Release Week: The Twelve, Bowl of Heaven, Roadside Picnic, and George R.R. Martin

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Release Week: The Twelve, Bowl of Heaven, Roadside Picnic, and George R.R. Martin

Posted on 2012-10-17 at 20:5 by Sam

Vampires and aliens are featured in two new highly-anticipated books in this mid-October release week, and aliens and vampires are also featured in new audiobooks of highly-regarded books published in past years.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin, read by Scott Brick for Random House Audio continues the story from Cronin’s post-apocalyptic vampire novel The Passage which introduced a set of death row inmates used as experimental subjects for a virus discovered by an unfortunate South American expedition and the devastation and post-apocalyptic world which followed — as well as the story of a group of humans fighting the vampires a hundred years in the future. In The Twelve we again get both “present day” storylines as well as the continuing story of Amy and other survivors fighting to save humanity. The Guilded Earlobe loved the audiobook and I’m hoping to yet find time for it later this year, helped by the fact that The Twelve is about ten and a half hours shorter — though at 26.5 hours it’s still a lengthy listen.

The alien artifact this release week is Bowl of Heaven By Larry Niven and Gregory Benford, Narrated by Zach Villa for Audible Frontiers — Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins — “In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths…and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship.”

Speaking of alien artifacts and human curiosity: Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, read by Robert Forster for Random House Audio — Length: 7 hrs and 17 mins — A 1977 Soviet sf classic re-released earlier this year in a new US edition by Chicago Review Press, with a new translation by Orlena Bormashenko, a foreward by Ursula K. Le Guin, and an afterword by Boris Strugatsky: “Red Schuhart is a stalker, one of those young rebels who are compelled, in spite of extreme danger, to venture illegally into the Zone to collect the mysterious artifacts that the alien visitors left scattered around. His life is dominated by the place and the thriving black market in the alien products. But when he and his friend Kirill go into the Zone together to pick up a “full empty,” something goes wrong. And the news he gets from his girlfriend upon his return makes it inevitable that he’ll keep going back to the Zone, again and again, until he finds the answer to all his problems.”

Meanwhile, Harper Audio has produced George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, and Tuesday brought three of the author’s backlist to audio, led for me by Fevre Dream, read by Ron Donachie, Martin’s 1982 vampire novel set on the Mississippi River in 1857. Also coming to audio are Windhaven (read by Harriet Walter) and Dying of the Light (read by Iain Glen).


  • Non-Fiction: Angela Carter: New Critical Readings by Sonya Andermahr and Lawrence Phillips (Oct 11, 2012) — no audio news
  • Only Superhuman by Christopher L. Bennett (Tor, Oct 16) — “2107 AD: A generation ago, Earth and the cislunar colonies banned genetic and cybernetic modifications. But out in the Asteroid Belt, anything goes. Dozens of flourishing space habitats are spawning exotic new societies and strange new varieties of humans. It’s a volatile situation that threatens the peace and stability of the entire solar system.”
  • The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski (Pantheon, Oct 16, 2012) — originally released only in the Netherlands as a very, very limited edition, coming to the US in a new edition — no audio news
  • The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block (St. Martin's, Oct 16) -- "Coming-of-age fantasy novel about a young woman who attends UC Berkeley in part to search for a friend who vanished there years before." (via Locus Online)
  • Helix Wars by Eric Brown (Solaris, Oct 11) -- "SF/space opera novel, sequel to Helix (2007), about human colonists who serve as peacekeepers among a huge spiral of worlds surrounding its sun." (via Locus Online)
  • Earth to Hell by Kylie Chan (Harper Voyager, Oct 16) -- "Fantasy novel, first in a new series that follows the “Dark Heavens” trilogy (White Tiger, Red Phoenix, and Blue Dragon), about Chinese gods living on Earth." (via Locus Online)
  • Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake (Harper Voyager, Oct 16) -- "Urban fantasy novel, first in a series, about a magical tattoo artist in a world where supernatural beings live among humans." (via Locus Online)
  • Belka, Why Don’t You Bark? by Hideo Furukawa (Haikasoru, Oct 16) -- "SF novel about military dogs left behind on an Aleutian island by Japanese troops in 1943, and a kidnapped Japanese girl who develops a psychic connection with dogs." (via Locus Online)
  • Strangers in the Land by Stant Litore (Amazon/47North, Oct 16) -- "Horror novel, third in a series (The Zombie Bible) following Death Has Come Up into Our Windows and What Our Eyes Have Witnessed (both August 2012), retelling biblical tales in terms of zombies. This one is set in 1160 BC Israel, based on an episode from the book of Judges." (via Locus Online) -- the first two books are available in audio
  • Vampyric Variations by Nancy Kilpatrick (EDGE, Oct 15, 2012)
  • Globalization, Utopia and Postcolonial Science Fiction: New Maps of Hope by Eric D. Smith (Palgrave Macmillan, Oct 16, 2012)
NEXT WEEK (Oct 23):
  • Red Country by Joe Abercrombie (Orbit, Oct 23) — “Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.” (emphasis mine…)
  • Beautiful Redemption (A Beautiful Creatures Novel) By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (October 23, Dreamscape/Hachette Audio) — “The stunning and bittersweet finale to the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series.”
TWO WEEKS (Oct 30):
  • YA: Ruins by Orson Scott Card, from Brilliance Audio, simultaneously released with the hardcover from Simon Pulse — continuing the story of 2010’s Pathfinder (Simon Pulse, October 30)
  • Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson — book one in a new prequel trilogy to Erikson’s Malazan series — published in print by Tor in September, forthcoming from Brilliance Audio which is also putting out the Malazan series in audio
  • Death’s Apprentice A Grimm City Novel By K.W. Jeter and Gareth Jefferson Jones (Thomas Dunne and Dreamscape Audio, Oct 30) — “Death’s young apprentice must stand on his own as he leads an uprising against the Devil.”
  • The Lion in Chains (A Foreworld Side Quest) by Mark Teppo (Brilliance Audio, Oct 30) — a “side quest” in the world of The Mongoliad
  • Kris Longknife: Furious by Mike Shepherd (Oct 30)
  • Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom (Harper Voyager, Oct 30)
  • Cemetery Plot by Alex Granados (Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, Oct 31) — “The apocalypse isn’t all it’s cracked up to be”.
  • The Warlock’s Curse: Veneficas Americana #3 by M.K. Hobson (Demimonde, Oct 31) — Kickstarter-funded self-published third book after The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess were published by Spectra
  • The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon, Nov 1)
Posted in regular, Release Week | Tagged bowl of heaven, george rr martin, gregory benford, justin cronin, larry niven, mike mignola, release week, roadside picnic, scott brick, the twelve