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Archive for July, 2017

Stefan Dziemianowicz reviews Best New Horror #27

From Locus Magazine’s July 2017 issue

Steve Jones’s Best New Horror #27 features a grisly cover image reproduced from Chamber of Chills, a short-lived comic from the early 1950s … Although Jones has chosen the image for nostalgic reasons, his selections for his anthology contrast notably with it. Some have their moments of physical horror, but all 17 stories show the artistry that horror’s best writers achieve in their work.

Gary K. Wolfe reviews Daryl Gregory

From Locus Magazine’s June 2017 issue

Family has been a recurring concern in Gregory’s fiction since the beginning of his career, but with Spoonbenders, he explores the dynamĀ­ics of a messed-up family with greater complexity, affection, and humor than ever before. It may be the least bizarre of his novels in terms of fantasy invention, but it’s also the most deeply humane, and easily the funniest.

Paul Di Filippo reviews William Browning Spencer

Special to Locus Online

Spencer’s deadpan, droll, caustic introduction sets the tone for the rest of the book. Despite the variegated bizarro (yet utterly empathizable) characters and exotic settings of these stories, they share similar themes: betrayal of friends, family, self; the death of dreams and ambitions; heartbreak; the futility of artistic striving with its inherent material limits.

“This Is Going to Be a Lot of Fun”: A Review of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Special to Locus Online

For the most part, I found Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets to be an enjoyable space adventure, deploying consistently dazzling visuals in support of an involving story that never becomes entirely predictable. And while serious issues are intermittently raised, the film is refreshingly unpretentious, in contrast to other recent films, as the director’s primary aim was clearly to entertain audiences, not to enlighten or inspire them with portentous bromides.

Paula Guran reviews Short Fiction: May 2017

From Locus Magazine’s May 2017 issue

Fiyah is a new literary magazine dedicated to Black speculative fiction, a spiritual successor to the experimental FIRE!!, an African-American magazine of the Harlem Renaissance that managed only one issue in 1926. Of the six stories in Fiyah #1, four are dark enough to cover here and all are strong.

Liz Bourke reviews Seanan McGuire

From Locus Magazine’s June 2017 issue

Down Among the Sticks and Bones has the voice and rhythm of a fairy tale, appropriately enough. It is vividly characterised, as so much of Seanan McGuire’s work is, and has the kind of prose that carries you along to find out what happens next.

The Apes of Wrath: A Review of War for the Planet of the Apes

Special to Locus Online

Everything about Matt Reeves’s War for the Planet of the Apes thankfully suggests a desire to bring its series to an end as a trilogy. True, much of the film simply carries on the apes-versus-humans saga unveiled in the second film, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but eventually all of the major story lines are concluded in a satisfying manner that precisely lays the groundwork for the transformed world observed in the original Planet of the Apes.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Susan Casper

Special to Locus Online

In February of this year, after several long illnesses, we lost Susan Casper. Wife to Gardner Dozois, she was on her own merits so much more, including a talented fiction writer. It is a testament to the high regard in which she was held that this commemorative volume was so quickly assembled and issued.

Russell Letson reviews C.J. Cherryh

From Locus Magazine’s June 2017 issue

Even newcomers might find Convergence an engaging (if occasionally puzzling) read — the parallel depictions of the two protagonists navigating the complexities of their respective societies, each conditioned by a necessarily partial but passionate understanding of the Other, can stand on its own.

Paul Di Filippo reviews Christopher Brown

Special to Locus Online

This debut novel from Chris Brown — many of whose earlier short stories appeared under the byline “Chris Nakashima-Brown” — is a knockout first novel, paradoxically solemn yet exuberant, restrained yet inventive, as attested to by well-deserved encomiums from William Gibson, Bruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow.

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