* Ashford, Barbara : Spellcrossed
(DAW 978-0-7564-0729-2, $7.99, 448pp, mass market paperback, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Spellcast #2

Fantasy novel, second in a series following Spellcast (2011), about an unemployed woman who signs up for a summer theatre company in Vermont.
• The author’s site has this description with an excerpt.

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* Avilés, Miguel A. Ramiro, & J. C. Davis, eds. : Utopian Moments: Reading Utopian Texts
(Bloomsbury 978-1849666824, $90, 192pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

Nonfiction collection of essays examining how the ideal utopia has changed over time, as reflected in works from More’s Utopia to Le Guin’s The Dispossessed.
• Bloomsbury’s site has this description with the full list of contributors (who are all academics), the introduction, and numerous excerpts (use the drop-down menu or click on the progress bar to its right).

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* Davidson, Maryjanice : Undead and Unstable
(Berkley Sensation 978-0-425-24757-0, $25.95, 312pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Queen Betsy #11

Humorous romantic fantasy novel, eleventh book in the “Queen Betsy (Undead)” series following Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unappreciated (2005), Undead and Unreturnable (2005), Undead and Unpopular (2006), Undead and Uneasy (2007), Undead and Unworthy (2008), Undead and Unwelcome (2009), Undead and Unfinished (2010), and Undead and Undermined (2011).
• The publisher’s site has a description.
• The author’s site has this page about the book with a chapter one excerpt.
• Carolyn Cushman reviewed it in the May issue of Locus Magazine: “This is a very odd installment in the series, hard to take seriously despite all the ominous bits, but fortunately leavened as always by humorous banter, some goofy sex scenes, Betsy’s shoe obsession – and for a bit of novelty, puppies.”

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* Elrod, P. N. : Hex Appeal
(St. Martin’s Griffin 978-0-312-59072-7, $14.99, 368pp, trade paperback, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

Anthology of nine original urban fantasy stories.
• Authors include Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Simon R. Green, and Carrie Vaughn.
• The publisher’s site has this description with an excerpt of Andrews’ story.
• The Publishers Weekly review says, “Heavy hitters serve up sharp, dark, witty urban fantasy in this anthology of nine hex tales, each with a unique twist.”

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* Flint, Eric, Gorg Huff & Paula Goodlett, eds. : 1636: The Kremlin Games
(Baen 978-1-4516-3776-2, $25, 432pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Ring of Fire #19

Alternate history novel in the “Ring of Fire” series that began with Flint’s 1632 (2000), concerning 17th century European history as affected by West Virginians from the 20th century.
• See Wikipedia’s entry for details of the series thus far.
• Baen’s site has this description with links to maps and several chapters.
• The Publishers Weekly review concludes, “The story is better than the writing, but the plain prose manages to stay out of the way of interesting characters and a well-constructed plot filled with satisfying measures of comedy, romance, political intrigue, and action.”

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* Green, Simon R. : Live and Let Drood
(Roc 978-0-451-46452-1, $25.95, 368pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Secret Histories #6

Fantasy novel, sixth in the series about Shaman Bond, aka Eddie Drood, who protects humanity from the forces of darkness, following The Man with the Golden Torc (2007), Daemons Are Forever (2008), The Spy Who Haunted Me (2009), From Hell with Love (2010), and For Heaven’s Eyes Only (2011)
• The publisher’s site has a description.

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* Hamilton, Laurell K. : Kiss the Dead
(Berkley 978-0-425-24754-9, $27.95, 368pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Anita Blake #21

Erotic fantasy vampire novel, 21st in the bestselling series about Anita Blake, vampire hunter, that began with Guilty Pleasures (2002) and most recently included Hit List (2011).
• Hamilton’s website has this page for the book.
• Amazon has a conversation between Hamilton and Charlaine Harris.
• The Publishers Weekly review calls it “fast-paced if formulaic … That means an even balance of bloody police work and athletic preternatural sex.”

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* Hammond, Warren : KOP Killer
(Tor 978-0-7653-2827-4, $25.99, 352pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
KOP #3

Hard-boiled SF thriller, third in a series following KOP (2007) and Ex-KOP (2008), set on the planet Largarto in the 28th century.
• Tor’s website has this description with an excerpt.
Publishers Weekly (as it did the previous book) gives it a starred review: “The fast-moving story line is complemented by a complex lead and perfectly lean prose.”

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* Held, Rhiannon : Silver
(Tor 978-0-7653-3037-6, $14.99, 336pp, trade paperback, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

Werewolf novel, the author’s first novel, about an enforcer for a werewolf pack who catches a lone were who’s had silver injected into her veins.
• The publisher’s site has this description with an excerpt.
• The Publishers Weekly review is guarded: “Despite a few interesting twists, smooth writing, and genuine chemistry between the leads, there’s little to make this story stand out.”

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* Lackey, Mercedes : Home from the Sea
(DAW 978-0-7564-0727-8, $25.95, 320pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Elemental Masters #8

Fantasy novel about the daughter of a Water Mage in a Welsh fishing village, who rebels against her arranged marriage.
• It’s the eighth book in the Elemental Masters series, following Fire Rose, Gates of Sleep, Serpent’s Shadow, Phoenix and Ashes, The Wizard of London, Reserved for the Cat, and Unnatural Issue (2011).
• The author’s website has this description.

