Abercrombie, Joe :
The Blade Itself
(Pyr 978-1-59102-594-8, $15, 531pp, trade paperback, September 2007) First US edition (UK: Gollancz, May 2006)
Fantasy sword & sorcery novel, the author's first novel and Book One of "The First Law", concerning barbarian Logen Ninefingers, selfish nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, a torturer named Glokta, and a wizard named Bayaz who affects the others' lives.
This is the first US edition; the earlier UK edition was on Locus' 2006 Recommended Reading list.
Pyr's website has a description with quotes from many enthusiastic reviews, plus sample chapters in HTML and PDF.
Abercrombie's website includes a blog, links to interviews, author background, and descriptions of the second and third books -- Before They Are hanged, already out in the UK and due from Pyr in in March 2008, and Last Arguments of Kings.
Reviews quoted on Pyr's page include those from Strange Horizons -- "a smartly-written, sophisticated debut with compelling characters, a complex plot, and style to burn" -- and Emerald City -- "an incredibly accomplished first novel".
Banks, L. A. :
(St. Martin's Griffin 978-0-312-35237-0, $14.95, 491pp, trade paperback, July 2007, cover painting Vince Natale)
Vampire novel, ninth in the "Vampire Huntress Legend", after last year's The Forsaken and The Wicked from earlier this year. In this book Armageddon has begun.
The series' website has background, a YouTube series trailer, and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "In her inimitable combination of street and baroque language, Banks offers more dramatic sex, action-packed good vs. evil adventure and multicultural mythology to reinforce ethical lessons. This 'end of days' scenario is a wild amalgam of Christianity, vampire lore, world myth, functional morality, street philosophy and hot sex. ... As long as neither the world nor the series is ending, fans couldn't ask for more."
Cavanaugh, Jack :
A Hideous Beauty
(Howard Fiction 1416543406, $13, 352pp, trade paperback, September 2007)
Spiritual fantasy novel, first volume in the "Kingdom Wars", in which an author discovers an ancient battle against evil forces infiltrating American life.
This is one of a number of fantasy novels appearing lately from this publisher, Howard Books, a Christian books division of Simon & Schuster. Its page for this book has a description and excerpt.
Cavanaugh is author of historical and Christian books whose website has descriptions of this and the next book in the series.
Dyer, Bernadette Gabay :
(Rain Publishing 978-1-897381-31-1, $16.99, 178pp, trade paperback, June 2007)
SF novel about a 13-year-old Toronto immigrant who befriends a Jamaican schoolmate to investigate the disappearance of his father by mysterious Abductors.
The publisher's site has this description with an author bio and a PDF excerpt
Erikson, Steven :
(Tor 978-0-7653-1006-4, $16.95, 800pp, trade paperback, September 2007, cover art Todd Lockwood) First US edition (UK: Transworld/Bantam UK, February 2006)
Fantasy novel, sixth book of the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series following Gardens of the Moon, Deadhouse Gates, Memories of Ice, House of Chains, and Midnight Tides, concerning the Malazan empire and its numerous enemies.
Tor's website has this description and an excerpt. A hardcover edition is also available.
The series' website, www.malazanempire.com, has background on the author and the books.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's review: "Erikson brings the bulk of his enormous cast together in one volume for the first time, an effort designed to keep fans engaged as myriad plot lines tangle and sprawl over an increasingly bleak and war-ravaged landscape."
Farland, David :
(Tor 076531665X, $24.95, 336pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Darrell K. Sweet)
Fantasy novel, sixth volume in "The Runelords" series, following The Sum of All Men aka The Runelords (1998), The Brotherhood of the Wolf (1999), Wizardborn (2001), The Lair of Bones (2003), and Sons of the Oak (2006), with one more volume to follow.
Farland's online journal has news and his current publicity tour schedule.
Tor's website has this description and an excerpt.
Miller, Karen :
The Innocent Mage
(Orbit 0-316-06780-6, $6.99, 642pp, mass market paperback, September 2007)
Fantasy novel, first book in the "Kingmaker, Kingbreaker" duology, with second volume The Awakened Mage coming next month, about a fisherman's son who finds a job in the royal palace.
The parent publisher's site has this description and an excerpt; the Orbit US site has the same excerpt.
The volume has several unpaginated "extras" at the end, including an author interview.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "...Miller's prose is earnest and engaging, and his complex story accelerates nicely toward a brutal cliffhanger finale. Hints of an epic confrontation to come will leave readers eager to find out, in forthcoming installments, where Asher's destiny leads."
Modesitt, L. E., Jr. :
(Tor 978-0-7653-1813-8, $27.95, 496pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Darrell K. Sweet)
Fantasy novel, 14th book in the Saga of Recluce following last year's Ordermaster. This is the first of two volumes mostly set in the continent Hamor, concerning Rahl, an apprentice with a bad attitude who's exiled from Recluce to learn how to control his magic.
Tor's website has this description.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Though Rahl mostly manages to stay a sympathetic character, readers may grow impatient with his tendency to shoot himself in the foot. Modesitt renders the people and places of Recluce and Hamor somewhat humorlessly but with diligent attention to detail, treading the narrow line between exquisite world-building and overbearing verbosity."
Reece, Gregory L. :
UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture
(I.B. Taurus 978-1-84511-451-0, $15.95, 213pp, trade paperback, August 2007)
Nonfiction book exploring the mindset of those who interpret mythology and strange incidents as evidence of visitors from the stars, covering Erich von Däniken, Area 51, Roswell, Betty and Barney Hill, etc. Includes bibliography and index.
