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It’s Not Too Late to Catch Up on Your May Reading (But You’re Cutting it Close)

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Injection Burn Jason Hough-small Mormama Kit Reed-small Shadows & Tall Trees 7-small

Well here we are, the last day of May. And you know what that means: the usual recriminations and blame for not getting all my reading done. Might as well get this over with.

If you’re like me, you made a good run at it this month, but were defeated by the sheer volume of top-notch fiction in May. How do we know about all the good stuff we missed? Because we have the tireless John DeNardo, the most connected man in the industry, to keep us fully briefed. John excels at his self-appointed task… which is chiefly to make me look bad, but it at least has the added benefit of cataloging the best new fiction every month. This month John highlights new books by Robin Hobb, Gregory Benford, Robert Jackson Bennett, Mike Carey, Jason M. Hough, Faith Hunter, Gini Koch, Foz Meadows, Chelsea Mueller and many others.

Here’s the complete list of the Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror Reads in May, according to John DeNardo.

First up: Injection Burn by Jason M. Hough, part of the Dire Earth Cycle; available in paperback from Del Rey on May 30, 2017

Set in the world of his Dire Earth Cycle, Hough begins a new fast-paced futuristic duology with a story about Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers who embark on a suicide mission to a faraway planet to rescue benevolent aliens who are being held captive. It won’t be easy – the planet is surrounded by the Swarm Blockade, an impenetrable wall of deadly ships which no human ship has ever gotten past.

Intereted in a standalone horror/thriller? Mormama by Kit Reed is the book for you. It’s on sale this week in hardcover from Tor Books.

This supernatural, southern gothic tale stars some very troubled people and a very strange house. The Ellis house is an ancient residence in Jacksonville. Dell Duval, who has been living on the street since his accident, finds a note in his pocket with the address of the house. There he meets Lane and her son Theo, who have returned to their ancient family home as a last resort. The house is run by three tyrannical aunts who want to preserve everything, even if that means preventing people from leaving.

Interested in discovering the best new writers of horror and dark fantasy? Michael Kelly’s Shadows & Tall Trees 7 is the title for you. It’s available now in hardcover and trade paperback from Undertow Publications.

Shadows and Tall Trees is a smart, soulful, illuminating investigation of the many forms and tactics available to those writers involved in one of our moment’s most interesting and necessary projects, that of opening up horror literature to every sort of formal interrogation. It is a beautiful and courageous series.” – Peter Straub

The acclaimed literary anthology Shadows & Tall Trees has featured authors short-listed for the Man Booker Award, and World Fantasy Award winners. Several of our stories have been reprinted in “Year’s Best” anthologies and have garnered numerous award nominations.

Read John’s complete article at Kirkus Reviews.

Our previous coverage of John’s recent Kirkus articles includes:

The Best of the Best of 2015’s Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books
January Must-Read Speculative Fiction
February Speculative Fiction Books You Can’t Miss
The Must-Read Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Horror in June
John DeNardo on the Best Books of August 2016
The Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction You Won’t Want to Miss in September
John DeNardo’s Savory Selection of Science Fiction and Fantasy for October
John DeNardo Proves Lovecraftian Fiction is Alive and Well
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads for November
The Best of the Best: The Definitive List of 2016’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy
John DeNardo on 11 Can’t-Miss SF and Fantasy Books in March
John DeNardo on The Science Fiction & Fantasy Books Everyone Will be Talking About in April

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

6 Comments »

  1. I’m currently working on May, 1977.

    Comment by Thomas Parker - May 31, 2017 10:37 am

  2. Thanks for the shout-out!

    Yep, last day of May…and June’s list just went live :)

    https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/kickstart-your-summer-reading-these-must-read-scie/

    Comment by John D. - May 31, 2017 1:45 pm

  3. I’m right there with you, Thomas!

    Comment by John ONeill - May 31, 2017 5:18 pm

  4. > Yep, last day of May…and June’s list just went live :)

    What did I say about you making me look bad, Mr. DeNardo? :)

    But you’re forgiven, on account of your most excellent June book list.

    Comment by John ONeill - May 31, 2017 5:20 pm

  5. I’m gonna treat myself to Shadows and Tall Trees at some point.

    Comment by Zeta Moore - June 1, 2017 11:30 am

  6. Shadows and Tall Trees was outstanding. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Comment by bobby_5150 - June 3, 2017 12:37 pm


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