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US Books Received- 11/2005  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

The Archangels of Dreamland by Steven L. Fawcette ( 31 October, 2005 / $11.95) - In the near future, God and Lucifer battle for the world and humankind in Steven C. Fawcette's The Archangels of Dreamland against the background of a super secret military installation charged with developing and exploiting the technology discovered at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. A vehicle from Earth's far future crashes and sets in motion a series of events that leads to the ultimate battle between God and Satan, aka Lucifer. (see review)

Ace

The Decoy Princess by Dawn Cook (Ace 29 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Fantasy literature has presented many different views of the princess, from the delicate beauties in fairy tales to more rough-and-tumble types in modern literature. One thing all these portrayals have in common is that the princess is embodied with power: power of their family, power of the kingdom and in many cases, power of their magic. Dawn Cook uses the princess theme from a slightly different view, one where the princess suddenly finds out she is not the personification of power she thought, but also learns power can come from many sources. (see review)

The King Imperiled by Deborah Chester (Ace 29 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Betrayal, vengeance, and the legacy of past choices permeate Deborah Chester's latest fantasy, The King Imperiled. Faldain and his wife Alexieka face new disappointments and fearsome challenges as they rule the kingdom of Nether. (see review)

Ace Books

Seeker by Jack McDevitt (Ace Books November, 2005 / $24.95) - This is the third novel that follows Alex Benedict, dealer in interstellar antiquities and his assistant Chase Kolpath. This time the two are on the path of a long missing colony, having been brought to the mystery through a series of coincidental encounters. Benedict, considered by some to be nothing more than a grave robber, routinely manages to find long lost interstellar spaceships in order to recover artifacts which he then sells. This time it's not just a ship but an entire colony that broke away from Earth thousands of years ago and was never heard from again. (see review)

Ace Hardcover

Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia A. McKillip (Ace Hardcover 01 November, 2005 / $23.95) - In Harrowing the Dragon, Patricia A. McKillip offers a collection of short stories, rich with magic and monsters (not all of them monstrous in form), heroes and fools, written in her characteristic elegant prose. (see review)

Ace Trade

Dragon's Eye by James A. Hetley (Ace Trade 01 November, 2005 / $14.00) - Dragon's Eye is a mystery/action novel by James A. Hetley. The story takes place in a small poverty stricken coastal town in Maine, and revolves around three families whose ancestors have been there since the town was formed, or even before. Three families whose lives have always been wrapped in magic, mysteries, and of course, rivalries. (see review)

Anomalist Books

The President's Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States of America by Robert Damon Schneck (Anomalist Books 01 November 2005 / $14.00) - Product Description: THE PRESIDENT'S VAMPIRE is proof positive that an inordinate number of very strange things happen from sea to shining sea in the place known as the United States of America. It contains scrupulously documented accounts of ghosts, monsters, murderers, and hoaxes so improbable they will fascinate believers, skeptics, and anyone interested in the more obscure corners of American history and culture. (see review)

Baen

Catastrophes, Chaos & Convolutions by James P. Hogan (Baen 08 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: James P. Hogan stands among the foremost writers of science fiction today, and is renowned for his ability to combine accurate science from the cutting edge of present-day research with living, breathing characters in fast-paced, suspenseful stories. Catastrophes, Chaos & Convolutions gives Hogan's thousands of avid readers both a solid-chunk of high-quality science fiction and a look behind the scenes, as Hogan describes how his work came to be written, with biographical details. Add a dash of science fact articles, often on controversial topics (suppose, for example, that Velikovsky was right and the orthodox scientists wrong), and you have a volume that is an essential purchase for Hogan fans everywhere.

Demon's Gate by Steve White (Baen 08 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: Valdar, heir to the throne of Dhulon, was in the fabled city-state of Schaerisa to pay his kingdom's respects to the somewhat enigmatic new emperor. But then he ran into his old mentor, the sorcerer Nyrthim-who was supposed to be dead. The sorcerer's death had been faked so that he could be free to investigate tales that demons, once banished, were returning to the world. And unfortunately, the tales understated the danger.

Once demons ranging from deadly imps to evil demigods had ruled the world. They had been cast out and confined to the nether world only with powerful sorcery, using spells long lost. Now someone is trying to summon the most powerful-and unspeakably dangerous-of these accursed creatures back to the world of men, hoping to conquer it through them. And unless Valdar and his companions at arms can thwart the plan, creatures evil beyond all human conception will return to rule the world. And this time, nothing will drive them back into the darkness. Instead darkness will rule the world forever . . .

Emerald Sea by John Ringo (Baen 08 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: The fast-paced sequel to There Will be Dragons is a rollicking adventure above and below the high seas with dragons, orcas, beautiful mermaids-and the irrepressible Bast the Wood Elf, a cross between Legolas and Mae West. Duke Edmund Talbot has been assigned a simple mission: Go to the Southern Isles and make contact with the scattered mer-folk-those who, before the worldwide collapse of technology, had altered their bodies in the shape of mythical sea-dwelling creatures. He must convince them to side with the Freedom Coalition in the battles against the fascist dictators of New Destiny. Just a simple diplomatic mission. That requires the service of a dragon-carrier and Lieutenant Herzer Herrick, the most blooded of the Blood Lords. Because New Destiny has plans of its own.

