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US Books Received- 12/2014  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

A. G. Riddle

Departure by A.G. Riddle (A. G. Riddle 04 December 2014 / $11.75) - Product Description: Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash-lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize that this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

In addition to Harper, several other passengers seem to hold clues about why Flight 305 crashed. There's: Nick Stone, an American on his way to a meeting with The Gibraltar Project, an international group dedicated to building a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar and draining the Mediterranean. Sabrina Schröder, a German scientist who has unknowingly sealed the fate of half the flight's passengers. Yul Tan, a Chinese-American computer scientist who has just made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a quantum internet capable of transmitting more data, farther, faster than ever thought possible. His invention, however, does much more than he ever dreamed possible.

With time running out to save the survivors of Flight 305, Harper and Nick race to unravel the conspiracy that crashed their plane. As they put the pieces together, they discover that their decisions have already doomed one world and will soon determine the future of ours.

(see review)

Ace

Andromeda's War (Legion of the Damned) by William C. Dietz (Ace 02 December 2014 / $25.95) - Product Description: Now a platoon leader, Legionnaire Andromeda McKee seems to have successfully left behind her true identity of Lady Catherine "Cat" Carletto, one of the last two surviving members of the Carletto family targeted for death by Empress Ophelia.

After failing at her one shot at vengeance, Andromeda had been questioning her own resolve. But now her uncle has been killed in a government raid back on Earth, leaving her as the last Carletto standing--and the family's only chance for justice.

A chance that comes when the empress's ship crashes on a hostile planet and Andromeda is assigned to head up the rescue mission. As a legionnaire, Andromeda McKee has countless kills under her belt. But when faced with her greatest enemy, it will be Cat Carletto who has to pull the trigger on the one who really matters. (Source: Ace)

Baen

Collision: Book Four in the Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey with Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere (Baen 02 December 2014 / $25.00) - Product Description: From New York Times best-seller and science fiction and fantasy mistress of adventure Mercedes Lackey, Book #4 in the pulse-pounding Secret World saga of modern-day humans with superpowers. The metaheroes deal with the consequences of their superpowers, but the evil Thulian threat lies in wait.

Destroying the Thulian North American Headquarters has not made life easier for ECHO, or the world. The Thulians continue their attacks, first in unpredictable incursions, then with another all-out assault on ECHO, orchestrated against ECHO headquarters across the world.

Dominic Verdigris has not given up on his effort to obtain The Seraphym for himself, in order to use her to avert his own fate at the hands of the Thulians. Nor have the heroes of ECHO and the CCCP found life anything but harder.

Belladonna's duties have increased a thousand-fold, and now she has responsibility for the lives of every metahuman in ECHO on her conscience. Obviously using the intelligence gathered from the raid on the North American Thulian base to find the main Headquarters is of paramount importance--but once it is found, can she manage to convince the armies of the world to follow ECHO into an all-out attack?

Then Red Saviour risks everything on a risky gambit of her own: send her "wolves" of the CCCP to find the Thulian Headquarters, despite the dangers, and despite the consequences of blowing everything on this hazardous gambit that could very well end, not in victory, but with the world in flames. (Source: Baen)

Paradigms Lost by Ryk E Spoor (Baen 02 December 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: Being an expert in information searches, image processing and enhancement, pattern matching, and data forensics earned Jason Wood a lot of money--from private contracts and working with the police. And it was a nice, comfortable job most of the time. But then an informant showed up dead on his doorstep, a photograph didn't show someone who'd been in the viewfinder when the picture was taken, and Jason's world is suddenly turned upside-down.

Against things that violate the very reality he thought he understood, Jason has only three weapons: his best friend Sylvie, his talent for seeing patterns... and his ability to think beyond the pattern and see a solution that no one else imagined. Against the darkness of the unknown, the greatest weapon is the light of reason.

A vastly expanded and revised edition of Digital Knight, Ryk E. Spoor's first published novel, Paradigms Lost adds two brand new adventures for Jason and includes many chapters of additional material within the originals. (Source: Baen)

Spheres of Influence (Grand Central Arena) by Ryk E. Spoor (Baen 30 December 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sequel to popular space adventure, Grand Central Arena!
Leader of the Faction of Humanity. It was a ridiculous title, but the Arena said that was what Captain Ariane Austin was since she'd led the crew of the Holy Grail in their discovery of the impossible, physics-violating place and their eventual return, and when the nigh-omnipotent Arena said something, it meant it.

Ariane must discover what it means to be the Leader of Humanity, both for herself and for humanity, before her enemies—at home or in the Arena--depose her, kill her, or worse. It will take all her luck, Marc DuQuesne's indomitable will, Simon Sandrisson's genius, and the peerless skill of a living legend. And, in the end, humanity's fate in the galaxy and beyond will hinge on the choice of an uncertain ally who has nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by aiding those neophyte upstarts, the humans. (Source: Baen)

The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs by (Baen 30 December 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Eleven new tales set in the legendary worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Contains stories by top writers such as Mercedes Lackey, Sarah Hoyt, and Mike Resnick.

Most people don't know it, but the best-selling American writer of the 1920s wasn't Hemingway or Fitzgerald, but Edgar Rice Burroughs. Everyone knows that he created Tarzan, but he wasn't limited to that one classic creation. There was John Carter, Warlord of Mars. There was Pellucidar, the wondrous world that exists at the center of the Earth, and Carson of Venus, the Wrong-Way Corrigan of space, who set off for Mars and wound up on Venus for four novels and part of a fifth.

Many top science fiction and fantasy writers of today grew up reading Burroughs, and this anthology is their way of paying back and thanking him for stirring their imaginations. Join their celebration with these all new tales set in the astounding worlds that Edgar Rice Burroughs brought to life: giving their own spin on the unforgettable characters conceived by one of the great masters of science fiction, adventure, and fantasy.

Read our review of The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs in our January 2014 issue.

(Source: Baen)

Undercity (Skolian Empire) by Catherine Asaro (Baen 02 December 2014 / $15.00) - Product Description: First book in a new series set in the world of her Skolian Empire universe.  Major Bhaajan, a former military officer with Imperial Space Command, is now a hard-bitten P.I. with a load of baggage to deal with, and clients with woes sometimes personal, sometimes galaxy-shattering, and sometimes both. Bhaajan must sift through the shadows of dark and dangerous Undercity—the enormous capital of a vast star empire—to find answers. (Source: Baen)

Worlds in Chaos by James P Hogan (Baen 02 December 2014 / $14.00) - Product Description: Two novels in one volume: Cradle of Saturn and The Legend That Was Earth. Earth is in danger from cosmic catastrophe and alien overlords.

Cradle of Saturn: Discoveries made by colonists on the moons of Saturn show that the Solar System has undergone repeated cataclysms and the last was only a few thousand years. This flies in the face of accepted scientific dogma, and is dismissed by Earth's authorities--until the planet Jupiter suddenly emits a white-hot Earth-sized protoplanet that hurtles sunward on a collision course with Earth.

The Legend That Was Earth: The alien Hyadeans have showered high-tech gifts on the population of Earth and are offering to make a paradise of the planet. But when wealthy socialite Roland Cade discovers the dark underbelly of the alien presence, and learns that his ex-wife is one of the so-called terrorists who are fighting against the alien takeover, he's forced to choose sides. Soon, he's caught up in a terrifying conflict that threatens the very existence of the Earth. (Source: Baen)

Harper Voyager

On Her Majesty's Behalf: The Great Undead War: Book II by Joseph Nassise (Harper Voyager 02 December 2014 / $14.99) - Product Description: The outrageously inventive follow-up to By the Blood of Heroes"--Inglorious Basterds meets Dawn of the Dead in this steampunk alternate history World War I zombie novel

At the close of 1917, the Germans introduced a new type of gas, T-Leiche--"corpse gas"--a revolutionary weapon that changed the war. Instead of killing the living, T-Leiche resurrected the bodies of the dead.

Though they survived the killing fields of France, the danger has only just begun for veteran Captain Michael "Madman" Burke and company. They've just been assigned a new mission: rescue Princess Veronica, the sole surviving member of the British royal family. But Kaiser Manfred Von Richthofen, the undead Red Baron and the new leader of Germany, is determined to find Veronica as well.

In the devastated, zombie-infested city of London, Burke and his men will face off in an unholy battle with their most formidable opponent yet: a team led by none other than his infected former right-hand man, Sergeant Moore. If they don't succeed, all of Britain will fall into undead Central hands. (Source: Harper Voyager)

Stonehill Downs by Sarah Remy (Harper Voyager 02 December 2014 / ) - Product Description: Malachi is the last of his kind--a magus who can communicate with the dead, and who relies on the help of spirits to keep his kingdom safe. When he's sent to investigate brutal murders in the isolated village of Stonehill Downs, he uncovers dangerous sorceries and unleashes a killer who strikes close to home.

Avani is an outsider living on the Downs, one of the few survivors from the Sunken Islands. She has innate magics of her own, and when she discovers the mutilated bodies of the first victims, she enters into a reluctant alliance with Malachi that takes her far from home.

But Mal is distracted by the suspicious death of his mentor and haunted by secrets from his past. And Avani discovers troubling truths about the magus through her visions. She could free Malachi, but first they must work together to save the kingdom from the lethal horror that has arisen.

(Source: Harper Voyager)

John Ott

A Map of Kex's Face by Robin Wyatt Dunn (John Ott 30 December 2014 / $9.00) - Book Description: Kex is the administrator of the Eidon Academy, a college with an interdimensional porthole on campus, and the intellectual center of a recently seceded Southern California.

Roberto and his wife Sasha are busy acting out a bad campus novel, with infidelities and academic intrigues, when the known universe undergoes some fundamental changes.

Kex is more than a human being, it appears, but also an avatar around whom mandala-like emanations revolve, frequencies whose meaning Roberto must discern if he is to legitimize his new Department of Cartography.

(Source: John Ott)

NAL

The Beating of His Wings (Left Hand of God Trilogy) by Paul Hoffman (NAL 02 December 2014 / $16.00) - Product Description: Following the bestselling novels The Left Hand of God and The Last Four Things comes the final installment of Paul Hoffman's stark, epic trilogy.

Thomas Cale has been running from the truth. Since discovering that his brutal military training has been for one purpose--to destroy God's greatest mistake, mankind itself--Cale has been hunted by the very man who made him into the Angel of Death: Pope Redeemer Bosco.

Cale is a paradox: arrogant and innocent, generous and pitiless. Feared and revered by those who created him, he has already used his breathtaking talent for violence and destruction to bring down the most powerful civilization in the world.

But Thomas Cale's soul is dying. As his body is racked with convulsions, he knows that the final judgment will not wait. As the day of reckoning draws close, Cale's sense of vengeance leads him back to the heart of darkness--the Sanctuary--and to confront the person he hates most in the world.

(Source: NAL)

Penguin Books

Moth and Spark: A Novel by Anne Leonard (Penguin Books 30 December 2014 / $16.00) - Product Description: A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed--at any cost.

Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren't big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire's control. Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it's not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn't allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen. Torn between Corin's quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off. (Source: Penguin Books)

Pink Narcissus Press

HomeGoing: Book 1 of The Tall Ships of Saradena by Michelle Markey Butler (Pink Narcissus Press 01 December 2014 / $17.00) - Book Description: I had been Princess of Bruster, then Queen of Ferrant. Now I was neither. I built a new life, in a new land. The clerk of my adopted lord. I wanted to copy books and build his library. Quiet and unremarked amongst parchment and ink.

Then the great ship came. It delivered a letter — to a land where almost no one could read. By the time the letter came to my hands, the ship had departed. We had no way to tell them we had never heard of them. They gave us one year, but how could we meet their demands when we did not know what they meant?

War was coming. Unless I could prevent it.

(Source: Pink Narcissus Press)

Pyr

The Fortress in Orion (DEAD ENDERS) by Mike Resnick (Pyr 02 December 2014 / $18.00) - Product Description: The Democracy is at war with the alien Traanskei Coalition. War hero Colonel Nathan Pretorius has a record of success on dangerous behind-enemy-lines missions, missions that usually leave him in the hospital. Now he's recruited for a near-impossible assignment that may well leave him dead.

At the cost of many lives, the Democracy has managed to clone and train General Michkag, one of the Traanskei's master strategists. Colonel Pretorius and a hand-picked team must kidnap the real Michkag if they can, assassinate him if they can't, but no matter which, put the clone in his place, where he will misdirect the enemy's forces and funnel vital information to the Democracy.

