First, bear with me on the web issues. They’re well on their way to being fixed and don’t impact the blog. If you want to enter this month’s contest, just email me at suzannej3523 at gmail and I will manually add you once that page gets fixed.
What’s new on the shelves this week? Kind of…strange things, actually. But if you’re a Blood Singer fan, author CT Adams is writing solo as Cat Adams now and there’s a new book out. If you’re a Queen Betsy fan, the final installment of that long-running vampire series from MaryJanice Davidson is out this week.
Here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing between Oct. 2-8. See what you’d most like to read and leave a comment to be eligible to win it. Your mileage may vary.
A City Dreaming, by Daniel Polansky, Oct. 4, Hodder & Stoughton. M is a drifter with a sharp tongue, few scruples, and limited magical ability, who would prefer drinking artisanal beer to involving himself in the politics of the city. Alas, in the infinite nexus of the universe which is New York, trouble is a hard thing to avoid, and when a rivalry between the city’s two queens threatens to turn to all out war, M finds himself thrust in thrust in the unfamiliar position of hero. Now, to keep the apocalypse from descending on the Big Apple, he’ll have to call in every favor, waste every charm, and blow every spell he’s ever acquired – he might even have to get out of bed before noon. Enter a world of Wall Street wolves, slumming scenesters, desperate artists, drug-induced divinities, pocket steam-punk universes, hipster zombies, and phantom subway lines. Because the city never sleeps, but is always dreaming.
All Your Wishes (Blood Singer #7), by Cat Adams, Oct. 4, TOR. An ifrit tries to take over Celia Graves’s body so he can free thousands of evil djinn to plague mankind! A client begs Celia Graves—part human, part Siren, part vampire—to help return a genie to his bottle. The attempt makes Celia a target for the currently incorporeal ifrit. If she doesn’t give him her body, he’ll kill everyone she loves. If she does, he’ll use her physical form to free thousands of evil djinn. Celia’s not going to hand over her body, but her client tries to trick her into it—so that he can kill the ifrit while it’s trapped in her flesh. That doesn’t end well for the client. Celia might not get paid for the gig, but she’s got to get the ifrit re-bottled before all hell breaks loose—possibly literally! Now written solely by C. T. Adams under the Cat Adams name, All Your Wishes continues this outstanding urban fantasy series with a thrilling new adventure.
Angels of Music, by Kim Newman, Oct. 4, Titan. Deep in the shadows under the Paris Opera House resides Erik the Phantom, mysteriously enduring through the decades as the mastermind behind a strange and secret agency. A revolving door of female agents are charged by wealthy Parisians and the French Government to investigate crimes and misdemeanours they would prefer to keep out of the public eye.
Black Magic Bayou (Genie McQueen #2), by Sierra Dean, Oct. 5. Genie McQueen never thought she’d be an alpha. She grew up apart from her pack, trying to hone her dangerous magical gifts, while her twin brother Ben stayed home to be groomed for a leadership role. But after proving her mettle to her uncle Callum, the King of the South, she’s suddenly found herself the alpha of New Orleans. As she tries to adapt to her new, powerful position—and a blossoming relationship with the werewolf outcast, Wilder Shaw—Genie is confronted with something that only the witch part of her can fix. It seems the sorority sisters at Delta Phi have been going missing, but leaving everything they own behind. Those remaining in the house have reported strange happenings since the girls have gone missing. With no bodies, and no clues, Genie’s ex Cash turns to her for help on behalf of his new girlfriend. Can Genie unravel the mystery of the vanished girls, maintain order in the New Orleans pack, and keep herself alive long enough for a night out with Wilder? Genie’s about to find out what’s scarier—a haunted house or going on your first date ever in your twenties.
Break the Chains (Sands of Aransa #2), by Megan E. O’Keefe, Oct. 4, Angry Robot. As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises his aunt that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault. Detan doesn’t dare approach Nouli himself, so his companions volunteer to get themselves locked up to make contact with Nouli and convince him to help. Now Detan has to break them all out of prison, and he’s going to need the help of a half-mad doppel to do it.
Castaway Odyssey (Boundary #5), by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor, Oct. 4, Baen. Sergeant Samuel Morgan Campbell had been in plenty of tight spots before, but nothing like this. It had happened in a few terrifying seconds: the starship he and his crew travelled on, theOutward Initiative, shattered to pieces before their eyes and disappeared, leaving them stranded in the endless night of deep space on Lifeboat LS-88—all systems dead, light-years from any known colony. Somehow, Sergeant Campbell and his crew of half-trained children—ranging from freshly graduated Xander Bird down to eight-year-old Francisco—have to repair systems with no tools, navigate with no computers, and—if they could find a planet they could live on—land a shuttle whose controls were more than half-destroyed. And if they manage all of that, then the real challenge begins; the only planet in range has secrets that even Sergeant Campbell cannot imagine!
