This month, a major fantasy series comes to its long-awaited conclusion. Anne Rice turns her attention to werewolves. Dan Simmons and Dave Eggers meet the Abominable Snowman and Facebook, respectively. Here are all the science fiction and fantasy books you must check out in October!
The woman who helped reinvent vampires is tackling werewolves, in the follow-up to her mega-successful Wolf Gift. This time around, Reuben Golding is learning about wolfy stuff, under the tutelage of the Morphenkinder, and then a fascinating ghost turns up and reveals secrets of a "strange netherworld."
The greatest horror writer you're not reading is back, with a psychological thriller that sounds deliciously weird — a radio talk-show host is desperate to prove his worth, as his station is getting sold to a new owner. So he invites a psychic on his show, only to debunk all of the psychic's tricks and mock his so-called abilities, live on the air. Guess what happens when you piss off a psychic? Nothing good, basically.
People complain about certain other fantasy authors taking a long time to publish their final installments — but fans of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have been waiting for the final volume since 1977. (Although the first trilogy was fairly self-contained, I guess.) At long last, we get to see the final chapter of Thomas Covenant's saga, as he and his wife battle to stop the Worm of the World’s End from unmaking Time. According to Publishers Weekly, it's a satisfying conclusion for long-term fans.
The author of the successful Maze Runner series is turning his attention to virtual reality with this new series, inspired by The Matrix and Inception. (Check out our exclusive interview with him from yesterday.) Basically, it's a zippy tale of a hacker facing off against a monstrous killer, who traps people inside virtual reality and then drives them insane — all in pursuit of the mysterious "Mortality Doctrine."
We called this the mind-blowing space opera you've been waiting for, and compared it to Iain M. Banks — now you can see for yourself! With a main character who used to be part of the mind of a starship, exploring a remote icy world, there's plenty of scope for insane space politics and intricate mysteries. As we wrote in our review, "This is a novel that will thrill you like the page-turner it is, but stick with you for a long time afterward."
Forget steampunk — here's a novel where 18th century sailing ships fly around the solar system doing battle amongst our neighboring planets. Basically, think Master and Commander, in space. We ran an exclusive excerpt from this book a while ago.
The author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius turns his attention to near-future science fiction, in the William Gibson/Gary Shteyngart vein. A young woman goes to work at The Circle, which is basically Facebook and Google rolled into one, and discovers that privacy is a thing of the past. Our sister site Gawker reviewed it the other day and called it "an edge-of-your-seats sci-fi thriller that only intermittently offers a telling critique of Silicon Valley culture."
The author of The Hyperion Cantos writes a historical novel about a group of people struggling to climb Mount Everest in 1928 — only to be pursued by something... abominable. Suffice to say, you ain't seen nothing Yeti. (Tip your server, I'll be here all week.) Early reviews are comparing this book to Simmons' 2007 novel The Terror, which is a very good thing.
The author of Zahrah the Windseeker and Akata Witch publishes her very first short-story collection, including one collaboration with Alan Dean Foster and a foreword by Whoopi Goldberg. The title story has to do with "kabu kabu" companies, a kind of illegal taxi service in Nigeria. And a few of the stories about windseekers apparently are deleted sections from Zahrah, which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.
Check out the excerpt from this book we ran earlier today. This is a near-future thriller that imagines an alarmingly plausible medical advance: a genetically engineered parasite that eliminates almost all diseases from the human race. Except that these parasites have plans of their own. Oops!
The author of The Bone Factory gives us possibly his most terrifying scenario yet — anything with a computer chip in it turns murderous and nasty, and chaos results. Tech journalist John Hawke is on the trail of a huge story, about an advance in computing that was allegedly stolen from former tech company CEO James Weller... when everything starts to go haywire and the whole city is being killed by mysterious explosions and other disasters. Instead of your standard robot uprising story, this sounds like something a lot more insidious.
We covered this book the other day — it's a survey of afrofuturist movements in art and writing, from the fiction of N.K. Jemisin, Octavia Butler and Samuel Delany to the music of Sun Ra, George Clinton and will.i.am, to the roots of African mythology. If you want to understand how African culture and the African diaspora are informing how we imagine our futures, this book is well worth picking up.
K.W. Jeter helped to invent Steampunk 25 years ago, and then it became a huge behemoth that spawned fashion trends, conventions, and the novels of Cherie Priest and many others. Now Jeter is back again, with what honestly sounds like the most bonkers thing ever, including a lighthouse that walks, an Anglican minister who is attempting to convert sentient whales to Christianity, a steam-powered Prime Minister... and the mysterious Vox Universalis, the ultimate steam-powered invention that could transform everything.
The author of Butcher Bird and the Sandman Slim novels has a brand new standalone novel, in which a girl mourning her dead father moves to the big city to live with her mother — only to find a mysterious record shop that appears to be a portal to the land of the dead. If only she can afford the high price of vinyl nowadays.
The acclaimed series about the irrepressible rogue Locke Lamora is back for a third volume, in which Locke's companion Jean searches desperately for someone who can save him from deadly poison. And this leads to Locke getting drawn into an election campaign in a corrupt town run by two factions of ruthless mages. (Thanks to Vidikron7 for suggesting this one!)
The author of Alive in Necropolis teams up with the film-maker behind Star Trek and the upcoming Star Wars film for a bizarre story of a weird book by a mysterious author, about a man trapped on a ship with a monstrous crew — this sounds like Abrams' penchant for multi-layered, self-referential mystery is finding a really good outlet, thanks to Dorst's keen storytelling. (Thanks to America's Wang for suggesting this one!)