cover image Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction

Lake of Souls: The Collected Short Fiction

Ann Leckie. Orbit, $30 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-55357-5

Hugo and Nebula Award winner Leckie (Translation State) collects 18 stories for a stunning showcase of her talents. Leckie plays with tone—from dark political intrigue in the sci-fi “Another Word for World,” to the Burroughs-esque “Hesperia and Glory” and the rollicking Wodehousian “Saving Bacon”—but in every borrowed style (and in the style that is deeply her own), the detailed worlds, intelligent plotting, and clear-eyed compassion make these stories standout. Some illuminate new corners of established worlds: fans of The Raven Tower will especially enjoy the entries that follow some of that universe’s thousand gods, from the tiny skink god trying to fool the powerful Nalendar river into giving up its treasure (“The Nalendar”) to the outlaw sea captain who makes a deal with the covetous, ambitious deity of Au (“The God of Au”). Keen readers of the Imperial Radch books will likewise be delighted by Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the stories that tie into those novels, particularly “She Commands Me and I Obey,” about a sacred ballgame that decides a regional government. Leckie’s fans will treasure this. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Co. (Apr.)