Tuesday, June 12, 2012

06/12/2012 - This week's new releases in SF, Fantasy, Horror, YA, and Steampunk

Most of this week's new releases fall into the Young Adult category but we've a few SF, Urban Fantasy, and Steampunk to spice it up.

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson - Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he's been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine "Kit" Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif's search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn't Grif's biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . .

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma - Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be contained or caged. When a night with Ruby's friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby. But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has deeply hidden away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

City of the Fallen Sky (Pathfinder Tales) by Tim Pratt - Once a student of alchemy with the dark scholars of the Technic League, Alaeron fled their arcane order when his conscience got the better of him, taking with him a few strange devices of unknown function. Now in hiding in a distant city, he's happy to use his skills creating minor potions and wonders - at least until the back-alley rescue of an adventurer named Jaya lands him in trouble with a powerful crime lord. In order to keep their heads, Alaeron and Jaya must travel across wide seas and steaming jungles in search of a wrecked flying city and the magical artifacts that can buy their freedom. Yet the Technic League hasn't forgotten Alaeron's betrayal, and an assassin armed with alien weaponry is hot on their trail...

Niceville by Carsten Stroud - A boy literally disappears from Main Street.  A security camera captures the moment of his instant, inexplicable vanishing. An audacious bank robbery goes seriously wrong: four cops are gunned down; a TV news helicopter is shot and spins crazily out of the sky, triggering a disastrous cascade of events that ricochet across twenty different lives over the course of just thirty-six hours.

Nick Kavanaugh, a cop with a dark side, investigates. Soon he and his wife, Kate, a distinguished lawyer from an old Niceville family, find themselves struggling to make sense not only of the disappearance and the robbery but also of a shadow world, where time has a different rhythm and where justice is elusive.

All That Glass by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.

Taking place over just twenty-four hours, ALL JUST GLASS tells the story of a game-changing battle that will forever change the world of the Den of Shadows. And at its center is the story of two sisters who must choose between love and duty. Dark, fully-imagined, and hard to put down, ALL JUST GLASS will thrill Amelia's fans—old and new.

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home from the Great Barrier, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected — and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it's not Lena — and the mysterious figure is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and he's afraid to ask.

Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.

The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin - Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares: a mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up — but Gujaareh has known peace for too long.

Someone must show them the way.

Hope lies with two outcasts: the first woman ever allowed to join the dream goddess' priesthood and an exiled prince who longs to reclaim his birthright. Together, they must resist the Kisuati occupation and uncover the source of the killing dreams... before Gujaareh is lost forever.

Tighter by Adelle Griffin - When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Rapture by Lauren Kate - RAPTURE, the fourth & final FALLEN novel, is the Lauren Kate book the world has been waiting for.

The sky is dark with wings. . . .

Like sand through an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past, they must find the place where the angels fell to earth.

Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed.

And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now is the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?

The astonishing conclusion to the FALLEN series. Heaven can’t wait any longer.

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown - Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake.

Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Timepiece by Myra McEntire - Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples—cracks in time. Are Kaleb’s powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before Kaleb can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers’s return, the Hourglass organization is offered an ultimatum by a mysterious man. Either they find Landers and the research he has stolen on people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered—with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their extraordinary powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? Even if they succeed, just finding him may not be enough.

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead - The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series

Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students—children of the wealthy and powerful—carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.

Riese: Kingdom Falling by Greg Cox - A steampunk princess is torn between love and duty in this prequel to SyFy.com’s wildly popular webisodes.

Riese has never been happy as a princess; she’d much rather be hunting or fighting than sitting through another lesson on court etiquette. When she meets Micah, a wandering artist with a mysterious past, she pretends to be a peasant—it’s a chance to be just a normal girl with a normal boy for a while. But with war decimating her once-proud nation and the sinister clockwork Sect infiltrating her mother’s court, Riese’s moments with Micah are the only islands of sanity left in a world gone mad. As her kingdom falls and the Sect grows ever stronger, will Riese remain true to her duty as a princess…or risk everything on a boy she barely knows?

SyFy’s enormously popular Riese webisodes come to literary life in this prequel rife with steampunk technology and medieval mysticism.

