New York Times SF Column: Lord, Lowachee, and More

My SF/F Chronicle column appears in the New York Times Sunday Book Review this weekend, and the electronic version is already available online. I reviewed novels by Karen Lord, Ian McDonald, Karin Lowachee, and Georges-Olivier Chateaureynaud.

I enjoyed all of these books, but I must say I haven’t cackled outloud at anything quite so hard as I did at some of the more comical scenes in the Karen Lord novel, Redemption in Indigo, nor been so rewarded in that laughter by the grounded seriousness that follows. A highly recommended first novel that doesn’t read like a first novel.

The Karin Lowachee novel, Gaslight Dogs, was much overlooked when first published in the spring, and I want to thank the site Beyond Victoriana for spotlighting the novel, an act that brought it to my attention. (Slight typo in the review: “distinct” at the end should be “distinctive”.) By chance, Clarkesworld just ran an interview with Lowachee.

I was unable to talk about the quality of the translation of the Chateaureynaud given space limitations. It’s by Edward Gauvin, and it is quite fine.

All of these books will be at least mentioned in my “Best SF/F of the Year (Thus Far)” post scheduled for the Omnivoracious book blog next week.

I’ve done two prior reviews for the NYTBR, of Dexter Palmer’s The Dream of Perpetual Motion and Marcel Theroux’s Far North, both extremely ambitious and rewarding novels.

Have a great long weekend!

6 comments on “New York Times SF Column: Lord, Lowachee, and More

  1. Karin says:

    Thank you and thank you to both you and Ay-leen at Beyond Victoriana! And the other books you reviewed perk my interest, and I otherwise wouldn’t have heard about them, so I’ll be looking them up!

  2. I’m really happy you spotlighted Karin’s book, and will draw more readers to her stuff.

    And I also think ’tis awesome to see a SF column appear in the NYTBR again. Looking forward to seeing what else you bring to the table.

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  4. Andrew I. Porter says:

    As the editor/publisher of a little thing called SCIENCE FICTION CHRONICLE (circulation, 6,000 print copies, available by subscription and in leading bookstores) from 1979 to 2000 — when I sold it to Warren Lapine and DNA Publications — I was less than thrilled to find a review column with *exactly the same name* running in The New York Times. Surely they picked the title, not you. I received more than a dozen Hugo nominations for it, and won twice, beating out another magazine you may have heard of, LOCUS.

    Now, Don D’Ammassa, who was my book reviewer and still reviews books on his CRITICAL MASS website, tells me he’s once again getting review copies for SFC — presumably the new one. Imagine the publisher confusion; imagine the angry e-mails when *you* don’t review those books.

    Of course, all this could have been avoided, by *Choosing Another Title* for the review column. Duh.

    Andrew I. Porter, who was in Australia for the World SF Convention when the first column was published.

    And, if you’ve never heard of me:

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