Release Week: The Thicket, Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Dissident Gardens, and The New Space Opera 2

SEPTEMBER 4-10, 2013: After closing the summer months with Jason Mott’s debut The Returned (Brilliance Audio) and Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman’s 2003 novel The Fall of the Kings (Neil Gaiman Presents), the fall audiobook release schedule got off to a cracking start last week with early September releases of Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam (Random House Audio), Kim Stanley Robinson’s Shaman (Hachette Audio), and Nancy Farmer’s The Lord of Opium (Simon & Schuster Audio). This week brings western storytelling from Joe R. Lansdale, a zombie beat-down “for the kids!” from Paolo Bacigalupi, fiction from Jonathan Lethem, and a star-studded sf anthology. In other audiobook news of importance this week, the coming soon listings now includes Tad Williams’ new Bobby Dollar book, Happy Hour in Hell: Bobby Dollar, Volume 2 read by George Newbern, which is scheduled for a Thursday release, just a bit more than a week after the print publication last week. Look for more on that score in next week’s write-up, but for now: Enjoy!

PICKS OF THE WEEK:

The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland Books / Hachette Audio) — Narrator Will Collyer was quite good on Austin Grossman’s YOU, another Mulholland title in a string of excellent reads and listens from them in 2013 along with Warren Ellis’ Gun Machine and Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls — only The Shining Girls is overtly speculative, so I think I’ve found an imprint to confidently follow out of genre, or at least into the wild underbrush between bookstore sections. Where is the line between tall tale and myth, anyway? Here: ‘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 Grit and 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).’ Another pre-release review, from Kirkus Reviews, calls the book: “Alternately violent and tender, with a gently legendary quality that makes this tall tale just about perfect.”

The Thicket | [Joe R. Lansdale] Zombie Baseball Beatdown | [Paolo Bacigalupi]

Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Listening Library) — Narrator Sunil Malhotra is new to me, and is also the voice of one of the big fiction releases this fall, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland. Bacigalupi, of course, is the award-winning author of the 2009 biopunk science fiction The Windup Girl and the ecopunk YA novels Shipbreaker and The Drowned Cities. Here Bacigalupi aims for an even younger readership: “The zombie apocalypse begins on the day Rabi, Miguel, and Joe are practicing baseball near their town’s local meatpacking plant and nearly get knocked out by a really big stink. Little do they know the plant’s toxic cattle feed is turning cows into flesh-craving monsters!” Knopf will publish Bacigalupi’s return to adult fiction, The Water Knife, in 2015, and in today’s Big Idea on Scalzi’s Whatever blog, Bacigalupi explains this “shortest path detour” through writing a zombie book for kids instead of that next “serious” book.

Dissident Gardens: A Novel by Jonathan Lethem (Doubleday / Random House Audio) — Read by Mark Bramhall, one of my favorites for his performance in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and The Magician King, this one’s slotted fairly solidly in fiction. But it still gets my interest as Lethem is one of those “literary” authors who doesn’t merely dabble in writing sf from time to time — he co-edited The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick for goodness sakes — but breathes it into his works, whatever label ends up being slapped on the end. There’s a sensibility at work. Granted, it isn’t one that I always “get” but a Lethem novel is always one to check out. Dissident Gardens follows “three generations of all-American radicals” from the 30s, the 70s, and the 2010s. Library Journal‘s starred review calls it “a moving, hilarious satire of American ideology and utopian dreams” which certainly catches my interest as well.

Dissident Gardens: A Novel | [Jonathan Lethem] The New Space Opera 2 | [Gardner Dozois (editor), Jonathan Strahan (editor)]

And this week brings another fantastic-looking sf anthology, this one from Blackstone Audio, narrated by a full cast: The New Space Opera 2 edited by Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan was published in 2009 by Eos, bringing a second batch of original space opera short fiction (mostly of novelette length) after 2007’s The New Space Opera — which itself came to audio last month. Here, narrated by Tom Weiner, Bahni Turpin, Caroline Shaffer, Paul Michael Garcia, Hillary Huber, Marguerite Gavin, Xe Sands, and Erica Sullivan bring stories from Neal Asher, John Barnes, Cory Doctorow, John Kessel, Jay Lake, John Meaney, Elizabeth Moon, Tad Williams, Bruce Sterling, Peter Watts, Garth Nix, Sean Williams, John Scalzi, Robert Charles Wilson, and more to life. Several of these stories were included in the annual “year’s best” anthologies as well. Definitely an audio anthology to dip into.

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

Breakers: Book 1 | [Edward W. Robertson] The Clockwork Man: The Radium Age Science Fiction Series | [E.V. Odle] Lowcountry Spirit | [Ann Hite]

Breakers: Book 1 By Edward W. Robertson, Narrated By Ray Chase for Podium Publishing — Podium produced Andy Weird’s The Martian and is back with another intriguing sf title. Here: “In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter. When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn’t the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA, where Vanessa had planned to move when she left him. He expects to die along the way. Months later, a massive vessel appears above Santa Monica Bay. Walt is attacked by a crablike monstrosity in a mountain stream. The virus that ended humanity wasn’t created by humans. It was inflicted from outside. The colonists who sent it are ready to finish the job – and Earth’s survivors may be too few and too weak to resist.”

