Datlow, Ellen, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds. :
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection
(St. Martin's Griffin 978-0-312-36942-2, $21.95, 131+472pp, trade paperback, October 2007, cover art and design Thomas Canty)
Anthology of 39 stories and poems first published in 2006. Authors include Geoff Ryman, Jeffrey Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, William Hope Hodgson, Margo Lanagan, Terry Dowling, M. Rickert, Gene Wolfe, Paul Di Filippo, and Glenn Hirshberg.
Over 100 pages of year-in-summation essays include Kelly Link and Gavin Grant on fantasy, Ellen Datlow on horror, Edward Bryant on media, Jeff VanderMeer on comics and graphic novels, Charles de Lint on music, and obituaries compiled by James Frenkel. The book concludes with 18 pages of honorable mentions.
There's also a hardcover edition. The Amazon page for it includes several posts by Datlow.
Amazon also has the Publishers Weekly review: "As the line between fantasy and horror blurs, this combined presentation of their exemplars will give readers of both genres much to enjoy, and may even broaden a few horizons."
Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the September issue of Locus Magazine, noting that "whereas Datlow offers a fairly clear picture of the state of the horror field and leavens it with occasional psychological mainstream tales, Link and Grant are out to challenge our assumption that we even know where the field is."
Dick, Philip K. :
Humpty Dumpty in Oakland
(Tor 978-0-7653-1690-5, $24.95, 252pp, hardcover, October 2007) First US edition (UK: Gollancz, October 1986)
Mainstream novel about a San Francisco used car salesman, his landlord, and a shady investment scheme.
This novel was posthumously published in Britain in 1986, but has never before been published in the US.
Tor's website has this description of the book.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly: "Evoking the economically booming, socially repressive and prejudiced America of the 1950s, this paranoid and ambiguity-filled exploration into the psyche of the small businessman showcases not only Dick's wild imagination and sardonic wit but also, and most notably, his mastery at intertwining perception with reality."
Engdahl, Sylvia Louise :
Stewards of the Flame
(BookSurge 978-1-4196-7506-5, $19.99, 459pp, trade paperback, September 2007)
SF novel about a starship captain who's detained on a colony planet.
This is the author's first adult novel, and first new novel in 26 years according to the author's website. Engdahl is best known as author of YA Enchantress from the Stars (1971), a Newbery honor book.
The book's website, www.stewardsoftheflame.com has a description -- "Part science fiction, part what's sometimes called 'visionary fiction,' this controversial novel deals with the so-called 'paranormal' powers of the human mind and will appeal to a wide range of readers who question the dominant medical philosophy of today's society." -- and excerpts.
The author discusses the book in her blog Toward Tomorrow.
Flint, Eric, & Virginia De Marce :
1634: The Bavarian Crisis
(Baen 978-1-4165-4253-7, $26, 690pp, hardcover, October 2007, cover art Tom Kidd)
Alternate history time travel novel, latest in a series that began with 1632 by Flint alone sequels by Flint and various co-authors, about a West Virginia town transported from 2000 to Germany in 1631.
Flint's website links to www.1632.org, with a dictionary, FAQ, maps, and submission guidelines for The Grantville Gazette.
Baen's site has this description with links to the Prologue and 18 chapters.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "It is especially refreshing to read an alternate history that doesn't depend upon the clash of anachronistic arms, but rather on how modern ideas of human rights, education, sanitation and law might have affected the Europe of the 30 Years War."
Harrison, M. John :
(Bantam Spectra 978-0-553-38501-4, $16, 252pp, trade paperback, October 2007)
SF novel, a noir space opera companion novel to Light (2002), in which pieces of the chaotic region of space called the Kefahuchi Tract have begun to fall to Earth, focusing on the character of illegal tour guide Vic Serotonin.
First published last year in the UK, the novel won this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Bantam's site has this description and an excerpt. Harrison site has this excerpt, with quotes from reviews.
Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it last year in Locus Magazine: "There may be a fair amount of stuff in Nova Swing that's savagely incapable of interpretation, but the lives touched by the novel's inchoate engmas are disturbingly real, and Harrison's vision of the longing of failed lives disturbingly authentic."
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 27th issue: "Harrison privileges atmosphere over plot, using grotesquely beautiful narration and elliptical dialogue to convey the beautifully delineated angst of Saudade's extraordinary inhabitants. Although not for everyone, Harrison's trippy style will appeal to sophisticated readers who treasure the work of China Mi‚ville and Jeff VanderMeer."
Howell, Morgan :
Queen of the Orcs, Book III: Royal Destiny
(Ballantine Del Rey 978-0-345-49652-2, $6.99, 419pp, mass market paperback, October 2007)
Fantasy novel, third in a series following King's Property and Clan Daughter, published in August and September respectively, about a young woman, Dar, sold to the army to be servant to orcs.
Del Rey's website has this description.
Carolyn Cushman reviews the first two novels in the October issue of Locus Magazine: "It's an involving, entertaining mix. In retrospect, I couldn't help thinking the series is a little hard on human men, who all seem to be scum or wusses, but the women don't come off much better -- even Dar, who's a fascinatingly thorny character, deserving of the nickname bestowed on her by the orcs."
