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US Books Received- 08/2016  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

Baen

1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz (Ring of Fire) by Kerryn Offord and Rick Boatright (Baen 02 August 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: A sparkling addition to the multiple Ring of Fire alternate history series created by Eric Flint. An alchemist of the 17th century confronts modern science with often amusing results.

Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz, the world's greatest alchemist and a great-grandson of Paracelsus—and a Bombast on his mother's side—was a man history had forgotten. But when the town of Grantville was transported by a cosmic accident from modern West Virginia to central Germany in the early seventeenth century, he got a second chance at fame and fortune.

The world's greatest alchemist does not make household goods. But with suitable enticements Gribbleflotz is persuaded to make baking soda and then baking powder so that the time-displaced Americans can continue to enjoy such culinary classics as biscuits and gravy. Applying his superb grasp of the principles of alchemy to the muddled and confused notions the Americans have concerning what they call "chemistry", Gribbleflotz leaves obscurity behind.

In his relentless search for a way to invigorate the quinta essential of the human humors, Gribbleflotz plays a central role in jump-starting the seventeenth century's new chemical and marital aids industries—and pioneering such critical fields of human knowledge as pyramidology and aura imaging. These are his chronicles.

(see review)

Germanica by Robert Conroy (Baen 30 August 2016 / $7.99) - 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.

Read our review of Germanica in our October 2015 issue. (Source: Baen)

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge by Larry Correia and John Ringo (Baen 02 August 2016 / $27.00) - Product Description: When Marine Private Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is killed in the Marine barrack bombing in Beirut, somebody who might be Saint Peter gives him a choice: Go to Heaven, which while nice might be a little boring, or return to Earth. The Boss has a mission for him and he's to look for a sign. He's a Marine: He'll choose the mission.

Unfortunately, the sign he's to look for is "57". Which, given the food services contract in Bethesda Hospital, creates some difficulty. Eventually, it appears that God's will is for Chad to join a group called "Monster Hunters International" and protect people from things that go bump in the night. From there, things trend downhill.

Monster Hunter Memoirs is the (mostly) true story of the life and times of one of MHI's most effective--and flamboyant--hunters. Pro-tips for up and coming hunters range from how to dress appropriately for jogging (low-profile body armor and multiple weapons) to how to develop contacts among the Japanese yakuza, to why it's not a good idea to make billy goat jokes to trolls.

Grunge harkens back to the Golden Days of Monster Hunting when Reagan was in office, Ray and Susan Shackleford were top hunters and Seattle sushi was authentic.

(Source: Baen)

Multiverse: Exploring the Worlds of Poul Anderson by (Baen 23 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: A tribute to the late great science fiction icon Poul Anderson, and a wonderful collection of stories by some of the genres top writers! Authors include Tad Williams, Terry Brooks, Greg Bear, Raymond Feist, Larry Niven, and Eric Flint.

Poul Anderson was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. Named a Grand Master by the SFWA in 1997, he produced an enormous body of stand-alone novels (Brain Wave, Tau Zero) and series fiction (Time Patrol, the Dominic Flandry books) and was equally at home in the fields of heroic fantasy and hard SF. He was a meticulous craftsman and a gifted storyteller, and the impact of his finest work continues, undiminished, to this day.

Here is a rousing, all-original anthology that stands both as a significant achievement in its own right and a heartfelt tribute to a remarkable writer and equally remarkable man. A nicely balanced mixture of fiction and reminiscence, this volume contains thirteen stories and novellas by some of today's finest writers, along with moving reflections by, among others, Anderson's wife, Karen, his daughter, Astrid Anderson Bear, and his son-in-law, novelist and co-editor Greg Bear. (Bear's introduction, "My Friend Poul", is particularly illuminating and insightful.)

The fictional contributions comprise a kaleidoscopic array of imaginative responses to Anderson's many and varied fictional worlds. A few of the highlights include Nancy Kress's "Outmoded Things" and Terry Brooks' "The Fey of Cloudmoor", stories inspired by the Hugo Award-winning "The Queen of Air and Darkness"; a pair of truly wonderful Time Patrol stories ("A Slip in Time" by S.M. Stirling and "Christmas in Gondwanaland" by Robert Silverberg); Raymond E. Feist's Dominic Flandry adventure, "A Candle"; and a pair of very different homages to the classic fantasy novel, Three Hearts and Three Lions: "The Man Who Came Late" by Harry Turtledove and "Three Lilies and Three Leopards (And a Participation Ribbon in Science)" by Tad Williams. These stories, together with singular contributions by such significant figures as Larry Niven, Gregory Benford, and Eric Flint, add up to a memorable, highly personal anthology that lives up to the standards set by the late--and indisputably great—Poul Anderson.

Read our review of the Subterrean edition of Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson's Worlds in our April 2014 issue.

(Source: Baen)

On to the Asteroid by Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson (Baen 02 August 2016 / $24.00) - Product Description: It's the beginning of a new golden age of space exploration. Finally, humanity is taking the commercialization of space to the next level--mining asteroids. The new gold rush of the commercial space era has begun.

Another commercial venture, an attempt to put a hotel on the Moon, is seeking the space tourism gold of the ultra wealthy. And it seems as if the dream of finally sending people to Mars is finally going to happen using a ship propelled by a powerful nuclear rocket.

But space travel isn't cut and dry, and there is nothing routine about it. In order to mine an asteroid the goal is to bring it closer to Earth, but orbital mechanics are tricky and close to Earth proves to be far too close for comfort--with looming destruction from space about to become a grim reality.  Now astronauts, scientists, engineers, and people in all the burgeoning space businesses must team together to stop the asteroid before it is too late for humanity and the planet it calls home.

(see review)

Redliners 20th Anniversary Edition by David Drake (Baen 02 August 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: New edition of David Drake's military science fiction masterpiece. With an all-new introduction by the author!

They were the toughest fighters in the galaxy--that is, until they got used up. Major Arthur Farrell and the troops of Strike Force Company C41 had seen too much war with the alien Kalendru. They had too many screaming memories to be fit for combat again, but they were far too dangerous to themselves and others to be returned to civilian life.

The bureaucracy that administered human affairs arranged a final mission with the same ruthless efficiency as it conducted the war against the Kalendru. C41 would guard a colony being sent to a hell planet. But when the mission goes horribly wrong, Art Farrell and his troops find their lives on the line as never before, protecting civilians to whom bureaucratic injustice is a new experience, and death in war only a remote possibility. Until now.

A story of soldiers and civilians, of hope and--possibly--of redemption.

(Source: Baen)

Son of the Black Sword (Saga of the Forgotten Warrior) by Larry Correia (Baen 30 August 2016 / $8.99) - Product Description: After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic, and drove the demons into the sea. Ever since the land has belonged to man and the oceans have remained an uncrossable hell, leaving the continent of Lok isolated. It was prophesied that someday the demons would return, and only the descendants of Ramrowan would be able to defeat them. They became the first kings, and all men served those who were their only hope for survival.

As centuries passed the descendants of the great hero grew in number and power. They became tyrannical and cruel, and their religion nothing but an excuse for greed. Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. The castes created to serve the Sons of Ramrowan rose up and destroyed their rulers. All religion was banned and replaced by a code of unflinching law. The surviving royalty and their priests were made casteless, condemned to live as untouchables, and the Age of Law began.

Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. He is a Protector, the elite militant order of roving law enforcers. No one is more merciless in rooting out those who secretly practice the old ways. Everything is black or white, good or evil, until he discovers his entire life is a fraud. Ashok isn't who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war—and destruction.

Read our review of Son of the Black Sword in our October 2015 issue. (Source: Baen)

Things From Outer Space by (Baen 23 August 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Mostly very, very bad things that want to harm humans and destroy Earth. Or take it for their own. Original stories and reprints of classics from the scary side of science fiction!

The Things are coming.... As we all know, in space, no one can hear you scream. Which doesn't mean that anyone is safe just because they're standing on the soil of planet Earth, because if a thing from out there drops in, screaming probably won't save you.

Earth has spawned myriad unpleasant life forms which are bad news for humans, ranging in size from the Ebola virus to the great white shark up to the Tyrannosaurus Rex (extinct, fortunately for us)—and that's just one planet. What even more deadly life forms might the billions of planets in our galaxy have spawned? And suppose the things are intelligent and capable of crossing space and coming here.

Considering that very possibility are the masters of science fiction starring in this book, including Robert Silverberg, David Drake, Sarah A. Hoyt, James H. Schmitz, Fritz Leiber, Robert Sheckley, Murray Leinster and John W. Campbell, as well as classic stories of extraterrestrial horrors by H.P. Lovecraft, George Allan England and more.

