Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey

The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-267249-0, $26.99, 432pp, hardcover) June 2019

The history, culture, folklore, politics and superstitions of Middle Europe — otherwise Central Europe or, more exotically, Mitteleuropa, countries including Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia, and Albania — offer a rich mine of narrative and thematic possibilities. The same goes for the lands ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Recursion by Blake Crouch

Recursion by Blake Crouch (Crown 978-1-5247-5978-0, $27, 336pp, hardcover) June 2019

It’s easy to recognize a certain kind of technothriller bestseller, even one that’s skillfully done. The characters are not necessarily flat, but, for easy readerly absorption, they spring from readily identifiable societal niches: cop, businessman, housewife, general, terrorist. The language is pared down and highly cinematic, with lots of scenes plainly intended for the big screen. Not much introspection ...Read More

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New Books : 11 June 2019

The elixir of eternal life, a priest of war, The Last Supper Before Ragnarok, the God of Broken Things, galactic AI Gods, and quite nice Good Omens are all on this week’s list of new books! New titles this week are by Taylor Anderson, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Terry Brooks, Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston, Peter Cawdron, Blake Crouch, Neil Gaiman, Ada Hoffmann, Cameron Johnston, Richard Kadrey, Cassandra Khaw, Barbara Krasnoff, ...Read More Read more

New Books : 4 June 2019

Get more bang for your book with these thick titles: Wastelands: The New Apocalypse (528pp), Spine of the Dragon (528pp), The Soul of Power (480pp), My Enemy’s Enemy (448pp), Ghosts of the Shadow Market (624pp!), Fray (496pp), and Fall; or, Dodge in Hell (880pp!!!) New titles this week are by John Joseph Adams, David Afsharirad, Kevin J. Anderson, Callie Bates, James Brogden, Robert Buettner, Ann Dávila Cardinal, Cassandra Clare (et ...Read More Read more

Best Monster in a Supporting Role: Gary Westfahl Reviews Godzilla, King of the Monsters

Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla, King of the Monsters is not the worst Godzilla movie ever made, and when referring to the American films, that constitutes a high compliment; for after watching the first American Godzilla (1998), I personally thought that it was the worst Godzilla movie ever, until I watched the 2014 American Godzilla (review here) and concluded, somewhat controversially, that it was even worse. Nevertheless, any list of the top ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker

Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker (Night Shade Books 978-1-59780-992-4, $24.99, 504pp, hardcover) May 2019.

It’s been a highly productive year or so for Rudy Rucker. In August of 2018 he self-published the excellent Return to the Hollow Earth (review here). Now, only nine months later, from his new publisher Night Shade, comes Million Mile Road Trip, along with reissues of nine of his classics. Who says life ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Ruin

Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Orbit 978-0316452533, $15.99, 608pp, trade paperback) May 2019.

Adrian Tchaikovsky’s opener in this series, Children of Time, snapped up the Clarke Award for its year of publication, and it’s easy to see why. The book combines Stapledonian vistas with intimate human dramas, along with top-notch conceptualizations of an alien civilization. Toss in an Armageddon-extinction scenario, a generation starship, and a half-bonkers AI-posthuman godling, ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews novellas by Spinrad, Gloss, McCleary, and Powers

General Strike by Norman Spinrad (Self-published 978-1091528574, $7.00, 61pp, trade paperback) March 2019.

Outside the Gates by Molly Gloss (Saga Press 978-1534414983, $24.99, 128pp, trade paperback) January 2019.

Too Fat to Go to the Moon by Rob McCleary (Zero Books 978-1785352317, $13.95, 160pp, trade paperback) April 2019.

More Walls Broken by Tim Powers (Subterranean 978-1596068865, $25.00, 136pp, trade paperback) February 2019.

The widespread interest in—and production of—novellas continues apace. Large ...Read More

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New Books : 14 May 2019

Find your favorite animal in these new SFF books: dragons, trufflepigs, snake-haired gorgons, a trickster coyote, and a cyberpunk hero named Lion. New titles this week are by Sarah Beth Durst, Fernando Flores, W. Michael Gear, Paula Guran, Guy Gavriel Kay, Dean Koontz, Steven Kotler, Ambelina & Ezekial Kwaymullina, Una McCormack, Eliot Peper, Max Porter, Karen Russell, and Adrian Tchaikovsky. ...Read More Read more

Paul Di Filippo reviews The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960 edited by Luis Ortiz

The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960, edited by Luis Ortiz (Nonstop Press 978-1933065670, $30.00, 406pp, tp) February 2019.

Luis Ortiz is editor and publisher at NonStop Press, which had its origins many years ago as NonStop magazine. He has compiled several valuable studies of various artists of the fantastic — Lee Brown Coye, Ed Emshwiller. Jack Gaughan — and brought us such goodies as the two-volume assemblage ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo reviews Finder by Suzanne Palmer

Finder, Suzanne Palmer (DAW 978-0-7564-1510-5, $26, 400pp, hardcover) April 2019.

The tropes and tools and furnishings of hardcore classical science fiction, as established and refined over the past hundred years or so, have proven remarkably durable, productive and adaptable. Humans colonizing the galaxy via FTL ships; robots and AIs; aliens; heroes and villains of operatic dimensions; new sciences and technologies; cosmic vistas. The apparatus and favored narrative strategies of ...Read More

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Blinks: Oates reviews Chiang; critics’ picks; sniffy about SF

» The New Yorker: Science Fiction Doesn’t Have to Be Dystopian; Joyce Carol Oates reviews Ted Chiang’s Exhalation

» Guardian: Jim Al-Khalili: Top 10 end-of-the-world novels – from Ballard to Pratchett with other titles by Crichton, Niven & Pournelle, Baxter, Brin, Sawyer, Mandel, Vonnegut, and Jones

» MIchael Dirda: Book World: Beyond George R.R. Martin: A critic’s pick of science fiction and fantasy reviewing Sladek, Ortiz, Langan, and others

» ...Read More

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New Books : 7 May 2019

17 new books include snakeskin clones, a road trip across a parallel dimension, a fence in NYC separating the Westside from Eastside, and a shapeshifting coyote car mechanic! New titles this week are by W.M. Akers, Neal Asher, Patricia Briggs, Ted Chiang, Larry Correia & Kacey Ezell, P.C. Hodgell, Danielle L. Jensen, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff, Tim Major, Jack McDevitt, Seanan McGuire, Rudy Rucker, S.M. Stirling, Erika Swyler, David ...Read More Read more

Paul Di Filippo reviews The Man Who Walked Through Cracks: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume Five by R.A. Lafferty

The Man Who Walked Through Cracks: The Collected Short Fiction, Volume Five, R.A. Lafferty (Centipede Press 978-1613472026, $75, 360pp, hardcover) March 2019.

I last checked in with this essential series upon the release of Volume Three, reviewed at this very locale. All my praise, issued then, for sheer production values — and all my quibbles about the limited availability of such a fine series — still obtain, as does ...Read More

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New Books : 30 April 2019

The last of April’s new books include two poetry collections and four short story collections. New titles published April 30th, and several from earlier in the month, are by Kelley Armstrong, Peter S. Beagle & Jacob Weisman, Tara Campbell, Melissa Caruso, Terry Goodkind, Troy Harkin, John Langan, Jennifer McMahon, Pola Oloixarac, Chen Qiufan, David Quantick, and David Silverberg. ...Read More Read more