Here’s this week’s new releases in fantasy, scifi, and horror. Click on the titles to see the covers!
Released Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson
In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the State’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the head of State security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground. When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen. With shades of Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, and The Thousand and One Nights, Alif the Unseen is a tour de force debut—a sophisticated melting pot of ideas, philosophy, religion, technology and spirituality smuggled inside an irresistible page-turner.
Steven Erikson has carved a name for himself among the pantheon of great fantasy writers. But his masterful storytelling and prose style go beyond the awe-inspiring Malazan world. In The Devil Delivered and Other Tales, Erikson tells three different, but captivating stories:
“The Devil Delivered” tells a story set within the near future, where the land owned by the great Lakota Nation blisters beneath an ozone hole the size of the Great Plains. As the natural world falls victim to its wrath, and scientists scramble to understand it, a lone anthropologist wanders the deadlands, recording observations that threaten to bring the entire world to its knees.
“Revolvo” takes place in an alternate Earth where evolution took an interesting turn and the arts scene is ruled by technocrats who thrive in a secret, nepotistic society of granting agencies, bursaries, and peer-review boards, all designed to permit self-proclaimed artists to survive without an audience.
“Fishin’ with Grandma Matchie” is told in the voice a nine-year-old boy, writing the story of his summer vacation. What starts as a typical recount of a trip to see Grandma quickly becomes a stunning fantastical journey into imagination and perception in the wild world that Grandma Matchie inhabits.
Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence.
Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.”
Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.
Forged in Fire, by J. A. Pitts
Sarah Jane Beauhall, the blacksmith turned dragon slayer, has it all figured out—little things like dealing with the political intrigue of dragons who secretly run our world, and learning to wield the magic that she has been given by none other than Odin, who has been fighting the dragons for millennia. And then there is the matter of coming to terms with who she is…and how to build a life with her partner, Katie.
All these things are forced into the background however when a magic-wielding serial killer starts prowling the Pacific Northwest. And all of his victims have ties to Sarah. Sarah must unravel the web she finds closing around her as a powerful necromancer and a crazed blood cult known as the Dragon Liberation Front work to tear apart everything she holds dear.
Forged in Fire is the third volume in J. A.Pitts’s compelling urban fantasy series.
The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The possibilities are endless. (Just be careful what you wish for. . . .)
1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man’s-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone?
2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive—some say mad, others allege dangerous—scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and . . . a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever.
The first novel in an exciting new collaboration between Discworld creator Terry Pratchett and the acclaimed SF writer Stephen Baxter, The Long Earth transports readers to the ends of the earth—and far beyond. All it takes is a single step. . . .
Terminal Point: A Strykers Syndicate Novel, by K. M. Ruiz
Blade Runner meets X-Men in this follow-up to Mind Storm where humanity faces extinction and it’s up to a group of rogue psions to save society
Fans of Charles Stross and Hannu Rajaniemi will lose themselves in this adventure as Threnody Corwin and her team of rogue Strykers contend with the aftermath of the events in Mind Storm and the unlocking of a new kind of psion power. They’re on the run with Lucas Serca, who is closer than ever to destroying the World Court and his father’s grip on the planet. Targeting the hidden cache of the planet’s food supply meant to transform Mars into a paradise for the chosen few, Lucas triggers an escalating fight with the ruling government as worldwide chaos ensues. It’s up to Threnody to save society before it destroys itself, but the cost is high and in the end, there is no such thing as compromise.
There is only survival.
Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire from A Game of Thrones to A Dance With Dragons, edited by James Lowder
Foreword by New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore
Go beyond the Wall and across the narrow sea with this collection about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, from A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons.
The epic game of thrones chronicled in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. In Beyond the Wall, bestselling authors and acclaimed critics offer up thought-provoking essays and compelling insights:
Daniel Abraham reveals the unique challenges of adapting the original books into graphic novels. Westeros.org founders Linda Antonsson and Elio M. García, Jr., explore the series’ complex heroes and villains, and their roots in the Romantic movement. Wild Cards contributor Caroline Spector delves into the books’ controversial depictions of power and gender.
Plus much more, from military science fiction writer Myke Cole on the way Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder shapes many of the leading characters to author and television writer Ned Vizzini on the biases against genre fiction that color critical reactions to the series.
R.A. Salvatore (foreword)
Elio M. García, Jr.
