STELES OF THE SKY by Elizabeth Bear
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Having amassed an army of warriors and teamed with a wizard, an exiled heir to the Great Khan finally stakes his claim to the rule the Khaganate and defeat the evil that threatens all the lands with war.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: The previous books in The Eternal Sky trilogy, RANGE OF GHOSTS and SHATTERED PILLARS, were met with wide acclaim and deservedly so. Its depiction of magic, politics and war set amongst diverse cultures makes for great reading.
SHIPSTAR by Gregory Benford & Larry Nevin
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Human space exploration is thrown into uncertainty when a massive artifact—an enormous bowl-shaped object that encompasses a star and contains a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths—is found to be headed toward the same system that Humans are trying to colonize.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Two science fiction masters team up for a classic space story filled with sense of wonder? A better question would be: Why wouldn't you read it?
TRANSHUMAN by Ben Bova
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A brilliant cellular biologist named Luke Abramson abducts his granddaughter from the hospital to circumvent the red tape that would allow him to cure her brain tumor with a new experimental enzyme. But the clock is ticking: Abramson has lung cancer and it's spreading rapidly, despite injecting himself with another experimental enzyme that reverses his aging.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Bova's premise is enticing and his books are grounded in realistic science.
THE REVOLUTIONS by Felix Gilman
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set amongst spiritualist and occult societies of 1893 London, a young journalist-turned-accountant fights to save his fiance, who is fighting for her own survival somewhere in the vicinity of Mars.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This standalone Victorian science fiction story is a throwback to planetary romances of yesteryear where the emphasis is on adventure and fun.
AFTERPARTY by Daryl Gregory
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Technology meets Big Pharma in a story where anybody with an Internet connection can download recipes and print their own drugs—even if those drugs turn out to be deadly.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Science fiction excels at asking "What if?" questions and this merging of mind-altering drugs with easily accessible technology is a great platform that does just that.
VALOUR AND VANITY by Mary Robinette Kowal
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Set in a world where illusionary magic is possible, a couple who fell victim to a scam that cleaned them out of all their money devise a scheme to get it all back. Think: old-fashioned heist with magic.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: Unlike sprawling epic fantasies where the fate of the word is at stake, Mary Robinette Kowal's quaint Regency stories are more intimate and personal, and thus quite refreshing.
THE FOREVER WATCH by David Ramirez
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The last survivors of humanity—on a 1,000-year journey across the stars to find a new planet to call home—are all aboard one generation starship...and one of them is a dangerous serial killer.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT: This mystery-in-space story features a woman who is a gifted psychic and finds purpose in her life again after she serves her society-mandated Breeding Duty.
See the full list of finalists on Tor.com!
The winners will be announced in May during the Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, California.
Congratulations to all of the honored authors!Read more
PILLAR TO THE SKY by William Forstchen
PILLAR TO THE SKY is part of NASA-inspired Works of Fiction–a partnership between NASA and Tor/Forge aimed at raising awareness of science, technology, engineering, and math, and attracting students to those fields. The titular pillar is a controversial supertower developed by a visionary rocket scientist intent on finding a new energy source. "Forstchen’s work is as convincingly told as it is diverting." – Kirkus Reviews
LIKE A MIGHTY ARMY by David Weber
In the seventh entry in Weber's popular Safehold series, Merlyn Athrawes, the cybernetic avatar of a thousand-year-old warrior, has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race. "Weber’s seventh far-future Safehold novel is a complex and fascinating epic about change, identity, and the nature of faith." – Publishers Weekly
THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine Addison
A half-goblin named Maia unwittingly inherits the throne to the Imperial Court and struggles to navigate the politics of being Emperor. "Addison patiently and tellingly paints in the backdrop, mingling steampunk elements and low-key magic with imperial intricacies. The result is a spellbinding and genuinely affecting drama. Unreservedly recommended." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
WORDS OF RADIANCE by Brandon Sanderson
In the second volume of New York Times bestseller Sanderson's Stormlight Archive (after THE WAY OF KINGS), the war with the Parshendi will move into a new, dangerous phase, Jasnah and Shallan search for the legendary city of Urithiru, and Kaladin is learning how to fulfill his new role as leader of the restored Knights Radiant. "... the novel is weighty without being ponderous, and delivers a satisfactory story despite being part of an episodic secondary world fantasy series." – Publishers Weekly
Ok, we know we just did a bunch of Book Birthdays, but this one is extra special: Jeff VanderMeer's ANNIHILATION, the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy.
