Release Week: The Darwin Elevator, Kill City Blues, Nexus, Frostarc, Antidote Man, and Jay Lake’s City Imperishable

JULY 24-30, 2013: July comes to a close with: another in a long line of strong 2013 debuts, narrated by one of the best in the business; the latest Sandman Slim; a well-received late 2012 sf novel of near-future nano-drugs; an early 2013 self-published sf novel which first came to my attention for its striking cover art and is now here as well-produced self-published audiobook; an audio original; and the two novels in Jay Lake’s City Imperishable series. And! Plenty more to pick from this week as well (the latest Area 51 novel from Bob Mayer, the latest Kate Daniels book from Ilona Andrews, the latest Kitty Norville novel from Carrie Vaughn, on and on). And there’s already some serious mid-week releases (Jay Posey’s Three, read by Luke Daniels, and Emily Croy Barker’s The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic, both debuts) and plenty to come next week. Er, this week. These “Release Week” roundups keep coming plenty late, don’t they?

PICKS OF THE WEEK:

That debut is, to contrast the long string of fantasy debuts this year, a sf novel of an alien-plagued mid-23rd century Australia, The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough, Narrated By Simon Vance for Random House Audio, concurrent with the print/ebook release from Del Rey. It’s the first of three books coming in rapid succession in this new series, with Vance (masterful narrator of, among others, Tim Powers’ The Stress of Her Regard, Gibson and Sterling’s The Difference Engine, Christopher Priest’s The Prestige, and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Under Heaven) slated to voice the entire Dire Earth Cycle. Here: “In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.” The Guilded Earlobe has already reviewed this first installment, calling it “Leviathan Wakes meets A Mote in God’s Eye, a rip roaring science fiction adventure with some mysterious alien machinations” and “easily my favorite science fiction debut of the year.”

The Darwin Elevator | [Jason M. Hough] Kill City Blues: Sandman Slim, Book 5 | [Richard Kadrey]

Richard Kadrey‘s Sandman Slim series returns with Kill City Blues: Sandman Slim, Book 5, once again narrated by MacLeod Andrews though the publisher’s changed from Brilliance Audio to Harper Audio. Here: “Another day, another apocalypse…. James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, has managed to get out of Hell, renounce his title as the new Lucifer, and settle back into life in L.A. But he also lost the Qomrama Om Ya, an all-powerful weapon from the banished older gods. Older gods who are returning and searching for their lost power. The hunt leads Stark to an abandoned shopping mall – a global shopping paradise infested with Lurkers and wretched bottom-feeding Sub Rosa families, squatters who have formed tight tribes to guard their tiny patches of retail wasteland. Somewhere in this kill zone is a dead man with the answers Stark needs. All Stark has to do is find the dead man, recover the artifact, and outwit and outrun the angry old gods – and natural-born killers – on his tail. But not even Sandman Slim is infallible, and any mistakes will cost him dearly.”

That late 2012 sf novel is Nexus: Nexus, Book 1 by Ramez Naam, narrated by Luke Daniels for Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio. Reviewed highly by Brenda Cooper and Cory Doctorow, the book describes a near future where “the nano-drug Nexus can link mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it. When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage, with far more at stake than anyone realizes.” The series continues later this year with Crux, forthcoming August 27.

Nexus: Nexus, Book 1 | [Ramez Naam] Frostarc | [Arthur A. McMahon]

I first learned about Arthur A. McMahon‘s Frostarc via a reddit SpecArt thread where I first saw Eran Fowler‘s cover art late last year. McMahon’s self-published Frostarc stories expand and continue in this novel, and here the (again self-published) audiobook shares the high production values of the January 2013 ebook. Narrated by newcomer Lucas Kitchen, the book begins a series entitled “Seclusion” about the early stages of space colonization, on frozen, remote worlds: “Frostarc is a journey through one man’s struggle to forgive himself. The people of his frozen planet have gone insane, and many have disappeared. Kozz needs to find a way off his ice-block prison in order to track down his wife and must make sure she is shielded from the madness that has befallen humanity. Hiding from his past is no longer an option. A decade of isolation and self-loathing has destroyed his spirit, but a young boy and mother who Kozz finds on his travels serve as a surrogate family, one he feels compelled to protect.”

