Pipeline: February 2011

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro presents some books due out in the coming weeks, as selected by our staff and guests.

Redwood and Wildfire - Andrea Hairston

Redwood and Wildfire, Andrea Hairston (Aqueduct Press) [Purchase] — At the turn of the 20th century, Redwood, an African American woman, and Aidan, a Seminole Irish man, journey from Georgia to Chicago, from haunted swampland to a “city of the future.” They are gifted performers and hoodoo conjurors, struggling to call up the wondrous world they imagine, not just on stage and screen, but on city streets, in front parlors, in wounded hearts. Living in a system stacked against them, Redwood and Aidan’s power and talent are torment and joy. Their search for a place to be who they want to be is an exhilarating, painful, magical adventure. — L. Timmel Duchamp

Regarding Ducks and Universes - Neve Maslakovic

Regarding Ducks and Universes, Neve Maslakovic (Amazon Encore) [Purchase] — I’m always interested to hear of new women science fiction writers, and Neve Maslakovic is a Serbian writer with a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, which already marks her out as different. The book, which appears to be a mixture of SF, mystery and comedy, was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, and Amazon made an offer to publish it through their new Amazon Encore imprint. It is all very intriguing. — Cheryl Morgan

Gravity Pilot - M.M. Buckner

Gravity Pilot, M.M. Buckner (Tor) [Purchase] — Talking of women SF writers, M.M. Buckner’s third novel, War Surf, won the Philip K. Dick Award, and also earned her a deal with Tor. Gravity Pilot is her second novel from them. Mary was writing hard-hitting environmental SF long before any of us had heard of Paolo Bacigalupi, and coincidentally War Surf includes a character who is a genetically engineered “gentleman’s companion” (my review here). I very much enjoyed her early novels and I’m hoping that Tor can get her a brand new audience on the back of Paolo’s success. — Cheryl Morgan

The Desert of Souls - Howard Andrew Jones

The Desert of Souls, Howard Andrew Jones (St. Martin’s) [Purchase] — Swords & Sorcery is enjoying something of a renaissance these days, and this novel by Black Gate editor, Howard Andrew Jones, is pointed straight at that market. Bravely, however, Jones has chosen to set his tale in the Middle East, complete with a desperate vizier and an evil Magi sorcerer, not to mention the fabled lost city of Ubar. It sounds like classic pulp adventure from the days before everything Arabic was regarded with suspicion. — Cheryl Morgan

Late Eclipses - Seanan McGuire

Late Eclipses, Seanan McGuire (DAW) [Purchase] — I don’t read a lot of urban fantasy, but I am very partial to Seanan McGuire’s books so a new Toby Daye novel is a must buy. — Cheryl Morgan

The Cloud Roads - Martha Wells

The Cloud Roads, Martha Wells (Night Shade) [Purchase] — Martha Wells is a writer whose works I have enjoyed in the past but who fell off my radar somewhat when I stopped doing Emerald City. She has recently moved from HarperCollins to Night Shade and The Cloud Roads is her first book on the new contract. I will be interested to see what she is doing these days. — Cheryl Morgan

Speculative Japan 2

Speculative Japan 2: The Man Who Watched the Sea and Other Tales of Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy (Kurodahan Press) [Purchase]. An obscure press based in south Japan, Kurodahan continues to quietly expand the frontiers of Japanese science fiction in translation. — Jonathan Clements

Swamplandia! - Karen Russell

Swamplandia!, Karen Russell (Knopf) [Purchase] — Southern gothic, ghosts, alligator wrestling, a recommendation from Stephen King and more than a shade of his darkness. This book sounds strange – but all the more appealing for that. It comes highly recommended by no less an organ than The New York Times. — Sam Jordison

Jeff VanderMeer has been enthusing about Russell for some time, and her St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves sounds wonderful. I really must try her books — Cheryl Morgan

Twilight Robbery - Frances Hardinge

Twilight Robbery, Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books) [Purchase] — Hardinge is gaining ever more of a reputation as a children’s author everyone can enjoy — adore even — and Twilight Robbery is rumored to be as good as anything she’s written. — Sam Jordison

Deep State - Walter Jon Williams

Deep State, Walter Jon Williams (Orbit) [Purchase] — One of my best friends writes for Alternate Reality Games (ARGs), so I was very interested to check out This Is Not A Game last year. Williams set up an interesting positive relationship between writer Dagmar and her ARG players as they applied their group gestalt to her very real problems. I particularly liked the part while Dagmar was in Indonesia but found myself less interested once she was back in the United States. — So I was pleased to hear that the sequel, Deep State, happens mostly in Turkey and the Middle East. I look forward to seeing what he does with that setting. — Anne Gray

Science Fiction and Empire - Patricia Kerslake

Science Fiction and Empire, Patricia Kerslake (Liverpool University Press) [Purchase] — Not technically a new book, but a new paperback edition (and thus affordable) of a fascinating study of post-colonialism in speculative fiction. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

The Hidden Reality - Brian Greene

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, Brian Greene (Knopf) [Purchase] — As the title suggests, this is a popular science account of the multiverse theory, but covers much else besides. I’ve enjoyed Greene’s previous pop-science outings for their lucidity and the almost-infectious enthusiasm displayed toward their subject matter. This one’s already garnered strong reviews. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Admiralty - Poul Anderson

Admiralty: Volume 4 of the Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Poul Anderson (NESFA) [Purchase] — Paul Di Filippo, quite rightly, recently dedicated one of his “On Books” columns in Asimov’s to the treasure troves of classic SF being produced by NESFA Press. The first part of his column deals with the first two volumes of Poul Anderson’s collected short works, and I won’t repeat here all the reasons why these are a MUST. Naturally, volume 3 and the present volume 4 are also purchase-worthy. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro