Elizabeth Bear, ad eternum
(Subterranean Press Mar 2012)

This novella is the latest entry in the long-running New Amsterdam sequence, set in an alternate-history America that includes vampires, werewolves, and sorcerer/detectives (explicitly in the tradition of Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy), and concerns world-weary wampyr Jack Prior’s return to America in 1962 after decades away. ‘‘Despite the ‘capstone’ label… it strikes me as less a finish than as a pause: the confluence of new and old associations, the possibility of a new enterprise, and the resuming of an old identity all suggest that the world-weary wampyr will return – one certainly hopes so.’’ [Russell Letson]

David Brin, Existence
(Tor Jun 2012)

Brin’s first novel in ten years is a return to form: a sprawling, idea-packed, and thought-provoking tale of a world transformed by an orbital garbage collector’s discovery of a small alien artifact – which has vast implications for the future of humanity.

Steven Erikson, The Devil Delivered and Other Tales
(Tor Jun 2012)

This collects three novellas, previously published in the UK, now widely available in the US for the first time: the near-future title story of ecological catastrophe in the Lakota Nation; ‘‘Revolvo’’, set on an alternate Earth where the arts scene is ruled by powerful technocrats; and ‘‘Fishin’ with Grandma Matchie’’, narrated by a nine-year-old boy whose trip to Grandma’s house veers off into the fantastical and strange.

Ian C. Esslemont, Orb Sceptre Throne
(Tor May 2012)

Another exploration of the decadent and strange fantasy world of the Malazan Empire (co-created with Steven Erikson), with a large cast of characters out to make their fortunes, seize artifacts of power, or bring old plots to fruition, all in the aftermath of war and catastrophic geographic transformations.

Mira Grant, Blackout
(Orbit Jun 2012)

Author Seanan McGuire’s post-apocalyptic alter-ego Mira Grant returns with this third and concluding volume in her Newsflesh series, a favorite with Hugo voters, set decades after a zombie apocalypse transformed the world. Crusading online journalist Shaun Mason continues trying to expose shadowy conspiracies – and avenge his sister’s murder.

David G. Hartwell & Jacob Weisman, eds., The Sword & Sorcery Anthology
(Tachyon Publications Jun 2012)

This anthology of 19 stories includes classic tales of blood, blades, and dark magic by Poul Anderson, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, C.L. Moore, Joanna Russ, Karl Edward Wagner, and others, plus original stories by Michael Swanwick and Michael Shea, and an introduction by David Drake.

David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year’s Best SF 17
(Harper Voyager US Jun 2012)

Famed editors Hartwell & Cramer present their pick for the best SF short fiction from 2011, with 23 stories from authors including Charlie Jane Anders, Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, Gwyneth Jones, Nnedi Okorafor, Robert Reed, Karl Schroeder, Michael Swanwick, and Genevieve Valentine.

James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel, eds., Nebula Awards Showcase 2012
(Prometheus/Pyr May 2012)

The 46th volume in the annual anthology series gathers 12 stories – including a reprint of Solstice Award winner James Tiptree, Jr.’s classic ‘‘And I Awoke and Found Me Here on the Cold Hill’s Side’’ – two Rhysling Award-winning poems, two novel excerpts, and an introduction by the editors.

China Miéville, Railsea
(Ballantine Del Rey May 2012)

This science fantasy dystopian YA is inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, with the captain and crew of the locomotive Medes pursuing a monstrous ‘‘moldywarpe’’ through a poisoned and twisted landscape crowded with rails. ‘‘The overall tone, despite some occasional real horror, is essentially playful – it’s Miéville having some good fun, and taking us along for an exhilarating ride.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

T. A. Pratt, Grim Tides
(Merry Blacksmith Jun 2012)

The latest volume in the urban fantasy series about ill-tempered sorcerer Marla Mason begins with her in exile from her home city, living on the island of Maui and trying to find a new purpose in life – until a coalition of old enemies led by a gleefully evil chaos witch decide to join forces and kill her while she’s defenseless and alone.

Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312
(Orbit May 2012)

This sprawling SF space adventure, set in a future where humankind has spread throughout the solar system, is liberally mixed with speculations on gender identity, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, ecological disaster, and spectacular set pieces. ‘‘As flat-out a celebration of the possibilities of SF as I’ve seen in years… a catalog of wonders.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

John Scalzi, Redshirts
(Tor Jun 2012)

A funny, breezy novel with a clever premise – the ‘‘redshirts’’ on a Universal Union starship realize they’re all expendable, and take steps to survive the fates Narrative has in store for them – takes on deeper meaning as it moves into metafictional territory near the end. ‘‘Without these hints at larger ideas, Redshirts would be a pleasant diversion. With them, it becomes something more interesting to dive into and engage with.’’ [Adrienne Martini]

Lucius Shepard, The Dragon Griaule
(Subterranean Jun 2012)

This beautiful volume collects six stories written over 25 years, set in the world of one of Shepard’s most memorable creations – the 6,000-foot-long, sleeping dragon Griaule. Includes a new novella, ‘‘The Skull’’, plus story notes by the author.