Tag Archives: science fiction

Fall 2013

Here are the books I am working on this fall. To request review copies or to inquire about an interview with the authors, please email me at gabrielle.gantz [@] picadorusa.com.

SEPTEMBER

OutrageTitle: Outrage
Author: Arnaldur Indridason
Format: Paperback
On Sale: August 27, 2013

Haunted by personal demons, Detective Erlendur decides to take a short leave of absence, putting his female assistant, Elínborg, in charge while he is gone. When a disturbing case lands on her desk, Elínborg is quickly thrust into a world of violent crime. A serial rapist is on the loose, and the clock is ticking as the police race to catch him before he strikes again.

ARNALDUR INDRIÐASON won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Silence of the Grave and is the only author to win the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel two years in a row, for Jar City and Silence of the Grave.

My Heart is an IdiotTitle: My Heart is an Idiot
Author: Davy Rothbart
Format: Paperback
On Sale: September 2, 2013

Davy Rothbart is looking for love in all the wrong places. Constantly. He falls helplessly in love with pretty much every girl he meets—and rarely is the feeling reciprocated. Time after time, he hops in a car and tears across half of America with his heart on his sleeve. He’s continually coming up with outrageous schemes, which he always manages to pull off. Well, almost always. But even when things don’t work out, Rothbart finds meaning and humor in every moment. Whether it’s humiliating a scammer who takes money from aspiring writers or playing harmless (but side-splitting) goofs on his deaf mother, nothing and no one is off limits.

DAVY ROTHBART is a frequent contributor to This American Life and a variety of magazines, the founder of Found Magazine and the editor of its various bestselling anthologies, and the author of The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. Learn more about his book here

OCTOBER

Mr Penumbra 24-Hour BookstoreTitle: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Format: Paperback
On Sale: September 24, 2013

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco Web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few and never seem to buy anything; instead, they “check out” obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Clay concludes the store must be a front for something larger and engineers a complex analysis of the clientele’s behavior with the help of his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

ROBIN SLOAN grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet. You can find him online here

Rise to GreatnessTitle: The Rise to Greatness
Author: David Von Drehle
Format: Paperback
On Sale: September 24, 2013

As 1862 dawned, the American republic was at death’s door. The federal government appeared overwhelmed, the U.S. Treasury was broke, and the Union’s top general was gravely ill. The Confederacy—with its booming economy, expert military leadership, and commanding position on the battlefield—had a clear view to victory. To a remarkable extent, the survival of the country depended on the judgment, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer who had recently been elected president.

Twelve months later, the Civil War had become a cataclysm but the tide had turned. The Union generals who would win the war had at last emerged, and the Confederate Army had suffered the key losses that would lead to its doom. The blueprint of modern America—an expanding colossus of industrial and financial might—had been indelibly inked. And the man who brought the nation through its darkest hour, Abraham Lincoln, had been forged into a singular leader.

In Rise to Greatness, acclaimed author David Von Drehle has created both a deeply human portrait of America’s greatest president and a rich, dramatic narrative about our most fateful year.

DAVID VON DREHLE is the author of three previous books, including the award-winning Triangle, an account of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire that The New York Times called “social history at its best.” He is an editor-at-large at Time magazine.

Listen to David discuss his book on The Diane Rehm Show

Cursing Mommy's Book of DaysTitle: Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days
Author: Ian Frazier
Format: Paperback
On Sale: October 1, 2013

Based on his widely read columns for The New Yorker, Ian Frazier’s uproarious first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, centers on a profoundly memorable character, sprung from an impressively fertile imagination. Structured as a daybook of sorts, the book follows the Cursing Mommy—beleaguered wife of Larry and mother of two young boys—as she offers tips on how to do various tasks around the home, only to end up on the ground, cursing, surrounded by broken glass. Her voice is somewhere between Phyllis Diller’s and Sylvia Plath’s: a hilariously desperate housewife with a taste for swearing and large glasses of red wine, who speaks to the frustrations of everyday life.

