Thursday, March 31, 2016

New Books Spotlight

Today we're launching a new feature at Nerds of a Feather. Each month or so we will curate a selection of 6 forthcoming books we find notable, interesting, and intriguing. It gives us the opportunity to shine a brief spotlight on some stuff we're itching to get our hands on.

What are you looking forward to? Anything you want to argue with us about? Is there something we should consider spotlighting in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Design by Lauren Panepinto

Abercrombie, Joe. Sharp Ends. [Orbit: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
Sharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law. 

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there's only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta. 

Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is. 

Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp. 

And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There's only one obstacle left - his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . . 

Why we want it: To simply say "because it is from Joe Abercrombie" seems trite, but Sharp Ends allows us to revisit the world of The First Law and some of our favorite characters from earlier in the series. With a bit of a pause before Abercrombie next delivers a full First Law novel, we shall have to deal with the more bite sized snacks of Sharp Ends.

Art by Galen Dara

Chu, Wesley. The Days of Tao. [Subterranean Press: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
Cameron Tan wouldn’t have even been in Greece if he hadn’t gotten a ‘D’ in Art History. 

Instead of spending the summer after college completing his training as a Prophus operative, he’s doing a study abroad program in Greece, enjoying a normal life – spending time with friends and getting teased about his crush on a classmate. 

Then the emergency notification comes in: a Prophus agent with vital information needs immediate extraction, and Cameron is the only agent on the ground, responsible for getting the other agent and data out of the country. The Prophus are relying on him to uncomplicate things. 


Easy, except the rival Genjix have declared all-out war against the Prophus, which means Greece is about to be a very dangerous place. And the agent isn’t the only person relying on Cameron to get them safely out of the country – his friends from the study abroad program are, too. Cameron knows a good agent would leave them to fend for themselves. He also knows a good person wouldn’t. Suddenly, things aren’t easy at all. 

The Days of Tao is the latest in the popular Tao series from award-winning author, Wesley Chu. Following after The Rebirths of Tao, this novella carries on the fast-moving and fun tone of the series. 

Why we want it: Have you read Wesley Chu's Tao series? It details the culmination of a war between two alien factions using human hosts to either find a way to co-exist (and maybe find a way home) or to completely remake the planet into a suitable habit for the aliens to live without the use of hosts. Oh, and it is loads of fun, is wickedly clever and snarky, and is chock full of kick ass action. Chock, I tell you. The Days of Tao is a novella set several years after the conclusion of that initial trilogy and whatever it is, it is surely not to be missed.

Art by Tom Kidd

Flint, Eric (editor). Ring of Fire IV [Baen: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR. CONTAINS A STORY BY DAVID BRIN AND AN ALL-NEW STORY BY ERIC FLINT. Collection #4 of rollicking and idea-packed alternate history tales written by today’s hottest science fiction writers and edited by New York Times best-seller Eric Flint. After a cosmic accident sets the modern-day West Virginia town of Grantville down in war-torn seventeenth century Europe, these everyday, resourceful Americans must adapt – or be trod into the dust of the past. 

Let’s do the “Time Warp” again! Another anthology of rollicking, thought-provoking collection of tales by a star-studded array of top writers such as bestseller Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint himself – all set in Eric Flint’s phenomenal Ring of Fire series. 

A cosmic accident sets the modern West Virginia town of Grantville down in war-torn seventeenth century Europe. It will take all the gumption of the resourceful, freedom-loving up-timers to find a way to flourish in a mad and bloody time. Are they up for it? You bet they are. The fourth rollicking and idea-packed collection of Grantville tales edited and introduced by Eric Flint, and inspired by his now-legendary 1632. Plus: contains an all-new story by Eric Flint. 

Stories by Eric Flint, David Brin, David Carrico, Virginia DeMarce, Charles E. Gannon and more. 

Why we want it: Eric Flint's alt-history / displaced-in-time 1632 series is a bona-fide institution by this point, with more than twenty novels and anthologies as well as the Grantville Gazette project currently in print. The Ring of Fire anthologies mark an opportunity to tell additional side stories which continue to fill in various gaps and perhaps tease things to come.

Art by Larry Rostant

Kay, Guy Gavriel. Children of Earth and Sky [Penguin: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
The bestselling author of the groundbreaking novels Under Heaven and River of Stars, Guy Gavriel Kay is back with a new book, set in a world inspired by the conflicts and dramas of Renaissance Europe. Against this tumultuous backdrop the lives of men and women unfold on the borderlands—where empires and faiths collide. 

From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist traveling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy. 

The trading ship that carries them is commanded by the accomplished younger son of a merchant family, ambivalent about the life he’s been born to live. And farther east a boy trains to become a soldier in the elite infantry of the khalif—to win glory in the war everyone knows is coming. 

As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends out his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world… 

Why we want it: Tell us "where empires and faiths collide" and we're sold. Tell us the novel is written by Guy Gavriel Kay and we might just get in line.

Design by Fort

McGuire, Seanan. Every Heart a Doorway [ Publishing: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children 
No Solicitations 
No Visitors 
No Quests 

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else. 

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. 

Nancy tumbled once, but now she's back. The things she's experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West's care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. 

But Nancy's arrival marks a change at the Home. There's a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it's up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of things. 

No matter the cost. 

Why we want it: Honestly, the cover art is so appealing that without knowing anything about the book, we'd want to read it. The premise, however, has us completely sold. We've read portal fantasies where a person from our world ends up in some magical world and has an adventure, and sometimes those people come back to our world never to return. We never read about what happens next.

Art by Yukari Masuike

Wells, Martha. The Edge of Worlds. [Night Shade Books: 2016]

Publisher's Blurb:
An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil.

Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it.

The Edge of Worlds, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, returns to the fascinating world of The Cloud Roads for the first book in a new series of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger. 

Why we want it:The Raksura novels have received a good deal of acclaim in recent years and this first volume in a new series appears to be a good place to jump in.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Writer / Editor at Adventures in Reading since 2004, Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2015. Minnesotan.