For over a decade, Barnes & Noble buyer Jim Killen has been a driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s science fiction and fantasy sections. Each month on Tor.com, Mr. Killen curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, sometimes focused on upcoming titles and sometimes focused on a theme.
Here’s the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for July.
Darkness Devours (Dark Angel #3) by Keri Arthur
Out June 26 from Signet
Half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones can enter the realm between life and death, and she can see the Reapers who collect the souls of the dead. Now, she is using her gifts and the investigative know-how of a man who broke her heart to find a cabal searching for the power to control time, reality, and fate. And this is besides her work for the Vampire Council, half of whom want her dead.
But for now the Council needs her alive. Someone is killing blood-whore addicted vampires, and Risa must find the guilty party. If she succeeds, she may finally convince the council to lift the execution order on her life. But before she succeeds, she must first survive.
Doctor Who: Shada by Gareth Roberts and Douglas Adams
Out June 26 from Ace
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing Imagine how dangerous a LOT of knowledge is...
The Doctor’s old friend and fellow Time Lord Professor Chronotis has retired to Cambridge University, where among the other doddering old professors nobody will notice if he lives for centuries. He took with him a few little souvenirs—harmless things really. But among them, carelessly, he took The Worshipful and Ancient Law of Gallifrey. Even more carelessly, he has loaned this immensely powerful book to clueless graduate student Chris Parsons, who intends to use it to impress girls. The Worshipful and Ancient Law is among the most dangerous artifacts in the universe; it cannot be allowed to fall into the wrong hands.
The hands of the sinister Time Lord Skagra are unquestionably the wrongest ones possible. Skagra is a sadist and an egomaniac, bent on universal domination. Having misguessed the state of fashion on Earth, he also wears terrible platform shoes. He is on his way to Cambridge. He wants the book. And he wants the Doctor...
Iron Gray Sea (Destroyermen #7) by Taylor Anderson
Out July 3 from Roc
War has engulfed the—other earth. With every hard-won victory and painful defeat, Matt Reddy and the Allies encounter more friends—and even more diabolical enemies. Even, at last, in the arms of the woman he loves, there is little peace for Reddy. The vast sea, and the scope of the conflict, have trapped him too far away to help on either front, but that doesn’t mean he and Walker can rest.
Cutting short his “honeymoon,” Reddy sails off in pursuit of Hidoiame , a rogue Japanese destroyer that is wreaking havoc in Allied seas. Now that Walker is armed with the latest “new” technology, he hopes his battle-tested four-stacker has an even chance in a straight-up fight against the bigger ship—and he means to take her on.
War Maid’s Choice (War God #4) by David Weber
Out July 3 from Baen
In Wind Rider’s Oath, Bahzell became a wind rider—the first hradani wind rider in history. And, even if Bahzell is the War God’s champion, because the wind riders are the elite of the elite among the Sothoii, Bahzell’s ascension is as likely to stir resentment as respect. What’s more, Baron Tellian’s daughter, the heir to the realm, seems to be thinking that he is the only man—or hradani—for her. Now, War Maid’s Choice continues the story—and things really get complicated.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty Ninth Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois
Out July 3 from Griffin
In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together short stories from award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Elizabeth Bear, Paul McAuley and John Barnes.
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2012, edited by Paula Guran
Out July 3 from Prime Books
Take a journey into darkness. Visit places where one might expect to find the dark - in a house where love was shared and lost, a milky-white pool in an Australian cave, the trenches of World War I, the deep woods. You would not be surprised to find the dark in a cheap apartment on the wrong side of town, down mean streets, under a gallows-tree, along dank passageways, trapped underground, in the near future, or among the mysteries of old New Orleans. Dunes, lakes, isolated cabins, old books, and Old West saloons - well, the darkness might easily be there. But we’ve also found locales you thought were safe from shadows - a rib joint with good blues playing, inside an old wardrobe, on a baseball diamond, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel...
The latest edition of this annual anthology brings together stewards of the dark fantasy and horror scene including Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, Joel R. Lansdale, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Naomi Novik, Charles de Lint, Glen Hirshberg, and Gene Wolfe. A trade paperback original worth keeping.
Year Zero by Rob Reid
Out July 10 from Del Rey
The entire cosmos has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.
In the hilarious tradition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.
Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
Out July 17 from Tor
The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.
They’re wrong. It’s the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin.
Thirteen (Women of the Otherworld #13) by Kelley Armstrong
Out July 24 from Dutton
It’s been more than ten years, a dozen installments, and hundreds of thousands of copies since Kelley Armstrong introduced readers to the all-too-real denizens of the Otherworld: witches, werewolves, necromancers, vampires, and half-demons, among others. And it’s all been leading to Thirteen, the final installment, the novel that brings all of these stories to a stunning conclusion.
A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.
Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.
A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Out August 28 in paperback from Bantam
We’re just going to go ahead and assume that since you’re reading this article on Tor.com that you know perfectly well what A Song of Ice and Fire is and what happens in (or what you’re expecting from) A Dance With Dragons, the fifth and latest installment in the series.
You can see all of our coverage, reviews, and miscellany about A Dance With Dragons collected here.
The paperback boasts a chapter from The Winds of Winter, the next book in the series, and while we’re not sure which chapter this might be, we know of at least two that have already been revealed.