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Table of Contents

New & Notable Books

New & Notable Books

Jon Armstrong
Greg Bear
Orson Scott Card
Dann & Strahan
James Enge
Jordan & Sanderson
Stephen King
Martin & Dozois
Jack McDevitt
Richard Parks
M. Rickert
Ekaterina Sedia
Robert Silverberg
Patrick Swenson
Freda Warrington


Kelley Armstrong, Counterfeit Magic (Subterranean Press Jan 2011)

Detectives Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine investigate a series of mysterious deaths in an underground fighting ring frequented by werewolves, demons, and spellcasters in this novella set in the author­’s popular Otherworld universe.

Lauren Beukes, Zoo City (Angry Robot US Jan 2011)

This audacious novel is set in a fantastic Johannesburg where those who feel guilt over their crimes are saddled with animal companions that accompany them everywhere, consigning them visibly to the lower classes. Heroine Zinzi December — stuck with a sloth — makes a living finding lost things, and, naturally, finds trouble in the seedy underside of this bizarre society. ‘‘You keep reading because you want to know what happens to her because she feels so alive.’’ [Adrienne Martini]

Orson Scott Card, The Lost Gate (Tor Jan 2011)

Card begins his new Mither Mages fantasy series with an ambitious tale set in two worlds: among the exiled North clan in the mountains of western Virginia, and in the magical land of Westil. Young Danny North is the first Gatemage born in generations, capable of returning his family to their long-lost home world of Westil... if he lives long enough to come into his power.

Ally Condie, Matched (Dutton Nov 2010)

Teenager Cassia is initially delighted when the Officials of the Society which rules every aspect of her life chooses her perfect genetic mate: her best friend Xander. But she soon chafes against the constraints of her world, and has to choose — take the safe route, or risk everything to follow her passion? ‘‘Part of what makes Matched work so well is Cassia’s voice, which is strong and endearing.’’ [Adrienne Martini]

Phil Foglio & Kaja Foglio, Agatha H. and the Airship City (Night Shade Books Jan 2011)

The Foglios’ have adapted their Hugo Award-winning graphic novel series into prose with this first installment of a trilogy, allowing for a greater exploration of the exuberant gaslight fantasy’s backstory. This ‘‘fills in all of the gaps that you might not have noticed in the comic.... there is a rich world that the Foglios have made, and our first exposure to it was only a hand-drawn map, not the entire territory.’’ [Adrienne Martini]

Patricia A. McKillip, The Bards of Bone Plain (Ace Dec 2010)

In this inventive and surprising fantasy, two scholars and a princess research the legendary life of a famed bard named Nairn and his mythical trials in a place called Bone Plain... only to find there may be some truth to the old tales about magic after all. McKillip ‘‘manages to subvert familiar tropes at just about every turn of its dual plotlines.’’ [Faren Miller]

Larry Niven, edited by Jonathan Strahan, The Best of Larry Niven (Subterranean Press Dec 2010)

Editor Jonathan Strahan collects 27 of Niven’s best stories from the author’s 35-year career, including all four of his short fiction Hugo Award winners, with story notes by Niven and an introduction by his friend and frequent collaborator Jerry Pournelle. ‘‘The Niven that emerges in this volume is ingenious, inventive, and above all playful.’’ [Russell Letson]

K. J. Parker, The Hammer (Orbit US Jan 2011)

Parker’s latest standalone ‘‘fantasy without magic’’ concerns the met’Oc family, disgraced nobles living in exile on a distant island colony after their part in a long-ago civil war. While his father and brothers terrorize the locals and dream of someday returning to power and glory back Home, youngest son Gignomai makes his own dark plans of revenge and redemption. ‘‘Never entirely good or evil, these characters are alive. That’s the real magic.’’ [Faren Miller]

Pierre Pevel, The Cardinal's Blades (Pyr Oct 2010)

This action-packed adventure tale, translated from the original French, begins a dragon-filled series ‘‘set in a magic-touched version of the mucky, expanding Paris of Louis XIII and Cardinal Richeliu.... The book can resemble The Three Musketeers as reworked by a writer steeped in the more devious kinds of fantasy and spy novel.’’ [Faren Miller]

Jonathan Strahan, ed., Engineering Infinity (Solaris US Jan 2011)

This original anthology of 14 hard SF stories includes fiction by Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, Gwyneth Jones, David Moles, Hannu Rajaniemi, Charles Stross, Peter Watts, and others.

Jo Walton, Among Others (Tor Jan 2011)

In this semi-autobiographical novel told in the form of diary entries, 1970s teen Morwenna Phelps leaves a childhood in Wales where she played with fairies and spirits for an exclusive boarding school in England, and constructs a life for herself centered around her love for literature, especially SF and fantasy. ‘‘There’s something particularly appealing about a fantasy which not only celebrates the joy of reading, but in which the heroine must face the forces of doom not in order to return yet another ring to some mountain, but to plan a trip to the 1980 Glasgow Eastercon.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Tad Williams, Shadowheart (DAW Nov 2010)

The final book of the sprawling, epic Shadowmarch fantasy series sees deposed royals, a cruel despot, and an enigmatic race of fairies engage in a final struggle to seize the unimaginable power of the sleeping gods, in a battle that will change the world.

Gary K. Wolfe, Evaporating Genres: Essays on Fantastic Literature (Wesleyan University Press Jan 2011)

This collection gathers 11 critical essays on fantastic literature, written by Wolfe over the past few decades. The essays have been revised and often significantly expanded ‘‘to re-examine these ideas in light of my current thinking and more recent developments in these genres,’’ and the book includes notes, a bibliography, and an index.

Gene Wolfe, Home Fires (Tor Jan 2011)

Wolfe returns to pure SF with this tale about newlyweds Skip and Chelle, who are separated when Chelle goes to fight a war in a distant solar system. When she returns home months later, years have passed on Earth due to the relativistic effects of space travel, and her young husband is now a forty-something success. Their love survives the reunion... but they face new dangers when they take a romantic Caribbean Cruise on a ship beset by pirates, alien spies, and stranger things. ‘‘Amazingly, Wolfe’s approach to SF themes that we thought we knew all about is as innovative and elegant as ever.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

February 2011 Issue
New & Notable Books

posted 3 February 2011

january cover
Cover Design: Arnie Fenner

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