Mike Allen, ed., Clockwork Phoenix 3
(Norilana Jul 2010)
This third volume in the annual literary SF/fantasy series collects 15 original stories of "beauty and strangeness" by authors including Marie Brennan, Gemma Files, Gregory Frost, Tanith Lee, and John C. Wright. "The stories here are elegantly written, as usual." [Gardner Dozois]
Iain M. Banks, Surface Detail
(Orbit Nov 2010)
The ninth book in the acclaimed Culture sequence is up to the author's usual standards of sophistication and strangeness, as a resurrected sex slave takes an AI warship in search of revenge, only to find herself drawn into a conflict over whether to preserve the "digital hells" where various races consign the souls of their dead sinners.
Peter S. Beagle, Return
(Subterranean Press Nov 2010)
Beagle is as lyrical, witty, and thoughtful as always in this new novella, set in the world of The Innkeeper's Song. Mercenary swordsman Soukyan, eternally pursued by the assassins called Hunters, returns to the monastery he once fled and confronts a dangerous mystery. Maurizio Manzieri provides a number of gorgeous internal illustrations.
Lois McMaster Bujold, CryoBurn
(Baen Oct 2010)
Beloved hero Miles Vorkosigan appears in his first new adventure since 2002's Diplomatic Immunity. In his role as an Imperial Auditor, Miles is sent to investigate certain cryonics providers, only to be embroiled in some nasty corporate warfare. "More mystery/thriller than military SF and a fun read." [Carolyn Cushman]
Stephen R. Donaldson, Against All Things Ending
(Putnam Oct 2010)
The third and penultimate volume The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant sees the titular protagonist restored to life by powerful magic... but at the cost of unleashing an apocalyptic beast called the Worm of World's End that threatens to devour everything in existence.
Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, eds., Spectrum 17: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
(Underwood Books Nov 2010)
The latest eye-catching art book in the venerable annual series presents more than 400 beautifully reproduced works by over 300 artists.
N. K. Jemisin, The Broken Kingdoms
(Orbit Nov 2010)
This middle volume of the Inheritance series is both a worthy follow-up to her debut The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and a compelling stand-alone story, about a blind artist who discovers a conspiracy to murder powerful "godlings." It's an impressive continuation of a "wonderfully offbeat trilogy" [Faren Miller]
Stephen Jones, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: 21
(Running Press Oct 2010)
The all-horror year's best anthology presents 19 stories by authors including Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley, Michael Marshall Smith, Rosalie Parker, Barbara Roden, the a first-ever collaboration between Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, and Reggie Oliver's completion of a lost M.R. James story.
Jay Lake, The Sky that Wraps
(Subterranean Press Sep 2010)
The prolific author's latest collection includes 25 stories he considers the best of his recent work (plus a few old favorites), with two new stories, all demonstrating his love of "baroque detail, eccentric notions that refuse to stay within the confines of genre, and a strong tendency toward darkness." [Faren Miller]
Ian R. MacLeod, Journeys
(Subterranean Press Sep 2010)
This fourth collection from the award-winning author gathers nine previously published stories that seamlessly integrate magic and wonder into tales of mundane life, all in MacLeod's lush and layered prose.
Ken Scholes, Diving Mimes, Weeping Czars, and Other Unusual Suspects
(Fairwood Press Oct 2010)
This second collection by the celebrated author gathers 18 stories three original plus story notes by Scholes and an introduction by John A. Pitts. Stories are emotional and lanced with humor; plots include a post-apocalyptic search for the Holy Grail led by a cross-dressing Baptist minister, a boy seeking counseling for his talent at falling down stairs, and a story about a grieving czar set early in the Psalms of Isaak world.
Catherynne M. Valente, The Habitation of the Blessed
(Night Shade Books Nov 2010)
The first book in her A Dirge for Prester John trilogy, drawing on medieval legends about a mysterious Utopian kingdom. "No doubt the mix of drama, comedy, mad inventions, and philosophy will be just as extraordinary in the volumes still to come." [Faren Miller]
Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer, eds., Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded
(Tachyon Publications Nov 2010)
This follow-up to their 2008 Steampunk anthology includes 23 steampunk stories (four of them original, and one a new translation), plus non-fiction and a roundtable interview on the future of Steampunk. Authors including Stephen Baxter, William Gibson, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Margo Lanagan, and Cherie Priest celebrate and explore the gear-laden subgenre.
Connie Willis, All Clear
(Ballantine Spectra Oct 2010)
This concludes the historical SF saga begun in Blackout, with multiple plotlines following time travelers from 2060 who find themselves trapped in WWII England. This gripping and wrenching story is told with Willis's unparalleled passion and voice, and the whole is "at once cockeyed and mournful, tinged equally with celebration and loss." [Gary K. Wolfe]