Zombies, Posthumans, Voids, and Monsters for Your October Bookshelf

It's almost October, and you're hungry for books. You've finished Neal Stephenson's Anathem, and if you live in the United States you are gritting your teeth while waiting for Ken MacLeod's latest burst of brilliance, The Night Sessions, to be released stateside. Luckily, we've got all kinds of readerly goodness coming up for you in October. Of course there are monsters and zombies, but there are also some politically-savvy tales of posthuman wars, as well as one mothy menace.

If you're looking for a good collection of short stories, you might want to dive into acclaimed author Michael Swanwick's latest collection, The Best of Michael Swanwick (Subterranean). Guaranteed literary weirdness from this two-time Nebula winner. Zombies are getting allegorical and literal on your ass in John Joseph Adams' latest anthology, The Living Dead (Nightshade), which includes a ton of great stuff which you can sample here. Also don't miss Pyr's latest scifi collection, Fast Forward 2, edited by Lou Anders.

Here are some more notable scifi books coming your way in October.

Eric Brown, Necropath (Solaris)
Set on a spaceport called Bengal Station that dominates the airspace between India and Burma, this is part of a series about the cultures of a future Earth that is still divided between rich and poor, East and West. A telepathic investigator stumbles on a drug-fueled cult on the space station, and find himself caught up in conflicting loyalties and a hellish romance.

Tobias Buckell, Tides from the New Worlds (Wyrm)
A limited-edition collection of short stories from the guy who brought you ninjas vs. space zombies on a floating city in the awesome novel Sly Mongoose.

Thomas M. Disch, Wall of America (Tachyon)
This is Disch's last collection of short stories, written shortly before he committed suicide in July. This is a wide-ranging, dark, and satirical collection

Michael Flynn, The January Dancer (Tor)
In this politico-economic space opera, a ship emergency lands on an unknown planet, only to find a shape-shifting stone that belonged to what may be a pre-human civilization. Now Captain Amos January must deal with all the conflicting political (and criminal) forces who want the "Dancer" stone. Flynn is also the author of the critically-acclaimed Eifelheim.

Peter F. Hamilton, The Temporal Void (Del Rey)
A sequel to Hamilton's The Dreaming Void, this novel continues the tale of a massive structure (the Void) at the center of the Milky Way that is slowly devouring everything in its path. Posthumans in this far future have started to believe that the Void might be a kind of salvation, a new home. Amid much intragalactic power-playing, one group has planned an expedition to the Void to find out more. Get ready for some serious Void action.

Kelly Link, Pretty Monsters (Viking)
The author of critically-acclaimed short story collection Magic for Beginners, Link is back with another collection that's sure to be weird, pleasing, and mind-blowing. Known for her so-surreal-it's-real literary style, Link has the ability to suck you into a character instantly, only to destroy all your preconceptions about her or him later. This collection ranges from fantasy tales to stories of alien invasion. I can guarantee they'll be unlike anything else you'll read this month — or this year.

Paul McAuley, The Quiet War (Gollancz)
One of this month's standouts will surely be McAuley's fascinating 23rd century tale of a post-environmental collapse Earth, ruled by a few wealthy families who force millions to labor on their gigantic geoengineering projects that will "restore Earth to an Eden-like state" without industry. Meanwhile, "Outers" who live on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are building weird new posthuman cultures devoted to science, genetic engineering, and social experimentation. The two branches of humanity are about to collide, as the Outers start to colonize more parts of the solar system.

Philip Reeve, Mothstorm (Bloomsbury)
This looks to be another delightfully silly and action-packed kids book from the author who brought you Starcross. A terrifying mothy peril that lurks in a cloud is closing in on the solar system, and our young hero Art and his family must save the Empire — again.

Brian Francis Slattery, Liberation (Tor)
This trippy, intensely political novel about a dystopian future where slavery has been restored to the United States is both satirical and disturbing. We reviewed it here. Definitely one of the month's standouts if you're a fan of idea-driven adventures.

Jo Walton, Half a Crown (Tor)
This is the conclusion to Walton's trilogy about detectives working at Scotland Yard in an England that reached "accomodations" with the Nazis during World War II. Now it's two decades since the accomodations, and our detective hero is hiding both his gay relationship and a covert operation to smuggle Jews out of the country. Everything will come to a head at a violent political rally, where a young fascist woman might hold the key to unlocking the authoritarian regime.

Top image from Buckell's collection, Tides from the New Worlds.

Want to know what else is coming out in October? Always check the Locus Magazine monthly updates.