Release Week: Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist; Antti Tuomainen’s The Healer; Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors; World War Z; The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl; Fiction River; and John Scalzi’s The Human Division

May 8-14, 2013: It’s a very, very crowded middle release week in May, with a long list of new audiobooks including new books in translation, a new YA novel from Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman voicing one of his earlier collections, and finally an “unabridged” (scare quotes explained later…) US recording for World War Z. And more. How long is the list? Very long. I grudgingly winnowed things down to six seven picks, but others (a non-fiction Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction By Annalee Newitz, and Tor-published fiction with “fantastical elements” Mending the Moon By Susan Palwick, in particular) are certainly worth checking out as well, along with a pair of “Book 3” in a series, Raymond Feist’s Magician’s End: Book Three of the Chaoswar Saga and Jenna Black’s Rogue Descendant: Nikki Glass, Book 3.

PICKS OF THE WEEK:

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson, narrated By Michael Kramer for Macmillan Audio, out concurrent with the hardcover/ebook release from Tor Teen. While Sanderson is a multiple-times bestselling adult author (Mistborn, The Way of Kings, and the concluding volumes of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time), and with his “Alcatraz” series he has written several books for young readers, this is his “debut novel for the young adult audience.” Early reviews have described an interesting magical fighting system in which writing and drawing with chalk is indeed mightier than the sword. Here’s the setup: “More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings – merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.” First of a new series.

The Rithmatist | [Brandon Sanderson] The Healer | [Antti Tuomainen, Lola Rogers (translator)]

The Healer By Antti Tuomainen, translated by Lola Rogers, and narrated By Simon Shepherd for Random House Audio, out concurrent with Henry Holt’s US release of the English translation of this 2010 novel from Finnish author Tuomainen, winner of the Scandinavian Glass Key crime-fiction prize and the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel. It’s on the shorter side for an adult fiction at under 6 hours, and a physical CD release is set for early June from AudioGO. Here, in his third novel, Tuomainen sets his sights on a post-climate-catastrophe Helsinki: “It’s two days before Christmas, and Helsinki is battling ruthless climate catastrophe: subway tunnels are flooded and abandoned vehicles are burning in the streets. People are fleeing to the far north where conditions are still tolerable. Social order is crumbling and private security firms have undermined the police force. Tapani Lehtinen, a struggling poet, is among the few still willing to live in the city. When Tapani’s wife, Johanna, a journalist, goes missing, he embarks on a frantic hunt for her.”

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman, read by Gaiman for Harper Audio, brings one of Gaiman’s earlier collections (1998) to audio. While Gaiman’s 2006 collection Fragile Things contains a long list of awarded and nominated stories (“A Study in Emerald”, “How to Talk to Girls at Parties”), Smoke and Mirrors collects Gaiman’s major short fiction and poetry up to that point in his career, and was itself nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. The publication of American Gods was still two years away, though Gaiman was already well-known for Sandman, Neverwhere, and Good Omens. It’s a picture-window look into Gaiman’s fiction where: “In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion… and anything is possible. In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman’s imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders.”

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions | [Neil Gaiman] World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

And now it’s time to explain the “scare quotes” about getting an “unabridged” World War Z, as the already Guilded Earlobe A+ reviewed World War Z: The Complete Edition (Movie Tie-in Edition): An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks is finally here, narrated by the author along with an all-star cast including Alan Alda, John Turturro, Rob Reiner, Mark Hamill, Alfred Molina, Simon Pegg, Henry Rollins, and Martin Scorsese, and still more including Nathan Fillion, Nicki Clynes, and Kal Penn, for Random House Audio. Another title, World War Z: The Lost Files: A Companion to the Abridged Edition is also out, intended to supplement the previously released abridged edition from 2006, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. So, what gives with the scare quotes? Well, this is an unabridged recording — of the “Movie Tie-in Edition”. Which itself first cuts some text from the original 2006 edition. So while we don’t yet in the US have an “unabridged original edition”, this one’s so very, very close.

