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US Books Received- 07/2005  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette / Editor c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Home Before Dark: The Collected Cedar Hill Stories, Vol. 2 by Gary A. Braunbeck ( Summer 2005 / ) - SYNOPSIS: The series continues... to be published Summer '05 and now available for reservation! Longer than GRAVEYARD PEOPLE (Volume 1), HOME BEFORE DARK contains 19 tales, including the long-awaited original novella "Kiss of the Mudman," two classic novellas, excerpts from the Cedar Hill Visitor's Guide, a page from the local newspaper, and much more, with a full-color wraparound dustjacket and over two dozen interior illustrations. Book Website


Age of Conan: Songs of Victory : Legends of Kern, Volume IIl by Loren L. Coleman (Ace 26 July, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: The army of Kern "Wolf-Eye" has been scattered, and as the dead are buried, the tribes gather to choose new leaders. To prove his worth, Kern must seek out the House of Crom, where rests a weapon of legend that can kill any man, beast, or god. For in his heart he knows that not all glory lies on the battlefield, and that there is no sacrifice too great to sing one last song of victory.

Ace Books

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher (Ace Books July, 2005 / $23.95) - In a society where most people control magical furies, Tavi is magicless. He had had hopes that as a student at the Academy, this would become irrelevant, that brains and education would be more valued then raw power. He was wrong. Tavi is harassed by bullies and condemned to remedial magic training. But now Tavi has to handle a crisis that could lead to the destruction of Alera. (see review)

Accelerando by Charles Stross (Ace Books 01 July, 2005 / $24.95) - Accelerando is the book Charles Stross? fans have been waiting for. Except that they?ve already essentially read it. (see review)


Scattered Suns : The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 4 (Saga of Seven Suns (Audio)) by Kevin J. Anderson (Aspect 18 July, 2005 / $24.95) - Book 4 of "The Saga of Seven Suns".
Jorah'h, leader of the Ildrian Empire, struggles to contain a revolt led by his disturbed brother, who is attempting a coup with a substantial military fleet. The Ildrians engage in bloody civil war and the many factions of humanity are bitterly divided. Can mankind and Ildrians overcome their own internal fighting to face a deadly new enemy that is ready to annihilate them?


1634: The Galileo Affair (The Ring of Fire) by Eric Flint (Baen 26 July, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: The Thirty Years War continues to ravage 17th century Europe, but a new force is gathering power and influence: the Confederated Principalities of Europe, an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians from the 20th century led by Mike Stearns who were hurled centuries into the past by a mysterious cosmic accident. The democratic ideals of the CPE have aroused the implacable hostility of Cardinal Richelieu, effective ruler of France, who has moved behind the scenes, making common cause with old enemies to stop this new threat to the privileged and powerful. But the CPE is also working in secret. A group of West Virginians have secretly traveled to Venice where their advanced medical knowledge may prevent the recurrence of the terrible plague which recently killed a third of the city-state's population. At the same time, the group hopes to establish commercial ties with Turkey's Ottoman Empire, then at the height of its power. And, most important, they hope to establish private diplomatic ties with the Vatican, exploiting Pope Urban VIII's misgivings about the actions of Richelieu and the Hapsburgs. But a Venetian artisan involved with the West Virginians may cause all their plans to come to naught. Having read 20th century history books of the period, he has become determined to rescue Galileo from his trial for heresy. The Americans are divided on whether to help him or stop him-and whether he succeeds or fails, the results may be catastrophic for the CPE.

A Mankind Witch (The Shadow of the Lion) by Dave Freer (Baen 01 July, 2005 / $25.00) - A Mankind Witch is a sequel to The Shadow of the Lion, by Lackey, Flint, and Freer, but only in the sense that it takes place in the same world, with some of the same characters; otherwise it is an entirely independent story. It is also funny, with situational rather than slapstick humor. The two main threads of the plot concern a very ingenious young man, captured and branded as a slave, who cares too much about the princess he has been assigned to serve to try to escape, and a rational man--the same man in fact--who experiences magic but needs to explain everything away as a form of trickery. (see review)

A State of Disobedience by Tom Kratman (Baen 26 July, 2005 / $7.99) - Book description: In the long war against terrorism, the US Government had taken on extraordinary powers. And now that the war was won, powerful forces in the government had no intention of relinquishing those powers. As in 1860, the country was on the verge of civil war. And as in 1860, a leader arose to save the country-but it was not the President this time. Instead, the Governor of Texas was the woman of destiny. . . .

