Caine, Rachel :
(Roc 0-451-46104-5, $6.99, 294pp, mass market paperback, September 2006)
Fantasy novel, fifth in the "Weather Wardens" series about people who can control the weather, following Ill Wind (2003), Heat Stroke (2004), Chill Factor (2005), and Windfall (2005).
The author's website has a sample chapter.
Amazon has mixed reader reviews.
Clark, Stephen R. L. :
G.K. Chesterton: Thinking Backward, Looking Forward
(Templeton Foundation Press 1-59947-104-3, $29.95, 8+248pp, hardcover, October 2006)
"Authoritative new biography" of the UK writer and illustrator who lived from 1874 to 1936, known for his Father Brown stories and novel The Man Who Was Thursday (1908).
The author is a philosopher "with a lifelong 'addiction' to science fiction" who "explores Chesterton's ideas and arguments in their historical context and evaluates them philosophically", according to the description on the publisher's website, which also has a PDF 'Look Inside' of the first few pages, including a photograph of the subject, the preface, and the introduction.
The book's first section is called "What's Wrong with Science Fiction?" with chapters "The Case against Science Fiction" and "In Defense of Science Fiction".
The book's 200 pages of text are followed by 40 pages of Notes and an 8-page Index.
Clegg, Douglas :
The Lady of Serpents
(Ace 0-441-01438-0, $23.95, 291pp, hardcover, September 2006, jacket illustration Judy York)
Dark fantasy novel, second volume of "The Vampyricon" following The Priest of Blood (2005), concerning a medieval soldier-turned-vampire.
Series website The Vampyricon has only an Amazon link for this new book, but has background on the series, plus a YouTube Priest of Blood book trailer.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews; PW says the book "brims with the same dazzling invention and creative mythography as its predecessor" and concludes "Clegg's rich descriptions, ingenious variations on vampire lore and intriguing speculations on a secret history underlying our own make this an exuberantly imagined dark fantasy."
Danielewski, Mark Z. :
(Pantheon 0-375-42176-9, $26, 360pp, hardcover, September 2006)
Postmodern, apocalyptic (perhaps) novel by the author of House of Leaves, about two people on a road trip, "or set of neo-globo-revolutionary events or a revolution's end", according to the Publishers Weekly review. The book is formatted dos-style, with alternate covers upside-down relative to each other, and flaps and titles pages presenting one side as by Sam, the other side by Hailey, each page consisting of 180 words, with a timeline of world events from 1863 running down the margins.
The book has this elaborate website.
Amazon has both covers and inside images, plus Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its August 28th issue, which admits that "Figuring out what's happening is a big part of reading the book" and noting elements of Joyce, Beckett, Derrida, and Pynchon; "The book's design is a marvel, and as a feat of Pynchonesque puzzlebookdom, it's magnificent."
Fallon, Jennifer :
(Tor 0-765-30990-4, $25.95, 508pp, hardcover, September 2006, jacket art Paul Youll)
Fantasy novel, second in the "Wolfblade" trilogy following Wolfblade (US edition January 2006), also fifth in the overall "Hythrun Chronicles" following the "Demon Child" trilogy (Medalon, Treason Keep, and Harshini).
The author's site has this page about the book, with an extract.
Amazon has posts from the author, and the Publishers Weekly review: "While this middle book's somewhat predictable maneuvering for position engages the reader's interest, one is left hoping the concluding volume will offer more swashbuckling action."
Hartwell, David G., & Kathryn Cramer, eds. :
Year's Best Fantasy 6
(Tachyon Publications 1-892391-37-6, $14.95, 10+355pp, trade paperback, October 2006, cover illustration David M. Bowers, cover design Ann Monn)
Anthology of 23 fantasy stories first published in 2005, with an introduction by the editors and introductions to each story.
This sixth volume of the series changes publishers and format, having been previously published in mass market paperback by HarperCollins/Eos.
Stories include Hugo Award winner "Inside Job" by Connie Willis and other stories by Yoon Ha Lee, Bruce Sterling, Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer, Gene Wolfe, Kelly Link, Laird Barron, Garth Nix, Liz Williams, and others.
The publisher's site currently has a description of the book on its forthcoming titles page.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 28th issue, calling it a "brilliant anthology".
Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the September issue of Locus Magazine.
Hearn, Lian :
The Harsh Cry of the Heron
(Penguin/Riverhead 1-594-48923-8, $26.95, 506pp, hardcover, September 2006, jacket design Honi Werner)
Fantasy novel, fourth book in the "Tales of the Otori" series set in an imaginary medieval Japan by the pseudonymous Australian author Gillian Rubinstein, following Across the Nightingale Floor (2002), Grass for His Pillow (2003), and Brilliance of the Moon (2004).
The official website, www.theotori.com, has this description and excerpt, as well as links to a FAQ, bulletin board, reviews, etc.