The Vindico by Wesley King X-Men meets The Breakfast Club in this darkly humorous adventure

The Vindico are a group of supervillains who have been fighting the League of Heroes for as long as anyone can remember. Realizing they're not as young as they used to be, they devise a plan to kidnap a group of teenagers to take over for them when they retire—after all, how hard can it be to teach a bunch of angsty teens to be evil?

Held captive in a remote mansion, five teens train with their mentors and receive superpowers beyond their wildest dreams. Struggling to uncover the motives of the Vindico, the teens have to trust each other to plot their escape. But they quickly learn that the differences between good and evil are not as black and white as they seem, and they are left wondering whose side they should be fighting on after all . . .

With fast-paced action, punchy dialogue, and sarcastic humor, this high-stakes adventure from a talented new YA voice pulls you in from the first page.

Siren's Storm by Lisa Papdemetriou - Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.

Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.

Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard - Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

R. I. P. Ray Bradbury

Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury passed away Tuesday night at the age of 91.  The author of more than 2 dozen books and 600 short stories has long been considered one of the most influential writers of the last 75 years.  Bradbury's novels have been required reading for generations of readers - Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Illustrated Man, and The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit will be etched in our collective consciousness for generations to come.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Bradbury - and Thank You.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

06/05/2012 - New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Young Adult Fiction

This week marks another massive release of genre fiction - fairly well distributed across the spectrum - SF, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, and some Horror.  Several of these I've already read and can recommend wholeheartedly.  Others are solidly on my 'to-read' list.  [editorial comments appear in brackets below]

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline - At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

[A must-read, firmly ensconced on my to-read list.]

Awakened by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey. Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z. But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there. Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it? Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same—and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either…

And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim? The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship? Does he betray his father or his heart?

In the pulse-pounding eighth House of Night Novel by PC Cast and Kristin Cast, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

[House of Night #8]

Monument 14 by Emmy LaybourneYour mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

[I read and reviewed an ARC of this last month.  The short version - good read but sucky cliffhanger]

Hex Appeal edited by P. N. Elrod - In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales.  Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily.  But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed.  And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

[Worth it for the Jim Butcher and Ilona Andrews stories alone.]

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor - Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

[Somehow I missed this when the hardcover was released last fall.  Almost 8,000 5-star reviews on Goodreads - My to-read list is growing faster than I can read them this week.]

Amped by Daniel H. Wilson - Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of "amplified" humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as "amps." Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson's background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the "what if" question in entirely unexpected directions.

[Wilson's Robopocalypse examined the near-future after the advent of AI.  This time he tackles Cyborgs.  Wilson is a robotics engineer - his science is sound but his futures don't seem probable.  Waiting for the paperback release for this one.]

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton - When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

[I confess to being one of the legions of fans who abandoned this series when the plot went out the window in favor of wall-to-wall sex somewhere around book #13.  I recently picked up and read Skin Trade (Book #17) and was pleasantly surprised to see the series returning to its roots (less sex, more action/adventure/mystery).  Word on the street is that both Hit List (#20) and this title (#21) are remaining true to the formula that gathered so many fans in the first place - sex AND plot. Thus, I'm planning a catch-up on those I missed, this one included]

Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds - With his critically acclaimed Revelation Space novels, Alastair Reynolds confirmed “his place among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance.” (Publishers Weekly) With Blue Remembered Earth, the award-winning author begins a new epic, tracing generations of one family across more than ten thousand years of future history—into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society…

One hundred and fifty years from now, Africa has become the world’s dominant technological and economic power. Crime, war, disease and poverty have been eliminated. The Moon and Mars are settled, and colonies stretch all the way out to the edge of the solar system. And Ocular, the largest scientific instrument in history, is about to make an epochal discovery…

Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his long-running studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey’s family, who control the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans for him. After the death of his grandmother Eunice—the erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur—something awkward has come to light on the Moon, so Geoffrey is dispatched there to ensure the family name remains untarnished. But the secrets Eunice died with are about to be revealed—secrets that could change everything...or tear this near utopia apart.

The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman - To the warrior-monks known as the Redeemers, “the last four things” represent the culmination of a faithful life. Death. Judgment. Heaven. Hell. The last four things represent eternal bliss—or endless destruction, permanent chaos, and infinite pain.

