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US Books Received- 03/2005  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

Ace

Down Time by Lynn Abbey (Ace 29 March, 2005 / $6.99) -

Hot and Sweaty Rex by Eric Garcia (Ace 01 March, 2005 / $13.95) - Fans of the previous titles in this offbeat series of stories about a race of dinosaurs hiding out in human costumes will be happy to know that their dino-hero PI Vincent Rubio isn't extinct...yet. He is, however, working for the dino-mob and the chances that at least one prehistoric reptile might get rubbed out. It's like the Sopranos, Pulp Fiction...and a bit of the Flintstones. Ok...maybe I made the last part up.

Ace Books

Mystic And Rider by Sharon Shinn (Ace Books 30 March, 2005 / $23.95) - Author of the Archangel novels Sharon Shinn embarks on a four volume saga with Mystic and Rider. In a land where mystics, magic wielders, are coming under increasing suspicion and mistrust, a cult sworn to rid the land of magic is rising. A band of five, some mystic and some not and uneasy with each other from the start, are send by the King to determine the seriousness of the threat to the Mystics. (see review)

The Aware (The Isles of Glory) by GLENDA LARKE (Ace Books 30 April, 2005 / $6.99) - In the Isles of Glory, the halfbreed Blaze works to aid the Keepers in exchange (eventually) for the privilege of citizenship. Her journey brings her to an island where lurks a dark magic-- one that threatens the Isles... and Blaze herself.

Ace Hardcover

Seven Hills, The by John Maddox Roberts (Ace Hardcover 01 March, 2005 / $23.95) - The Seven Hills is the second book in an alternate history series where Hannibal's campaign against Rome was successful. Set a hundred years after Rome's defeat by the armies of Carthage, The Seven Hills begins with the stunning news that the Roman legions have just retaken the entire Italian peninsula and are now laying siege to Sicily. Their goal is nothing less than the total destruction of Carthage, and a full restoration of the Roman Empire. (see review)

Aqueduct Press

Alanya to Alanya (Marq'ssan Cycle) by L. Timmel Duchamp (Aqueduct Press March, 2005 / $19.00) -

From Back Cover

Seattle, February 2076. The Marq'ssan bring business as usual to a screeching halt all over the world, and Professor Kay Zeldin joins Robert Sedgewick, US Chief of Security Services, in his war against the invaders. But as she goes head-to-head against the Marq'ssan, the long buried secrets of her past resurface, and her conflicts with Sedgewick and Security Services multiply. She faces terrifying choices. Her worldview, her very grip on reality, is turned inside out.

Aspect

The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins (Aspect 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) -

Baen

E. Godz by Robert Asprin (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) -

Ill Met by Moonlight (The Scepter'd Isle) by Mercedes Lackey (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $25.00) - Book Description: England in the sixteenth century: a nation at a fatal fork in time, leading to two possible futures forseen by the Sidhe of Elfhame Avalon. Either an evil queen will join forces with the Inquisition and rule with a blood-spattered iron hand, threatening humans and elves alike-or a benevolent, red-haired queen named Elizabeth will rule wisely and well. But the evil Unseleighe Sidhe, who feed on human suffering and dark emotions, are determined that the little girl Elizabeth shall never grow up to take the throne. Opposing them are the good Sidhe of elfland, who have so far managed to protect the young girl. Denoriel had foiled one attempt to kidnap both Elizabeth and her half-brother and replace them with changelings, almost at the cost of his own life. But a few years have passed, and Denoriel has healed and returned to guard the young princess, now all of eight years old, secure in the knowledge that his enemy Vidal, leader of the evil Unseleighe, is dead, killed with an iron bolt fired from a primitive gun. Unfortunately, he is wrong: Vidal's armor was far stronger than any of the good elves realized. Though the wound was deep and Vidal was forced to bide his time in his own slow healing, his recovery is complete, his determination to hurl England into a new dark age is as strong as ever, and he has set in motion a plan to achieve this end of which Denoriel and his comrades are dangerously unaware. . . .

