July 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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July 2003 US Releases (recieved) by Ernest Lilley                                      Last Month / Next Month

Much as we'd like to say something about every genre tile that comes out in a given month, we've settled on saying something about every book recieved by the time we put an issue online. If you'd like to see your book here, please see your publicist about getting us a copy...or even better, a galley.  Galleys get posted both on our Upcoming Books page the month they arrive, as well as here on the month of publication. If we missed something, feel free to let us know. - Ern

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


Road to Science Fiction: From Here to Forever by James Gunn (Scarecrow Press Trade $ 40 07/01/03) This is the fourth volume in Gunn's series of essential stories and critical essay/intros bringing the genre from 1950 to 1992 through the telling of 33 stories. In this volume Gunn has dropped the theme of "importance to the genre" and instead favored "quality of writing" because, he says, it's too soon to say what far-reaching impact these stories will have. (See Edward Carmien's Review and interview feature)

Avon/EOS -

Ilium by Dan Simmons (Avon/Eos HCVR $ 26 07/01/03) Is it space opera? Is it philosophical SF? Is it philosophical space opera? I’ll put the end of my review here: fans of the SF romp, of the kind of story that knows no bounds, of characters who shrink at no impossibility must read Ilium. It is that simple. (From Edward Carmien's review and our interview with the author)

Baen Books

Baen's books arrived just as I was going out the door to Readercon, so they'll have to wait until I get back home and give them a serious look before I can say much about the. There were some interesting titles in the mix though, including The War With Earth by Leo Frankowski and Dave Grossman, which I'm pretty sure follows up on "A Boy and His Tank" by Frankowski...which I enjoyed, but felt cheated at the end when I found out it had all been simulated battle. I gather that now the author (with a little help from a friend) is ready to take the fight into unvirtual reality...and to Earth. Young Miles (Omnibus) by Lois McMaster Bujold contains Warriors Apprentice, Mountains of Mourning, and The Vor Game, and even though it's not the first time any of these have been gathered up and printed as part of a collection, they are some of the best Miles Vorkosigan stories Lois ever wrote, and worth picking up if you don't have them. Similarly Wiz Biz II: Cursed and Consulted by Rick Cook combines two previous covers with on magical spell and tells at length how magic can be treated as just another technology to be hacked by a clever geek...but you know its fantasy, cause he gets the girl.

1633 by David Weber and Eric Flint and Man-Kzin Wars IX created by Larry Niven are the paperback reprints of last years hardcovers.

Random House Bantam - Del Rey- Spectra - Lucas Books

Spectra: Lord of Snow and Shadows (Tears of Artamon, Book 1) by Sarah Ash (Spectra HCVR $ 22 07/01/03) Sara Ash's Lord of Snow and Shadows opens the Tears of Artamon saga. Gavril, a painter living an idyliic life on a tropical island finds that he has inherited a kingship in the frozen wastes of Azhkendir, and he learns this none to gently as he is kidnapped by his murdered father’s personal guard. Suddenly he is both ruler and prisoner practice the the art of politics rather than portraiture. Within himself a powerful magic is awakening as well, and he must respond to attacks on the realm from within and without.

Echo of Eternity by Maggie Furey (Spectra PPBK $ 6.99 07/08/03) Wrapping up the the Shadowleague series, the world of Myial faces invasion from other realms and its defenders, the Shadowleague, prepares to do battle under a renegade leader with ancient weapons that may prove as deadly to their users as to their foes.

Hidden Warrior by Lynn Flewelling (Spectra PPBK $ 6.99 07/08/03) The second book of the Skala trilogy returns to see how Prince Tobin is coming along. Tobin is very much not what he appears, as he's actually a girl "sheathed" in the husk of her dead brother to protect her against those that would kill the legitimate heirs to the throne. Now it's time for her to come out of her shell and restore the matrilineal rule. Sounds like a good candidate for a James Tiptree Award for gender bending fiction.

Del Rey: American Empire: The Victorious Opposition by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 27.95 07/01/03) Concluding Turtledove's American Empire trilogy of an alternate America following the events fo How Few Remain (reviewed Oct. 97: http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/1997/9710/#HowFewRemain).

The Gates of Dawn by Robert Newcomb (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 27 07/01/03) Book Description: "Epic fantasy found an exhilarating new voice in Robert Newcomb, whose monumental debut novel, The Fifth Sorceress, was hailed by readers and critics alike. And now, for all those spellbound by the tale of Prince Tristan, heir to the throne of Eutracia, his twin sister Princess Shailiha, the ancient wizard Wigg, and the fate of their enchanted land, there is indeed more—much more—to be told. . . ."

