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US Books Received- 12/2012  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

Andromeda's Fall (Legion of the Damned) by William C. Dietz (Ace 04 December 2012 / $25.95) - Product Description: The roots of the Legion of the Damned lie deep within the mythology of the future. But now, national bestselling author William C. Dietz goes back to the Legion's early days with the story of one recruit's rebirth and redemption.

Hundreds of years in the future, much has changed. Advances in medicine, technology, and science abound. Humanity has gone to the stars, found alien life, and established an empire. But some things never change...

All her life, Lady Catherine Carletto (called Cat) has lived for nothing but the next party, the next lover, the next expensive toy. Until, in a bloodthirsty power grab, Imperial Princess Ophelia and her cadre of synth assassins murder her brother the emperor, and go on to purge the galaxy of his friends and supporters—including Cat's family. The Carlettos are known to be staunch supporters of the Emperor and Carletto Industries has been in the forefront of his pet project—developing cybernetic technology for use by the masses.

Now Cat, one of the last surviving Carlettos, is on the run. And, like countless others before her, she finds her sanctuary among the most dangerous of society's misfits. (Source: Ace)

Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter (Ace 31 December 2012 / $26.95) - Product Description: Resilience. Remembrance. Restoration. Whatever the cost.

Hurtling through a vortex beyond time and space is a police box that's not a police box. The TARDIS has carried the Doctor and his companions, Jamie and Zoe, to all sorts of places, but now, when they don't want to go anywhere, the TARDIS makes a decision for them. Like it or not, they're coming in for a landing, who knows where or when…

The Wheel. A ring of ice and metal turning around a moon of Saturn, home to a mining colony supplying a resource-hungry Earth. It's a bad place to live--and a worse place to grow up.

The colony has been plagued by problems. Maybe it's only a run of bad luck, but the equipment failures and thefts of resources have been increasing. And there are stories among the children of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. Some of the younger workers are even refusing to go down into the warren-like mines any more.

And then one of them, surfing Saturn's rings, saves an enigmatic blue box from destruction.

Once on the Wheel, the Doctor and his companions face a critical situation when they become suspected by some as the source of the ongoing sabotage.

They soon find themselves caught in a mystery that goes all the way back to the creation of the solar system. A mystery that could destroy the Wheel—and kill them all.

Doktor Glass by Thomas Brennan (Ace 31 December 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: In an age of Zeppelins and gyroplanes, atomics and horseless carriages, the Transatlantic Span is the industrial marvel of the nineteenth century. A monumental feat of engineering, the steel suspension bridge stretches across the Atlantic from Liverpool to the distant harbor of New York City, supported by no less than seven hundred towers. But in the shadows of its massive struts, on the docks of the River Mersey, lies a faceless corpse…

Inspector Matthew Langton is still seized with grief when he thinks of Sarah, his late wife. Tortured by nightmares and afflicted by breathless attacks of despair and terror, he forces himself to focus on the investigation of the faceless man. The victim wears the uniform of the Transatlantic Span Company but bears the tattoos of the Boers—could there be a Boer conspiracy to assassinate Queen Victoria on the upcoming Inauguration Day of the Span?

But the truth, as it begins to emerge, is far more bizarre than a political coup. As additional victims turn up—each with strange, twin burn marks on their necks—Langton draws a connection between the dead man beneath the bridge and chilling rumors of the Jar Bars, soul snatchers who come under cover of night. Most frightening of all is the mythic and elusive Doktor Glass, who may not only be behind the illicit trade in souls…but who may hold the key to what happened to the inspector's own beloved wife on her deathbed. (see review)

The Ramal Extraction: Cutter's Wars by Steve Perry (Ace 24 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: At the close of the 24th Century, a series of revolutions has caused the galaxy to descend into chaos. With the Galactic Union's Army stretched thin, mercenary units have arisen for those who have the need—and the means—to hire them.

Captained by former Detached Guerrilla Forces Colonel R.A. "Rags" Cutter, the Cutter Force Initiative is one of the best. A specialized team consisting of both aliens and humans, the Cutters offer services ranging from fight training and protection to extraction and assassination—as long as the target deserves it and their employer makes good on payday.

When they're hired to find and rescue Indira, the soon-to-be-married daughter of the Rajah Ramal of New Mumbai, the teams' first task is to identify the kidnapper. The obvious suspects are insurgents who want to overthrow the rajanate, but as other forces enter the game and an assassination attempt is made on Ramal, the Cutters realize that their in-and-out extraction job is about to get a lot more interesting—and a lot more lethal. (Source: Ace)

The Shadow's Heir (The Risen Sun) by K. J. Taylor (Ace 24 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Laela Redguard was born with the black hair of the Northern kingdom and the blue eyes of the Southern people, forever marking her as a hated half-breed child of both. When her only family tie is severed, the fierce and strong-willed Laela decides to leave her adoptive father's home in the hopes of finding acceptance in the North, where the ruthless King Arenadd and the dark griffin Skandar rule.

