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US Books Received- 12/2011  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

Ace

Earthbound (A Marsbound Novel) by Joe Haldeman (Ace 06 December 2011 / $24.95) - Product Description: The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel--destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenthcentury technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.

(see review)

The Bitter Seed of Magic (A Spellcrackers Novel) by Suzanne McLeod (Ace 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: For once, Genny's life seems quiet. Her sexy boss isn't pushing for a decision on their relationship, and the witches have declared that she is no longer a threat. But when a teenaged faeling is fished out of the River Thames and another disappears, Genny finds herself in a race to stop a curse from taking its next victim.

(Source: Ace)

The Mortal Bone (A Hunter Kiss Novel) by Marjorie M. Liu (Ace 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: When the bond Maxine Kiss shares with the demons tattooed on her skin is deliberately severed, the demon hunter is left vulnerable and unprotected. For the first time in ten thousand years, the demons have a taste of freedom. And as the little demons grow more violent and unpredictable, Maxine starts to fear they will lose their minds without her. Reuniting won't be easy, since a greater temptation waits for these hellions: a chance to return to their lives as Reaper Kings, and unleash hell on Earth. (see review)

Avon

Bedeviled: A Dark Breed Novel by Sable Grace (Avon 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Kyana thought only to save her friend's life when she fed Haven her blood; instead, she created a monster. Now the woman she thought of as a sister is under the spell of an ancient, vengeful god, determined to set him free and wreak havoc on the mortal world...and only Kyana can stop her.

But time is running out. In just seven days, Kyana's Vampyre and Lychen abilities will be gone and she'll be completely transformed into the Goddess of the Hunt--and her blood ties to Haven will be severed. By her side is Ryker--alley, demigod, lover--who will sacrifice everything to keep Kyana safe...even the attraction that burns between them. Together they have one chance to save Haven from herslef...to save humanity from hell on Earth. (Source: Avon)

Baen

Back to the Moon by Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson (Baen 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: The space race is back on. While NASA stages a fiftieth anniversary return to the Moon, a gritty private company puts together its own moonshot, complete with space tourists in tow. Across the globe, the Chinese are determined to arrive first this time. What’s more, they’ll do whatever it takes to win—including stealing every bit of American technology they can pilfer and hack. But just as politics and spectacle threaten to overshadow real accomplishment yet again, something goes horribly wrong on the lunar surface. Now the front-line troops, the astronauts themselves, must put aside the squabbles of others and take fate into their own hands. For it is time to prove that humans are not merely redundant cogs in a vast “lunar delivery process”–but that exploration and adventure in space is humanity’s destiny.

Read our review of Back to the Moon from our January 2011 issue. (Source: Baen)

Galactic Courier: The John Grimes Saga by A. Bertram Chandler (Baen 06 December 2011 / $12.00) - Product Description: Number three in a three-volume collection of the legendary John Grimes of the Galactic Rim series. Classic Star Trek meets the high seas. If space travel is going to be anything like sailing the oceans, then A. Bertram Chandler has surely caught its absolute essence in his Grimes novels. Here are the crowning tales of Grimes' career – the Grimes “Rim Commodore” stories. In these tales, Grimes has found his true calling out on the edge of galactic civilization. He’s the sheriff of a realm where pioneer colonies and parallel dimensions overlap, and a starship captain must be prepared for adventure in ALL possible worlds.

Includes an astounding (as in, mostly published in Astounding and Analog by legendary editor John W. Campbell) cornucopia of Grimes novels bringing together all previous Commodore Grimes tales in Star Courier, To Keep the Ship, Matilda’s Stepchildren, Star Loot. (Source: Baen)

Golden Reflections by (Baen 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Mike Gabrieli's ne'er-do-well brother Tom has disappeared after mysteriously gaining possession of a priceless Aztec artifact. Now Mike sets out on a quest for Tom that takes him back in time to the dawn of the Spanish Conquest of South America. The descendants of the Incas have a plan to keep Pizarro and his conquistadors from overthrowing their ancestors’ empire. Mike is sympathetic, he now faces the very real possibility that, while creating an alternate world with the Incas ascendant, he may be wiping out his own future in the process.

