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.
Age of Godpunk by James Lovegrove
Out on August 27 from Solaris
James Lovegrove presents three novellas with three different ‘gods’ and their appreance in the worlds of man. Age of Anansi, Age of Satan, and a third novella, Age of Gaia, appearing both in print and ebook for the first time with the release of this exciting omnibus.
Cast in Sorrows by Michelle Sagara
Out on August 27 from Harlequin Luna
The Barrani would be happy to see her die. So Kaylin Neya is a bit surprised by her safe arrival in the West March. Especially when enemies new and old surround her and those she would call friends are equally dangerous?
And then the real trouble starts. Kaylin’s assignment is to be a “harmoniste” one who helps tell the truth behind a Barrani Recitation. But in a land where words are more effective than weapons, Kaylin’s duties are deadly. With the wrong phrase she could tear a people further asunder. And with the right ones?well, then she might be able to heal a blight on a race.
If only she understood the story?.
HALO: The Thursday War by Karen Traviss
Paperback out on August 27 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.
Perdition by Ann Aguirre
Out on August 27 from Ace
The prison ship Perdition, a floating city where the Conglomerate’s most dangerous criminals are confined for life, orbits endlessly around a barren asteroid.
Life inside is even more bleak. Hailed as the Dread Queen, inmate Dresdemona “Dred” Devos controls one of Perdition’s six territories, bordered on both sides by would-be kings eager to challenge her claim. Keeping them at bay requires constant vigilance, as well as a steady influx of new recruits to replace the fallen. Survival is a constant battle, and death is the only escape.
Of the newest convicts, only one is worth Dred’s attention. The mercenary Jael, with his deadly gaze and attitude, may be the most dangerous criminal onboard. His combat skill could give her the edge she needs, if he doesn’t betray her first. Unfortunately, that’s what he does best. Winning Jael’s allegiance will be a challenge, but failure could be worse than death?.
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
Paperback out on September 3 from Roc
After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard.
He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.
Guess which Mab wants first?
The Given Sacrifice by S. M. Stirlin
Out on September 3 from Roc
Rudi Mackenzie has won the battle that expelled the enemy from the new High Kingdom of Montival. Now he must free the people who live in the state once known as Idaho from occupation by the legions of the Church Universal and Triumphant and pursue them to their lair over the mountains. There he will finally confront the forces behind the Church: the Powers of the Void.
Yet even a victory will not end the conflict forever. The Powers of the Void are malevolent and infinitely patient, and the struggle is one that involves the entire world. They threaten Rudi not only in the present, but also in the future represented by his children, Órlaith and John. Rudi knows this.
And as his heir Princess Órlaith grows up in the shadow of her famous father, she also realizes that the enemy will do anything to see that she does not live to fulfill her parents’ dream….
Shaman by Kim Stanley Robinson
Out on September 3 from Orbit
There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories — to teach those who would follow in his footsteps.
There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together.
There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change.
And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple — and where it may lead is never certain.
Shaman is a powerful, thrilling and heart-breaking story of one young man’s journey into adulthood — and an awe-inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago.
The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul by John F. Merz
Out on September 3 from Baen
In the fog-enshrouded peaks of the island nation of Nehan, Ran, a newly-minted shadow warrior is set loose on a musha shugyo, a wandering quest, whereby he must travel alone and hone his skills. Journeying aboard a merchant vessel, Ran hears tales of a mysterious lord believed to have the dead for his servants.
Soon these tales prove all too real as Ran comes to the aid of Jysal, a beautiful sorceress, whose undeveloped power gives her the ability to heal a land — or destroy it. But the Lord Kan-Gul also covets Jysal’s power. And when Kan-Gul sends a army of the undead to take Jysal by force, Ran is faced with the ultimate warrior’s choice: save himself, or face down a horde of enemies that cannot be killed for the simple reason that they are already dead!
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paperback out on September 3 from Baen
Captain Ivan Vorpatril sometimes thinks that if not for his family, he might have no troubles at all. But he has the dubious fortune of the hyperactive Miles
Vorkosigan as a cousin, which has too-often led to his getting dragged into one
of Miles’ schemes, with risk to life and limb—and military career—that Ivan doesn’t consider entirely fair. Although much practice has made Ivan more adept at fending off his mother’s less-than-subtle reminders that he should be getting married and continuing the Vorpatril lineage.
Fortunately, his current duty is on the planet Komarr as staff officer to Admiral Desplains, far from both his cousin and his mother back on their homeworld of Barrayar. It’s an easy assignment and nobody is shooting at him. What could go wrong?
Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman
Out on September 17 from Titan
Newman’s dark and impish tale begins with a single question: What if Dracula had survived his encounters with Bram Stoker’s Dr. John Seward and enslaved Victorian England?
Fallen from grace and driven from the British Empire in previous instalments, Dracula seems long gone. A relic of the past. Yet, when vampire boy Johnny Alucard descends upon America, stalking the streets of New York and Hollywood, haunting the lives of the rich and famous, from Sid and Nancy to Andy Warhol, Orson Welles, and Francis Ford Coppola, sinking his fangs ever deeper into the zeitgeist of 1980s America, it seems the past might not be dead after all.
Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
Out on September 17 from St. Martin’s Press
The mad Sh?gun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The toxic blood lotus flower continues to ravage the land, the deadlands splitting wider by the day. The machine-worshippers of the Lotus Guild conspire to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously—by endorsing a new Sh?gun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.