Habeas Corpses by Wm. Mark Simmons (Baen 01 November, 2005 / $22.00) - It is not an easy time for Christopher Csejthe who is no longer human but is not yet a full blooded vampire. Now that he is the Doman of the east coast enclave of vampires, he knows that he must travel there to consolidate his power base. After drinking the blood of his fiancée, the werewolf Lupa, a Loa and a demon nobody is sure what Chris will eventually become so there are many clan leaders who think he is weak enough to kill and then take over his position as Doman. (see review)

Resonance by Chris Dolley (Baen 01 November, 2005 / $24.00) - In Resonance by Chris Dolley, Graham Smith has learned to adapt to a world that occasionally unravels and changes. As a young child he learned not to ask about people who'd disappeared, neighbors whose houses changed during the night to a business or empty lot.. He learned it was better to be silent rather than say the wrong thing. As an adult, Graham is an obsessive-compulsive who has rituals for everything and never talks to anyone if a nod or shake of the head will do. He leaves himself notes so that he'll know where he lives and works. He's developed strategies to deal with the changing personnel at work. He knows that people think he is dumb and weird, but not dangerous. He also knows that he has to be careful because the world changes if you're not careful and he believes that if he pays attention to the details he can keep the world from changing. Then Annalise Mercado plops into his life. (see review)

The Hero by John Ringo (Baen 11 October, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: It's a matter of trust. For thousands of years the Darhel, a warrior species conditioned to be incapable of killing, manipulated and controlled the human race. Then the humans threw off their yoke. Now, for the first time, a Darhel has been assigned to the elite Deep Reconnaissance Team commandos. Trust, in a small unit, is vital. And there was no trust to be had on either side. But when the mission encountered an alien device worth more than a king's ransom, it was the humans who betrayed the trust. Now the despised Darhel must race against the team's sniper to prevent the artifact falling into the wrong hands. The Darhel has empathic powers, superhuman strength and the speed of a cheetah. The sniper has years of experience and enormous ability. The sniper can kill. The Darhel cannot. The fate of the galaxy and the human race for the next thousand years rests on the shoulders of a Darhel. The Hero has a thousand faces, but is one of them the face of an elf?

Benbella Books

King Kong Is Back! : An Unauthorized Look at One Humongous Ape! (Smart Pop series) by David Brin (Benbella Books 28 November, 2005 / $17.95) - King Kong has been a part of the collective unconscious since the first film. In remake after remake the audience returns. King Kong Is Back! by David Brin takes a look at what makes the big ape so appealing. Our reviewer Lee Gilliland takes a look at the book. (see review)

Totally Charmed: Demons, Whitelighters and the Power of Three (Smart Pop series) by Jennifer Crusie (Benbella Books 01 November, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: From Cole's downfall and Phoebe's somewhat questionable fashion sense to the power of three in history and literature and a magical tourist's guide to the Halliwells's hometown of San Francisco, this clever, lighthearted essay collection offers a fun and funny look at the world of the WB hit series Charmed. Edited by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Crusie, these accessible and entertaining essays apply the wit and insight of one of today's leading romance authors to the stylish, occasionally campy fan favorite known for its scandalous outfits, revolving door of love interests, and the magical mayhem of three otherwise normal sisters who must fight against evil as they deal with the challenges of everyday life. (Source: Benbella Books)

Berkley Publishing Group

Drowned Night by Chris Blaine (Berkley Publishing Group November, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Renew your reservation at the Abbadon Inn--horror is back in season. Burned-out New York City cop Ted McShane and his wife Liz are the new proprietors of the Abbadon Inn on the shore in Victorian Cape May. But two chilling disappearances have locals fearing that a legendary, bloodthirsty creature has been roused. And after one hundred years in hiding, it's very, very hungry.

Berkley Trade

The Magical Worlds of Narnia by David Colbert (Berkley Trade 01 November, 2005 / $14.00) - The Chronicles of Narnia are a well-loved collection of children's book. I first found them when I read them as part of my son's bedtime routine years ago. There are seven books in the series: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle. In The Magical Worlds of Narnia, David Colbert has sections devoted to each book and details some of the interesting background that went into each of these books. (see review)

Bethany House Publishers

Shadow over Kiriath (Legends of the Guardian King) by Karen Hancock (Bethany House Publishers November, 2005 / $13.99) - Book Description: Legends of the Guardian King Book 3- Karen Hancock has created a beautiful and powerful fantasy series that continues to win new readers and remind them of who holds their hopes and victories in His hands. In Abramm's world, God is close to his followers, evil takes many forms, and one must believe in the light to see the darkness. While Abramm's coronation is still underway, rival leaders are already plotting their return to power.Worse yet, as the hour approaches for Abramm's marriage to the Chesedhan crown princess--required to seal the desperately needed alliance between their two countries--he finds himself deeply attracted to her younger sister. Will Eidon give Abramm ultimate victory, or will his enemies succeed in destroying him and his beloved realm?

Canongate U.S.

A Short History of Myth (Myths) by Karen Armstrong (Canongate U.S. 09 November, 2005 / $18.00) - In A Short History of Myth, Karen Armstrong covers the importance of myth in human evolution and development from the Paleolithic period to modern times. It's a fascinating overview with many insights and views that give the reader plenty to ponder after the last page is read. For this review I read the book three times and each time I gained more understanding and insight into the use of myth in everyday life. It's a small book barely 149 pages not counting references but overfull with ideas, ideals, and philosophy.

Mythology is an art form that points beyond history to what is timeless in the human existence...the core of reality.(p. 1)
(see review)

Collins Design

Graphic Novels: Everything You Need to Know by Paul Gravett (Collins Design 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - There's been a proliferation of graphic novels and Manga over the last 15 to 20 years. I'd only read three Sandman books and heard about Sin City, Batman Returns, Ghost World and a few others. In Graphic Novels, Paul Gravett gives the reader a grounding in how to read graphic novels, the lexicon of symbols used, a bit about art, and an over view of many of the graphic novels I'd heard about and many that I hadn't.

If you want to start reading graphic novels, collect them, or learn enough to talk to those who love them -- well, this is your book. It's oversize, easy to read and filled with information, art, and wit. Enjoy and learn -- who can ask for more.

