Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna by Kate Boyes

Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna, Kate Boyes (Aqueduct 978-1-61976-159-9, $20.00, 312pp, tp) July 2019.

Every once in a while, a novel seems to drop in from out of nowhere, with little to go on but a promo let­ter and – in the case at hand – the reputation of the publisher. Aqueduct Press has earned a reputation not ...Read More

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Katharine Coldiron Reviews Air Logic by Laurie J. Marks

Air Logic, Laurie J. Marks (Small Beer Press 978-1-61873-160-9, $17.00, 400pp, pb) June 2019. Cover by Kathleen Jennings.

You might not believe me, but this is the truth: Laurie J. Marks’s Elemental Logic books are as good as Elena Ferrante’s monumental Neapolitan Quartet. They achieve the same depth, the same spellbinding quality, and the same sense of falling entire into a world on the page, tethered to real life ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews A City Made of Words by Paul Park

A City Made of Words, Paul Park (PM Press 978-1-629-63642-9, $14.00, 128pp, tp) June 2019.

Paul Park has always had a rather sidewise relationship with science fiction and fantasy. His early novels demonstrated a sophisticated awareness of the literary possibilities of the far-future, dying-Earth theme, and his vastly underappreciated A Princess of Roumania series was as carefully worked-out an alternate history as you could ask for – except that ...Read More

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New & Notable Books, September 2019

Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory (Knopf 6/19) Offbeat, absurd, and often hilarious looks at love fill this original collection of 16 stories, a long poem, and a set of vignettes. Several stories fall into the realm of SF or fantasy, with such elements as superheroes, alternate realities, and a canine narrator. This is the first collection from Bob-Waksberg, better known as the creator ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Gameshouse by Claire North

The Gameshouse, Claire North (Orbit 978-0-316-49156-3, $15.99, 448pp, tp) May 2019.

Claire North has made something of a career of taking weatherbeaten tropes (reincarnation in The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, invisibility in The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Death personified in The End of the Day) and reimagining them in a stylish contemporary voice, usually with a witty twist on the original conceit. In The ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Million Mile Road Trip by Rudy Rucker

Million Mile Road Trip, Rudy Rucker (Night Shade 978-1-94094838-6, $24.99, 504pp, hc) May 2019.

There’s little doubt that Rudy Rucker deserves his reputation as one of the founders of cyberpunk – his Software predated Neuromancer by a couple of years – but his own literary origins seem to reach as far back as Lewis Carroll and Edwin A. Abbott, to whose Flatland Rucker paid a kind of parodic tribute ...Read More

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Take a Road Trip with the Mayan God of Death!

Silvia Moreno-Garcia was born April 25, 1981 in Baja California, Mexico, and grew up in various places throughout the country. She attended Endicott College in Massachusetts, where she studied communications, then returned to Mexico, where she married her hus­band; they immigrated to Canada 15 years ago, and have two children. She studied journalism in Canada and recently earned a Master’s in science and technology studies. She now works in communications ...Read More

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Issue 704 Table of Contents, September 2019

The September 2019 issue of Locus magazine has interviews with Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Cadwell Turnbull. The issue lists US and UK forthcoming books titles through June 2020. Awards news includes the Hugo Awards winners, the 1944 Retro-Hugo Awards, World Fantasy Awards ballot, Dragon Awards nominees, Seiun Awards winners, and a name change for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Additional news covers Worldcon site selection, Audible’s ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson

Song for the Unraveling of the World, Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press 978-156689-548-4, $16.99, 212pp, tp) June 2019.

In his story “Leaking Out”, which could be read as Brian Evenson’s characteristically oblique take on the haunted house tale, a “malformed man” (another characteristic Evenson figure) starts tell­ing a story with the warning that “this is not that kind of story, the kind meant to explain things. It simply tells ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Unraveling by Karen Lord

Unraveling, Karen Lord (DAW 978-0-7544-1520-4, $26.00, 258pp, hc) June 2019.

I don’t think it’s giving anything away to note that the final section of Karen Lord’s Unraveling is titled “Metanoia”, since that term has at least a couple of meanings that are relevant not only to the new novel (her fourth), but to the whole body of her work to date. The more-or-less theological meaning, which has to do ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe and Adrienne Martini Review Fall; or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson

Fall; or, Dodge in Hell, Neal Stephenson (Morrow 978-0-06-245871-1, $35.00, 896pp, hc) June 2019.