THE RAVEN WARRIOR by Alice Borchardt (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 26 07/01/03) (see our review)

Star Wars: TNJO: Force Heretic III: Reunion by Sean Williams and Shane Dix (Del Rey / Random House PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) With a title long enough to choke a bantha, Reunion brings the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic trilogy to its close as Luke, with fellow Jedi Jacen Solo and others try to talk a living planet into coming home with them…home to a galaxy full of war and misery. Meahwhile Han and Leia are outnumbered and outgunned with reinforcement too far away to help. The more things change, the more they stay the same, evidentially.

The Steerswoman's Road by Rosemary Kirstein (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 15.95 07/01/03) Next month, after a ten year hiatus, Rosemary Kirstein returns with the third novel of the Steerswoman saga, of a world full of apparent contradictions, wizards practicing magic, satellites visible overhead, and the Steerswomen, seekers and speakers of truth, freely sharing their knowledge of the world with any who ask. The Steerswomen know many things, and their quest for knowledge leads them to discover more…except where it concerns magic, of which they know nothing. Nothing, that is until Rowan, one of their number, finds a blue gem of magical origin and starts to learn its secrets…and the reality of how dangerous a little knowledge can be.

Golden Gryphon Press -

Harper Collins Publishers: Greenwillow Books -

Penguin Putnam: Ace  - Daw - ROC -   

Ace: One Knight Olny by Peter David (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 24 07/01/03) Book Description: "Arthur Pendragon, the Once and Future King, has pursued his political career all the way to the White House. Then tragedy strikes, in the form of an assassination attempt that leaves his wife Gwen at death's door. To save her, Arthur must once again seek the Holy Grail, the Cup whose magical powers can heal her body and soul… " (See Review)

Sword of King James by J. Ardian Lee (Ace / Penguin Putnam Trade $ 14 07/01/03) The problem with happy endings is that they don't leave you anything to hang a sequel on. That's why Dylan Matheson, who found himself transported from the 21st century to the 18th, where he found a woman to love and a cause to fight for in the previous book, Outlaw Sword, has to have at least one taken from him to make the current title interesting. Celtic fariies and myth abound, though the author disclaims them in her forward.

The Dragon Guard by Emily Drake (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 19.95 07/01/03) The third book in the Magikers series targeted at the Potter dotty readers of all ages. The present tale, continues the story of Jason, Bailey, Trent and their fellow magically endowed youngsters off at summer camp to learn arts and crafts that go beyond making keychains out of string. And to avoid their dreaded enemies, the Dark Hand of Brennard and its host of ghoulish creatures that are drawn to…and feed on magik.

Wild Magic (Fool's Gold, Book 2) by Jude Fisher (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 07/01/03) Continuing the Fools Gold saga, tensions flare at the historically neutral Allfair, where the the countries Eyra and Istria have always put aside their differences to mingle and trade. But not this year, as powerful forces are out and pushing the countries towards war.

Space Inc. by Julie Czereda (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) Editor Julie Czernda's been out looking for a job, or rather a collection of jobs that people will have in the future. The promise of this collection is that it will give us insight into what the workers of the future will be doing from 9-5, or whatever, but while it's a perfectly good anthology…it sheds precious little light on career paths for the future, unless the future looks just like the past, only more futuristic looking. I already got that from watching Futurama. Personally, I expect work in the future to be either something incomprehensible from our techno-cultural perspective, or digging for grubs. Depending.

The Riven Shield by Michelle West (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) Book five in the Sun Sword series finds our hero Valedan kai di'Leonne (the last of his ruling clan) allied to his people's enemies and searching for the Sun Sword to bring more families/clans into the alliance. If you're looking for a big book of sword and sorcery to while away the summer with, this could be the answer to your prayers.

Roc: Extremes by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.5 07/01/03) Following in the footsteps of her well received The Disappeared, Rusch brings back "Retrieval Artist" Mike Flint, a ex-cop on the moon who specializes in finding people…especially ones that have disappeared on purpose. Now on his own after leaving the Armstrong Police, he's wondering if he made the right choice, but he won't have much time for second guessing when he gets caught up in the murder of another Retrival Artist and a young woman, both of which point towards the same scientist, and he's gone missing. Mixing SF and Mystery takes talent, and fortunately the author has what it takes. (See Review)

