Here’s a list of all of sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.
Released Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Civilization has fallen, leaving California an unforgiving, decimated place. But Cass Dollar beat terrible odds to get her missing daughter back—she and Ruthie will be happy.
Yet with the first winter, Cass is reminded that happiness is fleeting in Aftertime. Ruthie retreats into silence.
Flesh—eating Beaters still dominate the landscape. And Smoke, Cass’s lover and strength, departs on a quest for vengeance, one that may end him even if he returns.
The survivalist community Cass has planted roots in is breaking apart, too. Its leader, Dor, implores Cass to help him recover his own lost daughter, taken by the totalitarian Rebuilders. And soon Cass finds herself thrust into the dark heart of an organization promising humanity’s rebirth—at all costs.
Bound to two men blazing divergent paths across a savage land, Cass must overcome the darkness in her wounded heart, or lose those she loves forever.
The dragon was enormous. Its wings were ablaze with black and purple flames; its head was made of shadows; its eyes burned crimson red; and its roar pierced Ryuu to the bone. The dragon was half flesh, half shadow. To Ryuu’s horror, the dragon shot black shadowy flames from its maw that engulfed Elizabeth. Then Ryuu woke up. Ryuu had always wondered what his nightmares had meant. His guardian, Master Voggna, reveals the source of the nightmares is an ancient evil that had wiped out the great order known as the Dragon Knights. Ryuu is further shocked to learn that he is the son of one of the first Dragon Knights! After learning of his heritage, Ryuu receives an invitation to the royal ball in Riverside, the kingdom of King Abrithil. At the ball, he meets the beautiful Princess Elizabeth. He also meets one of King Abrithil’s knights, the brooding and mysterious Christopher. Soon the mystery behind Ryuu’s heritage and powers begins to unfold. Can Ryuu embrace his powers before it’s too late? Is Christopher to be trusted? Do Ryuu’s nightmares foretell Princess Elizabeth’s fate? Will Ryuu and his allies be strong enough to stop the imposing Shadow Lords? Join Ryuu on his quest in Knights of Cyndroania: Shadows Arising.
It’s the end of World War II. FDR’s New Deal has redefined American politics. Taxes are at an all-time high. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has brought a fear of total annihilation. The rise of secret government agencies and sanctions on business has many watching their backs. America’s sense of freedom is diminishing . . . and many are desperate to take there freedom back.
Among them is a great dreamer, an immigrant who pulled himself from the depths of poverty to become one of the wealthiest and admired men in the world. That man is Andrew Ryan, and he believed that great men and women deserve better. And so he set out to create the impossible, a utopia free from government, censorship, and moral restrictions on science–where what you give is what you get. He created Rapture—the shining city below the sea.
But as we all know, this utopia suffered a great tragedy. This is the story of how it all came to be . . .and how it all ended.
In Yalda’s universe, light has no universal speed and its creation generates energy. On Yalda’s world, plants make food by emitting their own light into the dark night sky. As a child, Yalda witnesses one of a series of strange meteors, the Hurtlers, that are entering the planetary system at an immense, unprecedented speed. It becomes apparent that her world is in imminent danger – and the task of dealing with the Hurtlers will require knowledge and technology far beyond anything her civilization has yet achieved! Only one solution seems tenable: if a spacecraft can be sent on a journey at sufficiently high speed, its trip will last many generations for those on board, but it will return after just a few years have passed at home. The travelers will have a chance to discover the science their planet urgently needs, and bring it back in time to avert disaster.
Kathleen Ann Goonan introduced Sam Dance and his wife, Bette, and their quest to alter our present reality for the better in her novel In War Times (winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel and ALA’s Best Science Fiction Novel of 2008). Now, in This Shared Dream, she tells the story of the next generation.
The three Dance kids, seemingly abandoned by both parents when they were younger, are now adults and are all disturbed by memories of a reality that existed in place of their world. The older girl, Jill, even remembers the disappearance of their mother while preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Goonan has created a new kind of utopian SF novel, in which the changes in history have created a present world that is in many ways superior to our own, while in other worlds people strive to prevent their own erasure by restoring the ills to ours. This Shared Dream is certainly the most provocative SF speculation of the year, and perhaps the decade.
