Anderson, M. T. :
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume I: The Pox Party
(Candlewick Press 0-7636-2402-0, $17.99, 10+351pp, hardcover, October 2006, jacket illustration Gerard Dubois)
Young adult fantasy novel, the first of two volumes, about a boy and his mother raised in a mysterious house by rational philosophers.
Amazon has the School Library Journal and Booklist reviews, both starred, which offer less vague descriptions than the dust jacket; it's about a young black boy raised in pre-Revolutionary Boston.
The book just won the National Book Award in the Young People's Literature category.
The publisher's site has this description, with links to a discussion guide and an excerpt.
Booklist's Gillian Engberg writes "Once acclimated to the novel's style, readers will marvel at Anderson's ability to maintain this high-wire act of elegant, archaic language and shifting voices, and they will appreciate the satiric scenes that gleefully lampoon the Collegians' more buffoonish experiments. Anderson's impressive historical research fixes the imagined College firmly within the facts of our country's own troubled history. The fluctuations between satire and somber realism, gothic fantasy and factual history will jar and disturb readers, creating a mood that echoes Octavian's unsettled time as well as our own."
Bova, Ben :
The Green Trap
(Forge 0-765-30924-6, $24.95, 331pp, hardcover, November 2006)
Near-future thriller about the discovery of a cheap method of producing hydrogen fuel.
The author's website has this page about the book, with a description and an excerpt.
Amazon's 'search inside' feature also has an excerpt. Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews; the former notes "Readers of Heinlein's 1940 short story " 'Let There Be Light!' " will note some familiar moments, but Bova adds modern twists and a genuinely surprising ending to the age-old clash between oblivious scientists and worldly schemers."
Clemens, James :
(Roc 0-451-46113-4, $24.95, 463pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Steve Stone)
Fantasy novel, second of the "Godslayer Chronicles" following Shadowfall (2005), set in a world ruled by a hundred gods and concerning a knight searching for the killer of one of them.
The author's website has a description, and quotes the Library Journal reviews, which concludes "Clemens continues the saga begun in Shadowfall with a gripping, tautly constructed tale of a man's struggle to regain his honor and deliver his world from destruction. This high fantasy belongs in most fantasy collections."
Amazon has a reader review by Harriet Klausner, who calls it an "action oriented sword and sorcery saga".
Crowther, Peter, ed. :
(DAW 0-7564-0330-8, $7.99, 307pp, mass market paperback, November 2006)
Anthology of 12 original stories, published to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 film Forbidden Planet.
Authors are Matthew Hughes, Jay Lake, Paul McAuley, Alastair Reynolds, Paul Di Filippo, Stephen Baxter, Chris Roberson, Scott Edelman, Ian McDonald, Michael Moorcock, Alex Irvine, and Adam Roberts.
Ray Bradbury provides an introduction. Stephen Baxter provides an afterword, relating the film to Star Trek and other works. There are also lengthy author and story notes.
Amazon has the Booklist review.
Nick Gevers and Rich Horton both reviewed the book in the October issue of Locus Magazine, Gevers especially recommending the stories by McDonald, Reynolds, and Roberts, Horton seconding the recommendation for Adam Roberts' "Me-Topia".
Dart-Thornton, Cecilia :
(Tor 0-765-31207-7, $25.95, 333pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Julek Heller)
Fantasy novel, third in the "Crowthistle Chronicles" trilogy following The Iron Tree (2004) and The Well of Tears (2005). This first US edition follows the October first world edition published in the United Kingdom, Australia & New Zealand.
The book includes a CD ROM; the author's website has this page about the book, and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it the "third fey-filled installment in the Crowthistle Chronicles" and concludes "Though Dart-Thornton delivers more talk (including lectures on vegetarianism and animal cruelty) than action, her fans will continue to enjoy her Celtic-inspired mythology."
Farland, David :
Sons of the Oak
(Tor 0-765-30177-6, $27.95, 383pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Darrell K. Sweet)
Fantasy novel, fifth volume in "The Runelords" series, following The Sum of All Men aka The Runelords (1998), The Brotherhood of the Wolf (1999), Wizardborn (2001), and The Lair of Bones (2003).