While Laela's Northern features allow her to blend into the crowds of the King's seat at Malvern, she cannot avoid falling victim to a pair of common thugs. When a stranger saves her life and gives her a place to stay, Laela is shocked to learn he is Arenadd himself—a man said to be a murderer who sold his soul to the Night God—the King without a heart.

Arenadd is unsure what compels him to help this girl, but there is something about her that seems familiar, something he cannot remember--something that may rise up to banish the darkness forever. (Source: Ace)

Angry Robot

Nexus by Ramez Naam (Angry Robot 18 December 2012 / $14.99) - Product Description: In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he's thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage - for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes.

From the halls of academe to the halls of power, from the headquarters of an elite US agency in Washington DC to a secret lab beneath a top university in Shanghai, from the underground parties of San Francisco to the illegal biotech markets of Bangkok, from an international neuroscience conference to a remote monastery in the mountains of Thailand - Nexus is a thrill ride through a future on the brink of explosion. (see review)

Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (Atria/Emily Bestler Books 25 December 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: R is having a no-life crisis--he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he is a little different from his fellow Dead. He may occasionally eat people, but he'd rather be riding abandoned airport escalators, listening to Sinatra in the cozy 747 he calls home, or collecting souvenirs from the ruins of civilization.

And then he meets a girl.

First as his captive, then his reluctant house guest, Julie is a blast of living color in R's gray landscape, and something inside him begins to bloom. He doesn't want to eat this girl--although she looks delicious--he wants to protect her. But their unlikely bond will cause ripples they can't imagine, and their hopeless world won't change without a fight.

(Source: Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

Avon

A Love Untamed: A Feral Warriors Novel by Pamela Palmer (Avon 26 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: They are called Feral Warriors--an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release ...

The newest member of the elite Feral Warriors brotherhood, Fox is eager to prove himself on the frontlines of battle against the Daemons. When paired with the legendary Ilina warrior Melisande, he expects the fierce beauty to quickly fall under the spell of his quite considerable charm. Instead, he finds himself spellbound by a woman who's his match in every way.

Beneath Melisande's brittle exterior lies centuries of pain and a violent hatred of all shape-shifters--a hatred that slowly crumbles after she and Fox are caught in a deadly and cunning Mage trap and she glimpses a surprising depth in her far-too-seductive partner. Their survival demands unconditional trust--and their salvation surrender to a wild, untamed love.

(Source: Avon)

Gilded: The St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper (Avon 26 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary.

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy. Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie--to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt--to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

(Source: Avon)

Baen

Cobra Gamble: Cobra War, Book III by Timothy Zahn (Baen 25 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: New York Times #1 best-selling author Timothy Zahn continues his exciting Cobra series with the last entry in a new Cobra trilogy. Cobra warriors: technologically enhanced and implanted with an arsenal of covert weaponry. Jasmine Moreau Broom, descendant of a now-legendary Cobra family, must rally the Cobras to war after a devastating attack on every planet with Cobra on it nearly succeeds in wiping them out entirely.

Cobra warriors, technologically enhanced and implanted with an arsenal of covert weaponry, are the most dangerous guerilla fighters humanity has ever produced. For Jin Moreau Broom, the war is the culmination of a lifetime of Cobra service. But it is also the height of danger for herself and her family as they struggle to survive a war that none of them ever expected to see.

The Troft invasions of Qasama and the Cobra Worlds has had at least one result: it has turned long-time antagonists into uneasy and unwilling allies. As the aliens battle to consolidate their conquered territories, a small group of Cobras and Qasaman Djinn work together to create a victory that will rock the invaders to the core, a victory designed to bring other Troft demesnes into the conflict on the humans' side.

Now one young Cobra must forge a new political order as a devastating alien enemy strikes—an enemy more deadly than any humanity has ever faced. (Source: Baen)

Darkship Renegades by Sarah A. Hoyt (Baen 04 December 2012 / $14.00) - Product Description: Entry number two in Sarah A. Hoyt's rollicking and popular Darkship series, sequel to DarkShip Thieves, and winner of the Prometheus Award.

After rescuing her star pilot husband and discovering the dark secret of her own past on Earth, Athena Hera Sinistra returns to space habitat Eden to start life anew. Not happening. Thena and Kit are placed under arrest for the crime of coming back alive. The only escape from a death sentence: return to Earth and bring back the lost method for creating the Powertrees, the energy source of both Eden and Earth whose technological origins have been lost to war. But that mission is secondary to a greater imperative. Above all else, Thena must not get caught. If she does, then suicide is to be the only option.

With the odds heavily stacked against not only success, but survival, Thena comes to understand what her cynical accusers do not: it is not merely one woman's life on the line anymore. For it's on Earth where the adventure truly begins. Thena realizes that what is truly at stake is the fate of Eden and Earth alike, the continuance of the darkship fleet--and freedom for all in the Solar system–and beyond. (Source: Baen)

Future Imperfect by Keith Laumer (Baen 25 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: From a titan of science fiction adventure and the creator of the legendary Bolo series, an action-packed volume containing a full-length novel and a host of short novels and stories.

