The next three months are . . . not evenly distributed. I imagine that roughly the same number of speculative fiction books are coming out each week for the next three months, but for whatever reason the books I’m most excited about fall heavily within September. The Sorcery Ascendant, Remembrance of Earth’s Past, and Tale of Shikanoko series all draw to a close. And apropos of my new Throwback SF Thursday feature, Kristine Kathryn Rusch has an anthology of classic SF stories by female authors whose contributions to the genre are too often ignored.
(You may notice that there aren’t any nonfiction or non-speculative fiction books listed this post. That has more to do with me losing my relevant notes than with the upcoming books. And anyway, I’m going to be busy finally reading The Age of Em (just started last week), reading Dream State: Eight Generations of Swamp Lawyers, Conquistadors, Confederate Daughters, Banana Republicans, and Other Florida Wildlife about my newly adopted home, and reading H.W. Brand’s biography of Andrew Jackson, my seventh president in seven years of reading biographies of the presidents in order.)
8/9 – Lord of the Darkwood by Lian Hearn
My review of Emperor of the Eight Islands is here.
Shikanoko, at what should be a warrior’s hour of greatest triumph, turns his back on those around him, in mourning for a secret love . . .
The Spider Tribe, spurned by their guardian, explore the extent of their powers and ruthless ambitions . . .
Hina, who alone knows the whereabouts of the true emperor, has to forge a new identity of her own. No one must ever know that she is Kiyoyori’s daughter . . .
As the traditional powers navigate weakness and disarray, old spirits and new figures enter the epic battle for the Lotus Throne . . .
In Lord of the Darkwood, the major players of The Tale of Shikanoko are forced to deal with the consequences―expected and unexpected alike―of their past reckless actions. Each of them strives to achieve their destiny, but so far the paths they have followed seem to have done nothing but provoke Heaven’s displeasure.
Profound betrayal, powerful magic, hidden identities, startling violence―these have made the weave of The Tale of Shikanoko so engrossing as it has played out across the sumptuously imagined, beautifully described world of Lian Hearn’s medieval Japan. But the story is now twisting towards its final resolution. Can peace ever come to the Eight Islands?
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book One: Emperor of the Eight Islands (April 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Two: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (June 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Three: Lord of the Darkwood (August 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book Four: The Tengu’s Game of Go (September 2016)
8/9 – Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Nevernight is the first in an epic new fantasy series from the New York Times bestselling author, Jay Kristoff.
In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.
Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.
Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic ― the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires.
8/30 – The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
A massive army on the brink of conquest looms large in a world where prophecies are lies, magic is believed in but never seen, and hope is where you least expect to find it.
Welcome to the Five Isles, where war has come in the name of the invading army of Sør Sevier, a merciless host driven by the prophetic fervor of the Angel Prince, Aeros, toward the last unconquered kingdom of Gul Kana. Yet Gault, one of the elite Knights Archaic of Sør Sevier, is growing disillusioned by the crusade he is at the vanguard of just as it embarks on his Lord Aeros’ greatest triumph.
While the eldest son of the fallen king of Gul Kana now reigns in ever increasing paranoid isolationism, his two sisters seek their own paths. Jondralyn, the older sister, renowned for her beauty, only desires to prove her worth as a warrior, while Tala, the younger sister, has uncovered a secret that may not only destroy her family but the entire kingdom. Then there’s Hawkwood, the assassin sent to kill Jondralyn who has instead fallen in love with her and trains her in his deadly art. All are led further into dangerous conspiracies within the court.
And hidden at the edge of Gul Kana is Nail, the orphan taken by the enigmatic Shawcroft to the remote whaling village of Gallows Haven, a young man who may hold the link to the salvation of the entire Five Isles.
You may think you know this story, but everyone is not who they seem, nor do they fit the roles you expect. Durfee has created an epic fantasy full of hope in a world based on lies.
9/6 – Of Sand and Malice Made by Bradley Beaulieu
My review of Twelve Kings in Sharakhai is here.
Çeda, the heroine of the novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.
But this all changes when she crosses the path of Rümayesh, an ehrekh, a sadistic creature forged long ago by the god of chaos. The ehrekh are usually desert dwellers, but this one lurks in the dark corners of Sharakhai, toying with and preying on humans. As Rümayesh works to unmask the White Wolf and claim Çeda for her own, Çeda’s struggle becomes a battle for her very soul.
9/6 – Women of Futures Past: Classic Stories edited by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
ANTHOLOGY OF GREAT SF STORIES BY RENOWNED WOMEN SF AUTHORS! A collection of wonderful SF carefully selected by ground-breaking editor and author, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Stories by Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Lois McMaster Bujold, CJ Cherryh and more.
Meet the Women of Futures Past: from Grand Master Andre Norton and the beloved Anne McCaffrey to some of the most popular SF writers today, such as Lois McMaster Bujold and CJ Cherryh. The most influential writers of multiple generations are found in these pages, delivering lost classics and foundational touchstones that shaped the field.
You’ll find Northwest Smith, C.L. Moore’s famous smuggler who predates (and maybe inspired) Han Solo by four decades. Read Leigh Brackett’s fiction and see why George Lucas chose her to write The Empire Strikes Back. Adventure tales, post-apocalyptic visions, space opera, aliens-among-us, time travel—these women have delivered all this and more, some of the best science fiction ever written!
Includes stories by Leigh Brackett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Pat Cadigan, CJ Cherryh, Zenna Henderson, Nancy Kress, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, James Tiptree, Jr., and Connie Willis.
9/10 – Children of the Different by S.C. Flynn
Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.
In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.
After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.
Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.
