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US Books Received- 11/2017  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

Baen

Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers by Tim Powers (Baen 07 November 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Twenty tales of science fiction and fantasy from the two-time World Fantasy and Philip K. Dick Award-winning author of The Anubis Gates and On Stranger Tides.

A complete palette of story-telling colors from Powers, including acclaimed tale "The Bible Repairman" where a psychic handyman who supernaturally eliminates troublesome passages of the Bible for paying clients finds the remains of his own broken soul on the line when tasked with rescuing the kidnapped ghost of a rich man's daughter. Time travel takes a savage twist in "Salvage and Demolition" where the chance discovery of a long-lost manuscript throws a down-and-out book collector back in time to 1950s San Francisco where he must prevent an ancient Sumeric inscription from dooming millions in the future. Humor and horror mix in "Sufficient unto the Day" when a raucous Thanksgiving feast takes a dark turn as the invited ghosts of relatives past accidentally draw soul-stealing demons into the family television set. And obsession and vengeance survive on the other side of death in "Down and Out in Purgatory" where the soul of a man lusting for revenge attempts to eternally eliminate the killer who murdered the love of his life. Wide-ranging, wonder-inducing, mind-bending—these and other tales make up the complete shorter works of a modern-day master of science fiction and fantasy.

None but Man by Gordon R. Dickson (Baen 07 November 2017 / $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.

The long period of civil unrest known as the Frontier Rebellion has come to an end. The Old Worlders of Earth and the colonists of the Pleiades Planets at the edge of known space have at last formed an uneasy peace. But for former Rebel highjacker Culihan O'Rourke, peace will not last long. The aliens known as the Moldaugs have returned from their long absence, and they are demanding the Old Worlders turn over the Pleiades Planets to them. If the Old Worlders fail to do so, the Moldaugs will annihilate the human race. With Old Earth aligned with the aliens against them, the colonists don't stand a chance. But Cully O'Rourke has faced down long odds before—and he's not one to give up his home without a fight.

The Jim Baen Memorial Award: The First Decade by (Baen 07 November 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: Since 2007, Baen Books and The National Space Society have sponsored The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, to honor the legacy of Jim Baen and to promote the ideals of forward-thinking, positive science fiction. Here gathered together for the first time are the best of the best of the first decade of the Jim Baen Memorial Award. Winners and runners-up whose stories dared imagine a bright future in which humankind has shaken off the shackles of gravity and moved into that limitless realm known as "outer space". Each tale is set in a plausible, near-future setting, and yet the variations are as limitless as the imaginations of the array of authors represented. Stories that ask, "What if?" Stories that dare to say, "Why not?" Stories that continue the grand science fiction tradition, looking to the future with a positive outlook on humanity's place in the universe.

The Spark by David Drake (Baen 07 November 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: In the time of the Ancients, the universe was united--but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves--some tiny, some ruined, some wild.

Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind. And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.

A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce--the return of civilization.

Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he's been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.

Pal has no idea of what he's really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.

(see review)

Crown

Artemis by Andy Weir (Crown 14 November 2017 / $27.00) - Product Description: The author of The Martian returns with a near-future thriller--a heist story set on the moon.

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped squarely into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself--and that now, her only chance for survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

DAW

Terminal Alliance (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse) by Jim C. Hines (DAW 07 November 2017 / $26.00) - Product Description: In his hilarious new SF series, Jim C. Hines introduces the unlikely heroes that may just save the galaxy: a crew of space janitors.

The Krakau came to Earth to invite humanity into a growing alliance of sentient species. However, they happened to arrive after a mutated plague wiped out half the planet, turned the rest into shambling, near-unstoppable animals, and basically destroyed human civilization. You know—your standard apocalypse.

The Krakau's first impulse was to turn around and go home. (After all, it's hard to have diplomatic relations with mindless savages who eat your diplomats.) Their second impulse was to try to fix us. Now, a century later, human beings might not be what they once were, but at least they're no longer trying to eat everyone. Mostly.

Marion "Mops" Adamopoulos is surprisingly bright (for a human). As a Lieutenant on the Earth Mercenary Corps Ship Pufferfish, she's in charge of the Shipboard Hygiene and Sanitation team. When a bioweapon attack wipes out the Krakau command crew and reverts the rest of the humans to their feral state, only Mops and her team are left with their minds intact.

Escaping the attacking aliens—not to mention her shambling crewmates--is only the beginning. Sure, Mops and her team of space janitors and plumbers can clean the ship as well as anyone, but flying the damn thing is another matter.

As they struggle to keep the Pufferfish functioning and find a cure for their crew, they stumble onto a conspiracy that could threaten the entire alliance ... a conspiracy born from the truth of what happened on Earth all those years ago.

Harper Voyager

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager 14 November 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S.A. Chakraborty--an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by--palm readings, zars, healings--are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass--a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. A young prince dreams of rebellion. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for.

(see review)

Pyr

The Nine (Thieves of Fate) by Tracy Townsend (Pyr 14 November 2017 / $18.00) - Product Description: Black market courier Rowena Downshire is doing everything she can to stay off the streets and earn enough to pay her mother's way to freedom. But an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares.

The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, but when a frightened and empty-handed courier shows up on his doorstep he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see--the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.

Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating a stolen book that writes itself may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon learns the text may have been written by the Creator himself, tracking the nine human subjects of his Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.

This unlikely team must try to keep the book from those who would misuse it. But how can they be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen to them when it reveals a secret no human was meant to know?

(see review)

Subterranean

Oberon's Meaty Mysteries: The Squirrel on the Train by Kevin Hearne (Subterranean 30 November 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Oberon the Irish wolfhound is off to Portland to smell all the things with canine companions wolfhound Orlaith and Boston terrier Starbuck, and, of course, his human, ancient Druid Atticus O'Sullivan. The first complication is an unmistakable sign of sinister agendas afoot: a squirrel atop the train. But an even more ominous situation is in store when the trio plus Atticus stumble across a murder upon arrival at the station. They recognize Detective Gabriela Ibarra, who's there to investigate. But they also recognize the body--or rather that the body is a doppelganger for Atticus himself. The police, hampered by human senses of smell and a decided lack of canine intuition, obviously can't handle this alone. Not with Atticus likely in danger. Oberon knows it's time to investigate once more—for justice! For gravy! And possibly greasy tacos!

Alongside his faithful Druid, Oberon and the other loyal hounds navigate by nose through Portland to find a bear-shifter friend with intel, delicious clues at the victim's home, and more squirrels. Always more squirrels!
But will our hungry band of heroes be able to identify the culprit before someone else is murdered? Will there be mystery meat in gravy as a reward or tragedy in store for the world's (or at least the Pacific Northwest's) greatest dog detective.

Like its predecessor The Purloined Poodle, the latest of Oberon's Meaty Mysteries novella, The Squirrel on the Train, is not to be missed by fans of Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series.

Penric's Mission by Lois McMaster Bujold (Subterranean 30 November 2017 / $25.00) - Product Description: Learned Penric sails on a journey to Cedonia not as a sorcerer in the white robes of the Bastard's Order, but disguised as a young lawyer on business. His real mission is one of clandestine diplomacy on behalf of the Duke of Adria. His usual traveling companion, the slyly clever chaos demon Desdemona who inhabits his body, is the only one in on the secret… Or so it's supposed to be. Instead, upon arrival in Cedonia, Penric finds himself gravely injured and imprisoned in the darkest of dungeons. Escape will not be easy, as Penric meets an intriguing young widow and has more than one brush with disaster in his immediate future.

With Penric's Mission, author Lois McMaster Bujold returns to her World of the Five Gods, the setting of her acclaimed novels The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt. Continuing the tale begun in Penric's Demon and Penric and the Shaman.

Read our review of the Spectrum Literary Agency edition of Penric's Mission in our February 2017 issue.

Tachyon Publications

The Emerald Circus by Jane Yolen (Tachyon Publications 14 November 2017 / $15.99 / $9.99) - Product Description: Where is Wendy? Leading a labor strike against the Lost Boys, of course.

A Scottish academic unearths ancient evil in a fishing village. Edgar Allan Poe's young bride is beguiled by a most unusual bird. Dorothy, lifted from Kansas, returns as a gymnastic sophisticate. Emily Dickinson dwells in possibility and sails away in a starship made of light. Alice's wicked nemesis has jaws and claws but really needs a sense of humor.

In Jane Yolen's first full collection in more than ten years discover new and uncollected tales of beloved characters, literary legends, and much more. Enter the Emerald Circus and be astonished by the transformations within.

The Overneath by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications 07 November 2017 / $15.95) - Product Description: An odd couple patrols a county full of mythological beasts and ornery locals. A familiar youngster from the world of The Last Unicorn is gifted in magic but terrible at spell-casting. A seemingly incorruptible judge meets his match in a mysterious thief who steals his heart. Two old friends discover that the Overneath goes anywhere, including locations better left unvisited.

Lyrical, witty, and insightful, The Overneath is Peter S. Beagle's much-anticipated return to the short form. In these uniquely beautiful and wholly original tales, with new and uncollected work, Beagle once again proves himself a master of the imagination.

The Unnamed Press

Djinn City by Saad Z. Hossain (The Unnamed Press 28 November 2017 / $17.99) - Product Description: Indelbed is a lonely kid living in a crumbling mansion in the super dense, super chaotic third world capital Of Bangladesh. His father, Dr. Kaikobad, is the black sheep of their clan, the once illustrious Khan Rahman family. A drunken loutish widower, he refuses to allow Indelbed go to school, and the only thing Indelbed knows about his mother is the official cause of her early demise: "Death by Indelbed".

But When Dr. Kaikobad falls into a supernatural coma, Indelbed and his older cousin, the wise-cracking slacker Rais, learn that Indelbed's dad was, in fact, a magician--and a trusted emissary to the djinn world. And the Djinns, as it turns out, are displeased. A hunt has been announced, and ten-year-old Indelbed is the prey. Still reeling from the fact that genies actually exist, Indelbed finds himself on the run. Soon, the boys are at the center of a great Diinn controversy, one tied to the continuing fallout from an ancient war, with ramifications for the future of life as we know it.

Saad Z. Hosscin updates the supernatural creatures Of Arabian mythology--a superior but by no means perfect species pushed to the brink by the staggering ineptitude of the human race. Djinn City is a darkly comedic fantasy adventure.

Tor Books

Black Goat Blues (Mythos War) by Levi Black (Tor Books 07 November 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: In Red Right Hand, Charlie Tristan Moore was thrust into a nightmarish world of lurking Lovecraftian horrors when The Man In Black, a diabolical Elder God, chose her as his unwilling Acolyte. Discovering her own power, Charlie ultimately defied The Man In Black, but at a cost.

Now armed with a magic coat made from the skin of a flayed angel, Charlie is out to destroy The Man In Black and save her boyfriend Daniel--and she doesn't care how many bloodthirsty gods and monsters get in her way.

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

Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson (Tor Books 14 November 2017 / $34.99) - Product Description: The sequel to the Words of Radiance and The Way of Kings from Brandon Sanderson.

In Oathbringer, the third volume of the Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost: The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction, and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar's blood-soaked past and stand together--and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past--even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy (Tor Books 07 November 2017 / $15.99) - Product Description: Steal the Stars, a debut novel by Nat Cassidy, is based on the debut science fiction podcast from Tor Labs.

Dakota "Dak" Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world. They call it "Moss". It's your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. It still sits at the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed eleven years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak's whole world changes. It's love at first sight--which is a problem since they both signed ironclad contracts vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run, they'll be hunted for what they know. Dak and Matt have only way to be together: do the impossible. Steal Moss and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can't afford a single mistake.

Valiant Dust (Breaker of Empires) by Richard Baker (Tor Books 07 November 2017 / $25.99) - Product Description: In a stylish, smart, new military science fiction series, Richard Baker begins the adventures of Sikander North in an era of great interstellar colonial powers. Valiant Dust combines the intrigues of interstellar colonial diplomacy with explosive military action.

Sikander Singh North has always had it easy--until he joined the crew of the Aquilan Commonwealth starship CSS Hector. As the ship's new gunnery officer and only Kashmiri, he must constantly prove himself better than his Aquilan crewmates, even if he has to use his fists. When the Hector is called to help with a planetary uprising, he'll have to earn his unit's respect, find who's arming the rebels, and deal with the headstrong daughter of the colonial ruler--all while dodging bullets.

Sikander's military career is off to an explosive start--but only if he and CSS Hector can survive his first mission.

Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren (Tor Books 28 November 2017 / $15.99) - Product Description: Discover your inner child once again in this debut fantasy adventure for fans of Madeleine L'Engle, Diana Wynne Jones, and E.L. Konigsburg.

Freddy doesn't want people to think she's weird. Her family makes that difficult, though: her deaf stepbrother Roland's a major geek, and her genius little sister Mel's training to be the next Sherlock Holmes. All Freddy wants is to survive high school.

Then two extremely odd neighbors move in next door. Cuerva Lachance and Josiah definitely aren't normal. Neither is their house, which defies the laws of physics. Neither is Freddy's situation when she suddenly finds herself stuck thousands of years in the past with her very, very weird neighbors. And that's only the beginning.

Tor Teen

Seriously Hexed (Seriously Wicked) by Tina Connolly (Tor Teen 14 November 2017 / $17.99) - Product Description: Tina Connolly continues the hilarious adventures of teen witch Camellia and her mother, wicked witch Sarmine, in Seriously Hexed, the latest installment to the Andre Norton Award-nominated Seriously Wicked series.

Teen witch Cam has resigned herself to being a witch. Sort of. She's willing to do small things like magically help her boyfriend Devon get over his ongoing stage fright. But tangling with other witches is not on her wishlist. Joining her mother's wicked witch coven is right out.

New acquaintance Poppy Jones is a Type A, A+ Student of True Witchery. She's got all the answers, and she's delighted to tangle with a bunch of wicked witches. She doesn't need any reluctant witch getting in her way, especially one who knows less than a dozen spells and has zero plans for witch college.

Then a coven meeting goes drastically awry. A hex is taking down all thirteen members of the coven, one by one--putting both girls' mothers in jeopardy. Now the two teens are going to have to learn to work together, while simultaneously juggling werewolf puppies, celebrity demons, thirteen nasty hexes, and even nastier witches. They may have to go through hell and high water to save their mothers--but they also might find a new friendship along the way.

World Weaver Press

Mrs. Claus: Not the Fairy Tale They Say by (World Weaver Press 28 November 2017 / $12.95) - Product Description: When you think of Mrs. Claus, do you imagine a quiet North Pole homebody who finds complete fulfillment in baking cookies, petting reindeer and crafting toys alongside elves? How about a magic-wielding ice goddess, or a tough-as-nails Valkyrie? Or maybe an ancient fae of dubious intentions, or a well-meaning witch? Could Mrs. Claus be a cigar-smoking Latina, or a crash-landed alien? Within these pages Mrs. Claus is a hero, a villain, a mother, a spacefarer, a monster hunter, and more. The only thing she decidedly is not, is a sidekick.

It's Mrs. Claus' turn to shine and she is stepping out of Santa's shadow and into the spotlight in these fourteen spectacular stories that make her the star! Featuring original short stories by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, C.B. Calsing, DJ Tyrer, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Kristen Lee, Randi Perrin, Michael Leonberger, Andrew Wilson, Ross Van Dusen, MLD Curelas, Maren Matthias, Anne Luebke, Jeff Kuykendall, and Hayley Stone.

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