It’s December, and you know what that means, right? It means there are fewer new book releases than usual! OK, it also means the days are shorter and colder—at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere—and it’s time to drink all the warm cozy beverages your little heart desires, preferably while reading a book or five. This month, we’ve compiled the new SFF titles into one list—except the YA SFF; that gets its own list tomorrow. December’s SFF offerings include another Stephen King reissue; the second book in Nora Roberts’ Chronicles of the One series; and a look at the art of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse. And more, of course! There’s always more. Now, what to read first?
Keep track of all the new releases here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
King of the Road (Brotherhood of the Wheel #2)—R.S. Belcher (December 4, Tor Books)
Fantasy. Jimmie Aussapile, Lovina Marcou and Heck Sinclair are members of a secret society dedicated to protecting those who travel America’s highways from the monsters, both supernatural and mundane, that lurk in the darkness just beyond your headlights. They are the Brotherhood of the Wheel. At home in North Carolina, Jimmie and his squire Heck find themselves drawn into an all-out war between two competing biker gangs. One is led by a rival biker in possession of newfound supernatural allies and the other is an all-female werewolf pack. Meanwhile, Lovina is drawn into a missing-person case that leads to a Pennsylvania trailer park seemingly haunted by killer clowns. One way or another peace must be maintained and the roads of America must be protected. But it might just cost the Brotherhood their souls.
The Mansion—Ezekial Boone (December 4, Emily Bestler Books)
Science fiction. After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin, Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic. But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company. Years later, Billy is beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. But something about Nellie isn’t right. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.
Splintered Suns (Humanity’s Fire #5)—Michael Cobley (December 4, Orbit)
Science fiction. For Pyke and his crew it should have been just another heist. Travel to a backwater desert planet, break into a museum, steal a tracking device then use it to find a ship buried in the planet’s vast and trackless sandy wastes. Except that the museum vault is a bio-engineered chamber, and the tracking device is sought-after by another gang of treasure hunters led by an old adversary of Pyke’s, the devious Raven Kaligara. Also, the ship is quarter of a million years old and about two kilometres long and somewhere aboard it is the Essavyr Key, a relic to unlock all the treasures and technologies of a lost civilisation …
The Clan Chronicles: Tales from Plexis—Julie E. Czerneda, editor (December 4, DAW)
Science fiction. Welcome to the infamous interstellar shopping extravaganza of the Trade Pact known as Plexis Supermarket! A market and meeting place, Plexis is where pirates rub shoulders with freighter crews, where the rich come to party and the out-of-luck chase that last opportunity, where anything can be bought or sold and only your airtag tells the truth. Most of the time. Dock your starship, pay your parking fee, and enter. You’ll never know what you’ll find. Here, for the first time, Julie E. Czerneda has opened the airlocks to her fellow scribes and lovers of all things Trade Pact to produce this anthology of original stories. Learn the beginnings (and kitchen secrets) of the famed Claws & Jaws: Interspecies Cuisine. Solve mysteries. Slip through service tunnels or shop with goldtags! Plexis awaits your pleasure.
Soulbinder (Spellslinger #4)—Sebastian de Castell (December 4, Orbit)
Fantasy. For Kellen, the only way to survive is to hide. His curse is growing stronger, bringing dark and violent visions, and the bounty hunters dogging his heels get closer every day. Desperate, he searches for a mysterious order of monks rumored to have a cure. But salvation comes with a high price.
The Shattered Sun (Bound Gods #3)—Rachel Dunne (December 4, Harper Voyager)
Fantasy. The world has been plunged into darkness … and only the scheming priest Joros might be able to bring back the sun. With his ragtag band of fighters—a laconic warrior, a pair of street urchins, a ruthless priestess, and an unhinged sorcerer—Joros seeks to defeat the ancient gods newly released from their long imprisonment. But the Twins have champions of their own, and powers beyond knowing … and they won’t go down without a fight. The fate of the world hangs in the balance as the Twins aim to enact revenge on the parents that imprisoned them, and the world that spurned them. The Long Night has begun, and the shadows hide many secrets—including that the Twins may not be as powerful as they would have everyone think. Joros and his allies must strike now—before the Twins can consolidate their power … and before they are allowed to shape the world in their vision.
