May 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 - Avon/Eos - Baen - Ballantine - Bantam/Spectra - CDS - DAW - Del Rey - Harper Collins - Orb - Pocket - Roc - Tor - Wesleyan - Other Publishers

Ace 

The Child Goddess by Louise Marley (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 05/01/04)
Book Description: A priest and anthropologist, Isabel Burke has been called to the barren planet of Virimund. The ExtraSolar Corporation, developing Virimund as an energy source, has encountered an "incident" that has stopped their work...There is human life on Virimund after all-and there are children born here who do not age. One little girl has been captured by ExtraSolar, which hopes to discover the secret to her ageless existence. For ExtraSolar, she's a resource to be used and discarded. But for Isabel, she's an innocent who needs help...

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 19.95 05/04/04)
Reviewer: Nicky Lynch Issue: 0504
If you're a vampire fan, who's got a taste for "style, wit, and warmth", you'll find these stories about vampires of the south dripping with charm, eroticism, and even the occasional bit of terror. In this fourth installment, cocktail waitress and mind reader Sookie Stackhouse has given her vampire boyfriend the boot and sworn off supernatural intrigues. Like that's going to happen. Some New Year's resolutions are made to be broken, as she finds out when she almost runs over a naked man she knows to be a vampire, but who doesn't know anything anymore…because he's got amnesia. Interesting stuff for sure.

The Light Ages: A Novel by Ian R. MacLeod (Ace / Penguin Putnam Trade $ 14 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
About an industrial revolution based on the discovery of the magical aether with all the grim consequences industrial revolutions are wont to have, If you're a fan of Swanwick, Powers, Mieville and their ilk, Ian MacLeod's second novel should enchant you. John Berlyne reviewed the UK edition.

Avon/Eos  

Superluminal by Tony Daniel (Avon/Eos HCVR $ 25.95 05/01/04) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 0504
Following the acclaimed Metaplanetary, continues the saga of the posthuman solar system caught up in a conflict between the inner system planets and the independent outer worlds. It's a brilliant piece of Space Opera, showing that a story can be full of adventure and depth at the same time.

King of Foxes : Conclave of Shadows: Book Two by Raymond E. Feist (Avon/Eos HCVR $ 24.95 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
In this second volume of the Conclave of Shadows series, Tal Hawkins, last of his people, returns to his lands, now under the rule of the Duke, who wiped out Tal's people. To destroy his nemesis, Tal must pose as a nobleman and work his way into the confidence of the Duke, but to do will he abandon his own moral code, and if he does how is he different from the man he hates? Feist writes an engaging and compelling tale of revenge in what continues to be an excellent series.

Baen   Ballantine  Bantam-Spectra  

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong (Bantam-Spectra PPBK $ 6.99 05/04/04)
Reviewer: Cathy Green Issue: 0504
The first two stories in Armstrong's engaging series of hard-bitten supernatural heroines, Bitten and Stolen, were about a female werewolf, and evoked comparisons with Anne Rice and Stephen King. This new story introduces us to Paige Winterbourne, a 23 year old witch who finds herself head of the powerful American Coven of Witches, whether she (or they) like it or not. In addition to a collection of older witches that would rather not give her the time of day, Paige has to ride herd on a young and talented charge, wilder than she ever was, which takes some doing, and all too willing to be seduced by the dark arts.

Eye of the Labyrinth : Book 2 of The Second Sons Trilogy by Jennifer Fallon (Bantam PPBK $ 6.99 05/04/04)
Reviewer: Madeline Yeh  Issue: 0504
The Second of the Second Son Trilogy, a story set o a planet with two merciless suns and a one capricious king, The Lion of Senet. It's the story of the conflict between rational man (the second son) and religious man (the Lion) as new seeks to supplant old.

Berkley Publishing Group

 
The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter by David Colbert (Berkley Pub Group Trade $ 14 05/01/04) Reviewer: Edward Carmien Issue: 0504
Colbert, who also wrote "The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Rings " (See Review) brings us a revised and updated version of his treatise on the real world etiology of the magic in young Mr. Potter's world.(See Review)

CDS   DAW  

Survival by Julie E. Czerneda (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Madeline Yeh  Issue: 0504
Mackenzie Conner is a biologist who's happy with her work in the Northwest studying salmon, but somehow she's about to wind up the only human on an alien homeworld working to uncover the causes of great rifts of dead space where civilizations once flourished, and which might include soon include Earth.

Faerie Tales by Martin H.Greenberg (ed), Russel Davis (ed) (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
A dozen tales of Faerie folk rubbing shoulders with mortals from Charles DeLint, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Tanya Huff and others.