The Stars at War II (Starfire) by David Weber (Baen 05 July, 2005 / $27.00) - Book Description: The war wasn't going well. The alien Arachnids were an enemy whose like no civilized race had ever confronted. Like some carnivorous cancer, the "Bugs" had overrun planet after planet . . . and they regarded any competing sentient species as only one more protein source. Defeat was not an option. . . . The Grand Alliance of Humans, Orions, Ophiuchi, and Gorm, united in desperate self-defense, have been driven to the wall. Billions of their civilians have been slaughtered. Their most powerful offensive operation has ended in shattering defeat and the deaths of their most experienced military commanders. Whatever they do, the Bugs just keep coming. But the warriors of the Grand Alliance know what stands behind them and they will surrender no more civilians to the oncoming juggernaut. They will die first-and they will also reactivate General Directive 18, however horrible it may be. Because when the only possible outcomes are victory or racial extermination, only one option is acceptable. The Shiva Option.And peace isn't always wonderful Once the enemy is defeated, the central governments of the Inner Worlds were anything but willing to relinguish their wartime powers. To insure that their grip on the reins of power remained firm, the bureaucrats are allowing the non-human beings of the Khanate in, while keeping the Fringe Worlds out, smugly confident that this will keep the colonial upstarts in their place. The Fringers have only one answer to that: Insurrection.

Wind Rider's Oath (The Bahzell) by David Weber (Baen 26 July, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: In The War God's Own, Bahzell had managed to stop a war by convincing Baron Tellian, leader of the Sothoii, to "surrender" to him, the War God's champion. Now, he has journeyed to the Sothoii Wind Plain to oversee the parole he granted to Tellian and his men, to represent the Order of Tomanak, the War God, and to be an ambassador for the hradani. What's more, the flying coursers of the Sothoii have accepted Bahzell as a wind rider-the first hradani wind rider in history. And since the wind riders are the elite of the elite among the Sothoii, Bahzell's ascension is as likely to stir resentment as respect. That combination of duties would have been enough to keep anyone busy-even a warrior prince like Bahzell-but additional complications are bubbling under the surface. The goddess Shigu, the Queen of Hell, is sowing dissension among the war maids of the Sothoii. The supporters of the deposed Sothoii noble who started the war are plotting to murder their new leige lord and frame Bahzell for the deed. Of course, those problems are all in a day's work for a champion of the War God. But what is Bahzell going to do about the fact that Baron Tellian's daughter, and heir to the realm, seems to be thinking that he is the only man-or hradani-for her?


Alternate Beauty by Andrea Rains Waggener (Bantam 26 July, 2005 / $14.00) - From the Inside Flap: She couldn't change the way the world looked at her, so she changed the world....Ronnie Tremayne is a big girl with big dreams: she wants to be a fashion designer. But as her model-thin mother never fails to remind her, in fashion, image is everything?and Ronnie is a size 28. When she learns that her job managing a plus-size boutique is in jeopardy because her weight is "disturbing" to the clientele, Ronnie loses control. After a late-night binge, she dozes off wishing for a world where fat is beautiful. When she awakens the next morning?it is.

Now the ideal woman, Ronnie is thrust into the spotlight. She attends the best parties. She has her mother?s approval. Her boss invests in her clothing line. And the men! But as her appetite for life grows, Ronnie?s appetite for food shrinks. She soon becomes unrecognizable?inside and out. And while navigating the giddy highs and miserable lows of this so-called perfect world, Ronnie discovers what she should have known all along: it?s not the size of your body that matters, but the size of your heart. Wise, witty, and compassionate, this stunning debut novel speaks to anyone who has ever engaged in the battle of the bulge?or the exasperatingly elusive pursuit of perfection.

