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Book Cover Smackdown (Collection/Anthology Edition) – “Good-bye Robinson Crusoe” vs. “Nebula Awards Showcase 2013” vs. “Clockwork Fairy Tales”

Several anthologies and colections are coming your way soon. Here are three of them to lord over…artistically speaking…

Which ones do you like? Tell us and be mighty!

Here are the contenders…

Good-bye Robinson Crusoe and Other Stories by John Varley (Subterranean – April 30, 2013)

This stellar collection by John Varley contains eleven provocative, utterly distinctive stories and novellas. None of them are currently available in any other book. Some have been unavailable in any form for twenty-five years or more. The result is a publishing event that no admirer of Varley–or of first-rate imaginative fiction–can afford to miss.

The bulk of these stories comprise what the author calls a ‘Grand Tour of the Solar System,’ moving from one thoroughly imagined setting to another with deceptive ease. ‘The Funhouse Effect’ is a tale of mystery, intrigue, and illusion that takes place on a mechanized comet moving toward the sun s corona. ‘Retrograde Summer’ is an account of gender reversals and family secrets set against the radically unstable backdrop of Mercury. ‘Bagatelle’ pits a recurring Varley character–Police Chief Anna-Louise Bach–against a living bomb that threatens to devastate Luna’s Dresden City. Other stories range from Venus (‘In the Bowl’) to an underground ‘disneyland’ on Pluto (‘Good-Bye, Robinson Crusoe’) to the unexplored reaches of deep space (‘The Black Hole Passes’). The collection ends with two very different offerings that are nonetheless vintage Varley. ‘The Unprocessed Word’ is a whimsical reflection on one writer s relationship with a ubiquitous, constantly evolving technology, while ‘The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged)’ is a brief, absolutely chilling meditation on the consequences of nuclear proliferation.

Whatever the tone, style, or subject matter, Varley remains in complete control of this impressively varied material. Good-Bye, Robinson Crusoe and Other Stories provides intellectual stimulation and pure entertainment in equal measure, and bears the unmistakable hallmark of a master storyteller on every page.

Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 edited by Catherine Asaro (Pyr – May 14 2013)

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories in the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America(R). The editor selected by SFWA’s anthology committee (chaired by Mike Resnick) is two-time Nebula winner, Catherine Asaro. This year’s volume includes stories and excerpts by Connie Willis, Jo Walton, Kij Johnson, Geoff Ryman, John Clute, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Ferrett Steinmetz, Ken Liu, Nancy Fulda, Delia Sherman, Amal El-Mohtar, C. S. E. Cooney, David Goldman, Katherine Sparrow, E. Lily Yu, and Brad R. Torgersen.

Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables edited by Stephen L. Antczak & James C. Bassett (Roc – June 4, 2013)

Combining the timeless fairy tales that we all read as children with the out-of-time technological wizardry that is steampunk, this collection of stories blends the old and the new in ways sure to engage every fantasy reader.…

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes,” New York Times bestselling author K. W. Jeter’s “La Valse” forges a fable about love, the decadence of technology, and a gala dance that becomes the obsession of a young engineer—and the doom of those who partake in it.…

In “You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens,” national bestselling author and John W. Campbell Award winner Jay Lake tells the story of Sleeping Beauty—and how the princess was conceived in deception, raised in danger, and rescued by a prince who may be less than valiant.

The tale of “The Tinderbox” takes a turn into the surreal when a damaged young soldier comes into possession of an intricate, treacherous treasure and is drawn into a mission of mercy in national bestselling author Kat Richardson’s “The Hollow Hounds.”

In “The Kings of Mount Golden,” Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Paul Di Filippo tells the story of a young man’s search for his heritage and a mechanical marvel that lies at the heart of a sinister pact in this fascinating take on “The King of the Golden Mountain.”

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

1 Comment on Book Cover Smackdown (Collection/Anthology Edition) – “Good-bye Robinson Crusoe” vs. “Nebula Awards Showcase 2013” vs. “Clockwork Fairy Tales”

  1. They’re all a bit meh but the Clockwork Fairy Tales would be good if it had some atmosphere and feeling behind it…

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