Happy Monday! Oh, wait. That’s an oxymoron. Anyway, looks like a week for fantasy this time out in our weekly tour of new spec fiction releases. Well okay, fantasy and zombies. Just when I think zombies have shambled off and died, here comes a new brain-eating bunch. But I guess that’s the way with zombies, isn’t it?
Now…what do you want to read this week? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.
If there’s one thing Gavin Stokes knows, it’s that something unimaginably dangerous has returned to the world. A mad dog runs amok, a mermaid floats in the bay, and a wild beast stalks the countryside. He and others make the same strange claim: magic has returned. All signs point to it. Now, Gavin’s aunt has disappeared. A young girl who’s been accused of murder vanishes from a locked cell. She is at large somewhere in a vast wilderness. Meanwhile, a desolate child leaves the home that has kept her safe all her life and strikes out into the unknown. And a mother, half mad with grief for her lost son, sets off to find him. There is a place where all their journeys meet. But someone is watching the roads. (U.S. Release)
There was a time when Nathan Garrett was feared. When the mention of his name was enough to stop his enemies in their tracks. That time has long since passed. When Nathan’s friend asks for help investigating a pattern of horrific crimes, he reluctantly agrees. But his investigation leads to a serial killer who is something more, or less, than human, a creature of pure malevolence and hatred. There are some things that even a 1600-year-old sorcerer hesitates to challenge. But when evil targets those Nathan cares about, his enemies will discover exactly who Nathan used to be. And why they will learn to fear him once more. (U.S. Release)
Steve McHugh, (September 17, 47North)
It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue, a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, and those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him. (U.S. Release)
It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted with an ability to peer across to the other side. Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free. Until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest. It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again and who is now aware of Delia’s existence.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls (Pax Arcana 0.6), by Elliott James, (September 17, Orbit)
This is the second in a series of short stories by debut author Elliott James. The first of his novels, Charming, will be out in September 2013. Nothing with the Cunning Folk is ever free. When John Charming goes to Sarah White for help with a minor ghost problem, he soon finds himself dealing with a restless spirit on a completely different scale. And the last thing you want to be when hunting a water spirit is out of your depth. (ebook only)
“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.” “Hullo,”I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.” Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal. While picking up milk for his children’s cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.
The fourth volume in Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read anthology series for tween boys, features ten thrilling new tales of science fiction and fantasy from some of the biggest names in children’s literature. Prepare yourself for ten trips into the unknown, as ten of your favorite writers: Rick Riordan, who has written an all-new and exclusive Percy Jackson tale, Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame, Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead, Shannon Hale, D. J. MacHale, Eric Nylund, Kenneth Oppel, Neal Shusterman, Shaun Tan, and none other than the late Ray Bradbury, spin tales of fantasy and science fiction the likes of which you have never imagined.
Rigel has always known he is not quite human, but the only clue to his origin is the otherworldly bracelet he has worn since childhood. His search for his parentage leads him to the Starlands, where reality and fantasy have changed places. There he learns that he is a human-starborn cross, and his bracelet is the legendary magical amulet Saiph, which makes its wearer an unbeatable swordsman. Fighting off monsters, battling a gang of assassins seeking to kill him, Rigel finds honorable employment as a hero. He knows that he must die very soon if he remains in the Starlands, but he has fallen hopelessly in love with a princess and cannot abandon her.
In “A Shattered Empire”, the Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko. The threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously. In “A Dark Legacy”, Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. Yukiko is blinded by rage over her father’s death. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. In “A Gathering Storm”, Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire.
Eva was never supposed to have survived this long. As the recessive soul, she should have faded away years ago. She lingers in the body she shares with her sister soul, Addie. When the government discovered the truth, they tried to “cure” the girls, but Eva and Addie escaped before the doctors could strip Eva’s soul away. Eva and Addie find shelter with a group of hybrids who run an underground resistance. The girls learn how to temporarily disappear to give each soul some much-needed privacy. Eva is thrilled at the chance to be alone with Ryan, the boy she’s falling for, but troubled by the growing chasm between her and Addie. Both girls are eager to join the rebellion. How far are they willing to go to fight for hybrid freedom? Their answers may tear them apart forever.
Erin Palmer had a devastating encounter with a psychopath as a child. Now a grad student and scientist, she’s devoting her life to studying these monsters. When her research catches the attention of Hugh Raborn, a brilliant neuroscientist who claims to have isolated the genes responsible for psychopathic behavior, Erin realizes it may be possible to reverse the condition. To do so, she’ll not only have to operate outside the law, but violate her most cherished ethical principles. As Erin becomes further involved with Raborn, she begins to suspect that he harbors dark secrets. Hunted by powerful, shadowy forces, Erin teams up with another mysterious man, Kyle Hansen, to uncover the truth. The pair find themselves pawns in a global conspiracy.
Is it possible to find love after you’ve died and gone to Hell? For oddball misfits Velvet and Brinkley, the answer just might be yes. After Velvet hangs herself and winds up trapped in a bedroom she believes is Hell, she comes in contact with Brinkley, the man trapped next door. Through mirrors that hang in each of their rooms, these disturbed cinephiles watch the past of the other unfold – the dark past that has led to their present circumstances. As their bond grows and they struggle to figure out the tragic puzzles of their lives and deaths, Velvet and Brinkley are in for more surprises. By turns quirky, harrowing, funny, and surreal, The Delphi Room explores the nature of reality and the possibilities of love.
An unlikely crew has met up in Las Vegas to pull off the ultimate robbery. The target? Life itself. (ebook Only)
The One-Eyed Man: A Fugue, With Winds and Accompaniment, by L.E. Modesitt Jr., (September 17, Tor)
The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs remains uninterrupted. Offered the job of assessing the ecological impact of the human presence on Stittara, freelance consultant Dr. Paulo Verano jumps at the chance to escape the ruin of his personal life. He gets far more than he bargained for. He must survive the hurricane winds, distrustful settlers, and secret agendas that impede his investigation at every turn.
For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception, Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of, but she’s about to find out.
WikiWorld contains a choice assortment of Di Filippo’s best and most recent work. The title story is a radical envisioning of near-future sociopolitical modes. In addition, there are alternate history adventures such as “Yes We Have No Bananas”; homages to icons such as Stanislaw Lem (“The New Cyberiad”); collaborations with Rudy Rucker and Damien Broderick; and a posthuman odyssey (“Waves and Smart Magma”).
Zombies: A Hunter’s Guide Deluxe Edition, by Joseph McCullough, (September 17, Osprey Publishing)
The dead have always walked among us, from the shambling corpses of Eastern European folklore to the drug-created zombie of Haitian voodoo. The number of zombie outbreaks has increased every year, while governments desperately try to cover up the facts. Contains all of the information necessary to recognize and combat this growing threat. Beginning with an explanation of the historical origins of zombies, it follows their history straight through to the threat they pose to the world today. All varieties of zombie are cataloged and examined, giving their strengths and weakness, with a special emphasis on recognition and elimination. The book covers the tactics and equipment used in zombie fighting. Numerous full-color reconstructions to help with identification.
The farther we’ve gotten from the magic and mystery of the past, the more we’ve come to love Halloween – the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favor of the bizarre, the “other side” is closest, and everyone can become anyone (or anything) they wish… and sometimes what they don’t. Introducing nineteen original stories from mistresses and masters of the dark celebrate the most fantastic, enchanting, spooky, and supernatural of holidays. Includes at least eighteen stories by some of today’s most exciting authors.
The small print: Five entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook like. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners will be announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info.
Now….go forth and comment!