A sci-fi book recommendation: Reincarnation Blues: A Novel by Michael Poore

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dp7Axr.
The overall effect is charming, the book stands on its own, and it straddles that line between literary and scifi well (with heavy leaning on the scifi side), doing justice to both genres.
Book description from Google Books:
A wildly imaginative novel about a man who is reincarnated over ten thousand lifetimes to be with his one true love: Death herself. “Tales of gods and men akin to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman as penned by a kindred spirit of Douglas Adams.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review) First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try? Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything. Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her. More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living–as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again. But Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle–if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.
The book is rated 4.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 1791 ratings. See 489 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CYokus.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DrNnHv.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2DuV2EE.
“Sing, Unburied, Sing,” the story of a few days in the lives of a tumultuous Mississippi Gulf Coast family and the histories and ghosts that haunt it, is nothing short of magnificent.
Book description from Google Books:
*WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD for FICTION *A TIME MAGAZINE BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 OF 2017 *Finalist for the Kirkus Prize *Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal *Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017 “The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story—the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song…Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” —BuzzfeedIn Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds. Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances. When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.
The book is rated 4.15/5 at goodreads.com, from 14325 ratings. See 2485 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D1JNmj.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CYcTmG.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A sci-fi book recommendation: The Golden House: A Novel by Salman Rushdie

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dqe3IG.
Rushdie has always been an impish myth-manipulator, refusing to accept, as in this novel, that the lives of the emperors can’t be blended with film noir, popular culture and crime caper. On the evidence of The Golden House, he is quite right.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture–a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, a brilliant recluse with a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous, famous on twenty blocks; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, harboring an explosive secret even from himself. There is no mother, no wife; at least not until Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, snags the septuagenarian Nero, becoming the queen to his king–a queen in want of an heir. Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor Ren�, an ambitious young filmmaker. Researching a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down. Set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics, The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention–a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache that make Salman Rushdie a force of light in our dark new age. Praise for The Golden House “If you read a lot of fiction, you know that every once in a while you stumble upon a book that transports you, telling a story full of wonder and leaving you marveling at how it ever came out of the author’s head. The Golden House is one of those books. . . . [It] tackles more than a handful of universal truths while feeling wholly original.”–The Associated Press “The Golden House . . . ranks among Rushdie’s most ambitious and provocative books [and] displays the quicksilver wit and playful storytelling of Rushdie’s best work.”–USA Today “[The Golden House] is a recognizably Rushdie novel in its playfulness, its verbal jousting, its audacious bravado, its unapologetic erudition, and its sheer, dazzling brilliance.”–The Boston Globe
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 2399 ratings. See 593 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DrZp3H.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CUVk6M.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2DuV2EE.
“Sing, Unburied, Sing,” the story of a few days in the lives of a tumultuous Mississippi Gulf Coast family and the histories and ghosts that haunt it, is nothing short of magnificent.
Book description from Google Books:
*WINNER of the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD for FICTION *A TIME MAGAZINE BEST NOVEL OF THE YEAR and A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 OF 2017 *Finalist for the Kirkus Prize *Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal *Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017 “The heart of Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is story—the yearning for a narrative to help us understand ourselves, the pain of the gaps we’ll never fill, the truths that are failed by words and must be translated through ritual and song…Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love, and this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it.” —BuzzfeedIn Jesmyn Ward’s first novel since her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississippi’s past and present, examining the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power—and limitations—of family bonds. Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances. When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an unforgettable family story.
The book is rated 4.15/5 at goodreads.com, from 14099 ratings. See 2450 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2D1JNmj.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CYcTmG.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Reincarnation Blues: A Novel by Michael Poore

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dp7Axr.
The overall effect is charming, the book stands on its own, and it straddles that line between literary and scifi well (with heavy leaning on the scifi side), doing justice to both genres.
Book description from Google Books:
A wildly imaginative novel about a man who is reincarnated over ten thousand lifetimes to be with his one true love: Death herself. “Tales of gods and men akin to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman as penned by a kindred spirit of Douglas Adams.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review) First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try? Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything. Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her. More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living–as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again. But Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle–if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.
The book is rated 4.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 1772 ratings. See 488 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CYokus.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DrNnHv.

A sci-fi book recommendation: The Summer That Melted Everything: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CJvm71.
A startlingly rich imagination shouts its glorious arrival in this overwhelming narrative of sin, redemption, love and death.
Book description from Google Books:
The devil comes to Ohio in Tiffany McDaniel’s breathtaking and heartbreaking literary debut novel, The Summer That Melted Everything.*Winner of The Guardian’s 2016 “Not the Booker” Prize and the Ohioana Readers’ Choice Award*Goodreads Choice Award nominee for “Best Fiction” and “Best Debut”“A wonderfully original, profoundly unsettling, deeply moving novel that delivers both the shock of fully realized reality and the deep resonance of parable…A remarkable debut.” —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain“A haunting Appalachian Gothic novel that calls into question the nature of good and evil.” —Akron Beacon JournalFielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 3586 ratings. See 949 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CJvVh9.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2Cd7SWU.

