Berg, Carol :
Daughter of Ancients
(Roc 0451460421, $7.99, 531pp, mass market paperback, September 2005, cover art uncredited)
Fantasy novel, fourth and final book in "The Bridge of D'Arnath" series, set in a realm where sorcery has been banished, following Son of Avonar, Guardians of the Keep, and The Soul Weaver.
The author's site has a page about the series, with an excerpt and links to a glossary and reviews for this book.
Amazon has reader reviews.
Berman, Judith :
(Ace 0441013228, $16, 422pp, trade paperback, September 2005, cover art Don Seegmiller)
Fantasy novel based on Native American lore, about a bear cub who becomes a 12-year-old girl.
The author's homepage has this page about the book with quotes from reviews and a link to chapter 1.
Berman was interviewed in the August '05 issue of Locus Magazine; excerpts online discuss the book, and the relationship of fantasy and folklore.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "With its sympathetic young heroine and density of action, this richly re-imagined folk tale may straddle young adult and adult audiences."
Faren Miller reviews in the book in the upcoming October issue of Locus: "Moving freely among many forms of mythology and folktale, many kinds of fiction (tragic, comic, romantic, as well as the fantastic quest), Bear Daughter finds harrowing pain, and beauty far greater than skin-deep, in a cruel, chaotic universe where there might yet be some underlying kind of order - enough to save foolish mortals from despair."
Brooks, Terry :
High Druid of Shannara: Straken
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45112-0, $26.95, 368pp, hardcover, September 2005, jacket illustration Steve Stone)
Fantasy novel, concluding volume in the "High Druid of Shannara" trilogy following Jarka Russ and Tanequil (which is just out in paperback), concluding the story of young Pen Ohmsford's efforts to enter the Forbidden to rescue his aunt.
The author's website www.terrybrooks.net has this description with links to several experts, as well as a bibliography, forum, etc. Del Rey's site has this page with some of the same material.
Also available as an audiobook and an e-book; see the Amazon page.
Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the former concludes that Brooks' "characterization has grown substantially more sophisticated over the years, and both his optimism about the triumph of virtue and his avoidance of graphic sex and slaughter make this series an excellent starting place for younger readers wishing to explore high fantasy."
Budrys, Algis, ed. :
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXI
(Bridge/Galaxy 1-59212-217-5, $7.99, 18+521pp, mass market paperback, September 2005, cover art Frank Frazetta)
Anthology of 15 original stories, with illustrations, by winners and runners-up of last year's Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests, along with 3 essays, one by L. Ron Hubbard and the other two, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Stephen Hickman, original.
Writers include Grand Prize winner John Schoffstall and quarterly winners M.S. Vitale, Stephen R. Stanley, and Floris M. Kleijne. Illustrators include Grand Prize winner Eric Valdez y Alanis. Budrys provides an introduction, and a summary of the year's quarterly contest results.
The book can be ordered directly from the contest website.
Amazon has the PW review, which comments on several of the stories: "The 21st volume in the anthology series sponsored by Hubbard's Writers of the Future program may contain no knockouts, but more than a few of its 15 tales by emerging SF and fantasy writers show real talent. John Schoffstahl's exciting "In the Flue" extrapolates from today's Mideast headlines...."
Bunch, Chris :
(Roc 0-451-46030-8, $15, 409pp, trade paperback, August 2005, cover art Jerry Vanderstelt) First US edition (UK: Orbit, 2002)
Fantasy novel, first in the "Storm of Wings" trilogy, in which dragons are developed as weapons of war.
The publisher's site has a description. Note that despite the cover image here and on Amazon, the final book omits references to the trilogy, as if this is a stand-alone novel.
The trilogy was first published in the UK, where it was called the "Dragonmaster" trilogy and the volumes were called Storm of Wings, Knighthood of the Dragon, and The Last Battle.
The author died in July.
Amazon has the PW review -- "The author successfully weaves early twentieth century-style warfare into this fantasy world -- with the slightest leap of imagination, the reader associates these screeching, twisting dragons with the fighter planes of the first world war. ... Military SF and fantasy fans will relish the action-packed plot and Hal's derring-do." -- and reader reviews.
