Eleanor Arnason, Big Mama Stories
(Aqueduct Jul 2013)
Arnason pioneers (and possibly invents) the subgenre of ‘‘space-age tall tales’’ here, with five stories (two original) about ‘‘Big Mamas,’’ cosmic trickster figures capable of traveling in time and space and changing in size from bigger than galaxies all the way down to human scale, as they meddle in the affairs of people and aliens. ‘‘Wonderfully over-the-top.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Alex Bledsoe, Wisp of a Thing
(Tor Jun 2013)
Bledsoe returns to the haunting Appalachian landscape of The Hum and the Shiver (2011) in his second novel about the Tufa, a mysterious clan living in the mountains of Tennessee. Musician and recent widower Rob Quillen goes to Cloud County in search of a magical song, and finds himself entangled in mysterious local power struggles and confronting an ancient curse. ‘‘A thoroughly compelling tale.’’ [Faren Miller]
Ramsey Campbell, Holes for Faces
(Dark Regions Aug 2013)
This collection includes 14 of the best stories from the legendary horror author, all published in the last eight years, including the original title story.
Kate Elliott, Cold Steel
(Orbit Jun 2013)
The final volume of the Spiritwalker trilogy raises the stakes higher than ever before, as her heroes deal with treachery, revolution, and war on an alternate Earth where the Ice Age lingered, dinosaurs evolved sentience, and humans wield magic. Full of swashbuckling adventure, wildly inventive worldbuilding, thrilling danger, and romance.
Matt Haig, The Humans
(Simon & Schuster/Free Press Jul 2013)
This dark comedy takes a classic SFnal premise and pushes it as far as possible: an alien researcher is sent from a highly advanced planet to study humans on Earth, taking on the form of famed Cambridge mathematician Andrew Martin, observing the foibles and idiosyncrasies of humankind… and learning what it means to be human.
Rich Horton, ed., The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2013 Edition
(Prime Books Jul 2013)
This anthology gathers 33 stories representing the best of the genre, with stories by Elizabeth Bear, Aliette de Bodard, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, Ursula K. Le Guin, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and others, plus an introduction by the editor and a ‘‘Recommended Reading List’’ of worthy stories that didn’t make it into the book.
Melissa Marr, The Arrivals
(Morrow Jul 2013)
Elements of portal fantasy, Westerns, and horror mingle in this gripping tale of a contemporary woman who wakes up one day in the Wasteland, a desolate magical world populated by demons, dangerous natives, and a few other refugees from various times and places on Earth. ‘‘Vivid and surprising.’’ [Faren Miller]
Fred Nadis, The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey
(Penguin/Tarcher Jun 2013)
This expansive and well-researched biography tells the story of Ray Palmer, the infamous and renowned editor of Amazing Stories and promoter of conspiracy theories (including the Shaver Mystery and the UFO craze) who helped shape – and some would say nearly destroyed – SF in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s. A ‘‘well-written and entertaining biography of one of fantastic fiction’s greatest gadflies and provocateurs.’’ [Stefan Dziemianowicz]
Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter, The Long War
(Harper Jun 2013)
This sequel to The Long Earth continues the collaboration between two of the most impressive talents in the SF world. Since the discovery of multiple parallel Earths a decade earlier, humankind has spread throughout the worlds, and prospered – but the humanoids known as trolls are dying, and a colony called Valhalla is plotting rebellion against its masters on the original Datum Earth.
Ken Scholes, Requiem
(Tor Jun 2013)
The fourth and penultimate book in the science fantasy Psalms of Isaak series continues to dazzle with inventiveness and wit. A diverse cast of characters make their way through a postapocalyptic future stranger than most fantasy worlds – with some traveling as far as the moon – as the Crimson Empress continues her conquest of the Named Lands.
Connie Willis, The Best of Connie Willis
(Ballantine Del Rey Jul 2013)
The latest collection from the science fiction Grand Master features ten stories that have all won either the Hugo or Nebula Award (or both). Includes an introduction by the author, story notes, and three of Willis’s sharp and lively speeches.