This week in new hardcovers: Baxter writes Who and Zahn returns to Han and Jabba, plus a hunted leader facing assassins and demons; a murder mystery in a deceptively perfect future; a werewolf pack in the New York countryside is threatened by a loose cannon loner and a much larger menace; two dangerous adventurers compete to find a much-valued talisman; and much more.
by Stephen Baxter
Doctor Who. "Hurtling through a vortex beyond time and space is a police box that's not a police box. The TARDIS has carried the Doctor and his companions, Jamie and Zoe, to all sorts of places, but now, when they don't want to go anywhere, the TARDIS makes a decision for them. Like it or not, they're coming in for a landing, who knows where or when… The Wheel. A ring of ice and metal turning around a moon of Saturn, home to a mining colony supplying a resource-hungry Earth. It's a bad place to live—and a worse place to grow up. The colony has been plagued by problems. Maybe it's only a run of bad luck, but the equipment failures and thefts of resources have been increasing. And there are stories among the children of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. Some of the younger workers are even refusing to go down into the warren-like mines any more. And then one of them, surfing Saturn's rings, saves an enigmatic blue box from destruction." Ace Hardcover, 320 pages, Dec 31.
by Timothy Zahn
Star Wars. "Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han's got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he's deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There's a bounty on Han's head—and if he can't cough up the credits, he'll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king's ransom. Or maybe a gangster's fortune? That's what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han's less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again." LucasBooks, 464 pages, Jan 1.
by Michelle West
The House War Book Five. "The weeks since Jewel Markess ATerafin has been acclaimed ruler of her House have not been peaceful; four assassination attempts have been made on her life, and one of the most important members of her House Council has been forced to retire, leaving a seat empty at a time when she requires trusted allies. The war in the distant South has ended; the armies, victorious, have returned to Averalaan. During the victory parade of the Kings' armies, the fifth assassination attempt occurs--in full view of the Ten, the Kings, and thousands of spectators. To survive, Jewel takes to the sky on the back of a winged cat; she returns to the Terafin Manse, leaving demonic destruction in her wake, the demon itself in pursuit. In the forest behind her manse, she has the power—barely—to stand against the demon; she does not have the power to destroy it." DAW Hardcover, 656 pages, Dec 31.
by Peter F. Hamilton
"A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly. At least that's what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who'd like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he'll make enough enemies to ruin his career." Del Rey, 976 pages, Jan 1.
by David Wingrove
Chung Kuo. "Part of a 100-copy numbered print run signed by the author, this collector's special edition features a black cotton slipcase with a green foil series logo on the front, back, and spine; H&T (head and tail) bands; a bookmark; 2-color front pages; and 4-color endpapers with a special extended version of the artwork. A masterpiece of world-building to match George R R Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, David Wingrove's extraordinary and ambitious 20-volume Chung Kuo series is a dark glimpse into mankind's destiny." Atlantic Books, 352 pages, Jan 1.
by Kelley Armstrong, Lisseth Kay
"The team-spirit sign by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh, as he drives to what could be the most important visit of his life--a chance to join the North American Pack. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he's bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate. Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn't expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them." Subterranean, 216 pages, Dec 31.
by Barb Hendee, J.C. Hendee
A Novel of the Noble Dead. "Barely escaping the city of Calm Seatt—and the assassins hunting them—Magiere, Leesil, and the elven dog Chap sail south to continue their quest to find the powerful Orb of Air before their enemies do. But they are not alone, much to their frustration. The aging elven assassin Brot'an has forced himself on them by offering his protection. Chap doesn't believe this ruse, however, and seeks to uncover the assassin's true agenda—as well as the cause of the secret civil war that has erupted into the open among Brot'an's people. Meanwhile, Magiere struggles with her own dark nature, using Leesil's love as an anchor to keep her grounded. For the personal price she paid to procure the Orb of Fire was more than she thought—and more than she wants to reveal to anyone. But that is exactly what the cunning Brot'an wants to know. And he is willing to do whatever it takes—even if he must reveal his own dreaded secrets that may cost the entire party their lives…and their very souls." Roc Hardcover, 464 pages, Dec 31.
by Alexandro Jodorowsky, Zoran Janjetov
"The prequel to Moebius and Jodorowsky's masterpiece The Incal, this story cycle recounts the youth of John Difool and the adventures that propelled him into his encounter with the mighty artifact known as the Incal. Written by Alexandro Jodorowsky, who once again builds on the vast universe he has created and developed over many different titles, and drawn by European sensation Zoran Janjetov, Before The Incal is here compiled into a single volume." Humanoids, Inc., 304 pages, Jan 1.
by Jeremy Bastian
"Adventures on and under the high seas lead a cursed pirate girl to encounter mythic creatures, gnarled and crusty pirates, and ghostly apparitions as she tries to find her lost father, one of the dreaded Pirate Captains of the mythical Omerta Seas. Cursed Pirate Girl is a whimsical, swashbuckling tale of wonderland journeys and unimaginable dangers, starting in Port Elisabeth, Jamaica in the year 1728, and quickly heading across - and beneath - the waves!" Archaia Entertainment, LLC, 152 pages, Jan 1.