posted Sunday 2 June 2013 @ 11:24 am PST
C. J. Cherryh, Protector
(DAW Apr 2013)
The latest novel set in the Foreigner series continues to explore the delicate relations between human settlers and alien natives on a distant planet, with human mediator/diplomat Bren Cameron trying to maintain a new balance in the wake of civil war and political upheavals. “I’m happy to observe that after 14 volumes produced over a stretch of nearly 20 years… [this] series continues to provide pleasures and even surprises.” [Russell Letson]
Paul Cornell, London Falling
(Tor Apr 2013)
Cornell turns his hand to urban fantasy with a deft blend of police procedural and supernatural thriller, as a team of four London police officers comes into contact with an artifact that gives them the Sight, revealing the hidden monsters that stalk the city. “A band of likeable heroes we’ll look forward to meeting again…. I suspect we’ll be glad to see what they’re up to.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Neil Gaiman & Maria Dahvana Headley, eds., Unnatural Creatures
(HarperCollins Apr 2013)
This reprint anthology of stories about fantastical fauna features recent and classic stories by authors including Peter S. Beagle, Nalo Hopkinson, Diana Wynne Jones, Larry Niven, Nnedi Okorafor, Gahan Wilson, E. Lily Yu, and more, with illustrations by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Sales of the book go to benefit literacy organization 826 DC.
Joe Haldeman, The Best of Joe Haldeman
(Subterranean Press Mar 2013)
This substantial retrospective collects 19 of the SFWA Grand Master’s best stories from the past four decades, selected by editors Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe, including Hugo Award winners “The Hemingway Hoax” and “None So Blind” and World Fantasy Award winner “Graves”, along with story notes and an introduction by the author.
Joe Hill, NOS4A2
(HarperCollins/Morrow May 2013)
Hill delivers a big, sprawling supernatural thriller stuffed with thrills, scares, and memorable monsters, notably the chilling Charlie Manx, a seemingly immortal stealer of children and owner of a Rolls Royce Wraith that bears the vanity license plate of the title. He’s opposed by the damaged but indomitable Victoria McQueen, who has a talent for finding lost things – even children. Vic is “one of the strongest and best-drawn female characters in recent horror fiction,” and the book is “an impressive testament to [Hill’s] growth and maturity as a fantasist.” [Stefan Dziemianowicz]
Robin Hobb, Blood of Dragons
(Harper Voyager Apr 2013)
The fourth volume in the Rain Wilds Chronicles sees the ragtag group of young dragons and their misfit human keepers exploring the long-sought city of Kelsingra and facing new challenges as they try to restore the city’s lost glory. Meanwhile, their enemies gather with a plan to drive dragons to extinction.
Guy Gavriel Kay, River of Stars
(Roc Apr 2013)
Kay revisits the land of Kitai, the imagined version of China he introduced in Under Heaven, for a tale set hundreds of years later about an outlaw man and the brilliant daughter of a scholar, set against a backdrop of looming war and upheaval. “The master of the historical fantasy has found a canvas large enough for his ambitions…. [Kay’s] finest work so far, a vision of tremendous scope, achieved through precise, intimate observation of a brilliant culture in the throes of disintegration and rebirth.” [Cecelia Holland]
This elegant “memoir of magic” is a story suite/mosaic novel collecting the author’s stories about an American teenager in the 1960s who moves to a small Italian village with his father, only to discover a world of strange and subtle magic.
Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
(Small Beer Press Apr 2013)
The “Complete Memoirs of the Mystic, Jevick of Tyom” presented in this compelling debut novel chronicle the travels of a merchant’s son who journeys to the faraway and fabled land of Olondria, only to find himself haunted by a ghost from his own country and drawn into political machinations in a strange land. “In terms of its elegant language, its sharp insights into believable characters, and its almost revelatory focus on the value and meaning of language and story, it’s the most impressive and intelligent first novel I expect to see this year, or perhaps for a while longer.” [Gary K. Wolfe]
Lucius Shepard, Five Autobiographies and a Fiction
(Subterranean Press Apr 2013)
In these haunting tales, one of our masters of dark, ambitious fantasy blurs the lines between reality and fiction with quasi-autobiographical stories that describe “various potential outcomes for the narrative of my life,” as Shepard explains in the introduction. Includes Shirley Jackson Award winner “Vacancy”.
Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni
(HarperCollins May 2013)
This ambitious literary fantasy debut concerns two “immigrants” to 19th-century New York City: an ancient jinni recently freed from imprisonment in a bottle, and a golem making her way in the world after her Polish creator dies in a sea voyage. “A complex mixture of characters, voices and cultures… Wecker pulls it off in grand style.” [Faren Miller]
Category: New & Notable.