Articles tagged "alternate history"

Booklist’s Top SF/Fantasy/Horror of 2018

Booklist’s Top 10 SF/Fantasy/Horror reading lists of 2018* include these outstanding Macmillan titles:
Top 10 SF/Fantasy: 2018 (full list)

BALL LIGHTNING by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen
While devoting himself to studying the atmospheric occurrence called ball lightning—which struck and killed his parents—Chen meets the beautiful but ruthless Lin Yun, an army major whose devotion to creating strange new weapons matches his own obsessive quest.

BINTI: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
After the destruction of her home and presumed death of her family, Binti, with her friend Mwinyi, must find a path to peace between the Khosh and the Meduse in the satisfying ending to Okorafor’s Binti trilogy.

STARLESS by Jacqueline Carey
In a starless world, a young man and a princess—born at the exact same time—journey through killer vegetation, across an ocean, and into a volcano with a diverse corps of individuals, including intelligent giant sea wyrms.

WITCHMARK by C. L. Polk
The magnetically handsome Tristan brings a dying man to Dr. Miles Singer’s doorstep, aware of Miles’ secret identity as a witch, in a debut with nest-doll-like layers, a will-he-or-won’t-he romance, mages, wizards, political intrigue, and the atmosphere of a historical mystery.

Top 10 Horror: 2018 (full list)

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Booklist’s Rogue Book-Group Choices

Booklist hosted a live event with librarian book-group experts to talk about what makes a good selection, how to pick something unexpected for your group without causing a mass exodus, and lots and lots of suggestions for when you want to take your book group rogue. Check out their Macmillan recommendations:

BINTI by Nnedi Okorafor
Science fiction can be scary for book groups, but don’t be afraid, especially if Black Panther piqued your interest. BINTI is about space, sure, but it’s really about race and other meaty issues.

CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? by Roz Chast
Dealing with aging parents is a familiar book group topic. This graphic novel includes art and photography that will enhance the conversation.

EVERFAIR by Nisi Shawl
Like BINTI, this is an Afro-futurist sci-fi book, plus steam punk and alternate history! So many genres. It will lead to discussions about prejudice, identity, colonialism, and even the structure of the story itself.

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo
Another YA book that adult book groups might poo-poo. It’s a teen love story, but the heroine is a trans girl who starts her senior year at a new school where she can be herself. If your book group members like to gain new understanding of people they might not (think they) encounter in real life, this is a great choice.

THE LONELY CITY by Olivia Laing
Pair with images of the artists discussed (Hopper, Warhol, Wojnarowicz); you can also talk about gentrification.

Watch the full event below!

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LJ’s Fall/Winter Debut Novel Picks

Library Journal recently announced the debut novels they’re most looking forward to this Fall 2016 and Winter 2017, including these four Macmillan titles:

THE GUINEVERES by Sarah Domet
All coincidentally named Guinevere, four young women bond tightly when they are abandoned by their various parents to be raised by nuns at the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration. But will those bonds hold when four comatose soldiers are brought to the convent? “An unsettling, melancholy first novel whose tone echoes that of Jeffrey Eugenides’s THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. This phenomenal, character-driven story is mesmerizing.” (LJ 8/16)

SUN, SAND, MURDER by John Keyse-Walker
Winner of the 2015 Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, this debut features Special Constable Teddy Creque, Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, who keeps the peace on his tiny island home of Anegada. The murder of Boston University herpetologist Paul Kelliher turns the entire island upside down. “A beautiful Caribbean setting, vibrant characters, lively plotting and pacing, and a memorable villain who will surprise you.” (LJ 8/16) readmoreremove

LJ Genre Spotlight: SF/Fantasy

Library Journal‘s genre spotlight on SF/Fantasy has so much Macmillan goodness, it’s out of this world!

A MULTIPLICITY OF CHARACTERS

September marks the publication of James Tiptree Jr. Literary Award–winning short story writer Nisi Shawl’s highly anticipated first novel, EVERFAIR, a steampunk alternate history set in the Belgian Congo. “It’s as diverse in about as many ways as you can count. The author is a queer black woman, and several of [her] characters are queer (and often women and/or nonwhite as well),” explains Tor Books editor Liz Gorinsky. “The [other] characters represent a multiplicity of voices that have been historically silenced—Africans, East Asians, and African Americans—as well as a few Europeans, in complex relationships with one another.”

