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US Books Received- 12/2007  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


Airs and Graces by Toby Bishop (Ace 18 December 2007 / $7.99) - From publicity material: Lark is a master in riding her beautiful flying horse, Black Seraph. Their chemistry is envied by many, especially by Duke William, head of the Duchy. His dark obsession with riding a winged horse proves alarming to Lark and Mistress Philippa. It seems he will stop at nothing to get a winged horse to accept him. In the process he is ignoring his traditional duties to protect the kingdom leaving the coast open to enemy Aesk raiders. Now, as the Duchy of Oc is ravaged by chaos, Lark and Philippa are caught in a desperate battle to save the Academy from the Duke, and the land from the Aesks. (Source: Ace)

Captain's Fury: Book Four of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher (Ace 04 December 2007 / $24.95) - Book Description: After two years of bitter conflict with the hordes of invading Canim, Tavi of Calderon, now Captain of the First Aleran Legion, realizes that a peril far greater than the Canim exists-the terrifying Vord, who drove the savage Canim from their homeland. Now, Tavi must find a way to overcome the centuries-old animosities between Aleran and Cane if an alliance is to be forged against their mutual enemy. And he must lead his legion in defiance of the law, against friend and foe-before the hammer stroke of the Vord descends on them all. (see review)

High Deryni (Chronicles of the Deryni) by Katherine Kurtz (Ace 04 December 2007 / $24.95) - Book Description: The fantasy classic-revised and expanded. New York Times bestselling Katherine Kurtz revisits the original trilogy of her career-launching Deryni Chronicles with this newly revised edition of High Deryni.

Kelson Haldane sits upon the throne of Gwynedd- the first king of Deryni heritage, possessing extraordinary magical abilities, to do so in centuries.

The priesthood of the Eleven Kingdoms decried the Deryni as witches and heretics generations ago, drove them underground, and usurped control of the kingdom. They have no intention of conceding their power-even if it means inciting civil war... (Source: Ace)

The Lost Fleet: Courageous (Book 3) by Jack Campbell (Ace 18 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: The Lost Fleet continues its perilous journey home. Badly damaged and low on supplies, the Alliance Fleet is raiding Syndic mines for raw materials-and Captain "Black Jack" Geary hopes they can continue to remain one step ahead of their enemies. But the Syndics are the least of Geary's worries when he learns of the existence of aliens with the power to annihilate the human race. (Source: Ace)


East of the Sun, West of the Moon (Council Wars) by John Ringo (Baen 26 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: When the council that controlled the world-spanning computer Mother fell out in civil war, it plunged the world in an instant from high-tech utopia to medieval nightmare. Now Herzer Herrick and Megan Trevante have been assigned the mission to capture the spaceship that supplies the fuel for all of Earth. Given that Herzer vaguely thinks orbital decay is something having to do with teeth it should be . . . interesting. With all the usual combat expected in a John Ringo novel, East of the Sun and West of the Moon sheds new light on the bizarre relationship between Herzer and Megan, the politics of the new born world and fascinating details of space technology battles.

(see review)

Endless Blue by Wen Spencer (Baen 04 December 2007 / $25.00) - From book flap: The appearance of the warp drive from a long lost spaceship, the Fenrir, triggers an epic quest for the rest of the ship, a mission led by Captain Mikhail Volkov. According to the drive's computers, Fenrir had been lost to a hypothetical "nowhere" of subspace, but since the drive's housing is covered with coral and sea life, obviously Fenrir has gone somewhere. Faced with genocide at the hands of the aliens known as the nefrim, humans need a miracle to survive. On the chance that Fenrir's mysterious location holds such a miracle, Mikhail jumps into the unknown and crashes into the endless blue of the Sargasso. (see review)

Moonsinger by Andre Norton (Baen 26 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: Moon of Three Rings: It is the time of the Moon of the Three Rings when the Free Trader ship Lydis lands on the primitive world of Yiktor, a world the Combine was seeking to control for the power the Three Rings would bring them. The life of a Free Trader was all junior crew member Krip Vorlund knew. That life ended at a beast show on Yiktor when Vorlund was strangely attracted to the owner of the show animals, a delicate and mysterious woman named Maelen. Too soon Vorlund learned the nature of Maelen's sorcery, too soon he is caught up in the struggle over the fate of a worldÂ…. But his soul would remain his own.

Exiles of the Stars: The galactic trade ship Lydis is making a run to the planet Thoth when a civil war lands her in a battle of ancient powers and nameless evil, with a Forerunner treasure at its heart. The crew seems normal—until you look closely at two of its members: Krip Vorlund, a man who walks in a body not his own, and his pet, a four-legged beast hiding the mind of Maelen the Moon Singer, a woman whose esper powers can save them all—or bring them to eternal destruction.

Publisher's Note: Moonsinger has appeared separately as Moon of Three Rings, and its sequel, Exiles of the Stars. This is the first time the complete saga has appeared in one mass market volume.

(Source: Baen)

Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven (Baen 26 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: In the near future, Los Angeles is an all but uninhabitable war zone, racked by crime, violence, pollution and poverty. But above the blighted city, a Utopia has arisen: Todos Santos, a thousand-foot high single-structured city, designed to used state-of-the-art technology to create a completely human-friendly environment, offering its dwellers everything they could want in exchange for their oath of allegiance and their constant surveillance . But there are those who want to see the utopia destroyed, whose answer to tomorrow's best and brightest hope is mindless violence. And they have just entered Todos Santos. . . .

(Source: Baen)

Sister Time (Posleen War Series #9) by John Ringo & Julie Cochrane (Baen 04 December 2007 / $26.00) - Book Description: Cally O'Neal is officially dead. In her over forty years of being an active secret agent she hasn't used her real name, much less spoken to her sister. So when Michelle interrupts an important mission, by seemingly appearing out of thin air, it's an unexpected reunion.

This highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times best seller Cally's War features the return of Michelle O'Neal, the first human Sohon mentat. Sister Time is about life, love and covert operations amongst the universe's ultimate dysfunctional family. (Source: Baen)

The Lifehouse Trilogy by Spider Robinson (Baen 04 December 2007 / $24.00) - Book Description: Three novels complete in one volume:

Mindkiller: Wireheads, addicted to an electric current fed into the pleasure centers of the brain, are the new junkies. Karen, a former wirehead who barely escaped death by pleasure, is determined to bring down those who sell the wireheading equipment, but she and her lover Joe instead turn up evidence of a shadowy global conspiracy—not to control the world, but to keep anyone from realizing that the masters of mind control have been controlling us all for some time now . . . .

Time Pressure: When a beautiful girl appeared in a globe of blue light in a snowbound forest and said she had come back in time, Sam thought it was the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen. But then he began to notice sinister things about her, and thought he would have to kill her to save the present. Except that there was a third possibility, and that really was the most wonderful thing that could possibly happen . . .

Lifehouse: June Bellamy had gone for a walk in a park—and came back with memories missing. She didn't know that, but her partner could tell because she'd told her answering machine about strange people in the park. Now June and Paul are on the run from insidious superhumans who can edit their memories and track them down no matter where or how well they hide. They are desperate—but not nearly as desperate as their pursuers . . .

Three suspenseful stories of people in incredible and desperate situations, all of them unknowingly involved in a secret that could mean the salvation of all humans who were alive, who would ever live, or who ever had lived . . . (Source: Baen)


Troy: Fall of Kings by David Gemmell & Stella Gemmell (Ballantine 26 December 2007 / $25.95) - From publicity material: On the killing fields outside the Golden City forces loyal to the Mykene king mass. Among them is Odysseus, reluctant ally to King Agamemnon; alongside him the mighty warrior Achilles stands ready to begin the slaughter. With Agamemnon's favorite son Hektor riding to his aid and the dread Helikaon prepared to wreak terrible vengeance for the death of his wife at Mykene hands, darkness falls on the Great Green--now, warriors who were once kinsmen are filled with bloodlust. This is a battle whose tragic consequences will echo down the centuries. (see review)

Ballantine Books

Troy: Shield of Thunder by David Gemmell (Ballantine Books 26 December 2007 / $14.95) - Book Description: The second novel in David Gemmell's bestselling Troy trilogy. Interlacing myth and history, and high adventure, this is epic storytelling at its very best.

War is looming, and all the kings of the Great Green are gathering, each with their own dark plans of conquest and plunder.

Into this maelstrom of treachery come three travellers: Piria, a runaway priestess nursing a terrible secret; Kalliades, a warrior with high ideals and a legendary sword; and his close friend Banokles, who will carve his own legend in the battles to come.

Together they journey to the fabled city of Troy, where a darkness is falling that will eclipse the triumphs and personal tragedies of ordinary mortals for centuries to come. From the Paperback edition.

(see review)


Queen of Dragons (Drákon) by Shana Abé (Bantam 26 December 2007 / $18.00) - Book Description: Hidden among the remote hills of eighteenth-century England lives a powerful clan of shape-shifters who've become the stuff of myths and legends. They are the drákon—supersensual creatures with the ability to Turn from human to smoke to dragon. Now a treacherous new enemy threatens to destroy their world of magic and glittering power.

For centuries, they thought themselves alone at Darkfrith, but the arrival of a stunning letter from the Princess Maricara sent from the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania suggests the existence of a lost tribe of drákon. It is a possibility that the Alpha lord, Kimber Langford, Earl of Chasen, cannot ignore. For whoever this unknown princess may be, she's dangerous enough to know about the drákon's existence—and where to find them. That, as Kimber can't help but concede, gives her a decidedly deadly advantage. And, indeed, it wouldn't be long before Maricara breached the defenses of Darkfrith and the walls around Kimber's heart. But the mystery of the princess's real identity and the warning she has come to deliver, of a brutal serial killer targeting the drákon themselves, seem all but impossible to believe. Until the shadowed threat that stalks her arrives at Darkfrith, and Kimber and Maricara must stand together against the greatest enemy the drákon have ever faced—an enemy who may or may not be one of their own. They have no choice but to yield to their passionate attraction for each other. But for two such very different drákon leaders, will an alliance of body and soul mean their salvation, their extinction…or both? (see review)


Guess What I Found in Dragon Wood by Timothy Knapman (Bloomsbury 26 December 2007 / $16.95) - Book Description: In this twist on the "boy finds lost pet" tale, a young dragon discovers a Benjamin in Dragonwood. The dragon takes the boy home, to school and the playground. The Benjamin is a fascinating creature. He doesn't have claws or scales and can't even fly. When the Benjamin gets homesick, the dragon decides to help him get home. How will the other Benjamins react to finding a dragon in their world? (see review)

Pandora Gets Jealous (Mythic Miss-Adventures) by Carolyn Hennessy (Bloomsbury 26 December 2007 / $14.95) - Book Description:

13-year-old Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena (or Pandy, for short) has no idea what she'll bring for her school project. By accident she discovers a simple box, said to contain something so terrifying and horrible that no one must ever, ever touch it for fear of inflicting all of mankind with the wrath of the Gods and Goddesses. This, of course, makes the box the perfect thing for Pandora to bring for her school project. Unfortunately, things don't go quite the way she was hoping, and the box accidentally gets opened, unleashing all kinds of evil and misery into the world. Hauled before Zeus, Hera and the rest of immortals, Pandy's given the task of collecting all the evils within a year's time.
(see review)

Bloomsbury Children's Books

Faerie Lord: The Faerie Wars Chronicles (Book 4) by Herbie Brennan (Bloomsbury Children's Books 26 December 2007 / $18.95) - Book Description: It has been two years since Henry left the Faerie Realm and he has still not adjusted to life back in the Analogue World. But when Henry finds a middle aged Pyrgus in Mr. Fogarty's backyard, he is compelled to return to the world he left so suddenly. A mysterious plague is spreading throughout the Realm causing faeries to age rapidly. No one knows what is causing it or how to cure it. Pyrgus has a plan that Henry must be a part of but can't include his sister, the Faerie Queen, no matter how much she persists. However, almost immediately upon Henry's return, an unlikely person transports him away from the Realm and he is forced to fend for himself in a hostile land.

