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Saturday, September 1, 2007

SPOTLIGHT: Books of September

Welcome to the September 2007 edition of Fantasy Book Critic’s monthly SPOTLIGHT. Previous spotlights can be visited HERE for June, HERE for July and HERE for August. There’s plenty of books coming out in September (and even more in October), so with Summer over that just means more time for reading :) Enjoy the list and much love & respect! (NOTE: Unless stated otherwise, all release dates are for the US):

The Reincarnationist” by M. J. Rose. Release Date: September 1, 2007. “Equal parts modern-day thriller, historical fiction and love story”, “The Reincarnationist” is the ninth release from the international bestselling M. J. Rose who also co-wrote “How To Publish & Promote Online” & “Buzz Your Book” (w/Douglas Clegg), and founded International Thriller Writers & If the early word is any indication, “The Reincarnationist” looks to be a winner and will give Dan Brown a run for his money…
Official M. J. Rose Website
Order “The ReincarnationistHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch the Book Trailer HERE
Watch An Interview with M. J. Rose HERE

The Devil’s Right Hand” by Lilith Saintcrow. Release Date: September 1, 2007. To tie in with the release of Ms. Saintcrow’s third Dante Valentine novel, and in celebration of the Orbit US launch, the first two books in the series—“Working for the Devil” + “Dead Man Rising”—are being reissued on the same day as “The Devil’s Right Hand” with volumes four & five to follow in November 2007 + January 2008. Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison should love Ms. Valentine, an ass-kicking necromancer / bounty hunter…
Official Lilith Saintcrow Website
Order the Dante Valentine Books HERE
Read An Excerpt From “Working for the DevilHERE
Read An Excerpt From “Dead Man RisingHERE
Read An Excerpt From “The Devil’s Right HandHERE

The Innocent Mage” by Karen Miller. Release Date: September 1, 2007. Originally released in 2005 to Australian/New Zealand readers, “The Innocent Mage” made its UK debut earlier this year and is part of the US launch for Orbit Books. While the book plays around with a lot of familiar fantasy themes such as prophecy, “rags-to-riches”, ancient evils and destined heroes, “The Innocent Mage” is a strong start to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Duology and is a worthy introduction to Australian author Karen Miller
Official Karen Miller Website
Order “The Innocent MageHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s REVIEW of “The Innocent Mage
Read An Interview with Karen Miller HERE via Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

The Spiral Labyrinth” by Matthew Hughes. Release Date: September 1, 2007. Under three different name variations, Mr. Hughes has written fantasy/SF (as Matthew Hughes), crime fiction (as Matt Hughes) and media tie-ins (as Hugh Matthews), as well as a couple of non-fiction and numerous short stories. It was “Black Brillion” (2004) that first introduced me to the author, but it’s his new Henghis Hapthorn series that has me really excited, and “The Spiral Labyrinth” is said to be even better than “Majestrum”…
Official Matthew Hughes Website
Order “The Spiral LabyrinthHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Hunter’s Run” by George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois & Daniel Abraham. UK Release Date: September 3, 2007. Featuring the collaborative efforts of GRRM (A Song of Ice & Fire), Gardner Dozois (Year’s Best Science Fiction Series) and Daniel Abraham (The Long Price Quartet), “Shadow Twin” was originally a novella published through Subterranean Press before being expanded into the full-length novel “Hunter’s Run”, which is described as “a powerful tale of betrayal, trickery and sheer human grit…”
Official George R. R. Martin Website
Official Daniel Abraham Website
Order “Hunter’s RunHERE
Read An Interview with GRRM, Gardner Dozois & Daniel Abraham via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Read Reviews of “Hunter’s Run” via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist + The Book Swede

HeartSick” by Chelsea Cain. Release Date: September 4, 2007. Author of the Nancy Drew parody “Confessions of a Teen Sleuth” (2005), several nonfiction titles and a weekly column in The Oregonian, Chelsea Cain is all set to become a household name with her newest book “HeartSick” which features a beautiful, but deadly serial killer—Gretchen Lowell—in the tradition of Hannibal Lecter. Already universally praised by critics and readers alike, “HeartSick” definitely looks like a book to watch…
Official Chelsea Cain Website
Read An Excerpt HERE
Watch Book Trailers HERE, HERE + HERE

Blood Is The New Black” by Valerie Stivers. Release Date: September 4, 2007. With a background that includes Mirabella, CondeNet, Time Out New York, and Travel + Leisure, is it any surprise that Valerie Stivers’ debut takes place at a fashion magazine? Even with murder and possibly vampires, this one’s for chicks. “Capitalizes on the lingering allure of The Devil Wears Prada, the bubbly appeal of Ugly Betty, the campy joy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the drop-dead glamour of Fashion Week” says PW
Order “Blood Is The New BlackHERE

