|April 2003 US Releases by Ernest Lilley Last Month / Next Month|
Index: Ace · Avon/Eos Baen · Bantam/Spectra/Dell · The Black Library · DAW · Del Rey · Golden Gryphon · Harper Collins · Forge · 4W8W · Lucas · Pocket · Roc Scholastic · Star Trek · Star Wars · Tor · Warner/Aspect · Wizards of the Coast · Art/Reference · Other Publishers
Avon/EOS - Talon of the Silver Hawk- Conclave of the Shadows: Book One by Raymond E. Feist (HCVR $38.95 Amazon) A young man on the vision quest that leads to manhood returns to find his mountain village being devastated by swordsmen. Wounded, but not quite dead he survives to avenge his people in the amid the courts and palaces in the land below. Recommended. (Review)
In Trade, Baen has two excellent collections. First - Interstellar Patrol by Christopher Anvil (Trade$15.00 Amazon) By putting this collection of short stories by Christopher Anvil together, mostly published in Analog in '66 and '67, though some earlier, Baen is doing a real service to readers who might never have known the stirring saga of the Interstellar Patrol! Second: The Cold Equations & Other Stories by Tom Godwin (Trade$14.00 Amazon) The title story in this collection gave a real, and much needed, shock to SF's system in 1954, and it's as chilling today as then. Barry Malzberg contributes a fine introduction and these SF tales from the golden age are well worth reading.
In Paperback, there's When the Devil Dances by John Ringo (PPBK$7.99 Amazon) This would have been the last book in the Posleen trilogy, except that it became a quartet (not that I mind). Ringo is a superb Mil-SF writer, fun to read and full of action. Pick this up and read it before we review Hell's Faire next month. And lastly, for Baen lovers, Exiles at the Well of Souls by Jack L. Chalker (PPBK$6.99 Amazon) Book 2 in the 5 book Well of Souls petrology, and the first part of the "War of Well World" storyline.
Random House Bantam - Del Rey- Spectra - Lucas Books Can R.A. Salvatore save Star Wars Episode II, The Attack of the Clones? Now you can find out in paperback for $7.99, which is almost exactly the price of a movie ticket, but you can: a) read it as many times as you want b) not read the Jar Jar parts as many times as you want and c) reread the Obi-Wan Jango Fett scenes as many times as you want (they meet on pg. 210). By the way, In my remake of the film, Obi-Wan swings at Jango with a light saber, but Jango neatly slips under the killing blow, tripping the Jedi and rolling under him to escape. Jar-Jar, who has been hiding behind Jango, recieves the full force of the light saber stroke and has only a moment to look down and say: "Messa So Dead!".
Four Walls, Eight Windows - witpunk by Claude Lalumière and Marty Halpern (Trade$17 Amazon) What's so funny about SF? Not nearly enough, claims witpunk's editors Claude Lalumière and Marty Halpern. This April fool's reader has something for everyone, from Allen Steele's redneck hunting humor to James Morrow's no holds barred assault on the Catholic church. Is it funny? Hilarious. Also horrific and more than occasionally spiteful, but hey...it's punk-humor. What did you expect? (See our review and interview with the author this issue)
Golden Gryphon Press - Custer's Last Jump and Other Collaborations by Howard Walthrop et al (HCVR$24.95Amazon) Here's a collection of collaborations worth having, including several Hugo and Nebula nominees. Author Walthrop has teamed with Bruce Sterling, George R.R. Martin, and others over the years, but has withheld these stories from his previous collections.(Review) Louisiana Breakdown by Lucius Shepard (HCVR$21.95Amazon) "Ever hear of this little place down in Louisiana, this nowhere town on the Gulf name of Grail? Difference 'tween the rest of the world and Grail, our surface been peeled away for a couple of hundred years. We in what cha might call plain fuckin' view." (Review)
Harper Collins Publishers: Greenwillow Books - The Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (HCVR$16.99Amazon) takes place in the mulitverse, where busses and computers live side by side with dragons and mages. Three young people have to uncover and harness their own magic to stop the false mage: Merlin of Blest. That this is her first novel in five years just goes to say that DWJ doesn't write often enough. Recommended. (Review)
Red Thunder by John Varley (HCVR$23.95 Amazon) is Rocket Ship Galileo Goes to Mars. Varley's created a superb Heinlein tribute with a cast of redneck Floridians building a spaceship out of railroad tank cars to beat the Chinese to Mars, save the NASA stranded NASA mission, and open space for humanity. The Nebula Awards Showcase 2003, Nancy Kress (ed) (Trade$14.95Amazon) features the winners of the 2002 Nebulas, which are stories published in 2001 and commentary by Bisson, Datlow, Kress (ed) and others. 2002 ballot: http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Nebula2002.html You may not make SFWA's literary awards banquet in Philly this April (www.sfwa.com) but you can make yourself a fine repast, put up your feet and enjoy these stories. Also out this month is The Guardian of Promise by Irene Radford (HCVR$24.95Amazon) Merlin and Aurthur's descendant's are entrusted with Great Britain's future and must travel to Paris to ensure it in the 4rth vol. of this series.
Then come some interesting mass paperbacks from DAW starting with Julie E. Czerneda's Webshifters #3, Hidden in Sight, in which blob like aliens and humans try to understand each other. No, I'm not going to try to explain the webshifters in a few words, but I promise that if you delve into these books you'll find as rich and engaging a cast of aliens as interesting as anything Hal Clement ever cooked up. Of course, if understanding aliens frustrates you, you're probably ready for Future Wars, ten tales of future conflict edited by . Martin H. Greenberg and Larry Segriff.
