June 2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia        home  /  Join Mailing List

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  Avon/Eos  

Forge of Heaven by C.J. Cherryh (Avon/Eos HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Edward Carmien [carmien@mac.com] Issue: 0604
Second in "Gene War" series, following "Hammerfall". Interstellar nanotech warfare has left Human and Ondat Empires with an uneasy truce, and the war has left ruined worlds in its wake. Only Marat, a desert world that barely survived the devastation stands a chance of recovery, a recovery that is critical for the continued peace of both spheres.

Absolution Gap by Alastair Reynolds (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04) Following Redemption Ark and finishing up the trilogy begun in Revelation Space - Book Description: Ancient killing machines, designed to locate and destroy any life form reaching a certain level of intelligence, have been stirred from eons of sleep. Their latest target: Humanity. Seeking refuge on an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on war veteran Clavain and his ragtag companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse…

Robot Dreams by Isaac Asimov (Ace / Penguin Putnam Trade $ 14 06/01/04)
I'm thrilled that the upcoming I Robot film has spurred Ace to reprint this collection of Asimov short stories, not all of which are about Robots by a long shot. Of course some are, and they're terrific too, but my favorites, "Eyes Do More Than See", "Billiard Ball", and the top of the heap - "A Feeling of Power". When I was first reading SF, it was common knowledge that alphabet stood for Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke. Reading this collection you'll see that it was appropriate that Isaac lead the list.

Baen  Ballantine 

Dead Lines by Greg Bear (Ballantine Books / Random House HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Bill Herriman Issue: 0604
Either Greg Bear is bringing hard SF/techno elements to horror, or the other way around in this novel about a new cell phone technology that uses the unlimted bandwidth in the afterlife for a radical new communications technology. What I want to know is whether sending spam through Hell makes it worse than it already is?

 
Pawn of Prhophecy by David Eddings (Ballantine / Random House PPBK $ 6.99 06/01/04)
Book Description: WHILE THE DARK GOD SLEPT Long ago, so the Storyteller claimed, the evil God Torak sought dominion and drove men and Gods to war. But Belgarath the Sorcerer led men to reclaim the Orb that protected men of the West. So long as it lay at Riva, the prophecy went, men would be safe. But that was only a story, and Garion did not believe in magic dooms, even though the dark man without a shadow had haunted him for years. Brought up on a quiet farm by his Aunt Pol, how could he know that the Apostate planned to wake dread Torak, or that he would be led on a quest of unparalleled magic and danger by those he loved--but did not know? For a while, his dreams of innocence were safe, untroubled by knowledge of his strange heritage. For a little while . . . Thus begins the first book of The Belgariad, a magnificent epic of immense scope, set against a history of seven thousand years, of the struggles of Gods and Kings and men--of strange lands and events--of fate and a prophecy that must be fulfilled! --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Bantam-Spectra  

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanely Robinson (Bantam HCVR $ 25 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Ernest Lilley (editor@sfrevu.com) Issue: 0604
What do you do after finishing writing a detailed and award winning account of the terraforming of Mars? Well, after a bit of Alternate History (Years of Rice and Salt) and a visit to the South Pole (Antarctica), you could write a killer novel about what amounts to the terraforming of Earth. Set in the near future when Global Warming is really taking off, Robinson's new book asks if mankind has the tools and the will, to save itself from ecological disaster. Like many ideas that were once far fetched SF, this future seems all too likely.

A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli (Bantam PPBK $ 5.99 06/01/04)  Book Description: This lyrical tale of evil, loss, and redemption is a stunning addition to the Southern gothic tradition of Flannery O'Connor and Harry Crews. A Choir of Ill Children is the startling story of Kingdom Come, a decaying, swamp backwater that draws the lost, ill-fated, and damned. Since his mother's disappearance and his father's suicide, Thomas has cared for his three brothers'conjoined triplets with separate bodies but one shared brain and the town's only industry, the Mill. Because of his family's prominence, Thomas is feared and respected by the superstitious swamp folk. Granny witches cast hexes while Thomas's childhood sweetheart drifts through his life like a vengeful ghost and his best friend, a reverend suffering from the power of tongues, is overcome with this curse as he tries to warn of impending menace. All Thomas learns is that the carnival is coming. Torn by responsibility and rage, Thomas must face his tormented past as well as the mysterious forces surging toward the town he loves and despises.

