“We had not planned for children,” Mission Control’s message ended. “We’re sorry.” With an Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler, author Ellen Klages takes so-called hard Science Fiction, clasps its rigid hand, and leads it into fantastical narratives haunted by childhood summer camps, science projects, a Mars settlement, a corrupt 20-year-old Smithfield ham (that’s not product […]
Un-Broken N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy needs no recommendation. The first book, The Fifth Season, won a 2016 Hugo Award. The second, The Obelisk Gate, is on this year’s Hugo shortlist. The third title, The Stone Sky, is due August 2017. I, like many others, am waiting on tenterhooks to see how it ends. N.K. […]
…I was standing on my head…leaves were growing from my body, and roots were sprouting from my hands… Some novels seize—like hawk on mouse—an idea, zip through empty space and leave us whirling in turbulence. Han Kangʼs Man Booker International Prize-winning The Vegetarian achieves far more, and cultivates with infinite delicacy and patience what life […]
Falling Towards the Weird Jeffrey Thomas will be familiar to many readers as the author of the Punktown series of stories – scratch that, Jeffrey Thomas is famous among weird and science fiction readers, RPG players, and even comic book fans, as author of the Punktown chronicles of bizarre alien, and occasionally cosmic-horrific, goings-on at […]
We’re not Post-Apocalyptic, we’re Post-Yesterday.It’s tempting and easy to compare writers, but this habit often is unfair to both object and subject. Example: thematically, and stylistically, the work of Jeremy Robert Johnson can be compared to that of John Shirley, Chuck Palahniuk (who lauds Johnson as “a dazzling writer”), or even Harlan Ellison. Since no […]
There’s something in the water… The vacation began as many do: with warmed and glistening skin, softly-scented sunscreen wafting in the breeze and a child’s energetic romp through the yard before lunchtime. Amanda and daughter Nina settled in for a week of relaxation in a rural rental, with Amanda’s husband set to join them the […]
Aficionados of the tradition ghost story will find much to enchant them – in fact, one story, “Who Is This Who Is Coming?” is one of the best tributes to M.R. James I’ve read, at once comprehensively referential, sardonically funny, and ultimately chilling. But there is plenty more experimental and challenging work too. The question of who haunts what and how comes up again and again in the tales, with no single clear and prescriptive answer.
C.S.E. Cooney respins familiar fairytale yarns with a masterly hand, and has built up an impressive record during her writing career…. weaving complicated narratives and taking her time to portray a world, its customs and its inhabitants in detail.
Ben Okri’s Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road frequently has been compared to Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, a not dissimilar work. Closer scrutiny reveals the facile utility of this comparison, but readers of Márquez unfamiliar with Okri will find much to like—even love—in The Famished Road.
The variety and ingenuity of the stories is striking. I don’t know if this is because the gender of the authors allows them to reach places that male Lovecraftians cannot, or simply down to the good taste and inspirational guidance of the editors, but the results really stand out.