Beahm, George :
Discovering the Golden Compass
(Hampton Roads 978-1-57174-506-4, $16.95, 24+206pp, trade paperback, September 2007)
Nonfiction guide to Philip Pullman and the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, whose first volume The Golden Compass (Northern Lights in the UK) has been adapted into a big budget film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig due for release in December.
This book, subtitled "A Guide to Philip Pullman's Dark Materials", focuses on the author and his works, with a chronology, a 25-page autobiographical essay by Pullman himself, and background and descriptions of the three books of the trilogy and of associated books Lyra's Oxford and The Book of Dust, as well as chapters on the development of the film and about other adaptions of the works.
There are numerous photographs, including a color section about Oxford, and illustrations by Tim Kirk.
The publisher's site has this description, the table of contents, and a brief excerpt, A Note to Newcomers.
Benford, Gregory, & Elisabeth Malartre :
(Forge 978-0-7653-1082-8, $24.95, 272pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Mark Summers)
Nonfiction, subtitled "Living with Robots and Cyborgs", about robotics and artificial intelligence. Chapters cover human augmentation, brain chips, body improvements, robot rights and wrongs, wearable computers, superintelligence, and the future of humanity. Includes references and an index.
The Tor/Forge website has this description with excerpts from reviews.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which begins "The simple title of this book belies its profundity -- and its sense of humor" and concludes "Throughout, the authors maintain a playful sense, an optimistic view of the future and a steady grip on this rapidly expanding field."
Budrys, Algis, ed. :
L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXIII
(Galaxy 978-1-59212-398-8, $7.99, 529pp, mass market paperback, August 2007, cover art Stephan Martiniere)
Anthology of 13 original stories, with illustrations, by winners and runners-up of the 2007 Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests.
There are also essays about writing and art by L. Ron Hubbard, Kevin J. Anderson, and Judith Miller.
Writers include Grand Prize Writer winner Steven Kotowych and quarterly winners Jeff Carlson (who's already published novel Plague Year), Kim Zimring, and Andrea Kail. Illustrators include Grand Prize winner Lorraine Schleter . Budrys provides an introduction, and a summary of the year's quarterly contest results. For a report on the awards ceremony, see this SFWA News story and the October 2007 issue of Locus Magazine.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which begins "Those looking for a new group of classic, hard science fiction writers need look no further than the latest volume of Galaxy's always-reliable original anthology series." It also notes, despite the actual Grand Prize winner, "The standout is Jeff Carlson's 'The Frozen Sky,' a pulse-pounding account of an encounter with extraterrestrial life beneath the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa..."
Card, Orson Scott, & Aaron Johnston :
(Tor 978-0-7653-1424-6, $25.95, 351pp, hardcover, September 2007)
Medical thriller about a geneticist, whose treatment for incurable genetic diseases has disastrous results for some, who is pursued by government agents.
The book is a novelization of Johnston's screenplay based on Card's 1977 story "Malpractice" (published in Analog, November 1977 -- Card's second genre publication, following "Ender's Game" in the August issue). It includes an introduction by Johnston, and an afterword by Card.
Tor's website has this description and a text excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which concludes "the novel plays out with few surprises, but raises pertinent regulatory questions."
Cast, P.C. :
Divine by Blood
(Luna 978-0-373-80291-3, $14.95, 443pp, trade paperback, September 2007)
Fantasy romance novel, third in a trilogy following Divine by Mistake and Divine by Choice. This volume is about a girl, Morrigan, raised in Oklahoma for 18 years before discovering her true heritage as daughter of the goddess Incarnate.
The publisher's site has this description with an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "New readers might be turned off by the frequent switcheroos and stilted dialogue, but Cast's fans will be glad to see all the previous books finally tied together."
Diaz, Junot :
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
(Riverhead Books 978-1-59448-958-7, $24.95, 340pp, hardcover, September 2007)
Literary novel, listed here for its associational interest, about a New Jersey ghetto nerd obsessed with science fiction and fantasy. It's the author's first novel, following earlier short story collection Drown that won a PEN/Malamud Award in 2002. (Actually, he shared the award with Ursula K. Le Guin, who reports on it here.)
Parent publisher Penguin's site has this description.
The New York Times' Michiko Kakutani reviewed it in September; it "can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets 'Star Trek' meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West."
Amazon has the review from Publishers Weekly by Matthew Sharpe -- "Junot Diaz's dark and exuberant first novel makes a compelling case for the multiperspectival view of a life, wherein an individual cannot be known or understood in isolation from the history of his family and his nation." -- and the starred Booklist review by Donna Seaman: "Diaz's besieged characters look to the supernatural for explanations and hope, from fuke, the curse unleashed when Europeans arrived on Hispaniola, to the forces dramatized in the works of science fiction and fantasy so beloved by the chubby ghetto nerd Oscar Wao, the brilliantly realized boy of conscience at the center of this whirlwind tale."