Bad Move by Linwood Barclay (Bantam Dell HCVR $ 22 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Sherry Lilley Issue: 0604
In his debut fiction novel, columnist and author Linwood Barclay creates a humorous quirky guy next door character, a guy with his head in the clouds who spends more time thinking up stories about interstellar travel (yes, he's one of us) than pondering the odds of being killed in suburbia…until he finds a body by the brook and himself enmeshed in a whodunit with a mounting

Lord of Snow and Shadow by Sarah Ash (Spectra PPBK $ 6.99 06/01/04) Reviewer: Iain Emsley Issue: 0604 From Iain's review: Sarah Ash delivers a slant-wise retelling of the Dracula myth in Lord Of Snow And Shadows, Book One Of The Tears Of Artamon. Young Gavril Andar, a painter with the soul of a poet, falls hopelessly in love with the Astasia, the beautiful heiress whose portrait he is commissioned to paint for her prospective bridegroom, Prince Eugene of Tielen. But dark forces are at work in Gavril’s life; before he can finish the painting, he is snatched away by the druzhina, warriors from the far northern land of Azhkendir. (more…)

CDS   DAW  
 
Sirius - The Dog Star by Martin H.Greenberg (ed) (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 06/01/04)
Right up front editor Martin Greenberg tells us that he's not really a dog person, and that friends looked at him oddly when he told them he was doing an anthology about dogs in fantasy and science fiction. There are plenty of cat anthologies, he explains, and dogs deserve equal time. I agree. I’m not a cat person, though I've lived with a few (it's amazing what men will do for women) and a collection of dog stories is a welcome sight for me, even if the hopeless romantic nature of dogdom leads them into harms way all too often. Anyway, this collection of seventeen stories is a lot of fun if you're a dog lover, and might help you understand us (though probably not) if you're not. This is a friendly collection of stories, often as much about loss as love, and about where concepts like duty and honor come from. Recommended.

Del Rey 

Star Wars - The Cestus Deception - A Clone Wars Novel by Steven Barnes (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 25.95 06/01/04)
A year after the "attack of the clones" Obi-Wan Kenobi goes on a mission to a world preparing to produce bio-mech warrior droids with the speed and reflexes of a Jedi and the touchness of steel frames which they will sell to the Confederacy of Independet Systems to protect them agains the growing dominance of the Republic. Caught between the Emperor and his concience, Obi-Wan is sent to negotiate a peaceful settlement if possible, and a bloodbath if not.

Lost and Found by Alan Dean Foster (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 25.95 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Jeffrey J. Lyons Issue: 0604
This is the first book in what promises to be a terrific YA series, reminicent of classic SF like Heinlein's "Have Space Suit Will Travel" and Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time". It all starts when a young commodities trader goes camping and never comes home…having been taken by aliens to be sold to a collector of primitive life forms. Good thing he finds humankind's best friend, a talking dog, with whom to plot an escape.

Catwoman by Elizabeth Hand (Del Rey / Random House PPBK $ 6.99 06/01/04) Somehow I think of Elizabeth Hand as a serious writer…and the crouching Halle Berry Catwoman cover seems at odds with this image. Which is not to say that I don't enjoy the image of Ms. Berry in her shredded leather togs, but I don't take them all that seriously either. Hey, read the book for fun or pass on it if you rather. Hand does a perfectly good job with it, but I'm still suffering from cognitive dissonance, or maybe just the scent of catnip.

Harper Collins   Orb  

Pocket Books / Simon and Schuster

Strange New Worlds VII by Dean Wesley Smith (ed) (Pocket Books Trade $ 14.95 06/29/04)
The seventh fan written anthology of Star Trek stories includes offerings from all five TV show universes, from the days of Kirk to those of Janeway…and back to Archer, or sideways more likely. It's fun to visit with friends, both the ones in the stories and the ones who wrote them, all bound by the common affection for a universe where we've boldly gone before.

Roc

Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy by Al Sarrantonio, Ed (Roc / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Edward Carmien Issue: 0604
If you enjoyed Redshift (see review) the ambitious editor's anthology ala Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions, you'll want to read Flights, in which he dared a collection of top fantasy authors (Neil Gaiman, Tim Powers, Harry Turtledove, Gene Wolfe and more) and dared them to write something to set the standard for literary fantasy in this century. It's an impressive collection of top authors and easily qualifies as a must read.