In addition to Fred Saberhagen’s novel The Mask of the Sun, seven top writers have contributed stories set in the same universe. The contributors include New York Times best-selling authors David Weber and Harry Turtledove, as well as Walter Jon Williams, John Maddox Roberts, Jane Lindskold, and more, expanding on Fred Saberhagen’s concept and bringing their own perspectives to this volume of exciting alternate universe adventure. (Source: Baen)

Himmler's War by Robert Conroy (Baen 06 December 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Only days after Normandy, Hitler is taken out of the equation and Heinrich Himmler, brutal head of the SS, assumes control of the Reich. On the Allied side, there is confusion. Should attempts be made to negotiate with the new government or should unconditional surrender still be the only option? With the specter of a German super-weapon moving closer to completion and the German generals finally allowed to fight the kind of war at which they are masters, the allies are pushed toward a course of accommodation or even defeat. Will the soldiers of the Grand Alliance find the courage and conviction to fight on in the face of such daunting odds? And can alliance leaders put into place a new plan in time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by the German war machine? A new and terrible battle for a free world is on.

(see review)

Honor's Paradox (Kencyrath 6) by P.C. Hodgell (Baen 06 December 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: The sequel to Bound in Blood and exciting sixth entry in the Godstalker Chronicles by epic fantasy world-builder extraordinaire, P.C. Hodgell.

Jame is one of the last of the Kencyrath line, born to battle a world-destroying Lord of Darkness and resuscitate her ancestral heritage. Jame’s youth was spent hard and low in a desert wasteland. Now she has discovered her past and her heritage as Highborn—and, with it, the power to call souls out of their bodies and slay the occasional god or two (as well as to resurrect them).

First, though, Jame must survive the politics and dangers of haunted Tentir College, a school for warriors where she’s a student. At Tentir, Jame saves a young protégé from possession by a powerful, evil soul in search of a body, while combating jealous students who see her as a danger to their ambition for power and want her expelled—and blinded and dead, in the bargain! Then, just as graduation approaches, Jame’s exemption from the sacred laws of the tribe of her youth expires and she is expected to wed immediately, plus take on a family. To make matters worse, she’s challenged to a mounted combat duel to decide who is Tentir “top gun”—a competition she must win to graduation. It’s trial by fire, as Jame moves closer to a magnificent destiny she both fears—and knows she must face.

(see review)

Invasion: Book One of the Secret World Chronicle (Secret World Chronicles) by Mercedes Lackey with Steve Libbey, Cody Martin, and Dennis Lee (Baen 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's good to be meta-human, a superhuman hero in a world of normals. Use your superpowers, fight crime, stave off the occasional rogue mutant—then get some rest and have a nice day. But when swastika-laden robotic warriors from an alternate and incredibly advanced Third Reich discover a way to breach the barrier between worlds, the metas face an opponent that will push them to the edge of extinction.And if they can survive the transdimensional menace, the titanic effort will finally push the metas onward to find their true place in society and force them to forge a new, heroic destiny for their kind!

From New York Times best-seller and science fiction and fantasy mistress of adventure Mercedes Lackey together with a team of topnotch collaborators, the start of a new saga of superpowers—and the very human men and women who must learn to wield them without losing themselves in the process!

About Mercedes Lackey:

“With [Mercedes Lackey], suspense never lags...”—Kliatt (Source: Baen)

Bloomsbury USA Children's

Surrender (Haunting Emma) by Lee Nichols (Bloomsbury USA Children's 06 December 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power? (YA) (Source: Bloomsbury USA Children's)

CreateSpace

Druid Dreams and Other Stories by Alfred R. Taylor (CreateSpace 19 December 2011 / $8.50) - Product Description: Druid Dreams and Other Stories, written by award winning author Alfred R. Taylor, is a collection ranging from romance to horror for readers of all ages.

"Druid Dreams," psychologist Dr. Brian Orwell may have discovered proof of past lives, but the price of his discovery may be too high.
"A Moment for Reflection," Mark Aaron tries to save a Gutenberg Bible and himself from disaster aboard the RMS Titanic while fighting to preserve history.
"Traitor in the Tower," the ghosts of the Tower of London aid Mark in his quest to preserve history and prevent an assassination.
"Chain Story," David must cure himself from a witch's curse sent to him over the internet before it completely ruins his life.
This volume includes these thought provoking stories and six other enchanting tales. (Source: CreateSpace)

DAW

Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch (DAW 06 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Alien Super-Being Exterminator Kitty Katt is expecting her first baby. But the alien attacks are getting more dangerous, and now Kitty and her Alpha Centaurion husband, Jeff, have to find out who's behind the conspiracy to kill Kitty's secret agent mom and what caused Kitty's transformation into a superhuman-and they've got to do it all before the baby shower...

(Source: DAW)

Human for a Day by (DAW 06 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Here's an anthology that examines what it means to be human in all its positive and negative aspects. If you were an intelligent robot, would the opportunity to become human for a day be worth the risks? If a magic spell switched the bodies of a vampire and a teenage girl, would both savor the experience or search for a way to undo the enchantment? What tests would an angel face if transformed into a mortal for a day? These are just a few of the inventive stories-some humorous, some sad, many thought-provoking, and all unique-to be found in Human for a Day.

