With well more than 100 science fiction and fantasy books being published each month, it's easy to become overwhelmed by choices. But don't worry, fearless reader, for I am the beacon in the foggy sea of book releases. (Actually, I'm more like some dude writing a blog post, but that doesn't instill nearly as much confidence.)
Read the last SF Signal on the genre trap and how to avoid it.
Here’s a small handful of books to look for that are being published this month.In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination by Margaret Atwood
In Other Worlds is Margaret Atwood's personal exploration of her lifelong relationship with the literary genre of her choice: science fiction. Though often accused in genre circles of dodging the term "science fiction" (referring to her own writing as "speculative fiction"), this book should make it obvious that, no matter how sf fans might quibble over terminology, Atwood, a literary marvel, is one of the genre's biggest proponents.
The Kingdom of Gods by N.K. Jemisin
The Kingdom of Gods is the conclusion to The Inheritance Trilogy. The first two novels (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms) were both well-received and this one is sure to be a hit. It sees the Arameri family, who rose to power by enslaving the gods that created mortalkind, losing their influence because the gods are now free. Against this backdrop blooms a forbidden relationship between mortal and god.
Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey
Kadrey's stylized treatment of the ubiquitous urban fantasy genre makes it seem fresh, as evidenced by Sandman Slim and Kill The Dead, the precursors to the new book out in October, Aloha from Hell. Here, James Stark returns to hell to rescue a lost love. He must also stop a serial killer. All in a day's work for our supernatural noir antihero.
Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant
Steampunk is still going strong and this latest anthology proves that point quite nicely by featuring a fantastic lineup of authors that includes Libba Bray, Cory Doctorow, Delia Sherman, Kelly Link, Garth Nix, Christopher Rowe and Holly Black.
After the Apocalypse by Maureen F. McHughMcHugh's beautifully crafted writing tends to exhibit her Sharp eye toward human nature and daily life. That will no doubt be evident in this new collection of nine stories.
Damned by Chuck PalahniukThe author of Fight Club serves up a twisted version of The Breakfast Club in hell. Damned is the story of an 11-year-old girl, abandoned by her parents, who wakes up in hell and makes friends with a group of young sinners while trying to figure out why she's in hell.
The Illustrated Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn PeakeMarking the centenary of the author's birth comes an illustrated version of Mervyn Peake's classic Gormenghast Trilogy. Comprised of Titus Groan, Gormenghast, and Titus Alone, this hefty tome is sure to be the definitive publication for fans and newcomers alike.
Snuff by Terry PratchettIs there any long-running fantasy series more adored that Terry Pratchett's satirical Discworld? Snuff is the 39th Discworld novel and features Sam Vimes, policeman of Ankh-Morpork, finally on a well-deserved vacation away from the city's crime...not that it stops him from trying to solve a murder while on holiday.
The Children of the Sky by Vernor VingeNearly 20 years ago, Vernor Vinge wowed audiences with his visionary space opera A Fire Upon the Deep. In 1999, he followed that up with the equally impressive A Deepness in the Sky. Now he returns to his "Zones of Thought" universe with the eagerly awaited novel The Children of the Sky, where the relatively new civilization on Tines World is threatened.
Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction edited by Ian WhatesAfter a brief absence for this anthology, The Solaris Book of Science Fiction returns with Solaris Rising, a collection of new fiction whose lineup boasts the likes of Stephen Baxter, Keith Brooke, Pat Cadigan, Paul di Filippo, Jaine Fenn, Peter F. Hamilton, Ken MacLeod, Ian McDonald, Mike Resnick, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Jack Skillingstead, Tricia Sullivan, Steve Rasnic Tem, Lavie Tidhar, Ian Watson and more.