Rachel Armstrong, Origamy (NewCon Press 4/18) Science taken to extremes – with a hint of Italo Calvino – infuses this fascinating and thoroughly unconventional tale of Mobius, an adolescent being forced by an accident to re-learn the art of weaving spacetime, during which she uncovers something that threatens the fabric of the universe. “Origamy is larded thickly with real science – albeit speculatively extended along semi-gonzo vectors – it’s delivered ...Read MoreRead more
Michael Blumlein, All I Ever Dreamed (Valancourt 5/18) Blumlein’s latest collection offers 18 varied stories from 1993-2016, with notes on each by the author, who stretches the boundaries of SF, fantasy, and horror, frequently using his knowledge of medicine to address the possibilities and consequences of new biological technology.
Lara Elena Donnelly, Armistice (Tor 5/18) Glamorous film stars, revolutionaries, and spies mix in a lush tropical country on the ...Read MoreRead more
Alex Bledsoe, The Fairies of Sadieville (Tor 4/18) This is the sixth and final volume of the Tufa series, begun with The Hum and the Shiver (2011), about a hidden community of people descended from fairy folk living the modern Appalachian mountains. Film students Justin and Veronica discover a silent film that’s more than a century old, depicting a young woman transforming into a winged creature, and set off on ...Read MoreRead more
Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone (Holt 3/18) West African lore infuses this young-adult fantasy novel, the first book in the Legacy of Orisha trilogy and a first novel gathering considerable acclaim. Zélie fights to reclaim her people’s magic and stop the monarchy’s ruthless efforts to eradicate it.
Elizabeth Bear, Stone Mad (Tor.com Publishing 3/18) The steampunk Old West fantasy adventures of Karen Memory continue in this rollicking ...Read MoreRead more
Kelly Barnhill, Dreadful Young Ladies (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2/18) Newbery Medal winner Barnhill’s first collection presents nine fantastic stories for adults, infused by her very distinctive, poetic voice, with tales full of fairytale elements, interesting insects, and ladies who refuse to follow the rules, including the title character of the quirkily dystopian novella, “The Unlicensed Magician”.
Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell, The Tangled Lands (Saga 2/18) ...Read MoreRead more
Nick Harkaway, Gnomon (Knopf 1/18) The world of Gnomon is the ultimate panopticon surveillance state, with every word and action recorded, and the overarching authority of the System can even access the memories and thoughts of its citizens. When an alleged dissident dies during an interrogation, a state inspector delves into the victim’s mind, and discovers impossible memories of various lives… and a cipher that could reveal world-altering secrets. Harkaway ...Read MoreRead more
Katherine Arden, The Girl in the Tower (Del Rey 12/17) This enchanting follow-up to the stunning debut The Bear and the Nightingale continues the Winternight series, inspired by Russian folk tales and legends. Heroine Vasilia rejects the acceptable paths of marriage or the convent in favor of an unlikely third option: dressing as a boy and setting off on horseback for adventure, and in the process, she comes to the ...Read MoreRead more
Chris Brookmyre, Places in the Darkness (Orbit 11/17) A novelist noted for his mysteries and crime novels (as Christopher Brookmyre), the author here mixes plenty of hard SF with mystery in a complex tale of murder and memory manipulation set on a space station where rival groups build test designs for the great colony ship that will carry mankind to the stars.
S.A. Chakraborty, The City of Brass (Harper ...Read MoreRead more
Paolo Bacigalupi, Tool of War (Little, Brown 10/17) This concluding volume in the series begun with Ship Breaker focuses on Tool, the bioengineered “augment” half-man, half-beast from earlier in the series, who broke his obedience conditioning to lead a pack of soldier boys in a war against his wealthy masters. “Grandly concludes a trilogy which is as thrilling and thought-provoking as anything in recent young-adult SF.” [Gary K. Wolfe]Read more
Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust (Harper Voyager US/Gollancz UK 9/17) Robots rule the world in this action-filled, post-apocalyptic SF novel, a “robot western” set in a world where robots wiped out mankind years before. Brittle scavenges the wastelands for parts, one of a dwindling few determined not to join the shared consciousness of the One World Intelligences warring for dominance.