(see review)

Under the Vale and Other Tales of Valdemar by (DAW 06 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Valdemar was the beginning of a fantasy masterwork series that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now readers can travel to the world of Valdemar with Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, Rosemary Edghill, Judith Tarr, and others in these original stories, including an all-new novella from Mercedes Lackey.

(Source: DAW)

Harper

Deep Sky (Travis Chase) by Patrick Lee (Harper 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: The anomaly called the Breach is the government's most carefully guarded secret. But there is another secret even less known ... and far more terrifying.

As the U.S. President addresses the nation from the Oval Office, a missile screams toward the White House. In a lightning flash, the Chief Executive is dead, his mansion in ruins, and two cryptic words are the only clue to the assassins' motives: "See Scalar".

Now Travis Chase of the covert agency Tangent—caretakers of the Breach and all its grim wonders—along with partner and lover Paige Campbell and technology expert Bethany Stewart, have only twenty-four hours to unearth a decades-old mystery once spoken of in terrified whispers by the long since silenced. But their breakneck race cross-country—and back through time and malleable memory—is calling the total destructive might of a shadow government down upon them. For Travis Chase has a dark destiny he cannot be allowed to fulfill...

(see review)

Harper Voyager

Archon: The Books of Raziel by Sabrina Benulis (Harper Voyager 27 December 2011 / $22.99) - Product Description: Angela Mathers is plagued by visions of angels, supernatural creatures who haunt her thoughts by day and seduce her dreams by night. Newly released from a mental institution where she was locked away for two years, she hopes that her time at the Vatican’s university, the West Wood Academy, will give her a chance at a normal life. Unlike ordinary humans, Angela is a blood head — a freak, a monster, the possible fulfillment of a terrifying prophecy of overwhelming death and destruction. Only in Luz, the Vatican’s wondrous enclave, are blood heads accepted and encouraged to discover what kind of powers or special abilities they might possess.

But within West Wood, a secret coven plots, and demons and angels roam the streets searching for the key to open Raziel’s book — a secret tome from a lost archangel. Some are determined to destroy Raziel, while others, like the beautiful Supernal Israfel, one of the highest of the high, wish to free him. And when the Archon — the human chosen to possess the spirit of a dead angel — rises as foretold, they will control the supernatural universe.

Torn between mortal love and angelic obsession, Angela holds the key to Heaven and Hell — and both will stop at nothing to possess her.

(see review)

Lethe Press

Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction by (Lethe Press 30 December 2011 / $18.00) - Product Description: Welcome to a new annual anthology created in honor of the late Joanna Russ, American writer, academic, and feminist whose work shone brightly in the male-dominated field of speculative fiction of the latter half of the twentieth century.

Heiresses of Russ offers readers in one volume the best lesbian-themed tales of the fantastical, weird and otherworldly, published during the prior year. Editors JoSelle Vanderhooft (Sleeping Beauty, Indeed and Other Stories) and Steve Berman (the Wilde Stories series) read countless books, periodicals, and webzines to collect a range of tales--from new voices as well as award-winning authors--that celebrate the spirit of Russ's fiction: stories of sorceresses and spectral women, lost daughters and sisters of myth. The transformative power of the written word becomes magic and tests the boundaries of gender, identity and a woman's dreams.

LucasBooks

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno (LucasBooks 27 December 2011 / $27.00) - Product Description: He was the most powerful Sith lord who ever lived. But could he be the only one who never died? "Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." --Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

Darth Plagueis: one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master—but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power...over life and death.

Darth Sidious: Plagueis's chosen apprentice. Under the guidance of his Master, he secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator, then as Chancellor, and eventually as Emperor.

Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, target the galaxy for domination—and the Jedi Order for annihilation. But can they defy the merciless Sith tradition? Or will the desire of one to rule supreme, and the dream of the other to live forever, sow the seeds of their destruction?

(Source: LucasBooks)

Lulu

The Crimson Battle Axe by Curtis Oddo (Lulu 06 December 2011 / $17.99) - Book Description: The Crimson Battle Axe, a sword-and-sorcery hero story about justice versus vengeance, love versus apathy, forgiveness versus bitterness, and good versus evil. Throughout the story tough choices must be made by the main characters―they must choose the right path while constantly challenged by doubts and dark forces working against them. Through fantastic battles and tender moments, with humor and unlikely friendship, five travelers follow their destiny on an amazing quest. Cover by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell

(Source: Lulu)

Mira

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (Mira 20 December 2011 / $14.95) - Book Description: Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....

