Sara Varon is co-creator, with Cecil Castellucci, of Odd Duck
, the 2013 outstanding kids' picture book, and her latest solo venture, New Shoes
is a brilliant reprisal of the themes from Odd Duck: camaraderie among eccentric animals, charming small-town life, fascinating technical details, humor, and beautiful, engaging illustrations.
Steven Brust is a literary treasure
and his longrunning Vlad Taltos series
, now nearing its final volume, is a good example of where his strengths lie: hardboiled plotting, snappy dialog, weirdly realistic and plausible depictions of magic, and a sensitive eye for power relationships and their depiction, all of which are on display in his latest, outstanding novel, Good Guys
, about the minimum-wage sorcerers who investigate magical crimes on behalf of a secret society.
Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre's middle-grades graphic novels Giants Beware!
and Dragons Beware!
are two of my family's favorite books: Rosado and Aguirre's character design, comedic dialog, plotting, and scenarios are so charming, so funny, so overwhelmingly, compulsively great
that we've re-read these dozens of times; now we've got Monsters Beware
, the third volume in the series, where the mysteries of Mont Petit Pierre and the intertwined lives of the huge cast of characters from the previous volumes come together.
Skinner, a "psychedelic nightmare painter," created a pop-up edition of HP Lovecraft's Necronomicon, available in a $50 Earth-Dweller edition and a $200 Elder God edition (with embossed foil casewrap, around a custom, laser-engraved acrylic slipcase and an art-print).
Read the rest
Annie Duke dropped out of a PhD in cognitive psychology to become a professional poker player; now she runs a nonprofit devoted to improving decision quality by merging the practical cognitive tools of the world's greatest poker players with the leading edge of cognitive psychology, a method she describes in an excellent and charming new book called Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
We've featured Angus McIntyre's short fiction here before (see 2015's Someone to Watch Over Me
), and now I'm delighted to recommend his debut between covers: a Tor.com novella called The Warrior Within
The amazing sex-toy review webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy (previously) enlivens its weekly toons with sex advice and education; they've just announced that their next collection will be Drawn to Sex, the first in a new series of books "for those looking to learn about sex and wince at our bad dad jokes." There'll be a kickstarter soon!
Read the rest
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, leisure, and artistic pursuits, populated by AIs, city-sized space cruisers, spy networks, and weird bureaucracies.
Read the rest
Beneath the Sugar Sky
is the third novella in Seanan McGuire's wonderful Wayward Children series, following from 2016's Every Heart a Doorway
and 2017's Down Among the Sticks and Bones
, chronicling the lives of the children who've accidentally returned from the magical kingdoms they adventured in, who haunt Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children praying that the door to their true homes will return and they can vanish into it forever.
Jen Wang's work: her debut graphic novel Koko Be Good
was thought-provoking and challenging and beautiful; "In Real Life," her adaptation of my story Anda's Game
took the tale to places that delighted and surprised me -- today, Firstsecond publishes The Prince and the Dressmaker
, which I believe will be her breakout graphic novel.
Anil Dash's third law holds that "Three things never work: Voice chat, printers and projectors." But Joshua Rothman's long, fascinating, even poetic profile of the Xerox engineers who work on paper-path process improvements is such a bit of hard-science whimsy that it almost makes me forgive every hour I've spent swearing over jammed paper.
Read the rest
is the sequel to Empire Games
, a reboot/latter phase of Charles Stross's longrunning, excellent economic science fiction/high fantasy Merchant Princes
If you were a voting member of the World Science Fiction Convention in 2017, or are registered as a voting member for the upcoming conventions in 2018 or 2019, you are eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards; the Locus List is a great way to jog your memory about your favorite works from last year -- and may I humbly remind you that my novel Walkaway is eligible for your nomination? Read the rest
In 2016, Victoria Jamieson won the prestigious Newberry Honor Award for Roller Girl
, a beautiful, moving, hilarious middle-grades graphic novel about friendship, girlhood and roller-derby; her 2017 followup All's Faire in Middle School
will delight everyone who loved Roller Girl
with a tale of Ren Faire, misfits, forgiveness and resilience.
Every year, Locus Magazine's panel of editors reviews the entire field of science fiction and fantasy and produces its Recommended Reading List; the 2017 list is now out, and I'm proud to say that it features my novel Walkaway, in excellent company with dozens of other works I enjoyed in the past year.
Read the rest
Weeks before the publication of Virginia Eubanks's new book Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor
, knowledgeable friends were already urging me to read it
, which was a no-brainer, having followed Eubanks's work for years
Stephen King once wrote that "a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger" -- that is, sudden, pleasant, mysterious, dangerous and exiting, and the collected short fiction of Jo Walton, contained between covers in the newly published Starlings
, is exemplary of the principle. Walton, after all, is one of science fiction's major talents, and despite her protests that she "doesn't really know how to write stories," all the evidence is to the contrary.