John Joseph Adams, ed., Federations
(Prime Books May 2009)
Adams, a newer editor of note, now presents an anthology of 23 stories 14 original about galaxy-spanning societies, with contributions from Lois McMaster Bujold, Orson Scott Card, George R.R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Alastair Reynolds, Robert Silverberg, and more. "The mix of old and new stories, of newer and more established writers, and of tones and styles is vigorous and impressive." [Rich Horton]
Poul Anderson, Rise of the Terran Empire
(Baen Jun 2009)
The third volume in Baen's ambitious project to collect Anderson's complete Technic Civilization Saga includes four stories, one not previously collected, and two novels: Mirkheim, the last in the popular adventures of merchants Nicholas Van Rijn and David Falkayn, and The People of the Wind.
Stephen Baxter, Flood
(Roc May 2009)
Flooding of Biblical proportions (if much slower) threatens the world in this near-future novel, the first in an epic disaster diptych, to be followed by Ark. Initially published in the UK by Gollancz (2008). "A largely old-fashioned disaster tale presented with spectacle and efficient pacing." [Gary K. Wolfe]
William J. Burling, ed., Kim Stanley Robinson Maps the Unimaginable
(McFarland Apr 2009)
Robinson's fiction is examined in this collection of recent critical essays, including five originals, with special focus on his exploration of utopias and alternate histories, his theories and politics, and his approach to ecological issues. Contributors include Fredric Jameson, John Kessel, Nick Gevers, Roger Luckhurst, and the late editor.
C. J. Cherryh, Conspirator
(DAW May 2009)
The tenth book in the Foreigner SF series finds the aftermath of the atevi civil war uncomfortable for human Bren Cameron, who decides to visit his country estate, only to have his young atevi friend Cajeiri take an unauthorized trip to join him, an escapade with the potential to set off new political turmoil. "It's Jane Austen among the ten-foot-tall, armed-to-the-teeth hair-trigger aliens... Building plots based on imaginary politics is challenging enough by itself add that these imaginary politics are those of an alien species with fundamental instincts and social patterns not quite like those of their human counterparts/analogues and you have a considerable craft/technical challenge. Cherryh makes it work without overburdening the other aspects of this serial social-drama-with-guns." [Russell Letson]
John Clute, Canary Fever: Reviews
(Beccon Publications Apr 2009)
The fourth collection of essays and reviews by noted critic Clute has 120 reviews and essays, including separate sections on John Crowley, Michael Moorcock, and Thomas M. Disch. "Clute argues that the 'gaze of the fantastic' is 'in the end, a gaze at the world itself', like that of 'the canary in the coal mine when the air changes' though he also suggests that the metaphor might occasionally be applied to book reviewers. Fortunately, this canary is still breathing, and he's looking at us." [Gary K. Wolfe]
John Crowley, Four Freedoms
(Morrow Jun 2009)
The celebrated literary author's latest oeuvre is an associational historical novel (with minor alternate-world bits) set in a vast airplane factory on the plains of Oklahoma during World War II, recreating the feel of the times and people of the 1940s with impeccable detail and his usual complex and subtle characterization.
Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, eds., Troll's Eye View
(Viking Apr 2009)
The celebrated editors' latest YA fantasy anthology presents all-new tales from villains' points of view, with 12 stories and three poems by authors including Garth Nix, Holly Black, Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Catherynne M. Valente, Peter S. Beagle, and more.
Dennis Etchison, Got to Kill Them All & Other Stories
(CD Publications Jul 2008)
The legendary horror author's latest collection includes 18 stories, three of them previously uncollected, representing the darkest, nastiest stories in his oeuvre; though Etchison notes, "I do not believe they are heartless. I prefer the word 'unflinching.'"
Greer Gilman, Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter's Tales
(Small Beer Press May 2009)
This triptych draws on myths, English ballads, and poetry for three linked stories, one an original novel-length tale about a woman who escapes her witch grandmother and makes her way in the world. "Greer Gilman remains one of the great hidden treasures of the fantasy field….And the payoff is immense. I finished Cloud & Ashes almost tempted to write a thesis that compares it favorably to what James Joyce did in Ulysses and tried in Finnegans Wake." [Faren Miller]
David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year's Best SF 14
(Eos Jun 2009)
Hartwell & Cramer's annual strictly SF anthology showcases 21 stories from 2008, by authors including Neil Gaiman, Paolo Bacigalupi, Ted Chiang, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Michael Swanwick, M. Rickert, and others.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Fall of Light
(Ace May 2009)
Hoffman returns to the LaZelle family first encountered in A Fistful of Sky, this time focusing on Opal, a magically-gifted make-up artist whose actor lover is possessed by a malevolent entity during a movie production in the Oregon woods. "Provides an effective interplay between magic (both benign and otherwise) and genuine aspects of the film trade." [Faren Miller]
Jay Lake, Green
(Tor Jun 2009)
The eponymous heroine of this colorful fantasy is a slave, courtesan, and assassin struggling to navigate a land of magic and political intrigue. "A complex, beautifully described world something like a combination of steampunk and the gods of India, with an added dash of Lovecraftian horror." [Faren Miller]
China Miéville, The City & the City
(Ballantine Del Rey Jun 2009)
The master of the New Weird turns his hand to a police procedural, crafting an intricate murder mystery set in the weirdly intertwined European cities of Beszel and Ul Qoma. "One of [Miéville's] impressive achievements is the manner in which he respects and retains the integrity of the police procedural form while introducing layer upon layer of more complex mysteries... quite unlike anything I've seen before." [Gary K. Wolfe]
Rudy Rucker, Hylozoic
(Tor Jun 2009)
Rucker brings his trademark mix of ideas and weirdness to this near-future SF novel, sequel to Postsingular, in which the Singularity brought all matter into consciousness and telepathic communication. Now, that brings Earth to the notice of similarly advanced alien races, some seemingly friendly and others bent on exploitation. "Rucker juggles the disparate elements of his plot with the zany aplomb of the Flying Karamazov Brothers... a compelling vision. And one hell of a party." [Paul Witcover]