Interstellar Patrol II : The Federation of Humanity by Christopher Anvil (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $26.00) - The second compilation of Chris Anvil's Federation of Humanity stories, written in the late 60s and 70s, in which clever humans figure their way out of numerous dilemas, some with aliens, some with their own kind. Quite a lot of fun really.

Man-Kzin Wars X : The Wunder War (Man-Kzin Wars) by Hal Colebatch (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $7.99) -

The Course of Empire by Eric Flint (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $7.99) -

The Prometheus Project by Steve White (Baen 01 March, 2005 / $24.00) -

Ballantine Books

Market Forces by RICHARD MORGAN (Ballantine Books 01 March, 2005 / $14.95) - Chris Faulkner has made a killing- almost literally- as a conflict broker. He peddles arms, information and strategy to one side of a war and reaps the profits when his side wins. But success breeds enmity, and Chris has made a lot of enemies. The price of success may end up being higher than he can afford.

Bantam

Wildwood Road by CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN (Bantam 29 March, 2005 / $12.00) -

Carnifex Press

Clash of Steel: Book One by (Carnifex Press March 2005 / $5.95) - A 64 page mini-anthology with five new tales of Epic Fantasy: A Duel Of Fathers And Sons by Patrick Weekes... where a son is forced to defend his house honor by fighting in a way that he is opposed to. - Brotherhood Redemption by Erin Mackay... where a once-proud knight comes face to face with the ones who destroyed his world - Hero Home by Shauna Roberts... where a hero returns years later, only to discover his legend has become twisted - An End To Tyranny by Robert J Santa... where a simple soldier goes about his duty, wondering if he has any effect on the battle - Nightshadows by Steve Losee... where an assassin takes on what he thinks a simple job.

Carroll & Graf

The Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures : Return to the Centre of the Earth and Other Extraordinary Voyages, by the Heirs of Jules Verne by Mike Ashley (Carroll & Graf 12 March, 2005 / $12.95) - What a delightful idea. 23 stories by modern authors picking up the story threads of that fabulous progenitor of Science Fiction, Jules Verne. In many cases authors imbue their stories with an awareness of the consequences that the nascent technologies (and in the case of the power source of the Nautilus, prescient) that the original author could not have had. It's a fantastic voyage in the company of first-rate authors. (see review)

Daw Books

Empire's Daughter by Simon Brown (Daw Books 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) - Book One in a new series by the author of Keys of Power in which the power of magic comes from sacrifice. The more precious the object given up, the more powerful the magic. But unlike the rest of his family, Third Prince Maddyn has never had the power, and when he earns the enimity of a powerful Duchess, he finds it the better part of valor to lead an expedition to colonize a new land far from the kingdom. Of course, no matter where you go, there you are.

Del Rey

Gundam SEED 4: Mobile Suit Gundam by MASATSUGU IWASE (Del Rey 01 March, 2005 / $10.95) - More Mobile Suit Manga. New more powerful mobile suits may just turn the tide of the war! Or not. With all due respect to the hosts of Worldcon 07, I'd just as soon read these front to back.

Othello 3 by SATOMI IKEZAWA (Del Rey 29 March, 2005 / $10.95) - Manga Maddness continues! Wallflower Yaya has an alternate personality named nana. When Nana rocks at a concert, but gets shocked back to her Yaya sisterself, she faints on stage. But soon Nana's back and not taking prisoners in this Rock and Roll Manga.

Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, Book 2) by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter (Del Rey 29 March, 2005 / $25.95) - The Sequel to Time's Eye returns us to the world of 2037 from which UN Observer Biesa Dutt had been snatched for the Riverworld like experiments of the powerful beings who think of themselves as "The Firstborn". And she's back just in time for the sun to flare up with more than enough violence to wipe all life off the Earth. Act of god? Knowing Baxter and Clarke, that's unlikely. It's a better bet that this is an act of war on a cosmic scale, both in time and space. But how do you defend yourself from a sunstorm? Who better to ask than a pair of Englishmen? For as we all know: "Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun." (Indian Proverb) (see review)

The Greenstone Grail by Amanda Hemingway (Del Rey 01 March, 2005 / $16.95) - Originally published in the UK, and reviewed by John Berlyne for SFRevu then. Now it's available in the US, and as he said the first time around, it's "a pleasure and treat. We've taken the liberty of rerunning his review for folks on this side of the pond. - Ern (see review)

Double Dragon Publishing

A Dragon's Tail by Carrie S. Masek (Double Dragon Publishing Mar, 2005 / 5.99) - Book Description: Centra, a foundling child grown to manhood, longs to learn his true identity. With no memory of his parents, no knowledge of his past, he is certain of only one thing -- he is not a wizard. Taught to fear and distrust wizards by his foster father, Centra knows he?s not one of "those spineless cowards."

He?s wrong.

Driven by a compulsion placed on him in infancy, Centra embarks on a quest to discover who and what he really is. He finds many friends on his journey -- including a baby dragon, a cynical bard, and a lonely demon -- and makes one powerful enemy, the malevolent Lord Guardian of Umbra. Willing to destroy anything that threatens his plans for glory, the Guardian forces Centra into a terrible decision -- embrace the power he despises or lose all he holds dear.

Eos

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan (Eos 01 March, 2005 / $15.99) - Ten powerful and tanitilizing treasures up from Australia. This is a short book of well realized stories that leave you wondering, no, actually - leave you - is what they don't do. They linger. They're labeled Fantasy but event though there is a persistent surreal quality, they're not all implausible. I recommned this little book, but don't rush through it. (see review)

Myrren's Gift: The Quickening Book One by Fiona McIntosh (Eos 01 March, 2005 / $14.95) - This debut novel from Australian Fiona McIntosh went through four printings and won national acclaim down under. When a young man ordained to be the military ruler of the King's army comes to the capital to form a bond with the Crown Prince who's rule he will uphold the bond turns out not to be one of friendship, but of hatred as the Prince's sadistic nature is revealed. (see review)

Golden Gryphon Press

Wild Galaxy : Selected Science Fiction Stories by William F. Nolan (Golden Gryphon Press 28 April, 2005 / $25.95) - Product Description: Representing the best of a 50-year writing career, these 19 short stories have been collected from the wide-ranging oeuvre of William F. Nolan. Zany tales are included, such as "Toe to Tip, Tip to Toe, Pip-Pop as You Go," in which everyone is kept in perpetual drugged states and the social deviates are those who are straight. More serious stories are also told such as "The Small World of Lewis Stillman," in which the last surviving resident of Los Angeles must conceal himself in storm sewers in order to avoid a new wave of smaller city dwellers who, although primitive, are dangerous in their numbers. Interspersed are narratives that address the emotional attachments of robots to humans, mix science fiction with the classic Wild West, and allow alien rock stars and human groupies to intermingle

Otter Creek Press

Dragon Pawns: Jules and the Runt Dragon by William Hill (Otter Creek Press March, 2005 / $15.95) - Book Description: Jules has been stuck in the Commons all of her deprived life. Now comes her fourteenth birthday and a chance to test for Solomons University of Wizardry. She can finally quit pretending to have only five senses. Through her seventh, she can channel the Seven Sources and cast magic. She has kept this secret hidden better than her fear of heights or blistering temper. The seventh son of a mighty Sylverr dragon, Lancelor was expected to be a powerful windsinger. Instead, at the size of an eagle, Lance is a lazy and accident-prone runt. When his magic is discovered to be chaotic magick, he escapes Castle Yonder barely ahead of the royal guard. Dragon Pawns is the first in the Jules and the Runt Dragon trilogy, a fun and thought-provoking blend of humor, mysteries and thrills.