Broken Cresent by S. Andrew Swann (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04) Reviewer: Jeffrey J. Lyons Issue: 0504
Former teen-hacker Nate Black thinks he left his past behind when he went to college to get a degree in computer science so he could get a job in network security, which he already knew something about. But when someone who knows his hacker name of Azreal starts stalking him and he tries to run he winds up in a medieval world where humans hold an alien race in slavery and power lies in the hands of those who could do magic. Someone has arranged for him to come here, and he'd like to know who.

Magic's Silken Snare by Elizabeth Gilligan (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
Book Description They are skilled in the ways of seduction and deception, magic and curses...They are masters in the trade of fine silk, and in the fatal art of poisoning...They are villains and heroes, outlaws and lovers, dreamers and schemers...Legend will call them Gypsies. The Silken Magic saga begins... In her full-length fiction debut, short story writer ElizaBeth Gilligan sweeps readers away to a dazzling 17th-century Sicily-and to a mythical kingdom across the water known as Tyrrhia. It is a world in which magic has the power to shape the course of history-and love has the power to unravel it. Where religions rise, governments fall, and the only thing more powerful than a Gypsy's passion...is a Gypsy's curse.

Dell / Bantam

The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler (Dell / Bantam / Mass Market HCVR $ 22 05/04/04) This is a terrific, horrific thriller in which the likes of Harry Houdini, Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft and others of their time form their own league of extraordinary gentlefolk, and combat horrors as rich as any that they could imagine.

Del Rey 

Manga! From Del Rey Books & Kodansha. Last year Del Re annouced an agreement with Japanese publishing Giant Kodansha to publish translations of Manga, Japanese graphic novels. The exciting thing about this relationship is that Del Rey is doing everything they can to remain faithful to the original works, keepng honorifics and much of the original culural content intact, using endnotes and explanations to clue the readre in. Opening the books shows a message informing readers that they're going the wrong way on a one way street - true to the originals, the books are read right to left, or back to front, depending on how you look at it. It's a cool concept and I wish them well. (I should probably mention that they're all episodic - ending with "continued in the next volume...")

Gundam Seed by Masatsugu Iwase (Ballantine / Random House Trade $ 10.95 05/01/04)
Art: Masatsugu Iwase / Story: HajimeYadate and Yoshiyukui Tomino
In this official adaptation of the Cartoon Network's Gundam Seed series war rages between genetically enhanced humans and "naturals". The unmodified humans struggle to match the technology of the "Coordinators" and to create their own Gundam mobile suits. Irony steps in when a coordinator finds himself manning the prototype and fighting to save his friends from his own kind. 

Negima by Ken Akamatsu (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 10.95 05/01/04)
From the outside this looks something like Harry Potter goes to a girls school to teach magic, but actually Ten year old wizard prodigy Negi has been sent to teach English at an all girls school. I'm sure this would make more sense if I broke the plastic seal that keeps underage eyes from reading, but I have the feeling I'd get to see more of these japanese schoolgirls than I'm ready for.

xxxHolic by CLAMP (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 10.95 05/01/04)
Don't ask me who CLAMP is, but they created Cardcaptorp Sakua and Chobits. No, don't ask me what they were either. Yes, I'm sure I'll find out soon enough. Anyway, I do know that in xxxHolic you'll encounter witches, ghosts and spirits and a young man who gets tricked into working for a witch. Oh yes, and visitors from the a land called Clow. But I liked this one quite a bit actually.
 

TSUBASA - RESIVoir CHRoNiCLE by CLAMP (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 10.95 05/01/04) Look - it's another one by CLAMP, and it features the folks from Clow again. It starts out in an archeologica dig in Clow, which is already an alternate reality, and proceeds on through alternate alternate realities each stranger than the next. Some even look like ours.

Riddick by Alan Dean Foster (Ballantine / Random House PPBK $ 6.99 05/27/04) Reviewer: Jeffrey J. Lyons Issue: 0504
Vin Diesel's Riddick anti-hero character made the movie Pitch Black more than just another B SF flick, and now Vin/Riddick is back in a new film facing a planet where the darkness doesn't come from a lack of light, but from the army of subjugation known as the Necromongers. Alan Dean Foster was tapped to create an "officially endorsed expansion" of the movie.

