Monday, June 29, 2009
One of my favorite things to do is browse the shelves of the bookstore looking for new books. One of my second favorite things to do is to browse online for new titles. Here is a list of brand new and upcoming scifi/fantasy releases-- many of which I am very excited about-- in no particular order. Age of Misrule: Darkest Hour by Mark Chadbourn, Pyr, June 23, 2009 The eternal conflict between the Light and Dark once again blackens the skies and blights the land. On one side stand the Tuatha de Danaan, golden-skinned and beautiful, filled with all the might of angels. On the other are the Fomorii, monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying all human existence. And in the middle are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, determined to use the strange power that binds them to the land in a last, desperate attempt to save the human race. Church, Ruth, Ryan, Laura and Shavi have joined forces with Tom, a hero from the mists of time, to wage a guerrilla war against the iron rule of the gods. But they didn't count on things going from bad to worse ...this is the stunning continuation of a powerful fantasy saga by one of Britain's most acclaimed young writers. Age of Misrule: Always Forever by Mark Chadbourn, Pyr, July 28, 2009 The eternal conflict between the Light and Dark once again blackens the skies and blights the land. On one side stand the Tuatha de Danaan, golden-skinned and beautiful, filled with all the might of angels. On the other are the Fomorii, monstrous devils hell-bent on destroying all human existence. And in the middle are the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, determined to use the strange power that binds them to the land in a last, desperate attempt to save the human race. Church, Ruth, Ryan, Laura and Shavi have joined forces with Tom, a hero from the mists of time, to wage a guerrilla war against the iron rule of the gods. This is the stunning conclusion of a powerful fantasy saga by one of Britain's most acclaimed young writers. Desolation Road by Ian McDonald and Stephan Martiniere, Pyr, July 28, 2009 It all began thirty years ago on Mars, with a greenperson. But by the time it all finished, the town of Desolation Road had experienced every conceivable abnormality from Adam Black's Wonderful Travelling Chautauqua and Educational ‘Stravaganza (complete with its very own captive angel) to the Gallacelli brothers, identical triplets who fell in love with—and married—the same woman. This early novel by Ian McDonald was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Eos, July 21, 2009 Supernatural fantasy has a new antihero. Life sucks, and then you die. Or, if you're James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles. Now Stark's back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you'd expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future. Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse. Darkly twisted, irreverent, and completely hilarious, Sandman Slim is the breakthrough novel by an acclaimed author. City of Souls by Vicki Pettersson, Eos, June 30, 2009 In Sin City, a little girl suffers from a strange and terrible malady. If she dies, the Light will die along with her. Warrior, avenger, Joanna Archer has survived countless otherworldly terrors—and has found her rightful place among the agents battling the all-pervasive evil of Shadow . . . even as she struggles against the darkness within herself. A war is raging for Las Vegas—a city without a heart—one that catapults Joanna into a new world hidden from mortal sight. In this lethally seductive alternate dimension the lines blur between good and evil, love and hate, and here lies the last hope for the Light. But Joanna's price of admission is a piece of her own soul—and the odds of her escaping are slim . . . to none. Strange Brew, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, St. Martin's Griffin, July 7, 2009 Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic! In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband. In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother—and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected. And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers—the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer. For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection! The House of Lost Souls by F. G. Cottam, Thomas Dunne, July 7, 2009 Just weeks after four students cross the threshold of the derelict Fischer House, one of them has committed suicide and the other three are descending into madness. Nick Mason’s sister is one of them. To save her, Nick must join ranks with Paul Seaton—the only person to have visited the house and survive. But Paul is a troubled man, haunted by otherworldly visions that even now threaten his sanity. Desperate, Nick forces Paul to go back into the past, to the secret journal of beautiful photographer Pandora Gibson-Hoare and a debauched gathering in the 1920s, and to the dark legacy of Klaus Fischer—master of the unspeakable crime and demonic proceedings that have haunted the mansion for decades. Because now, the Fischer House is beckoning, and some old friends have gathered to welcome Paul back. . . . Huntress