Liz Bourke Reviews Four Novels by Sarah Kozloff

A Queen in Hiding, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168542, $12.99, 496pp, tp) January 2020.

The Queen of Raiders, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168566, $16.99, 512pp, tp) February 2020.

A Broken Queen, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168665, $16.99, 448pp, tp) March 2020.

The Cerulean Queen, Sarah Kozloff (Tor 978-1250168962, $16.99, 512pp, tp) April 2020.

Sarah Kozloff is a chair of film studies at Vassar College, where she’s apparently been teaching ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews Silver by Linda Nagata

Silver, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island 978-1937197285, $19.00, 414 pp, tp) November 2019. Cover by Sarah Anne Langton. [Order from Mythic Island Press, PO Box 1293, Kula HI 96790; <mythicislandpress.com>.

Linda Nagata has also been revisiting old territory, turning from the near-future military-SF of the Red trilogy and The Last Good Man to the very far future of the Nanotech Succession books of the 1990s. Her new sequence builds on ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing, Holly Black (Little, Brown 978-0-316-31042-0, $19.99, 300pp, hc). November 2019.

Holly Black brings her Folk of Air trilogy to a glorious conclusion with the intense, dramatic, and thoroughly satisfying The Queen of Nothing. If she was not already firmly acknowledged as one of the most impressive names in contemporary fantasy, then this title will surely put to rest any doubts. The tightly written plot, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Talk Like a Man by Nisi Shawl

Talk Like a Man, Nisi Shawl (PM Press 978-1-62963-711-2, $14.00, 114pp, tp) November 2019.

It’s been more than a decade since Nisi Shawl’s only previous collection, Filter House, and since much of her short fiction has appeared in small-press publications that often have to be sought out, her new chapbook from PM Press provides an enticing glimpse into the fiction of an author most widely known for the ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews Suicide Woods by Benjamin Percy

Suicide Woods, Benjamin Percy (Graywolf 978-1-644-45006-2 $16.99. 216pp. tp) October 2019.

Benjamin Percy’s writing is immaculate. Each word seems so carefully chosen the reader cannot imagine a synonym that would better suit. This slender volume is not a fast read. With such craft, a reader must slowly savor the nine stories and the single novella in Percy’s third collection. All are relentlessly dark, but the darkness springs from a ...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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Arley Sorg Reviews War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

War Girls, Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill 978-0-451-48167-2, $18.99, 464pp, hc) October 2019.

War Girls is a meditation on culture and conflict. It’s action-driven but complex, brutal but brilliant.

A strong opening in a stark, discomfiting setting introduces Onyii, a girl who has known war for most of her life. A handful of lines establish her dissonance with her own body, her social group, and her situation as a “war girl” ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Four Art Books

Dracopedia Field Guide, William O’Connor (Impact 978-1-4403-5384-0, $26.99, 159pp, hc) May 2019. Cover by William O’Connor.

Over the course of William O’Connor’s 20-plus-year career, he won many industry awards, was nominated for a Chesley, and created over 3,000 illustrations for gaming and publishing businesses including Wizards of the Coast, Impact Books, Blizzard Entertainment, WhiteWolf/CCP, Lucas Films, and Activision. He also devoted his time to writing and illustrating the best-selling ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Trinity Sight by Jennifer Givhan

Trinity Sight, Jennifer Givhan (Blackstone 978-1-53855-672-6, $25.99, 288pp, hc) October 2019.

There’s a lot to love about Trinity Sight, a dense debut novel packed with Native stories and myths, conceived and plotted as carefully as a nationwide conference, full of organic stakes and interesting characters. There are also significant imperfections: an author who gets too far ahead of her audience sometimes, a narrator whose stubborn streak makes her ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews …And Other Disasters by Malka Older

…And Other Disasters, Malka Older (Mason Jar Press 978-0996103787, $17.95, 201pp, tp) November 2019.

Although it’s a slim book, the nine stories and three poems that feature in Malka Older’s debut collection …And Other Disasters showcase an eclectic and vivid imagination. This includes a future history detailing the break-up of the United States of America (cleverly split into seven indi­vidual sections across the collection to mimic the dissolution of ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

I Hope You Get This Message, Farah Naz Rishi (Harper Teen 978-0-06-274145-5, $17.99, 420pp, hc) October 2019.

It’s possibly the end of the world, according to the aliens threatening everyone on Earth, and three teens are grappling with what they want to get done in the seven days they have left. Cate wants to find the fa­ther she never knew, Adeem wants to find his beloved older sister, and ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Stanislaw Lem’s The Seventh Voyage by Jon J. Muth

Stanislaw Lem’s The Seventh Voyage, Jon J. Muth (Graphix/Scholastic 978-0-545-00462-6, $19.99, 80pp, hc) October 2019. Cover by John J. Muth.