From a titan of science fiction adventure and the creator of the legendary Bolo series, an action-packed volume containing a full-length novel and a host of short novels and stories.

A wry vision of a future full of amazing develeopments–but a future where old problems come back to haunt humanity in strange new ways.

First, Mal heads across an America ravaged by worldwide earthquakes when he runs into a dying stranger who speaks darkly of meeting men who weren't really men. The stranger has an unusual gold coin in his pocket–and soon Mal discovers that some thing wants that coin back, and will stop at nothing to get it.

Next: Steve Dravek awakes in a nightmarish city and immediately must fight for his life against ruthless organ-stealing gangs. His last memories are of a vanished time from a century ago. Now, as Steve tries to stay alive long enough to orient himself, he discovers that someone is hunting him through the dark city, someone who seems to know him better than he knows himself.

Plus: The commander of the spaceship fleet that just annihilated the enemy armada decides to become world dictator –that is, unless his second in command can stop him. And a national test condemns a man to a life of unskilled labor, unless he can find a way around the system. (see review)

Rising Sun by Robert Conroy (Baen 04 December 2012 / $25.00) - Product Description: It is the summer of 1942 and what our historians have called the Incredible Victory in the Battle of Midway has become a horrendous disaster in the world. Two of America's handful of carriers in the Pacific have blundered into a Japanese submarine picket line and have been sunk, while a third is destroyed the next day.  The United States has only one carrier remaining in the Pacific against nine Japanese, while the ragtag remnants of U.S. battleships – an armada still reeling from the defeat at Pearl Harbor – are in even worse shape.

Now the Pacific belongs to the Japanese. And it doesn't stop there as Japan thrust her sword in to the hilt.  Alaska is invaded.  Hawaii is under blockade.  The Panama Canal is nearly plugged.  Worst of all, the West Coast of America is ripe destruction as bombers of the Empire of the Sun bombard West Coast American cities at will.

Despite these disasters, the U.S. begins to fight back.  Limited counterattacks are made and a grand plan is put forth to lure the Japanese into an ambush that could restore the balance in the Pacific and give the forces of freedom a fighting chance once more. (Source: Baen)

Spellbound (Grimnoir Chronicles) by Larry Correia (Baen 25 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Grimnoir Society's mission is to protect people with magic, and they've done so—successfully and in secret—since the mysterious arrival of the Power in the 1850s. When a magical assassin makes an attempt on the life of President Franklin Roosevelt, the crime is pinned on the Grimnoir. The knights must become fugitives while they attempt to discover who framed them.

Things go from bad to worse when Jake Sullivan, former PI and knight of the Grimnoir, receives a telephone call from a dead man—a man he helped kill.. Turns out the Power jumped universes because it was fleeing from a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. That predator has just landed on Earth. (Source: Baen)

Ballantine Books

The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll (Ballantine Books 11 December 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: Queen Catherine de Medici is dead, and for Meg Wolfe—successor in a line of legendary healers and mystics known as "daughters of the earth"--it is a time of new beginnings. She strives to be ordinary, invisible in the mists of Faire Isle, and is determined to put the terrifying days of a wicked mother and turbulent childhood behind her. But soon a summons from King James will rekindle a menacing power from the past, bringing haunting visions of a nightmare already unfolding—and a shattering mystery steeped in magic that will determine a destiny from which she cannot hide.

Meg's task: Save the king from the most insidious form of treachery, invisible to those who do not possess Meg's extraordinary gifts. But as Meg discovers, there are more sinister motivations at play in the king's world. Torn between two very different men whose motives and secrets are tied inexorably to her own fate, Meg learns that she can no longer trust anyone or anything--not even her own heart. (Source: Ballantine Books)

DAW

Alien vs. Alien by Gini Koch (DAW 04 December 2012 / $7.99) - Book Description: Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini and the rest of the American Centaurion Diplomatic Corps are still recovering from their introduction to Washington D.C. politics, parties, and conspiracies. So when compromising pictures arrive, no one’s too surprised. They’re also the least of anyone’s worries.

Evil androids running amok, birds of all kinds and from all places creating havoc, a Senator trapped in an ever-tightening web of intrigue, and escalating international tensions all seem tough but manageable. But the disappearance of Jeff Martini and Charles Reynolds during the International One World Festival signals more than the usual nastiness — and it looks like even ACE can’t help them.

Then new trouble arrives in old packages and even with the best hackers in the world, beings from near and far, the full might of Earth’s military, and the Wonder Twins on their side, Centaurion Division’s outmanned and outgunned.

Now Kitty’s racing against the clock to find not only Jeff and Chuckie, but to keep the peace between Middle Eastern countries, all while searching for the bases of super-soldier operations — to stop them or die trying. (Source: DAW)

Battle: The House War: Book Five by Michelle West (DAW 31 December 2012 / $25.95) - Product Description: The weeks since Jewel Markess Terafin has been acclaimed ruler of her House have not been peaceful; four assassination attempts have been made on her life, and one of the most important members of her House Council has been forced to retire, leaving a seat empty at a time when she requires trusted allies.