The Arcanum by Thomas Wheeler (Bantam 28 June, 2005 / $14.00) - From the Inside Flap: It is 1919 and the Great War has come to a close. But in the shadows of the world?s major cities, the killing has just begun. In this perilous time, as the division between order and chaos grows increasingly slim, a select group of visionaries have taken it upon themselves to ensure the safety of humanity. They are known as the Arcanum.

In London?s stormy Hyde Park, Konstantin Duvall, the Arcanum?s founder, has been killed in a suspicious accident. Dismayed, the group?s longest-lived member, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, determines to avenge Duvall?s death?and uncover the secret left in his wake. For the dead man possessed the world?s most powerful?now missing?artifact: the Book of Enoch, the chronicle of God?s mistakes, within whose pages lie the seeds for the end of everything.

From the scene of the crime, Conan Doyle embarks on a path that leads him to the sleazy underworld of New York City?s Bowery and a series of deceptively disparate?but decidedly connected?murders. And as he calls upon the scattered members of the Arcanum for aid, he also finds himself embroiled in a story of war as old as time itself. Not of a struggle between countries, but between darkness and light. Peopled with the twentieth century?s most famous?and infamous?figures, here is an extraordinary tale in which the stakes go beyond the realm of humankind?into the divine.

Benbella Books

Soothsayer by Mike Resnick (Benbella Books 01 July, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: Mouse, a hard-bitten, cynical woman and professional thief, finds herself in deep trouble when her attempt to rescue a seemingly helpless little girl has potentially deadly consequences in this brilliant and haunting installment of Santiago-inspired adventure. Young Penelope has long had a price on her head, and Carlos Mendoza now knows how she has outwitted her captors?and the awesome powers behind her success. As Carlos moves in for the kill, Mouse is hard-pressed to preserve her life, defend Penelope, and in so doing, save humanity. For Carlos "Iceman" Mendoza, only one thing becomes clear: in a universe of giant men, ruthless bounty hunters, and interstellar war, his greatest fear is this one girl.

First in the Penelope Bailey Series.

Berkley Hardcover

Undead and Unappreciated by Mary Janice Davidson (Berkley Hardcover 05 July, 2005 / $21.95) - In Undead and Unappreciated the third installment of the Betsy Taylor Undead series, Betsy is trying to settle into this queen of the dead thing but she gets no respect from the vampires she?s supposed rule. Now her consort is renting a room in her house, her evil stepmother is pregnant, AA doesn?t really work for giving up drinking blood, one of the fiends has become an escape artist, and everyone seems to know what?s she?s supposed to do and is more than willing to tell her how to do it. Betsy hates being the last to know. Her oh so annoying consort is saying she needs to kill the daughter of Satan. What?s a girl to do? (see review)

Berkley Trade

Carpe Demon : Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner (Berkley Trade 05 July, 2005 / $12.95) - Book Description: Lots of women put their careers aside once the kids come along. Kate Connor, for instance, hasn't hunted a demon in ages.

That must be why she missed the one wandering through the pet food aisle of the San Diablo Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, he managed to catch her attention an hour later-when he crashed into the Connor house, intent on killing her.

Now Kate has to clean up the mess in her kitchen, dispose of a dead demon, and pull together a dinner party that will get her husband elected to County Attorney-all without arousing her family's suspicion. Worse yet, it seems the dead demon didn't come alone...

It's time for Kate Connor to go back to work.

