Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
Stormdancer was a novel I very much wanted to read when it came out last year and it still tops my want to read list these days but that list is so big I had kind of forgotten about it till I say the cover designs for the second book in the trilogy. Jay Kristoff got some excellent reviews and Stromdancer was even blurbed by Patrick Rothfuss so my hopes are set pretty high for this series. With its setting being a mythologized version of Japan steeped in magic and steampunk technology its nearly a mix of all my favorite elements and the that the promise of a great female warrior protagonist I'm pretty much onboard. Here is a link to Jay's personal website and here is a second link.
Here is the synopsis from his British publisher...
A SHATTERED EMPIRE
Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.
A DARK LEGACY
Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts. Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches.
A GATHERING STORM
Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat. The ghosts of a blood-stained past.
The Rose and the Thorn Michael J. Sullivan
Before being published by Orbit Book both in the US and the UK Michael's epic fantasy series that began back in 2005 with The Crown Conspiracy had some measure of success; hopefully now it is getting the notice it rightly deserves. Orbit republished the novels that began the Riyria series last year and are now telling the stories of the early careers of thief Royce Melborn and his partner Hadrian Blackwater. This is the second book in the new series that began with The Crown Tower and you can go to the Orbit website here to read an excerpt from this novel. Here also is a link to the publishers site for more information about the series.
Here is the synopsis for your reading pleasure too...
For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, Royce returns to Medford with Hadrian but the two receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of --- but she's about to find out.
Jupiter War by Neal Asher
Those unfamiliar with the fantastic neo space opera book of Neal Asher have been missing out on some great character driven action packed stories. I have yet to read any of "The Owner" series of novels that began a couple of years ago with the novel "Zero Point" and continued with "The Departure" which came out first in the UK and were picked up for US publication by Nigh Shade Books. Neal's world building is always thought provoking as science fiction is at its best and this series looks to be worthy of his reputation as a great storyteller. Here is a link to the UK tor website where you can look at the interviews and synopsis' of the three books. ...
And here is the one for Jupiter War...
Alan Saul is now part human and part machine, and our solar system isn't big enough to hold him. He craves the stars, but can't leave yet. His sister Var is trapped on Mars, on the wrong side of a rebellion, and Saul's human side won't let her die. He must leave Argus Station to stage a dangerous rescue -- but mutiny is brewing on board, as Saul's robots make his crew feel increasingly redundant.
Serene Galahad will do anything to prevent Saul's escape. Earth’s ruthless dictator hides her crimes from a cowed populace as she readies new warships for pursuit. She aims to crush her enemy in a terrifying display of interstellar violence.
Meanwhile, The Scourge limps back to earth, its crew slaughtered, its mission to annihilate Saul a disaster. There are survivors, but while one seeks Galahad's death, Clay Ruger will negotiate for his life. Events build to a climax as Ruger holds humanity’s greatest asset -- seeds to rebuild a dying Earth. This stolen Gene Bank data is offered at a price, but what will Galahad pay for humanity’s future?
The Delphi Room by Melia McClure
I always look forward to books from ChiZine because I know they choose stories that tickle that need that I have for existential horror in my fiction every so often. I know nothing about the author but I think that the synopsis alone my just sell the book for you if your anything like me. Here is a link to the ChiZine site and to Melia's also for your perusal
Is it possible to find love after you've died and gone to Hell?
For oddball misfits Velvet and Brinkley, the answer just might be yes. After Velvet hangs herself and winds up trapped in a bedroom she believes is Hell, she comes in contact with Brinkley, the man trapped next door. Through mirrors that hang in each of their rooms, these disturbed cinephiles watch the past of the other unfold - the dark past that has led to their present circumstances. As their bond grows and they struggle to figure out the tragic puzzles of their lives and deaths, Velvet and Brinkley are in for more surprises.
By turns quirky, harrowing, funny, and surreal, The Delphi Room explores the nature of reality and the possibilities of love.
Wikiworld By Paul di Filippo
Paul was one of the early steampunk writers long before it really became a thing and he is a great short fiction writer that crosses genre boundaries. ChiZine is pulling together some of his works over the last several years including the story Wikiworld that appeared in Lou Anders Fast Forward #1. Here is the synopsis for this collection that compares him to several other great authors...
WikiWorld contains a choice assortment of Di Filippo's best and most recent work. The title story, a radical envisioning of near-future sociopolitical modes, received accolades from both Cory Doctorow and Warren Ellis. In addition, there are alternate history adventures such as "Yes We Have No Bananas" (which critic Gary Wolfe called "a new kind of science fiction"); homages to icons such as Stanislaw Lem ("The New Cyberiad"); collaborations with Rudy Rucker and Damien Broderick; and a posthuman odyssey ("Waves and Smart Magma"). WikiWorld is the best of the best from this British Science Fiction Association Award-winning and Nebula, Hugo, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author.
Anarchy by James Treadwell
When I saw this title comig up and available on net galley to read I had to request it. James Treadwell is a name I recall from when I had a job that allowed my lots of time to listen to speculative fiction podcasts and it was a name I recalled being exited to hear. This is the second book in a modern era thriller where magic has returned to the world. Reviewers on goodreads compare James Treadwell to Charles de Lint and Stephen King to name a couple... Here is the synopsis of this volume ...
If there’s one thing Gavin Stokes knows, it’s that something unimaginably dangerous has returned to the world. A mad dog runs amok, a mermaid floats in the bay, and a wild beast stalks the countryside. He and others make the same strange claim: magic has returned. All signs point to it.
Now, Gavin’s aunt has disappeared. A young girl who’s been accused of murder vanishes from a locked cell. She is at large somewhere in a vast wilderness. Meanwhile, a desolate child leaves the home that has kept her safe all her life and strikes out into the unknown. And a mother, half mad with grief for her lost son, sets off to find him.
There is a place where all their journeys meet. But someone is watching the roads .
Business as Usual by David Barnett
This weeks free story is something I mentioned earlier in the week and has been on Tor.com here for a little bit. This story is another view on the world in the novel Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl which was a brilliantly pleasant surprise that came out just last week. This story is from the point of view of a more shadowy figure in this Victorian era travelogue pulp adventure setting. Told from the POV of the government agent Wallsingham you get distinctly differ view of this world and a hint there is a secret history just aching to be explored.....