A human and an alien on opposing sides of a galactic conflict while away their days selling alien liquor at a pub in a technophobic British enclave--but that's only the beginning of Skyward Inn, a book that over the course of its 200-some pages finds room for meditations on Brexit, colonialism, difficult parent-child relationships, fraught male adolescence, freakish body horror, and an endgame scenario that rivals Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End in scope, while having it beat for prose style and characterization. If you're a fan of Le Guin, Butler, or Vandermeer, or even have a soft spot for Du Maurier's Jamaica Inn, this is the best recent SF novel you likely haven't read.
Nobody writes like R.A. Lafferty. But for years his singular work has languished out-of-print--his phenomenal short story collections known only to devoted used-bookstore trawlers and famous fantasy authors. But with the release of this affordably priced new "best of" collection, you too can become a fan of weird and wondrous tales such as "Nine Hundred Grandmothers," "Thus We Frustrate Charlemagne," and "Thieving Bear Planet." And for those already familiar with this oeuvre, the collection is bundled with critical writing from Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Samuel Delany, and others.
Who was Stan Lee, really? An influential producer who collaborated with some of the defining comics artists of his era? A grifter who took credit for the work of others to promote his own brand, then abandoned his collaborators to heartbreak and destitution? Or something else? The first great biography to emerge since Lee's death, True Believer is an origin story of the modern entertainment industry, a portrait of a man who never felt comfortable with the industry his tastes came to dominate, and--in its dizzying last third--a true crime story that rivals Bad Blood.