Friday, June 11, 2010

3rd Quarter 2010 Previews

Over at the website NJOE.com, I do a weekly Friday column called A Galaxy Not So Far Away - which is now going to be reposted here at F&SF Lovin' as well. In this column I mostly do reviews of non-Star Wars books from former or current Star Wars authors, as well as other media tie-in books (TV, movies, videogames) and even branching out into general Sci-Fi or Fantasy releases that might be of interest to readers looking to branch out. I also do a quarterly preview of the books coming out that might get covered by the column, and it's with that which I start here...
with gaming tie-ins, which is a nice way to move into both science fiction and fantasy genres. First up is a look at Karen Traviss’ upcoming Gears of War book, Anvil Gate – the third book in this series. Traviss has recently announced that she’s both writing Gears of War 3 the game, as well as penning new novels in the series as well. Below is the blurb for Anvil Gate, coming out August 31st. With the Locust Horde apparently destroyed, Jacinto's survivors have begun to rebuild human society on their island stronghold. Raiding pirate gangs take a toll - but it's nothing that Marcus Fenix and the Gears can't handle. Then the terrifying life-forms they thought they'd left behind - the Lambent, creatures even the Locust feared - begin to advance across the planet. Gears and gangs must fight side by side to stop their deadliest enemy yet, falling back on the savage tactics of another bloody siege: Anvil Gate. Another series that Traviss has contributed to is Halo, and there was news recently that the original trilogy of novels will be re-released in special editions with new material – the first of which is Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric S. Nylund coming August 3rd. More reissues with new material from the Halo series are to come later this year. Last month I gave you a look at the blurb for Alex Irvine’s Transformers: Exodus novel – now with this book’s imminent release on June 22nd, the cover has been revealed. I’m already reading this book, and you can expect a review of it soon – but here are a few choice excerpts from the press release (as revealed by Graeme at his blog) to give you a feel for the story: Telling one of the most important stories in the TRANSFORMERS canon, this novel explores and expands upon the origins of the supervillain MEGATRON, leader of the evil DECEPTICONS, and the rise of OPTIMUS PRIME to leadership of the heroic AUTOBOTS. …TRANSFORMERS: EXODUS takes fans deep into the secret lore of the TRANSFORMERS universe, charting the creation of the DECEPTICONS and the AUTOBOTS—and chronicling the civil war that divided them. At the center of this thrilling history are OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON, the ultimate hero and the ultimate villain, whose destinies are entwined with that of their home planet, CYBERTRON. …this is a canonical TRANSFORMERS tale that also relates to, and expands on, the story being told in the upcoming video game, TRANSFORMERS: War for Cybertron, from Activision. Also at Graeme’s blog, he had given a look at the press release for the July 20th novel in the Dead Space series, called Martyr by B.K. Evenson. I found the cover blurb at Amazon, which sets the tone I’d expect in the book: We have seen the future. A universe cursed with life after death. It all started deep beneath the Yucatan peninsula, where an archaeological discovery took us into a new age, bringing us face-to-face with our origins and destiny. Michael Altman had a theory no one would hear. It cursed our world for centuries to come. This, at last, is his story. Moving over to Mass Effect, Drew Karpyshyn’s next novel in that series, Retribution, is coming out July 27th, and a blurb has shown up for that as well: Humanity has reached the stars, joining the vast galactic community of alien species. But beyond the fringes of explored space lurk the Reapers, a race of sentient starships bent on “harvesting” the galaxy’s organic species for their own dark purpose. The Illusive Man, leader of the pro-human black ops group Cerberus, is one of the few who know the truth about the Reapers. To ensure humanity’s survival, he launches a desperate plan to uncover the enemy’s strengths—and weaknesses—by studying someone implanted with modified Reaper technology. He knows the perfect subject for his horrific experiments: former Cerberus operative Paul Grayson, who wrested his daughter from the cabal’s control with the help of Ascension project director Kahlee Sanders. But when Kahlee learns that Grayson is missing, she turns to the only person she can trust: Alliance war hero Captain David Anderson. Together they set out to find the secret Cerberus facility where Grayson is being held. But they aren’t the only ones after him. And time is running out. As the experiments continue, the sinister Reaper technology twists Grayson’s mind. The insidious whispers grow ever stronger in his head, threatening to take over his very identity and unleash the Reapers on an unsuspecting galaxy. Drew is also writing a fantasy book called Children of Fire, which has not yet been sold to a publisher (though he hopes for publication sometime mid-2011). Speaking of upcoming novels, I’ve shown the cover for Deep State (the sequel to Walter Jon Williams’ This is Not A Game) before, but now Orbit has released the description for this Feb 2011 book as well: Dagmar Shaw is back at it again. She is the Puppetmaster and this time thousands of gamers are dancing on her strings. But when the