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US Books Received- 07/2006  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

Readercon 17 by Eric Van (chair) ( July 7-9, 2006 Burlington, Mass. / ) -

GoHs: China Miéville and James Morrow
Memorial Guest of Honor: Jorge Luis Borges
Registration: $50 at door. One-day rates Friday: $20, Saturday: $35, Sunday: $20.

SFRevu Readercon Image Gallery

Readercon is, depending on your point of view, either an annual literary conference (except it's infinitely more fun than that) or an annual science fiction convention (except we've stripped away virtually everything except talking about and buying books). In the course of its nearly twenty years, it has become the standard bearer and role model for conventions that focus on the literature of the genre. A typical Readercon features over 100 writers, editors, and critics (attracting prominent figures from Canada, the U.K., and occasionally even Australia) and more than 400 of their readers. Readercon is the only small convention regularly attended by such giants of literary SF as Samuel R. Delany, John Crowley, Barry N. Malzberg, and Jonathan Lethem.

Image: China Miéville cleans up nicely, and we caught him at the meet the pros party the first night. I'm chagrined to say that I was so struck by the author and companion that I failed to get said adjunct's appellation. - Ern (see review)

Ace

Age of Conan: The God In The Moon by Richard A. Knaak (Ace 25 July, 2006 / $6.99) - From back of book: As a favored son in one of the high families of Aquilonia, Nermesa Klandes wanted for nothing -- except glory won by his own hand. Defying his family and casting aside the opulence he was born into, Nermesa joins the Aquilonian army so that he might serve his liege, King Conan.

But Nermesa soon learns there is a great distance between his courageous idealism and the gory battlefields of the Westermarck, where the savage Picts wage unceasing warfare. Through bravery and cunning, Nermesa comes into his own as a warrior and a man. When he kills the Pictish leader, he is hailed as a hero. But he also unleashes an unholy power that will shake the very foundations of the Aquilonian Empire.

Phule's Errand by Robert Asprin (Ace 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - From back of book: Phule is without a doubt the only captain in the Space Legion with his own butler, but Beeker has stuck with him through thick and thin. Which is why it's incomprehensible to Phule why Beeker has run off-planet without a word -- and with Omega Company's lovely new medic.

Without his right-hand man, Phule has no idea what his left hand is doing. So he takes off after his errant butler, just as General Blitzkrieg decides to make a surprise visit to Zenobia. and the only thing Blitz would like better than catching Phule off guard is to cat Phule AWOL...

Princess at Sea by Dawn Cook (Ace 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - The second book in a series is often held to more exacting standards than the first: the reader wants the same thrill and enjoyment as the first book, but not the same plot. Just introducing a few new characters or locations is not enough: we want to see our favorites grow and learn something from their adventures. Dawn Cook has achieved this admirably in Princess at Sea, continuing the adventure, romance, and excitement that was in The Decoy Princess. (see review)

WebMage by Kelly McCullough (Ace 25 July, 2006 / $6.99) - WebMage postulates a universe where the gods and other supernatural beings of mythology are alive and well and breeding offspring in the many layers of reality which make up the multiverse. Ravirn is a young computer geek like many others you might meet on a college campus. But there is a difference. Ravirn is the descendent of Lachesis, the fate that measures out the thread of life. Ravirn refers to her as his grandmother simply because it would take to long to prefix it with the correct number of "greats", even if he knew how many there should be. Now, you would think that a college student with access to the servers that run reality itself would be living on easy street. But then you haven't just discovered that your great (to the who-knows what power) aunt Atropos (she who cuts the thread of life) has decided to end free-will itself and you're all that stands between her and all of humanity across all the realities. (see review)

Baen

Choosers of the Slain (Paladin of Shadows, Book 3) by John Ringo (Baen 04 July, 2006 / $25.00) - In this third book about Mike Harmon, now going by the name "Jenkins" ex-retired-Seal and now soldier of fortune, he's settled down on the edge of Russia and acquired himself a band of farmer serfs that appear to be descended from a group of Viking warriors that wandered too far from home. Now he's training them to be a fighting force, to stabilize his little bit of the world, and along the way has also acquired a harem (slightly used) to keep his mind off work. It's a rough life, and he's clearly the only person who can do it, but old enemies keep popping up and making things rougher for every one. The current adventure takes him back to DC and deeper into the corrupt world of international sex slavery as he responds to a plea for help from the highest levels of American politics. Though this series deals with a lot of moral ambiguity, especially regarding sex and violence, nobody can say Ringo quails from dealing with it head on, and getting his characters to examine their values openly. As a result, it's and exciting techno-thriller you won't want to leave around where YA readers might pick it up. Much as they might like to.

(see review)

Destiny's Forge: A Man-Kzin wars Novel by Paul Chafe (Baen 04 July, 2006 / $25.00) - Book Description: For fifty thousand years the Kzinti Patriarchy thrived on battle fought for conquest. Against all odds the humans stopped them, and for five wars kept on stopping them. With its violent expansion checked internal strains have built up within the Patriarchy, and now they threaten to tear it apart. When the ambitious Kchula-Tzaatz makes a bid for ultimate power the established order comes tumbling down, and the flames of war burn hot in Destiny's Forge. Hammered on that Forge are; Major Quacy Tskombe, battle hardened warrior turned diplomat. His life is duty, his mission takes him to the Citadel of the Patriarch in a last ditch effort to avert war. When it all falls apart he's forced to choose between love and loyalty, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance. Captain Ayla Cherenkova, starship commander. As talented as she is beautiful, her hatred of the Kzinti has driven her to the top. Her space combat genius is unmatched, but when she's trapped alone in the jungles of Kzinhome her survival will depend on a whole new skillset. Pouncer, First-Son-of-Meerz-Rritt, heir apparent to the galaxy's most powerful empire. He's reduced to a nameless fugitive with the collapse of his father's dynasty. Survival demands escape, but honor demands vengeance, and the price of his Name will be paid in the blood of worlds.

Paul Chafe presents a masterpiece in the grand tradition of epic science fiction. No fan of Larry Niven's best-selling Known Space series can miss Destiny's Forge.

Freedom! by Martin Harry Greenberg (Baen 04 July, 2006 / $14.00) - Though it's a combination of two previous books, Give Me Liberty (2003), and Visions of Liberty (2004) it's a pretty good collection of stories about folks hard over for individual freedom. Some stories are old, and some are new, but the classics hold up well. Of course, obtaining freedom is only half the problem, and these stories carefully avoid the question of what to do with it. Which, for me is the real question. - Editor

Kicking the Sacred Cow: Heresy and Impermissible Thoughts in Science by James P. Hogan (Baen 04 July, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: Galileo may have been forced to deny that the Earth moves around the Sun; but in the end, science triumphed. Nowadays science fearlessly pursues truth, shining the pure light of reason on the mysteries of the universe. Or does it? As best-selling author James P. Hogan demonstrates in this fact-filled and thoroughly documented study, science has its own roster of hidebound pronouncements which are Not to be Questioned. And those who question them may face a modern-day Inquisition. Among the dogma-laden subjects he examines are Darwinism, global warming, the big bang, problems with relativity, radon and radiation, holes in the ozone layer, the cause of AIDS, and the controversy over Velikovsky. Hogan explains the basics of each controversy with his clear, informative style, in a book that will be fascinating for anyone with an interest in the frontiers of modern science.

Sunrise Alley by Catherine Asaro (Baen 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: When the shipwrecked stranger washed up, nearly drowned, on the beach near research scientist Samantha Bryton's home, she was unaware that he was something more than human: an experiment conducted by Charon, a notorious criminal and practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. The man said his name was Turner Pascal -- but Pascal was dead, killed in a car wreck. Charon is experimenting with copying the minds of humans into android brains, implanted in human bodies to escape detection, and plans to make his own army of slaves that will follow his orders without question. Samantha and Turner quickly found themselves on the run across the country, pursued by the most ruthless criminal of the twenty-first century. In desperation, Samatha decided to seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs and androids that had gone rogue. But these cybernetic outlaws were rumored to have their own hidden agenda, not necessarily congruent with humanity's welfare, and Samatha prayed that her only hope would not prove a forlorn one. . . . (see review)

The Rats, the Bats & the Ugly by Eric Flint (Baen 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: The intrepid team of mentally uplifted rats and bats, and their vat-born human leader had not only pulled off the only victory the beleaguered colony's feeble military forces had won against the invading aliens, but had also uncovered the secret that the invaders were really a feint, being under the control of the other aliens which the naive humans had thought were their allies. Unfortunately, that was the easy part, because now they had to convince their boneheaded military bureaucracy (burdened with incompetents and riddled with quisling humans) of their discovery, and keep from being court-martialed, drugged into submission, or executed by the human traitors. And they had to do this quickly, before the aliens launched their surprise attack. Fortunately, they had found a way around the alien's mental programming. What's more, the daring and resourceful Fluff, apparently the ineffectual pet of one of the colony's ruling class, was on their side. Only Fluff can save us now. . . .

Benbella Books

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers by Harry Harrison (Benbella Books 28 June, 2006 / $14.95) - Book Description: The wild, galaxy-hopping adventures of brash young scientists Jerry Courtenay and Chuck van Chider are at the core of this classic space opera. When the two college students develop a faster-than-light space drive in their homemade workshed, they decide to sneak it aboard their football team's airplane as a prank. The boyish plan backfires, however, and the boys find themselves, along with their crush Sally and the seemingly lovable school caretaker, Old John, hurtling through the solar system towards Titan—an icy moon of Saturn inhabited by hideous ice creatures. Titan and the 20th century are only square one as the foursome becomes embroiled in a vast, intergalactic, century-jumping battle.

The Battle for Azeroth: Adventure, Alliance, and Addiction in the World of Warcraft (Smart Pop series) by Bill Fawcett (Benbella Books 01 July, 2006 / $17.95) - Book Description: Aimed at dedicated fans of the role playing game World of Warcraft, this dynamic collection of essays explores the undying fascination with a game that is a welcome escape from reality for millions of people around the world. Gaming experts, developers, and bestselling sci-fi authors examine the overwhelming success of the game and the underlying motivations for gamers to spend, on average, as much time as they would at a part-time job battling in the world of Azeroth, and address issues ranging from economics and psychology to addiction and game ethics are addressed, as are the outstanding design of the game and the histories of several main characters.

Bethany House Publishers

Relentless (Dominion Trilogy) by Robin Parrish (Bethany House Publishers July, 2006 / $19.99) - Book Description: Grant Borrows' life has just taken a drastic left turn. There's another man in the world wearing his face and living his life. What's more, the man he sees in the mirror is a stranger.

Somehow, he's been Shifted -- his whole life fundamentally altered, in the space of a single breath. But the changes don't stop at skin-level. Inexplicably, he's able to affect objects around him by simply thinking about them. And as he soon learns, he's become the central figure in a vast web of intrigue that stretches from an underground global conspiracy to a prophecy dating back over seven thousand years, that tells of his coming. Enemies and allies find him at every turn, but one thing they all learn very quickly is that you don't want to push Grant Borrows too far...

Can destiny be undone? The players are ready. The game is in motion. And the pace is Relentless. In the allegorical tradition of Tolkien and Lewis comes a powerful new myth for a new generation.

Brazos Press

The Truth Is Out There: Christian Faith And the Classics of TV Science Fiction by Thomas Bertonneau (Brazos Press 30 June, 2006 / $18.99) - From publicity material: Rod Serling, meet St. Augustine. The Truth Is Out There examines the spiritual content of popular science fiction. How does Star Trek's Captain Kirk live by the Golden Rule? How does The Twilight Zone show the effects of original sin in our world? And how do the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse make an appearance in The X-Files? Theological questions of human origin, purpose, and identity have been raised in works of science fiction throughout its history. The Truth Is Out There explores these themes in six classic science fiction television series -- Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, Doctor Who, The Prisoner, and Babylon Five.

Circlet Press

Master Han's Daughter by Midori (Circlet Press 15 July 2006 / $9.95) - Book Description: In the sexual cyberpunk world of futuristic Tokyo, sex and desire are as sharp as a knife blade. Love and cruelty make a strange, sadomasochistic mix in these short stories by top professional dominatrix, Fetish Diva Midori. Professionally, she has honed her storytelling skills, her voice and her imagination to excite her clients and transport them to other worlds. Though some of the stories in this volume have been published in The Spectator and elsewhere, most are new. (Source: Circlet Press)

DAW

Hags, Sirens, and Other Bad Girls of Fantasy by Denise Little (DAW 05 July, 2006 / $7.99) - You've broken hearts; stolen boyfriends and souls; and have taken lives if not the will to live. You've ruined another mortal's life again. The audacity they have to call you a harpy, a hag, and a word that rhymes with witch (though you've been called a witch too). You're not a bad girl, you're just misunderstood. If only the world could see your side of the story...which is the premise for the entertaining anthology Hags, Sirens, & Other Bad Girls of Fantasy from editor Denise Little. The majority of these misunderstood women are culled from familiar Greek (Medusa being a popular example), Egyptian, and Norse myths to lesser known Native American myths. (see review)

The Blood Books, Volume I by Tanya Huff (DAW 05 July, 2006 / $7.99) - From back of book: Blood Price: Former Toronto homicide detective, now private investigator, Vicki Nelson witnessed the first attack by the force of dark magic that would soon wreak its reign of terror on Toronto. As death followed unspeakable death, Vicki became enmeshed in an investigation that would see her renew her stormy relations hip with her former police partner, Mike Celluci, even as she teamed up with writer Henry Fitzroy in a desperate attempt to track down the source of the attacks.

Blood Trail: For centuries they had coexisted with ordinary humans. But now death had invaded their London, Ontario farm. It was clear that someone had learned they were werewolves and was determined to destroy them. The only one they could turn to for help was vampire Henry Fitzroy. And forced to hide from the light of day, Henry called upon Vicki Nelson for assistance.

Del Rey

Dragon's Fire by Anne McCaffrey (Del Rey 11 July, 2006 / $24.95) - Anne McCaffrey and her son, Todd, return in their second collaboration with another Pern novel. This time, it's about the dangers of mining the precious firestone that the dragons need to flame thread. When the last remaining mine explodes a new source must be found...or the planet will face threadfall defenseless.

Dragon's Fire (Dragonriders of Pern, The) by Anne McCaffrey (Del Rey 11 July, 2006 / $24.95) - From publicity material: Mining firestone -- the mineral that allows the dragons of Pern to breathe fire -- is one of the most hazardous jobs on the planet and is usually done by the Shunned, people who have committed crimes against the community. When mine #9 explodes, killing the miners trapped there, young Cristov volunteers to take over. Will he survive the dangers of mining the explosive rock, or will the dragons' flame be forever extinguished, leaving Pern defenseless?

Settling Accounts The Grapple by Harry Turtledove (Del Rey 25 July, 2006 / $26.95) - In an alternate earth, the Confederacy was the victor in the War Between the States and history from that point on changed on the North American Continent and for the rest of the world. What was once the United States is now divided into the USA and the CSA (Confederate States of America). During the Great War, the US defeated the Confederates and occupied the nation until it was thought it was rendered harmless. Hatred for the US was the driving force of the Confederacy and the reason the Freedom Party led by Jake Featherston came into power. (see review)

The Blood Knight: Book Three of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone (Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone (Hardcover)) by Greg Keyes (Del Rey 11 July, 2006 / $25.95) - From publicity material: Deadly magic is spreading across the land. Anne Dare's father, the king of Crotheny, has been murdered, her mother has been taken captive, and the kingdom is ruled by a madman. Aided by her staunch allies - the loyal knight, the daring swordsman, the canny woodsman, and more - she will form an army, and confront the usurper.

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

Stealing Magic by Tanya Huff (EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing April, 2006 / $13.95) - Stealing Magic by Tanya Huff is now out in an enlarged addition which includes two new stories for a total of 11 published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishers.

Here's the link to SFRevu's May 2006 review of Stealing Magic by Asta Sinusas.

Eos

The Obsidian Key : Book Two of the Legend of Asahiel by Eldon Thompson (Eos 03 July, 2006 / $24.95) - Book Description: The Age of Man, so quickly heralded, is already under siege. Shaken by the catastrophic war with the Demon Queen Spithaera, Pentania wrestles with a new world of possibility and potential disaster: creatures of wonder and nightmare are returning. And humanity will never be the same.

In his epic battle with the Demon Queen, young Jarom became Torin, King of Alson. Now, with bitter foes on all sides, he must forge his kingdom from the ruins of an empire and begin anew. But it is too soon to forget the past entirely.

For in recklessly reclaiming the Crimson Sword of Asahiel, Torin reopened a dimensional realm no longer sealed by the power of the Obsidian Key. And now from history's darkest hour pour the terrifying Illysp, foul spirits who possess the bodies and enslave the souls of men.

As the enemy advances, Torin must undertake a dangerous voyage to reveal the secrets of an ancient lost people who once overcame these powerful marauders. But both enemies of old and the unknown have different plans for king and country, and even if Torin can return, it may already be too late.

Five Star

Imprint by Paul L. Bates (Five Star 02 July, 2006 / $13.95) - From back of book: Wyatt Weston lives in an era of no mass media, no private transportation, where police hover over the streets keeping order, where knowledge is limited to one's immediate surroundings, and the collective amnesia of the population....Wyatt pursues ways to bolster his memory. He encounters Victor Crist, who offers him a job and takes him to the Heartland, a dwelling place of those who rule the city. Wyatt's life becomes a complicated balancing act between a search for his missing girlfriend Jennie and his bizarre involvement with Victor and his family. Victor's grand plan to alter the current society comes to light, and an utterly transformed Wyatt stands upon the threshold of a new world order, far more bizarre than the old, with the past dissolving around him and only the limitless potential of the future beckoning.

Harper

How to Lose a Battle: Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders by Bill Fawcett (Harper 01 July 2006 / $13.95) - Book Description: A remarkable compendium of the worst military decisions and the men who made them

The annals of history are littered with horribly bad military leaders. These combat incompetents found amazing ways to ensure their army's defeat. Whether it was a lack of proper planning, miscalculation, ego, bad luck, or just plain stupidity, certain wartime stratagems should never have left the drawing board. Written with wit, intelligence, and eminent readability, How to Lose a Battle pays dubious homage to these momentous and bloody blunders, including:

  • Cannae, 216 B.C.: the bumbling Romans lose 80,000 troops to Hannibal's forces.
  • The Second Crusade: an entire Christian army is slaughtered when it stops for a drink of water.
  • The Battle of Britain: Hitler's dreaded Luftwaffe blows it big-time.
  • Pearl Harbor: more than one warning of the impending attack is there, but nobody listens.
How to Lose a Battle includes more than thirty-five chapters worth of astonishing (and avoidable) disasters, both infamous and obscure -- a treasure trove of trivia, history, and jaw-dropping facts about the most costly military missteps ever taken.

(see review)

HarperCollins

The Return of Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac (HarperCollins 25 July, 2006 / $15.99) - Here at SFRevu, we're getting more young adult books and finding that many of them are entertaining and attention grabbing even for us older readers. The Return of Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac was notable for its multi-cultural aspect as well as good story well-told with a spunky, intelligent, quick witted, protagonist. (see review)

I. B. Tauris

Reading Stargate SG-1 by Stan Beeler (I. B. Tauris 06 July, 2006 / $14.95) - Reading Stargate SG-1 is a collection of 12 essays loosely related to the subject of the television show Stargate SG-1. While most of the essays actually discuss matters related to the show, others seem to be more philosophical discussions of whatever it is the author is interested in, with characters, plots, and events from the show being twisted around to fit whatever hole they're suppose to in order to drive the point home. However, with that warning, most of the essays are extremely though provoking and engrossing. Some are fascinating enough to take over your mind if you're not careful. (see review)

Jove

Second Genesis by Jeffrey Anderson (Jove 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - Second Genesis, as the name implies, is about genetic engineering. Mix together a fertility doctor supplying samples and willing to implant genetically tweaked fertilized eggs, a genetic researcher in South America with funding and very little oversight, a desire to make the next generation of humans better, apes or transgenic apes who have been made "smarter", some industrial espionage, and you've got the all the makings of an action adventure that would give Michael Crichton a run for his technological thriller title. (see review)

Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Fetch: The Runestone Saga #1 by Chris Humphreys (Knopf Books for Young Readers 11 July, 2006 / $15.95) - It's the last day of school. Sky didn't sleep well, waking up screaming from a nightmare during which he sleepwalked. At school and late, he sees a boy who looks just like him -- even with the unfashionable elbow patches on his jacket. A short chase to his classroom and the student disappears. Sky is thoroughly confused as he just got there but classmates and the teacher seem to think he'd been in class all along but walked out just before Sky came in.

That's Sky's first experience with his fetch. A fetch is basically a body double or spirit double of a person. The Fetch by Chris Humphreys, on the other hand, is a book I strongly recommend for it's brilliant and correct use of runes as well as a tightly told tale with characters you can relate to and understand. The setting is Britain and Norway but the emotions, situations, and problems could have occurred anywhere. (see review)

Leatherneck publishing

Of Ice And Steel: A Cataclysmic International Conflict Across Space And Time. by D. Clayton Meadows (Leatherneck publishing 30 July 2006 / $19.95) - From back of book: Of Ice and Steel is a novel in which Meadows gives a nerve-wracking pictue of how th emen and machines would react to a mysterious threat that the major undersea powers fear, and cannot understand. Using an intriguing science fiction idea, Meadows puts a WWII German U-Boat with the exotic cargo into suspended animation in the Arctic ice. Waking from that suspension, the ship's captain drives his crew to complete the mission they started sixty years before, completly unaware of changes in the world...and deadly to the ships of "hostile" nations. The result is a frighteningly realistic yarn of how skilled submarine warriors of different times an dnations figure out what's happening, and deal with it without destroying the world. (Source: Leatherneck publishing)

Luna

Bring It On (Retrievers, Book 3) by Laura Anne Gilman (Luna 01 July 2006 / $14.95) - Book Description: Nobody said juggling a career and a relationship would be easy... Wren Valere used to have a simple life. Her partner Sergei would negotiate the terms of the Retrieval -- all right, the theft -- and she would use her magical Talent to carry it out. Paycheck deposited, on to the next job.

Now? Her relationship with Sergei is even more complicated (sex will do that). Her fellow lonejacks are trying to organize against the Mage's Council. The nonhuman population of Manhattan is getting fed up with being ignored and abused. And the Council? Well, they have an agenda of their own, and it's not one the lonejacks are going to like.

And Sergei is far too involved with the Silence, his former employers, for Wren's liking.

When it comes down to choosing sides, the first rule of the lonejack credo is "Don't get involved." But when friends are in danger, and the city you love is at risk, sometimes getting into the thick of things is all you can do. (see review)

Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.

Strange Robby by Selina Rosen (Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. 25 July, 2006 / $25.95) - Although the book is named for Strange Robby, the main character is really Spider Webb, a burned-out police detective responsible for locating a serial killer. Along with her equally burned-out partner Tommy Chan, she cheers on "The Fry Guy". Named by the local media, the Fry Guy seemingly fries the brains of a variety of pimps, molesters and abusers of various stripes, and other even worse bad men, none of whom has she or the local judiciary been able to legitimately put or keep behind bars. Thrilled that the Fry Guy is doing what she as a member of the police force can not, and with little useful evidence or witnesses to follow up on, Spider and her partner soldier on. (see review)

Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing

Cryptozoo Crew: Call of the Thunderbird! by Allan Gross (Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing July, 2006 / $12.95) - Cryptozoo Crew is the second in a series of graphic novels featuring Tork Darwyn, the world's leading Cryptozoologist and his wife Tara. Ever since Tork was young, he's been dedicated to finding and documenting unknown or hidden animals. The more respectable finds in the field concern creatures like the coelacanth which, while generally believed to be extinct, was in fact rediscovered alive and well off the coast of Madagascar. Then there are the more famous, though less scientifically respectable ones like Bigfoot and Nessie. It's these creatures that Tork has focused his life on. He has no problem debunking the uncountable fauds and spending years chasing down thousands of false leads. Because he knows that when he discovers one of these creatures, it will shake the very foundations of science. And he's sure that they exist because when he was a young teenager, he was abducted by Thunderbird, a mythical beast found in the legends of the some of the native American tribes. Only this one was no myth and young Tork barely escaped with his life. (see review)

Night Shade Books

Snake Moon by Ray Manzarek (Night Shade Books 15 April, 2006 / $23.95) - The Snake Moon portends evil in this Civil War fable by the former keyboardist of the Doors. Set in southeastern Tennessee in 1863, the story takes farmer and pottery maker, Boone Dillard, and his extended family out of their isolated farm paradise into the cruelties and dreams of the outside world. (see review)

The Chains That You Refuse by Elizabeth Bear (Night Shade Books 15 May, 2006 / $14.95) - Elizabeth Bear has been making quite a name for herself lately. This collection of short stories is her fifth book in just two years. While it is from the small press, the major publishers are not doing many single author collections these days, especially not for a brand new author. The strongest points in this collection are the images and writing style, more than the plotting or action. Not every story is a winner, but a very high percentage are. (see review)

Pyr

Infoquake: The Jump 225 Trilogy by David Louis Edelman (Pyr 05 July, 2006 / $15.00) - "How far should you go to make a profit? Infoquake, the debut novel by David Louis Edelman, takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. It's a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches." -- from publicity material. (see review)

Roc

Code Noir by Marianne de Pierres (Roc 05 July, 2006 / $6.99) - From back of book: The Tert war is over, and bodyguard Parrish Plessis has gotten a piece of the toxic pie--and the responsibilities that go along with it. To pay off a blood debt to the Cabal Coomera tribe, she must enter the heart of tekno-darkness--the slum town of Dis--to find their missing shamans and to kill her ex-lover Daac. But Parrish still has feelings for Daac--feelings that run as deep as the high-tech parasite he infected her with. Bad blood never boiled like this...

Shadowrun #5: Aftershock by Jean Rabe (Roc 05 July, 2006 / $6.99) - Book Description: The troll known as Hood and his fellow Shadowrunners steal some biotechnological agriculture from the Plantech Corporation-only to find themselves framed for murder and tied to an even greater conspiracy.

Spectra

Freedom's Sisters by Naomi Kritzer (Spectra 25 July, 2006 / $6.99) - Book Description: With a magical gift for bringing sorcery to vivid life, acclaimed author Naomi Kritzer continues the suspenseful tale of Lauria and Tamar, sisters-in-arms bonded by blood–and torn apart by their enemies....Freedom's Sisters

As a freeborn servant of the Greeks, Lauria once hunted escaped slaves. But as her loyalties shifted, she found herself freeing those she once captured–and loving those she once mistrusted–like Tamar, of the bandit Alashi tribe. Tamar is now Lauria's blood-sister. But the powerful Greek sorceresses, the Sisterhood of Weavers, do not take treason lightly…especially when the traitor has liberated the djinni who serve them.

Soon Lauria is imprisoned. Desperate, Tamar pleads her case to the Alashi, who send her to sow discord among the Sisterhood. As Tamar searches for Lauria both in reality and in the dreamlike realm known as the borderland, Lauria must trust the magic within to fulfill a wish both desired and feared: freedom for all....

Idolon by Mark Budz (Spectra 25 July, 2006 / $6.99) - Book Description: In a world where image is everything, where the past is more real than the present, the rich can reprogram everything–and cast themselves in the starring roles. Everyone else is nothing but an extra....

As part of the supporting cast, Pelayo survives as a test subject for the latest electronic skin and philm technology, which brings past trends and famous people to vivid life on his body. His cousin Marta works at a cinematique offering cheap skincense, image grafts, and nanimatronics. That’s where she meets Nadice, an indentured worker smuggling illegal ware to escape an exclusive resort specializing in kitschy environs. But Nadice is hiding something far more contraband: a forbidden pregnancy she can’t explain but is determined to protect. When Marta tries to help, both women disappear.

While Pelayo searches for his cousin, homicide detective Kasuo van Dijk investigates a mysterious death that may involve a new kind of e-skin–mass-mediated ware that will lead him to Marta, Nadice, her employer–and a diabolical plan to deliver humanity kicking and screaming into a frightening new age of information....

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner (Spectra 25 July, 2006 / $14.00) - Only someone as crazy as Mad Duke of Tremontaine, David Alexander "Alec" Tielman Campion would send for Katherine, a niece he's never met and showed no previous interest in meeting. Katherine's mother who has not seen her sibling Davey in two decades wonders what he wants though the missive says he will turn Katherine into an expert swordswoman. However, the bribe is simple and enticing; he will stop the lawsuits that have placed Katherine and her family in financial trouble. Mother is against sending her daughter because she knows her sibling remains irresponsible, dangerously sneaky and his word is meaningless. She also knows he behaved for awhile when her spouse died when Katherine was eleven. However, her daughter is curious to meet her Uncle the Mad Duke and have a season attending balls and other galas in the big city of Riverside while her sons suggest making it legal so Uncle Dave can not renege on his deal. (see review)

Star Trek

Burning Dreams (Star Trek) by Margaret Wander Bonanno (Star Trek 25 July, 2006 / $7.99) - Book Description: Before James T. Kirk, another captain stood on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise™, spearheading its mission of exploration into the uncharted reaches of the galaxy. He was a man driven to perfection, a brooding soul whose haunted eyes reflected the burden of the impossible standards he set for himself, and for whom his longtime science officer, Spock, one day would risk everything. Yet, little is truly known about the enigmatic Christopher Pike, the events that defined him...or the secrets that consumed him.

From the embers of his early childhood among Earth's blossoming interstellar colonies, to the terrifying conflagration that led him back to the world of his birth; from the mentor who would ignite young Chris's desire to return to the stars, to the career he blazed in Starfleet that would end in supreme sacrifice -- the path of Pike's astonishing life leads through fire again and again. But even amid the ashes of Talos IV, the forbidden world on which he would live out the remainder of his days, the dreams smoldering still within his aging, radiation-ravaged breast fan the flames of Pike's spirit to accomplish one final task....

Strangers From the Sky (Star Trek) by Margaret Wander Bonanno (Star Trek 25 July, 2006 / $4.99) - Book Description: In the twenty-first century: Years before the formal first contact that would be recorded in Earth's history, a Vulcan space vessel crash-lands in the South Pacific, forcing humanity to decide whether to offer the hand of friendship, or the fist of war. Complicating matters is a second visitation: a group of people from two hundred years in the future, who serve on a starship called Enterprise....

In the twenty-third century: A new novel called Strangers from the Sky reveals the truth about this heretofore unknown first contact. Reading the novel leads to nightmares that torment Admiral James T. Kirk -- dreams of his dead comrades, Gary Mitchell, Lee Kelso, and Elizabeth Dehner, from his earliest days aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise™; visions of a forgotten past in which he somehow changed the course of history and destroyed the Federation before it began.

Starscape

Troll Bridge: A Rock'n' Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen (Starscape 25 July, 2006 / $16.95) - Book Description: For sixteen-year-old harpist prodigy Moira, the annual Dairy Princess event in Vanderby is just another lame publicity op. Twelve girls have been selected to have their likenesses carved in butter and displayed on the Trollholm Bridge. Its a Vanderby State Fair tradition that has been going on for, like, ever. As far as Moira is concerned, the sooner its over with the buttererbetter. About the same time and not far away, three brothersmembers of the sensationally popular teen boy band The Griffsonsare in the middle of a much-needed road trip to relax from the pressures of their latest tour. In a flash, the kids are suddenly transported to a strange and mystical wilderness where they are caught in the middle of a deadly tug-of-war struggle between a magical fox named Fossegrim and the monstrous troll Aenmarr of Austraegir. At the heart of the feud is a battle for possession of a mysterious magical fiddleand an ancient compact between Trollholm and the outer world. Unfortunately for Moira and the Griffsons, nothing in Trollholm is as it seems. Finding a way out of Trollholm may be a lot more difficult than they think.

Suddenly Press

Best of the Rest 4 by Brian Youmans (Ed.) (Suddenly Press July 2006 / $12.00) - The Best of the Rest 4 edited by Brain Youmans is subtitled: The Best Unknown Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2005. This anthology is a showcase of short stories published in small press duriing the previous year. There are some some familiar names and some not so familiar but the stories are carefully chosen to give you some writers to watch for no matter where they publish. (see review)

Tachyon Publications

The Line Between by Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon Publications 01 July, 2006 / $14.95) - Peter S. Beagle is one of those writers who construct a story that fits together so well, the characters, the setting, the words used, that when reading you often forget you're in a story until you reach the end and find yourself back in your comfy chair with a cold cuppa at your side. The Line Between is a collection of short stories including the Hugo Award nominee "Two Hearts". The stories of The Line Between are meant to examine that moment when a writer takes us from reality to fantasy before we've even noticed the border's existence. It's a wonderful collection of and well worth reading. (see review)