by Christine Warren, Majorie M. Liu, Caitlin Kittredge, Jenna Maclain, St. Martin's Press, June 30, 2009 It takes a real man to satisfy the powers and passions of the HUNTRESS Christine Warren “Devil’s Bargain” Supernatural bounty hunter Lilli Corbin made a pact with the Prince of Hell: She agreed to recover a book of prophecies. When she learns it could trigger the apocalypse, Lilli is forced to make the ultimate choice: save her soul, or the man she loves? Marjorie M. Liu “The Robber Bride” Welcome to a post-apocalyptic world where women are fed on for their life forces. Now it’s up to Maggie, one of the last female survivors, to hunt down and destroy an army of darkness… Caitlin Kittredge “Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go” Ava is a demon slayer who needs help from mage Jack Winter to reach the demon underworld—a place of dark seduction…and, maybe, one of no return. Jenna Maclaine “Sin Slayer” London 1889. Jack the Ripper is killing off the city’s vampire population, and now it’s up to Cin Craven to hunt him down—and save the infected Michael, the love of her undead life. Dying Bites: The Bloodhound Files by D. D. Barants, St. Martin's Press, June 30, 2009 Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day. Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA. He knows that she’s the best there in the business, and David needs her help in solving a series of gruesome murders of vampires and werewolves. David’s world—one that also includes lycanthropes and golems—is one with little knowledge of mental illness. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must now hunt down a fellow human before he brings the entire planet to the brink of madness. Or she may never see her own world again. Speak of the Devil by Jenna Black, Dell, July 28, 2009 Morgan Kingsley, America’s most successful exorcist, is paying the price for an exorcism gone wrong. The victim’s family is suing the daylights out of her, the Exorcism Board has suspended her, and now she’s living on a diet of ramen noodles and bad coffee. But Morgan has a few good men at her side. One is her current boyfriend, nice-guy legal eagle Brian, who’s suddenly starting to reveal his inner bad boy. The other is Philly cop Adam White, who’s trying to help Morgan find out who sent her a little present—a severed human hand—and why someone seems determined to destroy her. As her stalker turns more violent, leaving dead bodies in his wake, Morgan turns to the dark side of her life: a group of demons steeped in secrets, sinful eroticism, and otherworldly family feuds, including one sexy beast who shares Morgan’s body—and some X-rated fantasies. Soon Morgan must choose between her friends, her enemies, and her libido: to escape a mad demon determined to destroy her completely. The Calling by David Mack, Pocket Books, July 21, 2009 No one would guess by looking at Tom Nash that he's extraordinary, and that's just fine with him. A tall, broad-shouldered jack-of-all-trades from Sawyer, Pennsylvania, Tom has a knack for fixing things. He also hides a secret talent: he hears people's prayers. Stranger still, he answers them. Maybe it's because he's a handyman, but Tom feels compelled to fix people's problems. Which is all well and good -- until the soul-shattering plea of a terrified girl sends him on the darkest journey of his life. Heeding the call and leaving his home for New York City, Tom discovers a secret world beyond the range of mortal perception -- a world of angels and demons and those who serve them. With the guidance of a knowing stranger named Erin, Tom learns that he himself is one of The Called, born with a divine purpose and a daunting task: to help the powers of Heaven in the war against the agents of Hell, an army of fallen angels known as the Scorned. Thrust into an epic battle of the sacred and the profane, Tom Nash must find the girl who prayed for his help -- because her fate will determine whether humanity deserves to be saved, or damned for all eternity.... Wildfire by Sarah Micklem, Scribner, July 7, 2009 Sire Galan has forbidden his servant and lover Firethorn to follow him to war, but she disobeys. When the army of Corymb sets sail for Incus, she is aboard a ship of the fleet, gambling on Galan's welcome. But the gods are as apt to meddle with the schemes of a lowborn mudwoman as the best-laid plans of her betters. The searing touch of Wildfire leaves Firethorn shattered, haunted, estranged from herself, and set apart from others. She feels cursed, but others see her as blessed. Whores come to her for healing, and soldiers search her every utterance for hidden prophecies. Is she a charlatan or a true seer? Even Firethorn cannot answer that question. And Galan is wary of what Wildfire has made of her. Sarah Micklem brings lush prose and rich imagination to the highly anticipated second book in the trilogy that began with her acclaimed debut, Firethorn. The enthralling combination of the mythic, the historical, and the deeply human confirms Micklem's place among the great storytellers of imaginative fiction. Dragonseed by James Maxey, Solaris, June 30, 2009 After the death ok King Albekizan, Shandrazel and his allies struggle to keep the kingdom intact as the radical human prophet, Ragnar