IAN FRAZIER is the author of Great Plains, The Fish’s Eye, On the Rez, Family, and Travels in Siberia, as well as Coyote v. Acme, Dating Your Mom, and Lamentations of the Father, all published by FSG. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. You can find his New Yorker columns here

NOVEMBER

History of BritainTitle: A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
Author: Chris West
Format: Hardcover
On Sale: October 22, 2013

Hailed by The Times of London as “a splendid reminder of the philatelic glories of the past,” this unique book tells the breathtaking history of Britain through thirty-six of its fascinating, beautiful, and sometimes eccentric postage stamps. West shows that stamps have always mirrored the events, attitudes, and styles of their time. Through them, one can glimpse the whole epic tale of an empire unfolding. From the famous Penny Black, printed two years after Queen Victoria’s coronation, to the Victory! Stamp of 1946, anticipating the struggle of postwar reconstruction—A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps is hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic romp, told in Chris West’s lively prose.

CHRIS WEST has written widely in a variety of genres. His titles include a bestselling business guide, and a quartet of crime novels. He inherited a love of history from his father and an Edwardian “Lincoln” stamp album from his great uncle as a child. His love for stamps was revived when he found that same dust-covered album in his attic as an adult.

Fun StuffTitle: The Fun Stuff
Author: James Wood
Format: Paperback
On Sale: October 22, 2013

With The Broken Estate, The Irresponsible Self, and How Fiction Works, James Wood established himself as the leading critic of his generation. The Fun Stuff confirms his preeminence, not only as a discerning judge but also as one of fiction’s most ardent appreciators. In these twenty-three sparkling dispatches—which range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, and Edmund Wilson—Wood offers a panoramic look at the modern novel. He effortlessly connects his encyclopedic understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, and Aleksandar Hemon. From the brilliant title essay on Keith Moon and the lost joys of drumming to Wood’s incisive piece on the writings of George Orwell, The Fun Stuff is indispensable reading for anyone who cares about contemporary literature.

JAMES WOOD is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University. He is the author of How Fiction Works, as well as two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and a novel, The Book Against God. You can find his New Yorker archive here

Detroit City Is the Place to BeTitle: Detroit City is the Place to Be
Author: Mark Binelli
Format: Paperback
On Sale: November 5, 2013

Once America’s capitalist dream town, Detroit is our country’s greatest urban failure, having fallen the longest and the farthest. But the city’s worst crisis yet (and that’s saying something) has managed to do the unthinkable: turn the end of days into a laboratory for the future. Urban planners, land speculators, neopastoral agriculturalists, and utopian environmentalists—all have been drawn to Detroit’s baroquely decaying, nothing-left-to-lose frontier.

With an eye for the darkly absurd and the radically new, Detroit-area native Mark Binelli has chronicled this convergence. Throughout the city’s “museum of neglect”—its swaths of abandoned buildings, its miles of urban prairie—he tracks both the blight and the signs of its repurposing, from the school for pregnant teenagers to a beleaguered UAW local; from metal scrappers and gun-toting vigilantes to organic farming and GM’s risky wager on the Volt electric car.

Sharp and impassioned, Detroit City Is the Place to Be is alive with the sense of possibility that comes when a city hits rock bottom. Beyond the usual portrait of crime, poverty, and ruin, we glimpse a longshot future Detroit that is smaller, less segregated, greener, economically diverse, and better functioning—what could be the boldest reimagining of a post-industrial city in our new century.

MARK BINELLI is the author of the novel Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die! and a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. You can find Mark online here

DECEMBER

NostradamusTitle: Nostradamus
Author: Stéphane Gerson
Format: Paperback
On Sale: November 26, 2013

Who was Nostradamus? In this new biography, historian Stéphane Gerson takes readers back in time to explore the life and afterlife of Michel de Nostredame, the astrologer whose Prophecies have been transformed into today’s Gospel of Doom. Whenever we enter a new era, Nostradamus offers certainty and solace. In 1666, guests at posh English dinner parties discussed his quatrain about the Great Fire of London. In 1942, Irène Némirovsky latched her hopes for survival to Nostradamus’s prediction that the war would soon end. And on September 12, 2001, Brooklyn teenagers proclaimed that “this guy, Nostradamus” had seen 9/11 coming. Through prodigious research in European and American archives, Gerson chronicles the life of this mystifying figure and our lasting fascination with his predictions.

STÉPHANE GERSON is a cultural historian of modern France and the editor of a new edition of Nostradamus’s Prophecies for Penguin Classics. He teaches French history at New York University

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The Postmortal by Drew Magary

The Postmortal by Drew Magary
Penguin Paperback Original
On Sale: August 30, 2011

“The first novel from a popular sports blogger and humorist (Men with Balls) puts a darkly comic spin on a science fiction premise and hits the sweet spot between Margaret Atwood
and Kurt Vonnegut.”
—Ron Hogan, Shelf Awareness

“Immortality has figured in a number of sf novels prior to this one, but never, to my experience, in this way. . . . It surprised me in a good way.”
Fantasy & Science Fiction

“An odd mixture of satire and dystopian fantasy, this thoughtful novel cleverly explores the consequences of having a long-term lease on life, from the mundane to the profound”
Publishers Weekly

“One man blogs civilization’s slow, terrifying decline after a cure for aging is discovered. . . . Magary has created a smartly realized vision of a planet that’s hit the skids . . .”
Kirkus

ABOUT THE BOOK
Called “dark, funny, and terrifying” by New York contributing editor Will Leitch, THE POSTMORTAL, by Deadspin writer Drew Magary, documents what living forever might look like.

The year is 2019 and a cure for aging has been discovered. After much political and cultural debate “The Cure” is made available to populations worldwide. Through fast-paced journal entries and blogger-style news story roundups compiled by an ever-watchful New York lawyer, John Farrell, readers experience a world where age-related diseases and deaths disappear altogether.

But there are residual effects and THE POSTMORTAL forces us to rethink our idea of marriage if rendered indefinite and the allocation of precious resources in a world with exponential population growth. Ideological divisions manifest themselves in chilling ways in this new environment, introducing “pro death” anarchists who inflict ghastly punishments on those who dare to remain young.

With the apocalypse on the horizon and regret creeping into everyday lives, living forever, as it turns out, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Clever, haunting, and culturally scathing, THE POSTMORTAL is a gripping read and a creative addition to the genre of speculative fiction.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin, NBC, Maxim, and Kissing Suzy Kolber—a humor site dedicated to the NFL. He has also contributed to Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, New York Magazine, GQ, ESPN, Yahoo!, Playboy, Penthouse, and various other media outlets. This is his first novel. Follow Drew on Twitter @drewmagary

For More Information
Press Release
Cover Image
Author Photo

For a review copy please contact gabrielle.gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com 

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The Magician King by TIME book critic, Lev Grossman

Get on the list now for a pre-publication review copy in mid-July. Also available on Netgalley (will be approving requests Wednesday, July 6th)

The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Viking / On Sale: August 9, 2011

Hailed as a “painfully perceptive novel of the fantastic that brings to mind both Jay McInerney and J. K. Rowling*,” Time magazine book critic Lev Grossman’s The Magicians was praised as a triumph by readers and critics of both mainstream and fantasy literature.  It debuted at #7 on the New York Times bestseller list in the summer of 2009 and has taken on a life of its own over the past two years.  Now Grossman is back with the much-anticipated sequel THE MAGICIAN KING, coming out from Viking on August 9th, 2011 (978-0-670-02231-1; $26.95).

THE MAGICIAN KING picks up in the magical land of Fillory, where Quentin and his friends are now kings and queens.  They spend their days insulated by privilege, but it’s a less than intellectually rigorous existence and their days and nights of royal luxury are starting to pall.  When a recreational hunting adventure takes a dark turn, Quentin and his old friend Julia charter a magical ship and set off on a quest to the wild outer reaches of their kingdom.     But their pleasure cruise becomes a disaster when the two are unceremoniously dumped back into the last place Quentin ever wants to see: his parents’ house in Chesterton, Massachusetts.  The obsessive expertise that should make Quentin a hero fails him back in suburban America, and only the black, twisted magic that Julia learned on the streets can save them.

More Information
Q&A with Lev Grossman
The Magician King Press Release

Images for Download
The Golden Key
The Star Tattoos
Cover Image
Color Map of The Voyage of Muntjac

Links for THE MAGICIAN KING
The Magician King website
Lev on Twitter @leverus
Lev on Facebook

If you need a copy of the first book, The Magicians, please let me know. Contact: Gabrielle.Gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com 

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Literary, Science Fiction

Planning Ahead: Summer and Fall 2011

Here’s a list of books I’m working on this coming Summer and Fall. Limited galleys are available where noted. As review copies become available each title will have its own page. Please follow Books on Tap on Facebook for updates. If you would like to be included on the review copy list, please email me at Gabrielle.Gantz [at] us.penguingroup.com.

