Release week: Alif the Unseen; Guy Gavriel Kay; Alexei Panshin; White Trash Zombies; Prince of Thorns; and more

← Listening Report: May 2012
Release week: Shadow Show, Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Drowning Girl, The Last Policeman, and Year Zero →

Release week: Alif the Unseen; Guy Gavriel Kay; Alexei Panshin; White Trash Zombies; Prince of Thorns; and more

Posted on 2012-07-04 at 1:21 by Sam

While the first release week in July isn’t headlined with new star-powered releases — those might be found in the “seen but not heard” section, including a new Charles Stross “Laundry Files” novel — there are a few intriguing new titles along with another round of new Audible Frontiers productions of previously well-received novels.

The title that most intrigues me this week is shelved in the Mysteries/Thrillers section, but with both some near future cyberthriller elements, and supernatural fantasy elements as well: Alif the Unseen By the award-winning graphic novelist G. Willow Wilson, Narrated By Sanjiv Jhaveri for Brilliance Audio:

“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 “Hand of God”, as they call 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.”




  • A new definitive edition of The Troika by Stepan Chapman (1997, PKD Award)
  • The Stranger’s Magic: The Labyrinths of Echo, Book Three by Max Frei (Overlook Press, Jun 28, 2012) — no audio news
  • Non-Fiction: 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 by James LowderR. A. Salvatore (Foreword)S. Daniel Abraham (Contributor), Matt Staggs, and more: via a review at Science Fiction World — no audio news
  • Collection: A Stark and Wormy Knight by Tad Williams (Subterranean, June 30, 2012) — out in e-book late last year, this is another of SP’s lovely hardcovers — no audio news
  • Collection: Permeable Borders by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Fairwood Press, July 1)
  • The First Confessor: The Legend of Magda Searus by Terry Goodkind (to be self-published, Jul 2, 2012) — audiobook is coming, but not concurrent with e-book release
  • Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles, #1) by D. B. Jackson (Tor, July 3, 2012) — an historical fantasy from David B. Coe — “Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family. Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony.”
  • The Apocalypse Codex (A Laundry Files Novel) by Charles Stross (Jul 3, 2012) — one assumes that eventually we’ll see a Recorded Books production
  • Heaven’s War (Heaven’s Shadow) by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt (Jul 3, 2012) — a Books on Tape CD is due out July 3 as well
  • The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones (Thomas Dunne, Jul 3, 2012) — sequel to Desert of Souls — update: apparently scheduled for December
  • The Hollow City by Dan Wells (Tor, Jul 3, 2012)
  • The Gilded Rune by Lisa Smedman (Wizards of the Coast, Jul 3, 2012)
  • Advent: A Novel by James Treadwell (Atria, Jul 3, 2012) — the first in a trilogy, the story of how magic was lost to the world
  • Tin Swift by Devon Monk (Roc, July 3) — “In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity–and his honor…” (via Ranting Dragon)
  • This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs (Simon & Schuster/Gallery, July 3) — “This smart addition to the zombie genre is heroic and strangely hopeful, championing the unyielding human drive for justice and civilization.” (Publishers Weekly)
  • Iron Gray Sea: Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson (Roc)
  • Elfhome by Wen Spencer (Baen, July 3) — car chases, dragons, and Pittsburgh’s border with the elves
  • Voyage to Kazohinia by Sandor Szathmari (New Europe Books) — translated from the Hungarian classic
  • Anthology: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection edited by Gardner Dozois (St. Martin’s Griffin, Jul 3, 2012)
  • Dragon Rule: Book Five of the Age of Fire by E.E. Knight (Roc, Jul 3)
  • Kids: Sword Mountain (Swordbird) by Nancy Yi Fan (HarperCollins)


  • Anthology: The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2012 Edition edited by Rich Horton, stories by Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link and Paul McAuley (Prime, Jul 4, 2012)
  • Last Man Standing by Davide Longo (MacLehose Press, July 5, 2012) — an English translation of an Italian novel set in a collapsing near future (via Ranting Dragon)


  • The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan, coming to audio from Neil Gaiman Presents

NEXT WEEK (July 10):

  • The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter (Knopf, Random House Audio, July 10) — alternate history exploring politics and law in a post-Civil War era where Lincoln survives assassination only to face impeachment.
  • Year Zero by Rob Reid (Del Rey, July 10) — “a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.”
  • Non-genre: The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Harper, July 10)
  • Shadow of Night: A Novel by Deborah Harkness (Jul 10, 2012) — sequel to A Discovery of Witches
  • A Million Heavens by John Brandon (McSweeney’s, Jul 10, 2012)
  • Year Zero: A Novel by Rob Reid (Del Rey, Jul 10, 2012)
  • Some Kind of Fairy Tale: A Novel by Graham Joyce (Doubleday, Jul 10, 2012)
  • The No Variations by Luis Chitarroni and translated by Rhett McNeil (Dalkey Archive Press, Jul 10, 2012)
  • Dark Reading Matter (Thursday Next, #7) by Jasper Fforde (July 12th 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Anthology: Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller & Mort Castle (William Morrow, July 10, 2012) — “The recent passing of literary legend Ray Bradbury was a blow to field of fiction. This tribute collection, started before his passing, features the talents of just a small portion of writers whose lives he affected: Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Robert McCammon, Ramsey Campbell, Alice Hoffman, Audrey Niffenegger, Kelly Link, Harlan Ellison and 18 more. This must-have anthology also features an essay, “Second Homecoming,” written by Bradbury specifically for this publication.” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • YA: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal (Ever-Expanding Universe #1, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, July 10) — “Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.”