Live Without A Net by Lou Anders (ed) (Roc / Penguin Putnam Trade $ 14.95 07/01/03) The premise of this collection, that all the stories must deal with realities where there is no internet, is, I suppose clever enough, and perhaps the unease which it evokes in me suggests that it's a good place for some speculateive thought…or fiction. Certainly the editor has assembled a top notch crew to do his speculation, including Michael Swanwick, S.M. Stirling, David Brin, Terry McGary, Charlie Stross and other notables. And he's got Pat Cadigan to say a few pithy words at the end too. But the whole thing worries me somehow. Why…if there were no net SFRevu would

Simon&Schuster: Star Trek (Pocket Books) The Black Library (Warhammer/40k)

The Black Library: Warhammer 2000: Crucible of War by Marc Gascoigne (ed) and Christian Dunn (ed) (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) Personally, I find the implication that the Warhammer Universe survives long enough to get a 2000 suffix pretty scary. Here's a collection of ten stories from different parts of the bloody far future conflict that the men and women of the Imperium steel themselves to do battle in…unsullied by excessive plot, but jam packed with explosive action. Actually, that's not quite fair, as there are some pretty decent storylines, but you can be sure it won't cool the heat of combat.

Warhammer: Blood and Steel by C.L. Werner (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) In the dark fantasy reality of the Warhammer, the empire needs heroes more than ever, but I'm not sure that bounty hunters, apologies to Ms. Croft, count. Never mind. Bounty Hunter Brunner battles goblins and vampires and all manner of dark creatures while another hunter nips at his heels in turn. It's blood and steel everywhere! What? Oh, well then, it's aptly named.

Warhammer: Honour of the Grave by Robin Laws (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) You have to give The Black Library credit for picking unusual heroes, or in this case, heroines. Take Angeika for instance. She's got a cheerful trade, picking over the dead and dying after the clashes between the EMPIRE and the FORCES OF DARKNESS for what booty she can find. Now she's off to find something else…the dark truth behind the brother's Kopf's search for their missing sibling. Blood and steel abound…what, the other book? Oh.

Warhammer: Skavenslayer by William King (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 6.99 07/01/03) Let's see. So far our heroes Gotrek and Felix have slain trolls, daemons, dragons, beasties, vampires and giants. This brings us to the natural question: What the heck are Skavens? They're ratmen who infest the tunnels beneath the great Imperial city, that's what, and they don't need to be just slain…they need to be exterminated..

St. Martins Press: Tom Doherty Books - Tor - ORB - Forge -

St. Martins Griffin: Year's Best Science Fiction: Twentieth Annual Collection by Gardner Dozois (ed) (St. Martin's Griffin Trade $ 20 07/23/03) The arrival of The Years Best SF is always a much awaited event, and once again Gardner has put together an amazing collection of stories. We'll be reviewing this collection next month, but you needn't wait for us to tell you it's absolutely mandatory reading for fans of SF. Gardner's report on the state of the genre alone is worth the price of admission, and we shamelessly wait to see what he says about SFRevu from year to year. Good news: this year they got the URL right (though they are still laboring under the impression that the SF Site is providing our hosing). Well, at least they spelled our name right.

Tor: Conan of Venarium by Harry Turtledove (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 07/01/03) Harry Turtledove the Alt Historian and Conan the Barbarian. What a great combination of talents. Since Conan was frist created by Robert Howard he's been penned by other fantasy greats, including L. Sprague de Camp (also an Alternate Historian), Poul Anderson, and Robert Jordan. Fittingly, this tale starts off what appears to be an alternate beginning to the Conan saga, when our young barbarian friend's homeland is occupied by invaders and the local captain of the guard takes a forceful interest in the girl Conan has been wistfully eyeing. Bad things will surely come to pass.

Beyond the Hanging Wall by Sara Douglas (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 07/17/03) Set in the same world as her Wayfaer's Redemption novels, but standing on its own and placed across the sea from those plots, Beyond the Hanging Wall tells the story of a young prince seized by unknown assailants, the tattoo that marks him as heir to the throne burned from his flesh, and and thrown into the mines for seventeen years, until a young healer stumbles across his true identiy and finds his life changed by the knowledge and the impossibility of rescuing the true ruler of Escator.

Spaceland by Rudy Rucker (Tor Trade $ 13.95 07/01/03) Now out in trade, "Spaceland is not only a wonderful homage to Edward Abbot's classic mathematical fiction , Flatland but is a worthwhile read in its own right. Filled with nicely drawn characters, a good story line and an engaging look at the inhabitants of a weird space time continuum, Silicon Valley, Spaceland is a must read for geeks of all dimensions." from Bruce Wallace's August '02 Review: http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2002/0208/Review%20-%20Spaceland/review.htm

The Omega Expedition by Brian Stableford (Tor Trade $ 17.95 07/24/03) (from our review: http://www.sfrevu.com/ISSUES/2003/0301/Book%20-%20Omega%20Expedition/Review.htm)The Omega Expedition is the conclusion of Brian Stableford's Emortality Series, and thanks to some suspended animation and the lack of faster than light drives, enough characters from his previous works are on hand to let each of those stories get some sort of closure. The author assures us in a lengthily (but useful) introduction that "this volume is readable as a direct sequel to any one of four earlier volumes…and forms a parenthetical pair in association with the other."

