~Post by Tommy. Original artwork by Alex Rosental.
March is gone and April is now upon us. This month brings new books from favorite authors, a Victorian fantasy that avoids Steampunk, and four London cops who suddenly see the true evil that plagues their city.
London Falling by Paul Cornell
A new urban fantasy set in grim and gritty London from one of the voices that brought us the new generation of Dr. Who? I’m in 100%. Investigating the death of a notorious London gangster brings four police officers into contact with a mysterious artifact that gives them that ability to see the mystical that lurks behind the everyday. This new ability brings them into conflict with a centuries old witch who has a bad habit of sacrificing small children. Paul Cornell’s debut novel London Falling hits shelves Tuesday April 16th.
Prophet of Bones by Ted Kosmatka
Ted Kosmatka blew my mind last year with his debut novel The Games, Spartacus with genetically engineered super gladiators. This year he blows minds again with Prophet of Bones, which explores the nature of modern science. Young scientist Paul Carlson is brought in to to collect samples from an ancient collection of fossils that seem to prove the Earth is only six thousand years old. Before Paul can finish his work, however, he’s thrown into danger when the military shuts down his dig and forces him to return home. Far from comfortable in his old life, Paul tries to dig deeper into the mysteries that he found only to have governments and powerful financiers do their best to kill him. Kosmatka is an interesting new voice in the sci fi techno thriller world and Prophet of Bones is out right now.
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
In his novel Under Heaven Guy Gavriel Kay told a sweeping fantasy tale based on China’s Tang dynasty. Now with his new book, River of Stars, he takes us back to the same setting four hundred years in the future. Ren Daiyan was little more than a boy when he killed seven men and was forced to become an outlaw in the lands of Kitai. Now years later he emerges from the world of an outlaw into an empire that teeters on the brink of peril. Lin Shan is a young woman doted on by her father and taught things no woman has ever learned before. Torn between two lives, the liberal educated woman her father wishes her to be and the conservative court female that society demands she be, Lin must act as no woman has ever dared when her father’s life is endangered. These two stories entwine with that of an empire torn asunder and an emperor more concerned with art than rule to tell the tale of a mighty war fought beneath the river of stars. River of Stars is out right now.
Protector: Foreginer #14 by C.J. Cherryh
Back in 1994 C.J. Cherryh penned the book Foreigner and introduced us to a universe that has continued to this day with numerous short stories and, now, fourteen novels. In the newest volume, Protector, it is a young Cajeiri’s birthday and the prince has been promised a birthday party with his human friends. What the young prince does not know is that the world around him is changing into something far more dangerous than anyone could have foreseen. The assassin’s guild, long standing provider of law enforcement and security, is undergoing internal strife and the boy’s own grandfather may well be involved in a sinister plot against him. However his mother has insisted that he be given a party no matter what danger is involved. An eight year old’s birthday party with assassins lurking in every shadow? Nothing can go wrong, right? Protector is out now so grab a copy and get settled back in to a familiar world.
Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
Reading the back of the book for Mary Kowal’s Without a Summer makes the book sound more like an homage to Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters than something that belongs in a fantasy section. Then you get to the line that makes all the difference in the world: “… But in a world where magic is real, nothing- even the domestic sphere- is quite what it seems.” Visiting in-laws, worrying about a younger sister’s marriage prospects, and the trials and tribulations of high society in a Victorian world are all set against the backdrop of a mystical riot that forces Jane and Vincent Ellsworth to solve a crisis of international proportions, all while making sure they’re never late for church. Without a Summer is on shelves now.
Well those are the highlights of April. In addition to the ones above, Alex Hughes’ second Mindspace novel Sharp is coming and Robin Hobb is putting out the final volume of the Rain Wild’s series: Blood of Dragons. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bury my head in a book and I might not come out until May.
Sci Friday is a weekly post focusing on all things Sci Fi. Booksellers Tommy and Marie are you intrepid leaders on this journey through awesome new books; the best and worst of what’s come before; Sci Fi film adaptations and more. Check back next Friday for more!