Foreword Reviews

The November/December 2017 issue of Foreword Reviews is on newsstands now!

A note from Foreword Reviews Managing Editor, Michelle Schingler:

Our striking cover image for the November/December issue—Kinky Friedman, in all of his Jewish cowboy, badass glory, squinting and puffing cigar smoke out in a slow curl—coincides perfectly with many of the books that we loved most in the issue. Some truisms are true: judge this content by its cover.

The books reviewed and starred this issue are a surprising, boundary-breaking, genre-bending group—the sort of books that, we dare guess, the great poets themselves would fall into admiration of. Kinky Friedman can count Bob Dylan among his most enthusiastic fans; these titles, well, we suspect they’ll give other writers something to second-hand boast over, too.

Both Djinn City, by Saad Z. Hossain (The Unnamed Press), and The Emerald Circus from Jane Yolen (Tachyon Publications) earned distinction for the way they took fantasy parameters and did them one better, pushing both classic fairy tales and familiar mythological beings in fantastic, sometimes hilarious, and always captivating directions. Iron Circus’s new graphic novel, Rice Boy, which plays on both aliens and robots, went to unexpected places, too, with attention-grabbing artwork guiding the way through its unfamiliar landscapes.

The Greatest Comeback is a biography of a soccer giant—but also so much more than an account of a sports hero, as its subject defied rising anti-Semitism, survived the concentration camps, and still fought on with determination. His is a tale too suited to our times. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s March 1917 might trick your expectations at first glance, too; not just a straightforward history of a tumultuous time, it captures the complex humanity of revolutionary periods, the stories and substories that wind their way into, and inform, the greater narrative.

If you’ve been kept up at nights with the question of what fascism looks like when it’s not defeated, Julie Mayhew’s alternative historical novel The Big Lie may offer a resting place. Its teenage heroines live in a now wherein Hitler won, and they have to navigate cultures dictated by his vision. It’s a chilling picture of how easily our stories can go awry. On more hopeful fronts, Timber Press’s Saving Tarboo Creek takes ecological aim in poetic, personal direction. Our reviewer, Anna Gooding-Call, said of it, “If any book were to woo humanity back to the forest through sheer, earnest charm, it would be this one.” Can any of us resist that sort of seduction?

And beyond these already beloved titles lie so many more great stories, just waiting for their singular attributes to be recognized, identified with, and enjoyed. Some will be a source of inspiration, some will be a place to rest in stormy times. What’s true of all of these titles, though, is this: they’re certain to surprise you. Click here to buy the current issue or subscribe!