Elsewhere, Lord Hairstreak, Brimstone and Chalkhill are putting their own plan into motion that may be the undoing of the entire Realm without their even realizing it. The final installment of the Faerie Wars Chronicles is riveting presents and exciting and riveting conclusion to the adventures of Henry Atherton and the Faerie Realm. (Source: Bloomsbury Children's Books)

Bloomsbury USA

How to Build a Robot Army: Tips on Defending Planet Earth Against Alien Invaders, Ninjas, and Zombies by Daniel H. Wilson (Bloomsbury USA 26 December 2007 / $13.95) - Book Description: Defend yourself—and your planet—against the onslaught of evil at your door. It goes without saying that robots kill. They hunt, swarm, and fire lasers from their eyes. They even beat humans at chess. So who better to stand with us when the real villains arrive? Movies instruct us that, whether we like it or not, we will one day be under siege by pirates, ninjas, zombies, aliens, and Godzilla. Also great white sharks. And—let's face it—we're not prepared. But with the advice contained in this brilliantly illustrated, ingenious book, you can build your own robot army to fend off hordes of bloodthirsty foes. From common-sense injunctions ("never approach an unfamiliar robot in a militarized zone") to tactical pointers ("low-power radar beats cameras for detecting mummies in a fog-shrouded crypt") to engineering advice ("passive-dynamic exoskeleton suits will increase sprint speeds but not leg strength"), this book contains all the wisdom you'll need to fend off the coming apocalypse. Witty, informative, and utterly original, How to Build a Robot Army is the ideal book for readers of any age. (see review)

Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Apples & Oranges: Going Bananas with Pairs by Sara Pinto (Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 26 December 2007 / $16.95) - From back of book: How are an apple and an orange alike? Think you know the answer? Try again -- there are more similarities than you think. With more than a dozen silly pairs of everyday items, everyone will have a chance to guess...right, wrong, or somewhere in between. (see review)

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows (Bloomsbury USA Children's Books 26 December 2007 / $15.95) - Book Description: Miri is the only single child in the middle of a family with two sets of twins--older brothers and younger sisters. When the family moves to an old farmhouse Miri accidentally travels back in time to 1935 only to discover Molly, a girl in need of a real family to call her own. A very satisfying classic-in-the-making, with spine-tingling moments, this is a delightful family-friendly middle grade time-slip novel. (Source: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books)

Chicken House

Tunnels (Book 1) by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams (Chicken House 10 December 2007 / $17.99) - Book Description: 14-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his strange, dysfunctional family. In fact, the only bond he shares with his eccentric father is a passion for archaeological excavation. So when his dad mysteriously vanishes, Will is compelled to dig up the truth behind his disappearance. He unearths the unbelievable: a subterranean society that time forgot. "The Colony" has existed unchanged for a century, but it's no benign time capsule of a bygone era. Because the Colony is ruled by a merciless overclass, the Styx. Will must free his father--is he also about to ignite a revolution? (Source: Chicken House)

Collector's Guide Publishing

The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook (Apogee Books Space Series) by Robert Godwin (Collector's Guide Publishing 01 December 2007 / $36.95) - Product Description: In The Lunar Exploration Scrapbook, Godwin combines modern computer graphics with old blueprints to create a full color history of the golden era of lunar exploration. Included in this remarkable book are over 80 different Lunar landers, over 80 lunar rovers and mobile laboratories (MOLAB), more than 50 lunar flying vehicles as well as sections on the Saturn and Nova rockets, lunar space suits, Command & Service module variants, LM laboratories and orbiters, training vehicles, lunar walkers and lunar shelters.

Altogether over 750 color pictures of designs for lunar exploration vehicles, all from NASA, Boeing, Lockheed, Grumman, USAF, US Army, GE, Chrysler, North American Rockwell, Bell Aerospace, Martin, Bendix and more.

From single-seat landers to rocket backpacks and lunar bulldozers, this study takes readers into the imagination of the world's top aerospace engineers by presenting NASA's lunar spacecraft research. A unique blend of history and imagination, this resource covers not only the actual exploration of the moon conducted during the Apollo program of the 1960s and 1970s, but also includes a presentation of dozens of spacecraft that were never built. Vivid, colorful renderings of the conceptual crafts—many of which are not available anywhere else—are also included, providing a visual progression of NASA's technological advancements. (Source: Collector's Guide Publishing)


The Blue-Haired Bombshell by John Zakour (DAW 04 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: The world's last freelance detective, Zach Johnson, must find the assassin who murdered Sexy Sprocket and two other members of the World Council. His investigation leads him to the Moon-and to a tall, sensuous, blue-haired beauty named Lea who possesses psychic powers, and powerful ambitions... (Source: DAW)

The Dragon Nimbus Novels: Volume II by Irene Radford (DAW 04 December 2007 / $8.99) - Book Description: The Dragon's Touchstone is the first novel in the prehistory of Coronnan. The kingdom is caught up in a war of magic, and the dragons decide to intervene, making their presence known to mortals through the healer Myrilandel.

In the second novel, The Last Battlemage, the great Battlemage Nimbulan seeks to create permanent protection for Coronnan. His search will lead him to the discovery that the dragons are in terrible danger... (Source: DAW)

The Future We Wish We Had by Martin H Greenberg and Rebecca Lickiss (Editors) (DAW 04 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: The future holds endless possibilities... Here are 16 intriguing visions of tomorrow. Features stories by: Esther M. Friesner, Brenda Cooper, Kevin J. Anderson, P.R. Frost, Mike Resnick and James Patrick Kelly, Lisanne Norman, Dean Wesley Smith, Irene Radford, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and more.