The Alchemy of MirrorMask by Dave McKean (Collins Design 01 November, 2005 / $34.95) - Book Description: An oversized, lavishly produced book, The Alchemy of MirrorMask takes readers inside the making of the feature film and allows them to experience the creative process. Animated by Dave McKean and written by Neil Gaiman, MirrorMask combines animation and live action with a compelling storyline to take the cinematic experience to a stunning new level.

MirrorMask is the story of Helena, a fifteen-year-old girl who works for her family's circus. She juggles, sells popcorn, and longs to run away and join the "real world." Helena also dreams, and one day she wakes up to find herself in a strange new world populated by mysterious creatures...a dream world where she embarks on an amazing journey.

Each chapter in The Alchemy of MirrorMask begins with an introduction by McKean and Gaiman and then guides readers through the different types of visuals used to create the film, including sketches, paintings, storyboards, 3-d models, photographs, texture maps, frame blow-ups, and more. Also included are photos taken on the set and during McKean's travels to Venice, Prague, Trieste, Warsaw, and other places that provided inspiration for MirrorMask. Gaiman and McKean's insightful commentary sheds light on the film's journey from concept to screen.

Gaiman and McKean fans, cinema buffs, and visual art enthusiasts will all delight in The Alchemy of MirrorMask, a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the making of an extraordinary film.

DAW

Dragon's Revenge (The Stargods #3) by Irene Radford (DAW 01 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Three brothers take shelter on a pretechnological world where dragons are worshiped as gods. When the off-world forces they have fled track them down, they must find a way to save the world they've made their own.

Time After Time by Denise Little (DAW 01 November, 2005 / $7.50) - Book Description: Sixteen all-new tales of time travel and alternate history by top authors. From Arthur's choice that would make him a legendary ruler or a failed warlord, to a vampire seeking to change the past so that his kind could thrive in the present, to an archaeologist given a message from the future that might save humankind, these unforgettable tales explore the awesome implications of manipulating the past-and the future.

DAW Hardcover

The Silver Lake by Fiona Patton (DAW Hardcover 01 November, 2005 / $23.95) -

"Your warriors worship outside--but I guess you knew that--in front of their garrisons and towers." A mental tweak made him shrug. "All right, in front of our garrisons and towers," he amended. "Anyway, this is the best time to make a quick snatch and grab when there's only merchants around to chase you, but you need to be long gone before they're done 'cause the city garrison patrols can come after you pretty fast."
The warmth of the Battle God's pleasure blossomed in his chest...
- The Silver Lake: Book One of the Warriors of Estavia
(see review)

DAW Trade

Crown of Shadows: The Coldfire Trilogy #3 by C. S. Friedman (DAW Trade 01 November, 2005 / $15.00) - Book Description: Unlikely allies Damien and Tarrant are faced with an enemy who may prove invulnerable-a demon who has declared war on mankind. Called Calesta, he is a master of illusion and devourer of pain, and he plans to remake the human species until it exists only to sate his unquenchable thirst for suffering. The war against Calesta will take Damien and Tarrant from the depths of Hell to the birthplace of demons and beyond-in a battle that could cost them not only their lives, but the very soul of mankind.

Del Rey

Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader (Star Wars) by James Luceno (Del Rey 22 November, 2005 / $25.95) - Book Description: Throughout the galaxy, it was believed that Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker-the Chosen One-had died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, that was true. Anakin was dead.

From the site of Anakin Skywalker's last stand-on the molten surface of the planet Mustafar, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi-a fearsome specter in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi Order, he is now a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy's ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged, and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead . . . and Darth Vader lives.

Word of the events that created him-the Jedi Council's failed mutiny against Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the self-crowned Emperor's retaliatory command to exterminate the Jedi Order, and Anakin's massacre of his comrades and Masters in the Jedi Temple-has yet to reach all quarters. On the Outer Rim world of Murkhana, Jedi Masters Roan Shryne and Bol Chatak and Padawan Olee Starstone are leading a charge on a Separatist stronghold, unaware that the tide, red with Jedi blood, has turned suddenly against them.

When the three narrowly elude execution-and become the desperate prey in a hunt across space-it's neither clone soldiers, nor the newly deployed stormtroopers, nor even the wrath of the power-hungry Emperor himself they must fear most. The deadliest threat rests in the hideously swift and lethal crimson lightsaber of Darth Vader-behind whose brooding mask lies a shattered heart, a poisoned soul, and a cunning, twisted mind hell-bent on vengeance.

For the handful of scattered Jedi, survival is imperative if the light side of the Force is to be protected and the galaxy somehow, someday reclaimed. Yet more important still is the well-being of the twin infants, Leia and Luke Skywalker, the children of Anakin and his doomed bride, Padmé Amidala. Separated after Padm&eactue;'s death, they must be made safe at all costs, lest the hope they represent for the future be turned to horror by the new Sith regime-and the unspeakable power of the dark side.

The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard (Del Rey 22 November, 2005 / $29.95) - Book Description: "Between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities . . . there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars. . . . Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand . . . to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."

Conan is one of the greatest fictional heroes ever created-a swordsman who cuts a swath across the lands of the Hyborian Age, facing powerful sorcerers, deadly creatures, and ruthless armies of thieves and reavers.

In a meteoric career that spanned a mere twelve years before his tragic suicide, Robert E. Howard single-handedly invented the genre that came to be called sword and sorcery. Collected in this volume, profusely illustrated by artist Mark Schultz, are Howard's first thirteen Conan stories, appearing in their original versions-in some cases for the first time in more than seventy years-and in the order Howard wrote them. Along with classics of dark fantasy like "The Tower of the Elephant" and swashbuckling adventure like "Queen of the Black Coast," The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian contains a wealth of material never before published in the United States, including the first submitted draft of Conan's debut, "Phoenix on the Sword," Howard's synopses for "The Scarlet Citadel" and "Black Colossus," and a map of Conan's world drawn by the author himself.

