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US Books Received- 03/2017  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

 by ( 03 March 2017 / ) -

Ace

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Ace 07 March 2017 / $27.00) - Product Description: In the Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy's bond with the pack--and her mate--is broken, she'll learn what it truly means to be alone.

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes--only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe.

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise....

(see review)

Avon

Immortal Unchained (Argeneau) by Lynsay Sands (Avon 28 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: In a new Argeneau novel from author Lynsay Sands, a dangerous rescue is just the beginning of red-hot adventure.

Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he's been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape.

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection--none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like.

(see review)

Baen

Challenges of the Deeps (Grand Central Arena) by Ryk E Spoor (Baen 07 March 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: The climax of the Arenaverse adventure SF series!

The Arena: a vast alien otherspace that all species were forced to enter when they discovered faster-than-light travel. The Arena: where the lives of entire species might hang in the balance in a single Challenge. The Arena: filled with mysteries, alliances, betrayals, opportunities, and hideous dangers for individual and empire alike. And the only thing you couldn't do ... was refuse to play the Arena's game.

Ariane Austin and her crew had learned these lessons the hard way, and--with luck, skill, and sheer will, had managed to survive so far. But now a debt of honor to Humanity's oldest, if sometimes self-serving, ally Orphan has come due. The threat of war looms with the xenophobic Molothos, one of the five Great Factions; the dark and omnipresent legacy of the Hyperion Experiment lingers. As Leader of the Faction of Humanity, Captain Ariane Austin had to deal with all of these problems, and deal with them soon. For within her was also the alien power that the Shadeweavers and the Faith had sealed away--with a seal that would not last forever. She needed to find a way to control that power before it broke free--or more than just Humanity would pay the price.

Now Ariane must travel with Orphan into the legendary Deeps of the Arena, far from any known Spheres--to a destination only the enigmatic alien knows, leaving behind one of her most trusted friends and advisors to confront whatever new trials the Arena may throw at Humanity in her absence.

But before Ariane can depart, she must deal with a minor matter of a Challenge against one of the Great Factions--a Challenge with an entire species' citizenship in the Arena at stake!

(Source: Baen)

Little Green Men-Attack! by (Baen 07 March 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: From Hugo-nominated editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt and Nebula nominated author Robin Wayne Bailey, here are nineteen top-notch science fiction stories guaranteed to make you think and laugh, featuring such major writers as Robert Silverberg, Mike Resnick, Allen M. Steele, Esther Friesner, Elizabeth Moon, Seanan McGuire, Jody Lynn Nye, James Gunn, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and many more.

When Little Green Men Attack, It's All-out Laugh Warfare. From the far reaches of outer space they come--inscrutable aliens, malicious invaders, wacky tourists from another planet--to conquer, study, and tickle us. From the battlefields of the Ozarks to the marble halls of the Boston Library, from Central Park to the skies above Washington, on the moon and in the seediest bars of Kansas City--they're here. But do they really know who they're up against? Not hardly!

COMPLETE AUTHOR LIST: Mike Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dantzel Cherry, Ken Scholes, Jody Lynn Nye, Seanan McGuire, Martin L. Shoemaker, Steven H. Silver, Selina Rosen, Beth Cato, Peter J. Wacks & Josh Vogt, Allen M. Steele, Elizabeth Moon, Esther M. Friesner, K.C. Ball, James Gunn, Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Alex Shvartsman, Robert Silverberg, and Robin Wayne Bailey.

(Source: Baen)

Shooting the Rift by Alex Stewart (Baen 28 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Cast out by his family and exiled from the Rimward Commonwealth, Simon Forrester must make a new life for himself as an apprentice to the powerful Commerce Guild. But others aboard the merchant vessel Stacked Deck have a hidden agenda that might lead directly to interstellar war. Now with rising tensions between the Commonwealth and the neighboring League of Democracies threatens to erupt into open war, Simon finds himself forced to choose between old and new loyalties, with the fate of an empire at stake!

Read our review of Shooting the Rift in our June 2016 issue. (Source: Baen)

Silence (SERRAted Edge) by Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin (Baen 28 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: Teenager Staci's father has just remarried, and now she finds herself being shunted aside by her new stepmother.  Shunted all the way to the run-down and dying Maine town of Silence, in fact, and the custody of her alcoholic mother.

Silence seems to be stuck in the proverbial stone age. There's no cell phone service except at the very top of a bluff outside of town, no internet except dialup, and not one familiar franchise or business. Staci's mom seems to have gotten even worse since the last time Staci lived with her. The only bright spots in the whole place are a friendly waitress at the diner and a bookstore where she meets a gaggle of geeks and gamers.

But all is not as it seems in Silence. There are strange things moving beneath the shabby surface, terrible plots in play, and deadly players in the game, and Staci is about to find herself caught up in the middle of it all.

SERRAted Edge Series: Born to Run (#1) by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, Wheels of Fire(#2) by Mercedes Lackey and Mark Shepherd, When the Bough Breaks (#3) by Mercedes Lackey and Holly Lisle, Chrome Circle (#4) by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, Stoned Souls (#5) by Mercedes Lackey, Elvendude(#6) by Mark Shepherd, Spiritride (#7) by Mark Shepherd, Lazerwarz (#8) by Mark Shepherd.

(Source: Baen)

Witchy Eye by D.J. Butler (Baen 07 March 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Sarah Calhoun is the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Elector Andrew Calhoun, one of Appalachee's military heroes and one of the electors who gets to decide who will next ascend as the Emperor of the New World. None of that matters to Sarah. She has a natural talent for hexing and one bad eye, and all she wants is to be left alone--especially by outsiders.

But Sarah's world gets turned on its head at the Nashville Tobacco Fair when a Yankee wizard-priest tries to kidnap her. Sarah fights back with the aid of a mysterious monk named Thalanes, who is one of the not-quite-human Firstborn, the Moundbuilders of the Ohio. It is Thalanes who reveals to Sarah a secret heritage she never dreamed could be hers.

Now on a desperate quest with Thalanes to claim this heritage, she is hunted by the Emperor's bodyguard of elite dragoons, as well as by darker things--shapeshifting Mockers and undead Lazars, and behind them a power more sinister still. If Sarah cannot claim her heritage, it may mean the end to her, her family--and to the world where she is just beginning to find her place.

(Source: Baen)

Harper Voyager

The Malice (Vagrant Trilogy) by Peter Newman (Harper Voyager 07 March 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: Following Peter Newman's debut, The Vagrant. This is the much-anticipated sequel, The Malice.

In the south, the Breach stirs. Gamma's sword, the Malice, wakes, calling to be taken to battle once more.

But the Vagrant has found a home now, made a life and so he turns his back, ignoring its call.

The sword cries out, frustrated, until another answers. Her name is Vesper.

(see review)

I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd

Liquid Space: Science Fiction Film and Television in the Digital Age by Sean Redmond (I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd 30 March 2017 / $99.00) - We've often noted that science fiction isn't so much about the future itself, but about using the future as a lens with which to examine the present. While sf literature speaks to a fairly narrow audience, film and tv speak to a much broader one, and we're delighted that Sean Redmond has given us a book that looks into just what those mediums are telling us about the present and the directions we're heading in. In Liquid Space the author shows us the shifting sands beneath our feet that today's technologies have unsettled, and the amorphous nature of the social contracts and interactions we now face.

Penguin Books

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins (Penguin Books 07 March 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: What became of magic in the world? Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons? Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co-exist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and--with her twin, Anya--unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today's world—and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

Pocket Books

Star Trek: Section 31: Control by David Mack (Pocket Books 28 March 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: No law ... no conscience ... no mercy. Amoral, shrouded in secrecy, and answering to no one, Section 31 is the mysterious covert operations division of Starfleet, a rogue shadow group pledged to defend the Federation at any cost. The discovery of a two-hundred-year-old secret gives Doctor Julian Bashir his best chance yet to expose and destroy the illegal spy organization. But his foes won't go down without a fight, and his mission to protect the Federation he loves just end up triggering its destruction. Only one thing is for certain: this time, the price of victory will be paid with Bashir's dearest blood.

(Source: Pocket Books)

Pyr

Black City Demon by Richard A. Knaak (Pyr 14 March 2017 / ) - Product Description: Since he became the guardian of the Gate between our world and Feirie sixteen hundred years ago, Nick Medea, once Saint George, has battled to keep the darkest Feirie--the Wyld--from invading the mortal plane. With the dragon an unwilling part of him, Nick maintains balance between realms, often at great cost to him and those nearest to him. (See Black City Saint)

Nick and his ragtag confederates--including the shape-shifter Fetch and Nick's reincarnated love, Claryce--have battled the Wyld, but mortals as sinister as the darkest Feirie. Now, with Prohibition in full swing and bootlegger wars embattling Chicago, a murderous evil born of the mortal world has turned its attention to the power of the Gate...and Nick himself.

Nick must turn again to his most untrustworthy ally: the dragon within. Yet even together they may not be enough to face what was once a man...but is now a creature even dragons may fear.

Roc

Etched in Bone (Others) by Anne Bishop (Roc 07 March 2017 / $27.00) - Product Description: Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves.

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders--a primitive and lethal form of the Others--the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man's-land beyond their borders--and the darkness.

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery's shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

(Source: Roc)

Subterranean

Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan (Subterranean 31 March 2017 / $40.00) - Product Description: What exactly is the difference between a love letter and a suicide note? Is there really any difference at all? These might be the questions posed by Dear Sweet Filthy World, Caitlin R. Kiernan's fourteenth collection of short fiction, comprised of twenty-eight uncollected and impossible-to-find stories.

Treading the grim places where desire and destruction, longing and horror intersect, the author rises once again to meet the high expectations she set with such celebrated collections as Tales of Pain and Wonder, To Charles Fort, With Love, and the World Fantasy Award-winning The Ape's Wife and Other Stories. In these pages you'll meet a dragon's lover, a drowned vampire cursed always to ride the tides, a wardrobe that grants wishes, and a lunatic artist's marriage of the Black Dahlia and the Beast of Gévaudan. You'll visit a ruined post-industrial Faerie, travel back to tropical Paleozoic seas and ahead to the far-flung future, and you'll meet a desperate writer forced to sell her memories for new ideas. Here are twenty-eight tales of apocalypse and rebirth, of miraculous transformation and utter annihilation. Here is the place where professing your undying devotion might be precisely the same thing as signing your own death warrant or worse.

The stories in Dear Sweet Filthy World were first published in the subscription-only Sirenia Digest, run by Caitlin for her most devoted readers. This publication marks the first availability to the general public for most of these rare tales.

(see review)

Tor Books

Gather Her Round (Tufa) by Alex Bledsoe (Tor Books 07 March 2017 / $24.99 / $11.99) - Product Description: In Cloud County, where music and Tufa, the otherworldly fae community, intermix, a monster roams the forest, while another kind of evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Young Tufa woman Kera Rogers disappears while hiking in the woods by Needsville. Soon, her half-eaten remains are found, and hunters discover the culprits: a horde of wild hogs led by a massive boar with seemingly supernatural strength.

Kera's boyfriend Duncan Gowen mourns her death, until he finds evidence she cheated on him with his best friend Adam Procure. When Adam's body is the next one found, who is to blame: Duncan or the monstrous swine?

As winter descends and determined hunters pursue beasts across the Appalachians, other Tufa seek the truth behind Adam and Kera's deaths. What answers will unfold come spring?

(Source: Tor Books)

Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald (Tor Books 28 March 2017 / $27.99) - Product Description: Luna: Wolf Moon continues Ian McDonald's saga of the Five Dragons which began in Luna: New Moon. A Dragon is dead. Corta Helio, one of the five family corporations that rule the Moon, has fallen. Its riches are divided up among its many enemies, its survivors scattered. Eighteen months have passed.

The remaining Helio children, Lucasinho and Luna, are under the protection of the powerful Asamoahs, while Robson, still reeling from witnessing his parent's violent deaths, is now a ward--virtually a hostage--of Mackenzie Metals. And the last appointed heir, Lucas, has vanished of the surface of the moon.

Only Lady Sun, dowager of Taiyang, suspects that Lucas Corta is not dead and, more to the point, he is still a major player in the game. After all, Lucas always was the Schemer, and even in death, he would go to any lengths to take back everything and build a new Corta Helio, more powerful than before. But Corta Helio needs allies, and to find them, the fleeing son undertakes an audacious, impossible journey--to Earth.

In an unstable lunar environment, the shifting loyalties and political machinations of each family reach the zenith of their most fertile plots as outright war erupts.

At the Publisher's request, the ebook title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

(see review)

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi (Tor Books 21 March 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: Our universe is ruled by physics. Faster-than-light travel is impossible--until the discovery of the Flow, an extradimensional field available at certain points in space-time, which can take us to other planets around other stars.

Riding the Flow, humanity spreads to innumerable other worlds. Earth is forgotten. A new empire arises, the Interdependency, based on the doctrine that no one human outpost can survive without the others. It's a hedge against interstellar war--and, for the empire's rulers, a system of control.

The Flow is eternal--but it's not static. Just as a river changes course, the Flow changes as well. In rare cases, entire worlds have been cut off from the rest of humanity. When it's discovered that the entire Flow is moving, possibly separating all human worlds from one another forever, three individuals--a scientist, a starship captain, and the emperox of the Interdependency--must race against time to discover what, if anything, can be salvaged from an interstellar empire on the brink of collapse.

(see review)

William Morrow

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow 28 March 2017 / $19.99) - Product Description: Now a STARZ® Original Series produced by FremantleMedia North America starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, and Pablo Schreiber.

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow's best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday's bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies ... and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America--and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Read our review of an earlier publication of American Gods in our July 2001 issue. (Source: William Morrow)

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