For all of those who thought that by now that they'd be driving along the skyways in their own personal jet car, who assumed that humans would have established bases on the Moon and Mars, or that diseases would have been conquered, the aging process slowed to a crawl, and war eliminated along with social injustice-here are 16 stories of futures that might someday be reality. (Source: DAW)

Del Rey

Dragon Harper (Dragonriders of Pern, The) by Anne McCaffrey (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $25.95) - Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd McCaffrey, spin a tale of a mysterious illness that may succeed in doing what centruies of Threadfall could not: kill every last human on Pern.

As far back as the people of Pern remember, the drangonriders and their dragons have been the world's heroic protectors. But now a deadly epidemic is sweeping through the land. The drangonriders stand ready to help -- but Kindan, a young apprentice to the fuild of musicians and teachers known as the Harpers, recognizes the true danger: the dreaded Thread, a spore that descends on Pern like a lethal rain, is about to fall.

With the dragons the planet's only safeguard against the Thread, the dragonriders dare not brake quarantine. It is up to Kindan to find another way to stop the spread of the illness and protect the dragonriders so they can live to fight another day. (see review)

Firstborn by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $25.95) - From publicity material: Now, the Firstborn are back. This time, they are pulling no punches: They have sent a "quantum bomb." Speeding toward Earth, it is a device that human scientists can barely comprehend, that cannot be stopped or destroyed--and one that will obliterate Earth. (see review)

Firstborn (A Time Odyssey) by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $25.95) - Book Description: The Firstborn–the mysterious race of aliens who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odysseyhave inhabited legendary master of science fiction Sir Arthur C. Clarke's writing for decades. With Time's Eye and Sunstorm, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and his brilliant co-author Stephen Baxter imagined a near-future in which the Firstborn seek to stop the advance of human civilization by employing a technology indistinguishable from magic.

Their first act was the Discontinuity, in which Earth was carved into sections from different eras of history, restitched into a patchwork world, and renamed Mir. Mir's inhabitants included such notables as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and United Nations peacekeeper Bisesa Dutt. For reasons unknown to her, Bisesa entered into communication with an alien artifact of inscrutable purpose and godlike power–a power that eventually returned her to Earth. There, she played an instrumental role in humanity's race against time to stop a doomsday event: a massive solar storm triggered by the alien Firstborn designed to eradicate all life from the planet. That fate was averted at an inconceivable price. Now, twenty-seven years later, the Firstborn are back.

This time, they are pulling no punches: They have sent a "quantum bomb." Speeding toward Earth, it is a device that human scientists can barely comprehend, that cannot be stopped or destroyed–and one that will obliterate Earth.

Bisesa's desperate quest for answers sends her first to Mars and then to Mir, which is itself threatened with extinction. The end seems inevitable. But as shocking new insights emerge into the nature of the Firstborn and their chilling plans for mankind, an unexpected ally appears from light-years away. (see review)

Half the Blood of Brooklyn: A Novel by Charlie Huston (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $13.95) - Product Description: "One of the most remarkable prose stylists to emerge from the noir tradition in this century."
–Stephen King

"Hard-boiled horror, pulp noir vampires, decaying urban souls– you're gonna need a shower after this one. . . . [Huston] kicks down the door of horror."
–Fangoria, on Already Dead

There's only so much room on the Island, only so much blood, and Manhattan's Vampyre Clans aren't interested in sharing. So when the Vyrus-infected dregs of New York's outer boroughs start creeping across the bridges and through the tunnels, the Clans want to know why.

Bad luck for PI and general hard case Joe Pitt.

See, Joe used to be a Rogue, used to work off his own dime, picked his own gigs, but tight times and a terminally ill girlfriend pushed him into the arms of the renegade Society Clan. Now he has all the cash and blood he needs, but at a steep price. The price tonight is crossing the bridge, rolling to Coney Island, finding the Freak Clan, and figuring out what's driving that bunch of savages to scratch at the Society's door. No need to look far. The answer lies around the corner in Gravesend. Convenient, all those graves.

From uptown to the boardwalk, war drums are beating. Murderous family feuds and personal grudges are being drawn and brandished, along with the long knives. Blood will spill and, big surprise, Joe's in the middle. But hey, why should this night be different from any other?

Sunset to sunrise: put off a war, keep your head attached to your neck, and save your girl. Check. Joe's on the case.

Praise for Charlie Huston and his Joe Pitt novels

"In conceiving his world (a New York City divided by vampire clans, each with different reasons to hate Pitt), Huston gives a fading genre a fresh afterlife. [Grade:] A."
–Entertainment Weekly

"[Huston] creates a world that is at once supernatural and totally familiar, imaginative, and utterly convincing."
–The Philadelphia Inquirer (see review)

Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Wallington (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $23.95) - The novel, written with the full cooperation and consultation of the show's creators will tell the story of Japanese office worker Hiro, who, through the use of his ability to pierce the space-time continuum and manipulate time, bravely catapults himself into the past to save Charlie, a small-town Texas waitress with an extraordinary memory, from being brutally murdered by super-powered serial killer Sylar. (excerpt from publicity material)

Rise of the Blood Royal: Volume III of the Destinies of Blood and Stone (The Destinies of Blood and Stone) by Robert Newcomb (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $26.95) - From publicity material: Robert Newcomb's Rise of the Blood Royal marks the conclusion of his well-received Destinies of Blood and Stone trilogy. The events of Savage Messiah and A March Into Darkness pitted Prince Tristan in difficult battles against his evil half-brother, his half-brother's sorceress wife, and a foreign evil. But now the hero of Eutracia faces a new horror which may cost him what he holds most dear.