Spider-Man 2 by Peter David (Del Rey / Random House PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04) You've seen the trailers, now read the book! Spider-Man 2  (the movie) opens June 30th, but I doubt that fans will have their fun spoiled by reading the book. Peter David is always good for this sort of thing, and the combination of Spidey's standard angst, Doc Oks' mechano tentacles, and the ever popular Mary Jane plotline should make this at least as cool as the first movie. So go ahead. Peek. Then, if your curiosity isn't satisfied, read Caught in the Web by Mark Cotta Vaz (Del Rey / Random House Other $ 27.95 05/01/04) for the making of the movie.

Harper Collins   Orb  

The Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson (Orb Trade $ 14.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Judy Newton Issue: 0506 Book Description: Others have written SF on the theme of immortality, but in The Boat of a Million Years, Poul Anderson made it his own. Early in human history, certain individuals were born who live on, unaging, undying, through the centuries and millenia. We follow them through over 2000 years, up to our time and beyond-to the promise of utopia, and to the challenge of the stars. A milestone in modern science fiction, a New York Times Notable Book on its first publication in 1989, this is one of a great writer's finest works.

Pocket Books / Simon and Schuster

Andor and Cardassia - Worlds of Star Trek Deep Space Nine Volume One by Una McCormack and Heather Jarman (Pocket Books PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04)
Andor and Cardassia are the first two worlds visited by this new DS9 based series, which will study different alien cultures in depth over its run of three volumes with two worlds each.

A Time to Love by Robert Greenberfer (Pocket Books PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04) In the continuing "Time To…" series that takes place just before Star Trek Nemesis, Riker confronts his estranged father on a world that faces slow death.

Roc  

Red Slippers by Dennis McKiernan (Roc / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 05/01/04) Reviewer: Bill Lawhorn  Issue: 0504
"More tales of Mithgar", the title promises. The Red Slippers in question are a reference to a an Inn that the author refers to several times in his Mithigarian series, and around its hearth you will find gathered travelers with a pint at hand and a story ready to while away the long night. Fans of the many tales set in this mythic land should enjoy the collection, as well as offering a painless entry into McKiernan's world to those unfamiliar with it.

Covenants - A Borderlands Novel by Lorna Freeman (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 7.5 05/01/04) Reviewer: Barry Newton Issue: 0504
Ms. Freemans debut novel of the borderlands, a place outside civilized, or at least settled country, where "magicks" of all description live, features the tale of a young trooper named Rabbit. Though he's tried to hide it from his mates, young Rabbit is of noble blood, though he's also the farmboy he claims to be since his family left the courts behind and turned to live on the Border. Thanks to his dual nature, he's the perfect choice to find out what's behind the killings of magical beings in the Borderlands before they rise up against the mudane world. Again.

Choice of the Cat by E. E. Knight (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
Following Way of the Wolf the first book in Knight's Vampire Earth series, where the Reapers, aliens who suck human souls and can't stand the light have turned Earth into a post-holocaust nightmare. It's well thought out and well written. The central character, Lt. David Valentine, is part of a resistance organization determined to free the world, but when you're facing alien vampires that shrug off bullets it's not an easy job. Especially when you're facing court martial for losing half your command and you're facing human alien hybrids that combine the best, or worst, of both.

Tor  

 
The Wanderer by Cherry Wilder and Katya Reimann (Tor HCVR $ 27.95 05/01/04)
Book Description: Cherry Wilder's The Rulers of Hylor series established a detailed and intricate fantasy world. Katya Reimann completed and polished this last Hylor novel, a tale of warring kingdoms, treacherous advisers and generational conflicts, set in a world of rich physical beauty, vibrant life and a realism leavened with occasional and startling magic. Gael Maddoc, the child of struggling peasants, leaps at the chance when she is offered training as a kedran, a mounted soldier. She wins glory bringing her charges home safe across a huge desert, seeking aid from the Shee. But the Shee--the dwindling Fair Folk--then recruit her for their own purposes. Her nascent magical talents and her resourcefulness show her to be the Wanderer, a legendary figure for whom they've been waiting.

The Silent War by Ben Bova (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Ernest Lilley  Issue: 0504
Book III of the Asteroid Wars finds the fight between the good guys (Astro Copr) and the bad guy (Martin Humphries) heating up in the asteroid belt and the stakes are for far more than the corporate domination of space, personal grudges, sex or politics…though all figures into the stories Fans of the series won't want to miss this finale. (Everyone else should rush to the bookstore and start reading from the beginning with The Precipice (See Review).

