Ben Aaronovitch, Whispers Under Ground
(Ballantine Del Rey Aug 2012)
The fast-paced supernatural police procedural series that began with Midnight Riot and Moon Over Soho continues, with constable and apprentice sorcerer Peter Grant delving into the subway tunnels to investigate the death of a wealthy American exchange student – while coping with a born-again Christian FBI agent who considers all magic the Devil’s work.
Paula Brandon, The Wanderers
(Ballantine Spectra Aug 2012)
Paula Volsky, writing as Brandon, concludes the epic fantasy romance trilogy begun with The Traitor’s Daughter, as the undead hordes of the Overmind threaten the land and reality itself begins to come apart. Brandon displays ‘‘scant reverence for the traditions of epic fantasy, romance, or variations on the historical novel, subjecting Italianate old noble houses, their foreign (but human) overlords, and assorted rebels – including survivors from an earlier race of amphibians – to the uncertainties of changing times.’’ [Faren Miller]
Jonathan Carroll, The Woman Who Married a Cloud
(Subterranean Press Aug 2012)
The ‘‘Collected Short Stories of Jonathan Carroll’’ brings together 38 works by this inventive master of fantasy, including World Fantasy Award winner ‘‘Friend’s Best Man’’. ‘‘Carroll’s stories achieve a strangeness and power all their own, and of a sort that beggars any sort of précis… [he has] a vision so distinctive, and so morally grounded, that it hardly bears comparison with anything else in modern fiction at all.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Ronnie Gramazio, Exposé 10
(Ballistic Sep 2012)
The tenth edition of the annual round-up of the world’s best digital art includes work by over 350 artists, in categories that include SF, fantasy, fantasy femmes, robotic/cyborg, steampunk, and surreal. Also features a section on Grand Master Jim Burns, with an essay about his career and a gallery of his work.
Paula Guran, ed., The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror: 2012 Edition
(Prime Books Jul 2012)
The latest volume in the annual series includes 38 of the best dark stories from 2011, with stories by Jeffrey Ford, Glen Hirshberg, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Margo Lanagan, Tanith Lee, Maureen McHugh, Paul Park, Tim Powers, Catherynne M. Valente, and more.
Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Permeable Borders
(Fairwood Press Jul 2012)
The celebrated fantasist’s latest collection gathers 16 stories from the past two decades, including original ‘‘Anger Management’’. These ‘‘excellent’’ works ‘‘bring witchcraft and other magics firmly into the modern world.’’ [Faren Miller]
Rich Horton, ed., The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2012 Edition
(Prime Books Aug 2012)
Editor (and Locus reviewer) Horton selects 29 of the best SF/fantasy stories of 2011 for the latest installment of his annual anthology, with pieces by Jonathan Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Kij Johnson, Kelly Link, K.J. Parker, Robert Reed, Rachel Swirsky, Catherynne M. Valente, and others.
Caitlín R. Kiernan, Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart
(Subterranean Press Aug 2012)
The author’s eighth collection gathers 25 erotic stories ranging from SF/fantasy to the surreal, first published in Kiernan’s Sirenia Digest, made available to non-subscribers here for the first time. Also includes the author’s introduction, ‘‘Sexing the Weird’’.
Kate Milford, The Broken Lands
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Sep 2012)
Milford returns to the steampunk/historical setting of The Boneshaker with this prequel volume set in 1877, with two teens banding together to stop dark forces from destroying New York City. Includes illustrations by Andrea Offermann.
K. J. Parker, Sharps
(Orbit Jul 2012)
The author’s latest fantasy-without-magic concerns a talented but dysfunctional fencing team sent on a goodwill tour to a neighboring country as a gesture of peace after generations of war – only to become entangled in the overlapping plots of various conspiracies. ‘‘Another splendid offering from K.J. Parker… who seems incapable of writing in anything but top form.’’ [Faren Miller]
T. Aaron Payton, The Constantine Affliction
(Night Shade Books Aug 2012)
Locus editor Tim Pratt, writing as Payton, turns to steampunk in the first ‘‘Pimm and Skye Adventure,’’ set in an alternate 1860s London troubled by a plague that changes the sex of its victims, with social upheavals navigated by crusading lady journalist Ellie Skye and alcoholic amateur detective Pembroke ‘‘Pimm’’ Halliday.
Neal Stephenson, Some Remarks
(HarperCollins/Morrow Sep 2012)
This non-fiction collection features 18 works, including articles, essays, an interview, two stories, the first sentence of an unfinished piece of fiction, and original essay ‘‘Arsebestos’’. ‘‘When Stephenson explores his own fascination with the intellectual and scientific history… he shows himself as one of the most skilled popular science historians around…. Playful in a provocative way.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Charles Stross, The Apocalypse Codex
(Ace Jul 2012)
The fourth volume in the darkly humorous Laundry series, about British spies fighting supernatural forces in a universe teeming with Lovecraftian horrors, pits ‘‘computational demonologist’’ Bob Howard against an American televangelist with a mysterious ability to heal the sick. ‘‘Intrigue-adventure thrills, clever fiddling with a mixed bag of genre conventions, and a genuinely horrific vein of horror.’’ [Russell Letson]
Liz Williams, Worldsoul
(Prime Books Jun 2012)
This begins a new series set in the city of Worldsoul, which rests at the nexus of Earth and many other dimensions. When the government of the city mysteriously breaks down, dangerous creatures escape from old texts in the vast magical Library – and the librarians have to stop them from wreaking havoc. ‘‘Williams’s mixture of unearthly elements, which range from the Arabian Nights to Celtic, Nordic and beyond, with hints of Earthly history… manages to bring a sense of uncertainty, even irreverence, to what could be a chronicle of dire events.’’ [Faren Miller]