Christopher Barzak, Birds and Birthdays
(Aqueduct Press Aug 2012)

This slim collection from an author gathering considerable critical attention presents three stories (one original) inspired by, and an essay about, three female Surrealists and their works.

Rae Carson, The Crown of Embers
(Greenwillow Sep 2012)

The sequel to acclaimed YA fantasy The Girl of Fire and Thorns continues the tale of Elisa – now a widowed queen, and still chosen by God for a mysterious purpose – as she goes on a journey to protect her failing kingdom and unravel the secret of her own destiny.

Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross, The Rapture of the Nerds
(Tor Sep 2012)

Doctorow & Stross team up for this fix-up novel based on three novellas, one new, about the singularity, “exactly the kind of high-octane carnival ride that one might expect from two of the field’s wilder boys: a shambling, picaresque, kitchen-sinkian travelogue through a decidedly un-tidy posthuman future.” [Russell Letson]

Greg Egan, The Eternal Flame
(Night Shade Books Sep 2012)

This sequel to Clockwork Rocket continues the Orthogonal series, set in a universe of alternate physics and mind-bendingly strange alien cultures, combining cutting-edge science with potent characters in a way no other author could manage.

Jeffrey Ford, Crackpot Palace
(Morrow Aug 2012)

The fourth story collection from one of our field’s most celebrated and surprising voices includes 20 stories (with one original, “The Wish Head”), most published within the past few years, all accompanied by story notes from the author. Ford is “a master trickster… at the forefront of those writers, emerging mostly during the last couple of decades, who seem utterly comfortable with inventing their own genres as they go along.” [Gary K. Wolfe]

Brian & Wendy Froud, Trolls
(Abrams Sep 2012)

The husband-and-wife team famous for their artistic depictions of the denizens of Faerie turn their attention to trolls with this lavish art book featuring paintings, drawings, sculptures, and puppets created by the artists, along with brief tales and bits of folklore on the subject.

M. John Harrison, Empty Space
(Gollancz Jul 2012; Night Shade Boks Mar 2013)

Harrison’s third book in the Kefahuchi series after Light and Nova Swing braids three strands of story ranging from London suburbs to the strange and wondrous far future, and the empty spaces of the Kefahuchi Tract.

Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature
(Cambridge University Press Feb 2012)

The fantasy counterpart to the editors’ Hugo-winning The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, this offers 21 essays on fantasy: its history, critical approaches, and various genres. Authors include Gary K. Wolfe, Adam Roberts Brian Attebery, Nnedi Okorafor, Roz Kaveney, and Alexander C. Irvine.

Stephen Jones, ed., A Book of Horrors
(St. Martin’s Griffin Sep 2012)

One of our field’s most celebrated horror editors compiled this original anthology of 14 stories, with contributions by Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison, Elizabeth Hand, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Stephen King, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Michael Marshall Smith, Lisa Tuttle, and more, with a fiery introduction by the editor on the need for stories the inspire true fear in a world full of “horror-lite” fiction.

Richard Kadrey, Devil Said Bang
(Harper Voyager Sep 2012)

James Stark, AKA Sandman Slim, finds taking over Lucifer’s job has left him stuck in a boring beaurocracy – but if he can escape that Hell, there’s a ton of trouble waiting for him back in LA in this fourth volume in the distinctively offbeat, hardboiled dark urban fantasy series.

Mark Lawrence, King of Thorns
(Ace Aug 2012)

The second book of the Broken Empire series returns to this somewhat SFnal fantasy world where our present is the distant past. Former exiled prince, now King Jorg, seeks terrible lost weapons to defeat an approaching enemy in this “engrossing life story” of a protagonist who “ranges between frustrated expletives and moments of keen observation and eloquence.” [Faren Miller]

Mark Leslie, ed., Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound
(Hades/EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Sep 2012)

The latest volume in this original anthology series celebrating Canadian writers presents 22 stories (five reprints) and six poems inspired by art, music, literature, and culture. Authors include Sandra Kasturi, Carolyn Clink, Robert J. Sawyer, and Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart.

Holly Phillips, At the Edge of Waking
(Prime Books Sep 2012)

The celebrated lyrical fantasist returns with a second short fiction collection, featuring 11 stories (with one original, “Castle Rock”), plus story notes by the author and a laudatory introduction by Peter S. Beagle.

Ekaterina Sedia, ed., Circus
(Prime Books Sep 2012)

This anthology of “Fantasy Under the Big Top” includes 20 of the best stories about bizarre circuses, strange carnivals, and sinister fairs, with work by Christopher Barzak, Kij Johnson, Ken Scholes, Peter Straub, Howard Waldrop, Genevieve Valentine, Jeff VanderMeer, and more.