The publisher's page has the back cover description; parent publisher Palgrave has this brief description -- "Reece provides an intelligent and humorous anecdotal account of his search for the answers" -- with quotes from reviews.
Amazon has quotes from several reviews, including Booklist's: "Bemused if not overtly skeptical, he examines his respondents' belief systems and combs their proofs and conclusions to come up with some truly amazing tidbits. Consider this is an excellent introduction to its genuinely spacey subject."
Ruff, Matt :
(HarperCollins 978-0-06-124041-6, $20, 230pp, hardcover, July 2007)
Offbeat SF thriller by the author of Tiptree Award-winner Set This House in Order, about a woman arrested for murder who claims to be a member of a secret organization called Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons, "Bad Monkeys" for short.
HarperCollins' site has this description with its Browse Inside feature.
The author's website has this page with links to his book tour schedule and music he listened to while writing the book. Another page on his site maps from URL areyouabadmonkey.com, with a sample chapter, quotes from reviews, a crossword puzzle, etc.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "At times the twists are enough to give the reader whiplash. Ruff's expert characterization of Jane and agile manipulation of layers of reality ground the novel and make it more than just a Philip K. Dick rip-off."
Sagara, Michelle :
Cast in Secret
(Luna 978-0-373-80280-7, $14.95, 521pp, trade paperback, August 2007)
Fantasy novel, third in the "Kaylin Neya" trilogy following Cast in Shadow (2005) and Cast in Courtlight (2006), about court intrigue and ancient magic. In this book law officer Kaylin Neya investigates a missing child and a stolen magic box.
The author's website lists numerous previous novels published as by Michelle Sagara and as by Michelle West; under the latter name she's also published numerous book review columns in F&SF.
The publisher's site has this description with a link to an excerpt.
Carolyn Cushman reviews it in the August issue of Locus Magazine: "As in previous books, the cultural information adds fascinating new detail to Kaylin's complex world, while the tense investigation and powerful magics provide plenty of thrills."
Somers, Jeff :
The Electric Church
(Orbit US 978-0-316-02172-2, $12.99, 373pp, trade paperback, September 2007, cover illustration Jae Lee)
SF thriller, the author's first novel, about a bodyguard assigned to assassinate the head of the Electric Church, which converts people by turning them into cyborgs.
Website www.the-electric-church.com is, according to the publisher's blog, "a front for the actual Electric Church that purports to be an 'official' book site"...
The author's site includes a blog, while Orbit's site has this excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which begins "Somers packs his techno-thriller debut with enough gunplay and explosions to satisfy a Hollywood producer", and concludes "Somers's plot sprints along through the nicely detailed (if slightly unoriginal) world, but the characters are the real prize in this entertaining near-future noir."
Stirling, S. M. :
The Sunrise Lands
(Roc 978-0-451-46170-4, $24.95, 453pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Larry Rostant)
Alternate history SF novel, first of a new trilogy following the "Dies the Fire" trilogy, set in a near-future when US society has disintegrated following a mysterious event called the "Change" that rendered most technology inoperative. This book concerns leaders from Oregon's Willamette Valley embarking on a mission across North America to investigate mysteries on the island of Nantucket.
Stirling's official website has a brief description (scroll down) with 11 sample chapters and a map, titles of the next two volumes, and various 'extras'.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review -- "the thought-provoking and engaging storytelling should please Stirling's many fans" -- and Roland Green's review from Booklist: "...This leads to rather a cliff-hanger ending, but readers who have survived Stirling's usual high body count will recognize brilliant action fiction and alternate history when they see it and happily hang fire for more."
Strieber, Whitley :
2012: The War for Souls
(Tor 978-0-7653-1896-1, $24.95, 319pp, hardcover, September 2007)
SF thriller, sequel to The Grays (2006), keying off the supposed ancient Mayan prediction of the end of the world in 2012. Strieber's story concerns an author who discovers evidence that the event will bring reptilian invaders from a parallel earth to enslave humanity.
Tor's website has this description -- "a towering work of fiction that will astound readers with its truly new insights and a riveting roller-coaster ride of a story" -- and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls the book "equal parts science fiction thriller, supernatural horror and provocative spiritual speculation" and concludes "Fans of apocalyptic page-turners like King's The Stand and Niven and Pournelle's Lucifer's Hammer will enjoy this ambitious -- and audacious -- tale as it invokes everything from rectal probes and Ann Coulter to the destruction of the Great Pyramid of Giza."
Wilson, Robert Charles :
(Tor 978-0-7653-0939-6, $25.95, 303pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Dave Seeley)
SF novel, sequel to Hugo Award-winning Spin (2005), set on a planet called Equatoria created to support human life by mysterious Hypotheticals and connected to Earth via an enormous Arch over the Indian Ocean.
Tor's website has this description with an excerpt.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 7th issue: "The various science and thriller plot elements are successful, but this is first and foremost a novel of character. Turk and Lise, who might well be played by Bogart and Bacall, are powerfully drawn protagonists, and their strong presence in the novel makes the wonders provided all the more satisfying. Those unfamiliar with Spin may flounder a bit, but Wilson's fans will be ecstatic."
Sci Fi Weekly just posted John Clute's review.
Locus Magazine published reviews of the book by Nick Gevers in its August issue and by Gary K. Wolfe in its September issue. Wolfe's review, posted here in its entirety, concludes "Rather than take the expected route of dazzling us with more and bigger billion-year perspectives and alien machines like we saw in Spin, Wilson has chosen depth over expansion, and the result is arguably what a middle novel in a trilogy should be, adding weight and density to the narrative instead of merely offering a place-holding intermezzo for the fireworks to come."