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Thursday, May 1, 2008

SPOTLIGHT: Books of May 2008

Welcome to the May 2008 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly SPOTLIGHT. Previous spotlights can be visited HERE. Just when I thought the spotlights couldn’t get any larger, they do…fortunately, it’s hard to complain when there are so many great titles out there to discover. A special thanks goes to Suciul, a frequent contributor on the SFFWorld Forums, who helped me to include a few books that I overlooked :) Even so, I still didn’t catch everything so be sure to visit Urban Fantasy Land’s May Roundup HERE. (NOTE: Unless stated otherwise, all release dates are for the US):

In the Small” by Michael Hague. Release Date: May 1, 2008. An astounding new work by one of America’s most highly acclaimed illustrators—best known for his interpretations of The Velveteen Rabbit, The Hobbit, etc—Michael Hague’s striking departure from fairy tales into a wilder apocalyptic vision won’t soon be forgotten. Envisioning a world where the entire human population is shrunk in size to no more than six inches tall, “In the Small” is a lushly illustrated graphic novel that is a gripping story of survival…
Official Michael Hague Website
Order “In the SmallHERE
Read An Interview with Michael Hague via Newsarama
NOTE: Warner Bros. has already acquired the movie rights to “In the Small” which is currently in development.

The Dark Volume” by G.W. Dahlquist. UK Release Date: May 1, 2008. With old loyalties tested by new & unlikely alliances, Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang from “The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters” must call on every reserve of courage to face a new and desperate struggle. From palace intrigue and a city in turmoil to wolf-haunted mountains, underground tunnels and a hidden factory, they must battle old enemies and a host of new villains, all hoping to seize for themselves the power of the blue glass books…
Official G.W. Dahlquist Website
Order “The Dark VolumeHERE

Midnight Never Come” by Marie Brennan. UK Release Date: May 1, 2008. England flourishes under the hand of its Queen Elizabeth, last and most powerful of the Tudor monarchs. But a great light casts a great shadow. For in hidden catacombs beneath London, a second Queen holds court—Invidiana, ruler of faerie England, a dark mirror to the glory above… A breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England; Midnight Never Come seamlessly weaves together history and the fantastic to dazzling effect…
Official Marie Brennan Website
Order “Midnight Never ComeHERE (UK) + HERE (US-June 9, 2008)
Read An Excerpt

The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski. Release Date: May 1, 2008 (US Debut). Geralt de Riv is a ‘witcher’. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. He targets those that snatch innocents from their beds, the vampires that drain the life out of the living, and the creatures that feed upon humanity. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good . . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth…
Official Andrzej Sapkowski Website
Order “The Last WishHERE
Read Reviews of “The Last Wish” via FantasyBookSpot, OF Blog of the Fallen + The Wertzone
NOTE: The Witcher short stories have inspired a movie, a television series, a comic book series and The Witcher video game.

Cathedral of the Sea” by Ildefonso Falcones. Release Date: May 1, 2008. Ildefonso Falcones’s mesmerizing historical novel about medieval Barcelona was Spain’s #1 bestseller for a full year. Rights have sold in thirty-two countries to date, and comparisons to
Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth are being made. So who better to bring you this international sensation than Follett’s own publisher? An unforgettable fresco of fourteenth-century Barcelona, “Cathedral of the Sea” is a story of friendship and revenge, of love and war…
Order “Cathedral of the Sea

The Better Mousetrap” by Tom Holt. UK Release Date: May 1, 2008. Insurance touches all our lives; our triumphs and tragedies, our proudest achievements, our most traumatic disasters. Hardly surprising that Frank Carpenter, one of the foremost magical practitioners of our age, felt himself drawn to it. Until, that is, he met Emily, a high-flying corporate heroine with an annoying habit of getting killed. Repeatedly. Now Frank faces the greatest enigma of our times: When is a door not a door? When it's a mousetrap…
Official Tom Holt Website
Order “The Better MousetrapHERE
Read An Extract HERE

Song of the Shiver Barrens” by Glenda Larke. UK Release Date: May 1, 2008. “Song of the Shiver Barrens” concludes the Mirage Maker Trilogy that began with Glenda Larke’sHeart of the Mirage” and “The Shadow of Tyr”. In this volume Arrant, Ligea Gayed’s son, leaves to join his father among the Magoroth as Mirager-heir and becomes caught in a vicious plot to ruin his family and his future. Complicating matters even more is an even greater mystery that Arrant must solve if he is to fulfill his destiny…
Official Glenda Larke Website
Order “Song of the Shiver BarrensHERE
Read Reviews of “Song of the Shiver Barrens” via The Specusphere

Steampunk” edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer. Release Date: May 1, 2008. Steampunk originates in the romantic elegance of the Victorian era and blends in such modern scientific advances as steam-driven robots, analog supercomputers, and ultramodern dirigibles. The elegant allure of this popular genre is brilliantly represented in this pioneering anthology by such distinctively talented authors as
Neal Stephenson, Michael Chabon, James Blaylock, Michael Moorcock, Joe R. Lansdale, Ted Chiang and Jay Lake
Official Jeff VanderMeer Website
Order “SteampunkHERE