Vorpal Blade” by John Ringo + Travis S. Taylor. Release Date: September 4, 2007. Re-teaming prolific military science fiction author John Ringo and writer / scientist Travis S. Taylor (“Von Neumann's War”), “Vorpal Blade” is the sequel to “Into the Looking Glass”. “Ranging in topics from the best gun to kill armored space monsters to particle physics to cosmology to health and beauty tips, Vorpal Blade is a return to the ‘good old days’ of SF when the science problems were intractable and the beasts were ugly…”
Official John Ringo Website
Official Travis S. Taylor Website
Order “Vorpal BladeHERE
Sample “Vorpal BladeHERE

Reap the Wild Wind” by Julie E. Czerneda. Release Date: September 4, 2007. After cutting her teeth on non-fiction, Ms. Czerneda published her first SF novel in 1997 and since then, the multiple Prix Aurora Award-winning author has completed the Trade Pact Universe trilogy, Web Shifters, a number of standalones/short stories, and edited several anthologies (Tales from the Wonder Zone). “Reap the Wild Wind” is the start of the new Stratification series which revisits the Trade Pact Universe
Official Julie E. Czernda Website
Order “Reap the Wild WindHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Queen of Wolves” by Douglas Clegg. Release Date: September 4, 2007. Considered a pioneer in e-publishing and an advocate of the Internet, Mr. Clegg has embraced the darker side of literature since 1989 and has produced over twenty novels and forty-five short stories. One of my favorites has been The Vampyricon Trilogy (The Priest of Blood, The Lady of the Serpents), which concludes in “The Queen of Wolves”—an epic battle between vampyres, mortals and gods that will decide the fate of the world…
Official Douglas Clegg Website
Official The Vampyricon Trilogy Website
Order “The Queen of WolvesHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Sunrise Lands” by S.M. Stirling. Release Date: September 4, 2007. The list of works that comprise S.M. Stirling’s bibliography is quite extensive, including numerous series, short fiction, media tie-ins and collaborations with the likes of Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, Holly Lisle, David Drake, etc. “The Sunrise Lands” kicks off a new trilogy that occurs a generation after the Dies the Fire series, which first introduced The Change—an event that “rendered technology inoperable around the world…”
Official S.M. Stirling Website
Order “The Sunrise LandsHERE
Sample “The Sunrise LandsHERE

The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie. Release Date: September 6, 2007. Already a hit with UK & Canadian readers, Joe Abercrombie’s debut novel “The Blade Itself” is all set to take on the American scene thanks to Pyr Books. With strong word-of-mouth, memorable characters, and two sequels waiting in the wings—“Before They Are Hanged”, “Last Argument of Kings”, “The Blade Itself” has a lot going for it and should appeal to fans who like their fantasy “unpredictable, compelling, (and) wickedly funny…”
Official Joe Abercrombie Website
Order “The Blade ItselfHERE
Read An Extract HERE
Read Interviews with Joe Abercrombie via Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist + A Dribble of Ink
Read Reviews of “The Blade Itself” via SFF World + The Gravel Pit

Heaven’s Net Is Wide” by Lian Hearn. UK Release Date: September 7, 2007. “Heaven's Net is Wide is the first and last Tale, which both closes the circle and introduces new readers to the strange and beautiful world of the Otori. It is an epic historical fantasy of revenge & betrayal, honour & loyalty, beauty & passion and the overwhelming power of love.” Introducing a “mythical, medieval Japanese world”, Tales of the Otori is a breathtaking fantasy series that has become one of my favorites and is highly recommended to all…
Official Lian Hearn Website
Tales of the Otori Website
Order "Heaven's Net Is Wide" HERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Winterbirth” by Brian Ruckley. Release Date: September 10, 2007. Part of the Orbit US launch, Brian Ruckley’sWinterbirth” is another fantasy debut that made a splash overseas in 2006 and is now trying its luck stateside. If any of the reviews out there are close to being right, then Mr. Ruckley’sWinterbirth” (Book One of The Godless World Trilogy) promises to be a dark, bloody and “epic tale of revenge, betrayal and greed”. I have high expectations for this release and can’t wait to sink me teeth into the book…
Official Brian Ruckley Website
Order “Winterbirth” HERE
Read An Extract HERE
Read Interviews with Brian Ruckley via A Dribble of Ink, Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review + The Book Swede (Part I, Part II)
Read reviews of “Winterbirth” via The Fantasy Review & Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review