Neal Stephenson’s idea of a novel isn’t quite the same as anyone else’s, and for the most part this has served him remarkably well. His Baroque Cycle trilogy was really no more a trilogy than was Asimov’s Foundation series, except that while Asimov’s narrative units were stories and novellas, Ste­phenson’s were entire novels – and ...Read More

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Christopher Brown Guest Post–“Truth and Reconciliation and Science Fiction”

The best science fiction I have read this year came in a series of emails from the future.

The Training Commission is a collaboration between authors Ingrid Burrington and Brendan C. Byrne, produced with sponsorship from Mozilla. It’s an epistolary work, a fragmented narrative in the form of electronic correspondence from a character on the run in a near-future USA that is both familiar and incredibly strange. Rich with worldbuilding ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Iron Dragon’s Mother by Michael Swanwick

The Iron Dragon’s Mother, Michael Swanwick (Tor 978-1-250-19825-9, $26.99, 366pp, hc) June 2019.

There are hints of the afterlife in Michael Swanwick’s The Iron Dragon’s Mother, but it’s hard to accuse a fantasy world of pretentiousness when it cheerfully includes living metal dragon jet fighters along with Hello Kitty backpacks, or in which the streets of a magical underwater city are lined with Vuitton and Dolce & Gabbana ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, Edited by Tarun H. Saint

The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, Tarun K. Saint, ed. (Hachette India 978-93-88322-05-8, RS599, 382pp, hc) March 2019.

Over the past several months, we’ve looked at anthologies of Chinese, Korean, and Israeli SF, all largely geared towards familiarizing ”outsiders” – namely, English language readers – with these vari­ous national voices. The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction, edited by Tarun K. Saint, is a little different. ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The Little Animals by Sarah Tolmie

The Little Animals, Sarah Tolmie (Aqueduct 978-1-61976-161-2, $20.00, 378pp, tp) May 2019.

Sarah Tolmie’s approach to the intersection between the historical and the marvelous is comparatively minimalist. The Little Animals is, for the most part, a straightforward account of the early career of the 17th-century Delft scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, as he discovers and records various “animalcules” through his homemade single-lens microscopes and tries to get his findings recognized ...Read More

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New Books : 23 July 2019

What strange places this week? There’s a polluted planet run by a Goblin King; a scholar who can bring literary characters into the real world; a dreamhacker; a retired astronaut sent to the edge of the Solar System….
New titles this week are by C.S.E. Cooney, Emily Devenport, Suzette Haden Elgin, Fonda Lee, H.G. Parry, Anthony Ryan, J. Michael Straczynski, Tricia Sullivan, and David Wellington. ...Read More Read more

Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Lent by Jo Walton

Lent, Jo Walton (Tor 978-0-7653-7906-1, $26.99, 384pp, hc) May 2019.

Jo Walton goes full multiverse in Lent, her fascinating examination of the life, or possible lives, of the Florentine cleric and prophet Girolamo Savonarola. Except for serious history buffs, Savonarola is mostly remembered for his famous Bonfire of the Vanities – which Walton, in an afterword, insists was “more like Burning Man” than a traditional repressive book burning ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago, Guy Gavriel Kay (Berkley 978-0-451-47298-4, $27.00, 448pp, hc) May 2019.

At the risk of oversimplification – well, no, to be honest, with the intent of oversimplification – the fantastic genres have a long and complex relation­ship with historical fiction, but they often tend to use it to provide templates for their own preoc­cupations. Horror seems to love the Middle Ages, with its demons and tortures ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Exhalation by Ted Chiang

Exhalation, Ted Chiang (Knopf 978-1-101-94788-3, $25.95, 358pp, hc) May 2019.

It’s not exactly as though Ted Chiang’s prolificacy is getting out of hand, but it might be worth noting that his long-awaited new collection Exhalation contains nine stories, while his previous collection Stories of Your Life contained only eight. On the other hand, that earlier collection covered the first 11 years of his career, while the new one covers ...Read More

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Angela Slatter Guest Post–“The Pleasure and Pain of Finishing a Trilogy”

Write a trilogy, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

*sigh*

I should start by saying that the Verity Fassbinder series began as a standalone short story. “Brisneyland by Night” was written at Clarion South in 2009 and caught the eye of someone who helpfully suggested it would make an excellent series if I could manage it.

Ignorance is not only bliss but also a kind of protective Teflon coating ...Read More

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New & Notable Books, June 2019

Nathan Ballingrud, Wounds (Saga 4/19) This collection – “Six Stories from the Border of Hell” – gathers some of the author’s best dark work, including original story “The Butcher’s Tale” and “The Visible Filth” (2015), adapted as 2019 horror film Wounds. His first collection, North American Lake Monsters (2013), won a Shirley Jackson Award and was nominated for British Fantasy, Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards.