Prince Tristan and his band of wizards and warriors have been facing increasingly dire odds in their quest to prevent encroaching evil from taking over their world. What seemed at first to be a single enemy has turned out to be merely a piece of horrific plot by forces of darkness the likes of which Tristan never before knew existed. Only by overcoming great trials in a dangerous quest to harness his own powers of the Vigors--good magic--and the Vagaries--evil magic--into one, immutable force forever. (Source: Del Rey)

Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $13.95) - From publicity material: Sprung from a timeless dream, Shadowbridge is a world of linked spans arching high above glittering seas. It is a world of parading ghosts, inscrutable gods, and dangerous magic. Most of all, it is a world of stories. No one knows those stories better than Leodora, a young shadow-puppeteer who travels Shadowbridge collecting the intertwining tales and myths of each place she passes through, then retells them in performances whose genius has begun to attract fame...and less welcome attention. For Leodora is fleeing a violent past, as are her two companions: her manager, Soter, an elderly drunkard who also served Ledora's father; and Diverus, her musical accompanist, a young man who has been blessed, and perhaps cursed, by the touch of a nameless god. Now, as the strands of destiny begin to tighten around her, Leodora is about to cross the most perilous bridge of all--the one leading from the past to the future. (see review)

Star Wars: Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn (Del Rey 26 December 2007 / $25.95) - Book Description: In the New York Times bestseller Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Drew Karpyshyn painted a gripping portrait of a young man's journey from innocence to evil. That man was Darth Bane, a twisted genius whose iron will, fierce ambition, and strength in the dark side of the Force made him a natural leader among the Sith–until his radical embrace of an all-but-forgotten wisdom drove him to destroy his own order . . . and create it anew from the ashes. As the last surviving Sith, Darth Bane promulgated a harsh new directive: the Rule of Two.

Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it.

Now Darth Bane is ready to put his policy into action, and he thinks he has found the key element that will make his triumph complete: a student to train in the ways of the dark side. Though she is young, Zannah possesses an instinctive link to the dark side that rivals his own. With his guidance, she will become essential in his quest to destroy the Jedi and dominate the galaxy.

But there is one who is determined to stop Darth Bane: Johun Othone, Padawan to Jedi Master Lord Hoth, who died at Bane's hands in the last great Sith War. Though the rest of the Jedi scoff at him, Joshua's belief that there are surviving Sith on the loose is unshakeable.

As Johun continues his dogged pursuit of the man who killed his master, Zannah, faced unexpectedly with a figure from her past, begins to question her embrace of the dark side. And Darth Bane is led by Force-induced visions to a moon where he will acquire astonishing new knowledge and power–power that will alter him in ways he could never have imagined. . . . (see review)

Double Dragon Publishing

That Darn Squid God by Nick Pollotta & James Clay (Double Dragon Publishing 25 December 2007 / $19.99) - Product Description: In the year 1881, the moon suddenly begins to turn around and reveal its long-hidden darker side to the startled world. While most of Humanity finds the event fascinating, two British explorers know the horrible truth. The rotating moon is the legendary sign that foreshadows the return of a prehistoric demon, the monstrous destroyer of Atlantis, an unkillable colossus known only as the deadly, dreaded Squid God. Racing around the world, and against the clock, Prof. Einstein and Lord Carstairs battle the fanatical legions of Squid God worshippers in a valiant effort to stop the ghastly rebirthing ceremony and keep the demonic mollusk locked in the stygian depths of its unearthly lair. Authors Nick Pollotta & James Clay have lovingly crafted a splendid Fantasy/Adventure, heavily laced with their classic off-the-wall humor, and sprinkled with a light dusting of parody toward the legendary works of H.P. Lovecraft, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and just about everything else from the golden glory days of Victorian England.

"'That Darn Squid God" rewrites literary history, remodels London worse than the Blitz, and convinces that it is wise never to deny the supremacy of British womanhood! What more can you ask?" ANALOG SF MAGAZINE

"Nick Pollotta is the funniest man in SF!" GENE WOLFE, two-time Nebula Award winner

"Funny, compelling and an absolute pleasure to read. The finest comedy/fantasy I have read this year!" ETERNAL NIGHT SF MAGAZINE

"Delightfully entertaining!" Robin Wood

"It's not often a book of this nature comes along and you do not want to miss it. Pollotta and Clay are trying to corner humorous fantasy and this tale gives them a firm foundation." BARYON SF MAGAZINE

"Set in Victorian England in the year 1881, That Darn Squid God is an hilarious parody of the otherworldly mythos of H. P. Lovecraft, strewn with delightful trappings of mystery and magic. Tongue-and-cheek humor with a fresh, and fast-paced, narrative style set apart That Darn Squid God as a fantastically funny end-of-the-world ride." MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

".and those who hunt the night alone,
With sword and gun, with cross and bone,
Will sneer at Death, and refuse to kneel,
When graveyard chimes being to peal."
from 'Heroes, or Idiots?'
author unknown
(see review)


A Dark Sacrifice: Book Two of The Rune of Unmaking by Madeline Howard (Eos 01 December 2007 / $14.95) - From back of book: More than a century has passed since the mighty struggle between the wizards and the mages ended in their mutual destruction, and more than 40 years since the Empress Ouriana became the Divine Incarnation of the Devouring Moon. Appointing 12 deadly sorcerers as her priests, she rules the land in darkness unending.

Yet there is a small chance for hope, if one foreordained princess can survive to adulthood. But she has vanished behind enemy lines, and even a brave band of heroes may not be able to reach her in time. For Ouriana's dark reign has woken the ancient terrors of legend, and their vengeance will be swift and all-consuming... (Source: Eos)

For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison (Eos 01 December 2007 / $7.99) - With her action-packed Hollows series, featuring former bounty hunter--and mistress of the dark arts--Rachel Morgan, Kim Harrison has become one of the hottest authors in the incredibly popular genre of sexy supernaturalism. In her latest Hollows tale, For a Few Dollars More, Rachel unleashes all kinds of undead fury on the greater Cincinnati area when she tries to track down a serial killer. To catch up on the Hollows series so far, and to see the music that has inspired the stories, see below.

