Alvaro Zinos-Amaro Reviews Lost Transmissions, Edited by Desirina Boskovich

Lost Transmissions: The Secret History of Sci­ence Fiction and Fantasy, Desirina Boskovich, ed. (Harry N. Abrams 978-1419734656, $29.99, 288pp, hc) September 2019.

Desirina Boskovich, who with Jeff VanderMeer previously authored the informative and visually sumptuous The Steampunk User’s Manual (2014), here brings us a delightful potpourri of 80 essays and interviews on all manner of things imaginary, with dazzling complementary illustra­tions. The book’s subtitle, “The Secret History of Science ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Tin House, LCRW, and The CSZ

Tin House Summer ’19 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Summer ’19 The Cascadia Subduction Zone Vol 9 No 2

Sadly, the Summer issue of Tin House is its last – they are closing up shop after 80 issues – a full 20 years of really first-rate fiction, essays, poetry and reviews. They were very hospitable to fantastika, and this holds true in this final outing. “The Gondoliers” by Karen ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews The Unkindest Tide by Seanan McGuire and Witch Hat Atelier 2 by Kamome Shirahama

Seanan McGuire, The Unkindest Tide (DAW 978-0-7564-1507-5, $26.00, 354pp, hc) Septem­ber 2019. Cover by Chris McGrath.

Toby’s all at sea in this uneven 13th novel in the October Daye series, which centers on an old bargain the Luidaeg (sea witch) made to undo a great wrong. Her children and descendants, the Roane, were mostly slaughtered by people who stole their magic skins. The Luidaeg turned the murderers’ children into Selkies, ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews This House of Wounds by Georgina Bruce

This House of Wounds, Georgina Bruce (Un­dertow Publications 978-1-988964-09-6, $27.99, 248pp, hc) June 2019. Cover by Catrin Welz-Stein.

Georgina Bruce’s searing debut collection contains 16 superbly written, often surreal stories of misogyny, blood, anger, agony, and abuse. Bruce’s stygian tales are technically ac­complished, but also powered by a profound depth of feeling. They often compel and overwhelm at the same time. Like the cover art by Catrin Welz-Stein, This ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Supernova Era by Cixin Liu

Supernova Era, Cixin Liu (Tor 978-1250306036, $27.99, 352pp, hardcover) October 2019

The Anglophone market for foreign fantastika often seems to have one significant niche available per era. No matter how many non-English-speaking authors are producing interesting material, only a single name becomes widely translated and prominent. For the longest time during the earliest years of the genre, that berth was filled of course by Jules Verne. Then by Lem. ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews The Ascent to Godhood by JY Yang

The Ascent to Godhood, JY Yang (Tor.com Publishing 978-1-250-16587-9, $12.99, 120pp, tp) July 2019. Cover by Yuko Shimizu.

JY Yang’s Tensorate novellas have always been inventive and ambitious, an ambition and a sense of verve and innovation that’s been recognised by several award nominations. All three of those novellas to date have stood more or less alone, but with the fourth, this year’s The Ascent to Godhood, Yang ...Read More

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Ian Mond and Gary K. Wolfe Review Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey 978-0-525-62075-4, $26.00, 350pp, hc) August 2019.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s fourth novel, Gods of Jade and Shadow, is a rip-roaring adventure set in 1920s Mexico, featuring duelling Mayan Death Gods, a secondary cast of ghosts, spirits, and warlocks and, caught in the middle of it all, an 18-year-old who peers long­ingly at the stars and constellations she’s named after. When we ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Don Punchatz: A Retrospective

Don Punchatz: A Retrospective, Don Punchatz (Centipede Press 978-1-61347-196-8, $50.00, 240pp, hc) March 2019. Cover by Don Punchatz.

Don Punchatz: A Retrospective is a long over­due and richly deserved retrospective of this master surrealist’s illustration work. A limited edition hardcover from Centipede Press’s Artist Series, the book punches well above its size and weight class.