(see review)

NAL

Winging It: The Dragon Diaries by Deborah Cooke (NAL 06 December 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It's bad enough that she's the target of the Mages's plan to eliminate all shifters-but she also has to hide her true nature from her human best friend, Megan. But when Megan gets a last-minute invite to the popular kids' Halloween party-hosted by an apprentice Mage-Zoë must save the day and her best friend without revealing her fire- breathing secrets...

(Source: NAL)

Old Earth Books

Pavane by Keith Roberts (Old Earth Books 15 December 2011 / $17.00) - Product Description: A classic of alternate history, this novel is set in a twentieth century where the Roman Catholic Church controls the western world, and has done so so Queen Elizabeth was assassinated in 1588. (Source: Old Earth Books)

Orb Books

A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson (Orb Books 06 December 2011 / $16.99) - Product Description: Tom Winter thought the secluded cottage in the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect refuge—a place to nurse the wounds of lost love and happiness. But Tom soon discovers that his safe haven is the portal of a tunnel through time. At one end is the present. At the other end—New York City, 1963.

His journey back to the early 1960s seems to offer him the chance to start over in a simpler, safer world. But he finds that the tunnel holds a danger far greater than anything he left behind: a human killing machine escaped from a bleak and brutal future, who will do anything to protect the secret passage that he thought was his alone. To preserve his worlds, past and present, Tom Winter must face the terrors of an unknown world to come.

Orbit

Artemis by Philip Palmer (Orbit 12 December 2011 / $13.99) - Product Description: Artemis McIvor is a thief, a con-artist, and a stone cold killer. And she's been on a crime-spree for, well, for years. The galactic government has collapsed and the universe was hers for the taking.

But when the cops finally catch up with her, they give Artemis a choice. Suffer in prison for the rest of her very long life, or join a crew of criminals, murderers, and traitors on a desperate mission to save humanity against an all-consuming threat.

Now, Artemis has to figure out how to be a good guy without forgetting who she really is. (Source: Orbit)

Bad Blood (House of Comarré) by Kristen Painter (Orbit 01 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Samhain approaches, bringing with it the final melding of the mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows just how much power the night holds...

Violent murders occur in Paradise City as counterfeit comarré are systematically hunted. The police and the Kubai Mata have more than enough trouble to keep themselves occupied. As war erupts at home, Malkolm and Chrysabelle head to New Orleans to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Chrysabelle is forced to make a life and death decision and will realize that her relationship to Malkolm may have fatal consequences. The clock is ticking . . . (Source: Orbit)

Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations) by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit 14 December 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Royce and Hadrian have been called upon to aid the struggling kingdom of Melengar as it alone stands in defiance against the newly formed empire. As war approaches a desperate gamble behind enemy lines is their only chance at forming an alliance with the Nationalists to the south.

But Royce has plans of his own and uses this opportunity to discover if an ancient wizard is using Riyria as pawns in his own bid for power. To find the truth, Royce must unravel Hadrian's hidden past. What he discovers will lead them to the end of the known world on a journey rife with treachery and intrigue.

And so continues the second tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

(Source: Orbit)

Penguin

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel by Deborah Harkness (Penguin 27 December 2011 / $16.00) - Amazon.com Review: It all begins with a lost manuscript, a reluctant witch, and 1,500-year-old vampire. Dr. Diana Bishop has a really good reason for refusing to do magic: she is a direct descendant of the first woman executed in the Salem Witch Trials, and her parents cautioned her be discreet about her talents before they were murdered, presumably for having "too much power." So it is purely by accident that Diana unlocks an enchanted long-lost manuscript (a book that all manner of supernatural creatures believe to hold the story of all origins and the secret of immortality) at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and finds herself in a race to prevent an interspecies war.

Read Kat Bittner's review of A Discovery of Witches from our March 2011 issue. (Source: Penguin)

Permuted Press

Bestial by William D Carl (Permuted Press 27 December 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: As night descends on Cincinnati, the city braces for hell on earth: The populace mutates into huge, snarling monsters that devour everyone they see and act upon their most base desires. Planes fall from the sky. Highways are clogged with abandoned cars, and buildings explode and topple. The city burns.

And when daylight comes at last, the same monsters return to human form, many driven insane by atrocities committed against friends and families. . . .