Follow the Hollows

Dead Witch Walking (Book 1)

The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (Book 2)

Every Which Way but Dead (Book 3)

A Fistful of Charms (Book 4)

Music Is the Muse

For Kim Harrison, music inspires her stories, and especially her characters. In her exclusive Music Is the Muse list for us, she reveals some favorite records that have provided the source, and the soul, for Rachel, Ivy, Trent, and more of her passionate and powerful characters. Among her muses:

Bleed Like Me, Garbage

With Teeth, Nine Inch Nails

Fallen, Evanescence

(see review)


Next (Harper Fiction) by Michael Crichton (Harper 01 December 2007 / $9.99) - Book Description: Is a loved one missing some body parts? Are blondes becoming extinct? Is everyone at your dinner table of the same species? Humans and chimpanzees differ in only 400 genes; is that why a chimp fetus resembles a human being? And should that worry us? There's a new genetic cure for drug addiction--is it worse than the disease?

We live in a time of momentous scientific leaps, a time when it's possible to sell our eggs and sperm online for thousands of dollars and to test our spouses for genetic maladies.

We live in a time when one fifth of all our genes are owned by someone else, and an unsuspecting person and his family can be pursued cross-country because they happen to have certain valuable genes within their chromosomes...

Devilishly clever, Next blends fact and fiction into a breathless tale of a new world where nothing is what it seems and a set of new possibilities can open at every turn.

Next challenges our sense of reality and notions of morality. Balancing the comic and the bizarre with the genuinely frightening and disturbing, Next shatters our assumptions and reveals shocking new choices where we least expect. The future is closer than you think. (Source: Harper)


Wicked Dead: Torn by Stefan Petrucha (HarperTeen 01 December 2007 / $7.99) - Book Description: Tonight's tale . . . Devin's rock band Torn is about to hit the big time. The haunting song he's just written is getting buzz. Between his gorgeous girlfriend, Cheryl, and all the perks of high-school stardom, Devin's feeling pretty good.

Then his band mate is murdered. Viciously. Is it a gang slaying? Or has Devin's lingering melody called up . . . something . . . from the darkness? (Source: HarperTeen)

Juno Books

Chasing Silver by Jamie Craig (Juno Books 01 December 2007 / $6.99) - Book Description: Born in 2057, Remy Capra never expected a second chance at life in Los Angeles, or her only chance at love in 2007. On the run from a cop who cares more about pain than justice, Remy inadvertently goes 75 years back in time and abruptly arrives at the feet of P.I. Nathan Pierce. Remy needs help, and Nathan finds he wants to offer her even more. There are threats from all sides - are their street smarts and unexpected passion enough to keep them together... and alive? (Source: Juno Books)

Nomadic Delirium Press

Seedlings on the Solar Winds and other stories by J Alan Erwine (Nomadic Delirium Press 22 December 2007 / $12.99) - Book Description: America as a fascist state, soldiers driven to terrorism, insane computers, insane humans, insane aliens, these are just some of the things waiting for readers in the pages of this new collection from prize winning science fiction author J Alan Erwine. Seedlings on the Solar Winds contains sixteen stories that will have readers questioning what reality really is, and wondering what the future of humanity might be. (Source: Nomadic Delirium Press)

Norilana Books

Lace and Blade by Deborah J. Ross (Norilana Books 30 December 2007 / ) - Table of Contents: "Introduction," by Deborah J. Ross; "Virtue and the Archangel," by Madeleine E. Robins; "The Crossroads," by Diana L. Paxson; "Touch of Moonlight," by Robin Wayne Bailey; "Lace-Maker, Blade-Taker, Grave-Breaker, Priest," by Tanith Lee; "The Beheaded Queen," by Dave Smeds; "The Topaz Desert," by Catherine Asaro; "Night Wind," by Mary Rosenblum; "In the Night Street Baths," by Chaz Brenchley; "Rule of Engagement," by Sherwood Smith; "Editor's Note," by Deborah J. Ross. (see review)


Metal Swarm (The Saga of Seven Suns) by Kevin J. Anderson (Orbit 10 December 2007 / $25.99) - Book Description: In the aftermath of a devastating war, swarms of ancient black robots built by the lost insectoid Klikiss race continue their depredations on helpless worlds with stolen and heavily armed Earth battleships.Among the humans, the Hansa's brutal Chairman struggles to crush any resistance even as King Peter breaks away to form his own new Confederation among the colonies who have declared their independence.And meanwhile, the original, voracious Klikiss race, long thought to be extinct, has returned, intent on conquering their former worlds and willing to annihilate anyone in the way.Praise for the Saga of Seven Suns?"A soaring epic?a space opera to rival the best the field has ever seen." --- Science Fiction Chronicle"Kevin Anderson has created a fully independent and richly conceived venue for his personal brand of space opera, a venue that nonetheless raises fruitful resonances with Frank Herbert's classic Dune series."? (Source: Orbit)

The Escapement (Engineer Trilogy) by K. J. Parker (Orbit 14 December 2007 / $12.99) - Book Description: The engineer Ziani Vaatzes engineered a war to be reunited with his family. The deaths were regrettable, but he had no choice. Duke Valens dragged his people into the war to save the life of one woman - a woman whose husband he then killed. He regrets the evil he's done, but he, equally, had no choice. Secretary Psellus never wanted to rule the Republic, or fight a desperate siege for its survival. As a man of considerable intelligence, he knows that he has a role to play - and little choice but to accept it. The machine has been built. All that remains is to set it in motion. (Source: Orbit)


Starship: Mercenary (Book 3) by Mike Resnick (Pyr 05 December 2007 / $25.00) - Book Description: The date is 1968 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now. The Republic, created by the human race but not yet dominated by it, is in the midst of an all-out war with the Teroni Federation. Captain Wilson Cole, a man with a reputation for exceeding orders but getting results, found himself the victim of a media feeding frenzy, a political scapegoat despite years of dedicated military service. Faced with a court martial, he was rescued by the loyal crew of his ship, the Theodore Roosevelt. Branded mutineers, the Teddy R. has quit the Republic, never to return.

