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US Books Received- 12/2017  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

DAW

Pathways And Other Tales of Valdemar by (DAW 05 December 2017 / $7.99) - Product Description: The eleventh anthology of short stories set in Mercedes Lackey's beloved Valdemar universe features stories by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Lackey herself.

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom's ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

Join Janny Wurts, Elisabeth Waters, Michele Lang, Fiona Patton, and others in twenty-four original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, all set in Valdemar, where:

A young woman without any of the Heralds' Gifts must see a Companion safely delivered to Haven.

A Herald must revisit the mysteries of his childhood to save his own young family and combat a threat at the very heart of Valdemar.

A Hawkbrother flees for his life, trailed by a mysterious bird that prophesizes a dire future.

A mage must choose whether to steal a priceless artifact and be branded a thief and traitor, or let his country fall to magic that could prove far more deadly.

Dutton

Enchantress of Numbers (Ada Lovelace) by Jennifer Chiaverini (Dutton 05 December 2017 / ) - Product Description: Jennifer Chiaverini illuminates the fascinating life of Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace--Lord Byron's daughter, the world's first computer programmer, and a woman whose exceptional contributions to science and technology have been too long unsung.

The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada's father, who was infamously "mad, bad, and dangerous to know", Ada's mathematician mother is determined to save her only child from her perilous Byron heritage. Banishing fairy tales and make-believe from the nursery, Ada's mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education grounded in mathematics and science. Any troubling spark of imagination--or worse yet, passion or poetry--is promptly extinguished. Or so her mother believes.

When Ada is introduced into London society as a highly eligible young heiress, she, at last, discovers the intellectual and social circles she has craved all her life. Little does she realize that her delightful new friendship with inventor Charles Babbage--brilliant, charming, and occasionally curmudgeonly--will shape her destiny. Intrigued by the prototype of his first calculating machine, the Difference Engine, and enthralled by the plans for his even more advanced Analytical Engine, Ada resolves to help Babbage realize his extraordinary vision, unique in her understanding of how his invention could transform the world. All the while, she passionately studies mathematics--ignoring skeptics who consider it an unusual, even unhealthy pursuit for a woman--falls in love, discovers the shocking secrets behind her parents' estrangement, and comes to terms with the unquenchable fire of her imagination.

(see review)

Orbit

Persepolis Rising (The Expanse) by James S.A. Corey (Orbit 05 December 2017 / $28.00) - Product Description: The seventh novel in James S.A. Corey's Expanse series--now a major television series.

AN OLD ENEMY RETURNS. In the thousand-sun network of humanity's expansion, new colony worlds are struggling to find their way. Every new planet lives on a knife edge between collapse and wonder, and the crew of the aging gunship Rocinante have their hands more than full keeping the fragile peace.

In the vast space between Earth and Jupiter, the inner planets and belt have formed a tentative and uncertain alliance still haunted by a history of wars and prejudices. On the lost colony world of Laconia, a hidden enemy has a new vision for all of humanity and the power to enforce it.

New technologies clash with old as the history of human conflict returns to its ancient patterns of war and subjugation. But human nature is not the only enemy, and the forces being unleashed have their own price. A price that will change the shape of humanity -- and of the Rocinante -- unexpectedly and forever.

(see review)

Subterranean

The Weight of Words by (Subterranean 31 December 2017 / $40.00) - Product Description: The consummate artistry of Dave McKean has permeated popular culture for more than thirty years. His images, at once bizarre, beautiful, and instantly recognizable, have graced an impressive array of books, CDs, graphic novels, and films. In The Weight of Words, ten of our finest contemporary storytellers, among them the artist himself, have created a series of varied, compelling narratives, each inspired by one of McKean's extraordinary paintings. The result is a unique collaborative effort in which words and pictures enhance and illuminate each other on page after page.

The volume opens with Alastair Reynolds's "Belladonna Nights", set in the world of his novel, House of Suns, the ultimately poignant portrait of a thousand nights-long reunion held in the far reaches of space. Elsewhere in this generous book, we find a series of lovingly crafted tales featuring, among other elements, doppelgangers, lost souls and lucid dreamers. Highlights include Joe R. Lansdale's "Robo Rapid", a near future cautionary tale about Man vs. Machine; M. John Harrison's "Yummie", in which a middle-aged man experiences the hallucinatory aftermath of a heart attack; Joe Hill's "All I Care About Is You", the account of a pure, if temporary, friendship; Catherynne M. Valente's extraordinary "No One Dies in Nowhere", a tale of death and detection in the afterlife; Maria Dahvana Headley's "The Orange Tree", the story of an 11th century golem that is also a profound study of loneliness; and "Monkey and the Lady", an ironic creation myth by the artist's longtime friend and creative associate, Neil Gaiman. Together with "Train of Death", an abbreviated account of the literal death of literature, this is one of two new stories by the always remarkable Gaiman.

The Weight of Words is the rare anthology that really does offer something for everyone. Its complementary merger of words and images adds up to something special, something more than the sum of its impressive parts. It is both a major accomplishment in itself and a long overdue tribute to an important—and necessary—artist.

The Weight of Words contains more than two dozen illustrations by Dave McKean, and is printed in two colors throughout.

(Source: Subterranean)

Tor Books

Hymn (Psalms of Isaak) by Ken Scholes (Tor Books 05 December 2017 / $29.99) - Product Description: Ken Scholes completes his five-book epic that began with his acclaimed first novel Lamentation. The battle for control of The Named Lands has captivated readers as they have learned, alongside the characters, the true nature of world called Lasthome.

Now the struggle between the Andro-Francine Order of the Named Lands and the Y'Zirite Empire has reached a terrible turning point. Believing that his son is dead, Rudolfo has pretended to join with the triumphant Y'zirite forces--but his plan is to destroy them all with a poison that is targeted only to the enemy.

In Y'Zir, Rudolfo's wife Jin Li Tam is fighting a war with her own father which will bring that Empire to ruin.

And on the Moon, Neb, revealed as one of the Younger Gods, takes the power of the Last Home Temple for his own.

Mad Hatters and March Hares by (Tor Books 12 December 2017 / $15.99) - Product Description: From master anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

Between the hallucinogenic, weird, imaginative wordplay and the brilliant mathematical puzzles and social satire, Alice has been read, enjoyed, and savored by every generation since its publication. Datlow asked eighteen of the most brilliant and acclaimed writers working today to dream up stories inspired by all the strange events and surreal characters found in Wonderland.

Featuring stories and poems from Seanan McGuire, Jane Yolen, Catherynne M. Valente, Delia Sherman, Genevieve Valentine, Priya Sharma, Stephen Graham Jones, Richard Bowes, Jeffrey Ford, Angela Slatter, Andy Duncan, C.S.E. Cooney, Matthew Kressel, Kris Dikeman, Jane Yolen, Kaaron Warren, Isabeau Wilce, and Katherine Vaz.

Mississippi Roll by George R.R. Martin with Melinda Snodgrass (Tor Books 05 December 2017 / $27.99) - Book Description: Now on its final voyage, the historical steamboat Natchez is known for her super-powered guest entertainers. But after the suspicious death of a crewmember, retired NY police detective Leo Storgman decides to make this incident his personal case. His findings only lead to a growing number of questions. Is there some truth behind the ghostly sightings of the steamboat's first captain Wilbur Leathers? What secret does the current captain seem to be hiding? And could the Natchez be ferrying mysterious--and possibly dangerous--cargo onboard?

(see review)

The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota #3) by Ada Palmer (Tor Books 19 December 2017 / $26.99) - Product Description: The long years of near-utopia have come to an abrupt end.

Peace and order are now figments of the past. Corruption, deception, and insurgency hum within the once steadfast leadership of the Hives, nations without fixed location.

The heartbreaking truth is that for decades, even centuries, the leaders of the great Hives
bought the world's stability with a trickle of secret murders, mathematically planned. So
that no faction could ever dominate. So that the balance held.

The Hives' façade of solidity is the only hope they have for maintaining a semblance of
order, for preventing the public from succumbing to the savagery and bloodlust of wars
past. But as the great secret becomes more and more widely known, that façade is
slipping away.

Just days earlier, the world was a pinnacle of human civilization. Now everyone―Hives
and hiveless, Utopians and sensayers, emperors and the downtrodden, warriors and
saints―scrambles to prepare for the seemingly inevitable war.

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