Joe Abercrombie, Best Served Cold
(Orbit US Jul 2009)
A female mercenary bent on revenge against an employer who betrayed her assembles a company of unlikely allies in this standalone fantasy novel, full of action and dark humor, set in the world of the First Law trilogy. Originally published in the UK by Gollancz (6/09).
Daniel Abraham, The Price of Spring
(Tor Jul 2009)
The Long Price Quartet concludes in this fourth volume, jumping 15 years ahead to show the after-effects of the disastrous war, and a curse that leaves the women of one side and the men of the other infertile. ‘‘Abraham manages to reach a worthy resolution after the many years and seasons his characters spent struggling with their ‘interesting’ times.’’ [Faren Miller]
Poul Anderson, The Collected Short Works of Poul Anderson, Volume 2: The Queen of Air and Darkness
(NESFA Press Aug 2009)
NESFA’s non-chronological retrospective of Anderson’s shorter work continues with 18 stories (two Hugo winners), ten poems, and five essays.
Kage Baker, The Hotel Under the Sand
(Tachyon Publications Jul 2009)
Baker tries her hand at children’s fiction for this charmingly old-fashioned tale of a girl swept away by a storm only to find a magical hotel uncovered by the winds.
Kage Baker, The Women of Nell Gwynne's
(Subterranean Press Jun 2009)
The early history of the Company is the backdrop for this SF steampunk novella set in a brothel in early-Victorian London. ‘‘More stories in the same series would not be unwelcome Baker never fails to entertain.’’ [Rich Horton]
John Bellairs, Magic Mirrors
(NESFA Press Jul 2009)
Bellairs may be best known for his YA mysteries, but his adult fantasy novel The Face in the Frost won him kudos, too, and is collected here along with the first third of the unfinished sequel Dolphin Cross plus the satirical Saint Fidgetta & Other Parodies and illustrated story The Pedant and the Shuffly.
Eric Brown, Starship Fall
(NewCon Press Apr 2009)
This SF novella is a largely standalone sequel to Starship Summer, set five years later, a moving tale of friendship and alien rituals. David Conway’s quiet life on the colony planet Chalcedony is overset by the arrival of a mysterious woman and the departure of a friend.
Kathleen Duey, Sacred Scars
(Atheneum Aug 2009)
The tension builds in this YA fantasy, the second book in the trilogy A Resurrection of Magic after the critically acclaimed Skin Hunger. In one time, efforts to restore magic continue, while centuries later the wizards’ harsh rule stirs opposition.
Richard Kadrey, Sandman Slim
(Eos Aug 2009)
In this edgy, irreverent, often satirical, hardboiled dark fantasy novel, James Stark escapes Hell and ends up in Los Angeles 11 years after his death, with some old scores to settle while Heaven and Hell have plans of their own for him.
Patrick Ness, The Ask and the Answer
(Candlewick Press Sep 2009)
The thrilling sequel to acclaimed young-adult dystopian SF novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, about a boy living on a world where all living things project their thoughts yet men still manage to lie. Todd, captured by the Mayor, learns that factions are battling to get control of the planet before the imminent arrival of more colonists.
Cat Rambo, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight
(Paper Golem Aug 2009)
Rambo presents 20 stories, six original, many set in her seaside town of Tabat. ‘‘Rambo’s unpretentiously lyrical way with words and her strong sense of character keep even tales of wizards, loverlorn maidens, monsters, or pirates from taking on the stale air of artificial constructions.... Glimpses of the everyday, occasional uppity feminism, and some wild (and witty) twists on genre just add spice to the mix.’’ [Faren Miller]
Karl Schroeder, The Sunless Countries
(Tor Aug 2009)
The fourth volume in the Virga series of post-singularity steampunk adventures set in a weightless artificial environment, this moves away from the more settled regions to the darker outskirts, where cities and ships are disappearing and a strange voice calls from space but only one young woman, a historian, is willing to try to find answers. ‘‘What makes these books so much fun is not only their intricate and energetic storytelling but the density and variety of Schroeder’s imaginings.’’ [Russell Letson]
Charles Stross, Wireless
(Ace Jul 2009)
Stross’s new collection presents nine stories, including an original novella, ranging from hard SF to amusing cross-genre tales mixing Lovecraft and spies or SF and Wodehouse. ‘‘[Stross] is not just a big/fancy-idea guy, but a writerly writer whose prose can keep up with the stream of inventiveness that is probably his strongest selling point with a core audience of SF nerds.’’ [Russell Letson]
Jack Vance, Wild Thyme and Green Magic
(Subterranean Press Jun 2009)
This third retrospective Vance collection from Subterranean, edited by Terry Dowling & Jonathan Strahan, presents 12 stories (one actually an outline), plus two biographical essays by Norma Vance and comments from an interview with Vance, adding new insight into the life and work of this often reticent Grand Master.