The Latest in Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror | Science fiction books

Cosmogramma by Courttia Newland (Canongate, £ 12.99)
Newland’s Second Adventure in Sci-Fi Territories is a rich and diverse collection of short stories. The first, Percipi, a tale of war between humans and their robot servants, may seem like a poor opening choice, written in a style of exposition and warning. But the stories that follow vary in style, tone, and subject matter, from horror stories of alien invasion, social breakdowns, and the fine line between madness and reality, to the more optimistic fantasies of a race. secret of people living under the sea and a connection between space and time travel that could allow someone to redeem the crimes of the past. The final story, which takes place on a regenerated post-human Earth, sends the reader back to the first, projecting it in a different light. Despite all their individual differences, these beautiful stories are in conversation with each other, as well as with the reader.

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The Creators of Love by Aifric Campbell

The Creators of Love by Aifric Campbell (Goldsmiths, £ 19.99)
Campbell’s fourth novel is a suspenseful and plausible road trip into the near future that is published with 14 expert essays in fields ranging from robotics and artificial intelligence to law and ethics. In the fiction Scarlett and Gurl, the main characters are a wealthy tech entrepreneur who returns home for Christmas and the stranded dancer she gives a thumbs up. Scarlett, involved in developing new uses for AI, resists its inclusion in her own life, insisting on hiring a succession of human nannies instead of the iMom her peers rely on. Gurl shares her boyfriend with a sex robot she considers her best friend. These types of future technologies may not be that far away; AI and robotics are already part of our lives. Kate Devlin’s essay begins with “The first thing you know about sex robots is that there are no sex robots,” but then it examines the role of the virtual assistant and reveals that a Japanese company who makes “an AI with an associated projected holographic anime character” has thousands of male clients who would love to marry their virtual assistants. This book, created with the aim of raising awareness of the potential social impacts of developing trends in technology, is food for thought. He deserves attention.

second shooter

Nick Mamatas’ Second Shooter (Solaris, £ 8.99)
Freelance writer Mike Karras specializes in conspiracy theories and travels across America interviewing surviving witnesses of mass murder. Plagued by a radio host who believes Karras is part of a larger plot to make private gun possession illegal, the hapless journalist finds himself running for his life. At first an entertaining thriller, by turns amusing and disturbing in its depiction of contemporary American obsessions and populated with interesting exotic eccentrics, the book takes a turn for the worse when a mishmash of near-magical mysticism is revealed as ” the truth “behind him. all.

Parents deceased by Lucie McKnight Hardy

Deceased parents by Lucie McKnight Hardy (Dead ink, £ 9.99)
Following on from his impressive debut novel Water Shall Refuse Them (2019), this collection of short stories confirms the author’s reputation in the field of literary horror. The title story is a miniature Gothic novel with a sensibility reminiscent of Carson McCullers or Flannery O’Connor, but set in rural Wales in the early 1960s. Iris, the young narrator, has never been there beyond the grounds of her house, existing half in a realm of fantasy and ritual featuring her deceased parents, and half in the house run by her monstrous mother and Cook as a home for single mothers. Most of the shorter stories could be described as domestic horror, often featuring women driven to an act of madness by grief, intimidation, or male indifference. Painful, sometimes memorable, they make reading uncomfortable.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune (Tor, £ 16.99)
No one has mourned the unexpected death of successful and hard-line lawyer Wallace Price. He devoted himself to his work, with no room for his friends or family. Due to a problem with the generally smooth passage of spirits into the afterlife, Wallace attends his own funeral and learns that no one loves him. It’s almost as hard to come to terms with as the fact that death is final and all of his skill at arguing won’t bring him back to life. He is told that he will have some adaptation time before going through the titular door: he can stay like a ghost at Charon’s Crossing, the tea room run by Hugo, the ferryman, and his assistant Mei, a grim reaper. recently graduated. Only they and the other resident ghosts can see Wallace, whose hard heart softens in their company. It’s a whimsical, warm fantasy that suggests it’s never too late to make a positive change in life – or afterwards.