July 14, 2022 Blake Crouch spins out grounded, accessible tales with an admirable internal precision no matter the genre. His newest, Upgrade, is no different.
The Veiled Throne, by Ken Liu
December 10, 2021 A thousand pages is a lot. But there's Ken Liu's voice to hold onto in this third installment of his epic — beautifully deployed and fully in command of the language of his imaginary universe.
Jade Legacy, by Fonda Lee
November 29, 2021 The Damocles threat Fonda Lee has let dangle over this entire series is that no one in these pages is ever safe — the world she has created is dangerous and everyone in it has a place where they end.
October 17, 2021 Fan Fiction is part memoir, part noir pastiche and maybe a little bit true. Is it a great work? No. Is it a lot of fun? Yes. Is it a book that could only have been written by Brent Spiner? Absolutely.
September 28, 2021 Cloud Cuckoo Land follows four people in very different times and places, all connected by an imaginary manuscript — also called "Cloud Cuckoo Land" — by a real author, the philosopher Diogenes.
September 5, 2021 What appears to be a simple, awful police killing turns out to be much worse in Cadwell Turnbull's new No Gods, No Monsters, set in a world where monsters and magic are real, and none of it is pretty.
Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, edited by Bill Campbell and Edward Austin Hall
August 16, 2021 This year's Summer Poll is all about the past decade in science fiction and fantasy, so we asked critic Jason Sheehan to come up with his own list of the new sci-fi that's blowing his mind.
July 21, 2021 Claire North's new Notes from the Burning Age is set far in the future — but the titular burning age is our own, an age of waste and exploitation from which only fragments of knowledge remain.
Anthony Bourdain, in Roadrunner, the new documentary about his life.
July 16, 2021 Chef and food writer Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in 2018. The new documentary Roadrunner gathers people who knew him well to praise and remember him, and also to rage about his death.
Night Came With Many Stars, by Simon van Booy
David R. Godine, Publisher
June 10, 2021 Simon Van Booy's new novel Night Came With Many Stars follows several generations of a Kentucky family, their crossroads and choices, their curses and hard memories, their luck and their chances.
The Normandy, coolest ship in this part of space.
Screenshot by Jason Sheehan/EA
May 28, 2021 The Mass Effect series is known almost as much for its storytelling as its actual gameplay — as the series is rereleased in an omnibus Legendary edition, we look at what makes it so literary.
May 1, 2021 Martha Wells' new Murderbot novella is a classic locked-room mystery — only the locked room is a docked shuttle at a normally peaceful space station ill-equipped to deal with murder and mayhem.
In The Last of Us Part II, no one's hands are clean.
February 26, 2021 Our occasional series on storytelling in video games returns with a look at The Last of Us Part II, which pulls a perspective switch on players that forces them to confront their role in the game.
February 11, 2021 Our occasional series on storytelling in video games returns with a look at the eerie indie hit Kentucky Route Zero, which is ostensibly about a guy making a delivery — but there's so much more.
January 7, 2021 Stina Leicht's new sci-fi novel has a lot of moving parts: Space opera, rough-and-tumble mercenaries, corporate intrigue, alien first contact — and to her credit, she almost pulls it all off.
When nothing else works, you can lose yourself in the simple repetition of a game like Into the Breach.
December 31, 2020 Video games can offer immense, immersive open worlds — but for some players, the small-scale grinding repetition of the games known as "roguelikes" is a better way to pass the time.
December 22, 2020 CD Projekt Red's hotly-anticipated new game turned out to be a buggy mess — but beyond that, it's just a bad game that doesn't do justice to the gritty, anti-corporate nature of its source material.
November 12, 2020 The social deduction game. where you play a froup of funny-shaped little spaceman trying to uncover murderous impostors among you, originally came out in 2018 — but it's having a real moment now.
October 25, 2020 Cixin Liu's latest collection — made up of several decades' worth of stories — showcases a science fiction that harks back to the earliest days of the genre, before grimdark or galactic empires.
October 3, 2020 Critic Jason Sheehan says the new novel from Matt Haig — about a mystical library that lets people sample all the ways their lives might have gone — is a little too gentle and straightforward.
August 27, 2020 This new translation of the ancient epic poem drags it kicking and screaming into the 21st century, giving us tales of blood, guts and glory told as if over beers in a loud sports bar.
August 6, 2020 Whatever you expected from Tamsyn Muir's followup to her lesbian-necromancers-in-space epic Gideon the Ninth, this is not that book — it's something wilder, darker and much, much weirder.
July 29, 2020 Cherie Dimaline's new novel seems small in scope — it's about a woman who loses her husband and is determined to bring him back, nothing more than that — but it's rich, tightly written and powerful.
In Wolfenstein II: New Colossus, our hero B.J. Blazkowicz has grown into far more than a couple of chunky pixels — but he still kills a lot of Nazis.
July 20, 2020 Our occasional series on storytelling in video games returns with a look at The New Colossus, a surprisingly heartfelt entry in the classic Castle Wolfenstein series. (Yes, you still shoot Nazis.)