Today Only — Get Todd McAulty’s The Robots of Gotham for Just $2.99

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

The Robots of Gotham cover wrap-small

Todd McAulty was one of the most popular writers in the print version of Black Gate. Free SF Reader said “McAulty appears to be world class,” and Locus declared “Todd McAulty is Black Gate‘s great discovery.” His debut novel, The Robots of Gotham, was published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in June, and has been accumulating rave reviews ever since:

“Massive and impressive… McAulty maintains breathless momentum throughout.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The whole story is a thrilling action flick in book form… Read it while walking in slow-motion away from an explosion.” — RevolutionSF

“Beautifully combines a post-apocalyptic man-versus-machine conflict and a medical thriller… This is thrilling, epic SF.”— Booklist (starred review)

“A massive, fast-paced, action-packed epic… Every page has the fierce readability of early Neal Stephenson, which is as high praise as it gets.”— Toronto Star

“A fast-paced, engaging read… The book is a thrilling ride.”— The Verge

Amazon’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (So Far)

The Robots of Gotham is 688 pages, and priced at $26 in hardcover. But for today only, August 29th, the digital version of the book has been discounted to $2.99. Copies are available at Amazon, Kobo, and other fine online retailers.

A Cyberpunk Cinderella Story: Warcross by Marie Lu

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 | Posted by Elizabeth Galewski

Warcross Marie Lu-small Wildcard Marie Lu-small

Emika Chen needs to raise $3,450 in the next 72 hours, or she’ll be evicted from her apartment. What with her wicked hacking skillz, she ought to be acing computer science classes in college, but she dropped out of school when her dad died. Saddled by his debts and her own criminal record, she can’t get a job with a corporation, so she works as a bounty hunter. Her specialty lies in capturing players in the world’s most famous video game, Warcross, who have large gambling debts. The prodigy who created the game, Hideo Tanaka, is her celebrity crush.

When the police announce a $5,000 bounty on a drug dealer, Emika’s determined to nab him. Sure enough, she tracks him downtown on her electric skateboard, alerts the cops to his location, chases him down, and stuns him. She’s got her knee pressed into his back while he cries into the ground when the police arrive.

But they don’t give her the bounty. On a technicality, it goes to someone who had messaged them sooner than she did.

Read More »

Downton Abbey in Deep Space: The Imperials Saga by Melinda Snodgrass

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

The High Ground Melinda Snodgrass-small In Evil Times Melinda Snodgrass-small The Hidden World Melinda Snodgrass-small

Melinda Snodgrass is perhaps best known as the story editor for Star Trek: The Next Generation during its second and third seasons, and for writing the famous episode “The Measure of a Man.” More recently she’s earned acclaim as the co-editor of the ongoing Wild Cards series with George R.R. Martin.

But she’s also a celebrated SF novelist in her own right, with The Edge of Reason trilogy and others under her belt. Her most recent series is one of the most original space operas on the market, a fascinating saga that mixes British period drama with science fiction, imagining a polite aristocratic society in outer space. Gamers Sphere says “Snodgrass has done a wonderful job of depicting how aristocrats and society would work in world where aliens and space travel is an every-day norm,” and Retrenders calls it “Downton Abbey/Sense & Sensibility drama with a mix of science-fiction action.” Admit it — that’s not something you see every day.

The third novel in the series, The Hidden World, was published by Titan last month. Here’s the description.

Read More »

From the Moon to Mars: The British Library Science Fiction Classics by Mike Ashley

Sunday, August 19th, 2018 | Posted by Todd McAulty

Lost Mars The Golden Age of the Red Planet-small Moonrise The Golden Age of Lunar Adventures-small

The Moon and Mars have fascinated science fiction writers for generations, although I thought the era of classic Mars and Moon anthologies was over. But it turns out that’s not the case. At least not while editor Mike Ashley is on the job, anyway.

