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On My Radar: ANGEL CATBIRD / THE LAST ADVENTURE OF CONSTANCE VERITY / THE BIG BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION

 

Here’s a look at some the books that have me excited about science fiction and fantasy…


 
Angel CatBird Volume 1 by Margaret Atwood (Author, Creator), Johnnie Christmas (Illustrator)
(Dark Horse Books | September 6, 2016 | Cover illustration artist: Johnnie Christmas?)
 

SYNOPSIS:

Lauded novelist Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Johnnie Christmas collaborate on one of the most highly anticipated comic book and literary events of the year!

On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment and merges with the DNA of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure– with a lot of cat puns.

Published in over thirty-five countries, Margaret Atwood is one of the most important living writers of our day and is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her work has won the Man Booker Prize, the Giller Prize, Premio Mondello, and more. Angel Catbird is her first graphic novel series.

Atwood’s The Blind Assassin was named one of Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels published since 1923 and her recent MaddAddam Trilogy is currently being adapted into an HBO television show by Darren Aronofsky

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
I’m quite interested to see what Atwood does with the format. Will it be as deep and weighty as The Watchmen? Or will it feel more like standard superhero fare? I suspect the former, but “a lot of cat puns” makes me fear the latter.


 
(Saga Press | July 5, 2016 | Cover illustration artist: John Picacio)
 

SYNOPSIS:

Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to reset her destiny and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary.

Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become the world’s great adventurer. She is a master of martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts. Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she’s figured a way out. The only problem is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job.

Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
Martinez is funny, in person and in prose. I got this one in the mail this week and the first couple of chapters had me laughing out loud.


 
The Big Book of Science Fiction edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
(Vintage | July 12, 2016 | Cover illustration artist: Richard Powers)
 

SYNOPSIS:

From Ann and Jeff VanderMeer—sci-fi wunderkinds, “literary power couple” (Boing Boing), and custodians of the strange and wonderful—comes a canon-defining anthology of science fiction.

Since the days of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, science fiction has not just helped shape more than a century of literature, but has reached well beyond fictional realms to influence our perspectives on culture, science, and technology. Ideas like electric cars, space travel, and forms of advanced communication comparable to today’s cell phone all first found their way into the public’s awareness through science fiction.

While entertaining us, science fiction has allowed us to dream of a better world by creating visions of future societies without prejudice or war. Dystopias, too, like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, have allowed writers to comment on injustice and dangers to democracy. Today, science fiction continues to ask “what if?” about such important topics as global warming, energy dependence, and the uses of our modern technology. No other form of literature has been so relevant to our present yet been so filled with visionary and transcendent moments. Until now there has been no definitive and complete collection that truly captured the global influence and significance of this dynamic genre. Encompassing hard science fiction, soft (social) science fiction, space opera, alternative history, apocalyptic stories, tales of alien encounters, near-future dystopia, far-future myths, and a host of other modes, The Big Book of Science Fiction brings together authors from all over the world and from both the genre and literary ends of the spectrum. It is a must have for any science fiction fan.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR:
I rediscovered my love of science fiction through the Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthology series, which I still consider one of my all-time favorites, but is sorely in need of an update. The Big Book of Science Fiction promises to be the same for a new generation of readers. The author line-up is fantastic and this thing is freakin’ HUGE! 1,216 pages! 750,000 words! Heck, even the introduction is 11,000-words. We also received an advanced copy of this one in the mail this week. This sucker’s heavy. Like a big rock! I can’t wait to dive in.

About John DeNardo (13014 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

3 Comments on On My Radar: ANGEL CATBIRD / THE LAST ADVENTURE OF CONSTANCE VERITY / THE BIG BOOK OF SCIENCE FICTION

  1. Hi, John,

    The artist for The Last Adventure of Constance Verity is the incomparable John Picacio! Texans all the way down…I’m glad you’re enjoying Martinez’s novel! He’s so smart…speaking of Watchmen, this is a sly deconstruction of action hero/pulp/comic adventures. And yes, a lot of fun….

  2. Big Book of Science Fiction – that thing must weigh 20 pounds! I have the Vandermeer edited The Weird (1100 pages), and it’s a beast to read. I can barely lift the thing. if wishes were fishes, we’d all cast nets, and in my net I would catch three 400 pages volumes of The Big Book of SF. that’s much more manageable for bathtub reading!

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