Collector's Guide Publishing Inc

Reflections from Earth Orbit (Apogee Books Space Series) by Captain Winston E. Scott (Collector's Guide Publishing Inc 01 July, 2005 / $23.95) - With the shuttle?s return to flight this month, REFLECTIONS FROM EARTH ORBIT comes at a good time to satisfy curiosity about life in the space program. (see review)


Women of War by Alexander Potter (DAW 05 July, 2005 / $7.50) - Book Description: In the real world, many women are still struggling for equality, but science fiction and fantasy provide a stage for the portrayal of women who have come fully into their own. Here, a talented group of writers has taken up the challenge of creating strong, well-rounded female protagonists, more than able to defend themselves and take the helm-whether in space, on distant worlds, in our own future, or in fantasy realms where a civilization's fate hangs in the balance.

DAW Hardcover

Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff (DAW Hardcover 07 June, 2005 / $24.95) - Smoke and Mirrors by Tanya Huff is the second in a new series of novels featuring Tony Foster, who was a minor characters in her earlier series which revolved around Detective Vicki Nelson and Romance writer/Vampire Henry Fitzroy. Tony and Henry have now moved to Vancouver, and while Henry continues to play a role, the spotlight has shifted to Tony. Tony has gotten himself a job as Production Assistant at CB Productions, which makes a low budget TV program featuring a vampire detective (a fact that amuses Henry considerably). The job is horrible (most people quit within a couple of weeks), but Tony is good at it and likes where it has brought him ? mostly. In the first book in the series, Smoke and Shadows it brought him to the front lines of an alien invasion from another dimension. In Smoke and Mirrors I has brought him into the clutches of a haunted house that wants everybody dead. (see review)

Del Rey

Magic Street by Orson Scott Card (Del Rey 28 June, 2005 / $24.95) - Orson Scott Card takes on the world of urban fantasy with this entry, following a magical child on his quest of self-discovery. Caught between the world of faerie and the ordinary hopes and dreams of a middle-class neighborhood, can Mack Street become who he was meant to be? (see review)

Dragon Moon Press

Legacy of Morevi (Book One of the Arathellean Wars) by Tee Morris (Dragon Moon Press 01 July, 2005 / $19.95) - Book Description: The adventures of Naruihm's warrior-queen and England's privateer captain begin once again in Legacy of Morevi, the highly-anticipated sequel to the award-nominated debut work of Tee Morris and Lisa Lee.

Life in Morevi is hardly a "happily ever after" for privateer captain Rafe Rafton. As he deals with the animosity from the Ladies of the Blood and from his own daughter, Ashtari, his only ally is Morevi's First Queen, Askana Moldarin. But soon, the peace they find with each other is shattered in a single night. Now, Morevi faces a threat far greater than that of political opponents or frontier rivals. As their realm stands on the brink of a war they cannot win, Askana and Rafe must risk another Riftcrossing while sending their daughter, the future Second Queen of Morevi, into hiding.

However, the Great Game now stretches beyond the borders of Askana's rule, and plans for the downfall of House Moldarin are set into motion.


Blood and Memory: The Quickening Book Two by Fiona McIntosh (Eos 01 August, 2005 / $14.95) - Blood and Memory is book two of The Quickening. Wyl Thirsk is desperately trying to save the woman he loves, his sister, the kingdom he has dedicated his life to, and get the gift/curse he is under lifted. Can he achieve his goals and get revenge on the man who is trying to kill him and his family? (see review)

iUniverse, Inc.

War of Angels : First of Days by Joe McSweeney (iUniverse, Inc. 13 July, 2005 / $22.95) - Book Description: Is it his imagination or does there seem to be a clearing of the stale breath blowing from below? Its breeze, somehow, suddenly comes clean without the sound of its wheezing. Without sight he can only speculate, can only wrestle with the growing fear of what might be going on about him. A restless anger gnaws at him and his hand tightens upon the blade.

There is that which has slumbered deep in the heart of this world called Thrae?and for more than five thousand years, it has dreamt. Of all that was, only the barest portion has survived in the ashes of a thousand wars fought amongst the races of men for dominion over her lands. Yet there still remain those who remember the day the ancient city of Urn fell, when the hordes of the Aunsidhlien first came into being in the aftermath of Delserite?s war. Those powers, hidden yet silent, await the day when they can return.