Only four survivors are immune to the metamorphosis: a smooth-talking thief who lives by the code of the Old West; a bank teller who's put her past behind her; a wealthy, disillusioned housewife; and a desperate teenaged runaway. Together they form an unlikely quartet that must find a way to stop the apocalypse before the next full moon. (Source: Permuted Press)

Eden by Tony Monchinski (Permuted Press 06 December 2011 / $15.00) - Product Description: Overnight the world transforms into a barren wasteland ravaged by plague and overrun by hordes of flesh-eating zombies. A small band of desperate men and women stand their ground in a fortified compound in what had once been Queens, New York. They've named their sanctuary Eden. Harris--the unusual honest man in this dead world--races against time to solve a murder while fighting to maintain his own humanity. Ultimately, the danger posed by the dead and diseased masses clawing at Eden's walls pales in comparison to the deceit and treachery Harris faces within. (Source: Permuted Press)

Phoenix Pick

Reboots by Mercedes Lackey & Cody Martin (Phoenix Pick 10 December 2011 / $6.99) - Product Description: Space travel is tough. No air, cosmic radiation, absolute lack of other life-sustaining essentials. *** What better way to deal with space travel than to man ships with creatures that regenerate or don't need air, or are immune to various maladies? *** In a future world where zombies, vampires and werewolves co-exist with 'normal' humans on Earth, these ships are staffed by a motley crew of various types of undead or near-dead creatures. *** Of course no one really knows what happens when zombies and vampires are squeezed together in the close confines of a spaceship. *** Don't you love surprises? (Source: Phoenix Pick)

Pocket Books

Shadow City (Horngate Witches) by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Pocket Books 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: The world is falling apart. The magical apocalypse has come. Now is the time to guard the covenstead against both raiders and refugees. But Max has been stolen by a powerful demi-god who is determined to force her to find a way to use a magical power she never knew she had—even if it kills her. Meanwhile, back in Horngate, a Fury is birthing. When the creature breaks free of the fragile bonds that enclose her, her rage will scour the covenstead from the earth.

Max finds herself in the Shadow City, a place of mysteries and magic, where she must battle for her freedom or become a slave to creatures of dreadful greed and power. Back in Horngate, Alexander must swallow his anger and pride if he hopes to defeat the Fury, a creature that no one has ever successfully fought before.

In the end, it will be courage, friendship, faith and loyalty that win the day. Or else so one will live to see tomorrow.

(Source: Pocket Books)

Wicked Circle (Persephone Alcmedi) by Linda Robertson (Pocket Books 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Is a little time alone with the man you love too much to ask? Well, it may be--when you're Persephone Alcmedi, Lustrata of the witches, and your lover is Domn Lup of the wærewolves. For once, however, the disturbance is not Seph's foster daughter, Beverly, her wacky grandmother, or her newly rediscovered mother. This time, it's the ancient and incredibly sexy vampire Menessos, bearing bad news: because the vampire council fears he is plotting a power grab, Menessos is being hunted by a trio of truth-seeking vampire sisters so dangerous they are usually kept locked in stone.His dreams imperiled, Menessos needs Seph more than ever ... and she needs him. Now, Seph has magical promises to fulfill for the wæres, multiple mundane family challenges to meet, vampire politics to confront ... and into the bargain she's balancing two sexy supernatural males. It's enough to drive any woman insane, especially when you throw in a dragon and—even worse--a government investigator. As danger threatens, Seph isn't sure she can stay alive for the rest of the day ... let alone long enough to accomplish all that needs to be done. (Source: Pocket Books)

Pyr

Planesrunner (Everness, Book One) by Ian McDonald (Pyr 06 December 2011 / $16.95) - Product Description: There is not one you. There are many yous. There is not one world. There are many worlds. Ours is one of billions of parallel earths.

When Everett Singh's scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves young Everett a mysterious app on his computer. Suddenly, this fourteen-year-old has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse—the Infundibulum—the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They've got power, authority, and the might of ten planets—some of them more technologically advanced than our Earth—at their fingertips. He's got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking.

To keep the Infundibulum safe, Everett must trick his way through the Heisenberg Gate his dad helped build and go on the run in a parallel Earth. But to rescue his Dad from Charlotte Villiers and the sinister Order, this Planesrunner's going to need friends. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.

Can they rescue Everett's father and get the Infundibulum to safety? The game is afoot! (see review)

The Doctor and the Kid: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick (Pyr 20 December 2011 / $16.00) - (see review)

Roc

Left Hand Magic: A Novel of Golgotham by Nancy A. Collins (Roc 06 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description:

Located on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Golgotham has been the city's supernatural ghetto for centuries. Populated by countless creatures from myth and legend, the neighborhood's most prominent citizens are the Kymera, a race of witches who maintain an uneasy truce with New York City's humans...

Tate Eresby has accepted the unusual sights and sounds of Golgotham and made it her home. Unfortunately, a magazine has alerted trendsetting hipsters to its existence and they've descended upon the community-along with an anti-Kymera faction known as The Sons of Adam. The sudden influx of tourists escalates racial tensions to a boiling point when two Kymerans are murdered and rioting fills the streets.

