February 2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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US Releases by Ernest Lilley                                                                        Last Month / Next Month

US Books received will be listed in this column if possible in their month of publication. Our address for submissions: 1405 Abingdon Dr. E #5, Alexandria, VA, 22314. Our preferred method of shipping: Media Mail.

Ace / Penguin Putnam

Angel Seeker by Sharon Shinn (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 02/24/04) Reviewer: Samuel Lubell Issue: 0204 (see review) If you haven't read the first book in this series, Archangel then you're not familiar with the world of Samaria, where humans and angels (yes, with wings) live together in a class structured society. No, humans are not on top, and yes the god Jovah watches over everything. There are a lot of parallels to black slavery in here, and a lot of romance between women and angels. The first book garnered a lot of praise. Alphabet Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 22.95 02/01/04) Reviewer: EJ McClure  Issue: 0204 (see review) Book Description: One of the most spectacular fantasists of our time, Patricia A. McKillip creates fairy tale worlds of wonder and magic. Now, she opens the page on a time and place where an orphan girl is haunted by thorns...a reluctant queen rules between sea and sky... and epics never end…Kris Longknife - Mutineer by Mike Shepherd (Ace / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 7.99 02/01/04) Reviewer: Madeleine Yeh Issue: 0204 (see review) There seems to be a rash of young women from privileged families going off on their own to war, generally while making the military unhappy in the process. Kris Longknife, a politician's daughter, decided on a naval career, but as seems to be the standard way of things in these stories, her commanding officer knows less and has poorer judgment than the ensign…leaving mutiny the better part of valor. I'll give the author credit for some insights into the ways of the military, but he's no John Ringo, or Elizabeth Moon, for that matter..

Baen

This Scepter'd Isle by Mercedes Lackey, Roberta Gellis (Baen HCVR $ 25 02/01/04) A seer turns to her twin brother to forestall the tragic future she sees for England. Her brother, a huntsman and warrior, must accept this mission so that "…the red-haired child of Great Harry of England must live, and thrive, and grow up to rule. …(He) must go to it in the mortal world, and become its protector." "But I am a warrior, not a nursemaid—" he replies Well, we all do what we have to. The Rackham Files by Dean Ing (Baen HCVR $ 24 02/01/04) In these Cold War Era stories, assembled for the first time as a single book (parts have been published, in the novel Pulling Through, and in the collections Firefight: Y2K, and Combat, edited by Stephen Coonts) a not to successful California PI and some friends survive the end of life as we know it in true SF style…only here, the S stands for Survivalist as well as Science. The stories aren't new, but Larry Niven's forward promises us that they're still relevant and worthwhile. Two Space War by Dave Grossman, Leo Frankowski (Baen HCVR $ 24 02/01/04) Six hundred years hence, mankind has discovered how to access another space where sentient wooden ship travel between the stars, and the first aliens they encounter are dwarves on high gravity worlds and elves, who are delighted with Tolkien and human Fantasy, on low gravity wooded worlds. When a human crewed warship is killed by an attack from a ship manned by doglike aliens, a young Lt. must take command and find his crew a new ship, as well as warn Earth of an impending invasion. It's a delightful blend of SF and Historical Naval fiction. Master and Commander to the Stars!

Lord Darcy by Randall Garret (Baen PPBK $7.99 02/01/04) (Note: This is an Ominbus of previously published works, now in paperback.) From the Baen site: Welcome to a world . . . Where Richard the Lion-Hearted did not die in the year 1199, but went on to found the mightiest and most stable empire in history . . . Where the laws of Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP) have been codified, but those of physics remain unsuspected … where magic is a science, and science is an art…and no matter whether murder is committed by magic most foul or by more mundane means, crime still does not pay—as long as Lord Darcy is on the case. Conrad's Time Machine by Leo Frankowski (Baen PPBK $ 7.99 02/01/04) We reviewed this prequel to the whole time traveling engineer series when it came out in 2002 (see review) and we liked it. It's about three buddies and a time machine and sets the stage for the authors The Crosstime-Engineer series. The Warmasters by David Weber, Eric Flint, David Drake (Baen PPBK $7.99 02/01/04) Now in Paperback - Cry havoc and loose the dogs of war! Not content with combining the unassembled stories of individual authors, Baen has taken "Three Masters of Mi-SF" and put together a trio of novellas from their signature series: Honor Harrington, Hammer's Slammers, and Belisarius.

