Paul Di Filippo Reviews Telluria by Vladimir Sorokin

Telluria, Vladimir Sorokin (NYRB Classics 978-1681376332, trade paperback, 352pp, $18.95) August 2022.

Vladimir Sorokin is a postmodern, pissed-off Stanislaw Lem. In line with his belonging to a younger generation (Sorokin was born in 1955, Lem in 1921), Sorokin is less cerebral, more emotionally “hot.” But while not necessarily as deeply invested in philosophical/ontological/epistemological issues as Lem was, Sorokin shares Lem’s abilities to push old tropes and novums to the ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Carnival and Other Stories by Charles Beaumont

The Carnival and Other Stories, Charles Beaumont (Subterranean Press 978-1645240914, hardcover, 392pp, $45.00) October 2022.

The myths and legends surrounding creative geniuses who died too young are omnipresent and alluring. John Keats, Buddy Holly, Keith Haring, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin— Such names form a pantheon of appreciation for what was accomplished and regrets for the might-have-beens.

Fantastika is not bereft of such a catalogue. Stanley Weinbaum, Cyril Kornbluth, Tom ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Expect Me Tomorrow by Christopher Priest

Expect Me Tomorrow, Christopher Priest (Gollancz 978-1473235137, hardcover, 336pp, £22.00) September 2022 (US edition December 2022).

In 2023, Christopher Priest turns eighty, a non-trivial milestone. His first short story sale dates to 1966, giving him a career, so far, of over 55 years. And, remarkably, as his new novel amply illustrates, he is still working at the top of his form. SFWA Grand Master nomination, anyone?

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Weekly Bestsellers, 24 October 2022

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Illustrated Edition, by J.K. Rowling with illustrations by Jim Kay and Neil Packer, debuts on two print lists this week at #1. (Presumably it will never be listed separately by the New York Times, which subsumes all Harry Potter titles into a single entry on its Children’s Series list.)

A new volume of Game of Thrones history, The Rise of

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Weekly Bestsellers, 17 October 2022

The fifth illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Illustrated Edition (Scholastic), already ranking on Amazon lists for three months with pre-publication orders, was released October 11th. It ranks #6 today at Amazon.com

Meanwhile Stephen King has outlasted some competition and returns to 1st place on two lists. On the other hand, it doesn’t rank among LA Times‘s top ten

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Redspace Rising by Brian Trent

Redspace Rising, Brian Trent (Flame Tree Press 978-1787586581, hardcover, 432pp, $26.95) September 2022.

Brian Trent’s fourth novel is a plasma-propelled, gore-violence-war-and-politics fueled waking dream of a military-conspiracy-techno novel, as sleek and fast as an alien spaceship. It calls to mind a delightfully lunatic but irresistible fusion of such writers as John Barnes, A.E. van Vogt, and Neal Asher—along with one other seminal figure whose role I shall discuss below ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Neon Yang’s The Genesis of Misery

The Genesis of Misery, Neon Yang (Tor 978-1250788979, hardcover, 432pp, $27.99) September 2022.

I have been lamentably unhip to Neon Yang’s previous books and short fiction, but was delighted to make their acquaintance with their latest, a rousing postmodern space opera that has flavors of Frank Herbert, Cordwainer Smith, and Orson Scott Card, all blended into a uniquely tasty dish. As the book’s early promoters have observed, the core ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Jack Dann: Masters of Science Fiction by Jack Dann

Jack Dann: Masters of Science Fiction, Jack Dann (Centipede Press 978-1-61347-304-7, hardcover, 752pp, $65) July 2022.

I think I am going to have to set up a new creditor in my bank’s automatic withdrawal system. That would be Centipede Press, who insists on issuing a steady stream of must-have volumes, all crafted to the heights of bibliophile perfection. They can just take my money automatically every month without quibble. ...Read More

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Blinks: Reviews by Norman Spinrad and Lisa Tuttle

» Asimov’s, Norman Spinrad, The Future of Humanity, the Humanity of the Future covers Gregory Benford, Paul McAuley, Augustina Bazterrica, James L. Cambias [not a permalink; content at the link changes with each issue]

» Guardian, Lisa Tuttle’s The best recent science fiction and fantasy – reviews roundup covers Paul McAuley, Christopher Priest, Peter S Beagle, and others ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez

The Spear Cuts Through Water, Simon Jimenez (Del Rey 978-0593156599, hardcover, 544pp, $28.99) August 2022.

There are some works of SF which are so unique that they don’t really inspire any scions, homages or imitations. The Stars My Destination is one such. Tau Zero is another. And Lord of Light is a third. It’s not that another author could not take the work of Bester, Anderson, or Zelazny and ...Read More

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Weekly Bestsellers, 22 August 2022

Two new hardcover novels rank on two lists each this week. Mohsin Hamid’s literary fantasy The Last White Man (Riverhead) ranks #15 at NYT and #6 at LAT (where it actually debuted last week); and R. A. Salvatore’s Glacier’s Edge (Harper Voyager), latest in the long-running series The Legend of Drizzt, ranks #15 at USA Today and #12 at PW.

Meanwhile, a new edition of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Book

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Michael Bishop’s No Enemy but Time: Revised Fortieth Anniversary Edition

No Enemy but Time: Revised Fortieth Anniversary Edition, Michael Bishop (Fairwood Press 978-1933846194, trade paperback, 326pp, $19.99) August 2022.

Somehow, forty years have slipped by since I first read Michael Bishop’s Nebula-Award-winning novel, scarfing it up eagerly (in its quite appropriately named Timescape edition) as part of my quest to read everything by this intriguing author whom I had first encountered in the pages of Galaxy magazine in 1970. ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Venomous Lumpsucker by Ned Beauman

Venomous Lumpsucker, Ned Beauman (Soho Press 978-1641294126, hardcover, 336pp, $27.95) July 2022.

I have been a fan of Ned Beauman’s work since his first book (Boxer, Beetle) and on through The Teleportation Accident; Glow; and Madness Is Better Than Defeat, reviewing them all at our happy Locus home here. If you click through to my review for Madness, you can follow the chain ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Hokuloa Road by Elizabeth Hand

Hokuloa Road, Elizabeth Hand (Mulholland 978-0316542043, hardcover, 368pp, $28.00) July 2022.

In days of yore, when the actual internet was merely science fiction, curious fans found out scarce biographical tidbits about their favorite authors in whatever manner they could: from fanzines, or dustjacket flaps, or occasional media articles and even the rare autobiographical essay. Heinlein lived on a walled estate in Colorado Springs. Poul Anderson, Frank Herbert and Jack ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Moonday Letters by Emmi Itäranta

The Moonday Letters, Emmi Itäranta (Titan 978-1803360447, trade paperback, 368pp, $15.95) July 2022.

One of John Campbell’s prescriptions for the kind of science fiction he wanted to see was to say, paraphrased, “Give me a story which could legitimately be presented as contemporary fiction in a magazine of the year 2100.” In other words, a story narrated out of a deep and implicit and shared set of assumptions about ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Ymir by Rich Larson

Ymir, Rich Larson (Orbit 978-0316416580, trade paperback, 416pp, $17.99) July 2022.

If one tried to engineer a young writer who would embody all the core values, tactics, and ambiance of Classic SF while still conveying ultra-contemporary attitudes, ambiance, and affect, one could hardly produce a better candidate than Rich Larson. Just turned thirty years old, he’s already delivered over a hundred fine stories and now brings us his third ...Read More

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