Here are timeless tales featuring Conan the raw and dangerous youth, Conan the daring thief, Conan the swashbuckling pirate, and Conan the commander of armies. Here, too, is an unparalleled glimpse into the mind of a genius whose bold storytelling style has been imitated by many, yet equaled by none.

The Conquering Sword of Conan by Robert E. Howard (Del Rey 29 November, 2005 / $15.95) - Book description: In a meteoric career that covered only a dozen years, Robert E. Howard defined the sword-and-sorcery genre. In doing so, he brought to life the archetypal adventurer known to millions around the world as Conan the barbarian.

Witness, then, Howard at his finest, and Conan at his most savage, in the latest volume featuring the collected works of Robert E. Howard, lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Greg Manchess. Prepared directly from the earliest known versions-often Howard's own manuscripts-are such sword-and-sorcery classics as "The Servants of Bit-Yakin" (formerly published as "Jewels of Gwahlur"), "Beyond the Black River," "The Black Stranger," "Man-Eaters of Zamboula" (formerly published as "Shadows in Zamboula"), and, perhaps his most famous adventure of all, "Red Nails."

The Conquering Sword of Conan includes never-before-published outlines, notes, and story drafts, plus a new introduction, personal correspondence, and the revealing essay "Hyborian Genesis"-which chronicles the history of the creation of the Conan series. Truly, this is heroic fantasy at its finest.

Transcendent (Destiny's Children, 3.) by Stephen Baxter (Del Rey 29 November, 2005 / $25.95) - Transcendent is the third and final volume in Stephen Baxter's Destiny's Children trilogy. Unlike most trilogies, this set is only very loosely connected. All take place in the same universe but are spread out over the course of a half million years, showing the various ways in which humanity can change, and yet remain true to its core. This final volume takes place at both the present and the future and focuses on a young woman from a distant future and a man of our near future whose life she has been assigned to study. (see review)

Dragon Moon Press

The Shadebinder's Oath by Jeanette Cottrell (Dragon Moon Press 10 November, 2005 / $19.95) - Farren has been able to see the shades of the dead since he was three. It's not a talent that makes for a comfortable life; it's an ability considered to be evil. Farren has been shunned, beaten, and belittled all his life. He earns a living as a journeyman cabinetmaker and is more than skilled enough to be a master but he refuses to take the oral testing that is required to become a master. His brother is going into the guard and asks Farren to watch out for his girlfriend Trissa who works in the kitchens, to eat in the dining hall, and to stop acting weird. Farren figures two out of three is good enough. Ghosts are gathering in unheard of numbers, the woman he met in the gardens may be his brother's girl, the royal family is ready to go to Alisandia and last time they went, a plague struck the countryside. Is this why the shades are gathering? Farren knows he must travel with the court but that means he must interact with people. (see review)

Eos

The Gate of Gods : Book Three of the Fall of Ile-Rien (The Fall of Ile-Rien) by Martha Wells (Eos 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: Known for her lush, intricate worlds and complex characters, acclaimed author Martha Wells has delighted readers with her extraordinary fantasy novels of daring and wit. With The Wizard Hunters and The Ships of Air, she launched her most ambitious undertaking yet -- the Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy, which returned to the beloved setting of the Nebula Award-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. And now the stunning conclusion to the epic quest to save Ile-Rien ...

Searching for a way to stop the dread Gardier from conquering Ile-Rien, Tremaine Valiarde discovered a new world filled with perils and potential allies. Now aided by her mercurial, mysterious father, Nicholas, and a brave band of heroes, she fights to recover the magical city of Lodun and the chance for hope. But the enemy is relentless, and amid turmoil and danger, only the discovery of a secret portal holds any hope of saving what is left of Ile-Rien. But the ancient portal leads to a mysterious ruin hidden behind the awesome Gate of Gods -- a realm of wonder and danger beyond any they have ever imagined ...

Golden Gryphon Press

The Cuckoo's Boys by Robert Reed (Golden Gryphon Press 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: A decade's worth of prolific short stories are showcased in this compilation of Robert Reed's best work. Among the dozen thought-provoking tales is the never-before-published "Abducted Souls," about a college student who becomes increasingly unsure of himself and his self-worth when the alien abduction he experienced as a child is questioned. Also included is the Asimov's Science Fiction Reader's Choice Award-winning "Savior," about a military commander who is held accountable for tortuous acts that may have saved the human race. The hot topic of cloning is discussed in futuristic terms in the title tale, "The Cuckoo's Boys," which tells of a lonely genius who clones himself, not once, but millions of times, and of a teacher who tests and challenges three of these clones. Two ageless aliens become friends with Ash, an immortal human, as he strives to help them recover lost memories in "Night of Time," a selection taken from the popular Marrow book. The collection closes with an afterword by the author, in which he details the genesis of each story.

Jove

Night Game by Christine Feehan (Jove 01 November, 2005 / $9.99) - Night Game written by Christine Feehan and published by Berkley Jove, bristles with super-enhanced battles against gangsters and kidnappers and even alligators. The Louisiana swamps will never be the same.

