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
Audiobook review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon →

Release week: Shadow Show, Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Drowning Girl, The Last Policeman, and Year Zero

Posted on 2012-07-11 at 13:52 by Sam

July really gets rolling here in its second week, with a long list of big new releases, including Rob Reid’s Year Zero and Deborah Harkness’s Shadow of Night. Still, it’s another four books which most catch my eye this week, starting with the anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle, narrated by George Takei, Edward Herrmann, Kate Mulgrew, F. Murray Abraham, Neil Gaiman, Peter Appel, and James Urbaniak for Harper Audio, concurrent with its print release from William Morrow. “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):


Also new in audio today is The Drowning Girl By Caitlin R. Kiernan, Narrated by Suzy Jackson for Neil Gaiman PresentsLength: 13 hrs and 8 mins — Published in print just earlier this year, this is certainly a triumphant return for Neil Gaiman Presents after a more than four month absence. Kiernan’s previous novel, The Red Tree, was a World Fantasy Award finalist,  and publishing a current year release is by far the most recent release for the 9-month-old imprint. “India Morgan Phelps - Imp to her friends - is schizophrenic. Struggling with her perceptions of reality, Imp must uncover the truth about her encounters with creatures out of myth - or from something far, far stranger…” A few words from Neil on The Drowning Girl: “As with all “Neil Gaiman Presents” titles, it’s very important to me to find the voice that comes closest to the voice in the author’s head; for Caitlin, for this book, that was Suzy Jackson. It was not until the second round of auditions that we found someone who sounded young but not naïve, someone who could catalogue the sharp detail of Imp’s carefully observed daily life but also convey the blurred edges of her reality. Caitlin and Suzy kept in touch during the recording, and the result is a reading that is precise but not “stagey”, a literary but accessible reading of the novel.”

Nearly lastly (well, above the fold, there’s a long list of good-looking titles below the “read more”) is one I don’t remember having heard of before seeing it today: The Last Policeman By Ben H. Winters, Narrated by Peter Berkrot for Brilliance Audio, concurrent with its print publication from Quirk Books. A more moderate length of just under 8.5 hours: What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares. The first in a trilogy.”

And coming from the comedic side of sf: Year Zero: A Novel By Rob Reid Narrated by John Hodgman for Random House Audio (the PC in the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials, among other places) — Length:9 hrs and 53 mins — (Del Rey, July 10) — “a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.”



  • Turbulence by Samit Basu (Titan Books UK, July 6) — “When Aman Sen gets off a plane from London to Delhi he discovers that he, and everyone on his flight, now has extraordinary abilities corresponding to their innermost desires. Aman wants to heal the planet but with each step he takes, he finds helping some means harming others. Will it all end, in a meaningless, explosive slugfest?”
  • 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)
  • Anthology: In Situ edited by Carrie Cuinn (Dagan Books, July 5) — “a new anthology of science fiction stories featuring alien archeology, hidden mysteries, and things that are better off left buried … stories by Ken Liu, KV Taylor, Paul A. Dixon, Bear Weiter, Mae Empson, Jason Andrew, Greg Burch, Sarah Hendrix, R.S. Hunter, Rebecca Lloyd, Alex Shvartsman, Kelly C. Stiles, Graham Storrs, David J. West, and Dawn Vogel”
  • 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)
  • A Million Heavens by John Brandon (McSweeney’s, Jul 10, 2012)
  • The No Variations by Luis Chitarroni and translated by Rhett McNeil (Dalkey Archive Press, Jul 10, 2012)
  • A Once Crowded Sky: A Novel by Tom King (Touchstone)
  • The Investigation: A Novel by Philippe Claudel (Nan A. Talese)
  • V Wars edited by Jonathan Maberry (IDW Publishing)
  • 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.”
  • YA: Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge, illus. by Andrea Dezsö (Candlewick) - “Several stories trade happily ever after for disappointment and discontent, as with the danger-addicted queen in Rumpelstiltskin, or with Rapunzel, who is left with a moody prince instead of the attentive witch who locked her in. Dezsö’s cut-paper Scherenschnitte-style silhouettes nod toward Hans Christian Andersen’s own papercuts—if Andersen were creating a storyboard for the Saw franchise.”
  • House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier (Orbit, July 10)
  • The Prankster by James Polster (Amazon/47North, July 10) — also in audio CD from Brilliance Audio, but strangely not available at
  • No Peace for the Damned by Megan Powell (Amazon/47North, July 10) — ditto


