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 30, Ace—Paperback)
When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right.
But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished.
The Lost Stars: Imperfect Sword—Jack Campbell
(October 7, Ace—Hardcover)
President Gwen Iceni and General Artur Drakon have successfully liberated the Midway Star System—but the former rulers of the Syndicate Worlds won’t surrender the region without a fight. The dictatorial regime has ordered the ex?Syndicate CEOs terminated with extreme prejudice and the system’s citizens punished for their defiance.
Outnumbered and led by junior officers hastily promoted in the wake of the uprising, Midway’s warships are no match for the fleet massing and preparing to strike. But the Syndicate isn’t the only threat facing Iceni and Drakon. Another former CEO has taken control of the Ulindi Star System, the first calculated move toward establishing his own little empire.
With Drakon’s ground forces dispatched to Ulindi, Midway erupts in violence as Syndicate agents and other, unknown enemies stoke a renewed revolt against Iceni’s power—leaving both her and Drakon vulnerable to trusted officers just waiting for an opportune moment to betray them?.
Broken Soul—Faith Hunter
(October 7, Roc—Hardcover)
When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.
Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see?.
Ancillary Sword—Ann Leckie
(October 7, Orbit—Paperback)
The sequel to Ancillary Justice, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.
Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor.
With a new ship and a troublesome crew, Breq is ordered to go to the only place in the galaxy she would a agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew—a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures—Sean Wallace (Editor)
(October 7, Running Press Book Publishers—Paperback)
Looking to the future through the lens of the past, here is a second fantastic collection of over 30 typically anarchic mash-ups that push the boundaries of steampunk from the same editor of the bestselling Mammoth Book of Steampunk. Includes an introduction by Ann VanderMeer, along with stories by Tobias S. Buckell, A.C. Wise, Cherie Priest, Jay Lake, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Christopher Barzak, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Wood, Chris Roberson, C.S.E. Cooney, E. Catherine Tobler, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Gord Sellar, Tony Pi, Aliette de Bodard, Nisi Shawl, Lisa L. Hannett, Genevieve Valentine, Sofia Samatar, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Cat Rambo, K.W. Jeter, Margaret Ronald, Samantha Henderson, and Ken Liu.
A Call to Duty—David Weber, Timothy Zahn
(October 7, Baen—Hardcover)
Book #1 in Manticore Ascendant, a new series set in David Weber’s best-selling Honorverse.
Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life… the two things his neglectful mother couldn’t or wouldn’t provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he’d finally found the structure he’d always wanted so desperately.
But life in the RMN isn’t exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction.
The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft—Leslie S. Klinger (Editor)
(October 13, Liveright Publicing Corporation—Hardcover)
Following his best-selling The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, Leslie S. Klinger collects here twenty-two of Lovecraft’s best, most chilling “Arkham” tales, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” At the Mountains of Madness, “The Whisperer in Darkness,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” “The Colour Out of Space,” and others. With nearly 300 illustrations, including full-color reproductions of the original artwork and covers from Weird Tales and Astounding Stories, and more than 1,000 annotations, this volume illuminates every dimension of H. P. Lovecraft and stirs the Great Old Ones in their millennia of sleep.
War Dogs—Greg Bear
(October 14, Orbit—Hardcover)
They made their presence on Earth known thirteen years ago. Providing technology and scientific insights far beyond what mankind was capable of. They became indispensable advisors and promised even more gifts that we just couldn’t pass up. We called them Gurus.
It took them a while to drop the other shoe. You can see why, looking back. It was a very big shoe, completely slathered in crap. They had been hounded by mortal enemies from sun to sun, planet to planet, and were now stretched thin—and they needed our help.
And so our first bill came due. Skyrines like me were volunteered to pay the price. As always. These enemies were already inside our solar system and were moving to establish a beachhead, but not on Earth. On Mars.
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead: Descent—Jay Bonansinga
(October 14, St. Martin’s Press—Hardcover)
Out of the ashes of its dark past, Woodbury, Georgia, becomes an oasis of safety amidst the plague of the walking dead—a town reborn in the wake of its former tyrannical leader, Philip Blake, aka The Governor.
Blake’s legacy of madness haunts every nook and cranny of this little walled community, but Lilly Caul and a small ragtag band of survivors are determined to overcome their traumatic past… despite the fact that a super-herd is closing in on them.
