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 April!
A Feast for Crows (HBO Tie-in Edition): A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four—George R. R. Martin
(April 1, Bantam—Hardcover)
After centuries of bitter strife, the seven powers dividing the land have beaten one another into an uneasy truce. Few legitimate claims to the Iron Throne still exist, and the war that has turned the world into little more than a wasteland has finally burned itself out. Or so it appears. For it’s not long before the survivors, outlaws, renegades, and carrion eaters of the Seven Kingdoms gather. Now, as the human crows assemble over a banquet of ashes, daring new plots and dangerous new alliances are formed, while surprising faces—some familiar, others only just appearing—emerge from an ominous twilight of past struggles and chaos to take up the challenges of the terrible times ahead. Nobles and commoners, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and sages, are coming together to stake their fortunes . . . and their lives. For at a feast for crows, many are the guests—but only a few are the survivors.
Baltic Gambit: A Novel of the Vampire Earth—E. E. Knight
(April 1, Roc—Hardcover)
In his latest Vampire Earth novel, national bestselling author E.E. Knight delivers a thrilling adventure! When David Valentine’s loyal Lieutenant Alessa Duvalier disobeys his orders, she finds herself uncovering a betrayal… While out scouting in southern Indiana, Duvalier comes across a Kurian Conference being attended by every major military sect the Kurians have in the Midwest. Taking advantage of the strategic opportunity to cripple their enemy, Alessa and her warriors strike and achieve victory—only to discover an even greater threat to humanity.
David Valentine is chosen to be head of security for the Army of Kentucky representatives—and Alessa ignores his order to stay behind. Now, thrust into a lethal intrigue that threatens the entire peace process, she learns that the Kurian agent may be the least of her concerns.
Cauldron of Ghosts—David Weber, Eric Flint
(April 1, Baen—Hardcover)
Sequel to national bestsellers Torch of Freedom and Crown of Slaves, Book Three in the Crown of Slaves/Honor Harrington universe. Secret agent Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat return in this classic tie-in series set in David Weber’s Honorverse.
The Mesan Alignment is a centuries-old cabal that seeks to impose its vision of a society dominated by genetic rank onto the human race. Now the conspiracy stands exposed by spies Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat—one an agent of Honor Harrington’s Star Kingdom of Manticore, the other a Havenite operative.
Soon Zilwicki and Cachat are on the run in Mesa’s underworld, not only hunted by the Alignment but threatened by the exploding conflict on the planet between Mesa’s overlords and the brutalized slaves who have suffered under their rule for so long. But if Zilwicki and Cachat succeed in rooting out the ancient conspiracy, a great evil may be finally removed from the galaxy—and on a long-oppressed planet, freedom may finally dawn.
Dark Eden: A Novel—Chris Beckett
(April 1, Broadway Books—Hardcover)
On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family take shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest’s lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark, where the cold is so bitter, and the night so profound, that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say—and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark…and discover the truth about their world.
Lexicon: A Novel—Max Barry
(April 1, Penguin—Paperback)
Lexicon is that rare thing: a thriller as high-octane as they come, driven by a brilliant and original plot that connects very modern questions of privacy and data collection to centuries-old ideas about the power of language.
At an exclusive training school at an undisclosed location outside Washington, D.C., students are taught to control minds, to wield words as weapons. The very best graduate as “poets” and enter a nameless organization of unknown purpose. Recruited off the street, whip-smart Emily Ruff quickly learns the one key rule: never allow another person to truly know you. Emily becomes the school’s most talented prodigy, until she makes the catastrophic mistake of falling in love.
The Sentinel: The Sundering, Book V—Troy Denning
(April 1, Penguin—Hardcover)
In the fifth book of the multi-author Sundering series, New York Times best-selling author Troy Denning sends an embittered paladin, Kleef Kenric, on a quest to stop evil forces from taking advantage of the chaos rolling across the land of Faerûn and claiming dominion over the entirety of the Realms.