Streams of Babel” by Carol Plum-Ucci. Release Date: May 1, 2008. A Printz Honor Award winner and two-time Edgar Allan Poe Award finalist, Carol Plum-Ucci (The Body of Christopher Creed, The Night My Sister Went Missing) explores disturbing new terrain in her latest young adult novel, “Streams of Babel”, a riveting tale that examines the heroes and victims involved in a terrifying act of bioterrorism. According to
Kirkus Reviews, “Plum-Ucci takes the incredible and makes it all too believable…”
Official Carol Plum-Ucci Website
Order “Streams of BabelHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Lamplighter” by D.M. Cornish. Release Date: May 1, 2008. Set in the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. In “Lamplighter”, the eagerly awaited second book (after Foundling) of the critically acclaimed trilogy, orphan Rossamünd begins to make some new friends. But he also seems to make more enemies and finds himself pushed towards a destiny that he could never have imagined…
Official D.M. Cornish Website
Official Monster Blood Tattoo Website
Official Monster Blood Tattoo Blog
Order “LamplighterHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Ruby Key” by Holly Lisle. Release Date: May 1, 2008. Human and Nightlings are never to meet, but when Genna and her brother Dan venture into the old forest at night, they encounter a Nightling slave who reveals a terrifying secret: Genna & Dan's village chieftain has made a deal with Letrin, ruler of the Nightlings, offering the lives of his people in exchange for his own immortality. To save the villagers and themselves, Genna & Dan strike their own bargain with the Nightling lord, but the stakes are even higher…
Official Holly Lisle Website
Order “The Ruby KeyHERE

Free Fall” by Laura Anne Gilman. Release Date: May 1, 2008. In the fifth Retrievers novel, the Cosa Nostradamus is in disarray; the Truce holding violence in check has been broken; Magical Manhattan is at war; and Wren Valere is left without her lover Sergei, whose past loyalties keep him from her side just when she needs him the most. Hoping to keep herself occupied, Wren takes a job, but what should have been an ordinary Retrieval instead makes her realize that it’s time for the Cosa to take the battle to the enemy…
Official Laura Anne Gilman Website
Order “Free FallHERE
Read Reviews of “Free Fall” via Darque Reviews

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves” by Stephen Hunt. UK Release Date: May 6, 2008. Set in the same fantastical world that was introduced in “The Court of the Air”, Stephen Hunt’sThe Kingdom Beyond the Waves” focuses on Professor Amelia Harsh who will do anything—even teaming up with her nemesis Abraham Quest—to find the lost civilization of Camlantis, a legendary city from pre-history that is said to have conquered hunger, war and disease with the creation of a perfect pacifist society…
Official Stephen Hunt Website
Order “The Kingdom Beyond the WavesHERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Court of the Air
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s
INTERVIEW with Stephen Hunt

The Host” by Stephenie Meyer. Release Date: May 6, 2008. From the same author that brought readers the #1 bestselling Twilight series comes Stephenie Meyer’s brilliant first novel for adults: Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of humans while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed . . . except for Melanie Stryder. Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, “The Host” is a gripping story of love & betrayal in a future where humanity is at stake…
Official Stephenie Meyer Website
Order “The HostHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “The Host” via Blog Critics + SciFiChick

The Year of Disappearances” by Susan Hubbard. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Ariella Montero is no stranger to the dark side of life. Half-human, half-vampire, she spent her first thirteen years in exile from both societies. Now she can hypnotize, read minds, and make herself invisible, but her special talents are severely tested when she goes to college and comes face to face with the politics of vampire & human cultures and the zombies that are infiltrating America as well as the demons & shadows that haunt us all…
Official Susan Hubbard Website
Official “The Year of Disappearances” Myspace
Order “The Year of DisappearancesHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Society of S

From Dead To Worse” (Southern Vampire Mystery, Volume VIII) by Charlaine Harris. Release Date: May 6, 2008. After the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the manmade explosion at the vampire summit, it’s clear that things are changing and cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse is caught up in the changes. In the ensuing battles, Sookie faces danger, death, and once more, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood finished flowing, her world will be forever altered…
Official Charlaine Harris Website
Order “From Dead To WorseHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “From Dead To Worse” via Darque Reviews

The Shadow Isle” by Katharine Kerr. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Kerr’s long-running Deverry fantasy saga—Act IV, The Silver Wyrm—reaches its much-anticipated conclusion with a two-part finale that begins with “The Shadow Isle”. As the Horsekin continue to push their religious crusade toward the borders of the kingdom, the humans of Deverry and their elven allies realize that only the magic of Dallandra & Valandario and the might of the dragons can reveal the secrets that may save the Northlands from conquest…
Official Katharine Kerr Website
Order “The Shadow IsleHERE

Cruel Zinc Melodies” by Glen Cook. Release Date: May 6, 2008. In the twelfth volume of the series praised by
Locus as a “lively homage to Chandler and company,” Glen Cook’s (The Black Company, Dread Empire) popular freelance P.I., Garrett, uncovers the dark side of the fantasy city of TunFaire, where no one is to be trusted—especially not beautiful women. So when a pack of gorgeous woman knock on his door, Garrett knows it’s too good to be true, but even Garrett doesn’t realize the drama he’s stepping into…
Glen Cook @ Wikipedia
Order “Cruel Zinc MelodiesHERE

