October 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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October 2003 US Releases by Ernest Lilley                                           Last Month / Next Month

October is traditionally a month for Dark Fantasy...or Horror if you want to be honest. This year the spirit just never moved us, though there are some excellent Dark Fantasy collections coming out and we're delighted to tell you about them. The truth is we're much more excited about debut novels like Spin State from new authors like Chris Moriarty and great new collections like Cory Doctorow's A Place So Foreign and Eight More to worry about ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties.

Ace / Penguin Putnam

For More Than Glory by William C. Dietz (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 24.95 10/01/03) The fourth installment in Dietz's Legion of the Damned series, finds the members of this far future foreign legion with no shortage of work - mopping up heavily armed rebel legionnaires and executing the political agenda of the Confederacy of Planets, which has to get used to their none-to-trustworthy allies the Hudathans and find space for the insectoid Ramanthans to expand into…peacefully. But those are old news to the Legion. What they don't know is that a terrorist network is forming that could threaten the entire Confederacy, and its up to a maverick Legionnaire to stop it. Heroes - Laws of the Blood 5 by Susan Sizemore (Ace / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.5 10/01/03) The fight book in her series about a special caste of Vampire sworn to uphold the laws of their undead brethren. Set in Las Vegas, a city of night life and bloodsuckers if ever there was one, the vampire law keepers, known as Nighthawks, must suppress a rebellion in the glittery city where the neon can turn the undead into light junkies and a growing factions holds that "All laws are lies." Hand of the King's Evil (Outremer Series, Book 5) by Chaz Brenchley (Ace / Penguin Putnam PPBK $6.5 10/01/03) The fifth book of Outremer finds a fragile peace shattered and heretics at the root of it. The End of All Roads by Chaz Brenchley (Ace / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.5 10/28/03)...and the end of the Outremer series. Nocturne by Elaine Bergstrom (Ace / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.5 10/01/03) something to sink your teeth into on all hallows eve.

AVON / EOS

Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (Avon/Eos HCVR $ 24.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: EJ McClure Issue: 1003 (review) Lois continues the story begun in Curse of Chalion, three years after, when Ista undertakes a pilgrimage to settle the loss and remorse over the terrible cost of the freedom she won in the first book. She'll soon find that there is a time for mourning, and a time to stand against evil, but never a time to rest.

Bantam-Spectra

Spin State by Chris Moriarty (Bantam-Spectra Galley $ 11.95 10/07/03) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 1003 (review / interview) Spin State delivers the rare mix of action and ideas that SF fans crave in a post human future that manages to blend technology from beyond tomorrow with the timelessness of the human condition…and to do it with style that springboards from the best of the cyberpunks to make Moriarty someone to be closely watched. Confidence Game by Michelle M. Welch (Bantam-Spectra PPBK $ 5.99 10/07/03) Ms. Welch's debut fantasy novel mixes spycraft and magic in this tale of a master agent, tired and worn from "the game", who seeks a life on the outside and to lose the coldness in her heart. But spies can't really retire, and soon she finds herself in the middle of conspiracies and intrigue. The Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman (Bantam-Spectra PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03)

Berkley Pub Group

The King Betrayed by Deborah Chester (Berkley Pub Group PPBK $ 7.99 10/01/03) Book Description The Sword, The Ring, and The Chalice trilogy ensnared readers in its web of fantasy and suspense. The Queen's Gambit added more layers to the tale. Now, national bestselling author Deborah Chester delivers a novel of a king's duty to his land, his love for his wife-and the ultimate betrayal of both. Forgotten Truth by Dawn Cook (Berkley Pub Group PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03)

Carol & Graf / Avalon

The Two Sams by Glen Hirshberg (Carol & Graf / Avalon HCVR $ 23 10/01/03)
I can't tell you much about Glen Hirshberg, despite his "multiple World Fantasy Awards and International Horror Guild nominations". I can tell you that from what I've read of this collection of five novellas about terror and its wellsprings within us all, that he appears to be every bit as good as the numerous glowing quotes on the jacket promise. That he weaves a spell out of mood and place and creates an atmosphere of tremendous tension, then when you're almost ready to let out a long sigh…he springs and turns the tables and lets out the terror. He's good, he is. Very, very good.

