Future Treasures: The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Appearance of Annie Van Sinderen-smallKatherine Howe’s first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, inspired by her family’s connection to the Salem Witch trials, became a New York Times bestseller. Her first YA novel, the bestselling Conversion, was released last year; she was also the editor of The Penguin Book of Witches.

Her latest YA novel, The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen, is a haunted love story set in present day New York, the tale of a young filmmaker who falls in love with a ghost who’s been searching to discover exactly what happened to her one dark night in 1825…

It’s July in New York City, and aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman has just arrived to start his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic’s in the East Village, he meets a mysterious, intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie.

As they start spending time together, Wes finds himself falling for her, drawn to her rose-petal lips and her entrancing glow. There’s just something about her that he can’t put his finger on, something faraway and otherworldly that compels him to fall even deeper. Annie’s from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she’s been searching for something — a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes’s help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie’s dark past.

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen will be published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on September 15, 2015. It is 384 pages, priced at $18.99 in hardcover and $10.99 for the digital version. The cover is by Theresa M. Evangelista.


New Treasures: Angels & Exiles by Yves Meynard

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Angels and Exiles-smallI first met Yves Meynard at the World Fantasy Convention in Montreal in 2001. He was already a rising star, and since then he’s had a stellar career — his novel The Book of Knights was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award, and when Tor published his fantasy novel Chrysanthe in 2012, Locus called him “[David] Hartwell’s major discovery this year.” This is his first collection.

In these twelve sombre tales, ranging from baroque science fiction to bleak fantasy, Yves Meynard brings to life wonders and horrors. From space travellers who must rid themselves of the sins their souls accumulate in transit, to a young man whose love transcends time; from refugees in a frozen hold at the end of space, to a city drowning under the weight of its architectural prayer; from an alien Jerusalem that has corrupted the Earth, to a land still bleeding from the scars of a supernatural war; here are windows opened onto astonishing vistas, stories written with a scientist’s laser focus alloyed with a poet’s sensibilities.

At Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog, Yves offered this marvelous comment about how own search for wonder in fiction:

The natural world is an endless source of amazement; human culture all across the planet ceaselessly produces works of stunning beauty. You shouldn’t need anything else to satisfy your need for wonderment… And yet it still twitches inside me, that urge for the miraculous. I read stories of the fantastic and write them myself, to assuage it. And I tell myself it’s better to have it only inside of stories. Because if such a miraculous world were real, loaded with revelations and terrible marvels, a world in whose oceans swam hybrids and monsters, a world where everything was charged with transcendent meaning, and all our human conceits were true — that world would devour us.

Angels & Exiles was published by ChiZine Publications on February 26, 2015. It is 291 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback and $7.99 for the digital version. The cover art is by Vince Haig, with a design by Samantha Beiko.


Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: An Apt Description of the Heroine in Beaulieu’s Twelve Kings in Sharakhai

Monday, August 31st, 2015 | Posted by Kelly Swails

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai-smallTwelve Kings in Sharakhai: The Song of Shattered Sands: Book One
By Bradley P. Beaulieu
DAW Books (592 pages, $24.95 in hardcover, $9.99 digital, September 1, 2015)
Cover by Adam Paquette

Eleven years ago, Çedamihn Ahyanesh’ala’s mother was killed by the immortal Twelve Kings that rule the desert city of Sharakhai. Çeda — as she’s known to a few close friends — doesn’t know why her mother was killed. She only has three clues: the Kings carved strange symbols into her mother’s skin before they killed her; a book of poems that belonged to her mother; and the fact that she can never reveal she was her mother’s daughter.

Along with her friend Emre — one of only a handful of people who know her true identity — Çeda earns money on the streets of Sharakhai by delivering messages and cutting the occasional purse. By the time she is a young adult, she earns money with a new identity: the White Wolf, one of the most feared and respected hand warriors in the fighting pits.

Only Emre knows the secret deep within her heart: she means to avenge her mother’s death by killing the immortal Kings that rule the city. But in order to do so, she has to face her fears, make allies out of enemies, and risk losing everything she cherishes.

The world building here is robust yet deft. There are several elements in play, such as the mythology that governs the Kings, the magic of the forbidden forest on the outskirts of the city, and the creatures called the asirim that roam Sharakhai every six weeks to prey upon the city’s inhabitants.

Read More »


Future Treasures: Dragons, Droids and Doom, Year One, edited by Iulian Ionescu and Frederick Doot

Sunday, August 30th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Dragons Droids and Doom-smallFantasy Scroll Magazine is one of the great success stories of genre crowdfunding. It was launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign in April 2014, in which it raised enough to fund itself for a full year (four issues). All four issues were released on time, as promised, and since then it’s been operating nicely under its own steam. This year it upgraded to bimonthly, attracting top talent like Robert Reed, Sarah Avery, Pauline J. Alama, Beth Cato, and many more, and the magazine continues to prosper.

