When we try to imagine the world after an apocalypse, we often end up thinking of a particular era from history. It's not surprising — because the end of the world as we know it often means we'll lose a lot of the fruits of progress. People often talk about bombing someone "back to the Stone Age," for example.
Blogger Paul Kincaid compares three of this year's five Hugo finalists, and discovers a theme: They're all about the decline of the United States of America. What causes the U.S. to fall from power in these books? Spoilers ahead.
Whether you want a fun beach read or a sweeping philosophical epic, June's books have you covered. You can encounter witches in Toronto and killer courtesans, or you can delve into America's dismal future, or Alastair Reynolds' eon-spanning colonization saga.
Peak oil has left the world a churchy, early-industrial shambles in Robert Charles Wilson's new novel Julian Comstock. An engaging cross between post-apocalyptic series Jericho and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, it may be the best science fiction novel of the year so far.