Project Pulp

The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives #2 by Project Pulp (Project Pulp March 2005 / $5.00) - Good short stories come from many sources. You can find them in magazines like Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction or Asimov's Science Fiction or you can get them from less well know publications. This is true of the eleven tales in the Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives, No. 2, a collection of stories that are at once curious and humorous, serious and fun. It takes the genre of pulp to places you might not expect, with explorations of giants and prisoners, aliens and gangsters. (see review)

Roc Trade

Nebula Awards Showcase 2005 (Nebula Awards Showcase) by Jack Dann (Roc Trade 01 March, 2005 / $15.95) -

Spectra

Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson (Spectra 28 March, 2006 / $13.00) - Virtual worlds are nothing new to science fiction, having been deeply explored in cyberpunk. Justina Robson takes us to a new kind of virtual universe, less of computer geeks and the Internet and more of alien gods, metal angels and strange chimeric combinations of man and beast. In a blend of part technology and part fable, everything seems possible in Living Next Door to the God of Love, especially if that god is in love with you. (see review)

Metallic Love by Tanith Lee (Spectra 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) - Silver, the robot that a privileged young girl fell in love with, returns in this sequel to The Silver Metal Lover. But with new characters - a street tough girl named Loren and a recreated copy of the robot, with Silver's memories, but named Verlis. (see review)

Pashazade by JON COURTENAY GRIMWOOD (Spectra 01 March, 2005 / $12.00) - Terrific. Gritty. Near Future Noir. It's like Chandler writing Casablanca meets Neuromancer with a bit of CSI and a whole lot of middle eastern intrigue. Its Grimwood at his finest and despite my allusions to other works, his most original. If we're lucky the next volume in this series will be out soon.

The Mysteries by LISA TUTTLE (Spectra 01 March, 2005 / $21.00) - Flap: Ever since his father disappeared when he was nine years old, Ian Kennedy has had a penchant for stories about missing people?and a knack for finding them. Now he?s a private investigator with an impressive track record. But when a woman enters his London office and asks him to find her lost daughter, Ian faces a case he fears he cannot solve?and one he knows he must.

Star Trek

Engines of Destiny (Star Trek: The Next Generation) by Gene DeWeese (Star Trek 01 March, 2005 / $7.99) - Here we get Scotty, whom we all remember survived from end of the TOS movies to sometime in TNG by stuffing himself in the transporter buffer of a crashed starship, and was reconstituted after 75 years onto a new Enterprise. Here we pick up his tale as he wanders off into an age that either he doesn't belong in...or possibly, as Guinan believes, one that he is destined to take a hand in.

I.K.S. Gorkon, Book 3 : Enemy Territory (Star Trek: All) by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Star Trek 01 March, 2005 / $7.99) - The Klingon Adventure continues in the Star Trek universe with Keith R.A. DeCandido ably at the helm of this story. In it, Captain Klarg of the I.K.S. Gorkon faces down an alien fleet that has already destroyed their sister ship, and has the opportunity to muse over why he has such bad luck with first officers...

Tor Books

Anywhere but Here by Jerry Oltion (Tor Books 01 March, 2005 / $25.95) - Here's the sequel to The Getaway Special ( Getaway Special Review (SFRevu, Jan, 2001)). When the humans discover a cheap star drive, and that most anything (like a pickup tuck with really good window seals) can be turned into a starship, the governments of Earth (especially the US of A) tries to clamp down on the exodus of freedom loving folks. Remember Princess Leia (yes, I'm making a Star Wars reference) telling some Empire blow hard that "the tighter you squeeze your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers?" Or something like that? Those who don't watch science fiction movies are evidentially doomed to relive them...

Fossil Hunter : Book Two of The Quintaglio Ascension (The Quintaglio Trilogy) by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor Books 01 March, 2005 / $14.95) - The Quintaglio Ascension is my favorite of Rob Sawyers works...by a wide margin. This is the middle volume in a tale that spans an age of enlightenment for a saurian race on a world coming apart at the seems. It's got a bit of James Hogan's "Inherit the Stars" and a cast of great characters coming to grips with their origins and the universe itself. I only wish he'd come up with a fourth book.