Seeking to find a new life, Wilson Cole first remade the Teddy R. as a pirate ship plying the spaceways of the lawless Inner Frontier. But military discipline and honor were a poor match for a life of pillaging and plundering, and Cole's principles naturally limited his targets. Seeking a better way of life, the Teddy R. becomes a mercenary ship, hiring out to the highest bidder. Whether it's evacuating a hospital before war can reach it, freeing a client from an alien prison, or stopping a criminal cartel from extorting money from a terrified planet, the crew of the Teddy R. proves equal to the task. Along the way they form a partnership with the once human Platinum Duke, team up with a former enemy, and make the unique Singapore Station their headquarters.

But the life of a mercenary is not always predictable, and eventually circumstance pits Cole and the Teddy R. against his right-hand woman, the former Pirate Queen known as the Valkyrie. Soon the fragile trust that has grown between these two legends is put to the test as they find themselves on opposite sides of a job. (Source: Pyr)


Dragon Outcast: The Age of Fire (Book Three) by E.E. Knight (Roc 04 December 2007 / $14.00) - Book Description: Dragon Outcast continues E.E. Knight's thrilling fantasy series about a brood of young dragon siblings-each unique, each powerful, and each fated to battle the other to the end. Here, the darkest of the dragons is introduced as he strives to make himself the strongest-and the last-of his brethren... (see review)

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (Roc 04 December 2007 / $24.95) - Book Description: New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove has intrigued readers with such thought-provoking "what if..." scenarios as a conquered Elizabethan England in Ruled Britannia and a Japanese occupation of Hawaii in Days of Infamy and End of the Beginning. Now, in the first of a brand-new trilogy, he rewrites the history of the world with the existence of an eighth continent...

Atlantis lies between Europe and the East Coast of Terranova. For many years, this land of opportunity lured dreamers from around the globe with its natural resources, offering a new beginning for those willing to brave the wonders of the unexplored land. (see review)

The Last Charge (Mechwarrior: Dark Age, No. 29) by Jason M. Hardy (Roc 04 December 2007 / $6.99) - Book Description: THE EPIC ACTION SAGA CONTINUES
Anson Marik is at his wit's end. The Lyrans are pressing on his borders. His chief tactician has resigned. And his abilities as a leader are failing him. Now his enemies are on the move, taking the Commonwealth planet by planet, forcing Marik to pull his forces back in a bravely-fought running retreat. And if Marik cannot gather his strength to stop the invasion, his people will be doomed... (Source: Roc)

Sony Pictures

Paprika by Satoshi Kon (Director) (Sony Pictures 09 December 2007 / $26.96) - Product Description: Prepare to enter the realm of fantasy and imagination where reality and dreams collide in a kaleidoscopic mindscape of sheer visual genius. The magical tale centers on a revolutionary machine that allows scientists to enter and record a subject's dream. After being stolen, a fearless detective and brilliant therapist join forces to recover the device before it falls into the hands of a dream terrorist in this gripping anime thriller from acclaimed director Satoshi Kon.

Actors: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Furuya, Kôichi Yamadera, Katsunosuke Hori, Toru Emori


Dreamsongs: Volume II by George R.R. Martin (Spectra December 2007 / $27.00) - Book Description: Dubbed "the American Tolkien" by Time magazine, #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin is a giant in the field of fantasy literature and one of the most exciting storytellers of our time. Now he delivers a rare treat for readers: a compendium of his shorter works, all collected into two stunning volumes, that offer fascinating insight into his journey from young writer to award-winning master. Whether writing about werewolves, wizards, or outer space, George R.R. Martin is renowned for his versatility and expansive talent, highlighted in this dazzling collection. Included here, in Volume II, are acclaimed stories such as the World Fantasy Award-winner "The Skin Trade," as well as the first novella in the Ice and Fire universe, "The Hedge Knight," plus two never-before-published screenplays. Featuring extensive author commentary, Dreamsongs, Volume II, is an invaluable chronicle of a writer at the height of his creativity—and an unforgettable reading experience for fans old and new. (see review)

Dust by Elizabeth Bear (Spectra 26 December 2007 / $6.99) - Book Description: On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change....Ariane, Princess of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel's wings on the battlefield—even after she had surrendered—proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off—but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses—exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane's plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care. Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon. (see review)

Thunderer by Felix Gilman (Spectra 26 December 2007 / $24.00) - Book Description: In this breathtaking debut novel by Felix Gilman, one man embarks on a thrilling and treacherous quest for his people's lost god—in an elaborate Dickensian city that is either blessed …or haunted.

Arjun arrives in Ararat just as a magnificent winged creature swoops and sails over the city. For it is the day of the return of that long-awaited, unpredictable mystical creature: the great Bird. But does it come for good or ill? And in the service of what god? Whatever its purpose, for one inhabitant the Bird sparks a long-dormant idea: to map the mapless city and liberate its masses with the power of knowledge.

As the creature soars across the land, shifting topography, changing the course of the river, and redrawing the territories of the city's avian life, crowds cheer and guns salute in a mix of science and worship. Then comes the time for the Bird's power to be trapped—within the hull of a floating warship called Thunderer an astounding and unprecedented weapon. The ship is now a living temple to the Bird, a gift to be used, allegedly, in the interests of all of Ararat.