The war in the distant South has ended; the armies, victorious, have returned to Averalaan. During the victory parade of the Kings' armies, the fifth assassination attempt occurs--in full view of the Ten, the Kings, and thousands of spectators. To survive, Jewel takes to the sky on the back of a winged cat; she returns to the Terafin Manse, leaving demonic destruction in her wake, the demon itself in pursuit. In the forest behind her manse, she has the power--barely--to stand against the demon; she does not have the power to destroy it.

In the aftermath of the Terafin's funeral, the Kings have demanded an audience with the newest ruler of House Terafin. A single, careless command given to the elemental earth on the day of the funeral has caused unexplained and disturbing changes to the palace itself. But before Jewel can answer the summons, she falls prey to the strange, sleeping plague that has felled citizens across the city of Averalaan—from the poorest of holdings to the wealthiest of mansions across the Isle.

It is there--in the uneasy land of dreams--that Jewel discovers the reason for the sickness, and there that she begins to understand the forces arrayed against both her House and the Empire; if she can survive the traps set by the Warden of Dreams and by her deadly, former allies, she will wake to a changed world—if she wakes at all. (Source: DAW)

Elemental Magic: All-New Tales of the Elemental Masters by Mercedes Lackey (DAW 04 December 2012 / $7.99) - Book Description: In 2001, Mercedes Lackey published The Serpent's Shadow, the story of a pioneering woman doctor in an alternative Edwardian London where elemental magic is real, and is monitored by the members of an elite yet secret organization of Elemental Masters. This book began a series where certain gifted individuals wield the powers of the elements: earth, air, fire, and water, for good or ill. The headquarters of this secret organization is London's White Lodge, and it is led by the aristocratic and powerful Lord David Alderscroft, a Fire Master of unrivaled abilities known to insiders as "The Wizard of London". From his seemingly traditional men's club in the city, Lord Alderscroft and his fellow Masters monitor the magical doings in their realm, and find, guide, protect, and train alla those in the British Isles who are born with the ability to control the elements. Be they commoners, women, or those not completely human.

Inspired by this magically parallel turn-of-the-century Britain, other time travelers have followed Mercedes Lackey to this universe to add their gifts to this rich world. Join Tanya Huff, Diana Paxson, Fiona Patton, Elizabeth Waters, and others in the very first anthology of the Elemental Masters, including a never before published story by the real head of the White Lodge--Mercedes Lackey. (Source: DAW)

Skirmish: The House War: Book Four by Michelle West (DAW 31 December 2012 / $8.99) - Product Description: Skirmish takes readers into brand-new territory, beginning right after the conclusion of The Sun Sword. The Terafin has been assassinated by a demon, and the battle for the House Seat will now begin. Four candidates have declared themselves, but Jewel, the Terafin's own choice to become the next Terafin, has yet to announce her intentions. By the time she does announce her candidacy, attempts have been made on her life by demons. She has also walked along and shut a magical road against some of the demons, while at the same time, she's acquired a number of nonhuman allies. But whether Jewel and her allies--both mortal and magical--will all survive the war that is now beginning is very much in question. (Source: DAW)

The Complete Keeper Chronicles by Tanya Huff (DAW 04 December 2012 / $16.00) - Book Description: The complete Keeper Chronicles. Claire Hansen was a Keeper, a member of Earth's Guardians charged with keeping the universe in one piece, going where she was Summoned--to places where anomalies existed or rifts had opened--to seal up the world's danger spots before all the minions of Hell could break through.

Summon the Keeper: When Claire and Austin the cat (who would assure those he was willing to talk to that he was really Claire's keeper) found themselves Summonded to the Elysian Fields Guest House, they had no way of knwing what lay in store for them. The body in room six, or, more precisely, a woman who'd obviously been locked in a spell for years, was bad enough. But that was nothing compared to what waited in the basement--a barely contained portal into Hell itself....

The Second Summoning: Claire and Austin had acquired a new companion--Dean. Claire knew she should make Dean forget she existed. But wihtou him around she could easily become a danger to herself and the very fabric of space and time. Yet with Dean around--and her sister Diana's meddling thrown in--the world was headed strait for Chaos. And Claire was about to face a catastrophe created by the power of love--when an angel and a devil each manifested in the mortal world as fully endowed teenagers, who didn't have a clue how to handle their all-too-human bodies, raging hormones, and opposing needs to do good and evil.

Long Hot Summoning: Diana, like her sister Claire, was a Keeper. What neither Diana nor Sam--Diana's talking cat--could have anticipated was that her first Summons as an active Keeper would be to a shopping mall. But a quick trip to the Erlking's Emporium mall in Kingston confirmed Diana's worst suspicions. Not only was Darkness trying to stage a takeover from the Otherside, but if Diana didn't bring in reinforcements, her first Summons might well be her last. (Source: DAW)

Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (DAW 31 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat", just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near-mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father's killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time-and struggle against their own misgivings-to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.

