Books Archives

Looking for some science fiction, fantasy and/or horror reads? Look no further than this monthly roundup of sf/f/h releases!

Which titles are you most looking forward to reading?

  1. Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 08 by John Wager & Alan Grant (2000 AD)
  2. Return to Armageddon by Malcom Shaw & Jesus Redondo (2000 AD Graphic Novels)
  3. Judge Dredd: v. 23: The Complete Case Files by John Wagner & Mark Millar (2000 AD Graphic Novels)

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What better way to unravel the weirdness that is H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness than via the insightful and entertaining analyses that are Thug Notes?

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Behold the mosaic beauty that is Harper’s reissue of E.R. Eddison’s classic The Worm Ouroboros and Zimiamvia books!

The new editions hit bookstore shelves in October 2014.

Larger versions and book descriptions appear below…

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Subterranean Press has posted the table of contents for the upcoming Harlan Ellison collection The Top of the Volcano: the Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison:

Here’s the book description:

”Only connect,” E.M. Forster famously said, and Harlan Ellison was canny enough to make that the lifeblood of his achievement from the get-go.

New, fresh and different is tricky in the storytelling business, as rare as diamonds, but, as a born storyteller, Harlan made story brave, daring, surprising again, brought an edge of the gritty and the strange, the erudite and the street-smart, found ways to make words truly come alive again in an over-worded world.

From the watershed of the ’50s and ’60s when the world found its dynamic new identity, to a self-imitating, sadly all too derivative present, he has kept storytelling cool and hip, exhilarating, unexpected yet always vital, able to get under your skin and change your life.

And now we have it. ”The Top of the Volcano” is the collection we hoped would come along eventually, twenty-three of Harlan’s very best stories, award-winners every one, brought together in a single volume at last. There s the unforgettable power of ”’Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” ”The Whimper of Whipped Dogs” and ”Mefisto in Onyx,” the heart-rending pathos of ”Jeffty Is Five” and ”Paladin of the Lost Hour,” the chilling terror of ”I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,” the ingenuity and startling intimacy of ”Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans…”

These stories are full of the light and life of someone with things worth saying and the skills to do it, presented in the book we had to have–not just a Best-of (though given what’s on offer it may just fall out that way) but in one easy-to-grab volume perfect for newbies, long-time fans and seasoned professionals alike to remind them just how it can be done.

Here’s the table of contents…
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Podcast Spotlight: Escape Pod

Now that my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time list is out in the public, it’s time to kick off my next series of podcast fiction features: The Podcast Spotlight. Each month I’ll focus on a single podcast, talking a bit about the origins and history of the podcast, the editor(s) and host(s) the podcast has had, and will give a list of my favorite episodes of that podcast since it began to give you a good place to start listening.

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I’m a sucker for graphic novels with great protagonists. A good case in point is Ben Hatke’s recently completed Zita the Spacegirl comic series—comprised of Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl—published earlier this summer. Framed with Hatke’s outstanding artwork, the series is an earnest, adorable and kick-ass story following Zita’s adventures far out in space.

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Over at the Kirkus Reviews blog, I name my picks for The Best Speculative Fiction Reads in August.

Check it out!

Daily Science Fiction has announced its monthly line-up of free stories.
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Ben Blattberg is a freelance writer currently living in Texas. He blogs about movies and story structure at incremental-catastrophe.blogspot.com and makes jokes on Twitter @inCatastrophe.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In a magical LA ruthlessly run by a cannibal magician, a thief with a magical talent gets caught up in a heist.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Fun world-building with some darkly vivid imagery, and a fast-moving caper plot that pulls readers along.
CONS: Some jarring plot shifts and murky character motivations.
BOTTOM LINE: I wouldn’t want to live in van Eekhout’s grim, magical LA, but it’s a fantastic place to visit; and despite a few hiccups, the book is a fun thrill-ride.

If you’ve ever been to sunny Los Angeles, you know that it’s a dread-laden city of madness, where the palm trees merely bide their time till they wake and push us all into the unforgiving Pacific. Or maybe that’s just me; maybe Los Angeles strikes you more as a city of pretty people cavorting in endless sunshine. Greg van Eekhout channels both versions of LA into his new novel, California Bones, an expansion of his earlier short fiction story “The Osteomancer’s Son“. Looked at one way, California Bones is a light-hearted epic heist story in a magical, alternate California; looked at another way, it’s a dystopian Grand Guignol about a decaying bureaucracy ruthlessly ruled by the biggest cannibal in town. Either way, it’s a fast-moving adventure with some heavy stakes, and only a few bumps along the way.
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Here’s the cover and synopsis for V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade ofagic.

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter.

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Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Analog:

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Here’s the table of contents for the new issue of Asimov’s.
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REVIEW SUMMARY: In Bald New World, Tieryas Liu explores social complications, structure and
culture of a world in which everyone loses their hair.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The story follows Nick Guan as he moves between a Dystopian future set in L.A. and parts of Asia with a twisted plot revealing shocking truths about hair loss on a global scale beneath a seedy underworld filled with spies and murder.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Descriptive, engaging narrative that is smart in its observations of popular culture; deep, personal narrative set against intense, raw scenes.
CONS: Fast paced ending gave illusion of being a tad rushed.
BOTTOM LINE: A wonderful, clever narrative that builds an intriguing look at a plausible yet fantastic future while remaining a personal story of man’s struggles with societal norms and family.
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For a limited time Incandescence by Greg Egan will be on sale for $1.99 on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The sale begins today but, at the time of this post, not yet…so check the price before ordering!

Here’s the description:

The long-awaited new novel from Greg Egan! Hugo Award-winning author Egan returns to the field with Incandescence, a new novel of hard SF.

The Amalgam spans nearly the entire galaxy, and is composed of innumerable beings from a wild variety of races, some human or near it, some entirely other. The one place that they cannot go is the bulge, the bright, hot center of the galaxy. There dwell the Aloof, who for millions of years have deflected any and all attempts to communicate with or visit them. So when Rakesh is offered an opportunity to travel within their sphere, in search of a lost race, he cannot turn it down.

Roi is a member of that lost race, which is not only lost to the Amalgam, but lost to itself. In their world, there is but toil, and history and science are luxuries that they can ill afford.

Rakesh’s journey will take him across millennia and light years. Roi’s will take her across vistas of learning and discovery just as vast.

Check out the table of contents for the new alternate history anthology Wars to End All Wars: Alternate Tales from the Trenches edited by N.E. White, currently available for only $0.99!

Here’s the book description:

Alternate tales set during the first World War, this short story collection takes history and tweaks it.

2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1. Seven authors, including the award-winning Science Fiction and Fantasy author, Elizabeth Moon, commemorate that event by writing stories set during the great war, adding their own, sometimes speculative, interpretations and answering the question, “What if…?”

Here’s the table of contents…
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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel The Machine Awakes by Adam Christopher, follow-on to Burning Dark….

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In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week.
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RIP: Lawrence Santoro

Sad news…

Starship Sofa and SF Site are reporting that author Lawrence Santoro has passed away after a bout with cancer.

Lawrence was the producer of the Tales to Terrify podcast and an author of many short fiction stories, many of which were collected in the 2011 collection Drink for the Thirst to Come.

It’s time another Book Cover Smackdown! This time around, covers of forthcoming steampunk titles go head-to-head. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: Pass artistic judgment!

Tell us:

  • Which of these covers do you like the most?
  • What works and what doesn’t work with these covers?
  • Do any of them make you want to learn more about and/or read the book?

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