Closer to the Chest (Valdemar: The Herald Spy #3), by Mercedes Lackey, Oct. 4, DAW. Herald Mags, the King of Valdemar’s Herald-Spy, has been developing a clandestine network of young informants who operate not only on the streets of the capital city of Haven, but also in the Great Halls and kitchens of the wealthy and highborn. In his own established alternate personas, Mags observes the Court and the alleys alike, quietly gathering information to keep Haven and the Kingdom safe. His wife Amily, is growing into her position as the King’s Own Herald, though she is irritated to encounter many who still consider her father, Herald Nikolas, to be the real King’s Own. Nonetheless, she finds it increasingly useful to be underestimated, for there are dark things stirring in the shadows of Haven and up on the Hill. Someone has discovered many secrets of the women of the Court and the Collegia—and is using those secrets to terrorize and bully them. Someone is targeting the religious houses of women, too, leaving behind destruction and obscene ravings. But who? Someone at the Court? A disgruntled Palace servant? One of the members of the Collegia? Someone in the patriarchal sect of the god Sethor? Could the villain be awoman? And what is this person hoping to achieve? It isn’t blackmail, for the letters demand nothing; the aim seems to be the victims’ panic and despair. But why? Mags and Amily take steps to minimize the damage while using both magic and wits to find the evildoer. But just as they appear to be on the verge of success, the letter-writer, tires of terror and is now out for blood. Mags and Amily will have to track down someone who leaves few clues behind and thwart whatever plans have been set in motion, and quickly—before terror turns to murder.
Crosstalk, by Connie Willis, Oct. 4, Del Rey. Briddey is about to get exactly what she thinks she wants…Briddey is a high-powered exec in the mobile phone industry, overseeing new products from concept (‘anything to beat the new apple phone’) to delivery. And she works with her wonderful partner, Trent. They’ve been together for six magical weeks, in a whirlwind of flowers, dinners, laughter and now comes the icing on the cake: not a weekend away or a proposal but something even better. An EDD. A procedure which will let them sense each other’s feelings. Trent doesn’t just want to tell her how much he loves her – he wants her to feel it. Everything is perfect. The trouble is, Briddey can’t breathe a word of it to anyone (difficult, when the whole office is guessing) until she’s had two minutes to call her family. And they’re hounding her about the latest family drama, but when they find out about the EDD – which they will – they’ll drop everything to interrogate her. And it might just be easier to have the procedure now and explain later. Only Apple are poised to deliver an amazing new product and she has to be one step ahead …if she can only persuade their tech genius, C. B., to drop his crazy ideas about a ‘privacy phone’ with its ‘do not disturb’ settings, and focus on what people really want: more efficient, instinctive and immediate ways to communicate. The race is on: not just for new, cutting-edge technology, but also for a shred of privacy in a public world and – for Briddey – a chance for love at the heart of it all.
Dangerously Charming (Broken Riders #1), by Deborah Blake, Oct. 4, Berkley. Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…
Extinction Aftermatch (Extinction Cycle #6), by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Oct. 6. Team Ghost returns for the thrilling sixth installment of the bestselling, award-winning & top-rated Extinction Cycle series. A new monster emerges…Newly christened as the leader of Delta Force Team Ghost, Master Sergeant Joe Fitzpatrick arrives in Normandy over seventy years after Allied Forces joined the fight against the Nazis. The war to free survivors and eradicate pockets of adult Variants and their offspring is underway by the Unified European Forces. But as the troops push East, rumors of a new type of monster spread through the ranks… Fitz and his new team quickly realize the fight for Europe might be harder than anyone ever imagined.They thought the war for America was over, but the war, for some, has just begun…Captain Reed Beckham and Dr. Kate Lovato are settling into a new life on Plum Island. Across the country, the adult Variants have all been wiped out and the juveniles are on the run. But survivors soon realize there are other monsters left at home. And they may be human.
Feedback (Newsflesh), by Mira Grant, Oct. 4, Orbit. There are two sides to every story..The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we unleashed something horrifying and unstoppable. The infection spread leaving those afflicted with a single uncontrollable impulse: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, a team of scrappy underdog reporters relentlessly pursue the truth while competing against the superstar Masons, surrounded by the infected, and facing more insidious forces working in the shadows.