Perhaps nowhere are the competing ideas of heaven and hell exhibited more clearly than in the dark and tormented soul of Thomas Cale. Betrayed by the girl he loves but still marked by a child’s innocence, possessed of a remarkable aptitude for violence but capable of extreme tenderness, Cale will lead the Redeemers into a battle for nothing less than the fate of the human race. And though his broken heart foretells the bloody trail he will leave in pursuit of a personal peace he can never achieve, a glimmer of hope remains—the question even Cale can’t answer: When it comes time to decide the fate of the world, to ensure the extermination of humankind or spare it, what will he choose? To express God’s will on the edge of his sword, or to forgive his fellow man—and himself?

Live and Let Drood by Simon R. Green - The name is Bond, Shaman Bond. Better known as Drood, Eddie Drood Yes, I’m one of those Droods—the family who’ve been keeping the forces of evil contained in the shadows for as long as humans have walked the earth. Recently, I suffered a slight case of death, but thanks to Molly, my best girl (who happens to be a powerful witch), I got over that right quick.

Unfortunately, my family wasn’t so lucky. In my absence, Drood Hall was destroyed and all my relatives were killed. Which left me as the Last of the Droods. I didn’t much like being The Last Drood, I can tell you—and then I realized that things weren’t as they seemed. Someone had activated a dimensional engine, sending my Drood Hall off to an alternate Earth, replacing it with a burnt-out doppelganger. My family is still alive out there. Somewhere. And nothing’s going to stop me from finding them…

[The Secret Histories #6]

Blood Kin by M. J. Scott - I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well…

I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city. Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty—all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our worlds, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us.

But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy…

Home From The Sea by Mercedes Lackey - In Edwardian Britain, magic is real. And Masters of the Elements control Fire, Water, Air, and Earth...

Mari Prothero has lived all her life with her father, Daffyd, in a tiny fishing village on the coast of Wales. Though Daffyd takes his boat out on the sea regardless of weather, Mari has learned not to fear for his safety, for her father is a Water mage, and always comes home safely with a large catch. Mari knows that in her family, children are expected to marry at eighteen, to an appropriate stranger. However, Mari is a fledgling Water Master with a rebellious nature. She has no intention of agreeing to any arranged marriage. But Mari has yet to learn the truth of the magical heritage that must be protected by these very marriages. For the Protheros are descended from Selkies—magical beings who are able to change from seals to humans—and to continue her line, she must marry a full-blooded Selkie...

Spellcrossed by Barbara Ashford - It's not easy losing the love of your life...

But when Maggie Graham freed Rowan Mackenzie from the curse that bound him to this world, she took the first step toward her new life as director of the Crossroads Theatre. As a hectic new season begins, magic takes a back seat to ticket sales as Maggie balances the demands of her interfering board president and a company of actors that includes bewildered amateurs, disdainful professionals, a horde of children, and an arthritic dog. But magic is hard to banish from the old white barn, where memories lurk like ghosts in the shadowy wings and the unexpected is as time-honored a tradition as the curtain call. And when the tangled spells of the past turn Maggie's life upside down, it will take more than magic to ensure the happy-ever-after ending she longs for.

Redshirts by John Scalzi - Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

[A must-read for any fan of Star Trek, or well, pretty much anyone!]

Judgment at Proteus by Timothy Zahn - In Timothy Zahn's Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.

Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning threat of a race of invincible soldiers emerges.

If Compton and Bayta can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives throughout the galaxy.

KOP Killer by Warren Hammond - Juno Mozambe once had a life. That was when he was a dirty cop, married to a woman who suffered such profound abuse that she murdered her vile, drug kingpin father. Juno loved his wife and did his best to help her survive her guilt, her drug habit, and her desire to end her life on the dead-end planet of Lagarto.

When she died, however, Juno’s life went downhill. And then his first partner, the corrupt chief of the Koba Office of Police, was murdered. The man responsible, Emil Mota, is using the KOP for his personal gain. Juno has been laying low, but now he’s ready to do whatever it takes to take down the bastard.

Rather than working from inside the system, he’s decided that the only way to take down the KOP is to create an independent base of power. So he gets involved with a team of dirty cops and starts working as a rent-a-thug for a whorehouse that needs protection.

Juno’s last partner knows that his risky plan has a purpose, but she’s that rarest of creatures on the hothouse planet of Lagarto: an honest cop. She can’t help him.

When Juno discovers a series of profoundly twisted murders, he faces a bleak possibility: in his desperate quest for vengeance against the man who targeted him for death, Juno may have placed himself beyond any hope of redemption....

