Future Treasures: Pathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes by Dave Gross

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Pathfinder Tales Lord of Runes-smallI’ll admit, I was surprised to read the announcement from Tor and Paizo back in February, that Tor would become the publisher for the popular Pathfinder Tales line of novels. But it certainly makes business sense — Tor is the biggest publisher in the genre, and has unprecedented distribution and marketing muscle, and this allows Paizo to focus on the creative side of things.

The books have shifted to a new format (trade paperback), and will be available for the Kindle for the first time, but nothing else appears to have changed. The line remains in the capable hands of its longtime editor, James L. Sutter.

The first title under the new arrangement, Lord of Runes by Dave Gross, arrives next week. Here’s a snippet from the press release:

Since its launch in 2008, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game has topped RPG sales charts for several years running, and has grown to become one of the most important and best-loved tabletop RPGs in the world. In 2010, the Pathfinder Tales novel line was launched by the game’s publisher, Paizo, and has included more than 20 exciting fantasy novels by Tim Pratt, Michael A. Stackpole, Ed Greenwood, James L. Sutter, Howard Andrew Jones, Liane Merciel, and others. Since then, Pathfinder has been translated into five languages, has released a widely popular card game, and has inspired computer games, comic books, audio drama, gaming figurines, and toys.

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Future Treasures: Oathkeeper by J.F. Lewis

Sunday, May 24th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Oathkeeper-smallOathkeeper, the second novel in J.F. Lewis’s Grudgebearer Trilogy, will be published in early June by Pyr. It’s an intriguing series that features carnivorous elves, sentient armor, plant people, a newly ascended god, and much more. As Dave Gross puts it, “J.F. Lewis dials high fantasy up to 11.”

Rae’en has taken the place of her father, Kholster, as First of the practically immortal Aern, a race created by the Eldrennai as warrior-slaves to defend them from the reptilian Zaur. Freed from all Oaths by Kholster’s death, Rae’en decides to wage war on the Eldrennai.

Prince Rivvek must claim the Eldrennai throne by completing the Test of Four so he can save as much of his kingdom as possible. Meanwhile, his brother, Prince Dolvek, hatches a plot to enlist the aid of the plant-like Vael to defeat the Zaur horde, who mean to take advantage of the strife between the Aern and Eldrennai.

The inevitable war between the Eldrennai and the Zaur begins, with the Aern an unpredictable force that could save the Eldrennai – or doom them. Torn by rage and grief, Rae’en must decide who is worthy to keep her people’s Oaths.

J.F. Lewis is also the author of the Void City series of urban fantasy novels from Pocket Books, composed of Staked, Revamped, Crossed, and Burned, about a vampire who runs a strip club.

Oathkeeper will be published by Pyr Books on June 9, 2015. It is 381 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $11.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Todd Lockwood. Learn more at J.F. Lewis’ website.

Future Treasures: Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell

Thursday, May 21st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Knight's Shadow-smallThe highly-anticipated second book in Sebastien de Castell’s The Greatcoats series is due next month, and I’m really looking forward to it. Sarah Avery’s rave review of the first volume, Traitor’s Blade, should help you understand why.

Not only did I love this book, I trusted it. Somehow, de Castell managed in his debut novel to win my trust so completely and quickly that he could tell nearly half of his story in flashback, often for a chapter at a stretch, and never once did he throw me out of the waking dream of fiction to wonder whether he could pull it off…

As the story opens, our three Greatcoat heroes need to get out of town fast, so they take a job guarding a mysterious lady’s caravan, hoping her freedom to travel will protect them. And it does, sort of, until she leads them to Rijou, the most lawless, most ruthless, most corrupt city in all of Tristia.

It’s not difficult to imagine Traitor’s Blade as a western about circuit-riding judges in the boomtown days of Deadwood. There is something of the noir detective tale, too, about the bloody case Falcio vows to solve in Rijou. The flashbacks to the fall of King Paelis are intimately tragic, genuinely moving, and crucial to solving the puzzle that forms the novel’s overarching plot.

Knight’s Shadow will be published on June 2 by Quercus and Jo Fletcher Books. It is 580 pages, priced at $26.99 in hardcover, and $12.99 for the digital edition.