Read our review of Throne of the Crescent Moon in our February 2012 issue. (Source: DAW)

Touch of the Demon (Kara Gillian) by Diana Rowland (DAW 31 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: Kara Gillian is in some seriously deep trouble. She's used to summoning supernatural creatures from the demon realm to our world, but now the tables have been turned and she's the one who's been summoned. Kara is the prisoner of yet another demonic lord, but she quickly discovers that she's far more than a mere hostage. Yet waiting for rescue has never been her style, and Kara has no intention of being a pawn in someone else's game.

There's intrigue to spare as she digs into the origin of the demonic lords and discovers the machinations of humans and demons alike. Kara is shocked to discover that she has her own history in the demon realm, and that the ties between her and the demonic lords Rhyzkahl and Szerain go back farther than she could have ever imagined. But treachery runs rampant among all the lords, and she's going to have to stay sharp in order to keep from being used to further their own agendas. The lords have a secret that dates back to earth's ancient history, and it could have devastating repercussions for both worlds.

Yet more than anything else, Kara's abilities as a homicide detective will be put to the test--because this time the murder she has to solve is her own.

Del Rey

Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton (Del Rey 26 December 2012 / $30.00) - Product Description: A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that's what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career.

Yet Sid's case is about to take an unexpected turn: because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood. The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime.

Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite ... all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one. (see review)

Dial

The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress (Dial 06 December 2012 / $17.99) - Product Description: An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns--and the heroines who use them all. Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder--and the crimes they believe may be connected to it--without calling too much attention to themselves. (Source: Dial)

Dragonwell Publishing

Once Upon a Curse by (Dragonwell Publishing 21 December 2012 / $16.95) - Product Description: Fair maidens, handsome princes, witches, and fairy godmothers all show their dark and dangerous side in this anthology inspired by myths and fairy tales, retold by some of the best authors in this generation and by some upcoming new talents. Told with a dark twist, focused on the lure of the gorgeous evil, this collection will take the readers on a wild ride through magical realms of Ancient Greece, old Russia, medieval Europe, and modern day America.

Eggplant Literary Productions

The Illusion of Steel by Lenora Rose (Eggplant Literary Productions 14 December 2012 / $4.00) - Product Description: Not even a shape-shifter can hide from her past forever. Abandoned by her mother as a child, never knowing her father, Kanna Mendrays understands how to hide. She has used her shapeshifting ability to mask who she is, what she is, even her gender. Now that she has come to Melidan Tower to heal, she finds her defenses crumbling.

Peace is scarce here. Biadei--the friend who saved her life and brought her to the Tower--goes mad at each full moon. The aged Lord Daemon--infamous for having killed the man who abused him--seems to know too much about her. Every room of the Tower presents Kanna with a mystery when all she wants is to be left alone.

And now she has begun to hear a voice: the spirit of Lord Daemon's victim, whispering to her through a sword named Desecrator. When Biadei is captured by werewolves, it promises, "Give me Daemon, and I will save your friend. Give me Daemon, and you will know the truth about your family...."

Forge Books

Dinosaur Thunder by James F. David (Forge Books 24 December 2012 / $27.99) - Product Description: Eighteen years ago, the prehistoric past collided with the present as time itself underwent a tremendous disruption, transporting huge swaths of the Cretaceous period into the twentieth century. Neighborhoods, towns, and cities were replaced by dense primeval jungles and modern humanity suddenly found itself sharing the world with fierce dinosaurs. In the end, desperate measures were taken to halt the disruptions and the crisis appeared to be over. Until now.

New dinosaurs begin to appear, rampaging through cities. A secret mission to the Moon discovers a living Tyrannosaurus Rex trapped in an alternate timeline. As time begins to unravel once more, Nick Paulson, director of the Office of Security Science, finds a time passage to the Cretaceous period where humans, ripped from the comforts of the twenty-first century, are barely surviving in the past. Led by a cultlike religious leader, these survivors are at war with another sentient species descended from dinosaurs.

As the asteroid that ends the reign of dinosaurs rushes toward Earth, Nick and his allies must survive a war between species and save the future as we know it.

(see review)

Gallery Books

Day by Day Armageddon: Shattered Hourglass by J.L. Bourne (Gallery Books 26 December 2012 / $15.00) - Product Description: TOP SECRET
FROM: SECRETARY OF WAR
TO: PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
SUBJECT: VESSEL RECOVERED. FOUR IN CONTAINMENT. ONE ALIVE, EN ROUTE, WRIGHT FIELD
DECEPTION OPERATION UNDERWAY, DEBRIS STAGED, ROSWELL, NM:

In a desperate bid to take back the continental United States—where hordes of undead now dominate the ravaged human population—a Navy commander leads a global mission to the heart of the pandemic. Task Force Hourglass is humanity's final hope, and his team's agonizing decisions could mean living one day more—or surrendering to the eternal hell that exists between life and death. (Source: Gallery Books)

