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US Books Received- 04/2013  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

A Matter of Blood: The Forgotten Gods: Book One by Sarah Pinborough (Ace 02 April 2013 / $16.00) - Product Description: London's ruined economy has pushed everyone to the breaking point, and even the police rely on bribes and deals with criminals to survive. Detective Inspector Cass Jones struggles to keep integrity in the police force, but now, two gory cases will test his mettle. A gang hit goes wrong, leaving two schoolboys dead, and a serial killer calling himself the Man of Flies leaves a message on his victims saying "nothing is sacred".

Then Cass' brother murders his own family before committing suicide. Cass doesn't believe his gentle brother did it. Yet when evidence emerges suggesting someone killed all three of them, a prime suspect is found--Cass himself.

Common links emerge in all three cases, but while Cass is finding more questions than answers, the Man of Flies continues to kill.... (see review)

Bronze Gods (An Apparatus Infernum Novel) by A.A. Aguirre (Ace 30 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko work all hours in the Criminal Investigation Division, keeping citizens safe. He's a charming rogue with an uncanny sixth sense; she's all logic--and the first female inspector. Between his instincts and her brains, they collar more criminals than any other partnership in the CID.

Then they're assigned a potentially volatile case where one misstep could end their careers. At first, the search for a missing heiress seems straightforward, but when the girl is found murdered--her body charred to cinders--Mikani and Ritsuko's modus operandi will be challenged as never before. Before long, it's clear the bogeyman has stepped out of nightmares to stalk gaslit streets, and it's up to them to hunt him down. There's a madman on the loose, weaving blood and magic in an intricate, lethal ritual that could mean the end of everything... (Source: Ace)

Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer (Ace 02 April 2013 / ) - Book Description: From the Nebula and Hugo Award-winner comes a noir mystery on a colonized Mars, where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper.

My name is Alex Lomax. I'm a P.I. working the mean streets of New Klondike, the domed Martian city that sprang to life in the wake of the booming fossil market. Roughly forty years ago, Simon Weingarten and Denny O'Reilly discovered evidence of ancient life on Mars, and these fossils quickly became valuable sought-after antiquities for collectors on Earth. Then the wannabe treasure hunters swarmed here, suffering from fossil fever, to take part in "the Great Martian Fossil Rush", hoping to strike it rich.

So I ply my trade among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and "transfers"--folks wealthy enough to upload their consciousness into near-immortal android bodies—trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world. But now the motherlode of all cold cases has just landed in my lap: the decades-old murders of Weingarten and O'Reilly--and God only knows what I may dig up. (see review)

Ad Stellae Books

Defender of the Flame (Flame Trilogy) (Volume 3) by Sylvia Engdahl (Ad Stellae Books 20 April 2013 / $16.50) - Product Description: Starship pilot Terry Radnor is puzzled and outraged when he is suddenly recalled from interstellar exploration to the desolate training base on Titan. His spirits rise after he volunteers for a secret project offering him extraordinary physical and psychic capabilities, yet before he can complete this new training, he is transferred against his will to the cruiser Shepard for a tour of duty he expects to hate. But Shepard's mission turns out to be unlike anything he could have imagined. Advancing rapidly in his career, Terry finds fulfillment in love and in commitment to a cause--until an ironic twist of fate tears him away from everything he has ever cared about. He is forced to build a whole new life, far from all that has previously mattered to him, and only the effort to regain what he has lost keeps him from despair. Is there any hope that he can fulfill his pledge to protect the world whose safety is crucial--more crucial than anyone else knows--to the future of humankind?

While this novel completes the trilogy begun with Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame, it is a completely independent story set two hundred years later, and can be read alone. Unlike Sylvia Engdahl's other previous novels, it is not a Young Adult book and is not appropriate for middle-school readers. However, it will be of interest to adults who have enjoyed Enchantress from the Stars and The Far Side of Evil, as it deals with some of the same themes. (Source: Ad Stellae Books)

Baen

Fire with Fire by Charles E. Gannon (Baen 02 April 2013 / $14.00) - Product Description: Original trade paperback. New Science Fiction Thriller Series! An agent for a spy organization  uncovers an alien alliance in nearby interstellar space--an alliance that will soon involve humanity in politics and war on a galactic scale.

2105, September: Intelligence Analyst Caine Riordan uncovers a conspiracy on Earth's Moon--a history-changing clandestine project--and ends up involuntarily cryocelled for his troubles. Twelve years later, Riordan awakens to a changed world. Humanity has achieved faster-than-light travel and is pioneering nearby star systems. And now, Riordan is compelled to become an inadvertent agent of conspiracy himself. Riordan's mission: travel to a newly settled world and investigate whether a primitive local species was once sentient—enough so to have built a lost civilization.

However, arriving on site in the Delta Pavonis system, Caine discovers that the job he's been given is anything but secret or safe. With assassins and saboteurs dogging his every step, it's clear that someone doesn't want his mission to succeed. In the end, it takes the broad-based insights of an intelligence analyst and a matching instinct for intrigue to ferret out the truth: that humanity is neither alone in the cosmos nor safe. Earth is revealed to be the lynchpin planet in an impending struggle for interstellar dominance, a struggle into which it is being irresistibly dragged. Discovering new dangers at every turn, Riordan must now convince the powers-that-be that the only way for humanity to survive as a free species is to face the perils directly--and to fight fire with fire. (Source: Baen)

The Heretic (Raj Whitehall) by Tony Daniel and David Drake (Baen 02 April 2013 / $25.00) - Product Description: David Drake's legendary Raj Whitehall/The General series, stunningly reborn! In a world of muskets, bows and arrows, and reptile riding nomads, a young warrior fights against a totalitarian computer devoted to stasis.

ABEL DASHIAN'S WORLD DOESN'T NEED A HERO: Duisberg is one of thousands of planets plunged into darkness and chaos by the collapse of the galactic republic, but where other worlds have begun to rebuild a star-travelling culture, Duisberg remains in an uneasy balance between mud-brick civilization and bloodthirsty barbarism.

The people of Duisberg have a god: Zentrum, a supercomputer from the ancient past. Zentrum has decided avoid another collapse by preventing civilization from rising from where it is. And because even a supercomputer and the powerful religion which it founded cannot block all progress, Zentrum has another tool: every few centuries the barbarians sweep in from the desert, slaughtering the educated classes and cowing the peasants back into submission. These are the Blood Winds, and the Blood Winds are about to blow again.

This time, however, there's a difference: Abel Dashian, son of a military officer, has received into his mind the spirit of Raj Whitehall, the most successful general in the history of the planet Bellevue--and of Center, the supercomputer which enabled Raj to shatter his planet's barbarians and permit the return of civilization.

One hero can't stop the tide of barbarians unless he has his own culture supporting him. To save Duisberg, Abel must break the power of Zentrum. (see review)

The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein (Baen 30 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: A young boy and his friend run away from home to protect a cute (if rather large) alien pet that turns out to be much more than just a pet indeed. Afterword by Wen Spencer.

Lummox has been the pet of the Stuart family for generations. With eight legs, a thick hide and huge (and growing) size, Lummox is nobody's idea of man's best friend. Nevertheless, John Stuart XI, descendant of the starman who originally brought Lummox back to Earth, loves him. But when Lummox eats a neighbor's car and begins to grow again, the Feds decide enough is enough. John isn't about to let the authorities take his pet away, and with his best friend friend Betty, determines to save Lummox even if it takes leaving the life he's known forever. (Source: Baen)

Transgalactic by A.E. Van Vogt (Baen 30 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Three complete novels from a Golden Age master of science fiction in one volume: Empire of the Atom, The Wizard of Linn, and Mission to the Stars.

Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn: Global war smashed civilization—or so the legends told—but not all of its machines. A caste of scientists arose who knew how to repair and operate the ancient machines, but not how they worked, and worshiped at the altars of the atomic gods who were said to make the machines run. Society was a strange mix of the modern and the medieval, with armies riding on horseback into huge spaceships, then flying to human colonies on other planets to wage war with swords and arrows.

Then came the mutant Clane, who would have been put to death for his deformities had he not been born into the ruling family. Though his body was twisted, his mind was brilliant, and he not only recovered the lost science behind the ancient machines, but found the truth behind the legends of civilization's downfall. Alien invaders, not human war, had reduced humanity to barbarism as a prelude for a later return in force to colonize the Solar System. And that return would happen soon, unless Clane could find a way to stop it. For the first time, the entire Clane saga, told in the two novels Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn, is complete in one volume.

Mission to the Stars, Van Vogt's sweeping novel of interstellar adventure, is also included, along with the two short novels in the "Ezwal" series, chronicling the struggle of one man to convince a feral but intelligent species to join with humanity in the battle against a mutual enemy—but first he must convince the lone Ezwal who is trapped with him in a deadly jungle to co-operate, or neither will survive. (Source: Baen)

World Divided (Secert World Chronicle) by Mercedes Lackey with Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, and Veronica Giguere (Baen 30 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: From New York Times best-seller and science fiction and fantasy mistress of adventure Mercedes Lackey, #2 in a new pulse-pounding saga of modern-day humans with superpowers. After turning back an invasion of super-science power Nazi war machines, the heroes go on the hunt for the Nazi masters and take the battle to the bad guys.

Meta-Heroes Battle On!

After an Earth-scarring apocalyptic battle, humanity's meta-heroes must take the fight to the enemy. Their task: hunt down the secret puppetmasters behind the Nazi robot invasion, the Thule Society, and cut off the multi-universe plague the Thulians have unleashed. It's go time once again for the meta-heroes including fire-bender John Murdock, hacker-witch Vikki Nagy, healer Belladona Blue, super-quick Mercurye–and most of all for their ghostly ally, Seraphym, the spirit of the world who uses her secret influence to direct the fight against a Thulian-based tyranny of evil that is fast descending upon the entire universe! (Source: Baen)

Cake Walk Entertainment

Volonians: Mysteries of the Vondercrat by Christopher F Edwards, Jr. and Carlos O. Hardy (Cake Walk Entertainment 11 April 2013 / $14.99) - Product Description: Volonia, a magical planet, is home to millions of beautiful, charismatic expressive Witches and Warlocks. Their magic is mighty, their spells are rich in tradition and their rituals stand the test of time. The House of Lords, the governing body, is in a frenzy as one of it's citizens, Varah Cutter, a rebellious, crafty Witch, has single handily conjured a book only they can summon. The VONDERCRAT is the most powerful book in all of Volonia. How she did it remains a mystery. Varah soon realizes The Lords aren't the only entity after her, but an evil brigade lead by the mighty Menace seeks to capture her. Varah's fate stands in ruins as she literally fights to protect her children, her honor and her truth.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Red Sky, Blue Moon by Bruce Golden (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 16 April 2013 / $15.99) - Product Description: Ancient aliens seed the primordial oceans of Earth with protoplasmic material found on other worlds, then return millennia later to see what they have wrought. They not only observe the human civilizations they find, they contact some of them, conducting investigative studies. When they leave, they decide to cull large groups of humans and their environs, which they convey across the galaxy and transplant onto another world to continue their study. Ultimately this great speciation experiment will have unexpected and dire consequences for the experimenters. Meanwhile, on this new world, a group of Vikings evolve over the centuries into a cutthroat corporate culture of racial purists in an early industrial society. They have designs on the lands of a nearby continent where tribes of Sioux still cling to their old ways. And they may not be the only forced immigrants on this planet. War ensues, and at the core of the conflict is a native herb which may be the cure for a disease that ravages the corporatocracy, as well as being the secret to longevity. (see review)

DAW

Protector: Foreigner #14 by C.J. Cherryh (DAW 02 April 2013 / $24.95) - Product Description: It's coming up on Cajeiri's birthday. The boy has been promised he can have the young human children he knew from his voyage sent down from the space station for a two week stay.

But there's far a darker business going on in the background--a major split compromising the Assassins' Guild, which furnishes security and law enforcement to the whole continent.  Tabini's consort's own father has been barred from court, and may be involved in a new conspiracy against him.

For safety reasons, Tabini wants Bren and Ilisidi to take charge of Cajeiri, and protect him and his young guests. They themselves are very likely targets of whatever's going on, no question of it. So is Cajeiri. But having the targets separated and contained is an advantage.

It's Bren's responsibility to entertain the guests, keep the security problem secret...and let a lonely eight-year-old prince reestablish his controversial relationship with the only other children he's ever met...inside the best security they can manage. (Source: DAW)

Del Rey

Videssos Cycle: Volume One: Misplaced Legion and Emperor for the Legion by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey 02 April 2013 / $18.95) - Product Description: Harry Turtledove's many New York Times bestsellers provide an intriguing take on history's most crucial moments, but he honed his speculative talents in a different genre: fantasy. The Videssos Cycle is the perfect fusion of the two. Collected here are the first two novels of Turtledove's one-of-a-kind saga, in which a Roman legion is transported to a strange realm where magic rules.

THE MISPLACED LEGION: In a duel for survival, the Roman military tribune Marcus Aemilius Scaurus raises his sword, blessed by a Druid priest, against a Celtic chieftain, who brandishes a blade of his own. At the moment the weapons touch, Marcus and his legion find themselves under a strange night sky, full of unfamiliar stars, where Rome and Gaul are unknown. They are in an outpost of the embattled Empire of Videssos--a world that will test their skill and courage as no soldiers have ever been tested before.

AN EMPEROR FOR THE LEGION: In the capital of Videssos, a coward and betrayer has seized the throne. There, behind great walls that have always made the city impregnable to storm or siege, he rules with the aid of dark sorcery. Overthrowing him seems impossible and the imperial army has already fled in panic from the savage victors. But there is no panic in the legion. Now Marcus Scaurus leads his men through the chaos and enemy hordes in search of winter quarters, to regroup and do the unthinkable: take the untakeable city. (see review)

Videssos Cycle: Volume Two: Legion of Videssos and Swords of the Legion by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey 16 April 2013 / $18.95) - Product Description: Harry Turtledove's brilliant re-imaginings of major world events have thrilled fans for decades, but he first captured readers' attention with the Videssos Cycle, a unique blend of fantasy and speculative history. In this two-book volume, a Roman legion, thrown into another world, fights its way through sorcery, intrigue, and epic conflict.

THE LEGION OF VIDESSOS: Since the legion was mysteriously transported to this magical realm, Roman military tribune Marcus Aemilius Scaurus has valiantly served the rulers of the war-torn city of Videssos. However, Fortune is a fickle goddess. Returning in triumph after defeating a well-entrenched army of rebel mercenaries, Marcus is betrayed by a friend, seized as a traitor, and dragged before the Emperor. Only one person may be able to save him: the Emperor's niece. But consorting with her could lead to exile ... or worse.

SWORDS OF THE LEGION: As prisoner of the Emperor, Marcus Scaurus is in a desperate situation. He stands condemned for treason, unless he can reclaim a rebel province from a fanatic usurper--without the aid of his Romans. Now, with just one centurion by his side, Marcus sets out to once again do the impossible. Soon the fates conspire against the men, driving them toward the torture chambers of an evil, deathless wizard-prince. But an audacious last hope rallies behind them—the soldiers of the legion are on the march. (see review)

Forge Books

Alive! (Valentino Mysteries) by Loren D. Estleman (Forge Books 02 April 2013 / $24.99) - Product Description: Loren D. Estleman is a mystery writer but with Alive, he's touched on people (Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff), a film (Frankenstein), and film history that just might be of interest to our readers.

Bela Lugosi's Frankenstein screen test puts Valentino in the picture for murder. Everyone knows the Frankenstein monster was played by Boris Karloff. His portrayal is so famous that the play Arsenic and Old Lace was filled with Karloff/monster jokes—even when the part of the monstrously deformed villain was played by another actor. But before Karloff's memorable portrayal, another famous 1930s Hollywood icon, Bela Lugosi, tested for the part of the monster.

The screen test footage was lost for decades, until Valentino, that never-say-die film archivist, gets a hot tip about the whereabouts of the incriminating (for really bad, heavily accented acting) footage. But it comes with a price far greater than the money he'll have to pay. Someone would kill to get that reel of film, and that makes Valentino a mortal obstacle who would rather not die for art. People have already been murdered for the film, and Val doesn't want to push his luck...but boy, that reel is too good to let go.

Enter a crew of steampunk fans. Loving the arcane strangeness that is Valentino's life--not to mention the completely glam prospect of seeing the original filmic Count Dracula as the Frankenstein monster--they will find a way to save Valentino and Lugosi's infamous screen test. Or if they can't do that, have a great party anyway. Val just hopes it's not a wake. (see review)

Harper Voyager

Blood of Dragons (Rain Wilds Chronicles, Book 4) by Robin Hobb (Harper Voyager 09 April 2013 / $27.99) - Book Description: The dragons and their dedicated band of keepers have at last found the lost city of Kelsingra. The magical creatures have learned to use their wings and are growing into their regal inheritance. Their humans, too, are changing. As the mystical bonds with their dragons deepen, Thymara, Tats, Rapskal, and even Cedric, the unlikeliest of keepers, have begun transforming into beautiful Elderlings marked with exquisite features that complement and reflect the dragons they serve.

But while the humans have scoured the empty streets and enormous buildings of Kelsingra, they cannot find the mythical silver wells the dragons need to stay healthy and survive. With enemies encroaching, the keepers must risk “memory walking”—immersing themselves in the dangerously addictive memories of long-deceased Elderlings—to uncover clues necessary to their survival.

And time is of the essence, for the legendary Tintaglia, long feared dead, has returned, wounded in a battle with humans hunting dragon blood and scales. She is weakening and only the hidden silver can revive her. If Tintaglia dies, so too will the ancient memories she carries—a devastating loss that will ensure the dragons’ extinction. (see review)

Deep Space: Star Carrier: Book Four by Ian Douglas (Harper Voyager 30 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: The fourth book in the popular Star Carrier science fiction series, Deep Space by Ian Douglas is an action-packed tale of humankind's struggle to bring down an evil empire that spans the universe.

Twenty years after the fragile truce with the Sh'daar, Koenig is now President of the USNA, and Gray is skipper of the CVS America... soon to be promoted to commander of the entire battle group, Koenig's old position, and one which he might not be ready for. The truce with the alien Sh'daar is unraveling as many predicted, and Humankind still knows little about them, or what they are.

(see review)

Orbit

Hot Blooded (Jessica McClain) by Amanda Carlson (Orbit 23 April 2013 / $13.99) - Product Description: It hasn't been the best week for Jessica McClain. Her newly found mate has been kidnapped by a Goddess hell-bent on revenge, and Jessica is positive she can save him.

But being the only female werewolf in town comes with its own set of rules and powers... if only she understood them.

Aided by two vamps, two loyal Pack members, and one very reluctant human, Jessica must rescue her man while coming to terms with what being a wolf really means. (Source: Orbit)

The Exiled Blade (The Assassini) by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Orbit 02 April 2013 / $15.99) - Product Description: Snow shrouds Venice in cold darkness, ice fills the canals, and a thousand ghosts pluck at the shadow's edge.

A violent attack on Lady Giulietta's son forces Tycho from his new-found happiness and back into the treacherous intrigue of the court. For Giulietta's sake he would go to the world's end to track down those responsible.

As Venice teeters on the brink of civil war, its warring families prepare to discover who is a player and who a pawn in the coming struggle for power. (Source: Orbit)

Pyr

Reaper's Legacy (Toxic City #2) by Tim Lebbon (Pyr 02 April 2013 / $17.95) - Product Description: Heroes and monsters clash with government forces in an apocalyptic London. Two years after London is struck by a devastating terrorist attack, it is cut off from the world, protected by a large force of soldiers (known as Choppers), while those in the rest of Britain believe that their ex-capital is now a toxic, uninhabited wasteland. Jack and his friends know that the truth is very different. The handful of survivors in London are developing strange, fantastic powers. Evolving. Meanwhile, the Choppers treat the ruined city as their own experimental playground. Jack's own developing powers are startling and frightening, though he is determined to save his father, the brutal man with a horrific power who calls himself Reaper. Jack must also find their friend Lucy-Anne, who went north to find her brother. What Lucy-Anne discovers is terrifying--people evolving into monstrous things and the knowledge that a nuclear bomb has been set to destroy what's left of London. And the clock is ticking. (Source: Pyr)

Raspberry Creek Books

Little Greed Men by Kym O'Connell-Todd and Mark Todd (Raspberry Creek Books 25 April 2013 / $17.95) - Product Description: What happens when a town's local resident spots a UFO? Silverville sees nothing but dollar signs. First an amusement park and museum and then a celestial motif for the whole town. Con artists and embezzlers, tourists and kooks all get caught up in the frenzy, some hoping to make a quick buck, others seeking a spiritual message from beyond the stars. Ride along on this irreverent adventure that reveals Colorado mountain culture at its most outrageous, where nothing is sacred and everyone shares in the madness of money, murder and mayhem. (see review)

Renaissance Ebooks

The Emperor's Gambit: The Classic Pulp Cliffhangers by Charles Lee Jackson II (Renaissance Ebooks 25 April 2013 / $8.99) - Product Description: CODE NAME: The Emperor. Head of a secret network of agents, he fights evil whereever it may arise. Able to pass unsuspected through any security or fortification, he has outwitted and out-fought the cleverest and most deadly enemies. The Emperor's exploikts put those of Doc Savage, The Shadow, Batman, James Bond, and even those two guys from UNCLE to shame. Includes four amazing adventures of The Emperor and his able corps of agents versus international criminals, foreign terrorists, space aliens, and a madman with the gloves that Thor used to wield Mjolnir, his magic hammer! THE UNDERGROUND PULP AND COMIC SENSATION! For forty years, Charles Lee Jackson II has been producing a body of work unprecedented in the annals of pulp magazines and comics. He has garnered a fanatic body of followers and admirers - but his work has never been made available to a mass audience before! Begin the adventure here, with the first volume of stories featuring Jackson's legendary cliffhanger hero, in his fight against the forces of evil.

Roc

Appalachian Overthrow: A Novel of the Vampire Earth by E.E. Knight (Roc 02 April 2013 / $24.95) - Product Description: E.E. Knight In E.E. Knight's latest Vampire Earth novel, he tells a tale about David Valentine's fellow freedom fighter Ahn-Kha when he was imprisoned and forced into hard labor by the Kurians--and the rebellion he led against them.

Captured and sold to the Kurian–allied Maynes Conglomerate, to work as a slave in the coal mines of Appalachia, Ahn-Kha is angered and appalled by the dangerous working conditions, and the brutal treatment inflicted upon his fellow miners. When a protest against shortages is deliberately and bloodily suppressed, Ahn-Kha sets himself against the ruling Maynes family and sets out on a trail of vengeance through the Coal Country.

Finally, the people of the Coal Country are driven to the breaking point--and they now have a leader, a powerful and battle-hardened leader, determined to forge them into an army that will wage guerrilla warfare against the Maynes family and their Kurian masters—and free the Appalachians from their tyranny. (see review)

Iron Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City by M.J. Scott (Roc 02 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: Imagine a city divided. Fae and human mages on one side, vampire Blood Lords and shape-shifting Beast Kind on the other. Between these supernatural forces stands a peace treaty that threatens to shatter at the slightest provocation.

I was raised to do the right thing. But to my family that means staying safe behind the walls of human society. To be a respectable metalmage and never put myself at risk. But the treaty is faltering. And if it fails, nothing is safe. To help save the city and everyone I care about, I will use whatever means I can to ensure the negotiations to renew the treaty are successful—even if that means forging an alliance with a man who is the very opposite of the right thing.

Fen is trouble. Wild. He would rather bind himself in iron and drink himself into oblivion than learn to master the visions that come to him. Those visions might just hold the key to peace, and it seems that my power might hold the key to his control—if I can keep it around him. (Source: Roc)

River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay (Roc 02 April 2013 / $26.95) - Product Description: In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China's Tang Dynasty. Now, he revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world--a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

Ren Daiyan was still just a boy when he took the lives of seven men while guarding an imperial magistrate of Kitai. That moment on a lonely road changed his life--in entirely unexpected ways, sending him into the forests of Kitai among the outlaws. From there he emerges years later--and his life changes again, dramatically, as he circles towards the court and emperor, while war approaches Kitai from the north.

Lin Shan is the daughter of a scholar, his beloved only child. Educated by him in ways young women never are, gifted as a songwriter and calligrapher, she finds herself living a life suspended between two worlds. Her intelligence captivates an emperor--and alienates women at the court. But when her father's life is endangered by the savage politics of the day, Shan must act in ways no woman ever has.

In an empire divided by bitter factions circling an exquisitely cultured emperor who loves his gardens and his art far more than the burdens of governing, dramatic events on the northern steppe alter the balance of power in the world, leading to events no one could have foretold, under the river of stars.

(see review)

Sharp: A Mindspace Investigations Novel by Alex Hughes (Roc 02 April 2013 / $7.99) - Product Description: As a Level Eight telepath, I am the best police interrogator in the department. But I'm not a cop--I never will be--and my only friend on the force, Homicide Detective Isabella Cherabino, is avoiding me because of a telepathic link I created by accident.

And I might not even be an interrogator for much longer. Our boss says unless I pull out a miracle, I'll be gone before Christmas. I need this job, damn it. It's the only thing keeping me sane.

Parts for illegal Tech--the same parts used to bring the world to its knees in the Tech Wars sixty years ago--are being hijacked all over the city. Plus Cherbino's longtime nemesis, a cop killer, has resurfaced with a vengeance. If I can stay alive long enough, I just might be able to prove my worth, once and for all.

(Source: Roc)

Scholastic

Infestation by Timothy J. Bradley (Scholastic 01 April 2013 / $5.99) - Product Description: A contemporary take on the classic creature-feature genre. Infestation is a thrilling, fast-paced story that will leave your skin crawling.

When Andy Greenwood is sent to the Reclamation School for Boys he expects the lousy food, mean drill sergeant instructors, and brutal bullies. What he doesn't expect is an infestation of weirdly large and aggressive ants, or the itching welts all over the staff and students. Even odder, Andy learns that kids never leave the school when they're supposed to. They just seem to get stuck there indefinitely.

Following a ground-splitting earthquake, however, things quickly go from bad to horrifying. The school is overrun by monstrous bugs, and Andy himself comes face to face with mutant ants the size of humans, equipped with pinchers that can cut steel. Trapped in a cinderblock institutional building in the New Mexico desert, miles from civilization, Andy must figure out a way to save himself and the surviving boys from this nightmare. (Source: Scholastic)

Severn House Publishers

The Piper by Lynn Hightower (Severn House Publishers 01 April 2013 / $28.95) - Product Description: In this bone-chilling tale of terror from Shamus Award-winning thriller writer Lynn Hightower, a devoted mother must confront the paranormal forces that have cursed her family.

When Olivia James receives a phone call just after midnight, she recognizes her brother's voice. But there's a problem: her brother has been dead for the past nine weeks. Moving back to her old childhood home in Tennessee -- the place where her brother has just died -- her young daughter Teddy seems troubled, telling her mother that she's being visited by a menacing ghost. When another tragic death occurs and her daughter disappears, Olivia must confront the demonic force that has cursed her family. (see review)

Shadowridge Press

The Proteus Cure by F. Paul Wilson and Tracy L. Carbone (Shadowridge Press 21 April 2013 / $16.99) - Product Description: "Paul Wilson and Tracy Carbone have penned a winner. The suspense is razor sharp and the characters masterfully drawn. Paul Wilson is at the top of the game, and Tracy Carbone is a welcome addition to the genre. You'll love The Proteus Cure." – Michael Palmer, NY Times best selling author of Political Suicide In medical ethics, the line between right and wrong is often blurred. Who is to decide what is for the good of humanity? Changing the world. One person at a time… That is the mission statement of Tethys Hospital, run by Dr. Bill Gilchrist and his deformed sister, Abra. VG723, their revolutionary stem-cell-based therapy, appears to be capable of doing just that for the cancer patients who come to Tethys. VG723 is often their last hope. But if they match the protocol, they're virtually guaranteed a cure. Dr. Sheila Takamura, a young, dedicated oncologist, is proud to be involved in the clinical trials. Once the FDA approves it for widespread use, VG723 will revolutionize cancer therapy. That is why she's alarmed when former patients return with bizarre syndromes. Yes, they're cancer free, but they're experiencing dramatic changes in their hair and skin and general appearance. When she investigates a possible link to the protocol, those patients start dying. As the body count grows, Sheila finds her own life in danger. She comes to suspect there might be a literal meaning behind the Tethys motto – but can she learn the truth in time to save herself and millions of others? "Wilson is one of the masters of the medical thriller." – Larry King (see review)

Small Beer Press

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (Small Beer Press 30 April 2013 / $16.00) - Product Description: Jevick, the pepper merchant's son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land where books are as common as they are rare in his home. When his father dies and Jevick takes his place on the yearly selling trip to Olondria, Jevick's life is as close to perfect as he can imagine. But just as he revels in Olondria's Rabelaisian Feast of Birds, he is pulled drastically off course and becomes haunted by the ghost of an illiterate young girl.

In desperation, Jevick seeks the aid of Olondrian priests and quickly becomes a pawn in the struggle between the empire's two most powerful cults. Yet even as the country shimmers on the cusp of war, he must face his ghost and learn her story before he has any chance of becoming free by setting her free: an ordeal that challenges his understanding of art and life, home and exile, and the limits of that seductive necromancy, reading.

Soho Teen

Strangelets by Michelle Gagnon (Soho Teen 09 April 2013 / $17.99) - Product Description: 17-year-old Sophie lies on her deathbed in California, awaiting the inevitable loss of her battle with cancer. 17-year-old Declan stares down two armed thugs in a back alley in Galway, Ireland. 17-year-old Anat attempts to traverse a booby-trapped tunnel between Israel and Egypt.

All three strangers should have died at the exact same moment, thousands of miles apart. Instead, they awaken together in an abandoned hospital—only to discover that they're not alone. Three other teens from different places on the globe are trapped with them. Somebody or something seems to be pulling the strings. With their individual clocks ticking, they must band together if they're to have any hope of surviving.

Soon they discover that they've been trapped in a future that isn't of their making: a deadly, desolate world at once entirely familiar and utterly strange. Each teen harbors a secret, but only one holds the key that could get them home. As the truth comes to light through the eyes of Sophie, Declan, and Anat, the reader is taken on a dark and unforgettable journey into the hearts of teens who must decide what to do with a second chance at life. (Source: Soho Teen)

Spectra

Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty (Spectra 30 April 2013 / $16.00) - Product Description: Sometimes a ghost of a chance is all you get. Award-winning author Chris Moriarty returns to a dazzling cyber-noir far future in this gritty, high-stakes thriller where the only rule is "Evolve ... or die."

The Age of Man is ending. The UN's sprawling interstellar empire is failing as its quantum teleportation network collapses, turning once-viable colonies into doomed island outposts. Humanity's only hope of survival is the Drift: a mysterious region of space where faster-than-light travel--or something far stranger--seems possible. As mercenaries and pirates flock to the Drift, the cold war between the human-led UN and the clone-dominated Syndicates heats up. Whoever controls the Drift will chart the future course of human evolution--and no one wants to be left behind in a universe where the price of failure is extinction.

