The good news for voracious readers is that each month there are many excellent books being published. The hard part is deciding which ones to pick! That's where I come in. Use the following as a guide to steer you toward some of this month's most promising science-fiction and fantasy releases...
Read the last SF Signal on the World of Sci-Fi Media Tie-ins.
Territory by Emma Bull
For a touch of strange, try this "weird western" which puts a magical emphasis on the events of Tombstone, Ariz., in the late 1800s, when Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and the Clanton brothers became legends. (If you like this, you might also like last year's The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick and the new sequel out this month, The Doctor and the Kid).
Empire State by Adam Christopher
Adam Christopher's superhero-noir novel Empire State takes superheroes and puts them in an alternate Prohibition-era New York of yesteryear. Here, superheroes have fallen out of the public eye while a police detective makes a startling, world-changing discovery.
Human for a Day Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Jennifer Brozek
This anthology features 16 stories that examine the good and bad things about being human. It boasts a fantastic lineup: Ian Tregillis, Jay Lake, Seanan McGuire, Anton Strout, Fiona Patton, Erik Scott de Bie, Dylan Birtolo, Tanith Lee, Laura Resnick, Jean Rabe,Tim Waggoner, Eugie Foster, Jody Lynn Nye, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, David D. Levine and Jim C. Hines.
The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett
Debut novelist Ayize Jama-Everett offers a gritty take on superheroes with The Liminal People. The protagonist, Taggert, has the power to hurt and heal with a simple touch. Jasmine, the object of Taggert's affection, asks for Taggert's help to locate her daughter, a girl with newly discovered telekinetic and mind-reading powers. Taggert tries to rescue Jasmine's daughter while operating under the radar of his boss, a mysterious collector of humans with special abilities.
Planesrunner by Ian McDonald
Multiple award-winning novelist Ian McDonald makes his young adult debut with this story about a young man who becomes the owner of the Infundibulum, a map of all the known existing parallel worlds. He then uses it to attempt to rescue his scientist father, who was kidnapped for his knowledge of parallel dimensions.
Bad Blood by Kristen Painter
In the conclusion of the House of Comarré series—a trilogy that involves a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility—the plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds comes ever-closer as protagonists Malkolm and Chrysabelle search for the all-important the Ring of Sorrows.
The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees
This science-fiction thriller introduces a disturbing virtual-reality world originally intended as a military-training ground and thus inhabited by virtual counterparts of some of history's most notorious and deadliest psychopaths. But this virtual playground gets frighteningly real when the president's daughter becomes trapped and the rescue team must avoid the virtual world "dupes" that are anxious to drain their real-world victims' blood.
Tales from Super-Science Fiction Edited by Robert Silverberg
Science Fiction legend Robert Silverberg has chosen 14 science-fiction stories originally published in Super-Science Fiction during the mid-1950s and assembled them into one blast-from-the-past volume. Behind the beautiful retro cover you'll find classic stories by Henry Slesar, James E. Gunn, A.Bertram Chandler, Don Berry, Robert Bloch, Jack Vance, J.F. Bone, Robert Moore Williams, Daniel L. Galouye, Alan E. Nourse, Charles W. Runyon, Tom Godwin and Robert Silverberg himself.
Gothic High-Tech by Bruce Sterling
Few authors are universally credited with writing mind-blowing science fiction. Bruce Sterling is one of them. His new collection of stories Gothic High-Tech is a great example of Sterling's commentary on life as mankind wrestles with how to manage his analog legacy as he moves into the digital age.
All About Emily by Connie Willis
In the near-future, an aging and cynical theater legend named Claire Havilland meets a devoted teenage fan who happens to be related to a famous artificial intelligence pioneer. Written in Willis' singular comic style, this short novel wraps robots, Broadway and self-discovery in a cozy holiday atmosphere.
What, you read more than 10 books a month? OK. These new sf/f (and related) titles are also worth a look:
- A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson
- Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
- City of Light and Shadow by Ian Whates
- Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright
- Death and Resurrection by R.A. MacAvoy
- Earthbound by Joe Haldeman
- Kurt Vonnegut: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations by Kurt Vonnegut
- Left Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins
- Nested Scrolls: The Autobiography of Rudolf von Bitter Rucker by Rudy Rucker
- Pathfinder Tales: Death's Heretic by James L. Sutter
- Postcolonialism and Science Fiction by Jessica Langer
- Supervolcano: Eruption by Harry Turtledove
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews.