonathan Strahan, ed., Fantasy: The Very Best of 2005
(Locus Press Sep 2006)
Two more year’s best anthologies, these present concise selections of stories, the Science Fiction volume with 14 stories by authors including James Morrow, Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and Vonda N. McIntyre. Fantasy gathers 16 stories by authors including Peter S. Beagle, Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer, and Kelly Link. ‘‘Strahan comes closes to representing the consensus ‘best of the best’… the most logical choice for anyone seeking to get this ‘year’s best’ business over with by reading a single anthology.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Jeff VanderMeer, Shriek: An Afterword
(Tor Aug 2006)
A sister tries to honor her (presumably) late brother by putting together a biographical afterword for his famous history of the fabled city of Ambergris. ‘‘This Afterword wrought from journals, memories, lies, old feuds, sibling rivalry and affection, manages to explain whatever reason can grasp amid the madness – and brilliantly evokes the rest.’’ [Faren Miller] First published by Tor UK (1/06).
Jo Walton, Farthing
(Tor Aug 2006)
Alternate history and mystery mix in this novel set in a 1949 England still independent, in a world where Germany won WWII in Europe.