When the AI called Cohen ventures into the Drift, he dies--allegedly by his own hand--and his consciousness is scattered across the cosmos. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Enter Major Catherine Li, Cohen's human (well, partly human) lover, who embarks on a desperate search to solve the mystery of Cohen's death--and put him back together. But Li isn't the only one interested in Cohen's ghosts. Astrid Avery, a by-the-book UN navy captain, is on the hunt. So is William Llewellyn, a pirate who has one of the ghosts in his head, which is slowly eating him alive. Even the ghosts have their own agendas. And lurking behind them all is a pitiless enemy who will stop at nothing to make sure the dead don't walk again. (see review)

Subterranean

Good-bye Robinson Crusoe and Other Stories by John Varley (Subterranean 30 April 2013 / $45.00) - Product Description: This stellar collection by John Varley contains eleven provocative, utterly distinctive stories and novellas. None of them are currently available in any other book. Some have been unavailable in any form for twenty-five years or more. The result is a publishing event that no admirer of Varley--or of first-rate imaginative fiction--can afford to miss.

The bulk of these stories comprise what the author calls a 'Grand Tour of the Solar System,' moving from one thoroughly imagined setting to another with deceptive ease. 'The Funhouse Effect' is a tale of mystery, intrigue, and illusion that takes place on a mechanized comet moving toward the sun's corona. 'Retrograde Summer' is an account of gender reversals and family secrets set against the radically unstable backdrop of Mercury. 'Bagatelle' pits a recurring Varley character--Police Chief Anna-Louise Bach--against a living bomb that threatens to devastate Luna's Dresden City. Other stories range from Venus ('In the Bowl') to an underground 'disneyland' on Pluto ('Good-Bye, Robinson Crusoe') to the unexplored reaches of deep space ('The Black Hole Passes'). The collection ends with two very different offerings that are nonetheless vintage Varley. 'The Unprocessed Word' is a whimsical reflection on one writer s relationship with a ubiquitous, constantly evolving technology, while 'The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged)' is a brief, absolutely chilling meditation on the consequences of nuclear proliferation.

Whatever the tone, style, or subject matter, Varley remains in complete control of this impressively varied material. Good-Bye, Robinson Crusoe and Other Stories provides intellectual stimulation and pure entertainment in equal measure, and bears the unmistakable hallmark of a master storyteller on every page. (see review)

Subterranean Press

Five Autobiographies and a Fiction by Lucius Shepard (Subterranean Press 01 April 2013 / $45.00) - Book Description: Five Autobiographies and a Fiction, the long-awaited new collection from master storyteller Lucius Shepard, is a significant publishing event, a volume equal in every way to such earlier Shepard classics as The Jaguar Hunter and The Dragon Griaule. Its six long stories offer narrative pleasures as diverse and profound as anything to be found in modern imaginative fiction.

"Ditch Witch", set in rural Oregon, concerns a young man on the run in a stolen car, a hitchhiker who may or may not have witch-like powers, and the bizarre inhabitants of the seemingly innocuous Elfland Motel. "The Flock" is a tale of high school football and small town malaise set against an impossible intrusion from the natural world. A washed-up actor and a Malaysian woman of power stand at the center of "Vacancy", the account of a man forced to confront the very real demons of his past. "Dog-eared Paperback of My Life" follows a writer (Thomas Cradle) on his erotically charged journey down the Mekong River, a journey enveloped in a maze of multiple, interpenetrating realities. "Halloween Town" tells the story of a small, extremely strange town and one of its denizens, Clyde Ormoloo, a man who sees too deeply into the "terrible incoherence" of human affairs. The final story, "Rose Street Attractors", takes us into 19th century London and the heart of the steampunk era--in the richly atmospheric tale of a most unusual haunting. Rounding out this generous volume is an Introdution in which Shepard offers a startlingly frank assessment of his own troubled adolescence, identifying the "alternate versions" of himself that appear in these pages and illuminating those points at which fiction and near-autobiography converge.

Limited: 250 signed numbered copies, bound in leather
Trade: Fully cloth bound trade hardcover (see review)

Tor Books

Grail of the Summer Stars (Aetherial Tales) by Freda Warrington (Tor Books 23 April 2013 / $27.99) - Product Description: The climactic concluding novel in the spellbinding magical contemporary fantasy Aetherial Tales trilogy.

A painting, depicting haunting scenes of a ruined palace and a scarlet-haired goddess in front of a fiery city, arrives unheralded in an art gallery with a cryptic note saying, "The world needs to see this." The painting begins to change the lives of the woman who is the gallery's curator and that of an ancient man of the fey Aetherial folk who has mysteriously risen from the depths of the ocean. Neither human nor fairy knows how they are connected, but when the painting is stolen, both are compelled to discover the meaning behind the painting and the key it holds to their future.

(see review)

London Falling by Paul Cornell (Tor Books 16 April 2013 / $24.99) - Product Description:

Police officers Quill, Costain, Sefton, and Ross know the worst of London—or they think they do. While investigating a mobster's mysterious death, they come into contact with a strange artifact and accidentally develop the Sight. Suddenly they can see the true evil haunting London's streets.

Armed with police instincts and procedures, the four officers take on the otherworldly creatures secretly prowling London. Football lore and the tragic history of a Tudor queen become entwined in their pursuit of an age-old witch with a penchant for child sacrifice. But when London's monsters become aware of their meddling, the officers must decide what they are willing to sacrifice to clean up their city.