Alone with the Horrors by Ramsey Campbell (Tor HCVR $ 27.95 05/01/04)
Stephen King on Ramsey Campbell: "He is literate in a field that has attracted too many comic book intellects, cool in a field that tends toward panting melodrama by virtue of its subject matter, fluid in a field where many of the best practitioners fall prey to cant." ...You can't find a better introduction to Campbell's work than this attractive collection of 39 tales spanning 30 years, with photomontage illustrations by the award-winning J. K. Potter. Modern paranoia and identity confusion, wasted urban landscapes, surreal transitions between inner fears and real-life horrors--all in a terrifyingly enigmatic style

The Buried Pyramid by Jane Lindskold (Tor HCVR $ 26.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Alexis Gilliland Issue: 0504
Jenny Benet started out in the American Wild west, finished up at a Boston school after she was orphaned, and now she's off with her uncle, a "prominent British Archeologist" to search for the tomb of the pharaoh Neferankhotep, the "Buried Pyramid" in Egypt. Naturally there are others who'd like to find the site first, and just as naturally, or unnaturally as the case may be, there are people and things that would prefer the tomb never gets found.

The Ordinary by Jim Grimsley (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Judy Newton Issue: 0504
On one side of the Twill Gate lies Senal, an advanced technology world with thirty billion inhabitants and on the other is Irion, where wizards once ruled. The two worlds are steadily moving towards war as Senal looks eagerly to the sparsely inhabited Irion as a place to colonize and expand. Much to their surprise, they may be about to learn Clarke's Maxim about sufficiently advance technology the hard way, in a tale told by a gifted writer who evokes a LeGuininan sense of cultures clashing. Recommended.

 
Way Station by Steven F. McDonald (Tor HCVR $ 0 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
The crew of the Andromeda Ascendant is back with another adventure slipped between episodes of the TV show, specifically season 3 episode 4: Cui Bono. Sticking his nose into more trouble trying to return the galaxy to a happy family, Capt. Hunt winds up with the Andromeda out of commission and badly in need of some refit and repair. The frozen world he limps to once had a Commonwealth supply depot on it, and they have high hopes that it will be a dream come true, with supplies, weapons and parts for the damaged ship and weary crew. Instead it holds nightmares of its own. If you liked the show, you'll enjoy the greater depth that this quick read provides.

Far-Seer by Robert Sawyer (Tor Trade $ 14.95 05/01/04)
Tor is reprinting Rob Sawyer's Quintaglio Ascension, the parallel to Galileo's breaking away from the teaching of the church set on a world populated by the descendants of dinosaurs transported from Earth billenia ago. It's my favorite Sawyer series and the only thing better than reading them again would be for him to write a sequel where the Quints meet the descendants of those annoying little egg stealing mammals who flourished on Earth after they were whisked away by aliens.

Dreamfall by Joan D. Vinge (Tor Trade $ 15.95 05/01/04)
Book Description: Cat, the halfbreed telepath hero of Catspaw and Psion, joins a research team on Refuge, homeworld of his mother's people, the Hydrans. Immediately, he finds trouble when he helps a Hydran woman escape human pursuers. The decimated Hydran population of Refuge is confined to a bleak "homeland," by a huge corporate state, Tau Biotech. Tau also controls Refuge's one unique natural resource, "Dreamfall." The tangible residue of cast-off thoughts from beautiful, enigmatic "cloud whales," dreamfall forms vast reefs, sacred to the Hydrans, but mere exploitable data to Tau. Caught between Tau and desperate Hydrans who fight to reclaim their world, Cat must somehow forge the ruins of the past into a means to defeat Tau's brutality to save his people--and himself.

Wesleyan   Other Publishers

Crisscross by F. Paul Wilson (Gauntlet HCVR $55 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
Repairman Jack is back in his New York haunts, fixing difficult problems for folks who know how to find him. If you don't know Jack, he's kind of a PI, though in his case that can mean either Private or Psychic Investigator, or more often than not, both. In this story Jack takes on the case of a missing son, a disillusioned finance wizard that joined a cult religion and disappeared, as well as that of a nun who would like some pictures of her not to get around and a particularly despicable blackmailer who's looking to make a habit out of collecting from her. A blackmailer that Jack knows by coincidence, and Jack hates coincidences. These stories are gritty and addictive, and considering the price, they'd have to be…

Daydreams Undertaken by Stephen L. Antczak (Meisha Merlin / Marietta Publishing Trade $ 14.99 05/01/04) Reviewer: Colleen R. Cahill Issue: 0704
Allen Steele, author of "Coyote" - Antczak is a new writer worth watching, and may well become one of the leading voices of the new century. Piers Anthony - No formula here; these stories are different, sharp, and challenging. A fine collection. Book Description: From worlds existing only in computer memory to the edge of the universe and beyond, from castle walls to space station corridors, from the ultimate rock-n-roll hedonism to valiant heroism, and from supernatural creatures to alien visitors, critically-acclaimed writer Stephen L. Antczak takes you on fifteen journeys of the imagination. Each story features an introduction from the author. Includes five never-before-published stories.