Making Money” by Terry Pratchett. Release Date: September 18, 2007. UK Release Date is September 24, 2007. Mr. Pratchett needs no introduction. His novels have sold fifty million copies worldwide—led by the wildly popular comedic fantasy series Discworld—and have been adapted into a variety of formats (TV, radio, etc). “Filled with Pratchett's usual sharp wit, keen social commentary, and sagacious observations, Making Money is another highly anticipated volume in the internationally bestselling Discworld canon…”
Official Terry Pratchett Website
Order “Making MoneyHERE

2012: The War For Souls” by Whitley Strieber. Release Date: September 18, 2007. Is the author of over twenty novels including “The Wolfen” & “The Hunger”, the NYT #1-bestselling non-fiction novel “Communion”, and “The Coming Global Superstorm” (w/ Art Bell) which was the inspiration for the film The Day After Tomorrow. “2012: The War For Souls” explores the end of the world in “a riveting roller-coaster ride of a story” that is “equal parts science fiction thriller, supernatural horror and provocative spiritual speculation…”
Official Whitley Strieber Website
Order “2012: The War For SoulsHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
FYI: Is being adapted into a feature film with Michael Bay (Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock) directing and Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Mission Impossible III, The Island) producing/writing.

Axis” by Robert Charles Wilson. Release Date: September 18, 2007. Winner of numerous awards for his science fiction works including three Auroras, the John W. Campbell Award (The Chronoliths), a Philip K. Dick Award (Mysterium) and a Theodore Sturgeon Award, Robert Charles Wilson looks to continue his excellence in “Axis”, which is a direct sequel to the Hugo Award-winning “Spin” (2005). Wildly praised by critics & readers alike, Mr. Wilson could be one of the genre’s most important contemporary voices…
Official Robert Charles Wilson Website
Order “AxisHERE

Scarlet” by Stephen R. Lawhead. Release Date: September 18, 2007. An internationally-acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction, Mr. Lawhead’s diverse bibliography includes SF/fantasy series (The Song of Albion, The Pendragon Cycle), children’s books, and nonfiction. Currently, the author is using Celtic mythology and medieval Britain politics to reinvent the legend of Robin Hood which began in last year’s “Hood” and continues in “Scarlet”, the second book in the riveting King Raven trilogy…
Official Stephen R. Lawhead Website
Order “ScarletHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Worldbinder” by David Farland. Release Date: September 18, 2007. David Farland’s The Runelords is an epic fantasy series characterized by its distinctive magic system. While it’s not on the same level as George R. R. Martin or Robert Jordan, the saga has been a fun, action-packed thrill ride and I was excited that a new Runelords series was starting with “Sons of the Oak”. Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the book’s YA approach and I’m hoping that the sequel “Worldbinder” will be a more satisfying read…
Official Runelords Website
Order “WorldbinderHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Book of a Thousand Days” by Shannon Hale. Release Date: September 18, 2007. Mainly a writer of YA fantasy, Ms. Hale is best known for the NYT Bestselling, Newberry Honor-winning “Princess Academy” (2005) and the Josette Frank Award-winning “The Goose Girl” (2003). In a “Book of a Thousand Days”, Ms. Hale once again reimagines a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, this time about a maid and her mistress who are shut in a tower for seven years and experience adventure, romance, drama, and disguise…
Official Shannon Hale Website
Order “Book of a Thousand DaysHERE

Dexter In the Dark” by Jeff Lindsay. Release Date: September 18, 2007. By day Dexter Morgan is a normal individual working as a Miami crime scene investigator. By night, Dexter the Dark Avenger is an ethical serial killer guided by his Dark Passenger. As Time puts it, “Imagine if Hannibal Lecter starred in CSI: Miami, and you’re halfway there.” In the author’s third Dexter adventure, “Dexter in the Dark”, the book “goes deeper into the psyche of one of the freshest protagonists in recent fiction…”
Official Jeff Lindsay Website
Order “Dexter In the DarkHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Cowboy Angels” by Paul J. McAuley. UK Release Date: September 20, 2007. Choosing writing over research biology, Mr. McAuley has gone on to pen fifteen novels and has won the Arthur C. Clarke (Fairyland), Philip K. Dick (Four Hundred Billion Stars), British Fantasy, Sidewise and John W. Campbell Awards (Fairyland). Mr. McAuley’s latest novel, “Cowboy Angels”, brings together parallel universes, techno-thrills, military procedure, and science fiction in a potent blend of “high-octane action and convoluted plots”…
Official Paul J. McAuley Website
Order “Cowboy AngelsHERE
Read An Extract HERE + HERE
Read Reviews of “Cowboy Angels” via SFF World + Sandstorm

