Aguirre, Ann :
(Ace 978-0-441-01627-3, $7.99, 312pp, mass market paperback, September 2008, cover art Scott M. Fischer)
SF novel, follow-up to Grimspace (March 2008), about a woman with the rare ability to jump ships through grimspace.
In this book Jax, unemployed, accepts a diplomatic mission to convince the planet Ithiss-Tor to join the Conglomerate.
The author's website has this description and excerpt. Her books page has titles and links to the next two books in the series.
Amazon's page has reader reviews and posts from the author.
Anders, Lou, ed. :
Fast Forward 2
(Pyr 978-1-59102-692-1, $15, 360pp, trade paperback, October 2008, cover illustration John Picacio)
Anthology of 14 original stories, second in the series following Fast Forward (2007).
Authors include Paul Cornell, Kay Kenyon, Nancy Kress, Benjamin Rosenbaum & Cory Doctorow, Paul McAuley, Ian McDonald, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
The publisher's site has this description, with a link to a podcast of Rosenbaum & Doctorow's story "True Names".
Pyr's sample chapters page has the complete text of Paul Cornell's story "Catherine Drewe".
Anthony, Piers :
Two to the Fifth
(Tor 978-0-7653-1935-7, $24.95, 302pp, hardcover, October 2008, cover art Darrell K. Sweet)
Humorous fantasy novel, 32nd in the popular, pun-filled "Xanth" series.
This one is about a magical bird called Ragna Roc that tries to take over the realm of Xanth.
Tor's website has this description of the book, and an excerpt.
Baker, Kage :
The House of the Stag
(Tor 978-0-7653-1745-2, $25.95, 350pp, hardcover, September 2008, jacket art Tom Kidd)
Fantasy novel, set in the same universe as The Anvil of the World (2003), about half-demon Gard whose rebellion against the enslaving Riders leads to exile from his own people.
Tor's website has this description -- "another story of love, adventure, and a fair bit of ironic humor" -- and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which says the books is "shaped in movements like a verbal symphony" and which concludes "Somehow this unusual and mostly charming m‚lange of basic fantasy motifs, fair and feral landscapes, and ironic characterizations ranging from gentle to raucous all comes together harmoniously, like extended variations on the theme that achieving adulthood is not for fainthearted sissies."
Dietz, William C. :
When Duty Calls
(Ace 978-0-441-01632-7, $24.95, 356pp, hardcover, October 2008, jacket art Bruce Jensen)
Military SF novel, eight in the "Legion of the Damned" series following When All Seems Lost (2007).
This book follows Captain Antonio Santana in the war with the Ramanthian, and his love, diplomat Christine Vanderveen, who confronts the president of the Clone Republic.
The author's site has a complete list of his books, with titles of books schedule for the next two years, At Empire's Edge and Bones of Empire.
Amazon has a review by Harriet Klausner.
Flint, Eric, & Dave Freer :
Slow Train to Arcturus
(Baen 978-1-4165-5585-8, $24, 314pp, hardcover, October 2008, cover illustration David Mattingly)
SF novel about aliens who investigate a passing human starship filled with various misfit populations outcast from Earth.
Baen's site has this blurb and links to several chapters.
The Publishers Weekly review said the book "doesn't bring anything original to space opera, but its fast pace and pulpy premise make for an engaging if shallow adventure..."
Funke, Cornelia :
(Scholastic/Chicken House 978-0-439-86628-6, $24.99, 683pp, hardcover, October 2008, jacket art Carol Lawson)
YA fantasy novel, third in the trilogy following Inkheart (2003) and Inkspell (2005), about a girl, Meggie, whose father has the power to brings characters from books to life. This book concerns a villain named Adderhead, whose siege of peasants is defended by the Bluejay, whose identity has been adopted by Meggie's father Mo.
Scholastic's site has this description with a link to a PDF excerpt.
The Publishers Weekly review warns "don't even consider reading this series out of order".
Amazon has several enthusiastic reader reviews, and a video interview with the author.
Grant, John :
(Norilana 978-1-934648-72-8, $27.95, 327pp, hardcover, November 2008, cover design Nazarian, Vera)
SF novel consisting of ten linked stories set against the background of a declining American empire.
Four of the stories have been previously published, but revised for this volume.
The publisher's site has this description with quotes from reviews.
The author's site also has a description. Grant is the co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy with John Clute, and has won awards including the Hugo, World Fantasy, and Locus awards.
The Publishers Weekly review found the stories mixed, but noted that "the love story 'The Unforbidden Playground' stands out, with fascinating characters and an interesting twist on time travel."
Harris, James T. :
The Third Craft
(BPS Books 978-0-9809231-2-4, $24.95, 294pp, trade paperback, October 2008)
SF novel, first of a trilogy, about two teenage brothers who find pieces of an alien spacecraft buried near their home in northern Ontario.
