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US Books Received- 09/2015  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

47North

Heirs of Empire by Evan Currie (47North 22 September 2015 / $14.95) - Product Description: The Scourwind family legacy brought the empire to the height of its power and prosperity and defended it against all enemies. Now one man's machinations aim to shift the balance of power--with violent and devastating consequences.

When the trusted General Corian launches a coup against Emperor Scourwind, he hurls the planetary kingdom into chaos. To secure his claim as ruler, Corian will need the strength of the Scourwind name behind him, and he will stop at nothing to bring under his grasp the young Scourwind heirs, twins Lydia and Brennan. Barely into adulthood, the two are thrust into the crossfire. Battling new obstacles at every turn, they eventually find refuge with Mira Delsol, pirate and former member of the elite empire forces.

As the stakes rise, loyalists, mercenaries, and political opportunists rally around the heirs in a desperate bid to unseat the usurper. But if their risky gambit fails, will the empire crumble into oblivion?

(see review)

Ace

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho (Ace 01 September 2015 / $26.95) - Product Description: The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers, one of the most respected organizations throughout all of England, has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty's lands. But lately, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace, naming an altogether unsuitable gentleman—a freed slave who doesn't even have a familiar--as their Sorcerer Royal, and allowing England's once profuse stores of magic to slowly bleed dry. At least they haven't stooped so low as to allow women to practice what is obviously a man's profession…

At his wit's end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers and eminently proficient magician, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England's magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path which will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain--and the world at large.

(see review)

Avon

About a Vampire (Argeneau, #22) by Lynsay Sands (Avon 29 September 2015 / ) - Product Description: With immortal good looks and scorching charisma, Justin Bricker has yet to meet a woman he can't win over. His potential life mate should be no different. But instead of falling into his bed, Holly Bosley runs away and ends up mortally wounded. To save her, he has to turn her. And then Bricker learns the shocking truth: Holly's already married.

Holly wakes up with a bump on her head, a craving for blood, and a sexy stranger who insists they belong together. She needs Bricker's help to control her new abilities, even as she tries to resist his relentless seduction. Choosing between the world she knows and the eternity he offers is impossible. But Justin is fighting for his life mate--maybe even his life--and he'll break every rule to do it.

(see review)

Baen

A Call to Duty (Manticore Ascendant) by David Weber (Baen 01 September 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: NEW SERIES FROM NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHORS. Book #1 in Manticore Ascendant, a new series set in David Weber's best-selling Honorverse from David Weber and Timothy Zahn. Adventure in the heroic days and frontier past of Honor Harrington's Star Kingdom!

Growing up, Travis Uriah Long yearned for order and discipline in his life...the two things his neglectful mother couldn't or wouldn't provide. So when Travis enlisted in the Royal Manticoran Navy, he thought he'd finally found the structure he'd always wanted so desperately.

But life in the RMN isn't exactly what he expected. Boot camp is rough and frustrating; his first ship assignment lax and disorderly; and with the Star Kingdom of Manticore still recovering from a devastating plague, the Navy is possibly on the edge of budgetary extinction.

The Star Kingdom is a minor nation among the worlds of the Diaspora, its closest neighbors weeks or months away, with little in the way of resources. With only modest interstellar trade, no foreign contacts to speak of, a plague-ravaged economy to rebuild, and no enemies looming at the hyper limit, there are factions in Parliament who want nothing more than to scrap the Navy and shift its resources and manpower elsewhere.

But those factions are mistaken. The universe is not a safe place. Travis Long is about to find that out.

Read our review of A Call to Duty in our October 2014 issue.

(Source: Baen)

Collision: Book Four in the Secret World Chronicle by Mercedes Lackey with Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, and Veronica Giguere (Baen 29 September 2015 / $7.99) - 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)

Future Wars . . . and Other Punchlines by (Baen 01 September 2015 / $14.00) - Product Description: Trade paperback humorous military science fiction anthology. Featuring a mix of classic science fiction reprints and original stories by Baen regulars. Includes stories by David Drake, Frederik Pohl, Howard F. Waldrop, Christopher Anvil, and more.

CATCH-22 IN OUTER SPACE? War, as the general said, is hell, but it also has its humorous moments, though the humor may be grim, and you "had to be there" to get the joke. War is likely to continue into the future, and into space, no matter how many idealistic speeches are made and U.N. sponsored treaties get signed, and so will the wartime jokes, ranging from slapstick to gallows humor. And if "you had to be there" to get the point, some of the best writers in science fiction are on board to put you there.

David Drake, the Dean of military science fiction, turns to fantasy and shows the result of having a combat balloon manned by halflings of dubious competence. Frederik Pohl tells of the invasion of Earth by aliens with impenetrable force shields, and how a goldbricking soldier with all the ethics of a career politician became an unlikely (and unwilling) hero. Herbert Gold considers the lighter side of the strategy of M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction). Theodore R. Cogswell, in a story which the Science Fiction Writers of America voted into their Science Fiction Hall of Fame, presents an isolated planet's outpost, left behind after the collapse of galactic civilization, and the psychological subterfuge that kept morale from failing. Steven Utley and Howard F. Waldrop, in a Nebula Award and Locus Award-nominated work of alternate history, report on General George Armstrong Custer's ill-fated mission when he and his dirigible-borne paratroopers were attacked by Chief Crazy Horse's biplane squadron. Christopher Anvil shows that when aliens with overwhelming technological superiority invade Earth, their campaign can completely unravel because the local conditions are nothing like those back home. (A tornado is just moving air—how could that be dangerous?)

And more! Future war may be future hell—but there'll also be future hilarity.

Germanica by Robert Conroy (Baen 01 September 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: Best-selling alternate history master Robert Conroy returns to World War II, this time for a dangerous last stand of the Nazis in the heart of the Alps.

GERMANICA, ÜBER ALLES! Deep in the heart of Europe's Alps in the redoubt called Germanica, Nazi propaganda master Josef Goebbels and a battalion of Nazi zealots hold out against a frantic final Allied push to end World War II. With Churchill losing his election, De Gaulle consolidating his rule over a newly liberated France, and Stalin asserting his own nefarious land-grab in Eastern Germany, only America, led by its untried new president Harry Truman, remains to face the toughest of Nazi warriors as they hunker down for a bitter fight to the last man.

Goebbels knows that if he can hold out just a bit longer, the war weary of the Western nations will back away from unconditional surrender for Germany, and he and his zealots can remain in power never to answer for their war crimes, and able to prepare for the moment when their hateful Nazi ideology is ready once again to rise from its alpine grave and strike at the heart of humanity!

But there are Americans and a few stalwart Europeans just as determined to put a final stake in the Nazi heart. It is now up to heroes in the making such as newly minted O.S.S. operative Ernie Janek, commando Captain Scott Tanner, and formerly enslaved Czech "Jew" Lena Bobek, to bring down the dark Nazi menace growing like a cancer in the mountainous heart of the continent.

(see review)

Lord of Janissaries by Jerry Pournelle and Roland J. Green (Baen 01 September 2015 / $15.00) - Product Description: Three best-selling Jerry Pournelle masterpieces in one volume for the first time: Janissaries and Tran. A modern soldier is transported by aliens to a world  filled with warriors through the ages including medieval knights, Roman soldiers. His task: survival.

Janissaries: Some days it just didn't pay to be a soldier. Captain Rick Galloway and his men had been talked into volunteering for a dangerous mission--only to be ruthlessly abandoned when faceless CIA higher-ups pulled the plug on the operation. They were cut off in hostile territory, with local troops and their Cuban "advisors" rapidly closing in. And then the alien spaceship landed.

Clan and Crown and Storms of Victory: He didn't want to conquer the world. He had to. Captain Rick Galloway, formerly of the US Army, more recently a mercenary commander, was now Lord Rick on the planet Tran. Rescued by an alien spaceship from certain death when a mercenary assignment went sour, he and his men were dropped on a world distant from Earth, but inhabited by humans transplanted in the past from medieval Europe, from Imperial Rome, and from other now-vanished nations.

Now the time of the Demon Star approaches, whose close approach and fierce heat will render much of Tran uninhabitable. To survive this fiery apocalypse, the warring nations of Tran must be united. Lord Rick doesn't want to conquer the world, but the alternative is certain extinction!

(see review)

Rescue Mode by Ben Bova and Les Johnson (Baen 29 September 2015 / $7.99) - Product Description: Gritty and scientifically accurate science fiction adventure from New York Times best-selling author Ben Bova and NASA space scientist Les Johnson.

The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive.

On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can't nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists—or the first humans to perish on another planet.

Read our review of Rescue Mode in our September 2015 issue.

(Source: Baen)

CreateSpace

Farryn's War (Exiles of the Drift) by Christie Meierz (CreateSpace 24 September 2015 / $14.99) - Product Description: An exiled ruler turned hired assassin, Farryn plots his revenge on his home planet while building a criminal empire on the human colony world of Far India. But when his former wife dares to follow him into human space and attracts the attention of Earth Central Security, Farryn is forced to choose between hatred and love, ambition and heart's desire.

Described by Kirkus Reviews as "a solid entry for readers craving new, original space operas," Farryn's War promises to thrill fans of science fiction and romance alike in this first book of a new series by award-winning author Christie Meierz. (see review)

Del Rey

Lightless by C.A. Higgins (Del Rey 22 September 2015 / $25.00) - Product Description: The deeply moving human drama of Gravity meets the nail-biting suspense of Alien in this riveting science fiction debut. With bold speculation informed by a degree in astrophysics, C.A. Higgins spins an unforgettable "locked spaceship" mystery guaranteed to catapult readers beyond their expectations--and into brilliantly thrilling new territory.

Serving aboard the Ananke, an experimental military spacecraft launched by the ruthless organization that rules Earth and its solar system, computer scientist Althea has established an intense emotional bond--not with any of her crewmates, but with the ship's electronic systems, which speak more deeply to her analytical mind than human feelings do. But when a pair of fugitive terrorists gain access to the Ananke, Althea must draw upon her heart and soul for the strength to defend her beloved ship.

While one of the saboteurs remains at large somewhere on board, his captured partner--the enigmatic Ivan--may prove to be more dangerous. The perversely fascinating criminal whose silver tongue is his most effective weapon has long evaded the authorities' most relentless surveillance--and kept the truth about his methods and motives well hidden.

As the ship's systems begin to malfunction and the claustrophobic atmosphere is increasingly poisoned by distrust and suspicion, it falls to Althea to penetrate the prisoner's layers of intrigue and deception before all is lost. But when the true nature of Ivan's mission is exposed, it will change Althea forever--if it doesn't kill her first.

(see review)

Fedogan & Bremer

Awaiting Strange Gods: Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions by Darrell Schweitzer (Fedogan & Bremer 15 September 2015 / $39.95) - Awaiting Strange Gods – Weird and Lovecraftian Fictions

Contents:
Introduction by S.T. Joshi, Envy, the Gardens of Ynath, and the Sin of Cain, Hanged Man and Ghost, Sometimes You Have to Shout about It, Stragglers from Carrhae, The Eater of Hours, The Runners Beyond the Wall, On the Eastbound Train, Howling in the Dark, The Head Shop in Arkham, Innsmouth Idyll, Class Reunion, Why We Do It, The Warm, Spiderwebs in the Dark, The Corpse Detective, Jimmy Bunny, The Last of the Black Wine, In Old Commorium, The Clockwork King, the Queen of Glass, and the Man with a Hundred Knives, The Scroll of the Worm (with Jason von Hollander), Those of the Air (with Jason von Hollander), and Ghost Dancing. (see review)

Fiction River

Recycled Pulp by (Fiction River 09 September 2015 / $15.99) - Book Description: The old becomes new again as fifteen talented authors go back to the lurid pulp titles of yesteryear through today's rich, nuanced storytelling! Enjoy original tales featuring rebel angels fighting a heavenly enforcement squad, a cop whose life might depend on ordering the right deli sandwich, and a wizard who has just three days to pay off the loan on his tower or lose his very soul. Whatever your taste in stories, Recycled Pulp is sure to have something that will amaze, surprise, and delight you.

Contributors: Phaeda Weldon, Cat Rambo, Annie Reed, Thomas K. Carpenter, Angela Penrose, Dayle A. Dermatis, Sandra M. Odell, Dean Wesley Smith, Kelly Cairo, Christy Fifield, Rebecca M. Senese, Kristine Katheryn Rusch, Lisa Silverthorne, Kelly Washington, and Thea Hutcheson.

Forge Books

One Year After: A Novel by William R. Forstchen (Forge Books 15 September 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen brings a sequel to his hit novel One Second After. Months before publication, One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at the dangers of EMPs. An EMP is a weapon with the power to destroy the entire United States in a single act of terrorism, in a single second; indeed, it is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. One Second After was a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end. Now, One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain, and the man who struggled so hard to rebuild it in the wake of devastation-John Matherson. It is a thrilling follow-up and should delight fans in every way. (Source: Forge Books)

Gallery Books

Brother by Ania Ahlborn (Gallery Books 29 September 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a brand-new novel of terror that follows a teenager determined to break from his family's unconventional--and deeply disturbing--traditions.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it's served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don't knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what's buried in the Morrows' backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn't like the rest of his family. He doesn't take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he's sure that someday he'll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he's immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he's become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Last Light (HALO) by Troy Denning (Gallery Books 15 September 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: An original novel set in the Halo Universe and based on the New York Times bestselling video game series!

It is 2553, and the three-decade long Covenant War that defined a generation has suddenly drawn to a close. Yet, in the remotest parts of human space, tensions remain that threaten to overflow into another full-scale conflict. Beneath the surface of the planet Gao lies a vast cavern system renowned for its therapeutic effects and rumored miraculous cures. But now Gao natives are turning up brutally murdered down there—violent acts that happen to coincide with the recent arrival of a UNSC research battalion protected by Spartan Blue Team, led by the renowned Spartan-II Fred-104.

Maverick detective Veta Lopis of the Gao Ministry of Protection is only trying to do her job as the Special Inspector assigned to catch a serial killer—one who is possibly hiding within the Spartan ranks—but she never anticipates the situation spiraling out of control into an all-out crisis. When Gao is revealed to harbor ancient Forerunner technology that could solidify the UNSC's military supremacy for centuries to come, Insurrection loyalists within the planetary government will do anything—even align with a vicious faction of what remains of the Covenant—to ensure that never happens.

(Source: Gallery Books)

Harper Voyager

A Crucible of Souls: Sorcery Ascendant Sequence #1 by Mitchell Hogan (Harper Voyager 22 September 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan's parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

(Source: Harper Voyager)

Infinity Plus

The Ragthorn by Robert Holdstock & Garry Kilworth (Infinity Plus 17 September 2015 / $12.99) - Product Description: "I am placing this entry at the beginning of my edited journal for reasons that will become apparent. Time is very short for me now, the final part of the ritual draws near...
I cannot pretend that I am not frightened."


There were these two British writers, one lived in the country, the other in the city. The country writer loved to visit the city and partake of brandy and Greek kebabs in the local hostelry. The city writer liked to visit the country and guzzle ale and barbecued steak under the apple trees. The two writers needed an excuse for these indulgences, and so they invented one, and this excuse was called "collaborating on a story" ... It soon emerged that the story was to be about a legendary tree, which they both vaguely recalled from the tales their grandfathers used to tell them of mystery and myth. Soon they were delving with suppressed excitement into old documents at the British Museum and began to come up with some frightening discoveries.

The first of these finds was in studying the original text, in Anglo-Saxon, of the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. The marrying of the "tree" (crucifixion cross) and the "thorn" (a runic character) was too elaborately regular to be an accident of metre or alliterative language. Other discoveries followed, and the story gradually surfaced, like a dark secret from its burial mound.

The Ragthorn: a dark and unsettling World Fantasy Award-winning novella by Robert Holdstock and Garry Kilworth. Also included in this volume, two bonus stories: "The Fabulous Beast" by Garry Kilworth, and "The Charisma Trees" by Robert Holdstock.

(see review)

Medallion Press

The Soul Continuum (The Soul Archives) by Simon West-Bulford (Medallion Press 15 September 2015 / $14.99) - Product Description: There is an open wound in the heart of the Cosmos. A wound that tears at the flesh of reality, drawing powerful and malign aberrations from an unknowable realm. Salem Ben stopped the first, but more are coming, and now he must solve the riddle of their purpose if he is to prevent an all-out invasion. Only by living the digitally reproduced lives of three individuals will Salem find the solution: Diabolis Evomere, a tortured but enlightened prisoner in ancient Babylon; Clifford Arken-Bright, a twentieth-century physicist who has uncovered a terrible secret in the quantum world, and Silicant 5, a refugee of the Great AI seeking to understand its hatred of humanity.

(Source: Medallion Press)

Pyr

Earth Flight by Janet Edwards (Pyr 08 September 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: Jarra never wanted to be a celebrity. All she ever wanted was to gain some respect for the people left on Earth: the unlucky few whose immune system prevents them from portaling to other planets.

Except now she's the most famous Earth girl in the universe - but not everyone in the universe is happy about it, nor the fact that she has found love with a norm. Jarra's actions have repercussions that spread further than she ever could have imagined, and political unrest threatens to tear apart the delicate balance of peace between humanity's worlds.

On top of everything, the first alien artifact ever discovered appears to be waiting for Jarra to reveal its secrets. But to do so, she must somehow find a way to leave Earth - or else the alien artifact will be lost forever. Is there a way for Jarra to travel to another planet? Or is her destiny only to look to the stars - but never to reach them?

(see review)

Supersymmetry by David Walton (Pyr 01 September 2015 / $17.00) - Product Description: Ryan Oronzi is a paranoid, neurotic, and brilliant physicist who has developed a quantum military technology that could make soldiers nearly invincible in the field.  The technology, however, gives power to the quantum creature known as the varcolac, which slowly begins to manipulate Dr. Oronzi and take over his mind.  Oronzi eventually becomes the unwilling pawn of the varcolac in its bid to control the world.

The creature immediately starts attacking those responsible for defeating it fifteen years earlier, including Sandra and Alex Kelley--the two versions of Alessandra Kelley who are still living as separate people.  The two young women must fight the varcolac, despite the fact that defeating it may mean resolving once again into a single person.

Random House Books for Young Readers

Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec) by Sandra Waugh (Random House Books for Young Readers 22 September 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: This spellbinding fantasy, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale, Juliet Marillier, and Kristin Cashore, continues the beautifully written series begun with Lark Rising.

The Healer Evie saves two herbs for herself--yew, a quick and painful poison, and heliotrope, for the deep, deep sleep that never ends.

After the death of her beloved, seventeen-year-old Evie Carew wants nothing more than to lose herself forever in the wilds of Rood Marsh. But when the old seer Harker tells her she's meant for a greater task, Evie's curiosity keeps her going. What is this shell that Harker insists she must find? And why can't she stop thinking about the handsome Rider Laurent, the young man who saved her on the worst day of her life?

Soon Evie discovers that she is the Guardian of Death, the second of four Guardians who must awaken to their powers to recover four stolen amulets. Together, the amulets--Life, Death, Dark, and Light--keep the world in balance. To take back the shell that is Death's amulet, Evie has to learn to challenge her Healer instincts and understand that love never dies.

(Source: Random House Books for Young Readers)

Roc

Chapelwood: The Borden Dispatches by Cherie Priest (Roc 01 September 2015 / $16.00) - Product Description: From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden's continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity.

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named "Harry the Hacker" by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens.

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it.... (Source: Roc)

The Cinder Spires: the Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (Roc 29 September 2015 / $27.95) - Product Description: Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors,

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion--to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity's ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake.

(see review)

The Desert and the Blade (Change Series) by S.M. Stirling (Roc 01 September 2015 / $27.95) - Product Description: Continuing their quest that began in The Golden Princess, two future rulers of a world without technology risk their lives seeking a fabled blade.