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* Melko, Paul : The Broken Universe
(Tor 978-0-7653-2914-1, $27.99, 384pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Universe #2

SF novel, sequel to The Walls of the Universe (2009), about a man who uses technology to access alternate worlds to build a commercial empire.
• Tor’s site has this description with an excerpt.

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+ Reynolds, Alastair : Blue Remembered Earth
(Ace 978-0-441-02071-3, $26.95, 512pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Poseidon’s Children #1

First US edition (UK: Gollancz, January 2012)

SF novel, first of a trilogy, following the Akinya family across 10,000 years to the dawn of galactic civilization.
• Parent publisher Penguin’s site has this summary with a link to an excerpt. The site also has this Dear Reader Letter from the author about the book.
Publishers Weekly gives it a starred review: “Reynolds cements his status as one of the preeminent writers of hard SF with this gripping and intelligent kickoff to the three-book Poseidon’s Children sequence…”
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the December 2011 issue of Locus Magazine, considering it an example of “Phase Space space opera”, combining aspects of ‘new space opera’ and traditional adventure space opera. He writes, “Despite a plot hook that could as easily power a YA franchise (a dying matriarch leaves behind a series of mysterious clues, each of which leads toward more portentous implications), Reynolds both develops a richly detailed portrait of a resurgent, postapocalyptic Earth society and economy, and leaves himself plenty of room to expand his narrative space exponentially… “

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* Scalzi, John : Redshirts
(Tor 978-0-7653-1699-8, $24.99, 304pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

SF novel, subtitled “A Novel with Three Codas”, about an ensign on a starship who gradually realizes that Away Missions are deadly to the lowest ranking crew members.
• Tor’s site has this description with an excerpt.
Scalzi’s site numerous recent posts about the book.
• The Publishers Weekly review doesn’t buy it: “Sadly, and all too soon, Scalzi reveals an explanation that neither surprises nor satisfies.”
• Adrienne Martini’s review in the June issue of Locus Magazine finds it more intriguing: Redshirts gets all metafictional, too, but subtly, while it ponders the meaning of existence. … Without these hints at larger ideas, Redshirts would be a pleasant diversion. With them, it becomes something more interesting to dive into and engage with.”

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* Scott, M. J. : Blood Kin
(Roc 978-0-451-46458-3, $7.99, 336pp, mass market paperback, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Half-Light City #2

Urban fantasy novel, second of a series following Shadow Kin (2011), set on a world where Blood Lords and the Beast Kind rule on one side, Fae and humans on the other.
• The author’s site has this page for the book with a long excerpt.

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+ Wallace, Sean, ed. : The Mammoth Book of Steampunk
(Running Press 978-0-7624-4468-7, $13.95, 512pp, trade paperback, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

Anthology of 30 steampunk stories, including four stories original to this book.
• Authors include Jeff VanderMeer, Cherie Priest, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine, and Cat Rambo.
• The Running Press site has this brief description.
Publishers Weekly gives it a starred review: “Each story exemplifies steampunk’s knack for critiquing both the past and the present, in a superb anthology that demands rereading.”

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* Wentworth, K. D., ed. : L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future Volume XXVIII
(Galaxy 978-1-61986-076-6, $7.99, 591pp, mass market paperback, June 2012, cover art Stephen Youll)
Nominal Publication Date: Sun 17 Jun 2012

Anthology of 13 original stories, with illustrations, by winners and runners-up of the 2012 Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests.
• There are also essays about writing and art by L. Ron Hubbard, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and (new illustrator judge) Shaun Tan.
• Wentworth provides an introduction, and a summary of the year’s quarterly contest results.
Publishers Weekly offers this review: “The offerings are thought provoking and varied, with a general trend toward excellence.”

(Mon 4 Jun 2012)
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* Wilson, Daniel H. : Amped
(Doubleday 978-0-385-53515-1, $25, 275pp, hardcover, June 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012

SF thriller in which people whose medical implants give them superhuman abilities become subject of discriminatory laws restricting their rights.
• The publisher’s page has a synopsis.
• Amazon’s “Look Inside” function provides an excerpt.
• The Publishers Weekly review says, “Wilson keeps the action and fear-based prejudice ever-present without sacrificing depth. The story’s heart is the moral quandary Owen faces once he knows his implant only responds to his deepest thoughts, keeping the reader wondering how far he will go and how much he is willing to sacrifice.”

(Fri 25 May 2012)
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* Zahn, Timothy : Judgment at Proteus
(Tor 978-0-7653-2213-5, $24.99, 413pp, hardcover, June 2012, jacket art Daniel Dociu)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 5 Jun 2012
Quadrail #5

SF novel, fifth and final volume of a series following Night Train to Rigel (2005), The Third Lynx (2007), Odd Girl Out (2008), and The Domino Pattern (2010), about interstellar private investigator Frank Compton.
• Tor’s site has this description with an excerpt.

(Sat 2 Jun 2012)
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