The Official Runelords Site has this excerpt from the new book.
Amazon's 'search inside' feature includes an excerpt.
Fenner, Cathy, & Arnie Fenner, eds. :
Spectrum 13: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
(Underwood Books 1-59929-002-2, $39.95, 224pp, hardcover, October 2006, cover painting Donato Giancola)
Thirteen annual yearbook of fantasy art, with reproductions of over 400 works by over 300 artists, chosen by jury (this year Brom, Bruce Jensen, Christopher Klein, Heidi MacDonald, Stephan Martiniere, and Meg Walsh) and announcing Gold and Silver Awards in various categories (Advertising, Book, Comics, etc.) as well as a Grand Master Award -- this year to Jeffrey Jones. Arnie Fenner covers "The Year in Review", including a 'Requiem', and with a sidebar by William Stout "Remembering Byron V. Preiss". William Joyce contributes "Katrinarita Gras", about the effect of Hurricane Katrina on the art community.
An index provides contact information, with email addresses and websites, for all the artists.
The publisher's site has this page about the book, while the Spectrum Fantastic Art Official Website has information about the annual contest.
Amazon's 'search inside' feature includes an excerpt of the first several pages of art, and of the artists' index.
Hoyt, Sarah A. :
Draw One in the Dark
(Baen 1-4165-2092-9, $25, 310pp, hardcover, November 2006, cover painting Veronica Casas)
Urban fantasy novel about a young shapeshifting woman who, while working in a Colorado diner, discovers others of her kind.
Baen's site has this description and links to several chapter excerpts.
Amazon has reader reviews.
Irvine, Alexander C. :
Pictures from an Expedition
(Night Shade Books 1-59780-049-X, $14.95, 227pp, trade paperback, November 2006, cover art Patrick Arrasmith, cover design Claudia Noble)
Collection of 13 stories, 12 of them first published in various magazines and anthologies from 2000 to 2005, with one story, "Clownfish", original to this book.
Other stories include "Gus Dreams of Biting the Mailman", a World Fantasy Award finalist in 2004, and "Shepherded by Galatea", which placed 2nd in the 2004 Asimov's Reader Poll in the novelette category.
The publisher's site has this description with a list of the table of contents.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review.
Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the December issue of Locus Magazine, saying that in contrast to the author's three novels "Pictures from an Expedition shows us what he's really been up to, and he has a few surprises up his sleeve. In terms of organization alone it's one of the most interesting collections of the year."
Marillier, Juliet :
Blade of Fortriu
(Tor 0-765-30996-3, $27.95, 496pp, hardcover, October 2006, jacket art Vince Natale)
Fantasy novel, second in the "Bridei Chronicles" following The Dark Mirror (2004), set in pre-Celtic Scotland and concerning a druid's foster son who takes in an abandoned fairy girl.
The author's website has this page about the book, with covers of various editions, historical notes, and an excerpt (spoilers to the first book noted).
There's also a a page for volume three, The Well of Shades, due about now in Australia, next year in the US and UK.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Skilled world-building and characterization set Marillier's historical fantasy at the head of the pack."
Modesitt, L. E. Jr. :
(Tor 0-765-31647-1, $27.95, 540pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Raymond Swanland)
Fantasy novel, sixth and concluding volume in the Corean Chronicles following Legacies (2002), Darknesses (2003), Scepters (2004), Alector's Choice (2005), and Cadmian's Choice (2006).
Modesitt's website has this page for the series, with descriptions of the earlier books.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews -- both starred. PW says the book "brings the fantasy saga to a thunderous, satisfying climax", while Booklist concludes "The characters have become more fascinating with each novel; moreover, this one includes even more action than either of its predecessors, Alector's Choice (2005) and Cadmian's Choice (2006), which contributes mightily to bringing the adventures of Dainyl, Alector of Corus, and Mykel, an officer in the native military corps, to a stunning conclusion while leaving enough unanswered questions for many more Corean stories."
