Nobody writes like R.A. Lafferty. But for years his singular work has languished out-of-print--his phenomenal short story collections known only to devoted used-bookstore trawlers and famous fantasy authors. But with the release of this affordably priced new "best of" collection, you too can become a fan of weird and wondrous tales such as "Nine Hundred Grandmothers," "Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne," and "Thieving Bear Planet." And for those already familiar with this oeuvre, the collection is bundled with critical writing from Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Samuel Delany, and others.
Sometimes there is love so deep and broad that it is almost impossible to express in words, but for the sake of this new book by Becky Chambers, I must. In a post-climate apocalypse, post-industrial age, a tea monk travels from settlement to settlement on their bike, making tea and listening to folks and their problems. When they decide to leave the beaten path, they meet a self-actualizing robot and the two travel the wilderness. The prose is gentle, the world is beautiful, the characters are inspiring, and reading this book (all in one sitting, I may add) gave me a little hope for the future and reminded me to hold fast to those I love. I cannot recommend this book any higher and I am very excited to see what the planned series holds in store for the Monk and the Robot.
The Murderbot Diaries read as if Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide about Marvin the Paranoid Android instead of Arthur Dent. Wells's protagonist is a bored, disaffected security bot that just wants to get back to watching episode 397 of Sanctuary Moon and certainly doesn’t want to get involved in a conspiracy to sabotage and kill its current clients on an isolated research base. Murderbot (a private nickname it gives itself) may not have been programmed to care, but after hacking its own governor module it finds itself a little too invested in the fate of its humans. A sweet and incredibly humanistic portrayal of a non-human protagonist with a fun supporting cast.