Jam packed with art from its cover flaps to its endpapers, it is a ...Read More

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Karen Burnham Reviews Short Fiction: Lightspeed, New York Times, Tor.com, Big Echo, and Terraform

Lightspeed 7/19 New York Times 5/27/19 Tor.com 6/5/19 Big Echo 1/19 Terraform 5/13/19

The science fiction stories in July’s Lightspeed catch characters at very different phases of their lives. “The Null Space Conundrum” by Violet Allen is an over-the-top story of Aria, a supercool (and very self-conscious about that coolness) cosmic cyborg entity helping the liv­ing song entity Kantikle on a mission to save the Universe from a ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Meet Me in the Future by Kameron Hurley

Meet Me in the Future, Kameron Hurley (Tachyon 978-1-61696-296-8, $15.99, 332pp, tp) August 2019.

Chances are that most of the futures in Kameron Hurley’s Meet Me in the Future aren’t ones you’d want to meet anyone in: plagues, endless wars, drowned cities, alien invasions, decaying spaceships, and endlessly inventive ways of disrupting the human body. Bodies, in fact, as Hurley notes in her engagingly personal intro­duction, seem to be ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Antediluvian by Wil McCarthy

Antediluvian, Wil McCarthy (Baen 978-1-4814-8431-2, $25, 320pp, hardcover) October 2019

Award-winning author Wil McCarthy has not brought forth a novel since—if I am reading his ISFDB entry aright—2005’s To Crush the Moon, and I suspect a whole new generation of readers is unfamiliar with his name and accomplishments: the ability to splendidly blend solid scientific outrageousness with slambang action and likable Everyman characters. That’s a shame, since, as ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews Rule of Capture by Christopher Brown

Rule of Capture, Christopher Brown (Harper Voyager 978-0-06-285909-9, $15.99, 378pp, tp) August 2019.

Christopher Brown’s second novel, Rule of Capture, is a kind of companion piece to his first, Tropic of Kansas, but not really a prequel. Tropic of Kansas (a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award) takes place in a fractured, alternate-near-future America hammered by cli­mate change and civil disorder. Rule of Capture shows how ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews DC Comics Super Heroines and Infected by Art Volume 6

DC Comics Super Heroines: 100 Greatest Moments, Robert Greenberger (Chartwell Books 978-0-7858-3618-6, $24.99, 312pp, hc) September 2018.

Occasionally a book comes along that I wish I could send through the time-travel mail to my 13-year-old self. DC Comics Super Heroines: 100 Greatest Moments is one of them. Yes, it’s got lots of women in tights – about 100 – but they are busy doing cool superhero stuff.

This wants ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews Eye Spy by Mercedes Lackey and Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Mercedes Lackey, Eye Spy (DAW 978-0-7564-1320-0, $27.00, 326pp, hc) July 2019. Cover by Jody Lee.

The latest book in the Valdemar series and the second volume in the Family Spy series turns to young Abidela (Abi), daughter of the Herald Spy Mags and King’s Own Herald Amily. She’s grown up around the court and Heralds, is friends with the young royals, and knows lots of spy tricks, but doesn’t seem ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh (Tor.com Pub­lishing 978-1-250-22979-3, $11.99, 110pp, tp) June 2019.

Think of the loveliest, most shivery story you ever read, perhaps from a crumbling book of folk tales, and combine it with a book of nature writing. Add queer romance, a steely mama witch hunter, and the tension of knowing what a sweet, silly love interest doesn’t know. That is Silver in the Wood. ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: Black Static and Uncanny

Black Static 5-6/19 Uncanny 5-6/19

The usual five original stories in Black Static #69 begin with “Where It Ends, Where It Begins” by Erinn L. Kemper. Old Mac salvages the sea on the west coast of Vancouver Island. For ten years, along with the usual fare, he’s also salvaged decaying body parts that he keeps in a freezer. Now he has collected an entire body’s worth of ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain

The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday, Saad Z. Hossain (Tor.com 978-1-250-20911-5, $14.99, 176pp, tp) August 2019.