Future Treasures: The Liar’s Key by Mark Lawrence

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Liar's Key-smallPrince of Fools,, the first volume in Mark Lawrence’s new fantasy series The Red Queen’s War, was released in June 2013. It is set in the same world as his previous trilogy The Broken Empire (Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, and the 2014 David Gemmell Legend Award winner Emperor of Thorns).

The Liar’s Key, the second book in the series, will be published this June, and it continues the story of the unusual fellowship between a rogue prince and a weary warrior.

After harrowing adventure and near-death, Prince Jalan Kendeth and the Viking Snorri ver Snagason find themselves in possession of Loki’s Key, an artefact capable of opening any door, and sought by the most dangerous beings in the Broken Empire — including The Dead King.

Jal wants only to return home to his wine, women, and song, but Snorri has his own purpose for the key: to find the very door into death, throw it wide, and bring his family back into the land of the living.

And as Snorri prepares for his quest to find death’s door, Jal’s grandmother, the Red Queen continues to manipulate kings and pawns towards an endgame of her own design…

We published the first chapter of Prince of Thorns, with a brand new introduction by Mark, here, and Howard Andrew Jones’s interview with him is here. Mark’s long article on writing and selling The Prince of Thorns is here.

The Liar’s Key will be published by Ace Books on June 2, 2015. It is 496 pages, priced at $26.95 in hardcover and $12.99 for the digital edition.

Future Treasures: Mech edited by Tim Marquitz and Nick Sharps

Sunday, May 17th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Mech Age of Steel-smallLast year we told you about Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, the book that founded Ragnarok Publications. Since then I’ve been very impressed with the astonishing energy from Ragnarok’s founders, Joe Martin and Tim Marquitz. In their first year they released 22 titles, and their recent releases have included Martin’s Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries. and Rogues, which we covered here, Stacey Turner’s Grimm Mistresses, Kenny Soward’s Gnomesaga trilogy, and many others.

Ragnarok recently announced plans for a companion anthology to Kaiju Rising, Mech: Age of Steel, edited by Tim Marquitz and Nick Sharps. Here’s the scoop:

Growing up there was only one thing I loved more than giant monsters and that would be giant robots! The anthology will feature a diverse array of tales from some of the genre’s finest talent (including some returning favorites from Kaiju Rising) and each story will be accompanied by a piece of interior art by either Frankie B. Washington or Oksana Dmitrienko (the latter’s work is seen throughout Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues)…

The Mech: Age of Steel Kickstarter campaign will launch in Q3/4 2015 and feature stories from some of the genre’s finest talent.

They’ve already announced a preliminary line-up of authors for the book, and it includes several names that will be familiar to Black Gate authors, including Martha Wells and Jennifer Brozek, as well as Jeremy Robinson, Graham McNeill, C.L. Werner, and many others.

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Future Treasures: The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, edited by Sean Wallace

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk-smallWhat the heck is Dieselpunk?

Sean Wallace gave an enticing description of this funky new sub-genre in his call for submissions for The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk last year:

If you need to know what dieselpunk is, it’s a subcategory of steampunk, essentially, covering the 1920s through the 1950s, including the Roaring Twenties, the Depression, World War II, and even a little beyond that, but here’s the thing: I want material from all over the world, I don’t want a white-washed representation of this theme.

The book is scheduled to be published in July, and I have to say, it looks pretty good. Packed with stories by Genevieve Valentine, Carrie Vaughn, E. Catherine Tobler, Nick Mamatas, Jeremiah Tolbert, and many others, it could be a lot of fun.

Dieselpunk: an emerging retro-futuristic sub-genre, similar to steampunk, based on the era between the First World War and the start of the Atomic Age, merging elements of noir, pulp, and the past with today’s technology… and sometimes a dash of the occult.

Award-winning editor Wallace presents a cutting-edge collection of twenty-five vibrant stories that explore the possibilities of history while sweeping readers into high-powered hydrocarbon-fuelled adventures. Join us in an era when engines were huge, fuel was cheap and plentiful, and steel and chrome blended with the grit and grease of modern machines.