Butler, Octavia E. :
(Seven Stories Press 1-58322-690-7, $24.95, 317pp, hardcover, October 2005)
Fantasy novel about a 53-year-old woman who discovers she is the sole survivor of an experiment in genetic modification among a race of vampires, or "Ina", who've co-existed with humans for millennia.
This is Butler's first novel since Nebula Award-winner Parable of the Talents (1998).
The publisher's site has a brief description, quotes from reviews, and an author tour schedule.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 21st issue: "Butler has created a new vampire paradigm -- one that's more prone to sci-fi social commentary than gothic romance -- and given a tired genre a much-needed shot in the arm."
Gary K. Wolfe's review appears in the October issue of Locus Magazine: "[F]ortunately it's not long before we learn that Butler knows what she's up to, which is to appropriate the vampire myth into her own patterns of storytelling and her own larger thematic concerns. ... It takes about as much energy and ingenuity to subdue a vampire novel as it does to subdue a vampire, but in the end the visceral power and intelligence of Butler's narrative skill overshadow the formula elements."
Collection of 8 horror original stories, with more than 60 illustrations by Jason Whitley. The stories form a serial about a team of occult investigators who debunk phony incidents of the paranormal, and broadcast true incidents over a weekly radio program called "The Midnight Hour".
The book's website has news, background on the creators and the cast, and a PDF excerpt.
Not listed on Amazon; order from Shocklines.com.
Elliott, Dave, C. J. Henderson & R. Allen Leider :
A Field Guide to Monsters
(Hylas 1-59258-088-2, $19.95, 192pp, trade paperback, September 2004)
Nonfiction guide to monsters from film and television, divided into 7 sections for "Mutated Lizards, Fish, and Dinosaurs", "Manufactured Monsters", "Monsters from the Beyond", etc. It's partly a spoof of natural history field guides, subtitled "This Book Could Save Your Life!", with introductory sections about classifying monsters, monster behavior, where to find them, etc., plus a 'size comparison chart' and advice about 'how to protect yourself against monsters' at the end.
The publisher's site has this description.
Amazon has reader reviews, some nitpicking.
Gemmell, David :
The Hawk Eternal
(Ballantine Del Rey 0345458397, $7.5, 356pp, mass market paperback, September 2005, cover illustration Christian McGrath) First US edition (UK: Legend, 1995)
Fantasy novel, second book of "The Hawk Queen" series following Ironhand's Daughter. In this book Sigarni, the Hawk Queen, arrives in parallel version of her own universe, where rival clans face a great peril.
This is the first US edition; Del Rey published the first volume last December.
The publisher's site has a description and an excerpt.
SFRevu just ran this interview with Gemmell, focusing on his new book Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow.
Herrera, Joaquin Ramon :
Scary: A Book of Horrible Things for Kids
(Hylas 1-59258-148-x, $11.95, 96pp, hardcover, October 2005)
YA nonfiction guide about all things gross and scary, consisting of three dozen entries divided into sections for "Things that creep and crawl", "Things that feed on you", "Things that go crunch in the night", etc. The narrator character, Horris, will appear next in a novel, Horris, Little Eli, and the Lens of Truth.
The publisher's page has a description, cover blurbs, and a 'look inside' feature.
Amazon has the back cover copy.
Keith, William H., Jr. :
(Baen 1416509003, $25, 292pp, hardcover, September 2005, cover art Kurt Miller)
Military SF novel in the humorous series created by Keith Laumer about "two-fisted diplomat" Retief. In this story Retief handles warlike aliens who use a Peace Movement as a front for conquest.
Baen's site has this description with links to four chapters. Baen has published other novels by Keith in Laumer's "Bolo" series.
Amazon has a brief description, and Harriet Klausner's review.
Millet, Lydia :
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart
(Soft Skull Press 1932360859, $25, 489pp, hardcover, June 2005)
Historical fantasy in which Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard, physicists responsible for the first atomic bomb, are reincarnated in present-day New Mexico.
Soft Skull Press has this description, an author profile, and an excerpt.
Amazon has PW's starred review -- "It takes considerable talent to pull off a conceit like this, and for the most part Millet makes it look easy, drawing full-blown, dead-on portraits of the three scientists that don't diminish their characters or their work." -- and the Washington Post review by Sheri Holman.
