What does September have in store for you? A new Neal Stephenson novel! Not one, but two new releases from Cherie Priest! Plus faeries, vampires, digital revolutionaries, and a college in outer space. Here are all the new releases your bookshelf needs this month.
Ganymede, Cherie Priest (Tor)
Priest's third Clockwork Century novel stars Andan Cly, the larger-than-life airship pilot first introduced in Boneshaker. He's aiming to reform, but first he accepts a job running supplies from New Orleans to the ruins of Seattle. While he's in town, though, he's approached by Josephine Early (his former lover) with an offer for another gig. The madam is now a Union spy and needs someone to retrieve a prototype sub, the Ganymede, from Lake Pontchartrain. Bad news: Everyone who tries to make it work dies.
Hellbent, Cherie Priest (Del Rey)
A double-dose of Priest! In Bloodshot, the staunchly independent Raylene Pendle (aka Cheshire Red) collected an entire makeshift family of characters. She's now hosting both the blind vampire Ian Stott and the badass drag queen/former SEAL Adrian deJesus. Of course, taking all these folks under her wing means she's now responsible for them — and so when the forces of darkness come after Ian, Cheshire Red and her merry band have got to protect him.
Prospero Regained, L. Jagi Lamplighter (Tor)
For those who aren't familiar with Lamplighter's trilogy, the premise is a fabulous one: Prospero and his family survived centuries beyond Shakespeare, and now protect humanity from a multitude of supernatural threats. But now he's trapped in Hell, and Miranda is working furiously to reunite her warring siblings to spring him.
Briarpatch, Tim Pratt (ChiZine)
Darrin's girlfriend dumps him. His life falls apart. Six months later, he watches his ex take a suicidal jump off a bridge. But this is more than a run of really, really bad luck. In his struggle to figure out why she did what she did, Darrin encounters all manner of weirdness including the Briarpatch, a bit of extra metaphysical space in the universe. There he hopes to find if not Bridget, at least some answers.
Highest Frontier, Joan Slonczewski (Tor)
Jennifer Ramos Kennedy — yes, she is a relation — matriculates with more than the usual freshman troubles. The Earth has been ravaged by climate change and other human-made catastrophes, and her brother was among the victims when New York City's sea walls collapsed. But she's among the troubled world's best and brightest, so she's a freshman at Frontera College, a prestigious, well-funded institution located in orbit around the planet. She just wants passing grades and something resembling a social life, but as a budding botanist she'll find herself drafted in the fight against an invasive alien species.
Wayfinder, C.E. Murphy (Del Rey)
Lara Jansen used to be a tailor, until a Faerie prince showed up and asked her to use her talents as a Truthseeker — one who can identify a lie — to help solve his brother's murder and stop the strife in his homeland. Now Dafydd is missing, and the civil war is about to flare up worse than ever, and she's on her own in a very unfriendly world.
The Restoration Game, Ken MacLeod (Pyr)
International espionage meets online gaming, with revolutionary results, in Ken MacLeod's latest near-future thriller. Lucy Stone works for an Edinburgh video game company. Her mother Amanda is a professor who's spent much of her life working with the CIA, and The Company wants an MMO based on the Krassniad, a folklore-based epic poem, that they're going to use to foment revolution in the small, formerly Soviet nation of Krassnia. Check out io9's review here.
Goliath, Scott Westerfeld (Simon Pulse)
Alek and Deryn are still trying to regain Alek's rightful title and put a stop to World War I, even though the pair are headed in the wrong direction. The Leviathan is bound for New York City, where they'll pick up the famous Nikola Tesla, whose latest super-powerful invention could end the fighting. And then there's the other shoe that still hasn't dropped — namely, everyone still thinks Deryn's a boy.
Reamde, Neal Stephenson (William Morrow)
The entire world loves the MMORPG T'Rain, so naturally a clever pack of hackers are using it for illicit ends. They've created a virus called Reamde, which locks up a user's files so they can extort a ransom. This has all sorts of nasty IRL implications, as one T'Rain programmer named Zula discovered when she's kidnapped, told to sort things out, and sucked into an underworld full of very shady characters.
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday)
Le Cirque des Reves is a baroque, Victorian marvel run by the larger-than-life Prospero the Entertainer. Among other amusements: Two magically gifted children, Celia and Marco, pitted against each other in a lifelong rivalry. Their handlers would prefer things culminate in a spectacularly grisly end, but the two find themselves unwillingly drawn to each other.
How Firm a Foundation, David Weber (Tor)
Weber's fifth Safehold novel returns to the Charisian Empire, where Emperor Cayleb, Empress Sharleyan, Merlin Athrawes, and the lot are still fighting to protect their place in the universe. They're outnumbered, but they're going to have to take the fight to the Church of God Awaiting if they're going to survive.
The Taker, Alma Katsu (Gallery)
Any medical professional will tell you: Crazy stuff happens in the ER on the night shift. Dr. Luke Findley is working late when Lanore McIlvrae arrives and begins telling him her life story, beginning in the Puritan days. She and the local rich boy promised they'd be together forever — but the consequences wound up being rather more severe than Lanny expected. Luke is immediately smitten.
The Hum and the Shiver, Alex Bledsoe (Tor)
Wounded vet Bronwyn Hyatt returns from Iraq to East Tennessee and her insular family. But her people aren't simply mountain-folk. They're the Tufa, an enigmatic faerie race with origins so remote even they don't remember where they came from. And there's trouble coming their way.
Also coming this month: Abarat: Absolute Midnight, book three of Clive Barker's dark YA fantasy following the adventures of Candy Quackenbush; George Mann's The Immortality Engine, wherein Sir Maurice Newbury battles a problem with opium and Miss Veronica Hobbes worries about her sister; Terry Brooks concludes his two-book prehistory of Shannara with The Measure of the Magic.