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US Books Received- 11/2016  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

Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor by Jay Williams & Raymond Abrashkin ( 23 November 2016 / ) - Product Description: Another accident in Professor Bulfinch's laboratory, brought on by Danny, results in the creation of a transparent, resilient material. The material proves useful in creating a bathysphere, and Professor Bulfinch, along with his friend Dr. Grimes, Danny, Joe, and Irene, descends into the Pacific Ocean on an experimental voyage. Unfortunately, the bathysphere's pilot is rendered unconscious, and the bathysphere becomes trapped in a cave... Can Danny and his friends escape?

Danny Dunn on the Ocean Floor is the fifth novel in the Danny Dunn series of juvenile science fiction/adventure books written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams.

Ace

Confluence (Linesman) by S.K. Dunstall (Ace 29 November 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: From the author of Alliance, linesman Ean Lambert finds himself caught in a dangerous fight for political power.

The lines. Mysterious yet familiar: the key to controlling every ship in the galaxy. Once they were thought of as tools, but since linesman Ean Lambert discovered strange new lines in an alien vessel, they have become so much more—symbols of a power too great to ignore.

While the Crown Princess of Lancia seeks to share the new technology, her father, the Emperor, has other plans. His latest political maneuverings seem to be tilting the balance of control to Lancia's favor--a move that not all members of the New Alliance are looking upon favorably.

As tensions mount, Ean and his former shipmates must unite to avert a disastrous conflict: the princess working within the tumultuous Alliance, Ean seeking the help of the impatient alien ships, and Ean's close friend and bodyguard, Radko, embarking on a mysterious and perilous mission.

But the biggest threat comes from an unexpected source. Someone is trying to take down the New Alliance from within--and will use anything, even the lines themselves, to ensure its destruction.

(Source: Ace)

The Burning Isle by Will Panzo (Ace 01 November 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: "A man has only three reasons for being anywhere: to right a wrong, to earn a coin, or because he is lost."

Cassius is not lost. The mage Cassius has just arrived on the island of Scipio. Five miles of slum on the edge of fifty miles of jungle, Scipio is a lawless haven for criminals, pirates, and exiles. The city is split in two, each half ruled by a corrupt feudal lord. Both of them answer to a mysterious general who lives deep in the jungle with his army, but they still constantly battle for power. If a man knows how to turn their discord to his advantage, he might also turn a profit.

But trained on the Isle of Twelve, Cassius is no ordinary spellcaster, and his goal is not simply money. This is a treacherous island where the native gods are restless and anything can happen.

(Source: Ace)

Baen

1635: A Parcel of Rogues (Ring of Fire) by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis (Baen 29 November 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: Book #20 in the Ring of Fire series. When the diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe was freed from the Tower of London during the Baltic War, most of its members returned to the continent. But some remained behind in Britain, including notorious enemy to the crown Oliver Cromwell. Now, the hunt for Cromwell is on, with King Charles himself demanding Cromwell's head.

When the diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe was freed from the Tower of London during the Baltic War, most of its members returned to the continent. But some remained behind in Britain: Oliver Cromwell and a few companions, including the sharpshooter Julie Sims, her Scot husband Alex Mackay, and Cromwell's Irish-American self-appointed watchdog Darryl McCarthy.

Soon, the hunt is on for the most notorious rebel in English history, with King Charles himself demanding Cromwell's head. The new chief minister Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, brings over from Ireland a notorious crew of cutthroats led by the man called Finnegan to track down and capture the escapees from the Tower.

The hunt passes through England and into Scotland, where the conflict between Cromwell and his companions and their would-be captors becomes embroiled in Scotland's politics, which are every bit as savage and ruthless as Finnegan and his men. To make things still more conflicted and confused, the time Darryl McCarthy spends fighting alongside Cromwell forces him against his will to admire and respect--and even like--the man, despite Cromwell's demonic reputation among all self-respecting Irish nationalist families like Darryl's own.

It's a Gordian knot anywhere you look--until Julie Sims brings out her rifle. Now it's the turn of Scot partisans and English lords and Irish toughs to learn the lesson already learned on the continent: A safe distance isn't what you think it is. Not after the American angel of death spreads her wings.

Read our review of 1635: A Parcel of Rogues in our January 2016 issue. (Source: Baen)

Angeleyes (Freehold) by Michael Z. Williamson (Baen 01 November 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Angie Kaneshiro never planned to be a spy. She was a veteran of the Freehold Forces of Grainne, and was now a tramp freighter crew-woman who hadn't set foot on the dirt of a world in ten years. Angie was free, and that was the way she liked it.

Then the war with Earth started. One thing Angie knew was human space. She knew where the UN troops garrisoned, the methods they used to scan and chip their own to control them. Even better, she had a mental map of the access conduits, the dive bars, and the make-out cubbies people used to get around restrictions.

The UN forces may hold most of the stations, the docks, and the jump points, but now the Freehold of Grainne has its own lethal weapon. The Intelligence branch sends a freighter crewed with Blazers, special forces troops. All Angie has to do is lead them through the holes. Responsibility for the explosions and wreckage will be theirs. But war is complicated, and even the most unwilling of heroes can be forged in its crucible.

(Source: Baen)

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen 01 November 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan returns to the planet that changed her destiny.

FUTURE TENSE -- Three years after her famous husband's death, Cordelia Vorkosigan, widowed Vicereine of Sergyar, stands ready to spin her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, Admiral, Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in her web of plans in ways he'd never imagined, bringing him to an unexpected crossroads in his career.

Meanwhile, Miles Vorkosigan, one of Emperor Gregor's key investigators, this time dispatches himself on a mission of inquiry, into a mystery he never anticipated – his own mother.

Plans, wills, and expectations collide in this sparkling science-fiction social comedy, as the impact of galactic technology on the range of the possible changes all the old rules, and Miles learns that not only is the future not what he expects, neither is the past.

(see review)

Her Brother's Keeper by Mike Kupari (Baen 29 November 2016 / $7.99) - Product Description: DEBUT SOLO NOVEL FROM THE CO-AUTHOR OF DEAD SIX. Air Force weapons expert Mike Kupari, co-author of Dead Six and Swords of Exodus, offers up a science fiction adventure. When privateer Captain Catherine Blackwood is enlisted to rescue her brother from a treacherous warlord, she finds herself on her most dangerous mission yet.

It's been years since Catherine Blackwood left the stodgy, repressive colony world of Avalon. Now the captain of the privateer vessel Andromeda, she is the master of her own destiny. But Catherine soon finds herself back on Avalon after receiving a plea for help from a most unlikely source: her estranged father, esteemed Avalon Council member Augustus Blackwood.

It seems Catherine's brother, the heir to the Blackwood aristocracy, has gone off in search of treasure on the failed, chaotic world of Zanzibar. But Cecil Blackwood's plans have gone very, very wrong, and he has been taken hostage and held for ransom by a fearsome local warlord. Augustus, knowing his daughter is the only one who can be trusted to return his son safely, swallows his pride and hires Catherine to bring her brother home.

Catherine takes the job--but it won't be easy. Just getting to Zanzibar proves treacherous. And once she arrives, things only get worse. If she is to save her brother, Catherine Blackwood must face down danger at every turn and uncover a mystery four million years in the making.
(see review)

Shadow of Victory (Honor Harrington) by David Weber (Baen 01 November 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: Unintended Consequences. Sometimes things don't work out exactly as planned.

The Mesan Alignment has a plan--one it's been working on for centuries. A plan to remake the galaxy and genetically improve the human race--its way.

Until recently, things have gone pretty much as scheduled, but then the Alignment hit a minor bump in the road called the Star Empire of Manticore. So the Alignment engineered a war between the Solarian League, the biggest and most formidable interstellar power in human history. To help push things along, the Alignment launched a devastating sneak attack which destroyed the Royal Manticoran Navy's industrial infrastructure.

And in order to undercut Manticore's galaxy-wide reputation as a star nation of its word, it launched Operation Janus--a false-flag covert operation to encourage rebellions it knows will fail by promising Manticoran support. The twin purposes are to harden Solarian determination to destroy the Star Empire once and for all, and to devastate the Star Empire's reputation with the rest of the galaxy.

But even the best laid plans can have unintended consequences, and one of those consequences in this case may just be a new dawn of freedom for oppressed star nations everywhere.

(see review)

The Right to Arm Bears (Baen) by Gordon R Dickson (Baen 01 November 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: A classic of science fiction from SF legend Gordon R. Dickson, winner of three Hugo awards, a Nebula award, and an inductee into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Humans and alien adversaries contend on a world whose inhabitants resemble bears both in appearance and in temperament.

Planet Dilbia is in a crucial location for both humans and their adversaries, the Hemnoids. Therefore making friends with the Dilbians and establishing a human presence there is of the utmost importance, which may be a problem, since the bearlike Dilbians stand some nine feet tall, and have a high regard for physical prowess. They're not impressed by human technology, either. A real man, er, bear doesn't need machines to do his work for him.

But Dilbians are impressed by sharp thinking, and some have expressed a grudging admiration for the logical (and usually sneaky) mental maneuvers that the human "shorties" have used to get themselves out of desperate jams. Just maybe that old human craftiness will win over the Dilbians to the human side. If not, humanity loses a nexus, and the Dilbians will learn just how unbearable Hemnoids can be!

(see review)

The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen 01 November 2016 / $16.00) - Product Description: New edition of the book that won Lois McMaster Bujold her first hugo award. Sequel to The Warrior's Apprentice.

Miles Vorkosigan has shaken the High Command of his home planet Barrayar to the core and has been sent to the other side of the galaxy as a result. There Miles runs into his old pals, the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. And a good thing, too, because it turns out that Miles's childhood chum--Emperor Gregor to you and me--has been the victim of foul play, and only Miles can save him. In fact, Miles knows he must save Gregor. Because if he doesn't, then the only person who could become emperor is Miles himself, which is, for Miles, a fate worse than death!

Read our review of the NESFA edition of The Vor Game in our March 2010 issue.

(see review)

DAW

The Operative (San Angeles) by Gerald Brandt (DAW 01 November 2016 / $26.00) - Product Description: Kris Merrill was a survivor. She'd lost her parents as a young girl, and she'd been forced to flee the dubious shelter of her aunt's home at thirteen to escape the unwanted attentions of her uncle. She'd lived on the streets of San Angeles, finding refuge in the lowest level of the city. When she got the chance, Kris found a room to rent on Level 2, earning a precarious living as a motorcycle messenger, a courier delivering sensitive materials the megacorporations would not trust to any method that could be hacked.

A year ago, Kris's life changed irrevocably when a delivery went terribly wrong, and she was targeted for termination by the Meridian corporation, one of the most powerful of the megaconglomerates that controlled the government. Salvation came in the form of Ian Miller, who rescued Kris from certain death, recruiting her for the underground resistance group of which he was a part.

Since then, Kris has been hidden with the resistance, training to become an operative. Just as her training with the anti-corporate movement is nearing its end, their compound is destroyed by surprise attack. Ready or not, Kris and the other trainees are recalled to the dangerous metropolis of San Angeles. But their transport is shot down and Ian Miller, the man she loves, is captured. Someone, it seems, is using him to get to Kris.

With the help of a retired operative with PTSD, and the mysterious man who fled the scene when Kris's parents were killed, Kris searches for any sign of Ian. As the corporations battle civil unrest--and each other--the city slowly shuts down. Kris and San Angeles are running out of time.

(see review)

Del Rey

StarCraft: Evolution by Timothy Zahn (Del Rey 08 November 2016 / $28.00) - Product Description: An action-packed novel that ushers in a new age of adventure in the critically acclaimed StarCraft series from Blizzard Entertainment. Timothy Zahn pens the latest chapter in the stunning StarCraft saga, building on the game's rich legacy to create an unforgettable new story.

After nearly a decade of brutal warfare, three mighty factions--the enigmatic protoss, the savage zerg, and the terrans, humanity's descendants in the sector--have entered a cease-fire, but the peace is tenuous at best. When the sudden restoration of an incinerated planet is brought to light, tensions erupt. Neutrality swings back to hostility, and old enemies are accused of developing biological weapons to reignite the bitter conflict.

An expedition of terran and protoss soldiers and researchers is deployed to investigate the mysterious zerg planet and its inhabitants' intentions. But the lush alien landscape is host to other denizens, creatures shrouded in shadow, and should they be unleashed, they will change the fate of the entire galaxy.

(Source: Del Rey)

Harper Voyager

The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta (Harper Voyager 01 November 2016 / $14.99) - Product Description: The author of the critically acclaimed Memory of Water returns with this literary ecological tale in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin and Sheri S. Tepper, in which an innocent young woman becomes entangled in a web of ancient secrets and deadly lies that lie at the dark center of her prosperous island world.

Eliana is a model citizen of the island, a weaver in the prestigious House of Webs. She also harbors a dangerous secret--she can dream, an ability forbidden by the island's elusive council of elders. No one talks about the dreamers, the undesirables ostracized from society.

But the web of protection Eliana has woven around herself begins to unravel when a young girl is found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the stones outside the house. Robbed of speech by her attackers, the only clue to her identity is one word tattooed in invisible ink across her palm: Eliana. Why does this mysterious girl bear her name? What links her to the weaver--and could she hold Eliana's fate in her hand?

As Eliana finds herself growing closer to this injured girl she is bound to in ways she doesn't understand, the enchanting lies of the island begin to crumble, revealing a deep and ancient corruption. Joining a band of brave rebels determined to expose the island's dark secrets, Eliana becomes a target of ruthless forces determined to destroy her. To save herself and those she loves, she must call on the power within her she thought was her greatest weakness: her dreams.

(see review)

HarperCollins

Archie Greene and the Alchemists' Curse by D.D. Everest (HarperCollins 01 November 2016 / $16.99) - Product Description: In Archie Greene and the Magician's Secret, Archie became one of the Flame Keepers, a secret group devoted to finding and preserving magical books that are literally portals into other places and times.

In the action-packed sequel, the Golden Circle--a symbol that hasn't been seen in three hundred years--appears on Archie's palm. It's the mark of the Alchemists' Club, a group of young magicians from centuries past who experimented with magic...until the spells got out of control, the results turned disastrous, and the club disbanded.

Now Archie and a few other apprentices, including his cousins Thistle and Bramble, have been marked with this powerful symbol and appear to be chosen to reestablish the club. They don't know who chose them. They don't know why. And they don't know what perils they are about to face because the Golden Circle has returned.

(see review)

Jo Fletcher Books

The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood (Jo Fletcher Books 01 November 2016 / $26.99) - Product Description: In 1851, within the grand glass arches of London's Crystal Palace, Albie Mirralls meets his cousin Lizzie for the first--and, as it turns out, last--time. His cousin is from a backward rural village, and Albie expects she will be a simple country girl, but instead he is struck by her inner beauty and by her lovely singing voice, which is beautiful beyond all reckoning. When next he hears of her, many years later, it is to hear news of her death at the hands of her husband, the village shoemaker.

Unable to countenance the rumors that surround his younger cousin's murder--apparently, her husband thought she had been replaced by one of the "fair folk" and so burned her alive--Albie becomes obsessed with bringing his young cousin's murderer to justice. With his father's blessing, as well as that of his young wife, Albie heads to the village of Halfoak to investigate his cousin's murder. When he arrives, he finds a community in the grip of superstition, nearly every member of which believes Lizzie's husband acted with the best of intentions and in the service of the village.

There, Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death and to search for her murderous husband, who has disappeared. But in a village where the rationalism and rule of science of the Industrial Revolution seem to have found little purchase, the answers to the question of what happened to Lizzie and why prove elusive. And the more he learns, the less sure he is that there aren't mysterious powers at work.

(see review)

Night Shade Books

A Trail Through Time (Chronicles of St. Mary's #4) by Jodi Taylor (Night Shade Books 08 November 2016 / $12.99) - Product Description: St Mary's is back and is facing a battle to survive in this, the fourth instalment of the Chronicles. Max and Leon are re-united and looking forward to a peaceful lifetime together. But, sadly, they don't even make it to lunchtime. The action races from 17th century London to Ancient Egypt and from Pompeii to 14th century Southwark as they're pursued up and down the timeline, playing a perilous game of hide and seek until they're finally forced to take refuge at St Mary's - where new dangers await them. As usual, there are plenty of moments of humour, but the final, desperate, Battle of St Mary's is in grim earnest. Overwhelmed and outnumbered and with the building crashing down around them, how can St Mary's possibly survive? So, make sure the tea's good and strong. (see review)

Phoenix Pick

Soulmates by Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn (Phoenix Pick 15 November 2016 / $17.75) - Product Description: Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn, get to the heart of the matter in Soulmates, which showcases all the words they have penned together over their years as collaborators (with a bonus solo piece by each). Whether a robot, alien, some kind of supernatural being or human, rising above our prejudices and ignorance allows us to make emotional connections that can have a profound effect on our lives.

Each of these stories examine a facet of the simple, yet incredibly complex, concept of companionship. They will make you laugh; will make you cry...but most importantly they will make you look at the very basic notion of soul-mates in a different light.

(Source: Phoenix Pick)

Pocket Books/Star Trek

Star Trek: Prey: The Hall of Heroes (#3) by John Jackson Miller (Pocket Books/Star Trek 29 November 2016 / ) - Product Description: Continuing the milestone 50th anniversary celebration of Star Trek--an epic new trilogy that stretches from the events of The Original Series movie The Search for Spock to The Next Generation!

The Klingon Empire stands on the precipice. In the wake of violence from the cult known as the Unsung, paranoia threatens to break Chancellor Martok's regime. Klingons increasingly call for a stronger hand to take control...one that Lord Korgh, master manipulator, is only too willing to offer.

But other forces are now in motion. Assisted by a wily agent, the Empire's enemies secretly conspire to take full advantage of the situation. Aboard the USS Titan, Admiral William T. Riker realizes far more than the Federation's alliance with the Klingons is in danger. With the Empire a wounded animal, it could either become an attacker--or a target.

Yet even as hostilities increase, Commander Worf returns to the USS Enterprise and Captain Jean-Luc Picard with a daring plan of his own. The preservation of both the Empire and the Federation alliance may hinge on an improbable savior leading a most unlikely force.

(see review)

Pyr

Congress of Secrets by Stephanie Burgis (Pyr 01 November 2016 / $17.00) - Product Description: In 1814, the Congress of Vienna has just begun. Diplomats battle over a new map of Europe, actors vie for a chance at glory, and aristocrats and royals from across the continent come together to celebrate the downfall of Napoleon...among them Lady Caroline Wyndham, a wealthy English widow. But Caroline has a secret: she was born Karolina Vogl, daughter of a radical Viennese printer. When her father was arrested by the secret police, Caroline's childhood was stolen from her by dark alchemy.

Under a new name and nationality, she returns to Vienna determined to save her father even if she has to resort to the same alchemy that nearly broke her before. But she isn't expecting to meet her father's old apprentice, Michael Steinhüller, now a charming con man in the middle of his riskiest scheme ever.

The sinister forces that shattered Caroline's childhood still rule Vienna behind a glittering façade of balls and salons, Michael's plan is fraught with danger, and both of their disguises are more fragile than they realize. What price will they pay to the darkness if either of them is to survive?

(see review)

Roc

After Atlas (Planetfall, A) by Emma Newman (Roc 08 November 2016 / $15.00) - Product Description: Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man's murder is much more than it seems.

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos's entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas's departure, it's got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There's more to Casales's death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes.

(see review)

Shadowed Souls by (Roc 01 November 2016 / $17.00) - Product Description: In this dark and gritty collection--featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman--nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil.... Unfortunately, that's exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.

In Jim Butcher's Cold Case, Molly Carpenter--Harry Dresden's apprentice-turned-Winter Lady--must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you're a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad. Seanan McGuire's Sleepover finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything "weird". They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie. In Kevin J. Anderson's Eye of Newt, Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble's latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner. And Rob Thurman's infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals wih some overdue--and nightmarish--vengeance involving some quite nasty Impossible Monsters.

Also includes stories by: Tanya Huff * Kat Richardson * Jim C. Hines * Anton Strout * Lucy A. Snyder * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Erik Scott de Bie.

(see review)

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 22 November 2016 / ) - Product Description: Two teens are forced to murder--maybe each other--in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life--and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe--a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.

(see review)

Solaris

Bridging Infinity (Infinity Project) by (Solaris 08 November 2016 / $14.99) - Book Description: Sense of wonder is the lifeblood of science fiction. When we encounter something on a truly staggering scale - metal spheres wrapped around stars, planets rebuilt and repurposed, landscapes transformed, starships bigger than worlds - we react viscerally. Fear, reverence, admiration - how else are we to react to something so grand?

Bridging Infinity puts humanity at the heart of these vast undertakings - as builder, as engineer, as adventurer - reimagining and rebuilding the world, the solar system, and even the entire universe. This continuation of the award-winning Infinity Project anothology series features bold new stories from Stephen Baxter, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, Zachary Brown, Pat Cadigan, Kameron Hurley, Scott Lynch, Vonda N. McIntyre, Hannu Rajaniemi, Allan Steele, and many more.

(see review)

Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.

Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc. 02 November 2016 / $3.99) - Product Description: In his thirtieth year, Penric fell in love with light....

Learned Penric, a sorcerer and divine of the Bastard's Order, travels across the sea to sunlit Cedonia on his first covert diplomatic mission, to attempt to secure the services of a disaffected Cedonian general for the Duke of Adria. However, nothing is as it seems: Penric is betrayed and thrown into a dungeon, and worse follows for the general and his kin. Penric's narrow escapes and adventures--including his interest in a young widow--are told with Bujold's remarkable energy, wit and humor. Once again, Bujold has created unforgettable characters and a wondrous, often dangerous world of intrigue and sorcery.
Third novella in the Penric and Desdemona series.

(see review)

Subterranean

Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire by Joe R Lansdale (Subterranean 30 November 2016 / $40.00) - Product Description: "I was living in a pulp writer fury, a storm of imagination." So Joe R. Lansdale, award-winning author of more than twenty novels and two hundred short works, describes the birth of his desire to be a writer after encountering pulp storytelling as a kid in TV, comics, and books. Now Dead on the Bones: Pulp on Fire collects eight stories where Lansdale pays tribute to the rip-roaring tales of his youth.

Dedicated to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard, "Under the Warrior Star" finds hero Braxton Booker on another, battle-wracked planet, while "Tarzan and the Land That Time Forgot" was expressly permitted by the Burroughs estate. In "Dead on the Bones," a Conjure Man facilitates a boxing match between the living and the dead, with a twist. "The Gruesome Affair of the Electric Blue Lightning" crosses Poe with horrors that could have walked straight out of Lovecraft. Meanwhile, in "Naked Angel" a cop discovers a dead woman encased in ice on the noir streets of Los Angeles, not realizing he shares a personal connection with her. Other stories here bring readers face to face with vampires and far stranger creatures, all in Lansdale's signature, Texas Mojo style.

Lansdale is rightly recognized as one of the most distinctive voices in modern fiction, pulp or otherwise. From Venus to vampires, Dead on the Bones is a fine, thoroughly enjoyable demonstration of why.

(see review)

Tor Books

Alien Morning by Rick Wilber (Tor Books 08 November 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Peter Holman is a freelance sweeper. The year 2030 sees a new era in social media with sweepcasting, a multisensory interface that can convey every thought, touch, smell, sight, and sound, immersing the audience in another person's experience.

By fate, chance, or some darker design, Peter is perfectly positioned to be the one human to document the arrival of the aliens, the S'hudonni.

The S'hudonni offer advanced science in exchange for various trade goods from Earth. But nothing is as simple as it seems. Peter finds himself falling for, Heather Newsome a scientist chosen by the S'hudonni to act as their liaison. Engaged to his brilliant marine biologist brother, Tom, Heather is not what she seems. But Peter has bigger problems. While he and his brother fight over long-standing family troubles, another issue looms: a secret war among the aliens, who are neither as benevolent nor as unified as they first seemed.

Peter slowly learns secrets he was never meant to know, about the S'hudonni, and about his own family. Realizing that he has been used, he can only try to turn his situation around, to save what he can of his life and of the future of Earth.

(see review)

Apes and Angels (Star Quest Trilogy) by Ben Bova (Tor Books 22 November 2016 / $25.99) - Product Description: Ben Bova chronicles the saga of humankind's expansion beyond the solar system in Apes and Angels, the last installment in the Star Quest Trilogy.

Humankind headed out to the stars not for conquest, nor exploration, nor even for curiosity. Humans went to the stars in a desperate crusade to save intelligent life wherever they found it.

A wave of death is spreading through the Milky Way galaxy, an expanding sphere of lethal gamma radiation that erupted from the galaxy's core twenty-eight thousand years ago and now is approaching Earth's vicinity at the speed of light. Every world it touched was wiped clean of all life. But it's possible to protect a planet from gamma radiation. Earth is safe.

Now, guided by the ancient intelligent machines called the Predecessors, men and women from Earth seek out those precious, rare worlds that harbor intelligent species, determined to save them from the doom that is hurtling toward them.

The crew of the Odysseus has arrived at Mithra Gamma, the third planet of the star Mithra, to protect the stone-age inhabitants from the Death Wave. But they'll also have to protect themselves.

(see review)

At the Sign of Triumph (Safehold) by David Weber (Tor Books 08 November 2016 / $27.99) - Product Description: At the Sign of Triumph: David Weber's Safehold series begun with Off Armageddon Reef, By Schism Rent Asunder, By Heresies Distressed, A Mighty Fortress, and How Firm a Foundation.

The Church of God Awaiting's triumph over Charis was inevitable. Despite its prosperity, the Charis was a single, small island realm. It boasted less than two percent of the total population of Safehold. How could it possibly resist total destruction? The Church had every reason to be confident of a swift, crushing victory, an object lesson to other rebels.

But Charis had something far more powerful than simple numbers. It had a king, a crown prince, and a navy prepared to die where they stood in its defense. It had the Brethren of Saint Zherneau, who knew the truth about Safehold's founding. Who knew that the Church of God Awaiting was a monstrous lie. And it had Merlin Athrawes, last survivor of long-vanished Earth. Merlin, the cybernetic avatar of a woman dead over a thousand years, who was determined to break the Church's grip upon the human mind and soul.

So after eight years of war, it is not Charis but the Church that stands upon the brink of defeat. But the Church still commands immense resources, and ― faced with the unthinkable ― it's decided that it, too, must embrace the forbidden technology which has carried Charis so far.

In the end, it is simple, for only one can survive. The lines are drawn, the navies and armies have been raised, and all of Safehold is poised for the final battle between those who believe in freedom and those who would crush it forever.

(see review)

Belle Chasse (Sentinels of New Orleans) by Suzanne Johnson (Tor Books 08 November 2016 / $29.99) - Product Description: With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ--stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders--can't get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn't enough.

(see review)

Christmas Magic by (Tor Books 01 November 2016 / $18.99) - Product Description: A collection of holiday stories features the works of today's most popular fantasy and science fiction authors and includes the tale of a little girl's quest to become one of Santa's elves, a boy's discovery of Santa's tenth reindeer, and more. Original.

Contents: "Nackles" by Donald Westlake; "Another Dime, Another Place" by A.J. Austin; "Bedlam Inn" by Madeleine Robins; "The Last Castle of Christmas" by Alexander jablokov; "An old-Fashioned Bird Christmas" by Margaret St. Clair; "The Wild Wood" by Mildred Clingerman; "Santa Rides a Saucer" by Donald A. Wollheim; "Grandfather Christmas" by Robert Frazier and James Patrick Kelly; "The Outpost Undiscovered by Tourists" by Harlan Ellison; "Diesel Dream" by Alan Dean Foster; "Santa Clause" by Robert F. Young; "Grandma Babka's Christmas Ginger" by Kin Wisman; "Death in the Christmas Hour" by James Powell; "The Boxing Day Spectre" by Kit Reed; "The Toy Mill" by David Nickle and Karl Schroeder; "The Hundred-Year Christmas" by David Morrell; "Santa's Tenth Reindeer" by Gordon Van Gelder; "Tick" by M.J. Engh; "Merry Gravmas" by James P. Hogan; "The Nutcracker Coup" by Janet Kagan; "Training Talk No. 12" by David R. Bunch; "The Last Belsnickel" by Chet Williamson; "A Child's Christmas in Florida" by William Browning Spencer; "LaZelle Family Christmas" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman; "Ixchel's Tears" by José R. Nieto; "A Midnight Clear" by Wil McCarthy and Gregory R. Hyde; and "Household Words: Or, The-Powers-That-Be" by Howard Waldrop. (Source: Tor Books)

Extreme Makeover by Dan Wells (Tor Books 15 November 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: Dan Well's Extreme Makeover is a satirical new suspense about a health and beauty company that accidentally develops a hand lotion that can overwrite your DNA.

Lyle Fontanelle is the chief scientist for NewYew, a health and beauty company experimenting with a new, anti-aging hand lotion. As more and more anomalies crop up in testing, Lyle realizes that the lotion's formula has somehow gone horribly wrong. It is actively overwriting the DNA of anyone who uses it, turning them into physical clones of someone else. Lyle wants to destroy the formula, but NewYew thinks it might be the greatest beauty product ever designed--and the world's governments think it's the greatest weapon.

(Source: Tor Books)

Invisible Planets: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation by (Tor Books 01 November 2016 / $24.99) - Book Description: This collection includes stories by writers already familiar to Anglophone readers like Liu Cixin (author of the Hugo-winning Three-Body Problem) as well as newer writers beloved by fans in China like Chen Qiufan, Ma Boyong, Xia Jia, Hao Jingfang (author of the Hugo-winning “Folding Beijing”), Cheng Jingbo, and Tang Fei.

This is the first collection of contemporary Chinese short SF to be released by a major US genre imprint, and to place the works in context, I’ve written an introduction as well as solicited a few analytical essays.

(see review)

The Vindication of Man (Eschaton Sequence) by John C. Wright (Tor Books 22 November 2016 / $32.50) - Product Description: The Vindication of Man is the continuation of John C. Wright's space opera series, The Eschaton Sequence.

Menelaus Montrose, having renewed his enmity with his immortal adversary, Ximen del Azarchel, awaits the return of the posthuman princess Rania, their shared lost love. Rania brings with her the judgment of the Dominions ruling the known cosmos, which will determine the fate of humanity, once and for all. Vindication or destruction? And if it is somehow both, what manner of future awaits them?

(Source: Tor Books)

Tor Teen

Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly (Tor Teen 01 November 2016 / $17.99) - Product Description: Tina Connolly's Seriously Shifted is a new adventure about teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, introduced to readers in Seriously Wicked.

Teenage witch Cam isn't crazy about the idea of learning magic. She'd rather be no witch than a bad one. But when a trio of her mother's wicked witch friends decide to wreak havoc in her high school, Cam has no choice but to try to stop them.

Now Cam's learning invisibility spells, dodging exploding cars, and pondering the ethics of love potions. All while trying to keep her grades up and go on a first date with her crush. If the witches don't get him first, that is.

Can't a good witch ever catch a break?

(Source: Tor Teen)

Wildside Press

Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave by Jay Williams & Raymond Abrashkin (Wildside Press 22 November 2016 / ) - Product Description: Danny and his friend Joe Pearson discover the entrance to a cave in the woods near their home. Professor Bulfinch has just invented a portable x-ray machine, and the Professor, along with his geologist friend Dr. Tresselt, sees an opportunity to use the device inside the cave. The two adults, along with Danny, Joe, and Irene, enter the cave on an expedition. They make an astonishing discovery, but they encounter a significant problem which prevents them from leaving the cave...


Danny Dunn and the Fossil Cave is the sixth novel in the Danny Dunn series of juvenile science fiction/adventure books written by Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams.

ZMOK

City of the Gods - Starybogow: Whispers in the Dark by (ZMOK 07 November 2016 / $18.00) - Product Description: King Jan has been killed by the Teutonic Knights - agents of the Eldar Gods. The Old Slavic Gods are trying to save humanity and the Inquisiiton persecutes everyone. The doomed city of Starybogow holds many mysteries and the future of mankind may be in the balance. Ten short stories by seven authors introduce the readers to the adventures in this city--ancient gods, the possibility of treasure and the undead lead to adventures for some and misery for others, but no one shall be the same. Set on the borders of Prussia, Poland, Lithuania and Russia in 1501, there are events in history and outside of history that are taking place as one group seeks redemption for humanity, another to enslave them and a third with ideas of their own. This anthology launches the setting for a new series of fantasy–history novels with a twist in horror.

(Source: ZMOK)

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