New & Notable Books, March 2019

Katherine Arden, The Winter of the Witch (Del Rey 1/19) In the concluding volume of the Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, a young witch named Vasilisa Petrovna and Morozko the winter-king battle evil forces in order to save a magical 14th-century Russia.


Josiah Bancroft, The Hod King (Orbit 1/19) Third in the Books of Babel quartet in which a man explores the kingdoms on ascending levels of the Tower of Babel. “Bancroft’s powers of invention are rich and strong, but never abused…. Fans of accomplished New Weird should flock to this series.” [Paul Di Filippo]


Gregory Benford, Rewrite: Loops in the Timescape (Saga 1/19) This “conceptual sequel” to Benford’s multiple award-winning Timescape follows a historian who dies in 2000 and wakes up in his 16-year-old body in 1968. “Rewrite may be the most playful novel Benford has written in years, one which asks, among other things, what Back to the Future might have been like if Robert A. Heinlein and Albert Einstein had been involved in its production.” [Gary K. Wolfe]

Robert Jackson Bennett, Vigilance ( Publishing 1/19) The Shirley Jackson Award-winning author brings new terror in this novella about a reality game show centered around public mass shootings. “Grim, self-assured, and elegantly written, Vigilance is a very interesting work of art, deeply invested in the contemporary American moment.” [Liz Bourke]


S.A. Chakraborty, Kingdom of Copper (Harper Voyager 1/19) Sequel to The City of Brass set in an extradimensional city hidden somewhere in the Middle East, with “imaginative backstory; multiple rival races of fantastical beings; sharp dialogue; and total immersive believability of this world.” [Paul Di Filippo]


Mike Chen, Here and Now and Then (MIRA 1/19) In Chen’s debut novel, Kin Stewart is a time-traveling secret agent from 2142, living in 1990s San Francisco after a botched mission. When a rescue team brings him forward again into the future, Kin struggles to keep history from being rewritten and his teenage daughter being erased from his past.


Kat Howard, A Cathedral of Myth and Bone (Saga 1/19) Collection of 16 fantasy stories, two original, that aim to break myths, fairy tales, and the lives of saints out of their original frames. Includes the novella, “Once, Future”, an Arthurian reimagining set on a modern college campus.


Nancy Kress, Terran Tomorrow (Tor 11/18) Kress concludes this hard SF trilogy based on her Nebula Award winning novella “Yesterday’s Kin” with a group of long-lost and divergent humans returning to Earth after 140,000 years. “A really good SF/F universe or future history doesn’t want to end but to sprawl beyond arbitrary volume-number limits – it invites or even demands continued exploration and exploitation…. The novel ends with another journey about to begin… there is no final resting-place, only next questions.” [Russell Letson]

Alastair Reynolds, Shadow Captain (Orbit 1/19) Sequel to 2016’s Revenger. Sisters Arafura and Adrana Ness continue to adventure on their captured pirate ship while fending off strange contaminations, ancient alien artifacts, and the firepower of the entire galactic civilization. “Reynolds sets a new standard for combining old school blood and thunder with postmodern SF.” [Paul Di Filippo]


Kim Wilkins, Sisters of the Fire (Del Rey 2/19) Sequel to Daughters of the Storm. After restoring their father to the throne, five royal sisters – the warrior, the magician, the lover, the zealot, and the gossip – live separate lives of magic, exile, dragon-hunting, and marriage until a secret from the past threatens to disrupt the kingdom’s peace.


Ben H. Winters, Golden State (Mulholland 1/19) Edgar and Philip K. Dick Award winner Ben Winters presents a dystopian mystery set in an alternate California where lying is a major crime. “Speculative Service” agent Laszlo Ratesic is sent to investigate the death of a roofer when the Golden State’s ubiquitous surveillance cameras fail to capture the truth of the incident. “A wild journey into our post-truth America.”


This review and more like it in the March 2019 issue of Locus.

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