Kéthani” by Eric Brown. Release Date: May 6, 2008. When a mysterious alien race known as the Kéthani make contact with the people of Earth, they bring with them the dubious gift of eternal life. These enigmatic aliens will change the course of the human race forever, but also touch peoples’ lives on a personal level. But do the Kéthani have a hidden agenda and will the human race choose to evolve or turn on itself in the face of this momentous revelation? “Kéthani” is science fiction at its powerful, literary best…
Official Solaris Books Website
Order “KéthaniHERE (US) + HERE (UK)
Read An Excerpt
Read Reviews of “KéthaniHERE

Omega Sol” by Scott Mackay. Release Date: May 6, 2008. It came from the deepest reaches of space and landed on the Moon. Constructed of an unidentifiable liquid material, the spherical module spread itself across the lunar surface, forming towers in its wake... Dr. Cameron Conrad has learned the secret of the alien phenomenon known as the Moon Towers and with Earth on the brink of destruction, Conrad needs to find a way to convince the aliens that humanity is worth saving . . . if it's not already too late…
Official Scott Mackay Website
Order “Omega SolHERE

A Kiss Before the Apocalypse” by Thomas E. Sniegoski. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Boston P.I. Remy Chandler has many talents including invisibility, speaking & understanding any foreign language—including the language of animals—and hearing thoughts, all typical for an angel. Now Remy has been assigned to find the missing Angel of Death, but soon realizes that there’s much more to the case including a conspiracy to destroy the human race and that only Remy has the powers to stop the forces of evil…
Official Thomas Sniegoski Website
Order “A Kiss Before the ApocalypseHERE
Read Reviews of “A Kiss Before the Apocalypse” via Darque Reviews

The Battle of the Labyrinth” by Rick Riordan. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. To stop Kronos’ army, Percy and his Demigod friends set out on a quest through the Labyrinth—a sprawling underworld with stunning surprises at every turn… Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth installment in Rick Riordan’s Percy and the Olympians series promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet…
Official Rick Riordan Website
Official Percy Jackson & The Olympians Website
Order “The Battle of the LabyrinthHERE
Watch “The Battle of the LabyrinthBook Trailer HERE

Amber & Blood” by Margaret Weis. Release Date: May 6, 2008. In the concluding volume of this post-War of Souls trilogy, Mina learns the truth about herself and the terrible knowledge drives her insane. Rhys, the monk of Majere, accompanied by his dog Atta and the kender Nightshade, is given the dangerous assignment of guarding the crazed god, escorting her on a long, strange journey to the mysterious place known as Godshome, where Mina hopes to find the answer to the riddle of her existence…
Official Margaret Weis Website
Order “Amber & BloodHERE

Swordmage” by Richard Baker. Release Date: May 6, 2008. The Spellplague, among other things, has changed the face of the Forgotten Realms world, and “Swordmage”—Book One of the Blades of the Moonsea—by the award-winning game designer and New York Times best-selling author Richard Baker is the first novel to fully embrace the exciting new elements from the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons® game and goes where—and when—no Forgotten Realms novel has gone before…
Official Wizards of the Coast Website
Order “SwordmageHERE

Time Spike” by Eric Flint & Marilyn Kosmatka. Release Date: May 6, 2008. A new era dawns as alternate history master Eric Flint teams with Marilyn Kosmatka to produce a series that finds a modern maximum-security prison thrown back in time millions of years to the Jurassic age. But dinosaurs are the least of Captain Mark Stephens' problems: his tough-as-nails inmates are revolting and a time-displaced band of murderous conquistadors is on the attack. Time to lay down the law, antediluvian epoch or not!
Official Eric Flint Website
Order “Time SpikeHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Tau Ceti Agenda” by Travis S. Taylor. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Humanity's Separatist movement prepares the biggest sucker punch ever against Earth governments. The plan? Kill the U.S. President at Disney World and drive a quantum-teleported kamikaze starship into a heavily-populated city. One thing the fanatical Separatists haven't figured on: an America military unleashed by a fighting president—an ex-Marine determined that terrorists won't have the final word on humanity's future…
Official Travis S. Taylor Website
Order “Tau Ceti AgendaHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Generation Dead” by Daniel Waters. Release Date: May 6, 2008. All over the country, a strange phenomenon is happening. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. They are coming back to life, but they are no longer the same—they stutter, and their reactions to everything are slower. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn't want them. “Generation Dead” is a sharp, funny, and breathtakingly original debut novel from an exciting new talent…
Official Daniel Waters Blog
Order “Generation DeadHERE
Read Reviews of “Generation Dead” via Dark Scribe Magazine + Fear Zone

Bad Moon Rising” by Jonathan Mayberry. Release Date: May 6, 2008. Each year, the residents of Pine Deep host the Halloween Festival, drawing tourists and celebrities from across the country to enjoy the deliciously creepy fun. Those who visit the small Pennsylvania town are out for a good time, but those who live there are desperately trying to survive. For a monstrous evil lives among them, a savage presence whose malicious power has grown too powerful even for death to hold it back. Daylight is fading and a bad moon is rising...
Official Jonathan Mayberry Website
Order “Bad Moon RisingHERE