Saad Z. Hossein’s pissed-off djinn, awakened after thousands of years by melting ice in the Hima­layas (a nice, subtle reference to global warming), initially seems more concerned with his resumé than with vengeance: when he stumbles down the mountain and meets the crusty old Gurkha Bhan Gurung, he announces himself as “Melek ...Read More

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Paul Di Filippo Reviews Salvation Lost by Peter F. Hamilton

Salvation Lost, Peter F. Hamilton (Del Rey 978-0399178856, 512pp, $32.00, hardcover) October 2019

I’m always chuffed when a review of mine provides a sentence that is deemed blurb-worthy by a publisher. This just happened with my review of Peter Hamilton’s novel Salvation from 2018. I appear on the back cover of the brand-new sequel, Salvation Lost, saying, “It’s a bravura performance from start to finish… Hamilton is juggling ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout by Ed Leimbacher

Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout, Ed Leimbacher (Insight Editions 978-1-60887-865-9, $75.00, 333pp, hc) November 2018. Cover by William Stout.

From the small to the large: Fantastic Worlds: The Art of William Stout is a great big book offering great big fun in 331 pages filled with colorful and varied artwork. It’s the kind of retrospective that any artist would dream about. The artwork is well reproduced in ...Read More

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Adrienne Martini Reviews Empress of Forever by Max Gladstone and Three Laws Lethal by David Walton

Empress of Forever, Max Gladstone (Tor 978-0-7653-9581-8, 18.99, 480pp, hc) June 2019. Cover art by Tommy Arnold.

Max Gladstone is best known for the Craft Sequence, a fantasy series about demons, angels, and insurance adjust­ers. With Empress of Forever, he’s crossing the imaginary divide between fantasy and science fiction to spin a space opera that is as lyrical and surreal as his earlier work.

The story starts on ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Velocity Weapon by Megan O’Keefe

Velocity Weapon, Megan O’Keefe (Orbit US 978-0-356-51222-8, $15.99, 544pp, tp) June 2019.

There’s really only one problem with Velocity Weapon, Megan E. O’Keefe’s first novel-length space opera, and that problem is something which ultimately isn’t a problem at all: the cover copy makes it sound like a vastly different novel than it really is, and kept me from enthusiastically devouring it for ages.

The last thing Sanda remembers is ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Dam­aged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Dam­aged Glory: Stories, Raphael Bob-Waksberg (Knopf 978-1524732011, $25.95, 256pp, hc) June 2019.

Back in June IndieWire published an article list­ing the best TV shows of the last decade. BoJack Horseman was ranked number four behind three deserving and ground-breaking productions: Breaking Bad, Fleabag, and The Leftovers. BoJack Horseman, though, could easily have finished in the top spot. ...Read More

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Russell Letson Reviews American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s, Edited by Gary K. Wolfe

American Science Fiction: Eight Classic Novels of the 1960s, Gary K. Wolfe, ed. (Library of America 978-1-59853-635-5, $75.00, 1,500pp, hc, boxed set) November 2019. Also available as American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1960-1966 (Library of America 978-1-59853-501-3, $37.50, 738pp, hc) November 2019 and American Science Fiction: Four Classic Novels 1968-1969, (Library of America 978-1-59853-502-0, $37.50, 762 pp, hc) November 2019. Covers by Paul Lehr.

Reviewing is generally ...Read More

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Paula Guran Reviews Short Fiction: The Dark, Nightmare, and Apex

The Dark 5/19, 6/19 Nightmare 6/19, 7/19 Apex 5/19

The Dark #48 offers two new stories. In Angela Slatter‘s “The Wilderling“, isolated, bored, childless LP is fascinated with a feral child who visits her yard. One might expect LP to do something other than what she does for or with the savage kid. Mystery grows as LP’s actions defy expectation. Slatter, with perfect pacing and accomplished writing, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews My Beautiful Life by K.J. Parker

My Beautiful Life, K.J. Parker (Subterranean 978-1-59606-930-5, $40.00, 112pp, hc) November 2019.

