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On My Radar: PACIFIC FIRE by Greg van Eekhout / THE JUST CITY by Jo Walton / THE COLLECTED STORIES OF FRANK HERBERT by Frank Herbert

Here’s a trio of books coming out soon that would get bounced to top of my TBR priority list!

PACIFIC FIRE by Greg van Eekhout
(Macmillan | Jan 27 2014 | Cover illustration artist: Cliff Nielsen)


I’m Sam. I’m just this guy.

Okay, yeah, I’m a golem created from the substance of his own magic by the late Hierarch of Southern California. With a lot of work, I might be able to wield magic myself. I kind of doubt it, though. Not like Daniel Blackland can.

Daniel’s the reason the Hierarch’s gone and I’m still alive. He’s also the reason I’ve lived my entire life on the run. Ten years of never, ever going back to Los Angeles. Daniel’s determined to protect me. To teach me.

But it gets old. I’ve got nobody but Daniel. I’ll never do anything normal. Like attend school. Or date a girl.

Now it’s worse. Because things are happening back in LA. Very bad people are building a Pacific firedrake, a kind of ultimate weapon of mass magical destruction. Daniel seemed to think only he could stop them. Now Daniel’s been hurt. I managed to get us to the place run by the Emmas. (Many of them. All named Emma. It’s a long story.) They seem to be healing him, but he isn’t going anyplace soon.

Do I even have a reason for existing, if it isn’t to prevent this firedrake from happening? I’m good at escaping from things. Now I’ve escaped from Daniel and the Emmas, and I’m on my way to LA.

This may be the worst idea I ever had.

You know how sometimes it takes a few chapters to really get into a book? Greg van Eekhout had me hook, line and sinker within the first five pages of California Bones, so you know I am crazy excited for Pacific Fire. If you’re looking for edgy, funny, dark urban fantasy with a rather gruesome magic system, this is a series for you.

THE JUST CITY by Jo Walton
(Tor Books | Jan 13 2015 | Cover artist: Unknown )


“Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent.”

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future—all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer’s daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome—and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo—stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does—has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives—the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself—to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR: Mythology retellings? Characters collected from throughout history? Secret Identities? An annoying philosopher who won’t keep his mouth shut?

Shut up and take my money.

(Macmillan | Nov 18 2014 | Cover illustration artist: unknown)


Frank Herbert, the New York Times bestselling author of Dune, is one of the most celebrated and commercially successful science fiction writers of all time. But while best known for originating the character of Paul Atreides and the desert world of Arrakis, Herbert was also a prolific writer of short fiction. His stories were published individually in numerous pulps and anthologies spanning decades, but never collected. Until now.

Frank Herbert: Collected Stories is the most complete collection of Herbert’s short fiction ever assembled—thirty-seven stories originally published between 1952 and 1979, plus one story, “The Daddy Box,” that has never been appeared before.

WHY IT’S ON MY RADAR: I’ve been collecting Frank Herbert titles for years. Thanks to this collection of short fiction including a never before publishing short story, my Frank Herbert library will be complete sooner rather than later.

About Andrea Johnson (99 Articles)
Andrea Johnson also blogs over at where she reviews science fiction and fantasy novels and talks about other nerdy stuff. She's also an interviewer at Apex Magazine. Her apartment looks like a library exploded, and that is how it should be.

4 Comments on On My Radar: PACIFIC FIRE by Greg van Eekhout / THE JUST CITY by Jo Walton / THE COLLECTED STORIES OF FRANK HERBERT by Frank Herbert

  1. January? I only have to wait until January for another Jo Walton novel? Hip hip hurray!

  2. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) // October 23, 2014 at 5:08 am //

    I’ll take all three of these, thank you 🙂

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