The Digital Plague” by Jeff Somers. Release Date: May 12, 2008. Avery Cates is a very rich man. He's probably the richest criminal in New York City. But right now, Avery Cates is pissed. Because everyone around him has just started to die – in a particularly gruesome way. With every moment bringing the human race closer to extinction, Jeff Somers’The Digital Plague”—the follow-up to “The Electric Church”—finds Avery Cates in the role of both executioner and savior of the entire world…
Official Jeff Somers Website
Order “The Digital PlagueHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Electric Church
Read Reviews of “The Digital Plague” via
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Requiem: Collected Works & Tributes to the Grand Master” by Robert A. Heinlein. Release Date: May 13, 2008. Requiem is a compelling celebration of Robert A. Heinlein and his vision, containing many rare, uncollected works by the Grand Master of science fiction, including the novellas Destination Moon, which was made into the famous George Pal film, and Tenderfoot in Space. Also featured are contributions from such luminaries as
Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Silverberg, Greg Bear, and Larry Niven
Robert A. Heinlein @ Wikipedia
Order “RequiemHERE

The Edge of Reason” by Melinda Snodgrass. Release Date: May 13, 2008. Since the dawn of consciousness, a secret war has been fought between the forces of magic & religious fanaticism, and the cause of reason, understanding, and technology. On one side are the Old Ones, malign entities that feed on the suffering of mankind. On the other are the Lumina, an ancient order dedicated to the liberation of the human spirit. Caught in the middle of this primal battle is Officer Richard Oort who may be humanity’s last hope…
Official Melinda Snodgrass Website
Order “The Edge of ReasonHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “The Edge of Reason” via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

Null-A-Continuum” by John C. Wright. Release Date: May 13, 2008.
A. E. van Vogt was one of the giants of the Golden Age of classic SF in the 1940s. Of his masterpieces, The World of Null-A is perhaps most influential. It was the first major trade SF hardcover ever in 1949, and has influenced such authors as Philip K. Dick and Philip Jose Farmer. And so John C. Wright was inspired to write a sequel to the two novels of Null-A—the second was The Players of Null-A—resulting in “Null-A-Continuum”…
Official John C. Wright Website
Order “Null-A-ContinuumHERE
Read Excerpts HERE

The Immortal Prince” by Jennifer Fallon. Release Date: May 13, 2008. From the bestselling Australian author Jennifer Fallon, who brought readers The Hythrun Chronicles, comes the start of a new fantasy series, The Tide Lords, which kicks off with “The Immortal Prince”: When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, thought to be only a fictional character…
Official Jennifer Fallon Website
Order “The Immortal PrinceHERE
Read An Extract HERE
Read Reviews of “The Immortal Prince” via The Specusphere

The Wolfman” by Nicholas Pekearo. Release Date: May 13, 2008. Marlowe Higgins is a werewolf. For years he struggled with his affliction, until he found a way to use this unfortunate curse for good—he only kills really bad people. Then one night everything changes. It turns out Marlowe isn’t the only monster lurking in the area. A fiendish serial killer is brutally murdering young girls all around the county. Higgins targets the killer as his next victim, but on the night of the full moon, things go drastically wrong…
Official Tor-Forge Website
Order “The WolfmanHERE
NOTE: Nicholas Pekearo was a young, prolific writer who left the world too soon. While volunteering as an NYPD Auxiliary Police Officer, he was killed in the line of duty in the very neighborhood he grew up in, New York City’s Greenwich Village. The Wolfman is his first published novel.

Soul” by Tobsha Learner. Release Date: May 13, 2008. Spanning 19th century London and 21st century LA, “Soul” links the lives of two women and the dangerous paths they choose. One is Professor Julia Huntington who studies a rare breed of soldier that can kill without remorse. Lavinia is Julia's great-grandmother and is pushed towards madness as her husband's true sexuality is revealed. The fates of these two women, 200 years apart, are written in their genes as their stories hurtle towards a frightening conclusion…
Official Tobsha Learner Website
Order “SoulHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch a Book Video HERE

Prisoner of the Lagon” by Kaoru Kurimoto. Release Date: May 13, 2008. With more than a hundred installments and going strong, Kaoru Kurimoto’s The Guin Saga is Japan's top heroic fantasy series—has sold more than twenty-five million copies in Japan—and draws comparisons to Lord of the Rings and
Robert E. Howard’s Conan. Finally available in paperback for U.S. readers, “Prisoner of the Lagon” is the fourth of a projected five-volume arc comprising the saga's opening “Marches Episode”…
The Guin Saga @ Vertical Inc.
Order “Prisoner of the LagonHERE

Wicked Game” by Jeri Smith–Ready. Release Date: May 13, 2008. First in a new urban fantasy series, Jeri Smith–Ready’sWicked Game” introduces recovering con artist Ciara Griffin who takes an internship at a local radio station, only to discover that the DJs are a cadre of vampires. But when a corporate takeover threatens the DJs’ existence, Ciara befriends the vampires and comes up with the ultimate con to save her strange new friends. Except the stakes are higher than any con game Ciara’s ever played before…
Official Jeri Smith–Ready Website
Order “Wicked GameHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “Wicked Game” via Urban Fantasy Land + Vampire Genre

