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 are the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for January!
A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time #14)—Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
(Dec 31, Tor Books—Paperback)
When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind. Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.
A Rising Thunder—David Weber
(Dec 31, Baen—Paperback)
Peril and strife strike on a double front for Honor Harrington and company. After a brutal attack on the Manticoran home system, Honor Harrington and the Star Kingdom she serves battle back against a new, technologically powerful, and utterly nefarious enemy. And as if that weren’t task enough, Honor must also face down a centuries-old old nemesis in the crumbling, but still mighty, Solarian League.
The thunder of battle rolls as the Solarian League directs its massive power against the Star Kingdom. And once again, Honor Harrington is thrust into a desperate battle that she must win if she is to survive to take the fight to the real enemy of galactic freedom—the insidious puppetmasters of war who lurk behind the Mesan Alignment!
Cemetery Girl: Book One: The Pretenders—Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden
(Jan 7, InkLit)
She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill—names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead. She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead—and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her. Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave—and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own. Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself—or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help...
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2: Angela (Marvel Now)—Brian Michael Bendis
(Jan 7, Marvel)
Spinning out of the dramatic conclusion of Age of Ultron, dimensions collide and Heaven’s most fearsome Angel arrives—and comes straight for the Guardians! Gamora, one of the galaxy’s greatest warriors, holds a deadly secret that could bring down the entire team. And when Gamora battles Angela, the entire universe hangs in the balance! Then, the galaxy’s most mismatched heroes find themselves at a crossroads when the effects of Infinity begin to rise. Can even the mysterious Angela’s power help combat the fallout from Thanos’ master plan? And what will it take for Star-Lord to betray the entire Marvel Universe? The biggest blockbuster hit of the year continues as critically acclaimed artists Sara Pichelli and Francesco Francavilla climb aboard...and comics legend Neil Gaiman joins the team in this one-of-a-kind comic book event!
Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock Series #7)—Faith Hunter
(Jan 7, Roc—Paperback)
When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace.
Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy—one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.
Halo: Mortal Dictata—Karen Traviss
(Jan 21, Tor Books)
With the Covenant War over, the Office of Naval Intelligence faces old grievances rising again to threaten Earth. The angry, bitter colonies, still with scores to settle from the insurrection put on hold for thirty years, now want justice—and so does a man whose life was torn apart by ONI when his daughter was abducted for the SPARTAN-II program. Black ops squad Kilo-Five find their loyalties tested beyond breaking point when the father of their Spartan comrade, still searching for the truth about her disappearance, prepares to glass Earth’s cities to get an answer. How far will Kilo-Five go to stop him? And will he be able to live with the truth when he finds it? The painful answer lies with a man long dead, and a conscience that still survives in the most unlikely, undiscovered place.
Lockdown: Star Wars (Maul)—Joe Schreiber
(Jan 21, Random House)
It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy. Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.
Dirty Magic—Jaye Wells
(Jan 21, Orbit)
Patrol cop Kate Prospero didn’t know that the bloody werewolf that she shot was the number one snitch for the Magic Enforcement Agency task force. What she has come to realize, though, is that getting an assignment with MEA is just the first step in putting her life in permanent danger. Especially when she discovers that their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she’d given up dirty magic for good. Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should never say never.
The Long War—Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
(Jan 28, HarperCollins—Paperback)
Bestselling authors Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter combine their legendary talents for a new tale of Long Earth! Humankind has spread across the new worlds opened by explorers Joshua and Lobsang a mere decade ago. Now “civilization” flourishes, and airships link the multiple Earths. A new America christening itself “Valhalla” has emerged more than a million steps from the original Datum Earth. Like the American revolutionaries of old, the Valhallans resent being controlled from afar. And in the wake of humankind’s advance, the trolls—graceful, hive-mind humanoids whose song has suffused the Long Earth—are beginning to fall silent…
(Jan 28, Orbit)
It’s been a thousand years since Rome fell to Alaric the Goth, and Europe has become an almost civilized place. The rulers of the old Roman palatinates confine their warfare to the short summer months, trade flourishes along the rivers and roads, and farming has become less back-breaking, all due to the magic, bestowed by gods, that infuses daily life. Even the barbarians’ gods have been tamed: where once human sacrifices poured their blood onto the ground, there are parties and picnics, drinking and singing, fit for decent people and their children.
But it looks like the gods are going to have the last laugh before they slip quietly into ill-remembered obscurity...