The good folks at Booklist, the flagship publication of the American Library Association, regularly select the Best New Books, and this week two genre releases made the cut: Jacqueline Carey’s Starless, which “may well be the epic fantasy of the year,” and Todd McAulty’s debut The Robots of Gotham, which they proclaim is “thrilling, epic SF.”
John Keogh’s starred review of The Robots of Gotham appeared online this week:
Machine intelligences rule most of the world, human governments are rapidly losing their power, a war-ravaged U.S. is on the brink of descending into chaos, and a mysterious new plague is on the loose. In Chicago, one man finds himself at the nexus of a complex web of secrets that threatens to upend the world as we know it. This debut novel beautifully combines a postapocalyptic man-versus-machine conflict and a medical thriller. The world is immersive and detailed, the characters have depth, the writing is assured, the plotting intelligent, and the pacing about perfect. McAulty’s take on how AI might evolve gives the premise a unique twist. The story is action-packed, starting with a boom (literally) and driving you along from one crisis to the next. The action rarely lets up, yet it never becomes tiresome… This is thrilling, epic sf.
And here’s a snippet from Diana Tixier Herald’s review of Starless.
In what may well be the epic fantasy of the year, Carey (Miranda and Caliban, 2017) builds a rich and varied world with scores of countries, all shaped by the various living gods who have been cast out of the sky, leaving the world starless but with multiple moons. Khai was born at exactly the same time, during a rare lunar eclipse, as Zariya, the youngest daughter of the king of Zarkhoum, where royalty are almost immortal… The Scattered Prophecy then brings Khai and Zariya together with a diverse corps of individuals of many races, including tentacled sea dwellers and intelligent giant sea wyrms. Their journey through killer vegetation, across an ocean, and into a volcano is filled with action and adventure. Carey is at the peak of her luminous storytelling powers in a tale that will appeal to readers of Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss, while its thought-provoking look at gender, love, and sexual preference bring to mind Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness (1969).
The complete list includes Lying in Wait, by Liz Nugent, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace, by Vaseem Khan, and Lydia Millet’s Fight No More, a collection of interconnected stories featuring a real-estate agent in L.A. “whose clients range from a pragmatic vampire to a successful businesswoman convinced that seven dwarfs have taken over her house.”