|February 2002 Releases by Sharon Archer|
Here's a list of what's coming out in the US this month in Science Fiction and Fantasy. If we missed something or you have a title coming out in the future, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ace is releasing in hardcover this month a new fantasy adventure from author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Channeling Cleopatra a variation on a currently popular theme here proposing the ability to insert DNA and with it the personality and thoughts, from one person to another - even DNA from the long deceased - hence precipitating the quest for guess who? Also out is a Trade paperback edition of Marie Jakober's The Black Chalice a blend of fantasy and historical fiction set in post Crusades Germany which Publisher's Weekly called a "irritating, brilliant novel", praising its strong characterizations. Several mass market paperbacks are also scheduled for release including the first volume of the seven book Liaden Universe fantasy series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Local Custom described as a rich story of warring families and star-crossed lovers in a fantastic, other-world galaxy, also a reprint of A Night in the Netherhells the 3rd and final volume in the humorous Ebenezum fantasy series by Craig Shaw Gardner.
The featured Avon/Eos hardcover release for January 2002 is Peril's Gate by Janny Wurts, a new volume in the Wars of Light and Shadow epic begun in 1993 with Curse of the Mistwraith. This sixth tale, the third of an inner story arc called the Alliance of Light continues the extensive and tangled plot lines fans are familiar with - leading to comparisons to Robert Jordan's complex and seemingly never-ending Wheel of Time series. Also of interest is the trade paperback edition of The Beyond a reprint of the concluding volume in the Jeffrey Ford trilogy based in an alternate Victorian Age that began with the World Fantasy award- winning The Physiognomy. Mass market paperbacks include The One Kingdon by Sean Russell a reprint of the first novel in the Swan's Song fantasy series and Sherri Tepper's The Fresco a tale of alien contact described as part thriller, part social SF reviewed by Ernest Lilley (SFRevu Dec'2000) who found the book to be engaging and interesting, and occasionally frustrating and painful - a blend of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Predator with a comparison to Childhood's End thrown in too.
Hardcover releases from Baen in February will include for space opera fans The Shiva Option, a sequel to David Weber and Steve White's In Death Ground (1997), Warlock, an omnibus of three previously published Andre Norton novels, two set in the same universe Storm over Warlock and Ordeal in Otherwhere Norton's first juvenile where the lead character was a female and, Forerunner Foray which also featured a female lead. Baen will also release a mass market paperback edition of two of Norton's Time Traders novels from the early 1960s Time TradersII: The Defiant Agents and Key Out of Time (SFRevu Feb'01). Also in paperback will be another offering from David Weber, Changer of Worlds: Worlds of Honor Book III, a collection of four stories, three by Weber, one by Eric Flint which expand on the background for Weber's Honor Harrington series. (See SFRevu Oct'98 for a Honor Harrington retrospective.)
Out at the end of this month from Bantam Doubleday in hardcover will be a timely alternate history from award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson, Years of Rice and Salt which examines how different history might be if 14th century Europe was totally decimated by the plague and China and Islam emerged as the dominant religious and political powers. Publishers Weekly calls it a novel of ideas of the best sort, filled to overflowing with philosophy, theology and scientific theory - sounds intriguing to me. From Bantam Spectra in hardcover will be a new novel from Kevin J. Anderson author of numerous Star Wars and X-Files novels, Hopscotch - based on the premise that people in the future will be able to "hopscotch" their personalities between bodies.
In February Daw will release in hardcover Sword-Sworn by Jennifer Roberson the sixth and final novel in the Sword & Sorcery series featuring the sword-dancers Tiger and Del. Paperback releases will include Patterns of Chaos Omnibus II, a collection of two Charles Ingrid novels, The Downfall Matrix and Soulfire. Also in paperback is scheduled a return to Irene Radford's Dragon Nimbus universe with book one of The Stargods, The Hidden Dragon the tale of Terrans possessing psi powers who discover a world where dragons are real and revered.
Del Rey February hardcover releases includes the third volume in Stephen Baxter's Manifold series Manifold: Origin which follows the adventures of the series hero and his wife on the alien red moon that has mysteriously replaced Earth's own moon. Ernest Lilley thought highly of the initial novel Manifold Space (SFRevu Feb'01) see what he has to say about this latest release in this month's review. Also out in hardcover will be Star Wars: The Approaching Storm by Alan Dean Foster a prequel to the upcoming Star Wars: Episode II movie featuring Obi-Wan, Anakin and new character from the new movie. Coming out in a Trade paperback edition will be Counting Up, Counting Down by Harry Turtledove a collection of 17 classic science fiction tales and what-if scenarios. Del Rey will also be bringing out a mass market paperback edition of Demontech: Onslaught by David Sherman a former US Marine who applies his experience both as a soldier and an author (eight previously published novels about Marines in Vietnam) to a SF Military venue.
Out in February from IBooks for the comic book fans among us is a salute to the popular Super Hero team, Five Decades of the X-Men edited and with an introduction by, X-Men co-creator Stan Lee. This collection contains five new stories that span the five decades of the X-Men including one from John J. Ordover "The Ultimate Silver Surfer". Comic books fans should also be sure to check out Daniel Dern's fun and informative Comics column each month in SFRevu!
NESFA Press has several new publications available at their website including Dimensions of Sheckley: The Selected Novels of Robert Sheckley a hardcover collection of the author's short novels edited by Sharon Sbarsky, The Warrior's Apprentice the first generally available hardcover edition of Lois McMaster Bujold's second novel with a revised Vorkosigan timeline and genealogical notes by the book's editor Suford Lewis and Adventures in Dream Trade by Neil Gaiman, the Boskone 39 Guest of Honor book edited by Tony Lewis and Priscilla Olson which contains the American Gods web log, stories, songs, poems and essays with an introduction by John M. Ford.