(see review)

Mecha Corps: A Novel of the Armor Wars by Brett Patton (Roc 06 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Matt Lowell is in hell-and there's no place he'd rather be. At a training camp on the backwater planet of Earth, he and his fellow cadets are learning to ride Mechas: biomechanicals sporting both incredible grace and devastating firepower. Their ultimate aim is to combat the pirates of the Corsair Confederacy, but before they survive a battle, they have to survive their training.

Because every time Lowell and his comrades "plug in" to their Mechas, their minds are slowly being twisted and broken by an unseen power that is neither man...nor machine.

(see review)

Supervolcano: Eruption (Supervolcano Trilogy) by Harry Turtledove (Roc 06 December 2011 / $25.95) - Product Description: A supervolcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park sends lava and mud flowing toward populated areas, and clouds of ash drifting across the country. The fallout destroys crops and livestock, clogs machinery, and makes cities uninhabitable. Those who survive find themselves caught in an apocalyptic catastrophe in which humanity has no choice but to rise from the ashes and recreate the world...

(see review)

Scholastic Press

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2: A King's Ransom by Jude Watson (Scholastic Press 06 December 2011 / $12.99) - Product Description: Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives...and the enemy may be even closer than they think.

When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they'd stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century.

Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history's dirtiest secrets. It's the race of their lives...and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.

(Source: Scholastic Press)

Signet Select

The Cross: Vampire Federation by Sean McCabe (Signet Select 06 December 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: The vampires call it the Cross of Ardaich: a relic thought to have been destroyed in the war between the Federation and the rebels. But it has been found, and its incredible powers could signal the end of civilization...

A cannibalistic serial killer becomes the perfect tool for the race of the Ubervampyr. His mission: find the cross. His reward: join the ranks of the undead. On his trail are Detective Joel Solomon and Vampire Federation agent Alex Bishop. Once lovers and now enemies, they must work together to prevent the ultimate disaster. Unless they can foil the vampyrs' plans, salvation for the race will be just a dream gone bad.

(Source: Signet Select)

Solaris

Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold (Solaris 27 December 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock. She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it’s tax time, and there’s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night's takings are at risk when Babylon's hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat. (Source: Solaris)

Hell Train by Christopher Fowler (Solaris 27 December 2011 / $8.99) - Product Description: Imagine there was a supernatural chiller that Hammer Films never made. A grand epic produced at the studio's peak, which played like a cross between the Dracula and Frankenstein films and Dr Terror's House Of Horrors...

Four passengers meet on a train journey through Eastern Europe during the First World War, and face a mystery that must be solved if they are to survive. As the Arkangel races through the war-torn countryside, they must find out:

    What is in the casket that everyone is so afraid of?
    What is the tragic secret of the veiled Red Countess who travels with them?
    Why is their fellow passenger the army brigadier so feared by his own men?
    And what exactly is the devilish secret of the Arkangel itself?
Bizarre creatures, satanic rites, terrified passengers and the romance of travelling by train, all in a classically styled horror novel. (see review)

St. Martin's Griffin

The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth (St. Martin's Griffin 06 December 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: It is the 20th Century, an advertisement-drenched world in which the big ad agencies dominate governments and everything else. Now Schoken Associates, one of the big players, has a new challenge for star copywriter Mitch Courtenay. Volunteers are needed to colonize Venus. It`s a hellhole, and nobody who knew anything about it would dream of signing up. But by the time Mitch has finished, they will be queuing to get on board the spaceships.

(see review)

Subterranean

All About Emily by Connie Willis (Subterranean 31 December 2011 / $20.00) - Product Description: Theater legend Claire Havilland fears she might be entering the Sunset Boulevard phase of her career. That is, until her manager arranges a media appearance with her biggest fan--a famous artificial intelligence pioneer's teenage niece. After precocious Emily's backstage visit, Claire decides she's in a different classic film altogether. While unnaturally charming Emily swears she harbors no desire for the spotlight, Claire wonders if she hasn't met her very own Eve Harrington from All About Eve. But the story becomes more complex as dreams of fame give way to concerns about choice, free will, and identity.

With this long, 17,000 word novelette, acclaimed author Connie Willis combines the glamour of old Hollywood and the eternal allure of Broadway to explore the cutting edge robotics of a richly-imagined near future. All About Emily is sure to join 'The Last of the Winnebagos', 'Inside Job' and 'All Seated on the Ground' as one of multiple-award-winner Willis' seminal works. (Source: Subterranean)

Gothic High-Tech by Bruce Sterling (Subterranean 31 December 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: He's the legendary Cyberpunk Guru. He roams our postmodern planet, from the polychrome tinsel of Los Angeles to the chicken-fried cyberculture of Austin... From the heretical Communist slums of gritty Belgrade to the Gothic industrial castles of artsy Torino...always whipping that slider-bar between the unthinkable and the unimaginable.