Nearly lastly, two “indie” picks, starting with The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl By Tim Pratt, narrated By Marguerite E. Croft. Pratt is no stranger to indie releases, having funded multiple books through Kickstarter and previously publishing the Dave Thompson-narrated Briarpatch via ACX. Here, “Rangergirl” is his 2005 debut novel, now available in audio: “Acclaimed short-story author Tim Pratt delivers an exciting heroine with a hidden talent – and a secret duty. Witty and suspenseful, here is a contemporary love song to the West that was won and the myths that shape us. As night manager of Santa Cruz’s quirkiest coffeehouse, Marzi McCarty makes a mean espresso, but her first love is making comics. Her claim to fame: The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, a cowpunk neo-western yarn. Striding through an urban frontier peopled by Marzi’s wild imagination, Rangergirl doles out her own brand of justice. But lately Marzi’s imagination seems to be altering her reality. She’s seeing the world through Rangergirl’s eyes – literally – complete with her deadly nemesis, the Outlaw.”

The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl | [Tim Pratt]  Unnatural Worlds: Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine, Volume 1 | [Richard Bowes, Leah Cutter, David Farland, Esther M. Friesner, Kellen Knolan, Devon Monk, Irette Y. Patterson, Annie Reed, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith]

Speaking of Kickstarter and experienced indie publishers, Unnatural Worlds: Fiction River: An Original Anthology Magazine, Volume 1 includes stories by Richard Bowes, Leah Cutter, David Farland, Esther M. Friesner, Kellen Knolan, Devon Monk, Irette Y. Patterson, Annie Reed, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and Dean Wesley Smith, and is narrated By Matthew Buchman, Jerimy Colbert, Jane Kennedy, Irette Y. Patterson, Kristine Katherine Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Stephanie Writt. I’m not completely sold on the narration of each story, but this is quite an ambitious indie release and one of note. The new original anthology series edited by Rusch and Smith was funded by a Kickstarter project, and plans a new volume every other month, though I’m not sure yet whether future volumes will be produced in audiobook format as well. Here, it’s the first volume: “From a funeral procession in Asia, to an ancestral estate deep in the heart of a vaguely Victorian forest, to a carriage accident in the vast universe of The Runelords, Unnatural Worlds takes listeners on a journey to the far side of the imagination. Funny, heartbreaking, frightening, but most importantly, memorable, the original stories in this anthology go places few writers dare reach. Unnatural Worlds marks the perfect start to the brand-new Fiction River anthology series.”

Lastly, it’s almost hard to wrap my head around it really being the “release week” for The Human Division by John Scalzi, since we hosted the Listen-a-Long for the serialized releases of the weekly back-to-back-to-back-to…back bestselling episodes.

The Human Division | [John Scalzi] The B-Team: The Human Division, Episode 1 | [John Scalzi]

But! Here it is, all in one volume, narrated of course by William Dufris for Audible Frontiers — and there’s also a physical CD audiobook from fellow Amazon.com imprint Brilliance Audio — collecting all the episdoes from The B-Team: The Human Division, Episode 1 to Earth Below, Sky Above: The Human Division, Episode 13. I’m not yet 100% sure whether or not the full audiobook includes, as does the also-now-just-released Tor hardcover/ebook, the short story “After the Coup” (first published and still available at Tor.com) and a new short story “Hafte Sorvalh Eats a Churro and Speaks to the Youth of Today”, which (per the author) will be available standalone at some later point, and is a character piece not necessary to the plot in any case.

ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

Magician's End: Book Three of the Chaoswar Saga | [Raymond E. Feist] Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction | [Annalee Newitz]

TANTOR: Rogue Descendant: Nikki Glass, Book 3 By Jenna Black, narrated By Sophie Eastlake; Shadows of Falling Night: Shadowspawn, Book 3 By S. M. Stirling, narrated By Todd McLaren; Kiss of Steel: London Steampunk, Book 1 By Bec McMaster, narrated By Alison Larkin

HARPER AUDIO: Magician’s End: Book Three of the Chaoswar Saga By Raymond E. Feist, narrated By John Meagher

RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO: (Non-Fiction) Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction By Annalee Newitz, narrated By Kimberly Farr; (Fiction) Inferno: A Novel By Dan Brown, narrated By Paul Michael (Series: Robert Langdon, Book 4)

LISTENING LIBRARY: (Teen) The Beautiful and the Cursed By Page Morgan

CROSSROAD PRESS: The Monarchs By Stephen Mark Rainey, narrated By Chet Williamson; Long Horn, Big Shaggy By Steve Vernon, narrated By Larry Oliver

CARINA PRESS: The Stolen Luck By Shawna Reppert, narrated By Charles Carr

CANDLEWICK on BRILLIANCE AUDIO: The Cydonian Pyramid: The Klaatu Diskos, Book 2 By Pete Hautman, narrated By Peter Berkrot

BRILLIANCE AUDIO: The Book of Seven Hands: A Foreworld SideQuest By Barth Anderson, narrated By Nick Podehl

AUDIBLE INC: Everdead By Rio Youers, narrated By Seth Michael Donsky; Mending the Moon By Susan Palwick, narrated By Emily C. Michaels and Alfred Gingold; along with several short novels and other works of the late Roberto Bolaño

AUDIBLE FRONTIERS: The Warlock’s Curse By M. K. Hobson, narrated By Pat Young; The Redemption of Althalus By David Eddings and Leigh Eddings, narrated By Dennis Holland; Element-X By B. V. Larson; and the usual longlist of additional backlist titles

INDIE: I Punch the General By I. Flowers, narrated By Joshua Mackey; and The Cold Beneath By Tonia Brown

SEEN BUT NOT HEARD:

DG-How-to-Play

  • Zombie Versus Fairy Featuring Albinos (How to End Human Suffering) by James Marshall (ChiZine, May, 2013)
  • Path of Needles by Alison Littlewood (Quercus UK, May 9) — no US release info yet; Littlewood’s previous novel, Cold Season, out early 2012 in the UK, doesn’t arrive in the US until September
  • Dangerous Games: How to Play by Matt Forbeck (May 12, 2013) — “Dangerous Games: How to Play is the first in a trilogy of thrillers set at Gen Con, the largest tabletop gaming convention in America. In the book, aspiring young game designer Liam Parker leaves the Diana Jones Award party with gaming legend Ken Hite and stumbles across the body of world-famous game designer Allen Varney (who volunteered for the role!). Shocked at the tragedy and hired by Gen Con as its liaison with the Indianapolis police, Liam makes it his mission to figure out who killed Allen and why. His investigations drag him deep into the world of tabletop games and thrust him into the center of a mystery he must solve fast — or become the latest victim in this dangerous game.”
  • Never (Lightbringer) by K. D. Mcentire (Pyr, May 14, 2013)
  • The Tyrant’s Law (The Dagger and the Coin) by Daniel Abraham (Orbit, May 14, 2013) — Update: should eventually be forthcoming from Recorded Books, which has published both The Dragon’s Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1 and The King’s Blood: The Dagger and the Coin, Book 2
  • Solip by Ken Baumann (Tyrant Books, May 14, 2013) — “Every sentence of Solip is a brazen little puzzle of heavy mystery, which when welded together as an object form the most compact and mask-faced take on the encyclopedic novel I can think of. In the ballroom with Sukenick and Lispector, it’s one that continues to unfold, query, conflate, revealing slick black floors where you thought walls were.” —Blake Butler
  • Anthology: Nebula Awards Showcase 2013 edited by Catherine Asaro (Pyr, May 14)
  • The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (Cleis Press, May 14, 2013) — a new edition of this novel originally published in German in 1962; an audio edition is forthcoming on June 1 from Blackstone Audio: ““I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being.” — Update: now available from Blackstone Audio.
  • Fiction: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, May 14) — “From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.”