WORKS IN TRANSLATION

Increasingly, publishers’ fall lists are featuring speculative fiction in translation, and awards committees have taken note. In 2015, Cixin Liu’s THE THREE-BODY PROBLEM became the first translated sf novel to win a Hugo Award and wound up on the reading lists of President Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg. Arriving in September from Tor is DEATH’S END, the highly anticipated conclusion to Liu’s “Remembrance of Earth’s Past” trilogy.

“I have somehow fallen into the Chinese [sf] publishing business, and I couldn’t be happier,” exclaims Tor’s Gorinsky. “This fall we actually have two books translated by Ken Liu (who’s an amazing author in his own right—the only one to ever win Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards for the same story).” The second title is INVISIBLE PLANETS, an anthology of Chinese short stories; it includes two tales by Cixin Liu and the rest by rising talents, including the Hugo- and Sturgeon Award–nominated “Folding Beijing” by Hao Jingfang. Coming in October is Mariko Koike’s THE GRAVEYARD APARTMENT; known for her hybrid works that mix detective fiction with horror, the author is one of Japan’s most popular writers. Originally published in 1986, this novel follows a young family as they move into what they believe is the perfect home—despite the cemetery next door.

DRAWN FROM OTHER LANDS

Pseudonymous author Lian Hearn, who has lived in Japan and is a student of the Japanese language, explores that country’s medieval history and mythology in her four-volume “Tale of Shikanoko” series. In the third outing, LORD OF THE DARKWOOD, the warrior Shikanoko must confront the Spider Tribe that he had some part in creating.

Authors are also incorporating some unusual urban settings in the natural world for their epics. Australian Thoraiya Dyer’s series opener, CROSSROADS OF CANOPY, due from Tor in January, introduces a city set in the canopy of a rainforest ruled by gods. Unar, the young servant of the goddess Audblayin, must descend to the deprived realms of Understorey and Floor to seek her destiny. Fran Wilde introduced readers to her towering city of living bone and its flying inhabitants in her award-winning debut UPDRAFT, but more trouble brews for residents in CLOUDBOUND. readmoreremove

Genre-Bending FridayReads

We’re craving some genre-bending reads this weekend—these should hit the spot:

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire
libraryreads logo squareAn April 2016 LibraryReads pick! Bestseller McGuire presents a fresh take on the portal fantasy genre that blends Alice in Wonderland, The Magicians, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. “McGuire’s lyrical prose makes this novella a rich experience. Readers will be unable to resist the children’s longing for home, no matter how bizarre or fanciful that destination may be.” — Library Journal, starred review

HYSTOPIA by David Means
THREE STARS for this “compelling, imaginative alternative-history tale about memory and distress” (Booklist, starred review) in which President John F. Kennedy is alive and has created a vast federal agency called the Psych Corps, dedicated to maintaining the nation’s mental hygiene by any means necessary.

THE FIRST BOOK OF CALAMITY LEEK by Paula Lichtarowicz
A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick! A singular, beguiling debut about sixteen girls raised in a Garden on a diet of show tunes and twisted creation myths, who begin to ask questions about the world beyond their Wall of Safekeeping. “Enigmatic… Fans of the offbeat will dote on this sui generis story.” — Booklist readmoreremove

THREE Stars for 2 FSG Titles

Our week is off to a good start because two Farrar, Straus & Giroux titles each have THREE STARRED REVIEWS!

THE LAST PAINTING OF SARA DE VOS by Dominic Smith
“In this wonderfully engaging novel, centered on the paintings of fictional seventeenth-century Dutch artist Sara de Vos, Smith immerses the reader in three vibrant time periods. Rich in historical detail, the novel explores the immense challenges faced by women in the arts (past and present), provides a glimpse into the seedy underbelly of the art world across the centuries, and illustrates the transformative power and influence of great art. An outstanding achievement, filled with flawed and fascinating characters.” — Booklist, starred review

“Highly evocative of time and place, this stunning novel explores a triumvirate of fate, choice, and consequence and is worthy of comparison to Tracy Chevalier’s GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and Donna Tartt’s THE GOLDFINCH.” — Library Journal, starred review

“This is a beautiful, patient, and timeless book, one that builds upon centuries and shows how the smallest choices—like the chosen mix for yellow paint—can be the definitive markings of an entire life.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

HYSTOPIA by David Means
“Having established his literary standing with short stories, Means delivers his long-anticipated debut novel, a compelling, imaginative alternative-history tale about memory and distress. By turns disturbing, hilarious, and absurd, Means’ novel is also sharply penetrating in its depiction of an America all too willing to bury its past.” — Booklist, starred review readmoreremove

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