He's a Californian design visionary. He's an European electronic-art curator. He's a Swiss professor of media philosophy. He's a Prophet of Augmented Reality, even. He's an author, journalist, editor, critic, theorist, futurist, and blogger. Obviously he's pretty much anything that he can get his hands on.

And he never stops typing. This sixth collection of his fantastic stories is a comic arsenal of dark euphoria. It's even weirder, harsher and more twisted than the scary decade that inspired it. Boy, that's saying something.

If there's one thing dear to the heart of this exotic character, one vital prize he will never, ever surrender, one stony core to his mutable, globalized being, it's his fanatical allegiance to the radical potential of science fiction. That is the truth. Really. That is one hundred percent accurate. You could look that up on Wikipedia.

Just like some far-fetched, globe-trotting antihero from one of his own unsettling, yet darkly prophetic novels, he is... Actually, never mind who he is. Does that matter? Is that an issue for us, really? You know what? We're all done here. Turn the page. We need to pretty much move right along. (see review)

Hidden by Kelley Armstrong (Subterranean 31 December 2011 / $28.00) - Product Description: Hiking through the snow, holiday baking and playing board games by the fire--what's not to love about an old-fashioned family Christmas?

Werewolves Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers want to give their four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan, something their parents never had: a nice, normal holiday. No Pack responsibilities, no homicidal half-demons or power-hungry sorcerers to deal with--just the four of them, alone, at a chalet outside Ontario's Algonquin Park. Then a strange werewolf shows up at their door...while the town is buzzing about a young man, back from college, found half-eaten in the woods. And there's the missing little girl...

With all the signs pointing to a rogue mutt with a taste for human flesh, Elena and Clay have no choice but to investigate. But are they the hunters--or the hunted? (see review)

Phases of Gravity by Dan Simmons (Subterranean 31 December 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Richard Baedecker, the aptly named hero of this extraordinary novel, is a man adrift, searching for a lost sense of purpose. A former astronaut, Baedecker once walked on the moon, briefly escaping the tidal pull of gravity itself. Sixteen years later, gravity and other entropic forces have overtaken him. His marriage has ended. His professional life has grown increasingly meaningless. His relationship with his only son has all but disintegrated. At this critical moment, against the unlikely backdrop of Poona, India, Baedecker encounters a remarkable young woman named Maggie Brown, who will point him toward the "places of power" he has left behind and help him rediscover his essential self.

Phases of Gravity is a novel about the power of dreams and the possibility of second chances, about journeys remembered and newly undertaken. It is also, like so much of Dan Simmons's work, a deeply affecting reflection on "the richness and mystery of the universe." Moving effortlessly from the surface of the moon to the small towns of the American Midwest to the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota, and filled with wisdom, unexpected turnings, and flashes of irreverent wit, Phases of Gravity is, by any definition, a major work, the kind of durable, fully realized creation that only a master novelist could produce. (see review)

The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine by Peter Straub (Subterranean 31 December 2011 / $20.00) - Product Description: Meet Ballard and Sandrine, the eponymous protagonists of Peter Straub's extraordinary, deeply unsettling new novella. The two are lovers, widely separated in age but bound together by a common erotic obsession. Their story, which takes place over a period of twenty-five years, is set primarily within the various incarnations of a mysterious yacht making its endless way down the Amazon river. Their journey encompasses moments of beauty and horror, mystery and revelation, pleasure and pain, culminating in the vision of an astonishing--and appalling--apotheosis.

In The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine, the author of the classic Blue Rose trilogy (Koko, Mystery, and The Throat) offers us one more glimpse behind the curtain that separates the visible world of commonplace events from an infinitely stranger world filled with wonders and enigmas, magic and terror. It is a world that only Peter Straub could have created and it burns its way indelibly into the reader's mind. (see review)

Tor Books

Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright (Tor Books 20 December 2011 / $25.99) - From back of book: After the collapse of the world economy, a young boy grows up in what used to be Texas as a tough duelist for hire, the future equivalent of a hired gun. But even after the collapse, there is space travel, and he leaves Earth to have adventures in the really wide open spaces. While humanity, and Artificial Intelligence grow and change, he is catapulted into the more distant future and becomes a kind of superman. (First book of new series) (see review)

Mindscan by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor Books 06 December 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Jake Sullivan has cheated death: he's discarded his doomed biological body and copied his consciousness into an android form. The new Jake soon finds love, something that eluded him when he was encased in flesh: he falls for the android version of Karen, a woman rediscovering all the joys of life now that she too is no longer constrained by a worn-out body. Karen's son sues her, claiming that by uploading into an immortal body, she has done him out of his inheritance. Even worse, the original version of Jake, consigned to die on the far side of the moon, has taken hostages there, demanding the return of his rights of personhood. In the courtroom and on the lunar surface, the future of uploaded humanity hangs in the balance.

