Selected SF/F Previews for 09/2013

I’ve been tracking new SF/F on Goodreads for a while now, but I’m really not sure that particular approach to discovering stuff to read has been helpful to me or others. I’ll keep trying for a while longer, but I’ve also decided to try something else that’s similarly comprehensive and systematic, similarly biased by the available data, but even more subjective.

What I’m going to do for at least a few months is read the available Amazon ‘Look Inside’ previews for all ~200 new books in each monthly gallery of new SF/F at SFSignal, and then I’ll read Goodreads reviews for many and select 5-10 titles that still seem interesting from my own point of view. Not all books have previews at Amazon, but since that’s the primary ‘data,’ they’ll be skipped. Some books have previews that are very long, and in that case, I may only read a chapter or two.

Anyway, based on the September 2013 cover gallery at SFSignal, here’s an initial selection:

  • V. E. Schwab, Vicious. This had some nice ‘teaser’ sentences, succinctly pointing at intriguing backstory (GR).
  • Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart. My recent positive reaction to The Emperor’s Soul may have predisposed me to like this, and I’m a fan of comic book superheroes in general. So liking that preview could involve significant personal bias, but I’ve also had weak responses to Sanderson’s earlier stuff, evening things out a little (GR).
  • Jonathan Stroud, Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase. I haven’t read Stroud’s extremely well-known Bartimaeus books, but I may like ghost stories in fantasy fiction more than other folks, and this seemed decent (GR).
  • Elliott James, Charming. Male POV urban fantasy, reminiscent of Jim Butcher and Richard Kadrey in that it’s sometimes successfully witty (GR).
  • Tamora Pierce, Battle Magic. This mostly served as a reminder to go back and catch up on the Circle of Magic series and related works, because there seems to be neat stuff going on even in later books (GR).