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 April.
Robopocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson (Knopf, 4/17-paperback release)
Daniel H. Wilson has a doctorate in robotics from Carnegie Mellon and his writing credits include the nonfiction How to Survive A Robot Uprising and How to Build a Robot Army. That knowledge alone should activate your senses as you enter Robopocalypse, a realm where robots run free and humans flee skittering in many directions. Told with the unfolding menace of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this novel will keep you up late and your computer unplugged.
Return Man by V.M Zito (Little Brown, 4/1)
The outbreak tore the US in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness, known by survivors as the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco makes his living. Hired by grieving relatives, he tracks down the dead and delivers peace. Now Homeland Security wants Marco for a mission unlike any other. He must return to California, where the apocalypse began. Where a secret is hidden. And where his own tragic past waits to punish him again. But in the wastelands of America, you never know who – or what – is watching you.
Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart (Random House 4/3)
Like many a great epic, Star Wars is rooted in a rich history of armed conflict. Now, for the first time, the facts, figures, and fascinating backstories of major clashes and combatants in the vast Star Wars universe have been documented in one fully illustrated volume. Encompassing all of the Star Wars media, including the legendary films, the hit TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the bestselling books, comics, and videogames, and packed with original full-color artwork, Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare is a conquering achievement.
Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide by the Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff (DK Books 4/30)
Newly revised and expanded, reveals the story of the amazing Star Wars saga in full detail. 40 new pages help to explain every detail about Star Wars from the millennia-spanning history of George Lucas’s long ago, far away galaxy to the Star Wars movies and ever-expanding range of books, novels, comics, and media. Packed full of interesting facts about the world of Star Wars merchandise and fandom, astonishing pieces of art, and full-color photographs, DK’s compendium is the key to knowing ALL there is to know about the iconic brand that is Star Wars!
Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith (Grand Central Publishing 4/10)
In Grahame-Smith’s telling, the so-called “Three Wise Men” are infamous thieves, led by the dark, murderous Balthazar. After a daring escape from Herod’s prison, they stumble upon the famous manger and its newborn king. The last thing Balthazar needs is to be slowed down by young Joseph, Mary and their infant. But when Herod’s men begin to slaughter the first born in Judea, he has no choice but to help them escape to Egypt. It’s the beginning of an adventure that will see them fight the last magical creatures of the Old Testament; cross paths with biblical figures like Pontius Pilate and John the Baptist; and finally deliver them to Egypt. It may just be the greatest story never told.
Rage of the Dragon by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman (Tor Books 4/24)
Skylan Ivorson is the gods-chosen Chief of all Vindras clans. But the gods from whom the Vindrasi draw their earthdwelling power are besieged by a new generation of gods who are challenging them for the powers of creation. The only way to stop these brash interlopers lies within the Five Bones of the Vektia Dragon—the primal dragon forged during the creation of the world—which have been lost for generations.
Shadow Blizzard by Alexey Pehov (Tor Books, 4/24)
Shadow Blizzard is the third book by the international bestselling fantasy author Alexey Pehov. Like Shadow Prowler and Shadow Chaser, Shadow Blizzard is epic fantasy at its best; this is the third book in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold, Siala’s master thief, on his quest for the magic Horn that will restore peace to his world. After the loss of friends and comrades, after betrayal and battle, after capture by fearsome orcs, Harold finally reaches the dreaded Hrad Spein. But before he can complete his quest by stealing the magic horn, he will have to brave the most fearsome obstacles yet—obstacles that have destroyed everyone before him…and Harold must do so alone.
Road of Danger by David Drake (Baen Books, 4/3)
Captain Daniel Leary with his friendand spyOfficer Adele Mundy are sent to a quiet sector to carry out an easy task: helping the local admiral put down a coup before it takes place. But then the jealous admiral gets rid of them by sending them off on a wild goose chase to a sector where commerce is king and business is carried out by extortion and gunfights. With anarchy and rebellion in the air, a rogue intelligence officer plots the war that will destroy civilization and enlists the help of a brute whom even torturers couldn’t stomach. And, of course, it’s up to Leary and Mundy to put a stop to the madness.
Night Angel: The Complete Trilogy by Brent Weeks (Hachette, 4/24)
The omnibus edition of New York Times bestselling author Brent Weeks’ blockbuster NIGHT ANGEL TRILOGY. With over one million copies in print, Brent Weeks has become one of the fastest selling new fantasy authors of all time. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art – and he is the city’s most accomplished artist. For Azoth, survival is just the beginning. He was raised on the streets and knows an opportunity when he sees one – even when the risks are as high as working for someone like Durzo Blint. Azoth must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and become the perfect killer.
Magic Without Mercy by Devon Monk (Penguin, 4/3)
Allison Beckstrom’s talent for tracking spells has put her up against some of the darkest elements in the world of magic. But she’s never faced anything like this. Magic itself has been poisoned, and Allie’s undead father may have left the only cure in the hands of a madman. Hunted by the Authority—the secret council who enforces the lawswanted by the police, and unable to use magic, she’s got to find the cure before the sickness spreads beyond any power to stop it.
Plague Town by Dana Fredsti (Titan, 4/3)
Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down. A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a ‘Wild-Card’—immune to the virus—and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak. It’s Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!
Agatha H. and the Clockwork Princess by Phil and Kaja Foglio (Night Shade Books, 4/10)
In a time when the Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare, mad science rules the world… with mixed success.
With the help of Krosp, Emperor of All Cats, Agatha has escaped from the massive airship known as Castle Wulfenbach. After crashing their escape dirigible, Agatha and Krosp fall in with Master Payne’s Circus of Adventure, a traveling troupe of performers dedicated to staging Heterodyne shows-dramatizations of the exploits of Bill and Barry Heterodyne and their allies-who are unaware of Agatha’s connection to the Heterodyne line. Pursued by the ruthless Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, his handsome son Gil, and their minions (not to mention Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer), Agatha hides in plain sight among the circus folk, servicing their clanks and proving herself adept in performing the role of Lucrezia Mongfish, nemesis to-and later wife of-Bill Heterodyne. She also begins training under Zeetha, swordmistress and princess of the lost city of Skifander. Together, Agatha, Krosp, and the performers travel across the treacherous wasteland of war-torn Europa, towards Mechanicsburg, and the ancestral home of the Heterodynes-Castle Heterodyne….
Check back with us at the beginning of May for next month’s B&N Picks!