Night Game takes us into the world of physical and psychic enhancement. A group of children - some taken from orphanages, others enticed into the group by promises of increased psychic ability - end up the prisoners of the evil Dr. Peter Whitney. He enhances not only their psychic ability but their physical ability as well. These people become not only more psychically aware, but also faster and stronger than any normal person. Whitney is building himself an army of deadly weapons; only the weapons are living beings. (see review)

McFarland & Company

H.P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture: The Works and Their Adaptations in Film, Television, Comics, Music and Games by Don G. Smith (McFarland & Company 29 November, 2005 / $32.00) - Book Description: Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born late in the 19th century, but it was not until after his death in 1937 that he became a worldwide icon of horror and supernatural fiction. Today his influence stretches into feature films, television episodes, comic book tales and even video games adapting or inspired by his works. As a result, Lovecraft's creations have had a profound effect on American popular culture.

This study of Lovecraft's influence and adaptations begins with an overview of his complete writings and provides and annotated bibliography of the author's horror and science fiction tales. Later chapters discuss adaptations in film, television, comic books, role-playing and video games, and music. The book concludes with a close examination of the Lovecraft legacy.

MonkeyBrain Books

Adventure, Vol. 1 by Chris Roberson (MonkeyBrain Books 25 November, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: ADVENTURE, the first volume of an annual anthology of original fiction in the spirit of early twentieth-century pulp fiction magazines, features stories from all genres, promising both literary sophistication and pulse-pounding action. Contributors to the first volume, among them leading lights and award-winners in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and western, include John Edward Ames, Lou Anders, Neal Asher, Kage Baker, Barry Baldwin, O'Neil De Noux, Paul Di Filippo, Mark Finn, Michael Kurland, John Meaney, Michael Moorcock, Chris Nakashima-Brown, Kim Newman, Mike Resnick, Chris Roberson, Matthew Rossi, and Marc Singer.

Not Avail

Army of One by Mark E. Hendricks (Not Avail 05 November, 2005 / $24.00) - Army of One is a first novel by Mark E. Hendricks. Like many first novels it has its problems, but Hendricks clearly shows that he has some vision and imagination to be explored. Army of One takes place in a universe where Earth has settled colonies on a wide variety of planets across the galaxy. Then when one of those colonies comes back and tries to bomb the mother-world back to the stone-age, Earth decides to take a firmer hand with its offspring. But the galaxy is large, the colonies are scattered, and most of them were very happy living their own lives. But due to years of civil war, the Earth has developed biological enhanced super-soldiers to pursue their interests on Earth and among the stars. As with all wars, the enemy always comes up with new defenses and the Earth is kept busy planning new upgrades to overcome those defenses. As the book opens the latest weapon in the Terran arsenal is the AP-MAT2-X-W, the Advance Prototype Main Assault Telepathic/Telekinetic Experimental Warrior, unit number 0001; or Matti as her friends prefer to call her. (see review)

Phobos Books

Blood And Roses: A Jayne Taylor Novel by Ann Tonsor Zeddies (Phobos Books November, 2005 / $14.95) - In Blood and Roses, Jayne Taylor spent three years as a noncombatant running relief supplies to hospitals and refugees in the European theater. During that time she killed a man, rescued a novice who later became her friend and the nanny to the four children she adopted after the war. Now it's 1920 and Jayne and her family are returning to the US to make a life for themselves however, she sees the man she killed on the wharf in New York. But perhaps that's just travel weariness. The main problem Jayne has is finding a job to support her family--lady jobs don't pay enough. As a truck driver for the mob running booze she can feed and clothe them but then a woman doing a man's job never has an easy time of it. (see review)

Pyr

Tides by Scott MacKay (Pyr 07 November, 2005 / $25.00) - Book Description: Tides tells the tale of the rise of two intelligent species on the same planet, at a time in their history when they first encounter each other. Paras and Ortok are the only two continents on this planet, the homes to these two different species, and are separated by thousands of miles of ocean. Paras is lush and hospitable, a place where no one ever knows want. It has given rise to a culture of kindness and honesty. Ortok is bleak and volcanic, where the inhabitants survive at a subsistence level. It has given rise to a culture of cruelty and deceit. But will the inhabitants of Paras forever remain honest? And will the sentient species on Ortok finally cast out deceit? Watch cultures collide in this brilliant new novel by the award-winning author of OMNIFIX and ORBIS.

Roc

Born to Run: A Shadowrun Novel (Shadowrun (Roc)) by Stephen Kenson (Roc 01 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Earth, 2063. Long-dormant magical forces have reawakened, and the creatures of mankind's legends and nightmares have come out of hiding. Megacorporations act as the new world superpowers, and the dregs of society fight for their own power. Sliding through the cracks in between are shadowrunners-underworld professionals who will do anything for a profit, and anything it takes to get the job done. Kellan Colt has come to Seattle to make a name for herself. But her first run proves that in her line of work, there's no such thing as a sure thing, and that in her world, there is only one law-survival. (see review)

Windfall: Book Four of the Weather Warden (Weather Warden) by Rachel Caine (Roc 01 November, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin's stormy personal life is taking its toll on her patience-and her powers. But when the truce between the Wardens and the mystical Djinn starts to self-destruct, Joanne finds herself forced to choose between saving her Djinn lover, saving her Warden abilities-and saving humanity.

