Chapters and excerpts from novels and graphic novels from various publishers

October 7 2014

An English Ghost Story (Excerpt)

Kim Newman
A dysfunctional British nuclear family seek a new life away from the big city in the sleepy Somerset countryside.
October 6 2014

The Wilds (Excerpt)

Julia Elliott
At an obscure South Carolina nursing home, a lost world reemerges as a disabled elderly woman undergoes newfangled brain-restoration procedures and begins to explore her environment with the assistance of strap-on robot legs. At a deluxe medical spa on a nameless Caribbean island, a middle-aged woman hopes to revitalize her fading youth with grotesque rejuvenating therapies that combine cutting-edge medical technologies with holistic approaches and the pseudo-religious dogma of Zen-infused self-help. And in a rinky-dink mill town, an adolescent girl is unexpectedly inspired by the ravings and miraculous levitation of her fundamentalist friend’s weird grandmother.
October 6 2014

Dangerous Women: “Virgins” (Excerpt)

Diana Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon’s novella “Virgins” is a prequel story to her Outlander series, and features Jamie Fraser, who is forced out of his Scottish home and set to wandering in the world.
October 3 2014

Dreamer’s Pool (Excerpt)

Juliet Marillier
In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.
October 2 2014

City of Stairs (Excerpt)

Robert Jackson Bennett
The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world’s new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy. Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov’s oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country’s most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov’s cruel reign may not yet be over.
September 30 2014

George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon: “Secret in the Snow” (Excerpt)

George R. R. Martin
The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon. The ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.
September 30 2014

The Three-Body Problem: “Silent Spring” (Excerpt, Chapters 1-3)

Cixin Liu
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.
September 29 2014

The Brothers Cabal (Excerpt)

Jonathan L. Howard
Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer. As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.
September 26 2014

The Tree of Water (Excerpt)

Elizabeth Haydon
As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus “Ven” Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.
September 26 2014

Retribution (Excerpt)

Mark Charan Newton
Having just solved a difficult case in his home city of Tryum, Sun Chamber Officer Lucan Drakenfeld and his associate Leana are ordered to journey to the exotic city of Kuvash in Koton, where a revered priest has gone missing. When they arrive, they discover the priest has already been found—or at least parts of him have.
September 24 2014

Loop (Excerpt)

Karen Akins
After sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.
September 23 2014

The Black Stars (Excerpt)

Dan Krokos
Mason Stark has a problem with minding his own business. This worked to his advantage when he helped bring peace between humans and the alien Tremist. He’s now considered an intergalactic hero, but that hasn’t made school any easier. With his new reputation, any bully with something to prove wants to fight him. With the new peace treaty on shaky ground, Mason is called upon to infiltrate the Tremist school for soldiers. Mason’s bound to find trouble, especially now that he has the power to channel electricity through his Tremist gloves, but when his new classmates begin to disappear under mysterious circumstances, trouble might find him first. The Tremist are working on a secret project, but what Mason discovers goes beyond that, to an ancient, powerful enemy.
September 23 2014

The Three-Body Problem: “The Universe Flickers”

Cixin Liu
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth.
September 22 2014

Horrorstör (Excerpt)

Grady Hendrix
Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.
September 19 2014

The Younger Gods (Excerpt)

Michael R Underwood
Jacob Greene was a sweet boy raised by a loving, tight-knit family… of cultists. He always obeyed, and was so trusted by them that he was the one they sent out on their monthly supply run (food, medicine, pig fetuses, etc.). Finding himself betrayed by them, he flees the family’s sequestered compound and enters the true unknown: college in New York City. It’s a very foreign place, the normal world and St. Mark’s University. But Jacob’s looking for a purpose in life, a way to understand people, and a future that breaks from his less-than-perfect past. When his estranged sister arrives in town to kick off the apocalypse, Jacob realizes that if he doesn’t gather allies and stop the family’s prophecy of destruction from coming true, nobody else will…
September 18 2014

Broken Soul (Excerpt)

Faith Hunter
When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane Yellowrock to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath.
September 17 2014

Falling Sky (Excerpt)

Rajan Khanna
Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground. Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements.
September 16 2014

Centaur Rising (Excerpt)

Jane Yolen
One night during the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur. The family has enough attention already as Arianne’s six-year-old brother was born with birth defects caused by an experimental drug—the last thing they need is more scrutiny. But their clients soon start growing suspicious. Just how long is it possible to keep a secret? And what will happen if the world finds out?
September 16 2014

The Three-Body Problem: “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night”

Cixin Liu
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, in “King Wen of Zhou and the Long Night,” a self-contained story within the novel, scientist Wang Miao is encouraged to play an online VR game by the name of “3Body.” He becomes immersed in a planet that is itself a puzzle, a puzzle that, once encountered, may just explain why Earth is such a tempting target for invasion.
September 15 2014

In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.
September 12 2014

Mortal Gods (Excerpt)

Ares, god of war, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace. Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite. The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them all killed.
September 11 2014

Silverblind (Excerpt)

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.
September 11 2014

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapters 7 and 8)

Ben Tripp
In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.
September 10 2014

Channel Blue (Excerpt)

Jay Martel
Earth used to be Galaxy Entertainment’s most lucrative show. The inhabitants of the Western Galaxy—the savviest, richest demographic in the Milky Way—just couldn’t get enough of the day-to-day details of the average Earthling’s life. But now Channel Blue’s ratings are flagging and its producers are planning a spectacular finale. In just three weeks, their TV show will go out with a bang. The trouble is, so will Earth. Only one man can save our planet, and he’s hardly a likely hero.
September 10 2014

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapters 5 and 6)

Ben Tripp
In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.
September 10 2014

Dangerous Women: “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” (Excerpt)

“Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson is a tale from a dusty, unseen corner of Sanderson’s vast cosmere.
September 9 2014

The Copernicus Complex (Excerpt)

Caleb Scharf
In the sixteenth century, Nicolaus Copernicus dared to go against the establishment by proposing that Earth rotates around the Sun. Having demoted Earth from its unique position in the cosmos to one of mediocrity, Copernicus set in motion a revolution in scientific thought. This perspective has influenced our thinking for centuries. However, recent evidence challenges the Copernican Principle, hinting that we do in fact live in a special place, at a special time, as the product of a chain of unlikely events. But can we be significant if the Sun is still just one of a billion trillion stars in the observable universe? And what if our universe is just one of a multitude of others—a single slice of an infinity of parallel realities?
September 9 2014

The Accidental Highwayman (Excerpt, Chapter 3 and 4)

Ben Tripp
In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.
September 8 2014

Dangerous Women: “The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens” (Excerpt)

George R. R. Martin
George R.R. Martin’s “The Princess and The Queen, or, The Blacks and The Greens,” gives us a Westerosi history lesson on the Targaryen Civil War. Known as the Dance of the Dragons, the war pits Targaryen against Targaryen and dragon against dragon.
September 5 2014

Lailah (Excerpt)

Nikki Kelly
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.