COMING SOON:

The Shambling Guide to New York City | [Mur Lafferty] Bullettime | [Nick Mamatas]

  • TEST OF FIRE  by Ben Bova, read by Dean Sluyter for Blackstone Audio — Available 15 May 13
  • Wraiths of the Broken Land by S. Craig Zahler (Raw Dog Screaming Press, May 15 2013) — “A brutal and unflinching tale that takes many of its cues from both cinema and pulp horror, Wraiths of the Broken Land is like no Western you’ve ever seen or read. Desperate to reclaim two kidnapped sisters who were forced into prostitution, the Plugfords storm across the badlands and blast their way through Hell. This gritty, character-driven piece will have you by the throat from the very first page and drag you across sharp rocks for its unrelenting duration. Prepare yourself for a savage Western experience that combines elements of Horror, Noir and Asian ultra-violence.”
  • Jane (The Warriors of Love) by P. F. Jeffery (May 15, 2013) — new edition from Chomu Press; the title was previously (2010) self-published on Lulu
  • The Stranger’s Shadow: The Labyrinths of Echo: Book Four by Frei, Max (Overlook Hardcover, May 15, 2013)
  • Collection: Conservation of Shadows by Yoon Ha Lee (Prime Books, May 21, 2013)
  • Teen: THE PLANET THIEVES by Dan Krokos (Blackstone Audio, 21 May)
  • The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire) by Mark Barnes (47North and Brilliance Audio, May 21, 2013)
  • Vaporware by Richard Dansky (JournalStone, May 24) — “Video game projects get shut down all the time, but when the one Ryan Colter and his team have poured their hearts into gets cut, something different happens: the game refuses to go away. Now Blue Lightning is alive, and it wants something from Ryan – something only he can give it.”
  • The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty (Orbit, May 28) — coming to Hachette Audio read by Lafferty and currently being podcast — check out The AudioBookaneers Listen-a-Long!
  • RED HORSE by Alex Adams (Blackstone Audio, 28 May) — sequel to White Horse
  • The Eighth Court by Mike Shevdon (Angry Robot: 28 May)
  • The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (Angry Robot: 28 May)
  • Antiagon Fire (Imager Portfolio) by L. E. Modesitt (Tor, May 28, 2013) — coming to audio from Tantor Audio, read by William Dufris
  • Anthology: Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy edited by Jonathan Strahan (Solaris, May 28) — includes new stories from Saladin Ahmed, Kate Elliot, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Ellen Kushner, Jeffrey Ford, KJ Parker, and more
  • After Earth By Peter David, Narrated By To Be Announced for Random House Audio — Length: 10 hrs — Scheduled Release Date: 05-28-13 — novelization of the forthcoming Will Smith film
  • Bullettime By Nick Mamatas, Narrated By Brandon Massey for Audible Inc. — Scheduled Release Date: 05-29-13
  • Fiction: WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler (Blackstone Audio, 31 May)
  • Unfettered edited by Shawn Speakman (Grim Oak Press, May 2013) –a charity anthology with stories from Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Tad Williams, Brandon Sanderson, R.A. Salvatore, Naomi Novik, Peter V. Brett, Lev Grossman, Daniel Abraham, Michael J. Sullivan, David Anthony Durham, Robert V.S. Redick, Kevin Hearne, Mark Lawrence, …
  • Anthology: The Grimscribe’s Puppets edited by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. (Miskatonic River Press, May 2013) — “all new tales that pay homage to Ligotti and celebrate his eerie and essential nightmares” with stories from Michael Cisco, Nicole Cushing, Jeffrey Thomas, Gemma Files, John Langan, and more

JUNE and LATER:

The Shining Girls North American Lake Monsters: Stories

  • THE WALL (1962) by Marlen Haushofer, read by Kathe Mazur (Blackstone Audio, June 1) — “I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being.
  • Heart of Iron: London Steampunk, Book 2 By Bec McMaster, narrated By Alison Larkin for Tantor Audio — Scheduled Release Date: 06-03-13
  • The Shining Girls by (Mulholland Books and Hachette Audio, 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.”
  • The Beautiful Land by Alan Averill (Ace, Jun 4, 2013) — “An exciting debut novel, in the tradition of The Passage. The Beautiful Land is part science fiction, part horror–and, at its core, a love story, between a brilliant young computer genius and the fragile women he has loved since high school. Now, he must bend time and space to save her life, as the world around them descends into apocalyptic madness.”
  • 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)
  • The Firebird By Susanna Kearsley, Narrated By Lucy Rayner for Brilliance Audio — Scheduled Release Date: 06-04-13
  • After the End: Recent Apocalypses by Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, Margo Lanagan and Nnedi Okorafor (Jun 5, 2013)
  • Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh (Orbit, June 11) — “In the future, love is complicated and death is not necessarily the end. Love Minus Eighty follows several interconnected people in a disquieting vision of romantic life in the century to come.”
  • Shattered Pillars (The Eternal Sky, Book 2) by Elizabeth Bear (Recorded Books, 14 June 2013) — Out in ebook and hardcover earlier this year from Tor: “A winner of multiple Hugo Awards and a Locus Award, Elizabeth Bear crafts mesmerizing tales of science fiction and fantasy. The second novel in her Eternal Sky trilogy, Shattered Pillars continues the epic saga of politics, war, and magic that began with Range of Ghosts. Temur the exiled heir and Sarmarkar the Tsarepheth wizard must gather all their strength to fight the dark forces determined to conquer every great empire along the Celedon Road.”
  • THE WINDS OF ALTAIR by Ben Bova, read by Stefan Rudnicki for Blackstone Audio (Available 15 June 13)
  • ATTICA by Garry Kilworth, read by Simon Vance for Blackstone Audio (Available 15 June 13)
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow and Harper Audio, Jun 18, 2013)
  • Lexicon by Max Barry, read by Heather Corrigan and Zach Appelman for Dreamscape Media (concurrent with hardcover/ebook release from Penguin, June 18) — “An up-all-night thriller for freaks and geeks who want to see their wizards all grown up in the real world and armed to the teeth in a bloody story.” – Kirkus Reviews; as well as blurbs from both Lev (“About as close you can get to the perfect cerebral thriller: searingly smart, ridiculously funny, and fast as hell. Lexicon reads like Elmore Leonard high out of his mind on Snow Crash.”) and Austin Grossman (“I don’t know how you could craft a better weekend read than this novel of international intrigue and weaponized Chomskian linguistics. It’s the perfect mix of philosophical play and shotgun-inflected chase scenes. Like someone let Grant Morrison loose on the Bourne identity franchise.”)
  • Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler (Tor, Jun 18) — “Wheeler’s stunning debut is a sophisticated fantasy whose lush descriptions, lurical dialogue, and engaging structure are reminiscent of the very best fairy tales… This profoundly beautifuly evolution of fairy tale elements will have readers eagerly awaiting Wheeler’s next book.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Requiem by Ken Scholes (Tor, Jun 18) — “the latest in The Psalms of Isaak series”
  • Before the Fall by Francis Knight (Orbit, Jun 18) — book two in a trilogy to be published in its entirety in 2013, starting with (already out) Fade to Black
  • The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Harper, Jun 18, 2013) — sequel to The Long Earth
  • Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe (Tor, Jun 18) — coming to audio read by Stefan Rudnicki, this is book 2 after 2011′s The Hum and the Shiver
  • The Shuddering by Ania Ahlborn (47North and Brilliance Audio, Jun 18, 2013)
  • The Quarry by Iain M. Banks (Little, Brown and Co., June 20, 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)
  • Blade Reforged (A Fallen Blade Novel) by Kelly McCullough (Ace, Jun 25, 2013)
  • The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven and Matthew Joseph Harrington (Tor Books, Jun 25) — “Twenty-five years ago, the Briareus mission took nanomachinery out to divert an Earth-crossing asteroid and bring it back to be mined, only to drop out of contact as soon as it reached its target. The project was shut down and the technology was forcibly suppressed. Now, a much, much larger asteroid is on a collision course with Earth—and the Briareus nanites may be responsible.”