Unlike the long tradition of disruptive but fundamentally decent rogues, K.J. Parker’s invidious protagonists, who are often his narrators, can almost seem ingratiating in their forthrightness and cynicism – until we catch on to what sort of ruthlessness they are really capable of. It’s not giving anything away to point out that Parker’s new novella My Beautiful ...Read More

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Liz Bourke Reviews Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight by Aliette de Bodard

Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean 978-1-59606-952-7, $40.00, 384pp, hc) September 2019. Cover by Maurizio Manzieri.

Aliette de Bodard’s Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight is a collection from an author whose work possesses both breadth and depth. Published by Subterranean Press, this volume largely collects works from her Hugo Award-nominated Xuya continuity – including award-winning stories “The Shipmaker” (BSFA Award), “Immersion” (Nebula and Locus ...Read More

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Carolyn Cushman Reviews Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs and Reticence by Gail Carriger

Patricia Briggs, Storm Cursed (Ace 978-0-425-28129-1, $27.00, 358pp, hc) May 2019. Cover by Daniel Dos Santos.

The 11th novel in the Mercy Thompson series finds Mercy back home in Washington’s Tri-Cities area, and a little more in the public eye than she cares for, thanks to having publically declared the area under the Columbia Basin pack’s pro­tection a couple of books back, so now she gets called to deal with ...Read More

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Colleen Mondor Reviews Trace by Pat Cummings

Trace, Pat Cummings (HarperCollins 978-0-06-269884-1, $16.99, 320pp, hc) April 2019.

Sometimes, readers want a gentle story with big-hearted characters that manages to convey powerful drama in a subtle plot. Trace by Pat Cummings is exactly that, a ghost story that combines an unfolding historical mystery with a heartfelt coming-of-age tale. It is a muted novel, as much about the struggle of adapting to a new family situation as it ...Read More

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Rich Horton Reviews Short Fiction: Analog, Asimov’s, and F&SF

Analog 7-8/19 Asimov’s 7-8/19 F&SF 5-6/19

I’ve always thought that if Analog was truly the central bastion of hard SF among our magazines it ought to be publishing Greg Egan but, with the exception of “Beyond the Whistle Test” 30 years ago, his work has not appeared in the magazine. Until now! And “The Slipway” qualifies as pure a hard SF story as you might want – so ...Read More

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Karen Haber Reviews The Thousand Demon Tree by Jeffrey Alan Love

The Thousand Demon Tree, Jeffrey Alan Love (Flesk 978-1-64041-010-7, $29.95, 93pp, hc) Au­gust 2019. Cover by Jeffrey Alan Love.

In The Thousand Demon Tree, Jeffrey Alan Love follows up his popular Notes from the Shadowed City (Flesk, 2017) with a powerful 96-page wordless graphic novel.

Love has painted an eloquent tale whose haunt­ing silhouettes and strange atmospheric effects create a timeless eerie story in which the reader is ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Necropolis PD by Nathan Sumsion

Necropolis PD, Nathan Sumsion (Parvus Press 978-0-99978-423-5, $15.99, 412pp, tp) April 2019.

“Why am I always a few steps behind every conversation I get into?” asks Jake Green, the protagonist of Nathan Sumsion’s Necropolis PD, about halfway through this overlong, rudimentary novel. The potential answers to this question: Jake is an idiot, or Sumsion relies on thin narrative strategies to maintain tension. Or both. Although the novel moves ...Read More

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Ian Mond Reviews Midnight at the Organporium by Tara Campbell

Midnight at the Organporium, Tara Campbell (Aqueduct Press 978-1-61976-163-6, $12.00, 112pp, tp) March 2019.

Tara Campbell’s Midnight at the Organporium (Conversation Pieces: Volume 67) is a more eclectic collection, showcasing an array of moods and story-telling techniques. In the opening piece, “Death Sure Changes a Person”, Harlan is visited by his dead wife, Lucille, who orders him to start dating again. This surprises Harlan, not because the advice is ...Read More

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