Plenty to look forward to in August, with entries from such luminaries as Robin Hobb, John Scalzi, Michael Swanwick, Christopher Moore and China Mieville. And there are exciting new releases from Jason Hough and M.L. Brennan and yet another novel from the prolific Chuck Wendig. I’d better get reading!
The Fifth Season — N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Jemisin has been hailed as one of the great up-and-coming fantasists for her “Inheritance” trilogy. The Fifth Season kicks off a new series, “The Broken Earth,” which follows Essun, a woman tracking her husband and kidnapped daughter across an apocalyptic world. Jemisin jokingly described it as “Pam Grier hunts her child’s killer through Damnation Alley, meets Harry Potter” or “Mad Max Fury Road meets Dragon Age on Dante’s Peak. “
Three Moments of An Explosion — China Mieville (Del Rey)
Alas, it isn’t a new novel. Still, a collection of short fiction from one of the finest sci-fi/fantasy writers of the past 20 years is nothing to sneeze at. Three Moments contains 28 stories, many seeing print for the first time, dealing with such unusual subjects as floating icebergs in the skies over London.
Dark Ascension — M.L. Brennan (Roc)
Hipster vampires. Fortitude “Fort” Scott has spent his life rebelling against his family, but he has finally given up his dreams of making films and his career as a waiter and returned to the fold. But his sociopathic is looking to take control of the family business, and Fort needs the help of his foxy kitsune girlfriend to stop her.
Magic Shifts — Ilona Andrews (Ace)
Shifter mercenary Kate Daniels returns in this story of magic in Atlanta. Daniels and her mate, former Beast Lord Curran Lennart have left their pack to set forth on their own. But when a friend and fellow merc is killed, they discover that an ancient evil has awoken and is threatening the entire Shifter community.
The Dark Forest — Cixin Liu (Tor)
The follow up to the magnificent Three-Body Problem is one of my most anticipated releases this year. Aliens known as Trisolarians are invading Earth and will arrive in a few centuries, but mankind is determined to resist. This story follows four men, known as Wallfacers, whose minds are hidden from the invading Trisolarians. Translation duties this time are handled by Joel Martinson.
Fool’s Quest — Robin Hobb (Del Rey)
Former assassin and royal bastard Fitzchivalry Farseer had hoped to retire to a quiet life in the country. But when his strange daughter Bee is kidnapped and his old friend the Fool turns up, half-mad and critically injured, Fitz must remember his old skills to track the mysterious, pale-skinned folk behind those acts.
The End of All Things — John Scalzi (Tor)
The sixth entry in Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” series, The End of All Things has been serialized for the past month. Comprising four separate novellas, it picks up after the events of 2013’s The Human Division, with the Colonial Forces and Earth’s human forces at odds with how to deal with the galactic threats to humanity..
Chasing the Phoenix — Michael Swanwick (Tor)
Acclaimed sci-fi author Michael Swanwick returns with the latest adventures from his futuristic con-men Darger and Surplus. In a post-apocalyptic future, the human and his intelligent dog companion travel to China, disguised as a Mongolian shaman, for their latest scam, aiding a warlord in unifying the country. But somehow their schemes start working, and they need to discover who is helping them.
Zer0es — Chuck Wendig (Harper Collins)
The latest offering from the prolific Wendig, Zer0es follows a team of hackers from across the globe who brought together as an ultra secret white-hat team. But they soon discover a greater threat, a rogue surveillance program that has become sentient. The team must disable the program while evading the watchful eyes of their government handlers.
Zero World — Jason M. Hough (Del Rey)
Peter Caswell is the perfect spy and assassin. After each job he forgets what he did. Zero accountability and zero guilt. For his latest job he is sent to find a missing crewman from a spaceship that vanished years ago. The investigation takes him through a tear in the space-time continuum to an alternate Earth.
House of Shattered Wings — Aliette De Bodard (Penguin)
The War in Heaven comes to Earth in this sweeping epic set in a ruined Paris. Amidst the wreckage House Silverspires attempts to rebuild its broken glory, despite its missing patriarch Morningstar. Three mages have come together to discover the source of Silverspires’ undoing and restore it to its former glory. But they all have issues of their own.
Secondhand Souls — Christopher Moore (HarperCollins)
The sequel to Moore’s beloved A Dirty Job, Secondhand Souls follows an odd assembly of heroes who are trying to figure out why the souls of the newly dead are not being collected. Death Merchant Charlie Asher has been disabled, trapped in a 14-inch meat puppet body until his girlfriend can find him a new host. Meanwhile fellow Death Merchant Minty Fresh, retired cop turned bookseller Alponse and others are in pursuit of someone, or something that is stealing the souls in San Francisco