Clegg, Douglas :
Mordred, Bastard Son: Book One of the Mordred Trilogy
(Alyson Books 1-55583-899-5, $24.95, 260pp, hardcover, January 2006)
Fantasy novel, first of a trilogy, offering a sympathetic portrait of the son of King Arthur and Morgan le Fay, traditionally cast as the villain in Arthurian legends.
Clegg's website has a long statement by the author about why he wrote the book; "Mordred, Bastard Son is very different from any novel I've written. This tale is set somewhere between the Dark Ages of western European history and the legends of the Arthurian world. I'd like to ask you to come along to get to know the greatest villain of the legend -- in his own words, with his own truth."
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which says the author "maintains a nice balance between the human and mythic dimensions of his characters, portraying the familiar elements of their story from refreshingly original angles."
Coe, David B. :
Shapers of Darkness
(Tor 0-312-87810-9, $27.95, 414pp, hardcover, December 2005, jacket art Romas Kukalis)
Fantasy novel, fourth in the "Winds of the Forelands" series, following Rules of Ascension (2002), Seeds of Betrayal (2003), and Bonds of Vengeance (2005), about war between the magical Qirsi and the ruling Eandi.
The author's site has this page about the book, with some lengthy excerpts and various pages about the Forelands, including maps, history, legends, etc.
Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the latter's Roland Green calls it "the fourth but obviously not final volume" of the series and notes its "its present level of imaginative world building, superior characterization, and sound prose", while PW says "Fans of Terry Goodkind's brand of fantasy intrigue will be pleased."
Douglass, Sara :
The Crippled Angel
(Tor 0-765-30364-7, $25.95, 365pp, hardcover, January 2006, jacket art Donato Giancola) First US edition (Australia: HarperCollins Australia, 2002)
Historical fantasy novel, final volume of the "Crucible" trilogy, set in 14th century Europe, following The Nameless Day and The Wounded Hawk.
The author's website, www.saradouglass.com, has this page about the trilogy, with this description of the final book and these excerpts.
This book was a finalist for the 2003 Aurealis Award; the previous book won the 2002 award.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Douglass's excellent grasp of period detail and character is certain to delight fans of historical fantasy."
Dozois, Gardner, ed. :
One Million A.D.
(SFBC 0-7394-6273-3, $13.99, 11+399pp, hardcover, January 2006, jacket art Bob Eggleton)
Anthology of 6 original novellas set in the far future. Authors are Robert Reed, Robert Silverberg, Nancy Kress, Alastair Reynolds, Charles Stross, and Greg Egan.
This is an original book available exclusively from the SF Book Club, whose site has this page about the book, with descriptions of the stories.
Nick Gevers reviews the book in the January issue of Locus Magazine, saying "Even the weaker novellas in One Million AD are rich in ideas and implication: certainly a major anthology" and "Two of the novellas are incontestably of the first rank" -- those by Reed and Stross.
Fallon, Jennifer :
(Tor 0-765-30992-0, $25.95, 512pp, hardcover, January 2006, jacket art Paul Youll) First US edition (Australia: HarperCollins Voyager, July 2004)
Fantasy novel, first in a new trilogy and fourth book in "The Hythrun Chronicles" following the "Demon Child" trilogy (Medalon, Treason Keep, and Harshini).
The author's site has this page about the Hythrun Chronicles, and this page about the current books, and an extract.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Fallon sets the stage for another lively fantasy saga full of intriguing characters, smart dialogue and twisty plotting."
Lessing, Doris :
The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog
(HarperCollins 0-06-053012-X, $24.95, 282pp, hardcover, January 2006) First US edition (UK: Fourth Estate, June 2005)
Literary SF novel, sequel to Mara and Dann (1999), set in a far-future ice age.
The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
Lessing's site has this description.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the former notes "Lessing's long literary career includes much science fiction (the Canopus in Argos series), but this dystopia, underscored by its reluctant hero's existential dilemma -- why go on just to go on? -- resembles a classical myth, albeit one with no gods to intervene."
Lupoff, Richard A. :
(Elder Signs Press 0-9759229-6-3, $16.95, 360pp, trade paperback, September 2005, cover art Steven Gilberts)
Collection of 16 stories, first published from 1972 to present, three of the stories original to this book.
Fred Chappell's introduction explains that this is a book of pastiches, of Lovecraft and other classic pulp writers, while Lupoff's afterword explains Lovecraft's "presence in many if not all the stories" in the book.
The publisher's site describes it as "spanning from Dark Fiction to Mythos works".
Amazon has the book description, and background about the author.
Norton, Andre, & Jean Rabe :
Return to Quag Keep
(Tor 0-765-31298-0, $24.95, 304pp, hardcover, January 2006, jacket art Justin Sweet)
Fantasy novel, sequel to Norton's 1978 novel Quag Keep, said to be the first novel based on a game, i.e. Dungeons and Dragons. In this book, the seven adventurers from the first novel strive to find a way home.
Andre Norton's website links to this article about the original novel.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which regretfully concludes "For the most part, the story and characters lack the magic and imagination typical of the late SF Grand Master Norton at her best. While unrestricted by the gaming conventions of its predecessor, this remains stock fantasy that will appeal primarily to young readers and newcomers to the genre."
Ringo, John :
Princess of Wands
(Baen 1-4165-0923-2, $25, 323pp, hardcover, January 2006, cover art Stephen Hickman)
Fantasy novel, first in a new series, about a small town Mississippi homemaker who encounters various kinds of alien evils.
Baen's site has this description, with the blurb "Desperate Housewives Meet Killer Demons!", links to several chapters, and a note that "As this book was being prepared for print, Hurricane Katrina came ashore and utterly destroyed many of the sites included in the story. It can only be hoped, at this time, that those scenes will someday return to us."
Amazon has the PW review, which notes that the book "is less a novel than three linked episodes", in which the "second and longest episode, a roman … clef about a necromancer slaying attendees at a science fiction convention, will chiefly delight those in on the joke".