The Clockwork Man: The Radium Age Science Fiction Series By E.V. Odle, Narrated By Ralph Lister for Dreamscape Media — “Several thousand years from now, advanced humanoids known as the Makers will implant clockwork devices into our heads. At the cost of a certain amount of agency, these devices will permit us to move unhindered through time and space, and to live complacent, well-regulated lives. However, when one of these devices goes awry, a “clockwork man” appears accidentally in the 1920s, at a cricket match in a small English village. Comical yet mind-blowing hijinks ensue.”

Short: Lowcountry Spirit By Ann Hite, Narrated By Allyson Johnson for AudioGO — I picked this up due to a very friendly Whispersync price point ($0.99 Kindle plus $2.99 Audible) — it is a prequel to The Storycatcher which is also out today, narrated by Johnson for AudioGO. “A haunting historical novella, Lowcountry Spirit tells the story of three slave girls with mystical powers living on an eerie island off the coast of Georgia whose lives intertwine in their quest for freedom.”

ALSO ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) | [Ingrid Jonach] A Wolf in Hindelheim | [Jenny Mayhew]

AUDIOGO: (Teen) When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) By Ingrid Jonach, Narrated By Daniela Vanasco

LISTENING LIBRARY: (Teen) The Waking Dark By Robin Wasserman, Narrated By Mark Deakins

WHOLE STORY AUDIOBOOKS: (Fiction) A Wolf in Hindelheim By Jenny Mayhew, Narrated By William Rycrof

RECORDED BOOKS: Isaac Asimov’s I Robot: To Obey By Mickey Zucker Reichert, Narrated By Alma Cuervo; and (Mystery) The Bones of Paris (A Novel of Suspense) By Laurie R. King, Narrated By Jefferson Mays

SCHOLASTIC AUDIO: (Kids) Wild Born: Spirit Animals, Book 1 By Brandon Mull, Narrated By Nicola Barber

CANDLEWICK on BRILLIANCE AUDIO: Homicidal Aliens and Other Disappointments: Alien Invasion, Book 2 By Brian Yansky, Narrated By Alexander Cendese

BRILLIANCE AUDIO: The Immortal Circus: Cirque des Immortels, Book 1 By A. R. Kahler, Narrated By Amy McFadden

AUDIBLE LTD: Johnny Alucard (Anno Dracula, Book 3) By Kim Newman, Narrated By William Gaminara; The Greek Myths By Robert Graves, Narrated By Matt Bates; and three books by the late James Herbert, Sepulchre (read by Jonathan Keeble), Shrine (read by Kris Dyer), and The Ghosts of Sleath: David Ash Series, Book 2 (read by Steven Pacey) — eight more Herbert titles are on the way by next week

AUDIBLE FRONTIERS: The First Casualty: Jump Universe, Book 1 By Mike Shepherd, Narrated By Michael McConnahie; The First Betrayal: Chronicles of Josan, Book 1, The Sea Change: Chronicles of Josan, Book 2, and The Final Sacrifice: Chronicles of Josan, Book 3 By Patricia Bray, Narrated By Christopher Kipiniak; The Pearls and The Crown: The Pearls and the Crown Duology, Book 2 By Deborah Chester, Narrated By A. Savalas; and A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries, Book 1, Blood and Sand: Elemental World, Book 2, The Force of Wind: Elemental Mysteries, Book 3, and A Fall of Water: Elemental Mysteries, Book 4 By Elizabeth Hunter, Narrated By Dina Pearlman

INDIE: The Puppet Maker’s Bones: Death’s Order, Book 1 By Alisa Tangredi, Narrated By William Salyers; The Back Door Man By Dave Buschi, Narrated By David Stifel

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

COMING SOON:

  • Anthology: Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books, September 11)
  • Happy Hour in Hell: Bobby Dollar, Volume 2 By Tad Williams, Narrated By George Newbern for Penguin Audio — Scheduled Release Date: 09-12-13
  • Colony By Ben Bova– Scheduled Release Date: 09-15-13
  • Super Stories of Heroes and Villains edited by Claude Lalumiere (Tachyon, September 15, 2013) — Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link’s “Origin Story”, Carol Emshwiller, Gene Wolfe, GRRM, …
  • 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) — “It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left.”
  • Kinslayer: The Lotus War, Book Two By Jay Kristoff — Scheduled Release Date: 09-17-13
  • The Cloning of Joanna May: A Novel By Fay Weldon, Narrated By Lesley Parkin — Scheduled Release Date: 09-17-13 — also by Weldon on this date: Darcy’s Utopia: A Novel narrated by Susannah Tyrrell
  • Skirmishes: Diving Universe, Book 4 By Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck — Scheduled Release Date: 09-17-13
  • 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?”
  • Non-Fiction: Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety By Eric Schlosser, Narrated By Scott Brick for Penguin Audio — Length: 20 hrs and 39 mins — Scheduled Release Date: 09-17-13
  • 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) — narrated by Macleod Andrews for Audible Frontiers
  • 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 — narrated by Ray Porter and Mary Robinette Kowal for Audible Frontiers
  • The Scroll of Years: A Gaunt and Bone Novel by Chris Willrich (Pyr, September 24) — fantasy debut novel from the well-published in short f/sf Willrich, in his “Gaunt and Bone” sword and sorcery milieu
  • 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
  • Harrowgate by Kate Maruyama (47North and Brilliance Audio read by Nick Podehl, Sep 24, 2013) — “Michael should be overjoyed by the birth of his son, but his wife, Sarah won’t let him touch the baby or allow anyone to visit. Greta, an intrusive, sinister doula has wormed her way into their lives, driving a wedge between Michael and his family. Every time he leaves the Harrowgate, he returns to find his beloved wife and baby altered. He feels his family slipping away and, as a malevolent force begins to creep in, Michael does what any new father would do–he fights to keep his family together.”
  • 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)
  • Hard Magic: Paranormal Scene Investigations, Book 1 and Packs of Lies: Paranormal Scene Investigations, Book 2 By Laura Anne Gilman, Narrated By Romy Nordlinger — Scheduled Release Date: 09-24-13
  • Soul of Fire (Book Two of The Portals) by Laura Anne Gilman (Harlequin/Luna, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Fiction: The Lowland By Jhumpa Lahiri, Narrated By Sunil Malhotra for Random House Audio, concurrent with the print release from Knopf (Sep 24, 2013) — from the author of The Namesake
  • On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon’s Children) by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz UK, Sep 26, 2013)
  • Collection: Jewels in the Dust by Peter Crowther (Subterranean Press, September 30)

OCTOBER and LATER:

 

NOVEMBER and LATER:

NEXT YEAR:

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer Southern Reach trilogy the-girl-in-the-road-monica-byrne

  • The Queen of Dreams by Peter Hamilton (Doubleday UK, 2 Jan 2014) — first children’s book by the epic sf author Peter F. Hamilton: “Taggie and Jemima are summer holidaying on their dad’s farm. They know just what to expect – a tumbledown cottage, sunshine and strawberry-picking. But then Jemima sees a white squirrel wearing glasses . . . And things become even more extraordinary when their dad is captured and whisked away to a faerie world. Magical adventures await, as the two sisters discover powers they never knew they had and a series of worlds to explore. But can Taggie and Jemima rescue their dad and defeat the evil King of Night?”
  • The Land Across by Gene Wolfe (Tor, Nov 26) — audiobook coming January 4, 2014 from Brilliance Audio
  • 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)
  • 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) — narrated by Ray Chase
  • 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)
  • Anthology: The Time Traveler’s Almanac by Ann VanderMeer and Jeff VanderMeer (Tor, Mar 18, 2014)
  • Lockstep  by Karl Schroeder (Mar 25, 2014)
  • The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher (Mar 25, 2014)
  • Anthology: KAIJU RISING (Kickstarter, March 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 6, 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
  • Frostborn (Thrones & Bones #1) by Lou Anders (Random House Children’s Books, August 2014) — longtime Pyr editor Anders’ debut novel, a young reader book which “introduces Karn, who would rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones, and Thianna, half-frost giant, half-human, who team up when they are chased by wyverns, a dead Viking sea captain, and a 1200-year-old dragon.”
  • Clash of Eagles by Alan Smale (Del Rey, 2014) — “His novella of a Roman invasion of ancient America, “A Clash of Eagles” in the Panverse Two anthology (edited by Dario Ciriello), won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and he has recently sold a trilogy of novels set in the same universe. The first book, CLASH OF EAGLES, will appear from Del Rey in 2014.”
  • Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin (Solaris, Summer 2014) — “It’s official! I’ll be writing a new urban fantasy novel for Solaris Books called “Deadly Curiosities” (from my short story universe of the same name) that will come out in summer, 2014!”
  • The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi (Knopf, 2015) — “Knopf has acquired a new novel by Paolo Bacigalupi, the science fiction writer whose 2009 book “The Windup Girl” sold 200,000 copies and was considered one of the top novels of the year. The new book, “The Water Knife,” is set in a lawless, water-starved American Southwest in the not-too-distant future.”

UNDATED:

  • When Women Were Warriors by Catherine M. Wilson, read by Janis Ian for Dog Ear Audio
  • A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar, coming from Audible
  • (Collection) North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud, coming from Audible
  • Fair Coin and Quantum Coin by E.C. Myers, coming from Audible
  • All the Worlds Against Us (Jon and Lobo) by Mark L. Van Name (Baen) — Audible Frontiers has produced the previous books in the series, under fantastic narrations by Tom Stechschulte
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