Fiction Previews, Aug. 2013, Pt. 4: Nine SF/Fantasy Titles from Kadrey, Weeks, and More

Abé, Shana. The Deepest Night. Bantam. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780345531735. $16. FANTASY
Publishing this spring, Abé’s The Sweetest Dark features a young woman in post-Victorian England who discovers her supernatural roots, thus expanding Abé’s popular “Drakon” series for adults into the YA realm. Here’s the second volume already; alert YA crossover fans and fantasy lovers generally.

Adams, Alex. Red Horse. Gallery: S. & S. Aug. 2013. p304. ISBN 9781451643022. pap. $15. DYSTOPIAN
In White Horse, the first in Adams’s post-apocalyptic trilogy, Zoe finds herself on the run in a chaotic world. In this second book, radio talk-show host Emma Frane lives in City One, where asking questions carries the death sentence—a law that has cost her family members and now one of her show’s guests. That sets her on the run. The well-received White Horse was initially issued in hardcover, but this new work is starting off in paperback for better distribution to the target audience. Note the 75,000-copy first printing and reading group guide.

Hunt, Stephen. Jack Cloudie. Tor. Aug. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780765333209. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466802056. FANTASY
This fifth novel set in Hunt’s celebrated steampunk universe features Jack Keats, who avoids the gallows by joining the Royal Aerostatical Navy and finds himself assigned to the feeblest airship and the craziest captain in the fleet. Then he’s off to Cassarabia’s deserts, where he might cross swords (or whatever) with Omar ibn Barir, a recently freed slave who’s joined the Caliph’s army. Lots of chatter in the blogosphere.

Johnson, Suzanne. Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans, Bk. 3). Tor. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780765333193; $25.99. FANTASY
In this third in Johnson’s darkly, deliciously atmospheric “Sentinels of New Orleans” series, urban fantasy with a twist, the wizard DJ contends with a killer who appears to be copying the infamous 1918 Axeman of New Orleans. Alas, she learns from undead pirate Jean Lafitte that the Axeman himself has risen from the dead. Demand likely.

Kadrey, Richard. Kill City Blues: A Sandman Slim Novel. Harper Voyager. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780062094599. $24.99. SF
In his fifth outing, James Stark (that is, Sandman Slim) finds himself back in Los Angeles, having turned his back on hell. But the older gods are after a weapon he managed to misplace, and for help he must find a dead man somewhere in an abandoned shopping mall, a creepy alternate L.A. packed with threatening squatters. Sandman’s in good shape, though; film rights for the series have been optioned by Dino De Laurentiis, the last title in the series was a New York Times best seller, and previous titles have received best book and Indie Next nods. With a 75,000-copy first printing and an eight-city tour to Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Francisco.

Novik, Naomi. The Blood of Tyrants. Del Rey. Aug. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9780345522894. $26. FANTASY
Imagine the Napoleonic wars fought with the aid of dragons. Novik did just that in her popular “Temeraire” series, now in its penultimate volume. Separated from his beloved, feisty dragon, Temeraire, Capt. William Laurence finds himself in Japan, but the two reunite to save the day outside the gates of Moscow.

Sullivan, Michael J. The Crown Tower. Orbit: Hachette. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780316243711. pap. $16. FANTASY
You bet fantasy fans will want this first of two titles in the “Riyria Chronicles,” prequels to the popular “Riyria Revelations”; it’s been declared among the most anticipated books of 2013 by Fantasy Faction,, and Ranting Dragon. Here, we see warrior Hadrian Blackwater and assassin Royce Melborn first joining forces, in this case because they’ve been asked to steal a treasure from the Crown Tower. The second prequel, The Rose and the Thorn, comes in September.

Weeks, Brent. The Blinding Knife. Orbit: Hachette. Aug. 2013. 688p. ISBN 9780316068147. $17. FANTASY
Weeks’s “The Night Angel” trilogy has sold over two million copies, with rights sold to 11 countries and the opening title optioned for film. The Black Prism, first in new series, was a New York Times best seller. In this sequel, Gavin Guile hasn’t long to live, and with magic running riot, the old gods being reborn, and an ex-fiancée who learned his most awful secret, he must seek help—which might come only from the brother whose freedom and very life he snuffed out 16 years previously. With an 80,000-copy first printing and blog buzz also gone riot.

Wellington, David. Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission. Morrow. Aug. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780062248770. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062248794. SF
A band of genetically modified killers has smashed out of a secret military facility in upstate New York and laid waste to the surrounding area, killing innocent civilians. Now Special Forces veteran Jim Chapel gets to stop the killers—and puzzle out whether they’re renegades or part of a high-up conspiracy. Author of the “Monster Island” trilogy, serialized online zombie novels, and “Thirteen Bullets,” a serialized vampire novel, Wellington is currently working toward a degree in Library Science at the Pratt Institute. Library marketing, of course.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.