  • Heaven’s War by David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt (Ace, July 3) — Books on Tape should be publishing this in digital audio any day now


NEXT WEEK (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)
  • Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Kai-cheung Dung (Columbia University Press, July 17)
  • Anthology: Solaris Rising 1.5 edited by Ian Whates (Solaris, July 17) — table of contents via SF Signal
  • Anthology: 21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology edited by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Griffin, July 17)
  • Dead Space by BK Evenson (Titan, July 17)
  • 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)
  • The Stranger’s Magic: The Labyrinths of Echo, Book Three by Max Frei (Overlook, July 19)
  • Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Boccacino (Titan, July 20)
  • Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer (St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan Audio, July 17)

TWO WEEKS (July 24):

THREE 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)
  • Blood of the Emperor: The Annals of Drakis: Book Three by Tracy Hickman (DAW, Brilliance Audio, July 31)
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch (Del Rey, July 31, 2012)
  • Carry the Flame by James Jaros (Harper Voyager, July 31)
  • Exile: The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris, July 31)
  • The Wanderers (Veiled Isles Trilogy) by Paula Brandon (Spectra, July 31)
  • Collection: Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Subterranean, July 31)
  • Collection: The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures by Mike Resnick (Subterranean, July 31)
  • Collection: The Woman Who Married a Cloud: The Collected Short Stories of Jonathan Carroll by Jonathan Carroll (Subterranean, July 31)
  • 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)
Some selections in August and early September:
  • The Spark by Susan Jane Bigelow (Candlemark & Gleam, August) — book three after 2011’s well-received Unbroken and January’s Fly Info Fire from this high quality small press
  • Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris Book 1) by Jim C. Hines (August 7, DAW Hardcover) — “Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg.  Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects.”
  • Silver: Return to Treasure Island by Andrew Morton, read by David Tennant for Dreamscape (August 7) — “A compelling sequel to Treasure Island from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion”
  • Bullettime by Nick Mamatas (ChiZine, August 14)
  • Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine, August 14)
  • Collection: At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories by Kij Johnson (Small Beer, August 14)
  • Collection: Crackpot Palace: Stories by Jeffrey Ford (William Morrow, August 14)
  • The Legacy of Lord Regret: Strange Threads: Book 1 by Sam Bowring (Orbit, August 14)
  • Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit, January 2012) — the third volume (collecting books 5 and 6) of Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations is due in audio from Recorded Books on September 1
  • The Apocalypse Codex by Charles Stross — just published in print and e-book, coming in audio from Recorded Books, read by Gideon Emery, on September 1
  • Seawitch by Kat Richardson (Greywalker Series book 7, Recorded Books, September 1)
  • Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey (The Expanse, book 2, Recorded Books, September 1) — recently published follow up to Leviathan Wakes
  • Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (FS&G, September 4) — “Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.”
  • The Kingmakers by Clay and Susan Griffith (Pyr, September 4) — the conclusion of their Vampire Empire series which began with 2010’s The Greyfriar and 2011’s The Rift Walker — book one came to audio earlier this year from Buzzy Multimedia, read by James Marsters, and the remaining books will be coming along eventually

Just added to the long range radar:

The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper (Pyr, November 6) — via a very interesting post by artist John Picacio on creating the cover art:

Posted in regular, Release Week | Tagged caitlin r kiernan, graham joyce, neil gaiman, neil gaiman presents, ray bradbury, release week, the drowning girl, the last policeman, year zero