Crown Princess Órlaith of Montival and the new Empress Reiko of Japan and a small band of followers have set out to recover Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, the Grass-Cutting Sword, a sacred symbol of the Japanese dynasty, that will help in the coming battles against powers that are not sympathetic to humans and human concerns.

(see review)

Scholastic Press

The Keeper (Vega Jane, #2) by David Baldacci (Scholastic Press 08 September 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: Vega Jane was always told no one could leave the town of Wormwood. She was told there was nothing outside but the Quag, a wilderness filled with danger and death. And she believed it--until the night she stumbled across a secret that proved that everything she knew was a lie. (See The Finisher.)

Now just one thing stands between Vega Jane and freedom--the Quag. In order to leave Wormwood and discover the truth about her world, Vega and her best friend Delph must find a way to make it across a terrifying land of bloodthirsty creatures and sinister magic. But the Quag is worse than Vega Jane's darkest imagining. It's a living, breathing prison designed to keep enemies out and the villagers of Wormwood in.

The Quag will throw everything at Vega Jane. It will try to break her. It will try to kill her. And survival might come at a price not even Vega Jane is willing to pay.

(Source: Scholastic Press)

Shadow Mountain

Fires of Invention (Mysteries of Cove) by J. Scott Savage (Shadow Mountain 29 September 2015 / $17.99) - Product Description: Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and invention is a curse word.

Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they ve ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on and quite possibly their very lives.

(Source: Shadow Mountain)

St. Martin's

Saucer: Savage Planet by Stephen Coonts (St. Martin's 01 September 2015 / $9.99) - Product Description: A year after young engineering student Rip Cantrell discovered the first flying saucer buried deep in the sands of the Sahara, another saucer is brought up from the bottom of the Atlantic. The recovery is funded by a pharmaceutical executive who believes that the saucer holds the key to an anti-aging drug formula that space travelers would need to voyage between galaxies. But one of his technicians, Adam Solo, an alien marooned on Earth for a thousand years, steals the saucer, hoping to summon a starship to rescue him. Unfortunately, the stolen saucer has damaged communications gear.

Solo goes to Rip Cantrell and his partner, ex-Air Force test pilot Charlotte "Charley" Pine, and Rip's uncle Egg, for help in summoning a starship. Meanwhile, as a terrified world fearful of space invaders approaches meltdown, big pharma moguls and their thugs are hot on the trail of the foursome.

In a world turned upside down, it may be the arriving aliens who offer limitless possibilities. Rip and Charley face an incredible decision: Do they dare leave the safety of earth to travel into the great wilderness of the universe?

Read our review of Saucer: Savage Planet in our December 2014 issue.

(Source: St. Martin's)

Subterranean

The Best of Nancy Kress by Nancy Kress (Subterranean 30 September 2015 / $45.00) - Product Description: Nancy Kress, winner of multiple awards for her science fiction and fantasy, ranges through space and time in this stunning collection. Anne Boleyn is snatched from her time stream--with unexpected consequences for two worlds. A far-future spaceship brings religion to a planet that already harbors shocking natives. People genetically engineered to never need to sleep clash with those who do. A scientific expedition to the center of the galaxy discovers more than anyone bargained for. A woman finds that "people like us" does not mean what she thinks it does.

Praised for both her hard SF and her complex characters, Nancy Kress brings a unique viewpoint to twenty-one stories, the best of a long and varied career that has won her five Nebulas, two Hugos, a Sturgeon, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Table of Contents: Introduction; And Wild For to Hold; Out of All Them Bright Stars; Pathways; Dancing on Air; Unto the Daughters; Laws of Survival; Someone To Watch Over Me; Flowers of Aulit Prison; Price of Oranges; By Fools Like Me; Casey's Empire; Shiva in Shadow; Grant Us This Day; Kindness of Strangers; End Game; My Mother, Dancing; Trinity; People Like Us; Evolution; Margin of Error; and, Beggars in Spain.