Daw / Penguin Putnam


Repentant by Brian M. Thomsen (Editor), Martin H. Greenberg (Editor) (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03) Upon meeting a monster, witch, demon, werewolf, vampire or whatever you imagine might lurk under your bed, you should always ask if they are a good monster or a bad monster. Now it wasn't always this way, but in these post-judgmental days, the protectors of humankind are more often some Repentant previous predator, and not some white guy with a sword, cross, or both, coming to the rescue. Here's a collection of thirteen (a nice, number, and possibly repentant as well) stories about creatures that have chosen nice over naughty, despite the cost. Inheritance: Keys of Power 1 by Simon Brown (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 10/07/03) "Together, the four Keys of Power give the ruler of Grenda Lear absolute authority. But on her deathbed Queen Ushara divides the keys…among her four children…" Our hero is the youngest, who has a chip on his shoulder and commoner's blood in the mix, albeit from a great general. When the Queen dies, betrayal happens and our boy must needs flee for his life. We'll spend the trilogy finding out if he makes it back, and to power…but what I want to know is…absolute power? Is that a good thing? Also: Mage of Clouds: The Cloudmages #2 by S. L. Farrell (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03) From the Heart of the Storm by Kurt R. a. Giambastiani (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03)

Del Rey / Random House

Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 25 10/01/03) Reviewer: Laurie J. Marks Issue: 1003 (review) Drummed out of the Space Academy due to an unfortunate "incident" Ky Vatta has to face both her personal failure and dashing the family's hopes for access to lucrative military contracts. Now sent to captain a ship on its trip to the salvage yard the family hopes she'll just lay low until the "incident" is no longer news. What they don't count on is the nasty little war she sails into. What you can count on is an adventure you're sure to profit from...and more on the way. Shadows Over Baker Street by Michael Reaves (ed) and John Pelan (ed) (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 24 10/01/03) Reviewer: Dave Goldfeder Issue: 1003 (review) "Holmes, Horror and H.P. Lovecraft? That's the general idea, executed by a collection of writers of considerable talent, including Neil Gaiman, Barbara Hambly, and Poppy Z. Brite. "Curious," Holmes mused. "a rare juxtaposition of superlative prose and supernatural horror. This bears closer scrutiny indeed."

Four Walls Eight Windows

Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius: Stories of the Comic Apocalypse by Michael Moorcock (Four Walls Eight Windows Trade $ 15 10/24/03) In print for the first time this side of the Atlantic, this collection of stories about Moorcock's time-travelling anti-heroic Jerry Cornelius were written between 1965 and 2003, and span the globe as he mucks with the events of the 20th…and now 21st, centuries. Moorcock lived through the London blitz as a child and has seen the Twin Towers fall as the new century began. He offers that he had hoped that the Cornelius stories could hold such events at bay through some sort of shamanic foce, but knows that that's not the way it works. Perhaps we're all dancing on the edge of the abyss, Moorcock muses, and what matters is how well we dance. Jerry Corneilus, whether dancing with Princess Di or planning an attack on a Southeast Asian factory, dances with verve, wit, and of course, style. A Place So Foreign and Eight More by Cory Doctorow (Four Walls Eight Windows Trade $ 13.95 10/06/03) (review) Cory, like Bruce Sterling or Terry Bisson, is a crackerjack storyteller who excels in the short story form. This collection spans Doctorow's writing career from his first professional sale in 1998 to the almost present fo last August, and it's remarkable in that it begins with a story worthy of inclusion in the Year's Best SF (though I don't think "Craphound" actually did) and keeps getting better throughout the collection. (I hear the first run sold out and they've already put on a second.)

