August 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 - Roc - Tor - Wesleyan - Other Publishers


Strange Cargo by Jeffrey E. Barlough (Ace / Penguin Putnam 14.95 $ 14.95 08/01/04)
I like the tone of this alternate history story. I suspect fans of Sean McMullen will find Barlough very satisfying. - Ern Book Description: Set in a world where the Ice Age never ended and only a narrow coastline of civilization survives, where Victorian society exists alongside saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths, Strange Cargo is the newest and most darkly engrossing novel yet from the author of Dark Sleeper and The House in the High Wood…

Avon/Eos   Baen   Ballantine 


Camouflage by Joe Haldeman (Ace / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Ernest Lilley ( Issue: 0804
Haldeman drags a tale out of the depths just in time for some late summer reading with Camouflage, a story about the discovery of an alien spacecraft in a deep undersea trench, and of two shapeshifting creatures that have been walking the earth for millennia. After seeing generation after generation of human tragedy and suffering, one of the creatures has decided that there are better ways than violence…but the other has come to its own conclusion. It’s a fast paced adventure with high tech wreck recovery, an international "man"-hunt and lots of alien sex and violence. And it's fun.

The Bright and the Dark by Michelle M. Welch (Bantam Spectra PPBK $ 6.5 05/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0504
Following Confidence Game, her debut novel, The Bright and the Dark returns us to the land of Five Countries as Elzirith, who has seen the coming of a terrible plague, must save an exile from a land where science once ruled and the son of a Lord from deadly political intrigues before any of them can save the Five Countries.


A Flame in Hali by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 24.95 08/03/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804
Book Description: This brand-new novel of Darkover-a direct sequel to Zandru's Forge and the third book in the Clingfire trilogy-is the result of the late Marion Zimmer Bradley's collaboration with Deborah J. Ross. Set in the era of The Hundred Kingdoms, a lawless time of war and unrest on the planet Darkover, it is the epic tale of a legendary friendship forged between King and Keeper-a friendship that would ultimately bring about the end of all long distance weapons and the beginning of a new destiny for Darkover.

Fitzpatrick's War by Theodore Judson (Daw / Penguin Putnam HCVR $ 23.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804 Book Description: In the twenty-sixth century the world is a very different place. The United States and Canada are gone, replaced by the socially rigid, authoritarian Confederacy of the Yukon. Also gone is the electronic age-destroyed in the apocalyptic Storm Times that devastated the globe and decimated the world's population in the late twenty-first century. It is now, once again, an age of steam, an age of lighter-than-air craft, an age of feudalism and knighthood, and for some, an age of conquest. Fitzpatrick's War is the intimate memoir of Sir Robert Bruce, a close companion of Fitzpatrick the Younger, the greatest hero of the Yukons. Yukon History paints Fitzpatrick as a latter-day Alexander the Great, and calls Bruce a lying traitor. Was Robert Bruce a degenerate scoundrel...or the only man to tell his world the truth?

The Dragon Circle by Irene Radford (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804
Book Description: Book two of the star gods series Continuing the tale that began in The Hidden Dragon, this is the story of three Terran brothers who discover a fascinating world where dragons are real-and worshiped as gods.

ReVisions by Julie E. Czerneda (ed), Isaac Szpindel (ed) (Daw / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 08/01/04) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley  Issue: 0804
Julie Czerneda and Isaac Szpindel (obviously refugees from an Alternate Earth where everybody has a "z" in their name) host a tour of fifteen alternate pasts, presents, and futures where things turned out differently. There are realities in here that will give you pause, where the world turned on a twist of fate you never saw coming. And there's a lesson in all this. If one act can make a difference, and these stories makes you think it might, then what have you done lately to change the future?

Del Rey 

The Charnel Prince by Greg Keyes (Del Rey / Random House HCVR $ 23.95 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Madeline Yeh Issue: 0804
EJ McClure reviewed the first book in this series last year (The Briar King: See Review) and said with "absolute assurance that the blurbs on the book jacket don’t do justice to this splendid fantasy novel. Like Keyes’ earlier works, The Blackgod/Waterborn and the Age of Unreason tetrology, The Briar King is a heady blend of legend and history, spiced up with great action, a poignant love story and a tart twist of humor." She also said that a year was too long to wait for the sequel, but time passes and here it is.

Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad by Minister Faust (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 14.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 0804
This is a culture crossing wet fish in the face kind of book that you don't expect to see until it winds up on your doorstep and even then you're not sure it's real. Minister Faust (really) an "Afro-Canadian" poet, playwright, and agitator throws afro culture, fanboyism, pulp fiction and the terrible letdown of reality ("didn't you think that by the time we were twenty-five we'd've done something important…not working shit jobs and watching…Space 1999?") as well as being a sharp urban fantasy where something important is going to happen all too soon when a 7,000 year old supermodel, a bunch of trek saturated street toughs and some art dealers out to take over, well, everything, mix it up with our heroes...the Coyote Kings. Things may never be the same, for characters or readers.