All the Plagues of Hell (Heirs of Alexandria #6)—Eric Flint & Dave Freer (December 4, Baen Books)
Fantasy. Orkise, the snake-god of plague, has been awakened by Lucia del Maino, the bastard daughter of the recently overthrown duke of Milan. Lucia plots to marry and then murder the usurper who now rules Milan, the condottiere Carlo Sforza—known as the Wolf the North. Sforza has his own bastard, Benito Valdosta, who is returning to Venice after having conquered the Byzantine empire. Benito has a score to settle with his father. Adding further to Sforza’s predicament, the terrifying sorcerer Count Mindaug has decided to settle in Milan. Will he ally with Sforza, or oppose him? Either will bring trouble, for if Mindaug aids the usurper he will arouse the fury of the Holy Roman Empire and the Knights of the Holy Trinity. On his side, Sforza has only the skill and cunning of his physician, Francisco Turner—who may be able to neutralize Venetian hostility. But even if he can, will that be enough to save the Wolf of the North? For out there in the countryside, Orkise is uncoiling all the plagues of hell.
AfroSFv3—Ivor W. Hartmann, editor (December 1, StoryTime)
Science fiction. Space, the astronomical wilderness that has enthralled our minds since we first looked up in wonder. We are ineffably drawn to it, and equally terrified by it. We have created endless mythologies, sciences, and even religions, in the quest to understand it. We know more now than ever before and are taking our first real steps. What will become of Africans out there, will we thrive, how will space change us, how will we change it? AfroSFv3 is going out there, into the great expanse, and with twelve visions of the future we invite you sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride.
A King in Cobwebs (Tales of Durand #3)—David Keck (December 4, Tor Books)
Fantasy. Once a landless second son, Durand has sold his sword to both vicious and noble men and been party to appalling acts of murder as well as self-sacrificing heroism. Now the champion of the Duke of Gireth, Durand’s past has caught up with him. The land is at the mercy of a paranoid king who has become unfit to rule. As rebellion sparks in a conquered duchy, the final bond holding back the Banished break, unleashing their nightmarish evil on the innocents of the kingdom. In his final battle against the Banished, Durand comes face to face with the whispering darkness responsible for it all—the king in cobwebs.
Pet Sematary—Stephen King (December 4, Scribner)
Reissue. When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Despite Ludlow’s tranquility, an undercurrent of danger exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing … as is evidenced by the makeshift graveyard in the nearby woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard where another burial ground lures with seductive promises and ungodly temptations. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. As Louis is about to discover for himself sometimes, dead is better…
Blood of Ten Kings (Guardians of Aandor #3)—Edward Lazellari (December 4, Tor Books)
Fantasy. The Guardians return to their reality, ill-equipped to fend off Farrenheil’s invading soldiers, which have saturated the kingdom. Daniel and Seth must vanquish ancient ghosts to claim the powers of their birthrights even as Cat MacDonnell fights to retain her husband against a kingdom that would rather see Callum wed to Chryslantha Godwynn. Their fellowship broken, Seth, Catherine, Callum, and Daniel must deftly navigate the dangers of Aandor or face oblivion at the hands of their enemies.
Ghost Virus—Graham Masterton (December 1, Head of Zeus)
Genre-benders. Samira had been staring into her mirror all morning before she picked up the small bottle of sulphuric acid and poured it over her forehead. She was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. What could have brought her to this? DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel of Tooting Police suspect it’s suicide. But then a random outbreak of horrific crimes in London points to something more sinister. A deadly virus is spreading: something is infecting ordinary Londoners with an insatiable lust to murder. All of the killers were wearing second-hand clothes. Could these garments be possessed by some supernatural force? The death count is multiplying rapidly. Now Jerry and Jamila must defeat the ghost virus, before they are all infected.
