Now that we’re at the halfway mark for the year, I thought it would appropriate to point out all the novels coming out from August-December that strike my fancy. I’ll be breaking my posts down by publisher. Below are the novels coming this Fall and Winter from Ace/Roc and DAW that will be must reads for me. The truth is though, I can’t read them all. So I’ll be looking forward to seeing what interests you.
Here’s what caught my eye:
The King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence (August)
The Broken Empire burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings battle for the all-throne. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them.
A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg’s gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.
Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan.
The truth is, I’ve already read this and it’s amazing. Next!
Isaac Vainio has spent the past two years working at the Copper River Library in northern Michigan, secretly cataloguing books for their magical potential, but forbidden from using that magic himself . . . except for emergencies. Emergencies like a trio of young vampires who believe Isaac has been killing their kind, and intend to return the favor.
Isaac is a libriomancer, brilliant but undisciplined, with the ability to reach into books and create objects from their pages. And attacking a libriomancer in his own library is never a good idea.
But vampires are only the beginning. This was merely the latest in a series of attacks against members of Die Zwelf Portenære, a secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg to protect the world from supernatural threats. But things are worse than Isaac imagined. An unknown killer of unimaginable power has been torturing and murdering humans and vampires alike. And Gutenberg, now more than six hundred years old, has disappeared.
As Isaac searches for Gutenberg and the murderer, hoping they aren’t one and the same, he uncovers dark secrets about magic’s history and potential. Secrets which could destroy Die Zwelf Portenære and loose a magical war upon the world. If Isaac is to have any hope of preventing that war, he will have to truly master the magic of libriomancy.
Adam used to work for the Telepath’s Guild before they kicked him out for a drug habit that wasn’t entirely his fault. Now he works for the cops, helping put killers behind bars. His ability to get inside the twisted minds of suspects makes him the best interrogator in the department. But the cops don’t trust the telepaths, the Guild doesn’t trust Adam, a serial killer is stalking the city—and Adam is aching for a fix. But he needs to solve this case. Adam’s just had a vision of the future: he’s the next to die.
Slow Apocalypse by John Varley (September)
Despite wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 9/11, the United States’ dependence on foreign oil has kept the nation tied to the Middle East. A scientist has developed a cure for America’s addiction — a slow-acting virus that feeds on petroleum, turning it solid. But he didn’t consider that his contagion of an Iraqi oil field would spread to infect the fuel supply of the entire world…
In Los Angeles, screenwriter Dave Marshall heard this scenario from a retired U.S. Marine and government insider who acted as a consultant on Dave’s last film. It sounded as implausible as many of his scripts, but the reality is much more frightening than anything he can envision. And now he must protect his wife and daughter from the coming apocalypse that will alter the future of Earth — and humanity…
Tom Clancy has called John Varley the best living American writer. While he’s received some critical acclaim over the years, he’s never quite broken through into the big bucks. He says on his website, “I will say to you that this novel is NOT like anything I’ve written before. I am so pleased to see my old friend George RR Martin raking in the dough; this is my attempt to reach a larger audience, like he has…” Sounds interesting to me.
In the year 1348, Thomas, a disgraced knight, comes upon an orphan of the Black Plague. An unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that the disease is only part of a greater, more significant cataclysm — that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven.
Is she really blessed? Or is it delirium? As hell unleashes its fury, as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself in a macabre battleground of angels and demons, sinners and saints, and a damnable struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.
Buehlman gained some recognition last year with his debut novel, Those Across the River. More of a gothic horror novel, I’m not sure how much it resonated with the kind of folks who read this blog. It certainly didn’t hold any interest to me. His second novel seems much more in-line with what I generally expect from Ace. It might bear some similarities to Teresa Frohock’s Miserere: An Autumn Tale that I liked so well last year, perhaps?
The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick (November)
Two science fiction masters—Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick — team up to deliver a classic thriller, in which one man uncovers the secret history of the U.S. space program…
A half-century after the first moon landing, NASA is plagued with public disinterest and budget cuts. Still, public affairs director Jerry Culpepper does his job, trying to drum up interest in the legacy of the agency. Then a fifty-year old secret about the Apollo 11 mission is revealed, and he finds himself embroiled in the biggest controversy of the twenty-first century, one that will test his ability — and his willingness — to spin the truth about a conspiracy of reality-altering proportions…
I’ve never been a big fan of collaborations because they usually mean a big name author is sticking their name on it and the much less experienced author is doing the writing. See Tom Clancy or James Patterson. That isn’t the case with The Cassandra Project as both McDevitt and Resnick are recognized at the top of their field. Either way, they had me at “secret history of the U.S. space program.” God I love secret histories!