Now, as the great worm Oborean is roused from the mountain?s heart, the long plains shiver again with emerging life. Meanwhile, from the river fold lands to the forests of Ty, the hordes of the Aunsidhlien gather for war. Once more, the ancient feud is stirring.

Orchard Books

Charlie Bone and The Castle Of Mirrors (Children of the Red King Book 4) by Jenny Nimmo (Orchard Books 01 July 2005 / $12.99) - Product Description: Back in Bloor's Academy, Charlie's power takes on a new dimension. He meets a new gallery of characters, including Mr. Pilgrim's replacement, Tantalus Ebony, and the mysterious new student Joshua Tilpin, who appears to be magnetic. But not all is well. Billy has been adopted by the O'Gres, a child-hating couple, who carry with them a gray bag of oaths wherever they go, seducing Billy to sign an oath of obedience, before locking him up behind a force field in an odd place called The Passing House. (Source: Orchard Books)

Phobos Books

All Eve's Hallows: A City Knights Novel by Dean Wesley Smith (Phobos Books 30 July, 2005 / $13.95) - From back of book: Dragons, giants and goblins are all around us, magically hidden within human society as they and the whole bestiary of fantastic creatures have been for a thousand years. But when conflicts with humanity arise, someone has to keep the peace between the Fantastics and the unsuspecting mortals who long ago drove everything magical into hiding--and then forgot about them.

The City Knights is the thousand-year-old top-secret organization charged with protecting humanity from the Fantastics and vice versa. You'll never know they exist--unless a dead unicorn turns up on your doorstep.

New recruit Billie Stein finds herself up to her neck in black magic when the malignant sorceress known as Eve awakens a primordial creature of darkness from its epoch-long slumber. As it begins to wake, the hallows, the evil sprites that cared for the horror down through the long ages, are released to spread havoc and destruction throughout New York City. Unless Billie and her fellow Knights can deworm the Big Apple, the spreading darkness will destroy the world the Fantastics and humans are still learning to share.


A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer (Roc July, 2005 / $6.99) - In a place where the only safe future for a man lies in marrying well, Jerin Whistler is entering adulthood. Jerin Whistler's older sisters will arrange his marriage, obtaining either a husband or a brother's price in exchange. This is set in an alternate Earth, where the human population is more than 90 percent female. Sisters inherit as a group from their mothers, and share a single husband. There have been a number of books set in worlds with odd sex ratios; this is one of the most believable. I have been waiting three years for this book, and am not disappointed in it. (see review)

Shadowfall: The First Chronicle Of The Godslayer by James Clemens (Roc 01 July, 2005 / $24.95) - Nothing has disturbed the peace of the Nine lands for over four millenia since the immortal gods created Myrillia. Until now. Now the unthinkable has happened, Meeryn, the goddess of the Summering Isles has been murdered. (see review)

Simon Pulse

Summer (Witch Season) by Jeff Mariotte (Simon Pulse 01 July, 2004 / $5.99) -

From Book Description: Kerry Proffit is having an amazing summer working at a resort on the California coast and hanging with her summer share housemates. Everything's great until an injured stranger lands on their doorstep.

Daniel Blessing is a handsome young man with a mysterious past. He's on the run from a powerful witch named Season. Of course Kerry and her friends don't believe in witches. But Kerry is beginning to believe in Daniel -- and her feelings for him. Which is too bad for Kerry. And her friends. Because now Season is on their trail, and they won't all survive the summer. Hunting Season is now open....

Small Beer Press

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (Small Beer Press 01 July, 2005 / $24.00) - A collection of stories by Kelly Link, author of Stranger Things Happen. Tales of haunted convenience stores, zombies, apocalyptic poker parties and other weird stuff abound.


