Gentle, Mary. The Black Opera. Night Shade. ISBN 9781597802192. pap. $15.95; eISBN 9781597804158.
A pair of librettists pit their musical talents against each other in a magical duel that will either save or destroy the world in an alternate 19th-century Naples. Attention to period detail and an understanding of opera make this a one-of-a-kind historical fantasy. (LJ 5/15/12)
Griffin, Kate. Stray Souls. Orbit: Hachette. ISBN 9780316187268. pap. $14.99; eISBN 9780316231749.
Someone is stealing the soul of London, one building at a time. A neophyte shaman and her group of misfit friends become the city’s first—and only—line of defense in a seriocomic urban fantasy that recalls Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. (LJ 10/15/12)
Gropp, Richard E. Bad Glass. Del Rey: Ballantine. ISBN 9780345533937. pap. $15; eISBN 978034553564.
When the military evacuates and seals off Spokane, an ambitious photojournalist sneaks into the city and discovers a truth that threatens to redefine reality. Straddling the border between sf and horror, this outstanding dark fantasy debut recalls the speculative fiction of Samuel Delaney and Mark Danielewski. (LJ 9/15/12)
New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird. Prime. ed. by Paula Guran. ISBN 9781607012894. pap. $15.95.
H.P. Lovecraft’s dark world of the Great Old Ones and Elder Gods finds new life in this homage with stories by China Miéville, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Neil Gaiman, and other contemporary genre authors. (LJ 1/12)
Robinson, Kim Stanley. 2312. Orbit: Hachette. ISBN 9780316098120. $25.99; eISBN 9780316192804.
Political and economic struggles within the solar system threaten the existence of Mercury’s only city and bring to light old grievances between colonists of the “near-Earth” planets and the miners of the asteroids and Jovian moons. An sf masterpiece. (LJ 3/15/12)