* Carson, Rae : The Crown of Embers
(Greenwillow 978-0-06-202651-4, $17.99, 416pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Fire and Thorns #2

Young adult fantasy novel, second in a trilogy after the author’s first novel The Girl of Fire and Thorns (2011), in which young Queen Elisa deals with palace intrigue and threats from external enemies.
• HarperCollins’s site has this description with a “Read Now” function.
Publishers Weekly gives this a starred review: “a superb fantasy built around an exceptional heroine” … “Carson avoids the dips that often haunt bridge books: expert pacing and well-drawn characters are masterfully integrated with Elisa’s continued growth as she deals with the shifting political situation, resulting in a dramatic and gratifyingly romantic novel that smoothly follows its predecessor.”

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* Edward, John : Fallen Masters
(Tor 978-0-7653-3271-4, $25.99, 480pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012

Apocalyptic fantasy thriller, subtitled “The Cataclysmic Battle for Mankind’s Soul”, about portents and signs that foresee the world’s end in a cosmic battle between good and evil.
• The publisher’s site has this description, which describes the author as an “internationally renowned psychic”, with an excerpt.
• The Publishers Weekly review begins, “Who would guess that the end of the world could engender boredom? That’s, alas, the case in this apocalyptic would-be thriller that is short on suspense and believable characters.”

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+ Erikson, Steven : Forge of Darkness
(Tor 978-0-7653-2356-9, $27.99, 688pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Kharkanas Trilogy #1

First US edition (UK: Transworld/Bantam UK, August 2012)

Fantasy novel, first of a trilogy, set millennia before the author’s 10-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen.
• The author’s site has this description with an excerpt.
• Macmillan’s site has this description, with an excerpt.

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* Fancher, Hampton : The Shape of the Final Dog and Other Stories
(Blue Rider Press 978-0399158230, $25.95, 288pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Thu 13 Sep 2012

Collection of 12 stories by the writer best known as the co-screenwriter of Blade Runner.
• Blue Rider Press is an imprint of Penguin; its site has this description, with an excerpt.
• Amazon’s page has its “Look Inside” function, providing the table of contents. The copyright page does not indicate any previous publication credits.
• The Publishers Weekly review is mixed, but comments, “Saving the best for last, ‘The Shape of the Final Dog’ is a surprise variation on Blade Runner sure to please fans of the film.”

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* Kristoff, Jay : Stormdancer
(St. Martin’s/Dunne 978-1-25000-140-5, $24.99, 336pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Lotus War #1

Fantasy novel, the author’s first novel and first of a series, set in a dystopian Steampunk setting based on feudal Japan.
• Parent publisher Macmillan’s site has this description, with an excerpt and quotes from reviews.
Publishers Weekly gives this a starred review: “The innovative setting, fast-moving plot, vivid descriptions, and thrilling action scenes make this a refreshing addition to the steampunk canon.”
• The author is the featured Big Idea guest on John Scalzi’s blog today.

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* Le Guin, Ursula K. : Finding My Elegy: New and Selected Poems
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 978-0547858203, $22, 208pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012

Collection of poems, drawn from the author’s six earlier collections of poetry, plus a group of new poems written in the past decade.
• Harcourt’s site doesn’t seem to have anything about this book. Le Guin’s site links this review by David St.-Lascaux, from April, who had never before read Le Guin, but who comments “The contents of this excellent, provocative collection confirm (as she herself will be, no doubt, relieved to learn) that Le Guin’s calling extends to poetry, whatever her speculative prosaic accomplishments.”
• Amazon’s page has several quoted poems, and reader reviews.

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* Leslie, Mark, ed. : Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound
(Canada: Hades/EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy 978-1-894063-92-0, C$15.95, 280pp, trade paperback, September 2012, cover art Jeff Johnson)
Nominal Publication Date: Sat 15 Sep 2012

Anthology of 26 stories on the theme of speculative fiction inspired by literature, music, art and culture.
• Authors include Robert J. Sawyer, Neil Peart & Kevin J. Anderson, Sandra Kasturi, Derwin Mak, and Jeff Hughes.
• The publisher’s site has this description.

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* Lo, Malinda : Adaptation
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 978-0316197960, $17.99, 400pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Adaptation #1

Young adult SF novel, first of a duology, in which a series of plane crashes are caused by flocks of birds, about a girl who survives the initial panic and wakes up 27 days later in secure medical facility.
• The author’s site has this description, with a video book trailer.
• Amazon’s “Look Inside” function provides a preview.
• Gwenda Bond reviews the book in the September issue of Locus Magazine: “Lo moves into the territory of The X-Files without a hitch, crafting a well-developed character in Reese and making us believe her slow discovery that she is now part of something larger. All the twists and turns you’d expect from a good SF thriller are here…”

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* Olsen, Corey : Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 978-0-547-73946-5, $25, 336pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012

Nonficiton guide to Tolkien’s popular novel.
• The author, an English professor at Washington College, is known for his website The Tolkien Professor.
• Amazon’s “Look Inside” function provides a preview, and Amazon has several lengthy reader reviews.
Publishers Weekly has this review, which comments, “Olsen studies Tolkien’s work chapter by chapter, illuminating details of character and plot that might otherwise escape the reader; the various versions of the work in question and the reasons why Tolkien altered his work are likewise examined….”

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* Stiefvater, Maggie : The Raven Boys
(Scholastic Press 978-0545424929, $18.99, 416pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Raven Cycle #1

Young adult fantasy novel, first of a series, about a girl whose clairvoyant mother can see the soon-to-be-dead, who becomes attracted a rich student at a local private school, one of a group of ‘raven boys’.
• Scholastic’s site has this description with a discussion guide.
• Amazon’s “Look Inside” function provides a preview.
Publishers Weekly gives this a starred review, concluding “It’s a tour de force of characterization, and while there is no lack of event or mystery, it is the way Stiefvater’s people live in the reader’s imagination that makes this such a memorable read.”

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+ Tolkien, J. R. R., edited by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull : The Art of the Hobbit
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 978-0-547-92825-8, $40, 144pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012

Artbook collection of more than 100 sketches, drawings, paintings, and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien, some never before published.
• This is the first US edition; the UK edition was published in October 2011.
• The Publishers Weekly review notes that this edition is published “just in time for Peter Jackson’s new film”, and calls it “a splendid introduction to Tolkien the artist, a skill of which many of his fans are ignorant.”

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* Trahan, Roberta : The Well of Tears
(Amazon/47North 978-1-61218-372-5, $14.95, 362pp, trade paperback, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
The Dream Stewards #1

Fantasy novel, the author’s first novel and first of a series, set in Wales and Cornwall five centuries after the reign of King Arthur.
• Amazon’s page has a description, mixed reader reviews, and a preview via its “Look Inside” function.
• The Publishers Weekly review concludes, “While some scenes are poignant, and the depiction of magic is intriguing, the heroes are too good and the villains too evil for the attempts at complex political intrigue to work. Further installments in the series may add greater depth, but the opener has bit off more than it can chew.”

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* Weber, David : Midst Toil and Tribulation
(Tor 978-0-7653-2155-8, $27.99, 308pp, hardcover, September 2012)
Nominal Publication Date: Tue 18 Sep 2012
Safehold #6

Far future SF novel, sixth in the Safehold series following Off Armageddon Reef (2007), By Schism Rent Asunder (2008), By Heresies Distressed (2009), A Mighty Fortress (2010), and How Firm a Foundation (2011), in which the Church of God Awaiting has suppressed technology on the planet Safehold.
• Parent publisher Macmillan’s site, which indicates this as #6 of 11 volumes, has this description, with an excerpt.

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