Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Eye on New Releases for August 23, 2016


(Third and final book of the Spellwright Trilogy)

Synopsis:
"Leandra Weal has a bad habit of getting herself in dangerous situations. 
 
While hunting neodemons in her role as Warden of Ixos, Leandra obtains a prophetic spell that provides a glimpse one day into her future. She discovers that she is doomed to murder someone she loves, soon, but not who. That’s a pretty big problem for a woman who has a shark god for a lover, a hostile empress for an aunt, a rogue misspelling wizard for a father, and a mother who--especially when arguing with her daughter--can be a real dragon.

Leandra’s quest to unravel the mystery of the murder-she-will-commit becomes more urgent when her chronic disease flares up and the Ixonian Archipelago is plagued by natural disasters, demon worshiping cults, and fierce political infighting. Everywhere she turns, Leandra finds herself amid intrigue and conflict. It seems her bad habit for getting into dangerous situations is turning into a full blown addiction.

As chaos spreads across Ixos, Leandra and her troubled family must race to uncover the shocking truth about a prophesied demonic invasion, human language, and their own identities--if they don't kill each other first."
 
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eye on New Releases for August 16, 2016


 (Book two of The Broken Earth)

Synopsis:
"This is the way the world ends, for the last time. 

The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night. 

Essun -- once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger -- has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power - and her choices will break the world."


 (Tor.com novella)

Synopsis:
"Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.

'Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading.' —Pamela Sargent"



Synopsis:
"Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.

Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.

Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing…"

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Eye on New Releases for August 9, 2016


 (Anthology)

Table of Contents:
  • “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” by Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s Oct/Nov 2015)
  • “The Bone Swans of Amandale” by C.S.E. Cooney (Bone Swans, Mythic Delirium Books)
  • "Binti" by Nnedi Okorafor (Binti, Tor.com)
  • “The Last Witness” by K. J. Parker (The Last Witness, Tor.com)
  • “Johnny Rev” by Rachel Pollack (F&SF Jul/Aug 2015)
  • “Inhuman Garbage,” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Asimov’s March 2015)
  • “Gypsy,” by Carter Scholz (F&SF Nov/Dec 2015)
  • “The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn,” by Usman Malik (The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn, Tor.com)
  • “What Has Passed Shall in Kinder Light Appear” by Bao Shu, translated by Ken Liu (F&SF Mar/Apr 2015)


 (Book three of The Tale of Shikanoko)

Synopsis:
"Shikanoko, at what should be a warrior’s hour of greatest triumph, turns his back on those around him, in mourning for a secret love . . .

The Spider Tribe, spurned by their guardian, explore the extent of their powers and ruthless ambitions. . .

Hina, who alone knows the whereabouts of the true emperor, has to forge a new identity of her own. No one must ever know that she is Kiyoyori’s daughter . . .

As the traditional powers navigate weakness and disarray, old spirits and new figures enter the epic battle for the Lotus Throne . . ."



Synopsis:
"For fans of legendary pulp author H. P. Lovecraft, there is nothing bigger than the annual Providence-based convention the Summer Tentacular. Horror writer Colleen Danzig doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives, but is unsettled to find that among the hobnobbing between scholars and literary critics are a group of real freaks: book collectors looking for volumes bound in human skin, and true believers claiming the power to summon the Elder God Cthulhu, one of their idol’s most horrific fictional creations, before the weekend is out.

Colleen’s trip spirals into a nightmare when her roommate for the weekend, an obnoxious novelist known as Panossian, turns up dead, his face neatly removed. What’s more unsettling is that, in the aftermath of the murder, there is little concern among the convention goers. The Summer Tentacular continues uninterrupted, except by a few bumbling police.

Everyone at the convention is a possible suspect, but only Colleen seems to show any interest in solving the murder. So she delves deep into the darkness, where occult truths have been lurking since the beginning of time. A darkness where Panossian is waiting, spending a lot of time thinking about Colleen, narrating a new Lovecraftian tale that could very well spell her doom."


 (Novella)

Synopsis:
"1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer—and occult disciple—Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including Surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.

1950. A lone Surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts—and by the forces of Hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.

But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties—to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself."
 

(Collection)

Table of Contents:
"Steadfast Castle"
"The Man in Grey"
"The Dala Horse"
"The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree"
"Of Finest Scarlet Was Her Gown"
"3 A.M. in the Mesozoic Bar"
"Passage of Earth"
"From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled . . ."
"For I Have Lain Me Down on the Stone of Loneliness and I’ll Not Be Back Again"
"Libertarian Russia"
"The Scarecrow’s Boy"
"The She-Wolf’s Hidden Grin"
"Goblin Lake"
"Pushkin the American"
"An Empty House with Many Doors"
"Tawny Petticoats"
"The House of Dreams"

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Eye on New Releases for August 2, 2016


(Novella)

Synopsis:
"In this emotionally gripping, genre-defying novella from Sarah Pinborough, a woman sits at her father's bedside, watching the clock tick away the last hours of his life. Her brothers and sisters--she is the middle child of five--have all turned up over the past week to pay their last respects. Each is traumatized in his or her own way, and the bonds that unite them to each other are fragile--as fragile perhaps as the old man's health.