Matthew Cheney blogged about the book earlier this month: "Remarkably, though, the book did not seem shrill to me -- the characters, even when they are caricatures, are so well drawn, their situations so often complex, that it becomes impossible to reduce any of the events in the book to a slogan. The dialogue is extremely skillful, Millet's eye for detail is among the best I've encountered in a contemporary writer, and few of the scenes ever feel sentimental or forced."
Morse, Drew, ed. :
The 2005 Rhysling Anthology
(Prime Books 0-8095-5063-6, $27.95, 134pp, hardcover, 2005, cover painting Maxfield Parrish)
Hardcover edition of this year's anthology of nominated poems for the Rhysling Awards, selected by the Science Fiction Poetry Association. A trade paperback edition was also published.
The 61 poems are grouped by the award's two categories: short poems and long poems. Authors include Mike Allen, Ruth Berman, Bruce Boston, G.O. Clark, Roger Dutcher, Marge Simon, Ian Watson, Jane Yolen, Tim Pratt, Heather Shaw, and many others. The full contents are shown here.
There's an introduction by Suzette Haden Elgin giving the history of the award, and an appendix listing past winners.
Pratchett, Terry :
(HarperCollins 0-06-081522-1, $24.95, 373pp, hardcover, October 2005, jacket illustration Scott McKowan)
Fantasy novel, the 30th volume in the popular, long-running Discworld series. This one concerns the murder of a dwarf, as the anniversary of a long-ago battle between trolls and dwarfs approaches.
HarperCollins' site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has PW's starred review, from its August 21st issue: "Pratchett's fantastic imagination and satirical wit are on full display."
Faren Miller reviews the book in the upcoming October issue of Locus Magazine: "Nonsense verse and self-righteous vampires, angry mobs and long-standing hatreds, intimations of magic and stubborn rationality join to make Thud! funny, poignant, complicated, and character driven..."
Shepard, Lucius :
Weapons of Mass Seduction
(Wheatland Press 0-9755903-1-6, $19.95, 12+277pp, trade paperback, April 2005)
Nonfiction collection of 35 essays, mostly film reviews first published by Electric Story and in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Introduction by Deborah Layne.
Reviews are grouped by genre: Science Fiction; Comics Books and Super Heroes; Fantasy; True Life Adventures. Two additional essays, under the heading Ravings, are about the Columbine school massacre, and Mike Tyson.
Nick Gevers reviews the book in the October issue of Locus Magazine: "Shepard is a formidable rhetorician in his informal, bad-ass way, and his discussions of SF, fantasy, and horror movies are hilarious diatribes when they aren't delivering due praise."
Stirling, S. M. :
The Protector's War
(Penguin/Roc 0451460464, $24.95, 486pp, hardcover, September 2005, jacket art Jonathan Barkat)
Alternate history SF novel, second in the trilogy that began with Dies the Fire (just out in paperback), in which an event called 'The Change' causes electronics and explosives to become inoperative, leading to the disintegration of American society. This book shows how various factions have adjusted to the collapse. The third volume will be called A Meeting at Corvallis.
Stirling's website has this description with links to several excerpts. There's also a page of maps and links.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Stirling's pictures of ruined cities and towns are grimly convincing, and his loving descriptions of familiar landscapes gone wild are wonderful."
Paul Di Filippo reviewed the book for SF Weekly, grading it an A.
Dark fantasy novella about a man whose wife disappeared fifty years ago. Introduction by James Newman.
The publisher's page has a brief description and excerpts from reviews.
Westerfeld, Scott :
(Penguin/Razorbill 1-59514-031-X, $16.99, 312pp, hardcover, September 2005)
YA fantasy novel about vampires, aka parasite positives, or "peeps". The story follows a college freshman whose one-night-stand makes him a carrier of the parasite that transforms people into peeps.
The publisher's site has this description.
Westerfeld's site has this page for the book, on which he acknowledges "I came up with the four important features that any vampire novel (of mine) had to include: natural selection, sexual attraction, parasitic infection, and Elvis memorabilia."
Amazon has the Booklist review by Jennifer Mattson: "Westerfeld's concluding, passionate defense of evolutionary theory will raise some hackles, but the fact that the whole thing is premised on an STD probably preselects an audience that won't take offense."
Carolyn Cushman's review in the August issue of Locus Magazine concludes "It's delightfully macabre SF, full of much-needed black humor and some serious gross-out fun, even a touch of Lovecraftian things below and coming apocalypse."