Dexta by C.J. Ryan (Spectra 26 July, 2005 / $6.99) - Dexta is the first book in a new series by C.J. Ryan. Dexta itself is an acronym for the Department of Extra-Terrestrial Affairs. The Department is a sprawling ziggurat comprised of 15 levels that handles the affairs of the 2643 planets under the control of the Empire in the 33rd century. While the technology has improved and humans have made contact with numerous alien species (and conquered all that refused to submit to us), little else seems to have changed by way of normal human behavior. (see review)

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson (Spectra 26 July, 2005 / $7.99) - From the Inside Flap: The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt returns with a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation?s capital?and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines.

When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year.

It?s an increasingly steamy summer in the nation?s capital as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler cares for his young son and deals with the frustrating politics of global warming. Charlie must find a way to get a skeptical administration to act before it?s too late?and his progeny find themselves living in Swamp World. But the political climate poses almost as great a challenge as the environmental crisis when it comes to putting the public good ahead of private gain.

While Charlie struggles to play politics, his wife, Anna, takes a more rational approach to the looming crisis in her work at the National Science Foundation. There a proposal has come in for a revolutionary process that could solve the problem of global warming?if it can be recognized in time. But when a race to control the budding technology begins, the stakes only get higher. As these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of modern science, they are unaware that fate is about to put an unusual twist on their work?one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.

With style, wit, and rare insight into our past, present, and possible future, this captivating novel propels us into a world on the verge of unprecedented change?in a time quite like our own. Here is Kim Stanley Robinson at his visionary best, offering a gripping cautionary tale of progress?and its price?as only he can tell it.


Pay the Piper : A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen (Starscape 01 July, 2005 / $16.95) - Book Description: A rock 'n' roll band to die for? Callie is about to find out.... Not much happens in fourteen-year-old Callie McCallan's sleepy Massachusetts town. So when the famous rock 'n' roll band, Brass Rat, schedules a concert in the Valley, it's big news. As a reporter for her school paper, Callie scores the scoop of a lifetime--a backstage pass to interview the lead singer of Brass Rat! Her friends are so jealous. But Callie isn't sure what the fuss is all about...until she meets the band. Lead singer Peter Gringras and his band mates are so cool. Especially Peter. When he plays his flute, it's as if he has some kind of hypnotic power. But there is something strange about the band, something Callie can't quite put her finger on. Maybe she's just being weird, but it's as if they're from here--but not from here--at the same time.

It's when, on Halloween night, Callie's little brother Nicky disappears--along with all the other children of Northampton--that she begins to wonder if her suspicions are so weird after all. It's crazy, but Callie thinks she knows why the children have disappeared--and who took them. To prove it--and to rescue Nicky and the other children--Callie will be forced down a road that will lead to her to a mythical world filled with fantastical creatures. A world from which there may be no return....

Tor Books

Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic by Andy Duncan (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $15.95) - 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.

From darkly imagined, powerful tales by Bret Lott, Lynn Pitts, Kalanu ya Salaam, Brad Watson, and Don Webb to a deeply affecting and sensual story by Honor?e Fanonne Jeffers, to atmospheric works by Richard Butner, James L. Cambias, and Jack McDevitt, to wildly funny stories by Scott Edelman and Michael Swanwick, these original fictions will delight readers who appreciate the unique wealth and breadth of the Southern literary tradition and its natural affinity for the fantastic. With the addition of wonderful reprinted stories by Michael Bishop, Fred Chappell, Andy Duncan, John Kessel, Kelly Link, Sena Jeter Naslund, Daniel Wallace, and Gene Wolfe, this collection is a crossroads of styles and themes where Southern and Fantastic literary traditions meet.

Together these stories paint a wide canvas of the real and mythic South in all its fabulous, terrible, joyous, chaotic uniqueness. They are set in all the Southern landscapes of the mind, from the shores of South Carolina to the city of New Orleans, from small-town Mississippi to the streets of modern Atlanta, from the ghosts of ante-bellum splendor to the shadows of what might be. The contributors range from realistic to Gothic, from magic realists to satirists. What they share in common is the South and the endless stories it inspires.

