My first column for the NYTBR is here! The print version will be in this week’s Sunday edition. In it I review Del and Sofia Samatar’s Monster Portraits, Subterranean Press’ Weight of Words anthology, and Jo Walton’s Starlings.
Here’s a taste:
More than any other genres, I think, science fiction and fantasy are in constant conversation with their past, present and future. Entering those worlds as a child meant growing into an awareness of how deeply they depend on a kind of exchange between readers and writers — almost inevitably, new works of science fiction and fantasy inherit a sense of engagement, whether it shows up as homage, critique or collaboration. Three recent books of short fiction, each of them fantastically hybrid, join the conversation and demonstrate just how overt its dynamics can be.
Of the three books, the one I’m most passionate about discussing is Monster Portraits–it took a lot of wrangling to make my feelings about that book into something intelligible. So if you’re in the mood to do me a personal favour, please pick up a copy, read it, and join me in flailing about it in an attempt to interpret my emotions through dance.
This column will appear every 8 weeks, so look for the next one towards the end of April! So many great books coming out between now and then!