The Broken Universe by Paul Melko - Possessing technology that allows him to travel across alternate worlds, John Rayburn begins building a transdimensional commercial empire, led by him, his closest friends, and their doppelgängers from several different parallel universes. But not every version of every person is the same, and their agendas do not always coincide.

Despite their benign intentions, the group’s activities draw unwanted attention from other dimensional travelers who covet their technology and will kill anyone to control it, a threat that culminates in a nuclear standoff for dominance throughout the multiverse.

Bury Elminster Deep by Ed Greenwood - Elminster's archenemy, the vampiric Lord Manshoon, thinks he has destroyed Elminster at last. But Elminster survives in the form of magical ash, and with the help of his scion, a fop who is growing into a true nobleman, and his longtime companion Storm, he still has a chance to counter Manshoon's insidious plots.

Silver by Rhiannon Held - Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.

The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent.

Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.

Mother of Storms by John Barnes - It is 2028. A strike to destroy an illegal Arctic weapons cache has a catastrophic side effect. Massive amounts of energy are liberated from the polar ice, suddenly and radically warming the Earth’s climate.

In the middle of the Pacific, a gigantic hurricane thousands of miles across is forming, larger than any in human history. A storm with winds of supersonic speed. A storm that changes direction at whim. A storm that refuses to die. A storm so vast it spawns dozens more in its wake.

Blinded by intrigue, expedience, and greed, the world’s politicians and power brokers ignore the killer storm’s threat until it’s too late. The death toll climbs to the tens of millions as it savages the Pacific coast, and the smaller storms it spawns are wreaking havoc across the planet.

While the survivors scramble for advantage, a handful of courageous men and women undertake a desperate plan to save humanity from total destruction—a plan so visionary it may alter forever the future of the human race.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo - Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

[I read an ARC of this last month - an absolutely brilliant novel.  I can't recommend this enough.]

The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan -The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin's world. She's a dancer and a performer, secure in her place. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin's place is in danger. Exiled from the market she loves, Sin is thrown together with Nick and Alan - whom she's always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and can be tortured as the magician pleases. As Sin watches Alan struggle to continue to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light. When Alan is finally possessed as a punishment for Nick's disobedience, Sin can only watch helplessly as the boy she has grown to love is destroyed. No one ever comes back from a possession - ever. But no one else has a demon for a brother. How far will Nick go to save Alan? And what will it cost them all?

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma - Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical triple play of intertwined plots, in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence. What happens to the present if we rewrite the past?

Félix J. Palma explores this provocative question, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports readers from a haunting setting in Victorian London to a magical reality where centuries collide and a writer’s mind seems to pull all the strings.
Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson - Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument....

Incorporating the traditions of the First Peoples as well as the more familiar stories of Greek mythology and Arthurian legend, Shadows Cast by Stars is a haunting, beautifully written story that breathes new life into ancient customs.

Mirage by Kristi Cook - Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.

News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent...for if she can’t, two people she loves will meet a violent end.

In the midst of Violet’s fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life—and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and—worst of all—whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.

Surrender by Elana Johnson - Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill - Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord … but who would want an undead army? And why? This gunslinging, hair-raising, zombie western mashup is perfect for fans of Cowboys vs. Aliens and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer - Sarah Weaver wasn't looking forward to starting at an all-girls school. But that was before she met Maddy. Maddy and her best friend, Agnes, are fun and rich and interesting-and for some reason, they seem to really like Sarah. Before long, Maddy and Agnes have moved Sarah into a big house off campus, where they cook together, buy each other presents, and share each other's secrets. So why does Sarah feel like something's bizarrely wrong? As more and more cracks start to show in Maddy's and Agnes's perfect veneers, Sarah notices some strange and disturbing things: Maddy's compulsive lying, Agnes's obsession with Maddy, and the deterioration of their friendship. And just when Sarah begins to question her own sanity, things turns deadly. Fans of Pretty Little Liars will devour this juicy debut novel.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

05/29/2012 - New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

This week should go much further towards satisfying hardcore SF fans than the last few.  Much less Young Adult, much less Contemporary Fantasy, much more hard SF.  Solaris, Black Library, Baen and Angry Robot all releasing SF titles this week - as well as new Star Wars and Star Trek novels.  Enjoy!

