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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Spotlight on August Books

This month we are featuring 36 books. There are probably twice as many new sff and related releases this month in traditional publishing not to speak of the countless indies from Amazon and Smashwords but we are limiting ourselves to books that will be reviewed here or are similar with such. For the full schedule of August 2011 titles known to us, you can consult the Upcoming Releases page.

The release dates are US unless marked otherwise, though for books released in the UK and US in the same month but on different dates we use the earliest date without comment and they are first edition unless noted differently. The dates are on a best known basis so they are not guaranteed; same about the edition information. Since information sometimes is out of date even in the Amazon links we use for listings, books get delayed or sometimes even released earlier, we would truly appreciate if you would send us an email about any listing with incorrect information.

Sometimes a cover image is not available at the time of the post and also sometimes covers change unexpectedly so while we generally use the Amazon one when available and cross check with Google Images, the ultimate bookstore cover may be different.

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“Steelhands” by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett. Release Date: August 2, 2011. Published by Bantam Spectra. (FAN).
Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Release Date: August 2, 2011. Published by Ace. (FAN).
The Whitefire Crossingby Courtney Schafer. Release Date: August 2, 2011. Published by Night Shade Books. (FAN).
Cold Vengeance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Release Date: August 2, 2011. Published by Grand Central. (MISC).
Circle of Fireby Michelle Zink. Release Date: August 3, 2011. Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. (YA).
A Blight of Mages by Karen Miller. Release Date: August 4, 2011. Published by Orbit. (FAN).

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The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman. Release Date: August 4, 2011. Published by Dutton. (MISC / US Debut).
The Crown of the Conqueror by Gav Thorpe. UK Release Date: August 4, 2011. Published by Angry Robot. (FAN).
Reality 36 by Guy Haley. UK Release Date: August 4, 2011. Published by Angry Robot. (SF).
Awakening by William Horwood. UK Release Date: August 5, 2011. Published by Tor UK. (FAN).
Final Days by Gary Gibson. UK Release Date: August 5, 2011. Published by Tor UK. (SF).
The Magician King by Lev Grossman. Release Date: August 9, 2011. Published by Viking. (FAN).

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Isles of the Forsaken by Carolyn Ives Gilman. Release Date: August 15, 2011. Published by ChiZine Publications. (FAN).
The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Tor. (FAN).
The Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven & Steven Barnes. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Tor. (SF).
The Tempering of Men by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Tor. (FAN).
The Unincorporated Woman by Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Tor. (SF).
Low Town by Daniel Polansky. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Doubleday. (FAN).

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Ready One Player by Ernest Cline. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Crown. (SF).
Autumn: Purification by David Moody. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by St. Martin’s Griffin. (HF).
Legacy by David L. Golemon. Release Date: August 16, 2011. Published by Thomas Dunne. (MISC).
The Edinburgh Dead by Brian Ruckley. Release Date: August 17, 2011. Published by Orbit. (MISC).
By Light Alone by Adam Roberts. UK Release Date: August 18, 2011. Published by Gollancz. (SF).
The Third Section by Jasper Kent. UK Release Date: August 18, 2011. Published by Bantam UK. (MISC).

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Bringer of Light by Jaine Fenn. UK Release Date: August 18, 2011. Published by Gollancz. (SF).
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. UK Release Date: August 18, 2011. Published by Gollancz. (YA).
Ravensoul by James Barclay. Release Date: August 23, 2011. Published by Pyr. (FAN / US Debut).
Mayan December by Brenda Cooper. Release Date: August 23, 2011. Published by Prime Books. (FAN).
The Measure of the Magic: Legends of Shannara by Terry Brooks. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Del Rey. (FAN).
With Fate Conspire by Marie Brennan. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Tor. (FAN).

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The Recollection by Gareth L. Powell. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Solaris. (SF).
Countdown: M Day” by Tom Kratman. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Baen. (SF).
Roil by Trent Jamieson. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Angry Robot. (Steampunk).
Regicideby Nicholas Royle. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Solaris. (HF).
Awakenings by Edward Lazellari. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Tor. (FAN).
The Postmortal by Drew Magary. Release Date: August 30, 2011. Published by Penguin. (MISC).

6 comments:

Rabid Fox said...

The Postmortal sounds very intriguing, but I'm not a fan of those journal entry style narratives. They rarely work for me.

Liviu said...

