Paul Di Filippo Reviews Beyond the Outposts: Essays on SF and Fantasy 1955-1996 by Algis Budrys

Beyond the Outposts: Essays on SF and Fantasy 1955-1996, Algis Budrys (Ansible Editions/Lulu.com, 978-0-244-56705-7, $22.50, 378pp, trade paperback) 2020

The field of fantastika could never have reached its current flourishing condition, nor hope to continue forcefully, without the efforts of the small presses. These firms throughout the history of the genre and into the present have preserved many older works from oblivion and also offered homes to worthy living ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Masters of Science Fiction: Kate Wilhelm by Kate Wilhelm

Masters of Science Fiction: Kate Wilhelm, Kate Wilhelm (Centipede Press 978-1-61347-207-1 and 978-1-61347-208-8, $95, 736 and 784 pages, hardcover) March 2020

Editor John Pelan and publisher Jerad Walters of Centipede Press have again conspired, as they do on an awesomely regular schedule, to produce a book—a two-volume set, actually—that is a masterpiece of curation and production values. A handsome, deluxe, high-quality package, priced sensibly, enshrining important stories—what more could ...Read More

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Blinks: Mental Resiliency, John Scalzi, Guardian reviews, Scott Edelman practices social distancing

» The Conversation: Science fiction builds mental resiliency in young readers

» New York Times: By the Book: The Science Fiction Writer John Scalzi Readily Quits Reading

» Guardian: Eric Brown reviews Nick Martell, Hao Jingfang, Ian Whates, Breanna Teintze, Kat Dunn

» Scott Edelman practices social distancing while answering 95 questions from George R.R. Martin, Sarah Pinsker, Greg Bossert, Barry N. Malzberg, Michael Dirda, and many others ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews A Luminous Republic by Andrés Barba

A Luminous Republic, Andrés Barba (Mariner 978-1328589347, $14.99, 208pp, trade paperback) April 2020

Nominated by Granta magazine as one of the best young Spanish novelists of his generation, and winner of several literary prizes, Andrés Barba is little-known, I think it is accurate to say, within our domain of fantastika. I am not sure if this is because his previous eight books (none of which I have encountered) have ...Read More

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Blinks: David Mitchell, N.K. Jemisin, Marlon James, Desert-island SF books

» Guardian: David Mitchell on Earthsea – a rival to Tolkien and George RR Martin

» Guardian: NK Jemisin: ‘It’s easier to get a book set in black Africa published if you’re white’

» LA Times: Dystopian fiction has always been real for Ray Bradbury prize winner Marlon James

» Washington Post: Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Lavie Tidhar on Desert-island books: Science fiction tales set in isolation that feel just right ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang

Vagabonds, Hao Jingfang (Saga Press 978-1-5344-2208-7, $28.99, 608pp, hardcover) April 2020

The growing corpus of Chinese science fiction translated into English—mainly, as in this case, by that indefatigable polymath, Ken Liu—receives a welcome addition in the form of Hao Jingfang’s meditative and stimulating Vagabonds, arriving on the heels of her award-winning story, “Folding Beijing”. Part of the pleasure of such works is getting the perspective of writers from ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews War of the Maps by Paul McAuley

War of the Maps, Paul McAuley (Gollancz 978-1473217348, £14.99, 432pp, hardcover) March 2020

From the opening lines of Paul McAuley’s magnificent new novel of an exotic far-future world anchored by intensely human characters, we can sense that certain archetypical templates and genres are in play.

A lone tree leaned over the cistern, its bell-shaped yellow-leaved canopy dinting and swaying in the hot breeze, sprinkling coins of mirrorlight across the ...Read More

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New Books : 7 April 2020

Keep your distance this week in: the Banished lands, the Virgin Zones, a castle in the Italian Alps, and an island in the Rhône.

New titles this week are by Henri Bosco, Rae Carson, Hank Davis & Christopher Ruocchio, John Gwynne, Laurell K. Hamilton & William McCaskey, Tim Lebbon, Corry L. Lee, Louisa Morgan, Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle/Steven Bares, Veronica Roth, Emily Strutskie, Caroline Stevermer, Dan Stout, and Danielle Trussoni. ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Forced Perspectives by Tim Powers

Forced Perspectives, Tim Powers (Baen 978-1-9821-2440-3, 384pp, hardcover) March 2020

When I reviewed the first book in this series, Alternate Routes, for Asimov’s, I said the novel “continues Powers’s invigorating investigations into spirits from the vasty deep, employing an approach and tone he has not previously offered. As is to be expected, after such a long and vital congress with specters, Powers brings his A-game to the page.” ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Rambunctious by Rick Wilber

Rambunctious, Rick Wilber (WordFire Press 978-1-68057-068-7, hardcover) March 2020

Hewing to the high standards of probity that all reviewers should follow, I solemnly promise not to employ any easy baseball similes, metaphors, or analogies during this review of Rick Wilber’s new story collection, despite the fact that he is most famous, perhaps, for his alternate-history stories involving Moe Berg, Major League Baseball catcher and spy. And despite the fact ...Read More

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