With her siblings all gone, back to their self-obsessed lives, she is now alone with the faltering wreck of her father's cancer-ridden body. It is always at times like this when it--the dark and nameless, the impossible, presence that lingers along the fringes of the dark fields beyond the house--comes calling.

As the clock ticks away in the darkness, she can only wait for it to find her, a reunion she both dreads and aches for..."
 

(Tor.com novella)

Synopsis:
"The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen.

Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…"

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Eye on New Releases for July 26, 2016


 (Book five of the Craft Sequence)

Synopsis:
"In Four Roads Cross, the great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back--and the people of Alt Coulumb aren't happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning's creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god's church. Tara Abernathy, the god's in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world's fiercest necromantic firm--and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren't enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken into and out of; choirs of flame sing over Alt Coulumb; demons pose significant problems; a farmers' market proves more important to world affairs than seems likely; doctors of theology strike back; Monk-Technician Abelard performs several miracles; The Rats! play Walsh's Place; and dragons give almost-helpful counsel."


(Tor.com novella)

Synopsis:
"Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind.

A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drake to find it. Solving the case might plunge Drake into deeper danger."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Eye on New Releases for July 19, 2016


 (Debut novel)

Synopsis:
"A child is kidnapped with consequences that extend across worlds… A writer reaches into the past to discover the truth about a possible murder… Far away a young woman prepares for her mysterious future… 

In a future scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, Jenna Hoolman’s world is dominated by illegal smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. When her young niece goes missing that world implodes... Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, who has his own demons to fight… And Maree, a young woman undertaking a journey that will change her world forever."


(Graphic novel)

Synopsis:
"Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers."


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Eye on New Releases for July 12, 2016


 (Debut novel)

Synopsis:
"On a cool evening in Kolkata, India, beneath a full moon, as the whirling rhythms of traveling musicians fill the night, college professor Alok encounters a mysterious stranger with a bizarre confession and an extraordinary story. Tantalized by the man’s unfinished tale, Alok will do anything to hear its completion. So Alok agrees, at the stranger’s behest, to transcribe a collection of battered notebooks, weathered parchments, and once-living skins.

From these documents spills the chronicle of a race of people at once more than human yet kin to beasts, ruled by instincts and desires blood-deep and ages-old. The tale features a rough wanderer in seventeenth-century Mughal India who finds himself irrevocably drawn to a defiant woman—and destined to be torn asunder by two clashing worlds. With every passing chapter of beauty and brutality, Alok’s interest in the stranger grows and evolves into something darker and more urgent."


 (Book two of the Caeli-Amur)

Synopsis:
"With the seditionists in power, Caeli-Amur has begun a new age. Or has it? The escaped House officials no longer send food, and the city is starving.

When the moderate leader Aceline is murdered, the trail leads Kata to a mysterious book that explains how to control the fabled Prism of Alerion. But when the last person to possess the book is found dead, it becomes clear that a conspiracy is afoot. At its center is former House Officiate Armand, who has hidden the Prism. Armand is vying for control of the Directorate, the highest political position in the city, until Armand is betrayed and sent to a prison camp to mine deadly bloodstone.

Meanwhile, Maximilian is sharing his mind with another being: the joker-god Aya. Aya leads Max to the realm of the Elo-Talern to seek a power source to remove Aya from Max's brain. But when Max and Aya return, they find the vigilants destroying the last remnants of House power.

It seems the seditionists' hopes for a new age of peace and prosperity in Caeli-Amur have come to naught, and every attempt to improve the situation makes it worse. The question now is not just whether Kata, Max, and Armand can do anything to stop the bloody battle in the city, but if they can escape with their lives."


 (Book four of the Flavia Albia series)

Synopsis:
"On a typical day, it's small cases---cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till---but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a rundown dive bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, only to uncover human remains buried in the backyard. There have been rumors for years that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a bar maid and these are presumably her remains. In the choice between planning a wedding and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder. Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.

As she gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, Albia's investigation has put her in the cross-hairs---which might be the only way she'll get out of the wedding and away from all her relatives who are desperate to 'help.'"


 (Story collection)

Table of Contents:
"The Blameless"
"Word Doll"
"The Angel Seems"
"Mount Chary Galore"
"A Natural History of Autumn"
"The Fairy Enterprise"
"The Thyme Fiend"
"The Last Triangle"
"Hibbler’s Minions"
"Rocket Ship to Hell"
"The Prelate’s Commission"
"A Terror"
"Blood Drive"


 (Debut novel)

Synopsis:
"Since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, he proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in a flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars."


(Book three of the Thessaly series)

Synopsis:
"More than sixty-five years ago, Pallas Athena founded the Just City on an island in the eastern Mediterranean, placing it centuries before the Trojan War, populating it with teachers and children from throughout human history, and committing it to building a society based on the principles of Plato's Republic. Among the City's children was Pytheas, secretly the god Apollo in human form.

