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
Purgatory Mount, Adam Roberts (Gollancz 978-1473230941, 336pp, L16.99, hardcover) February 2021
Last year marked the generally under-recognized 20th anniversary of Adam Roberts’s first novel, Salt, and the launching of his career. His prodigious and impressive output in the past two decades has earned him a reputation as one of the field’s most delightfully surprising, adept, and formalistically variant authors. His novums are always startling and innovative and cutting-edge, ...Read MoreRead more
Robot Artists & Black Swans: The Italian Fantascienza Stories, Bruce Sterling (Tachyon 978-1616963293, 256pp, $25.95, hardcover) April 2021
Certain superficial things change over time, while other essential phenomena remain fixed and permanent. Cyberpunk was born a bit over 35 years ago, and the world is a much different place now than it was in 1985. So it’s foolish to imagine that cyberpunk writing would persist unchanged, adhering to the ...Read MoreRead more
» The New Yorker: Julian Lucas on How Octavia E. Butler Reimagines Sex and Survival, subtitled, The parasites, hybrids, and vampires of her science fiction make the price of persisting viscerally real.
» Wired: Sci-Fi Writer or Prophet? The Hyperreal Life of Chen Qiufan, subtitled, As China’s science fiction authors are elevated to the status of oracles, Qiufan’s career—and his genre’s place in society—have gone through the looking glass.Read more
» The New Yorker: Jonathan Lethem’s story The Crooked House, with an interview with Jonathan Lethem on Robert Heinlein and Other Influences
» Another review of Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun, by NPR’s Annalisa Quinn
» Also at NPR, Fran Wilde reviews S.B. Divya: ‘Machinehood’ Upgrades Asimov’s 3 Laws Of Robotics
» Wired’s Jason Kehe asks, Who Is R. A. Lafferty? And Is He the Best Sci-Fi Writer Ever?, ...Read MoreRead more
Meanwhile, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun (Knopf), released tomorrow, is selling today on the Amazon charts, and editions of Colin Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad are selling at Amazon, in anticipation of the Amazon TV series debuting in May.
The Memory Theater, Karin Tidbeck (Pantheon 978-1524748333, 240pp, $25.95, hardcover) February 2021
When I reviewed Karin Tidbeck’s story collection Jagannath at The Barnes & Noble Review, I said that it distilled and hybridized “almost every writer in the VanderMeers’ massive anthology The Weird. A century’s worth of potent surrealism and estrangement surge through her veins and onto the page.” With the publication of her new novel, I’ll have ...Read MoreRead more
» NYT Magazine: Kazuo Ishiguro Sees What the Future Is Doing to Us, by Giles Harvey
» Reviews of Ishiguro’s new novel Klara and the Sun at NYT, by Radhika Jones; Slate, by Laura Miller; Guardian, by Anne Enright; and Wall Street Journal, by Sam Sacks
» Boston Globe: Frank Pasquale suggests Now that science fiction is reality, it’s time for new laws of robotics
» Wall Street Journal: Tom ...Read MoreRead more
The Society of Time, John Brunner (edited by Mike Ashley) (The British Library 978-0712353823, 288pp, hardcover) November 2020
Was John Brunner’s life a tragedy? In some undeniable senses, yes. Possessed of enormous talents, but also an array of character faults, he became his own worst enemy and his later-era career suffered immensely—in large part due to one poor decision to stake too much effort and hopes on a mainstream ...Read MoreRead more
» Guardian: Lisa Tuttle takes over from Eric Brown: The best recent science fiction and fantasy – review roundup covering titles by Samantha Shannon, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Adam Roberts, Marian Womack, and Tim Pratt
» The New Yorker: Bill McKibben’s The Enormous Risk of Atmospheric Hacking cites Kim Stanley Robinson’s “masterly new novel” “The Ministry for the Future”.
» Seattle Times: Lynnwood’s Greg Bear, stalwart of modern science fiction, starts writing ...Read MoreRead more
The Best of Walter Jon Williams, Walter Jon Williams (Subterranean 978-1-64524-002-0, $45, 616pp, hardcover) February 2021
A writer always feels an instinctive camaraderie with other writers who debuted more or less simultaneously with one’s own beginnings. This does not mean that all writers in a given generation love and admire each other unconditionally, but only that a person recognizes and bonds more readily with other members of their own ...Read MoreRead more