Jeffrey Ford, The Twilight Pariah (Tor.com Publishing 9/17) College ...Read MoreRead more
Nina Allan, The Rift (Titan US 7/17) Allan explores the difficulty of sifting truth from tales and memories in this novel, mingling elements of tantalizing mystery and SF in the story of a woman who hears from a sister who disappeared 20 years previously, and now claims to have traveled by rift to another world. Parts of her story are told as pure SF, while glimpses of the past show ...Read MoreRead more
Michael Bishop, Other Arms Reach Out to Me: Georgia Stories
(Fairwood Press/Kudzu Planet Productions Jun 2017)
One of our most lyrical and literary authors has collected his stories set in Georgia, or about Georgians, with work reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor. This has an author’s note; an introduction by professor Hugh Ruppersburg, ‘‘Beyond Regionalism’’; and 15 stories, including Nebula Award finalist ‘‘Rattlesnakes and Men’’ and two originals.
Eric Brown, Binary System
Callie Bates, The Waking Land
(Del Rey Jul 2017)
This fantasy first novel by a promising new talent begins a new trilogy, following teenage Lady Elanna, who flees her home after being accused of murdering the king, discovers her own wild nature magic, and joins a rebellion.
Curtis C. Chen, Kangaroo Too
(St. Martin’s/Dunne Jun 2017)
This sequel to funny SF novel Waypoint Kangaroo continues the tale of the title
Clive Barker, Infernal Parade
(Subterranean Press Mar 2017)
A dark fantasy novella told in six parts, finally bringing together pieces of story previously only available with action figures issued in 2004, now with new illustrations by Bob Eggleton. Convicted criminal and King of Showmen Tom Requiem leads a parade of humans and fantastic creatures from North Dakota to the mythical city of Karantica. “Infernal Parade features some wonderful imagery
John Joseph Adams, ed., Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Apr 2017)
This original anthology includes 18 stories (five reprints) of adventure tales from far-flung galaxies, with work by Charlie Jane Anders, Tobias S. Buckell, Becky Chambers, Alan Dean Foster, Kameron Hurley, Linda Nagata, and more, with an introduction by the editor. ‘‘Fitting the scope of space opera into short stories can be hard,
Kelley Armstrong, Lost Souls
(Subterranean Press Mar 2017)
Armstrong returns to the world of her popular Cainsville series for this novella of lawyer Gabriel Walsh, investigating a report of what sounds like a typical tale of a “disappearing hitchhiker,” hoping to dig up enough to intrigue and smooth things over with his investigator Olivia Taylor-Jones – only the story isn’t exactly the old urban legend he expected. A spirited tale
Alex Bledsoe, Gather Her Round
(Tor Mar 2017)
The latest novel in the Tufa series continues to reveal largely unexplored corners of American fantasy, with the fae Tufa living alongside people in remote areas of the Appalachians. When Tufa woman Kera Rogers is found dead and half devoured, followed soon by the death of her secret lover, the other Tufa have to unravel the mystery and stop a monstrous force
Gwenda Bond, Girl in the Shadows
(Amazon/Skyscape Jul 2016)
In the second volume in the Cirque American series, after Girl on a Wire, aspiring magician Moira Mitchell defies her father, a stage illusionist who disapproves of her career dreams, by using a purloined invitation to trick her way into joining the Cirque American. Tensions rise as her skills are tested, and Moira discovers there may be more to her
Katherine Arden, The Bear and the Nightingale
(Ballantine Del Rey Jan 2017)
This thoroughly enchanting debut fantasy draws on Russian folklore and history. Vasilia lives with her father in the Russian wilderness, but when her new stepmother forbids the family to honor household spirits, things begin to go disastrously wrong, and it’s up to Vasilia to save the family using gifts long kept secret. ‘‘A particularly enchanting version of an
Lauren Beukes, Slipping: Stories, Essays & Other Writing
(Tachyon Publications Nov 2016)
Beukes’s first collection presents a lively mix of 19 stories, a set of Twitter mash-up stories, a poem, and five non-fiction pieces. ‘‘Beukes writes with passion and a hot immediacy, employing demotic prose that often attains a gritty poetry…. the book can only enhance her reputation in the field.’’ [Paul di Filippo]
Michael Chabon, Moonglow
(Harper Nov 2016)
John Joseph Adams & Douglas Cohen, eds., What the #@&% Is That?: The Saga Anthology of the Monstrous and the Macabre
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Nov 2016)
This ‘‘anthology of the monstrous and the macabre’’ inspired by a funny meme – see Cohen’s introduction for the origin story – celebrates fear of the unknown in various forms (sometimes, but not exclusively, Lovecraftian), with 20 original stories by authors including Laird
Peter S. Beagle, Summerlong
(Tachyon Publications Sep 2016)
Beagle’s first fantasy novel in over 15 years does not disappoint, a tale of a couple in the Pacific Northwest who find their lives changed by the arrival of a beautiful young waitress. ‘‘It’s a lovely, graceful, quiet meditation on matters of aging, families, art, love, relationships, and (since this is Beagle) Greek mythology.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Keith Donohue, The Motion of
Matthew M. Bartlett, Creeping Waves
(Muzzleland Press Apr 2016)
Stories, clippings, and radio broadcasts are woven together into horror novel of the cursed town of Leeds, Massachusetts, a sequel to Gateways to Abomination. ‘‘A striking book that cements Bartlett’s reputation as a writer of vision and talent… Creeping Waves belongs on the bookshelf of every reader interested in the current state of horror fiction.’’ [John Langan]
Beth Cato, Breath
R. Scott Bakker, The Great Ordeal
(Overlook Press Jul 2016)
The third and penultimate volume of the Aspect-Emperor series (set in the same epic fantasy world as the earlier, acclaimed Prince of Nothing saga) continues the grim and gritty tale of clashing armies, personal tragedy, and impending apocalypse against an intricate and vast backdrop that stands as a true triumph of worldbuilding.
