Marie Brennan, The Tropic of Serpents
(Tor Mar 2014)
The second book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent finds the intrepid lady naturalist on a dragon-hunting expedition into her world’s version of Africa, where adventure mixes with a scientific attitude about the fantastic beasts encountered. ‘‘These chronicles have the power of fabulous and historic voyages, along with a wry wit that refuses to accept the standard notions of any era.’’ [Faren Miller]
Ellen Datlow, ed., Lovecraft’s Monsters
(Tachyon Publications Apr 2014)
A monster party featuring the creations of H.P. Lovecraft, this anthology gathers 18 stories – two original – by a stellar roster of authors include Neil Gaiman, Kim Newman, Karl Edward Wagner, Nick Mamatas, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and Elizabeth Bear.
Will Elliott, The Pilgrims
(Tor Mar 2014)
Two hapless men unwittingly cross from modern-day London into another place and get mixed up with rebels in this first volume in a fantasy series, ‘‘just the first stage in a gloriously wayward journey through the shattered relics of standard epic fantasy.’’ [Faren Miller] First published by HarperVoyager Australia in 2010 and Jo Fletcher Books in the UK (2011).
Daryl Gregory, Afterparty
(Tor Apr 2014)
A psychotropic designer drug makes users believe they’re in touch with supernatural beings in this near-future SF thriller’s exploration of faith, reality, and the collective unconscious. ‘‘Daryl Gregory continues to be one of the top writers in a field where literature works alongside adventure – and both forms benefit from the exchange.’’ [Faren Miller]
Eileen Gunn, Questionable Practices
(Small Beer Press Mar 2014)
The second collection from a noted author, this gathers 17 pieces, including two original stories and five collaborations (four with Michael Swanwick and one with Rudy Rucker). ‘‘Gunn’s most powerful fiction… poises on the edge of the fabulous and unendurable, between sheer fun and sheer terror…. [This] already gets my nomination for collection title of the year.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Peter Higgins, Truth and Fear
(Orbit Mar 2014)
Inspector Lom returns in this dramatic Russian-flavored fantasy/mystery sequel to Wolfhound Century, which finds the city on the verge of war, Lom pursued by the Secret Police, an Archangel stirring, and diabolical plots underway.
Terry Pratchett, Raising Steam
(Random House/Doubleday Mar 2014)
Railroads come to the Discword in this 40th volume in the popular humorous fantasy series, the latest to feature reformed con artist Moist von Lipwig, who has to keep dancing frantically (sometimes literally) to keep the trains on track as conservative forces plot to stop this new technology. Originally published by Doubleday UK (10/13).
Christopher Priest, The Adjacent
(Titan Apr 2014)
A mysterious weapon leaves huge equilateral triangles scorched in the Earth in this strangely apocalyptic SF novel of multiple meanings and multiple versions of characters and events, all set in the world of Priest’s Dream Archipelago. First published in the UK by Gollancz (6/13). ‘‘Endlessly tantalizing and ultimately satisfying… overall, rather stunning.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Karl Schroeder, Lockstep
(Tor Mar 2014)
A teen in hibernation on a spaceship wakes 14,000 years later to find his family rules thousands of worlds and he is a lost heir. ‘‘Lockstep tells a dense and textured story: a family-history mystery, a revolutionary adventure, and glimpses of Stapledonian panoramas, all studded with marvels and vistas and appealing science-fictional ideas and devices.’’ [Russell Letson]
Allen Steele, V-S Day
(Ace Feb 2014)
Steele returns to his alternate-space universe of The Tranquility Alternative and related stories with this thrilling account of a space race begun during WWII, when the Germans set Wernher von Braun to building a suborbital transcontinental bomber and the US rushes Robert Goddard to find a way to stop it. ‘‘V-S Day is a fully formed historical-procedural WWII drama… its focus is on the enormous challenges of conceiving, designing, building, and testing whole new technologies…the real hero of the novel is the dream-driven process of getting into space.’’ [Russell Letson]
Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, eds., The Time Traveler’s Almanac
(Tor Mar 2014)
This hefty anthology provides a valuable overview of the SF time-travel story with 65 stories and novel excerpts from some of the field’s greatest authors including H.G. Wells, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Kage Baker, and William Gibson.