Matched to his original ideas and refreshing refurbishments of genre set pieces, Ballingrud’s writing makes North American Lake Monsters one of the best collections of short fiction for the year.
Archive for 'Books'
This blockbuster anthology from the consummate professional editing team of Martin & Dozois exhibits at its heart a topic that’s received much airing lately on the internet and at convention panels. What is the relationship of the genre’s past to the present, actual and ideal? Is the medium stagnating or advancing by continuing to create such stories?
While this young writer can approach the mix of genres in her debut with a fervency that borders on the overwrought, most of the time her even younger heroine manages to bring a soaring saga of hearts, minds, and worlds solidly back down to earth.
We find ourselves in a 2015 in which a near-universal peace has prevailed since the end of WWI no Depression, no WWII, no Holocaust, no Vietnam, etc. but only because a parasitical alien collective intelligence called the hypercolony has been manipulating human history to set the stage for its own reproductive agenda…
A revenge-quest intertwined with a set of figure-my-culture puzzles wrapped around a reluctant-buddies adventure-travelogue, climaxing in a series of revelations and action-movie physical confrontations. The complexity and strangeness of the world that generates all this requires a degree of patience at the beginning there is a large dose of guess-my-world in the book’s DNA, and some of the questions one puzzles over are necessarily left unanswered for some time. But patience is rewarded. This is not entry-level SF, and its payoff is correspondingly greater because of that.
Ross Lockhart’s Tales of Jack the Ripper is the latest in a succession of anthologies featuring stories on the Jack the Ripper theme. Its 19 selections poetry and fiction are a mix of reprints and (mostly) originals that show both the possibilities and limitations of that theme.
A couple of elements that may seem fantastical, such as the record-smashing heat wave and the locust-like plague of millions of ladybirds, turn out to be well-documented actual events from the summer of 1976, when the novel takes place. As is often the case with Joyce, we come to realize that some events which seem fantastical aren’t, and some events which seem real turn out fantastical.
One Holly Black novel in a year is reason for her many fans to be happy, but this year readers get the treat of two. Her flawless middle-grade standalone Doll Bones, which explored growing up and play, is now followed by a darkly riveting standalone YA novel, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. Some readers may [...]