Starscape
 
Dragon and Soldier by Timothy Zahn (Starscape / Tom Doherty HCVR $ 17.95 06/01/04) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley (editor@sfrevu.com) Issue: 0604 A terrific romp on the heels of the first Dragonback book: Dragon and Thief (See Review) in the fist book we met Drayco, a dragon-poet-warrior-symbiote, who lives in more than one dimension, or less than three. Specifically, he needs to attach himself as a two dimensional living tatoo onto a living creature periodically to survive. After the battleship he's on is destroyed he selects a young human thief named Jack to latch onto and their adventures begin. Jack's not really a thief, just a kid pressed into service by an "uncle". Now he's got a higher mission: to find out who killed Drayco's people. Since mercenaries were involved, Jack (and Drayco) become soldiers, which gets more complicated than they imagined, and they've can imagine a lot. It's YA, priced affordably, and highly recommended.

Calix Stay by Niel Hancock (Starscape / Tom Doherty Trade $ 5.99 06/01/04)
Book Description: Welcome to Atlanton Earth! In the tumultuous third saga of their epic adventures, Broco the Dwarf and his companions, Otto and Bear, must avoid capture by the dark forces. For in their care they possess the sacred Arkenchest, and it must be saved . . . at any cost. Their only hope of reaching safety is a desperate race to the Calix Stay. But can they cross its rushing waters in time?

Tor  

Lost Lands of Witch World by Andre Norton (Tor HCVR $ 0 06/01/04)
Book Description: In the 1960s Andre Norton's career took a fateful and important turn. Having written adventure science fiction for almost thirty years, she turned to something new, science-fantasy, with Witch World. This unique world of sorceresses and the many others who fight such adversaries as the Kolder, the Hounds of Alizon and other threats, has proven to be Miss Norton's most beloved and popular creation. Three Against the Witch World, Warlock of the Witch World , and Sorceress of the Witch World, the fourth, fifth, and sixth novels in the series, have long been recognized as novels that comprise the core of the series, along with the first three novels.

Innocents Abroad by Gene Wolf (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 06/01/04)
Book Description: Gene Wolfe may be the single best writer in fantasy and SF today. His quotes and reviews certainly support that contention, and so does his impressive short fiction oeuvre. Innocents Aboard gathers fantasy and horror stories from the last decade that have never before been in a Wolfe collection. Highlights from the twenty-two stories include "The Tree is my Hat," adventure and horror in the South Seas, "The Night Chough," a Long Sun story, "The Walking Sticks," a darkly humorous tale of a supernatural inheritance, and "Houston, 1943," lurid adventures in a dream that has no end. This is fantastic fiction at its best.

Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Sam Lubell  (see review) From the title, I thought that Larry Niven had gone and lent out the Ringworld to a collection of other authors, but no…it's an honest to Wu Ringworld novel (if a bit thin, at 288 pgs.) from the master of N-Space himself. The first in ten years. Louis Wu awakes to find that his body has been restored to youth by nanotech and a protector is calling the shots. Rejuved and with a cast of Ringworld's own offspring, Wu is out to save Ringworld (again) but this time from dangers without. Niven has had a lot of time to think about further developments since The Ringworld Engineers, and it's a pleasure to be back on the largest structure in known space. How can you not be excited about a book like this?

Newton's Wake by Ken Macleod (Tor HCVR $ 17.99 06/01/04) Reviewer: Iain Emsley [iain@austgate.co.uk] Issue: 0604
US Edition - From Iain's Review: Space Opera has come of age in the hands of British writers – just consider what M John Harrison and Iain Banks have delivered over the last few years. Macleod has rightly had his supporters and Newton's Wake shows that he has matured into a great writer. He has thoroughly explored the Left Wing political stance and this stand alone novel shows that he can move into new areas with the subgenre. (See Review)

 
The Skinner by Neal Asher (Tor HCVR $ 26.95 06/01/04) Reviewer: EJ McClure Issue: 0604 US Edition - Following its 2002 UK release and much acclaim, Asher's second book (his first was Gridlinked, and that was great too) comes The Skinner, a story about the confluence of galactic and local events on a deadly waterworld where warcrimes of half a century ago are going to be paid for…by someone. The numerous quotes for this title suggest that it's sort of Deathworld meets Master and Commander, ant that it should not be missed for fans of either fast paced action or high quality writing.