Against the odds, Pretorius, along with Cyborg Felix Ortega, computer expert Toni Levi, convict and contortionist Sally "Snake" Kowalski, the near-human empath Marlowe, the alien Gzychurlyx, and Madam Methuselah - the Dead Enders--must infiltrate the Fortress in Orion, accomplish their mission, and escape with their lives. (see review)

The Lady (Marakand) by K.V. Johansen (Pyr 09 December 2014 / $18.00) - Product Description: Possessed by a ghost who feeds on death, the undying assassin Ahjvar the Leopard has been captured by the Lady of Marakand, enslaved by necromancy to be captain of her Red Masks. His shield-bearer Ghu, a former slave with an uncanny ability to free the captive dead, follows Ahjvar into the war-torn lands of the Duina Catairna to release him, even if that means destroying what is left of Ahj's tormented soul.

Deyandara, the last surviving heir of the Catairnan queen, rides into a land ravaged by disease and war, seeking the allies she abandoned months before, though they have no hope of standing against the army led by the invulnerable Red Masks of Marakand and the divine terror of the Lady.

In the city of Marakand, former enemies ally and old friends seek one another's deaths as loyalists of the entombed gods Gurhan and Ilbialla raise a revolt, spearheaded by the Grasslander wizard Ivah, the shapeshifting Blackdog, and the bear-demon Mikki. The Lady's defenses are not easily breached, though, and the one enemy who might withstand her, the Northron wanderer Moth, bearer of the sword Lakkariss, has vanished. (Source: Pyr)

Solaris

Dangerous Games by (Solaris 02 December 2014 / $9.99) - Product Description: In a world of chances, one decision can bring down the house, one roll of the dice could bring untold wealth, or the end of everything. In this anthology of all new short stories the players gather, their stories often dark, and always compelling.

The players and the played, this new anthology from Jonathan Oliver brings together brand new stories from an international team of talented authors, each with their own deadly game. This collection is set to include a full house of top authors including Hugo award-winning American writer Pat Cadigan, Brit Gary McMahon, Mexican Silvia Moreno Garcia, plus Tade Thompson, Rebecca Levene and more. (see review)

Stephen C. Merlino

The Jack of Souls: Book 1 of The Unseen Moon Series by Stephen C Merlino (Stephen C. Merlino 20 December 2014 / $29.99) - Product Description: Harric is an outcast rogue who must break a curse put on his fate or die on his next birthday. As the day approaches, nightmares from the spirit world stalk him and tear at his sanity; sorcery eats at his soul. To survive, he'll need more than his usual tricks. He'll need help (and a lot of it), but on the kingdom's lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts. One of these outcasts is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming the Queen's first female knight. The other is Sir Willard -- an ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court. With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long? And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past that still hunts her; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is both on the run from them, and on one final, desperate quest to save her. Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes. Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he's ever loved (Source: Stephen C. Merlino)

Subterranean

Nobody's Home by Tim Powers (Subterranean 31 December 2014 / $35.00) - Product Description: For the first time in his esteemed career, Tim Powers returns to the setting (and a central character) from his landmark time travel novel, The Anubis Gates.

Tracking the murderer of her fiancee through 19th century London's darkest warrens, Jacky Snapp has disguised herself as a boy--but the disguise fails when, trying to save a girl from the ghost of her jealous husband, Jacky finds that she has made herself visible to the ghosts that cluster around the Thames--

--And one of them is the ghost of her fiancee, who was poisoned and physically transformed by his murderer but unwittingly shot dead by Jacky herself.

Jacky and the girl she rescued, united in the need to banish their pursuing ghosts, learn that their only hope is to flee upriver to the barge known as Nobody's Home--where the exorcist whose name is Nobody charges an intolerable price.

Some Details:
Nobody's Home will be printed in two colors throughout, copiously illustrated by J.K. Potter
Lettered: 26 signed leatherbound copies, housed in a custom traycase
Limited: 474 signed numbered copies, bound in leather, housed in a custom, foil stamped slipcase
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition
(see review)

The Top of the Volcano: the Award-Winning Stories of Harlan Ellison by Harlan Ellison (Subterranean 31 December 2014 / $45.00) - Product Description: "Only connect," E.M. Forster famously said, and Harlan Ellison was canny enough to make that the lifeblood of his achievement from the get-go.