Lost Mars: The Golden Age of the Red Planet, which collects pulp-era tales (and pre pulp-era tales) from Wonder Stories, Amazing Stories, Astounding, and Worlds of If, was published in April 2018. Its sister anthology Moonrise: The Golden Era of Lunar Adventures, with stories from F&SF, Amazing, Tales of Wonder, Astounding, New Worlds, and Fantastic, arrives in September. Both are part of the British Library Science Fiction Classics, which I’ve never heard of, but for which I immediately have a deep and passionate love. Near as I can figure out, it’s a relatively new imprint devoted to early 20th Century SF. Or maybe just stories of Mars and the Moon, I dunno. But either way, love love love.

These are very welcome books. They include tales of adventure and exploration from the pre-spaceflight era (the most recent stories are from 1963, only two years after the start of the Apollo space program), which means they’re not particularly concerned with getting the science right. Scientific verisimilitude was the province of late 20th Century SF; these stories concern themselves chiefly with imagination and adventure.

And when it comes to the Moon and Mars, human imagination has been pretty darn fertile. These books contain some of the greatest SF ever written, including Arthur C. Clarke’s brilliant tale “The Sentinel,” which inspired 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Stanley G. Weinbaum’s groundbreaking “A Martian Odyssey,” which Isaac Asimov said, “had the effect on the field of an exploding grenade. With this single story, Weinbaum was instantly recognized as the world’s best living science fiction writer.” There’s also a Martian Chronicles tale by Ray Bradbury, an excerpt from H.G. Wells’ classic First Men in the Moon, and stories by Walter M. Miller Jr, J. G. Ballard, Gordon R. Dickson, Edmond Hamilton, John Wyndham, E. C. Tubb, and many others.

Read More »

New Treasures: New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

New York 2140-smallI haven’t read any of the 2018 Hugo nominees, and that gleaming metal statue is being given out this weekend at Worldcon in San Jose. I better get a move on.

There’s plenty of great titles on the nominee list — including Martha Wells’ All Systems Red, Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth, and Yoon Ha Lee’s Raven Stratagem — but the one I’m most interested in at the moment is Kim Stanley Robinson’s tale of urban post-apocalypse, New York 2140. The Washington Post calls it “Massively enjoyable,” and the Guardian says it’s “A towering novel about a genuinely grave threat to civilization,” but mostly I want to read it because, come on. A submerged New York in 120 years? That sounds awesome.

New York 2140 was published in hardcover last year, and finally appeared in trade paperback in March. Here’s the description.

As the sea levels rose, every street became a canal. Every skyscraper an island. For the residents of one apartment building in Madison Square, however, New York in the year 2140 is far from a drowned city.

There is the market trader, who finds opportunities where others find trouble. There is the detective, whose work will never disappear — along with the lawyers, of course.

There is the internet star, beloved by millions for her airship adventures, and the building’s manager, quietly respected for his attention to detail. Then there are two boys who don’t live there, but have no other home — and who are more important to its future than anyone might imagine.

Lastly there are the coders, temporary residents on the roof, whose disappearance triggers a sequence of events that threatens the existence of all — and even the long-hidden foundations on which the city rests.

New York 2140 was published in hardcover by Orbit on March 14, 2017, and reprinted in trade paperback on March 6, 2018. It is 624 pages, priced at $17.99 in paperback and $11.99 for the digital version. The cover is by Stephan Martiniere. Read a sample chapter at the Orbit website.

See all our recent New Treasures here.

Future Treasures: Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Kings of the Wyld-medium Bloody Rose Nicholas Eames

The books I select to showcase here don’t always connect with readers. And that’s okay; I try to highlight books that aren’t getting enough attention, and sometimes that means they have a niche appeal. But there are plenty of titles that do connect, and one of them was last year’s Kings of the Wyld, the first fantasy novel by Nicholas Eames.

It wasn’t just Black Gate readers that responded positively. Publishers Weekly called it a “Brilliant debut… emotionally rewarding, original, and hilarious.” They’re even more impressed with the upcoming sequel Bloody Rose, calling it “”The equivalent of a 500-page heavy metal guitar… This is a messy, glorious romp worthy of multiple encores.”

It arrives at the end of the month in trade paperback from Orbit, and it being called Book 2 of The Band. Here’s the description.

