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 September.
Clockwork Angels: The Novel by Kevin J. Anderson
Out September 1 from ECW Press
A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel.
In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme.
Trolls by Brian and Wendy Froud
Out September 1 from Abrams Books
Not since Brian Froud’s conceptual design work with Jim Henson on the classic films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth has he created a faerie world with such imagination, dimension, depth, and detail. Trolls features new and classic work by both Brian and his wife, Wendy, woven together along with artifacts and symbols of the natural world to create a fascinating revelation about the world of trolls. The book explores trolls and troll culture, revealing their philosophies, their home life, and their world attitudes through their tales, mythology, and archaeology. Trolls affirms that trolls are real, that they have lived and are living now. The texture of the world and the deeply immersive, cinematic images will appeal to the legions of fantasy—and Froud—fans.
An Apple for the Creature edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner
Out September 4 from Ace Books
What could be scarier than the first day of school? How about a crash course in the paranormal from Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner, editors of Home Improvement: Undead Edition? Your worst school nightmares—taking that math test you never studied for, finding yourself naked in school assembly, not knowing which door to enter—will pale in comparison to these thirteen original stories that take academic anxiety to whole new realms.
You’ll need more than an apple to stave off the creatures in these stories. Remember your first lesson: resistance is fruitless!
Featured authors include: Charlaine Harris, Ilona Andrews, Mike Carey, Thomas E. Sniegoski, and many more.
Out September 4 from Penguin Group
It’s been almost a year since October “Toby” Daye averted a war, gave up a county, and suffered personal losses that have left her wishing for a good day’s sleep. She’s tried to focus on her responsibilities—training Quentin, upholding her position as Sylvester’s knight, and paying the bills—but she can’t help feeling like her world is crumbling around her, and her increasingly reckless behavior is beginning to worry even her staunchest supporters.
To make matters worse, Toby’s just been asked to find another missing child…only this time it’s the changeling daughter of her fellow knight, Chelsea. She’s opening doors that were never meant to be opened, releasing dangers that were sealed away centuries before—and there’s a good chance she could destroy Faerie if she isn’t stopped.
Now Toby must find Chelsea before time runs out, racing against an unknown deadline and through unknown worlds as she and her allies try to avert disaster. But danger is also stirring in the Court of Cats, and Tybalt may need Toby’s help with the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.
Toby thought the last year was bad. She has no idea
The Dirty Streets of Heaven: Volume One of Bobby Dollar by Tad Williams
Out September 4 from Daw Books
Bobby Dollar is an angel—a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own—pride, anger, even lust.
When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get—in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.
Brace yourself—the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.
In a Fix by Linda Grimes
Out September 4 from Tor Books
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.
This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable...that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.
Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.
Lord of Mountains: A Novel of the Change by S.M. Stirling
Out September 4 from Penguin Group
Rudi Mackenize, now Artos the First, High King of Montival, and his allies have won several key battles against the Church Universal and Triumphant. But still the war rages on, taking countless lives, ravaging the land once known as the United States of America. Artos and his Queen, Mathilda, must unite the realms into a single kingdom to ensure a lasting peace.
If the leaders of the Changed world are to accept Artos as their ruler, he will need to undertake a quest to the Lake at the Heart of the Mountains, and take part in a crowning ceremony—a ceremony binding him to his people, his ancestors, and his land.
Then, once he has secured his place and allegiances, Artos can go forward, and lead his forces to the heart of the enemy’s territory…
Monster Hunter Legion by Larry Correia
Out September 4 from Baen Books
Monster Hunter International might be the premier monster eradication company in the business, but they’ve got competition.
When hunters from around the world gather in Las Vegas for a conference, a creature left over from a World War Two weapons experiment wakes up and goes on a rampage across the desert. A not-so-friendly wager between the rival companies turns into a race to see who can bag the mysterious creature first.
Only there is far more to this particular case than meets the eye, and as Hunters fall prey to their worst nightmares, Owen Zastava Pitt and the staff of Monster Hunter International have to stop an ancient god from turning Sin City into a literal hell on earth.
Circus: Fantasy under the Big Top edited by Ekaterina Sedia
Out September 5 from Prime Books
Introducing stories of circuses traditional and bizarre, futuristic and steeped in tradition, joyful and heart-breaking! And among the actors you will find old friends, be they sad clowns or free-spirited gymnasts, as well as new ones - mammoths, mechanical piano men, and things best not described at all. Come in, come all, and enjoy the literary show unfolding!
Featured authors include: Ken Scholes, Peter Straub, Howard Waldrop, Genevieve Valentine, Jeff Vandermeer, and many more.
Blinding Knife (Lightbringer Series #2) by Brent Weeks
Out September 11 from Orbit Books
Gavin Guile is dying.
He’d thought he had five years left—now he has less than one. With fifty thousand refugees, a bastard son, and an ex-fiancée who may have learned his darkest secret, Gavin has problems on every side. All magic in the world is running wild and threatens to destroy the Seven Satrapies. Worst of all, the old gods are being reborn, and their army of color wights is unstoppable. The only salvation may be the brother whose freedom and life Gavin stole sixteen years ago.
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin
Out September 12 from Graphia
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.
Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara
Out September 18 from Harlequin LUNA
It has been a busy few weeks for Private Kaylin Neva. In between angling for a promotion, sharing her room with the last living female Dragon and dealing with more refugees than anyone knew what to do with, the unusual egg she’d been given began to hatch. Actually, that turned out to be lucky, because it absorbed the energy from the bomb that went off in her quarters.
So now might be the perfect time to leave Elantra and journey to the West March with the Barrani. If not for the disappearances of citizens in the fief of Tiamaris—disappearances traced to the very Barrani Kaylin is about to be traveling with .
Forge of Darkness by Steven Erikson
Out September 18 from Tor Books
Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told...
It’s a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners’ great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark’s hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...
Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut Gardens of the Moon. Now he returns with the first novel in a trilogy that takes place millennia before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness. It is the epic story of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in shaping the world of the Malazan Empire.
For more information, check out Forge of Darkness on Tor.com.
The Hobbit: 75th Anniversary Edition by J.R.R. Tolkien
Out September 18 from Mariner
A great modern classic and the prelude to The Lord of the Rings.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
This 75th Anniversary Edition contains more than 100 never-before-published illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Midst Toil and Tribulation by David Weber
Out September 18 from Tor Books
After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting—egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis’s declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time. King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the “volunteers” from the Church’s Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark...and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves.
Bursting with vivid invention and the sweep of lived history, Midst Toil and Tribulation will build its series’ audience to a new level.
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
Out September 18 from Thomas Dunne
The first in an epic new fantasy series, introducing an unforgettable new heroine and a stunningly original dystopian steampunk world with a flavor of feudal Japan.
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.
The hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.
Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.