Avenging Fury” by John Farris. Release Date: May 13, 2008 (Hardcover debut). Eden Waring is an Avatar, possessing astounding psychic abilities. Her battles against Mordaunt, the ageless Dark Side of God, have been many, but the war is far from over. While she destroyed Mordaunt's human body, his many followers still walk the Earth and they vow to resurrect their Master. The epic story that began with “The Fury” reaches its electrifying conclusion, as unsuspecting worlds merge on the cusp of an age of darkness…
John Farris @ Wikipedia
Order “Avenging FuryHERE

Madapple” by Christina Meldrum. Release Date: May 13, 2008. Aslaug is an unusual young woman. Her mother has brought her up in near isolation, teaching her about plants and nature and language—but not about life. Especially not how she came to have her own life, and who her father might be. Addictive, thought-provoking, and shocking, Christina Meldrum’s debut novel “Madapple” is a page-turning exploration of human nature and divine intervention—and of the darkest corners of the human soul…
Official Christina Meldrum Website
Order “MadappleHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Reviews of “Madapple” via BookBrowse

Quiver” by Peter Leonard. Release Date: May 13, 2008. One of the most riveting and powerful new voices in crime fiction, Elmore Leonard’s son Peter Leonard delivers a razor-sharp debut thriller in “Quiver” that displays remarkable maturity for a first-time novelist in both the plotting of the story and the language of his protagonists. The twists and turns of a love affair, an unrequited crush, and a kidnapping/extortion plot complement a tightly drawn, intimate cast of memorably quick and dim-witted characters…
Official Peter Leonard Website
Order “QuiverHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Incandescence” by Greg Egan. UK Release Date: May 15, 2008. The Amalgam spans nearly the entire galaxy and is composed of a wild variety of races, some human, some near-human, and some entirely other. The one place that they cannot go is the bulge, the bright, hot center of the galaxy. There dwell the Aloof, who for millions of years have deflected all attempts to communicate with or visit them. So, when Rakesh is offered an opportunity to travel within their sphere in search of a lost race, how can he refuse…
Official Greg Egan Website
Order “IncandescenceHERE
Watch Book Trailers HERE
NOTE:Incandescence” will be released in the US May 2008 via Night Shade Books and can be ordered HERE.

The Great Planet Robbery” by Craig DiLouie. Release Date: May 15, 2008. Lawrence Dobbs and Timothy Muldoon, Colonial Marines and thorough rascals, are the last of a dying breed of adventurers in a Federation that has tamed dozens of wild planets and is increasingly becoming civilized. When an old astronaut offers to sell them a map that will take them to a legendary planet promising rivers of gold, Dobbs and Muldoon recruit a crew of misfits for one last great adventure—to rob an entire planet…
Official Craig DiLouie Website
Order “The Great Planet RobberyHERE

Acacia” by David Anthony Durham. UK Release Date: May 19, 2008. Making its UK debut, David Anthony Durham’s first foray into epic fantasy introduces an all-enveloping and mythic world that will carry readers away. In “Acacia”—Book One of The War of the Mein—the bestselling and award-winning author of “Hannibal: Pride of Carthage” and “Gabriel’s Story” recounts a thrilling, engrossing and wonderfully imagined story of treachery and revenge, heroism and betrayal, of wrongs righted and redemption found…
Official David Anthony Durham Website
Order “AcaciaHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “Acacia
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s
INTERVIEW with David Anthony Durham

Odd Hours” by Dean Koontz. Release Date: May 20, 2008. Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by name alone. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas is one of those rare literary heroes who comes alive in readers’ imaginations as he explores the greatest mysteries of this world and the next. Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward to a destiny he cannot imagine and to undreamed of places where the perils he will face and the stakes for which he fights will eclipse all that he has known…
Official Dean Koontz Website
Official Odd Thomas Website
Order “Odd HoursHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Snuff” by Chuck Palahniuk. Release Date: May 20, 2008. Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera. With six hundred men. This wild, lethally funny, and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet under-acknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club, Choke) would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well…
Official Chuck Palahniuk Website
Order “SnuffHERE
Watch the Video HERE
Read Reviews of “Snuff” via The Agony Column + Zubon Book Reviews

Mind the Gap” by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon. Release Date: May 20, 2008. Two of today’s brightest stars in dark fantasy—Christopher Golden (The Veil trilogy, Hellboy, Baltimore) and Tim Lebbon (Dusk/Dawn, Fallen, 30 Days of Night)—combine their award-winning, critically acclaimed talents in “Mind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden Cities”, a spellbinding new tale of magic, terror, and adventure that begins when a young woman slips through the space between our everyday world and the one hiding just beneath it…
Official Novels of the Hidden Cities Website
Official Christopher Golden Website
Official Tim Lebbon Website
Order “Mind the GapHERE
Read An Extract HERE

Cosmos Incorporated” by Maurice G. Dantec. Release Date: May 20, 2008. The first major English translation by Maurice G. Dantec, one of France’s most admired writers, “Cosmos Incorporated” is a triumph of science fiction—a masterwork of cataclysm, mysticism, and suspense: Fifty years of warfare, disease, and strife have decimated the world population. Those who remain are monitored by the UniWorld. Those with the means to do so escape to the orbital Ring, like Sergei Diego Plotkin
Official Maurice G. Dantec Website
Maurice G. Dantec @ Wikipedia
Order “Cosmos IncorporatedHERE
NOTE: Maurice G. Dantec is also the author of Babylon A.D., which was adapted by Fox into a film starring Vin Diesel (The Chronicles of Riddick, The Fast & the Furious) and Michelle Yeoh (Sunshine, Tomorrow Never Dies). Babylon A.D. hits theatres August 29, 2008.

