New books for May 2012. (Click to enlarge.)
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore follows her first two books, Graceling and Fire. The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King is a part of his Dark Tower series. It falls between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of Calla.
Fountains of Age by Nancy Kress collects her recent short fiction, published by Small Beer Press. Of the nine stories listed in the contents five originally appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine.
Store of the Worlds: The Stories of Robert Sheckley offers a generous retrospective of short fiction by Sheckley, who died in 2005. His work is in danger of being forgotten today, which this book may help redress. "Sheckley's stories operate as irresistible language artifacts, like extended puns or paradoxes: off-kilter, provocative, unsettling even if part silly. They're like psychedelic lamps that cast an eerie light in one room where they're encountered, but then turn out to transform one's view of all subsequent rooms," according to the introduction by Alex Abramovich and Jonathan Lethem. Published by New York Review Books.
Nebula Awards Showcase 2012 edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel is an annual anthology that reflects the nominees and winners chosen by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. This particular year the actual award winners seemed mostly ill-chosen. I can single out the best novella winner, "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window" by Rachel Swirsky as being excellent. Aside from my quibbles, there are plenty of very good stories here to make the book worthwhile.