But Lilly and company refuse to succumb, and in a stunning counteroffensive, the beleaguered townspeople save themselves by joining forces with a mysterious religious sect fresh from the wilderness.
Led by an enigmatic preacher named Jeremiah, this rogue church group seems tailor made for Woodbury and Lilly’s dream of a democratic, family-friendly future. But things—especially in the world of the walking dead—are often not what they seem. Jeremiah and his followers harbor a dark secret, the evidence of which very gradually begins to unravel.
The Abyss Beyond Dreams—Peter F. Hamilton
(October 21, Random House Publishing Group—Hardcover)
The year is 3326. Nigel Sheldon, one of the founders of the Commonwealth, receives a visit from the Raiel—self-appointed guardians of the Void, the enigmatic construct at the core of the galaxy that threatens the existence of all that lives. The Raiel convince Nigel to participate in a desperate scheme to infiltrate the Void.
Once inside, Nigel discovers that humans are not the only life-forms to have been sucked into the Void, where the laws of physics are subtly different and mental powers indistinguishable from magic are commonplace. The humans trapped there are afflicted by an alien species of biological mimics—the Fallers—that are intelligent but merciless killers.
Yet these same aliens may hold the key to destroying the threat of the Void forever—if Nigel can uncover their secrets. As the Fallers’ relentless attacks continue, and the fragile human society splinters into civil war, Nigel must uncover the secrets of the Fallers—before he is killed by the very people he has come to save.
(October 28, Quirk Books—Hardcover)
May the verse be with you! Return once more to a galaxy far, far away with this retelling of George Lucas’s Star Wars® Trilogy in the style of the immortal William Shakespeare. This Royal Imperial Boxed Set includes all three volumes in the original trilogy: Verily, A New Hope; The Empire Striketh Back; and The Jedi Doth Return. Also included is an 8-by-34-inch full-color poster illustrating the complete cast and company of this glorious production.
The Peripheral—William Gibson
(October 28, Penguin Group USA—Hardcover)
William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times? bestselling Zero History.
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones—George R.R. Martin
(October 28, Random House Publishing Group—Hardcover)
This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site Westeros.org—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.
Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers, including:
- full-color artwork and maps, with more than 170 original pieces
- full family trees for Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen
- in-depth explorations of the history and culture of Westeros
- 100% all-new material, more than half of which Martin wrote specifically for this book
The Slow Regard of Silent Things—Patrick Rothfuss
(October 28, DAW—Hardcover)
Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.
Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri’s life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri’s eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows….
Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year—Dark City—Scott Snyder
(October 7, DC Comics—Hardcover)
Before the Batcave and Robin, the Joker and the Batmobile… there was Zero Year.
The Riddler has plunged Gotham City into darkness. How will a young Dark Knight bring his beloved hometown from the brink of chaos and madness and back into the light? From the critically acclaimed, New York Times #1 bestselling creative team of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Batman Vol. 5: Zero Year—Dark City is the concluding volume to Batman’s origin story, as you’ve never seen it before.
Collects Batman #25-27, 29-33.
The Way of Shadows: The Graphic Novel—Brent Weeks, Andy MacDonald (Illustrator), Ivan Brandon (Adapted By)
(October 7, Orbit—Hardcover)
From the gutters of the Warrens to the opulent court at Khalidor, Brent Weeks’s epic fantasy The Way of Shadows unfolds on the page of this graphic novel adaptation as seen through the eyes of seasoned illustrator Andy MacDonald!
For the orphan Azoth, there are precious few avenues out of the life of a guild rat in the back alleys of the Warrens. There are no rewards without risks, and there are few greater risks than apprenticing yourself to the city’s most accomplished assassin, Durzo Blint.
Reborn as Kylar Stern, the young man must learn to navigate the intrigues of politics and the intricacies of magic, but does he have both the killer instinct and the raw talent to survive the cutthroat life he’s chosen?
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal—Marvel Comics
(October 28, Marvel—Paperback)
Marvel Comics presents the all-new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City—until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either. But she’s comin’ for you, New York! It’s history in the making from acclaimed writer G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and beloved artist Adrian Alphona (Runaways)!
Collecting: Ms. Marvel 1-5, material from All-New Marvel Now! Point One