The Frame-Up (Golden Arrow Mysteries #1)—Meghan Scott Molin (December 1, 47North)
Genre-benders. MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page. But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is … superheroes aren’t real. Are they? When too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble. Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…
The Three Secret Cities (Jack West Jr. #5)—Matthew Reilly (December 4, Gallery Books)
Fantasy. When Jack West, Jr. won the Great Games, he threw the four legendary kingdoms into turmoil. Now these dark forces are coming after Jack … in ruthless fashion. With the end of all things rapidly approaching, Jack must find the Three Secret Cities, three incredible lost cities of legend. It’s an impossible task by any reckoning, but Jack must do it while he is being hunted … by the greatest hunters in history.
Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of the One #2)—Nora Roberts (December 4, St. Martin’s Press)
Fantasy. Fallon Swift, approaching her 13th birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden. In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.
Typeset in the Future—Dave Addey (December 11, Abrams)
Nonfiction. Blogger and designer Dave Addey invites sci-fi movie fans on a journey through seven genre-defining classics, discovering how they create compelling visions of the future through typography and design. The book delves deep into 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien, Blade Runner, Total Recall, WALL·E, and Moon, studying the design tricks and inspirations that make each film transcend mere celluloid and become a believable reality. These studies are illustrated by film stills, concept art, type specimens, and ephemera, plus original interviews with Mike Okuda (Star Trek), Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall), and Ralph Eggleston and Craig Foster (Pixar). Typeset in the Future is an obsessively geeky study of how classic sci-fi movies draw us in to their imagined worlds—and how they have come to represent “THE FUTURE” in popular culture.
Burning Ashes (Ben Garston #3)—James Bennett (December 11, Orbit)
Fantasy. The uneasy truce between the human and the mythical world has shattered. Betrayed by his oldest friend, with a tragic death on his hands, there isn’t enough whiskey in England to wash away the taste of Ben’s guilt. But for a one-time guardian dragon, there’s no time to sit and sulk in the ruins. Because the Long Sleep has come undone. Slowly but surely, Remnants are stirring under the earth, unleashing chaos and terror on an unsuspecting modern world. Worse still, the Fay are returning, travelling across the gulfs of the nether to bring a final reckoning to Remnants and humans alike. A war is coming. A war to end all wars. And only Ben Garston stands in the way…
Green Jay and Crow—DJ Daniels (December 11, Abaddon)
Science fiction. Eva, the Green Jay, is a “body double”—3D printed from plant matter, disposable. She should have disintegrated weeks ago. Instead, she has managed to stay alive, hidden by the Chemical Conjurers—robot twins, hobby-synthesists—and aided by the unfathomable alien Tenties. But her life—such as it is, such as any life can be in the strange, half-forgotten borough of Barlewin in the shadow of the High Track, where neon light falls on broken cobbles—is still precarious. What she really needs is inside a Time Locked box, a box locked by Time, held by the local crime boss, Guerra. Eva knows she can count on Mac, who loves her, but her survival hangs on Mac’s friend Brom, the Crow. And she’s not sure about him at all.
The Corporation Wars Trilogy—Ken MacLeod (December 11, Orbit)
Science fiction/omnibus. In deep space, ruthless corporations vie for control of scattered mining colonies, and war is an ever-present threat. Led by Seba, a newly sentient mining reboot, an AI revolution grows. Fighting them is Carlos, a grunt who is reincarnated over and over again to keep the “freeboots” in check. But he’s not sure whether he’s on the right side. Against a backdrop of interstellar drone combat Carlos and Seba must either find a way to rise above the games their masters are playing or die. And even dying might not be the end of it.