That audio original I mentioned is Antidote Man By Jamie Sutliff, read by Sutliff for Blackstone Audio. “An old man dying of cancer has just become the perfect test subject for an alien race seeking to exterminate mankind. Their goal: create a mutant viral strain impervious to cures. As part of their experiments, the aliens have perfected brain transplants, allowing them to place the old man’s brain in a new body, infect it with every possible virus, and test various antidotes. By the end, the man’s blood carries the antidote to every virus and cancer known to humans. Sent back to Earth in a shuttle, the old man sets about collecting virus samples from Africa. Meanwhile, another human scientist on board the alien ship releases an airborne virus that kills everyone – alien and human – on the ship. Left on Earth, the old man faces a world of corrupt politicians, drug companies, and rogue federal agents – and they all want samples of his blood.”

Antidote Man | [Jamie Sutliff] Madness of Flowers | [Jay Lake]

Lastly this week I’d like to highlight Jay Lake‘s City Imperishable books, Trial of Flowers and Madness of Flowers, both narrated by Christian Rummel for Audible Inc. In Trial: “The City Imperishable’s secret master and heir to the long-vacant throne has vanished from a locked room, as politics have turned deadly in a bid to revive the city’s long-vanished empire. The city’s dwarfs, stunted from spending their childhoods in confining boxes, are restive.” And in Madness: “The battle has been fought and won, and all have been transformed by the struggle. … Political intrigue, adventure, and all-out war await the principles and inhabitants of the City Imperishable. Through it all, the City may endure, but none will remain untouched by the Madness of Flowers….”

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

Cloak & Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon

INDIE WATCH:

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

  • Anthology: Pendragon Variety: In Memory of Dragons by David Coe, Sam Schreiber, Matthew Healey and Melissa Prange (Jul 23, 2013) — “Pendragon Variety presents “In Memory of Dragons,” a themed speculative fiction anthology dedicated to the memory of Anne McCaffrey. Foreword by Cat Rambo and stories by David B. Coe, Sam Schreiber, Matthew Healey, Melissa Prange, Cindy Ray, Rachel Bellairs, and Lauren Harris, with a dedication by Rosemary Tizledoun and afterword by Michelle “Mica” Ristuccia.”
  • Domino: The Dead Heroes Series by Peter Woodworth (Eschaton, Jul 26, 2013)
  • The Crimson Pact: Volume 5 by Paul Genesse, Donald J. Bingle, Usman T. Malik and Michaele Jordan (Jul 29, 2013)
  • Three (Duskwalker Cycle #1) by Jay Posey (Angry Robot, July 30, 2013) — cover reveal for this Book of Eli esque post-apocalyptic debut novel and excerpt up at io9 — audiobook coming August 1 from Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio, read by Luke Daniels
  • Heart of Fire (Book One of The Portals) by Laura Anne Gilman (Harlequin Luna, July 30, 2013)
  • Harbinger (Book of the Order #4) by Philippa Ballantine (Ace, July 30) — series began with 2010’s Geist
  • The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm (Angry Robot, July 30) — “Urban fantasy novel, third in a series following Dead Harvest (March 2012) and The Wrong Goodbye (Oct. 2012), about a man who collects souls of the damned.” (via Locus Online)
  • Broken Homes (Rivers of London 4) by Ben Aaronovitch and Stephen Walter (Gollanz UK, 25 Jul 2013) — no US release yet in sight