Imagine Buster Keaton in space, trying to fix his disabled craft while beset by a growing number of paradoxically created versions of himself, and you have an idea of the deadpan insanity that informs The Seventh Voyage, Stanislaw Lem’s droll, subversive tale of hapless Spaceman Tichy’s space-time dilemma. ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World 978-0-399-59059-7, $28.00, 408pp, hc) September 2019.

I missed Ta-Nehisi Coates’s first novel The Water Dancer when it appeared last fall to generally glowing reviews, and it didn’t seem to garner much attention from fantasy readers in general, despite a key fantastic trope being central to its plot. Read­ing it now, after reviewing Rivers Solomon’s The Deep, it seems apparent that Coates’s ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Turning Darkness into Light by Marie Brennan and Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Turning Darkness into Light, Marie Brennan (Tor 978-0-7653-7761-6, $27.99, 416pp, hc). August 2019. Cover by Todd Lockwood.

Marie Brennan wrapped up the five-book Memoirs of the Lady Trent series in 2017. That, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t another generation of curious, dragon-focused naturalists ready to move Lady Trent’s work forward. In Turning Darkness into Light, Brennan introduces us to Audrey Camherst, Lady Trent’s granddaughter, who is about to ...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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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton (Grand Central 978-1-53874-582-3, $27.00, 320pp, hc) August 2019.

Kira Jane Buxton’s Hollow Kingdom is likely to bewitch quite a lot of readers. It uses breakneck adventure, unusual apocalyptic circumstances, and the natural allure of an intelligent animal world to appeal. The book has generous sprinkles of both humor and pathos, and extraordinarily lavish descriptions which characterize both the author and the world she builds. ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews A Longer Fall by Charlaine Harris and The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey

Charlaine Harris, A Longer Fall (Saga 978-1-4814-9495-3, $25.99, 293pp, hc) January 2020.

The second book featuring gunslinger Lizbeth Rose, AKA “Gunnie Rose,” finds her working for a new crew trying to deliver a crate to the town of Sally in Louisiana, in the country of Dixie. As seems to happen a lot to her, things go bad quickly; an attempt at train robbery is followed by a derailment, and Gunnie ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Starport by George R.R. Martin, Adaptation and Art by Raya Golden

Starport, George R.R. Martin, adaptation and art by Raya Golden (Bantam 978-1-101-966504-7, $28.00, unpaginated, hc) March 2019. Cover by Raya Golden.

This time the intergalac­tic depot is in Chicago in George R.R. Martin’s Star­port, a hardcover graphic novel adapted by Hugo Award-nominated artist Raya Golden from an unproduced 1994 TV script by Martin. The result is a slick, expressive, at­tractive volume filled with delightful characters and funny bits ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews The Heap by Sean Adams

The Heap, Sean Adams (Morrow 978-0-062-95773-3, $26.99, 320pp, hc) January 2020.

Sean Adams’s debut, The Heap, tells the story of the literal rise and fall of Los Verticalés (“the Vert”), an architecturally unsound high-rise, near­ly five hundred storeys tall, that “grew up rather than out… bustling with life and excitement,” until one day it came crashing down, covering the desert with acres and acres of “mountainous remains.” While ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Upright Women Wanted, Sarah Gailey (Tor.com Publishing 978-1250760654, $20.99, 176pp, hc) February 2020. Cover by Will Staehle.

I’ve read enough of Sarah Gailey’s work at this point that I’m reasonably sure I enjoy their work more in concept than in execution, but they are such appealing concepts and, with Up­right Women Wanted, the concept is squarely in the centre of any graph of things I love in fiction. ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel by Margaret Atwood, Adaptation and Art by Renée Nault

The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel, Margaret Atwood, adaptation and art by Renée Nault (Nan A. Talese 978-0-385-53924-1, $22.95, unpaginated, hc) March 2019. Cover by Renée Nault.

Just when you think you might have had enough of Offred and the twisted, rape-based Republic of Gilead, along comes the brilliant graphic novel adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s classic story The Handmaid’s Tale.

Artist Renee Nault, selected by fellow Canadi­an Atwood, ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt

The Nightjar, Deborah Hewitt (Tor 978-1-250-23982-2, $18.99, 480pp, hc) September 2019.

Deborah Hewitt’s debut, The Nightjar, intro­duces readers to an alternate London with a lot of dark promise. After a brief but brutal prologue, readers are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Alice Wyndham, who is on the way to her deadly dull office job. Alice’s morning has been shaken up with an unexpected package delivery and then the ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Providence by Max Barry

Providence, Max Barry (Putnam’s 978-0593085172, $27, 320pp, hardcover) March 2020

I tend to create whimsical schools of writers in my own mind, where none necessarily exists in real life. Thus, I place Max Barry in a class with such folks as Ned Beauman, Karen Russell, Nick Harkaway, Matt Ruff, Reif Larsen and others: a clade of “Pop Culture-Savvy, Slipstreamy, High Concept, Maximalist, Always Pioneering New Territory Weirdos.” As silly, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer and Stray Bats by Margo Lanagan

Catfishing on CatNet, Naomi Kritzer (TorTeen 978-1-25016-508-4, $17.99, 304pp, hc) Novem­ber 2019.

