30 Science Fiction And Fantasy Books To Buy In May 2014

With May upon us, it’s time to look at all of the new books that are about to come out. There’s a lot of great science fiction, fantasy and horror books to read this month!

1. The Brick Moon by Edward Everett Hale and Adam Roberts

What it’s about: This new edition of Hale’s classic tale of Victorian science fiction been carefully collected from the novel’s first serialised publication in The Atlantic Monthly.
Plus, this includes a new sequel - “Another Brick in the Moon” - from award-winning author Adam Roberts.
The Brick Moon comes complete with a new, critical introduction from Marek Kukula (Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich) and Richard Dunn (Head of Science and Technology at Royal Museums Greenwich), and is published to coincide with a major new exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
Why you should buy it: The Brick Moon is an early entry in the SF canon, and Jurassic London has done some excellent work with their books. This looks like a must-buy for anyone interested in historical SF.
Release date: 4/29/2014

2. Glaze by Kim Curran

What it’s about: PETRI QUINN is counting down the days till she turns 16 and can get on GLAZE – the ultimate social network that is bringing the whole world together into one global family. But when a peaceful government protest turns into a full-blown riot with Petri shouldering the blame, she’s handed a ban. Her life is over before it’s even started.

Desperate to be a part of the hooked-up society, Petri finds an underground hacker group and gets a black market chip fitted. But this chip has a problem: it has no filter and no off switch. Petri can see everything happening on GLAZE, all the time. Including things she was never meant to see.

As her life is plunged into danger, Petri is faced with a choice. Join GLAZE… or destroy it.

Why you should buy it: Social media and the internet are here to stay. Now, how’s it going to affect life moving forward? Jurassic London’s first novel looks to answer that question in this very compelling looking story.

Release date: 5/1/2014

3. Kurt Vonnegut: Novels 1976-1985 by Library of America

What it’s about: With the success of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Kurt Vonnegut cemented his reputation as America’s funniest and most original satirist. This third volume of the definitive edition of his fiction collects four novels written in the 1970s and ’80s, when Vonnegut was at the height of his storytelling powers. Slapstick (1976) takes the form of the post-apocalyptic memoirs of Wilbur Daffodil-11 Swain, architect of a brilliant scheme to rid mankind of loneliness. Jailbird (1979) is a political fable of our time, the biography of a good man who becomes embroiled in several of the worst political scandals of the American Century. Deadeye Dick (1982) depicts a talentless playwright’s struggle to atone for the crimes of his youth, and the sins of his country. Galápagos (1985), a favorite of the author’s among his books, tells the story of how and why a million years ago—during the global ecological disaster of 1986—humankind embarked on an unlikely evolution. The volume is rounded out with an assortment of Vonnegut rarities: speeches, essays, and commentary from the period that touch upon the themes, incidents, and particulars of the novels.

Why you should get it: The Library of America series is fantastic, and they’ve done a great job collecting major authors in the American canon.

Release date: 5/1/2014

4. The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast by Jack Campbell

What it’s about: Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. But before they can make tracks for home, two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary on a far-flung chase, ultimately ending at the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: the moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed—leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life.

To make matters worse, strains on the Alliance are growing as the Syndics continue to meddle. Geary is ordered to take a small force to the border of Syndic space. But what he finds there is a danger much greater than anyone expected: a mysterious threat that could finally force the Alliance to its knees.

As Geary spearheads a desperate battle to protect the Alliance against a shrewd and powerful enemy, he’s left with just one question: Who are they?

Why you should read it: Campbell’s a real master of modern SF, and this series has been coming along nicely.

Release date: 5/6/2014

5. Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

What it’s about: Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

Why you should read it: Harris is well known for her Sookie Stackhouse novels, and she’s an extremely popular dark fantasy / horror author. This start to a new series looks intriguing, and it’ll be interesting to see if she can replicate the success she had with her other series.

Release date: 5/6/2014

6. The Guild by Jean Johnson

What it’s about: For centuries, the mages of Mekhana have done their best to hide themselves and their powers from the rapacious needs of their so-called Patron Deity, Mekha. Greatest of their secrets is the Vortex, a Fountain hidden in the heart of the Hydraulics Guild. But even after the dissolution of Mekha and the freeing of his people, Alonnen isn’t ready to reveal his guardianship to outsiders. Particularly when the remnants of Mekha’s priesthood start looking for a new monstrosity to worship.