Image Comics

Revival, Vol. 1: You're Among Friends by Tim Seeley (Image Comics 25 December 2012 / $12.99) - Product Description: For one day in rural central Wisconsin, the dead came back to life. Now it's up to Officer Dana Cypress to deal with the media scrutiny, religious zealots, and government quarantine that has come with them. In a town where the living have to learn to deal with those who are supposed to be dead, Officer Cypress must solve a brutal murder, and everyone, alive or undead, is a suspect. The sell-out hit series created by New York Times Bestselling author Tim Seeley and Eisner-winning artist Mike Norton is collected with bonus material! Collects Revival #1-5, and the "Free Comic Book Day" short story. (see review)

LucasBooks

Scoundrels: Star Wars by Timothy Zahn (LucasBooks 26 December 2012 / $27.00) - Product Description: To make his biggest score, Han's ready to take even bigger risks. But even he can't do this job solo.
Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han's got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he's deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There's a bounty on Han's head—and if he can't cough up the credits, he'll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king's ransom. Or maybe a gangster's fortune? That's what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han's less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.

All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy's most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers ... or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it's Solo's scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price? (see review)

Montlake Romance

Guardians of Stone (The Relic Seekers) by Anita Clenney (Montlake Romance 04 December 2012 / $12.95) - Product Description: Kendall Morgan is a human bloodhound. Spending her childhood hunting relics with her ambitious archeologist father, she knew the two of them shared a sixth sense for the history and location of objects -- sometimes even people. What she didn't know was that their paranormal gift could ultimately be their undoing.

After the tragic plane crash that killed her father as well as her childhood best friend, Kendall dedicated her life to finding and protecting relics. When mysterious, sexy billionaire Nathan Larraby hires her for his latest expedition -- the search for four powerful relics -- she's thrown into a world of high-octane danger. He sends brooding mercenary Jake Stone to watch Kendall's back, but he may have created danger of a different kind.

As the team chases down clues, a man called the Reaper makes a play for the artifacts and will stop at nothing to put them to his own sinister use. What's worse is that Nathan hasn't told the whole story, and the dark secrets he's keeping could cost them the mission…and their lives. (Source: Montlake Romance)

Paper Golem LLC

The Wizard of Macatawa and Other Stories by Tom Doyle (Paper Golem LLC 03 December 2012 / $16.00) - Product Description: THE WIZARD OF MACATAWA AND OTHER STORIES is the third single-author collections published by Paper Golem and continues their mission of focusing attention on brilliant new writers, in this case award-winning author, Tom Doyle. Edited by Lawrence M. Schoen, this collection contains a mix of fantasy and science fiction short stories, twelve in all, including "While Ireland Holds These Graves" which earned Doyle a win with Writers of the Future. Richard Paul Russo, author of SHIP OF FOOLS, has said "Tom Doyle promises to be a unique voice and a trailblazer in Science Fiction as it moves into the future." Tom Doyle's short fiction has been described various as "intelligent & beautiful," "dizzying," and "intelligent and creepy stuff." This collection, his first, will hit you with a feral, magnetic intensity. (Source: Paper Golem LLC)

Pocket Books/Star Trek

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Body Electric: Book Three by David Mack (Pocket Books/Star Trek 26 December 2012 / $7.99) - Product Description: A planet-sized Machine of terrifying power and unfathomable purpose hurls entire star systems into a supermassive black hole. Wesley Crusher, now a full-fledged Traveler, knows the Machine must be stopped ... but he has no idea how.

Wesley must enlist the aid of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the Enterprise crew, who also fail to halt the unstoppable alien juggernaut's destructive labors. But they soon divine the Machine's true purpose—-a purpose that threatens to exterminate all life in the Milky Way Galaxy. With time running out, Picard realizes he knows of only one person who might be able to stop the Machine in time to avert a galactic catastrophe—-if only he had any idea how to find him.... (clamax of Star Trek series)

(Source: Pocket Books/Star Trek)

Pyr

A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder (Pyr 04 December 2012 / $17.95) - Book Description: Aiden Fleischer, a bookish priest, finds himself transported to an alien world. With him is Miss Clarissa Stark, a crippled hunchback of exceptional ability, wronged by an aristocrat and cast out from society.

On the planet Ptallaya, under two bright yellow suns, they encounter the Yatsill, a race of enthusiastic mimics who shape their society after impressions picked up from Clarissa's mind. Creating a faux London, the alien creatures enroll Clarissa in their Council of Magicians and Aiden in the City Guard. But why does the peaceful city require guards? After a day that, in earthly terms, has lasted for months, the answer comes, for on this planet without night, a red sun also rises, and brings with it a destructive evil.

The Blood Gods! Hideous creatures, they cause Aiden to confront his own internal darkness while trying to protect his friend and his new home.

(Source: Pyr)

The Doctor and the Rough Rider (Weird West Tales) by Mike Resnick (Pyr 04 December 2012 / $17.95) - Book Description: It's August 19, 1884. The consumptive Doc Holliday is preparing to await his end in a sanitarium in Leadville, Colorado, when the medicine man Geronimo enlists him on a mission. The time the great chief has predicted has come, the one white man he's willing to treat with has crossed the Mississippi and is heading to Tombstone--a young man named Theodore Roosevelt. The various tribes know that Geronimo is willing to end the spell that has kept the United States from expanding west of the Mississippi. In response, they have created a huge, monstrous, medicine man named War Bonnet, whose function is to kill Roosevelt and Geronimo and keep the United States east of the river forever. And War Bonnet has enlisted the master shootist John Wesley Hardin.