Tor

Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Tor 25 July, 2006 / $27.95) - Book Description: For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the Sliver of Infinity, reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Rulers most hellish prison. Kelsier snapped and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark. Kels plan looks like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, shes a half-Skaa orphan, but shes lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed. (see review)

Tor Books

Grease Monkey by Tim Eldred (Tor Books 30 May, 2006 / $27.95) -

Phantom: Chainfire Trilogy, Part 2 (Sword of Truth, Book 10) by Terry Goodkind (Tor Books 18 July, 2006 / $29.95) - Book Description: On the day she awoke remembering nothing but her name, Kahlan Amnell became the most dangerous woman alive. For everyone else, that was the day that the world began to end. As her husband, Richard, desperately searches for his beloved, whom only he remembers, he knows that if she doesnt soon discover who she really is, she will unwittingly become the instrument that will unleash annihilation. But Kahlan learns that if she ever were to unlock the truth of her lost identity, then evil itself would finally possess her, body and soul. If she is to survive in a murky world of deception and betrayal, where life is not only cheap but fleeting, Kahlan must find out why she is such a central figure in the war-torn world swirling around her. What she uncovers are secrets darker than she could ever have imagined. Pulsing with intensity, rich with long-awaited revelation, Phantom is the book that hundreds of thousands of Terry Goodkind readers have been waiting for.

The Space Opera Renaissance by David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer (Editors) (Tor Books 11 July 2006 / $39.95) - Book Description: Space opera, once a derisive term for cheap pulp adventure, has come to mean something else in modern SF: compelling adventure stories told against a broad canvas, and written to the highest level of skill. Indeed, it can be argued that the new space opera is one of the defining streams of modern SF. Now, World Fantasy Award winning anthologists David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer have compiled a definitive overview of this subgenre, both as it was in the days of the pulp magazines, and as it has become in 2005. Included are major works from genre progenitors like Jack Williamson and Leigh Brackett, stylish midcentury voices like Cordwainer Smith and Samuel R. Delany, popular favorites like David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Ursula K. Le Guin, and modern-day pioneers such as Iain M. Banks, Steven Baxter, Scott Westerfeld, and Charles Stross. (Source: Tor Books)

The Tourmaline by Paul Park (Tor Books 11 July, 2006 / $24.95) - Book Description: The sequel to Parks stunning fantasy debut, A Princess of Roumania. Teenager Miranda Popescu is at the fulcrum of a deadly political and diplomatic battle between conjurers in an alternate fantasy world where Roumania is a leading European power. Miranda was hidden by her aunt in our world. An American couple adopted and raised her in their quiet Massachusetts college town, but she had been translated by magic back to her own world, and is at large, five years in the future. The mad Baroness Ceaucescu in Bucharest, and the sinister alchemist, the Elector of Ratisbon, who holds her true mother prisoner in Germany, are her enemies. This is the story of how Mirandaseparated from her two best friends, Peter and Andromeda, who have been left behind in the forests of an alternate Americabegins to grow into her own personality. And how Peter and Andromeda are shockingly changed in the process of making their way to Roumania to find Miranda again at the end of this book. The exciting second volume of this brand new fantasy series, The Tourmaline is not to be missed.

Warner Books

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn (Warner Books 01 July, 2006 / $6.99) - From back of book: The country's only celebrity werewolf, late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard, not seen. But when she's invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, her face gets plastered on national TV. Kitty's been in hot water before, but jumping into the D.C. underworld brings a new set of problems. And a new set of friends and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an über-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a paranoid, Bible-thumping senator who wants to expose Kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone's itching for a fight. (see review)

Warner Independent Pictures

A Scanner Darkly by Richard Linklater (Dir.) (Warner Independent Pictures July 28, 2006 / ) - Stoner auteur Richard "Dazed and Confused" Linklater finally comes of aesthetic age, and knocks one out of the park: this hugely entertaining straight adaptation of the cult novel by Philip K. Dick presents a sweeping, definitive picture of contemporary drug culture. (see review)

Wizards of the Coast

Blackstaff (Forgotten Realms: The Wizards) by Steven E. Schend (Wizards of the Coast 11 July, 2006 / $6.99) - Book Description: Khelben Arunsun, Chosen of Mystra, Archmage of Waterdeep, is as close to a demigod as you're likely to meet on the streets of Faerûn's mightiest city. But when the skies rain lightning and a long-forgotten city arises from the earth, he can seem like just another wizard.

Bloodwalk: The Wizards (The Wizards) by James P. Davis (Wizards of the Coast 11 July, 2006 / $6.99) - From back of Book: Morgynn seethed for years under the yoke of ignorance her mother enforced. Then death came for Morgynn, and after embracing it, she was reborn with frightening powers.

When a wandering ghostwalker and a seer's hubris provide the perfect opening to expand her dominion, she seizes the opportunity. But the ghostwalker is proving more trouble than she had bargained for...

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