Hurtled into this convulsing world is Arjun, an innocent who will unwittingly unleash a dark power beyond his imagining—and become entangled in a dangerous underground movement that will forever transform Ararat. As havoc overtakes the streets, Arjun dares to test the city's moving boundaries. In this city of gods, he has come to search among them, not to hide. (Source: Spectra)

SRM Publisher

Dragon Tide (Adventures in the Liaden Universe, 13) by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (SRM Publisher December 2007 / $10.00) - Product Description: Kareen yos'Phelium Clan Korval has always done everything that was proper, rising by study and by example to become the foremost scholar of the Liaden Code of Proper Conduct on Liad - and perhaps in the galaxy. Indeed, it seems that the only people she cannot influence to seemly action are the members of her own Clan. Now, wit Plan B in effect, Kareen must act. Is she merely and expert of the Code, or is she a DAUGHTER OF DRAGONS? Trees propose, dragons dispose. So it has been for many cycles of growing, many lives of dragons. Trees and dragons alike prosper in cooperation, and when the trees do well, the world does well. One day, though, the world is turned upside down: A tree is uprooted; a young dragon is cast into action-- and neither one knows what other menace may be born on this DRAGON TIDE. (see review)


Genju no Seiza 5 by Matsuri Akino (TokyoPop 11 December 2007 / $9.99) - From back of book: Fuuto's classmate Eriko has to sneak out of town to escape the collection agency that has been harassing her family since her father disappeared. Later, Fuuto touches an ancient sword in Professor Ichijo's collection and is thrown back in time 1,000 years to Kyoto. There he witnesses the birth of two famous ancient legends. But will he figure out how to get back before he, too, becomes history? (Source: TokyoPop)

Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moons 2: Silent Noise by Sunao Yoshida (TokyoPop 11 December 2007 / $7.99) - From back of book: Nothing is quite as it seems when a mysterious weapon called Silent Noise destroys Barcelona and threatens Rome. Now, both the city and Cardinal Caterina's life are threatened--and her enemies are even closer than she expects. Meanwhile, her greatest asset, Crusnik Abel Nightroad, has turned against himself and the cause, as a deeply personal loss leads him to question his allegiance to AX. When an unexpected visitor threatens to shift power in the Vatican, will Rome ever be the same again? (Source: TokyoPop)


Borne in Blood: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Tor 01 December 2007 / $27.95) - Book Description: The year is 1817. In Switzerland, the Count Saint-Germain leads a comfortable life with his paramour Hero whose husband died fighting Napoleon. Saint-Germain's loving kindness cannot keep Hero from missing her children who are being raised by their hard-hearted grandfather. The Count has become intrigued by the work of an Austrian noble investigating the properties of blood, a subject always of key interest to a vampire.But when the noble's beautiful ward fixates sexually on the Count, the vampire fears for himself and his gentle lover. With Borne in Blood, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's saga of Count Saint-Germain, reaches a milestone-the twentieth volume of the vampire's adventures. The Saint-Germain cycle is one of our age's most compelling bodies of work of dark fantasy and horror, and the longest running series of vampire novels.Historically accurate, these deeply emotional novels have a devoted readership. Recognizing her impact on the genre, the International Horror Guild named Chelsea Quinn Yarbro a Living Legend at the World Fantasy Convention in 2006. (Source: Tor)

Inferno by Ellen Datlow (Tor 10 December 2007 / $25.95) - From back of book: Ellen Datlow asked her favorite authors to write stories that "provide a frission of shock or a moment of dread so powerful it might cause the reader outright physical discomfort; or a sensation of fear so palpable as to compel the reader to turn on bright lights and play music or seek the company of others to dispel the fear...." Twenty masterful authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Pat Cadigan, Jeffrey Ford, Christopher Fowler, Glen Hirshberg, K.W. Jeter, Joyce Carol Oates, and Lucius Shepard, to name but a few, answered her call. These powerful, deeply affecting, sometimes disturbing tales confirm Ms. Datlow's standing as a preeminent editor of modern horror. (Source: Tor)

The Sorcerers' Plague: Book One of Blood of the Southlands by David B. Coe (Tor 10 December 2007 / $25.95) - From back of book: Grinsa, who nearly single-handedly won the war of the Forelands, has been banished because he is a Weaver, a Qirsi who can wield many magics. He and his family seek only peace and a place to settle down. But even on the distant southern continent, they can't escape the tension between his magical folk and the non-magical Eandi. Instead of peace, they find a war-ravaged land awash in racial tension and clan conflicts. Worse yet, his own people try to harness his great power and destroy his family.

Amid the high tension of clan rivalry comes a plague that preys on Qirsi power across the Southlands with deadly results. When the disease is linked to an itinerant woman peddling baskets, one old man takes it upon himself to find answers in the secrets of her veiled past. (Source: Tor)

Tor Books

Soldier of Sidon by Gene Wolfe (Tor Books 10 December 2007 / $14.95) - Book Description: Latro forgets everything when he sleeps. Writing down his experiences every day and reading his journal anew each morning gives him a poignantly tenuous hold on himself, but his story's hold on readers is powerful indeed. The two previous novels, combined in Latro in the Mist (Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete) are generally considered classics of contemporary fantasy. Latro now finds himself in Egypt, a land of singing girls, of spiteful and conniving deities. Without his memory, he is unsure of everything, except for his desire to be free of the curse that causes him to forget. (see review)


Now You're One of Us by Asa Nonami (Vertical 18 December 2007 / $14.95) - Book Description: In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, here is a new classic about the bride who's no longer sure what to think. All families have their own rituals, secrets, and credos, like a miniature religious cult; these quirks may elicit the mirth or mild alarm of guests, but the matter is rather more serious if you're marrying into a household. If it's a Japanese one with a history, the brace yourself: some surprising truths lurk around the corner. (see review)

The Guin Saga: Book One: The Leopard Mask by Kaoru Kurimoto (Vertical 11 December 2007 / $9.95) - Book Description: In a single day and night of fierce fighting, the Archduchy of Mongaul destroys the gleaming kingdom of Parros. Her surviving twin heirs, Remus and Rinda, flee into the dangerous forests of Roodwood, where the dead walk at night. Their salvation arrives in the form of a mysterious creature with a man's body and a leopard's head that has just emerged from a deep sleep and remembers only its name . . . Guin! (Source: Vertical)

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