Pipeline: March 2011

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

The Dragon's Path - Daniel Abraham

The Dragon’s Path, Daniel Abraham (Orbit) [Purchase] — Whenever anyone asks me to recommend good epic fantasy the first writer that comes to mind is Daniel Abraham. Sure, George Martin is great too, but the Long Price Quartet is a finished work that I can happily point people at. Now Abraham is starting a new series. I am expecting great things. — Cheryl Morgan

I’ve admired Abraham’s short fiction immensely, and look forward to seeing what he can do at longer length. — Karen Burnham

Eona - Alison Goodman

Eona, Alison Goodman (Viking) [Purchase] — The first book in this series included a very convincing and sympathetic portrait of a trans woman, something that is rare enough in adult fiction yet alone YA. I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Goodman at Worldcon in Melbourne and very much liked her. This book is a must buy for me. — Cheryl Morgan

Spirit Dances - C.E. Murphy

Spirit Dances, C.E. Murphy (Luna) [Purchase] — This is the book that Murphy talks about in her interview in this issue. It is the latest in her Walker Papers urban fantasy series. — Cheryl Morgan

The Alchemist in the Shadows - Pierre Pevel

The Alchemist in the Shadows, Pierre Pevel (Pyr) [Purchase] — Musketeers with dragons. What’s not to love? This is the sequel to The Cardinal’s Blades. I’m delighted to see Pyr continuing to promote translated fiction. — Cheryl Morgan

Deathless - Catherynne M. Valente

Deathless, Catherynne M. Valente (Tor) [Purchase] — New Cat Valente book. ‘Nuff said. — Cheryl Morgan

One of Our Thursdays is Missing - Jasper Fforde

One of Our Thursdays is Missing, Jasper Fforde (Viking) [Purchase] — Book #6 in his literary-madcap-humor-fantasy-satire series. I found #5 (First Among Sequels) to be a little weaker than the first four, but continue to have high hopes for the series as a whole. — Karen Burnham

Sleight of Hand - Peter S. Beagle

Sleight of Hand, Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon) [Purchase] — Beagle never fails to impress at the short length, and any collection of his will be worth reading. — Karen Burnham

The Enterprise Of Death - Jesse Bullington

The Enterprise Of Death, Jesse Bullington (Orbit) [Purchase] — Jesse Bullington heads back to the late Middle Ages for more blood, swearing, toil and trouble. — Sam Jordison

The Company Man - Robert Jackson Bennett

The Company Man, Robert Jackson Bennett (Orbit) [Purchase] — Bennett’s follow-up to the well-received Mr. Shivers is another alternate history. This time it’s set among the unions — and union bashers — in the giant factories that made the weapons for the First World War. Expect more dark horror. — Sam Jordison

Mardock Scramble - Tow Ubukata

Mardock Scramble, Tow Ubukata (Haikasoru) [Purchase] — 775-page prose slab of old-school cyberpunk, cramming three original volumes into one, in which a murdered prostitute comes back from the dead as a vengeful cyborg in a shadowy future city. An intriguing window into modern Japanese pulp SF, for better or worse. Author Tow Ubukata and translator Edwin Hawkes are ones to watch. — Jonathan Clements

5 Centimetres/Second - Makoto Shinkai

5 Centimetres/Second, Makoto Shinkai (Manga Entertainment) — The award-winning director of Voices from a Distant Star, Shinkai continues to use SF tropes as metaphors for the distance between individuals, as thwarted, callow teen lovers grow up and grow apart in modern Japan. A wonderful anime, in love with modernity and maturity, inspired by Haruki Murakami’s On Meeting My 100% Perfect Girl One Fine April Morning. — Jonathan Clements

Summer Wars - Mamoru Hosoda

Summer Wars, Mamoru Hosoda (Manga Entertainment) — As if Ghost in the Shell were remade for the Facebook generation, a sentient AI infects and subverts cyberspace with catastrophic results. A meditation on social networks both analogue and digital, with a venerable Japanese grandmother taking on a digital weapon created for the CIA. — Jonathan Clements

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume 5 - Jonathan Strahan

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year: Volume 5, ed. Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade) [Purchase] — No-brainer for anyone interested in the short form of speculative fiction. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Physics of the Future - Michio Kaku

Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100, Michio Kaku (Doubleday) [Purchase] — Last month I recommended Brian Greene’s book on parallel universes, and Kaku will be another familiar name to those who enjoy popular science with a special focus on physics. Because of its scope, this book is predictably more reined in than Greene’s, though no less fascinating. Kaku has a pretty good track record with near-future extrapolation (see Visions), but that’s almost beside the point; it’s thinking about the future that is pleasurable and mind-opening, regardless of the accuracy of the predictions. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Jar Jar Binks Must Die - Daniel M. Kimmel

Jar Jar Binks Must Die… and Other Observations About Science Fiction Movies, Daniel M. Kimmel (Fantastic Books) [Purchase] — I expect this to be as conversational and fun as the pieces on science fiction and film by Kimmel that I’ve read online. (Here are some from The Internet Review of Science Fiction, for instance.) Kimmel has strong opinions but that doesn’t ever get in the way of being engaging and knowledgeable. Besides, do you really want to try and make a case that Jar Jar should live? — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Ents, Elves, and Eriador - Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans

Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien, Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans (The University Press of Kentucky) [Purchase] — This one is admittedly a little more specific, and though I don’t necessarily include myself in the target audience, I thought it was worth pointing out for devotees of Tolkien’s fiction who are interested in a more academic take on one of the aspects of his work. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

Monstrous Creatures - Jeff VanderMeer

Monstrous Creatures, Jeff VanderMeer (Guide Dog Books)[Purchase] — Multiple editions of VanderMeer’s latest nonfiction collection, with plenty of information and blurbs, are available here. For anyone who enjoys VanderMeer, widely known for his “weird literary fiction,” and for anyone looking for provocative and insightful discussions of fantastic literature. — Alvaro Zinos-Amaro