Goldenhand (Old Kingdom #5), by Garth Nix, Oct. 4. Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with Dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, wielder of the Dark Mirror. Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him. But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free Magic. Fearing it will escape the Charter mark that seals it within his flesh and bones, Lirael seeks help for Nick at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier. But even as Lirael and Nick return to the Clayr, a young woman named Ferin from the distant North braves the elements and many enemies in a desperate attempt to deliver a message to Lirael from her long-dead mother, Arielle. Ferin brings a dire warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world, but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death. Goldenhand is the long-awaited fifth installment of Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series.
Impersonations: A Story of the Praxis, by Walter Jon Williams, Oct. 4, Tor.com. Having offended her superiors by winning a battle without permission, Caroline Sula has been posted to the planet Earth, a dismal backwater where careers go to die. But Sula has always been fascinated by Earth history, and she plans to reward herself with a long, happy vacation amid the ancient monuments of humanity’s home world. Sula may be an Earth history buff, but there are aspects of her own history she doesn’t want known. Exposure is threatened when an old acquaintance turns up unexpectedly. Someone seems to be forging evidence that would send her to prison. And all that is before someone tries to kill her. If she’s going to survive, Sula has no choice but to make some history of her own.
Into the Guns (America Rising #1), by William C. Dietz, Oct. 4, Ace. On May Day, 2018, sixty meteors entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded around the globe with a force greater than a nuclear blast. Earthquakes and tsunamis followed. Then China attacked Europe, Asia, and the United States in the belief the disaster was an act of war. Washington D.C. was a casualty of the meteor onslaught that decimated the nation’s leadership and left the surviving elements of the armed forces to try and restore order as American society fell apart. As refugees across America band together and engage in open warfare with the military over scarce resources, a select group of individuals representing the surviving corporate structure make a power play to rebuild the country in a free market image as The New Confederacy…
Legacy of the Demon (Kara Gillian #8), by Diana Rowland, Oct. 4, DAW. Sidelined demon summoner Kara Gillian has her hands full when dimensional rifts allow demons to cause widespread panic and destruction on Earth. These aren’t the human-tolerant summonables she’s known before, but demons from the far reaches of the demon realm. Add three demonic lords with conflicting ambitions to the mix, and Kara has the perfect recipe for global disaster.
Otherworld Chills, by Kelley Armstrong, Oct. 4, Plume. These stories will cover a whole range of characters from the Women of the Otherworld, and answer many mysteries and questions from the series. A vital and fantastic collection of stories, many of which will be brand-new, while others will have only appeared on the author’s website.
Rise of the Chosen (Lifeblood #1), by Anna Kopp, Oct. 4, Blue Moon. In Sam’s world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once. The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill. Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.
Savage Prophet (Yancy Lazarus #4), by James Hunter, Oct. 7, Shadow Alley. Legions of murderous undead, Haitian voodoo, and a five-thousand-year old serpent god. Yeah, ’cause that’s exactly what Yancy Lazarus needs in his life: more complications. As if being the Hand of Fate and the newly appointed guardian over one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse wasn’t headache enough. All Yancy wants is an easy life on the open road—chock-full of ribs, beer, cigarettes, and smoky bars blaring with gritty blues music—but that just isn’t in the cards. Nope, not anymore. He’s been charged to save the world and now that he’s got a no-shit demon riding shotgun in his head, he’s sorta committed to the cause. If Yancy can’t sort through this colossal heap of bullshit, he’s coffin bound. But, he’s not dead yet. In fact, he even has a lead. Turns out one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse—the pale Rider, Death—is slumming around in one of Yancy’s old haunts. In order to corner this new threat, though, Yancy’s gonna have to face some deadly supernatural nightmares from his distant past. And, to make matters worse, he’s not the only one trailing the Pale Rider. A powerful new mage with some serious magical chops, is also aiming to find the Fourth Seal and he’ll do whatever it takes to win. Even if it means hurting those closest to Yancy … Like F.B.I. Agent Nicole Ferraro.
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, edited by Karen Joy Fowler and John Joseph Adams, Oct. 4, Mariner. In its inaugural edition, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy featured a diverse array of authors, stories, and sources. John Joseph Adams scours the magazine racks and websites to find the very best stories, and this year’s guest editor, Karen Joy Fowler, is sure to curate a collection that encompasses all corners of the genres. As the best-selling author of both The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Fowler knows firsthand just how different one author‘s writing can be from work to work, and she will bring that literary sensibility to her selections. However, she is also a longtime insider in the world of science fiction and fantasy, having won numerous Nebula and World Fantasy Awards and cofounded the James Tiptree Jr. Award for works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore the understanding of gender. With this top-notch combination of series and guest editor, The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy builds upon the foundation established in its first year.