The publisher's site has this description; "a saga of morality, civil war, and human evolution."
Lanagan, Margo :
(Knopf 978-0-375-84811-7, $16.99, 436pp, hardcover, October 2008, jacket art Jodi Hewgill)
Fantasy novel, the Australian author's first novel published in the US after three acclaimed collections (Black Juice, White Time, and Red Spikes), concerning an abused teenaged girl, Liga, a magical heaven she create as an escape, and what happens when an opening allows characters to pass between the two worlds.
The publisher's site has this description with an excerpt and a PDF teacher's guide.
Lanagan's blog has several recent posts about the book.
Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review in its September 8th issue, calling it "extraordinary and often dark" and concluding "Writing in thick, clotted prose that holds the reader to a slow pace, Lanagan explores the savage and the gentlest sides of human nature, and how they coexist. With suggestions of bestiality and sodomy, the novel demands maturity-but the challenging text will attract only an ambitious audience anyway."
Gary K. Wolfe's review from the July issue of Locus Magazine is posted here in its entirety: "By its second half, Tender Morsels begins to take on a density and moral complexity almost suggestive of a George Eliot novel, with its decades-long narrative arc, its shifting relationships, its questions involving responsibility, misdirected love, and the nature of families.... A profoundly moving tale."
Link, Kelly :
(Viking 978-0-670-01090-5, $19.99, 389pp, hardcover, October 2008)
Collection of nine stories, eight previously published and one, the title story, original to this book, with illustrations by Shaun Tan.
Three of the stories, "Magic for Beginners", "The Specialist's Hat", and "The Faery Handbag", appear in previous Link collections; the remaining five stories are "The Wrong Grave", "Monster", "The Wizards of Perfil", "The Surfer", and "The Constable of Abal".
The publisher's site has this description; Link's site has this page and the complete story The Wrong Grave.
Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review in its Sept 8th issue: "With a quirky, fairytale style evocative of Neil Gaiman, the author mingles the grotesque and the ethereal to make magic on the page."
Both Gary K. Wolfe and Amelia Beamer reviewed the book in the July issue of Locus Magazine; Beamer's review notes Link's efforts to employ more traditional plots in some recent stories: "The inimitable Kelly Link voice is still present, but the resolution for each story derives from plot elements rather than the narrative complexity and strangeness Link has mapped as her territory in previous collections..." The bottom line, though is that "Link's stories usually work because they make something strange, or something familiar, because they are funny and tragic and different, and because they require the reader to piece together the ending."
McKiernan, Dennis L. :
City of Jade
(Roc 978-0-451-46231-2, $23.95, 353pp, hardcover, October 2008, jacket art Scott Schomburg)
Fantasy novel in the Mithgar series, set between Silver Wolf, Black Falcon (2000) and collection Red Slippers (2004).
In this book Aravan, captain of the Elven ship Eroean, embarks on an expedition to find the mythical lost city of jade.
The author's site has his forward to the book, with an excerpt from Chapter 1 on the homepage.
The publisher's site has an essay by McKiernan, "Dwelling in Cities of Jade".
Publishers Weekly's review said the book is "Packed with the lore McKiernan has developed in 24 years of writing about the world of Mithgar" and warned that "Appreciating the nuances depends on understanding earlier events; newcomers will find no footholds here."
Stover, Matthew :
Caine Black Knife
(Ballantine Del Rey 978-0-345-45587-1, $14, 343pp, trade paperback, October 2008, cover illustration Jennifer Reagles)
Fantasy novel about Caine, a warrior in a far-future reality show; third in the series following Heroes Die (1998) and Blade of Tyshalle (2001), both published as by Matthew Woodring Stover.
In this book Caine returns, after 30 years, to the site of his victory over the Black Knives tribe.
Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
The Publishers Weekly review concludes that "Stover has a gift for brutal, detailed action sequences, and Caine is at his most enthralling when he's fighting or discussing tactics, but the high levels of (occasionally creative) profanity and the cliffhanger ending may put off some readers."
Amazon has several 5-star reader reviews.
Thomas, Jonathan :
Midnight Call and Other Stories
(Hippocampus Press 978-0-9793806-9-3, $15, 258pp, trade paperback, November 2008)
Collection of 25 horror stories, with an appreciative foreword by S.T. Joshi.
There are no prior publication credits, except for the note that some of the stories appeared in earlier forms in 1992 small press collection Stories from the Big Black House.
The publisher's site has this description and order page, including a blurb from Ramsey Campbell and a quote from Joshi's foreword.
The Publishers Weekly review noted "Readers with a taste for intelligent horror will welcome this collection from the versatile Thomas... Thomas distinguishes himself with subtlety and careful plotting in a genre in which gore and shock are often the norm."