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John DeNardo on The Must-Read Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror in June

Saturday, June 18th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Infomocracy Malka Older-small League of Dragons-small Ninefox Gambit-small

Kirkus Reviews has become a lively place for SF and fantasy discussion, thanks primarily to the efforts of Andrew Liptak and John DeNardo, who have been producing weekly articles that look at the best in the genre, old and new. John has taken to doing a monthly survey of the most intriguing new titles in SF, fantasy and horror, and I find it invaluable. This month he highlights new books by Stephen King, Malka Older, Naomi Novik, Brenda Cooper, Anthony O’Neill, Charles Stross, and many others — including the first novel by acclaimed short story writer Yoon Ha Lee.

Here’s a sample of some of John’s top choices for the month.

First up is Infomocracy, the debut novel by Malka Older

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Different factions wrestle for control in a precarious, politically-charged future heralded by a search engine company that turned warring nation-states into a global micro-democracy.

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Older’s post-cyberpunk political thriller will make today’s political scene look like the Good Old Days.

Infomocracy was published by Tor.com on June 7, 2016. It is 384 pages in hardcover, priced at $24.99. The sequel, Null States, will be published in 2017.

Next is League of Dragons by Naomi Novik, who just won a Nebula Award for her novel Uprooted.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: In this final volume of the well-received Temeraire series, Napolean, though on the run, mounts a new offensive with an army of dragons.

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: The action-packed Temeraire novels combine the excitement of Patrick O’Brian’s historical seafaring adventures with the dragon-filled wonder of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels.

League of Dragons was published by Del Rey on June 14, 2016. It is the ninth novel in the Temeraire series. It is 400 pages, priced at $28 in hardcover.

Finally, and perhaps most interesting, at least to me, we have the debut novel from Yoon Ha Lee, who has had a stellar career as a short story writer for nearly two decade: Ninefox Gambit.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Kel Cheris, a captain disgraced for her unconventional methods in the galactic fight against heretics, is given a chance to redeem herself by capturing a star fortress back from the heretics. However, to do so, she enlists the aid of an undead (that is, resurrected) tactician who went mad in his first life.

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: Ninefox Gambit is a smart space opera that pushes the frontier of science fiction.

Ninefox Gambit was published by Solaris on June 14, 2016. It is 384 pages, priced at $9.99 in paperback.

Read John’s complete article here. Our previous coverage of John’s articles at Kirkus includes:

How to Start Reading Science Fiction: Short Stories
February Speculative Fiction Books You Can’t Miss
January Must-Read Speculative Fiction
The Best of the Best of 2015’s Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books
2015 Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Holiday Gift Guide
Why I Love Retro Science Fiction
Five Reasons to Read Short Speculative Fiction Anthologies
A Quick History of Serialized Science Fiction and Fantasy

You may also want to check out Andrew Liptak’s fine articles at Kirkus Reviews, including:

SFWA and the ‘Science Fiction Hall of Fame’ Anthologies
John Campbell Jr., ‘Astounding Magazine’ and the Start of the Golden Age
Changing the Playing Field: H.L. Gold & ‘Galaxy Science Fiction’
Donald Wollheim and the Ace Double Novel
The Meteoric Rise and Fall of Gnome Press
Andre Norton’s Young Adult Novels

See all our coverage of the best new book releases here.

2 Comments »

  1. John, are you any relation to Anthony O’Neill?

    Comment by James McGlothlin - June 18, 2016 12:42 pm

  2. Nope… not that I know of, anyway!

    Comment by John ONeill - June 19, 2016 1:38 am


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