She Said Destroy, by Nadia Bulkin

Destroying Your Certainty Nadia Bulkin’s debut collection comes roaring out of the gate with one of the strongest titles of the year. As far as I know, the title is nothing to do with Marguerite Duras’s Destroy, She Said. Nor, fortunately, is it anything to do with the song by Death in June. But it […]

The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate, by N.K. Jemisin

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. […]

The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

…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 […]

Fever Dream: A Novel, by Samanta Schweblin

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 […]

The Famished Road, by Ben Okri

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.

Pirate Utopia, by Bruce Sterling

“If the philosopher Rousseau was correct in observing our common lot might be improved through tweaking the structure of Western civilization, then the attempt by the cast of Sterling’s alternate history reveals truths absurd and grim—even heartbreaking—not much stranger than our current improbable political milieu.”

A Natural History of Hell, by Jeffrey Ford

A Natural History of Hell, by Jeffrey Ford, from the enterprising and frequently delightful Small Beer Press, brings together 13 very diverse examples of Ford’s work, all of them except the opener, “The Blameless,” first published in various venues over the past four years, including one Shirley Jackson Award winner, the delirious Japanese yakuza weird slayride “A Natural History of Autumn.” The polished assurance of the prose is breathtaking, while the evocation of character is completely natural.

The Language of Dying, by Sarah Pinborough

The Wasting Agony of Waiting The deep kernel of anger that has since burned you hollow. The petty betrayals and muddled affections of a broken family. The wordless sorrow of watching parents, those mighty Titans, crumbling in like a rotten egg, stinking, seeping into nothingness. Sarah Pinborough holds aloft: death. In your eyes, your ears, […]

The Fisherman, a novel by John Langan

Draw Out Leviathan Horror author and scholar John Langan has produced some of the new century’s most representative dark and weird tales, the kind of work that anyone getting into the modern genre cannot ignore, not least because they so perceptively interrogate the entire tradition. Any new book by him, then, is an event, and […]

Black Propaganda: Dark Stories by Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Paul StJohn Mackintosh’s new collection is comprised of haunting tales both new and previously published. In these stories you will find worlds achingly familiar and eerily alien, the light of love coexisting with the darkest spasms of violent emotion and cruel detachment which may be found in the human spirit. The introduction to this work […]