  • The World of the End by Ofir Touché Gafla (Tor, Jun 25) — “As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn appreciates an unexpected ending. But when that denouement is the untimely demise of his beloved wife, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner; she was the fiber that held together all that he is. And Ben is willing to do anything, even enter the unknown beyond, if it means a chance to be with her again. One bullet to the brain later, Ben is in the Other World, where he discovers a vast and curiously secular existence utterly unlike anything he could have imagined: a realm of sprawling cities where the deceased of every age live an eternal second life, and where forests of family trees are tended by mysterious humans who never lived in the previous world. But Ben cannot find Marian. Desperate for a reunion, he enlists an unconventional afterlife investigator to track her down, little knowing that his search is entangled in events that continue to unfold in the world of the living. It is a search that confronts Ben with one heart-rending shock after another; with the best and worst of human nature; with the resilience and fragility of love; and with truths that will haunt him through eternity.”
  • Anthology: Aliens: Recent Encounters by Alex Macfarlane (Prime, Jun 25, 2013)
  • THE INTEGRAL TREES by Larry Niven, read by Tom Weiner for Blackstone Audio (Available 1 July 13)
  • Channel Zilch by Doug Sharp (Panverse, July 2013) — “Mick Oolfson trashed his astronaut career by stunt-flying a shuttle during re-entry. He’s miserable as a groundling, so when testosterone-surfing geek goddess Heloise Chin offers him an astronaut gig on Channel Zilch, a pirate orbiting reality show, Mick jumps at the chance to return to space, though it means denting his Boy Scout scruples by stealing space shuttle Enterprise from the Smithsonian. CHANNEL ZILCH is a near-future hard science fiction caper with heart and purpose, the first book of The Geek Rapture Project. Book 2, HEL’S BET, will be published by Panverse later in 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.”
  • Playing Tyler by T L Costa (Strange Chemistry, Jul 2, 2013)
  • Anthology: Wastelands II: More Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams (Night Shade Books, Jul 2, 2013)
  • The Curiosity: A Novel by Stephen Kiernan (William Morrow, Jul 9, 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.”
  • This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death by Matthew Bennardo, David Malki ! and Ryan North (Grand Central, Jul 16, 2013)
  • Anthology: Carniepunk (Pocket Books, July 30)
  • Three (Duskwalker Cycle #1) by Jay Posey (Angry Robot, July 31, 2013) — cover reveal and excerpt up at io9
  • 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)
  • The Companions: The Sundering, Book I by R. A. Salvatore (Aug 6, 2013)
  • Kindred and Wings (A Shifted World Novel) by Philippa Ballantine (Pyr, Aug 6, 2013)
  • The Third Kingdom by Terry Goodkind (Tor, Aug 6) — direct sequel to The Omen Machine
  • Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik (Del Rey, Aug 13, 2013)
  • The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara (Doubleday, Dreamscape Media, August 13) — “In 1950, a young doctor, Norton Perina, signs on with the anthropologist Paul Tallent for an expedition to the remote island of Ivu’ivu in search of a rumored lost tribe. They succeed, finding not only that tribe but also a group of forest dwellers they dub “The Dreamers,” who turn out to be fantastically long-lived but progressively more senile. Perina suspects the source of their longevity is a hard-to-find turtle; unable to resist the possibility of eternal life, he kills one and smuggles some meat back to the States. He proves his thesis, earning worldwide fame, but he soon discovers that its miraculous property comes at a terrible price. As things quickly spiral out of his control, his own demons take hold, with devastating consequences.”
  • Collection: Celestial Inventories by Steve Rasnic Tem (ChiZine, Aug 15)
  • Fiction: Lookaway, Lookaway: A Novel By Wilton Barnhardt, Narrated By Scott Shepherd for Macmillan Audio (concurrent with print/ebook release from St. Martin’s) — Scheduled Release Date: 08-20-13
  • 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, …
  • The Daylight War: The Demon Cycle, Book 3 by Peter V. Brett (GraphicAudio, August 2013)