 

Ashok K. Banker, ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Big Cat and Other Stories by Gwyneth Jones

Big Cat and Other Stories, Gwyneth Jones (NewCon 978-1-912950-15-7, £24.99, 240pp, hc) April 2019. Cover by Vincent Sammy.

Gwyneth Jones has been writing fiercely intelligent SF for decades, and, despite a few high-profile awards (a Clarke, two World Fantasy Awards, a BSFA, a Tiptree, and a Philip K. Dick), she never seems to have attained the broad, appreciative readership that her fiction warrants (in 2001, she even received one ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller

Destroy All Monsters, Sam J. Miller (Harper Teen 978-0-06-245674-8, $17.99, 400pp, tc) July 2019.

I suppose the first thing to be noted about Sam J. Miller’s third novel, Destroy All Monsters, is that it has nothing to do with the venerable Toho kaiju film with that title, even though there are a few dinosaurs wandering about. They mostly show up in the “Darkside,” a ver­sion of reality occupied ...Read More

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Kaaron Warren: True Stories of Terrible Things

Kaaron Warren was born July 3, 1965 in Melbourne Australia.

She began publishing SF with “White Bed” in 1993, and has since published over a hundred stories, including Aurealis Awards winners “A Positive” (1998) and “Air, Water and the Grove” (2013); Ditmar Award winners “Fresh Young Widow” (2005), “The Grinding House” (2005), and “Crisis Apparition” (2018); Stoker Award finalist “All You Can Do Is Breathe” (2011); and World Fantasy Award ...Read More

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Michael Blumlein: Love & Space

Michael John Blumlein was born June 28, 1948 in San Francisco CA. He attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco and has worked as a practicing MD and member of the faculty at UCSF for decades.

His first SF story, “Tissue Ablation and Variant Regeneration: A Case Report”(1984) appeared in Interzone. Other notable stories include World Fantasy Award finalist “The Brains of Rats”(1986), Stoker Award finalist “Bestseller”(1990), ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan

Waste Tide, Chen Qiufan (Tor 978-0-7653-8931-2, $26.99, 352pp, hc) April 2019.

In last year’s The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chi­nese Science Fiction, co-editor Mingwei Song writes in his introduction, “The single most important change in recent years in the English-language translations of Chinese science fiction has been the unrivaled devotion and efforts of Ken Liu.” It’s a generous assessment, but pretty indisputable. Not only is Liu ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Broken Stars, Edited by Ken Liu

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation, Ken Liu, ed. (Tor 978-1250297662, $27.99, 480pp, hc) February 2019.

One aspect of Waste Tide that may come as a slight surprise to readers whose familiarity with Chinese SF is limited to Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy, with its epic galactic scope and somewhat Clarkean ideas, is the degree to which the novel is grounded in gritty near-future realism, ...Read More

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Locus Bay Area Writers Workshop: Writing Master Class with Andy Duncan, July 2019

July 21, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. At Locus Magazine HQ Preservation Park, downtown Oakland (near the 12th St BART) $150.00 “Whatever the topic, all of Duncan’s fictions are united by an evocative, playful, and deeply accomplished storytelling style. Highly recommended for fans of Kelly Link or other slipstream writers, and for any reader looking to lose themselves in an engaging and fun reading experience.” ― Booklist (starred review) ...Read More Read more

Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea by Sarah Pinsker

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea, Sarah Pinsker (Small Beer 978-1-6187-3155-5, $17.00, 292pp, tp) March 2019.

There are a lot of things to like about Sarah Pinsker’s first collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea, and not the least is a tactful sense of restraint. I don’t mean restraint in telling her tales – Pinsker is willing to try a lot, including a story ...Read More

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Dennis Etchison (1943-2019)

Dennis Etchison, 76, died May 29, 2019. Etchison was a major writer and editor of horror fiction, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, and received a Bram Stoker Award for lifetime achievement in 2017.

He began publishing short fiction in the 1960s, and notable stories include British Fantasy Award winners “The Olympic Runner” (1986) and “The Dog Park” (1993), and BFA and World Fantasy Award winner “The Dark Country” (1981). ...Read More

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Gary K. Wolfe Reviews The True Queen by Zen Cho

The True Queen, Zen Cho (Ace 978-0-425-28341-7, $15.00, 384pp, tp) March 2019.

If G. Willow Wilson offers some insightful contrasts be­tween Islamic and Christian legend, Zen Cho, in her follow-up novel to Sorcerer to the Crown, does something a bit similar with Malaysian vs. English views of magic and faerie. In The True Queen, we learn that the command central of the spirit realm is called the ...Read More

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