Interred With Their Bones” by Jennifer Lee Carrell. Release Date: September 20, 2007. Background includes a Ph.D. in English & American Literature from Harvard, degrees from Oxford & Stanford, and the historical nonfiction “The Speckled Monster”. On the surface, Ms. Carrell’s debut novel looks to be just another Da Vinci Code clone, but with the author’s pedigree, “Interred With Their Bones” is “poised to become the next bestselling literary adventure in the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian…”
Official Jennifer Lee Carrell Website
Order “Interred With Their BonesHERE
Read Excerpts HERE

End of the World Blues” by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Release Date: September 25, 2007. “From Jon Courtenay Grimwood, author of the celebrated Arabesk series, comes a stunningly inventive novel of futuristic noir set in a world of shifting realities. Here a man is drawn into a gritty postmodern subculture and a secret kingdom of otherworldly beings to find what he lost long ago: a reason to live...” “End of the World Blues” won the 2006 BSFA Award and was shortlisted for the 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award
Official Jon Courtenay Grimwood Website
Order “End of the World BluesHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

Nova Swing” by M. John Harrison. Release Date: September 25, 2007. Mr. Harrison has been publishing SF & fantasy since 1966, but is still on top of his game evidenced by his most recent novel “Nova Swing” which won the 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award and was a finalist for the 2007 John W. Campbell Award. A sequel to the James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning “Light”, “Nova Swing” is a “vividly and richly described world, full of Harrison’s unique interpretations, and his most lyrical & affecting book to date…”
Official M. John Harrison Website
Order “Nova SwingHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Orc King” by R.A. Salvatore. Release Date: September 25, 2007. Highly prolific fantasy author best known for his Forgotten Realms novels, the New York Times-bestselling R.A. Salvatore has also written Star Wars tie-ins, short fiction, comic books, a videogame, and is working with Todd McFarlane (Spawn) on a massive multiplayer online game. In his latest Forgotten Realms trilogy Transitions, Mr. Salvatore’s most popular creation Drizzt Do'Urden is back and better than ever in “The Orc King”…
Official R.A. Salvatore Website
Order “The Orc KingHERE

Empire of Ivory” by Naomi Novik. Release Date: September 25, 2007. By adding a unique spin to the Napoleonic Wars, dragons used in aerial combat, Naomi Novik’s Temeraire novels—“His Majesty’s Dragon”, “Throne of Jade” and “Black Powder War”—were a surprise hit in 2006, and the series was even optioned to Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong). In the fourth Temeraire novel, “Empire of Ivory”, readers will once again join Laurence and his dragon Temeraire on their adventures, this time in Africa…
Official Temeraire Website
Order “Empire of IvoryHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE

The Electric Church” by Jeff Somers. Release Date: September 25, 2007. Yet another novel part of the Orbit Books US launch, “The Electric Church” could end up being the best of the bunch… "Some debuts simply set new bars in a genre. Jeff Somers'The Electric Church" is one such book, a gritty noir story that challenges and surprises with every page. A novel that is equal parts Raymond Chandler and William Gibson. A major new talent has arrived--and it's about time!" JAMES ROLLINS.
Official Jeff Somers Website
The Electric Church Website
Order “The Electric ChurchHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE
Read Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist Review of “The Electric ChurchHERE

Blood Engines” by T.A. Pratt. Release Date: September 25, 2007. Mr. Tim Pratt is quite the busy guy. Besides writing SF/fantasy novels, short fiction and poetry, Mr. Pratt also creates chapbooks, co-edits the zine Flytrap, and works as senior editor / book reviewer at Locus Magazine. As T.A. Pratt, the author is writing a new urban fantasy series which kicks off with “Blood Engines” and introduces Marla Mason—a smart, saucy, slightly wicked witch from the East Coast. Expect at least three sequels…
Official T.A. Pratt Website
Order “Blood EnginesHERE
Read An Excerpt HERE


Anonymous said...

There is some really cool stuff coming in September, isn't it?! I want to get my hands on a copy of Jeff Somers (have you seen his website? Nice stuff over there) and the collaboration of GRRM with other looks quite tempting as well. Great overview.

Robert said...

There always seems to be too many books coming out each month that I want to read :) I'm hoping to get copies of both "The Electric Church" and "Hunter's Run" soon, but we'll see. Personally, I really want to read that Dexter Morgan series, "The Reincarnationist" and the King Raven trilogy, but I just don't think I'll have the time :(

Tia Nevitt said...

An excellent list, as always!

Katie said...

Just finished M.J Rose's latest. It was good. Leaves you with a lot to think about.

Robert said...

Tia, thanks! Can't wait to see what you do with the debuts coming out this month. And Katie, glad to hear that "The Reincarnationist" was good. Hope to pick up a copy soon :)

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