SF novel about an explorer on Mars who discovers an ancient ruin and answers to great mysteries via an alien vampire named Andru.
This is volume two of the "Children of The Dragon" series, a prequel to earlier Destiny's Forge published earlier this year.
The publisher's site has this description and a preview with an excerpt.
Palmatier, Joshua :
The Cracked Throne
(DAW 0-7564-0403-7, $24.95, 436pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket painting Steve Stone)
Fantasy novel, follow-up to the author's first novel The Skewed Thrown (January 2006), about a young girl with supernatural ability in the decadent city of Amenkor.
The author's site has this description and an excerpt. One more volume, The Vacant Throne, is forthcoming.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Despite a complicated backstory, this novel grips the reader with a swift-moving tale of political intrigue and economic survival in a world where the most dangerous secrets are never forgotten."
Pynchon, Thomas :
Against the Day
(Penguin Press 1-59420-120-x, $35, 1085pp, hardcover, November 2006)
Associational novel with fantastic elements, set from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, involving the Chicago World's Fair, a team of lads aboard an airship named Inconvenience, a murdered union organizer whose children seek to avenge his death, a crew of mad scientists, the Tunguska event in Siberia, and much more.
The publisher's website has this description.
John Clute reviews the book for SF Weekly, recognizing its themes and many characters from various types of pre-World War I genre fiction, and comparing the work to Michael Moorcock's Multiverse oeuvre.
Amazon has starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the former begins "Knotty, paunchy, nutty, raunchy, Pynchon's first novel since Mason & Dixon (1997) reads like half a dozen books duking it out for his, and the reader's, attention. Most of them shine with a surreal incandescence, but even Pynchon fans may find their fealty tested now and again...."
Shepherd, Mike :
Kris Longknife: Resolute
(Ace 0-441-01453-4, $7.99, 342pp, mass market paperback, November 2006, cover art Scott Grimando)
Military SF adventure novel, fourth in the series following Mutineer, Deserter (both 2004), and Defiant (2005), about a Prime Minister's daughter who joins the space navy. In this book she's given command of a backwater space station.
Mike Shepherd is a pseudonym for Mike Moscoe.
Amazon has the Booklist review: "Shepherd's grasp of timing and intrigue remains solid, and Kris' latest challenge makes for an engaging space opera, seasoned with political machination and the thrills of mysterious ancient technology, that promises to reveal some interesting things about the future Kris inhabits."
Stirling, S. M. :
The Sky People
(Tor 0-765-31488-6, $24.95, 301pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Gregory Manchess)
Alternate history novel in which Venus and Mars -- having been terraformed by aliens -- are exactly as depicted in early SF. This book is set on Venus; sequel In the Halls of the Crimson Kings will be set on Mars.
This is the November "Sci Fi Essential" book coordinated by Tor and Scifi.com, whose website has this description with an excerpt.
Stirling's site also has a description, and sample chapters.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review: "Stirling doesn't stint on old-fashioned elements, most notably the gorgeous native princess with magical powers, but the multiculturalism sidesteps most stereotypes while retaining a broad-brush pulp sensibility; the science is refreshingly realistic; and everyone cusses (sometimes in awkward translation)."
Williams, Sean :
The Blood Debt
(Pyr 1-59102-493-5, $26, 463pp, hardcover, October 2006, cover illustration Greg Bridges) First US edition (Australia: Voyager, April 2005)
Fantasy novel, second in the "Books of the Cataclysm" series following The Crooked Letter, in which Earth has been transformed into various magical realms. In this book two friends set off on separate quests to rescue parents.
Pyr's website has this description.
The author's website has an excerpt, along with excerpt to subsequent volumes The Hanging Mountains and The Devoured Earth.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "The detail of Williams's imagined world and his characters' concern with the moral consequences of their actions compel interest, though readers will have to wait until the final installment to see whether all the pieces fall into a coherent, satisfying whole."