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 October 2012.
Daughter of the Sword: A Novel of the Fated Blades by Steve Bein
Out October 2 from Roc
Mariko Oshiro is not your average Tokyo cop. As the only female detective in the city’s most elite police unit, she has to fight for every ounce of respect, especially from her new boss. While she wants to track down a rumored cocaine shipment, he gives her the least promising case possible. But the case—the attempted theft of an old samurai sword—proves more dangerous than anyone on the force could have imagined.
The owner of the sword, Professor Yasuo Yamada, says it was crafted by the legendary Master Inazuma, a sword smith whose blades are rumored to have magical qualities. The man trying to steal it already owns another Inazuma—one whose deadly power eventually comes to control all who wield it. Or so says Yamada, and though he has studied swords and swordsmanship all his life, Mariko isn’t convinced.
But Mariko’s skepticism hardly matters. Her investigation has put her on a collision course with a curse centuries old and as bloodthirsty as ever. She is only the latest in a long line of warriors and soldiers to confront this power, and even the sword she learns to wield could turn against her.
Death’s Rival (Jane Yellowrock Series #5) by Faith Hunter
Out October 2 from Roc
For a vampire killer like Jane, having Leo Pellisier as a boss took some getting used to. But now, someone is out to take his place as Master Vampire of the city of New Orleans, and is not afraid to go through Jane to do it. After an attack that’s tantamount to a war declaration, Leo knows his rival is both powerful and vicious, but Leo’s not about to run scared. After all, he has Jane. But then, a plague strikes, one that takes down vampires and makes their masters easy prey.
Now, to uncover the identity of the vamp who wants Leo’s territory, and to find the cause of the vamp-plague, Jane will have to go to extremes…and maybe even to war.
Fury’s Kiss: A Midnight’s Daughter Novel (Dorina Basarab Series #3) by Karen Chance
Out October 2 from Signet
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir: half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing . . .Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.To find out what was done to her-and who is behind it-Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead.
Halo: The Thursday War by Karen Traviss
Out October 2 from Tor
Welcome to humanity’s new war: silent, high stakes, and unseen. This is a life-or-death mission for ONI’s black-ops team, Kilo-Five, which is tasked with preventing the ruthless Elites, once the military leaders of the Covenant, from regrouping and threatening humankind again. What began as a routine dirty-tricks operation—keeping the Elites busy with their own insurrection—turns into a desperate bid to extract one member of Kilo-Five from the seething heart of an alien civil war. But troubles never come singly for Kilo-Five. Colonial terrorism is once again surfacing on one of the worlds that survived the war against the Covenant, and the man behind it is much more than just a name to Spartan-010. Meanwhile, the treasure trove of Forerunner technology recovered from the shield world of Onyx is being put to work while a kidnapped Elite plots vengeance on the humans he fears will bring his people to the brink of destruction.
Ironskin by Tina Connolly
Out October 2 from Tor Books
When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.
Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn’t expect to fall for the girl’s father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.
Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.
Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
Out October 2 from Tor Books
Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.
When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.
DEATH Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman
Out October 9 from Vertigo
The first story introduces the young, pale, perky, and genuinely likable Death. One day in every century, Death walks the Earth to better understand those to whom she will be the final visitor. Today is that day. As a young mortal girl named Didi, Death befriends a teenager and helps a 250-year old homeless woman find her missing heart. What follows is a sincere musing on love, life and (of course) death.
In the second story, a rising star of the music world wrestles with revealing her true sexual orientation just as her lover is lured into the realm of Death that Death herself should make an appearance. A practical, honest, and intelligent story that illuminates “the miracle of death.”
This new hardcover collects the DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING and DEATH: THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE miniseries, a must have for any fan.
Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirman and Jay Bonansinga
Out October 16 from Thomas Dunne
The zombie plague unleashes its horrors on the suburbs of Atlanta without warning, pitting the living against the dead. Caught in the mass exodus, Lilly Caul struggles to survive in a series of ragtag encampments and improvised shelters. But the Walkers are multiplying. Dogged by their feral hunger for flesh and crippled by fear, Lilly relies on the protection of good Samaritans by seeking refuge in a walled-in town once known as Woodbury, Georgia.
At first, Woodbury seems like a perfect sanctuary. Squatters barter services for food, people have roofs over their heads, and the barricade expands, growing stronger every day. Best of all, a mysterious self-proclaimed leader named Philip Blake keeps the citizens in line. But Lilly begins to suspect that all is not as it seems. . . . Blake, who has recently begun to call himself The Governor, has disturbing ideas about law and order.
Ultimately, Lilly and a band of rebels open up a Pandora’s box of mayhem and destruction when they challenge The Governor’s reign . . . and the road to Woodbury becomes the highway to hell in this riveting follow-up to Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga’s New York Times bestselling The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.
Death’s Apprentice: A Grimm City Novel by K.W. Jeter and Gareth Jefferson Jones
Out October 30 from Thomas Dunne
Built on top of the gates of Hell, Grimm City is the Devil’s capital on earth. A place where every coffee shop, nightclub and shopping mall is the potential hunting ground for a ghost, a demon, or any of the other supernatural entities that inhabit the Grimm City world.
Death’s seventeen-year-old apprentice, Nathaniel, comes into his own as he leads an uprising against the Devil with the help of a half-dead wraith and a giant hit-man. What results is a bloody, brutal revolt that calls upon the loyalties of both the living and the dead.
Based not only upon the Brothers Grimm well-known fairy tales, but also upon their “unknown” sagas and essays, K. W. Jeter & Gareth Jefferson Jones’s Death’s Apprentice is the first novel to be based upon the entire Grimm canon. Such a comprehensive, in-depth adaptation of the works of the Brothers Grimm has never been published before!
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
Out October 30 from Harper Voyager
“You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head. For Odin, Loki, and all the fallen gods; for your treachery; for chaining me in this pit for five hundred years. But most of all I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide.” With these words, sinister magician Krampus begins his campaign to seize Christmas from that white-bearded old impostor. An illustrated novel from the author of The Child Thief; a perfect holiday gift for fans of trickster demons.
Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin
Out October 30 from Bantam
George R. R. Martin’s beloved Song of Ice and Fire series, which started with A Game of Thrones, is bursting with a variety and richness of landscapes—from bitter tundra to arid wasteland and everything in between—that provide a sense of scale unrivaled in contemporary fantasy. Now this dazzling set of maps, featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, transforms Martin’s epic saga into a world as fully realized as the one around us.
The centerpiece of this gorgeous collection is guaranteed to be a must-have for any fan: the complete map of the known world, joining the lands of the Seven Kingdoms and the lands across the Narrow Sea for the first time in series history. But this is just one of many unique maps that aren’t available anywhere else. There is an alternate version that tracks the movements of the series’ protagonists throughout their vast world, along with more detailed versions of the western, middle, and eastern thirds of the world; a full map of Westeros, combining North and South; one of the Dothraki Sea and the Red Wastes; and the Braavos city map. And here, too, are fan favorites detailing everything from urban sprawl to untamed wilds: maps of King’s Landing; The Wall and Beyond the Wall; the Free Cities; and Slaver’s Bay, Valyria, and Sothyros.
Never before has the entire scope of Martin’s universe been so exhaustively and fascinatingly depicted. The maps in this beautiful, one-of-a-kind atlas will enrich your reading or viewing experience, provide another view of your favorite characters’ epic journeys, and open up captivating new worlds—plus, they’ll look great on any castle wall.