The Orthogonal Trilogy, by Greg Egan, Oct. 4, Night Shade. The complete Orthogonal Trilogy by Greg Egan. Containing The Clockwork Rocket,The Eternal Flame, andThe Arrows of Time.
The Rift Uprising (Rift Uprising #1), by Amy S. Foster, Oct. 4, Harper Voyager. The first book in the fast-paced action-adventure, The Rift Uprising trilogy—an enthralling mix of speculative fiction and military thriller—in which a young soldier comes to question the monsters she’s trained to fight against . . . and the monsters she fights for Seventeen-year-old Ryn Whittaker is a Citadel: an elite, enhanced soldier specially chosen to guard a Rift, a mysterious and dangerous portal to alternate Earths scientists cannot control or close. Trained from the age of fourteen, Ryn can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL—which is good when you’re not sure if a laser-wielding Neanderthal or an axe-wielding Viking is trying to make it through the Rift and into her world. But the teenager’s military conditioning and education have not prepared her for the boy who crosses through—a confused young man, seemingly lost and alone. Because while there’s an immediate physical attraction, it’s his intelligence and curiosity that throws Ryn off balance. The stranger asks disturbing questions about the Rift that Ryn herself has never considered—questions that lead her to wonder if everything about her life and what she’s been told these past six years has been a lie. Are the Rifts as dangerous as her leaders say? Should her people really try to close them . . . or learn how to travel through them?
The Rise of Io, by Wesley Chu, Oct. 4, Angry Robot. Ella Patel – thief, con-artist and smuggler – is in the wrong place at the wrong time. One night, on the border of a demilitarized zone run by the body-swapping alien invaders, she happens upon a man and woman being chased by a group of assailants. The man freezes, leaving the woman to fight off five attackers at once, before succumbing. As she dies, to both Ella and the man’s surprise, the sparkling light that rises from the woman enters Ella, instead of the man. She soon realizes she’s been inhabited by Io, a low-ranking Quasing who was involved in some of the worst decisions in history. Now Ella must now help the alien presence to complete her mission and investigate a rash of murders in the border states that maintain the frail peace. With the Prophus assigned to help her seemingly wanting to stab her in the back, and the enemy Genjix hunting her, Ella must also deal with Io’s annoying inferiority complex. To top it all off, Ella thinks the damn alien voice in her head is trying to get her killed. And if you can’t trust the voices in your head, who can you trust?
The Wall of Storms (Dandelion Dynasty #2), by Ken Liu, Oct. 4, Simon and Schuster. 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.
The White Spell (Nine Kingdoms #10) by Lynn Kurland, Oct. 4, Berkley. Acair of Ceangail, youngest bastard son of the worst black mage in history, has followed in his father’s footsteps, wreaking havoc throughout the world and leaving powerful enemies in his wake. After a year of reparation, he owes a final bit of penance: twelve months spent working in a barn without using his magic. Léirsinn of Sàraichte understands horses, stable work, and how to judge men’s hearts. When she starts seeing shadows where there should only be light, she knows there is evil afoot. Unfortunately, it’s something she can’t fight on her own. Acair’s attempts to aid Léirsinn only draw the notice of dangerous mages against whom he is currently defenseless. With only each other to rely on, Acair and Léirsinn find themselves suddenly in a race to save the world before it’s consumed by darkness..
Undead and Done (Queen Betsy #15), by MaryJanice Davidson, Oct. 4. Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor continues her rule in Hell in the scorchingly funny finale to the Undead series from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.
Viking Warrior Rebel (Viking Warriors #2), by Asa Maria Bradley, Oct. 4. Astrid Irisdotter is a Valkyrie-a fierce warrior fighting to protect humanity from the evil god Loki and his brutal minions. She’s on an urgent mission for her queen when everything goes hideously sideways. Undercover agent Luke Holden arrives on the scene just in time to save her life-and put his own on the line. Luke may have saved her, but that doesn’t mean Astrid can trust him. Tempers flare as they hide secret upon secret from each other, but Astrid’s inner warrior knows what it wants…and it will not take “no” for an answer.
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read and one person will win it (or another book of their choice). International, as always.