Things are dark in this month’s genre-benders… which is just the way some of us like it. London is flooded; women are missing; the world is ending; the timeline is different. But it’s not all floods and gloom! You might also explore The Un-Discovered Islands, a collection of stories about places once believed to be real, or new collections from Tim Powers and Philip K. Dick.
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
The End We Start From—Megan Hunter (November 7, Grove Press)
As London is submerged below floodwaters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous country seeking refuge from place to place. The story traces fear and wonder as the baby grows, thriving and content against all the odds. The End We Start From is a lyrical vision of the strangeness and beauty of new motherhood, and a tale of endurance in the face of ungovernable change.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance—Ruth Emmie Lang (November 7, St. Martin’s Press)
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was. That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Down and Out in Purgatory—Tim Powers (November 7, Baen)
A complete palette of story-telling colors from Powers, including his acclaimed tale “The Bible Repairman,” where a psychic handyman who supernaturally eliminates troublesome passages of the Bible for paying clients finds the remains of his own broken soul on the line when tasked with rescuing the kidnapped ghost of a rich man’s daughter. Humor and horror mix in “Sufficient unto the Day,” when a raucous Thanksgiving feast takes a dark turn as the invited ghosts of relatives past accidentally draw soul-stealing demons into the family television set. And obsession and vengeance survive on the other side of death in “Down and Out in Purgatory,” where the soul of a man lusting for revenge attempts to eternally eliminate the killer who murdered the love of his life. Wide-ranging, wonder-inducing, mind-bending—these and other tales make up the complete shorter works of a modern-day master of science fiction and fantasy.
The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes—Malachy Tallack (November 7, Picador)
Be prepared to be captivated by the astounding tales of two dozen islands once believed to be real but no longer on the map. These are the products of the imagination, deception, and human error: an archipelago of ex-islands and forgotten lands. From the well-known story of Atlantis and the mysteries of frozen Thule to more obscure tales from around the globe, and from ancient history right up to the present day, this is an atlas of legend and wonder, with glorious illustrations by Katie Scott.
The Beauty—Aliya Whiteley (November 7, Titan)
Somewhere away from the cities and towns, in the Valley of the Rocks, a society of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their history recounted by Nate, the storyteller. Requested most often by the group is the tale of the death of all women. They are the last generation. One night, Nate brings back new secrets from the woods; peculiar mushrooms are growing from the ground where the women’s bodies lie buried. These are the first signs of a strange and insidious presence unlike anything ever known before. (Note: This title has been postponed to January 2018.)
Electric Dreams—Philip K. Dick (November 14, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Though perhaps most famous as a novelist, Philip K. Dick wrote more than one hundred short stories over the course of his career, each as mind-bending and genre-defining as his longer works. Electric Dreams collects ten of the best. In “Autofac,” Dick shows us one of the earliest examples (and warnings) in science fiction of self-replicating machines. “Exhibit Piece” and “The Commuter” feature Dick exploring one of his favorite themes: the shifting nature of reality and whether it is even possible to perceive the world as it truly exists. And “The Hanging Stranger” provides a thrilling, dark political allegory as relevant today as it was when Dick wrote it at the height of the Cold War. Strange, funny, and powerful, the stories in this collection highlight a master at work, encapsulating his boundless imagination and deep understanding of the human condition.
Future Home of the Living God—Louise Erdrich (November 14, Harper)
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant. Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity. There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
The Big Lie—Julie Mayhew (November 14, Candlewick)
Young adult. Nazi England, 2014. Jessika Keller is a good girl — a champion ice skater, model student of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, and dutiful daughter of the Greater German Reich. Her best friend, Clementine, is not so submissive. Passionately different, Clem is outspoken, dangerous, and radical. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend, her first love. But which can she live without? Haunting, intricate, and unforgettable, The Big Lie unflinchingly interrogates perceptions of revolution, feminism, sexuality, and protest. Back matter includes historical notes from the author discussing her reasons for writing an “alt-history” story and the power of speculative fiction.
Mandelbrot the Magnificent—Liz Ziemska (November 14, Tor.com Publishing
Born in the Warsaw ghetto and growing up in France during the rise of Hitler, Benoit Mandelbrot found escape from the cruelties of the world around him through mathematics. Logic sometimes makes monsters, and Mandelbrot began hunting monsters at an early age. Drawn into the infinite promulgations of formulae, he sinks into secret dimensions and unknown wonders. His gifts do not make his life easier, however. As the Nazis give up the pretense of puppet government in Vichy France, the jealousy of Mandelbrot’s classmates leads to denunciation and disaster. The young mathematician must save his family with the secret spaces he’s discovered, or his genius will destroy them.
WEEKS THREE & FOUR
No new titles.