Roc Trade

Touched By Venom: Book One of the Dragon Temple Saga by Janine Cross (Roc Trade 01 November, 2005 / $14.00) - Touched by Venom is book one of the Dragon Temple Saga and begins as the remembrances of a much older person writing down her story and that of her times. When a book begins in this manner, as a reader you know the main character will win through because that person is telling the story. What you don't know is how that person got from the child to the adult. What choices were made? What demons were conquered and paths trod to bridge the difference between child and adult. As a reader, you are immediately dropped unprepared into a culture that is alien to our way of thinking -- the Dragon Temple controls everyone and everything. There are few ways to move from one economic strata to another and if you are a woman, then only a man can change your circumstances. It is in this world that Zarq Darquel begins her story. (see review)

Spectra

Glorious Treason by C.J. Ryan (Spectra 29 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Glorious Treason is the second in a new series by C.J. Ryan featuring Gloria VanDeen, the perpetually naked agent of the Department of Extraterrestrial Affairs. This time out Gloria has been dispatched to the planet Sylvania by her boss Norman Mingus, ostensibly to mount a voter registration drive so that the planet can be officially incorporated into the empire. But, as usual, there's more going on beneath the surface. This time literally. The push for incorporation is being made by the Emperor himself so that the big corporations can move in and mine the planet's stores of Fergusite, a mineral needed to propel starships through hyperspace. But will the crystals be pure enough to cause economic windfall, or contaminated enough to destroy the empire's faith in interstellar travel. (see review)

The Mark of Ran: Book One of The Sea Beggars by Paul Kearney (Spectra 29 November, 2005 / $12.00) - In a world abandoned by its Creator, an ancient race once existed--one with powers mankind cannot imagine. Some believe they were the last of the angels. Others think they were demons. The blood of that long-forgotten race runs in Rol Cortishane's veins. From the remote fishing village of his youth to the infamous Hidden City, Rol and a beautiful, troubled assassin named Rowen will travel across the sea on a quest that will make them legends--if it doesn't kill them first. (See John Berlyne's review: The Mark of Ran)

The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl by Tim Pratt (Spectra 29 November, 2005 / $12.00) - American gods? You want American gods? Shoot. Well, we got your American gods right here, right behind that door, and they're not lame Norse has-been gods, nosiree. They're gen-you-eye-ne sagebrush and desert chaos and evil with barbed wire teeth and gun barrel eyed gods. We've got the Outlaw, and he's not just bad folks...he's an earthquake with boots. Now, now...don't you worry none. Rangergirl can handle the Outlaw and keep you all safe, just like she's been doing in every one of her comics, ever since she opened the door in her apartment to find a wilder west beyond it. And shucks...that's all just comic book stuff anyway. Ain't nohow that Outlaw can come to life from those pages and cross back through the door to our world. Well, almost nohow...and of course, therein lies our tale. (see review)

Worldwired by Elizabeth Bear (Spectra 29 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Give Canada's Master Warrant Officer Jenny Casey an inch and she'll take a galaxy. That's just the kind of person a world on the brink of destruction needs. The year is 2063, and Earth has been brutalized. An asteroid flung at Toronto by the PanChinese government has killed tens of millions and left the equivalent of a nuclear explosion in its wake. Humanity must find another option....

Perched above the devastation in the starship Montreal, Jenny is still in the thick of the fray. Plugged into the worldwire, connected to a brilliant AI, her mind can be everywhere and anywhere at once. But it's focused on the mysterious alien beings right outside her ship. Are they there to help-or destroy? With Earth a breeding ground for treason and betrayal as governments struggle to assign blame, Jenny holds the fate of humankind in her artificially reconstructed hand....

Star Trek

Distant Shores : Distant Shores (Star Trek: Voyager) by Marco Palmieri (Star Trek 01 November, 2005 / $14.00) - Book Description: Washed up on a faraway galactic shore, Captain Kathryn Janeway of the U.S.S. Voyager™ faced a choice: accept exile or set a course for home, a seventy-thousand-light-year journey fraught with unknown perils. She chose the latter. Janeway's decision launched her crew on a seven-year trek pursuing an often lonely path that embodied the purest form of the Starfleet adage "to boldly go..."™

Committed to that difficult road, Voyager's crew was rewarded with unimaginable experiences on strange and fantastic worlds, encountering exotic alien species and astonishing phenomena...and challenged along the way by conflicts from within as well as from without. Yet none of their adventures tempered their shared determination to find a way back to friends and family.

Starscape

The Skyborn by Paul Collins (Starscape 01 November, 2005 / $23.95) - Book Description: After the crash of the ship Colony, 14-year-old Welkin was left for dead on the inhospitable landscape of a ravaged Earth. After being rescued by a gang of Earthborn, Welkin proves his value and becomes a trusted member of the Family. But existence is still hand to mouth. The nuclear ravaged landscape is hardly more than a vast wasteland. Dangers from bands of mutants threaten continually. As does the ominous presence of Colony itself. Inside the grounded starship Skyborn inhabitants feed on their hatred of the Earthborn. When on routine patrol a Colony scout is captured by the Family, he reveals a secret: authorities onboard Colony have regrouped and mean to launch a final assault-to rid the Earth of the "savage" Earthborn for ever. But even Welkin--armed with his knowledge of Skyborn ways and methods--could never have been prepared for what he finds.

Tor Books

Counting Heads by David Marusek (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - There's certainly a lot of interesting stuff going on in Counting Heads, beginning with Marusek's idea of what the semi-near future will look like. The government has developed robotic slugs that crawl around and sample your DNA in order to prevent terrorism and keep track of nano-attacks. Major cities are shielded from these attacks and most everyone is a clone of a specific personality type. Life is good, more or less, so long as you're near the top instead of near the bottom. (see review)

Learning the World: A Scientific Romance by Ken MacLeod (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - The good news is that I liked this perspective churning tale of generation ships and alien invaders, but the bad news is that it starts a bit slowly and just when it's really taking off the author commits deus ex machina (quite literally) and wraps the whole thing up. Sadly, while the "Civil Worlds" universe remains open for future stories, this tale stands more or less alone. At least according to what the author tell us in our interview this month.

