Paul Di Filippo Reviews Fighters of Fear, Edited by Mike Ashley

Fighters of Fear: Occult Detective Stories, edited by Mike Ashley (Talos 978-1945863523, $29.99, 624pp, hardcover) January 2020

It is a simple and undeniable fact that the past will in many ways always overpower and outweigh the present. It’s a matter involving sheer numbers and mass. The present is a tiny moving window of some quantum of time in which our consciousness lives. To be generous, let’s denominate “the present” ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Initiate by James L. Cambias

The Initiate, James L. Cambias (Baen 978-1-98212-435-9, $25, 288pp, hardcover) February 2020

Producing four superior novels in six years, starting with A Darkling Sea in 2014 and extending to the current one in 2020, James Cambias seems to have hit his stride, but not his peak. We can only anticipate many more fine books to follow.

Indicative of his desire always to be expanding his range, Cambias’s newest is ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Hidden Girl and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Hidden Girl and Other Stories, by Ken Liu (Saga 978-1982134037, $26, 432pp, hardcover) February 2020

Ken Liu is the kind of prodigious talent who makes mere mortals melt in despair at ever matching his accomplishments. He could have been content to remain a software engineer and lawyer, but instead he added to his CV the vocations of editor, translator, and fiction writer. If he had done any of ...Read More

Read more

New Books : 11 February 2020

Historical fantasies dominate this week’s new books in THE ILLNESS LESSON, THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, STORM FROM THE EAST, STORMSONG, SENSATIONAL, and A WITCH IN TIME.

New titles this week are by Clare Beams, Eric Brown, Andy Davidson, Sergey & Marina Dyachenko, Joanna Hathaway, Andrew Krivak, A.K. Larkwood, C.L. Polk, Constance Sayers, and Jodie Lynn Zdrok. ...Read More

Read more

Blinks: Two Talks with Kim Stanley Robinson; Eric Brown’s reviews in Guardian

» Slate: Isaac Butler talked with Kim Stanley Robinson about Three Californias, Infinite Futures

» And at Wall Street Journal: Russell Gold talks with Kim Stanley Robinson: A Sci-Fi Author’s Boldest Vision of Climate Change: Surviving It

» Guardian: Eric Brown reviews Anne Charnock, Marc-Uwe Kling, AJ Hackwith, Andrew Hunter Murray, Menna van Praag ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews 2020 Vision, Edited by Jerry Pournelle

2020 Vision, Jerry Pournelle, ed. (Avon Books 18390, $.95, 192pp, paperback) February 1974

Friedrich Nietzsche famously opined, “If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” I’d like to contribute a corollary observation: “When you stare into the future, you invite the future to stare back at you.” Every attempt at speculative forecasting, every probe of futurity, invites a look in the rear-view ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews Novellas by David Sandner & Jacob Weisman, Robert Levy, and James Patrick Kelly

Mingus Fingers, David Sandner & Jacob Weisman (Fairwood 978-1933846873, $8, 68pp, trade paperback) November 2019

The boom in novellas shows no signs of petering out, as their bite-sized yet sufficiently mouth-filling substantiality continues to appeal to readers who want more than a short story but less than a novel. Here we have a go at three recent fine examples of the form.

If I had a time machine, one ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez ((Del Rey 978-0-593-12898-5, $27, 400pp, hardcover) January 2020

Simon Jimenez’s touching, bold, surprising, gorgeous debut novel—a certain manner of postmodern space opera, despite the fantasy-resonant title—is not only the best debut novel I’ve read in ages, but simply one of the best SF novels in recent memory. I am reminded of the excitement I felt when encountering A.A. Attanasio’s Radix (1981). If The Vanished ...Read More

Read more

New Books : 7 January 2020

Explore solarpunk winters, an algorithmically perfect country, and rival NASA and Soviet missions to the Kuiper Belt in these new books!

New titles this week are by Sean Adams, Lois McMaster Bujold, Andrew Caldecott, C.J. Cherryh, Patrick Chiles, Genevieve Cogman, Tessa Gratton, Gareth Hanrahan, Marc-Uwe Kling, Seanan McGuire, Daniel José Older, John Ringo, Kacey Ezell & Christopher L. Smith, Sarena Ulibarri, and Django Wexler. ...Read More

Read more

Once More, Occasionally with Feeling: Gary Westfahl Reviews Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I have been obliged to extensively revise the original draft of this review, because after rereading what I had said about the previous two Star Wars films – J.J. Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015 – review here) and Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017 – review here) – I found that on several occasions, I was saying the same thing I had said about one of ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews Anyone by Charles Soule

Anyone, Charles Soule (Harper Perennial 978-0-06-289063-4, $21.99, 432pp, hardcover) December 2019

Alas for me, I have not yet had a chance to read Charles Soule’s well-regarded debut novel from 2018, The Oracle Year. But I have certainly enjoyed his clever, inventive, and exciting comics scripting, on such titles as Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns and She-Hulk. So I came to his sophomore book, Anyone, expecting a treat, and ...Read More

Read more