The Silent House by Ed Greenwood (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)  Book Description: In the Band of Four series that started with The Kingless Land, Ed Greenwood introduced the land of Aglirta through the exploits of a band of four brave adventurers. But this world has not yet revealed all its tales. The Silvertree Stronghold is more than just the family estate of the feared and awed Silvertree dynasty whose wizardly powers and political cunning has survived through many generations. But with their power comes a curse. A curse more terrifying than rival warlords or the mystical threats of the dreaded faceless -- an inward corruption of the soul that binds one's power to a downward spiral of madness and magic.


The First Heroes by Harry Turtledove and Noreen Doyle (eds) (Tor HCVR $ 25.95
I like the premise in this collection of 14 stories about early heroes - that the Bronze age has been mined by fantasy authors from Howard to Tolkien, creating their own versions of the time when human mastery of the world took off, and just before the age of steel. Turtledove and Egyptologist Doyle have assembled stories about the real Bronze age, some which entertain as tales of heroes should, and some, like the poignant tale by the late Poul Anderson, illuminate the interaction between bronze technology and culture far better than any lengthy text could. Recommended.

 
Redeeming The Lost by Elizabeth Kerner (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 06/01/04)
Book Description: The prophecies are coming true and the ancient race of the Kantri-or true dragons-have come back to the world of Men. It was through the actions of Young Lanen Kaelar that the Kantri were reminded of the larger world. It was bravery (and a mad belief in the old tales) that caused the young woman to start a perilous journey to find the great dragons of legend. In doing so, she found not only the reality of the myth but her own true love. He was the great Dragon King, an immensely powerful creature out of time who ultimately chose life over death, a puny mortal form rather than the power of a kingship to be with this most extraordinary woman. As he is Dragon in Man's form, the being known as Varien has risked much to stay by Lanen's side.

Thinner Than Thou by Kit Reed (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 06/16/04)

If you thought the Handmaiden's Tale was chilling, you've got to read Thinner Than Thou, a story about the not too implausible world of any second now, when body worship has come out of the closet to replace religion, and the rewards of your pain are to be had in the afterfat…where you'll be able to eat all you want with no effects. But the megachurch that has sprung up to feed the desires of the masses conceals dark secrets and their work has just begun…

The Wild Reel by Paul Brandon (Tor Trade $ 14.95 06/01/04)
Natasha Newlyn lives on the far west coast of Ireland a young artist painting to music only she can hear, full of wild jigs and aye, reels that fuel her artistic vision. But the music isn't all in her head, it's the music of the Faries, and their King is looking to wed…Brandon has been widely praised as a rising star in the folklore fantasy realm, with a powerful and passionate voice.

The Wild Wood by Charles de Lint (Tor Trade $ 13.95 06/01/04)
Back in print after ten years, it's hailed as one of De Lint's best early works. A young painter acclaimed by the art world goes to Canada to refind her muse, which she does, as she becomes enmeshed in the world of the faires and the crisis that may lead to their extinction.

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (Tor HCVR $ 0 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Katherine Darnell Issue: 0604
Published in the UK in 2000, this is the first in an epic series that has taken fantasy by storm. From the description of the UK edition: "The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake, lord of Moon's Spawn, and his Tiste Andii. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving sorceress of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out and it is to this ancient citadel that Lassen turns her predatory gaze. However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand… "

Memory by Linda Nagata (Tor Trade $ 14.95 06/15/04) Now out in paperback. Nagata's tale of an artificial world where all is indeed a stage, thought the players may not yet know their parts, or what parts they played in past lives. Those live are very real though, and their talents, family and friends follow them incarnation after incarnation.

The Pixel Eye by Paul Levinson (Tor Trade $ 14.95 06/17/04) Reviewer: Ed Carmien Issue: 0308 (See Review) Now out in Trade Paperback. Phil D'Amoto, the forensic detective hero of the Silk Code, The Consciousness Plague and The Chronology Protection Case is back keeping NYC safe from the unique dangers dreamed up by Paul Levinson. Phil's been assigned to some bizarre cases before, tracking a virus that wipes out memory, or knowledge that the universe itself will kill to suppress, but this time he's on a case that's more than a little squirrelly, in fact he's got to find out who's implanting the tree climbing rodents of Central Park with sophisticated surveillance gadgets, and what's behind it? Levinson's ability to look fifteen minutes into the future has never been better, and I'm glad that he and Phil D'Amato are on the case.