gathers forces to launch a full scale rebellion against the dragons. When all out war erupts, legendary dragon hunter, Bitterwood, must face his own personal demons and choose where his loyalty really lies. Vicious Circle by Linda Robertson, Pocket Books, June 30, 2009 Being a witch doesn't pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by between reading Tarot cards, writing her syndicated newspaper column, and kenneling werewolves in the basement when the moon is full -- even if witches aren't supposed to mingle with wolves. She really reaches the end of her leash, though, when her grandmother gets kicked out of the nursing home and Seph finds herself in the doghouse about some things she's written. Then her werewolf friend Lorrie is murdered...and the high priestess of an important coven offers Seph big money to destroy the killer, a powerful vampire named Goliath Kline. Seph is a tough girl, but this time she bites off more than she can chew. She needs a little help from her friends -- werewolf friends. One of those friends, Johnny, the motorcycle-riding lead singer for the techno-metal-Goth band Lycanthropia, has a crush on her. And while Seph has always been on edge around this 6'2" leather-clad hunk, she's starting to realize that although their attraction may be dangerous, nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them. The Light of Burning Shadows by Chris Evans, Pocket Books, July 28, 2009 Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency. The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters. Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor -- ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally -- and fearsome enemy -- in a growing conflict that threatens all? Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie, Orbit, July 29, 2009 Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. Armies march, heads roll and cities burn, while behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started... Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge. BEST SERVED COLD is the new standalone novel set in the world of Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy. Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks, Orbit, July 1, 2009 Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilization based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis, and her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her. Her journey through the exotic Golterian system is a destructive and savage odyssey into her past, and that of her family and of the system itself. Necroscope: Harry and the Pirates by Brian Lumley, Tor, July 21, 2009 Harry Keogh, the first Necroscope, is arguably Brian Lumley’s greatest creation. In the Necroscope series, readers saw Harry learn to use his powers to talk with the dead and travel instantaneously to any point in space and time. They saw him take arms against the evil, twisted, metamorphic alien vampires who sought to feed off humans and enslave mankind. They saw him suffer a great personal loss and then recover his family, and later his humanity, through a new love. And they saw Harry wage the grimmest battle of his life—against the vampire he himself was becoming! Even after Harry’s story was done, Brian Lumley continued to write books about Harry’s legacy—the other Necroscopes who inherited his weird talents. But Harry himself would not go quietly into that darkness that lies beyond an author’s imagination . . . and now Brian Lumley has written three new novellas about Harry and his supernatural adventures, which are published for the first time in the United States in Harry and the Pirates. Julian Comstock: A Story of 22nd Century America by Robert Charles Wilson, Tor, June 23, 2009 In the reign of President Deklan Comstock, a reborn United States is struggling back to prosperity. Over a century after the Efflorescence of Oil, after the Fall of the Cities, after the Plague of Infertility, after the False Tribulation, after the days of the Pious Presidents, the sixty stars and thirteen stripes wave from the plains of Athabaska to the national capital in New York City. In Colorado Springs, the Dominion sees to the nation’s spiritual needs. In Labrador, the Army wages war on the Dutch. America, unified, is rising once again. Then out of Labrador come tales of a new Ajax—Captain Commongold, the Youthful Hero of the Saguenay. The ordinary people follow his adventures in the popular press. The Army adores him. The President is…troubled. Especially when the dashing Captain turns out to be his nephew Julian, son of the falsely accused and executed Bryce. Treachery and intrigue dog Julian’s footsteps. Hairsbreadth escapes and daring rescues fill his days. Stern resolve and tender sentiment dice for Julian’s soul, while his admiration for the works of the Secular Ancients, and his adherence to the evolutionary doctrines of the heretical Darwin, set him at fatal odds with the hierarchy of the Dominion. Plague and fire swirl around the Presidential palace when at last he arrives with the acclamation of the mob. As told by Julian’s best friend and faithful companion, a rustic yet observant lad from the west, this tale of the 22nd Century asks— and answers—the age-old question: “Do