Sixty years ago, the Just City schismed into five cities, each devoted to a different version of the original vision.

Forty years ago, the five cities managed to bring their squabbles to a close. But in consequence of their struggle, their existence finally came to the attention of Zeus, who can't allow them to remain in deep antiquity, changing the course of human history. Convinced by Apollo to spare the Cities, Zeus instead moved everything on the island to the planet Plato, circling its own distant sun.

Now, more than a generation has passed. The Cities are flourishing on Plato, and even trading with multiple alien species. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo in his full glory. And there's suddenly a human ship in orbit around Plato--a ship from Earth."


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Eye on New Releases for July 5, 2016



 (Book three of The Aspect-Emperor)

Synopsis:
"As Fanim war-drums beat just outside the city, the Empress Anasurimbor Esmenet searches frantically throughout the palace for her missing son Kelmomas. Meanwhile and many miles away, Esmenet’s husband’s Great Ordeal continues its epic march further north. But in light of dwindling supplies, the Aspect-Emperor’s decision to allow his men to consume the flesh of fallen Sranc could have consequences even He couldn’t have foreseen. And, deep in Ishuäl, the wizard Achamian grapples with his fear that his unspeakably long journey might be ending in emptiness, no closer to the truth than when he set out."


 (Reprint anthology)

Synopsis:
"This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy-tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents, into an enchanting collection. Explore magical new realms by traveling with us, Beyond the Woods . . .
Table of Contents:
Tanith Lee – “Red as Blood” (Nebula Award nomination, 1980)
Gene Wolfe – “In the House of Gingerbread” (World Fantasy Award nomination, 1988)
Angela Slatter – “The Bone Mother”
Elizabeth Bear – “Follow Me Light”
Yoon Ha Lee – “Coin of Hearts Desire”
Nalo Hopkinson – “The Glass Bottle Trick”
Catherynne M. Valente – “The Maiden Tree”
Holly Black – “Coat of Stars”
Caitlín R. Kiernan – “Road of Needles”
Kelly Link – “Travels with the Snow Queen” (World Fantasy Award nomination, 1999)
Karen Joy Fowler – “Halfway People”
Margo Lanagan – “Catastrophic Disruption of the Head”
Shveta Thakrar – “Lavanya and Deepika”
Theodora Goss – “Princess Lucinda and the Hound of the Moon”
Gardner Dozois – “Fairy Tale”
Peter S. Beagle – “The Queen Who Could Not Walk”
Priya Sharma – “Lebkuchen”
Neil Gaiman – “Diamonds and Pearls: A Fairy Tale”
Richard Bowes – “The Queen and the Cambion”
Octavia Cade – “The Mussel Eater”
Jane Yolen – “Memoirs of a Bottle Djinn”
Steve Duffy – “Bears: A Fairy Tale of 1958”
Charles de Lint –“The Moon Is Drowning While I Sleep” (World Fantasy Award nomination, 1994)
Veronica Schanoes – “Rats”
Rachel Swirsky – “Beyond the Naked Eye”
Ken Liu – “Good Hunting”
Kirstyn McDermott – “The Moon’s Good Grace”
Peter Straub – “The Juniper Tree”
Jeff VanderMeer – “Greensleeves”
Tanith Lee – “Beauty”


 (Book two of The Dinosaur Lords)

Synopsis:
"Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn't help him one bit.

Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They are very much real.

And they have come to rid the world of sin...including all the humans who manifest those vices."


(Book one of The Draconis Memoria)

Synopsis:
"Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from captive or hunted Reds, Greens, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women known as the Blood-blessed.

But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighbouring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered Blood-blessed who finds himself pressed into service by the Protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted lands in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an Ironship cruiser whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world."

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Kickstarter Shout-out: Evil is a Matter of Perspective anthology


The team at GRIMDARK MAGAZINE want to get fantasy authors into the shoes of their established antagonists and present you with 15+ dark fantasy stories in a beautiful print tome. We've engaged a range of fantasy authors with established worlds including R. Scott Bakker's The Second Apocalypse, Courtney Schafer's Shattered Sigil, Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt, Teresa Frohock's Los Nefilim, Jeff Salyards' Bloodsounder's Arc, and many more.

You can view the Kickstarter page here. 



Eye on New Releases for June 28, 2016


(Graphic novel, volume 1)

Synopsis:
"On the planet of Taldain, the legendary Sand Masters harness arcane powers to manipulate sand in spectacular ways. But when they are slaughtered in a sinister conspiracy, the weakest of their number, Kenton, believes himself to be the only survivor. With enemies closing in on all sides, Kenton forges an unlikely partnership with Khriss -- a mysterious Darksider who hides secrets of her own.

White Sand brings to life a crucial, unpublished part of Brandon Sanderson’s sprawling Cosmere universe. The story has been adapted by Rik Hoskin (Mercy Thompson), with art by Julius Gopez and colors by Ross Campbell. Employing powerful imagery and Sanderson’s celebrated approach to magical systems, White Sand is a spectacular new saga for lovers of fantasy and adventure."