This year’s World Fantasy Convention was held in Saratoga Springs, New York, from November 5 through November 8. Members of the convention nominated works to be recognized as the best in their field, and awards were given for, among other things, Best Novel and Best Novella. We are pleased to announce that the 2015 Best Fantasy Novel, The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell, and the 2015 Best Fantasy Novella, We Are All Completely Fine, by Daryl Gregory, are on the shelves of the Field Library in Peekskill.
The Bone Clocks, like Mitchell’s previous award-winning Cloud Atlas, is a most unconventional book. It’s structured like six separate novellas with some interlocking characters, a protagonist in one section being a peripheral character in the next, and it takes patience to follow all the threads of the plot and characters to the final denouement where everything finally comes together. The protagonist, if you can say a book like this has a protagonist, is Holly Sykes, who appears as a rebellious teenager who turns out to have psychic powers in the first section, set in the 1980’s in Great Britain, and who finds herself in the middle of a battle between two groups of extraordinary characters, one group that achieves near immortality by sucking the souls of ordinary people, and the other group which opposes the first group and tries to protect people from the soul-sucking. If you’re looking for a straightforward quest-type fantasy novel, this is not the one for you, but if you’re in the mood to expand your horizons and follow a brilliant writer down a twisting rabbit hole, give The Bone Clocks a try.
We Are All Completely Fine is almost a direct opposite of The Bone Clocks, short where the latter is long, set in the present day exclusively (all right, there are a couple of flashbacks, but they don’t go back that far), and closer to horror than to pure fantasy. The characters have all been touched in some way by nightmares in real life: Harrison Squared, as he’s known, is famous as a monster hunter who encountered some Lovecraftian creatures in real life when he was a boy; Stan was captured and partially eaten by cannibals; Barbara was attacked by the Scrimshaw, a serial killer, who carved a message on her bones; Greta may or may not be a mass murdering arsonist. These are people who keep to themselves, away from the world, until they’re brought together by a psychotherapist for a support group, and they begin to discover that not all the monsters are in the past, or hidden. The book is twisted and fascinating, not as gory as you might think, given the premise, and ultimately satisfying, deserving of its recognition by the World Fantasy Convention.