Ballantine Seduced By Moonlight by Laura K. Hamilton (Ballantine Books HCVR $ 24 02/03/04) Reviewer: Madeleine Yeh Issue: 0204 (see review) If you’ve been reading the series so far, you know that Meredith is a faerie princess living in L.A., and working for a detective agency. She's also living with a collection of faerie guards assigned to her by her Aunt the Queen, partly to protect her, but mostly to get her pregnant, a requirement for ascending to the throne. Now Merry and her entourage are preparing for a dangerous journey, a tour of the faerie courts and a visit home. In this book she visits the goblin court, where she finds allies and intrigues, though none of them pretty.

Bantam-Spectra 

Fools Fate by Robin Hobb (Bantam-Spectra HCVR $ 24.95 02/01/04) (Iain Emsley's UK 2003 review) Here's the conclusion of The Tawny Man saga, (Fool's Errand, Golden Fool) and the White Prophet's attempt to nudge the world out of it’s repeated cycles of sameness, into one where things move towards some better purpose, through the actions of a Farseer, and in a world where dragons live with man. Better, of course is one of those concepts that not everyone sees the same way, and therein lies the tale. The Boys Are Back In Town by Christopher Golden (Bantam-Spectra Trade $ 12 02/10/04) Lots of people are less than thrilled to go to their 10th High School reunion, but even though Will James's life didn't turn out to be the success he'd planned, he's game. If he knew that the magic that he and his brother played with as teenagers was going to come back to haunt him, and unravel his past, present, and future in payment for an act he already regrets, he might have stayed home. Fortunately for fans of Dark Fantasy, what he doesn't know will thrill readers.

Daw / Penguin Putnam

The Collected Short Fiction of C.J. Cherryh by C.J. Cherryh (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 02/01/04) Reviewer: Edward Carmien Issue: 0204 (see review) Book Description: Featuring the short stories, novellas, and novelettes of multiple award-winning author C.J. Cherryh, this volume is a must-have for fans and newcomers alike. It includes stories that originally appeared in her earlier collections, in magazines, and in other collections from DAW and other publishers. This special volume will include an introduction by Cherryh, written exclusively for this book Doomsday Brunnette by John Zakour, Lawrence Ganem (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) Reviewer: Judy Newton Issue: 0204 (see review) After their first tribute to pulp; The Plutonium Blonde, here's the second part of this hair-raising trilogy: The Doomsday Brunette. Hijiks in the future abound in this noir-light private eye piece about genetically engineered divas and death. The Magic Shop by Denise Little (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) This is an enchanting ("of course it is") little collection of new stories written to discover what it would be like if you could pop into a little magic store around the corner and purchase something special. Finding the price, it seems, is rarely so simple as to look at the tag…magic tends to ask its own price, or at least to know its own value.

Del Rey / Random House

Star Wars - Survivor's Quest by Timothy Zahn (Del Rey /Ballantine/ Random House HCVR $ 25.95 02/03/04) Reviewer: Adrienne Ertman  Issue: 0204 (see review) Though Timothy Zahn is the bestselling author of Star Wars books, this is his first one for Del Rey, and conveniently for those of you who haven't read everything ever published in the SW universe, it's a standalone novel about Luke and Mara (in case you missed it, she's his wife) on a mission to the ruins of the Outbound Flight Project, a grand Jedi attempt to send an exploration and colonization mission to another galaxy. It seems the Chiss, who helped destroy the mission want to give the remains back…but only time will unravel the motives of the many parties involved. Sometimes The Magic Works by Terry Brooks (Dell / Bantam / Mass Market Trade $ 12.95 02/03/04) Reviewer: Edward Carmien Issue: 0204 Though this collection of essays sets out to talk about what it's like to be a writer, or what it's like to be Terry Brooks, it's as much about living with an active imagination and with one foot firmly not in this world at all. Whether you're a writer, reader or just someone with an internal life of your own…I'm pretty sure you'll find this book both useful and enjoyable.

