Michael Cobley, The Seeds of Earth
(Orbit Mar 2009)
A lost human colony that believes Earth was destroyed is rediscovered with chaotic results in this energetic first volume in a new space opera trilogy that "draws inspiration from a wide spectrum of iconic sources and ideas to build a sturdy far-future universe" with "a retro feel to it." [Paul Witcover]
Ellen Datlow, ed., Nebula Awards Showcase 2009
(Roc Apr 2009)
Datlow's take on the annual award anthology includes ten stories and one novel excerpt, three Rhysling Award-winning poems, and extensive commentary on the field including a film round-up by Howard Waldrop, an appreciation of Grand Master Michael Moorcock by Kim Newman, a tribute to Author Emeritus Ardath Mayhar by Joe R. Lansdale, and an article by Ellen Asher on her years at the Science Fiction Book Club.
Stephen Deas, The Adamantine Palace
(Gollancz Mar 2009)
Deadly dragons are controlled by alchemists' spells in this fantasy novel full of dangerous characters and royal intrigues and one escaped dragon that wants revenge. The first volume in a series, and a very promising first novel.
Nick Gevers & Jay Lake, eds., Other Earths
(DAW Apr 2009)
The editors sought new takes on alternate history for this anthology of 11 all-new stories by noted authors including Gene Wolfe, Robert Charles Wilson, Stephen Baxter, Jeff VanderMeer, Paul Park, and Lucius Shepard.
Jo Graham, Hand of Isis
(Orbit US Mar 2009)
The story of Cleopatra comes alive in this impressively researched historical fantasy novel. "While it would make a fine adjunct to a class on history, mythology Egyptian, Greek, Roman or even military post-traumatic stress syndrome, this is no dry academic discourse. Graham knows her stuff, and makes it come alive in a narrative that looks back on a complicated life passionately lived." [Faren Miller]
Gwyneth Jones, The Buonarotti Quartet
(Aqueduct Press Apr 2009)
In Jones's White Queen trilogy, the Buonarotti Device was a human invention for instantaneous transportation between stars. Now these four stories show a variety of travelers using the device, with interesting results.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Cheek by Jowl: Essays
(Aqueduct Press Apr 2009)
Le Guin looks at SF in this collection of eight lectures, speeches, and essays (one new), including the title look at animals in children's literature, a tart examination of mainstream critics' attitudes toward SF, and what makes fiction "young-adult." "If some of the arguments are similar to those we've heard from her before... it's good to see them updated and revisited with such grace and determination." [Gary K. Wolfe]
Melissa Marr, Fragile Eternity
(HarperCollins Apr 2009)
The tragedy of living forever is explored in this young-adult contemporary fantasy, third in the series begun in Wicked Lovely. Aislinn is having a tough time dealing with being an immortal queen of faerie, while facing intrigues, schemes, and trying to hold onto her mortal love.
Sarah Monette, Corambis
(Ace Apr 2009)
The fourth and final book in the series about Felix and Mildmay finds the duo in exile, heading for the city of Corambis, where they fall in with an aristocratic rebel needing a wizard to start a sinister device. "Monette displays both wicked powers of invention and something like sly wit... and should satisfy even the rare cynical reader who hasn't already been won over by Monette's gifts for character, voice, and great prose." [Faren Miller]
Michael Moorcock, The Best of Michael Moorcock
(Tachyon Publications May 2009)
Editors John Davey, Ann VanderMeer, & Jeff VanderMeer present their choices of Moorcock's best in this highly idiosyncratic selection of 17 stories, mostly non-Elric, and including significant mainstream and non-series pieces.
Robert V. S. Redick, The Red Wolf Conspiracy
(Ballantine Del Rey May 2009)
Fantasy and the post-apocalypse mix in this inventive first novel, the first volume of the Chathrand Voyage trilogy. The huge, 600-year-old sailing ship Chathrand carries a young woman to an arranged wedding meant to seal a diplomatic pact between two vastly different nations. Originally published in the UK by Gollancz (2/08).
Lane Robins, Kings and Assassins
(Ballantine Del Rey Apr 2009)
The sequel to Maledicte picks up a few years later with a complex new focal character, Janus, a poor commoner who has just inherited a title and is adjusting to decadent court life, while dedicated to reforming the corrupt system. He turns out to be something of an antihero in this absorbingly dark tale of intrigues, failed schemes, and the intervention of demonic gods.
Robert J. Sawyer, WWW: Wake
(Ace Apr 2009)
Sawyer explores issues of consciousness in the first volume of a new trilogy. Blind teen math genius Caitlin Decter gets a brain implant to help her see, but instead it gives her a new way of seeing the Internet, even as a new artificial intelligence is born there.
Charles Stross, The Revolution Business
(Tor Apr 2009)
The fifth and penultimate volume in Stross's Merchant Princes series finds Miriam Beckstein and her Clan caught in conflicts in various worlds, from outright war and revolution to assassination with a strong undercurrent of grim humor. "Stross has a fine eye for intrigue, for bad behavior driven by understandable (if deplorable) motives and personality traits, for the lenghths to which people will go to have their own way, and he has wound up the spring of this plot-machine about as tight as one could want." [Russell Letson]
Walter Jon Williams, This Is Not a Game
(Orbit US Mar 2009)
An alternate reality game designer finds herself mixed up in murder when her game extends too far into the real world in this fascinating near-future SF novel. "Williams adeptly juggles several versions of what's really going on while simultaneously creating strong characters and compelling scenes... a thrill ride, made even more exciting by Williams's voice and use of language." [Adrienne Martini]