Here at the end of the month, I’ve been amusing myself by comparing the books selected by each of the major genre sites for their monthly lists:
August’s Must-Read Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror (John DeNardo, Kirkus Reviews) — 19 books
The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of August (Jeff Somers, the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog) — 25 books
The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of August (Ross Johnson, the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog) — 29 comics and graphic novels
14 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Books for August (Andrew Liptak, The Verge) — 14 books
Andrew Liptak at The Verge, for example, seems to really dig white covers.
[Click the images for bigger versions.]
Okay, that’s a little ungenerous. Especially since there’s some pretty promising stuff on Andrew’s list, including new novels by Stephen Baxter, Stina Leicht, Beth Cato, N.K. Jemisin, Victor Milán, Michael Poore, and many others. Here’s some selected highlights.
Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson (Doubleday, 320 pages, $26.95 in hardcover, August 1, 2017)
Daniel H. Wilson is best known for his novel Robopocalypse, and he’s following up with another novel of robotic revolution, but with a bit of a twist: the robots are much, much older.
Centuries ago, a Russian inventor built a pair of life-like mechanical beings, Peter Alexeyvich and Elena Petrova, who are thrust into a turbulent world and have to figure out a way to survive. In the present day, an anthropologist named June Stefanov studies ancient technology and discovers a secret hidden in a 300-year-old mechanical doll, on behalf of a mysterious organization known as the Kunlun Foundation, and discovers a shadowy world hidden just out of sight from our own. Kirkus Reviews gave the novel a star rating, and says that the book wears “its influences on its sleeve, but it’s also a welcome treat for steampunk and fantasy fans.”
The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark (Orbit, 512 pages, $15.99 in trade paperback, August 15, 2017)
In this debut novel from Anna Smith Spark, the Yellow Empire is on the verge of invasion, aided by decadence that has made its citizens vulnerable. Spurred on by prophetic dreams, a soldier named Orhan leads soldiers to the empire’s capital, where they intend to kill the Emperor and rebuild civilization from the ground up. Genre review site Fantasy Book Critic says that the book has a powerful voice that some readers will either love or hate, and that the book is as “beautifully inventive as it is brutally evocative.”
A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw (Tor.com, 112 pages, $11.99 in paperback/$3.99 digital, August 29, 2017)
Cassandra Khaw has a new installment of her Lovecraftian Persons Non Grata series. Deacon James is a blues magician on his way to Arkham, where he runs into trouble in the form of horrifying visions and a stranger who calls himself John Persons. According to Persons, James has something growing in his head that could destroy the world if it hatches. When he begins to play music, he calls up monsters, and flees. Soon, he comes across a runaway girl with a similar problem, and together, they have to figure out if Persons is a friend or a foe.
Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a starred review, saying that “Khaw continues to demonstrate her mastery of seductive short-form horror, juxtaposing the disgusting and relentlessly terrifying with moments of exquisite beauty in ways that make it impossible to look away.”
Read Andrew Liptak’s complete list here.
Some of Andrew’s more interesting recent articles include:
Kirkus Looks at Astounding Science Fiction
Kirkus Looks at Galaxy Science Fiction
Kirkus Looks at Donald A. Wollheim and the Ace Double
Kirkus Looks at The Meteoric Rise and Fall of Gnome Press
Kirkus Looks at Andre Norton’s Young Adult Novels
Kirkus Looks at The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volumes I – IV
Andrew Liptak on All the Best SF and Fantasy You Missed in August
Andrew Liptak Selects the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016
Andrew Liptak on 16 SF and Fantasy Novels You Don’t Want to Miss in January
Andrew Liptak on 33 SF and Fantasy Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2017
Andrew Liptak on 23 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels to Read this March
The Verge on 39 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Novels to Read in April
Andrew Liptak on 39 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Books to Read in June
Andrew Liptak on 16 SF, Fantasy, and Horror Books to Read in July
See all our recent New Treasures here.