Amazon.com reviews by Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the former notes "There's enough background in this fourth installment that a new reader will have no problem following along, and fans will be heartened to know that this "Last Tale" will be followed in 2007 by a prequel." while the latter concludes "A perfect final chapter to the story that began in Across the Nightingale Floor".
Hoffman, Nina Kiriki :
(Tachyon Publications 1-892391-38-4, $14.95, 171pp, trade paperback, October 2006, cover design Ann Monn)
SF novel, subtitled "A Novel of Alien Contact", about an adolescent boy's encounters with native aliens on the colony planet where his family has settled.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it a "weird novel of alien contact" that "careens like a pinball among the bumpers of science fiction, young adult literature and softcore porn."
Faren Miller reviews it in the upcoming November issue of Locus Magazine: "Fast-moving, entertaining, and indecorous enough for a PG-17 rating, Catalyst is a great read capable of stimulating the intellect as well as the senses."
Online reviews include Cheryl Morgan's, The Agony Column's (scroll down), and Ideomancer's (scroll down).
Kritzer, Naomi :
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58675-0, $6.99, 404pp, mass market paperback, August 2006, cover illustration Stephen Youll)
Fantasy novel, third in the Dead Rivers trilogy following Freedom's Gate (2004) and Freedom's Apprentice (2005), set in an alternate, magical ancient Greece, and concerning a former military aide trying to learn sorcery in order to help free slaves.
The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has a post by the author, and several mostly-positive reader reviews.
Meaney, John :
To Hold Infinity
(Pyr 1-59102-489-7, $25, 503pp, hardcover, September 2006, cover illustration Jim Burns) First US edition (UK: Bantam UK, April 1998)
SF novel, the author's first, published in the UK in 1998 and for the first time in the US in this edition from Pyr. The author has become known for his "Nulapeiron Sequence" novels, Paradox, Context, and Resolution, which have also been published in the US by Pyr.
The novel was shortlisted for the 1999 British Science Fiction Association Award.
Pyr's site has this description with quotes from reviews.
Amazon (click on title or cover image) has David Langford's review of the original edition -- "The book glows with biological and nanotechnological wonders, strange weapons and surprising perspectives." -- and Publishers Weekly's review of this US edition: "Meaney's debut novel brings a bright lights/big city sensibility to the normally streetwise milieu of advanced neuro-tech."
Robson, Justina :
(Pyr 1-59102-491-9, $15, 523pp, trade paperback, September 2006, cover illustration Stephan Martiniere) First US edition (UK: Macmillan, October 2001)
SF novel, about software that can read and write into the human brain, seen as a curative by some, a mind-control device by others.
It's the author's second novel, first published in the UK in 2001, following Silver Screen (1999, US edition 2005 from Pyr). It was shortlisted for the 2002 Arthur C. Clarke Award.
The author's site has this description, with excerpts from reviews, including Entertainment Weekly's 15 Sep 06 review: "For fans of Brave New World or Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, if they met Thomas Pynchon in a cybercafé. Lowdown: A lyrical, attentively written anti-utopia. Grade: A-"
Amazon has the PW and Booklist reviews; the former's starred review, from its July 10th issue, says "'Matter is only energy with information and identity was only information' is the guiding hypothesis of a number of idealists attempting to improve humanity through 'Mappa Mundi,' a mind-altering program" and concluding "this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting."
Stirling, S. M. :
A Meeting at Corvallis
(Roc 0-451-46111-8, $25.95, 497pp, hardcover, September 2006, jacket art Larry Rostant)
Alternate history SF novel, third in the trilogy following Dies the Fire (2004) and The Protector's War (2005), in which an event called 'The Change' causes electronics and explosives to become inoperative, leading to the disintegration of American society. In this book a back-to-nature community comes into conflict with a neofeudal empire led by an ex-history professor.
Stirling's website has this description with links to several excerpts.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which compares the book to a cavalry charge: "gorgeous, stirring and gathering such earth-pounding momentum that it's difficult to resist", while Booklist's Roland Green calls it "a major work by an authentic master of alternate history".
Turtledove, Harry :
The Disunited States of America
(Tor 0-765-31485-1, $24.95, 288pp, hardcover, September 2006)
Alternate history novel, fourth in the young-adult "Crosstime Traffic" series following Gunpowder Empire (2003), Curious Notions (2004), and In High Places (2005), each set in different timeline. This book follows two teenagers who meet in a timeline in which the various former colonies have become independent nations.
Amazon has PW and Booklist reviews; former says "Via sympathetic characters, Turtledove delivers lessons on racism and diplomacy for a young adult audience."
Steven H Silver's review says the book "is the most accessible of the four Crosstime Traffic novels, and Turtledove's references back to the previous book are a nice indication that while the books stand entirely on their own there may well be an overarching plot developing that won't be apparent until more books in the series have been published."