  • Pile of Bones (A Novel of the Parallel Parks) by Bailey Cunningham (Jul 30, 2013)
  • The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem by Stephen King and Glenn Chadbourne (Cemetery Dance, Jul 30, 2013)
  • Weird Space: Satan’s Reach  by Eric Brown (July 30, 2013)
  • The Thing About Weres by Leigh Evans (St. Martin’s, July 30)
  • Plastic by Christopher Fowler (Solaris, July 30) — “Contemporary thriller about a suburban housewife, housesitting a penthouse apartment, who finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery.” (via Locus Online)
  • Phoenicia’s Worlds by Ben Jeapes (Solaris, July 30) — “SF novel about Earth’s only extra-solar colony, stricken by tragedy, who hope for survival depends on a slower-than-light trip back to Earth.” (via Locus Online)
  • Hellfire by Jean Johnson (Ace, July 30) — “Military SF novel, third of a series following A Soldier’s Duty (2011) and An Officer’s Duty (2012), about a precog who enlists in the Terran United Planets military.” (via Locus Online)
  • Last Blood by Kristen Painter (Orbit, July 30)
  • Night Pilgrims by Chelsea Quinn Yabro (Tor, July 30) — “Vampire novel, 26th novel in the long-running Saint-Germain series that began with Hotel Transylvania (1978) and most recently included Commedia della Morte (2012).” (via Locus Online)
  • The Sorcerer’s Widow by Lawrence Watt-Evans (Wildside Press, Jul 30, 2013) — “The great wizard Nabal’s death offers many opportunities, both for those who knew him and those who did not. For young conmen Ezak and Kel, it means a chance to loot the wizard’s estate… if they can win the confidence of Nabal’s widow, Dorna. But Dorna has plans of her own. She means to leave the tiny village for a better life in the city. And all of Nabal’s wizardly artifacts and talismans will pay for that new life – if she can only get them there intact!”
  • Kids: Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig (July 30) — coming to audio in September from Brilliance Audio; subject of a recent Big Idea guest post on Scalzi’s Whatever blog on, er, “CornPunk” — “Corn is king in the Heartland, and Cael McAvoy has had enough of it. It’s the only crop the Empyrean government allows the people of the Heartland to grow — and the genetically modified strain is so aggressive that it takes everything the Heartlanders have just to control it.”
  • Anthology: The Mammoth Book of Angels and Demons edited by Paula Guran (Running Press, July 30) — UK edition was published May 16
  • Anthology: Impossible Monsters edited by Kasey Lansdale (Subterranean Press, July 2013) — “The Lansdale name is legendary in the horror field. Now acclaimed musician and actress Kasey Lansdale follows in her father’s footsteps, making her editing debut with this anthology of monstrously innovative stories. The twelve creatures that stalk the pages of Impossible Monsters spring from the twisted imaginations of a dozen of today’s most noted authors.” This anthology includes Neil Gaiman’s “Click-Clack the Rattlebag” among other tales.
  • Engn by Simon Kewin (December House, July 2013) — “Finn’s childhood in the valley is idyllic, but across the plains lies a threat. Engn is an ever-growing steam-powered fortress, that needs a never ending supply of workers. Generation after generation have been taken away, escorted into its depths by the mysterious and terrifying Ironclads, never to return. The Masters of Engn first take Finn’s sister, then his best friend, Connor. He thinks he, at least, is safe – until the day the ironclads come to haul him away too.”

