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January 1&15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 SF/Fantasy
Satire and parody pervade Booklist’s 10 best adult sf and fantasy books reviewed since the 2009 Spotlight on SF/Fantasy, though by no means are they all necessarily laff riots.
The Child Thief. By Brom. 2009. Eos, $26.99 (9780061671333).
Brom’s gripping retelling of Peter Pan follows half-human, half-fairy Peter from sixth-century Britain to modern-day New York, where he searches for lost children to recruit for a final battle with the dreaded captain.
The Enchantment Emporium. By Tanya Huff. 2009. DAW, $24.95 (9780756405557); paper, $7.99 (9780756406059).
Alysha Gale goes to Calgary to take over her grandmother’s junk shop. She discovers it’s an information exchange for the fey, and Calgary is in danger of becoming the epicenter of the end of the world as we know it.
The Good Humor Man; or, Calorie 3501. By Andrew Fox. 2009. Tachyon, paper, $14.95 (9781892391858).
In 2041, both the caliphate that rules Europe and the USDA want the 10 pounds of lard Dr. Louis Schmalzberg’s cosmetic-surgeon dad liposucked off Elvis. Won’t take no for an answer, either.
He Walked among Us. By Norman Spinrad. 2010. Tor, $27.99 (9780765325846).
In stand-up comedian Ralf, two-bit talent agent Texas Jimmy Balaban sees dollar signs; fading sf writer Dexter Lampkin, an ecological wake-up caller; and New Age acting coach Amanda Robin, a godlike entity beyond space and time.
Liberating Atlantis. By Harry Turtledove. 2009. Roc, $25.95 (9780451462961).
The third in the Atlantis trilogy (after Opening Atlantis, 2007, and The United States of Atlantis, 2008) concludes with an alternate American Civil War, with a slave army fighting a professional force led by partner politicians, one for, the other against, slavery.
The Magicians. By Lev Grossman. 2009. Viking, $25.95 (9780670020553); Plume, paper, $16 (9780452296299).
Studying magic is as boring as studying anything else. Then Quentin and his peers discover that the literary fantasy world that inspired them is real. They essay a quest.
The Painting and the City. By Robert Freeman Wexler. 2009. PS, $30 (9781906301538).
Art, nature, and commerce; the importance of the past; and the everyday oppressiveness of capitalism percolate through Wexler’s complex urban fantasy about a sculptor’s obsession with the rediscovered 1842 portrait of a young woman.
There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Fairy Tales. By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. Tr. by Keith Gessen and Anna Summers. 2009. Penguin, paper, $15 (9780143114666).
Petrushevskaya’s bleak “fairy tales” play out in an atmosphere of scarcity, suspicion, hopelessness, and fear. They attest that she, Russia’s most famous living author, is Samuel Beckett’s and Albanian magic realist Ismail Kadare’s peer.
Total Oblivion, More or Less. By Alan DeNiro. 2009. Spectra, paper, $15 (9780553592542).
Teenager Macy’s family flees invading barbarians in a wooden submarine, down the Mississippi to the stone-skyscraper capital of Nueva Roma. DeNiro treats his alt-history weirdness seriously but not without emotion, humor, and adventure.
Touched by an Alien. By Gini Koch. 2010. DAW, paper, $7.99 (9780756406004).
After slaying an alien parasite with her Montblanc pen, Katherine “Kitty” Katt is swept into the secret community fighting such critters. Eventually in this delightful romp, she uses her iPod, an armored vehicle, hot water, and hairspray as weapons.
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