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Archive for January, 2016

Gary K. Wolfe reviews China Miéville

From Locus Magazine’s January 2016 issue

Most of China Miéville’s fiction describes a spectrum between the almost formal preci­sion of novels like The City & The City and Embassytown and the more exuberant textual irruptions of Kraken or Railsea, and his style can range from a kind of ornate dialectical Mervyn Peake to the hardboiled irony of the post-Raymond Chandler school. His new no­vella, This Census-Taker, approaches neither extreme.

Karen Burnham reviews AfroSF v2

From Locus Magazine’s January 2016 issue

It is gratifying to see science fiction from around the world getting a little more traction. Hartmann should be commended for giving voice to authors who haven’t gotten much genre attention, and for providing us with a wide sampling of what African authors have to offer.

Russell Letson reviews Nancy Kress

From Locus Magazine’s January 2016 issue

What strikes me about this volume — 21 stories from more than three decades of production — is how Kress’s sensibility remains intact across the range of science-fictional subtypes she employs. She remains always an observational writer who manages to get inside her characters’ skins — working stiffs or middle-class moms or heiresses or narcissistic nobles.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Michael Cobley

Special to Locus Online

If you want a rousing space adventure full of sense of wonder that is also ideationally challenging, then you need look no further than Ancestral Machines.

A Divergent Hunger Maze Game: A Review of The 5th Wave

Special to Locus Online

I really didn’t enjoy watching The 5th Wave, though it is hard to explain why, for by any conventional evaluation, it qualifies as a well-crafted diversion, not unlike many successful films of the recent past. Perhaps the problem is that the film is artfully following an overly familiar, even an exhausted pattern…

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Charlie Jane Anders

From Locus Magazine’s December 2015 issue

Charlie Jane Anders takes a number of fascinat­ing genre risks in All the Birds in the Sky, her first SF/F novel, and one of the most prominent is implied by that slashmark between SF and F: the basic concept of the story revisits the aging but indomitable trope of science versus magic, centered around the two best-friend main char­acters, one of whom is a powerful witch and the other a brilliant, cutting-edge scientist.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Morgan Llywelyn

Special to Locus Online

Only the Stones Survives is a melancholy, elegiac yet ultimately life-affirming tale, written with bardic simplicity, clarity and elegance. It concerns a pivotal era of change…

“It’s Gravity Meets Night of the Living Dead!”:
A Review of 400 Days

Special to Locus Online

My title describes how one imagines writer-director Matt Osterman might have pitched the idea of 400 Days, in a stereotypically succinct fashion, to skeptical Hollywood executives. Like many pitches, no doubt, it is not entirely accurate, for there are few if any specific plot similarities between this film and the referenced classics. Yet the pitch would be broadly defensible, inasmuch as 400 Days begins like a realistic depiction of near-future astronauts and devolves into a standard-issue horror film.

Russell Letson reviews Linda Nagata

The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Saga 978-1-4814-4657-0, $27.99, 405pp, hc) June 2015. Cover by Larry Rostant. The Trials, Linda Nagata (Saga 978-1-4814-4658-7, $27.99, 447pp, hc) August 2015. Cover by Larry Rostant. Going Dark, Linda Nagata (Saga 978-1-4814-4659-4, $27.99, 454 pp, pb) November 2015. Cover by Larry Rostant. As I was saying last month, all […]

Faren Miller reviews Will Elliott

From Locus Magazine’s December 2015 issue

Like most Americans, I came late to The Pilo Family Circus, since Will Elliott’s unnerving deep-black comedy, a first novel, appeared in Australia in 2006… By now, Elliott is a multiple award-winner — au­thor of a trilogy and two further unrelated novels — and with The Pilo Traveling Show he returns to the Circus on his own time.

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