August
Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago by Douglas Perry
Penguin Paperback Reprint / On Sale: July 26, 2011
Press Release
Cover Image
Q&A with Douglas
Author’s Website

Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Cathy N. Davidson
Viking / On Sale: August 18, 2011
Penguin Group page
Author’s Website

Real State of America Atlas: Mapping the Myths and Truths of the United States by Cynthia Enloe and Joni Seager
Penguin Paperback Original / On Sale: July 26, 2011
Review Copies Now Available
Book’s page

The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Second book in the Magicians series
Viking / On Sale: August 9, 2011
Penguin Group page
Cover Image
If you need a copy of the first book, The Magicians, please contact me

September
The Postmortal by Drew Magary
Penguin Paperback Original / On Sale: August 30, 2011
Physical advance copies now available. Limited availability through Netgalley.
Press Release
Cover Image
Author on Twitter

A Man of Parts: A Novel of H. G. Wells by David Lodge
Viking / On Sale: September 19, 2011
Limited advance copies available
Penguin Group page
David Lodge on H.G. Wells (Guardian UK)
David Lodge’s top H.G. Wells books (Guardian UK)
Cover Image
H.G. Wells books available from Penguin Classics

Campus Trilogy: Changing Places / Small World / Nice Work
by David Lodge
Penguin / On Sale: September 27, 2011

A collection of three works by David Lodge
Press Release
Cover Image 

October
Gandhi: A Manga Biography by Kazuki Ebine
Penguin Paperback Original / On Sale: September 27, 2011
Penguin Group page
Cover Image 

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker Viking / On Sale: October 4, 2011
Now available on Netgalley with limited approval. Booksellers, librarians, and long lead magazine reviewers only until Wednesday, Aug. 24th.
Penguin Group page
Author’s website
Steven Pinker at TED on the myth of violence (opens with sound)

December
Charles Dickens: A Life by Jane Smiley
Penguin Lives Paperback / On Sale: November 29, 2011
Penguin Group page (hardcover edition)

James Joyce: A Life by Edna O’Brien
Penguin Lives Paperback / On Sale: November 29, 2011
Details to come

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Filed under Biography, Current Events / Politics, Fantasy, Fiction, History, Literary, Manga, Paperback Original, Science, Science Fiction, Season Roundup, Technology, True Crime

Journal of a UFO Investigator

Journal of a UFO Investigator by David Halperin
Viking / On Sale: February 3, 2011 

“The UFO fell from the sky on the night of December 20, 1962, the week of my thirteenth birthday.  The event itself, after more than three years, I recall with perfect clarity.  Many of its circumstances, however, have blurred in my mind …”  So begins David Halperin’s enthralling debut novel: JOURNAL OF A UFO INVESTIGATOR (Viking / On-Sale: February 3, 2011 / ISBN: 9780670022458/ 304pgs./ $25.95).

Set against the backdrop of the troubled 60’s, the novel weaves together compelling psychological drama and vivid outer space fantasy.  Danny Shapiro, an awkward, lonely teen with a terminally ill mother and a hostile father, turns to an imaginative universe to escape his crumbling home life.   He enters the world of UFOs when a glowing red disk tumbles down upon him from the night sky, and his home is mysteriously burglarized not long afterward.  He becomes drawn into the “Super-Science Society,” a group of intellectually and sexually precocious adolescents who have as their emblem the trisected angle.  Soon he’s fallen for one of the “Super-Scientists,” the beautiful, seductive Rochelle.

Praise for JOURNAL OF A UFO INVESTIGATOR

“A thrilling romp through the domain of aliens and spacecraft, Halperin’s highly entertaining coming-of-age tale poses questions about the real and the imagined and suggests that fusing the two might be the only way to survive adolescence.”
—Booklist

“Set in the mid-1960s, religious studies professor Halperin’s gripping debut is less about aliens than alienation. . . .[T]his heartbreaking coming-of-age story of a boy losing and finding his way in this and other worlds will resonate with many readers.”
—Publishers Weekly

For More Information:
Press Release
Cover Image for Download
Author’s Website 

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