Thursday, November 1, 2018

New Books Spotlight

Welcome to another edition of the New Books Spotlight, where each month or so we 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!

Hutchinson, Dave. Europe at Dawn [Solaris]
Publisher's Description
The phenomenal conclusion to the Fractured Europe sequence.

Alice works at the Scottish Embassy in Tallinn in Estonia as a member of the Cultural Section. When two men bring her the jewelled skull of a Scottish saint her world gets turned on its head, and she becomes the latest recruit to Les Coureurs des Bois.

On a Greek island Benno is just one of hundreds of refuges dreaming of a new life in Continental Europe. After hatching an audacious escape plan, he may just get his dream, but at the price of serving some powerful mysterious new masters.

Rudi and Rupert, the seasoned Coureur and the scientist in exile from a pocket universe, discover that someone they thought long dead is very much still alive. Not only that, but the now defunct Line – the railway that once bisected the European continent – may be being used for nefarious means.
Why We Want It: Dave Hutchinson has been a favorite of the flock here at Nerds of a Feather. Each of his three previous Fractured Europe novels have been very highly reviewed (Autumn, Midnight, Winter). Of course we're super excited about a new Fractured Europe novel.

Jemisin, N.K. How Long Til Black Future Month [Orbit]
Publisher's Description
Three-time Hugo Award winner N. K. Jemisin’s first collection of short fiction challenges and enchants with breathtaking stories of destruction, rebirth, and redemption. 

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed speculative fiction authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.

Dragons and hateful spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story “The City Born Great,” a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis’s soul.
Why We Want It: It's like this: N.K. Jemisin was awarded three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel for each volume of her Broken Earth trilogy. It was a monumental achievement and one richly deserved because those novels are the new benchmark of what excellence looks like. We're much more familiar with those novels than we are Jemisin's short fiction. How Long Til Black Future Month is our opportunity to remedy that. This is her first short story collection and we're ready for it.

Kress, Nancy. Terran Tomorrow [Tor]
Publisher's Description
Nancy Kress returns with Terran Tomorrow, the final book in the thrilling hard science fiction trilogy based on the Nebula Award–winning novella Yesterday's Kin. 

io9—New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Need to Put on Your Radar for Fall 

The diplomatic mission from Earth to World ended in disaster, as the Earth scientists discovered that the Worlders were not the scientifically advanced culture they believed. Though they brought a limited quantity of the vaccine against the deadly spore cloud, there was no way to make enough to vaccinate more than a few dozen. The Earth scientists, and surviving diplomats, fled back to Earth.

But once home, after the twenty-eight-year gap caused by the space ship transit, they find an Earth changed almost beyond recognition. In the aftermath of the spore cloud plague, the human race has been reduced to only a few million isolated survivors. The knowledge brought back by Marianne Jenner and her staff may not be enough to turn the tide of ongoing biological warfare.
Why We Want It: We've been following Nancy Kress's Yesterday's Kin trilogy since the first novel Tomorrow's Kin (review) and while it has never quite reached the heights we had hoped for, the first two books have been solid and enjoyable reads and we're looking forward to seeing how she wraps up the story with this third volume.

Martin, George R.R. Fire and Blood [Bantam]
Publisher's Description
The thrilling history of the Targaryens comes to life in this masterly work by the author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the inspiration for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

With all the fire and fury fans have come to expect from internationally bestselling author George R. R. Martin, this is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros.

Centuries before the events of A Game of Thrones, House Targaryen—the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria—took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire & Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why was it so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What were Maegor the Cruel’s worst crimes? What was it like in Westeros when dragons ruled the skies? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as The World of Ice & Fire, but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire & Blood is the ultimate game of thrones, giving readers a whole new appreciation for the dynamic, often bloody, and always fascinating history of Westeros.
Why We Want: Okay. This is not The Winds of Winter, but it is a return to Westeros. Fire and Blood is not a novel, rather a history of the Targaryens. I'll take what I can get.

Suri, Tasha. Empire of Sand [Orbit]
Publisher's Description
A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy. 

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.
Why We Want It: We're always excited about a debut. There's so much promise and so much unknown. This could be our new favorite writer and a career we'll avidly follow for decades. We love us some epic fantasy here at Nerds of a Feather and it's always thrilling to see one take another path away from standard European inspired epic fantasy. We're here for Empire of Sand.

Willams, Sheila. Asimov's Science Fiction: A Decade of Hugo & Nebula Winning Stories, 2005-2015 [Prime]
Publisher's Description
Veteran editor and two-time Hugo winner Sheila Williams picks the best of recent award-winning stories first published by Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, the world's leading science fiction magazine. 
Why We Want It: The Hugo Awards are on brand for Nerds of a Feather. So are the Nebula Awards, though we haven't spent much time talking about them in recent years. If you've followed the Hugo Awards for any length of time, you'll have seen the shift of stories on the final ballot from the traditional print magazines to online only magazines which have made their fiction available for free. It's about ease and accessibility (and a slightly changing demographic of voter), but that's a conversation for another time. Asimov's hasn't gone anywhere, but the recognition of the fiction published there has dipped. Sheila Williams wants to remind everyone just how kick ass Asimov's is. Details are weirdly hard to find, but there should be plenty of excellent award winning stories to be found here.

POSTED BY: Joe Sherry - Co-editor of Nerds of a Feather, 2017 & 2018 Hugo Award Finalist for Best Fanzine. Minnesotan.