Naomi Kritzer’s 2015 Hugo Award-winning story “Cat Pictures Please” may have been a bit thin on plot, but the appealing, ingenuous voice of its AI narrator left many readers hoping to hear more, while the very idea of a helpful, well-meaning AI (an idea which Kritzer credited to Bruce Sterling’s “Maneki Neko”) seemed like a welcome antidote ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman and Amy Goldschlager Review Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Garth Nix, Angel Mage (Katherine Tegen Books 978-0-06-268322-9, $19.99, 534pp, hc) October 2019. Cover by Victo Ngai.

Nix pays homage to Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers in this young-adult fantasy novel, set in a world where magic is worked using icons that draw on the power of angels. A young woman named Liliath wakes 137 years after the Doom of Ystara, having spent the time entombed, yet is somehow still ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling

Qualityland, Marc-Uwe Kling (Grand Central Publishing 978-1-538-73296-0, $27.00, 352pp, hc) January 2020.

Like Joanna Kavenna’s Zed, Marc-Uwe Kling’s Qualityland (translated by Jamie Searle Ro­manelli) portrays a society, decades from now, totally in thrall to the predictive power of algo­rithms. The world of Qualityland, though, is not one that’s immediately recognisable. Aside from a handful of references to “Zuckerberg Park” and “Michael Bay Boulevard,” the titular setting and ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor, Adapted by Tana Ford & James Devlin

LaGuardia, Nnedi Okorafor, adapted by Tana Ford & James Devlin (Berger Books/Dark Horse 979-1-50671-075-4, $19.99, unpaginated, tp) July 2019. Cover by Tana Ford.

So many graphic novels, so little time before deadline: Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Lo­cus award-winning writer and screenwriter Nnedi Okorafor’s LaGuardia, adapted by Hugo Award nominees Tana Ford & James Devlin, features some of the most appealing aliens I’ve seen in a graphic novel. ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Sealed by Naomi Booth

Sealed, Naomi Booth (Dead Ink 978-1-911-58513-8, £9.99, 150pp, tp) October 2017. (Titan 978-1-78909-124-3, $14.95, 240pp, tp) July 2019.

Looking for a book more depressing and upsetting than Margaret Atwood’s apocalyptica? Naomi Booth’s Sealed is the one for you.

Set in the near future in Australia, this speedy novel follows a woman in late pregnancy trying to live as safely as she can among terrors and dangers that, though fictional, ...Read More

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Amy Goldschlager Reviews The Book of Dust: The Secret Com­monwealth Audiobook by Philip Pullman

The Book of Dust: The Secret Com­monwealth, Philip Pullman; Michael Sheen, narrator (Listening Library 978-0-59310518-4, $60.00, CD, 19.75 hr., unabridged [also available as a digital download]) October 2019.

Margaret Atwood could take lessons from Pullman; this is how you write a sequel that builds on and raises the stakes of an already well-established story. His Dark Materials actually ended fairly definitively; a multi-world saga that explored the nature of ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Invented People: Vol. 1 by Rick Berry

Invented People: Vol. 1, Rick Berry (Donald M. Grant 978-1-880418-83-5, $24.95, 48pp, tp) July 2019. Cover by Rick Berry

Rick Berry has always been a fearless visionary artist. He was the first to utilize a computer to cre­ate a digital-art book cover for William Gibson’s Neuromancer in 1984. Much awarded and ac­claimed, Berry has a considerably broader reach than most artists associated with the fantastic art field. In addition ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews The Princess Who Flew with Dragons by Stephanie Burgis and Witchy Kingdom by D.J. Butler

Stephanie Burgis, The Princess Who Flew with Dragons (Bloomsbury 978-1526604330, £6.99, 240pp, hc) August 2019. (Bloomsbury USA 978-1-5476-0207-0, $16.99, 196pp, hc) November 2019. Cover by Petur Antonsson.

Princess Sofia dreams of being a philosopher, but mostly feels like a failure at the start of this third novel in the charming middle-grade series Tales from the Chocolate Heart. A born scholar, the twelve-year-old princess never quite lives up to her family’s ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews The Name of All Things by Jenn Lyons

The Name of All Things, Jenn Lyons (Tor 978-1-250-17553-3, $26.99, 592pp, hc) October 2019. Cover by Lars Grant-West.

I read Jenn Lyons’ debut, The Ruin of Kings, around the time it was published in early 2019. It’s a brick of a book – traditional, for epic fan­tasy, in terms of its size. Even if it proceeded to make several rather less-traditional choices in its worldbuilding, structure, and characters, ...Read More

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