So the battle lines are drawn: Roosevelt and Geronimo against the most powerful of the medicine men, a supernatural creature that seemingly nothing can harm; and Holliday against the man with more credited kills than any gunfighter in history. It does not promise to be a tranquil summer. (see review)

The Steam Mole by Dave Freer (Pyr 04 December 2012 / $16.95) - Book Description: Steampunk adventure with an environmental point. After a daring chase across the globe, Tim Barnabas and Clara Calland have brought Clara's scientist father's secret formula to Westralia. Here, much of Australia is simply too hot to be habitable by day. Duke Malcolm, of the Imperial Security Service, transports Clara's rebel-father to a prison in Eastern Australia, hoping to bait her into attempting a rescue. Clara looks to Tim for help, only to find he has fled a racist incident into the desert. She takes a burrowing machine know as a "steam mole" in search of him. The two head to Eastern Australia, where they discover an invading force with plans to take Westralia. (Source: Pyr)

Roc

Mecha Rogue: A Novel of the Armor Wars by Brett Patton (Roc 04 December 2012 / $7.99) - Book Description: Matt Lowell is the hottest new recruit in the Universal Union’s select group of pilots. Their job—control the supremely powerful biochemical robotic avatars known as Mecha. Now, the Prime of Universal Union herself has offered him an unprecedented opportunity: return to Earth to train a new elite force for a covert mission that’s imperative to the future of the Union.

When he and his team embark on their mission—on a border world that may be a target for the anarchical Corsairs—Matt finds that everything is not as it seems. The world is home to a dark secret that underlies the very foundation of the Union itself, and suddenly Matt doesn’t know which side he and his mighty Mecha should be fighting for—or against. (Source: Roc)

Supervolcano: All Fall Down by Harry Turtledove (Roc 04 December 2012 / $26.95) - Product Description: In Supervolcano: Eruption, one of nature's most destructive forces released its ferocity on an unsuspecting world. Now, New York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove reveals how the survivors of the disaster adapt to their new environment.

In the aftermath of the supervolcano's eruption in Yellowstone Park, North America is covered in ash. Farmlands cannot produce food. Machinery has been rendered useless. Cities are no longer habitable. And the climate across the globe grows colder every day.

Former police officer Colin Ferguson's family is spread across the United States, separated by the catastrophe, and struggling to survive as the nation attempts to recover and reestablish some measure of civilization.

(see review)

The Dog in the Dark: A Novel of the Noble Dead by Barb Hendee & J.C. Hendee (Roc 31 December 2012 / $26.95) - Product Description: Barely escaping the city of Calm Seatt--and the assassins hunting them--Magiere, Leesil, and the elven dog Chap sail south to continue their quest to find the powerful Orb of Air before their enemies do. But they are not alone, much to their frustration.

The aging elven assassin Brot'an has forced himself on them by offering his protection. Chap doesn't believe this ruse, however, and seeks to uncover the assassin's true agenda—as well as the cause of the secret civil war that has erupted into the open among Brot'an's people.

Meanwhile, Magiere struggles with her own dark nature, using Leesil's love as an anchor to keep her grounded. For the personal price she paid to procure the Orb of Fire was more than she thought—and more than she wants to reveal to anyone.

But that is exactly what the cunning Brot'an wants to know. And he is willing to do whatever it takes—even if he must reveal his own dreaded secrets that may cost the entire party their lives…and their very souls. (Source: Roc)

Solaris

Play With Fire (A Morris and Chastain Investigation) by Justin Gustainis (Solaris 04 December 2012 / $3.99) - Product Description: A thrilling new occult investigation from Justin Gustainis, creator of the urban fantasy sleuths Quincy Morris, great-grandson of Dracula's killer, and his partner, white witch Libby Chastain.

Houses of worship are burning all across the U.S., churches, synagogues and mosques alike. Usually while the places are full of people. The fires are initially dismissed as unconnected, random acts of violence, until Morris – freshly released from jail after their last case – and Chastain track down the terrible meaning behind the destruction, and the dark cause the arsonists seek to serve. A race against time ensues, to stop a ritual that will cause the deaths of hundreds... and bring about the end of the world.

Subterranean Press

The Hunter from the Woods by Robert McCammon (Subterranean Press 31 December 2012 / $35.00) - Book Description: The Hunter from the Woods marks the much-anticipated return of Michael Gallatin, the lycanthropic hero of Robert McCammon’s 1989 classic, The Wolf’s Hour. These all-new, interlinked stories offer a full measure of McCammon’s trademark narrative excitement, and comprise a fascinating composite portrait of a unique fictional creation.