TWO WEEKS (July 17):

  • Sharps by K.J. Parker (Orbit, 17 July 2012) — a fantasy in which neighboring kingdoms long at war might finally forge a truce; two fencers come together to represent their nations
  • Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnson (Macmillan Audio, simultaneous with the Tor/Forge hardcover, 17 July 2012) read by a full cast — “Before Ender Wiggin was born, before the Battle School was built, the aliens brought war to Earth”
  • Energized by Edward M. Lerner (Tor, Jul 17, 2012)
  • The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis (Jul 17, 2012)
  • Anthology: Solaris Rising 1.5 edited by Ian Whates (Solaris, July 17) — table of contents via SF Signal
  • Empty Space by M. John Harrison (Gollanz, Jul 19, 2012) — “Harrison’s literary space opera, The Kefahuchi Tract (which began with Light and Nova Swing), was met with wide acclaim. Now, the third book in the trilogy is finally here. Empty Space, structured in three alternating stories that merge to its grand conclusion, promises to mess with your head, but in a good way.” (via Kirkus Reviews)

THREE WEEKS (July 24):

  • Collection: Sorry Please Thank You: Stories by Charles Yu (Pantheon, Jul 24, 2012) — no audio news
  • Blood of Dragons: Volume Four of the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb (Harper Voyager, Jul 24, 2012) — update: apparently scheduled for April 9, 2013
  • The Siege in the Room: Three Novellas by Miquel Bauca and translated by Martha Tennent (Dalkey Archive Press, Jul 24, 2012)
  • Jack Glass by Adam Roberts (Gollanz, Jul 26, 2012 — UK only?)
  • Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper (Gollanz, Jul 26, 2012 — UK only?) — The Wild Hunt #2 after Songs of the Earth
  • Vlad by Carlos Fuentes (Dalkey Archive Press, Jul 24, 2012) — Spanish-language novel from Mexico now in translation, re-imagines Dracula in Mexico City — audio coming from Dreamscape

FOUR WEEKS (July 31):

  • Chimera by T.C. McCarthy (Orbit in print and e-book, Blackstone Audio, July 31, 2012) — The Subterrene War, Book 3 — “Escaped Germline soldiers need to be cleaned up, and Stan Resnick is the best man for the job—a job that takes him to every dark spot and every rat hole he can find.”
  • Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay (July 31, Pocket Books) — no audio news — the next book in Gay’s Charlie Madigan series
  • vN (Von Neumann Sisters #1) by Madeline Ashby (Angry Robot/Brilliance Audio, Jul 31, 2012) — ““Amy Peterson is a self-replicating humanoid robot known as a VonNeumann. For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive. Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history - like the fact that she alone can kill humans without failsafing…”
  • The Crown of the Usurper by Gav Thorpe (Angry Robot, Jul 31, 2012)
  • Devil’s Wake by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due (Atria, July 31, 2012) — “In this sci-fi thriller, the world is ovecome by a deadly new infection that transforms those infected. A group of teenagers navigates across this apocalyptic landscape seeking safety and community, but must overcome deadly obstacles every step of the way. Devil’s Wake seeks to reinvent the zombie novel by simulating a zombie-like apocalypse without actually using the word “zombie.”” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan (Solaris, July 31) — “Morgan’s promising first novel features Alice, a seemingly normal woman with an uneventful life. That is, until she is visited by angels who not only inform her of the war between the angels and the Fallen, but also that she is to play an integral part in helping the angels win. Guided by a disgraced angel named Mallory, Alice comes to learn about her own history—secret even to herself—and why the angels must send her to hell.” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • An Officer’s Duty (Theirs Not to Reason Why #2) by Jean Johnson (Ace, July 31) — “An Officer’s Duty is the second book in the Theirs Not to Reason Why series, an exciting military science fiction series featuring the tough-as-nails female protagonist named Ia. The first book, A Soldier’s Duty, was a Philip K. Dick award nominee. What sets this series apart from other military sf series is that Ia can foresee all the possible futures of mankind, and in all but one of them, her home galaxy will be destroyed. The series depicts her attempts to steer human history to that one golden future. The catch: she cannot tell anyone about her abilities or all will be lost.” (via Kirkus Reviews)
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Del Rey, July 31, 2012)
  • Anthology: Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (Tachyon, Aug 1, 2012)
  • NONE SO BLIND (TKTK) by Joe Haldeman, read by Robertson Dean — Available 1 August 12 from Blackstone Audio
  • THE WYRMLING HORDE (TKTK) by David Farland, read by Ray Porter — Blackstone continues its production of Farland’s Runelords series, here with book 7 — Available 1 August 12  from Blackstone Audio
  • ICE PROPHET (1983) by William R. Forstchen — author of One Second After — Available 1 August 12  from Blackstone Audio
  • Forge of Darkness (Kharkanas Trilogy #1) by Steven Erikson — “set 300,000-odd years before the main Malazan series. It tells the story of Anomander Rake, Silchas Ruin, Mother Dark…” (August 2nd 2012 by Bantam Press)

Just added to the long range tracker:

The Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington (Orbit, October 23) — via

Posted in regular, Release Week | Tagged alexei panshin, alif the unseen, guy gavriel kay, release week, stefan rudnicki