Search Results for: John Crowley

Vintage Treasures: Great Work of Time by John Crowley

Great Work of Time (Bantam Spectra, 1991). Cover by Thomas Canty “Great Work of Time” was originally published in John Crowley’s 1989 collection Novelty. It was nominated for the Locus and Nebula Awards, and won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. Two years later it was published in a standalone paperback edition by Lou Aronica at Bantam Spectra, with a handsome cover by Thomas Canty (above). Great Work of Time is a time travel story, featuring a secret society…

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A Slender, Forgotten Gem: The Deep by John Crowley

1984 Bantam paperback edition; cover by Yvonne Gilbert Some authors create slender, nearly flawless works of fiction. Books like little jewels on the shelf — cut just right, gleaming, standing alone. Beagle managed this a few times: A Fine and Private Place, The Last Unicorn. Goldman turned his into a movie that was nearly as good: The Princess Bride. Swanwick and Wolfe have done it with literary science fiction: Stations of the Tide and The Fifth Head of Cerberus, respectively….

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Future Treasures: Ka by John Crowley

Matthew David Surridge says John Crowley’s World Fantasy Award-winning Little, Big is “the best post-Tolkien novel of the fantastic I’ve read,” and Mark Rigney calls it “among the best and most endearing fantasy novels ever written… If there’s another book I’ve encountered in my adult life that calls louder to be re-read, and which reveals an even richer experience on doing so, I cannot imagine what it is.” Crowley’s thirteenth novel Ka, a fable about the first crow in history with a name…

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John Crowley’s Aegypt Cycle, Books One and Two

Elsewhere in the hallowed halls of Black Gate, you can find my musings on what I consider to be among the best and most endearing fantasy novels ever written, Little, Big. Perhaps its author, John Crowley, could have hung up his spurs after that one, certain that his honorifics were now firmly in place, his spot in the pantheon assured. But then, Little, Big was never a major financial success, never “popular,” and besides, Crowley is that rare jewel, a…

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Vintage Treasures: The Deep by John Crowley

I bounced off John Crowley when I first tried him. It was 1977, I was thirteen years old, and the Science Fiction Book Club had just shipped me his second novel, Beasts, because I forgot to return their stupid monthly request form. The cover featured a lion-man in a broken cage, and I figured, eh, what the hell. I got about five pages in before I gave up, and re-read Robert Silverberg’s Collision Course instead (that book rocks). That probably would have…

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In Praise of Little, Big by John Crowley

One of the great pleasures of adulthood is stumbling onto those unexpected moments when the world reveals that it still has secrets to impart. John Crowley’s novel Little, Big provokes in me exactly that response. Those who have read the book fall into two distinct categories. The first group raises baffled eyebrows and perhaps does not even make it through Book One; when this group sat down to order, this is clearly not the meal they expected or wanted. The…

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Future Treasures: The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2020, edited by Rich Horton

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2020,edited by Rich Horton (Prime Books, June 2021). Cover by Argus The print version of Rich Horton’s 12th Year’s Best volume was delayed roughly six months by the pandemic, and it finally arrives next week. The delay was a little frustrating for those of us who look forward to this book every year, but considering how deeply the pandemic impacted the publishing world overall, I figure it could have been a lot worse….

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A Modest Little Magazine: Whispers edited by Stuart David Schiff

Assorted issues of Whispers, 1973-87. Issues #1, 2, 4, 9, 13-14, 15-17, 17-18, 19-20, and the final issue, 23-24.Covers by Tim Kirk (1,3), Stephen Fabian (2,9,13-24,23-24), John Stewart (13-15,16-17), and Kevin Eugene Johnson (19-20) When I started Black Gate magazine, I drew inspiration from small press magazines of the 70s, 80s and 90s that I deeply admired. It was a a fairly short list, but it included W. Paul Ganley’s Weirdbook, the Terminus Weird Tales edited by George H. Scithers,…

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This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

When I was younger I remember reading a short description of Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time when it was reissued for the Science Fiction Book Club and being fascinated by the idea of a time war. I still haven’t gotten around to reading Leiber’s exploration of that idea, so I can’t say for certain how closely Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone were informed by it in their new co-authored novel, This is How You Lose the Time War. The general…

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A Beautifully Written Kung-fu Godfather Story: Jade War by Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee’s debut novel Jade City won the World Fantasy Award last year, beating out some very stiff competition, including John Crowley’s Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr and Daryl Gregory’s Spoonbenders. It earned plenty of praise in the usual quarters as well — it was Library Journal‘s Pick of the Month, for example, and they called it “a Godfather-inspired fantasy series that mixes bold martial-arts action and vivid worldbuilding… terrific.” I’ve been looking forward to the sequel…

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