ROC's mass paperbacks are three: Dragon Moon by Alan F. Troop, the sequel to his debut tale of dragons who walk among us as changelings last year - The Dragon Delasangre. Enemies by Lee Hogan, continues his tale of a far future Russians on the isolated planet Belarus as they face the reconnection to the human expansion. Finally, in Mech Warrior: Dark Age: Ruins of Power by Robert Vardeman, another planet deals with sudden isolation by falling apart politically, and only battle-bots can put it together again. It helps if you're addicted to the computer game, of course.
Black Library, the imprint of the Games Workshop, looses the Riders of the Dead by Dan Abnett (HCVR$19.95Amazon) More swordplay in the Warhammer gamefic universe, complete with winged lancers, barbarian hordres and the forces of Chaos. Then it lets fly the Warriors of Ultramar by Graham McNeil (PPBK$6.95 Amazon) Captain Uriel Vetnris and the Warriors of Ultramar stand shoulder to shoulder with Marines and the Local Guard to protect a "vital industrial system" from bio-matter-munching aliens...yum. (Warhammer 40K, Sequel to Nightbringer 03/02)
Tor Hardcovers: Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey (HCVR $27.95 Amazon) Finishes up this acclaimed tryptich of rich fantasy. Carey doesn't shy away from "provocative issues", like bondage, dominance and S&M, but uses them to explore deeper issues of will and volition. A timely release in a season rich with the consequences of faith, her heroine travels to an alternate middle east to free a friend and finish the trilogy in triumph. Not so triumphant an end comes to The Wreck of the River of Stars by Mike Flynn (HCVR$27.95Amazon) Michael Flynn takes us forward to a time when men were men and starships were made of gossamer filaments as the Crew of The River of Stars makes one last voyage the old fashioned way, by mag-sail. Flynn definitely moves to a higher orbit with this one. (Review) Snare by Katharine Kerr (HCVR $27.95 Amazon) This book's timing is either terrific or terrible, unless of course, it's both. As thick as Dune, Snare offers a far future conflict between Islamic and scientific cultures on a planet with an alien culture of its own. The Binders Road by Terry McGarry (Hardcover $27.95 Amazon) The sequel to Illuminations, Terry's first novel returns us to the world of Eiden Myr, a magical world in dire straits. It's a large and complex tale, and the middle is no place to start. If you've already started though, you'll find the road worth following.
Tor Trades: Wyrms by Orson Scott Card (Trade$14.95Amazon) In digging up Wyrms, originally published in '87 in HC, Tor has dug up buried treasure. A very LeGuinian coming of age story about a girl who would have been successor the the throne, 5 thousand years after humans came to Imakulata, but for fate. Recommended. Though it came out last month, you shouldn't miss Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille by Steven Brust (Trade$13.95Amazon) Don't bother getting reservations at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and you can drive past Callahan's Place. I hear they moved to Florida anyway. What you want is Cowboy Feng's . Out of print for 5 yrs, Feng's back in paperback with matzoth, music and a chance to save the universe. My favorite noir bar, and the food's good too. Of The Alchemist's Door by Lisa Goldstein (Trade$14.95), Victoria McManus said in her review: "Aficionados of historical fantasy or simply of strong prose will love this fast-moving and entertaining novel." and now they can love tale of golem, goyim and Jews in trade as well. Recommended.
Warner/Aspect - Mojo: Conjure Stories by Nalo Hopkinson (Trade$13.95Amazon) 14 stories of the folk magic of West Africa brought together by Nalo Hopkinson (ed). Authors include Neil Gaiman (Bitter Grounds), Steven Barnes (Heartspace), Devorah Major (Shining Through 24/7), Gerard Houarner (She'd Make a Dead Man Crawl) and others. This collection is full of the kind of compelling fantasy that turns me on, lot of stuff about the grey world between life and death and a "what goes around comes around" kind of ethic. Recommended.
Cecilia Dart-Thornton's The Lady of the Sorrows picks up with book II of the Bitterbyne saga, now out in paperback. The lady in question, having been freed from both silence and disfigurement in the first book, now must seek to uncloud her past to find out why Unseelie hordes seek to destroy her. John Berlyne, our man in London, raved over the Ill-Made-Mute when it was released (SFRevu Review Sep 01) and interviewed the author for us at the same time (SFRevu Interview).
Received from Other Publishers (We try to at least list all the books we receive, though small press often does not arrive in its month of publication.)
Swords for Hire by Will Allen (Trade $6.95 Amazon) A genuinely delightful fantasy for young (and young at heart) readers. It's got kooky characters and epic adventure, and it's published as a tribute to its author, a young man for whom our magic wasn't enough. We'll be reviewing it next month, but feel free to check out its website and pick up a copy in the meantime. www.swords-for-hire.com
From the website: Although this is the first publication of Swords for Hire, the manuscript was written in 1979 by twenty-two year old Will Allen, who was terminally-ill with melanoma. Twenty-two years after Allen’s death, his brother resurrected the manuscript and entered a printed draft in a national competition, where it won an award and the kudos, "Hilarious. . . fresh and exciting. . . a remarkable novel. . . funny, surprising, rich characters. . . a page-turner. . . Kids will dream of being Swords for Hire." The foreword was written by Nancy Cartwright, the Emmy award-winning voice of Bart Simpson.
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