9/13 – A Shattered Empire by Mitchell Hogan
In this gritty and breathtaking conclusion to the Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, the award-winning fantasy series, a young sorcerer must learn to wield his extraordinary powers to defeat two warring empires.
In a battle of armies and sorcerers, empires will fall.
After young Caldan’s parents were slain, a group of monks raised the boy and initiated him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery. But when the Mahruse Empire was attacked, and the lives of his friends hung in the balance, he was forced to make a dangerous choice.
Now, as two mighty empires face off in a deadly game of supremacy, potent sorcery and creatures from legend have been unleashed. To turn the tide of war and prevent annihilation, Caldan must learn to harness his fearsome and forbidden magic. But as he grows into his powers, the young sorcerer realizes that not all the monsters are on the other side.
And though traps and pitfalls lie ahead, and countless lives are at stake, one thing is certain: to save his life, his friends, and his world, Caldan must risk all to defeat a sorcerer of immense power.
Failure will doom the world.
Success will doom Caldan.
9/20 – The Walking Dead vol. 26: Call to Arms by Robert Kirkman
After being betrayed by members of his own community, Rick Grimes charts a new course and marshals his forces against the Whisperers.
Collects THE WALKING DEAD #151-156.
9/20 – Death’s End by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
My review of The Three-Body Problem is here.
With The Three-Body Problem, English-speaking readers got their first chance to experience the multiple-award-winning and bestselling Three-Body Trilogy by China’s most beloved science fiction author, Cixin Liu. Three-Body was released to great acclaim including coverage in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. It was also named a finalist for the Nebula Award, making it the first translated novel to be nominated for a major SF award since Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities in 1976.
Now this epic trilogy concludes with Death’s End. Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to co-exist peacefully as equals without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.
Cheng Xin, an aerospace engineer from the early 21st century, awakens from hibernation in this new age. She brings with her knowledge of a long-forgotten program dating from the beginning of the Trisolar Crisis, and her very presence may upset the delicate balance between two worlds. Will humanity reach for the stars or die in its cradle?
9/27 – The Tengu’s Game of Go by Lian Hearn
The rightful emperor is lost to the world, farther from the throne than ever before . . .
The lord of the usurper clan has fallen ill, and further unrest looms . . .
Shikanoko has withdrawn to the furthest reaches of the country, leaving his allies stranded and the Spider Tribe unchecked . . .
Lakes are drying up, rivers receding―have the powers of Heaven abandoned the Eight Islands?
The Tale of Shikanoko began with an unusual game of Go, as young Shikanoko’s father sat down to an ill-advised match against a tengu. Now, in the last chapter of The Tale of Shikanoko, the stones are arrayed in their final positions on the board.
In The Tengu’s Game of Go, all are forced to confront the missteps of the past, as the wrath of Heaven weaves tight around its mortal players. Hidden identities are revealed, loyalties are put to their ultimate test, and death appears around every corner. Throughout The Tale of Shikanoko, Lian Hearn has masterfully captured the thrilling danger and beauty of the medieval and magical. In the final installment, Shikanoko risks everything for fate and justice―an exhilarating ending to an unforgettable adventure.
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 1: Emperor of the Eight Islands (April 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 2: Autumn Princess, Dragon Child (June 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 3: Lord of the Darkwood (August 2016)
The Tale of Shikanoko, Book 4: The Tengu’s Game of Go (September 2016)
10/4 – The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
My short review of The Grace of Kings is here.
In the much-anticipated sequel to the “magnificent fantasy epic” (NPR) Grace of Kings, Emperor Kuni Garu is faced with the invasion of an invincible army in his kingdom and must quickly find a way to defeat the intruders.
Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara, but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara—and chaos results.
But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara’s savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children, now grown and ready to make their mark on history.
10/4 – Exploded View by Sam McPheeters
It’s 2050, and LAPD Detective Terri Pastuzka has drawn the short straw with her first assignment of the new decade. Someone has executed one of the city’s countless immigrants, and no one (besides the usual besieged advocacy groups) seems to much care. Even Terri herself is already looking ahead to her next case before an unexpected development reveals there’s far more to this corpse than meets the eye.
And a lot already meets the eye. In a city immersed in augmented reality, the LAPD have their own superior network of high-tech eyewear—PanOpts, the ultimate panopticon—allowing Terri instant access to files and suspects and literal insertion into the crime scene using security footage captured from every angle the day the murder occurred. What started as a single homicide turns into a string of unsolved murders that tie together in frightening ways, leading Terri down a rabbit hole through Los Angeles’s conflicting realities—augmented and virtual, fantastically rumored and harrowingly true—towards an impossible conclusion.
Exploded View is the story of a city frozen in crisis, haunted by hardship and overwhelmed by refugees, where technology gives everyday citizens the power to digitally reshape news in real time, and where hard video evidence is impotent against the sheer, unrelenting power of belief. After all, when anyone can forge their own version of the truth, what use is any other reality?
Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
10/25 – Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eeking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life.
Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her. Domingo is smitten.
Her plan doesn’t include developing any real attachment to Domingo. Hell, the only living creature she loves is her trusty Doberman. Little by little, Atl finds herself warming up to the scrappy young man and his effervescent charm.
And then there’s Ana, a cop who suddenly finds herself following a trail of corpses and winds up smack in the middle of vampire gang rivalries.
Vampires, humans, cops, and gangsters collide in the dark streets of Mexico City. Do Atl and Domingo even stand a chance of making it out alive?
(I have been provided with advance copies of Lord of the Darkwood, Nevernight, Of Sand and Malice Made, Children of the Different, and The Tengu’s Game of Go.)