Duchamp, L. Timmel, ed. :
The WisCon Chronicles: Volume 1
(Aqueduct Press 978-1-933500-14-0, $17.5, 195pp, trade paperback, September 2007)
Nonfiction anthology of essays, interviews, panels notes and transcriptions, and short fiction, by attendees and contributors to the annual feminist convention WisCon, traditionally held Memorial Day weekend in Madison, Wisconsin.
Contents include essays and papers by Trina Robbins, Rachel Swirsky, Rosaleen Love, Andrea Hairston, Nancy Jane Moore, Nisi Shawl, and others; Q&A's with Julie Phillips, Suzy Charnas, Carol Emshwiller, Ted Chiang, Ursula K. Le Guin, and others; and other items by Yoon Ha Lee, Stephen Gold, and Samuel R. Delany.
The publisher's site has this description.
Greenberg, Martin H., & Jim C. Hines :
Heroes in Training
(DAW 0-7564-0438-X, $7.99, 320pp, mass market paperback, September 2007)
Anthology of 13 original stories about heroes early in life -- in school, apprenticeship, or on their first adventure.
Authors include Esther M. Friesner, Vera Nazarian, Sherwood Smith, Robin Wayne Bailey, Michael Jasper, Julie E. Czerneda, Michael A. Burstein, and Peter David.
Amazon has the Booklist review: "One of the best entries is Esther Friesner's 'Roomies,' about a new arrival to the Royal Academy of Damsel Arts. Friesner's wit has never failed before and doesn't now."
Greenwood, Ed :
Dark Warrior Rising: A Novel of Niflheim
(Tor 978-0-7653-1765-0, $24.95, 300pp, hardcover, September 2007, jacket art Daniel Dos Santos)
Fantasy novel, first in a series, about a boy, Orivon Firefist, who's grown to adolescence in the enslavement of the dark elves Niflghar, and who longs to return to the surface world.
Tor's website has this description.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Greenwood, creator of the popular Forgotten Realms world and the Band of Four series (The Dragon's Doom, etc.), spins a chilling Norse-inspired tale of the Niflghar, dark elves inhabiting the cold, subterranean universe of Dark Below..."
Memmott, David :
(Wordcraft of Oregon 978-1-877655-53-1, $15, 269pp, trade paperback, September 2007, cover art David, and Kristin Johnson Memmott)
SF novel, subtitled Book One of "Dreamers' Round": A Postcyberpunk Novel, about a human/posthuman clash between Dreamtime and Primetime. An excerpt, "Cry of the Soul", was published in Interzone #195, Nov/Dec 2004.
The publisher's site has this description, with blurbs by Ernest Hogan and Brian Evenson -- "Move over, Second Life: Primetime is here."
Pratchett, Terry :
(HarperCollins/Harper 978-0-06-116164-3, $25.95, 394pp, hardcover, October 2007, jacket design and illustration Scott McKowan)
Fantasy novel, latest in Pratchett's popular, long-running Discworld series, a direct sequel to Going Postal (2004). In this book former crook now postmaster Moist von Lipwig takes charge of the city's biggest bank.
HarperCollins' site has this description, with its Browse Inside function.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it a "splendid Discworld adventure" and concludes "Pratchett throws in a mad scientist with a working economic model, disappearing gold reserves and an army of golems, once more using the Disc as an educational and entertaining mirror of human squabbles and flaws."
Carolyn Cushman reviewed it in the September '07 issue of Locus Magazine: "This isn't vintage Pratchett; he has fun tackling the topic of economics, particularly the gold standard, but it's not the liveliest subject ever..."
Online reviews include Andrew Wheeler's: "Making Money is one of the high points of a great series by a great writer; it's hard to believe that there may be readers who haven't tried Pratchett's work before, but, if you're one of them, either this book or its predecessor Going Postal would be excellent choices to show you what you've been missing."
Ryan, C. J. :
Burdens of Empire
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58903-2, $6.99, 356pp, mass market paperback, September 2007, cover art Paul Youll)
SF novel, fourth in the series about Imperial bureaucraft Gloria VanDeen, following Dexta (2005), Glorious Treason (2006), and The Fifth Quadrant (2006). In this book VanDeen is sent on a mission to extract a kidnapped human on a backwater planet.
Bantam's site has this description and an excerpt.
Wilhelm, Kate :
A Wrongful Death
(Mira 978-0-7783-2491-1, $24.95, 345pp, hardcover, September 2007)
Mystery novel, ninth in the author's series about DA Barbara Holloway (which began with SF/mystery novel Death Qualified, 1991). This book involves Barbara's getaway to a remote cabin, where she becomes involved with a boy and his injured mother, who mysteriously vanish.
The publisher's site has this description with a link to an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which begins "Wilhelm's sharp ninth Barbara Holloway legal thriller proves compelling action can take place outside a courtroom." It concludes "Wilhelm's smooth style, sans graphic violence or sex, provides a cool alternative to overheated blockbusters."