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 October.
(September 17, Cartoon Books)
When Dr. Robert Joseph Johnson, a thief and ex-military engineer, discovers the lost journals of Nikola Tesla, he is able to bridge the gap between modern physics and history’s most notorious scientist, and becomes the art thief known as RASL. However, he must face the price when others try to use his secrets and endanger the multiverse with their experiments. Now RASL is caught between government forces that want him out of the picture, and the mysteries of the universe itself, and he must decide for himself whether to pursue vengeance, or true heroism.
Razor’s Edge: Star Wars (Empire and Rebellion)—Martha Wells
(September 24, Random House Publishing Group)
The Rebel Alliance is barely holding on when Princess Leia Organa hears about merchants offering to sell materials she desperately needs for the unfinished Rebel base on Hoth. Leia and Han lead a delegation, only to discover a group of refugees from Leia’s destroyed home of Alderaan. The refugees turn to piracy to survive—but ransoming the Princess to the Empire could be a way out of their poverty. Leia is caught between wanting to help her kinspeople, and her loyalty to the Rebellion. Will she and her friends escape the pirates, or will they have to sacrifice themselves to save the Rebellion?
Tempt the Stars: A Cassie Palmer Novel—Karen Chance
(October 1, Signet Select)
Newly–minted demi-goddess Cassandra Palmer is still getting used to being a seer, so there are bound to be a few snags on her new job. So maybe trying to break into the vampire mob boss’ office wasn’t the best idea? She’ll have to get through it if she wants to save her best friend, get a (different, less mob-tied) vampire to give her some space, and, oh yeah, keep her new acolytes from destroying the world in her name. Good thing Cassie’s a quick learner…
The Godborn: The Sundering, Book II—Paul S. Kemp
(October 1, Wizards of the Coast)
The second book in the Sundering series finds Cale’s son Vasen living in the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, shielded from the dark plots of Mephistopheles. His protection may be running out: his dreams are darker and darker, and he often imagines his father trapped in a hell called Cania. Then his father’s old ally Drasek Riven comes into his life, intent on guiding Vasen to his destiny. But is Vasen ready to take on his father’s quest, and face the Goddess of the Dark?
The Lost Stars: Perilous Shield—Jack Campbell
(October 1, Ace)
In this spin-off from Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series, the leaders of the Midway Star System must work together form a new government following a coup. As former allies become enemies, President Gwen Iceni must decide how much she can trust General Artur Drakon as they fight against a possible invasion—aliens known as the Enigmas. And even if the defeat this extraterrestrial menace, there are human dangers to be faced before Midway can be truly free.
Battling Boy—Paul Pope
(October 8, First Second)
Battling Boy is an inexperienced 13-year-old warrior god when he arrives in Arcopolis. He knows the city needs a hero since its champion, Haggard West, fell in Battle, but the city’s villains don’t see it that way. Neither does West’s daughter Aurora, who wants to take on her father’s mantle as Arcopolis’ hero. And the monsters, who roam the city kidnapping children into their horrifying underworld, don’t want Battling Boy to stick around too long. Will he be able to prove himself, and save his new home?
The Best American Comics 2013—edited by Jeff Smith, Jessica Abel, and Matt Madden
(October 8, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Best American Comics series highlights work from both established veterans and newcomers to the comics field. 2013 guest editor Jeff Smith (RASL, Bone) chose stories from webcomics, zines, graphic novels, newspapers, etc. to create a diverse and fascinating look at where comics are right now. The book includes comics from Alison Bechdel, Craig Thompson, Sam Alden, Malachi Ward, and Joseph Lambert, among many others.
Old Mars—edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
(October 8, Random House)
This retro collection, edited—George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois celebrates the romantic Mars of the Golden Age of science fiction. Top authors including Michael Moorcock, Mike Resnick, Joe R. Lansdale, S. M. Stirling, Mary Rosenblum, Ian McDonald, Liz Williams, James S. A. Corey, contribute fifteen stories brand new stories that imagine The Red Planet as we wished it was: teeming with exotic life, terrible dangers, dying civilizations, and the hope of new life on a new world.