Novik, Naomi :
Empire of Ivory
(Ballantine Del Rey 978-0-345-49687-4, $7.99, 404pp, mass market paperback, October 2007, cover illustration Dominic Harman)
Fantasy novel, fourth in the Temeraire series about dragons used as weapons during the Napoleonic Wars, following the initial trilogy published last year, which collectively won the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and whose first volume, Temeraire in the UK and His Majesty's Dragon in the US, was a Hugo Award finalist.
In this book, a plague strikes Britain's dragon corps and Will Laurence and Temeraire head for Africa to find a cure.
Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Novik fills the conflict's lead-up with lengthy meditations on dragon civil rights and England's abolition movement, making for a fitful, pedantic first half. But most will find the richness of Novik's developing world -- and characters -- to be worthy compensation for the slow start."
Faren Miller will review the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine.
Paul, Graham Sharp :
Helfort's War I: The Battle at the Moons of Hell
(Ballantine Del Rey 978-0-345-49571-6, $7.99, 372pp, mass market paperback, October 2007, cover illustration Chris McGrath)
Military space opera novel about soldiers trying to rescue a Federated Worlds cruise ship that's been captured by the brutal Hammer Worlds.
Del Rey's site has this description with a biography of the author.
Pratchett, Terry, & Stephen Briggs :
The Wit and Wisdom of Discworld
(Harper 0-06-137050-9, $22.95, 360pp, hardcover, October 2007)
Collection of short excerpts from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels -- including the latest one, Making Money -- selected by editor Stephen Briggs.
Harper's site has this description with several sample quotes, plus a text excerpt with samples from the first book, The Color of Magic.
Pratt, T. A. :
(Bantam Spectra 978-0-553-58998-6, $6.99, 338pp, mass market paperback, October 2007, cover illustration Daniel Dos Santos)
Urban fantasy novel, first of a new series, about the guardian witch of the East Coast city of Felport.
Bantam's site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has several posts by the author (who's better known as Tim Pratt).
Faren Miller reviewed the book in the September issue of Locus Magazine.
Rucker, Rudy :
(Tor 978-0-7653-1741-4, $25.95, 320pp, hardcover, October 2007)
SF novel about the aftermath of a nanotechnology-transformed Earth brought about by a computer billionaire, a crazy US president, and an autistic boy.
Tor's website has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which begins "Alt-cultural folk strive to save Earth from digitized doom in this novel from the prince of gonzo SF" and later concludes that the "novel vibrates with the warm rhythms of dream and imagination, not the cold logic of programming (or, for that matter, plotting). Playing with the math of quantum computing, encryption and virtual reality, Rucker places his faith in people who find true reality 'gnarly' enough to love."
Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the October issue of Locus Magazine, noting that it "begins with two previously published stories, 'Chu and the Nants' and 'Postsingular' (rearranged here to make chapters)." Wolfe later remarks "Rucker writes with a hyperactive level of inventiveness that seems to owe bits in equal measure to Lewis Carroll, William Burroughs, and Ray Kurzweil..." and he concludes "Rucker can be enormous fun to read, and there are some stunningly bold ideas here (along with a lot of trivial jokes, such as a trendy restaurants that serves courses via enemas or feeding tubes), but in the you're left wondering if the singularity might turn out to be not much more than a high-tech version of A.D.D."
Stross, Charles :
(Ace 978-0-441-01498-9, $24.95, 351pp, hardcover, October 2007, cover illustration Sophie Toulouse)
SF novel set in 2018, in which a supposedly-impossible robbery has been committed against a bank located in a virtual reality called Avalon Four.
The publisher's website has only a brief description.
Stross' own site (scroll down) calls it "A near-future thriller set in the bizarre world of the software houses that develop massively-multiplayer online roleplaying games."
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its August 13th issue, calling it a "brilliantly conceived techno-crime thriller" and concluding "Stross (Glasshouse) creates a deeply immersive story, writing all three perspectives in the authoritative second-person style of video game instructions and gleefully spiking the intrigue with virtual Orcs, dragons and swordplay. The effortless transformation of today's technological frustrations into tomorrow's nightmare realities is all too real for comfort."
Locus Magazine published reviews by Nick Gevers in its September issue and Gary K. Wolfe in its October issue. Wolfe concludes that it may "be his most carefully structured and most accomplished novel to date." Gevers writes "Halting State may come to be seen as the SF novel about gaming, inasmuch as it presents not only exceptionally vivid impressions of what gaming is like, the typical contexts and textures it offers, but also analysis of the phenomenon's origins and impulses."
Walton, Jo :
(Tor 978-0-7653-1853-4, $25.95, 319pp, hardcover, October 2007)
SF alternate history novel, sequel to Hugo-nominated Farthing (2006), set in an alternate 1949 in which Britain and Nazi Germany have negotiated peace. In this book a London bombing leads to a plot to murder both countries' leaders.
Tor's website has this description and an excerpt.
Cory Doctorow blogged about the book: "a top-notch thriller, a page-turner of a book that had me reading it while walking down the street, eating breakfast, going to bed, anywhere I could, compelled to keep reading until I'd turned the last page."
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Walton masterfully illustrates how fear can overwhelm common sense, while leaving hope for a resurgence of popular bravery and an end to dictatorial rule."