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (Golden Gryphon Press HCVR $ 24.95 05/01/04)
Reviewer: Sam Lubell  Issue: 0504
Though it's taken a while for Charles Stross to move from short story author to novelist, he's jumped in with both feet as shown by the recent publishing of Singularity Sky (see review), the upcoming Iron Sunrise and the imminent Atrocity Archives. Atrocity takes the engaging premise that Alan Turing made a mathematical breakthrough in the 1940s which allowed the construction of gates driven by entropy to let Evil forces through from another plane. Oh, and the Nazis had it too. The story features a modern day deskjockey of a hacker who more often than not finds himself standing in the middle of the woods at night breaking and entering for British Intelligence, erasing the work of anyone who gets to close to Turing's discovery…or unleashing evil on the world. It's More fun that Cryptonomicon,, moves along faster…and weighs less too. Recommended.

Girls Who Bite Back by Emily Pohl-Weary (Sumach Press Trade $22.95 05/01/04)
Holy Butt-Kicking Babe, Batman! This is a terrific collection of stories, essays, drawings and other personal journeys - all about girls/women taking on true evil - the myth of female helplessness. As far as I'm concerned it was on its last legs anyway, but these fem-super-fatales take it down and don't stop kicking till it's so dead even Buffy won't have to worry about it. The quality may seem a bit uneven, but only if you came expecting some kind of pasteurized prose. This stuff is from deep inside the contributors and it's comes out kicking and screaming. My one and only gripe is that the cover fails the rest of the book. It would have made a fine piece on the inside, but there are a number of illustrators who contributed that could have done a much better job of bringing it on.

Dragons of Fantasy by Anne C. Petty (Open Road Pub Trade $ 14.95 05/01/04)
From our Ivory and Ivy column: In a lighter vein is Anne C. Petty’s Dragons Of Fantasy: Scaly Villains And Heroes In Modern Fantasy Literature. Petty, who has done some work on Tolkien in the past, presents a familiar type of text in the fantasy field done in a slightly more literary fashion. This good-sized text is inexpensive and should be of interest to fans of the Dragon. (see column)

Eden by Ken Wisman (Authorhouse PPBK $ 19.95 05/01/04)  The Author's note says: The Following speculative tracts contain a factual account and description of my hallucinogenic experiences from the years 1998, 1999 and 2000…in that three year time period, he went in search of Deity and wound up instead with a personal belief system and a novel as a by product.

The Unseen Force - The Films of Sam Rami by John Kenneth Muir (Applause Trade $ 18.95 05/01/04) Book Description: Following his highly successful °An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith° (Applause), John Kenneth Muir now turns to the life and work of legendary cult-film director Sam Raimi. Raimi exploded on the movie scene in 1982, when he was 23 years old, with the audacious, independently produced horror film °The Evil Dead°. Re-igniting the horror genre to such a degree that Wes Craven credited Raimi on-screen in °A Nightmare on Elm Street°, Raimi went on to direct two °Evil Dead° sequels, his own comic-book superhero, °Darkman°, and an over-the-top, post-modern western, °The Quick and the Dead°. Raimi's influence on other filmmakers continues to be enormous ¯ from the "shaky cam" shots of the Coen brothers to the early oeuvre of °Lord of the Rings° director Peter Jackson, both of whom have been termed the "direct progeny" of Raimi's works.In 2002, Raimi's °Spider-Man° had the biggest opening weekend in history, earning more than $114 million at the box office. °The Unseen Force° also features a sneak peek at the much anticipated °Spider-Man 2°.¶Included are 30 first-person accounts and interviews from a number of eclectic sources ¯ from the cinematographers who shot Raimi's early films to the producers, screenwriters, actors, special effects magicians and composers who collaborated to make his films the stuff of legend, earn mainstream success, and still be the focus of obsessive cult.

Those Who Survive by Kir Bulychev (Capricorn Publishing Trade $ 14.95 05/01/04)
Translated from its Russian publication, Those Who Survive tells the story of a group of colonists on a hostile planet 20 years after their starship crashed in the subarctic mountains. The survivors fled to the lowlands, where they found a deadly ecosystem but managed to survive and even to form new families. Now an expedition back to the starship faces perils and tragedies along the way as a new generation tries to reclaim their heritage.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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