Tor Books

Dragon Heart by Cecelia Holland (Tor Books 01 September 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: Where the Cape of the Winds juts into the endless sea, there is Castle Ocean, and therein dwells the royal family that has ruled it from time immemorial. But there is an Empire growing in the east, and its forces have reached the castle. King Reymarro is dead in battle, and by the new treaty, Queen Marioza must marry one of the Emperor's brothers. She loathes the idea, and has already killed the first brother, but a second arrives, escorted by more soldiers. While Marioza delays, her youngest son, Jeon, goes on a journey in search of his mute twin, Tirza, who needs to be present for the wedding.

As Jeon and Tirza return by sea, their ship is attacked by a shocking and powerful dragon, red as blood and big as the ship. Thrown into the water, Tirza clings to the dragon, and after an underwater journey, finds herself alone with the creature in an inland sea pool. Surprisingly, she is able to talk to the beast, and understand it.

So begins a saga of violence, destruction, and death, of love and monsters, human and otherwise.

(see review)

Last Song Before Night by Ilana C. Myer (Tor Books 29 September 2015 / $26.99) - Product Description: Her name was Kimbralin Amaristoth: sister to a cruel brother, daughter of a hateful family. But that name she has forsworn, and now she is simply Lin, a musician and lyricist of uncommon ability in a land where women are forbidden to answer such callings--a fugitive who must conceal her identity or risk imprisonment and even death.

On the eve of a great festival, Lin learns that an ancient scourge has returned to the land of Eivar, a pandemic both deadly and unnatural. Its resurgence brings with it the memory of an apocalypse that transformed half a continent. Long ago, magic was everywhere, rising from artistic expression-from song, from verse, from stories. But in Eivar, where poets once wove enchantments from their words and harps, the power was lost. Forbidden experiments in blood divination unleashed the plague that is remembered as the Red Death, killing thousands before it was stopped, and Eivar's connection to the Otherworld from which all enchantment flowed, broken.

The Red Death's return can mean only one thing: someone is spilling innocent blood in order to master dark magic. Now poets who thought only to gain fame for their songs face a challenge much greater: galvanized by Valanir Ocune, greatest Seer of the age, Lin and several others set out to reclaim their legacy and reopen the way to the Otherworld-a quest that will test their deepest desires, imperil their lives, and decide the future.

(Source: Tor Books)

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald (Tor Books 22 September 2015 / $27.99) - Product Description: The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon", Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.

(see review)

The Sleeping King by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin (Tor Books 08 September 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: The Sleeping King is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring the best of the genre: near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who's said to be the savior of the races ... and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (Tor Books 15 September 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: In Seth Dickinson's debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.

Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize.

But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

(Source: Tor Books)

Updraft by Fran Wilde (Tor Books 01 September 2015 / $25.99) - Product Description: In a city of living bone rising high above the clouds, where danger hides in the wind and the ground is lost to legend, a young woman must expose a dangerous secret to save everyone she loves.

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

(see review)

Wildside Press

Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine by Jay Williams & Raymond Abrashkin (Wildside Press September 18, 2015 / $3.03) - Product Description: Danny uses a computer that Professor Bulfinch has created for NASA to prepare his homework, despite Professor Bullfinch's warning that Danny is to leave the machine alone. With his friend Joe Pearson and his new neighbor, Irene Miller, Danny has some success with the machine before it is sabotaged. Can Danny figure out what is wrong with the computer and fix it? And will their teacher learn what's really going on with homework? (see review)

Women's League of Ale Drinkers

Airships & Alchemy by Kit Marlowe (Women's League of Ale Drinkers 01 September 2015 / $14.99) - Product Description: Helen Rochester has a dream: unveiling her airship at the Paris Exposition of 1867. It's sure to make a splash. But her interfering father wants to chaperone the journey--and she has doubts about the Italian alchemist. He has promised a revolutionary new fuel but why does he need the winged Venetian lion? From the author of the comic Gothic novel The Mangrove Legacy and the Breton Lais series, Airships & Alchemy brings you magic, mayhem, mechanicals--and beasts of various sizes!

(Source: Women's League of Ale Drinkers)

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