New, fresh and different is tricky in the storytelling business, as rare as diamonds, but, as a born storyteller, Harlan made story brave, daring, surprising again, brought an edge of the gritty and the strange, the erudite and the street-smart, found ways to make words truly come alive again in an over-worded world.

From the watershed of the '50s and '60s when the world found its dynamic new identity, to a self-imitating, sadly all too derivative present, he has kept storytelling cool and hip, exhilarating, unexpected yet always vital, able to get under your skin and change your life.

And now we have it. The Top of the Volcano is the collection we hoped would come along eventually, twenty-three of Harlan's very best stories, award-winners every one, brought together in a single volume at last. There s the unforgettable power of "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman", "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" and "Mefisto in Onyx", the heart-rending pathos of "Jeffty Is Five" and "Paladin of the Lost Hour", the chilling terror of "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream", the ingenuity and startling intimacy of "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans..."

These stories are full of the light and life of someone with things worth saying and the skills to do it, presented in the book we had to have--not just a Best-of (though given what's on offer it may just fall out that way) but in one easy-to-grab volume perfect for newbies, long-time fans and seasoned professionals alike to remind them just how it can be done. (Source: Subterranean)

Tor Books

Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction by (Tor Books 02 December 2014 / $27.99) - Product Description: Seventeen hard science fiction tales by today's top authors. Hard science fiction is the literature of change, rigorously examining the impact--both beneficial and dangerous--of science and technology on humanity, the future, and the cosmos. As science advances, expanding our knowledge of the universe, astounding new frontiers in storytelling open up as well.

In Carbide Tipped Pens, over a dozen of today's most creative imaginations explore these frontiers, carrying on the grand tradition of such legendary masters as Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and John W. Campbell, while bringing hard science fiction into the 21st century by extrapolating from the latest scientific developments and discoveries. Ranging from ancient China to the outer reaches of the solar system, this outstanding collection of original stories, written by an international roster of authors, finds wonder, terror, and gripping human drama in topics as diverse as space exploration, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, climate change, alternate history, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, interplanetary war, and even the future of baseball.

From tattoos that treat allergies to hazardous missions to Mars and beyond, from the end of the world to the farthest limits of human invention, Carbide Tipped Pens turns startling new ideas into state-of-the art science fiction.

Includes stories by Ben Bova, Gregory Benford, Robert Reed, Aliette de Bodard, Jack McDevitt, Howard Hendrix, Daniel H. Wilson, and many others. (see review)

Low Midnight (Kitty Norville) by Carrie Vaughn (Tor Books 30 December 2014 / $7.99) - Product Description: Carrie Vaughn's Low Midnight spins out of the series on the wave of popularity surrounding Kitty's most popular supporting character, Cormac Bennett, a two-minded assassin of the paranormal who specializes in killing lycanthropes. In his first solo adventure, Cormac, struggling with a foreign consciousness trapped inside him, investigates a century-old crime in a Colorado mining town which could be the key to translating a mysterious coded diary…a tome with secrets that could shatter Kitty's world and all who inhabit it. With a framing sequence that features Kitty Norville herself, Low Midnight not only pushes the Kitty saga forward, but also illuminates Cormac's past and lays the groundwork for Kitty's future. (see review)

Sustenance: A Saint-Germain novel (St. Germain) by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Tor Books 02 December 2014 / $29.99) - Product Description: The vampire Count Saint-Germain protects Americans fleeing persecution--and becomes trapped in a web of betrayal, deceit, and murder in post-WWII Europe in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Sustenance

The powerful House Un-American Activities Committee hunted communists both at home and abroad. In the late 1940s, the vampire Count Saint-Germain is caught up in intrigue surrounding a group of Americans who have fled to postwar Paris. Some speak out against HUAC and battle the authorities.

Saint-Germain swears to do his best to protect his friends, but even his skills may not be able to stand against agents of the OSS and the brand-new CIA.  And he has an unexpected weakness: his lover, Charis, who has returned to Paris under mysterious circumstances. (Source: Tor Books)

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