McFarland & Company, Inc

The Span of Mainstream and Science Fiction by Peter Brigg (McFarland & Company, Inc PPBK $ 32 10/22/03) Reviewer: Edward Carmien [carmien@mac.com] Issue: TBD

Palgrave Macmillan

The Real Middle Earth by Brian Bates (Palgrave Macmillan HCVR $24.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: Edward Carmien [carmien@mac.com] Issue: 1003 (review) From the review: The Real Middle Earth is as good an example of “jumping on the bandwagon” as I have seen in the world of Tolkienesque books. Serious anthropologists will shudder at the content, but fans of LOTR may find Bates’ speculations informative. Tolkien - A Cultural Phenomenon by Brian Rosebury (Palgrave Macmillan HCVR $ 19.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: Edward Carmien [carmien@mac.com] Issue: 1003 (review) From the review: Brian Rosebury’s Tolkien, A Cultural Phenomenon is a revised and expanded edition of his 1992 book by the same name. Given the success of Jackson’s films to date, it is no surprise Rosebury undertook a new edition of his text.

Roc / Penguin Putnam

House of War by Judith Tarr (Roc / Penguin Putnam Trade $ 16 10/01/03) Tarr blends alternate history with religion and magic as she takes us to a Jerusalem ruled by King Richard a decade after the events in Devil's Bargain. Jews, Celts, Christians and members of the Islamic faith all figure into this story, and the power of their faiths makes itself tangible. Wyrmhole by Jay Caselberg (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6 10/01/03) Jack Stein is a Psychic Investigator, and he doesn't get a lot of respect. Gathering clues from dreams and pschic impressions might not be the easiest way to make a living, but his latest client, a megaconglom that's buying up the galaxy seems to be going out of its way to make things harder yet, so hard that he has to wonder if they really want their missing mining crew back… The Legend of the Jade Phoenix by Robert Thurston (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 7.99 10/01/03)

The Black Library / Simon and Schuster

Fire Warrior by Simon Spurrier and Marc Gascoigne (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 7.99 10/01/03) The Blades of Chaos by Gav Thorpe (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 7.99 10/01/03) Dredd vs Death by Rennie Gordon (The Black Library / Simon and Schuster PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03)

Titan Books

Don't Panic by Neil Gaimen (Titan Books HCVR $ 21.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: Pat Issue: 1103 What a wonderfully engaging bit of stuff. Gaiman makes one nostalgic as all get out for the Author of "The Hitchiker's Guide", and though the book was originally issued in, well long enough ago that the author talks about doing it on a word processor, it's been updated with bits that take you right up to Adam's end in 2001, and a bit beyond. It's a wonderful retelling of a person as interesting as he was funny, and it leave one feeling wistful and amused and reassured all at once.

Tor

The Outstretched Shadow : The Obsidian Trilogy: Book One by Mercedes Lackey (Author), James Mallory (Author) (Tor HCVR $ 28 10/21/03) Kellen Tavadon, son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, grew up in the settled world of organized magic, and he thought he knew how things worked, at least until he found the three books of wild magic, which opened the world beyond the protecting and confining walls of the city. Of course, that's forbidden knowledge, so now he's on the run, with a unicorn at his side taking him to all the adventures he assumed were just fairy tales. But if the tales are true, then along with elves and unicorns, there must be demons. Epic doesn't seem to do this story justice, since this is only book one and It's a doorstopper, that's for sure, but there are plenty of important lessons within this tome, and considering the authors, a heck of a tale to frame them. The Ethos Effect by L.E. Modessit, Jr. (Tor HCVR $ 27.95 10/01/03) Book Description: Set in the same universe as The Parafaith War (but two centuries later, and intended to be read independently), The Ethos Factor is the story of Commander Van C. Albert of the Republic Space Force of Taran, a brave and resourceful officer who once defeated a larger enemy ship but indirectly caused the loss of a civilian liner in the process. Cleared by the board of inquiry, but an embarrassment to the high command, he retains his commission but is given only dead-end assignments.  Le Morte D'Avalon by J. Robert King (Tor HCVR $ 26.95 10/01/03) Book Description Mad Merlin told the story from a god's point of view. Lancelot Du Lether told the story from a lover's point of view. Now in the third volume of J. Robert King's critically acclaimed Arthurian triptych focuses on a woman of Avalon--Morgan le Fey. Part female Hamlet, part mystical Lady Macbeth, this daughter of a slain king must become an Arthurian Joan of Arc for all women when her position in society and royal lineage place her in direct opposition to all that Arthur must accomplish ... not just for Camelot but for all mankind.