(see review)

Necessary Evil (Milkweed) by Ian Tregillis (Tor Books 30 April 2013 / $25.99) - Product Description: 12 May 1940. Westminster, London, England:  the early days of World War II. Again. Raybould Marsh, one of "our" Britain's best spies, has travelled to another Earth in a desperate attempt to save at least one timeline from the Cthulhu-like monsters who have been observing our species from space and have already destroyed Marsh's timeline. In order to accomplish this, he must remove all traces of the supermen that were created by the Nazi war machine and caused the specters from outer space to notice our planet in the first place. 

His biggest challenge is the mad seer Greta, one of the most powerful of the Nazi creations, who has sent a version of herself to this timeline to thwart Marsh.  Why would she stand in his way?  Because she has seen that in all the timelines she dies and she is determined to stop that from happening, even if it means destroying most of humanity in the process. And Marsh is the only man who can stop her. (see review)

Stepping Stone / Love Machine: Crosstown to Oblivion by Walter Mosley (Tor Books 02 April 2013 / $24.99) - Product Description: Stepping Stone: Truman Pope has spent his whole life watching the world go by. A gentle, unassuming soul, he has worked in the mailroom of a large corporation for decades without making waves, until the day he spots a mysterious woman in yellow. A woman nobody else can see. Soon Truman's quiet life begins to turn upside-down.

Love Machine: The brainchild of an eccentric, possibly deranged scientist, the "Love Machine" can merge individual psyches and memories into a collective Co-Mind. Tricked into joining the Co-Mind, as part of a master plan to take over the world, Lois Kim struggles to adapt to her new reality and abilities. Is there any way back to the life that was stolen from her, or is she destined to lead humanity into a strange new era? (Source: Tor Books)

Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books 02 April 2013 / $24.99) - Product Description: Up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal enchanted fans with award-winning short stories and beloved novels featuring Regency pair Jane and Vincent Ellsworth. In Without a Summer the master glamourists return home, but in a world where magic is real, nothing--even the domestic sphere--is quite what it seems.

Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane's family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody's dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects—and mood--will be brighter in London.

Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, it's more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody's chances for romance. It's not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions. (see review)

Tor Teen

Shadow Grail #3: Sacrifices by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill (Tor Teen 02 April 2013 / $10.99) - Product Description: The third book in the Shadow Grail series by the New York Timesand USA Today bestselling authors Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill.

The students of Oakhurst Academy believe they have triumphed over the Shadow Knights. But Spirit, Burke, Muirin, Loch, and Addie know better. Under the guise of a company called Breakthrough Adventure Systems, the Shadow Knights have actually taken over the campus. The new regime is brutal, designed to turn the students into soldiers wielding both weapons and magic. Anyone who protests disappears.

Desperate, the group decides that Muirin should go undercover to spy on Breakthrough. But Muirin's act is a little too good, and Spirit begins to fear that her friend's loyalties might have truly changed. Surrounded by enemies and friends who suddenly seem like strangers, Spirit has decide who can—and cannot—be trusted. (Source: Tor Teen)

TotalRecall Publications

Adventures of Regen the Bremen by M.L. Hollinger (TotalRecall Publications 09 April 2013 / $19.95) - Book Description: Regen is a Bremen. By nature he loves only his pet skeen, sensual women, money, and adventure in that order. Bremens are known for their sexual prowess, their tough exterior, covering a sensitive interior, and their tendency to leap before they look. I hope you enjoy following this arrogant, self-confident, egotistical and narcissistic bastard through a series of adventures in disparate sectors of the galaxy. (Source: TotalRecall Publications)

West Hills Press

The Jericho Deception: A Novel by Jeffrey Small (West Hills Press 30 April 2013 / $15.95) - Product Description: A heart-stopping thriller into the nexus between spirituality, neuropsychology, and international politics.

What if you controlled the power to see God? Yale neuroscientist Dr. Ethan Lightman is on the verge of a ground-breaking discovery. A discovery that will solve a mystery that has haunted him since childhood. A discovery that will alter humanity's relationship with religion forever.

Ethan's invention, the Logos machine, has the power to produce religious ecstasy, but it may also cause madness.

When a colleague is brutally murdered, Ethan and Rachel Riley, a brilliant and beautiful graduate student, are thrust into a web of treachery that takes them deep into the Egyptian desert and to Project Jericho: a top-secret CIA program run by a mysterious doctor. As Ethan learns how his research has been perverted, he and Rachel race to unlock the Logos machine's secrets before Project Jericho launches a modern Holy War. Along the way, he must confront a suppressed secret from his past that defines his very being. (see review)

William Morrow

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (William Morrow 30 April 2013 / $28.99) - Product Description: NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns: A Novel.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing -- and terrifying -- playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland."

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble--and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son.

(see review)

WMG Publishing

Snipers by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (WMG Publishing 23 April 2013 / $18.99) - Book Description: The Carnival Sniper—as famous as Jack The Ripper. And like Jack The Ripper, never caught, his identity lost to history. In 1913, the Carnival Sniper terrorized Vienna, murdering the famous and not-so-famous alike. Police Detective Johann Runge never caught the Sniper and his failure defined the rest of his life. In 2005, bestselling crime writer Sofie Branstadter receives permission to use modern forensic investigative techniques on the Sniper’s victims. She believes she can figure out the identity of the Sniper, but she needs the help of Runge’s great-grandson, classical pianist Anton Runge. Together the two of them plunge into a world of scientific evidence and fantastic clues, all leading to one unbelievable conclusion. (Source: WMG Publishing)

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