COMING SOON:

Three: Legends of the Duskwalker, Book 1 | [Jay Posey]

SEPTEMBER and LATER:

  • Anthology: Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, and Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Books, Sep 1) — “Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse. Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.”
  • Shaman: A novel of the Ice Age by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit, 3 Sep 2013) — UK release date, US date not confirmed for this historical fiction “novel set in the ice age, about the people who made the paintings in the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in southern France, about 32,000 years ago”
  • Happy Hour In Hell (Bobby Dollar) by Tad Williams (Sep 3, 2013)
  • MaddAddam: A Novel  by Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese and Random House Audio, September 3) — “Bringing together Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, this thrilling conclusion to Margaret Atwood’s speculative fiction trilogy points toward the ultimate endurance of community, and love.”
  • Chimes at Midnight: An October Daye Novel by Seanan McGuire (Sep 3, 2013)
  • Constellations: A Play by Nick Payne (Faber and Faber Plays, Sep 3, 2013) — already available in Kindle and in the UK — via an interesting review on Tor.com
  • Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond (September 3, 2013)
  • Monsters of the Earth (Books of the Elements) by David Drake (Tor, Sep 3, 2013)
  • 23 Years on Fire: A Cassandra Kresnov Novel by Joel Sheppard (Pyr, September 3, 2013) — “Commander Cassandra Kresnov has her hands full. She must lead an assault against the Federation world of Pyeongwha, where a terrible sociological phenomenon has unleashed hell against the civilian population. Then she faces the threat from a portion of League space known as New Torah, in which a ruthless regime of surviving corporations are building new synthetic soldiers but taking the technology in alarming directions.”
  • The Given Sacrifice: A Novel of the Change (Change Series) by S. M. Stirling (Sep 3, 2013)
  • Collection: Mother Box, and Other Tales by Sarah Blackman (Fiction Collective 2, Sep 3, 2013)
  • The Scroll of Years: A Gaunt and Bone Novel by Chris Willrich (Pyr, September 10) — fantasy debut novel from the well-published in short f/sf Willrich, in his “Gaunt and Bone” sword and sorcery milieu
  • The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland Books, September 10) — ‘In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But as Jack’s about to find out, blood and redemption rule supreme. In The Thicket, award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale lets loose like never before, in a rip-roaring adventure equal parts True Gritand Stand by Me–the perfect introduction to an acclaimed writer whose work has been called “as funny and frightening as anything that could have been dreamed up by the Brothers Grimm–or Mark Twain” (New York Times Book Review).’
  • Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Listening Library, Sep 10, 2013)
  • Dissident Gardens: A Novel by Jonathan Lethem (Sep 10, 2013)
  • Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett (Tor, Sep 10, 2013)
  • The Arrows of Time (Orthogonal)  by Greg Egan (Night Shade Books, September 10, 2013) — book 3 after The Clockwork Rocket and The Eternal Flame
  • Horse of a Different Color: Stories by Howard Waldrop (Small Beer Press, September 10)
  • Anthology: Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books, September 11)
  • On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon’s Children) by Alastair Reynolds (Sep 12, 2013)
  • Divinity and the Python by Bonnie Randall (Panverse, September 15)
  • The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment by L. E. Modesitt (Sep 17, 2013)
  • The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit, Sep 17) — Riyria Chronicles #2
  • Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon (Sep 17, 2013)
  • Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young (Harper Children’s, September 17)
  • Kids: Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney-Hyperion and Listening Library, Sep 17, 2013) — “A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren’t exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.  In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?”
  • Proxima by Stephen Baxter (Gollanz, Sep 19, 2013) — “The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous Galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light…The 27th century: Proxima Centauri.”
  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May (Gollanz UK, Sep 19) — I don’t see a US release until 2014 for this much-balyhooed debut fantasy
  • The Ace of Skulls by Chris Wooding (Sep 19, 2013) — final novel in the Ketty Jay series
  • Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (Scribner and Simon & Schuster Audio, September 24) — King returns to The Shining
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, Sep 24, 2013)
  • The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White (Tor, Sep 24) — “Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money.” —John Scalzi
  • The Dead Run by Adam Mansbach (HarperCollins, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas (Dark Horse, September 24, 2013)
  • The Casebook of Newbury & Hobbes by George Mann (Sep 24, 2013)
  • Stonecast (A Spellmason Chronicle) by Anton Strout (Ace, Sep 24, 2013) — book two after last year’s Alchemystic in this contemporary set urban fantasy concerning “spellmasons” who can construct stone gargoyles
  • The Fall of the Governor: The Walking Dead, Book 3 By Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, Narrated By Fred Berman — Scheduled Release Date: 09-24-13
  • Charming (Pax Arcana)  by Elliott James (September 24, 2013)
  • The Plague Forge: The Dire Earth Cycle: Three by Jason M. Hough (Sep 24, 2013)
  • Seven Forges by James A. Moore (Sep 24, 2013)
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab (Tor, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Soul of Fire (Book Two of The Portals) by Laura Anne Gilman (Harlequin/Luna, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Collection: Jewels in the Dust by Peter Crowther (Subterranean Press, September 30)
  • Collection: If Angels Fight: Stories by Richard Bowes (Fairwood Press/Patrick Swensen, September 2013) — collection of 14 stories – 3 new – all newly collected

OCTOBER and LATER:

  • Treecat Wars by David Weber (Oct 1, 2013)
  • Hero by Alethea Kontis (Harcourt Children’s Books, October 1)
  • Bastion: Book Five of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel) by Mercedes Lackey (Oct 1, 2013)
  • Pandemic by Scott Sigler (Crown, Oct 1, 2013)
  • Ghosts Know by Ramsey Campbell (Tor, Oct 1)
  • Collection: In the Company of Thieves by Kage Baker (Tachyon, Oct 1, 2013)
  • Anthology: In Space No One Can Hear You Scream by Hank Davis (Baen, Oct 1, 2013)
  • Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books, October 1)
  • Teen: Blackout by Robison Wells (Harper Teen, Oct 1, 2013)
  • Pull Down the Night by Nathan Kotecki (Houghton Mifflin, October 8) — second book in his YA urban fantasy series after The Suburban Strange
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch (Spectra, October 8)
  • The Diamond Deep (Ruby’s Song) by Brenda Cooper (Pyr, Oct 8, 2013)
  • Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder’s Arc #2) by Jeff Salyards (Night Shade Books, Oct 8, 2013)
  • A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (Orbit, Oct 8) — originally self-published, now being re-published by Orbit — Orbit is also doing a “Making of a Cover” web series for this series
  • Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer and Jeremy Zerfoss (Abrams Image, Oct 15, 2013) — an audiobook for this doesn’t make sense and so there isn’t one and won’t be one, but definitely a project I’m looking forward to
  • Copperhead by Tina Connolly (Tor, October 15, 2013) — follow-on to Ironskin cover revealed
  • Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter (Tor, October 15) — “The long-awaited stand-alone sequel to the seminal novel Infernal Devices by one of the founding fathers of steampunk”
  • The Last Dark: The climax of the entire Thomas Covenant Chronicles (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant) by Stephen R. Donaldson (Oct 15, 2013)
  • The Blood Flower Throne by T.L. Morganfield (Panverse, October 19) — “the first book in a feminist retelling of the myths and legends surrounding the Toltec priest-king Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl”
  • The Abominable: A Novel by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown and Company, Oct 22, 2013)
  • The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh (Hydra, Oct 28, 2013)
  • Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone (Tor Books, October 29) — book one is in audio from Blackstone, so here’s hoping book two follows “suit”
  • The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu (Angry Robot, Oct 29, 2013) — sequel to The Lives of Tao
  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened… by Allie Brosh (Touchstone, Oct 29, 2013) — an audio edition for this 4-color illustrated book doesn’t make sense, of course, but it’s a book I have my eye on
  • Teen: Horde (Enclave) by Ann Aguirre (Macmillan Young Listeners, Oct 29, 2013) — “The epic conclusion to the USA Today bestselling trilogy.”
  • The n-Body Problem by Tony Burgess (ChiZine, October 2013) — “Tony Burgess returns to the realm of the zombie”
  • The Violent Century by Lavie Tidhar (Hodder UK, October 2013) — just announced — “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy meets Watchmen in Tidhar’s The Violent Century, the thoughtful and intensely atmospheric novel about the mystery, and the love story, that determined the course of history itself. The Violent Century is the sweeping drama of a time we know too well; a century of fear and war and hatred and death.  In a world where everyday heroes may become übermenschen, men and women with extraordinary powers, what does it mean to be a hero? To be a human? Would the last hundred years have been that much better if Superman were real? Would they even have been all that different?”
  • Collection: Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor (Prime, October 2013)
  • Datura by Leena Krohn, translated by Juha Tupasela and Anna Volmari (Cheeky Frawg, October 2013) — from the author of World Fantasy finalist Tainaron
  • Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit, November 1) — I know nothing about his other than the quite interesting cover…
  • Collection: Beyond the Rift by Peter Watts (Tachyon, Nov 1, 2013)
  • Burning Paradise  by Robert Charles Wilson (November 5, 2013)
  • Starhawk (A Priscilla Hutchins Novel)  by Jack McDevitt (Ace Hardcover, November 5, 2013)
  • Contagion (Toxic City) by Tim Lebbon (Pyr, Nov 5, 2013) — book #3 in the Toxic City series
  • Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox Series)  by Rachel Bach (Orbit, Nov 5, 2013)