SEPTEMBER and LATER:

  • Anthology: Glitter and Mayhem edited by John Klima, Lynne M. Thomas, and Michael Damian Thomas (Apex Books, Sep 1) — “Welcome to Glitter & Mayhem, the most glamorous party in the multiverse. Step behind the velvet rope of these fabulous Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror tales of roller rinks, nightclubs, glam aliens, party monsters, drugs, sex, glitter, and debauchery.”
  • 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)
  • The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale (Mulholland Books, September 10) — ‘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 Gritand 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).’
  • Anthology: Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books, September 11)
  • Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest (Tor, Autumn 2013)
  • American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett (Recorded Books, Sep 13) — published earlier this year in print/ebook, and perhaps to show up in digital audio a bit earlier (Sep 1)
  • The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit, Sep 17) — Riyria Chronicles #2
  • The Falconer by Elizabeth May (Gollanz UK, Sep 19) — I don’t see a US release until 2014 for this much-balyhooed debut fantasy
  • 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)
  • The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White (Tor, Sep 24)
  • Dead Run, The by Adam Mansbach (HarperCollins, Sep 24, 2013)
  • Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas (Dark Horse, September 24, 2013)
  • Hero by Alethea Kontis (Harcourt Children’s Books, October 1)
  • Pandemic by Scott Sigler (Crown, Oct 1, 2013)
  • Ghosts Know by Ramsey Campbell (Tor, Oct 1)
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3) by Scott Lynch (Spectra, October 8)
  • A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (Orbit, Oct 8) — originally self-published, now being re-published by Orbit
  • 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
  • Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter (Tor, October 15) — “The long-awaited stand-alone sequel to the seminal novel Infernal Devices by one of the founding fathers of steampunk”
  • The Abominable: A Novel by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown and Company, Oct 22, 2013)
  • Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone (Tor Books, October 29) — book one is in audio from Blackstone
  • The n-Body Problem by Tony Burgess (ChiZine, October 2013) — “Tony Burgess returns to the realm of the zombie”
  • 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)
  • Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach (Orbit, Nov 5)
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Tor, November 12) — book 2 in The Stormlight Archive after The Way of Kings
  • Apparition by Trish J. MacGregor (Tor, Nov 12)
  • Watcher of the Dark by Joseph Nassise (Tor, November 19)
  • Bloodstone by Gillian Philip (Tor, Nov 19)
  • Arcanum by Simon Morden (Orbit, Nov 19) — “A historical fantasy novel of medieval Europe in which the magic that has run the world for centuries is disappearing– and now the gifts of the gods must be replaced with the ingenuity of humanity.”
  • The Land Across by Gene Wolfe (Tor, Nov 26)
  • Last to Rise by Francis Knight (Orbit, Nov 26) — concluding volume in a new trilogy which started with Knight’s debut Fade to Black in early 2013
  • Collection: Bleeding Shadows by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean, November 2013)
  • Anthology: Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Tor, Dec 3) — table of contents includes Joe Abercrombie, Lev Grossman, and Pat Cadigan, among others
  • Maze by J.M. McDermott (Apex, January 2014)
  • Leaving the Sea: Stories by Ben Marcus (Knopf, 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.”
  • 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.”

Fiction: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Knopf, May 14) — “From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.”

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