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39 Science Fiction, Fantasy And Horror Books For September

September is upon us, and with the unofficial end of summer comes the end to the Summer Beach reads. Here's a whole new list of books to delve into as summer comes to a close: anthologies, collections, biographies, histories, as well as science fiction, fantasy and horror.

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The End is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych Book 2) (Volume 2) , edited by John Joseph Adams

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What it's about: Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm. But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild. THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will tell their stories.

Why you should buy it: The second in John Joseph Adam's Apocalyptic trilogy of anthologies, this anthology looks at the end of the world as it's happening. Adams' is a fantastic anthologist, and this series is excellent.

Release date: 9/1/2014

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

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What it's about: Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

Why you should buy it: This debut novel looks to be a really cool magical learning novel. We're intrigued.

Release date: 9/1/2014

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter

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What it's about: Gray’s deep talent for magick has won him a place at Merlin College. But when he accompanies four fellow students on a mysterious midnight errand that ends in disaster and death, he is sent away in disgrace—and without a trace of his power. He must spend the summer under the watchful eye of his domineering professor, Appius Callender, working in the gardens of Callender’s country estate and hoping to recover his abilities. And it is there, toiling away on a summer afternoon, that he meets the professor’s daughter.

Even though she has no talent of her own, Sophie Callender longs to be educated in the lore of magick. Her father has kept her isolated at the estate and forbidden her interest; everyone knows that teaching arcane magickal theory to women is the height of impropriety. But against her father’s wishes, Sophie has studied his ancient volumes on the subject. And in the tall, stammering, yet oddly charming Gray, she finally finds someone who encourages her interest and awakens new ideas and feelings.

Sophie and Gray’s meeting touches off a series of events that begins to unravel secrets about each of them. And after the king’s closest advisor pays the professor a closed-door visit, they begin to wonder if what Gray witnessed in Oxford might be even more sinister than it seemed. They are determined to find out, no matter the cost…

Why you should buy it: This looks like a really cool entry in the magical academy type of genre, something we really like to see.

Release date: 9/2/2014

Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

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What it's about: For a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights brought peace and order to the Galactic Republic, aided by their connection to the mystical energy field known as the Force. But they were betrayed—and the entire galaxy has paid the price. It is the Age of the Empire.

Now Emperor Palpatine, once Chancellor of the Republic and secretly a Sith follower of the dark side of the Force, has brought his own peace and order to the galaxy. Peace through brutal repression, and order through increasing control of his subjects’ lives.

But even as the Emperor tightens his iron grip, others have begun to question his means and motives. And still others, whose lives were destroyed by Palpatine’s machinations, lay scattered about the galaxy like unexploded bombs, waiting to go off. . . .

Why you should buy it: The Star Wars Expanded Universe is officially getting a reboot, and along with the new films and TV series Rebels, that means new books. This new novel takes place during the Rebels TV series, and we're interested to see how well this all takes off.

Release date: 9/2/2014

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

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What it's about: Following a terrible fight with her mother over her boyfriend, fifteen-year-old Holly Sykes slams the door on her family and her old life. But Holly is no typical teenage runaway: A sensitive child once contacted by voices she knew only as “the radio people,” Holly is a lightning rod for psychic phenomena. Now, as she wanders deeper into the English countryside, visions and coincidences reorder her reality until they assume the aura of a nightmare brought to life.

For Holly has caught the attention of a cabal of dangerous mystics—and their enemies. But her lost weekend is merely the prelude to a shocking disappearance that leaves her family irrevocably scarred. This unsolved mystery will echo through every decade of Holly’s life, affecting all the people Holly loves—even the ones who are not yet born.

A Cambridge scholarship boy grooming himself for wealth and influence, a conflicted father who feels alive only while reporting on the war in Iraq, a middle-aged writer mourning his exile from the bestseller list—all have a part to play in this surreal, invisible war on the margins of our world. From the medieval Swiss Alps to the nineteenth-century Australian bush, from a hotel in Shanghai to a Manhattan townhouse in the near future, their stories come together in moments of everyday grace and extraordinary wonder.

Why you should buy it: David Mitchell's books have all been highly acclaimed, and this particular one looks like it delves a bit into speculative elements in a really compelling narrative.

Release date: 9/2/2014

Maplecroft: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest

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What it's about: The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Why you should buy it: Priest's fantastic steampunk series, The Clockwork Century, has wrapped up, and now, she's onto new things, this time with a Lovecraftian bent. We're very excited for this one.

Release date: 9/2/2014

Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer

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What it's about: It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown—navigating new terrain and new challenges—the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. In Acceptance, the last installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.

Why you should buy it: The final installment of Vandermeer's Southern Reach trilogy brings to a close the strange tale of Area X and it's equally weird Southern Reach research facility. Annihilation and Authority were both fantastic: we have high hopes for this one.

Release date: 9/2/2014

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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What it's about: One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Why you should buy it: Early reviews have been great, and this looks like an interesting take on the end of the world sort of story.

Release date: 9/5/2014

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

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What it's about: The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions—until its divine protectors were killed. Now Bulikov has become just another colonial outpost of the world's new geopolitical power, but the surreal landscape of the city itself—first shaped, now shattered, by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it—stands as a constant, haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani. Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors. Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched to catch a murderer. But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem—and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

Why you should buy it: The early word out about this book is that it's good. Really good. Go out and get it.

Release date: 9/9/2014

Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future edited by Ed Finn, Kathryn Cramer

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What it's about: Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal

Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration—must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory, which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: “Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place.”

In 2012 Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on “moon shot ideas” that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.

Why you should buy it: This appears to be a really interesting anthology, with a great lineup of authors.

Release date: 9/9/2014

Exo by Steven Gould

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What it's about: Cent can teleport. So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can. This is not as great as you might think it would be—sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it’s hard to keep a secret like that. And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them. And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated. High school. Boys. Global climate change, refugees, and genocide. Orbital mechanics.

But Cent isn’t easily daunted, and neither are Davy and Millie, her parents. She’s going to make some changes in the world.

Why you should buy it: The latest in Grould's Jumper series, this one looks like it'll be an exciting, interesting read.

Release date: 9/9/2014

Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant

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What it's about: Predatory kraken that sing with — and for — their kin; band members and betrayed friends who happen to be demonic; harpies as likely to attract as repel. Welcome to a world where humans live side by side with monsters, from vampires both nostalgic and bumbling to an eight-legged alien who makes tea. Here you’ll find mercurial forms that burrow into warm fat, spectral boy toys, a Maori force of nature, a landform that claims lives, and an architect of hell on earth. Through these and a few monsters that defy categorization, some of today’s top young-adult authors explore ambition and sacrifice, loneliness and rage, love requited and avenged, and the boundless potential for connection, even across extreme borders.

Why you should buy it: This looks like a really cool anthology, and the lineup of authors in it is just amazing: Paolo Bacigalupi, Nathan Ballingrud, Holly Black, Nalo Hopkinson, and others!

Release date: 9/9/2014

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

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What it's about: Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs.

Why you should buy it: Maguire has made a name for himself rethinking the Oz stories, and now, he's revisited a Russian folk tale.

Release date: 9/9/2014

The Bloodline Feud: A Merchant Princes Omnibus by Charles Stross

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What it's about: The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes. They are a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between their world and ours makes them rich in both.

Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovers her alternate-world relatives with explosive results that shake three worlds. Now, as the prodigal Countess Helge Thorold-Hjorth, she finds herself ensnared in schemes and plots centuries in the making. She is surrounded by unlikely allies, lethal contraband, and—most dangerous of all—her family.

To avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam must build a power base of her own—with unexpected consequences for three different time lines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.

Why you should buy it: These books have been out before, but they're now released together, per Stross's original intentions, completely reedited and generally improved. This looks pretty excellent.

Release date: 9/9/2014

Nature Futures 2: Science Fiction from the Leading Science Journal edited by Colin Sullivan and Henry Gee

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What it's about: 100 writers – including Neal Asher, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, Tobias Buckell, Brenda Cooper, Kathryn Cramer, David Langford, Tanith Lee, Ken Liu, Nick Mamatas, Norman Spinrad, Ian Stewart, Rachel Swirsky, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Ian Watson – offer their take on what the future will look like in this anthology of sci-fi short stories from the award-winning Futures column in the science journal Nature.

Why you should buy it: Nature has been publishing science fiction for a while now, and they've been publishing some great authors.

Release date: 9/9/2014

Zombies: More Recent Dead edited by Paula Guran

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What it's about: The living dead are more alive than ever! Zombies have become more than an iconic monster for the twenty-first century: they are now a phenomenon constantly revealing as much about ourselves - and our fascination with death, resurrection, and survival - as our love for the supernatural or post-apocalyptic speculation. Our most imaginative literary minds have been devoured by these incredible creatures and produced exciting, insightful, and unflinching new works of zombie fiction. We've again dug up the best stories published in the last few years and compiled them into an anthology to feed your insatiable hunger...

Why you should buy it: Zombies never get old.

Release date: 9/10/2014

Microchip: The Agenda Is Now by Chey Barnes

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What it's about: In the not too distant future, the world's economy has completely collapsed. The new one world government, in conjunction with the World Central Reserve Bank, has plans to usher in a new era of peace and economic security. There is just one slight hitch; everyone is now required to have the World Central Reserve biochip inserted into the lower right quadrant of their palm. This new means of transfer and payment replaces the old outdated banking and currency systems throughout the globe. Everyone from bikers to bluebloods is now required to have the microchip or suffer the consequences. Tens of thousands flee to find safe haven, where they can live in harmony without being microchipped. Soon, order is restored from chaos and all is well in the world—or is it? Is this data transmitter more than it seems? Is there more than just a financial agenda behind the frightening technology that lurks deep within the biochip?

Why you should buy it: What happens when everyone's microchipped? This appears to be a neat technological paranoid thriller. Color us interested.

Release date: 9/15/2014

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

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What it's about: Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in "Alphinland," the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In "The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom," a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In "Lusus Naturae," a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In "Torching the Dusties," an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in "Stone Mattress," a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

Why you should buy it: A new collection of short fiction from Margaret Atwood is always a cause for celebration.

Release date: 9/16/2014

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

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What it's about: Detective Gabriella Versado has seen a lot of bodies. But this one is unique even by Detroit's standards: half boy, half deer, somehow fused together. As stranger and more disturbing bodies are discovered, how can the city hold on to a reality that is already tearing at its seams?

If you're Detective Versado's geeky teenage daughter, Layla, you commence a dangerous flirtation with a potential predator online. If you're desperate freelance journalist Jonno, you do whatever it takes to get the exclusive on a horrific story. If you're Thomas Keen, known on the street as TK, you'll do what you can to keep your homeless family safe—and find the monster who is possessed by the dream of violently remaking the world.

Why you should buy it: Beukes blew us away last year with The Shining Girls, and this new one looks to just just as interesting.

Release date: 9/16/2014

Wolf in White Van: A Novel by John Darnielle

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What it's about: Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move. Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of seventeen, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. From his small apartment in southern California, he orchestrates fantastic adventures where possibilities, both dark and bright, open in the boundaries between the real and the imagined. As the creator of Trace Italian—a text-based, role-playing game played through the mail—Sean guides players from around the world through his intricately imagined terrain, which they navigate and explore, turn by turn, seeking sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America.

Lance and Carrie are high school students from Florida, explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, tunneling toward the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.

Why you should buy it: Darnielle is best known for his work as a member of the band The Mountain Goats. This particular book looks as though it takes their excellent songwriting skills and puts them to work in book form. We're excited.

Release date: 9/16/2014

Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection by Jay Lake

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What it's about: Long before he was a novelist, SF writer Jay Lake, was an acclaimed writer of short stories. In Last Plane to Heaven, Lake has assembled thirty-two of the best of them. Aliens and angels fill these pages, from the title story, a hard-edged and breathtaking look at how a real alien visitor might be received, to the savage truth of “The Cancer Catechisms.” Here are more than thirty short stories written by a master of the form, science fiction and fantasy both.

Why you should buy it: This is the last collection of Jay Lake, who passed away earlier this summer.

Release date: 9/16/2014

Phantasm Japan: Fantasies Light and Dark, From and About Japan, edited by Nick Mamatas & Masumi Washington

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What it's about: The secret history of the most famous secret agent in the world. A bunny costume that reveals the truth in our souls. The unsettling notion that Japan itself may be a dream. The tastiest meal you’ll never have, a fedora-wearing neckbeard’s deadly date with a yokai, and the worst work shift anyone—human or not—has ever lived through. Welcome to Phantasm Japan.

Why you should buy it: A while ago, Haikasoru published The Future is Japanese, a fantastic anthology of science fiction stories inspired by Japan. Now, they're back, with an anthology of fantasy stories.

Release date: 9/16/2014

Gifts for the One Who Comes After by Helen Marshall

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What it's about: Ghost thumbs. Microscopic dogs. One very sad can of tomato soup. Helen Marshall's second collection offers a series of twisted surrealities that explore the legacies we pass on to our children. A son seeks to reconnect with his father through a telescope that sees into the past. A young girl discovers what lies on the other side of her mother's bellybutton. Death's wife prepares for a very special funeral. In Gifts for the One Who Comes After, Marshall delivers eighteen tales of love and loss that cement her as a powerful voice in dark fantasy and the New Weird. Dazzling, disturbing, and deeply moving.

Why you should buy it: This looks like a really interesting collection of short fiction from a fantastic author.

Release date: 9/16/2014

The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller

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What it's about: A bastard lord leads a rebellion against his tyrant king — and must live with the consequences of victory.

A royal widow plots to win her daughter's freedom from the ambitious lords who would control them both.

An orphaned prince sets his eyes on regaining his father's stolen throne.

And two brothers, divided by ambition, will learn that the greater the power, the more dangerous the game.

Why you should buy it: Miller is a well-known name in fantasy circles, and she's back with a new epic. This one has been getting good advance word so far.

Release date: 9/16/2014

They Do the Same Things Different There: The Best Weird Fantasy of Robert Shearman by Robert Shearman

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What it's about: Robert Shearman visits worlds that are unsettling and strange. Sometimes they are just like ours - except landlocked countries may disappear overnight, marriages to camels are the norm, and the dead turn into musical instruments. Sometimes they are quite alien - where children carve their own tongues from trees, and magic shows are performed to amuse the troops in the war between demons and angels. There is horror, and dreams fulfilled and squandered, and of true love. They do the same things different there.

Why you should buy it: This looks like an exceptionally Weird and interesting collection of short fiction. We're intrigued.

Release date: 9/16/2014

The Knight: A Tale from the High Kingdom

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What it's about: Traitor ...or hero? This is the tale of Lorn Askarian. Some say he brought the kingdom to the brink of destruction, taking advantage of a dying king and an unpopular queen to strike against his enemies, heedless of the danger posed by a growing rebellion. Others claim he saved the kingdom, following the orders of a king who had him falsely imprisoned, heedless of the personal cost, and loyal to the last - fighting against desperate odds on the political and physical battlefields alike.

Why you should buy it: This looks like a very cool fantasy epic, coming out of the UK.

Release date: 9/18/2014

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr

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What it's about: John Lahr has produced a theater biography like no other. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.With vivid cameos of the formative influences in Williams's life—his fierce, belittling father Cornelius; his puritanical, domineering mother Edwina; his demented sister Rose, who was lobotomized at the age of thirty-three; his beloved grandfather, the Reverend Walter Dakin—Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is as much a biography of the man who created A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as it is a trenchant exploration of Williams’s plays and the tortured process of bringing them to stage and screen.The portrait of Williams himself is unforgettable: a virgin until he was twenty-six, he had serial homosexual affairs thereafter as well as long-time, bruising relationships with Pancho Gonzalez and Frank Merlo. With compassion and verve, Lahr explores how Williams's relationships informed his work and how the resulting success brought turmoil to his personal life. Lahr captures not just Williams’s tempestuous public persona but also his backstage life, where his agent Audrey Wood and the director Elia Kazan play major roles, and Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Bette Davis, Maureen Stapleton, Diana Barrymore, and Tallulah Bankhead have scintillating walk-on parts. This is a biography of the highest order: a book about the major American playwright of his time written by the major American drama critic of his time.

Why you should buy it: Williams is a huge name in speculative fiction, and this new biography of his live looks like it'll be a must read.

Release date: 9/22/2014

Riding the Serpent's Back, by Keith Brooke

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What it's about: With his health failing, the great mage Donn has chosen to pass on his Talents to a new generation: an old era is drawing to a close, a new era about to begin. But with change comes instability. War looms and a rogue church leader threatens to set loose the wild powers of the First City. Donn’s children must oppose this man but, also, they must contend with Donn himself: the old mage has not finished with his children yet.

On the run from the religious repression of the mainland, Leeth Hamera joins a group of outcasts on the Serpent’s Back, a continually changing island continent in the middle of a lava sea. Leeth has never lived up to the expectations of his wealthy merchant family and his only magical skill is the lowly Talent of bonding with animals. But, as he learns, the greatest Talents can sometimes be the slowest to emerge.

The leader of the outcasts is Chi, son of Donn and the greatest healer of his generation. Chi is in exile for breaking the Embodied Church’s edict against intervening in the natural order: many years ago Chi used his skills to revive his son from the dead. That son, Lachlan Pas, is now a church leader tortured by the guilty knowledge of what his father had to do to return him to life. When he learns Chi is still alive, he orders his execution, determined that his secret should never be exposed.

Until now, Chi has been content to live in exile but now he knows that his son’s insane and cruel rule must be stopped. Chi summons his half-siblings from throughout the inhabited lands of the Rift valley. The need for action is confirmed when one of them reveals that Lachlan and his mage, Oriole, are rebuilding the ancient city of Samhab – an act which will release the powers of the earth with unforeseeable consequences.

Welcome to the magical island city of Zigané, endlessly adrift in the southern lava sea; the searing soda plains home of the Morani warriors; the impenetrable Zochi jungle, full of illusion and hidden hazard; the charmed fortress-like City of the Divine Wall; and Samhab, the fantastic First City of the True, built at the geographical centre of the Rift, where the magical powers of the earth rise up to be set free by the earth-charmers and mages. The novel’s cast of shape-changers, earth-charmers, healers and illusionists must battle to save civilization from the evil rule of Lachlan Pas and his followers.

Why you should buy it: Brooke is a fantastic author, and this fantasy looks to be one of his more interesting works.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Deep Future, Eric Brown

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What it's about: Deep Future collects ten tales of the past, present and future by the award-winning author of the best selling Helix.

Whether he's writing about aliens coming to Earth, virtual reality, alternate worlds or immortal men, Brown imbues his fictions with a concern for character and an abiding passion for story.

Meet Edward Sinclair, a man grieving the loss of his daughter, and the scientist who just might be able to bring her back from the dead...

Ben Henderson, a gem-cutter, and what happened one summer on a far-away colony world...

The telepathic Tavernier and his involvement with a strange alien race who will change his life forever...

Claudine Hainault, a schoolgirl who turns her back on the chance to live for ever when the Kethani come to Earth...

And many other humans - and aliens - from the imagination of one of Britain's finest SF writers.

Why you should buy it: This looks to be an excellent collection of short fiction.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy's Greatest Science Fiction by Guy Haley

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What it's about: From Barbarella to Blade Runner, from Solaris to Star Wars, and from 1984 to 2001, Sci-Fi Chronicles seeks out 200 of the greatest galactic creations. Presented in an arresting blend of incisive text, infographic timelines, and stunning photographs, each chronologically arranged entry features an entertaining overview written by a science fiction expert, plus:

The lifespan of sci-fi creations, for example, from book to movie to television series

Other key media, such as comics, graphic novels, video games, manga, where appropriate

Film and television stills, book and comic covers, and other archive material.

Larger franchises -- such as Doctor Who and The War of the Worlds -- feature lavish spreads of photographs illustrating how they have evolved from black-and-white beginnings to big-budget blockbusters. Seminal sagas like Star Wars and Star Trek enjoy not only a "real world" timeline of films and TV broadcasts, but also a fascinating spread detailing their role in the series' fictional universe.

The book is divided into five distinct sections:

Early Science Fiction: The Birth of a Genre, 1818-1940

including Frankenstein, Journey to the Center of the Earth, A Connecticut Yankee, The Time Machine, The Lost World, Tarzan

The Golden Age: 1920-1950

including

Karel Capek, Metropolis, Buck Rogers, Olaf Stapledon, King Kong, Flash Gordon, Frederick Pohl, The Thing, Batman, Stan Lee, Arthur C. Clarke, George Orwell

The Era of the Atom: The Marvels and Perils of Science, 1950- 1970

including Dan Dare, Quatermass, The Fly, The Twilight Zone, Solaris, The Jetsons, Barbarella, Dune, Soylent Green, Logan's Run, Land of the Giants, The Iron Man, A Boy and His Dog Dark Futures: Apocalypse and the War in Space, 1970-1990 including The Stepford Wives, Moebius, Star Wars, Judge Dredd, Mork and Mindy, V, Neuromancer, Back to the Future, Red Dwarf: The Adventure Continues: Modern Science Fiction, 1990-Present including Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Doom, Babylon 5, Stargate, The Matrix, Halo, Jericho, The Hunger Games, Fringe, Wall-E, Avatar.

