Best new science fiction & fantasy
- •"The Loney," by Andrew Michael (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25)Fans of Shirley Jackson are sure to savor this Gothic horror novel set mostly on Britain’s desolate Lancashire coast. The 15-year-old narrator, his family and certain members of his church take a retreat every Easter. The boy’s mother is a devout Catholic who uses this time to pray and fast for her oldest son, Hanny, in an effort to cure him of his muteness. But there are sinister warnings that all is not right.
- •"Super Extra Grande," by José Miguel Sánchez Gómez (Restless; paperback, $15.99)Two ambassadors involved in peace talks accidentally get swallowed by an extra-large sea worm, and our hero, an 8-foot veterinarian named Jan Amos Sangan Dongo who travels through space treating giant animals (of which there are many), must devise a way to rescue them without causing political unrest.
- •"Children of Earth and Sky," by Guy Gavriel Kay (NAL, $27)a sweeping epic fantasy with a robust cast of characters caught in a deadly war in an alternative version of Renaissance Europe. Seressa is a country known as Queen of the Sea yet plagued by pirates loyal to a god known as Jad. And everyone must keep an eye on Gurçu the Destroyer, who is ready to launch his own attack upon the West.