Pocket Books has released the US hardcover edition of Smoking Poppy by British author Graham Joyce who our UK reviewer John Berlyne described as simply one of the finest writers around in his review of the UK edition of this novel (SFRevu Oct'01). Paperbacks include a release in print of books 5-8 of the most successful eBook original series ever Starfleet Corps of Engineers collected together in Miracle Workers S.C.E. Included is the Interphase finale and the Invincible two-parter. Being published under the Star Trek imprint is Star Trek The Next Generation: Immortal Coil by Jeffrey Lang featuring one of Next Gen's favorite characters, Lt.Cmdr Data reviewed this month by Ernest Lilley.
Out from Roc in February will be in mass market paperback the fifth entry in the Witches of Eileanan series by Kate Forsyth, The Skull of the World which combines Celtic mythology into a fantasy setting something that Juliet Marillier has also done successfully in her Stevenwaters Trilogy out from Tor.
An interesting mix of books and authors are highlighted in Tor's February schedule including in hardcover from the British author of the Necroscope series Brian Lumley Beneath The Moors a collection of nine largely Lovecraft-inspired short stories and, Conan and the Spider God a reprint of the late L. Sprague de Camp's Conan pastiche originally published in 1980. This edition is the second of four Conan novels Tor will be reprinting in hardcover, each written by a major fantasy author. Another Conan novel out this month is a mass market paperback edition of Conan:Sword of Skelos by Andrew Offutt. Also in hardcover will be the fifth and final novel in L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Spellsong Cycle Shadowsinger, a sequel to last year's The Shadow Sorceress which introduced the Sorceress Anna's apprentice Secca as the central character. Fans seem to continue to enjoy the series though I must admit to having only lasted through roughly the first two volumes.
Damien Broderick a noted Australian critic, scholar and award-winning SF writer is being featured in hardcover releases from both the Tor and Forge imprints this month. Published by Forge will be a non fiction work The Spike: How Our Lives are Being Transformed by Rapidly Advancing Technologies which renames and expands on Venor Vinge's Singularity concept - the moment in time when previously unimagininable changes occur with such rapidity that the human race is either transformed or destroyed. Using one of the future's described in The Spike as a setting, the author has written a Science Fiction novel Transcension which Tor will publish this month and which Publishers Weekly has described as a lighthearted fusion of Clarke's Childhood's End and the movie Clueless.
Trade paperback editions from Tor in February will include The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Carroll described as "Poignant, wise and wildly weird" and the second volume in Juliet Marillier's marvelous Sevenwaters trilogy, Son of the Shadows a lyrical and compelling blend of Celtic mythology, history and fantasy which I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend as does our reviewer EJ McClure in this month's review. We're both looking forward to the concluding volume Child of the Prophecy due out in hardcover in March. This month Tor is also releasing a mass market paperback edition of the initial volume of the trilogy, Daughter of the Forrest a retelling of the Celtic "Swans" myth . Other mass market paperback editions of interest this month include Ben Bova's Jupiter a view of politics and religion Ernest Lilley described as a tremendous novel covering humanism, religious fundamentalism, science, spirituality, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence...combining an engaging philosophical dialog with adventure and a cast that really holds your attention in his review (SFRevu Jan'01), The Quantum Rose sixth novel in Catherine Asaro's popular Saga of the Skolian Empire series, an entertaining blend of space opera, hard SF, Military SF and romance. We found the second volume in the series, Radiant Seas (SFRevu Jan'98) to contain romance, great space battles, plenty of action and great hard SF. Additionally as a tie-in to the recently released movie of the same name The Mothman Prophecies a non fiction account by journalist John Keel of the unusual happenings that occurred in Point Pleasant several years ago that remain unexplainable to this day was also published this month..
Finally, from Tor's new YA SF & F line of trade paperback editions Starscape will be Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula award winning Ender's Game a novel involving aliens, the Internet, computer games and battles which seems to be well suited for this imprint's goal to introduce young readers to classic age-appropriate SF. Young Wiggins Enders should certainly appeal to the video and computer game oriented youth of today and the story's timeless themes of struggling to grow up should resonate too. The second release this month Jumper Steven Gould's debut novel , like Ender's Game an American Library Association Best Books of Young Adults selection also deals with growing up, combined with revenge, abuse of power and teleportation.
Warner Aspect will be bringing out in hardcover an inversion of history novel by Steven Barnes Lion's Blood that appears to be well thought of by critics and fans alike. A new view of slavery is examined as it poses an alternate America where the South was colonized by black Africans and the North by Vikings who provide their southern neighbors with white slaves - abducted Celts and Franks.
Featured authors in February from Wizards of the Coast appear to be the popular co-creators of the Dragonlance saga Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman with three releases: The Best of Tales, Volume Two - a collection of the best short stories of the Drangonlance Tales II series; Dragons of Summer Flame - a new paperback edition of their first hardcover New York Times bestseller which is a prequel to the current War of Souls trilogy and; The Second Generation - an all-new repackaged paperback edition of a collection of five novellas bridging the gap between the Chronicles and Legends trilogies and Dragons of Summer Flame. Also out from this publisher in paperback will be the third title in The Cities series The Jewel of Turmish by Mel Odom a Forgotten Realms novel and a Greyhawk Classics The Tomb of Horrors by Keith Strohm.