Release Week: Joyce Carol Oates, Zachary Jernigan, M. John Harrison’s Empty Space, Brian Francis Slattery, and more

FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 5, 2013: And here we are in March, and when you include the titles from my midweek wrapup it is quite a week indeed, with a 23-hour Joyce Carol Oates novel of possession in early 20th-Century Princeton, another entry in what is shaping up to be quite a run of debut fantasy novels, the conclusion of M. John Harrison’s Kefahuchi Tract trilogy, and (of course) The Sound of Rebellion which continues John Scalzi‘s The Human Division, now in its 8th episode.

PICKS OF THE WEEK:

The Accursed By Joyce Carol Oates, Narrated By Grover Gardner for Harper Audio — Length: 23 hrs — Scheduled Release Date: 03-05-13 — “A major historical novel from “one of the great artistic forces of our time” (The Nation) – an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-20th-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads of the powerful and the damned.”

The Accursed | [Joyce Carol Oates] No Return | [Zachary Jernigan]

Secondly, what appears to be the next in a strong run of fantasy debuts this year, No Return By Zachary Jernigan, Narrated By John FitzGibbon for Audible Frontiers, simultaneous with print/ebook release from Night Shade Books. “On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists – only what his intentions are. Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon – a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle – warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor, on the far side of Jeroun’s only inhabitable continent. From the 13th Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a young master of martial arts, laden with guilt over the death of one of his students. Traveling with him are Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. Together they must brave their own demons, as well as thieves, mages, beasts, dearth, and hardship on the perilous road to Danoor, and the bloody sectarian battle that is sure to follow. On the other side of the world, unbeknownst to the travelers, Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages (astronauts using Alchemical magic to achieve space flight) have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. But Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas – which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.”

Utopia By Ahmed Khaled Towfik, Narrated By Neil Shah for Audible for Bloomsbury — “A grim futuristic account of Egyptian society in the year 2023, Utopia takes readers on a chilling journey beyond the gated communities of the North Coast, where the wealthy are insulated from the bleakness of life outside the walls. When a young man and a girl break out from this bubble of affluence in order to see for themselves the lives of their impoverished fellow Egyptians they are confronted by a world that they had not imagined possible. Breathtaking and suspenseful, Utopia’s twists and turns will keep listeners guessing until the very last moment, and may leave some wondering whether this is a vision of the future that is not too far away.”

Utopia | [Ahmed Khaled Towfik] Empty Space: A Haunting | [M. John Harrison]

Empty Space by M. John Harrison, read by Grame Malcolm for Audible Frontiers — US release for this very well-received conclusion to Harrison’s Kefahuchi Tract after Light and Nova Swing, published last year in the UK. It’s the third different narrator for the trilogy, and third publisher as well, with Recorded Books producing book 2, and Neil Gaiman Presents bringing book 1, Light to wonderful life under the voice of Julian Elfer back in late 2011. Here: “In the near future, an elderly English widow is stirred from her mundane existence by surreal omens and visitations. Centuries later, the space freighter Nova Swing takes on an illegal alien artifact as cargo, with consequences beyond reckoning. While on a distant planet, a nameless policewoman tries to bring order to an event zone where ordinary physics do not apply, only to find herself caught up in something even stranger and more sublime….”

And the last two are from that “midweek” post roundup: both from Brian Francis Slattery, both from Audible Frontiers, starting with one of my most-missing of 2012, Lost Everything. Narrated By Michael Prichard it is billed thus: “From the author of the critically acclaimed literary SF novels Spaceman Blues and Liberation comes an incandescent and thrilling post-apocalyptic tale in the vein of 1984 or The Road. In the not-distant-enough future, a man takes a boat trip up the Susquehanna River with his most trusted friend, intent on reuniting with his son. But the man is pursued by an army, and his own harrowing past; and the familiar American landscape has been savaged by war and climate change until it is nearly unrecognizable.”

Lost Everything | [Brian Francis Slatterly] Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America | [Brian Francis Slatterly]

Speaking of Liberation, here also is Slatterly’s 2008 novel Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America, narrated by Paul Heitsch — “From the author of the literary pulp phenomenon Spaceman Blues comes a future history cautionary tale, a heist movie in the style of a hippie novel. Liberation is a speculation on life in near-future America after the country suffers an economic cataclysm that leads to the resurgence of ghosts of its past (such as the human slave trade). Our heroes are the Slick Six, a group of international criminals who set out to alleviate the worst of these conditions and put America on the road to recovery. Liberation is a story about living down the past, personally and nationally; about being able to laugh at the punch line to the long, dark joke of American history. Slattery’s prose moves seamlessly between present and past, action and memory. With Liberation, he celebrates the resilience and ingenuity of the American spirit.”