Fantasy Scroll has supported itself by selling merchandise and launching a mobile app — and through a Starlight Patrol of enthusiastic backers and supporters at Patreon who help keep the magazine going. Best of all, they’ve announced a new line of anthologies, the first of which, Dragons, Droids and Doom, contains all 51 short stories published in their first year. Here’s editor Iulian Ionescu:

It’s with great pleasure that I introduce you to Dragons, Droids and Doom, Year One, the very first anthology from Fantasy Scroll Magazine. It contains all stories published in the year 2014, and what a cool bunch of stories! There are 51 stories from 49 authors, including names you’ll recognize, such as Mike Resnick, Ken Liu, Piers Anthony, and Cat Rambo. You will also find stories from up-and-coming authors and some from first-time published authors. All in all, I believe it’s a great mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and paranormal short stories that will appeal to a wide audience.

We last covered Fantasy Scroll Magazine with issue 7.

Dragons, Droids and Doom, Year One will be published in early November, 2015. It is $14.95 in trade paperback, and $5.99 for the ebook. The cover is by Mondolithic Studios. Read more — including the introduction by Mike Resnick, and two sample stories — at the website, and see the massive table of contents here.


New Treasures: Updraft by Fran Wilde

Sunday, August 30th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Updraft Fran Wilde-smallAs I mentioned in my post on The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps, Tor has really been on a tear recently with some top-notch debuts. They’ve always been willing to take a chance on new authors, but recently some of their most exciting releases have come from new authors. That continues with Updraft, the first novel from Fran Wilde, whose short fiction has been getting notice in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Nature, and Asimov’s SF.

Welcome to a World of Wind and Bone, Songs and Silence, Betrayal and Courage

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother’s side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city’s secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever — if it isn’t destroyed outright.

Read an excerpt at Tor.com.

Updraft will be published by Tor Books on September 1, 2015. It is 364 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Stephan Martinere.


Vintage Treasures: The Martian Inca by Ian Watson

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Martian Inca-smallBritish author Ian Watson has published 34 SF and fantasy novels and eleven short story collections, including The Books of the Black Current trilogy, The Embedding, Alien Embassy, God’s World, The Gardens of Delight, and Queenmagic, Kingmagic. He’s also the author of The Inquisition War trilogy, three early novels in the Warhammer 40K universe.

His fourth novel, published in hardcover by Charles Scribner’s Sons and reprinted in paperback by Ace Books in 1978, was The Martian Inca. When a Martian probe returning to Earth crash-lands in the Peruvian Andes, a virulent infection wipes out whole tribe…. all except one man, who awakens from a fever with miraculous powers — and a strange destiny.

The Mars Probe has crashed.

A triumph of Soviet technology, the first two-way interplanetary probe performed brilliantly until the final stage of its return. Then something went wrong: rather than following its programmed course to a soft landing in its country of origin, the probe crashed in the Peruvian Andes.

Now a weird infection beyond the understanding of medical science has wiped out an entire village — except for one man, who, alone and undiscovered by medics, survives. He has awakened to find himself become his own ancestor, and a god. Suddenly the flames of an Indian revolution are spreading South America; he is the Martian Inca.

The Martian Inca was published by Ace Books in October 1978. It is 299 pages in paperback, priced at $1.95; it remained out of print in the U.S. until a digital version was published in 2011. The cover is by Stephen Hickman.

See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.


Locus Online on C.S.E. Cooney’s Bone Swans

Saturday, August 29th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Bone Swans CSE Cooney-smallBone Swans, the long awaited first collection from C.S.E. Cooney, has been loudly acclaimed since its release last month. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, and a rave review from Tor.com — especially for “Life on the Sun,” which was originally published here at Black Gate. And Library Journal called it “Five beautifully crafted stories… full of flying carpets, fairy-tale characters, and children confronted with a postapocalyptic Earth… [a] gorgeous new collection.” Now Locus Online‘s Paul Di Filippo weighs in, saying:

This is a strong and enduring debut collection… As might be predicated based on its name, the genre dubbed the “New Weird” has its roots in the Old Weird, and one tendril of those roots extends back to the Weird Tales crew. Thus it’s not too surprising that Cooney’s state-of-the-art New Weird tale “Life on the Sun” at times reads like something from the Robert E. Howard canon, with strange tribes, bizarre magics, desert-circled cities, and other nifty pulp tropes. But of course, since Cooney’s poetic, evocative prose is of a higher order of sophistication than Howard’s, the resulting tale is a thing apart. The city of Rok Moris is undergoing a simultaneous assault from without and rebellion from within. At the heart of both movements, it eventuates, is a young woman named Kantu. Her denied birthright contends with her chosen mature allegiances, and she must somehow reconcile them for the survival of her city and all its citizens… Overall, if the byline had been stripped from this tale, one would not be surprised to hear it came from the pen of Tanith Lee…

In his beguiling and affectionate introduction, Gene Wolfe nominates Cooney as a fully formed savant of fantastika at age eighteen. Having matured and honed her skills since then, as seen in this collection, she surely is embarked on a literary odyssey as rewarding and thrilling as any undergone by her bevy of unforgettable heroes and heroines.