The Language of Power by Rosemary Kirstein (Del Rey / Random House Trade $ 14.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Madeleine Yeh Issue: 0804 (abstract to come)

Harper Collins Orb -

Pocket Books / Simon and Schuster  

Dragon Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandio (Pocket Books PPBK $ 6.99 08/01/04)
Leave it to Keith R. A. DeCandido to form an unholy hybrid out of affections for CSI and the Lord of the Rings. I suppose somebody had to do it sooner or later, and I'm glad it was Keith, as we can be assured that it will be fun. The members of a heroic quest are being killed off in the city of Cliff's End, and the usual suspects are all present: humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes…even halflings. It all starts when a heroic warrior is slain, but not on the field of battle swinging his bright sword. Instead Gan Brightsword if found dead in his room as the Dog and Duck, dead on the floor with a broken neck. Detectives Wyvald and Tresyllione of the King's Guard hope this will be an easy case to solve, but they doubt it. And it had better not involve magic, because they hate magic. The real trick will be to see if Keith can combine fantasy and mystery without exceeding our willful suspension of disbelief.


Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804
This second book of the weather wardens, contemporary fantasy about djinns and mages that control, among other things the elements of earth, air, wind and water finds our heroine, Joanne, dead and djinnified, still tooling along in her 1997 Dodge Viper, Mona, though now it's more or less invisible and never needs gas. She's still an adrenaline junky though, and even if she's not really human anymore that mysterious stranger in the passenger seat still makes her feel the force of other hormones, or their ethereal equivalents. Then there's the matter of saving the Earth. Evidentially you don't get to rest just because you're dead.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (Roc / Penguin Putnam PPBK $ 6.99 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Drew Bittner Issue: 0804
Wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is back! When people start dying mysteriously around an adult film producer, a vampire calls in some favors and puts Harry in harm’s way. Can Dresden figure out who wants this producer dead, before his own number comes up? And with war raging between vampires and wizards, is now really the best time for Chicago’s only publicly-listed wizard to get involved where vampires are concerned? Drew Bittner reviews this August release from Roc.

Year's Best Fantasy and Horror - Seventeenth Annual Collection by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gevin J. Grant (eds) (St. Martin's Press Trade $ 19.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804
Book Description: For more than a decade, readers have turned to The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror to find the most rewarding fantastic short stories. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling continue their critically acclaimed and award-winning tradition with another stunning collection of stories. The fiction and poetry here is culled from an exhaustive survey of the field, nearly four dozen stories ranging from fairy tales to gothic horror, from magical realism to dark tales in the Grand Guignol style. Rounding out the volume are the editors' invaluable overviews of the year in fantasy and horror, new Year's Best sections on comics, by Charles Vess, and on anime and manga, by Joan D. Vinge, and a long list of Honorable Mentions, making this an indispensable reference as well as the best reading available in fantasy and horror.


The Dark Ascent by Walter Hunt (Tor HCVR $ 25.95 08/01/04)
Reviewer: Bruce Wallace Issue: 0804
Walter H. Hunt has nearly twenty years experience in high tech as a software engineer and technical writer. His writing reflects an abiding interest in history, his area of college study, but science fiction has been his favorite reading material since he watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon when he was but a lad. He is an active freemason and a lifelong baseball fan. He lives in eastern Massachusetts with his wife and daughter. The Dark Ascent is his third novel.

Elegy for Lost Star by Elizabeth Haydon (Tor HCVR $ 27.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804 Book Description: Elegy for a Lost Star sets the stage for a major turning point in the Symphony of Ages series. The dragon Anwyn--who has lain for three years in deathlike sleep in a grave of rock and black coal is freed by the cataclysm that concluded REQUIEM FOR THE SUN. sisoriented and confused, she remembers only two things-the person who trapped her in dragon form and locked her in the grave-Rhapsody-and an all-encompassing desire to wreak vengeance. Meanwhile, Achmed, the Firbolg king, resumes rebuilding the his shattered home, while a guild of merciless assassins set about taking revenge on him for the killing of their leader. A horribly deformed but magical being finds its way through a carnival of freaks to the palace of an evil despot, who sees in it the potential to be the instrument by which his plans of conquest and brutal domination of a continent will be realized. With the rise of new leaders, good and evil, the long-awaited birth of the Child of Time, the dark plans of assassins and rulers, a confrontation that shakes the relationship of the Three, and a battle to the death between two dragons of unimaginable elemental power, the seeds of chaos are planted for a war that will, by its end, consume half of the world.

Crucible by Nancy Kress (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Ernest Lilley Issue: 0804 Book Description: It began with Crossfire: a far-future novel of planetary colonization and alien first contact (See Review). Jake Holman, a man trying to escape a dark past, brought together a diverse group of thousands to settle on a new world. But instead the humans found themselves caught in the crossfire of a galaxy-spanning war between two disparate species: agressive, militaristic humanoids known as Furs and passive, plantlike creatures known as Vines. Having cast their lots with the peaceful Vines, humanity faces all-out war against the technologically superior Furs. Our only hope? A virus designed by the Vines to remove all aggressiveness from the Furs. Can it spread fast enough to save not only Holman's colony, but the rest of humanity? And at what price to the Furs?

Crossroads by Brett Cox, Andy Duncan (eds) (Tor HCVR $ 24.95 08/01/04) Reviewer: Unassigned Issue: 0804 Book Description: As William Faulkner once observed, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." And the past of the American South lives on in a long literary tradition where fantasy and reality blur. It is evident in the writing of giants such as Faulkner himself, Flannery O'Connor, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Manly Wade Wellman, Truman Capote, Alice Walker, and many others. Steeped in this tradition and proud to be its inheritors, storytellers and editors F. Brett Cox and Andy Duncan have gathered together stories of the unseen and magical American South by some of the most brilliantly talented Southern writers of our time.

   Wesleyan   Other Publishers

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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