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US Books Received- 10/2017  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

Blackwing (Raven's Mark) by Ed McDonald (Ace 03 October 2017 / $16.00) - Product Description: Under its cracked and wailing sky, the Misery is a vast and blighted expanse, the arcane remnant of a devastating war with the immortals known as the Deep Kings. The war ended nearly a century ago, and the enemy is kept at bay only by the existence of the Engine, a terrible weapon that protects the Misery's border. Across the corrupted no-man's-land teeming with twisted magic and malevolent wraiths, the Deep Kings and their armies bide their time. Watching. Waiting.

Bounty hunter Ryhalt Galharrow has breathed Misery dust for twenty bitter years. When he's ordered to locate a masked noblewoman at a frontier outpost, he finds himself caught in the middle of an attack by the Deep Kings, one that signifies they may no longer fear the Engine. Only a formidable show of power from the very woman he is seeking, Lady Ezabeth Tanza, repels the assault.

Ezabeth is a shadow from Galharrow's grim past, and together they stumble onto a web of conspiracy that threatens to end the fragile peace the Engine has provided. Galharrow is not ready for the truth about the blood he's spilled or the gods he's supposed to serve.

The Sea Peoples (The Change) by S.M. Stirling (Ace 10 October 2017 / $28.00) - Product Description: The spirit of troubadour Prince John, the brother of Crown Princess Órlaith, has fallen captive to the power of the Yellow Raja and his servant, the Pallid Mask. Prince John's motley band of friends and followers—headed by Captain Pip of Townsville and Deor Godulfson—must lead a quest through realms of shadow and dreams to rescue Prince John from a threat far worse than death.

Meanwhile, across the sea, Japanese Empress Reiko and Órlaith, heir to the High Kingdom of Montival, muster their kingdoms for war, making common cause with the reborn Kingdom of Hawaii. But more than weapons or even the dark magic of the sorcerers of Pyongyang threaten them; Órlaith's lover, Alan Thurston, might be more than he appears.

From the tropical waters off Hilo and Pearl Harbor, to the jungles and lost cities of the Ceram Sea, a game will be played where the fate of the world is at stake.

Bantam

The Book of Swords by (Bantam 10 October 2017 / $30.00) - Product Description: Fantasy fiction has produced some of the most unforgettable heroes ever conjured onto the page: Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian, Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Classic characters like these made sword and sorcery a storytelling sensation, a cornerstone of fantasy fiction--and an inspiration for a new generation of writers, spinning their own outsize tales of magic and swashbuckling adventure.

Now, in The Book of Swords, editor and author Gardner Dozois presents an all-new anthology of original epic tales by a stellar cast of award-winning modern masters--many of them set in their authors' best-loved worlds. Join today's finest tellers of fantastic tales on action-packed journeys into the outer realms of dark enchantment and intrepid derring-do, featuring a stunning assortment of fearless swordsmen and warrior women who face down danger and death at every turn with courage, cunning, and cold steel.

FEATURING SIXTEEN ALL-NEW STORIES: "The Best Man Wins" by K.J. Parker, "Her Father's Sword" by Robin Hobb, "The Hidden Girl" by Ken Liu, "The Sword of Destiny" by Matthew Hughes. "'I Am a Handsome Man,' Said Apollo Crow" by Kate Elliott, "The Triumph of Virtue" by Walter Jon Williams, "The Mocking Tower" by Daniel Abraham, "Hrunting" by C.J. Cherryh, "A Long, Cold Trail" by Garth Nix, "When I Was a Highwayman" by Ellen Kushner, "The Smoke of Gold Is Glory" by Scott Lynch, "The Colgrid Conundrum" by Rich Larson, "The King's Evil" by Elizabeth Bear
"Waterfalling" by Lavie Tidhar, "The Sword Tyraste" by Cecelia Holland, "The Sons of the Dragon" by George R.R. Martin, and an introduction by Gardner Dozois.

DAW

To Guard Against the Dark (Reunification) by Julie E. Czerneda (DAW 10 October 2017 / $26.00) - Product Description: The final book in the hard science fiction Reunification trilogy, the thrilling conclusion to the award-winning Clan Chronicles.

Jason Morgan is a troubling mystery to friends and enemies alike: once a starship captain and trader, then Joined to the most powerful member of the Clan, Sira di Sarc, following her and her kind out of known space.

Only to return, alone and silent. But he's returned to a Trade Pact under seige and desperate. The Assemblers continue to be a threat. Other species have sensed opportunity and threaten what stability remains, including those who dwell in the M'hir. What Morgan knows could save them all, or doom them. 

For not all of the Clan followed Sira. And peace isn't what they seek.

Del Rey

A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings) by Kevin Hearne (Del Rey 17 October 2017 / $28.99) - Product Description: From the author of The Iron Druid Chronicles, a novel that kicks off a fantasy series with an entirely new mythology--complete with shape-shifting bards, fire-wielding giants, and children who can speak to astonishing beasts.

MOTHER AND WARRIOR. Tallynd is a soldier who has already survived her toughest battle: losing her husband. But now she finds herself on the front lines of an invasion of giants, intent on wiping out the entire kingdom, including Tallynd's two sons—all that she has left. The stakes have never been higher. If Tallynd fails, her boys may never become men.

SCHOLAR AND SPY. Dervan is an historian who longs for a simple, quiet life. But he's drawn into intrigue when he's hired to record the tales of a mysterious bard who may be a spy or even an assassin for a rival kingdom. As the bard shares his fantastical stories, Dervan makes a shocking discovery: He may have a connection to the tales, one that will bring his own secrets to light.

REBEL AND HERO. Abhi's family have always been hunters, but Abhi wants to choose a different life for himself. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, Abhi soon learns that his destiny is far greater than he imagined: a powerful new magic thrust upon him may hold the key to defeating the giants once and for all--if it doesn't destroy him first.

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine--and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

Dey Street Books

Guts: The Anatomy of The Walking Dead by Paul Vigna (Dey Street Books 03 October 2017 / $26.99) - Product Description: In this first and only guide to AMC's exceptional hit series The Walking Dead, the Wall Street Journal's Walking Dead columnist celebrates the show, its storylines, characters, and development, and examines its popularity and cultural resonance.

From its first episode, The Walking Dead took fans in the United States and across the world by storm, becoming the highest-rated series in the history of cable television. After each episode airs, Paul Vigna writes a widely read column in which he breaks down the stories and considers what works and what doesn't, and tries to discern the small details that will become larger plot points.

So how did a basic cable television show based on Robert Kirkman's graphic comic series, set in an apocalyptic dog-eat-dog world filled with flesh-eating zombies and even scarier human beings, become a ratings juggernaut and cultural phenomenon? Why is the show such a massive hit? In this playful yet comprehensive guide, Vigna dissect every aspect of The Walking Dead to assess its extraordinary success.

In the vein of Seinfeldia, Vigna digs into the show's guts, exploring its roots, storyline, relevance for fans and the wider popular culture, and more. He explores how the changing nature of television and media have contributed to the show's success, and goes deep into the zombie genre, delineating why it's different from vampires, werewolves, and other monsters. He considers why people have found in zombies a mirror for their own fears, and explains how this connection is important to the show's popularity. He interviews the cast and crew, who share behind-the-scenes tales, and introduces a cross-section of its diverse and rabid viewership, from fantasy nerds to NFL stars. Guts is a must have for every Walking Dead fan.

Harper Voyager

Breach of Containment (Central Corps) by Elizabeth Bonesteel (Harper Voyager 17 October 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: When hostilities between factions threaten to explode into a shooting war on the moon of Yakutsk, the two major galactic military powers, Central Corps and PSI, send ships to defuse the situation. But when a strange artifact is discovered, events are set in motion that threaten the entire colonized galaxy--including former Central Corps Commander Elena Shaw.

Now an engineer on a commercial shipping vessel, Elena finds herself drawn into the conflict when she picks up the artifact on Yakutsk--and investigation of it uncovers ties to the massive, corrupt corporation Ellis Systems, whom she's opposed before. Her safety is further compromised by her former ties to Central Corps--Elena can't separate herself from her past life and her old ship, the CCSS Galileo.

Before Elena can pursue the artifact's purpose further, disaster strikes: all communication with the First Sector--including Earth--is lost. The reason becomes apparent when news reaches Elena of a battle fleet, intent on destruction, rapidly approaching Earth. And with communications at sublight levels, there is no way to warn the planet in time.

Armed with crucial intel from a shadowy source and the strange artifact, Elena may be the only one who can stop the fleet, and Ellis, and save Earth. But for this mission, there will be no second chances—and no return.

HarperVoyager

The Seven (Vagrant Trilogy) by Peter Newman (HarperVoyager 03 October 2017 / $16.99) - Product Description: Years have passed since the Vagrant journeyed to the Shining City, Vesper in arm and Gamma's sword in hand.

Since then the world has changed. Vesper, following the footsteps of her father, journeyed to the breach and closed the tear between worlds, protecting the last of humanity, but also trapping the infernal horde and all those that fell to its corruptions: willing or otherwise.

In this new age, it is Vesper who leads the charge towards unity and peace, with seemingly nothing standing between the world and a bright new future.

That is until eyes open. And The Seven awaken.

St. Martin's

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker (St. Martin's 03 October 2017 / $9.99) - Product Description: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes, is back―and about to face off against his formidable and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Bloody, terrifying, and brilliantly complex, fans and newcomers alike will not be disappointed by Barker's horror, which will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories.

The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?

This edition of the book is the deluxe, tall rack mass market paperback.

Subterranean

Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean 31 October 2017 / $40.00) - Product Description: Before Bubba Ho-Tep, there was Bubba and the Cosmic Blood-Suckers.

Part of a secret government organization designed to protect civilians, Elvis Presley and a handful of hardcore warriors set out to save the world from an invasion of hive-minded, shape-shifting vampire-like creatures from a dark dimension who have taken up residence in a New Orleans junkyard.

Besides Elvis, among these righteous warriors is a hammer-wielding descendent of John Henry of railroad fame, a Blind Man who sees more than those with sight, Jack, a strategic wizard, and Elvis's right hand man and journal writer, Johnny, all thrown in with Raven (real name Jenny) a female recruit who is also a budding pop star, and like Elvis, high on the charisma chart.

Their leader is none other than Colonel Parker, Elvis's cutthroat manager, and a warrior himself, directly in contact with President Nixon, or possibly one of his doubles.

It's an unnerving peek into a secret world, and a possible delusion. It's what happened before Elvis, aka Sebastian Haff, found himself in an East Texas rest home, mounted on a walker, fighting an Egyptian mummy and worrying about a growth on his pecker.

Strange monsters, wild fights, sex with a beautiful ghost, a drug-induced trip into another dimension, and all manner of mayhem ensue, along with a Mississippi riverboat ride on a giant paddle wheel, and of course, there will be 3D glasses, fried peanut butter and 'nanna sandwiches, and a few hard working zombies.

Bring the kids, but plug their ears and blindfold them. This is one wild and nasty ride to the dark side, but with laughter.

Subterranean Press

Heroes and Villains by Lewis Shiner (Subterranean Press 31 October 2017 / $40.00) - Book Description: Tales of adventure and suspense:

  • Five stage magicians set out to topple Hitler in 1934
  • A middle-aged lawyer finds himself battling a new, predatory species
  • A hate-filled demagogue threatens the peaceful existence of the cats and dogs at the city dump
  • A secret agent in 1963 Eqypt must stop a madman bent on world domination
The four long pieces in this volume show Lewis Shiner writing "hard-edged, often political genre fiction at its finest", as Publisher's Weekly said about his Collected Stories. These are some of the most accessible stories Shiner has ever written, featuring, as he says in his introduction, "car chases, ticking clocks, and things blowing up in slow motion". At the same time, all four stories deal with the abuse of power in a way that has never been more timely.

For those new to Shiner's work, Heroes and Villains is an ideal starting point, offering the complex characters and moral issues of his acclaimed novels in condensed and action-packed form. For Shiner's many fans, who include George R.R. Martin, Jonathan Lethem, and Karen Joy Fowler, no further incentive is required.

Contents: Introduction, The Black Sun, The Next, Doglandia, Doctor helios, and Author's Notes.

World Weaver Press

SonofaWitch! by (World Weaver Press 03 October 2017 / $11.95 / $3.99) - Book Description: No one is perfect--not even a witch. Witches have amazing power at their fingertips to do unbelievable things. That magic can come in really handy sometimes too. They can make someone fall in love, poison an apple to enact a sleeping curse, banish an enemy to an alternate reality, or just conjure up some Nutella when there is none in the house.

But what happens when those spells go horribly awry?

SonofaWitch! contains six humorous contemporary fantasy stories of magic spells gone wrong by Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Sara Dobie Bauer, Lissa Marie Redmond, Frances Pauli, Mara Malins, and Adam Millard.

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Send books to: Gayle Surrette / Editor
c/o SFRevu 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

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