E.T. might have been happy eating Reese's Pieces, but other visitors from the void might have less dainty appetites. And there are probably worse things than merely being eaten.

(Source: Baen)

Through Fire (Darkship) by Sarah A. Hoyt (Baen 02 August 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: Sequel to Darkship Renegades, Darkship Thieves and A Few Good Men.

Against all odds, spaceship mechanic Zen Sienna finds herself in a fairytale palace, being courted by the ruler of vast lands. But when revolution erupts and heads start to roll, Zen finds that the life of a storybook princess is not be all fancy balls and happy endings. Swept up in a whirlwind of fire and blood, Zen must earn her citizenship on Earth and find her place in a world on the brink of revolution.

(Source: Baen)

Fairwood Press

Amaryllis and Other Stories by Carrie Vaughn (Fairwood Press 16 August 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: For more than fifteen years Carrie Vaughn has published short fiction across all genres, through time and space, earning praise from critics and readers for twists and turns, shocks and delights, and emotional heart. This collection brings together alien encounters, classic fantasy creatures, strange magic, historical milieus; stories with heart, of people making their ways in the world the best they can, however strange and hostile those worlds might be; rare, hard-to-find stories that haven't been available in years. All this, now brought together in the first widely-available retrospective collection of Vaughn's work, including her Hugo-nominated, WSFA Small Press Award winning story "Amaryllis", about a post-catastrophe future in which a community struggles to live in balance with the environment and each other.

Contents: The Best We Can; Strife Lingers in Memory; A Hunter's Ode to His Bait; Sun, Stone, Spear; Crows; Salvage; Draw They Breath in Pain; The Girl with the Pre-Raphaelite Hair; Game of Chance; Roaring Twenties; A Riddle in Nine Syllables; 1977; Danaë at Sea; For Fear of Dragons; The Art of Homecoming; Astrophilia; Bannerless; and Amaryllis. (see review)

On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories by Tina Connolly (Fairwood Press 16 August 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: From the Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin comes Tina Connolly's first full-length collection, with two dozen stories spanning a decade of writing. These inventive and compelling stories contain tales of transcending cyborgs, shapeshifting bears, sentient hands, rogue GPSs, superhero moms groups, zombie chipmunks, and a story told from the point of view of a paddle in Pong. Her stories have been described as original, charming, delightful, unexpected, poignant, mystifying, beautiful, horrific, intricate, darkly funny, imaginative, fascinating, and just plain weird. The 25 stories and 3 poems include her prequel story to her YA Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen, as well as one new story exclusive to the collection.

(Source: Fairwood Press)

Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World by Caroline M Yoachim (Fairwood Press 16 August 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: This debut collection from Nebula-nominated author Caroline M. Yoachim showcases a wide-ranging selection of dark and beautiful stories, fiction that explores human nature against vividly imagined speculative backdrops. Here you'll find time travel, alien invasions, Japanese mermaids, and more-stories of struggle, heartbreak, and hope. The book features twenty-five of Yoachim's most popular published pieces, and two brand new stories exclusive to the collection.

(Source: Fairwood Press)

The Ultra Big Sleep by Patrick Swenson (Fairwood Press 09 August 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: Dave Crowell is a hero of the eight worlds of the Union, but he doesn t want fame or fortune. These days he just wants to run his private detective business with his partner and forget about the Ultras, the insidious aliens that attacked the Union, then vanished. But a client turns up dead under mysterious circumstances, and Crowell knows the Ultras have not gone away. With the help of a beautiful alien, he uncovers fragments of memory that might lead to his missing father. When it becomes clear that Crowell s past also contains the information he needs to save the Union, he is caught up in a conspiracy beyond his understanding and pulled into an underworld drug war on a hostile planet. With the crisis deepening, Crowell must learn the answer to the biggest question of all: Where are the Ultras?

(see review)

FSG Originals

Lord of the Darkwood: Tale of Shikanoko #3 by Lian Hearn (FSG Originals 09 August 2016 / $13.00) - Product Description: Shikanoko, at what should be a warrior's hour of greatest triumph, turns his back on those around him, in mourning for a secret love.

The Spider Tribe, spurned by their guardian, explore the extent of their powers and ruthless ambitions.

Hina, who alone knows the whereabouts of the true emperor, has to forge a new identity of her own. No one must ever know that she is Kiyoyori's daughter.