A Bad Deal for the Whole Galaxy (Salvagers #2)—Alex White (December 11, Orbit)
Science fiction. The crew of the legendary Capricious are rich enough to retire in comfort for the rest of their days, but none of it matters if the galaxy is still in danger. Nilah and Boots, the ship’s newest crew-members, hear the word of a mysterious cult that may have links back to an ancient and all-powerful magic. To find it, hot-headed Nilah will have to go undercover and find the source of their power without revealing her true identity. Meanwhile, Boots is forced to confront the one person she’d hoped never to see again: her old, turn-coat treasure-hunting partner.
Black City Dragon (Black City Saint #3)—Richard A. Knaak (December 18, Pyr)
Fantasy. For sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has guarded the gate between our world and Feirie, preventing the Wyld—the darkest Feirie of all—from coming into Chicago to find human prey. But since he defeated Oberon, more and more Wyld have been slipping through. Nick and his Feirie companion, the shapeshifter Fetch, have been busy hunting them down. Nick keeps coming across the Dacian Draco, the sign of his ancient enemy Galerius, including a tattoo worn by a human thug. Claryce, Nick’s reincarnated love, has narrowly escaped two attempts on her life, and when Nick sees her wearing a broach with the Draco on it, he knows they must look more deeply into her former lives. With Wyld and gangsters wreaking havoc in Chicago, Nick and Claryce must confront the secrets of their pasts if they are to have any hope of finding out Galerius’s plans before it’s too late to stop them.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: The Art of the Movie—Ramin Zahed (December 18, Titan Books)
Nonfiction. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one wears the mask. Unmasking the artistry behind the hotly-anticipated movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse—The Art of the Movie contains concept art, sketches, storyboards, and exclusive commentary from the animation team, plus a foreword written by Miles Morales co-creator Brian Michael Bendis.
The Complete Aliens Omnibus: Volume 7 (Criminal Enterprise, No Exit)—B.K. Evenson & S.D. Perry (December 24, Titan Books)
Science fiction. In Criminal Enterprise, Thomas Chase wakes up from cryosleep to his first day at a new job as a pilot for a contraband drug company dropping a shipment on Fantasia, a rock-planet terraformed to hide an elaborate drug manufacturing operation. When Chase’s craft touches down on Fantasia, a chain of events begins that can not be stopped. As criminals and competitors try to take over the drug-empire from the dangerous kingpin, Chase and his brother Pete are caught in the crossfire… with the Aliens adding blood to the mix. No Exit tells the story of Detective Anders Kramm, awakening to a changed world after thirty years of cryogenic sleep. The alien threat has been subdued. Company interests dominate universal trade. But Kramm has a secret. He knows why The Company killed twelve of its top scientists. He knows why the aliens have been let loose on the surface of a contested planet. He knows that The Company will do everything it can to stop him from telling his secret to the world. Haunted by memories of the brutal murder of his family, Kramm is set adrift amid billion dollar stakes … with aliens around every corner, waiting for him to make a mistake!
Siege of Stone (Nicci Chronicles #3)—Terry Goodkind (December 31, Tor Books)
Fantasy. The Sorceress Nicci, the Wizard Nathan Rahl, and the young swordsman Bannon remain in the legendary city of Ildakar after a great internal revolt has freed the slaves and brought down the powerful wizards council. But as he fled the city, capricious Wizard Commander Maxim dissolved the petrification spell that had turned to stone the invading army of General Utros fifteen centuries earlier. Now, hundreds of thousands of half-stone soldiers from the ancient past have awakened, led by one of the greatest enemy commanders in history. Nicci, Nathan, and Bannon have to help Ildakar survive this unbreakable siege, using all the magical defenses of the legendary city. Even as General Utros holds Ildakar hostage and also unleashes his incredible army on the unsuspecting Old World, an equally powerful threat arises out in the sea. Nicci knows the battle won’t remain in the city; if she can’t stop this threat, two invincible armies can sweep across the Old World and destroy D’Hara itself.