The Mirrored Heavens” by David J. Williams. Release Date: May 20, 2008. In this thrilling debut, David J. Williams delivers a hard-hitting blend of military science fiction and dystopian cyberpunk, set in a futuristic landscape where hostilities rage from the Eastern and Western hemispheres to the outer ranges of space. “Explodes out the gate like a sonic boom and never stops. The razors of The Mirrored Heavens would eat cyberpunk's old-guard hackers and cowboys as a light snack.” —
Peter Watts, author of Blindsight
Official David J. Williams Website
Order “The Mirrored HeavensHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: Outcast” by Michelle Paver. Illustrated by
Geoff Taylor. Release Date: May 20, 2008 (US Debut). Fourth book in Michelle Paver’s (Daughters of Eden trilogy) ongoing Chronicles of Ancient Darkness children’s fantasy series starring Spirit Walker Torak, “Outcast” is a thrilling story of friendship, survival, and the need to belong. Like all the books in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, “Outcast” explores the complexities of an ancient world filled with good and evil…
Official Michelle Paver Website
Official The Clan Website
Order “OutcastHERE
Read Reviews of “Outcast” via Times Online

Broken Angel” by Sigmund Brouwer. Release Date: May 20, 2008. Caitlin’s birth was shrouded in mystery and tragedy. Her destiny is beyond comprehension. Her pursuers long to see her broken. She fights to soar. In this stunningly original suspense thriller, bestselling author Sigmund Brouwer (The Last Disciple) weaves a heroic, harrowing journey through the path of a treacherous and oppressive culture only one or two steps removed from our own. Prepare to discover the unforgettable secret of the Broken Angel
Official Sigmund Brouwer Website
Order “Broken AngelHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Deeper” by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams. UK Release Date: May 22, 2008. The Tunnels adventure is far from over for Will Burrows, Chester and Cal. In his quest to find his father, Will is plunged even deeper underground. And as if things weren't bad enough already in the heat and darkness, he stumbles across a Styx plot with terrible implications for the world above . . . and a sister who isn’t finished yet… “Deeper” is the thrilling sequel to the international publishing sensation “Tunnels”…
Official Tunnels Website
Official Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams Website
Order “DeeperHERE

Haggopian and Other Stories” by Brian Lumley. Illustrated by
Bob Eggleton. Release Date: May 26, 2008. Prior to the publication of Brian Lumley's first-book in his popular Necroscope series, the author wrote a series of short stories, novellas, and novels set against H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos backdrop, many of which have remained uncollected until now. Thus the best of Brian Lumley's shorter works in this sub-genre are collected and presented for the first time in this special limited edition…
Official Brian Lumley Website
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Blood Noir” (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter—Volume 16) by Laurell K. Hamilton. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Jason is a werewolf. He’s also one of Anita Blake’s best friends and sometimes her lover. And right now he needs her because his father is dying. How hard can that be? By now, Anita should know better. For this favor puts Anita in the center of a full-blown scandal that threatens master-vampire Jean-Claude's reign—and makes her a pawn in an ancient vampire queen's new rise to power…
Official Laurell K. Hamilton Website
Order “Blood NoirHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Touch of Twilight” (Sign of the Zodiac, Book III) by Vicki Pettersson. Release Date: May 27, 2008. On the surface she's a sexy, sophisticated Vegas socialite. But Joanna Archer inhabits another world: a dangerous dimension where an eternal battle rages between the agents of Light & Shadow. And Joanna is both. Stalked by a doppleganger from a preternatural realm, Joanna can feel the Light failing—which is propelling her toward a terrifying confrontation with the ultimate master of evil, the dark lord of Shadow: her father…
Official Vicki Pettersson Website
Order “The Touch of TwilightHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Twisted Citadel” by Sara Douglass. Release Date: May 27, 2008. In a time of magic and danger, three new heroes have stepped forward—Ishbel Brunelle, priestess of the Serpent Coil; Isaiah, the Tyrant of Isembaard; and Maximilian, the Lord of Elcho Falling. Yet despite their best efforts, the Dark God Kanubai has risen. Worse yet, war approaches—backed by the evil DarkGlass Mountain and hordes of insatiable Skraelings who ravage the land. Continues the trilogy that began in “The Serpent Bride”…
Official Sara Douglass Website
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Goddess” by Fiona McIntosh. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Fiona McIntosh concludes her exotic Percheron Saga delivering ever more intrigue as Zar Boaz prepares for the imminent arrival of the Galinsean war fleet while Lazar travels back to the desert to rescue the abducted Ana. Ana, surrounded by fanatical followers of the scheming Arafanz, wonders how she can survive. All the while, Pez locks wills with the malevolent Grand Vizier Tariq—which could render the Galinsean situation a mere backdrop to a far greater conflict…
Official Fiona McIntosh Website
Order “GoddessHERE