The volume opens with a pair of brief glimpses into Michael’s early life in Russia and his initial recruitment into the British Secret Service. It ends with a haunting vision of the werewolf at twilight. In between, McCammon gives us three stellar novellas depicting different phases of Michael’s long, brutal war against Nazi Germany. “Sea Chase” is a nautical tale about the hazards of transporting a defecting German scientist to a place of sanctuary in England. “The Wolf and the Eagle” is the account of an unlikely friendship between rival “men of action” and a harrowing portrayal of a lethal forced march through the North African desert. “The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs” tells of an impossible, ultimately tragic love affair set in the embattled city of Berlin during the latter stages of the war.

Erotic, visceral, and filled with moments of desolating horror and unexpected warmth, The Hunter from the Woods is a triumph of imaginative storytelling. Like the best of McCammon’s earlier work, it offers intelligent, world-class entertainment. In the process, it shines a welcome new light on one of the most uncommon heroes in contemporary fiction.

(Source: Subterranean Press)

Tor

Luck of the Draw (Xanth) by Piers Anthony (Tor 24 December 2012 / $25.99) - From publicity material: In Luck of the Draw, Bryce is summoned to the whimsical land of Xanth as part of a wager between the Demons of Earth and Xanth. To his surprise, he has left behind his home and family and eighty-year-old body forever, in exchange for youth and magic...and a quest. he must court and marry Princess Harmony, who is anything but willing to be courted. (Source: Tor)

Tor Books

Ash (David Ash) by James Herbert (Tor Books 11 December 2012 / $29.99) - Product Description: Deep in the countryside, ghost hunter David Ash is investigating a mysterious, secluded stately home. Reports from locals regarding strange goings-on make him think the house is haunted. But not even David Ash's long professional history of warding off evil spirits can prepare him for the shocking discovery that awaits.

International bestselling horror writer James Herbert weaves a terrifying narrative featuring his best-loved character, David Ash, the skeptical detective of the paranormal introduced in the UK number one bestsellers, Haunted and The Ghosts of Sleath. (Source: Tor Books)

The Hermetic Millennia by John C. Wright (Tor Books 24 December 2012 / $25.99) - From back of book: Continuing from Count to a Trillion, Menelaus Illation Montrose -- Taxas gunslinger, idealist, and posthuman genius -- has gone into cryo-syspension following the discovery that, in 8,000 years, a powerful alien intelligence will reach Earth to assess humanity's value as slaves. Montrose intends to be alive to meet that threat, but he is awakened repeatedly throughout the centuries to confront the woes of an ever-changing and violent world, witnessing millennia of change compressed into a few years of subjective time. The results is a breathtaking vision of future history like nothing before imagined: sweeping, tumultuous, and evermore alien, as Montrose's immortal enemies and former shipmates form the starship Hermetic harness the forces of evolution and social engineering to continuously reshape the Earth in their image, seeking to create a version of man that approaching slavers will find worthy. (see review)

UFO Publishing

Unidentified Funny Objects by (UFO Publishing 16 December 2012 / ) - Product Description: Unidentified Funny Objects is a collection of humorous science fiction and fantasy. Packed with laughs, it has 29 stories ranging from lighthearted whimsy to the wild and zany.

Inside you will find a zombear, tweeting aliens, down-on-their-luck vampires, time twisting belly dancers, moon Nazis, stoned computers, omnivorous sex-maniac pandas, and a spell-casting Albert Einstein.

WARNING: Some stories contain R-rated content and are inappropriate for minors, nuns, and anyone who lacks a sense of humor.

Includes the following stories: "El and Al vs. Himmler's Horrendous Horde from Hell" by Mike Resnick; "The Alchemist's Children" by Nathaniel Lee; "Moon Landing" by Lavie Tidhar; "Fight Finale from the Near Future" by James Beamon; "Love Thy Neighbors" by Ken Liu; "The Alien Invasion As Seen In The Twitter Stream of @dweebless" by Jake Kerr; "Dreaming Harry" by Stephanie Burgis; "The Last Dragon Slayer" by Chuck Rothman; "The Real Thing" by Don Sakers; "2001 Revisited via 1969" by Bruce Golden; "The Working Stiff" by Matt Mikalatos; "Temporal Shimmies" by Jennifer Pelland; "One-Hand Tantra" by Ferrett Steinmetz; "Of Mat and Math" by Anatoly Belilovsky; "Timber!" by Scott Almes; "Go Karts of the Gods" by Michael Kurland; "No Silver Lining" by Zach Shephard; "If You Act Now" by Sergey Lukyanenko; "My Kingdom for a Horse" by Stephen D. Rogers; "First Date" by Jamie Lackey; "All I Want for Christmas" by Siobhan Gallagher; "Venus of Willendorf" by Deborah Walker; "An Unchanted Sword" by Jeff Stehman; "The Day They Repossessed my Zombies" by K.G. Jewell; "The Fifty One Suitors of Princess Jamatpie" by Leah Cypess; "The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty" by Charity Tahmaseb; "The Velveteen Golem" by David Sklar; "The Worm's Eye View" by Jody Lynn Nye; and "Cake from Mars" by Marko Kloos.

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