Harshini : Book Three of the Hythrun Chronicles (The Hythrun Chronicles) by Jennifer Fallon (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $25.95) - Book Description: Medalon has surrendered to foreign invaders and Tarja is once more an outlaw. The Defenders have scattered and their only hope is Damin Wolfblade and his Hythrun army. But Damin has his own problems. The High Prince is dead and he must lift the siege on the Hythrun capital and defeat an usurper before he can come to Medalon's aid.

For R'shiel time is running out. She has finally accepted her destiny as the Demon Child, but must search for answers. She must defeat Xaphista soon or the Harshini will be destroyed; she must find a way to bring peace to the divided southern nations, to free Medalon from Karien occupation and to find the strength to finally put an end to Loclon. But how do you defeat a God?

The dazzling conclusion to the Demon Child Trilogy, Harshini is an epic tale of heroism, honor, love . . . and terrible loss.

Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: Karl Schroeder is one of the new stars of hard SF. His novels, Ventus and Permanence, have established him as a new force in the field. Now he extends his reach into Larry Niven territory, returning to the same distant future in which Ventus was set, but employing a broader canvas, to tell the story of Teven Coronal, a ringworld with a huge multiplicity of human civilizations. Brilliant but troubled Livia Kodaly is Teven's only hope against invaders both human and superhuman who would destroy its fragile ecologies and human diversity. Filled with action, ideas, and intellectual energy, Lady of Mazes is the hard SF novel of the year.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $24.95) - Alan is a middle-aged entrepreneur in contemporary Toronto who has devoted himself to fixing up a house in the bohemian neighborhood of Kensington. This naturally brings him in contact with the house full of students and layabouts next door, including a young woman, who, in a moment of stress, reveals to him that she has wingswings, moreover, that grow back after each attempt to cut them off. Alan understands. He himself has a secret or two. His father is a mountain, his mother is a washing machine, and among his brothers is a set of Russian nesting dolls. Now two of the three nesting dolls, Edward and Frederick, are on his doorstepwell on their way to starvation because their innermost member, George, has vanished. It appears that yet another brother, Davey, whom Alan and his other siblings killed years ago, may have returned....bent on revenge. Under such circumstances it seems only reasonable for Alan to involve himself with a visionary scheme to blanket Toronto with free wireless Internet connectivity, a conspiracy spearheaded by a brilliant technopunk who build miracles of hardware scavenged from the city's Dumpsters. But Alan's past won't leave him alone and Davey is only one of the powers gunning for him and all his friends. (see review)

Southern Fire by Juliet E. McKenna (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $25.95) - From book flap: Their coming had not been written in the stars, and no augury had foretold the terror that they would bring. The first sign was the golden lights of the beacons, a clear message from every southern isle that a calamity had befallen them. Nothing could stand before the previously unknown invaders from the south and the wild magic that they brought with them.

Daish Kheda, son of Daish Reik, reader of portents, giver of laws, healer and protector of all whome his many-islanded realm encompasses, must act quickly and decisively,. His people will be looking for him to guide them, as they looked to his father. But the people of the Aldabreshin Archipelago not only fear magic, they refuse to have anything to do with it. So what defense can Kheda offer against the threat of a dark magic that threatens to overrun every island of his domain.

The Divided Crown by Isabel Glass (Tor Books 01 July, 2005 / $25.95) - Book Description: Lady Angarred Hashan married the Master of the College of Magicians, and retreated from the life of the Royal Court of Karededin, to manage their school and raise a family of their own. The reign of Queen Rodarren was calm and the Kingdom prospered.

But Rodarren died too soon, leaving her 14 year old son to rule. Young King Jerret, unprepared for his new responsibility, soon fell under the influence of an ambitious lord from the North, and the royal court became a place where Angarred and Mathewar were no longer welcome. So it is with surprise and concern that they received a summons from the King. And it is with horror that they discover that Lord Haru is not content to rule Karededin through Jerret, but intends to place one of his own sons on the throne instead, by war or assassination.

From the city of Pergodi, to the far Northern island kingdom of Ou, they will travel to discover the truth of how the Haru family has come to have such powerful magic, and to find a way to stop them.

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