Dale Bailey, The End of the End of Everything
(Arche Press Apr 2015)
Collection of nine dark fantasy and horror stories with a literary touch, from an author whose work deserves more attention.
Elizabeth Bear, Karen Memory
(Tor Feb 2015)
Bear brings her own touch to Steampunk in this Western novel set in a 19th-century city with a strong resemblance to Seattle during the Alaska gold rush, seen through the eyes of a young prostitute working in a high-class brothel when they get into a war with the unsavory man who owns the dockside cribs. ‘‘A textbook example of how voice is just as important as plot or world-building. Seeing this world through Karen’s eyes makes an already enjoyable journey into an addictive one.’’ [Adrienne Martini]
Marie Brennan, Voyage of the Basilisk
(Tor Mar 2015)
Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle inspires this alternate-world naturalist’s two-year trip around the world in quest for dragons, sea serpents, and other oddities. This is the third book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series, set six years after The Tropic of Serpents. ‘‘Voyage of the Basilisk combines grand adventure with fascinating insights into the principles behind a world that could almost be our own.’’ [Faren Miller]
Peter V. Brett, The Skull Throne
(Ballantine Del Rey Mar 2015)
The eagerly awaited fourth book in the Demon Cycle series focuses on new challenges, with an empty throne to fight over and no saviors to be seen.
Zachary Brown, The Darkside War
(Saga Mar 2015)
Good old-fashioned military science fiction, this first book in the Icarus Corps trilogy follows a young army conscript from a brutal boot camp, where they’re taught that the Accordance aliens who have conquered Earth are better than the Conglomeration aliens with whom the Accordance is at war. So it’s off to war and new realizations, with plenty of action.
Mira Grant, Rolling in the Deep
(Subterranean Press Apr 2015)
A reality show hunting mermaids sets out on a boat (supplied with extra fake mermaids just in case) for the Mariana Trench. And of course they find something they didn’t expect, as the somewhat satiric edge of the beginning slips into horror, and some very dark humor along the way.
Daryl Gregory, Harrison Squared
(Tor Mar 2015)
Harrison Harrison moves to a very Lovecraftian town, and his efforts to find his missing mother reveal some very strange doings in the town – but not quite the sort you might expect. It’s filled with lots of allusions for young readers, horror fans, and more literary sorts. ‘‘Lovecraft fundamentalists might take exception to the light-hearted liberties Gregory takes with the mythos…despite the HPL furniture Harrison Squared is in no sense an imitation or pastiche.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Leanna Renee Hieber, The Eterna Files
(Tor Feb 2015)
Science, intrigue, ghosts and ancient cosmic forces come into play when the Americans, shocked by Lincoln’s assassination, set up the Eterna project, a search for immortality and invulnerability for just a select few. Then an otherworldly force strikes down the research teams; while Eterna survivors worry the same will happen to any researchers approaching success, England’s Queen Victoria demands her people recover the American formula she believes survived.
W. P. Kinsella, The Essential W. P. Kinsella
(Tachyon Publications Mar 2015)
This collection of 31 stories by an author noted for his baseball stories is mostly mainstream, but some stories are touched by magic, most notably ‘‘Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa’’, the story that became the novel Shoeless Joe, which became the movie Field of Dreams. A treat for fans of good writing, regardless of their opinion of baseball.
Ken Liu, The Grace of Kings
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Apr 2015)
Liu’s first novel – and the first book in the Dandelion Dynasty series – lives up to the promise of his much-acclaimed short fiction, with a tale of rebellion in the island kingdoms in an archipelago empire. ‘‘Liu successfully makes the leap from short fiction not just to the novel, but to an ambitious epic trilogy loosely drawn from the early history of China’s Han Dynasty… one of the most important, surprising, and sheerly enjoyable fantasies this year.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Melanie Rawn, Window Wall
(Tor Apr 2015)
Cade, a member of a theater troupe, stops repressing his Fae gift that shows him possible futures and sees a castle blowing up and decides to stop it from happening. The fourth book in the colorful Glass Thorns series.
Catherynne M. Valente, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
(Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends Mar 2015)
The much anticipated fourth book in the Locus Award-winning series begun in The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a bit of a departure with mostly new characters, focusing on a young troll named Hawthorn, sent to the human world as a changeling who can never fit in – until he finds a way back to fairyland when he is 12.
Genevieve Valentine, Persona
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Mar 2015)
An apparent assassination attempt on the ‘‘Face’’ of the United Amazonian Rainforest Confederation sets off a chase through Paris and revelations of shifting loyalties and unsuspected depths. ‘‘Touches all the bases of the classic paranoid thriller.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Jack Vance, edited by Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan, Grand Crusades: The Early Jack Vance, Volume Five
(Subterranean Press Mar 2015)
This collection, edited by Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan, presents five novellas or short novels, most from the ’50s and one from 1965. ‘‘This is old-fashioned pulp adventure stuff, with only hints here and there of the sophistication of his later work… If you can get in a mood to allow yourself to rollick, these are rollicking good fun.’’ [Gardner Dozois]