Mists of Everness by John C. Wright (Tor Books 01 March, 2005 / $24.95) - Fantasy - Second Part of The War of the Dreaming

Seal Island by Kate Brallier (Tor Books 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) - Mystery, magic and the Maine seacoast come together for a burned out urbanite as she leaves NYC behind make a go of things on a small Maine island and finds herself torn between two secretive lovers who cast their spells over her.

Shadow of the Giant (Ender) by Orson Scott Card (Tor Books 01 March, 2005 / $25.95) - Orson Scott Card?s Ender series is easily his best known work and one of the highlights of 1980s-?90s science fiction. It is not for nothing that both Ender?s Game and Speaker For The Dead won both the Hugo and Nebula. But, sad to say, recent volumes in the Bean splinter series, save for Ender?s Shadow which was most closely tied to Ender?s Game, did not live up to this legacy. The villain, Achilles, was minor; the role of Hegemon, presented in the earlier books as grand ruler of the Earth, was but an empty title (and Peter, supposedly a super-genius on a par with Ender, kept making stupid mistakes); and the books read more like near-future techno-thrillers than the grand-scale science fiction of the first four Ender books. But in Shadow Of The Giant, Card puts all that behind him and finally lives up to the promise of the situation of Earth post-Ender. (see review)

The Challenge by Susan Kearney (Tor Books 01 February, 2005 / $6.99) - Special Agent Tessa Camen guards the President. It?s been a long journey from an orphan to a member of this elite team, which has become her family. Then she gives her life to protect the President, or does she?

(see review)

Wesleyan University Press

The Two Of Them by Joanna Russ (Wesleyan University Press March 15, 2005 / $14.95) - "How female solidarity begins?in experience, thought, action, and force of conviction. Irene, a rebellious product of an American 1950s upbringing, has fled from a repressive and sexist society into a life of apparent equality and adventure as part of the elite Trans-Temporal Authority?s cadre of travelers. Under the tutelage of Ernst, a friend/lover and teacher/father, Irene has achieved status and dignity. Irene and Ernst are assigned to a Muslim world where they meet Zubedeyeh, a young girl whose creativity is being transformed into madness by the male chauvinistic society in which she lives. Vowing to rescue her, Irene unleashes a destructive cycle of violence. Originally published in 1978, The Two of Them is a powerful portrait of a future sexist society. This modern classic conveys its politics with rigor and complexity, in a story filled with suspense and unforgettable characters"

We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ (Wesleyan University Press March 15, 2005 / $14.95) - "One woman?s quest to die with dignity may doom them all. A multi-dimensional explosion hurls the starship?s few passengers across the galaxies and onto an uncharted barren tundra. With no technical skills and scant supplies, the survivors face a bleak end in an alien world. One brave woman holds the daring answer, but it is the most desperate one possible."

Wizards of the Coast

Marked for Death (The Lost Mark, Book 1) by Matt Forbeck (Wizards of the Coast 01 March, 2005 / $6.99) - From back of book: Twelve Dragonmarks. Sigils of immense magical power. Borne by scions of mighty Houses, used through the centuries to wield authority and shape wonders throughout Eberron. But there are only twelve marks.

Until now. Matt Forbeck begins the terrifying saga of the thirteenth dragonmark...The Mark of Death.

Yard Dog Press

Prophecy of Swords by M.H. Bonham (Yard Dog Press 01 March, 2005 / $18.00) - Book Description: To End a War Nearly a thousand years ago a great warrior named Lachlan sought to unify his people, using the power of the Three Swords of Destiny. Before his victory, Lachlan was killed by his trusted friend, Allarun. Now, Allarun is still in power but haunted by dreams of Lachlan's death curse: that Lachlan would return to avenge his death. Allarun's decision is to destroy the very people Lachlan tried to unite.

Only two men have the power to stop the slaughter. Romarin, the last of a line of kings, and a half-blood mercenary named Shadowhelm. One may be destined to be Lachlan, but can they unlock the secret to Lachlan's power before Allarun kills them? (Source: Yard Dog Press)

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