Cube Route by Piers Anthony (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 10/22/03) Xanth and Counter-Xanth. Jane, who's plain wants to be pretty, and off she goes with a band of "colorful companions" on a search for the Cube Route which will lead her to Counter-Zanth, a place where things can become their opposites. The 27th Xanth novel may not surprise readers with its message about inner beatuy, but it's sure to amuse them along the way. Fudoki by Kij Johnson (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 10/08/03) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 1103 Set in the same mystical Japan as her first book, Fox Woman, Fudoki tells the story of a woman transformed from a cat who becomes "a sometime warrior, occasional philosopher, and reluctant confidant" as told by an aging empress who herself is facing the transformation from nobility to nothingness. Quietly, beautifully written. The Dark by Ellen Datlow (ed) (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 10/01/03) Haunting is the only word for this collection of ghost stories. Ok, maybe that was obvious, but starting out with a beautiful piece by Jeffrey Ford, this is a fantastic collection of not always scary stories about spirits between worlds.

The Killing of Worlds : Book Two of Succession by Scott Westerfield (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: Paul Giguere Issue: 1003 (review) Last year's Risen Empire (see review: SFRevu Mar '03 concludes in The Killing of Worlds. These two books are part of the new "good" Space Opera, dealing with SF themes on a grand scale and with an exciting storyline. The second book in this saga begins with a titanic space battle. Will it finish with the end of sixteen hundred years of empire at the hands of the post human RIX?  Skyfall by Catherine Asaro (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 10/01/03) (review) Reviewer: Todd V. Ehrenfels Issue: 0903 (review) From the review: The wonderful thing about prequels is that you already know the results and highlights of the events that are to unfold within the story….The consistency of Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Universe setting allows for the potential for many great and wondrous prequels and sequels, and the thrill of watching consistent and lucid character development is truly a joy in a genre increasingly filled with hackneyed and clichéd character stereotypes. Star Dragon by Mike Brotherton (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 10/08/03) Astronomer Mike Brotherton has published shorts stories in a numver of anthologies, but but this is his debut novel. The premise, that a space creature living in the plasma of a star is discovered ("We are calling it a Star Dragon") is intriguing, if the plot - how to capture it and bring it back alive - seems presumptuous. Actually, exobiologist Sam Fisher and the crew of the Karamojo are going to jump off on a 500 year voyage not for a zoo specimen, but to unlock the fusion technology in the dragon's heart, er stomach. It's not a trophy that drives Fisher to the stars, it's a need to know.

The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 10/01/03) The Outstretched Shadow : The Obsidian Trilogy: Book One by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 10/01/03) Dragonvenom by Lawrence Watt-Evans (Tor HCVR $ 0 10/01/03) In the conclusion to the Obsidian Chronicles, young Arlian finally gets to exact vengeance upon the dragons that destroyed his village, but as he slays them wild magic seeps into the lands of men and wreaks still greater havoc.

Vertical

Outlet by Randy Taguchi (Vertical Trade $ 16 10/01/03) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 1003 (review) When Yuki's older brother is found dead, having starved to death in his apartment, her search for answers leads her to the brink of madness. When she steps back from that brink, she finds that she has gained more than her sanity back, she now has the ability to heal the emotionally ill. The author's takes readers on a "bracingly secular exploration" as the mysteries unfold.

Warner Aspect

Burndrive by Karin Lowachee (Warner Aspect PPBK $ 6.99 10/01/03)
Following her Warner Aspect First Novel Contest winner: Warchild, Ms. Loawchee returns to the Warchild universe with an exciting tale of terrorism and trauma. The Life Eaters by David Brin and Scott Hampton (Wildstorm.com HCVR $ 29.95 10/01/03) Reviewer: Daniel P Dern Issue: TBD Dark and terrible, this story of Norse gods, or something claiming their birthright, allied with Nazi forces and intent on world domination and necromancy is an impressive piece of work by SF author David Brin and Illustrator Scott Hampton. Can mere men stand against gods?

We'll be back next month with more titles to curl up with as the nights get longer.

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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