Atomic Discourse Gale, Horrocks Mathematical, and a host of others with charmingly retro-sci names are the second generation on a colony ship heading out from inhabited human space and coming up on their destination star system. Colonizing new worlds is pretty much old hat for humans at this point, and it's been a long trip (400 years), so they're looking forward to arriving. When they get there, they expect to make habitats out of the asteroid rubble, settle the habitable planet and prepare for the starship's next jump outward. What they don't expect is a first contact situation with a race of batwinged folks in the middle of their own pre-dawn of the space age cold-war fear the enemy era. That's only fair, since the aliens aren't expecting comets to slow down as they enter the solar system. (see review)

Master of Dragons by Margaret Weis (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: In Mistress of Dragons we were introduced to a world where political deception, greed, and avarice have lead to a violation of the "hands off" policy of the Parliament of Dragons concerning the affairs of men. In The Dragon's Son twins born out of violence and raised apart discover the secrets of their legacy and the plot to incite a war between dragons and men.

Now as the evidence of deceit, betrayal, and perdition is revealed to them, who will emerge as mankind's savior as the Master of Dragons. A divided Parliament of Dragons where division and self preservation incite war and threaten the order of the ages. A hidden stronghold where insidious and outlaw dragons hatch a race bent on the subjugation of all mankind. The ancient city of Seth and its mystical order of warrior priestesses who have the power to fight back against the attacks of dragons.

The twins Marcus and Ven must unlock the secrets of these places and their own powers and overcome their own personal differences as they prepare to clash in a war that may pit brother against brother and dragon against dragon to determine dominion of the world and the survival of the fittest.

Master of Dragons is the epic conclusion of Margaret Weis's triumphant Dragonvarld trilogy, an epic of politics, war, and the delicate balance of the ways of dragons and men.

Memories of Ice: Book Three of The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $14.95) - Memories of Ice is the third and final book in Erickson's epic series of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. The book continues the story of the Bridge burners, a military troop that has had more bad things happen to it in a couple years than most military systems see in a century. Wherever they go a whirlwind of intrigue, disaster and godly-intervention seems to follow. This book is no different as they find themselves joining forces with old enemies, confronting gods on the battlefield, attacking two fortified cities, and generally trying to keep their heads down so they can survive. This is not an easy thing to do in their case since they're being singled out by pretty much everyone, including the gods. (see review)

Paradise Drift : Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda Book #6 by Sherwood Smith (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: R and R Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Dylan Hunt and the Crew of the Andromeda Ascendant have been fighting the good fight to re-establish the Systems Commonwealth. They need some serious rest and relaxation. Fortunately, they arrive at Paradise Drift, an ideal spot for a quick vacation. In the drift, the crew can play at pirates, medieval knights, gladiators--almost anything imaginable--in the virtual gaming scenarios concocted for visitors' pleasure.

Since the drift wishes to join the New Systems Commonwealth, the crew is given carte blanche to enjoy all of the drift's facilities for free. This is a welcome gift for the weary crew, but it doesn't take long for complications to arise. First, Trance Gemini vanishes without a trace. Then their tech-wizard Seamus Harper visits a harem, only to be confronted by a woman from his past who has a knife and a score to settle. Even worse, Pilot Beka Valentine is relentlessly pursued by a bounty hunter who desperately wants to claim the price on her head. And Captain Dylan Hunt hasn't been worrying about his losing streak at a glamorous gambling parlor, until he discovers that gambling debts on the drift are anything but virtual. Little does Dylan know, he could end up paying for his debts with his head!

Meanwhile, back on the ship, warrior Tyr Anasazi and ship's AI Rommie are forced to defend the Andromeda Ascendant against aggression from an unlikely source. What follows is an exciting, suspenseful deep-space adventure that will surely satisfy viewers of the TV series and readers with a taste for space opera.

Platinum Pohl: The Collected Best Stories by Frederik Pohl (Tor Books 29 November, 2005 / $27.95) - Book Description: Frederik Pohl, the bestselling author of The Boy Who Would Live Forever, is famous for his novels, but first and foremost, he is a master of the science fiction short story. For more than fifty years he has been writing incisive, entertaining SF stories, several hundred in all. Even while writing his bestselling triple-crown (Hugo, Nebula, Campbell Award) novel Gateway and the other Heechee Saga novels, he has always written short fiction.

Now, for the first time, he has gathered together the best of his many stories. Spanning the decades, these tales are in their way a living history of science fiction. Because Frederik Pohl has been on the frontlines of the field since the halcyon days of the late 1930s, and has written short stories in every decade since. And because he has always been a keen observer of the human condition and the world that is shaped by it, his stories reflect the currents of political movements, social trends, major events that have shaken the world . . .

Yet at their core, all his stories are most acutely concerned with people. All sorts of people. Some are people you'll love, some you'll hate. But you will need to find out what happens to the people who inhabit these stories. Because Frederik Pohl imbues his characters with a depth and individuality that makes them as real as people you see every day. Of course, he also employs a mind-boggling variety of scientific ideas and science fictional tropes with which his characters must interact. And he does it all with seemingly no effort at all. That's some trick. Not everyone can do that . . . but that's why he was named a Grand Master of Science Fiction by his peers in the Science Fiction Writers of America.

Here are his two Hugo Award winning stories, "Fermi and Frost" and "The Meeting" (with C. M. Kornbluth), along with such classic novellas as the powerful "The Gold at the Starbow's End" and "The Greening of Bed-Stuy," and stories such as "Servant of the People," "Shaffery Among the Immortals," and "Growing Up in Edge City," all finalists for major awards. And dozens of other wonderful tales, like "The Mayor of Mare Tranq" and the provocative "The Day the Martians Landed" and many others.

Altogether, a grand collection of thought-provoking, entertaining science fiction by one of the all-time greats!

