Jonathan’s Most Anticipated Reissues for 2023
Another year, another Most Anticipated Reissues list!
Yes, as the clocks strike for yet another year and we get all excited about the many wonderful new books coming out, it’s also time to get excited about the older books being brought back into print. Once again we have some fantastic titles to look forward to.
Starting with the old faithful Gollancz SF Masterworks series, 2023 looks like being another quiet year, but I am excited to see that Roger Zelazny’s Roadmarks will be joining the Masterworks ranks in January. Zelanzy’s short stories will also be inducted into the series via a Best of in April. Zelazny is a wonderful writer, and it’s good to see some of his more obscure work coming back into print, especially his short fiction. The Masterworks’ more modern sister series, Tor Essentials, is also having a quiet year, but they are doing a nice edition of Nisi Shawl’s superlative afrofuturist alternate history Everfair in June, which is exactly the kind of groundbreaking and important work that should be celebrated. Also coming out from the Essentials series is Knight’s Wyrd by Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald in August, which I am excited about because I have never heard of the book or its authors before.
In other news, my favourite small presses continue to do excellent work. Handheld Press are continuing to bring to light excellent and overlooked material. In January, they will be reissuing Sylvia Townsend Warner’s biography of T. H. White, the author of The Once And Future King, which is essential reading for fans of either authors’ work. March will see them release a collection of Algernon Blackwood’s short fiction, entitled The Unknown. Blackwood is one of the key authors of British weird fiction, and it’s always good to see more of his work in print. Wakefield Press’ reissue of Jean Ray’s The City of Unspeakable Fear did not materialise last year, but should be out in June this year, and I am still ridiculously excited to read it so it can go on my list again this year.
I absolutely loved Rachel Ingall’s bizarre fish-person romance novella Mrs Caliban, which Faber Editions reissued in 2021. So I was very excited to hear that Faber & Faber will be publishing No Love Lost: The Selected Novellas by Rachel Ingalls in April. It’s wonderful that we will have the opportunity to read more of Ingalls’ work, and if it matches the combination of the weird, the mundane and the transcendent found in Mrs Caliban then we are in for a treat. New Directions Publishing will be reissuing Rachel Ingalls’ In The Act in July, so it will be quite the year for enthusiasts of Ingalls’ work. New Directions Publishing are a new name for me, but they are also putting out a new edition of Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s Kappa in June, a wonderfully bizarre work that deserves more readers, so they will be worth keeping an eye on.
2023 will be a thoroughly exciting year for classic works of speculative fiction being translated into English as well. In 2021, Verso Fiction put out Terminal Boredom, an excellent introduction to the bizarre and haunting speculative fiction of Izumi Suzuki. At the time I lamented that, although it was excellent, it only contained seven stories cut down from its much longer Japanese original counterpart. It seems Verso have been listening to my pleas, as in April they will be releasing Hit Parade of Tears, which brings us 11 more of Suzuki’s mesmerising and original speculative fiction. Chicago Review Press will be bringing us the central texts in Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s Noon series, The Beetle In The Ant Hill and The Waves Extinguish The Wind, in April. The Strugatsky brothers’ seminal space opera series has been unavailable in English for many years, so this is hugely exciting news that finally we will be able to enjoy this key work by Russian SF’s greatest voices.
And finally, the Library of America will be issuing an omnibus of Joanna Russ’ essential and groundbreaking feminist SF in October. It’s wonderful to see queer SF icon Russ receiving the literary accolade of inclusion in the Library of America, and the omnibus will collect Russ’ classic SF novels The Female Man and We Who Are About To.., as well as bringing her final novel On Strike Against God, her classic sword and sorcery Alyx stories, and her other short stories back into print.
All in all another exciting year of old work coming back into circulation!