A sci-fi book recommendation: The Summer That Melted Everything: A Novel by Tiffany McDaniel

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CJvm71.
A startlingly rich imagination shouts its glorious arrival in this overwhelming narrative of sin, redemption, love and death.
Book description from Google Books:
The devil comes to Ohio in Tiffany McDaniel’s breathtaking and heartbreaking literary debut novel, The Summer That Melted Everything.*Winner of The Guardian’s 2016 “Not the Booker” Prize and the Ohioana Readers’ Choice Award*Goodreads Choice Award nominee for “Best Fiction” and “Best Debut”“A wonderfully original, profoundly unsettling, deeply moving novel that delivers both the shock of fully realized reality and the deep resonance of parable…A remarkable debut.” —Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain“A haunting Appalachian Gothic novel that calls into question the nature of good and evil.” —Akron Beacon JournalFielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperature as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him. As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be. While the Bliss family wrestle with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 3578 ratings. See 946 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CJvVh9.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2Cd7SWU.

A sci-fi book recommendation: Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CsVjHG.
These stories capture the complexity of women who have both strong passions and huge problems – the most fertile ingredients for exciting fiction.
Book description from Google Books:
From headless schoolgirls, to talking food and threesomes, pretty much anything can happen in these witty, weird and wonderful short stories by Leone Ross. Ranging from flash fiction to intense psychological drama, magical realism, horror and erotica, these strange, clever, frank and sometimes very funny stories have a serious side too. Carefully crafted over 15 years, they explore unbounded sexualities, a vision of the fluidity of the person, and politics – from the deaths of black people at the hands of the police, to the deep shifts that signal the subtle changes in the nature of capitalism and much more. These stories may sometimes tickle, sometimes shock; but will always engage both the intellect and the heart.
The book is rated 4.36/5 at goodreads.com, from 25 ratings. See 8 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DC8FkC.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DzLs2e.

A sci-fi book recommendation: When the English Fall: A Novel by David Williams

A critic review (source Star Tribune) can be read at: http://strib.mn/2Dg1xdi.
I never realized I wanted a postapocalyptic Amish novel, but the premise is so perfect I can’t believe that it’s never been done before — or that someone did it so well on the first try.
Book description from Google Books:
A riveting and unexpected novel that questions whether a peaceful and non- violent community can survive when civilization falls apart. Again, all are asleep, but I am not. I need sleep, but though I read and I pray, I feel too awake. My mind paces the floor. There are shots now and again, bursts here and there, far away, and I cannot sleep. I think of this man in his hunger, shot like a rabbit raiding a garden. For what, Lord? For stealing corn intended for pigs and cattle, like the hungry prodigal helpless in a strange land. I can hear his voice. When a catastrophic solar storm brings about the collapse of modern civilization, an Amish community is caught up in the devastating aftermath. With their stocked larders and stores of supplies, the Amish are unaffected at first. But as the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) in the cities become increasingly desperate, they begin to invade nearby farms, taking whatever they want and unleashing unthinkable violence on the gentle communities. Written as the diary of an Amish farmer named Jacob who tries to protect his family and his way of life, When the English Fall examines the idea of peace in the face of deadly chaos. Should members of a nonviolent society defy their beliefs and take up arms to defend themselves? And if they do, can they survive? David Williams’s debut novel is a thoroughly engrossing look into the closed world of the Amish, as well as a thought-provoking examination of how we live today and what remains if the center cannot hold.
The book is rated 3.74/5 at goodreads.com, from 1465 ratings. See 351 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2C9IB0G.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2C6ODip.

A sci-fi book recommendation: A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Djo9tr.
Heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure, it’s a love letter to a garden and a paean to all kinds of imperfect love.
Book description from Google Books:
After the sudden death of his wife, Audrey, Jonah sits on a bench in Kew Gardens, trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of his life. Chloe, shaven-headed and abrasive, finds solace in the origami she meticulously folds. But when she meets Jonah, her carefully constructed defences threaten to fall. Milly, a child quick to laugh, freely roams Kew, finding beauty everywhere she goes. But where is her mother and where does she go when the gardens are closed? Harry’s purpose is to save plants from extinction. Quiet and enigmatic, he longs for something- or someone- who will root him more firmly to the earth. Audrey links these strangers together. As the mystery of her death unravels, the characters journey through the seasons to learn that stories, like paper, can be refolded and reformed.
The book is rated 4.06/5 at goodreads.com, from 143 ratings. See 43 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2C8RVBG.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CbT6QX.