(Source: Tor Books)

Reprisal (Adversary Cycle/Repairman Jack) by F. Paul Wilson (Tor Books 06 December 2011 / $15.99) - Product Description: "Who am I? Why, I'm you. Or parts of you. The best parts. I'm the touch of Richard Speck, Ed Gein, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, and Bin Laden in all of you. I am the thousand tiny angers and fleeting rages of your day—at the car that cuts you off on the freeway, at the kid who sneaks ahead of you in line at the movies, at the old fart with the full basket in the eight-items-only express checkout at the supermarket. I'm the nasty glee in the name-callers and the long-suffering pain, the self-loathing, the smoldering resentment, the suppressed rage, and the never-to-be-fulfilled promises of revenge in their targets. I'm the daily business betrayals and the corporate men's room character assassinations. I'm the husband who beats his wife, the mother who scalds her child, I'm the playground beatings of your little boys, the backseat rapes of your daughters. I'm your rage toward a child molester and I'm the pederast's lust for your child, for his own child. I'm the guards' contempt for their prisoners and the prisoners' hatred for their guards, I'm the shank, I'm the truncheon, I'm the shiv. I'm the bayonet in the throat of the political dissident, the meat hook on which he is hung, the cattle prod that caresses his genitals. You've kept me alive, you've made me strong. I am you."

The immortal evil defeated in The Keep and reincarnated in Reborn has come of age and begun to settle scores. He targets a few unlucky individuals for destruction now, but soon the whole world will suffer. And he will feed on our tears and our pain.

(see review)

Territory by Emma Bull (Tor Books 06 December 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: Just as legends and fragments of history from ancient Britain became the Arthurian tales we know--the story of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, the Clantons and others, told and retold in innumerable stories and dramatizations, has became a great American myth.

In Emma Bull's Territory, some of the mystery of that brooding, puzzling tale is accounted to the hitherto unrealized presence of magic. It is a story of power, of compulsion, and of consequences. If Roger Zelazny had written a western, or if Susanna Clarke had reimagined the myths and legends of the American West, the results might have been something like Territory. But only something like. Because nobody writes like Emma Bull.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Thirteen Hallows by Michael Scott and Colette Freedman (Tor Books 06 December 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: A new adult novel from Michael Scott and Colette Freedman... The Hallows. Ancient artifacts imbued with a primal and deadly power. But are they protectors of this world, or the keys to its destruction?

A gruesome murder in London reveals a sinister plot to uncover a two-thousand-year-old secret. For decades, the Keepers guarded these Hallows, keeping them safe and hidden and apart from each other. But now the Keepers are being brutally murdered, their prizes stolen, the ancient objects bathed in their blood. Now, only a few remain.

With her dying breath, one of the Keepers convinces Sarah Miller, a practical stranger, to deliver her Hallow—a broken sword with devastating powers—to her American nephew, Owen. The duo quickly become suspects in a series of murders as they are chased by both the police and the sadistic Dark Man and his nubile mistress.

As Sarah and Owen search for the surviving Keepers, they unravel the deadly secret the Keepers were charged to protect. The mystery leads Sarah and Owen on a cat-and-mouse chase through England and Wales, and history itself, as they discover that the sword may be the only thing standing between the world… nd a horror beyond imagining.

(Source: Tor Books)

William Morrow

The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees (William Morrow 27 December 2011 / $26.99) - Product Description: The Demi-Monde is the most advanced computer simulation ever devised. Created to prepare soldiers for the nightmarish reality of urban warfare, it is a virtual world locked in eternal civil war. Its thirty million digital inhabitants are ruled by duplicates of some of history's cruelest tyrants: Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the Holocaust; Beria, Stalin's arch executioner; Torquemada, the pitiless Inquisitor General; Robespierre, the face of the Reign of Terror. But something has gone badly wrong inside the Demi-Monde, and the US President's daughter has become trapped in this terrible world. It falls to eighteen-year-old Ella Thomas to rescue her, yet once Ella has entered the Demi-Monde she finds that everything is not as it seems, that its cyber-walls are struggling to contain the evil within and that the Real World is in more danger than anyone realizes. (see review)

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