The knife was in reaching distance near my right foot. The hilt was in the air towards the ceiling. How is it I could be insane when it is my own intellect that allows my understanding and articulation of the savage and diabolical? Who could be writing this piece, and whom was I listening to? Was it at length my own imagination? They are notoriously motivated to have the title doctor, a prefix in front of their name, like honorable sir, doesn’t allow them contentment. Is this the reason (doctor, master, prince) a man puts forth his hand to the plow? Whose words are in my mouth? With a flair for the grisly and macabre, Wayne Fabiano welcomes readers to his banquet of dread. The winemaker whose secret ingredient requires murder, the preacher whose sins will surely find him out, and the madman who hatches a perfect plan to escape the asylum: these characters and more populate this collection that simultaneously fascinates and horrifies. As the characters slowly spiral into insanity, the reader cannot help but be drawn into their world of bloodshed, madness, and death. Wayne is clearly familiar with the gothic horror tradition, which he channels here. A Distinguished Collection of Dark Tales will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, leaving the light on at night, and questioning your own assumptions of reality and sanity.
Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina’s soul, but Catarina doesn’t want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell. When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina’s wrath isn’t so easy to escape!
The wealthy Governor Saxa, of the great city of Carce, has generously and lavishly subsidized a theatrical/religious event. During this elaborate staging of Hercules founding a city on the shores of Lusitania, strange and dark magic turns the panoply into a chilling event. The sky darkens and the waves crash in the flooded arena. A great creature rises from the sea: a huge, tentacled horror on snake legs. It devastates the city, much to the delight of the crowd. A few in the audience, although not Saxa, understand that this was not mere stagecraft, but something much darker and more dangerous. If all signs are being read right, this illusion could signify a dreadful intrusion of supernatural powers into the real world. Saxa’s son, Varus, has been the conduit for such an event once before.
This new novel in David Drake’s chronicles of Carce, The Books of the Elements, is as powerful and elaborate as that fantastic theatrical event, a major fantasy for this year.
“What would Kurt Russell do?” Oxford police detective Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot. Because Arthur is no hero. He’s a good cop, but prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen, safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI12 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is NO HERO! Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?
In this extraordinary World War II alternate history, master storyteller Harry Turtledove begins with a big switch: what if Neville Chamberlain, instead of appeasing Hitler, had stood up to him in 1938? Enraged, Hitler reacts by lashing out at the West, promising his soldiers that they will reach Paris by the new year. They don’t. Three years later, his genocidal apparatus not fully in place, Hitler has barely survived a coup, while Jews cling to survival. But England and France wonder whether the war is still worthwhile.
Weaving together a cast of characters that ranges from a brawling American fighter in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain to a woman who has seen Hitler’s evil face-to-face, Harry Turtledove takes us into a world shaping up very differently in 1941. The Germans and their Polish allies have slammed into the gut of the Soviet Union in the west, while Japan pummels away in the east. In trench warfare in France, French and Czech fighters are outmanned but not outfought by their Nazi enemy. Then the stalemate is shattered. In England, Winston Churchill dies in an apparent accident, and the gray men who walk behind his funeral cortege wonder who their real enemy is. The USSR, fighting for its life, makes peace with Japan—and Japan’s war with America is about to begin.
A sweeping saga of human passions, foolishness, and courage, of families and lovers and soldiers by choice and by chance, The Big Switch is a provocative, gripping, and utterly convincing work of alternate history at its best. For history buffs and fans of big, blood-and-guts fiction, Harry Turtledove delivers a panoramic clash of ideals as powerful as armies themselves.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn comes a brand-new Star Wars adventure, set in the time between A New Hope andThe Empire Strikes Back and featuring the young Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and the beloved Mara Jade.
