Many fantastic new science fiction and fantasy reads are hitting the shelves this month. That's the good news. The bad news is trying to figure out how best to spend your book-buying dollar. Wouldn't it be great if you had a helpful guide to help steer you toward the better picks? Well look no further!
Here's a look at some of science fiction and fantasy's best reading bets for August.
Read the last SF Signal on finding, reading and loving science fiction.
A Guile of Dragons by James Enge (Pyr)
Enge is not only a writer of fantasy, he's a devoted fan educated in its history and evolution. That's no more apparent than in his adventures of Morlock Ambrosius, a swordsman wandering a world rife with various magical disciplines. In A Guile of Dragons, Enge takes us back to show us the origins of his hero, as the Longest War—the war between dwarves and dragons presumed to have been over and done with—reignites with the return of the dragons.
At the Mouth of the River of Bees: Stories by Kij Johnson (Small Beer Press)
Johnson has been wowing short fiction audiences for years. Now with her first collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees, readers can enjoy Johnson's unique blend of fiction that is both insightful, touching and thoroughly enjoyable. This collection contains 17 stories, several of which have won awards and/or been chosen for prominent "Year's Best" anthologies.
Crackpot Palace: Stories by Jeffrey Ford (William Morrow)
Another can’t-miss short fiction collection being published this month is Crackpot Palace from Ford. It features 19 previously published winners plus one new story written specifically for this collection. It’s a perfect showcase of Ford's talent. Experience for yourself how the author's imagination runs wild in lands that are both familiar and wondrous.
Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey (Harper Voyager)
In his previous Sandman Slim novels, Richard Kadrey captivated readers with the story of a James Stark, a vengeful magician/hitman who returns from hell to be an anti-hero. That trend continues in Devil Said Bang, a hard-boiled supernatural thriller that sees Stark taking on a serial-killer ghost running wild in Los Angeles.
Fate of Worlds: Return from the Ringworld by Larry Niven & Edward M. Lerner (Tor Books)
The Ringword (a spinning, planet-sized ring surrounding a small that is habitable) is one of science fiction's most beloved creations. Return from the Ringworld is the latest chapter in the history of this marvelous creation. Here, the Ringworld, long sought after by the spacefaring races of Known Space, vanishes...but not before adventurer Louis Wu and the exiled alien Puppeteer known as Hindmost escape the Ringworld. Does Hindmost, who studied Ringworld technology for years, hold the key to finding and ruling the Ringworld?
Paradox Resolution by K.A. Bedford (Edge)
One of science fiction’s unexpected pleasures in recent years was K.A. Bedford's Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, featuring Aloysius "Spider" Webb, senior time machine repair technician. In Paradox Resolution, "Spider" is feeling the heat of technological progress: time machines have become smaller and easier to replace than they are to fix, leaving "Spider" even more disillusioned about his life. But that doesn't stop him from agreeing to find a missing time machine that, in the wrong hands, could destroy the universe.
Report from Planet Midnight by Nalo Hopkinson (PM Press)
In this collection of stories, science fiction phenomenon Nalo Hopkinson shows just how she earned her reputation as one of the field's most gifted writers. Like powerful science fiction does, it depicts strange, sometimes futuristic scenarios...when it's really shining the light on ourselves. Hopkinson's feminist, Afro-Caribbean views of the science fiction and fantasy genres will open your mind
Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher (Angry Robot)
What do you get when you mix superheroes and noir? You get the wonderful alternate world of Seven Wonders by Christopher, author of the endlessly fun novel Empire State. Here, the city of San Ventura is held in the fearful grips of the hooded supervillain named The Cowl. It just may be up to Tony Prosdocimi and his newly developed superhuman abilities to save the day. But he'll need help. The good news: the bustling metropolis of San Ventura is home to the superhero team known as the Seven Wonders. The bad news: They are not a very welcoming bunch.
Synners by Pat Cadigan (Gollancz)
Synners is a classic cyberpunk-era novel that still holds up today. It blurs the line between reality and perception through a technology that can directly interface with the human mind. Once accessed, the memories and images can be re-packaged...leading to a new kind of cutting edge crime. Can a group of hackers put this particular genie back in the bottle?
Wake by Amanda Hocking (St. Martin's Griffin)
Wake is the start of a new fantasy series by celebrated author Hocking. In it, three attractive, charismatic strangers move into Gemma's hometown. Everyone wants to be part of their clique, but it's Gemma who they choose to befriend. That's good news for Gemma...until, after partying one night with her new friends, she wakes up feeling sick and confused and suddenly faster, stronger and more beautiful than she was before.
Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Del Rey)
Brooks revisits the magical land of Shannara in his latest novel, Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara. Here, a young Druid named Aphenglow learns how an Elven girl, thousands of years ago, lost the precious and powerful Elfstones that helped keep evil at bay. Now, times are turbulent and Aphenglow's knowledge is sought after by evil forces, for it may be the key to capturing the Elfstones and ruling the Four Lands.
For Speed Readers Who Want More...
Want to know the truth? With more than 150 science fiction and fantasy releases in August, this was difficult list to cultivate. There were many more books I could have easily chosen to be on the list. Here are some of them:
Black Bottle by Anthony Huso (Tor Books)
Brittle Innings by Michael Bishop (Fairwood Press, Inc)
Bullettime by Nick Mamatas (ChiZine Publications)
Cold Fire by Kate Elliott (Orbit)
Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (Tachyon Publications)
Endgame by Ann Aguirre (Ace)
Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran (Prime Books)
Future Lovecraft edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles (Prime Books)
Genocidal Organ by Project Itoh (VIZ Media LLC)
Ghost Key by Trish J. MacGregor (Tor Books)
Hidden Things by Doyce Testerman (Harper Voyager)
King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (Ace Hardcover)
Legion by Brandon Sanderson (Subterranean)
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (Angry Robot)
No Sharks in the Med and Other Stories by Brian Lumley (Subterranean)
Reaper by K. D. Mcentire (Pyr)
Sanctuary: The Outcast Chronicles by Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris)
Seawitch: A Greywalker Novel by Kat Richardson (Roc Hardcover)
Shadowlands by Violette Malan (DAW Trade)
Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
Soul Trade by Caitlin Kittredge (St. Martin's Paperbacks)
Stalking the Zombie by Mike Resnick (American Fantasy Press)
Swallowing a Donkey's Eye by Paul Tremblay (ChiZine Publications)
Taken by Benedict Jacka (Ace)
The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton (Night Shade Books)
The Corpse-Rat King by Lee Battersby (Angry Robot)
The First Last Unicorn and Other Beginnings by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications)
The Grass King's Concubine by Kari Sperring (DAW)
The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (Orbit)
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins)
The Shattered Vine by Laura Anne Gilman (Pocket Books)
The Unconquered Countries: Four Novellas by Geoff Ryman (Small Beer Press)
The Unincorporated Future by Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin (Tor Books)
Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin's Press)
When Diplomacy Fails by Michael Z. Williamson (Baen)
Win Some, Lose Some: The Hugo Award Winning (and Nominated) Short Science Fiction and Fantasy of Mike Resnick by Mike Resnick (ISFiC Press)
Yesterday's Hero by Jonathan Wood (Night Shade Books)
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a Hugo-nominated group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews. He also like bagels.