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US Books Received- 12/2008  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

Airs of Night and Sea by Toby Bishop (Ace 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: Driven by insane jealousy, Duke William is determined to found his own flying school, where the valuable flying horses of Oc will learn to bond with well-born young men—instead of arrogant women. Now, Larkyn Hamley and her beloved Black Seraph must gather all of their allies from the air to the ground. For if they do not soar now, none will ever see the skies again. (Source: Ace)

The Knights of the Cornerstone by James P. Blaylock (Ace 02 December 2008 / $23.95) - Product Description: Calvin Bryson has hidden himself away from the world, losing himself in his work and his collection of rare and quirky books. He never meant to let so much time go by without visiting his aunt and uncle in the tiny town of New Cyprus, California. When he gets there, he'll discover the town's strange secrets and a mysterious group dedicated to preserving and protecting holy relics—a modernday incarnation of the legendary Knights Templar… (see review)

Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy by (Ace 02 December 2008 / $14.00) - Product Description: All-new from the top names in mystery and fantasy— including a never-before published Sookie Stackhouse story from Charlaine Harris! This follow-up to Powers of Detection showcases bestselling and award-winning names from Simon Green to Laurie King to Sharon Shinn—with original stories featuring otherworldly investigators trailing uncanny criminals across fantastical realms. From video game characters seeking civil rights and a cave dragon loan shark pondering an investment, to Santa Claus's Australian vacation and an enemy of Sam Spade's out for revenge—plus visits to the Nightside and Sookie Stackhouse's hometown— these stories will take readers around the world on a magical mystery tour. (see review)

Baen

1635: The Dreeson Incident (The Ring of Fire) by Eric Flint (Baen 02 December 2008 / $26.00) - Product Description: The Thirty Years War continues to ravage 17th century Europe, but a new force is gathering power and influence: the Confederated Principalities of Europe, an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians from the 20th century led by Mike Stearns who were hurled centuries into the past by a mysterious cosmic accident.

While the old entrenched rulers and manipulators continue to plot against this new upstart nation, everyday life goes on in Grantville, the town lost in time, with librarians, firefighters, and garbage collectors trying to make do under unusual circumstances. And what better place for an undercover spy from France than working with the garbage collectors, examining 20th century machines that others throw out and copying the technology (though he wishes one device—the paper shredder—had been left behind in the future).

There are more sinister agents at work, however. One of them, Ducos, almost succeeded in assassinating the Pope, but his plan was ruined by quick action by a few Americans. Now, the would-be assassin not only has a score to settle, but has also decided on two excellent targets: Grantville's leader Mike Stearns and his wife Rebecca. . . . (see review)

A Desert Called Peace by Tom Kratman (Baen 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: Five hundred years from now, humankind has found a link to a remarkably Earth-like planet and settled there, dividing Ėas humans will -- into dozens of nation-states. The Federated States of Columbia has consolidated power and risen against the oppression of Earth's corrupt Caliphate. But when Salafi madmen bent on a new jihad kill FSC Captain Patrick Hennessey's family in a cowardly attack, they create an enemy that will show even less mercy than they do.

A legendary warrior is born:  Carrera, the scourge of Salafism. He will forge an army from the decrepit remains of a military in a failing state.  He will find those who killed his family. He will destroy them utterly. And he will try like hell to not become exactly like the enemy he is fighting.

Only when he is finished will there be peace: the peace of an empty wind as it blows across a desert strewn with the bones of Carrera's enemies. (Source: Baen)

Lucy's Blade by John Lambshead (Baen 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth's Secretary of State, was the greatest spymaster the world had ever seen. But when he asked Dr. Dee to summon a demon the result was unexpected, especially for his orphaned niece Lucy. Sir Francis' duty as her guardian was to find Lucy a suitably aristocratic husband, not to let her fight demons and witchcraft for the Queen's Secret Service. But his—and Lucy's—duty to protect Queen and country from enemies both natural and supernatural kept getting in the way. And so did all those demons . . . [Read Harriet Klausner's review from our May 2007 issue.] (Source: Baen)

Russian Amerika by Stoney Compton (Baen 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: Alaska, 1989. In a world where Alaska is still a Russian possession, charter captain Grigorivich Plesnett has a stained past – as a major in the Czar's Troika Guard he was cashiered for disobeying a direct order. Now, ten years later, Grig charters out to a cossack and discovers his past has not only caught up with him but is about to violently change his future, and the future of all nine of the nations of North America as well. Spanning Alaska from the Southeastern Inside Passage to the frozen Yukon, this is an epic tale of one man's journey of redemption and courage to face old challenges and help birth a new nation. [Read Todd Baker's review from our April 2007 issue.] (Source: Baen)

The Vorkosigan Companion by (Baen 02 December 2008 / $24.00) - Product Description: Lois McMaster Bujold's best-selling Vorkosigan series is a publishing phenomenon, winning record-breaking sales, critical praise, four Hugo Awards and a Nebula award. And the thousands of devotees of the series now have a book that will be a goldmine of information, background details, and little-known facts about the Vorkosigan saga. Included are an all-new interview with Bujold as well as essays by her on crafting the Vorkosigan universe, articles on the biology, technology and sociology of the planet Barrayar, appreciations of the individual novels by experts, maps, a complete timeline of the series, and more. Readers can't get enough of the Vorkosigan series and they'll jump at the chance to read this story behind the stories. Baen has a new novel in the Vorkosigan series under contract. ¬† (Source: Baen)

War Games (Complete Christopher Anvil) by Christopher Anvil (Baen 02 December 2008 / $22.00) - Product Description: War is a serious businessóor is it? Christopher Anvil turns his sardonic sense of humor loose on the subject and considers what might happen if:

  • Someone devised a computer war game so realistic and addictive that the people in charge of battle on both sides didn't have the time or inclination to start a real war.
  • Another device gave every homeowner the power to block off his property from any incursion, even by nuclear weapons.
  • A secret organization pulls the plug on an impending war by causing the commanders on both sides to be unable even to think of any of the words they need to order their forces into action.
And, in a full-length novel, The Steel, the Mist and the Blazing Sun, the devastation after World War III has not put an end to warónot as long as men survive who still want to conquer and dominate; nor as long as others will fight, not just to survive, but to defend freedom.

The many faces of war, examined by a master of science fiction adventure with a wryly humorous twist. (Source: Baen)

Bantam

Bone Song by John Meaney (Bantam 30 December 2008 / $6.99) - Product Description: In this darkly luminous thriller, John Meaney blends gritty futuristic noir with gothic fantasy to create a stunningly seductive world of death and desire. Here an honest cop must face his own darkest impulses as he hunts a perverse killer through a city of the dead.

There have been four celebrity murders already. Now it's up to Lieutenant Donal Riordan to make sure that Tristopolis isn't the scene of a fifth. But the necropolis's vast underground network is already mobilizing for a battle of epic proportions against a powerful death cult whose dark influence reaches up to the highest echelons of Tristopolis's elite. Riordan's only hope is an unlikely alliance with a para-live female agent as they hunt—both aboveground and below—among gargoyles and zombies, spirit slaves and assassins, for the killers even the dead have reason to fear.

Read Gayle Surrette's review from our February 2008 issue. (Source: Bantam)

Nova Swing by M. John Harrison (Bantam 30 December 2008 / $6.99) - Product Description: Set in the unique world first featured in the award-winning Light, here is a story of love, murder, and intergalactic noir on the razor's edge of the imagination, as envisioned by the incomparable M. John Harrison.

Not far from Moneytown, in a neighborhood of underground clubs, body-modification chop shops, adolescent contract killers, and sexy streetwalking Monas, you'll find the Saudade Event Site: a zone of strange geography, twisted physics, and frightening psychic onslaughts. Vic Serotonin is an illegal "travel agent" into and out of Saudade. His latest client is a woman as unpredictable as the site itself—and maybe as dangerous. She wants a tour inside Saudade just as a troubling new class of biological artifacts have started leaving—living algorithms that are transforming the "real" world in unsettling ways. Pursued by a detective intent on collaring him for his illegal tours, and hunted by a gangster convinced that the travel agent has infected him with a rogue artifact, Vic must make one final trip as the universe around him rapidly veers toward viral chaos.

Read Andrea Johnson review from our October 2007 issue. (Source: Bantam)

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters, Volume One by Gordon Dahlquist (Bantam 30 December 2008 / $12.00) - Product Description:
Here begins an extraordinary alliance—and a brutal and tender, shocking, and electrifying adventure to end all adventures.

It starts with a simple note. Roger Bascombe regretfully wishes to inform Celeste Temple that their engagement is forthwith terminated. Determined to find out why, Miss Temple takes the first step in a journey that will propel her into a dizzyingly seductive, utterly shocking world beyond her imagining—and set her on a collision course with a killer and a spy—in a bodice-ripping, action-packed roller-coaster ride of suspense, betrayal, and richly fevered dreams. (see review)

The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak (Bantam 02 December 2008 / $12.00) - Product Description: In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.

On a train filled with quietly sleeping passengers, a young man's life is forever altered when he is miraculously seen by a blind man. In a quiet town an American teacher who has lost her Japanese lover to death begins to lose her own self. On a remote road amid fallow rice fields, four young friends carefully take their own lives—and in that moment they become almost as one. In a small village a disaffected American teenager stranded in a strange land discovers compassion after an encounter with an enigmatic red fox, and in Tokyo a girl named Love learns the deepest lessons about its true meaning from a coma patient lost in dreams of an affair gone wrong.

From the neon colors of Tokyo, with its game centers and karaoke bars, to the bamboo groves and hidden shrines of the countryside, these souls and others mingle, revealing a profound tale of connection—uncovering the love we share without knowing.

Exquisitely perceptive and deeply affecting, Barzak's artful storytelling deftly illuminates the inner lives of those attempting to find—or lose—themselves in an often incomprehensible world. (Source: Bantam)

DAW

Catopolis by (DAW 02 December 2008 / $7.99) - From back of book: Anyone who has ever lived with cats knows that they have their own lives, activities, and relationships that are quite separate and different from the ones they share with humans.

Catopolis explores the secret worlds of cats in seven teen intriguing stories that range from that of a feline Seer who must take destiny into her own paws to defeat a dictatorial tomcat thug...to a black cat who can call upon the powers of the "big cats" to wage a war against evil...to a cat who would be king...to the ins and outs of cat politics and the perils of using mice as ballots...to a ct burglar looking for a musical treasure for his "boss."

From Guardians of both their own society and ours to mentors, detectives, demon fighters, guides, oracles, and more, here are an assortment of cats that many a human would be delighted to know. (see review)

Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar by (DAW 02 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: Sixteen original stories—set in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar universe. Includes a new novella by Mercedes Lackey!

Today's hottest fantasy authors visit Mercedes Lackey's bestselling world of Valdemar, adding their own special touches to the ancient land where Heralds "Chosen" from all walks of life by magical horse-like Companions patrol their ancient kingdom, dispensing justice, facing adversaries, and protecting their monarch from whatever threatens. Travel with Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, Judith Tarr, Rosemary Edghill, and others in these exciting, all-new stories. (Source: DAW)

The Flaxen Femme Fatale by John Zakour (DAW 02 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description: The last freelance P.I. on earth, Zach Johnson has been hired to track down a young beauty who happens to be a deadly secret weapon for the World Council. Figuring girls just want to have fun, he follows Natasha to various vacation destinations, but she eludes him, leaving a trail of destruction in her wake.

Zach, however, isn't surprised to discover that things aren't what they seem, and to save the world, he's going to have to find a way to team up with the woman he's supposed to destroy... (see review)

Del Rey

Getting to Know You: Stories by David Marusek (Del Rey 30 December 2008 / $15.00) - From publicity material: In this collection of ten stories, Marusek's fierce imagination and dazzling extrapolative gifts are on full display. Five of the stories, including the Sturgeon Award-winning "The Wedding Album", are set in the same future as Counting Heads. But all ten showcase Marusek's talent for literate, provocative science fiction of the very highest order. (Source: Del Rey)

Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover (Del Rey 30 December 2008 / $27.00) - Product Description: Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are dead. The Empire has been toppled by the triumphant Rebel Alliance, and the New Republic is ascendant. But the struggle against the dark side and the Sith Order is not over. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and their faithful comrades have had little time to savor victory before being called on to defend the newly liberated galaxy.

Powerful remnants of the vanquished Empire, hungry for retaliation, are still at large, committing acts of piracy, terrorism, and wholesale slaughter against the worlds of the fledgling New Republic. The most deadly of these, a ruthless legion of black-armored Stormtroopers, do the brutal bidding of the newly risen warlord Shadowspawn. Striking from a strategically advantageous base on the planet Mindor, they are waging a campaign of plunder and destruction, demolishing order and security across the galaxy–and breeding fears of an Imperial resurgence. Another reign of darkness beneath the boot-heel of Sith despotism is something General Luke Skywalker cannot, and will not, risk.

Mobilizing the ace fighters of Rogue Squadron–along with the trusty Chewbacca, See-Threepio, and Artoo-Detoo–Luke, Han, and Leia set out to take the battle to the enemy and neutralize the threat before it's too late. But their imminent attack on Mindor will be playing directly into the hands of their cunning new adversary. Lord Shadowspawn is no freshly anointed Sith Chieftain but in fact a vicious former Imperial Intelligence officer–and Prophet of the Dark Side. The Emperor's death has paved the way for Shadowspawn's return from exile in the Outer Rim, and mastery of ancient Sith knowledge and modern technology has given him the capability to mount the ultimate power play for galaxy wide dominion. Dark prophecy has foretold that only one obstacle stands in his way, and he is ready–even eager–for the confrontation.

All the classic heroes, all the explosive action and adventure, all the unparalleled excitement of Star Wars come breathlessly alive as the adventures of Luke Skywalker continue. (Source: Del Rey)

Starfist: Wings of Hell by David Sherman & Dan Cragg (Del Rey 30 December 2008 / $23.00) - From publicity material: It's the twenty-fifth century, and humans have settled across the galaxy. But after centuries of peaceful exploration, intelligent aliens bent on destroying humanity are launching an attack of unprecedented scope. Armed with Force Recon's hard-won knowledge of the alien base, the 34th FIST must infiltrate and destroy the menace. Even as their mission grows more dangerous, a poisonous threat is brewing back home: it's election time, and if the standing president convinces the Confederation that the alien threat is real, then all of humanity may be in grave danger. (Source: Del Rey)

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia by Stephen J. Sansweet (Del Rey 09 December 2008 / $125.00) - Product Description: THE DEFINITIVE REFERENCE GUIDE TO A SPACE FANTASY PHENOMENON
The Star Wars universe, much like our own, is constantly expanding. In the ten years since the publication of the Star Wars Encyclopedia, a lot has happened in that galaxy far, far away: four new feature films, a host of official original novels, comics, video games, and more. Now, thirty years of information on all things Star Wars–ranging from science and technology to history and geography, culture and biography to ecology and cosmology–has been supplemented with an entire decade's worth of all-new material. Abundantly illustrated with full-color artwork and photos, and now in a new three-volume edition to accommodate its wealth of detailed entries, the Star Wars Encyclopedia encompasses the full measure of George Lucas's creation.

Here's just a sampling of what's inside:

    • character portraits of both the renowned (Luke Skywalker, Queen Amidala, Darth Vader) and the obscure (Tnun Bdu, Tycho Celchu, Bib Fortuna)
    • the natives and customs of planets as diverse as Tatooine and Hoth, Dagobah and Kashyyyk
    • the rituals, secrets, and traditions of Jedi Knights and Sith Lords
    • a timeline of major events in Star Wars history, from the Clone Wars and the inception of the Empire to the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker and the invasion of the monstrous Yuuzhan Vong
Scrupulously researched and written by leading authorities Stephen J. Sansweet, Pablo Hidalgo, Bob Vitas, and Daniel Wallace, this landmark work is the must-have centerpiece of every Star Wars library. (Source: Del Rey)

The Vampire Agent by Patricia Rosemoor & Marc Paoletti (Del Rey 30 December 2008 / $6.99) - Product Description: On the sultry streets of New Orleans, Captain Scott Boulder and Leah Maguire are about to begin a deadly mission. The traumatized, genetically altered subjects of a Department of Defense experiment gone wrong have escaped, among them Rachel Ackart, a beautiful, seductive, and powerful woman–who is now under the dangerous influence of Andre Espinoza de Madrid, a vampire of incomparable evil and power.

While Predator drones circle above New Orleans, and the sound of Black Hawk helicopters rends the air, Scott and Leah must fight their growing attraction to each other as they pursue their quarry amid the haunted and the damned. But Rachel is one step ahead of them. Andre's vampire agent will soon unleash the greatest terror of all. (see review)

Wild Space (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) by Karen Miller (Del Rey 09 December 2008 / $15.00) - From back of book: The Clone Wars have exploded across the galaxy as Republic forces and Separatists struggle to gain the upper hand. But while the Jedi generals work tirelessly to defeat Count Dooku and his rebels, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is hatching his own dark plans.

The Separatists ahve launched a sneak attack on Coruscant. Obi-Wan Kenobi, wounded in battle, insists that Anakin Skywalker and his rookie Padawan Ahsoka leave on a risky mission against General Grievous. But when Senator Bail Organa reveals explosive intelligence that could turn the tide of the war in the Republic's favor, the Jedi Master agrees to accompany him to an obscure planet on the Outer Rim to verify the facts. What Obi-Wan and Bail don't realize iit that they're walking into a deadly trap concocted by Palpatine...and that escape may not be an option. (Source: Del Rey)

Eos

Queen of Oblivion (The Heartstone Trilogy) by Giles Carwyn (Eos 01 December 2008 / $25.95) - From back of book: In this long-awaited final volume, Shara returns to Ohndarien to find her beloved people enslaved and weeping black tears. Unable to stem the evil, she flees across the ocean in pursuit of Brophy and the ruthless sorceress he must teach how to love.

Brophy journeys to the Opal Empire, trying to turn Arefaine away from her long-held hatred and destructive plans. Filled with desire, the young sorceress offers herself to Brophy. When he refuses her advances, the spurned sorceress corrupts him and embarks on a quest to release the secrets locked within the towers of Efften.

On the backs of the Imperial and Summer fleets, Aefaine returns to Efften's forbidden shores to reclaim her birthright. Brophy and Shara race to stop her, and they all head toward the confrontation that will reveal the truth about Arefaine's past and force her to make a choice that could doom their world. (Source: Eos)

The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, Book 6) by Kim Harrison (Eos 01 December 2008 / $7.99) - Product Description:

When you dance with demons, you lay your soul on the line . . .

In the Hollows, where the natural and the supernatural co-existónot always peacefullyódesperate times often call for unorthodox measures. But bounty hunter-witch Rachel Morgan did the absolutely unthinkable to save the lives of her friends: she willingly trafficked in forbidden demon magic. And now her sins have come home to haunt her.

As Rachel hunts for the truth behind a terrifying murder, the discovery of a shocking family secret is about to throw her entire life into question. And the long-lost ancient knowledge she seeks resides in the demonic ever-after.

But there are some lines that should never be crossedólike the one Rachel Morgan's stepping over . . . again!

(see review)

HarperCollins

Warriors: Power of Three #5: Long Shadows by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins 01 December 2008 / $16.99) - Product Description: The Clans are in turmoil. ShadowClan has turned its back on StarClan and pledged to follow the dark predictions of Sol, the strange cat who foretold the solar eclipse. But not all the cats have lost faith in their warrior ancestors. . . .

Jaypaw is convinced that StarClan still holds an important place in the warrior code, and his search for answers leads him far back into the past, farther back than even StarClan can remember. Lionblaze, tortured by violent dreams and bloody visions, wishes he had never been prophesied to be one of the three but to turn his back on his littermates would be the ultimate betrayal. And Hollyleaf is terrified that once the Clans lose their faith, the warrior code will fall apart. She's willing to fight tooth and nail to preserve it—whatever the cost.

And when murder stalks into the heart of ThunderClan, the cats realize that the darkest shadows don't always lie outside the territory. (YA)

(Source: HarperCollins)

Leisure

Black Cathedral by L. H. Maynard & M.P.N. Sims (Leisure 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - From back of book: At an old manor house on a remote Scottish island, six managers of a large corporation arrive for a week-long stay. Within days they will all suffer horrifying deaths and their bodies will never be found. The government assigns the case to Department 18, the special unit created to investigate the supernatural and the paranormal. However this is no mere haunted house. The evil on this island goes back centuries, but its unholy plots and schemes are hardly things of the past. In fact, while the members of Department 18 race to unravel the island's secrets, the forces of darkness are gathering...and preparing to attack. (Source: Leisure)

Jake's Wake by John Skipp & Cody GoodFellow (Leisure 30 December 2008 / $7.99) - From back of book: Pastor Jake promised his followers everlasting life...he just didn't say what kind. So when the small-town televangelist and con man climbs out of his coffin at his own wake, it becomes Judgment Day for everyone gathered to mourn--or celebrate--his death. Jake is back, in the rotting flesh, filled with anger and vengeance. And accompanied by demons even more frightening than himself. What follows is a long night of endless terror, a blood-drenched rampage by the man not even death could stop. (see review)

Paper Golem

Alembical: A Distillation of four Novellas by Jay Lake, Bruce Taylor, James Van Pelt, Kay Vukcevich (Paper Golem 01 December 2008 / $12.95) - From publicity material: Alembical is a collection of four original speculative fiction novellas ranging from alternative history to magical realism by Jay Lake, Bruce Taylor, James Van Pelt, and Ray Vukcevich. Alembical is scheduled to debut at the famous World Fantasy Convention, taking place this year in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the beginning of November. (Source: Paper Golem)

Pyr

Starship: Rebel (Book 4) by Mike Resnick (Pyr 16 December 2008 / $25.00) - Product Description: The date is 1968 of the Galactic Era, almost three thousand years from now. The Republic, dominated by the human race, is in the midst of an all-out war with the Teroni Federation.

Almost a year has passed since the events of Starship: Mercenary. Captain Wilson Cole now commands a fleet of almost fifty ships, and he has become the single greatest military force on the Inner Frontier.

With one exception. The Republic still comes and goes as it pleases, taking what it wants, conscripting men, and extorting taxes, even though the Frontier worlds receive nothing in exchange. And, of course, the government still wants Wilson Cole and the starship Theodore Roosevelt. He has no interest in confronting such an overwhelming force, and constantly steers clear of them.

Then an incident occurs that changes everything, and Cole declares war on the Republic. Outnumbered and always outgunned, his fleet is no match for the Republic's millions of military vessels, even after he forges alliances with the warlords he previously hunted down.

It's a hopeless cause...but that's just what Wilson Cole and the Teddy R. are best at. (Source: Pyr)

Roc

Dragon Strike: Book Four of the Age of Fire by E.E. Knight (Roc 02 December 2008 / $14.00) - Product Description: Three dragon siblings are among the last of a dying breed, and the final hope for their species' survival. AuRon, Wistala, and Copper find themselves at odds over the coming human war. AuRon thinks dragons should have no part in the affairs of humans. Wistala believes dragons and man can peacefully co-exist. And Copper has designs of his own on the world.

And the civilized humans who have turned to Copper for assistance against their savage enemies have just given him the perfect opportunity to fulfill his plansÖ

Peacekeeper: A Major Ariane Kedros Novel by Laura E. Reeve (Roc 02 December 2008 / $6.99) - From back of book: To her partners at Aether Exploration, Ariane Kedros is the daring pilot of their prospecting ship. She is also a reserve major in the Consortium of Autonomous Worlds who accepts mysterious assignments to fulfill her duty.

To the Terran Expansion League, she is a war criminal. Fifteen years ago, she piloted a ship on a mission that obliterated an entire solar system. Those involved in the incident were given new identities and lives in order to protect them from retribution--though no new face or name can wash away the guilt Ariane feels, or chase away her demons.

But now her government wants something in return. Twelve of Ariane's wartime colleagues are dead, assassinated by someone who has uncovered their true identities. And her superiors in the Autonomist army have placed her directly in the assassin's line of fire on a peacekeeping mission that will decide the fate of all humanity. (Source: Roc)

The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove (Roc 02 December 2008 / $25.95) - Product Description: England has driven the French from Atlantis, giving King George leave to tighten his control over the colonies. The Redcoats have seized the continent's eastern coastal towns, depriving the Atlanteans of the markets where they sell their goods as part of a strategy to bend the colonists to their will.

Instead, England's tactics have only strengthened the Atlanteans' resolve to be free. As leader of the revolutionaries, Victor Radcliff will make the English pay for each and every piece of land they dare to occupy, and will stop at nothing to preserve the liberty of his people as a new nation is born—a nation that will change the face of the world. (see review)

Scholastic

Thirty Days Has September: Cool Ways To Remember Stuff by Scholastic (Scholastic 01 December 2008 / $9.99) - Product Description: Packaged like the New York Times bestselling "Best at Everything" series, this informative guide is full of tips and tricks for remembering everything from math and spelling rules to tricky science, history, and geography facts. A lovely gift from parent to child and a perfect learning companion to help any student who has ever struggled to remember his multiplication tables, the spelling of the word "Mississippi," or the names of the planets.

(Source: Scholastic)

Scholastic Inc.

39 Clues: One False Note by Gordon Korman (Scholastic Inc. 01 December 2008 / $12.99) - Product Description: THIS JUST IN! Amy and Dan Cahill were spotted on a train, hot on the trail of one of 39 Clues hidden around the world. BUT WAIT! Police report a break-in at an elite hotel, and the suspects ALSO sound suspiciously like Amy and Dan. UPDATE! Amy and Dan have been seen in a car . . . no, in a speedboat chase . . . and HOLD EVERYTHING! They're being chased by an angry mob?!? When there's a Clue on the line, anything can happen. (YA) (see review)

Spectra

Gears of the City by Felix Gilman (Spectra 30 December 2008 / $24.00) - From back of book: In the last days of the once-great city of Ararat, Arjun is just another ghost lost in the shadows of an elusive dark palace known as the Mountain. Rescued by two sisters from the hollow men who pursue him, Arjun volunteers to retrieve their long-lost third sister from another ghost like himself. It will require a perilous trek to a decadent mansion--a mysterious stronghold surrounded by traps and devices that could not possibly exist yet. And what awaits Arjun inside is something he could not possibly have imagined. As he struggles to recover the girl, and his life, Arjun moves closer and closer to uncovering the city's secrets--and the truth of what is behind the Mountain is the most shocking of them all. (Sequel to Thunderer) (Source: Spectra)

The Lost Ones: Book 3 of The Veil by Christopher Golden (Spectra 30 December 2008 / $6.99) - Product Description: Bestselling author Christopher Golden's epic, innovative trilogy, the Veil, comes to an astonishing conclusion as the mythic realm of heroes and monsters becomes the site of humanity's last—and greatest—showdown.

Even legends have legends and on the other side of the Veil, where humanity's legends have hidden away for centuries, Oliver Bascombe has learned of a prophecy that many believe he and his sister, Collette, have come to the Two Kingdoms to fulfill. But first they must escape the dungeon where they are imprisoned to stop an apocalyptic war, unravel a conspiracy, and prevent a powerful sorcerer from severing the human world and legendary realm forever.

As old heroes and friends ally themselves for one last battle, even older enemies stand arrayed against them. Is humanity ready to face its legends head-on? For Oliver Bascombe, it may cost him more than he could ever imagine.

Read Drew Bittner's review from our April 2008 issue. (Source: Spectra)

Tracing the Shadow by Sarah Ash (Spectra 30 December 2008 / $7.50) - Product Description: Sarah Ash's acclaimed trilogy, the Tears of Artamon, was a stunning blend of sorcery and intrigue, politics and breathtaking imagery. Now she returns with the tale of a siege between kingdoms, and a battle between heretics and believers—each with their own truths, their own lies, and their own soul-shattering discoveries waiting to be made.

The kingdom of Francia has purged its magi. But when a young Guerrier rescues an orphaned street waif, little does he know that she is the daughter of a magus who met his end on their pyres—or that she is guarded by an aethyric spirit and driven by the name of the traitor who condemned her father to flames. With the gift of song infused within her, her voice will bring her before the most powerful heads of state. And she will craft herself into a weapon—aimed at the heart of the man she despises. (see review)

SRM Publisher, Ltd.

Eidolon (Adventures in the Liaden Universe, Volume14) by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller (SRM Publisher, Ltd. Undefined 2008 / ) - Product Description: This chapbook contains two original stories: "Shadow Partner," and "Persistence." Each story features a well-known member of Clan Korval, portrayed as others see them. (see review)

St. Martin's Press

The Suicide Collectors by David Oppegaard (St. Martin's Press 09 December 2008 / $23.95) - Product Description: The Despair has plagued the earth for five years. Most of the world's population has inexplicably died by its own hand, and the few survivors struggle to remain alive. A mysterious, shadowy group called the Collectors has emerged, inevitably appearing to remove the bodies of the dead. But in the crumbling state of Florida, a man named Norman takes an unprecedented stand against the Collectors, propelling him on a journey across North America. It's rumored a scientist in Seattle is working on a cure for the Despair, but in a world ruled by death, it won't be easy to get there. (Source: St. Martin's Press)

Strider Nolan Publishing

40 Years by Bernd Struben (Strider Nolan Publishing 01 December 2008 / $9.95) - Product Description: Bernd Struben presents a riveting tale of an endless battle for Galactic domination with the ultimate survival of the Human Race as the prize. Struben blends science fiction with science fact, and military topics with humanistic concerns, with a skill worthy of Robert A. Heinlein or Orson Scott Card. For twelve hundred years humanity has raced against the alien Pfrlanx to secure the galaxy's last habitable planets at any cost. Humanity's Soldiers - the Augmented Combat Personnel - are bioengineered to be the finest warriors Earth has ever known. They are kept in stasis for years on end, awakened only to fight for new ground. Using overwhelming military might, the ACP brutally subdue the inhabitants of each new planet prior to human settlement. The Pfrlanx alternative is far worse, as the alien conquerors methodically eradicate each world's population before moving in. When the inhabitants of a remote planet 40 years from the nearest military Staging Area refuse to surrender despite staggering losses, the ACP Soldiers are forced to contemplate Pfrlanx-style genocide. With the fate of billions in his hands, veteran commander Brink D'Mar desperately searches for other options. But time is running out. (Source: Strider Nolan Publishing)

Tate Publishing

The Calling by Jacob Israel (Tate Publishing 30 December 2008 / $17.99) - Product Description: 'Thomas James shall be his name,' the Angel says mysteriously. The world shall change because of him. Dark days lie ahead for the chosen child. In the small town of Bethel, in a time not unlike our own, a child with a great purpose is born. Years later, alienated by those around him and picked on by his peers, the awkward twelve-year-old struggles to exist after the loss of his family. A terrifying vision of a dark world to come haunts him. He sees and hears things he cannot understand. The world quickly changes before his eyes. Visited by strange messengers and surrounded by mysterious and miraculous events, Thomas fights to comprehend what is real and what is not, while trying to escape the sinister powers that be. After countless horrors, the startling revelation of who Thomas James truly is will change the lives of those around him, setting off a chain of events that could destroy, or save, them all. Inside these pages hides a treasure, just waiting to be discovered. If youve ever wondered if there is more to life or why it is we suffer, then this book will not only captivate youit may just open your eyes to a truth that could set you free. Find out what is in all of us that makes us heed The Calling. The Angel smiles curiously, There is a great truth that must be told. A wicked spirit spreads its wings and humanity is its prisonerThomas James is the key. (see review)

Tor Books

Busted Flush by the Wild Card Consortium (Tor Books 09 December 2008 / $24.95) - Product Description: In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City. It killed ninety percent of those it infected.¬† Nine percent survived to mutate into tragically deformed creatures.¬† And one percent gained superpowers.¬† The Wild Cards shared-universe series, created and edited since 1987 by New York Times #1 bestseller George R. R. Martin ("The American Tolkien" --Time magazine) along with Melinda Snodgrass, is the tale of the history of the world since then—and of the heroes among the one percent.

Now a new generation of heroes has taken its place on the world stage, its members crucial players in international events. At the United Nations, veteran ace John Fortune has assembled a team of young aces known as the Committee, to assist at trouble spots around the world–including a genocidal war in the Niger Delta, an invasion of zombies in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, and a freak nuclear explosion in a small Texas town. (see review)

Ghostlight by Marion Zimmer Bradley (Tor Books 09 December 2008 / $14.95) - Product Description: Thorne Blackburn claimed to have magickal powers, to be able to tap into ancient wisdom.¬† Others claimed he was a fake, cheating his many followers out of their money and destroying their free well.

The truth may never be known . . . one dark, climactic night thirty years ago, Blackburn's most powerful ritual went horribly awry, leaving his flock shattered and one woman dead.  Blackburn himself vanished.

Now the scattered remains of Blackburn's followers have rallied around a new leader, the charismatic Justin Pilgrim.  Hearing this, Thorne Blackburn's daughter, Truth, returns to the site of her mother's death and father's disappearance.  

 Truth has many unanswered questions.  Where are her long-lost half-siblings?  Was her mother's death an accident or murder?  Is Pilgrim a charlatan, or are his claimed powers real?  If he completes Thorne's ritual, will someone else die?

The answers will lead Truth to a deeply powerful truth of her own, one that will change her life forever.

(see review)

The Breath of God by Harry Turtledove (Tor Books 23 December 2008 / $24.95) - Product Description: Once the great Glacier enclosed the Raumsdalian Empire. Now it's broken open, and Count Hamnet Thyssen faces a new world. With the wisecracking Ulric Skakki, the neighboring clan leader Trasamund (politely addressed as Your Ferocity), and his lover, the shaman Liv, Hamnet leads an exploration of the new territory in hopes of finding the legendary Golden Shrine.

But dangers abound. A violent and implacable group known as the Rulers has already killed many, and now they attack again. Riding deer and woolly mammoths and using powerful magic, the Rulers triumph and force the Raumsdalians to flee.

In the spring another battle ends even more badly for Hamnet's side, but the Glacier is also retreating, so they are able to escape. Meeting a tribe whose desperate living conditions have led them to overcome the Raumsdalian taboo against eating fallen foes, they find unexpected allies. Now, returning to the capital city and its intrigues, Hamnet prepares to lead an army against the merciless Rulers. The world, once so bounded and comprehensible, will never be the same… (see review)

The Breath of God by Harry Turtledove (Tor Books 23 December 2008 / $24.95) - Product Description: Once the great Glacier enclosed the Raumsdalian Empire. Now it's broken open, and Count Hamnet Thyssen faces a new world. With the wisecracking Ulric Skakki, the neighboring clan leader Trasamund (politely addressed as Your Ferocity), and his lover, the shaman Liv, Hamnet leads an exploration of the new territory in hopes of finding the legendary Golden Shrine.

But dangers abound. A violent and implacable group known as the Rulers has already killed many, and now they attack again. Riding deer and woolly mammoths and using powerful magic, the Rulers triumph and force the Raumsdalians to flee.

In the spring another battle ends even more badly for Hamnet's side, but the Glacier is also retreating, so they are able to escape. Meeting a tribe whose desperate living conditions have led them to overcome the Raumsdalian taboo against eating fallen foes, they find unexpected allies. Now, returning to the capital city and its intrigues, Hamnet prepares to lead an army against the merciless Rulers. The world, once so bounded and comprehensible, will never be the same… (see review)

Tor Paranormal Romance

Cursed by Jamie Leigh Hansen (Tor Paranormal Romance 02 December 2008 / $6.99) - Product Description: In dreamsÖ
For twelve years the seductive dream has always been the sameóa candlelit room, satin sheets, and a mysterious woman. Then, one night, everything changes. A mysterious entity shows Alex Foster a vision of his dream woman in danger from demonic forces.

Elizabeth Raines has returned home to Spokane to care for her dying mother and abandoned nieces and nephews. With their family home ready to crash down around them and no help from her siblings, she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. Until the day Alex shows up, unwilling to love her only in their shared dreams.

But the real world is much bigger than a dream. An ancient enemy has awakened, and only Alex and Elizabeth's combined supernatural gifts can save them.

(Source: Tor Paranormal Romance)

Viking Juvenile

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman (Viking Juvenile 26 December 2008 / $19.99) - Product Description: Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. As tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light, readers won't be able to stop turning the pages … (see review)

Wesleyan

The Black Mirror and Other Stories: An Anthology of Science Fiction from Germany and Austria by (Wesleyan 31 December 2008 / $27.95) - Product Description: This entertaining anthology delivers great reading and an overview of German-language science fiction, including works by the "German father of science fiction" Kurd Lasswitz, the Austrian writer Ludwig Hevesi (author of "Jules Verne in Hell"), the fantasist Paul Scheerbart (a scurrilous, idiosyncratic writer who was an outsider in both literature and science fiction), popular writers Otto Willi Gail and Hans Dominik, as well as the contemporary luminaries of the genre: Wolfgang Jeschke, Herbert W. Franke, Andreas Eschbach, and Carl Amery. The introduction by the editor gives a succinct history of German language science fiction, including its representation in Hugo Gernsback's popular magazines. With select bibliographies of German language science fiction and writings on German science fiction, this book will be appreciated by scholars and general readers alike. (Source: Wesleyan)

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