Four books this week, two of which I called out at the end of 2014 as books high on my anticipated 2015 books list.
The Skull Throne by Peter Brett (Del Rey 03/31/2015) – I have really enjoyed the three books Peat has published in the Demon Cycle series for its mix of old school high fantasy with some more modern sensibility (The Painted Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War).
Following up on the internationally bestselling The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, and The Daylight War, Peter V. Brett continues his critically acclaimed epic fantasy Demon Cycle series that will appeal to fans of Terry Brooks, George R.R. Martin, David Eddings, and Robert Jordan.
Peter V. Brett has quickly established himself as one of the most successful new fantasy writers working today. Readers have embraced his world and his characters with a fervor, and his third and most recent novel hit the New York Times bestseller list in hardcover. Now he continues his epic series in grand style, offering the continuing stories of all the POV characters we have come to know and love, as well as adding several new ones into the mix.
Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson (Tor 02/10/2015) – A quirky urban fantasy debut from Henderson, Winner of the 2014 Golden Pen grand prize for Writers of the Future, “a writer to watch.”
Writers of the Future grand prize winner Randy Henderson presents a dark and quirky debut in Finn Fancy Necromancy.
Finn Gramaraye was framed for the crime of dark necromancy at the age of 15, and exiled to the Other Realm for twenty five years. But now that he’s free, someone—probably the same someone—is trying to get him sent back. Finn has only a few days to discover who is so desperate to keep him out of the mortal world, and find evidence to prove it to the Arcane Enforcers. They are going to be very hard to convince, since he’s already been convicted of trying to kill someone with dark magic.
But Finn has his family: His brother Mort who is running the family necrotorium business now, his brother Pete who believes he’s a werewolf, though he is not, and his sister Samantha who is, unfortunately, allergic to magic. And he’s got Zeke, a fellow exile and former enforcer, who doesn’t really believe in Finn’s innocence but is willing to follow along in hopes of getting his old job back.
Old Venus by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Del Rey 03/03/2015) – A thematic sequel-of-sorts to this duo’s Old Mars anthology, which I reviewed back in 2013 for Tor.com.
Sixteen all-new stories by science fiction’s top talents, collected by bestselling author George R. R. Martin and multiple-award-winning editor Gardner Dozois
From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury’s “The Long Rain” to visionary novels such as C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra, the planet Venus has loomed almost as large in the imaginations of science fiction writers as Earth’s next-nearest neighbor, Mars. But while the Red Planet conjured up in Golden Age science fiction stories was a place of vast deserts and ruined cities, bright blue Venus was its polar opposite: a steamy, swampy jungle world with strange creatures lurking amidst the dripping vegetation. Alas, just as the last century’s space probes exploded our dreams of Mars, so, too, did they shatter our romantic visions of Venus, revealing, instead of a lush paradise, a hellish world inimical to all life.
But don’t despair! This new anthology of sixteen original stories by some of science fiction’s best writers—edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and award-winning editor Gardner Dozois—turns back the clock to that more innocent time, before the hard-won knowledge of science vanquished the infinite possibilities of the imagination.
Join our cast of award-winning contributors—including Elizabeth Bear, David Brin, Joe Haldeman, Gwyneth Jones, Mike Resnick, Eleanor Arnason, Allen M. Steele, and more—as we travel back in time to a planet that never was but should have been: a young, rain-drenched world of fabulous monsters and seductive mysteries.
FEATURING ALL-NEW STORIES BY
Eleanor Arnason • Elizabeth Bear • David Brin • Tobias S. Buckell • Michael Cassutt • Joe Haldeman • Matthew Hughes • Gwyneth Jones • Joe R. Lansdale • Stephen Leigh • Paul McAuley • Ian McDonald • Garth Nix • Mike Resnick • Allen M. Steele • Lavie Tidhar
And an Introduction by Gardner Dozois
Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Del Rey 06/30/2015) – I thoroughly enjoyed the first few books (His Majesty’s Dragon) of Novik’s Temeraire series by admittedly, my interest waned as the series continued. This is a fresh new world and looks to be a modern twist on a Fairy Tale.
Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”
Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.
Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.
The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.
But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.