  • A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance) by David Dalglish (Orbit, Nov 5, 2013)
  • Twenty-First Century Science Fiction by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor, Nov 5, 2013)
  • Hell Bent: A Broken Magic Novel by Devon Monk (Nov 5, 2013)
  • Anthology: A Cosmic Christmas 2 You edited by Hank Davis (Baen, Nov 5, 2013) — “Twelve new stories of Christmas in very unusual circumstances, ranging from vampires to robots, from the hills of Appalachia to a high orbit space station, all celebrating the holiday in their own, off-beat ways.” Includes stories by (among others) Joe Haldeman, Connie Willis, and Tony Daniel
  • Anthology: Space Opera edited by Rich Horton, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear and Jay Lake (Nov 6, 2013)
  • Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest (Tor, Nov 12, 2013) — latest novel in Priest’s Boneshaker series The Clockwork Century
  • Hild: A Novel by Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 12, 2013) — “Since Griffith has won the Tiptree, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, the Premio Italia, and the Lambda Literary Award six times, you’re well advised to grab this fictionalized portrait of a girl name Hild who grew up in seventh-century Britain and became St. Hilda’s of Whitby. Griffith gives us a determined and uncannily perceptive Hild who seems capable of predicting the future (or at least of human behavior), a trait that puts her in the life-and-death position of being made the king’s seer. The writing itself is uncannily perceptive, with none of the flowery excess of some historical fiction writing, though the detailed narrative runs close to 600 pages. I thought of Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall even before I noted the comparison in the promotion.” — LibraryJournal
  • Apparition by Trish J. MacGregor (Tor, Nov 12)
  • Slam by Lewis Shiner, read by Stefan Rudnicki (Blackstone Audio, November 15, 2013) — Shiner’s 1990 novel of a paroled tax evader, anarchist skateboarders, and, well, 23 cats.
  • The Orphans’ Promise (Secret of Ji, Book Two) by Pierre Grimbert, translated by Matt Ross and Eric Lamb (Nov 19, 2013)
  • Watcher of the Dark by Joseph Nassise (Tor, November 19)
  • Bloodstone by Gillian Philip (Tor, Nov 19)
  • Arcanum by Simon Morden (Orbit, Nov 19) — “A historical fantasy novel of medieval Europe in which the magic that has run the world for centuries is disappearing– and now the gifts of the gods must be replaced with the ingenuity of humanity.”
  • The Land Across by Gene Wolfe (Tor, Nov 26)
  • Last to Rise by Francis Knight (Orbit, Nov 26) — concluding volume in a new trilogy which started with Knight’s debut Fade to Black in early 2013
  • The Irreal Reader: Fiction & Essays from The Cafe Irreal edited by G.S. Evans and Alice Whittenburg (Guide Dog, November 2013)
  • Collection: Bleeding Shadows by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean, November 2013)
  • Anthology: Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Tor, Dec 3) — table of contents includes Joe Abercrombie, Lev Grossman, and Pat Cadigan, among others
  • Darkwalker: A Nicolas Lenoir Novel by E.L. Tettensor (Roc, Dec 3, 2013)
  • A Dance of Mirrors (Shadowdance) by David Dalglish (Orbit, Dec 3, 2013)
  • Cloak and Spider: A Shadowdance Novella by David Dalglish (Orbit, Dec 3, 2013)
  • Andromeda’s Choice (Legion of the Damned)  by William C. Dietz (December 3, 2013)
  • Collection: Her Husband’s Hands and Other Stories by Adam-Troy Castro (Prime Books, December 4)
  • Ascension, a Tangled Axon novel by Jacqueline Koyanagi (Masque Books, December 4) — “Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually-advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. Maybe her boldness will land her a long-term gig on the crew. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego… and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her. But there’s little time for romance: Nova’s in danger and someone will do anything – even destroying planets – to get their hands on her!”
  • Year’s Best SF 18  edited by David G. Hartwell (December 10, 2013)
  • Collected Stories by Lewis Shiner, read by Stefan Rudnicki, John Rubinstein, Janis Ian, Scott Brick, Kimberly Farr, Arthur Morey, Roxanne Hernandez Coyne, Kristoffer Tabori, Gabrielle de Cuir, and Karen Joy Fowler (Blackstone Audio, December 15, 2013) — the “definitive collection” of Shiner’s short fiction in the form of 41 stories
  • The Grendel Affair: A SPI Files Novel by Lisa Shearin (Dec 31, 2013)
  • The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic (Angry Robot and Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio, Dec 31, 2013)