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

When We Wake | [Karen Healey] The Demonologist: A Novel | [Andrew Pyper] Midnight Blue-Light Special: InCryptid, Book 2 | [Seanan McGuire]

HACHETTE AUDIO: When We Wake by Karen Healey (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) — “My name is Tegan Oglietti, and on the last day of my first lifetime, I was so, so happy. Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027–she’s happiest when playing the guitar, she’s falling in love for the first time, and she’s joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.” — Big Idea

PENGUIN AUDIO: Written in Red: A Novel of the Others By Anne Bishop; Frost Burned: Mercy Thompson, Book 7 By Patricia Briggs; and A Small Town in Germany By John le Carré, Narrated By Michael Jayston

HARPER AUDIO: Requiem: Delirium Trilogy, Book 3 By Lauren Oliver, Narrated By Sarah Drew

SIMON & SCHUSTER AUDIO: The Demonologist: A Novel By Andrew Pyper, Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd; and (Kids) Ghoulish Song By William Alexander, a companion novel to last year’s award-winning Goblin Secrets

RECORDED BOOKS: Undead and Underwater By MaryJanice Davidson

TANTOR AUDIO: The Archmage Unbound: Mageborn, Book 3 By Michael G. Manning, Narrated By Todd McLaren

BOLINDA: The Lampo Circus: The Strangest Adventures, Book 2 By Alexandra Adornetto

CROSSROAD PRESS: Return: The Five Worlds Trilogy, Book 3 By Al Sarrantonio, Narrated By Dave Courvoisier

AUDIBLE INC: (Anthology) The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by Martin H. Greenberg

AUDIBLE FRONTIERS: Midnight Blue-Light Special: InCrypted, Book 2 by Seanan McGuire (DAW), read by Emily Bauer for Audible Frontiers; A Turn of Light By Julie E. Czerneda; Shadow of Freedom By David Weber (Series: Honor Harrington (Saganami), Book 3); The Last Threshold: Legend of Drizzt: Neverwinter Saga, Book 4 By R. A. Salvatore; along with titles by (among others) William C. Dietz and Fred Saberhagen

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

Six-Gun Snow White The Human Front

COMING SOON:

Sister Mine Bitterwood (Dragon Age, #1) The Office of Mercy

APRIL:

Life After Life A Stranger in Olondria

MAY:

The Kings and Queens of Roam: A Novel The Shambling Guide to New York City

JUNE and LATER:

The Shining GirlsNorth American Lake Monsters: Stories

  • The Shining Girls by (Mulholland Books, 6/04/2013) — “A time-traveling serial killer is impossible to trace–until one of his victims survives. In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential.” No audio news.
  • Abaddon’s Gate (The Expanse) by James S.A. Corey (Orbit, Jun 4, 2013)
  • In Thunder Forged: Iron Kingdoms Chronicles (The Fall of Llael Book One) by Ari Marmell (Jun 4, 2013)
  • Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X) by Richelle Mead (Penguin Audio, Jun 4, 2013)
  • Fiction: The Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom (Grove Atlantic, Jun 4, 2013) — “an epic novel about the American frontier in the early days of the nineteenth century”
  • Siege and Storm (Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone)) by Leigh Bardugo (Henry Holt, Jun 4, 2013)
  • After the End: Recent Apocalypses by Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, Margo Lanagan and Nnedi Okorafor (Jun 5, 2013)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow and Harper Audio, Jun 18, 2013)
  • The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Harper, Jun 18, 2013) — sequel to The Long Earth
  • The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn (47North and Brilliance Audio, Jun 18, 2013)
  • The Adjacent by Christopher Priest (Orion UK, Jun 20, 2013) — no US release news
  • Divinity and the Python by Bonnie Randall (Panverse, June 21)
  • Cold Steel (The Spiritwalker Trilogy) by Kate Elliott (Orbit, Jun 25, 2013)
  • Anthology: Aliens: Recent Encounters by Alex Macfarlane (Prime, Jun 25, 2013)
  • Thieves’ Quarry by D.B. Jackson (Tor, July 2) — sequel to Thieftaker
  • Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross (Ace, Jul 2, 2013) — “The year is AD 7000. The human species is extinct—for the fourth time—due to its fragile nature. Krina Alizond-114 is metahuman, descended from the robots that once served humanity. She’s on a journey to the water-world of Shin-Tethys to find her sister Ana. But her trip is interrupted when pirates capture her ship. Their leader, the enigmatic Count Rudi, suspects that there’s more to Krina’s search than meets the eye.”
  • A Discourse in Steel by Paul S. Kemp (Angry Robot: 2 Jul 2013)
  • Woken Gods by Gwenda Bond (Jul 2, 2013)
  • The Thousand Names: Book One of The Shadow Campaigns by Django Wexler (Roc Hardcover, Jul 2, 2013) — “Enter an epic fantasy world that echoes with the thunder of muskets and the clang of steel—but where the real battle is against a subtle and sinister magic.”
  • Anthology: Wastelands II: More Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams (Night Shade Books, Jul 2, 2013)
  • North American Lake Monsters: Stories by Nathan Ballingrud (Small Beer Press, July 16)
  • Beacons edited by Gregory Norminton (Oneworld Publications, Jul 16, 2013) — “Beacons throws down the gauntlet, challenging best-selling and award-winning authors to imagine where we, and out planet, might be headed and, in imagining, help us transform the way we look at our world and change things for the better. From Joanne Harris’ powerful vision of a near future where ‘outside’ has become a thing of history to Nick Hayes’ beautifully illustrated tale of the bond between man and nature, Beacons sees the coming together of dystopian satire, speculative and historical fiction, metaphorical flights of fancy, quiet tragedy, and farcical comedy in stories that are as various as our possible futures. Provocative, encouraging, and deeply moving, Beacons represents the best of short story writing — and collectively illuminates the immediacy of the ecological problems at hand. All author royalties will go to the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, one of the largest groups of people dedicated to action on climate change and limiting its impact on the world’s poorest people.”
  • Anthology: Carniepunk (Pocket Books, July 30)
  • 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.
  • Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan (Kickstarter, July 2013) — “Ellis Rogers is an ordinary guy who has always done the right things and played by the rules. But like many, his life didn’t turn out as he had planned. Facing a terminal disease, he’s willing to gamble that a cure could exist in the future, and although it is insanely dangerous to try, he really has nothing to lose. There are many books that explore what life might be like many years from now, and they cover the spectrum from the idealized world of the original Star Trek, with its progressive stance on equality and civil rights, to Huxley’s dystopian Brave New World. For years I’ve been fascinated by the observation that perception can make people see the same thing in very different ways. So I created a future, which if I’ve done my job properly, will be seen by some as a utopia and by others as exactly the opposite.”
  • Darwen Arkwright and the School of Shadows (Darwen Arkwright #3) by AJ Hartley (Razorbill, August 1)
  • The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1) by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit, August 3)
  • The Emergence of the Digital Humanities by Steven E. Jones (Routledge, Aug 3, 2013)
  • Wrath-bearing Tree (A Tournament of Shadows Book Two) by James Enge (Pyr, Aug 6, 2013)
  • Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence (Ace, Aug 6, 2013)
  • Kindred and Wings (A Shifted World Novel) by Philippa Ballantine (Pyr, Aug 6, 2013)
  • Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik (Del Rey, Aug 13, 2013)
  • The Time of Contempt (The Witcher) by Andrzej Sapkowski (Orbit, Aug 27, 2013)
  • Billy Moon: A transcendent Novel Reimagining the Life of Christopher Robin Milne by Douglas Lain (Tor, Aug 27, 2013)
  • The Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson (Jo Fletcher Books, August 2013) — a “Viking fantasy novel” by a new Icelandic author
  • Super Stories of Heroes and Villains edited by Claude Lalumiere (Tachyon, August 2013) — Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link’s “Origin Story”, Carol Emshwiller, Gene Wolfe, GRRM, …

SEPTEMBER and LATER:

  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch (Spectra, September 3)
  • 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”
  • 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
  • Monsters of the Earth (Books of the Elements #3) by David Drake (Tor, September 2013)
  • Three (Duskwalker Cycle #1) by Jay Posey (Angry Robot, Autumn 2013)
  • Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest (Tor, Autumn 2013)
  • 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)
  • Dead Run, The by Adam Mansbach (HarperCollins, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Hero by Alethea Kontis (Harcourt Children’s Books, October 1)
  • Pandemic by Scott Sigler (Crown, Oct 1, 2013)
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Parasite by Mira Grant (Orbit, November 1) — I know nothing about his other than the quite interesting cover…
  • Twenty-First Century Science Fiction by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden (Tor, Nov 5, 2013)
  • Maze by J.M. McDermott (Apex, January 2014)
  • The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy, Book 2) by Brian McClellan (Orbit, February 2014)
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (Viking, Early 2014) — book three after The Magicians and The Magician King
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2014) — the first of three “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?”
  • 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 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.”
  • Anthology: Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (May 2014) — table of contents includes Joe Abercrombie, Lev Grossman, and Pat Cadigan, among others
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