In the Watchful City , S. Qiouyi Lu (Tor.com 978-1250792983, 192pp, $14.99) August 2021.
Close as I can discern, S. Qiouyi Lu began their career circa 2016, with a story in Strange Horizons titled “Her Sacred Spirit Soars.” (Although their CV does list a poem from one year earlier, “Particularities.”) In either case, the succeeding short span of years have been filled with a respectable number of tales from their ...Read MoreRead more
Appleseed, Matt Bell (Custom House 978-0063040144, 480pp, $27.99) July 2021.
Matt Bell is a writer whose whole oeuvre (a couple of previous novels and several story collections) is plainly steeped in the elements of fantastika; a writer who is manifestly cognizant of all the hardcore tropes of the genre, able to deploy them deftly. But he is published outside the genre fences, and hailed as non-denominational Literature with ...Read MoreRead more
(Note that “#wks on any list” counts below are incomplete, as this page was not posted from late April to mid June of this year.)
Everything in All the Wrong Order: The Best of Chaz Brenchley, Chaz Brenchley (Subterranean 978-1645240112, 568pp, $45.00) August 2021.
Starting in 1974 with The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum, Ballantine Books began issuing a series of best-of volumes that became a definitive record of canonical authors and stories, providing a reading map and sense of history for a generation or two of readers. (To a lesser extent, ...Read MoreRead more
Reclaimed, Madeleine Roux (Ace 978-0451491855, 320pp, $17.00) August 2021.
Not many tropes derive their name from one specific seminal work of art. And yet such a thing did happen with the 1932 Karloff spookfest, The Old Dark House. Over the decades, the movie gradually lent its name to a whole genre or iconography, whose lineaments are now so familiar that their invocation often results in cliché. But mashing ...Read MoreRead more
» NYT: A Century in Stanislaw Lem’s Cosmos
» NYT: When a Fictional Utopia Offers a Pathway Home, by Amy Kurzweil: “Reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘Always Coming Home’ after a cross country move to California.”
» NYT: Amal El-Mohtar reviews books by Marissa Levien, Nghi Vo, and editors Swapna Krishna & Jenn Northington
» Guardian: Lisa Tuttle reviews Catling, Hendrix, Murphy, Clark, Grant
» Wall Street Journal: Tom Shippey ...Read MoreRead more
City of Iron and Dust, J.P. Oakes (Titan 978-1789097108, 400pp, $15.95) July 2021.
If Joe Abercrombie climbed into his time machine to visit famed Black crime writer Chester Himes, and they then collaborated on a new version of the as-yet-unborn Cotton Comes to Harlem, the result might very well resemble Oakes’s debut novel, City of Iron and Dust. The book is a grim’n’gritty yet often blackly humorous ...Read MoreRead more
The Hidden Palace, Helene Wecker (Harper 978-0062468710, 480pp, $28.99) June 2021.
Helene Wecker’s sequel to her stunning 2013 debut, The Golem and the Jinni [reviewed here], succeeds 100 percent in recapturing the assured voice, the delicate magic, the solid historical verisimilitude, and the engaging interplay of personalities that she delivered in the first book. But she does not merely replicate all the pleasures, plot points, devices, and charms of ...Read MoreRead more
Sidewinders, Robert V.S. Redick (Talos 978-1945863608, 672pp, $25.99) July 2021.
Worldbuilding has developed a bad rap lately. The meticulous and detailed creation of another realm “beyond the fields we know,” with novel cultures, languages, religions, history, geography, flora and fauna, is somehow deemed oppressive and pedantic and tiresome. Well, duh, yeah—if it’s done badly and ham-handedly. Like any tool in the writer’s toolkit, worldbuilding can be employed deftly and ...Read MoreRead more
» NY Times: Jeff VanderMeer By the Book: How Jeff VanderMeer Prevents Writer’s Block
» NY Times: Amal El-Mohtar reviews Karin Tidbeck, E. Lily Yu, Charlie Jane Anders
» Bloomberg Green: Kim Stanley Robinson on Cities as a Climate Survival Mechanism, subtitled, A future with far more cities, and cities that are asked to do far more. ...Read MoreRead more
» San Francisco Chronicle: Gabino Iglesias Review: With ‘Hummingbird Salamander,’ sci-fi great Jeff VanderMeer changes direction
» SF Gate: Dan Gentile: Everyone’s reading the buzzy novel ‘Klara and the Sun.’ Here’s why.
» Onion AV Club: Alex McLevy: Jeff VanderMeer’s latest work of bleak eco-fiction is an apocalyptic page-turner ...Read MoreRead more
» Washington Post: Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar: Let’s talk about the best — and newest — science fiction and fantasy story collections
» Guardian: Lisa Tuttle covers The best recent science fiction and fantasy – reviews roundup, with titles by VanderMeer, Aristide, Suzuki, and Slatter ...Read MoreRead more
» New York Times: Ezra Klein: The Author Behind ‘Arrival’ Doesn’t Fear AI. ‘Look at How We Treat Animals.’, subtitled, “The award-winning author and Ezra Klein discuss A.I. suffering, free will, Superman’s failures and more.
» The New Yorker: Ted Chiang: Why Computers Won’t Make Themselves Smarter, subtitled, “We fear and yearn for ‘the singularity.’ But it will probably never come.” ...Read MoreRead more
A limited one-volume edition of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (HarperCollins) with the author’s own illustrations, due in October, ranks on Amazon Canada’s list this morning.
The Complete Ivy Frost, Donald Wandrei (Haffner Press 978-1893887619, 720pp, $49.99, hardcover) December 2020
Haffner Press has been gifting the world of bibliophiles and literature-lovers with enormously attractive and highly readable books since 1998, when they published Jack Williamson’s The Queen of the Legion. (For a complete record of their offerings, visit their ISFDB page.) Any publication from Haffner exemplifies craftsmanship, graphic design ingenuity, and attention to textual ...Read MoreRead more
» Washington Post: Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar: Let’s talk about wonderful Indian science-fiction and fantasy novels
» Slate: COVID-19 Isn’t the Apocalypse We Expected—or the One Some Wanted, subtitled “Recent novels from Don DeLillo and Jonathan Lethem fantasized about turning off screens forever,” beginning with a look back at E.M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops”
» NYT: Kermit Pattison reviews associational book THE ZOOLOGIST’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: What Animals ...Read MoreRead more