Bone Swans was published by Mythic Delirium Books on July 1, 2015. It is 224 pages, priced at $15.95 in trade paperback and $5.99 for the digital version. The cover art is by Kay Nielsen. See the Mythic Delirium website for more details, and the complete Table of Contents here.


Future Treasures: The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin

Friday, August 28th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Sleeping King-smallI’m not all that familiar with live action role-playing (LARP), but I certainly know it has its fans. One thing I hear about it is that it brings the storytelling aspect of role playing to life in a way much superior to tabletop gaming, and I believe that’s true. Cindy Dees is something of a pioneer in the LARP community — she’s been involved with Dragon Crest, one of the original live action role-playing games, for over twenty years, and is the story content creator on the game. She’s also a New York Times bestselling romance and suspense writer, with more than 50 novels to her credit. For her first venture into fantasy she’s partnered with Dragon Crest founder Bill Flippin on a new epic fantasy series, featuring near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king, and two young people set on a path to save the day.

The planet Urth was once a green and verdant paradise. Powerful elemental beings with deep magic were stewards to this wonder, but not all could agree on its destiny. When gods war, it is the small who always suffer and the First Great Age ended with a battle that nearly destroyed all life. To end the conflict an Accord was put in place to preserve the balance of life, and the elementals withdrew their influence to allow new, less powerful races to grow and to thrive in the world.

That balance was destroyed, however, when the Kothites, a race of near immortals, came to Urth. In the ensuing centuries they have wreaked havoc on the planet, and the mortal races of men, elves, and other creatures seek a way to break free of the Kothite menace.

There is a fable told to those who hope that there is a Sleeping King, a powerful elvish elemental trapped in a spell, who possesses powers that may bring Urth back to health. Many seek this treasure: a mad Immortal Emperor who would destroy it to ensure his race’s power forever. An avaricious governor who seeks to enrich himself beyond measure. Old powers seeking to capture lost glory. A young girl seeking to thwart property to save her future, and a young woodsman out to discover a lost past. Together they might finally extinguish the Black Flame of Koth.

The Sleeping King will be published by Tor Books on September 8, 2015. It is 496 pages, priced at $25.99 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Stephen Youll.


New Treasures: The Mick Oberon Novels, by Ari Marmell

Friday, August 28th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Hot Lead Cold Iron-small Hallow Point-small

I’m a sucker for novels set in Chicago. Also for pulp-era, 1930’s fantasy, and a good adventure series. So give me a good adventure series set in 1930’s Chicago, and I get a little weak in the knees.

Ari Marmell has been knocking around the industry for some time. He did some high profile Dungeons & Dragons releases for Wizards of the Coast, and his credits include the 4th Edition Tomb of Horrors, Cityscape, and The Plane Below. But recently he’s achieved a much higher profile as a novelist, with successful titles like The Conqueror’s Shadow, and Covenant’s End.

But his newest series, featuring magic-wielding private detective Mick Oberon in 1932 Chicago, is definitely more my speed. The first volume, Hot Lead, Cold Iron, was published in paperback by Titan in May of last year, and the second, Hallow Point, just arrived earlier this month. Both have great covers by Julia Lloyd.

Read More »


When Is Fantasy Not Fantasy? Or, One Person’s Religion = Another Person’s Mythology

Friday, August 28th, 2015 | Posted by Violette Malan

Peters BonesI’ve always been intrigued by the appearance of the supernatural in historical fiction. When a modern writer sets a novel in the historical past, and uses elements of the supernatural, or magic, or some such item, it’s fantasy, right? Or, is it magic realism? Or is it magic realism only if the story is set in modern day South America, preferably written by a modern day South American?

Just what is magic realism, anyway? Is it more than magical thinking on the part of characters? Or a way for non-genre critics to talk about supernatural elements in books they don’t like to think contain supernatural elements?

Are Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael novels examples of magic realism? Or plain old fantasy, for that matter? Cadfael prays to the Welsh Saint Winifred, and she responds. Miracles happen. The authorities, in this case the Abbot of Shrewsbury, might check for fraud (was the lame boy truly lame to start with?) but no one doubts the possibility of the miraculous, and no one searches for another explanation. On the other hand, no one suggests that this is a series of crossover books. Why not?

It’s one thing for modern writers to write of historical times and include the belief systems of the people of those times. Maybe that isn’t, strictly speaking, fantasy. But what about contemporary writers, by which I mean the people writing in those times? What about that kind of “historical” fiction?

Read More »


  Earlier Entries »

This site © 2019 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.