As the traditional powers navigate weakness and disarray, old spirits and new figures enter the epic battle for the Lotus Throne.

In Lord of the Darkwood, the major players of The Tale of Shikanoko are forced to deal with the consequences--expected and unexpected alike--of their past reckless actions. Each of them strives to achieve their destiny, but so far the paths they have followed seem to have done nothing but provoke Heaven's displeasure.

Profound betrayal, powerful magic, hidden identities, startling violence--these have made the weave of The Tale of Shikanoko so engrossing as it has played out across the sumptuously imagined, beautifully described world of Lian Hearn's medieval Japan. But the story is now twisting towards its final resolution. Can peace ever come to the Eight Islands?

(see review)

Harper Voyager

Breath of Earth (Blood of Earth) by Beth Cato (Harper Voyager 23 August 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: After the earth's power under her city is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magic to survive in this fresh fantasy standalone from the author of the acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation--the Unified Pacific--in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong secretary Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her own talent--or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose the earth's power to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese forces, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming San Francisco into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off.

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her already considerable magic has grown even more fearsome ... and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

(see review)

Jo Fletcher Books

Seoul Survivors (Habits of the House) by Naomi Foyle (Jo Fletcher Books 02 August 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: A meteor known as Lucifer's Hammer is about to wreak destruction on the earth, and with the end of the world imminent, there is only one safe place to be.

In the mountains above Seoul, American-Korean bio-engineer Dr Kim Da Mi thinks she has found the perfect solution to save the human race. But her methods are strange and her business partner, Johnny Sandman, is not the type of person anyone would want to mix with.

Drawn in by their smiles and pretty promises, Sydney - a Canadian model trying to escape an unhappy past - is an integral part of their scheme, until she realises that the quest for perfection comes at an impossible price.

(see review)

Medallion Press

The Book of Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold (Medallion Press 09 August 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government's investigation to find the creator.

The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.

The message is 'Drink Diet Coke'.

When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance with the beverage-industrial complex becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola's innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.

Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.

Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who's been hiding on the moon, needs Markus's help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.

Looking upon the cylinder, Markus realizes we are not the ones in control. The unexpected guest becomes the host, and somehow humans never belonged: "We are the homeless orphans peeking through the banquet window. We are the frills of the universe gazing upon something unspeakably more central than ourselves."

(Source: Medallion Press)

The Evolution of Gabriel Adam by S.L. Duncan (Medallion Press 09 August 2016 / $9.99) - Product Description: Stuck in the Dark Realm, teen-turned-archangel Gabriel Adam must remember who he was in the world. A familiar face guides him through an apocalyptic landscape, the only way home, but a relentless destructive force hunts them.

Meanwhile, on the Earth Realm, the horrific effects of the converging dimensions consume reality, encouraged by the machinations of the demon Mastema. Facing impossible odds without their two fellow archangels, Micah and Afarôt race to stop an inevitable doom.
In this harrowing conclusion to The Revelation Saga, worlds collide as Gabriel seeks inner strength to conquer the darkness threatening to tear the world--and his humanity--apart.

(Source: Medallion Press)

Night Shade Books

I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas (Night Shade Books 09 August 2016 / $15.99) - Product Description: For fans of legendary pulp author H.P. Lovecraft, there is nothing bigger than the annual Providence-based convention the Summer Tentacular. Horror writer Colleen Danzig doesn’t know what to expect when she arrives, but is unsettled to find that among the hobnobbing between scholars and literary critics are a group of real freaks: book collectors looking for volumes bound in human skin, and true believers claiming the power to summon the Elder God Cthulhu, one of their idol’s most horrific fictional creations, before the weekend is out.

Colleen's trip spirals into a nightmare when her roommate for the weekend, an obnoxious novelist known as Panossian, turns up dead, his face neatly removed. What’s more unsettling is that, in the aftermath of the murder, there is little concern among the convention goers. The Summer Tentacular continues uninterrupted, except by a few bumbling police.

Everyone at the convention is a possible suspect, but only Colleen seems to show any interest in solving the murder. So she delves deep into the darkness, where occult truths have been lurking since the beginning of time. A darkness where Panossian is waiting, spending a lot of time thinking about Colleen, narrating a new Lovecraftian tale that could very well spell her doom.

(see review)

Open Road Media

Skeen's Leap (Skeen Trilogy #1) by Jo Clayton (Open Road Media 09 August 2016 / ) - Product Description: This fast-paced, gritty space adventure introduces the unforgettable Skeen, a hard-edged heroine and intergalactic thief trapped in an unknown universe.

Skeen is a bandit and a rogue, a master thief wanted throughout myriad solar systems for plundering the rare antiquities of countless alien civilizations while always keeping one rocket ship–length ahead of the intergalactic law. A "rooner" with a dark past, she now finds herself penniless and abandoned on a miserable backwater planet, at the tail end of a string of very bad luck, with no option except to follow unreliable rumors to a supposed fortune in gems hidden among ancient ruins. What she finds instead is a gateway into another world—and a universe of trouble.

Now, trapped in a strange new reality with no way out, Skeen must find the key to reopening the portal, and that will entail making contact with the mysterious aliens who created the interdimensional passageway. But the enigmatic Ykx vanished eons ago, and finding representatives of a highly advanced and possibly extinct extraterrestrial race is not going to be easy for the silver-tongued lone wolf outlaw. It doesn't help that Skeen's entourage keeps expanding by leaps and bounds with unwanted hangers-on whose interference could end up damning her to an eternity in nowhere.

(Source: Open Road Media)

Rare Bird Books

Omegaball by Robert J. Peterson (Rare Bird Books 09 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: Two sisters. Two worlds. Meet Laurie and Helen Everett. They're identical twin sisters living in the year 2176. They're mirror images of each other. Laurie's a genius. Helen's a problem child. Laurie uses a wheelchair. Helen's a track star.

They fight. They compete. They hate each other. They love each other. Y'know--typical sisters.

But Laurie has a secret. She escapes her life by visiting the Darknet, a virtual reality that's as big as the solar system. There, she's a superstar at the sport of Omegaball, a deadly mashup of football, basketball, and Mega Man.

Laurie's world changes when two men approach her with promises of a better life. One is Glenn Booker, an executive with the Chicago Dreadnoughts Omegaball team here in the real world. The other is the mysterious hacktivist Mr. Chalk, chief architect of the Darknet. Glenn wants to draft her. Mr. Chalk wants her to join his personal army.

Laurie must decide whether she wants to live in the real world or the Darknet, all while Helen tracks her every move, and Mr. Chalk plots his own sinister agenda.

(see review)

Subterranean Press

Early Days: More Tales From the Pulp Era by Robert Silverberg (Subterranean Press 31 August 2016 / $40.00) - Book Description: In 2006, Robert Silverberg published In the Beginning, a generous selection of stories from the early, developmental stages of his distinguished sixty-year career. Fast-paced, energetic, and unabashedly pulp-like in their origins and ambitions, those stories proved to be an unexpected gift to Silverberg's many readers. That gift continues with Early Days, a second volume of apprentice fictions as wide-ranging and enjoyable as the first.

Early Days collects seventeen impossible to find stories from the years 1956 to 1958, supplemented by a fascinating introduction and extensive notes on the creation and publication history of each story. Together, these non-fiction pieces constitute both an episodic memoir and an affectionate history of an era when pulp magazines still dominated the SF marketplace.

Without exception each of the stories in Early Days offers honest, unpretentious entertainment. The astonishingly prolific Silverberg may have had a bit to learn back then, but he had an innate understanding of narrative that shines through every one of these tales. The stories range in tone from the grimly dystopian future "The Inquisitor" to the playful "Space is the Place", in which a maintenance technician from Crawford IX experiences comic culture shock during a mandatory vacation on Earth. "Rescue Mission" revolves around the telepathic connection between two interplanetary intelligence agents. "Housemaid No. 103" provides a humorous glimpse into the romantic difficulties of a far future matinee idol. "Hardwood's Votex" combines a mad scientist, alien invaders, and the possible end of life as we know it into a single colorful narrative.

Silverberg, of course, would evolve into one of the genuine masters of the genre, and this retrospective collection of early work offers invaluable insights into his development. Silverberg himself calls Early Days "an affectionate tribute to my hardworking self of more than half a century ago." It is all of that and more. Anyone with an interest in Silverberg's career, or in the history and evolution of modern science fiction, needs to read this book. They may not write 'em like this anymoe, but once upon a time they did. And looking back has never been so much fun.

(Source: Subterranean Press)

Tachyon Publications

Not So Much, Said the Cat by Michael Swanwick (Tachyon Publications 09 August 2016 / $15.95) - Product Description: The master of short science-fiction follows up his acclaimed collection The Dog Said Bow-Wow with feline grace, precision, and total impertinence. Michael Swanwick takes us on a whirlwind journey across the globe and across time and space, where magic and science exist in possibilities that are not of this world. These tales are intimate in their telling, galactic in their scope, and delightfully sesquipedalian in their verbiage.

Join the caravan through Swanwick's worlds and into the playground of his mind. Discover a calculus problem that rocks the ages and robots who both nurture and kill. Meet a magical horse who protects the innocent, a confused but semi-repentant troll, a savvy teenager who takes on the Devil, and time travelers from the Mesozoic who party till the end of time.

(see review)

Tor Books

Ghost Talkers by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor Books 16 August 2016 / $24.99) - Product Description: Ghost Talkers: a new novel from fantasy author Mary Robinette Kowal featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I.

Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.

Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.

Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiance to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she's just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing.

(see review)

High Stakes (Wild Cards) by (Tor Books 23 August 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: Perfect for old fans and new readers alike, High Stakes (Wild Cards) delves deeper into the world of aces, jokers, and the hard-boiled men and women of the Fort Freak police precinct in a pulpy, page-turning novel of superheroics and Lovecraftian horror.

After the concluding events of Lowball, Officer Francis Black of Fort Freak, vigilante joker Marcus "The Infamous Black Tongue" Morgan, and ace thief Mollie "Tesseract" Steunenberg get stuck in Talas, Kyrgyzstan. There, the coldblooded Baba Yaga forces jokers into an illegal fighting ring, but her hidden agenda is much darker: her fighters' deaths serve to placate a vicious monster from another dimension. When the last line of defense against this world weakens, all hell breaks loose, literally.

The Committee in New York sends a team of aces to investigate. One by one, each falls victim to evil forces--including the dark impulses within themselves. Only the perseverance of the most unlikely of heroes has a chance of saving the world before utter chaos erupts on Earth.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R.R. Martin, High Stakes features the writing talents of Melinda M. Snodgrass, John Jos. Miller, David Anthony Durham, Caroline Spector, Stephen Leigh, and Ian Tregillis.

(see review)

Mirror Image by Michael Scott and Melanie Ruth Rose (Tor Books 23 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: In an auction house in London, there is a mirror no one will buy. Standing seven feet tall and reaching four feet across, its size makes it unusual. Its horrific powers make it extraordinary. For centuries, the mirror has fed off of the lives of humans, giving them agonizing deaths and sucking their souls into its hellish world.

When Jonathan Frazer, the wealthy owner of a furniture and antiques shop in Los Angeles, buys the mirror at an auction, he believes he is getting the bargain of a lifetime. With its age and size, it is easily worth eight times what he paid for it. At this point, the mirror has sat dormant for years. But within days of Jonathan's purchase, the deaths begin again. One employee is crushed when the mirror falls on top of him. A few days later, the corpse of another is found in front of the mirror, brutally stabbed. A third is burned beyond all recognition. All the while, an enormous man with a scarred face is following Jonathan, demanding that he give him the mirror and killing any police officer that gets in his way.

The police are becoming desperate. As the death toll rises, Jonathan himself becomes a suspect. He knows there is something wrong with the mirror. He knows it's dangerous. But he cannot bring himself to get rid of it. Everyday he becomes more captivated by the mirror.

For the mirror is awakening, and its powers are resurfacing.

(Source: Tor Books)

Spellbreaker (Spellwright Trilogy) by Blake Charlton (Tor Books 23 August 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: Leandra Weal has a bad habit of getting herself in dangerous situations. For one thing, she has to solve the mystery behind a very usual murder.

While hunting neodemons in her role as Warden of Ixos, Leandra obtains a prophetic spell that provides a glimpse one day into her future. She discovers that in a day’s time she will either murder someone she loves or die herself. Problem is, she doesn’t know whom she might murder. That’s a pretty big problem for a woman who has a shark god for a lover, a hostile empress for an aunt, a rogue misspelling wizard for a father, and a mother who–especially when arguing with her daughter–can be a real dragon.

Leandra’s quest to unravel the mystery of the murder-she-will-commit becomes more urgent when her chronic disease flares up and the Ixonian Archipelago is plagued by natural disasters, demon worshiping cults, and fierce political infighting. Everywhere she turns, Leandra finds herself amid intrigue and conflict. It seems her bad habit for getting into dangerous situations is turning into a full blown addiction.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Kind Folk by Ramsey Campbell (Tor Books 23 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: In Ramsey Campbell's The Kind Folk, fairies are real ... and they're coming for you.

Luke Arnold is a successful stage comedian who, with his partner Sophie Drew, is about to have their first child. Their life seems ideal and Luke feels that true happiness is finally within his grasp.

This wasn't always the case. Growing up in a loving but dysfunctional family, Luke was a lonely little boy who never felt that he belonged. While his parents adored him, the whole family knew that due to a mix-up at the hospital, Luke wasn't their biological child. His parents did the best they could to make the lad feel special. But it was his beloved uncle Terence who Luke felt most close to, a man who enchanted (and frightened) the lad with tales of the Other--eldritch beings, hedge folks, and other fables of Celtic myth.

When Terence dies in a freak accident, Luke suddenly begins to learn how little he really knew his uncle. How serious was Terence about the magic in his tales? Why did he travel so widely by himself after Luke was born, and what was he looking for? Soon Luke will have to confront forces that may be older than the world in order to save his unborn child.

(Source: Tor Books)

The Swarm: The Second Formic War #1 by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (Tor Books 02 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston return to their Ender's Game prequel series with this first volume of an all-new trilogy about the Second Formic War in The Swarm.

The first invasion of Earth was beaten back by a coalition of corporate and international military forces, and the Chinese army. China has been devastated by the Formic's initial efforts to eradicate Earth life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the single ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship.

There is a mothership out beyond the Solar System's Kuiper Belt, and it's heading into the system, unstoppable by any weapons that Earth can muster.

Earth has been reorganized for defense. There is now a Hegemon, a planetary official responsible for keeping all the formerly warring nations in line. There's a Polemarch, responsible for organizing all the military forces of the planet into the new International Fleet. But there is an enemy within, an enemy as old as human warfare: ambition and politics. Greed and self-interest. Will Bingwen, Mazer Rackam, Victor Delgado and Lem Juke be able to divert those very human enemies in time to create a weapon that can effectively defend humanity in the inexorable Second Formic War?

(see review)

Tor Teen

Vicarious by Paula Stokes (Tor Teen 16 August 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States. But they've escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose's ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it's bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities in the city's hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you--for a price.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won't rest until she finds her sister's killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn't sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she'll have to untangle what's real from what only seems real, risking her own life in the process.

(see review)

Wildside Press

Osama the Gun by Norman Spinrad (Wildside Press 01 August 2016 / ) - Book Description: Osama the Gun, set in a not-so-far future when the "Sons of Osama" have established a powerful Islamic Caliphate with Pakistani nuclear weapons and Arabian oil money, is the story of one of those sons of the martyr, a naive and sincere young man who becomes a Caliphate secret agent to escape its closed confines and see the world--and finds himself becoming the reluctant hero of the title.

Osama the Gun becomes a terrorist leader on a small scale by happenstance, a mercenary used by Islamic forces fighting an American proxy invasion in the oil lands of Nigeria, an iconic figure in the manner of "El Che". All the while he charms the reader as a likable, idealistic, and sympathetic human doing very unsympathetic things to the interests of the United States of America.

(Source: Wildside Press)

William Morrow

Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth (William Morrow 09 August 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: John Smith possesses a special gift that seems more like a curse: he can access other people's thoughts. He hears the songs stuck in their heads, knows their most private traumas and fears, and relives the painful memories they can't let go of. The CIA honed his skills until he was one of their most powerful operatives, but John fled the Agency and now works as a private consultant, trying to keep the dark potentials of his gift in check—and himself out of trouble.

Unfortunately, John is unexpectedly plunged into dangerous waters when his latest client, billionaire software genius Everett Sloan, hires him to investigate a former employee--a tech whiz kid named Eli Preston--and search his thoughts for some very valuable intellectual property Sloan is convinced he's stolen. But before John can probe Preston's mind, his identity is compromised and he's on the run for his life, along with Sloane's young associate, Kelsey Foster.

Hunted by shadowy enemies with extensive resources and unknown motives, John and Kelsey must go off the grid. And John knows that using his powers to their fullest potential is their only hope for survival--even if it means putting his own sanity at risk.

(see review)

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