The Diamond Deep (Ruby’s Song)—Brenda Cooper
(October 8, Prometheus Books)
When the discovery ship Creative Fire docks at Diamond Deep, their crew discovers that they have been made obsolete—their generations-long space exploration. In this second book of the Ruby’s Song series, Ruby Martin and her partner Joel North must learn how to survive in a society that has evolved faster than they could have imagined—to the point where the most basic tech is beyond their understanding. Can they learn fast enough to overcome their own society’s oppression, and save their people?
A Dance of Cloaks—David Dalglish
(October 8, Orbit)
When Aaron Felhorn was eight years old, he stabbed an intruder. From that day on his father, the much-feared assassin and thief Thren Felhorn, paid more attention to the boy. Now Aaron has been trained to follow in his father’s trade, and seems cold-hearted and cunning enough to do it. But then a split-second decision to rescue priest’s daughter angers Thren, and forces Aaron to confront a whole world beyond his shadowy existence. He will need to stay alert and keeps his wits dagger-sharp if he hopes to elude the consequences of his new role as protector.
Fiendish Schemes—K. W. Jeter
(October 15, Tor)
K.W. Jeter, the author who coined the term steampunk back in 1986, has finally returned to the genre with Fiendish Schemes! George Dower, the son of the inventor of Infernal Devices, has been in hiding for a while. When he returns to London he finds a newly steam-powered society, and a web of mysterious people who all want to congratulate him on his father’s inventions. They also, he soon learns, want him to locate his father’s greatest invention, the Vox Universalis. Will George find the device, or will the meatpunks, coalpunks, depraved “fex” addicts, and mostly steam-powered Prime Minister stand in his way?
Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family—Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
(October 15, DC Comics)
Joker left Gotham City one year ago after his face was sliced off. But never one to give up, he’s returned for revenge, and he’s more even horrifying, and far, far more dangerous than he has ever been. How will Batman protect his loved ones? How can he protect Gotham City itself? Everything leads back to Arkham Asylum in this collection of Batman Issues #13-17.
Thanos Rising—Jason Aaron and Simone Bianchi
(October 22, Marvel Comics)
Where did Thanos come from, and what does this villainous demi-god want? In this tale of tragedy and destiny, Thanos rises from a boy living on one of Saturn’s moons to a col-blooded murder, willing to massacre his own people, challenge gods, and take on any Marvel superhero who stands in his way. But why? Why has death shadowed him, and why has his darkness grown so all consuming?
Dead Set—Richard Kadrey
(October 29, Harper Voyager)
Zoe’s new life in the city is not easy. She and her mother are having trouble making ends meet. They’re both still in mourning for her father, and the only times that Zoe feels any happiness are during her dreams of her lost brother Valentine. But now there is a stranger in Zoe’s dreams, and they’re growing darker—the night, until she finds a record store where the vinyl doesn’t hold music, it holds souls. The shop owner assures Zoe she can use the records to contact her father. But is she willing to pay his price?
Doctor Who: The Vault—Marcus Hearn
(October 29, Harper Design)
The official story of the first fifty years of Doctor Who is told in these pages, including pre-production memos, behind-the-scenes photos from the latest season, prop photos, interviews with the cast and crew, and design sketches. The Vault is a celebration of the longest-running science fiction show in history, and fitting addition to any Whovian’s library.
Guillermo Del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions—Guillermo Del Toro with Marc Zicree
(October 29, Harper Design)
Guillermo Del Toro’s twenty year career has given moviegoers Cronos, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, the Hellboy series, and Pacific Rim, while his career as a novelist has produced books including The Strain, The Night Eternal, and The Fall. Now he shares the content of his personal notebooks and collections, along with running commentary, interviews, and annotations, giving readers a look at how he became the visionary artist he is today.
Parasite (Parasitology)—Mira Grant
(October 29, Orbit)
In the near future, sickness and disease have been eradicated—a most unlikely source. The SymboGen Corporation genetically engineered tapeworms that, once implanted guarded their hosts from illness and strengthen their immune systems. But now that nearly every human has a SymboGen tapeworm, the tapeworms themselves are becoming more and more determined to live their own lives—with or without their hosts’ consent.