Read More »

Fairy Tales, Space Stations, and a Sequel to The Thing: The Nebula Awards Showcase 2018, edited by Jane Yolen

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018-smallThe annual Nebula Awards Showcase anthologies, which collect the Nebula Award nominees and winners, are edited by a revolving committee of editors, and that means the criteria used to select the fiction varies every year.

I think this is a great idea. Essentially, each year it gives editorial power to a new individual to select which stories to showcase. The winners are always included, of course, but picking between the nominees (especially in the novella category, which frequently would fill one and a half anthologies all on its own) is a challenge, and it needs a strong editorial hand to make tough decisions.

For example in 1980, for Nebula Winners Fourteen, Frederik Pohl jettisoned virtually every single short fiction nominee (and all the novelettes) so he could make room for just two stories, C. J. Cherryh’s Hugo Award-winning “Cassandra,” and Gene Wolfe’s massive 60-page novella “Seven American Nights.” That had to be a tough call, but I think it was the right one.

In the 2018 Showcase volume, editor Jane Yolen makes a similar choice. Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway, which won the Best Novella Nebula, is a massive 176 pages, far bigger even than Gene Wolfe’s 60-page classic, and would throughly dominate the anthology. Instead, for the first time I can remember, Yolen has chosen not to include the full version of the Nebula Award winning novella, but rather represent it with a 20-page excerpt. That leaves her with enough space to include every short story and novelette nominee (or at least, as is the case for Fran Wilde’s 96-page The Jewel and Her Lapidary, a substantial excerpt).

It’s a bold decision, and I applaud it. The 2018 Nebula Awards Showcase is a terrific volume, and it certainly gives you the opportunity to sample a wide variety of top-notch fiction from last year, including the delightfully subversive fairy tale “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar, Sam J. Miller’s thoughtful and creepy sequel to John Carpenter’s The Thing, “Things With Beards,” Caroline M. Yoachim’s “Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station / Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0,” and excerpts from All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

If you’re looking for a Best Of collection that encapsulates some of the finest science fiction from last year, it makes a splendid choice. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »

New Treasures: Ubo by Steve Rasnic Tem

Monday, August 13th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Ubo Steve Rasnic Tem-smallSteve Rasnic Tem is one of the most acclaimed writers in modern horror. His novels include Deadfall Hotel (2012) and the Bram Stoker Award-winner Blood Kin (2014), and he’s produced over half a dozen collections, including City Fishing (2000) and Figures Unseen (2018). He’s written over 350 short stories and his fiction has won the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards.

His latest novel Ubo is a strange one, a hallucinatory tale of giant bugs and another world. In “Violence is My Biggest Fear,” an guest post at SciFiNow last year, Steve wrote:

Ubo is a dark science fictional meditation on violence and its origins. During the course of this novel I inhabit the viewpoints of some of history’s most violent figures: Jack the Ripper, Josef Stalin, and Heinrich Himmler among others. I’m not a social scientist, I’m a writer of fiction — I don’t pretend to offer any ingenious new solutions to the issue of human violence. What I do offer is an exploration, a range of eyes and angles through which to view the problem. Perhaps some readers will find their own imaginations triggered, allowing them to view violence in a somewhat different way.

Here’s the description.

Daniel is trapped in Ubo. He has no idea how long he has been imprisoned there by the roaches. Every resident has a similar memory of the journey to Ubo: a dream of dry, chitinous wings crossing the moon, the gigantic insects dropping swiftly over the houses of the neighborhood, passing through walls and windows as if by magic, or science. The creatures, like a deck of baroquely ornamented cards, fanning themselves from one hidden world into the next. And now each day they force Daniel to play a different figure from humanity’s violent history, from a frenzied Jack the Ripper to a stumbling and confused Stalin to a self-proclaimed god executing survivors atop the ruins of the world. The scenarios mutate day after day in this camp somewhere beyond the rules of time. As skies burn and prisoners go mad, identities dissolve as the experiments evolve, and no one can foretell their mysterious end.