game she is running in Turkey comes into conflict with the new, brutal regime, she realizes that games have consequences. When an old friend approaches Dagmar with a project so insane, so ambitious, she can’t possibly say no, she is plunged into a world of spies and soldiers. Dagmar is a Puppetmaster, but when the bullets are real and her ‘puppets’ start dying, is any cause worth it? A nation hangs in the balance and in a world of intrigue and betrayal, Dagmar needs to figure out just what part she plays. Already out from Walter Jon Willams is his new collection, The Green Leopard Plague, described by the author thus: Contained in the volume are two stories that actually won Nebula Awards, as well as other stories that were nominated for Nebulas, Hugos, and/or Sidewises, but due to some horrid cosmic accident did not actually win. Plus there's an introduction by Charles Stross and afterwards to the stories by my ownself, which contain fascinating insights into my Art, Life, and Character. According to Amazon, a new World of Warcraft novel from Christie Golden, called The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm is due to come out on August 31st, but so far there’s no cover nor description available. Another World of Warcraft book, Chronicles of War, which sounds like it might be a short story collection is due out December 7th, featuring Christie Golden and Jeff Grubb among others. For those looking to get a feel for Jeff Grub’s writing in advance of his 2011 Star Wars novel, he also has a Guild Wars novel coming out this July 27th, called Ghosts of Ascalon. 250 years ago, Ascalon burned . . . Desperate to defend his land from advancing hordes of bestial charr, King Adelbern summoned the all-powerful Foefire to repel the invaders. But magic can be a double-edged sword—the Foefire burned both charr and human alike. While the charr corpses smoldered, the slain Ascalonians arose again, transformed by their king’s rage into ghostly protectors and charged with guarding the realm . . . forever. The once mighty kingdom became a haunted shadow of its former glory. Centuries later, the descendants of Ascalon, exiled to the nation of Kryta, are besieged on all sides. To save humankind, Queen Jennah seeks to negotiate a treaty with the hated charr. But one obstacle remains. The charr legions won’t sign the truce until their most prized possession, the Claw of the Khan-Ur,is returned from the ruins of fallen Ascalon. Now a mismatched band of adventurers, each plagued by ghosts of their own, sets forth into a haunted, war-torn land to retrieve the Claw. Without the artifact, there is no hope for peace between human and charr—but the undead king who rules Ascalon won’t give it up easily, and not everyone wants peace! With Pathfinder launching there new line of tie-in books, Elaine Cunningham’s September15th release, Winter Witch, has gotten a new cover and an official blurb: In a village of the frozen north, a child is born possessed by a strange and alien spirit, only to be cast out by her tribe and taken in by the mysterious winter witches of Irrisen, a land locked in permanent magical winter. Farther south, a young mapmaker with a penchant for forgery discovers that his sham treasure maps have begun striking gold. This is the story of Ellasif, a barbarian shield maiden who will stop at nothing to recover her missing sister, and Decclan, the ne’er-do-well young spellcaster-turned-forger who wants only to prove himself to the woman he loves. Together they’ll face monsters, magic, and the fury of Ellasif’s own cold-hearted warriors in their quest to rescue the lost child. Yet when they finally reach the ice-walled city of Whitethrone, where trolls hold court and wolves roam the streets as men, will it be too late to save the girl from the forces of darkness? Most well known for his work with Wizards of the Coast, R.A. Salvatore also has the conclusion to the Saga of the First King series coming out August 17th called The Bear: The war of Honce drags on, and the roads and seas are littered with bodies. To everyone’s stunned disbelief, Yeslnik the Fool has tipped the war’s scales in his favor. The reign of the newly self-appointed King Yeslnik is already distinguished as the most bloody and merciless in Honce history. Trapped, Dame Gwydre and Father Artolivan concoct a desperate plot to join forces with Laird Ethelbert, the lesser of two vicious evils. But Ethelbert’s paid assassins slew Jameston Sequin and nearly did the same to Bransen. Embittered by it all, Bransen seeks to extricate himself from the selfish goals of all of combatants. But in an odd twist of fate and crossed loyalties, Bransen sees in his old nemesis, Bannagran--the Bear of Honce and the man who slew his adoptive father - a darker image of his own heart. Allies and battle lines become tangled, motives indistinguishable as old friends become enemies and old enemies become allies. Karen Miller, also known as K.E. Mills, has two books coming out this Quarter, The Reluctant Mage (July 28th) and Wizard Squared (June 29th), both of which I’ve covered previously in this column. With the release of Kevin Anderson’s next Terra Incognita novel, The Map of All Things on June 21st, there’s an excerpt available online from book 1, The Edge of the World, a promo video for the new book, a wallpaper of the cover from the publisher, and an interview with the author. And because it's from Alex Ross (and it was one of my favorite reads last year), here's the cover for the MMP release of Anderson's Enemies and Allies, coming out on September 28th. In a previous column I had talked about Joe Schreiber’s Supernatural novel and Timothy Zahn’s Terminator book – well, an excerpt from the already released The Unholy Cause is now available, and Trial by Fire is finally coming out July 27th. Along those same lines, Wizards of the Coast has released an Omnibus featuring the entire Forgotten Realms Erevis Cale trilogy as well as two short stories featuring the character. The Erevis books have also been made available as e-books, for those who prefer to read that way. Paul Kemp has also released his own short fiction anthology via Kindle, which you can check out more information on here. In similar news, Zapptek Legends is bringing stories to iphone/ipod touch including Aaron Allson and Mike Stackpole, which you can read more about here. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has had an e-book release as well, The Paparazzi of Dreams. A bunch of her stories are also available for free online such as Hollywood Ending, What the Monster Saw, Dark Man (part 1, part 2) from the anthology Is There Anybody Out There? Speaking of anthologies, a fun sounding one reprinting the early work of many names in Science Fiction and Fantasy called Before They Were Giants is coming out September 21st, collecting the first published stories of 15 of science fiction and fantasy's most important authors providing brand-new retrospective critiques and interviews discussing the stories' geneses, how publication affected their lives, and what they know now about writing that they wish they'd known then, including the following contributions: Piers Anthony: "Possible to Rue" Greg Bear: "Destroyers" Ben Bova: "A Long Way Back" David Brin: "Just a Hint" Cory Doctorow: "Craphound" William Gibson: "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" Nicola Griffith: "Mirrors and Burnstone" Joe Haldeman: "Out of Phase" China MiĆ©ville: "Highway 61 Revisited" Larry Niven: "The Coldest Place" Kim Stanley Robinson: "In Pierson’s Orchestra" Spider Robinson: "The Guy with the Eyes" R. A. Salvatore: "A Sparkle for Homer" Charles Stross: "The Boys" Michael Swanwick: "Ginungagap" Finally, some Warhammer 40K 3Q releases that are on my radar – release dates, blurbs, and covers: Enforcer by Matt Farrer (July 6) excerpt: Enforcer Shira Calpurnia maintains a tough line on law and order in the Hydraphur system. Home to Imperial warfleets, this area of space is riven with violence and corruption. Calpurnia's duty is to protect the innocent and punish the guilty - with extreme prejudice. This omnibus collects the novels Crossfire, Legacy and Blind as well as new content from Matt Farrer.
Nemesis by James Swallow (July 27) excerpt: After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor's Palace, powerful figures convene.Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it's even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor. Throne of Lies (audiobook) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden The Night Lords are among the most feared Chaos Space Marines in the universe.They prey on their victims from the shadows, stalking the faithful of the FalseImperium in their ultimate quest to destroy the Emperor. The warband of the Exalted, travelling aboard The Covenant of Blood, are recovering from the events at Crythe Primus. But their dark crusade against the loyal Imperial forces continues, and they will leave a trail of blood and terror behind them. Fear the Alien edited by Christian Dunn (August 31) - including a story by NJOE.com member James Gilmer (patchworkz7): The Imperium of Man has many enemies among the stars, but none are reviled so much as the alien. Dangerous races seek to destroy humanity wherever they turn –the brutish orks, the ravening hordes of the tyranid, the unrelenting necrons and the mysterious forces of the tau and the eldar. Across the universe, humanity and their defenders, the Space Marines, seek to eradicate these xenos threats. Yet all they can hope for is another day of survival – for to stand against the alien is to enter an unending war... Featuring stories by Dan Abnett, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Nick Kyme, Juliet McKenna, C.L. Werner and many more, Fear the Alien is an unmissable collection for fans of Warhammer 40,000 and military science fiction. The Hunt for Voldorius by Andy Hoare (Sept 7) Captain Kor'sarro Khan of the White Scars is petitioned by his Chapter Master to hunt down and destroy the daemon prince Voldorius, a warleader of the renegade Alpha Legion, thus ending his reign of terror across the stars. Hunting the beast doggedly for over a decade, Kor'sarro finally brings Voldorius to battle on Quintus, a world that has totally given itself over to the Alpha Legion. Together with their Raven Guard allies, the White Scars must fight an entire planet if they are to slay the daemon prince.

3 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Some awesome looking works. I'll definitely have to get that Planet stories collection.

Wilson said...

Woah. Definitely want to get some of these books :D

Looking forward to more of these posts :)

Jim Haley said...

Thanks guys. You may already know this, but each month a few other websites do a nice summary of upcoming books - and I always check those out. Walker of Worlds covers mostly sci-fi releases, SciFi Guy covers mostly urban fantasy, and Fantasy Book Critic covers mostly fantasy releases - though there is some crossover in each. All those sites are linked on the side-bar of this site, and they all post their monthly releases right around the first of each month.