For me the major books of the month I do not have but plan to get asap are By Light Alone since I am a huge fan of Adam Roberts the writer (not the sf pundit though) and Final Days since Gary Gibson never disappointed so far in 5 novels; Bringer of Light is a make or break book for that series - loved the first two, meh on third; same with Third Section - loved first but had problems with second.

I read Steelhands (just reviewed), Crown Conqueror (as good as Crown Blood, will review soon) and Last Four Things (will be in my top 25 of the year, though in retrospect it is a little too much of a middle book so i think I would rate Left Hand God a bit higher, review soon), Low Town (a disaster for me, better read cereal box labels) and I started reading Prince of Thorns more seriously yesterday but unless something hooks me, it goes on my series discard pile from what I read so far

Took a look at Reality 36 and was meh vs expectations so no intentions of reading, The Magician King (hated Magicians, this reads slightly better but not enough to use my time on it), Edinburgh Dead (not for me), Roil (not for me), Countdown: M Day (not in the mood for it, but who knows at some point)


Whitefire Crossing reads ok'ish but does not jump on the page so I may try it seriously, while the 2 debuts Regicide and Recollection are books I have some expectations for based on the shorts read from each author, but will have to sample when they are out before deciding if I want to get/read them

Have not read yet Unincorporated War (Unincorporated Man was good but did not blow me away), so unclear if/when i will look at Unincorporated Woman

The rest are of no real interest for me, but in one or two cases of new authors I may take a look just in case

JonSnow said...

@Liviu

seems ur the 1st reviewer i have come across who did not like Low Town & Prince of Thorns,other reviews i have read have been positive abt both books,one even comparing Low Town to Abercrombie's books.

are they really so bad ?

Bibliotropic said...

I'm still in the middle of reading The Whitefire Crossing, but so far I'm loving it!

Isles of the Forsaken was also pretty good. Definitely an enjoyable fantasy read.

Ready Player One is another fine example of gamer-geek fiction that's a lot of fun to read and is a great hit of nostalgia for people who attained their geekdom and who are now in their 30s and 40s.

Have a copy of Roil through NetGalley but haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

And I desperately want a copy of Awakenings!

Aaaand those are all the books on that list that I feel qualified to comment on! :)

Liviu said...

Prince of Thorns is in the Abercrombie vein but I thought it lacked the subtle dark humor of Joe A. and the narrator took himself way too seriously with all attempts at humor falling flat. Otherwise it flows well and has all the expected stuff but there are not that many twists either and while I did not find it a pain to turn the pages to the end, it did not wow me and since there are so many books out there, it's simply not worth my time to read more in the series.

Low Town though was a book I had major trouble with and I would have simply put it down and forgot it but for my big mistake in requesting a review copy from Amazon Vine so I felt obliged to read it; now it's most likely the fact that urban fantasy noir is not my cup of tea, so i guess if you are into Jim Butcher and Mike Carey you may like it, but it was advertised as new weird a la Mieville and that is definitely not, just run-of-the-mill UF noir as mentioned

Robert said...

Personally, I loved Low Town. It's more 'noir fantasy' though than straight-up urban fantasy. After all, the book is set in a fully realized secondary world while the plot, characters and atmosphere of the novel is drenched in Raymond Chandler/Dashiell Hammett-influenced noir.

As far as Prince of Thorns, it does have that Abercrombie feel, but it also takes itself more seriously, which I think suits the book better. After all, Prince of Thorns is a dark tale and the tone of the novel reflects that.

As much as I liked Prince of Thorns, I enjoyed The Whitefire Crossing even more. I think it's one of, if not the best debut of 2011, and I hope more readers give the book a chance. I'm currently working on something involving the author that will hopefully dredge up a bit more interest in her debut...

Sadly, The Third Section was a bit disappointing compared to the first two Jasper Kent novels, but it's still one of the best vampire series I've ever read.

Of the other August titles spotlighted, Steelhands, The Last Four Things, Final Days, Ready One Player, and Roil are all on the TBR pile, though none of them immediately grab me. I'll probably purchase The Magician King, even though I haven't read The Magicians yet.

Of the titles not included in the spotlight, I'm interested in Secrets of the Wolves, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2011, and The Urban Fantasy Anthology. I've grown tired of the urban fantasy genre, but the lineup in The Urban Fantasy Anthology is very impressive...

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