With more buzz than a hornet's nest, this futuristic supernatural thriller has three fabulous starred reviews and is on several 2014 Most-Anticipated lists, including io9, SF Signal, Vulture, The Onion's A.V. Club, B&N.com, and Omnivoracious!
“After their high-risk expedition disintegrates, it’s every scientist for herself in this wonderfully creepy blend of horror and science fiction.... Speculative fiction at its most transfixing.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A gripping fantasy thriller, ANNIHILATION is thoroughly suspenseful. In a manner similar to H. G. Wells’ in THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1896), VanderMeer weaves together an otherworldly tale of the supernatural and the half-human. Delightfully, this page-turner is the first in a trilogy.” — Booklist, starred review
“Using evocative descriptions of the biologist's outer and inner worlds, masterful psychological insight, and intellectual observations both profound and disturbing—calling Lovecraft to mind and Borges—VanderMeer unfolds a tale as satisfying as it is richly imagined.” — Publishers Weekly, starred reviewRead more
THE LAST ENCHANTMENTS by Charles Finch
Finch's coming-of-age tale about a Yale graduate is getting lots of attention, from People Magazine to USA Today. "In prose that glides effortlessly from scene to scene, Finch captures the fleeting time in people’s lives when their every decision, from career to lover, seems freighted with eternal consequence. Highly recommended for all collections." – Library Journal, starred review
THE QUEEN'S DWARF by Ella March Chase
In this richly imagined novel set in the Stuart court, our unique hero Jeffrey Hudson–who happens to be a dwarf–is tasked with spying on the beautiful but vulnerable queen. "Rich in detail and brimming with intriguing characters, Chase’s novel will please fans of historical fiction..." – Kirkus Reviews
A DARKLING SEA by James Cambias
This debut science fiction novel about alien races has three remarkable starred reviews, such as this one from Kirkus: “An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.”
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
We'd like to think that we're a couple of dangerous women, but we're softies at heart, kinda like these guys (awww...). The thing we're the most hazardous to is your "To Read" pile.
With that warning in mind, we've got a doozy for you: DANGEROUS WOMEN, an awesome collection of 22 original short stories co-edited by A Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, featuring contributions from bestselling authors, including Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Grossman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Brandon Sanderson, and Martin himself. Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, or suspense, women are the stars, from feisty heroines down to villainess vixens.
"Venerable editors Martin and Dozois (Warriors) have invited writers from many different genres of fiction to showcase the supposedly weaker sex’s capacity for magic, violence, and mayhem. These 22 brand-new short stories prove that women are men’s equals—at least—in lethal potential. This meaty collection delivers something for nearly every reader’s taste as it explores the heights that brave women can reach and the depths that depraved ones can plumb." – Publishers Weekly, starred review
"VERDICT: The wide selection of authors guarantees something to please almost every reader's tastes." – Library Journal, starred review
"When genre collections include this many big-name authors, they’re typically a grouping of series outtakes and Easter eggs. Readers...will surely be satisfied by these [series-related stories] and other entries. Everyone will find something to like here." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Get whitelisted and download your review copy on Edelweiss.
When Talia told me that the brilliant minds at EarlyWord approached her about setting up a blog for Readers' Advisory librarians to learn more about the Science Fiction and Fantasy books coming out of Macmillan I whispered, "mine."
Finally! A place to highlight some of our fantastic fiction for the curious minded!
Each season I'll pick a few titles that I love and tell you a little bit about why I think they're so special. Uncharted Pages will cover a wide range of genres under the speculative fiction umbrella written for teens, adults, and immortals.
Ready to take a peek? Hop on your unicorn/magic carpet/transport zombie and head over to Uncharted Pages!
To celebrate we're giving away one slick, single-shouldered A MEMORY OF LIGHT backpack that we crammed full of finished books!
This contest has ended. Congratulations to our winner: Brianna Glenn, Library Director at De Soto Public Library!
Head over to Uncharted Pages, click the pale blue envelope icon under my picture, and send me an e-mail introducing yourself. Tell me one thing that you or your patrons love about speculative fiction and I'll enter you in the drawing!
This sweepstakes is open to librarians in the United States. More eligibility details below.