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Future Treasures: The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod

Monday, May 11th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Hanged Man P N Elrod-smallP.N. Elrod is known chiefly for her series about Chicago vampire detective Jack Fleming, whose first case is to solve his own murder. The Vampire Files ran for a dozen novels between 1990 and 2009, starting with Bloodlist.

Her new series, Her Majesty’s Psychic Service, opens with The Hanged Man, a Victorian urban fantasy thriller, on sale next week.

On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed. After the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies — the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James — Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.

The Hanged Man will be published by Tor Books on May 19, 2015. It is 336 pages, priced at $24.99 in hardcover and $11.99 for the digital edition.

See our complete survey of the top releases in May here.

Future Treasures: Storm and Steel by Jon Sprunk

Friday, May 8th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Storm and Steel-smallStorm and Steel, the long-awaited sequel to Blood and Iron — which Sarah Avery said “takes the prize for strange worldbuilding… full of powerful imagery and a vivid sense of place,” will be released in just a few weeks. Jon Sprunk is also the author of the popular Shadow Saga (Shadow’s Son, Shadow’s Lure, Shadow’s Master), and expectations are running high for the second volume of his new trilogy, The Book of the Black Earth.

An empire at war. Three fates intertwined.

The Magician. Horace has destroyed the Temple of the Sun, but now he finds his slave chains have been replaced by bonds of honor, duty, and love. Caught between two women and two cultures, he must contend with deadly forces from the unseen world.

The Rebel. Jirom has thrown in his lot with the slave uprising, but his road to freedom becomes ever more dangerous as the rebels expand their campaign against the empire. Even worse, he feels his connection with Emanon slipping away with every blow they strike in the name of freedom. The Spy. Alyra has severed her ties to the underground network that brought her to Akeshia, but she continues the mission on her own. Yet, with Horace’s connection to the queen and the rebellion’s escalation of violence, she finds herself treading a knife’s edge between love and duty.

Dark conspiracies bubble to the surface as war and zealotry spread across the empire. Old alliances are shattered, new vendettas are born, and all peoples — citizen and slave alike — must endure the ravages of storm and steel.

Storm and Steel will be published by Pyr on June 2, 2015. It is 479 pages, priced at $18 in trade paperback and $11.99 for the digital edition. The cover is by Jason Chan. Learn more at Pyr Books or read our exclusive excerpt of the first novel here.

The Future of Fantasy: May New Releases

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Trial of Intentions-small The Venusian Gambit-small Archivist Wasp-small

May, why do you do this to me? There are so many dynamite new fantasy books hitting the stands, I scarcely know where to look. And I have absolutely no idea where I’ll find the have time to read any of them.

Well, I’ll worry about that later. The task at hand is to introduce you to the 30 most intriguing fantasy titles released this month. And trust me, I had a heck of a time whittling it down to 30. Time’s a wasting, so let’s get started.

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Future Treasures: The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

The Einstein Prophecy-smallRobert Masello is the author of The Medusa Amulet, Bestiary, and other supernatural suspense thrillers… the kinds that usually involve ancient secrets, primordial supernatural powers, and monsters. They sound like the kinds of books that would make great Friday night monster movies (if they still showed monster movies on Friday night.)

His latest, The Einstein Prophecy, mixes a little WWII espionage, an Egyptian tomb, and a dire dire prophecies from Albert Einstein into the mix. It will be released in trade paperback this August.

As war rages in 1944, young army lieutenant Lucas Athan recovers a sarcophagus excavated from an Egyptian tomb. Shipped to Princeton University for study, the box contains mysteries that only Lucas, aided by brilliant archaeologist Simone Rashid, can unlock.

These mysteries may, in fact, defy — or fulfill — the dire prophecies of Albert Einstein himself.

Struggling to decipher the sarcophagus’s strange contents, Lucas and Simone unwittingly release forces for both good and unmitigated evil. The fate of the world hangs not only on Professor Einstein’s secret research but also on Lucas’s ability to defeat an unholy adversary more powerful than anything he ever imagined.

From the mind of bestselling author and award-winning journalist Robert Masello comes a thrilling, page-turning adventure where modern science and primordial supernatural powers collide.

The Einstein Prophecy will be published by 47North on August 1, 2015. It is 336 pages, priced at $14.95 in trade paperback and $4.99 for the digital edition.

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