John Barnes, The Armies of Memory
(Tor Apr 2006)
This far-future spy adventure set in the Thousand Cultures universe is the fourth and final book in the series begun in A Million Open Doors about famous musician and secret agent Giraut Leontes, now in his 50s and dodging mysterious assassins as he tries to complete his last secret mission. ‘‘…very sophisticated and satisfactory entertainment.’’ [Russell Letson]
Simon Brown, Troy
(Ticonderoga Publications Apr 2006)
Brown retells the story of The Iliad in this cycle of nine stories (one original), each from a different character’s perspective. ‘‘The book is one of the highlights of the Australian publishing year, an essential addition to any library of good science fiction and fantasy.’’ [Jonathan Strahan]
Paul Di Filippo, Shuteye for the Timebroker
(Thunder's Mouth Press May 2006)
Di Filippo’s latest collection is a wild mix of 15 stories that include SF, humorous fantasy, publishing satire, horror, a series of vignettes inspired by the surreal paintings of Todd Schorr, and two previously unpublished stories from his series about the mysterious town of Blackwood Beach.
L. Timmel Duchamp, Renegade
(Aqueduct Press Jun 2006)
The second book of the near-future Marq’ssan Cycle finds the world still reeling from the arrival of the alien Marq’ssan. Utopian, dystopian, and thriller elements mix as the Pacific Northwest Free Zone is threatened by one woman’s search for missing scientists.
Hal Duncan, Vellum
(Ballantine Del Rey May 2006)
Near-future science fiction novel, the first in a duology, set in a world where humans transformed into angels and demons seek a mythical book containing the blueprint for all reality. Ancient myths, futuristic science, and layered trips through time blend in this new take on the eternal war between angels and devils. ‘‘A remarkable first novel.’’ [Faren Miller] First published by Macmillan UK in 2005.
Frances Hardinge, Fly by Night
(HarperCollins May 2006)
Wonderfully picaresque young-adult alternate history about a runaway girl, her fierce goose, a con man, and the struggle for freedom of speech in a twisted version of Restoration England, where all published materials are strictly controlled. First published by HarperCollins UK in 2005.
Justine Larbalestier, ed., Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century
(Wesleyan University Press May 2006)
This thought-provoking combination of anthology and critical non-fiction has 11 stories by female writers of the 20th century with a new critical essay on each. Story authors include Kate Wilhelm, Pamela Zoline, Octavia Butler, Karen Joy Fowler, and James Tiptree, Jr.
John Meaney, Resolution
(Prometheus/Pyr Mar 2006)
This third and final book in the Nulapeiron Sequence brings a triumphant conclusion to the space opera series as heroic Tom Corcorigan uses knowledge from the mysterious Pilots to save his world from the alien Anomaly. Originally published by Bantam UK (2004).
Linda Medley, Castle Waiting
(Fantagraphic Books Jun 2006)
A pregnant woman alone in a fairy-tale world finds sanctuary in a run-down castle full of an eccentric assortment of characters in this charming and witty graphic novel, which collects the full first volume of the award-winning comic book.
William Nicholson, Seeker
(Harcourt May 2006)
Young people hoping to become warrior priests take on a dangerous quest in this first volume in the Noble Warriors trilogy, a standard plot distinguished by its fast-moving action, engaging characters, and a vivid background drawing on a mix of cultures and myths. Previously published in the UK by Egmont (2005).
Sharyn November, ed., Firebirds Rising
(Penguin/Firebird Apr 2006)
The second Firebird YA anthology gathers 16 new stories, both SF and fantasy, from some of the field’s most noted authors, including Diana Wynne Jones, Charles de Lint, Kelly Link, Patricia A. McKillip, and Francesca Lia Block.
Naomi Novik, Throne of Jade
(Ballantine Del Rey May 2006)
The second book in the Temeraire historical fantasy series is a rousing mix of dragons and Patrick O’Brian-style adventure. The dragon Temeraire and his captain must travel to China, while those left behind in England struggle to keep Napoleon’s forces at bay.
John Varley, Red Lightning
(Ace Apr 2006)
Martian teen Ray Garcia-Strickland is sent to Earth to help survivors of a massive tsunami, only to see Earth invade Mars in search of Ray’s uncle, an eccentric inventor. This lively sequel to Red Thunder mixes timely disaster stories with rousing adventure in the style of classic Heinlein.
Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End
(Tor May 2006)
The future 20 years from now is explored through one extended family’s experiences in this satiric social comedy in which a newly cured Alzheimer’s patient (and former poet) tries to adapt to a radically changed world and unwittingly gets mixed up in an international conspiracy. ‘‘It’s arguable that this is the most impressively conceived and mounted invention of the future that science fiction has yet seen … Vinge has brilliantly created a rich pocket universe within which we, too, may be living in the foreseeable future.’’ [Damien Broderick]