Dragon & Liberator” by Timothy Zahn. Release Date: May 27, 2008. For five books now, 14-year old Jack Morgan and Draycos—a poet/warrior K'da dragon who can hide himself as a tattoo on Jack's back—have been through a lot of scrapes, risking death and imprisonment on worlds far and wide, seeking justice for Jack and information that might save Draycos's people from a genocidal ambush. Now in “Dragon & Liberator”, Timothy Zahn delivers the exciting climax to the Dragonback YA science fiction adventure series…
Timothy Zahn @ Wikipedia
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Bring Down the Sun” by Judith Tarr. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Alexander the Great ruled the greatest Empire of the ancient world…but he was ruled by his mother Olympias. There are many legends about this powerful Queen: Priestess of the Great Goddess, daughter of the ruling house of Epiros, witch, and familiar of Serpents—she was a figure of mystery, fascination and fear even during her own lifetime. Judith Tarr uses the legends to weave an intensely romantic fantasy novel set in ancient Greece & Macedon…
Official Judith Tarr Website
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The Last of the High Kings” by Kate Thompson. Release Date: May 27, 2008 (US Debut). Traveling to the land of eternal youth was the only way J.J. Liddy could stop time from leaking from his world to T'ir na n'Og. But fifteen years after returning from the land of the faeries, J.J. wonders if that long-ago visit is responsible for the strange things now happening to those around him. Finding answers to these questions will take J.J. Liddy and his family on the most important and dangerous journey of their lives…
Official Kate Thompson Website
Order “The Last of the High KingsHERE
Read Reviews via The Bookbag

Severance Package” by Duane Swierczynski. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Jamie DeBroux’s boss has called a special meeting for all “key personnel” at 9:00 a.m. on a hot Saturday in August. When Jamie arrives, he and his fellow employees are told that they are being shut down and are ordered to drink champagne that will put them to sleep—for good. If they refuse, they’ll be shot in the head. Escape is not an option. Jamie quickly realizes that there’s only one way he’s ever going to see his family again: the hard way…
Official Duane Swierczynski Blog
Order “Severance PackageHERE

The Reapers” by John Connolly. Release Date: May 27, 2008. The Reapers are elite killers, shadow men who exist only to end the lives of others, and Louis, confidante of private detective Charlie Parker—star of six previous novels—was once among their number. Now, the sins of his past have caught up with him. A brilliantly chilling novel by bestselling author John Connolly about a chain of killings, linked obscurely by great distances and the passage of years, and the settling of their blood-debts—past, present, and future…
Official John Connolly Website
Order “The ReapersHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Jack: Secret Histories” by F. Paul Wilson. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Ever wonder what Jack was like as a teen? The first of three Repairman Jack novels for young adults—and for adults too since certain events in these stories will become important in the final Repairman Jack novels—“Secret Histories” introduces Jack’s mother and father, big sister Kate, his bully of a brother Tom, even an old lady with a dog. Readers will also get to see how it all started, with an ancient artifact carved with strange designs…
Official F. Paul Wilson Website
Order “Jack: Secret HistoriesHERE

Evernight” by Claudia Gray. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Start of a brand new four-volume series that follows the story of Bianca Olivier, “Evernight” begins with Bianca as a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepy Gothic boarding school where her classmates are too perfect. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. Then she meets Lucas, another loner who doesn’t fit in. There's a connection between Bianca & Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart and make Bianca question everything she believed was true…
Official Claudia Gray Website
Order “EvernightHERE

Year’s Best SF 13” edited by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer. Release Date: May 27, 2008. Once again, award-winning editors and anthologists David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer have gathered together a stunning array of science fiction that spans a universe of astonishing visions and bold ideas. Hitherto unexplored galaxies of the mind are courageously traversed by some of the most exciting new talents in the field, while well-established masters rocket to remarkable new heights of artistry and originality…
Official David G. Hartwell Website
Official Kathryn Cramer Website
Order “Year’s Best SF 13HERE

Devil May Care” by Sebastian Faulks. Release Date: May 28, 2008. Devil May Care is the newest installment in the iconic James Bond series and will be released worldwide on
Ian Fleming’s birthday, May 28th. Written by Sebastian Faulks, Devil May Care is set in the cold war, picking up where Fleming left off in 1966 with Octopussy and The Living Daylights. Devil May Care features all the glamour, thrills, and excitement that one would expect from any adventure involving Bond . . . James Bond
Official Devil May Care Website
Sebastian Faulks @ Wikipedia
Order “Devil May CareHERE (US) + HERE (UK)

Shadow of the Scorpion” by Neal Asher. Release Date: May 28, 2008. Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the Polity and a vicious alien race, the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn't remember. Amidst the ruins left by wartime genocides, Ian Cormac will discover in himself a cold capacity for violence and learn some horrible truths about his own past while trying to stay alive on his course of vengeance…
Official Neal Asher Blog
Order “Shadow of the ScorpionHERE

The Shadow Pavilion” by Liz Williams. Release Date: May 28, 2008. The Snake Agent returns in The Shadow Pavilion, the fourth Detective Inspector Chen novel from Liz Williams. From the strange streets of Singapore Three to the rough and tumble world of Bollywood, where money flows fast and emotions flare even faster; from the realms of the Celestial to the haunts of the Infernal and all the spaces in between, The Shadow Pavilion delivers the thrills, excitement, and near-future occult action fans have come to expect…
Official Liz Williams Blog
Order “The Shadow PavilionHERE

