Barzak, Christopher :
The Love We Share Without Knowing
(Bantam 978-0-553-38564-9, $12, 288pp, trade paperback, December 2008)
Fantasy novel, the author's second novel after 2007's One for Sorrow.
It's about an American teenage boy who's moved with his family to Japan.
The publisher's site has this description -- "a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate" -- and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Barzak's perceptive writing evinces the fragile and overwhelming desire for meaning and love."
Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the December issue of Locus Magazine: "It marks a striking departure for this remarkably talented author: for one thing it's set in Japan, roughly during the same period when Barzak himself was teaching English there; for another it's far more adventurous in its narrative structure, shifting time frames and points of view (one section is even in second person) and building its themes incrementally, almost musically..."
Blaylock, James P. :
The Knights of the Cornerstone
(Ace 978-0-441-01653-2, $23.95, 294pp, hardcover, December 2008, cover art Sam Montesano)
Fantasy novel about a cartoonist who visits his relatives in an isolated California desert town, New Cyprus, home of the mysterious Knights of the Cornerstone.
It's the author's first novel in nine years, since The Rainy Season (1999).
The author's website has his description.
The publisher's site has this description, plus a feature page My Literary Upbringing, or How I Came to Write Knights of the Cornerstone by James P. Blaylock.
Faren Miller reviewed the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine: "The Knights of the Cornerstone combines modern action-adventure (phone taps, guns, vehicle chases and arson) with metaphysics, magic, and even a bit of nicely non-sappy romance. From start to finish, it's a delight."
Datlow, Ellen, ed. :
(UK: Solaris 978-1-84416-652-7, £7.99, 525pp, trade paperback, January 2009, cover by Darius Hinks)
Anthology of 19 original stories "inspired by Edgar Allan Poe".
Authors include Kim Newman, Gregory Frost, Laird Barron, Glen Hirshberg, M. Rickert, Pad Cadigan, Lucius Shepard, Suzy McKee Charnas, and John Langan.
The publisher's site has this description.
Rowling, J. K. :
The Tales of Beedle the Bard
(The Children's High Level Group 978-0-545-12828-5, $12.99, 14+111pp, hardcover, December 2008, cover art Mary GrandPre)
Collection of five fantasy parables set in the world of the author's Harry Potter series; one of them, "The Tale of the Three Brothers", appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The tales are presented as written by the 15th-century Beedle the Bard, here translated by Hermione Granger, with annotations by Albus Dumbledore, and footnotes by the author J.K. Rowling.
Resources on the web include Wikipedia's entry, with a history and overview; a Harry Potter Wikia page; and Scholastic's page, with links to cover art and many features.
The author's very high-tech official website has additional information.
The Amazon page has background and explains that proceeds from the book will benefit The Children's High Level Group (CHLG), a benefit organization for child rights across Europe.
Amazon also has photos of the hand-crafted limited edition of the book, and 80, mostly positive, reader reviews.