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US Books Received- 06/2006  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

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell (Ace 27 June, 2006 / $6.99) - In the far distant future, war rages between the Alliance and the Syndicated worlds or Syndics as they are commonly called. The leaders of the Syndic are diabolical despots that make Hitler look like a pussy cat. They have no compassion to Alliance civilians or soldiers and those they don't kill, they put into slave labor camps. The Alliance believes that victory is in their grasp when a traitor hands over to them the key to the Syndic hypernet leading to the Alliance fleet traveling there in a surprise attack them will assure them a victory in the centuries old war. (see review)

The Tainted by Glenda Larke (Ace 27 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: As the beautiful illusionist Flame succumbs to the dark spell that taints her soul, the physician Kelwyn Gilfeather discovers that the only way to cure her may be to destroy all magic and change the Isles of Glory forever.

The Virtu by Sarah Monette (Ace 27 June, 2006 / $24.95) - Sarah Monette continues the story of wizard Felix Harrowgate and his half-brother Mildmay the Fox, an assassin and cat burglar, begun in her debut novel Mélusine. In the first novel, Felix's former master the evil wizard Malkar Grennadion violates Felix physically and mentally to break the Virtu, a device created to channel and maintain the stability of magic used in Mélusine. Its destruction damages the city and leaves Felix insane. By the end of the first novel, Felix regains his sanity, but has lost a year of memories. His half-brother is a cripple, but lives. (see review)

Ace Hardcover

Fall of Knight by Peter David (Ace Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $24.95) - In Knight Life, Peter David told the story of Arthur Pendragon, returned from legend, to lead New York City into a new Golden Age. Okay, not everybody thought it would be "New York" that Arthur would lead, but still, it all worked out, even if Morgan le Fay tried to mess things up.

Now David makes it a trilogy in Fall of Knight. Arthur and Gwen are more or less in hiding, as she's supposed to be dead and he's no longer president. Sailing around the world, they are caught on camera and can hide no longer... and neither can they hide the truth about who Arthur really is. In One Knight Only, "Arthur Penn" became President of the United States and lost his wife, the resurrected Guinevere, to an assassin's bullet. Or so it seemed. (see review)

Glasshouse by Charles Stross (Ace Hardcover 27 June, 2006 / $24.95) - Charles Stross may be the science fiction field's most exciting writer. Glasshouse is his best book to date. Stross excels at creating post-Singularity futures that are not the Roman Empire or Napoleonic era in space but complex universes in which people act differently than those of today or of the past but entirely fitting their setting. What he has not been able to do is create great characters -- until now. (Excerpt from the review) (see review)

Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds (Ace Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $25.95) - Book Description: 2057. Bella Lind and the crew of her nuclearpowered ship, the Rockhopper, push ice. They mine comets. But when Janus, one of Saturn's ice moons, inexplicably leaves its natural orbit and heads out of the solar system at high speed, Bella is ordered to shadow it for the few vital days before it falls forever out of reach. In accepting this mission she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny-for Janus has many surprises in store, and not all of them are welcome...

Read John Berlyne's review from SFRevu's October 2005 issue.

Ace Trade

Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip (Ace Trade 06 June, 2006 / $14.00) - Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip is now out in trade paperback. This is a wonderful story of a gardener coming to understand himself and his powers as he grows from looking within to reaching out to others. (Read the SFRevu).

Aqueduct Press

Renegade (Marq'ssan Cycle- book 2) by L. Timmel Duchamp (Aqueduct Press April, 2006 / $19.00) - From back of book: 2077. The Pacific Northwest Free Zone may be a haven from the Executive's civil war, but it seethes with division and power struggles and is subject to paramilitary covert action teams working to destabilize its civil order. The formidable Elizabeth Wetherall, now running Security Services, is determined to capture renegade Kay Zeldin, who boldly ventures outside the Free Zone in search of dozens of missing scientists. When the two women come face to face, each risks all she has become in no-holds-barred, mortal combat.

Baen

Siege Perilous by Nigel Bennett (Baen 27 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: Vampire hero Richard Dun, once called Lancelot, is back in the latest book in this exciting, critically acclaimed fantasy series by award-winning actor Nigel Bennett and award-winning writer P.N. Elrod. An old enemy from Richard's past, Charon the Assassin, returns and is literally hell-bent on bloody revenge. He has acquired deadly new powers that are annihilating the nebulous plane of Otherside and threaten the very existence of the Realside plane. Unless balance is restored both will be destroyed. From the sultry Yucatan forests to the chill green fields of ancient Glastonbury, Richard Dun marshals his mortal and immortal allies for a fight that will rage outside dimensions and span centuries of time. He is no stranger to battling to the death, but how can one earth-bound vampire stand up to a being who can destroy the gods themselves?

Berkley Hardcover

Candles Burning by Tabitha King (Berkley Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $24.95) - Book Description: An extraordinary southern saga begun by Michael McDowell and finished after his death by Tabitha King.

Known for his chilling Blackwater series, author Michael McDowell left behind the unfinished manuscript for Candles Burning upon his death in 1999. In the spirit of the ghost stories that Michael loved, Tabitha King has taken up where he left off, weaving a Southern gothic fabric of murder, guilt, innocence, corruption, and survival, in the voices of the living and the dead.

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Berkley Hardcover 27 June, 2006 / $25.95) - Jean-Claude, the master vampire of the city of St. Louis, is hosting a vampire ballet and he expects his stubborn and independent human servant to be his hostess. Anita, a vampire executioner, zombie raiser and a federal marshal will do it because she loves Jean-Claude but she is preoccupied with other worries. She thinks she might be pregnant and since she is sleeping with two were-leopards, three vampires and a werewolf she doesn't have a clue who the father is. (see review)

Undead and Unpopular by MaryJanice Davidson (Berkley Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $22.95) - Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Vampires, turns 31 in one week. That's right she's been dead for almost a year having been killed on her big 3-0. She's engaged to Eric Sinclair, the King of the Vampires; he's even coughed up a ring. But things aren't all rosy for Betsy. The Ant keeps dropping off BabyJon unannounced 3 or 4 times a week for days at a time. The European delegation is coming to visit, there's a zombie in the attic, Jessica is acting strange and dating Nick the cop. Somehow Undead and Unwed the book written by retired vampire hunter Jon Delk while in a creative writing class has been leaked to the public along with some of the "Dear Betsy" columns from the vampire newsletter. However, things aren't all bleak. Dr. Sophia Trudeau and Liam drop-in to ask permission for Sophia to turn Liam into a vampire. (see review)

BookSurge Publishing

Tales From The Long Road by H. Wolfgang Porter (BookSurge Publishing 14 June, 2005 / $15.99) - Book Description: Militant fanatics kidnap an Ambassador on a mission of peace to South City. With three days left until he is executed, the sinister organization known as 'The Council' secretly puts a crack rescue team into play. Disaster strikes as the rescuers are taken out during an altercation. Unknown to all, their attacker has stolen the assignment. Now, the fate of the Ambassador and South City depend on the wits and the cold-forged iron short sword of the renegade Bounty Hunter, Wolfwalker!

DAW

Children of Magic by Martin H. Greenberg (DAW 06 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Most kids think they're special--but what about that tiny few who truly *are* special? That's the premise of Children of Magic, a new anthology from DAW edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes. (see review)

DAW Hardcover

Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff (DAW Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $24.95) - As Smoke and Ashes opens Tony Foster has been promoted to Trainee Assistant Director. Of course he's still got all the same duties he had as a Production Assistant plus. There's been little change since the crew of "Darkest Night" walked out of the haunted house in Smoke and Mirrors. Tony has been practicing some of his wizarding lessons, Officer Jack Elson calls at weird hours to ask about supernatural possibilities, Kevin Groves has been stalking the set hoping for a story, and Tony can't forget kissing Lee. It's status quo dealing with actor's egos and the director's demands until Leah Burnett is hired to do some stunt work. Leah is more than a stuntwoman; she's an immortal demongate and someone or something is trying to kill her to open the gate. She needs a wizard to stop it and the only wizard available is Tony. (see review)

The Gold Falcon : The Silver Wyrm, Book One (The Silver Wyrm) by Katharine Kerr (DAW Hardcover 27 June, 2006 / $24.95) - Book Description: The cholera epidemic that ravaged the city of TrevHael has left many orphans in its wake, including Neb, the scribe's son, and his brother. Sent to the desolate farm of their last living relative, they soon learn that a worse plague lurks beyond the western border of Deverry. The savage Horsekin tribes, spurred on by their new goddess, Alshandra, are raiding the villages and taking slaves as the first step in their plans to destroy the nomadic Westfolk and the Deverrian farmers both. Drawn into a war for the survival of the kingdom, Neb and his soulmate Branna will face enemies they have fought before in past lives they no longer remember.

DAW Trade

The Mirror Prince by Violette Malan (DAW Trade 27 June, 2006 / $15.00) - From back of book: Max Ravenhill thinks he's human ... but he's wrong. He's been given false memories over and over again by his Wardens, who don't want him to realize that he's been alive for over one thousand years.

Max and his Wardens are Riders -- what humans call the Faerie folk .. and back in their Lands Max was the Prince Guardian, Keeper of the Talismans. As the Prince Guardian, Max lost a civil war and was banished to the Shadowlands, the human country. To prevent his escape, his memory was bound, along with his dra'aj, the magical energy that is manifested in all Faerie. His Wardens were with him to make sure that the powerless Exile was not accidentally killed by humans.

The Banishment is nearing its end when Warden Cassandra Kennaby gets a most unexpected warning that Max is in imminent danger from his old enemy, the Rider who has become known as the Basilisk Prince. Cassandra has personal reasons for avoiding her charge, but when the warning is confirmed by the appearance of the Hunt, she has no choice but to remember her Oath and go to the rescue. As the Hunt closes in, the only way Cassandra can save Max is to risk returning him home before the end of the Banishment. Max finds himself in the bewildering Lands of the People, where nothing, not the Riders or the Naturals or the Solitaries -- not even the Landscape itself -- does what he expects. Cassandra and Max find that the dra'aj of the Lands has been waning during the Banishment, and the Basilisk Prince has been growing in power since the time of the Great War. Max's old supporters desperately need him to prevent the Basilisk form declaring himself High Prince and destroying the natural Cycles of the Lands. But it isn't really Max they need -- it's his true self, the Prince Guardian. Max must decide whether to give up the only like he knows in order to become someone else. For only then can he hope to fight an ancient enemy he doesn't even remember.

Del Rey

Echelon: A novel by Josh Conviser (Del Rey 18 July, 2006 / $13.95) - When a book starts off with the main character dying, you know you're going to be in for a bumpy ride. What faces the reader is nothing compared to the perils that Echelon Agent Ryan Lian faces, beginning with falling off a mountain (he had help) to his death, resurrection with the help of experimental nanotech, and periodic deaths along the way as he tries to save civilization from self destructing. By the second or third death, it's kind of lost its sting, but you never quite forget that his resurrection is at the convince of the author and plot...and cats only have so many lives.

(see review)

Star Wars (r) Legacy of the Force Betrayal (Star Wars) by Aaron Allston (Del Rey 30 May, 2006 / $25.95) - Book Description: This is the era of Luke Skywalker's legacy: the Jedi Master has unified the order into a cohesive group of powerful Jedi Knights. But as the new era begins, planetary interests threaten to disrupt this time of relative peace, and Luke is plagued with visions of an approaching darkness. Evil is rising again–out of the best intentions–and it looks as if the legacy of the Skywalkers may come full circle. Honor and duty will collide with friendship and blood ties as the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict with potentially devastating repercussions for both families, for the Jedi order, and for the entire galaxy.

The Candle of Distant Earth by Alan Dean Foster (Del Rey 27 June, 2006 / $23.95) - A former commodities trader, alien abductee, intergalactic chef, and now leader of a fleet of space ships, Marcus Walker wants to return to Earth. Unfortunately, no one knows where to find it. As leader of a space armada, he also searches for the home worlds of the other abductees who fled with him from their Vilenjji captors. (see review)

Eos

Honored Enemy: Legends of the Riftwar, Book 1 (Legends of the Riftwar) by Raymond E. Feist (Eos 27 June, 2006 / $13.95) - Book Description: In the sprawling, embattled land of Midkemia, fate can form strange alliances. Nine years into the bloody and ongoing Riftwar, Dennis Hartraft's Marauders are cold, hungry, and exhausted. Having only just survived a disastrous encounter with their sworn enemy, the Tsurani, the soldiers are headed for a frontier garrison, where they will be able to rest and recover. But Hartraft's company arrives at the same time as a Tsurani patrol, and both sides discover the stronghold overrun by a migrating horde of dark elves called moredhel, a foe so deadly and vicious the bitter enemies must band together and fight as one.

But can their hatred for their mutual enemy overcome their distrust of each other? As the two groups, bound to each other by their common foe, make their way across the unknown Northlands to freedom, they have to struggle with not only the elements and the enemy, but also their consciences. For, with both sides carrying painful scars from past wars, each man must ask himself what is more important: one's life or one's honor?

Games Workshop

Kal Jerico II: Cardinal Crimson (Kal Jerico) by Will McDermott (Games Workshop 06 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: With a billion people literally living on top of each other, religious fanaticism has always had a firm stranglehold on the towering hive city of Necromunda. Foremost amongst these fanatics is Cardinal Crimson and he's setting out on a new crusade to hunt down a newcomer to the hive, a man who knows secrets that could finish Crimson forever. Once again it's down to the dashing Kal Jerico and his erstwhile companions to save the day.

Golden Gryphon Press

Sleeping Policemen by Dale Bailey (Golden Gryphon Press 01 June, 2006 / $24.95) - Book Description: Horror combines with noir motifs and a fast-moving plot in this tale of four college students who run over a pedestrian while driving at night in the Smoky Mountains. Finding a sheaf of hundred dollar bills and a mysterious key in the pockets of the dead man's coat, their curiosity is piqued and the friends follow clues to a bus station locker and a homemade video depicting the rape and murder of a missing teenage girl. In the hours that follow, the students find themselves under pressure from both a private detective who claims to represent the father of the missing girl and a state trooper who has connected them with the man they left for dead on the fog-shrouded mountain. Suddenly, into their nightmare of guilt and confusion, a shadowy underworld figure known as the Pachyderm appears, vehemently demanding his money and video back. Inexperienced young people battle both criminals and their own flawed instincts in this disturbing lesson about greed, excess, and cultural corruption.

HarperTorch

A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison (HarperTorch 27 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Rachel Morgan has come to accept her life. She lives with one vampire and loves another. She's now got insurance thanks to David who as a lone Were asked her to be in his pack so he could keep his job. But things fall apart when Rachel is challenged for her place in the pack, Matalina begs her to help Jenks go after their son Jax who is stuck in Michigan helping Nick (Rachel's ex-boyfriend) steal a statue. Before she knows it Rachel is in trouble with Weres, with her conscience, and with Ivy. This is a book that's hard to put down especially since you know the characters so well. (see review)

Hyperion

Abadazad: The Dream Thief - Book #2 (Abadazad) by J.M. DeMatteis (Hyperion 01 June, 2006 / $9.99) - In the second book based on the Abadazad comic book series by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog, Kate Jameson has arrived in the fantastic realm of Abadazad itself, searching for her lost brother Matt -- and discovers that reading about its marvels and terrors is very different from facing them firsthand.

For one thing, her mission to save her brother will pit her against a formidable villain and his twisted minions. That is, if she can survive the magical hazards all around her first.

(see review)

Leisure

Darkness Wakes by Tim Waggoner (Leisure 28 November, 2006 / $6.99) - For those who like dark horror hot, sexy, violent, and gory, Tim Waggoner's Darkness Wakes offers an exciting read.

Aaron Rittinger, a small town vet, approaches middle age with a largely sexless marriage. His wife has little interest in sex or emotional closeness. His dead father's voice haunts him and undermines his confidence as he did in life. Aaron's relations with his children are poor. He and his son Colin no longer communicate. Dissatisfied with his life, he looks elsewhere. (see review)

Night Shade Books

Dark Mondays by Kage Baker (Night Shade Books 15 June, 2006 / $26.95) - Book Description: Kage Baker (author of the popular Company series) delivers a collection that explores the dark and fantastic sides of her writing. This collection is anchored by an original novella involving pirates.

One Level Higher Publishing

Miranda, Queen of Argyll: Past Sins by Julia Phillips (One Level Higher Publishing 15 June 2006 / $19.95) - Book Description: Miranda Tate knows leading a double life is hard. Keeping the lies and the facts straight is enough to drive one mad; especially when the worlds are mortal and magick. In one life, she's a computer consultant; in the other, she is the Queen of Argyll, immortal sorceress and leader of the Council of Magicks. While Miranda would gladly stay in her comfortable home in Denver, her duties call her out often; usually with frightening results. None more than her current assignment as mother and mentor to an eight-year-old child sorceress, Bryn. While in her keeping, the girl falls into an unnatural coma induced by enemies unknown; a list of infinite horrors waiting to be revisited. Forced to hide away in the sanctuary of Dalriada Castle, Miranda must untangle the clues and spells before harm befalls everyone she loves. With only seven days to solve the mystery of Bryn's illness and stop the threat, Miranda and her allies race to find the truth. Once again, the world of magick stands on the brink and she must stare down her own fears and face the apocalypse. Old hatreds and resentments must be put aside and new friends step to the front to help save the girl before her fate, and theirs, is forever lost. (Source: One Level Higher Publishing)

Pyr

New Dreams for Old by Mike Resnick (Pyr June, 2006 / $15.00) -

As a long time friend of Mike Resnick, I was delighted to see a collection of many of his short stories that have been nominated for and won awards. Mike is an old-fashioned storyteller who delights in telling tall tales and tweaking the notions of the reader. His characters are people we all know, they just live in a different time or place. The stories are build on "what ifs" and "how abouts". If you're looking for short stories that will have you thinking and laughing, this collection will be a good read. (see review)

Roc

Mechwarrior: Dark Age #20: Trial By Chaos (A BattleTech Novel) (Mechwarrior) by J. Steven York (Roc 06 June, 2006 / $6.99) - Book Description: The MechWarrior saga continues. The Raging Bears have begun their occupation of the planet Vega with the hope of restoring order amid relentless violence and civil ruin. But their bold move may prove to be the chance their enemies have waited for.

The Last Mortal Man: Book One Of the Deathless (Deathless) by Syne Mitchell (Roc 06 June, 2006 / $6.99) - From back of book: In the twenty-fourth century, nano-designed biology has turned the world into humanity's playground. Entrepreneur Lucius Sterling has created a trillion-dollar empire by solving the world's problems: poverty, disease, war--even death. The handful of people wealthy enough can pay for conversion to Deathless, a controversial process that transforms a person into nanobiology, cell by cell, granting them eternal beauty and health.

All these wonders unravel when a new technology attacks the fundamental building blocks of nanobiology. No one knows the source of the destruction or where it will hit next. As nanobiology cities crumble, the Deathless retreat into tightly guarded compounds. Once invulnerable, this new technology now endangers their very existence. Rumors fly that its creator may even be one of their own. The world hovers on the brink of war. And the only person who can investigate is Jack Sterling, Lucius's estranged great-grandson, exiled form modern life by a deadly allergy to the very nanobiology that made his family's fortune...

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (Roc 06 June, 2006 / $6.99) - Cassandra Palmer is clairvoyant. Her parents were killed when she was a young child and she was raised in a vampire household controlled by Tony, who she'd later learned ordered her parents killed to gain control of her. She'd escaped once and returned to learn all she could and then turned him over to the FBI. She's been free for several years but now she knows they've found her and will try to kill her -- she'll run but first she has to warn her flatmate, Thomas, so he doesn't walk into trouble meant for her. But before she can explain to Thomas, the vamps close in and then they are in a fight for their lives only Thomas isn't who or what she thought he was. When she comes to, she's not at Tony's waiting for death she's at MAGIC (The Metaphysical Alliance for Greater Interspecies Cooperation). And, this is so not a good thing. (see review)

Roc Hardcover

Valentine's Exile: A Novel of the Vampire Earth by E.E. Knight (Roc Hardcover 06 June, 2006 / $23.95) - David Valentine is a hero. A man that does what needs to be done to save lives and protect the innocent from the scourge of the Kur, alien invaders that have conquered and enslaved the earth. He's foiled plot after plot, and scheme after scheme, risking his own life time and again without a second thought. Leading a handful of men, he held off the combined mass of enemy troops, and saved the entire Ozark Free Territories. And now, in Valentine's Exile David finally gets what the powers-that-be like to give true heroes: A quick and meaningless trial followed by a sentence of death. (see review)

Roc Trade

Blood and Iron: A Novel of the Promethean Age by Elizabeth Bear (Roc Trade 27 June, 2006 / $14.00) - She was born Elaine Andraste, a changeling, who is now known as the Seeker. She is in downtown Manhattan doing what she does best stealing children to take back to her liege the Mebd Queen so the tithe owed to Hell can be paid. The human Mage recognizes her but cannot stop her quest though he is one of the few who knows of the war between humans of the Prometheus Club and the Fairy. (see review)

Swords of Haven: The Adventures of Hawk & Fisher by Simon R. Green (Roc Trade 06 June, 2006 / $15.00) - Book Description: Now in one volume, three action-packed adventures of Hawk & Fisher-from Simon R. Green, the New York Times bestselling author of the Deathstalker series.

They're lovers. They're partners. They're cops. They're the battle-scarred crime-busters of a never-ending urban war. Hawk rules the streets by battle-axe. Fisher cracks down on outlaws with sword and dagger. Their merciless beat is the sinister city misnamed Haven-a dark and violent town overrun with spell-casters, demons, and thieves. A place where money will buy anything... except justice.

Spectra

Spin Control by Chris Moriarty (Spectra 27 June, 2006 / $12.00) - The more things change, the more they remain the same, as we witness in Chris Moriarty's follow up novel to her brilliant debut in Spin State. The new book, Spin Control, makes this point in the Middle East, where Israeli and Palestinians are still at each other's throats in a gridlocked grudge match, amidst which a number of intelligence agencies and other players are scrambling to capture a prize from off world, a genetic virus that might be a weapon of considerable importance. If anyone can understand what it does. Though we get a fair amount of action in with now ex-Major Catherine Li, and her AI consort Cohen, they're not quite at the center of the storm. That would be Arkady, a post-human from the Syndicate, a collection of cloned human lines that have been engineered as advances in humanity, though in what direction it's not always clear. (see review)

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Spectra 27 June, 2006 / $23.00) - See John Berlyne's review of The Lies of Locke Lamora in our June's issue.

The Oracle's Queen by Lynn Flewelling (Spectra 27 June, 2006 / $7.50) - Although The Oracle's Queen is the third book in the Tamir trilogy, nothing tells you so on the book's covers. Therefore, if you pick this one up thinking it is a stand-alone dark fantasy, you are left struggling to fill in the backstory and understand the characters. It is a coming of age fantasy tale set in a medieval world of sword fighting and wizards with their limited magic. (see review)

Star Trek

Summon the Thunder (Star Trek) by Dayton Ward (Star Trek 27 June, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: The Taurus Reach: a remote interstellar expanse that holds a very old and potentially cataclysmic secret, the truth of which is feared by the Tholians, coveted by the Klingons, and dubiously guarded by the Federation. At the center of this intrigue is Vanguard, a Federation starbase populated by an eclectic mix of Starfleet officers and civilians, whose lives are forever altered as they explore the layers of mystery surrounding the Reach and steadily peel them away...one after another.

In the aftermath of Harbinger, Commodore Diego Reyes commands Vanguard while waging an intensely personal struggle, tasked to uncover the true significance of the Taurus Reach while simultaneously concealing that mission from his fellow officers -- and even his closest friends. As the Daedalus-class U.S.S. Lovell brings some of Starfleet's keenest technical minds to help, the U.S.S. Endeavour makes a find that could shed further light on the enigmatic meta-genome that has captured the Federation's interest -- if its crew survives the discovery....

Deep within the Taurus Reach, an ancient and powerful alien mind has awakened prematurely from aeons of hibernation, alerted to the upstart civilizations now daring to encroach upon the worlds in her care. With the stakes for all sides escalating rapidly, the alien lashes out with deadly force against the interlopers, propelling the Vanguard crew on a desperate race to understand the nature of the attacker, and to prevent the Taurus Reach from becoming a war zone.

Tachyon Publications

Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel (Tachyon Publications 28 June, 2006 / $14.95) - Feeling Very Strange hopes to establish a framework for the loosely defined crossover genre that bridges reality and speculative fiction. Or something. We're looking forward to reading this to find out if there's any there, there, or if these guys are just channeling folks like William Tenn and Harlan Ellison, spewing old concepts out onto the contemporary landscape. Or is this just magical realism arriving on the American scene? Boy, I wish I knew, but maybe this collection, with entries by some of my favorite short story authors (Jeffrey Ford, Kelly Link, Ted Chiang, Jonathon Lethem, Jeff Vandermeer, Howard Waldrop and Bruce Sterling, among others) will help me out. Not that I really expect to come away feeling more comfortable with the genre, assuming it exists.

But that's to be expected. As the editors assure us in the forward (do read the forward), "Slipstream can take you to a place where you have never been. An impossible place than cannot exist, and yet a place where you are expected. Your name is at the top of the list and your room is ready." And yes, although they refrain from dredging up a perhaps overused refrain, I'm absolutely certain that although you may be able to checkout, there's no chance you can actually leave. Of course, for anyone who reads much SF short fiction it was too late long ago...Recommended.

(see review)

The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Alien Theory: The Alien as Archetype in the Science Fiction Short Story by Patricia Monk (The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 28 June, 2006 / $49.95) - Patricia Monk covers a lot of ground in her thoughtful examination of what aliens represent in SF, specifically in short stories. Her premise is that they're not just there as entertainment, a way to show off our theories, or as a thought experiment in exobiology, but that they can tell us something about how we view ourselves and our place in the universe. Written in fairly rigorous style, it's full of valuable insights into the relationship between SF and mainstream fiction, literary criticism, the development of aliens in fiction, and the deeper issues of self and other. It's hardly light reading, but recommended for anyone seriously interested in SF.

(see review)

Thomas Dunne Books

Dark Gold by David Angsten (Thomas Dunne Books 27 June, 2006 / $24.95) - From publicity material: Dark Gold propels the reader with lightning quick pace into the story of three college grads, Jack Duran and his buddies Rock and Duff, as they travel to Puerto Vallarta on the trail of Jack's lost brother, Dan. As events unfold, they become enmeshed in a web of intrigue, voodoo spiritualism, passion and piracy when their paths cross with a wealthy Bahamian.... Add a sunken shipwreck, chest of gold, and a manta ray as monster...

Thunder's Mouth Press

Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography by William Butcher (Thunder's Mouth Press 28 June, 2006 / $28.00) - Book Description: From the established expert on the subject comes this new biography of one of the world's most successful writers. Breath-taking in scope, and full of the kind of revelations sure to cause press and controversy, Butcher combines existing and new research on Verne's life with the evidence from Verne's works to explore what sort of man Jules Verne was, how he achieved what he did, what went on inside his head, what really made him tick.

Butcher examines the forgotten nitty-gritty of Verne's life: his appearance, his schoolmates, the size of his bedroom, who he talked to and slept with, who he fell out with and was sued by, the fibs he told, how he got to work, how much he made, what he did on his days off, where he went, what he studied, what he read, whether he was a good husband and father — in sum, all the behavior that points to personality, as only a family member can know it. (Source: Thunder's Mouth Press)

Sex in the System: Stories of Erotic Futures, Technological Stimulation, and the Sensual Life of Machines by Cecilia Tan (Ed.) (Thunder's Mouth Press 28 June, 2006 / $15.95) - Book Description: Every form of technology humankind has invented has been co-opted for two uses: warfare and getting off. Electricity, internal combustion, the telephone, the Internet — there's no reason to think this trend will stop as we move into the future of nanotechnology, neuroscience, and space travel. However, whether the future is a Gernsbackian vision of flying cars and cloud cities, or a gritty gray cyberpunk world, there is always a need for sex.

Award-winning authors such as Joe Haldeman, Nalo Hopkinson, and Catherine Asaro are among the leading lights of science fiction and erotica who contribute to this book, as well as Paul DiFilippo, Sarah Micklem, Bruce Sterling, M. Christian, Thomas S. Roche, Saachi Green, and many others.

TokyoPop

.hack// Another Birth 1 by Miu Kawasaki, Supervised by Kazunori Ito (TokyoPop 13 June 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: In order for Akira to save her younger brother, who suddenly loses consciousness in the middle of playing The World, she enters the online fantasy game as the Heavy Blade-wielding BlackRose. While heading toward the area where her brother's consciousness was stolen, BlackRose meets the Twin Blade fighter Kite.Written from BlackRose's perspective, this adaptation of the popular .hack series of games is the first installment of yet another hit .hack novel series! (Source: TokyoPop)

Tor Books

Children of Chaos by Dave Duncan (Tor Books 13 June, 2006 / $25.95) - Dave Duncan's Children of Chaos is part one of a two part series. In a land where gods give powers to favored mortals who pledge allegiance, three brothers and their sisters are taken as hostages by Vigaelian Werists, followers of the battle god Weru. Many years later, the now adult siblings must reunite. Their captors intend for one of the surviving three to assume their ailing father's place as puppet ruler of their city, now key as the Vigaelians are losing the war; but as the siblings discover each other, they begin to form their own plans. (see review)

Necroscope: The Touch by Brian Lumley (Tor Books 13 June, 2006 / $25.95) - Book Description: To test of the power of God, an insane triad of malevolent aliens decides to become so evil that God himself will have to stop them. They have already destroyed their homeworld, an entire solar system, and most of their own race. Their next target: Earth!

In addition to advanced science mankind can only dream of, the Mordri Three have the unique ability to forever alter skin, bone, and muscle with a simple touch. Once this powerful touch was used only for healing, but the Mordri Three use it as a weapon, literally turning people inside out, mutating them in front of their horrified loved ones, or seeding them with cancer. Scott St. John is mourning the painful death of his beloved wife when he is struck by a golden arrow of light—a fragment of the soul of Harry Keogh, the original Necroscope—and gains powers he does not understand. Soon after, a mysterious, beautiful woman begins appearing everywhere he goes. She warns him to keep silent—about what, he does not know—and keeps trying to tell him something critically important, but each time, she vanishes before she can fully explain. And Scott begins to dream of a very unusual Wolf, who begs Scott—in human speech—to rescue him before the hunters come. (see review)

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow (Tor Books 30 May, 2006 / $14.95) - Check out our review of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves TOwn by Chris Fisher in SFRevu's July, 2005 issue.

The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence : The Third Book of the Wraeththu Histories (Wraeththu) by Storm Constantine (Tor Books 13 June, 2006 / $27.95) - Book Description: Darquiel har Aralis lives among the hidden tribe of Olopade, in ignorance of his identity, and as he grows up, Darq realizes he is different from any other har. After a disastrous attempt to incept his closest friend, he attracts the attention of the mysterious Thiede, and learns that his origins are more astounding than he imagined.

Loki har Aralis is the favoured son of the Tigrons in Immanion, but he too is unaware of his real heritage. When he is kidnapped to the stark realm of Thanatep, he must learn to walk the secret ways between the worlds before he can escape. The struggle between these two brothers is both powerful and mythic, and brings this cycle of Wraeththu history to a marvelous conclusion.

The Lightstone by David Zindell (Tor Books 13 June, 2006 / $25.95) - Book Description: On the island continent of Ea it is a dark time of chaos and war. Morjin, immortal fallen angel and Lord of Lies, seeks to enslave the entire world. His dreaded assassins are everywhere and land after land falls under his evil power.

The one thing that has the potential to destroy him is an object that has been lost for ages: the fabulous Lightstone that legend tells was crafted by the ancient Star people. A call is sent out by one of the major rulers still free of Morjin’s grip to all those who oppose the dreaded sorcerer. It is nothing less than a quest to find the Lightstone and give Men hope after ages of despair. It is a quest that none have seen the like of in ten generations. And most believe is doomed to fail.

Warner Books

Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey (Warner Books 12 June, 2006 / $26.95) - From publicity material: Imriel de la Courcel's birth parents are history's most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phedre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood; third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty and desire.

Despite his enemies, obstacles, and lineage, Imriel's journey to heal his soul is fraught with sorrow and joy beyond all expectation. Kushiel's Scion is a thrilling new epic fantasy of dark intrigue and intimate passion that Kirkus Reviews said "will appeal to newcomers and fans of the first trilogy alike."

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