Just in time for Halloween, this month's new book releases bring vampires! High sorcery! And wine magic! Plus: new books from Terry Pratchett, N.K. Jemisin, Vernor Vinge, and Richard K. Morgan!
Here are some of the most exciting science fiction and fantasy books being published this month.
The Night Eternal, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan (William Morrow)
Things are still bleak in the war against the vampires, which began two books ago in The Strain. The ominously named Master has engineered this whole dreadful near-extinction event, with every intention of building a vampire empire that keeps humans solely for food. Dr. Eph Goodweather, Dr. Nora Martinez, Vasiliy Fet, and Mr. Quinlan are all working to beat back the Master's advances, but there may be at traitor among them. (Read an excerpt from the book here.)
The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
Jemisin brings her Inheritance Trilogy to a conclusion with The Kingdom of Gods. Shahar is dealing with divided loyalties, as she's in love with both the godling Sieh and the Arameri heir. Given that the Arameri held the gods as slaves for two millennia, that's not an easily resolved conflict. But she also faces a rather more serious threat, in the form of the terrifying Maelstrom.
The Cold Commands, Richard K. Morgan (Del Rey)
Richard K. Morgan continues to wreak entertaining havoc with the conventions of epic fantasy with The Cold Commands, his sequel to The Steel Remains. The Kiriath are gone, which is unfortunate as there's some creature called the Illwrack Changeling slouching to be born (or at least woken from his centuries-long artificial slumber) and raise the Aldrain once more. And so Gil, Egar, and Archeth set out over the seas to find and deal with this latest threat. (Read our review of the book here.)
Snuff, Terry Pratchett (Harper)
After years protecting the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork as the commander of the City Watch, Sam Vines finally goes on a holiday. His wife, Lady Sybil, insists on the down-time, and so off he goes to the countryside, where a body promptly turns up and turns this excursion into a working vacation.
Children of the Sky, Vernor Vinge (Tor)
It's been two decades, but Vernon Vinge is finally returning to Tines World. Ravna Bergnsdot is essentially stuck there, with the children she saved. That means for better or for worse, they're involved in the affairs of the Tines, the medieval-but-evolving species composed of sentient wolf-packs. Matters have calmed down planetside since the events of Fire Upon the Deep, but certain parties are still interested in upending the prevailing social order. (Read an excerpt from the first book here.)
In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, Margaret Atwood (Nan A. Talese)
The author of The Handmaid's Tale has long had a complicated relationship with science fiction. She explores that relationship — from her childhood reading choices to her undergraduate academic work — in this collection of essays. Included are her 2010 Ellman Lectures, about superheroes, Victorian other-lands, and utopias/dystopias. (Read an excerpt from the book here.)
Context, Cory Doctorow (Tachyon Publications)
It's a good month for essay collections — and Doctorow's thoughts on where we're headed are always interesting. In Context, he talks things like artistry in the digital age. He's also got an interesting new perspective as the stay-at-home dad of a two-year-old daughter. In this excerpt over at Tor.com, he talks about why parents shouldn't get freaked out about letting kids use the Internet, provided they do it right.
The Sacred Band, David Anthony Durham (Doubleday)
Durham concludes his sprawling, Shakespearean Acacia Trilogy with The Sacred Band. Thanks to the Book of Elenet, Corinn rules over all. But change is perhaps afoot, as her siblings Mena and Dariel venture forth on various tasks of world-historical proportions.
The Shattered Vine, Laura Anne Gilman (Gallery Books)
Laura Anne Gilman returns to her Lands Vin, a world organized around wine magic. In this volume, something's deeply wrong with the world — for starters, an entire island seems to have disappeared. Four individuals — Vineart apprentice Jerzy and his companions Ao, Mahault, and Kaïnam — are traveling the length and breadth of the world, investigating what exactly has gone wrong.
Aloha from Hell, Richard Kadrey (HarperCollins)
Book three of the Sandman Slim series finds Stark dealing with the latest metaphysical threat to the City of Angels. The novel starts with a routine possession, only he doesn't recognize the demon. Stark quickly realizes this means he's going to have to make a trip down to Hell and sort things out for himself, lest matters spiral into an all-out celestial war. (Read a chapter from the book here.)
Infidel, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
As the sequel to God's War opens, six years after the end of the last book, Nyx's life continues to be a disaster area of epic proportions. This time, she's dispatched to retrieve some of her former sisters-in-arms, a group of bel dames foolish enough to attempt a coup. That offers Hurley a chance to explore new corners of her planet and its bug-based technology. Plus, expect lots more badassery from Nyx and her crew of mercenaries.
The Harbor, John Ajvide Linqvist (William Morrow)
The author of Let the Right One In tackles every parent's nightmare: a child vanishing. Anders' six-year-old daughter disappears off the iced-over channel surrounding a frozen island. He goes back two years later, life derailed from grief, and discovers the locals are keeping something from him. This combination of forbidding ocean + unforgiving ice + missing children sounds like another spine-tingler from Linqvist.
Also out this month: Changes, the third volume in Mercedes Lackey's Vandemar-set Collegium Chronicles; Carnelians, the latest in Catherine Asaro's Skolian series; The Third Section, the aptly named third installation in Jasper Kent's historical vampire cycle; The Warlock's Shadow, Stephen Deas' sequel to The Thief-Taker's Apprentice; and Beautiful Friendship, David Weber's latest work in the Honor Harrington universe.