NEXT YEAR:

  • The Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson (Jo Fletcher Books, January 7, 2014) — a “Viking fantasy novel” by a new Icelandic author
  • The Girl with All the Gifts by M.J. Carey (Orbit, Jan 7, 2014) — “Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.” — link to cover
  • Rex Regis by L. E. Modesitt (Tor, Jan 7, 2014)
  • Fury of the Demon by Diana Rowland (Jan 7, 2014)
  • Work Done for Hire  by Joe Haldeman (Ace Hardcover, January 7, 2014) — novel about an ex-sniper turned sf screenwriter turned reluctant hitman; I’ve hear Haldeman read from this novel in draft and am very much looking forward to its release
  • Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh by Jay Lake (Prime Books, January 7, 2014) — “Markus Selvage has been bent by life, ground up and spit out again. In San Francisco’s darkest sexual underground, he is a perpetual innocent, looking within bodies – his own and others’ – for the lost secrets of satisfaction. But extreme body modification is only the beginning of where he will go before he’s finished…”
  • Rex Regis (Imager Portfolio)  by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Jan 7, 2014)
  • 1636: Seas of Fortune  by Iver Cooper (January 7, 2014)
  • Black Arts: A Jane Yellowrock Novel  by Faith Hunter (Jan 7, 2014)
  • Darkest Fear (Birthright) by Cate Tiernan (Jan 7, 2014)
  • Watchers in the Night (Guardians of the Night) by Jenna Black (Jan 14, 2014)
  • The Man Who Made Models: The Collected Short Fiction  by R.A. Lafferty (Centipede Press, January 14, 2014)
  • The Emperor’s Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne)  by Brian Staveley (Jan 14, 2014)
  • Dawn of Swords (The Breaking World)  by David Dalglish (Jan 14, 2014)
  • Dirty Magic (Prospero’s War) by Jaye Wells (Jan 21, 2014)
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Tor, January 21, 2014) — book 2 in The Stormlight Archive after The Way of Kings
  • The Book of the Crowman by Joseph D’ Lacey (Jan 28, 2014)
  • A Darkling Sea by James Cambias (Tor, Jan 28, 2014)
  • Maze by J.M. McDermott (Apex, January 2014)
  • Leaving the Sea: Stories by Ben Marcus (Knopf, January 2014)
  • The Emperor’s Blades (The Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1) by Brian Stavely (Tor, January 2014) — “follows siblings Valyn, Kaden, and Adare, who are in different parts of the world when they learn about the assassination of their father, the Emperor. All of them are in danger of being the next targets, and all of them are caught in the maelstrom of conspiracy, intrigue, treachery, and magic that sweeps through Staveley’s auspicious debut novel.”
  • Reign of Ash (Book Two in the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga) by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit, January 2014) — follow-on to Ice Forged
  • Annihilation (Southern Reach, Volume 1) by Jeff VanderMeer (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, Feb 4, 2014) — the first of a trilogy of “Southern Reach” novels being published in 2014 — “For thirty years, Area X has remained mysterious, remote, and concealed by the government as an environmental disaster zone even though it is to all appearances pristine wilderness. For thirty years, too, the secret agency known as the Southern Reach has monitored Area X and sent in expeditions to try to discover the truth. Some expeditions have suffered terrible consequences. Others have reported nothing out of the ordinary. Now, as Area X seems to be changing and perhaps expanding, the next expedition will attempt to succeed where all others have failed. What is happening in Area X? What is the true nature of the invisible border that surrounds it?”
  • Like a Mighty Army (Safehold) by David Weber (Feb 4, 2014)
  • The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 2) by Brian McClellan (Orbit, February 2014)
  • Like a Mighty Army (Safehold)  by David Weber (Feb 4, 2014)
  • V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History  by Allen Steele (Feb 4, 2014)
  • Empire of Men  by David Weber and John Ringo (Feb 4, 2014)
  • The Waking Engine by David Edison (Feb 11, 2014)
  • The Judge of Ages (Count to a Trillion) by John C. Wright (Feb 25, 2014)
  • The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison (Feb 25, 2014)
  • Dreamwalker by C.S. Friedman (February 2014)
  • Night Broken (A Mercy Thompson Novel)  by Patricia Briggs (Mar 4, 2014)
  • Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides) by Mur Lafferty (Orbit, Mar 4, 2014) — sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City
  • The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent (A Natural History of Dragons) by Marie Brennan (Mar 4, 2014)
  • Hope Rearmed by S.M. Stirling and David Drake (March 4, 2014)
  • Blood and Iron (The Book of the Black Earth) by Jon Sprunk (Pyr, March 11)
  • Resistance by Jenna Black (Mar 11, 2014)
  • Working God’s Mischief (Instrumentalities of the Night)  by Glen Cook (Mar 11, 2014)
  • Mentats of Dune  by Brian Herbert (March 11, 2014)
  • Lockstep  by Karl Schroeder (Mar 25, 2014)
  • The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher (Mar 25, 2014)
  • Anthology: The Time Traveler’s Almanac by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (Tor, Mar 18, 2014)
