Blog Archive

View My Stats
Friday, January 16, 2009

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — Fábio Fernandes


This year has been one of discoveries. After a kind of hiatus teaching classes (which I still do, by the way) and studying to obtain a Master´s degree and a Doctor´s degree right after, I decided to start being more proactive again in writing book reviews and fiction again.

This time, though, I´ve been doing it mainly in English. Since the early 1990s, I worked for several Brazilian newspapers, reviewing books and occasionally movies. Now, however, I decided to do it only in blogs I created especially for that in early 2008, the
Pós-Estranho, in Portuguese, and the Post-Weird Thoughts, in English, with Jacques Barcia). Aside from them, I also review short fiction for The Fix and SF/Fantasy/Horror in general for Fantasy Book Critic. So I could consume massive amounts of fiction last year.

A fundamental book is
China Miéville'sPerdido Street Station”, which I re-read in 2008. Charles Stross´Accelerando”, which I read for the first time in early 2008, was a very good novel as well.

Joe Abercrombie was a nice surprise to me with “The Blade Itself”. I´m halfway through “Before They Are Hanged” and will soon get to “Last Argument of Kings”. Ekaterina Sedia also hooked me with “The Secret History of Moscow” and the beautiful “The Alchemy of Stone”.

Patrick Ness also surprised me with the excellent “The Knife of Never Letting Go”, as well as Chris Roberson with the Moorcock-esque “End of the Century”, and Liam Sharp with the strong Silverberg-Howard mix fantasy “God Killers”.

This list could go on and on, but I´ll close it up with the two best anthologies I´ve read in a very long time: “The New Weird” and “Steampunk”. It comes as no surprise that both are edited by
Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, she an editor, he an author, both of whom I had never heard about until 2008, and whose works I immediately came to like and respect.


I must say I´m joining the veritable fanboy crowd who´s waiting eagerly for
China Miéville'sThe City & The City”. I don´t know what to expect, but I know one thing: after reading not only “Perdido…” but also “Looking for Jake” and “Un Lun Dun”, Miéville hasn´t disappointed me so far, and I honestly don´t believe he´ll start doing it now. I´m also waiting eagerly for Jeff VanderMeer´sFinch”, Felix Gilman´sGears of The City”, Rhys Hughes´The Postmodern Mariner”, Dan Simmons´Drood”, Ekaterina Sedia´sThe House of Discarded Dreams”, and Richard K. Morgan´sThe Steel Remains”.


I just finished reviewing a new novel tentatively called “In the Days of the Plague”—It´s a fix-up containing two novellas previously published in my short story collection “Interface com o Vampiro”, but substantially rewritten, plus a new novella. It should be published mid-2009.
I´m also publishing at least one new short story in a Brazilian anthology in 2009. It´s called Todas as Guerras (“All the Wars”), and I was commissioned to write about the First World War. Even though the antho isn´t SF, I managed to write an Alternate History story, in the same universe of my Frankenstein stories. The first novel featuring this universe, where Viktor Frankenstein not only existed but managed to turn his creation into a very successful enterprise, is being finished in the next few weeks. It´s called “Back in the USSR” (it´s in Portuguese, even though the title is in English all right), and features a resurrected John Lennon on the run from German and Russian spies and meeting a surreal band of brothers, among which includes the bottled brain of Marcel Duchamp, a very much alive Che Guevara and a certain monster…

In addition to all that, I´ve been writing in English for a while now, trying to sell my stories to the English-written market. So far I got some very nice rejection slips in my collection, but, what do you know? I just sold seven microfictions to
Thaumatrope, so I think I still have some hope after all…


Fábio Fernandes, 42, is a writer living in São Paulo, Brazil. Also a journalist and translator, he is responsible for the Brazilian translations of several prominent SF novels including Neuromancer, Snow Crash, and A Clockwork Orange. He has published more than two dozen stories in fanzines and magazines in Brazil, Portugal, and Romania. Currently working as a Creative Writing teacher in the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, Fernandes also published a non-fiction book on the work of William Gibson, “A Construção do Imaginário Cyber” (in Portuguese). He just finished his first SF novel, “In the Days of the Plague”, and is currently writing short stories in English. He can also be found at his English-language blog,
Post-Weird Thoughts, which he shares with Brazilian writer Jacques Barcia. Fernandes also reviews fiction for The Fix and the Brazilian branch of Le Monde Diplomatique.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index


Mihai A. said...

This are fine lists, Fabio :)

Robert, thank you for this series of articles :)


Click Here To Order “Barnaby The Wanderer” by Raymond St. Elmo
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Barnaby The Wanderer” by Raymond St. Elmo
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
Order HERE