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 November.
The Martian—Andy Weir
(Oct 28, Crown—Paperback)
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?
Tarkin: Star Wars—James Luceno
(Nov. 4, Random House—Hardcover)
Bestselling Star Wars veteran James Luceno gives Grand Moff Tarkin the Star Wars: Darth Plagueis treatment, bringing a legendary character from A New Hope to full, fascinating life.
He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion. Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation . . . or annihilation.
Metrophage: A Novel—Richard Kadrey
(Nov 4, Harpercollins—Paperback)
The cult-classic dystopian cyberpunk tale from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey, after twenty years, now back in print in a special signed, collectible edition
Welcome to our future: L.A. in the late twenty-first century—a segregated city of haves and have-nots, where morality is dead and technology rules. Here, a small wealthy group secludes themselves in gilded cages. Beyond their high-security compounds, far from their pretty comforts, lies a lawless wasteland where the angry masses battle hunger, rampant disease, and their own despair in order to survive. Jonny was born into this Hobbesian paradise. A streetwise hustler who deals drugs on the black market—narcotics that heal the body and cool the mind—he looks out for nobody but himself. Until a terrifying plague sweeps through L.A., wreaking death and panic, and no one, not even a clever operator like Jonny, is safe.
Coming Home—Jack McDevitt
(Nov 4, Ace—Hardcover)
Thousands of years ago, artifacts of the early space age were lost to rising oceans and widespread turmoil. Garnett Baylee devoted his life to finding them, only to give up hope. Then, in the wake of his death, one was found in his home, raising tantalizing questions. Had he succeeded after all? Why had he kept it a secret? And where is the rest of the Apollo cache?
Antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot, Chase Kolpath, have gone to Earth to learn the truth. But the trail seems to have gone cold, so they head back home to be present when the Capella, the interstellar transport that vanished eleven years earlier in a time/space warp, is expected to reappear. With a window of only a few hours, rescuing it is of the utmost importance. Twenty-six hundred passengers—including Alex’s uncle, Gabriel Benedict, the man who raised him—are on board. Alex now finds his attention divided between finding the artifacts and anticipating the rescue of the Capella. But time won’t allow him to do both…
A Dance of Ghosts—David Dalglish
(Nov 11, Orbit—Paperback)
In book #5 of the Shadowdance series… a night of fire and blood heralds Muzien the Darkhand’s arrival to Veldaren. With him comes the might of the Sun Guild, eager to spread their criminal empire. Left blind after being attacked by the Widow, Alyssa Gemcroft struggles to hold together the remnants of the Trifect as the Sun Guild’s arrival threatens to shatter whatever future her son might have left.
Veldaren’s only hope is in the Watcher, but Haern is no longer there. With his father, Thren Felhorn, he is traveling to the Stronghold, an ancient bastion of the dark paladins of Karak. Will they find the answers they seek? Or will the Stronghold be their final destination?
Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art—John Fleskes (Editor)
(Nov 11, Flesk Publications—Hardcover)
The best-selling Spectrum series continues with this twenty-first lavishly produced annual. Challenging, controversial, educational, and irreverent, the award-winning Spectrum series reinforces both the importance and prevalence of fantastic art in today?s culture. With exceptional images by extraordinary creators, this elegant full-color collection showcases an international cadre of creators working in every style and medium, both traditional and digital. The best artists from the United States, Europe, China, Australia, South America and beyond have gathered into the only annual devoted exclusively to works of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and the surreal, making Spectrum one of the year?s highly most anticipated books.
Featured in Spectrum 21 are over 300 diverse visionaries, many of them world-renowned, including Paul Bonner, Donato Giancola, James Gurney, Iain McCaig, Shaun Tan, Sam Weber, Allen Williams. With art from books, graphic novels, video games, films, galleries, advertising and the fine arts, Spectrum is both an electrifying art book for fans and an invaluable resource for clients looking for bright new talent. The entire field is discussed in an invaluable, found-nowhere-else Year In Review. Contact information for each artist is included.
Often imitated, never equaled, Spectrum 21 continues the freshness and excellence that was established twenty years ago.
The Traders’ War: A Merchant Princes Omnibus—Charles Stross
(Nov 11, Tor Books—Paperback)
The Traders’ War is an omnibus edition of the third and fourth novels in Charles Stross’s Merchant Princes series!
Miriam was an ambitious business journalist in Boston. Until she was fired—then discovered, to her shock, that her lost family comes from an alternate reality. And although some of them are trying to kill her, she won’t stop digging up secrets. Now that she knows she’s inherited the family ability to walk between worlds, there’s a new culture to explore.
Her alternate home seems located around the Middle Ages, making her world-hopping relatives top dogs when it comes to “importing” guns and other gadgets from modern-day America. Payment flows from their services to U.S. drug rings—after all, world-skipping drug runners make great traffickers. In a land where women are property, she struggles to remain independent. Yet her outsider ways won’t be tolerated, and a highly political arranged marriage is being brokered behind her back. If she can stay alive for long enough to protest.
Heritage of Cyador (Recluce Series #18)—L. E. Modesitt Jr.
(Nov 18, Tor Books—Hardcover)
Scarcely a year after the events of Cyador’s Heirs, Lerial uses his mastery of Order and Chaos, the competing natural forces that shape his world and define the magic that exists within it, to utterly destroy an Afritan military force crossing into Cigoerne. Five years later, Lerial, now an overcaptain and a field commander of Cigoerne’s Mirror Lancers, must lead three companies of troops into Afrit on a mission of mutual interest: neighboring Heldya is threatening to invade Afrit, and if that nation falls, Cigoerne is certain to be next.
The mission is both delicate and dangerous; Lerial’s value in the effort to repelling Heldya is undeniable, but his troubled history against Afrit may reopen old wounds that will never truly heal.
Dead But Not Forgotten: Stories from the World of Sookie Stackhouse—Charlaine Harris, Toni L. P. Kelner, Rachel Caine, Seanan McGuire, etc.
(Nov 25, Ace—Hardcover)
The #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris spawned a hit TV show and captivated fans around the world—including other authors.
Now this group of writers, specifically chosen by Charlaine, pays tribute to “the southern, mind-reading belle who gets mixed up in the world of vampires and magical creatures” (The Kansas City Star) with a collection of fifteen all-new stories about your favorite residents of Bon Temps.
Black Widow—Jennifer Estep
(Nov 25, Pocket Books—Paperback)
Lethal, sexy, and always ready to protect her friends, Gin Blanco (a.k.a. the Spider) takes on the mysterious M.M. Monroe in book twelve of the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series!
“There’s nothing worse than a cruel, cunning enemy with time to kill—and my murder to plan. With wicked Fire elemental Mab Monroe long gone, you’d think I could finally catch a break. But someone’s always trying to take me down, either as Gin Blanco or my assassin alter-ago. Now along comes the Spider’s new arch-nemesis, the mysteriously named M. M. Monroe, who is gleefully working overtime to trap me in a sticky web of deceit.
The thing is, I’m not the only target….”
DC Comics: Zero Year (The New 52)— Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo (Illustrator)
(Nov 4, DC Comics—Hardcover)
Six years ago, the legend of Batman emerged amid the greatest catastrophe Gotham had ever endured. A maniac calling himself The Riddler shut down all electric power mere days before a terrifying superstorm. But the Dark Knight isn’t the only hero to surface during this moment in time known only as the ZERO YEAR!
Journey back to the Zero Year to see the early tales of heroes and heroines such as Nightwing, Green Arrow, Batgirl, Superman, Birds of Prey, Catwoman and more!
The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio—Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Mark Evanier (Selected by), and Jim Simon (Afterword)
(Nov 11, ComicArts—Hardcover)
The names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby are synonymous with comic books, and their partnership ushered in the Golden Age of comics starting in the 1940s. Together they created memorable characters such as Captain America and Sandman, invented romance comics, and raised the standard for the genres of western, crime, and horror comic books. Over the course of three decades they wrote and illustrated several hundred comics, many of which are reproduced in this oversized volume covering all aspects of their amazing career. Selected and with an introduction by Mark Evanier, the foremost authority on the work of Simon and Kirby, the book includes artwork photographed from the original art in Joe Simon’s private archive and showcases the seminal work of Simon and Kirby and their artistry as it has never been seen before.
The Wake—Scott Snyder, Sean Murphy (Illustrator)
(Nov 11, DC Comics—Hardcover)
New York Times bestselling author, Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing) and artist Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, Joe The Barbarian), the incredible team behind the miniseries American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest, are reuniting for the powerful miniseries: The Wake.
When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won’t take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oilrig filled with roughnecks and scientists on the brink of an incredible discovery. But when things go horribly wrong, this scientific safe haven will turn into a house of horrors at the bottom of the ocean!
Collects The Wake #1-10.
Original Sin—Jason Aaron, Mike Deodato
(Nov 18, Marvel—Hardcover)
Who shot the Watcher? Uatu, the mysterious space-god who’s been watching mankind from the moon for as long as we can remember…is dead. Thus begins the greatest murder mystery in Marvel history! As Nick Fury leads the heroes of the Marvel Universe in an investigati on, other forces are marshaling and other questi ons are arising. Why is Black Panther gathering a secret team of his own, including Emma Frost, the Punisher and Dr. Strange? Who is the Unseen? What was stolen from the Watcher’s lair? Fury’s cosmic manhunt leads to the far corners of the universe and beyond, but just when the Avengers think they’ve cornered their murderer…everything explodes, unleashing the Marvel Universe’s greatest secrets and rocking the heroes to their core! What did the Watcher see? What was the Original Sin?
Collects Point One 1 (Watcher story), Original Sin 0-8, Original Sins 1-5, Original Sin Annual 1, Original Sin: Secret Avengers Infinite Comic 1-2
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind—Zack Whedon
(Nov 18, Dark Horse Comics—Hardcover)
In the film Serenity, outlaw Malcolm Reynolds and his crew revealed to the entire ’verse the crimes against humanity undertaken by the sinister government—the Alliance. Here, in the official follow-up to the film, the crew has been in hiding since becoming everyone’s most wanted, and now they are forced to come out. River uncovers more secrets, leading these former Browncoats on a dangerous mission against the Alliance that, with hope, will bring them together again…
Television writer Zack Whedon (Deadwood, Southland, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) continues the saga of Joss Whedon’s space cowboys!
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3: Guardians Disassembled (Marvel Now)—Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Bradshaw
(Dec 2, Marvel Comics—Hardcover)
It’s an all-star celebration of the most popular super team of 2014! With the entire galaxy gunning for the Guardians and Star-Lord missing, it’s time to bring in a little help. But as the Guardians of the Galaxy get ready for new members Venom and Captain Marvel, unexpected dangers arise that promise to tear the team to its core! But where in the universe is Star-Lord? What does his disappearance mean for the safety of Earth? And can he survive on the run from a mysterious new adversary, alone without the aid of the Guardians?! Plus, two special stories by former Guardians writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning!
Collects Free Comic Book Day 2014 (Guardians Of The Galaxy) 1, Guardians of the Galaxy 14-17, Amazing Spider-Man 654 (B story), Captain Marvel (2012) 1