This winter sees some tremendous book releases in the fields of science fiction and fantasy- new entries in beloved series, new novels by beloved authors, and annual collections of the best stories to be found in the genre. Customers aren’t the only people to get excited about new literary arrivals- you should see all the special orders that staff put in when these books are announced! Here are some of the winter new releases that we’re eagerly anticipating, and which would be a welcome gift to any genre-loving bookworm.
One of the books I’ve been most excited about this season is Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth, author of the acclaimed The Miseducation of Cameron Post. In this gothic horror-comedy, the Brookhants School for Girls is beset by tragic romance as well as mysterious deaths, before the institution is eventually shut down. More than a hundred years later, a book about the supposedly cursed school becomes popular enough to inspire a film—which means more young women on those same grounds. What exactly was the curse that affected members of the Plain Bad Heroine Society in 1902? And can the actresses be sure of their own safety?
Brandon Sanderson is no stranger to fantasy fans, and his new book Rhythm of War continues the story of The Stormlight Archives following the bestselling Oathbringer, part of his wide-spanning Cosmere setting. The endless war in this epic series changes with the advent of new technology, and Dalinar Kholin and the Knights Radiant must adapt with the times. With challenges ranging from diplomacy to the wrath of an evil god, they work to unearth ancient secrets in order to keep up with an increasingly deadly arms race. Sanderson’s post-apocalyptic setting blurs the lines between fantasy and hard science fiction, with attention to details of ecology and culture worthy of a scientist or historian.
The Children of Red Peak by Craig DiLouie is a quieter sort of book—a psychological horror story about the survivors of a doomsday cult. They were just children when the world crashed down around them, but the trauma still lingers into adulthood—and then another survivor dies. They meet and exchange stories in an effort to figure out what happened to them and their families, and to finally put the secrets of Red Peak to rest. DiLouie is a Bram Stoker Award-nominated writer, and I can’t wait to see what he does with such a chilling premise.
The Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey now has its first American-set installment: Jolene! A mistress of the genre now tells the tale of a coal-miner’s daughter in Tennessee, studying witchcraft under her aunt’s tutelage after family tragedy. That witchcraft will come in handy when her beloved disappears and she has to go off to the mountains to rescue him—and as she already knows, danger lurks every which way in the coal mines. It’s a haunting story that represents a change for Lackey’s writing, embracing an oft-neglected part of American society, and we’re certainly on the edge of our seat for it!
Finally, if you can’t pick just one thing, consider The Best New Horror of the Year Volume Twelve, edited by the lauded anthologist Ellen Datlow. Every year these collections take us by storm, and this issue is looking better than ever, with stories by Paul Tremblay, Joe R. Lansdale, Gemma Files (a personal favorite) and many more, both old professionals and newcomers to the scene. What better way is there to welcome the new year than to reflect on the horror that has passed? Both real and fictional this time! Each year these books introduce me to a million new favorites, and my to-be-read list grows even more impossibly long...
Enjoy these new works arriving at Pandemonium, because we certainly will!