The Tempest Tales” by Walter Mosley. Release Date: May 28, 2008. Tipping his hat to Langston Hughes and his much loved character, Jesse B. Semple, Walter Mosley introduces Tempest Landry and The Tempest Tales. In this episodic battle between heaven and hell that will determine Tempest’s ultimate destiny, the recalcitrant hero takes the reader on a philosophic and humorous journey where free will is pitted against class and race—and the music of heaven is pitted against the blues…
Official Walter Mosley Website
Order “The Tempest TalesHERE

Mariah Mundi: The Midas Box” by G.P. Taylor. Release Date: May 29, 2008. The Prince Regent is no ordinary hotel—powered entirely by steam, run by an eccentric inventor who doesn’t believe in sleep, it’s a place full of shadowy characters and dangerous secrets. Mariah Mundi has just started working there as a magician’s assistant, and when he and his coworker Sacha unwittingly learn more than they were meant to know, they suddenly find themselves pawns in an evil plot full of labyrinthine twists and turns…
Official G.P. Taylor Website
Order “Mariah Mundi: The Midas BoxHERE


Liviu said...

Great list as usual; thank you for the credit. There is one more book that may be of interest to sff fans, The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng - mostly historical fiction with a touch of fantasy - nominated for Man Booker in 07, published USA May 08. I found out about this book by chance browsing this weekend, bought it immediately and absolutely loved it.

There are a lot of exciting books on the list, and I have already several in the mail or preordered, and several at home.

I really love this list of new releases and I am amazed at all this effort put to make this list so useful.

Dark Wolf said...

Very good spotlight as usual. It is the first thing a check at the beginning of each month.

Princess Allie said...

May is gonna be a good month

Robert said...

Liviu, you're more than welcome for the credit :) After all, if not for you I wouldn't have known about "The Dark Volume"! Also, that Gift of Rain books sounds great! So thanks again for your help and your compliments :)

Mihai and Princess Allie, I hope you find something to your liking this month :D

Liviu said...

Dark Volume got to my house yesterday, but it came with Kingdom Beyond the Waves and House of Suns, so what's one to read? And to add to it, I've got Death's Head 2 also, though for that one I've bought an e-copy to carry around on my 770...

All in all I decided to start with Kingdom and I am glad to say that so far the writing is much better and tighter than in At The Court of the Air, while the extraordinary sense of wonder of that one remains. And in between I am reading Death's Head 2 since that one is fun and easier.

Robert said...

Well you can never have enough good books to read :) I'm about halfway through "The Kingdom Beyond the Waves" myself and absolutely loving it!

I'm going to have order "The Dark Volume" and "House of Suns". I've actually never read anything by Reynolds, but from I've seen, I should be :) And "Maximum Offense" is definitely a lot of fun!

Btw, how do you like your e-reader?

Liviu said...

House of Suns starts very interesting and most likely will be the next book, unless I will be in the mood for Celeste, The Cardinal and la Contessa - that one starts just where the other one left off.

I read the novella on which House of Suns is based, though this one is quite different except for the general setting - everything except ftl so practical immortals, Dyson spheres, moving stars - main characters, and most likely the reasons for things happening in the 2M Ad anthology and I really liked it.

I like reading e-books, but do not like the e-ink devices since they are slow, clumsy and have no backlight - so I've been using a Nokia 770 Internet tablet with free Fbreader software for almost 3 years now and occasionally my iTouch - jailbroken of course. On the go and at night the 770 is absolutely great, fast, easy navigation with customizable keys, fonts, colors...

I cannot say that I prefer print books to ebooks or viceversa - whatever is convenient will do - the only kind of books I dislike and avoid as much as possible are mmpb since the print is small and crowded

Janet said...

Kéthani sounds like a story not to be missed.

KP said...

Every month I start to cut down my list of books to buy and every month the list grows right back, usually past, the previous high water mark. It is a great time to be a fantasy/SF fan as there are so many good books coming out. Thanks for the great spotlight.

Dark Wolf said...

Thanks Robert for the info, I found 6-7 titles and already asked for them. The most intriguing for is that of Ildefonso Falcones. And definitely look for it.

Robert said...

Liviu, I'm more old-skool I guess ;) I've tried listening to audio books and reading books online, but it's just not the same for me. So for now, I'm sticking with the actual books!

Janet, I've heard nothing but praise for Kethani and look forward to reading it myself :)

Kp, I've actually given up on ever purchasing all the books I want. My wishlist just keeps growing every month ;)

You're welcome Mihai :) I actually just stumbled upon "Cathedral of the Sea" before posting the article, but it does sound intriguing...

Larry said...

I read Ildefonso Falcones' La catedral del mar last year, but I had no idea it had been translated into English. It's a good, solid historical novel, but I don't recall much in the way of supernatural elements. It makes for a nice complement to Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind, though.

Robert said...

Larry, I should have known that you already read the book ;) I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but if well-written I can enjoy one. So, "Cathedral of the Sea" is on my list, along with Ken Follett, and now Carlos Ruiz Zafón :)

gav(NextRead) said...

Had to say thanks for all the hard work, after doing a smaller one for April I know it takes some effort. A great selection as well.

Robert said...

Thanks Gav, I appreciate it!

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