May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

May is a blockbuster month for books, with new releases from China Miéville, John Scalzi and Charlaine Harris, plus Gilded-Age witchcraft and zombie-fighting bloggers.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi (Tor)

There's a been a lot of buzz for The Quantum Thief, and you can read our review here. The plot is intricate and the setting is post-human, but it's basically a far-future detective novel. Hannu Rajaniemi has built a world where human interaction revolves around privacy and time is literally money, then dropped a slightly superpowered thief and an enigmatic ninja into the mix.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, by Genevieve Valentine (Prime)

Mechanique is a genre-bending mash-up that mixes fantastical and science fictional elements. The circus ringleader, Boss, entices performers to Circus Tresaulti by transforming them into part-mechanical post-humans. His talents attract the attention of a government man, who wants the Boss's abilities for his own, nefarious powers. It's a magical, post-apocalyptic, beautifully weird book. Check out io9's review here.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Deadline, Mira Grant (Orbit)

It's the return of the zombie-fighting bloggers! The sequel to the Hugo-nominated Feed hits shelves this month. Life just doesn't have the same zest after Shaun's recent misfortunes—until a CDC researcher fakes her death and comes looking for him.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Embassytown, China Miéville (Del Rey)

If you're a Miéville fan, you probably pre-ordered this one weeks ago. If you aren't, this may be a good entry point — word is Embassytown isn't quite as bleak as his other novels. He's created a people, the Ariekei, for whom language and reality are one. There's no way to translate their speech with computers, so would-be translators like the protagonist, Avice, have to undergo a complicated transmutation. The novel speculates what might happen when such an alien race encounters humanity, with all its passion for symbolism and deceit. Here's our full review.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

The Hidden Goddess, M.K. Hobson (Spectra)

As the sequel to Native Magic opens, greenwitch Emily Edwards is engaged to the formerly insufferable warlock Dreadnought Stanton. That means she has to deal with his dreadful family and learn to navigate Gilded-Age New York. If their domestic troubles weren't enough, the pair also has to face nefarious Russians, an apocalyptically inclined Aztec goddess, and God only knows what else.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Dead Reckoning, Charlaine Harris (Ace Hardcover)

Sookie's back! In Harris's latest, Merlotte's is firebombed and our protagonist is, of course, there to see it. Everyone assumes the local anti-shifters must be involved. Meanwhile, Eric and Pam are scheming against their master. And Sookie is smack dab in the middle of all this trouble, as per usual.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

The Falling Machine, Andrew P. Mayer (Pyr)

Proper Miss Sarah Stanton doesn't want to be a socialite. She wants to be a heroic adventurer. Her chance comes when she witnesses the murder of the Society of Paragon's leader and greatest adventurer. She joins forces with a mechanical man and they discover the organization is rotten to the core.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Fuzzy Nation</em>, John Scalzi (Tor)

In John Scalzi's reboot of H. Beam Piper‘s Little Fuzzy, we meet Jack Holloway, who toils alone on the planet Zarathustra, surveying and prospecting on a far-flung outpost of ZaraCorp. Problem is, their mineral rights only apply so long as there are no sentient beings, and an adorable little fuzzy thing has just appeared on Jack's doorstep. Read an excerpt here.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

City of Ruins, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Pyr)

Fiercely independent loner Boss returns in the follow-up to Diving into the Wreck. She's built a company devoted to salvaging ancient Dignity Vessels for their stealth technology. Now she's investigating strange "death holes" appearing in the caves below the city of Vaycehn. And she's about to get bigger answers than she bargained for.

May Books include far-future detective novels, zombie-fighting bloggers, and alien linguistics

Eclipse Four, Ed Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)

The anthology has no theme other than genre. We've loved the previous entries in the series, and this time around, the contributors include Caitlin Kiernan, Peter S. Beagle, Emma Bull, Michael Swanwick, Nalo Hopkinson, and Jo Walton. We'll have a review of the book in a few days, but for now, let's just say it's well worth checking out, like all the previous outings.