Steve Berman, ed., Wilde Stories 2016
Becky Chambers, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
(Harper Voyager Jul 2016)
Chambers’s character-driven first novel focuses on a woman joining the diverse crew of an aging spaceship that has been offered a dangerous job making hyperspace tunnels between worlds. Originally self-published to considerable acclaim – nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the British Fantasy Awards’ Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer, and even The Kitschies.
Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds, The Medusa Chronicles
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Jun 2016)
SF novel, an epic space opera, sequel to Arthur C. Clarke’s Nebula Award-winning novella ‘‘A Meeting with Medusa’’, this continues the adventures of astronaut Howard Falcon, the first explorer of Jupiter, over almost 800 years of his long life, thanks to his cyborg body – following the continued human exploration of space, contact with sentient races,
Joan Aiken, The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories
(Small Beer Press Apr 2016)
This retrospective collection gathers 20 stories by the late author of mesmerizingly strange fiction, with pieces published from the 1950s to the ’90s. It includes an introduction by Kelly Link about her relationship to Aiken’s work, and another by the author’s daughter, Lizza Aiken, on ‘‘The Power of Storytelling’’.
Madeline Ashby, Company Town
Daniel Abraham, The Spider’s War
(Orbit Mar 2016)
The fifth and final book in the Dagger and the Coin series finds war spilling out across the world as nations fall to the mad priesthood, while in Carse a small group works to bring peace to the world with the help of traitors, the last dragon, and a revolutionary financial scheme. ‘‘The resolution of the series is quite satisfying… when I
Mishell Baker, Borderline
(Simon & Schuster/Saga Press Mar 2016)
In this quirky urban fantasy novel, disabled filmmaker Millie Roper takes a job with the Arcadia Project to help control creatures of myth and fairy tale from an alternate world who have managed to cross over into Hollywood. An entertaining first novel, the first book in The Arcadia Project series.
Darin Bradley, Aaron Leis & Misti Morrison, eds., FWA 1: A
Mark Alder, Son of the Morning
(Pegasus Feb 2016)
This ambitious, epic historical fantasy novel of light and dark angels meddling in human affairs during the Hundred Years War finally receives a US edition after appearing in the UK in 2014. ‘‘Alder turns standard notions of fantasy and history, human and supernatural motivations, Nature and a structured Cosmos, on their heads, writing beautifully and at a pace undaunted by the
M. H. Boroson, The Girl with Ghost Eyes
(Talos Press Nov 2015)
A young widow in San Francisco’s Chinatown of 1898 has the ability to see the spirit world, which shames her family, but accompanied by her knowledge of martial arts, her vision allows her to battle a sorcerer bent on summoning an ancient evil. A colorful tale, and a striking first novel.
Harlan Ellison, Can & Can’tankerous
James Bradley, Clade
(Penguin Australia Jan 2015)
Three generations of a family face the effects of global warming in this near-future literary SF novel that follows the family through severe storms, political unrest, a pandemic, and more, enduring with unexpected moments of hope.
Paula Guran, ed., Warrior Women
(Prime Books Dec 2015)
Guran’s latest anthology brings us 24 stories about powerful woman, ranging from sword & sorcery to outer space.