As always, I haven't read any of these books yet, and I probably won't read a good fraction of them. So what I have to say is one part previous knowledge, one part reaction to marketing copy, and one large part guesswork.
First is a new book from a writer we haven't heard from in a while -- since 1998's Deepdrive, in fact -- Alexander Jablokov's Brain Thief. I liked several of Jablokov's '90s novels, and have periodically wondered what happened to him. (And it looks like it's pretty much what happens to all of us -- life.) This is a very near-future technothriller with cyberpunk tendencies set in central Massachusetts, and it seems to have been copyedited by my old boss Ellen Asher. So I'll mark this up as yet another book I really should read, sooner rather than later. Brain Thief will be published by Tor in hardcover on
- Wings of Wrath, second in the "Magister" Trilogy by C.S. Friedman, set in a world where sorcery uses the energy of human lives for its effects
- Heretics, second in the "Apotheosis" series by S. Andrew Swann, a medium-future Military SF novel
- and A Girl's Guide to Guns and Monsters, the anthology-of-the-month from Martin H. Greenberg's Tekno Books factory of Green Bay, which features 13 new urban fantasy stories about young women with heavy artillery, and also features a remarkably cheap-looking cover.
A week later (on February 2nd), Ace's sister imprint Roc will publish the latest Rachel Caine novel, Unknown. (I'll bet that title caused all sorts of confusion on the pub. schedules for the last year. It almost makes me want to sign up a book called Title TK just to see how much agida it would create.) Anyway, Unknown is the second book in the "Outcast Season" series -- and which is outcast season, anyway? and can we shoot them? -- which is related to Caine's longer-running Weather Wardens series, with a depowered Djinn as a heroine. (I presume that's her posing on the motorcycle on the cover.)
Moving back to DAW, they'll bring out a big trade paperback of Lear's Daughters, by Marjorie B. Kellogg with William B. Rossow, in February as well. It collects two 1986 novels, and -- if I'm remembering correctly -- the original omnibus (and the title) came from your friendly neighborhood SFBC, back in the day.
Also from DAW in February is a hardcover by Michelle West, City of Night. It's the second book in the "House War" series, which is as good a reason as any to go buy it right this moment.
There's a blurb from (of all people) William Shatner on the cover of C.J. Henderson's Brooklyn Knight, if you're in the habit of taking your literary recommendations from canned hams. Knight is -- yes, you guessed it! -- the first book in a new urban fantasy series, by a writer who's done a lot of things (comics, short stories, non-fiction) for thirty years, but not, as far as I can see, a novel before this one. As usual, his male hero is fully dressed on the cover, though shockingly the overcoat does not appear to be made of leather. (Or maybe it's just the light.) Brooklyn Knight is about a guy named Knight who lives and works in Brooklyn, who is publicly an expert on archaeology and antiquity and secretly an expert on magical artifacts and spells. He also has a "lovely redheaded assistant, Bridget," which is something I've always wanted -- so you can discount any of my sarcasm as pure jealousy.
Vampire Maker, which you've probably guessed by now is a vampire novel. Shiefelbein's six previous novels also seem to be vampire books -- three of them have "Vampire" in the title, and two more have "Blood" -- but there's no sign that this is a series. Perhaps Shiefelbein just really, really likes vampires. (Or perhaps, more likely, that book-buyers do.) In any case, Vampire Maker, a slim novel about a 2,000 year old vampire named Victor Decimus who "exerts control and remains defiant to the end," will be published by St. Martin's Press this month.