More seriously though, whether set on distant planets or in fantasy lands, here are our favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy titles that have already received terrific early praise:
THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley
“In this epic fantasy debut, Staveley has created a complex and richly detailed world filled with elite soldier-assassins, mystic warrior monks, serpentine politics, and ancient secrets. Readers of Sara Douglass's Wayfarer novels and George R.R. Martin's 'Song of Ice and Fire' series should enjoy this opener.” – Library Journal, starred review and Debut of the Month selection
YEAR’S BEST SF 18 edited by David G. Hartwell
“One of the best collections of the year, without a weak tale in its list, this is highly recommended for fans of the short story and of SF in general.” – Library Journal, starred review
“Almost uniformly excellent—but then when was an anthology from Hartwell ever less?” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
FIDDLEHEAD by Cherie Priest
“This is a compelling finale to a fantastic series. The good guys are complex and sympathetic; the villains are suitably clever and malign. The action rattles along at breakneck speed, and the reader can't resist coming along for the wild ride, which includes a climactic battle featuring a wheelchair-bound Abe Lincoln and a temporarily sober Ulysses S. Grant. Highly recommended for all readers of fantasy and steampunk.” – Library Journal, starred review
A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias (THREE starred reviews!)
“An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Like [Robert] Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as Downward to the Earth…Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should.” – Booklist, starred review
“Cambias writes with a light touch and occasional flashes of humor, and the science supporting his novel is sound and unobtrusive. This is an impressive debut by a gifted writer.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
Welcome to a new week, librarians! We've had an exciting few weeks as the Best of 2011 lists come in and we get to celebrate many of our favorite books from throughout the year.
- BURY YOUR DEAD by Louise Penny took home the Nero Award this weekend and we were even more heart-warmed to hear it after Ms. Penny joined us in the office last week for some deliciously mysterious cake!Read more
Clockwork Century fans rejoice! Cherie Priest's third installment in the steampunk series, GANYMEDE, will be out in October and has already received its first glowing review. Publishers Weekly stamped a star on GANYMEDE and said,
The smashing third volume in Priest’s Clockwork Century steampunk alternate-history Civil War series (after 2010’s DREADNOUGHT) stars Josephine Early, New Orleans brothel owner and Union spy, who must deliver Ganymede, a prototype submarine, to the North. There are only a few problems: no one has ever successfully piloted the craft, and the Texian and Confederate armies are actively searching for it. Josephine’s former lover, Andan Cly, agrees to help while completing his primary mission of retrieving supplies for blighted Seattle, where noxious gas forces residents to live underground and zombies remain a constant peril. Priest is at the top of her game, equally deft with pirate battles and mature romance: Cly is tentatively connecting with earlier protagonist Briar Wilkes, sheriff of Seattle, making him elegantly cautious around Josephine as they both try to focus on their mission. Clockwork Century fans will dub this installment the best yet.
What was that last line again? "Clockwork Century fans will dub this installment the best yet!" Well done, Ms. Priest.Read more
EDIT: All of my free copies of Dreadnought are gone, but thank you for your interest! If it makes any difference, I can't wait to get off work and read the last 50 pages -- it's that good!
You know all about Cherie Priest, right? The Seattle Times called her "the high priestess of steampunk," and for good reason! Her last title, Boneshaker, won the Locus award for Best Sci-Fi Novel, and was among Publishers Weekly best 100 books of the year.
Dreadnought comes out next week, but this is your chance to get a finished copy early and free!Read more