Silver May Tarnish (Witch World Chronicles) by Andre Norton (Tor Books 29 November, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: The Dales of Andre Norton's Witch World have endured wars, natural disasters, the predations of strange creatures, and treachery. None loves the land as well as Lorcan, orphaned at birth, who has sought his birthright for as long as he can remember. Exiled from his native land when it was invaded by Alizon, he spent his youth in Paltendale where he was treated as an outsider, especially by Hogeth, an heir of that dale, who resented Lorcan's presence when both were still young men.

When he came of age, Lorcan left to seek his own destiny. Since then, he has fought valiantly to rid the Dales of the Alizon invaders, but not even his efforts can prevent the deaths of many people, and the destruction of many keeps and garths. The war now over, he has survived, but so have those who would plunder the lands of the survivors. And among the plundering bandits is his nemesis from Paltendale, now more bitter and determined to vanquish Lorcan. During his travels Lorcan has joined with five blank shields, who, fighting together for common cause, become his boon companions. Then he meets a young noble lass, from a dale known as Honeycoombe for its beekeeping. Her dale has been decimated by the war, but with Lorcan and his band, she will try to rebuild a home where they all can live in peace. Lorcan feels that he might at last find happiness with the valiant fair maiden. But Hogeth now leads marauders across the dales, destroying what they cannot rightfully have, and there will be no peace in the dales until Lorcan and Hogeth settle their old, bitter score.

The Dark Horse (Forbidden Tarot) by Patricia Simpson (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Claire Coulter's brother is dying. To Claire's astonishment, her boss offers to pay for the the risky operation that might save him. The catch? Claire must accompany Tobias Benton on a search for the Fountain of Youth.

Despite believing Tobias is on a wild goose chase, Claire agrees--she'll do anything to save her brother. The trip is a disaster: Tobias doesn't just want Claire's company--he wants Claire. But Claire is drawn to Jack, their mysterious and sexy guide.

Although the strange and beautiful deck of tarot cards she's carrying with her predicts a positive outcome, Claire suspects everyone around her is hiding something. Especially Simeon, an urbane older man who claims to be studying snakes, but whose dark demeanor hints at a terrible past.

Claire's psychic sensitivity alerts her that all is not what it seems, but can she figure out who to trust before it's too late?

The Final Key: Part Two of Triad (Saga of the Skolian Empire) by Catherine Asaro (Tor Books 29 November, 2005 / $25.95) - The Final Key is the concluding episode of the dyadic novel Triad, whose first part was published in December, 2004, under the title Schism. The byplay on dyad and triad here is actually relevant to the novel, and the service of the Valdoria family as Kyle Keys. This review is written as a continuation of the Schism review (which you may want to re-read). (see review)

The Midnight Work by Kassandra Sims (Tor Books 29 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Christmas is a time of forgiveness--so when Sophie Aubrey's date, a sexy and mysterious artist named Olivier, turns her into a vampire, she decides to forgive him. Especially since being a vampire is just as cool as she always thought it would be. But there are a few drawbacks she never expected, like zombies, sleazy French alchemists, inexplicable and contradictory fairies--and her roommates: one has abandoned Chicago and her cat for the Fairy Lands, and the other reacted to vampirism by embracing it with both hands (and fangs) and gorging herself on human blood. Ick-o-rama.

Plus, Olivier seems to believe that Sophie is his true love from a thousand years ago. Sophie can forgive that too, because when Olivier touches her, the whole world falls away--but what she can't forgive is that he didn't tell her the whole story, like how a crazy death fairy has a vendetta against her. This has Sophie vacillating between entertainment at the fairy's pretensions and being scared out of her mind that someone who calls himself the God of Death has got it in for her soul.

With the help of Olivier--and the sleazy French alchemist, who turns out to be a vampire's best friend--Sophie thinks she can defeat the death fairy. And if she can't, not only will she and Olivier have no future, she's pretty sure that the whole world is doomed. Who says holidays can't be fun?

The Prestige by Christopher Priest (Tor Books 29 November, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another.

Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command--the highest misdirection and the darkest science.

Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations...to descendants who must, for their sanity's sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.

Triad (Illumination) by Terry McGarry (Tor Books 01 November, 2005 / $27.95) - Book Description: The world must change. The magic-steeped realm of Eiden Myr has come under attack from the outerlands. A new power has arisen that may be the key to winning the war of the coast. Is it the light of salvation--or of delusion? To vanquish darkcraft, mages destroyed a warding that protected the realm for fifteen hundred years. Now the last ragged defenders battle horrors out of nightmare. Their blades are no match for the monstrous onslaught. The shield will fall.

It will take more than the golden light of mages, the copper shine of touches, and the silver glow of visants to stave off annihilation. More than delving the mystery of the bonefolk. More than the forging of an impossible blade. It will take a harrowing passage into realms beyond death, beyond human sight--a quest for the source of light itself.

A great triad will rise, more wondrous and terrible than any before conceived, and the world will be transformed past all imagining.

Warner Books

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (Warner Books 01 November, 2005 / $6.99) - Kitty Norville is a midnight shift DJ for a Denver radio station--and a werewolf in the closet. She accidentally starts "The Midnight Hour," a late night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged. Mayhem, misery and mystery ensue. (see review)

Wesleyan University Press

The Begum's Millions (Early Classics of Science Fiction) by Jules Verne (Wesleyan University Press November, 2005 / $29.95) - Book Description: Verne's first cautionary tale about the dangers of science -- first modern and corrected English translation.

It is the story of two scientists who unexpectedly inherit 500-million-fracs from an Indian rajah. The French scientist, Dr. Francois Sarrasin, builds a city called France-Ville and is determined that it will be a germ-free city focused on hygiene and health. The German scientist, Herr Schultze, builds a city of weapons, the City of Steel. Schultze wants to conquer the world and subjugate France-Ville under the Aryans. The cities compete, and civility gives way to might in this tale of progress gone awry.

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