Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Reviews

SPELLBREAKER by Blake Charlton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Vivid, intelligent, and painful in an authentically laudable way."
"Where's the apocalypse?" wonder the characters and the reader as this epic fantasy trilogy reaches its long-awaited conclusion. Read full book review >
GHOSTLY ECHOES by William Ritter
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A somber turn for the supernatural sleuth and levelheaded assistant but still energetic and entertainingly offbeat. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)"
Past actions and futuristic inventions haunt people in this sequel. Read full book review >

BREATH OF EARTH by Beth Cato
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A steampunk-flavored adventure with amiable characters and a fantastical version of San Francisco that has imaginative promise but fails to engage with the Asian cultures it appears to take inspiration from."
In a novel that imagines a very alternate history, Cato (The Clockwork Crown, 2015, etc.) channels her flair for steampunk fantasy into the story of a plucky heroine living in San Francisco in 1906. Read full book review >
NOT SO MUCH, SAID THE CAT by Michael Swanwick
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 19, 2016

"Tales that, through their extraordinary clarity of thought and expression, showcase precisely why this multiaward-winning author is held in such high regard."
Another collection of speculative fiction from Swanwick (Chasing the Phoenix, 2015, etc.), one of a handful of writers whose short pieces are as impressive as their novels. Read full book review >
GHOST TALKERS by Mary Robinette Kowal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A fascinating premise somewhat burdened by workaday execution and pat characterizations, but fans of Kowal's formula will be charmed."
The terrible death tolls of World War I are revisited in an alternate history where the spirits of the dead can be interrogated for valuable military intelligence in another historical fantasy from Kowal (Of Noble Family, 2015, etc.). Read full book review >

THE OBELISK GATE  by N.K.  Jemisin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Stunning, again."
In the second of a trilogy (The Fifth Season, 2015) by the science-fiction columnist for the New York Times Book Review, the latest in a series of apocalypses marches on. Read full book review >
DANCING IN DREAMTIME by Scott Russell Sanders
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"Sanders is at his best when he leaves humor behind to tell stories with big ideas; fortunately, over half the stories here do so, despite a shaky start."
A short story collection wrestling with modern isolation and dystopic futures, from an author also known for nonfiction essays about conservation and nature. Read full book review >
NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"A sensuous, shades-of-moral-gray world; a compelling, passionate heroine; a high-stakes quest for revenge—this is a fantasy fans won't be able to put down."
A dark and bloody fantasy about a young woman bent on revenge—at almost any price. Read full book review >
STRANGERS AMONG US by Susan  Forest
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 8, 2016

"There are several excellent stories here—and they'd be stronger if divorced from the burden of living up to the anthology's theme."
An anthology of speculative fiction through the lens of mental illness—stories of people whose mental quirks make them "outcasts and underdogs," edited by Forest (Immunity to Strange Tales, 2012) and Law (Sword and Sorceress X, 1993). Read full book review >
THE SWARM  by Orson Scott Card
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Trading heavily for verisimilitude on material established years ago by Card but just about worthwhile for series fans."
A second prequel trilogy to the child-warrior Ender's Game series (Earth Awakens, 2014, etc.) opens. This time the invading alien Formics get serious. Read full book review >
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF LANGDON ST. IVES by James P. Blaylock
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 31, 2016

"A collection of enjoyable and cheerfully unsubtle adventures in the company of an endearing cast of characters."
In this illustrated collection, Blaylock (Beneath London, 2015, etc.) offers readers five stories featuring scientist and adventurer Langdon St. Ives, a character first introduced in 1978 when Blaylock was one of the pioneers of the steampunk genre. Read full book review >
Autonomy by Jude Houghton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 31, 2016

"An immersive novel that chillingly predicts a world in which life is something to be escaped rather than experienced."
Houghton (Songs of Seraphina, 2015) explores the difference between living and surviving in this sci-fi thriller. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >