Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 3: The Supernatural; Donaldson Says Good-Bye to Thomas Covenant

Dalglish, David. A Dance of Cloaks. Orbit: Hachette. Oct. 2013. 480p. ISBN 9780316242394. pap. $16. FANTASY
The self-published Dalglish, who’s made a mint as author of four series set in the world of Dezrel, leaps to big-time traditional publishing with this dark and moody work, part of the “Shadowdance” trilogy. Son and heir apparent of Thren Felhorn, the master assassin who’s grabbed control of the thieves’ guilds and is now declaring war on the Trifect, Aaron is sent to kill a priest’s daughter but instead becomes her protector. Your chance to meet a breakout author.

Donaldson, Stephen R. The Last Dark. (Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Bk. 4). Putnam. Oct. 2013. 688p. ISBN 9780399159206. $35. FANTASY
For those of you who started with Lord Foul’s Bane in 1977, be forewarned that the end is near. Donaldson wraps up his epic ten-part fantasy series, consisting of the three-part “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever,” the three-part “The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant,” and the four-part “The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.” Here, Thomas Covenant is united with Linden Avery and Linden’s son, Jeremiah, but the Worm of the World’s End is making things look bleak indeed. Every volume in the series has been a best seller; can this really be good-bye?

Grant, Mira. Parasite. Orbit: Hachette. Oct. 2013. 512p. ISBN 9780316218955. $20. SF
Sometime in the near future, the SymboGen Corporation has graciously assured the health and well-being of humans by implanting them with genetically engineered tapeworms that gobble up germs, boost immunity, and even secrete needed drugs. The bad news: the little critters are tired of serving people and want to break out on their own. Eew, creepy, but what do you expect from New York Times best-selling author Grant?

Howard, Jonathan L. Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781250037527. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250037510. FANTASY
In this third in a series, Johannes Cabal the Necromancer agrees to help the Fear Institute, whose goal of wiping out fear may be close at hand since it has found where fear dwells. In hot pursuit, Johannes enters the Dreamlands, a world of stone men, cats that eat humans, and runaway phobias, and slowly begins to realize that his assignment may not be what it seems. As says, “Readers, rejoice; Johannes Cabal is back.”

Kenyon, Nate. Day One. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781250013217. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250013378. SF
Hacker journalist John Hawke is in New York interviewing the head of a new tech start-up when all the Internet connections go haywire. Evidently, there’s some sort of nastiness out there capable of inhabiting anything with a computer chip, and it plans to take over the world. Hawke is soon one of the few left standing, and he’s trying to get back across the Hudson to New Jersey to save his wife and child. Two-time Stoker Award finalist Bram ratchets up the fear.

Lackey, Mercedes & James Mallory. The House of Four Winds. Tor. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780765335654. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466824201. FANTASY
One of 12 princesses who must make their way independently because their brother will inherit everything, Clarice joins a voyage to the New World disguised as Clarence and sides with charming navigator Dominick when he overthrows the bullying captain. Then she draws swords as a sorceress steps in to claim Dominick. Lackey, author of the New York Times best-selling Valdemar series, again joins with Mallory, with whom she has coauthored popular titles like When the Dark Falls. Cotton-candy fun.

Lindqvist, John Ajvide. Let the Old Dreams Die. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 400p. tr. from Swedish by Ebba Segerberg. ISBN 9780312620530. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250036858. HORROR
The ultimate vampire experience, Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In has been made into a multi-award-winning Swedish film and an American film praised by Stephen King as a “genre-busting triumph.” The 400,000 fans on the novel’s Facebook Fan Page will want to read the title story in this collection, which reports what happens to Oskar and Eli after the escape from Blackeberg. Other stories follow characters from Handling the Undead and explain what one woman finds when she agrees to look after a neighbor’s house. Not for scaredy cats like me, but horror fans will delight.

Martin, George R.R. & Gardner Dozois, eds. Old Mars. Bantam. Oct. 2013. 512p. ISBN 9780345537270. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780345538598. SF/STORIES
Game of Thrones mastermind Martin joins with award-winning editor Dozois to curate this collection of 15 all-original sf stories that hark back to the genre’s golden age, when works like Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles embodied a fascination with the interplanetary colonization and particularly the idea of ancient, doomed life on the red planet. Contributors include Michael Moorcock and Joe R. Lansdale.

Robertson, A.D. Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade. Dutton. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780525954118. $25.95.  PARANORMAL ROMANCE
The author of the New York Times best-selling “Nightshade” series goes adult with a novel limning the illicit relationship between the powerful Tristan Doran, a descendant of the Keepers—witches who went to the dark side—and a human Searcher named Sarah. They meet when one of Tristan’s associates chains a naked Sarah face down on Tristan’s bed, a black calla lily on her back. Looks as if their love will fulfill a prophecy regarding the end of the Keepers’ reign.


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.