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US Books Received- 12/2005  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

Against All Enemies by John G. Hemry (Ace 27 December, 2005 / $7.99) - From back of book: After a long tour as legal officer aboard the starship USS Michaelson, Paul Sinclair is anticipating shore duty. Too bad it's canceled when a group of religious fanatics hijacks a freighter and invades an asteroid. Fearing they could threaten the earth with asteroid debris, starships from several countries converge on the scene. But their mission turns deadly when the South Asian Alliance opens fire on the asteroid.

After the smoke clears, Paul suspects the Michaelson's rules of engagement have been compromised--suspicions that are confirmed when NCIS asks him to work covertly as a spy. Someone onboard the Michaelson is selling secrets, and to uncover the traitor, Paul must walk the dangerous line between duty and honor...

Lost Truth by Dawn Cook (Ace 04 December, 2004 / $7.99) - Lost Truth is not the place to jump into the series, says our reviewer, Sam Lubell, but the series itself gets pretty good marks and might be of interest to soft SF fans even though it's about magic, as the magic is thoughtfully rooted in atoms and fields. (see review)

The Musashi Flex by Steve Perry (Ace 27 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: Lazio Mourn is a battle-scarred veteran of the extreme martial arts game known as the Musashi Flex. But just as he's ready to hang up his blades, his moves evolve toward a form of fighting unlike any the galaxy has ever seen.

Journalist Cayne Sola's ambition knows no bounds--and not even the most blood-hungry Flex fighter can match her fierce determination. She wants a big story on the games--and shel'll get it.

A billionaire several times over, Ellis Mtumbo Shaw has everything money can buy--except fame on the Flex field of combat. And one untested drug puts that within his reach.

Warrior. Infiltrator. Upstart. Their fates will intertwine--and be decided--in the bloody arena of the Musashi Flex. And if they survive, their story will become legend.

Ace Books

Coyote Frontier by Allen Steele (Ace Books 06 December, 2005 / $24.95) - Coyote Frontier is the final volume of a trilogy of interstellar colonization novels, all set on the world of Coyote, the habitable moon of a gas giant planet in the 47 Ursae Majoris star system. Previous novels in this series were Coyote and Coyote Rising. (see review)

Ace Hardcover

Deryni Checkmate by Katherine Kurtz (Ace Hardcover 06 December, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: More than thirty years ago, Katherine Kurtz changed the face of fantasy with the Deryni Chronicles. Revolving around the politics and passions of a world suspicious of magic, the novels were the first steps in Kurtz's remarkable career. Now, in hardcover for the first time, here is a newly revised and expanded edition of the second book in the classic series, Deryni Checkmate.

Ace Trade

The Rosetta Codex by Richard Paul Russo (Ace Trade 06 December, 2005 / $14.95) - The Rosetta Codex is a plot-driven adventure story. There's virtually no characterization and precious little science, aside from an alien plan that makes very little sense. The book is the story of Cale Alexandros, the heir of a wealthy trading family, who is marooned on a prison planet at age five. He grows up a virtual slave to the people of a remote village but is forced to flee when a girl shows interest in him. In his wanderings he encounters a religious anchorite who educates him, a temple with glowing stones and a book in a strange language, an idiot who cannot talk except when having a prophetic vision, and ultimately a village of Resurrectionists, who had been exiled for trying to discover more about an alien race who had lived on the planet before humans. But a group of men, including a trader named Blackburn, who had previously urged Cale to escape, destroyed the village literally as soon as Cale discovers it. (see review)

American Fantasy Press

Invisible Pleasures by Mary Frances Zambreno (American Fantasy Press 01 December, 2005 / $25.00) - When I got this in the mail to review, I tried to recall if I had read any stories by Mary Frances Zambreno before and could not recall. So I went into this collection not knowing what to expect. Well, this is an excellent collection by one of the best writers of fantasy that I have ever encountered. (see review)

Applause Theatre and Cinema Books

King Kong : The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson by Ray Morton (Applause Theatre and Cinema Books 01 November, 2005 / $19.95) - Book Description: He is one of the most amazing, popular, and iconic characters in the history of motion pictures. His 1933 debut was a legendary piece of pure cinema - simultaneously a terrifying monster movie, epic fairy tale, tragic love story, and deeply resonant cultural myth. His name is King Kong. Ray Morton's King Kong - The Making of a Movie Icon is the first book to chronicle the making of all seven feature films in which the character of Kong has appeared, including the hotly anticipated Peter Jackson film opening in December 2005. It is generously illustrated with photographs, production art, and promotional materials from the author's extensive private collection. Morton has interviewed the surviving members of each major film. A colorful overview of the tremendous amount of collectible Kong merchandise is also on view for all the fans of Kongdom to devour.

Baen

Bridge of the Separator (The Videssos) by Harry Turtledove (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $24.00) - Book Description: Rhavas was a good, holy, and pious man-and the cousin of the Avtokrator. He would probably have become ecumenical patriarch of the Empire in the capital, Videssos the city . . . if his world had not suddenly and tragically fallen apart when the Empire of Videssos erupted into civil war and the Khamorth barbarians swarm over the borders. As the home he loved was brutally sacked, Rhavas had to flee for his life, then make his way through lands swarming with fierce nomads and with soldiers loyal both to his cousin and to the rebel. He may never see Videssos the city again, let alone preside in its High Temple. He has always followed Phos, the god of light and goodness, Videssos' god, and despised evil rival Skotos. Those who fall off the Bridge of the Separator during judgment in the afterlife tumble down to Skotes' ice forevermore. But when evil seems to have swallowed the whole world, what is a cleric who reverences logic as well as goodness supposed to believe? It's a harder question than Rhavas wishes it were.

Conrad's Lady (The Conrad Stargard) by Leo Frankowski (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $25.00) - Book Description: One moment Conrad Schwartz was suffering from a severe hangover as he hiked through the mountains of present-day Poland, the next he was hurled back to the same country in the 13th century. He remembered from his history classes that in another ten years, Mongol hordes were scheduled to attack, pillage, burn and kill-and Conrad was likely to suffer all of the above. So, he set out to turn Poland into a world power by introducing universal education, aircraft, radios, stemboats, and discourage Mongols or anybody else from messing with either Poland or Conrad. But things weren't going to be quite that simple. The Mongols were not quite as awed by advanced technology as he had hoped. Also, he was under observation by Time Lords who didn't approve of disruptions in the flow of historical time. Last, and anything but least, he had married the formidable Lady Francine, and there was absolutely nothing simple about that noble-born and tempestuous woman. . . .

Publisher's Note: This book has appeared in parts as The Flying Warlord, Lord Conrad's Lady and Conrad's Quest for Rubber. This is the first unified appearance of the complete book.

Masters of Fantasy (Baen Science Fiction) by Bill Fawcett (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Eleven fantasy short stories by an impressive group of authors. Included in the book are a Valdemar story by Mercedes Lackey, a Witchworld story by Andre Norton, a Myth Adventure story in Dreamland by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye, a Bifrost story by Mickey Zucker Reichert... I'm sure you get the idea. Great stories from excellent fantasy authors. Go and enjoy.

Masters of Fantasy (Baen Science Fiction) by Bill Fawcett (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Eleven fantasy short stories by an impressive group of authors. Included in the book are a Valdemar story by Mercedes Lackey, a Witchworld story by Andre Norton, a Myth Adventure story in Dreamland by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye, a Bifrost story by Mickey Zucker Reichert... I'm sure you get the idea. Great stories from excellent fantasy authors. Go and enjoy.

Music to My Sorrow (Bedlam's Bard) by Mercedes Lackey (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $26.00) - A vibrant addition to Urban Fantasies series by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill, Music to my Sorrow is enjoyable young adult fiction. Although it would be helpful to have read other books in the series, enough background is provided along the way to make sense of the story environment and characters.

This tale of three teenagers, each saddled with one tyrannical parent, is full of action and elves. It's told from various perspectives: the kids, the parents, and the self-appointed guardians of each teenager. These misunderstood teenagers behave as unpredictably as any teen, although each of their parents would make any normal parent appear as the most understanding person in the world. (see review)

The Two-Space War (Baen Science Fiction) by Dave Grossman (Baen 27 December, 2005 / $7.99) - It is six hundred years in the future and mankind has learned to move between the stars in Two-Space, the two dimensional realm where sentient wooden ships travel on canvas sails in a universe hostile to high-tech. With them are creatures out of human myth: The elven Sylvans who live in the vast forests of low-gravity worlds, the dwarven Dwarrowdelf who thrive deep in the mines of high-gravity worlds, and other far more alien races.

Against this stellar backdrop, Lt. Thomas Melville's ship is mortally wounded in a cowardly surprise attack. With his captain killed, Melville must capture a feral, sentient enemy ship, then fight his way across the galaxy to warn of the vast invading armada. In an odyssey of turmoil and battle he forges his ship and crew into a mighty weapon of war and earns the love of an alien princess.

Now, if he can survive the attacks of two very angry alien empires, and avoid being court martialed by his own nation for getting them involved in a vast intergalactic war, he might live to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

The Wizard of Karres by Mercedes Lackey (Baen 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - From back of book: It just wasn't fair! Captain Pausert had foiled the deadliest of space pirates and eliminated the threat of the Worm world, yet his troubles just kept coming. The Empress herself sent him on a secret mission to stop the nanite plague, but someone somehow convinced the Imperial Fleet that he was actually a wanted criminal, which led to a battle leaving his ship in urgent need of repairs. And while Goth and the Leewit, two of the notorious witches of Karres, could do amazing things, ship repair was not in their line.

There was only one thing to do--join the circus! An interstellar traveling circus, that is. All the galaxy loves a clown...as long as the makeup stays on. The show must go on--or the galaxy is doomed!

Benbella Books

Gift from the Stars by James Gunn (Benbella Books 01 December, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: The age-old question about alien existence and human contact is explored in a new way in this collection of six novellas, previously anthologized in Analog magazine. When disillusioned aerospace engineer Adrian Mast buys a book at a remainder sale, the last things he expects to find in its appendix are alien spacecraft designs. With the help of the bookstore owner, Adrian tracks down the author--only to find him in a mental institution anguishing over the intentions of the aliens who sent the designs to him. By bluffing a bureaucrat intent on thwarting their progress, the two friends continue their quest for the stars and go ahead with the spacecraft designs. Having successfully launched their ship 15 years later, the questions that remain are What were the intentions of the aliens? and Is mankind ready to face what's out there?

Berkley

The Epicure by H.R. Howland (Berkley 06 December, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: A connoisseur of death believes consuming human flesh will renew his soul--and he's after a young girl who dreams of his depravities night after night.

Berkley Trade

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Maggie Shayne (Berkley Trade 06 December, 2005 / $13.00) - Book Description: For the first time in one volume, the New York Times bestselling author presents three tales of paranormal romance. In "Everything She Does is Magick," a trio of matchmaking witches chooses unsuspecting little Nathan McBride as the perfect mate for their baby niece. The future looks rosy indeed, except for one little catch: they must keep him a virgin!...A lady private eye on the run from some dangerous gangsters invokes a spell of protection in a fit of desperation--and conjures up a dashing musketeer looking for his damsel in distress in "Musketeer By Moonlight."...And in "The Con and the Crusader," Jack McCain jumps into a well-and into the past. Mistaken for a criminal, he's headed for prison, until he's freed-with a wedding proposal!

DAW

Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey (DAW 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: An original short fiction anthology set in Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world of Valdemar-featuring heroic Heralds and their horselike companions-and including an all-new novella by Lackey herself, as well as stories by masters such as Mickey Zucker Reichert, Judith Tarr, Tanya Huff, and others.

The Dragon Quartet by Marjorie B. Kellogg (DAW 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: Here's an exciting fantasy tetralogy with all the right ingredients: four elemental dragons (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water), each with a human companion. This series takes us from medieval Europe to the distant future, as the world is caught in a war between the forces of greed and fanaticism on the one hand, and the dragons and their guides and allies who seek to restore the proper natural balance to the planet on the other. This volume contains the first two of the four novels.

The Radioactive Redhead by John Zakour (DAW 06 December, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: It is the year 2057, and the last freelance private detective, partnered with an experimental A.I. named Harv, has a new case to solve involving androids, future tech wizards, out-of-control artificial intelligences, and futuristic mayhem.

Del Rey

Changelings (The Twins of Petaybee, Book 1) by Anne Mccaffrey (Del Rey 27 December, 2005 / $19.95) - Book Description: With three acclaimed novels-Powers That Be, Power Lines, and Power Play-bestselling authors Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough launched a vibrant new science-fiction saga that told the story of a sentient planet, Petaybee, and the humans who fought to protect it from the rapacious designs of an all-powerful interstellar corporation determined to exploit the icy world's natural resources. Led by Yana Maddock and Sean Shongili, Petaybee's protectors prevailed. But now Petaybee is changing in mysterious, unprecedented ways, and the return of off-world scientists threatens the amazing planet and its equally amazing inhabitants with new dangers.

CHANGELINGS. They are Ronan Born for Water Shongili and Murel Monster Slayer Shongili. Twin brother and sister. Children of Yana and Sean. Children of Petaybee. As such, theirs is a destiny deeply intertwined with the sentient planet that is their home. For Ronan and Murel are more than human. Like their father, each can transform into a seal and converse telepathically with the planet's creatures-such as the friendly otter whose life they save one day from a pack of ravenous wolves.

But the twins' bravery has unforeseen results when a visiting scientist witnesses their startling metamorphosis and becomes obsessed with their capture. To protect their children, Sean and Yana send them to stay with a powerful family friend on an orbiting space station. But no one realizes that Ronan and Murel hunger to discover the origins of their shape-shifting talent-and that their search for knowledge will place them squarely in the path of peril.

Meanwhile, Petaybee is changing-and much faster than an ordinary planet's natural evolution. It appears that portions of the sea are heating up and a landmass is suddenly rising from the depths. To investigate the startling occurrence, Sean heads out to the open water in his seal form. But the newly unstable region holds untold mysteries-and the potential for disaster.

Savage Messiah: The Destinies of Blood and Stone by Robert Newcomb (Del Rey 27 December, 2005 / $26.95) - In Eutracia, the final skirmish of The Scrolls Of The Ancients ended with the good Tristan defeating his evil half-brother Wulfgar in what everyone thought that was the war to end all wars. However, instead as a bi-product of the heroic battle, the spring of good magic, the Orb of Vigors, was ripped open. Now unchecked magical energy is dripping everywhere, as the orb falls from the sky ravaging anything that crosses its path. (see review)

Forge

The Serpent Dreamer by Cecelia Holland (Forge 01 December, 2005 / $24.95) - Book Description: In The Soul Thief, and its spellbinding sequel, The Witches' Kitchen, celebrated historical novelist Cecilia Holland began an enthralling new tale of adventure, conflict, and passion set against the turbulent backdrop of the Viking invasions of Ireland in the ninth century. When Norse raiders slaughtered his family and abducted his sister, Corban Loosestrife set out on an odyssey that took him across half the world, from the Viking fortress of Jorvik to the wild and desolate shores of Vinland in the New World. Now, with The Serpent Dreamer, Holland continues this powerful epic, as Corban struggles to make a new life alone in this strange land amid bloody clashes between warring native clans. His service to the King of the Danes concluded, Corban returned to his new home in Vinland to find the colony destroyed, his beloved wife dead, and his twin sister Mav, with whom he shared a mystic bond, transfigured into a numinous being caught between this world and the next. Seeking shelter with a nearby tribe, Corban was shunned for his pale skin and dark, coarse hair, and feared for his strange powers to make fire and cut through the toughest skins with his magic blade.

Epashti, the tribe's healer, came to love Corban, and in time bear him children. But Miska, the proud and cunning chief of the Wolf clan, despised Corban - in part because of his strangeness, but more because of Corban's bond with his twin sister, who Miska loves. Mav gave Miska a daughter, but spurned him ever after. Now, Mav's young daughter Ahanton has begun to show some of her mother's strange gifts. When her dream of a mighty army that worships a serpent convinces Miska that his old enemies, the Sun People, are approaching, he sets out to the east to unite the warring tribes into a force that may stand up to the invading army. But another vision compels Corban to travel west, toward the home of the Sun People, taking Espashti and young Anhaton with him. Hailed as an incarnation of Ixewe, the White Buffalo god, and kept as a curiosity by Itza Balam, the Lord of the Serpent Wand,. ruler of the great city of Cibal, Corban will play a pivotal role in a great destiny that will forever alter the world he has come to know. (Source: Forge)

Games Workshop

Blood Bowl: Dead Ball (Blood Bowl) by Matt Forbeck (Games Workshop 27 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Book Description: Book 2 (of 3) in the riotous new Blood Bowl series. In a fantasy kingdom where violence is a way of life, the number one sport is Blood Bowl - gridiron football where anything goes. Dirk 'Dunk' Hoffnung has already tasted the high life as a star Blood Bowl player but now he has to start all over again in the Goblin Leagues!

Pyr

Starship: Mutiny by Mike Resnick (Pyr 05 December, 2005 / $25.00) - Book Description: The date is 1966 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now, and the Republic, created by the human race but not yet dominated by it, finds itself in an all-out war against the Teroni Federation, an alliance of races that resent Man's growing military and economic power. The main battles are taking place in the Spiral Arm and toward the Core, but far out on the Rim, the Theodore Roosevelt is one of three ships charged with protecting the Phoenix Cluster, a group of seventy-three inhabited worlds. Old, battered, some of its weapon systems outmoded, the Teddy R. is a ship that would have been decommissioned years ago if a war wasn't raging. Its crew is composed of retreads, discipline cases, and a few raw recruits. But a new officer has been transferred to the Teddy R. His name is Wilson Cole, and he comes with a reputation for heroics and disobedience. Twice he has ignored or exceeded his orders--both times he has presented the Republic with unexpected triumphs, and both times he has had his ship and crew shot out from under him. Now, he's been banished to the Teddy R., where he will be a mere second officer, behind Captain Makeo Fujiama and Executive Officer Podok, a fierce Polonoi female.

Tensions rise on the Teddy R., discipline is lax, and Wilson Cole is not a man to sit idly by as a war rages elsewhere. But the Phoenix Cluster is the last place in the galaxy that the enemy would think of attacking. Or is it? With Starship: Mutiny, five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick brings his prodigious imagination to bear on his very first military SF. Will the galaxy ever be the same?

Roc

Dragon Champion: Book 1 of The Age of Fire by E.E. Knight (Roc December 1, 2005 / $14.00) - Dragon Champion by E.E. Knight is the first in a new series called The Age of Fire. The book is told from the point of view of Auron, a young black dragon who we meet as he cracks open his shell and discovers the world. From the first pages, Auron is plunged into a battle against the world. In this case literally as the male dragons of a clutch instinctively seek to kill their brothers until only one survives. After that the young dragon has little time to learn from his parents and to grow large enough to defend himself. For there are killers in the world who will not rest until all the dragons are dead. (see review)

Mechwarrior: Dark Age #19: Blood Avatar : (A BattleTech Novel) (Mechwarrior Dark Age) by Ilsa J. Bick (Roc 06 December, 2005 / $6.99) - Back of the book: The first body that turns up in Farway, a secluded town on the planet Denebola, is from out of town. When the Denebola Bureau of Investigation and the legate's office from half a planet away decide to help identify the murder victim, Sheriff Hank Ketchum knows he's in over his head.

Enter the infamous detective Jack Ramsey. With the help of the talented and beautiful local medical examiner, Amanda Slade, Ramsey digs into the case and sicovers evidence that puts Farway at the heart of a conspiracy. But who's the greater threat--the Clans, the World of Blake, or the legate's intelligence operative?

The Star Tablet by Jay Caselberg (Roc 06 December, 2005 / $6.99) - Book Description: Jack's sixteen-year-old ward Billie has vanished somewhere in the metropolis of Balance City. His search for her brings him to the attention of a corrupt millionaire, the fanatical Sons of Utrecht, and an alien conspiracy that may alter the future of humanity.

Valentine's Rising: Book Four of the Vampire Earth by E.E. Knight (Roc 06 December, 2005 / $7.99) - Much has happened to David Valentine since he joined the Southern Command as an eager teenage recruit. And much has happened to the Ozark Free Territories as well. Unfortunately, most of the things have been bad. In this fourth book of the Vampire Earth series, the Ozark Free Territories have fallen before the military genius of one Consul Solon, who has somehow managed to convince several Kur lords to lend him large amounts of troops for a short time, betting his life on his success. And so far, succeed he has. The Kurians are swiftly establishing control over the people, and the last few remnants of Southern Command are being rounded up. Valentine is left with only a handful of troops, next to no supplies, no allies, and nowhere safe to turn. So he does the only logical thing possible: Counterattack. (see review)

Spectra

An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair (Spectra 27 December, 2005 / $6.99) - For Raheiran Special Forces Captain Gillaine Davré, things did not look good. One minute she's just blown up a Fav'lhir warship and the next she's waking up in a sick bay 342 years in the future. But okay, she can deal with that. But, then she finds out she's been made into a Goddess with temples, shrines, magefathers, magemothers, and worst of all worshippers. This goes against everything Gillie's stands for and she's not happy. (see review)

Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Spectra 27 December, 2005 / $12.00) - Book Description: In a world where secrets kill, an ex-cop discovers he's got the biggest secret of all... Set in a 21st-century Ottoman Empire, Jon Courtenay Grimwood's acclaimed Arabesk series is a noir action-thriller with an exotic twist. Here an ex-cop with nothing to lose finds himself on the trail of a man he doesn't believe in: his father.

Ashraf Bey has been a lot of things-and most of them illegal. Now, having resigned as El Iskandryia's Chief of Detectives, he's taking stock of his life and there's not much: a mistress he's never made love to, a niece everyone thinks is mentally incompetent, and a credit card bill rising towards infinity. With a revolt breaking out across North Africa, the world seems to be racing Raf straight to hell. The last thing he needs is a father he's never known. But when the old Emir's security chief requests that Raf come out of retirement to investigate an assassination attempt on His Excellency, that's exactly what Raf gets. Now, disguised as an itinerant laborer, Raf goes underground to discover a man-and a past-he never knew...and won't survive again.

The Mysteries by Lisa Tuttle (Spectra 27 December, 2005 / $12.00) - Book Description: From award-winning author Lisa Tuttle comes a riveting novel that combines the contemporary story of one man's search for a missing young woman with history's most enduring legends of the disappeared. Gripping and unforgettable, here is a spellbinding mix of the mysteries that inhabit our everyday lives-and a mind-bending exploration of what happens when someone vanishes without a trace.

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.

Laura Lensky's stunning twenty-one-year-old daughter, Peri, has been missing for over two years-a lifetime, under the circumstances. But when Ian learns the details of her disappearance, he discovers eerie parallels to an obscure Celtic myth-and to the haunting case that launched his career, an early success he's never fully been able to explain. Though Ian suspects Peri may have chosen to vanish, his curiosity leads him to take on the search. Soon he finds himself drawing not only from the mysteries that have preoccupied his adulthood, but from the fables and folklore that pervaded his youth. What follows is a journey that takes Ian and those who care for Peri into the Highlands of Scotland, as the unknowns of the past and present merge in the case-and in their lives. Rich in pathos and steeped in secrets, The Mysteries opens a thought-provoking door from one world into the heart of another, where some of our most perplexing enigmas-and their answers-are startlingly alive.

The Pillow Friend by Lisa Tuttle (Spectra 27 December, 2005 / $12.00) - Book Description: From the critically acclaimed author of The Mysteries comes a haunting, lyrical, and provocative novel of a young woman's coming-of-age betwixt dream and reality. Here there's only one thing more dangerous than desire--getting what you want. As a child, Agnes Grey dreamed of the perfect friend to ease her loneliness: a doll that would talk to her, tell her stories, share her secrets. Only her aunt Marjorie seemed to really understand. Something of an outcast herself, she told Agnes she'd had just such a doll when she was a child. She called it her pillow friend. So when Agnes receives her very own pillow friend--an old-fashioned porcelain doll painted to look like an old-world gentleman--she's certain her dreams have come true. And so they have--but in ways that Agnes could never have imagined. For as the line between fantasy and reality blurs, Agnes discovers that every dream has its price and every desire must be paid for. Be very careful what you wish for...he'll surely give it to you.

Tor Books

Battlestar Galactica (Battlestar Galactica) by Jeffrey Carver (Tor Books 27 December, 2005 / $14.95) - From publicity material: For forty years, the Twelve Colonies of Man experienced peace, united since the war against the man-made Cylons. The Cylons, mechanical beings created to perform the manual labor civilization required, were gone forever...or so humanity thought.

but in those years, the Cylons developed new Cylons that looked and acted like humans--with one goal in mind: to destroy all humanity. When they suddenly attacked the Twelve Worlds, humanity's extinction seemed inevitable.

Only a single warship survived the massive attack: Battlestar Galactica, oldest ship in the fleet, ready to be decommissioned and turned into a museum. Commander William Adama, himself set to retire, had but one course: to marshal the meager forces available, a ragtag crew of misfits and green recruits, to prevent their enemy from wiping out the last vestiges of the human race. But the Cylons, stronger, smarter, and driven to destroy their creators, may just be too powerful for them and all of humanity to survive.

In the Garden of Iden (The Company) by Kage Baker (Tor Books 27 December, 2005 / $14.95) - Book Description: This is the first novel in what has become one of the most popular series in contemporary SF, now back in print from Tor. In the 24th century, the Company preserves works of art and extinct forms of life (for profit of course). It recruits orphans from the past, renders them all but immortal, and trains them to serve the Company, Dr. Zeus. One of these is Mendoza the botanist. She is sent to Elizabethan England to collect samples from the garden of Sir Walter Iden. But while there, she meets Nicholas Harpole, with whom she falls in love. And that love sounds great bells of change that will echo down the centuries, and through the succeeding novels of The Company.

Shapers of Darkness: Book Four of Winds of the Forelands by David B. Coe (Tor Books 13 December, 2005 / $27.95) - Book Description: The Forelands are at war. The magic-wielding Qirsi and their Eandi masters have mobilized their forces. The Eandi have had to look beyond past differences to make alliances for the sake of the future, praying it isn't too late for them to change the outcome of the war. Tavis, an Eandi prince who was framed for murdering the princess to whom he was pledged, and endured torture before winning his freedom, has at last avenged her death. Still, the murder and its aftermath have brought war to the Forelands just as the Qirsi conspirators who bought his love's blood had intended. Now Tavis and Grinsa, a Qirsi shaper with more powers than he reveals, who saved Tavis when nobody else would believe his innocence, venture across the Forelands, risking death to help save the land they love . . .

A powerful Qirsi weaver has brought this terrible war to the land, bending the minds of those he controls and of his enemies in an effort to forge alliances and mobilize forces to destroy the Eandi. His powerful magical ability estranges lovers, betrays leaders, and wreaks murder and death throughout the land. But even with his powerfully malign intelligence, he underestimates the mettle of his opponents. In a psychological duel with Grinsa, the Weaver's formidable powers are sorely tested. Grinsa withstands the Weaver's most powerful attacks at nearly the expense of his own life, and in the process discovers the Weaver's identity. Will Grinsa's challenge to the Weaver spell the end of the Weaver's reign of doom? Or has Grinsa's discovery come too late to help the Eandi cause? The answers lie in the growing war that may sunder the Forelands forever.

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