Paul Di Filippo Reviews Hella by David Gerrold

Hella, David Gerrold (DAW 978-0-7564-1657-7, $26, 448pp, hardcover) June 2020

Somehow, with the publication of this novel, the twenty-three-year-old wunderkind who created The Trouble with Tribbles (1967) has entered into the fifty-third year of his career, a long, varied, and satisfying one. I myself am not quite sure how this transformation from newbie to Grand Old Man occurred in what sometimes seems, to a reader who was present at ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews Nine Shiny Objects by Brian Castleberry

Nine Shiny Objects, Brian Castleberry (Custom House 978-0062984395, $27.99, 336pp, hardcover) June 2020

The Great Matter of UFOs, a topic which has intrigued the general public for over seventy years, has always resided at a strange tangential intersection with science fiction. Prior to the rash of strange aerial object sightings in 1947 that kickstarted what we know today as UFO-ology, science fiction of course had given us many stories ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Oppenheimer Alternative by Robert J. Sawyer

The Oppenheimer Alternative, Robert J. Sawyer (Arc Manor/Caezik SF & Fantasy 978-1-64710-013-1, $16.99, 374pp, trade paperback) June 2020

The vast, ineluctable, ineffable reality of World War II has provided infinite substance for fiction writers from 1939 to the present. It seems doubtful that the material will ever be exhausted. Like the earlier Victorian period (the still essential and tangible reality of which fuels steampunk), the WWII era is the ...Read More

Read more

New Books : 2 June 2020

Well-known historical figures find themselves in unlikely situations this week: check out THUNDER RUN, THE OPPENHEIMER ALTERNATIVE, and CALLER OF LIGHTNING!

New books this week are by Ann Dávila Cardinal, Melissa Caruso, Ellen Datlow, Bethany C. Morrow, Patrick Ness, Daniel José Older, Jerry Pournelle (with David Weber and Phillip Pournelle), Robert J. Sawyer, Peter J. Wacks & Eytan Kollin, and Christopher Woods & Toni Weisskopf. ...Read More

Read more

Paul Di Filippo Reviews The Last Human by Zack Jordan

The Last Human, Zack Jordan (Del Rey 978-0451499813, $27.00 448pp, hardcover) March 2020

Zack Jordan’s debut novel is a highly accomplished postmodern space opera that manages to adroitly blend the SF humor of Robert Sheckley and Douglas Adams with the pathos of Simon Jimenez (The Vanished Birds) and the state-of-the-art high-tech speculative ambiance of Peter Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds. Additionally, it resonates with that great SF novum ...Read More

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more