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Pillar to the Sky

An urgent mission to the cosmos bears the fortitude of the Founding Fathers and the Industrial Revolution's pioneers.

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The Time Traveler's Almanac

From the editors of The Weird, an ambitious collection of temporal quests and ingenious paradoxes.

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Black Moon

A bleary-eyed apocalypse in which zombies are replaced by the restlessly wakeful.

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Definitely Maybe

A classic of Russian science fiction resurfaces.

 

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The Crane Wife

A novel based on a Japanese folktale traces a journey of redemptive magic, art, and love.

 

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New Vessels: A Critic's SF Picks for 2013

Thirteen works of fantasy and science fiction that register fresh visions.

 

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Burning Paradise

In this Twilight Zone–esque novel, we really are surrounded.

 

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The Abominable

An adventure on the slopes of Mount Everest harks back to the ripping yarns of Kipling and Haggard.

 

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Doctor Sleep

The long-awaited sequel to The Shining proves a chilling American odyssey.

 

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Blood of Tyrants

An alternate history epic brings a British captain and his loyal dragon to battle with Napoleon's army.

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Neptune's Brood

The visionary adventure begun in Saturn's Children continues to extend the legacy of Heinlein and other foundational dreamers.

 

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The Long War and The Long Earth

A series from two legends of speculative fiction makes Manifest Destiny multiversal.

 

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Empty Space

Another artful experiment from a genre-bending icon of science fiction.

 

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Sophomore Honor Roll

When second novels prove to be second nature.

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The Fractal Prince

A postmodern SF adventure melds twelfth-century folktales with twenty-first-century science.

 

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This Earth and Others: Four Visions in Comics

From steampunk animal fables to crime in the New Frontier.

 

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Almost Invisible Worlds

Five works of fantastika you might have missed this year.

 

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The Hydrogen Sonata

Seeking to define the New Space Opera through the work of one of its seminal practioners.

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American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s

A single decade spawned many of the genre's acknowledged masterpieces.

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The ultimate identity theft.

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Existence

An alien artifact transforms a near-future earth.

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Siren Songs: Five New Fantasies by Women

Adventuring from a musically spellbound Naples to the universe's reference desk.

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2312

A gloriously real, Solar-centric space opera that heralds the dawn of a new SF paradigm.

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Across the Universe: A Wrinkle in Time Revisited

Why Madeleine L'Engle's star-spanning vision found its destination in readers' hearts.

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Angelmaker

Secret passages, doomsday devices, and fiendish masterminds populate a comic thriller.

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Blueprints of the Afterlife

An absurdist vision of America's future is a new monument of "slipstream" fiction.

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Sampling the Multiverse: Three from 2011

From a busy year in reading, these works of imaginative daring stand out.

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Zero History

A slyly potent thriller that cocks an eyebrow at our trend-maddened culture.

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  • the speculator

The Castle in Transylvania

A new translation of a little-known classic helps remind us of Jules Verne's genius.

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Who Fears Death

A young heroine navigates post-apocalyptic Africa in an ambitious hybrid of fantasy and science fiction. Read more...

About the Columnist
Author of several acclaimed novels and story collections, including Fractal Paisleys, Little Doors, and Neutrino Drag, Paul Di Filippo was nominated for a Sturgeon Award, a Hugo Award, and a World Fantasy Award -- all in a single year. William Gibson has called his work "spooky, haunting, and hilarious." His reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, Science Fiction Weekly, Asimov's Magazine, and The San Francisco Chronicle.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.