Monday, July 11, 2016

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 7/9

Another week is over, which means I have a few books to write about here. (We're also all seven days older and closer to death, but try not to think about that.) I haven't read these yet -- and I can't guarantee I ever will, he said, glancing at his already full to-be-read shelves -- but I can tell you some things about them anyway. And those things are also probably true, or at least seem to be accurate to me right this moment. If I'm wrong, there's an open comment box for you to correct me.

First up is a new collection of stories from Patricia A. McKillip, Dreams of Distant Shores. It contains seven stories -- three of them original here -- as well as the essay "Writing High Fantasy" and an afterword by Peter S. Beagle. It's brand-new from Tachyon Press, with a fine Tom Canty cover -- I almost said that he's her regular cover artist, but I think it's just that his style works so well for McKillip that it seems he could be. Her actual regular cover artist is Kinuko Y. Craft, and has been for around twenty years now.

Also new from Tachyon is another book of short fiction, this one an anthology edited by Jacob Weisman: Invaders: 22 Tales from the Outer Limits of Literature. It collects stories -- twenty-two of them, as the subtitle notes -- from writers not generally considered "SF writers." To be blunt, these are serious literary types, but they're not slumming -- these are serious stories with SFnal ideas, because serious writers are allowed to do that these days. ("These days" going back twenty to thirty years -- though some of us have long enough memories to remember the times before these days!)

And last for this week is another anthology: Deserts of Fire, which collects stories about wars of the future and was edited by Douglas Lain. It contains twenty-one stories originally published between 1969 and 2015 -- neatly matching my entire life, though I'm not solipsistic to think Lain planned it that way -- from writers as diverse as Norman Spinrad and Ken Liu, A.M. Dellamonica and Kate Wilhelm, Jeffrey Ford and James Morrow. It's a trade paperback from Night Shade, and was officially published last week.

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