The fate of the Rebellion rests on Luke Skywalker’s next move.
But have the rebels entered a safe harbor or a death trap?
Eight months after the Battle of Yavin, the Rebellion is in desperate need of a new base. So when Governor Ferrouz of Candoras Sector proposes an alliance, offering the Rebels sanctuary in return for protection against the alien warlord Nuso Esva, Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are sent to evaluate the deal.
Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is also heading for Candoras, along with the five renegade stormtroopers known as the Hand of Judgment. Their mission: to punish Ferrouz’s treason and smash the Rebels for good.
But in this treacherous game of betrayals within betrayals, a wild card is waiting to be played.
Don’t miss the new novella by Timothy Zahn, “Crisis of Faith,” featured in the 20th anniversary edition of Star Wars: Heir to the Empire
A year has passed since that fateful night in Daemon Hall’s house of horrors. Bestselling macabre author Ian Tremblin decides to hold another writer’s contest but this time in the safety of his own home. Tremblin is excited to share with contestants a very old book he has recently acquired that once belonged to Rudolph Daemon, the millionaire builder of Daemon Hall who later went mad and killed his family. But the book, like the mansion, is powerfully evil and soon transports the group to the burned out shell of the haunted mansion. Flesh eaters, voodoo, a proficient sociopath, and the root of the house’s malevolence are all part of the mix. Who will get out alive?
Released Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Recent World War II veteran Bull Ingram is working as muscle when a Memphis DJ hires him to find Ramblin’ John Hastur. The mysterious blues man’s dark, driving music – broadcast at ever-shifting frequencies by a phantom radio station – is said to make living men insane and dead men rise. Disturbed and enraged by the bootleg recording the DJ plays for him, Ingram follows Hastur’s trail into the strange, uncivilized backwoods of Arkansas, where he hears rumors the musician has sold his soul to the Devil. But as Ingram closes in on Hastur and those who have crossed his path, he’ll learn there are forces much more malevolent than the Devil and reckonings more painful than Hell… In a masterful debut of Lovecraftian horror and Southern gothic menace, John Hornor Jacobs reveals the fragility of free will, the dangerous power of sacrifice, and the insidious strength of blood.
Dev is a smuggler with the perfect cover. He’s in high demand as a guide for the caravans that carry legitimate goods from the city of Ninavel into the country of Alathia. The route through the Whitefire Mountains is treacherous, and Dev is one of the few climbers who knows how to cross them safely. With his skill and connections, it’s easy enough to slip contraband charms from Ninavel – where any magic is fair game, no matter how dark – into Alathia, where most magic is outlawed.
But smuggling a few charms is one thing; smuggling a person through the warded Alathian border is near suicidal. Having made a promise to a dying friend, Dev is forced to take on a singularly dangerous cargo: Kiran. A young apprentice on the run from one of the most powerful mages in Ninavel, Kiran is desperate enough to pay a fortune to sneak into a country where discovery means certain execution – and he’ll do whatever it takes to prevent Dev from finding out the terrible truth behind his getaway.
Yet Kiran isn’t the only one harboring a deadly secret. Caught up in a web of subterfuge and dark magic, Dev and Kiran must find a way to trust each other – or face not only their own destruction, but that of the entire city of Ninavel.
Brave explorers and mortal enemies across the world clash at a mysterious lost continent. After long voyages, encountering hurricanes and sea monsters, Criston Vora and Saan race to Terravitae, the legendary promised land. Saan’s quest is to find the Key to Creation, a weapon that may defeat Uraba’s enemies, and Criston wants vengeance against the monstrous Leviathan that ruined his life long ago.
Back home, two opposing continents and religions clash for the remnants of a sacred city, unleashing their hatred in a war that could end both civilizations. Queen Anjine and Soldan-Shah Omra are driven by mutual hatred, heaping atrocity upon atrocity in an escalating conflict that only their gods can end.
Meanwhile, the secretive Saedrans. manipulating both sides, come ever closer to their ultimate goal: to complete the Map of All Things and bring about the return of God.