Sci-Fi Chronicles is a truly international guide, with entries focusing on everything from Hollywood blockbusters to Russian cult classics, and from European literature to Australian franchises. It is perfect for dipping into, while its memory-jogging mentions and illustrations make it impossible to put down. It will delight long-standing sci-fi aficionados, yet with a scope that extends from vintage volumes to amazing anime, Sci-Fi Chronicles will also entrance a younger generation.

Why you should buy it: This looks as though it'll be a neat primer on science fiction history.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

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What it's about: Estranged patriarch Richard Walker has died, leaving behind a country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His alienated family—bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna—have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Alice and Sandra, two long-dead and restless ghosts, linger within the house's claustrophobic walls, bound eternally to its physical structure. Jostling for space and memory, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a lightbulb.

The living and dead are haunted by painful truths that surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide—with cataclysmic results.

Why you should buy it: This has the flavors of gothic and ghosts together, and that's a combination that we just can't resist.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

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What it's about: Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she's taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Why you should buy it: This appears to be very much a meta style of book, and it looks like it'll be an intriguing read.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Soulminder by Timothy Zahn

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What it's about: For Dr. Adrian Sommers, a split second of driving while distracted leads to tragedy—and obsession. His family destroyed, he devotes his entire being to developing Soulminder, a technology that might have saved his son as he wavered on the edge of death. Sommers’s vision is to capture a dying person’s life essence and hold it safely in stasis while physicians heal the body from injury or disease. Years of experimentation finally end in success—but those who recognize Soulminder’s possibilities almost immediately corrupt its original concept to pursue dangerous new frontiers: body-swapping, obstruction of justice, extortion, and perhaps even immortality.

Why you should buy it: Timothy Zahn is best known for his Star Wars novels, but it's nice to see that he's keeping up with some of his original works as well. This particular novel looks very cool.

Release date: 9/23/2014

Company Town by Madeline Ashby

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What it's about: They call it Company Town – a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability – serial killer? Or something much, much worse..?

Why you should buy it: Ashby has made a name for herself with her earlier novels, vN and iD. This new book looks like it'll be one of her most interesting ones to date.

Release date: 9/30/2014

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 2

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What it's about: It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, and didn't have a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy, and if Bod leaves, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. Despite the danger, Bod wants to leave the graveyard to attend school with the living and find out more about his family's murder. But when Bod uses the Fear on two bullies and gets too close to the man Jack, he will put more things at risk than he knows.

Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman's award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated two-volume graphic novel adaptation.

This volume includes Chapter Six through the end of the book.

Why you should buy it: The second half of this fantastic graphic novel adaptation is finally here. The first half of the book was fantastic; this one is going to be a must buy.

Release date: 9/30/2014

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

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What it's about: In this illustrated volume, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.

In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.

Why you should buy it: We're reading this now, and it's a really cool book that looks at the backstory of things that you'd never think twice about.

Release date: 9/30/2014

The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey

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What it's about: A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…

Why you should buy it: Looking for a solid fantasy novel? This novel looks like this'll be the one!

Release date: 9/30/2014

Goodhouse: A Novel by Peyton Marshall

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What it's about: With soaring literary prose and the tense pacing of a thriller, the first-time novelist Peyton Marshall imagines a grim and startling future. At the end of the twenty-first century—in a transformed America—the sons of convicted felons are tested for a set of genetic markers. Boys who test positive become compulsory wards of the state—removed from their homes and raised on "Goodhouse" campuses, where they learn to reform their darkest thoughts and impulses. Goodhouse is a savage place—part prison, part boarding school—and now a radical religious group, the Holy Redeemer’s Church of Purity, is intent on destroying each campus and purifying every child with fire.

We see all this through the eyes of James, a transfer student who watched as the radicals set fire to his old Goodhouse and killed nearly everyone he’d ever known. In addition to adjusting to a new campus with new rules, James now has to contend with Bethany, a brilliant, medically fragile girl who wants to save him, and with her father, the school’s sinister director of medical studies. Soon, however, James realizes that the biggest threat might already be there, inside the fortified walls of Goodhouse itself.

Why you should buy it: Although partially based on a true story, this story extends out into a near and frightening future.

Release date: 9/30/2014

Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing edited by Helen Marshall and Helen Marshall

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What it's about: Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing is a reprint anthology collecting speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work published by Canadian writers in the 2013 calendar year.

Why you should buy it: Here's an anthology of some of the best writing from Canadian SF authors.

Release date: 9/30/2014

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