  • City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (Crown/Broadway and Recorded Books, April 1, 2014) — “a second-world story of spies, subterfuge, and statesmanship set in a nation of dead gods.”
  • The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (April 1, 2014)
  • Cauldron of Ghosts (Crown of Slaves) by David Weber (April 1, 2014)
  • Baltic Gambit: A Novel of the Vampire Earth by E.E. Knight (April 1, 2014)
  • Shipstar  by Larry Niven and Gregory Benford (Tor, April 8, 2014)
  • Transhuman  by Ben Bova (April 15, 2014)
  • The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes (Gollanz UK, 17 Apr 2014) — from the author of Tome of the Undergates
  • Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (Hodder & Stoughton, April 2014) — “The Nigerian megacity of Lagos is invaded by aliens, and it nearly consumes itself because of it.”
  • The Moon King by Neil Williamson (Newcon, April 2014) — Debut novel: “The story of The Moon King grew out of its setting, the sea-locked city of Glassholm, which is a thinly veneered version of Glasgow, Scotland where I live. Glasgow is a city of mood swings, brilliant with sun and warm sandstone one minute and dour with overcast and rain soaked tarmac the next. Summer days are long and filled with light. The winter months pass mostly in darkness. Living here, your spirit is tied to the city’s mood. As soon as I hooked that almost bipolar sense to the idea of natural cycles, the story blossomed. In Glassholm, the moon never sets and everything, from entropy to the moods of the populace, is affected by its phasing from Full to Dark and back to Full again. I wanted to know what would life be like there, what quirks nature might throw into the mix. And what would happen if it was discovered that the cyclic euphorias and depressions were not natural after all.”
  • Immolation (Children, #1) by Ben Peek (Tor UK, Spring 2014) is “set fifteen thousand years after the War of the Gods. The bodies of the gods now lie across the world, slowly dying as men and women awake with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on her home. With the help of the immortal Zaifyr, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. The saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret. Split between the three points of view, Immolation‘s narrative reaches its conclusion during an epic siege, where Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.”
  • Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson (Tor, Spring 2014) — “Caeli-Amur: a city torn by contradiction. A city of languorous philosopher-assassins and magnificent creatures from ancient myth: minotaurs and sirens. Three Houses rule over an oppressed citizenry stirring into revolt. The ruins of Caeli-Amur’s sister city lie submerged beneath the sea nearby, while the remains of strange advanced technology lie hidden in the tunnels beneath the city itself.”
  • The Furies: A Thriller  by Mark Alpert (April 22, 2014)
  • Authority: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, May 1, 2014)
  • The Sea Without a Shore by David Drake (May 6, 2014) — Lt. Leary series
  • Graphic novel: All You Need Is Kill: The Graphic Novel by Nick Mamatas, Lee Ferguson, Fajar Buana, and Zack Turner, based on the novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (VIZ Media/Haikasoru, May 6, 2014)
  • The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne (Random House/Crown, May 2014) — “traces the harrowing twin journeys of two women forced to flee their homes in different times in the near future. The first, Meena, is a Brahmin-caste student whose odyssey takes her from the coastal city of Mumbai toward Djibouti across a futuristic but treacherous bridge that spans the Arabian Sea. The second, Mariama, escapes from slavery as a small child in Mauritania, joining a caravan heading across Saharan Africa toward Ethiopia.”
  • The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones (Greenwillow, Summer 2014) — “Fans of the late writer Diana Wynne Jones – who died in March 2011 – are in for an unexpected treat. In the summer of 2014, Greenwillow will publish a new title from the acclaimed science fiction and fantasy author. Titled The Islands of Chaldea, the book is a standalone novel unconnected to any of the author’s earlier works. It is also the result of an unusual, asynchronous collaboration between the writer and her younger sister, Ursula Jones.”
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (Viking, August 2014) — book three after The Magicians and The Magician King
  • The Chaplain’s War by Brad Torgerson (Baen, 2014)
  • Colossus by Stephen Messer (Random House Children’s Books, 2014)
  • The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks (Orbit, 2014)
  • The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books, 2014) — the first of an announced trilogy of translated editions of this 400,000-copy-selling Chinese sf series
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2 Responses to Release Week: The Darwin Elevator, Kill City Blues, Nexus, Frostarc, Antidote Man, and Jay Lake’s City Imperishable

  1. Meg K says:

    Nexus by Ramez Naam sounds interesting. May give it a try now that it’s on audio.

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