Rexei has hidden more than her powers for most of her life; she has also hidden her gender, wary of the hungers of the old priesthood. Only in the safety of the Hydraulics Guild’s innermost secrets can she be herself. While the rest of her people struggle to reinvent themselves and find a deity they can trust, Rexei struggles to trust just one man, the Guardian of the Vortex. Events are moving fast, though; the priesthood is desperate for any new source of power, even a demonic one that requires certain sacrifices to access.

Why you should get it: Jean Johnson’s turned out some great military SF stories. Now, she returns to her ongoing fantasy series.

Release date: 5/6/2014

7. The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull

What it’s about: Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all–daring to challenge the Queen’s preeminence–enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the hive’s strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by a greater power: a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society–and lead her to perform unthinkable deeds.

Why you should buy it: The premise for this book looks to be outstanding.

Release date: 5/6/2014

8. Authority by Jeff VanderMeer

What it’s about: For thirty years, the only human engagement with Area X has taken the form of a series of expeditions monitored by a secret agency called the Southern Reach. After the disastrous twelfth expedition chronicled in Annihilation, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez, aka “Control,” is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves—and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve. And the consequences will spread much further than that.

Why you should buy it: The first novel of Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation was utterly brilliant. This one looks to deepen the mystery all the more. We’re hooked.

Release date: 5/6/2014

9. The Silk Map: A Gaunt and Bone Novel by Chris Willrich

What it’s about: At the end of The Scroll of Years, the poet Persimmon Gaunt and her husband, the thief Imago Bone, had saved their child from evil forces at the price of trapping him within a pocket dimension. Now they will attempt what seems impossible; they will seek a way to recover their son. Allied with Snow Pine, a scrappy bandit who’s also lost her child to the Scroll of Years, Gaunt and Bone awaken the Great Sage, a monkeylike demigod of the East, currently trapped by vaster powers beneath a mountain. The Sage knows of a way to reach the Scroll — but there is a price. The three must seek the world’s greatest treasure and bring it back to him. They must find the worms of the alien Iron Moths, whose cocoons produce the wondrous material ironsilk.

And so the rogues join a grand contest waged along three thousand miles of dangerous and alluring trade routes between East and West. For many parties have simultaneously uncovered fragments of the Silk Map, a document pointing the way toward a nest of the Iron Moths. Our heroes tangle with Western treasure hunters, a blind mystic warrior and his homicidal magic carpet, a nomad princess determined to rebuild her father’s empire, and a secret society obsessed with guarding the lost paradise where the Moths are found — even if paradise must be protected by murder.

Why you should read it: This looks like a really neat and fun fantasy novel, with an excellent cover to boot!

Release date: 5/6/2014

10. Dead Man’s Hand, edited by John Joseph Adams

What it’s about: The weird, wild west - an American frontier populated by gunslingers, rattlesnakes, outlaws, zombies, aliens, time travelers, and steampunk!

Twenty-three of science fiction and fantasy’s hottest and most popular authors create all-new tales, written exclusively for this anthology. Aliens and monsters, magic and science are introduced to the old west, with explosive results.

Why you should buy it: John Joseph Adams is a modern master of anthologies. This one looks like it’ll be really cool.

Release date: 5/13/2014

11. Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan

What it’s about: In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

Why you should buy it: Canavan is well known for her fantasy works already - this is the start of a new series, and it looks to be an excellent start at that.

Release date: 5/13/2014

12. Queen of the Dark Things: A Novel by C. Robert Cargill

What it’s about: Six months have passed since the wizard Colby lost his best friend to an army of fairies from the Limestone Kingdom, a realm of mystery and darkness beyond our own. But in vanquishing these creatures and banning them from Austin, Colby sacrificed the anonymity that protected him. Now word of his deeds has spread, and powerful enemies from the past—including one Colby considered a friend—have resurfaced to exact their revenge.

As darkness gathers around the city and time runs out, Colby has to turn to forces even darker than those he once battled for aid.

Following such masters as Lev Grossman, Erin Morgenstern, and Kim Harrison, C. Robert Cargill takes us deeper into an extraordinary universe of darkness and wonder, despair and hope to reveal the magic and monsters around us … and inside us.

Why you should buy it: This looks to be a really dark and interesting fantasy.

Release date: 5/13/2014

13. Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

What it’s about: Bright lights, big city… magic spells, witchcraft, wizardry, fairies, devilry, and more. Urban living, at least in fantasy fiction, is full of both magical wonder and dark enchantment. Street kids may have supernatural beings to protect them or have such powers themselves. Brujeria may be part of your way of life. Crimes can be caused (and solved) with occult arts and even a losing sports team’s “curse” can be lifted with wizardry. And be careful of what cab you call—it might take you on a journey beyond belief! Some of the best stories of urban enchantment from the last few years gathered in one volume full of hex appeal and arcane arts.

“Paranormal Romance,” Christopher Barzak
“The Slaughtered Lamb,” Elizabeth Bear
“The Land of Heart’s Desire,” Holly Black
“Seeing Eye,” Patricia Briggs
“De la Tierra,” Emma Bull
“Curses,” Jim Butcher
“Dog Boys,” Charles de Lint
“Snake Charmer,” Amanda Downum
“Street Wizard,” Simon R. Green
“-30-,” Caitlín R. Kiernan
“Stone Man,” Nancy Kress
“Pearlywhite” Mark Laidlaw & John Shirley
“In the Stacks,” Scott Lynch
“Spellcaster 2.0,” Jonathan Maberry
“Kabu Kabu,” Nnedi Okorafor
“Stray Magic,” Diana Peterfreund
“The Woman Who Walked with Dogs,” Mary Rosenblum”
“Wallamelon,” Nisi Shawl
“Grand Central Park,” Delia Sherman
“Words,” Angela Slatter
“Alchemy,” Lucy Sussex
“A Voice Like a Hole,” Catherynne M. Valente
“The Arcane Art of Misdirection,” Carrie Vaughn
“Thief of Precious Things,” A.C. Wise

Why you should buy it: Just look at the table of contents.

Release date: 5/14/2014

14. Nebula Awards Showcase 2014 by Kij Johnson

What it’s about: The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories in the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America® . The editor selected by SFWA’s anthology committee (chaired by Mike Resnick) is American fantasy writer Kij Johnson, author of three novels and associate director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.

This year’s Nebula winners, and expected contributors, are Kim Stanley Robinson, Nancy Kress, Andy Duncan, and Aliette de Bodard, with E.C. Myers winning the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.

Why you should buy it: All of these stories are award nominees. This is sure to be a fantastic book.

Release date: 5/13/2014

15. The Boy in His Winter: An American Novel by Norman Lock

What it’s about: Launched into existence by Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Jim have now been transported by Norman Lock through three vital, violent, and transformative centuries of American history. As time unfurls on the river’s banks, they witness decisive battles of the Civil War, the betrayal of Reconstruction’s promises to the freed slaves, the crushing of Native American nations, and the electrification of a continent. Huck, who finally comes of age when he’s washed up on shore during Hurricane Katrina, narrates the story as an older and wiser man in 2077, revealing our nation’s past, present, and future as Mark Twain could never have dreamed it.

The Boy in His Winter is a tour-de-force work of imagination, beauty, and courage that re-envisions a great American literary classic for our time.

Why you should buy it: This looks like it’ll be a really intriguing look at the course of history.

Release date: 5/13/2014

16. Defenders by Will McIntosh

What it’s about: When Earth is invaded by telepathic aliens, humanity responds by creating the defenders. They are the perfect warriors—seventeen feet tall, knowing and loving nothing but war, their minds closed to the aliens. The question is, what do you do with millions of genetically-engineered warriors once the war is won?

A novel of power, alliances, violence, redemption, sacrifice, and yearning for connection, DEFENDERS presents a revolutionary story of invasion, occupation, and resistance.

Why you should read it: Will McIntosh is one of the best SF writers working right now, and his latest is an outstanding read that looks at warfare, ethics and family. This is a must-buy.

Release date: 5/13/2014

17. The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne

What it’s about: In a world where global power has shifted east and revolution is brewing, two women embark on vastly different journeys—each harrowing and urgent and wholly unexpected.

When Meena finds snakebites on her chest, her worst fears are realized: someone is after her and she must flee India. As she plots her exit, she learns of The Trail, an energy-harvesting bridge spanning the Arabian Sea that has become a refuge for itinerant vagabonds and loners on the run. This is her salvation. Slipping out in the cover of night, with a knapsack full of supplies including a pozit GPS system, a scroll reader, and a sealable waterproof pod, she sets off for Ethiopia, the place of her birth.

Meanwhile, Mariama, a young girl in Africa, is forced to flee her home. She joins up with a caravan of misfits heading across the Sahara. She is taken in by Yemaya, a beautiful and enigmatic woman who becomes her protector and confidante. They are trying to reach Addis Abba, Ethiopia, a metropolis swirling with radical politics and rich culture. But Mariama will find a city far different than she ever expected—romantic, turbulent, and dangerous.

As one heads east and the other west, Meena and Mariama’s fates are linked in ways that are mysterious and shocking to the core.

Why you should buy it: Near-future SF stories are always interesting, but ones that take place across the world are even more so.

Release date: 5/20/2014

18. The Severed Streets by Paul Cornell

What it’s about: Desperate to find a case to justify the team’s existence, with budget cuts and a police strike on the horizon, Quill thinks he’s struck gold when a cabinet minister is murdered by an assailant who wasn’t seen getting in or out of his limo. A second murder, that of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, presents a crime scene with a message… identical to that left by the original Jack the Ripper.

The new Ripper seems to have changed the MO of the old completely: he’s only killing rich white men. The inquiry into just what this supernatural menace is takes Quill and his team into the corridors of power at Whitehall, to meetings with MI5, or ‘the funny people’ as the Met call them, and into the London occult underworld. They go undercover to a pub with a regular evening that caters to that clientele, and to an auction of objects of power at the Tate Modern.

Meanwhile, the Ripper keeps on killing and finally the pattern of those killings gives Quill’s team clues towards who’s really doing this…

Why you should get it: Cornell’s London Falling was a fantastic supernatural police procedural, and this one continues the story.

Release date: 5/20/2014

19. The Three: A Novel by Sarah Lotz

What it’s about: The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

Dubbed ‘The Three’ by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival…

Why you should buy it: The early buzz for this book is really intense, and people are comparing it to books such as Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls.

Release date: 5/20/2014

20. Delia’s Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer

What it’s about: It is the dawn of a new century in San Francisco and Delia Martin is a wealthy young woman whose life appears ideal. But a dark secret colors her life, for Delia’s most loyal companions are ghosts, as she has been gifted (or some would say cursed) with an ability to peer across to the other side.

Since the great quake rocked her city in 1906, Delia has been haunted by an avalanche of the dead clamoring for her help. Delia flees to the other side of the continent, hoping to gain some peace. After several years in New York, Delia believes she is free…until one determined specter appears and she realizes that she must return to the City by the Bay in order to put this tortured soul to rest.

It will not be easy, as the ghost is only one of the many victims of a serial killer who was never caught. A killer who after thirty years is killing again.

And who is now aware of Delia’s existence.

Why you should buy it: The turn of the 20th century is an interesting time, and Moyer’s book looks like it’ll be an excellent ghost story.

Release date: 5/20/2014

21. The Red: Trials, Linda Nagata


What it’s about:

Why you should buy it: This is the sequel to Nagata’s Nebula Award nominated book, The Red: First Light, which was the first self-published book to be nominated for the award. This looks like it’ll continue her fantastic military SF series in grand form.

Release date: 5/20/2014

22. My Real Children by Jo Walton

What it’s about: It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Why you should buy it: Walton won the Hugo Award for Best Novel a couple of years ago, and this particular story looks like it’s got a really interesting character story.

Release date: 5/20/2014

23. Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien

What it’s about: The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.
From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf “snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup”; but he rebuts the notion that this is “a mere treasure story”, “just another dragon tale”. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is “the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history” that raises it to another level. “The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ‘treasure’ is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.”

Sellic spell, a “marvellous tale”, is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the “historical legends” of the Northern kingdoms.

Why you should get it: Tolkien drew much of his Middle Earth mythos from stories such as Beowulf. This new translation looks to be a must buy.

Release date: 5/22/2014

24. Skin Game (Dresden Files Series #15) by Jim Butcher

What it’s about: Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
.
He doesn’t know the half of it…

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash and grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance

Why you should buy it: It’s a new Dresden novel. ‘Nuff said.

Release date: 5/27/2014

25. Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold

What it’s about: The distant world Artemis is a pleasure planet created out of bare rock by a technologically advanced human empire that provided its richest citizens with a veritable Eden to play in. All tech was concealed and the animals (and the humans brought to live there) were bioengineered to help the guests enjoy their stay…but there was always the possibility of danger so that visitors could brag that they had “bested” the environment.

The Empire was shattered in a horrific war; centuries later humanity has lost much of the advanced technology and Artemis is a fable told to children. Until young archeologist Griffin Dane finds intriguing hints that send him on a quest to find the lost world. Stranded on Artemis after crashing his ship, he encounters the Huntress Adara and her psych-linked companion, the puma Sand Shadow. Their journey with her will lead Dane to discover the planet’s secrets…and perhaps provide a key to give unimagined power back to mankind.

Why you should buy it: This science fiction story looks like it’s a neat take on a colonization tale, and an interesting look at the impact of technology.

Release date: 5/27/2014

26. The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien

What it’s about: The Fall of Arthur recounts in verse the last campaign of King Arthur, who, even as he stands at the threshold of Mirkwood, is summoned back to Britain by news of the treachery of Mordred. Already weakened in spirit by Guinevere’s infidelity with the now-exiled Lancelot, Arthur must rouse his knights to battle one last time against Mordred’s rebels and foreign mercenaries. Powerful, passionate, and filled with vivid imagery, this unfinished poem reveals Tolkien’s gift for storytelling at its brilliant best. Christopher Tolkien, editor, contributes three illuminating essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur, reveal the deeper meaning of the verses and the painstaking work his father applied to bring the poem to a finished form, and investigate the intriguing links between The Fall of Arthur and Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Why you should buy it: Tolkien’s translation and interpretation of the Arthurian legend is one that’s been long awaited. We can’t wait to read it!

Release date: 5/27/2014

27. Strange Country by Deborah Coates

What its’s about: After facing Death himself and banishing a reaper bent on the destruction of Sheriff’s deputy Boyd Davies, Hallie Michaels had hoped things would finally settle down; that she and Boyd would find more time to spend together, and that the ghosts she attracts would stay in the cemeteries where they belong.

But on a wintry night in mid-December, a woman is murdered with a high-powered rifle. Not long after, another of West Prairie City’s citizens is killed in exactly the same way, drawing the attention of state investigators. But the connection between the victims is not easily uncovered.

Meanwhile, Hallie finds a note tied to post outside her home. “What do you fear most?” it asks, accompanied by a set of map coordinates. Over the next few days she receives an anonymous phone call, and a letter left for Hallie at the local ag supply. All pose the same question and offer the same set of coordinates. The mystery deepens, and Hallie must solve it before the body count rises again.

Why you should buy it: Picking up from Coates’ earlier books in the series, this looks to be part heartland mystery, along with some supernatural elements. Looks like an excellent read.

Release date: 5/27/2014

28. The Art of John Harris by John Harris

What it’s about: World-renowned visionary artist John Harris’ unique concept paintings capture the Universe on a massive scale, featuring everything from epic landscapes and towering cities to out-of-this-world science fiction vistas.
This collection focuses on his wide variety of futuristic art, as well as his striking covers for a variety of esteemed SF authors, including Arthur C Clarke, John Scalzi, Ben Bova, Hal Clement, Jack McDevitt, Frederik Pohl, Orson Scott Card’s Enders books and many more.

Why you should buy it: Harris is one of the most recognizable figures in SF art. This book is beautiful!

Release date: 5/27/2014

29. Reach for Infinity by Jonathan Strahan

What it’s about: An original collection of new short science fiction from the biggest and most exciting names in the genre. The latest in the Infinities collections edited and comissioned by multiple award-winning anthologist Jonathan Strahan.

What happens when humanity reaches out into the vastness of space? The brightest names in SF contribute new orginal fiction to this amazing anothology from master editor Jonathan Strahan. Including new work by Alastair Reynolds,Greg Egan,Ian McDonald, Ken Macleod, Pat Cadigan, Karl Schroeder, Hannu Rajaniemi, Karen Lord, Adam Roberts, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Aliette de Bodard Peter Watts, and others!

Why you should buy it: The latest Infinity anthology from Jonathan Strahan, this one looks like it’ll be the same excellent blend of authors and stories. Just look at the TOC!

Release date: 5/27/2014

30. The Immortal Crown: An Age of X Novel by Richelle Mead

What it’s about: Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.

Why you should buy it: 2nd book in a series: this looks like an interesting and entertaining blend of military, fantasy and the supernatural. Count us in.

Release date: 5/29/2014

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