John Jos. Miller
Andrew Zimmerman Jones
Kylah is the granddaughter of two Celtic goddesses, but due to a tragedy Kylah’s memories were taken to protect her. She has no idea who she really is, but soon she will find out…soon she will have to confront her past in order to save her future.
Survivors (The Morningstar Strain), by Z. A. Recht
The long-awaited finale of Z.A. Recht’s “action-packed zombie extravaganza” (Ryan C. Thomas) that began with the acclaimed novels Plague of the Dead and Thunder and Ashes. . . .THE MORNINGSTAR STRAIN WAS THE END OF THE WORLD.
In the wake of the zombie apocalypse, two separate bands of survivors journey across a decimated America, each with the desperate goal of finding the cure for the virulent plague that threatens the existence of humankind—or what’s left of it. Now it’s up to these inheritors of the future to outlive their waking nightmare, any way they can.
BUT FOR THESE SURVIVORS, IT IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
One group includes a brilliant virologist; for the other, an immune soldier proves invaluable. Battling infected and marauding raiders at every turn, the teams soon uncover the devious plans of Sawyer, an agent of the Chairman of the Reunited States of America, who believes that Dr. Anna Demilio already has the cure, and he will stop at nothing to find her. Now, with the salvation of the world and their own souls on the line, how far will the survivors go to emerge victorious?
The Vampire Narcise (Regency Draculia), by Colleen Gleason
Skilled in the seduction of men, both mortal and immortal, Narcise Moldavi is the greatest weapon in her twisted brother’s war among the Dracule. Until she falls for Giordan Cale.
Her first searing encounter with Giordan seals their fierce connection. But Giordan’s vow to help Narcise escape her brother’s rule is followed by a betrayal more agonizing than sunlight.
Wounded but determined, Narcise ensnares vampire hunter Chas Woodmore in her quest for revenge and to reclaim her life. He wants her, worships her, will kill for her. And the Dracule never forget a wrong—nor do they forgive.
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2012, by Kelley Armstrong, Stephen King, et al.
Take a journey into darkness. Visit places where one might expect to find the dark – in a house where love was shared and lost, a milky-white pool in an Australian cave, the trenches of World War I, the deep woods. You would not be surprised to find the dark in a cheap apartment on the wrong side of town, down mean streets, under a gallows-tree, along dank passageways, trapped underground, in the near future, or among the mysteries of old New Orleans. Dunes, lakes, isolated cabins, old books, and Old West saloons – well, the darkness might easily be there. But we’ve also found locales you thought were safe from shadows – a rib joint with good blues playing, inside an old wardrobe, on a baseball diamond, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel… Travel into the best dark fantasy and horror from 2011 with more than five-hundred pages of tales from some of today’s best-known writers of the fantastique as well as new talents – stories that will take you to a diverse assortment of dark places.
Blood Moon (Drake Chronicles), by Alyxandra Harvey
When the vampire tribes convene for the rare Blood Moon ceremonies, Solange Drake’s struggle with her feral nature, a mysterious stranger, family secrets, and forbidden magic put her entire family in danger. And when Nicholas Drake is torn between saving his little sister, Solange, or his girlfriend Lucy, who will he choose?
In a modern world—where witches are hunted down and burned at the stake—two live interact. Cleo is from a family of witches, and is desperate to develop the ‘Fae’ and become a witch herself. Lucas is the son of the Chief Prosecutor for the Inquisition and his privileged life is very different from the witches he is being trained to prosecute. And then one day, both Cleo and Lucas develop the Fae. In one fell stroke, their lives are inextricably bound together, whether they like it or not.
The Legacy of Tril: Soulbound, by Heather Brewer
A brand-new fantasy with a kick-butt heroine from the author of The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod
Tril is a world where Barrons and Healers are Bound to each other: Barrons fight and Healers cure their Barrons’ wounds in the ongoing war with the evil Graplar King. Seventeen-year-old Kaya was born a Healer, but she wants to fight. In Tril, and at Shadow Academy, where she is sent to learn to heal, it is against Protocol for Healers to fight. So Kaya must learn in secret. Enter two young men: One charming, rule-following Barron who becomes Bound to Kaya and whose life she must protect at all costs. And one with a mysterious past who seems bent on making Kaya’s life as difficult as possible. Kaya asks both to train her, but only one will, and the consequences will change their lives forever.
Heather Brewer has created a thrilling, action-packed, and romantic first installment of the Legacy of Tril series, where one strong heroine must break the rules to claim her destiny and her heart.
This is Not a Test, by Courtney Summers
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?
All descriptions from Amazon.