Best science fiction and fantasy books to read in June
In The Washington Post: http://wapo.st/2s22eV7
- •“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.,” by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland (Morrow)In this historical novel, linguist Melisande Stokes has a chance meeting with a handsome military intelligence officer named Tristan Lyons, who offers her a chance to escape a smug supervisor at Harvard for a research project on magic and its disappearance. Quickly the stakes rise, as Melisande and her friends stumble upon warring politics, ambitions and agendas.
- •“The Prey of Gods,” by Nicky Drayden (Harper Voyager)Drayden mixes folklore, urban fantasy and science fiction in her futuristic South Africa to dazzling effect. In this entertaining tale, a new drug called Godspeed hits the street. It causes users to hallucinate, to see themselves as animal creatures; sometimes it draws out peculiar powers. Teenage Muzi, grappling with his sexuality and his heritage, finds that the drug lets him manipulate people.
- •“The Refrigerator Monologues,” by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)Valente explores the old trope of women in comics who are abused and/or killed in service of a male-driven plot. In this novella, the superhero girlfriend gets to tell her own version of events in the afterlife. Through six entertaining if sometimes heavy-handed narratives, the women’s voices are strong: bitter and full of pain, yet steel-tipped in sarcasm and humor.