Stubbornly clinging to his family’s worship of a long-forgotten god, Kleef Kenric soon discovers that his god has blessed him with divine gifts, making him one of a new group of Chosen cropping up around the Realms. This divine gift makes him an excellent ally—and a target for those who wish to corral his powers. After battling his way out Marsember, a city besieged on all sides in the wake of the Sundering, he becomes swept up in the mission of a group of odd allies—a warrior noblewoman, an accomplished thief, and a mysterious short pudgy man exuding a faint odor of decay. They plan to thwart the rise of the goddess of Death, but before long Kleef learns that his allies hide dangerous secrets…
Stone Cold (Broken Magic Series #2)—Devon Monk
(April 1, Roc—Paperback)
The latest Broken Magic novel from national bestselling author Devon Monk.
Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins.
Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world…and magic itself.
Tomorrow, the Killing—Daniel Polansky
(April 1, Hodder—Paperback)
The fresh, astonishing follow-up to the acclaimed Low Town, again combining steely hardboiled crime with dark fantasy.
Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town. His name is Warden. He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus. General Montgomery’s daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother’s murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too. Dark, violent, and shot through with corruption, this book is a fantastic successor to a much-heralded fantasy debut.
Saga, Volume 3—Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Artist)
(April 1, Image—Paperback)
Winner of the 2013 Hugo award for Best Graphic Story!
When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never–ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.
Battle Royale: Remastered—Koushun Takami
(April 2, Haikasoru—Paperback)
Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan—where it became a runaway best seller—Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.
Robot Uprisings—Daniel H. Wilson (Editor), John Joseph Adams (Editor)
(April 8, Vintage—Paperback)
Humans beware. As the robotic revolution continues to creep into our lives, it brings with it an impending sense of doom. What horrifying scenarios might unfold if our technology were to go awry? From self-aware robotic toys to intelligent machines violently malfunctioning, this anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the increasing presence of robots in our lives. With contributions from a mix of bestselling, award-winning, and up-and-coming writers, and including a rare story by “the father of artificial intelligence,” Dr. John McCarthy, Robot Uprisings meticulously describes the exhilarating and terrifying near-future in which humans can only survive by being cleverer than the rebellious machines they have created.
Turtle Recall: The Discworld Companion…So Far—Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs
(April 8, Harper—Hardcover)
For every Pratchett fan, the must-have fully updated guidebook to Discworld!
The Discworld, as everyone knows, is a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the shell of the giant star turtle, the Great A’Tuin, as it slowly swims through space.
Turtle Recall is the ultimate authority on probably the most heavily populated—certainly the most hilarious—setting in fantasy literature and includes a guide to Discworld locales from Ankh-Morpork to Zemphis, as well as information to help you distinguish Achmed the Mad from Jack Zweiblumen and the Agatean Empire from the Zoons. Plus much, much more.
Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World—Ian Edginton, Francesco Trifogli (Illustrator)
(April 8, DC Comics—Paperback)
In a post-apocalyptic world where humans have been pushed to the edge of extinction by the creatures of fantasy and fables, The Hinterkind tells the story of one young woman’s quest to fulfill her destiny and put the world right again.
Fifty-seven years after an unspecified biological event has all but wiped out the human race, a green hand has moved over the face of the Earth. Leaf, root and shoot have steadfastly smothered the works of man, remorselessly grinding the concrete, glass and steel back into the minerals from whence they came. Mother Nature is reclaiming what’s rightfully hers but she’s not the only one…
The Hinterkind have returned. They come from hiding places in the lost corners of the world: Centaurs, Satyrs, Elves, Dwarves, Ogres, Trolls, Werewolves, Vampires… they are flesh, blood and passion, and they have a long simmering hatred of humanity.
Collects The Hinterkind #1-6.
Hollow World—Michael J Sullivan
(April 15, Tachyon—Paperback)
Ellis Rogers is a seemingly ordinary man who is about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe and done the right thing. But when he is faced with a terminal illness, Ellis is willing to take an insane gamble. He’s secretly built a time machine in his garage, and if it works, he’ll face a utopian world that challenges his understanding of what it means to be human, what it takes to love, and what the cost of paradise really might be.
Ellis could find more than a cure for his disease; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time has begun—but only if he can survive the Hollow World.