Warner/Aspect -  

On Crusade by Katherine Kurtz (Editor) (Warner Aspect PPBK $ 6.5 07/01/03) Of all the secret societies, perhaps none is enduring as the Knights Templar. Disbanded by a French king for challenging his power, the order maintains an X-Files sort of existence…often assumed to exist underground and working behind the scene against the forces of the dark lord. This is the second collection of Templarian tales and it stretches from the early 1100s to the day after tomorrow. Engaging and fun, occasionally disconcerting and occasionally thought provoking.

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.)

The Princess Bride by William Goldman (Ballantine Trade $ 14.95 07/01/03) "The whimsical dialogue and tongue-in-cheek narrative will whisk you away from muggy summer evenings and droning air conditioners to a distant and magical land where miracles might occur (if Miracle Max can find the recipe for a resurrection pill in the Encyclopedia of Spells and the Hex Appendix)." (See our review)

Changing Planes by Urusla K. LeGuin (Harcourt HCVR $ 22 07/01/03) From Publishers Weekly: "When most people get stuck for hours in an airport, nothing much comes of it but boredom. When a writer like Le Guin (The Other Wind, etc.) has such an experience, however, the result may be a book of short stories. In "Sita Dulip's Method," a bored traveler, a friend of the narrator, discovers that if she sits on her uncomfortable airport chair in just the right way and thinks just the right thoughts, she can change planes-not airplanes, mind you, but planes of existence. Each of the linked… read more "

T2 - The Future War by S.M. Sterling (Harper Entertainment HCVR $ 24 07/01/03) The Conners and the Arnoldesque human Sarah's picked up are hanging out in Alaska trying to build up a network of survivalists when the war with Skynet begins. (See our movie and book review)

The Poet's Grimm by Jeanne Marie Beaumont & Claudia Carlson (Story Line Press Trade $ 19.95 07/30/03) Do you read poetry? No, me either, except for that time I decided to memorize some snippets of Shakespeare and Kipling and Service (the American Kipling). Nobody reads poetry anymore. Besides, if what poets have to say is so important, why can't they just come out and say it?. And yet…and yet…there is something about the measured prose of poetry that pulls you in as surely as the rustle of leaves at the edge of an enchanted forest. Pulls you in and never lets you leave, changes you until you come upon your reflection in a still pool in the water and do not know the face you see. Nor care. That's what awaits you inside these covers. Powerful summoning spells by mages of tremendous power, spells hiding in plain sight as innocent lines on soft paper. Beware. Don't go into the woods, unless you're ready to find out what lurks in the darkness and hides in the light. Of course, these are just fairy tales, and ones you already know, so what could be the harm?

Cowslip; A Novel by Kirk Sigurdson (Terminus Books Trade $ 14 07/01/03) In Cowslip, written as the journal of a sixteen year old Portland, Oregon girl, Kirk Sigurdson has captured a lot of ambiance and shows a considerable amount of talent. Julia, the girl, is a club hopping high school student breaking into the music scene as a singer who falls ill with a human variant of mad cow disease, and develops a human madness, her world invaded by shadow people, demons from hell and emissaries from heaven. I'm not sure if it quite qualifies as fantasy, but it's got a gritty quality to it that works.

Falling Towards Jupiter by Kurt Lancaster (Terminus Books Trade $ 14 07/01/03) Billed as a high school girl saves the world saga, set in the future near Jupiter, I found the incessant teen sex (mixed in with some teacher lust and the occasional alien sex slave bit) impossible to get around. Maybe I'll feel differently after I listen to the author's wider ranging "Letters from Orion", a compilation of stories and sound bites from different characters in the same universe.

Titles are (hopefully) linked to Amazon.com pages for each book and buying through our links to support our site costs. Amazon offers these titles at up to 30% off and gives free shipping for orders over $25. If you were to pop over to Amazon.com and do a search of all the SF and Fantasy they have listed for being published this month, you'd come back with more titles than moonwatcher could shake a stick at, so we mostly limit ourselves to what we've actually received from publishers. If you've sent us something and it didn't get in here, feel free to mention it to us at: usbooks@sfrevu.com.

© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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