you want to tell the truth, or do you want to tell a story?” Wireless by Charles Stross, Ace, July 7, 2009 The Hugo Award-winning author of such groundbreaking and innovative novels as Accelerando, Halting State, and Saturn's Children delivers a rich selection of speculative fiction— including a novella original to this volume— brought together for the first time in one collection, showcasing the limitless imagination of one of the twenty-first century's most daring visionaries. Rift in the Sky by Julie Czerneda, Daw, July 7, 2009 Third in the prequel series to the Locus bestselling Trade Pact Universe novels. Despite all good intentions, the lure of the Talent to move through space using the M’hir dimension is too much for the Om’ray of Cersi to resist. As the awareness of this talent spreads, all those Om’ray who are capable converge on the settlement at Sona. To prevent the disruption of the Agreement and the destruction that it would unleash, the M’hiray, as they now call themselves, agree to leave Cersi forever and try to establish their own haven within the Trade Pact worlds—only to learn that not everybody wants peace. Winter Duty by E. E. Knight, Roc, July 7, 2009 The tense eighth installment of Knight's Vampire Earth series (a welcome improvement over 2008's Fall with Honor) continues David Valentine's adventures in 2076 as the invading Kurian Order decides to exterminate rebellious Earthlings. The Southern Command authorizes Valentine to wage a guerrilla war with the goal of creating a Kentucky freehold. His ragtag battalion (including some controversial Quisling and alien Grog recruits) must deal first with a power plant outage that blacks out Evansville and Owensboro and then a blizzard and the Kurians' plot to unleash a ravies epidemic on the human herd. Knight keeps the conflict interesting but says too little about the inscrutable Kurians, who are like magicians, always diverting attention from the operating hand. Even readers familiar with the series would welcome a glossary and more background on the various alien races. Skinwalker by Faith Hunter, Roc, July 7, 2009 First in a brand new series from the author of the rogue mage novels. Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind—a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she’s been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps... Gamer Fantastic Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes, Daw, July 7, 2009 Let the games begin! These thirteen original stories by veterans of the fantasy realms take role-playing games and universes to a whole new level. From a teenager who finds a better future in virtual reality; to a private investigator hired to find a dying man’s grandson in the midst of a virtual reality theme park; from a person gifted with the power to pull things out of books into the real world; to a psychologist using fantasy role-playing to heal his patients; from a gaming convention where the real winners may not be who they seem to be; to a multi-layered role-playing game that leads participants from reality to reality and games within games—these imaginative and fascinating new tales will captivate both lovers of original fantasy and anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of role-playing games. Marsbound by Joe Haldeman, Ace, August 5, 2009 Hugo and Nebula–winner Haldeman infuses this yarn with his teen narrator's intelligent curiosity. Carmen Dula, part of the first human colony on Mars, looks like a typical young adult heroine: distanced from her parents, irritated by her bratty younger sibling and beset by tyrannical colony administrator Dargo Solingen. Then she accidentally discovers real Martians living in an underground city and has to convince Solingen that her story is true. When the Martians reveal a terrible threat to life on Earth, it's up to Carmen and her friends to save the day. Recalling Robert A. Heinlein's Red Planet and Podkayne of Mars, Haldeman updates the Martian setting while keeping faith in his characters' ability to respond to unexpected challenges. Conqueror by Stephen Baxter, Ace, July 28, 2009 When William of Normandy, whom history will call the Conqueror, rises to power, the fate of the land rests on actions inspired by the words found in an ancient scroll. It is known as The Prophecy, and it reveals secrets about the future. Skin Deep by Mark Del Franco, Ace, July 28, 2009 She’ll need to keep up appearances—if she wants to stay alive... Being an undercover agent has its occupational hazards, but Laura Blackstone makes it look easy. As a spy for a fey intelligence agency, she uses her magical abilities to create disguises that are skin deepglamours that must never be compromised. But when Laura’s worlds collide she’ll have more to worry about than retiring an identity; she may just lose her life. Good Ghouls Do by Julie Kenner, Ace Young Adult, July 28, 2009 As the vampire population at Waterloo High continues to grow, Beth Frasier realizes that she’s on the frontline of saving not only the school, but her hometown. And only one thing is for sure: She’s got to find the head vampire and kill him...quickly! Her only problem? With her classmates quickly turning over to the dark side, Beth doesn’t know who to trust—or kill.