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 February!
Red Rising—Pierce Brown
(Jan 28, Del Rey—Hardcover)
Sixteen-year-old Darrow is a Red miner, the lowest worker caste on Mars. Darrow’s people live in hellish conditions underground and mine the precious silvery helium-3 needed to terraform the planet. After Darrow’s father and wife are both executed for protesting their conditions, Darrow is recruited by the rebel Sons of Ares to infiltrate high-caste Gold society and help overthrow the government. After weeks of surgery and training, Darrow enters Mars’s most selective school, but being accepted at the Institute is one thing; surviving a murderous hazing, ruthless power struggles, and a brutal war game won’t be so easy. Determined to lead his people to a better future, Darrow will do anything to win.
Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson Series #7)— Patricia Briggs
(Jan 28, Ace)
Mercy Thompson’s new mate Adam Hauptman is missing— and through their mating bond, Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. But that’s just the beginning of the bad news for this resourceful shapeshifter. Adam’s daughter and his entire werewolf pack have also been abducted and Mercy suspects the kidnappings are political sabotage, but she feels as if she had nowhere to turn for help. Outmatched and on her own, Well, almost nowhere: There are the vampire seethe.
Like A Mighty Army—David Weber
(Feb 4, Tor Books—Hardcover)
Like a Mighty Army is the hotly anticipated seventh volume in the New York Times bestselling Safehold series! For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud—a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth. Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race. And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. But now the wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…
The Companions: The Sundering, Book I—R. A. Salvatore
(Feb 4, Wizards of the Coast)
This latest installment in New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore’s beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore’s signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt’s fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life—the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.
The Reaver: The Sundering, Book IV—Richard Lee Byers
(Feb 4, Wizards of the Coast)
In the 4th book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, Richard Lee Byers introduces Anton Marivaldi—a renowned reaver with an insatiable thirst for bounty and a moral compass that always leads him toward the evil he’s never tried.
Endless rain afflicts the Sea of Fallen Stars and the coastal regions surrounding it, and civilized forces are giving way to the deluges caused by the storms. In panic and despair, many have turned to the goddess Umberlee, Queen of the Deeps, with hope that they will be spared the inevitable reckoning of her perpetual tempest. Evendur Highcastle, undead pirate captain, risen from the depths to assume the mantle of Umberlee’s Chosen, takes advantage of the people’s desperation to strike for both spiritual and temporal power in her name. Vying with Highcastle for the hearts and minds of the people is Stedd Whitehorn, a little boy and the chosen of a god thought lost to time: Lathander, the Morninglord. When Anton captures the boy in order to collect Highcastle’s considerable bounty, the reaver is quickly caught in the riptide caused by the sundering of worlds.
(Feb 6, Dutton—Hardcover)
The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character! Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself. Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters. In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .
Warlock by Jim Starlin: The Complete Collection—Jim Starlin
(Feb 11, Marvel Comics—Paperback)
At ’70s Marvel, no one mastered the startling scope and high-concept complexity of cosmic adventure like Jim Starlin! And his work on Adam Warlock set the tone for star-spanning spectacle that is considered a high-water mark to this day. Starlin evolved Warlock to the next level, imbuing the character with the inner demons of a man-god on the brink of insanity. Forced to confront an evil version of himself and the nihilistic menace Thanos, Warlock’s conflicts weren’t just knuckle-grinding throw-downs; they were epic, existenti al struggles for his very soul. Featuring the first-ever assembling of the Infinity Gems.
COLLECTING: Strange Tales 178-181, Warlock 9-15, Avengers Annual 7, Marvel Two-In-One Annual 2
Infinity— Jonathan Hickman (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Jim Cheung (Illustrator), Jerome Opena (Illustrator), Dustin Weaver (Illustrator)
(Feb 18, Marvel Comics—Hardcover)
The year’s most anticipated blockbuster cosmic event is here, as the Marvel Universe marches towards Infinity! The mad titan Thanos makes his world-shattering return, and his armies fire the opening shots of a galactic war that will be fought both on Earth and in deep space—with our heroes caught between both battles! As Thanos’ secrets are revealed, the Inhumans’ city of Attilan falls, and the Illuminati find themselves on the front line! And as every Origin Site on Earth goes active, the Builders enter the Marvel Universe. But can the Avengers return to Earth in ti me to save it, when betrayal in the Galactic Council has left them prisoners of war? Galactic empires will fall as Thanos’ crazed plans come to fruition!