Wesleyan   Other Publishers

Breathmoss by Ian R. MacLeod (Golden Gryphon Press HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)

Book Description: This collection of literary short fiction combines fantasy, science fiction, and horror in vivid settings, peopled with ordinary humans with normal relationships, and the interaction of the mundane with the fantastic. In "Breathmoss," a young girl must cope with the relationship with her family, love, and a community set in rigid custom, where males are a rarity. In "Verglas," a man must decide to leave his humanity by going native on an ice world or abandon his family. The events leading to the formation of the current government, the repression of Jews and homosexuals, and the horrors of being a closet homosexual in such a regime are examined in "The Summer Isles." Other stories encompass a scientist who searches for extraterrestrial intelligence; a rigid, aged man finding magic by a pool; and an 18-year-old girl who gains the reputation of being a death flower during WWII.

Secret Life by Jeff VanderMeer (Golden Gryphon Press HCVR $ 24.95 06/01/04)

Book Description This collection of 23 stories reflects a diversity of approaches to key questions about the human condition, including questions about mortality, love, obsession, and creativity. "Balzac's War" is a harrowing, powerful far-future novella that pits brother against brother in a landscape ravaged by war with Earth's newly sentient human-made species. In 13th-century Cambodia, a lone artist is torn between his love of his craft and his unspoken love for a woman in "The Bone Carver's Tale." In "The Emperor's Reply" and "The Compass of His Bones," set in 17th-century Peru, the last Incan Emperor, having brutally fallen at the hands of the Conquistadores, seeks his revenge. 
As Timeless As Infinity by Tony Albarella (ed) (Gauntlet HCVR $ 66 06/01/04)
Reviewer: Drew Bittner Issue: 0604
There's a signpost up ahead, and the publication of the first volume of the complete Twilight Zone scripts of Rod Serling. These are the complete shooting scripts from the series, unaltered by the demands of production and straight from the mind of Rod Serling. I found reading these to be even more interesting than watching the show, and that's going some. There are also some great publicity photos and tributes from people who knew Serling or worked on the show. Sure it's 66 bucks, but what else are you going to spend your money on - in the twilight zone?

Ancestors of Avalon by Bradley's Marion Zimmer, Diana L. Paxson (Viking / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 25.95 06/01/04) Book Description: Once again, Diana L. Paxson has beautifully elaborated on Marion Zimmer Bradley’s beloved Avalon saga with this dramatic new installment, which for the first time reveals the past of the ancestors of Avalon, from their beginnings on the doomed island of Atlantis to their escape to the mist-shrouded isle of Britain. It follows the extraordinary journey of two powerful women whose destinies will shape the fates of their physical and spiritual descendants: Tiriki, a high priestess exiled by the fall of Atlantis, torn between the claims of love and duty, and Damisa, a young acolyte of royal blood, tempted by ambition to forsake her spiritual path.

The Exiles of Damaria - Riddles and Dreams by Ardath Mayhar (Image Publishing Trade $9.95 06/01/04) Reviewer: Madeline Yeh Issue: 0604
Book Description: The Ancient Race has ruled in Damaria for three thousand years, since arriving there from their old homeland in the south. Long-lived, yet not very prolific, the Kings of Damaria have brought several animal species to a point at which they are nearly human. A son, by one of these people, of the present King, Armor, was sent south for his education. On his return he foments a revolution against the Ancient Race, resulting in the deaths of all of that family except Riddle the Poet and his very young nephew Lute, as well as the theft of the Orb, an instrument that made possible manipulations of the different species in Damaria. Riddle and his nephew flee to the forest, where they join with the Turnig, burrowers now hunted by the New People for their fur. Together, they hope to travel north and west to the City in the Mist, where they will be able to take ship for the Western Islands, refuge of many of the Ancient Race over the millennia. They are joined by Moonlight the Dreamer, and Gorhoz the Goremin, along with Kilelli, one of the primate-descended beings. Together the strangely assorted group of beings wins its way through perils, blizzards, and soul-endangering encounters before reaching their goal at last, though they pay a dreadful price before the journey is completed.

Windy Wildwood - The Secret in the Attic by R.Frie and K. Zaharadnik (zahrob publishing Trade $ 9.95 06/01/04) Book Description: Windy Wildwood: The Secret in the Attic is a young adult fantasy book in which a ten-year-old girl discovers a secret gift passed onto her from her grandmother. With this gift, she finds she can experience endless adventures.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia                    home  /  subscribe