SF/Fantasy (Hobb, Lord) & Literary Fiction (Earley, Kunstler) | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 3

Goodkind, Terry. Severed Souls. Tor. Aug. 2014. 528p. ISBN 9780765327741. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429948449. FANTASY
Fresh from The Third Kingdom, Seeker of Truth Richard Rahl and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell, have more adventures. All those Legend of the Seeker fans will want.

Herbert, Brian & Kevin J. Anderson. Hellhole Inferno. Tor. Aug. 2014. 528p. ISBN 9780765322715. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429948227. CD: Macmillan Audio. SF
Here ends the “Hellhole Trilogy,” with the people of Hellhole and the shadow-Xayans teaming up lordkarenagainst those nasty rogue Xayans. Lots of Comic-Com promotion.

Hobb, Robin. Fool’s Assassin. Del Rey. Aug. 2014. 688p. ISBN 9780553392425. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780553392432. FANTASY
FitzChivalry Farseer is presumably in his grave, but actually he’s living quietly as Tom Badgerlock in the countryside with his beloved Molly. It’s just that he misses the Fool. Hobb returns to her popular Fitz and the Fool series, which kicks off a repackaging of her nine backlist titles.

Lord, Karen. The Galaxy Game. Del Rey. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780345534071. pap. $15. SF
Having won multiple awards for her debut, Redemption in Indigo, Lord leapt from small-press publishing to the big time with The Best of All Possible Worlds, a Buzzfeed Best Book. In her third book, the nephew of Best’s heroine skips about the universe with an intergalactic sports team. Pitched to the Ursula K. Le Guin/China Miéville crowd of literary sf readers; Lord’s Afro-Caribbean background adds interest.

Tepper, Sheri S. Fish Tails. Morrow. Aug. 2014. 512p. ISBN 9780062304582. $26.99. SF
Locus Award winner Tepper turns out her 35th novel, which shows us popular characters Abasio and Xulai (e.g., A Plague of Angels) traveling through a barren land trying to persuade the populace to adopt their sea-dwelling ways. Good idea, since rising water will soon overwhelm brokeneyethe planet.

Weeks, Brent. The Broken Eye. Orbit. Aug. 2014. 688p. ISBN 9780316079921. $28. FANTASY
In this third in the Lightbringer series, Gavin Guile is not only in chains on a pirate galley but has lost his skill at drafting. His son Kip is on his own—bad news with the emergence of The Broken Eye, an order of assassins. Weeks’s Night Angel trilogy has sold over two million copies worldwide.

Cantero, Edgar. The Supernatural Enhancements. Doubleday. Aug. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780385538152. $26.95. LITERARY/GOTHIC
When a young man of undefined European descent inherits an estate in the leafy Virginia woods from a cousin he never knew he had, he gets a lot more than he bargained for—and so does the reader. The cousin has dispatched himself in the same manner (and on the same date) as his father, and the maze in the garden is partly sealed. Spanish cartoonist Cantero blends the mores of yesteryear with the latest technology to create a decidedly different ghost story.

Earley, Tony. Mr. Tall: A Novella and Stories. Little, Brown. Aug. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9780316246125. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316246118. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316322805. mrtallDownloadable: Hachette Audio. SHORT STORIES
The author of the heartfelt Jim the Boy, which has sold more than 170,000 copies across all formats, returns with a story collection whose characters range from a bride in the secluded mountains intimidated by a looming neighbor, a widow who is sure she’s encountered the Southern version of Bigfoot, and the ghost of Jesse James. Southern charm; with a five-city tour to Oxford, Raleigh, Nashville, Atlanta, and Asheville.

Kunstler, James Howard. A History of the Future: A World Made by Hand Novel. Atlantic Monthly. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780802122520. $24. LITERARY
It’s not every novelist who regularly speaks at TED conferences, but it’s not every novelist who forthrightly addresses environmental crisis and the fate of the earth. In this third in Kunstler’s “World Made By Hand” series, we return to the post–oil for fuel world of Union Grove, NY, on Christmas eve, as Robert Earle’s son Daniel returns home to inform guests around the tree that the nation has split into three tense and uncertain regions

Lan Cao. The Lotus and the Storm. Viking. Aug. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780670016921. $27.95. LITERARY
In 1997, Cao triumphed with the debut Monkey Bridge, a multi-award finalist that even Michiko lancaoKakutani admired. Now she’s returned with another story illuminating our experience in the Vietnam War. Living in an insular Vietnamese American community with her father, a former South Vietnamese commander, Mai uncovers unsettling truths about what really happened to her family during that war.

Manko, Vanessa. The Invention of Exile. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781594205880. $26.95. LITERARY/HISTORICAL
Trust Penguin Press to offer historically informed fiction. Early 1900s Russian immigrant Austin Voronkov is a happily married father of two in Bridgeport, CT. But after tripping over his English while countering accusations that he attended an anarchist gathering, the family must flee first to revolutionary Russia, then Mexico—where Austin remains, in daily touch by letter, after the rest of the family is allowed to return home.

Row, Jess. Your Face in Mine. Riverhead. Aug. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781594488344. $27.95. LITERARY
One of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists and a Pushcart and PEN/O. Henry Prize winner, Row should draw attention with a discussion-worthy premise. Home in Baltimore, Kelly Thorndike is greeted by an African American man he doesn’t recognize—since friend Martin was a skinny Jewish kid in high school who’s had “racial reassignment surgery.” Now he wants weatherwaxto spill his identity.

Weatherwax, Annie. All We Had. Scribner. Aug. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9781476755205. $24. COMING OF AGE
The 2009 winner of the Robert Olen Butler Prize for Short Fiction, sculptor/painter Weatherwax now offers a debut novel. On the road looking for a better life, tween-aged Ruthie Carmichael and her devoted but marginalized mom, Rita, end up in a nowhere town called Fat River, where Rita works at the local diner and Ruthie befriends the transgender waitress Peter Pam.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.