COLLECTING: Infinity 1-6, New Avengers 7-12, Avengers 14-23, Infinity: Against the Tide Infinite Comic 1-2
Halo: Silentium: The Forerunner Saga #3—Greg Bear
(Feb 18, Tor Book—Hardcover)
In the last years of the Forerunner empire, chaos rules. The Flood—a horrifying shape-changing parasite—has arrived in force, aided by unexpected allies. Internal strife within the ecumene has desperately weakened Forerunner defenses. Too little, too late, the legal rate of Juridicals is only now investigating possible crimes by the Master Builder and others. Evidence-gathering agents known collectively as Catalog have been dispatched to collect testimony from the Librarian and both Didacts: the Ur-Didact, treacherously abandoned in a Flood-infested system, and the Bornstellar Didact, who accompanies the Librarian as she preserves specimens against the dire possibility of Halo extermination.
Facing the imminent collapse of their civilization, the Librarian and the Ur-Didact reveal what they know about the relationship between the long-vanished Precursors and the Flood. Only the Ur-Didact and the Librarian—husband and wife pushed into desperate conflict—hold the keys to a solution. Facing the consequences of a mythic tragedy, one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all time—to prevent an insane evil from dominating the entire universe.
The Martian—Andy Weir
(Feb 11, Crown Hardcover)
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
Hammer of Angels: A Novel of Shadowstorm—G. T. Almasi
(Feb 25, Del Rey)
In G. T. Almasi’s thrilling standalone sequel to his Shadowstorm: Blades of Winter, the United States, the USSR, and the Republic of China share a fragile balance of power with Greater Germany, which emerged from World War II in control of Europe and half of the Middle East. To avoid nuclear Armageddon, the four superpowers pursue their ambitions with elite spies known as Levels, who are modified with mechanical and chemical enhancements. To save themselves (and prevent worldwide conflagration) the American powers that be have dispatched brilliant teenage Level Alix and her new partner Darwin to Germany to wreak havoc on this waking enemy. But where Scarlet goes, chaos follows—and when her mission takes an unexpected turn, she and Darwin must go ever deeper into enemy territory.
The Human Division—John Scalzi
(Feb 25, Tor Books—Paperback)
Following the events of The Last Colony, John Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human race. The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance—an alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn’t obvious or easy. Against such possibilities, managing the survival of the Colonial Union won’t be easy, either. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning…and a brilliant “B Team,” centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson, that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 1: The Paradigm Shift—Simon Oliver, Robbi Rodriguez (Illustrator)
(Feb 25, DC Comics—Paperback)
Wormholes in your kitchen. Gravity failures at school. Quantum tornadoes tearing through the midwest. As with all natural disasters, people do what they always do: They adapt and survive. And if things get really bad, the Federal Bureau of Physics (FBP) is only a call away. FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics is the story of Adam Hardy: Young, brash and smart, he’s a rising star at the FBP, but when a gravity failure leads to the creation of an alternate dimension known as a “BubbleVerse,” Adam is sent on a rescue mission and finds his skills and abilities pushed to their limits when he discovers his partner has a different agenda…
Collects issues #1-7
Undead Pool—Kim Harrison
(Feb 25, HarperCollins—Hardcover)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to the supernatural adventures of Rachel Morgan in the penultimate book of the Hollows series! Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic—earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic—and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something—or someone—is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike. The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic. Can Rachel stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the undead under control are lost, and they are caught in an all-out supernatural war?
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: Blackbeard: The Lost Journal—Christie Golden, Ubisoft
(Mar 4, Insight Editions LLC—Hardcover)
Few moments in history have proven as timelessly fascinating as the lawless Golden Age of Piracy, which was largely played out in the Caribbean of the 16th and early 17th centuries. In this time of rebellion, fortune, intrigue, and adventure, Blackbeard stands as one of the most fearsome captains to have ever sailed the seas. Now, as the latest historical figure to take center stage in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Blackbeard joins the ranks of Edward Kenway—father of Haytham Kenway and grandfather of Connor—as they navigate troubled island waters and carve out their destinies. Thoughtfully crafted to resemble an authentic pirate artifact, this illustrated journal delivers a unique insider’s view into the world of the game through fascinating entries that provide a firsthand account of the day-to-day lives of the characters. This one-of-a-kind graphic novel—featuring beautifully etched illustrations and portraits, wanted posters, detailed ship’s logs and maps, newspaper clippings, Letters of Marque, and more—brings the bold worlds of Blackbeard and Kenway strikingly to life.