Monday, August 28, 2017

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 8/26

Another week has passed, so at least we've got that behind us. Ahead is only more of the same. But we're thinking apes -- at least, I understand the vast majority of my readership to be apes, and not more esoteric intelligences -- so we can flee from the too-often horrible real world into constructed ones.

Some of those constructed worlds exist in books: non-fiction as well as fiction, since no book precisely depicts the while world in its complexity. And, as it happens, I tend to get books in the mail, sent semi-mysteriously by their publishers, so that I'll give them some visibility and help people like you find and read and love them.

So this week I have two books -- one has a single constructed world, and the other a myriad. It makes sense to go in that order, doesn't it?

Sage Walker's new novel The Man in the Tree shares its title with an obscure Damon Knight book from 1984, but that may be coincidence: the Knight was a Bildungsroman about a giant-child with Christ-like powers in contemporary America. Walker is doing something very different here: her Man in the Tree is Incident Analyst Helt Borresen, the closest thing to a cop on the generation starship Kybele, the only hope for humanity after Earth was trashed. And, of course, if there's a fictional setting without a real cop, you know there's going to be a suspicious dead body showing up that he has to investigate. And so there is. This one is a Tor hardcover, coming September 12.

There are nineteen stories in The New Voices of Fantasy -- nineteen entirely separate fictional worlds to lose yourself in -- which is a bargain. This is a reprint anthology, containing stories from 2012 through 2016, by (as the title implies) newer writers, selected and edited by Peter S. Beagle and Jacob Weisman. Some of the authors included are Ursula Vernon, Sofia Samatar, Amal El-Mohtar, Sarah Pinsker. E.  Lily Yu, Hannu Rajaniemi, and Max Gladstone. (And, yes, if you've been away for a while, Fantasy has gotten more multi-cultural, which is entirely a good thing.) You can get this book from Tachyon Press -- well, more likely from an intermediary -- and it was released on August 22nd, so you can get it right away.

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