The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog has gradually become one of my most trusted resources. Yeah, they’re trying to sell you books, so maybe they’re a little less discerning than, say, John DeNardo over at Kirkus, or Andrew Liptak at The Verge. But I’ve been consistently impressed with the quantity and quality of their articles. They’ve got a fine staff of enthusiastic writers who really know the industry. If you’re looking for a dedicated group of book nerds to help you cherry-pick the most interesting new releases coming down the genre chute week after week, month after month, then this is the place to be.
Jeff Somers sizes up the June releases with a look at new titles from Yoon Ha Lee, Tad Williams, Timothy Zahn, Tom Holt, Neal Stephenson and Nicole Gallard, Terry Brooks, K.W. Jeter, Karin Tidbeck, Catherynne M. Valente, Seanan McGuire, Jason M. Hough, Richard Kadrey, William C. Dietz, Theodora Goss, and many others. Here’s a look at three of his selections that grabbed my eye.
Cormorant Run by Lilith Saintcrow (June 13, Orbit, 400 pages, $15.99 in paperback)
After the mysterious Event, rifts opened all over, leading to strange places filled with deadly creatures and inexplicable events. “Rifters” have ispecial skills that allow them to explore the rifts and survive — sometimes. Svinga is released from prison on one condition — she must lead a less-than-harmonious team into the “holy grail” of rifts: the Cormorant, the deadliest and possibly most valuable example of the strange phenomena. Her lover died trying to map it, but that extra knowledge gives her the slightest edge — if she can keep the team she’s guiding in one piece while they traverse the most dangerous place in the universe.
Godblind by Anna Stephens (July 11, Talos, 408 pages, $225.99 in hardcover)
The realm of Rilpor exiled the Mireces centuries ago, and they have worshiped the bloodthirsty Red Gods in the harsh environment of the mountains ever since. Dom Templeson is a Watcher for Rilpor, a powerful seer who can’t control his visions and who uses his power to defend the border. Templeson is troubled by the increasing worship of the Red Gods within Rilpor itself, as civil war and political strife continue to rise. His own faith in the gods of light is tested when an escaped Mireces slave named Rillirin comes into his life. She has inside knowledge of the Mireces King and his plans, but with war all but inevitable and Templeson plagued by doubt, it may not be enough to prevent disaster in this brilliantly bloody dark fantasy debut.
The Asylum of Dr. Caligari by James Morrow (June 20, Tachyon, 192 pages, $14.95 in trade paperback)
Morrow crafts a plot that takes every unexpected twist and turn possible in less than 200 pages. It starts with the quietly mediocre farm boy Francis Wyndham, and his life-changing visit in 1913 to an exhibition of modern art. Wyndham heads to Paris and sets himself up as a North American gypsy folk artist. He fails to get much attention for his work, but is offered a job at an art therapist at an asylum run by the mysterious Dr. Caligari. Wyndham soon learns that Caligari viewed World War I as a work of art, and has created a painting imbued with strange and disturbing powers that can drive anyone who looks upon it to do his bidding. Wyndham finds it’s up to him — and a ragtag bag of misfits — to fight back against the doctor’s monstrous plans to profit at the world’s expense.
Read the complete list at the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog here.
Check out these other lists from the B&N Sci-Fi Blog:
The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on the Best SF and Fantasy Books in May
B&N Blog on 96 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in 2017
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Horror Books of 2016
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Collections and Anthologies of 2016
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog Selects the Best Novels of 2016
Barnes & Noble on 7 Essential New Sci-Fi & Fantasy Short Story Collections
The B&N Sci-Fi Blog on The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of November
Barnes and Noble Picks the Best SF and Fantasy of 2015
See all our recent New Treasures here.