Every year interesting and amazing books slip through the cracks. Some reach a wide audience and yet still get overlooked at the end of the year, while others reach a select if enthusiastic audience and miss a wider readership. Here’s a run-down of some great titles from the past year or so that you should definitely check out, with a few science fiction books in the mix as well.
The Great Lover by Michael Cisco (Chômu Press) - At this point, it appears Cisco is simply operating in a sphere that most weird fiction writers never reach, or attain only rarely, and is doing it effortlessly. The best work of the weird in 2010, The Narrator, Cisco’s prior novel, may be more accessible, but once you become accustomed to the rhythms of this new book, it is an unforgettable experience. The Great Lover of the title is a sewerman and undead hero and the novel, to some measure, follows his strange adventures. (And if you’re into weird fiction generally, check out this list of weird fiction I put together.)
The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 3, edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade Books) – Iconic horror editor Datlow’s latest installment of her best-of reprint series includes chilling stories by Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, Tanith Lee, Joe R. Lansdale, M. Rickert, Catherynne M. Valente, and many more. With great cover art by Allan Williams.
The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction by Haywood Ferreira (Wesleyan) – This fascinating exploration of Latin American SF prior to 1920 points to a parallel tradition to the much better-known North American one. Some of the more interesting sections bring to light a Latin American Frankenstein and chart the course of influence across Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The book also includes some fascinating images, not least of which is the magnificent cover art.