Asaro, Catherine :
The Misted Cliffs
(Luna 0-373-80226-9, $13.95, 345pp, trade paperback, July 2005, cover art uncredited)
Romantic fantasy novel set on the world of Aronsdale, followup to The Charmed Sphere (2004), in which a young woman who married Cobalt the Dark to keep the peace struggles to enlighten her husband's soul.
The publisher's site has a description and excerpt.
Amazon has reader reviews.
Askegren, Pierce :
(Ace 0-441-01297-3, $6.99, 247pp, mass market paperback, July 2005, cover art and design Larry Rostant)
SF novel set on a Moon colony, second of a trilogy following Human Resource (published in February), concerning a starship being built to explore an alien artifact.
Amazon's 'search inside the book' feature includes an excerpt.
Card, Orson Scott :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-41689-9, $24.95, 397pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket design and illustration David Stevenson)
Urban fantasy novel about a strange child, Mack Street, who grows up in an African American neighborhood in Los Angeles that has contact with the land of Faery.
According to the Booklist review on Amazon, the book was inspired by "a black friend's challenge to create a black hero" and by Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
Card's website has a description and excerpt, as well as the 2001 story Waterbaby, "written as a warmup" to this book. Del Rey's site has a shorter excerpt.
Tim Pratt reviewed the book in the May issue of Locus Magazine, commenting "One of Card's greatest talents as a storyteller is his ability to make moral jeopardy as compelling as physical jeopardy; we worry about the souls of his characters and hope they'll make the right choices even when faced with great temptations. His approach to magic is refreshingly original, too. ... Magic Street is inventive, charming, and has some important things to say about the importance of community."
Foster, Alan Dean :
The Light-Years Beneath My Feet
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-46128-2, $23.95, 245pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket design and illustration David Stevenson)
Humorous SF novel, second in the 'Taken' trilogy that began with Lost and Found (2004), about a Chicago commodities trader who's been kidnapped by aliens. In this volume Marcus Walker's adventures include gourmet cooking and ritualistic warfare.
Del Rey Online has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the latter concludes "Foster is in top form here, entertainingly mixing politics, comedy, and intriguing alien anthropology."
Harrison, Kim :
Every Which Way But Dead
(HarperTorch 0-06-057299-X, $6.99, 501pp, mass market paperback, July 2005)
Humorous dark fantasy novel, third in the series about Rachel Morgan, following Dead Witch Walking and The Good, the Bad, and the Undead.
The author's website has this excerpt.
Amazon has reviews from Booklist -- "Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series will be drawn to Harrison's smart, supernatural series." -- and readers.
Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the May issue of Locus Magazine: "It's a fun, fast-paced supernatural PI adventure."
Link, Kelly :
Magic for Beginners
(Small Beer Press 1-931520-15-1, $24, 273pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket painting Shelley Jackson)
Collection of nine stories, the author's second collection following Stranger Things Happen (2001). Contents include "The Faery Handbag", Locus Award winner and currently a Hugo nominee; "The Hortlak", a World Fantasy Award nominee; "Stone Animals", chosen for this year's volume of Best American Short Stories; and the title story, which will appear later this year in F&SF. Stories are illustrated by Shelley Jackson.
The publisher's site has this description and the complete text of The Faery Handbag. The author first collection, Stranger Things Happen, is available as a free download under a Creative Commons license, as text, html, rtf, or pdf.
Amazon has the starred review from Publishers Weekly's June 6th issue, which calls the stories "effervescent blends of quirky humor and pathos that transform stock themes of genre fiction into the stuff of delicate lyrical fantasy."
Gary K. Wolfe and Rich Horton review the book in the July issue of Locus Magazine. Horton reviews the three previously-unpublished stories, calling the title story one of his favorites of the year: "I was delighted every second to be reading this story."
Murphy, C. E. :
(Luna 0-373-80223-4, $13.95, 344pp, trade paperback, June 2005)
Urban fantasy novel about a police mechanic who discovers she has shamanic powers. It's the author's first novel, and first of a series.
The author's website lists five more books forthcoming (two under the name Cate Dermody) and several more in work, and has an excerpt from this book. There's also a cemurphyfans.com message board.
Amazon has a brief description, and enthusiastic reader reviews.
Carolyn Cushman's review in the July Locus calls it "highly entertaining, an excellent start to a new series."
Park, Paul :
A Princess of Roumania
(Tor 0-765-31096-1, $24.95, 368pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket art John Jude Palencar)
Fantasy novel, first of a trilogy, in which a magic book transports a teenaged girl and two friends to an alternate world where Roumania and Germany dominate Europe and the girl is a Roumanian princess taken refuge in a savage America.
Amazon has the PW review, which calls it a "charming leadoff to an intricate new fantasy series". Paul Di Filippo's SF Weekly review gave it an A.
Locus Magazine ran a review by Nick Gevers in May, and reviews by Faren Miller and Gary Wolfe in June; they compare Park to Gene Wolfe, Philip Pullman, John Crowley, and others; Wolfe concludes "If he's able to sustain the invention and lyrical intensity of A Princess of Roumania in future volumes, we may be looking at one of the major fantasy works of the decade, and one that finally brings Park the readership he deserves."
Piccirilli, Tom :
(Bantam Spectra 0-535-58720-X, $5.99, 281pp, mass market paperback, June 2005)
Dark fantasy novel, follow-up to A Choir of Ill Children (2003), about an ex-con investigating his young sister's death in rural Appalachia.
Bantam's site has a description and excerpt.
Both Bantam's description and the Amazon page quote Tim Pratt's review from the May '05 Locus: "NOVEMBER MOURNS is dark, ambiguous, strange, and sometimes surprisingly sweet. The horror here is as much about lost opportunities and failed attempts at salvation as it is about monsters and killers. If Eudora Welty had written about wraiths and haunted hills, it might have sounded like this."
Putney, M. J. :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-47689-1, $23.95, 337pp, hardcover, June 2005, jacket design and illustration David Stevenson)
Historical romantic fantasy novel, follow-up to A Kiss of Fate (2004) about magic-wielding Guardians in 18th-century England. This volume concerns a rogue Guardian who turns the chief enforcer into a unicorn.
Del Rey's site has a description with an author bio, and an excerpt; the same excerpt is on the author's website.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the former comments "Putney's skill as a historical romance novelist serves her well in the depiction of London and the subplot featuring a gifted developer of the steam engine. The love that grows between Simon and Meg, though pretty standard fare, includes some wonderfully steamy moments."
Spencer, Wen :
A Brother's Price
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-46038-3, $6.99, 310pp, mass market paperback, July 2005)
SF novel set on an alternate Earth where women comprise 90% of the population, concerning a young man about to be sold by his sisters to marry all the women in another family.
The author's website has this page with a brief description and an excerpt.
Amazon has numerous reader reviews.
Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the July Locus: "The gender role-reversals are wonderfully worked out, with some delightful cultural quirks providing an entertaining background for fun and high adventure."
Yolen, Jane, & Adam Stemple :
Pay the Piper
(Starscape 0-765-31158-5, 156pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket art August Hall)
Young adult fantasy novel, subtitled "A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale", about a 14-year-old girl and a folk rock group led by the exiled son of the Fairy king.
Stemple, a professional musician, is Jane Yolen's son. His website has this background on the writing of the book. Stemple's first solo novel, Singer of Souls, is due later this year.
Amazon has the Booklist review: "A strong, resourceful girl, a Faery land where ethical questions are posed, and some fun poked at baby boomer parents make this an entertaining as well as meaty read."