Forge

Nano by John Robert Marlow (Forge HCVR $ 25.95 02/01/04) You can tell this isn't really SF because it comes on a bit too strong. Nano-technology has reached tech thriller status with this book, in which the head of the worlds most powerful computer company is assasinated in the opening pages, his brains spattering all over the pretty reporter protagonist in the front row. Fortunately for the story, he wasn't the brain behind the world shattering technology that he was about to reveal…but evidentially it wasn't as secret as he thought or he wouldn't be dead. Now the pretty reporter, the US government, and a mysterious enemy all race to find the man behind the man, who holds the key to the ultimate weapon of mass destruction.

Roc / Penguin Putnam

Son of Avonar by Carol Berg (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) Reviewer: Victoria McManus Issue: 0204 (see review) A noblewoman living in exile takes in a stranger who cannot speak, doesn't remember who he is, may be mad, and shows the skill and training of a warrior. Though she wants nothing to do with intrigues or the injustices of the ruling family, fate cares little for the wants of humans and her involvement with the stranger will unravel her reclusive life and thrust her into a maelstrom of evil that threaten to topple a rule of a thousand years and unleash a devil in its place. Fortress Of Lies by J. Steven York (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) This new Battletech novel takes place in a time where humanity is cut off from its far flung elements of empire, and the massive robotic engines of destruction are starting to wear out, leaving warfare to older kinds of machines, like tanks and planes. It's time for competing factions to build a coalition against the invading House of Liao, but will politics turn out to be more or less bloody than Battletech?

Tor

Gridlinked by Neal Asher (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 02/01/04)
Reviewer: John Berlyne [himself@johnberlyne.com] Issue: 0204
Tor noticed that John Berlyne liked this book, and quoted him waxing enthusiastic in his 2001 review. “This is a brilliant and audacious work, chock-full of cutting-edge idea….I look forward to [his next books] enormously and to seeing Asher receive the success he is clearly destine for. Highly recommended!” Which Way To The Future by Stanley Schmidt (Tor Trade $ 14.95 02/01/04) There's an interesting consensus about Stanley Schmidt's Analog editorials. They're always thoughtful, well written and interesting…and provocative. Subjects range from writing to learning to living with technology. No, on second thought they're more diverse than that.

Warner Books

In the Ocean of Night by Gregory Benford (Warner Aspect PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) Originally published in 1987, this story begins Benford's Galactic Center series which takes us from a few years hence. When an astronaut finds an asteroid which turns out to be a space probe to the distant future and mankind's expansion through the galaxy. Zulu Heart: A Novel of Slavery and Freedom in an Alternate America by Steven Barnes (Warner Books PPBK $ 6.99 02/01/04) Zulu Heart continues the the Alt History Steven Barnes started in Lion's Heart where the Afican continent arose as a powerful nation, colonizing North America with the help of white slaves.

Other Publishers

The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television by John Kenneth Muir (McFarland & Company, Inc HCVR $ 59.95 02/01/04) Book Description: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a complete guide to over fifty years of superheroes on screen! Each entry includes a detailed history, cast and credits, episode and film descriptions, critical commentaries and data on arch-villains, gadgets, comic-book origins and super powers, while placing each production into its historical context. Four appendices list common conventions and clichés of superheroes on screen, incarnations, a sampling of memorable superhero ad-lines, and the best, worst, and most influential superhero productions from 1951 to 2003. Mr. Muir’s Horror Films of the 1970s (2002) was selected as one of the thirteen "Reference Books of the Year" by the American Library Association.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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