Ubo was published by Solaris on February 9, 2017. It is 320 pages, priced at $14.99 in trade paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. The disturbing cover is by Sam Gretton. Read Steve’s Locus essay “The Long Gestation Period of Ubo” here.

Religious Cults, Vampires, and the London Underground: Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw

Saturday, August 11th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Strange-Practice-Vivian Shaw-small Dreadful Company Vivian Shaw-small

Vivian Shaw’s debut novel Strange Practice was labeled “a triumph” by SFFWorld, and Booklist called it “a standout in the genre.” I was surprised to discover the second book in the series, Dreadful Company, already on the shelves at Barnes & Noble last week, and I snatched it up immediately. Here’s what the always-reliable Liz Bourke said in her feature review at

Dreadful Company is Vivian Shaw’s second book, sequel to last year’s excellent Strange PracticeAnd if anything, it’s even more fun…

Dr. Greta Helsing isn’t your average medical doctor. She runs a practice dedicated to the supernatural, treating vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, mummies, ghouls, and all manner of other being. Her best friend is Edmund Ruthven, vampire; and Sir Francis Varney (also a vampire) is tentatively trying to swoon at her feet. After the events of Strange Practicein which Greta found herself at the centre of attempts to dissuade a very strange religious cult beneath London’s underground from doing a whole lot of murder, Dreadful Company finds Greta attending a medical conference in Paris…

Dreadful Company is fast, fun, and immensely readable. As with Strange Practice, one of the largest parts of its appeal is in its voice. Dreadful Company has a wry edge, one that at times goes all the way over into laugh-out-loud funny, without ever losing a sense of heart. And it’s got kindness in its bedrock… As you may have guessed, I deeply enjoyed Dreadful Company… it’s delightful. I recommend it wholeheartedly, and I’m looking forward to seeing much more of Shaw’s work in the years to come.

You can read Liz’s complete review here.

Read More »

Time Travel, Shoggoths, and the Land of the Witches: The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2018 edited by Rich Horton

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2018-smallI always enjoy Rich Horton’s introductions to his annual Year’s Best collection, and this one doesn’t disappoint. I was especially delighted to see him select one of my favorite stories of last year for this year’s volume, and to see him call it out in the intro:

One source of originality is new voices, and thus I am excited every [year] to see new writers producing excellent work… But one of the reasons I choose stories by some writers over and over again is that they are always fresh. What story this year is stranger than C.S.E. Cooney’s “Though She Be But Little?”

This year’s volume is dedicated to Gardner Dozois, who passed away in May, and I was particularly touched by Rich’s thoughtful reminiscence.

As for Gardner Dozois, who was closer to me in a personal sense — I was really shaken by news of his passing. He was one of the greatest editors in the field’s history (an argument can be made — and I’ve made it — that he ranks at the top); and he was also a very significant science fiction writer…

We who produce these similar books, the best of the year volumes, never regard ourselves as rivals. Our books are paragraphs in a long conversation about science fiction. I talked with Gardner about science fiction for years, in different ways — face to face, or on message boards, discussing our different ideas about who should have won the Hugo in 1973 or whenever; month by month in our columns in Locus; or in the tables of contents of these books, each of us proposing lists of the best stories each year. I always looked eagerly for Gardner’s “list,” and his stories for me represented a different and completely interesting angle on what really mattered each year.

I already miss that voice.

Rich’s 2018 volume is so crammed with fiction that the publisher had no room for the traditional “About the Authors” and “Recommended Reading” sections in the print edition; instead they’ll make them available online for free at the Prime Books website (and in the ebook version). They’re not available yet — and in fact the Prime website looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2016? — but presumably they will be soon.

This year’s volume has stories by Samuel R. Delany, Rich Larson, Sarah Pinsker, Michael Swanwick, Peter Watts, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Charlie Jane Anders, Robert Reed, Maureen McHugh, Sofia Samatar, Yoon Ha Lee, Kameron Hurley, and many others. Here’s the complete Table of Contents.

Read More »

« Later Entries   Earlier Entries »

This site © 2018 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.