Elliott, Kate :
In the Ruins
(DAW 0-756-40192-5, $25.95, 528pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket painting Jody Lee)
Fantasy novel, sixth in the author's "Crown of Stars" series, following King's Dragon (1997), Prince of Dogs (1998), The Burning Stone (1999), Child of Flame (2000), and The Gathering Storm (2003). The first book was a 1998 Nebula Award finalist.
The author's site has this page about the series, including links to maps, as well as a news page in which the author explains how this intended final volume of the series grew too long and was split into this and a seventh volume to appear next year. The news page also links several excerpts, and a cast of characters listing.
Emshwiller, Carol :
(Penguin/Viking 0-670-05968-4, $15.99, 185pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket art and design Jim Hoover)
Young adult fantasy novel about two children, one a girl disguising herself as a boy, who, along with a strange creature called Boots that sometimes appears as a horse, are rejoined with their long-absent father, an itinerant magician in Depression era southern California.
The publisher's site has this brief description. Amazon copies it, and has the review from School Library Journal that calls it "a story that mixes stark realism with a touch of magic ... a hard book to pigeonhole".
Jonathan Strahan blogged about it last January: "Written beautifully, economically, it addresses love, family, the abuse of power in relationships, personal freedom and other such weighty matters, yet is never weighty, never didactic."
Gary K. Wolfe reviewed in Locus Magazine's May issue: "As in her stories, though, the weirdness is mediated by the carefully modulated narrative voice and by genuine wisdom about love and the complexities of forging an identity for once, it's a girl's horse story that isn't about the horse."
Fforde, Jasper :
The Big Over Easy
(Penguin/Viking 0-670-03423-1, $24.95, 383pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket illustration Tom Gauld) First US edition (UK: Hodder & Stoughton, July 2005)
Literary fantasy novel, subtitled "A Nursery Crime", a police procedural alternate reality story about the Nursery Crimes division in Reading, England, where detectives investigate the fall of Humpty Dumpty. It's the author's fifth novel and first not a part of his "Thursday Next" series.
The book has its own website, with a description and numerous extra features, including a photo tour of Reading, and a forum.
Penguin's site has a long description with a set of discussion questions.
Reviews online include those from San Francisco Chronicle and Rambles.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the former says the book is "consistently witty, but its conceit putting a criminal spin on nursery rhymes wears a bit thin."
Helprin, Mark :
Freddy and Fredericka
(Penguin Press 1-59420-054-8, $27.95, 553pp, hardcover, July 2005)
Comic novel about the future king and queen of England fictitious characters but obviously stand-ins for Prince Charles and Diana who journey to America on a mission to reconquer it for Britain.
Penguin's site has this (much longer than usual) description, which reads in part: "an extraordinarily funny allegory of a most peculiar British royal family, is immensely mocking of contemporary monarchy and yet deeply sympathetic to the individuals caught in its lonely absurdities."
Amazon has its own review by Regina Marler, as well as the PW review, which calls it "wildly imaginative, adventure-filled, clever and also overlong and self-indulgent".
Monette, Sarah :
(Ace 0-441-01286-8, $24.95, 421pp, hardcover, August 2005, jacket illustration Judy York)
Fantasy novel, the author's first novel, concerning a magician and a cat-burglar who form an alliance in the decadent city of Mélusine. The author has published short fiction, including 2003 Spectrum Award winner "Three Letters from the Queen of Elfland".
The publisher's site has this brief description.
The author's site has a biography, bibliography, a link to her blog. It notes that a sequel, The Virtu, is due in 2006.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its July 11th issue: "Jacqueline Carey provides a blurb, but those readers expecting a knock-off of that author's Kushiel series will be happily surprised. Monette resembles Carey only insofar as she, too, is a highly original writer with her own unique voice."
Faren Miller reviews the book in the August issue of Locus Magazine, saying that if the book "weren't 400-plus pages long, I might have tried to finish it in one gulp it's that good, and it moves at a commendable pace for a character-driven novel with a complex, twisty plot."
Powers, Tim :
(Tachyon Publications 1-892391-23-6, $15.95, 14+206pp, trade paperback, September 2005, cover design Ann Monn)
Collection of 9 stories -- all the author's short fiction to date, including three collaborations with James P. Blaylock. Titles include "The Way Down the Hill", "Night Moves", "Pat Moore", and "The Better Boy". Introduction by Paul Di Filippo.
The publisher's site has this description and quotes from reviews.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its July 25th issue: "These are subtle, suggestive tales for the connoisseur of imaginative fiction."
Both Gary K. Wolfe and Faren Miller review the book in the upcoming September issue of Locus Magazine.
Ringo, John, & Tom Kratman :
Watch on the Rhine
(Baen 0-7434-9918-2, $25, 343pp, hardcover, August 2005, cover painting Kurt Miller)
Military SF novel in the "Posleen War" series that began with Ringo's solo A Hymn Before Battle (2000); this is co-author Kratman's second novel, following his solo effort A State of Disobedience (2003). In this book survivors of Germany's Waffen SS, among others, are rejuvenated to fight attacking aliens.
Baen's site has the description "..perhaps the most unbiased, and brutal, look at the inner workings of the Waffen SS in history. Meticulously researched.." and links to excerpts.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its July 18th issue, which says the authors "pull no punches in this audacious and deliberately shocking effort, contrasting the ruthlessness of the (mostly) former Nazis with the contemporary politicians' disastrous insistence on forcing reality into a politically correct mold."