Dragon's Time by Anne & Todd McCaffrey - Even though Lorana cured the plague that was killing the dragons of Pern, sacrificing her queen dragon in the process, the effects of the disease were so devastating that there are no longer enough dragons available to fight the fall of deadly Thread. And as the situation grows more dire, a pregnant Lorana decides that she must take drastic steps in the quest for help.

Meanwhile, back at Telgar Weyr, Weyrwoman Fiona, herself pregnant, and the harper Kindan must somehow keep morale from fading altogether in the face of the steadily mounting losses of dragons and their riders. But time weighs heavily against them - until Lorana finds a way to use time itself in their favor.

Deceived (Star Wars: The Old Republic) by Paul S. Kemp - A Sith warrior to rival the most sinister of the Order’s Dark Lords, Darth Malgus brought down the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in a brutal assault that shocked the galaxy. But if war crowned him the darkest of Sith heroes, peace will transform him into something far more heinous—something Malgus would never want to be but cannot stop becoming, any more than he can stop the rogue Jedi fast approaching. Her name is Aryn Leneer—and the lone Jedi Knight that Malgus cut down in the fierce battle for the Jedi Temple was her Master. Now she’s going to find out what happened to him, even if it means breaking every rule in the book.

The Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling - More than the dissolute noblemen they appear to be, Alec and Seregil are skillful spies, dedicated to serving queen and country. But when they stumble across evidence of a plot pitting Queen Phoria against Princess Klia, the two Nightrunners will find their loyalties torn as never before. Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhíminee is a serpents’ nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.

And that’s not all that poses a threat: A mysterious plague is spreading through the crowded streets of the city, striking young and old alike. Now, as panic mounts and the body count rises, hidden secrets emerge. And as Seregil and Alec are about to learn, conspiracies and plagues have one thing in common: The cure can be as deadly as the disease.

The Nano Flower (Mandel Files #2) by Peter F. Hamilton - Greg Mandel is a psychic detective whose skills have been augmented by powerful but dangerous biotechnology. Those abilities have won him success and almost killed him many times over. Little wonder that he has settled down to the life of a gentleman farmer.

But Greg’s former employer, the mighty tech company Event Horizon, needs him once more. After Royan, hacker-genius and husband to company owner Julia Evans, mysteriously vanishes, a business rival suddenly boasts an incredible new technology. Has Royan been kidnapped and forced to work for his captors, or is the truth far stranger? The answer may lie in a gift of flowers received by Julia—flowers with DNA like nothing on Earth. Greg already has his hands full with corporate killers and other unsavory characters. Is he going to have to add aliens to the list?

A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook by George R. R. Martin, Sariann Lehrer, and Chelsea Monroe-Cassely - Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a feast at Winterfell? Wish you could split a lemon cake with Sansa Stark, scarf down a pork pie with the Night’s Watch, or indulge in honeyfingers with Daenerys Targaryen? George R. R. Martin’s bestselling saga A Song of Ice and Fire and the runaway hit HBO series Game of Thrones are renowned for bringing Westeros’s sights and sounds to vivid life. But one important ingredient has always been missing: the mouthwatering dishes that form the backdrop of this extraordinary world. Now, fresh out of the series that redefined fantasy, comes the cookbook that may just redefine dinner . . . and lunch, and breakfast.

A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer—and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself—A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.

These easy-to-follow recipes have been refined for modern cooking techniques, but adventurous eaters can also attempt the authentic medieval meals that inspired them. The authors have also suggested substitutions for some of the more fantastical ingredients, so you won’t have to stock your kitchen with camel, live doves, or dragon eggs to create meals fit for a king (or a khaleesi). In all, A Feast of Ice and Fire contains more than 100 recipes, divided by region:

• The Wall: Rack of Lamb and Herbs; Pork Pie; Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth; Mulled Wine; Pease Porridge
• The North: Beef and Bacon Pie; Honeyed Chicken; Aurochs with Roasted Leeks; Baked Apples
• The South: Cream Swans; Trout Wrapped in Bacon; Stewed Rabbit; Sister’s Stew; Blueberry Tarts
• King’s Landing: Lemon Cakes; Quails Drowned in Butter; Almond Crusted Trout; Bowls of Brown; Iced Milk with Honey
• Dorne: Stuffed Grape Leaves; Duck with Lemons; Chickpea Paste
• Across the Narrow Sea: Biscuits and Bacon; Tyroshi Honeyfingers; Wintercakes; Honey-Spiced Locusts

There’s even a guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms. Exhaustively researched and reverently detailed, accompanied by passages from all five books in the series and full-color photographs guaranteed to whet your appetite, this is the companion to the blockbuster phenomenon that millions of stomachs have been growling for. And remember, winter is coming—so don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds.

Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey - The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella—Isabella Beauchamps, daughter of a wealthy merchant—vows to escape the usual pitfalls.

Anxious to avoid the traditional path, Bella dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. But on the way home she's attacked by a wolf—who turns out to be a cursed nobleman. Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh—when he isn't howling at the moon.

Bella knows all too well that breaking spells is never easy. But a determined beauty, a wizard (after all, he's only an occasional werewolf) and a little Godmotherly interference might just be able to bring about a happy ending.…

The Watchers by Jon Steele - Beneath Lausanne Cathedral, in Switzerland, there is a secret buried before time began, something unknown to angels and men, until now...

Marc Rochat watches over the city at night from the belfry of the cathedral. He lives ina world of shadows and "beforetimes" and imaginary beings.

Katherine Taylor, call girl and daydreamer, is about to discover that her real-life fairy tale is too good to be true.

Jay Harper, private detective, wakes up in a crummy hotel room with no memory. When the telephone rings and he's offered a job, he knows he has no choice but to accept.

Three lives, one purpose: save what's left of paradise before all hell breaks loose.

Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey - A stunning middle-grade debut--full of heart, humor, and nonstop action
It's tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody's trying to kill you.

Not that Egg's life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.

But when Egg's father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg's running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he's been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.

Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman - Return to Fillory in the riveting sequel to the New York Times bestseller and literary phenomenon, The Magicians

Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory - a fictional utopia - was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring.

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off - only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they'd  hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia's illicitly-learned  sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth.

The Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton - A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

But some monsters are very real—and even to speak their name can earn you a death sentence. The bogeymen of the vampire world, The Harlequin, are here in America hunting weretigers and human police. But Edward thinks the serial killings are just a trap—to lure Anita ever closer to the most dangerous vampire they’ve ever hunted…

Night's Engines by Trent Jamieson - The conclusion of the Nightbound Land duology. Shale is dying. The vast, boiling maelstrom known only as the Roil has pushed humanity to the edge of extinction. The last cities teeter on the verge of collapse.
There is one hope, but it is enshrined in a decadent wastrel who does not want his destiny, and a young woman who seeks only an end to everything. And yet they go on, in search of the ancient weapons that worked against the Roil once, and must work again.

File Under: Fantasy [ The World Engines | Darkness Prevails | A Land In Shadow | Final Chance ]

Strangeness and Charm by Mike Shevdon - Alex has been saved from the fate that awaited her in Bedlam, but in freeing her, Niall has released others of their kind into the population. Now, as Warder, he must find them and persuade them to swap their new-found liberty for security in the courts – but is the price of sanctuary to swap one cage for another?

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Folklore hero | Faerie Legend | Secret World | Magic London ]

Warcraft::Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak - In the wake of the Cataclysm, conflict has engulfed every corner of Azeroth. Hungering for more resources amid the turmoil, the Horde has pressed into Ashenvale to feed its burgeoning war machine. There, acting warchief Garrosh Hellscream has employed a brutal new tactic to conquer the region and crush its night elf defenders, a move that will cripple the Alliance’s power throughout Azeroth.

Unaware of the disaster brewing in Ashenvale, the night elves’ legendary leaders, High Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind and Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, conduct a summit near Darnassus in order to vote the proud worgen of Gilneas into the Alliance. However, resentment of Gilneas and its ruler, Genn Greymane, runs deep in Stormwind’s King Varian Wrynn. His refusal to forgive Genn for closing his nation off from the rest of the world years ago endangers more than just the summit: it threatens to unravel the Alliance itself.

Varian’s animosity is only one of many unsettling developments in Darnassus. An uneasiness creeps over the once-immortal night elves as the first of them fall victim to the infirmities of age. While they cope with their mortality, tensions flare over the reintroduction of the Highborne, formerly the highest caste of night elf nobility, into their society. Many night elves are unable to pardon the Highborne for the destruction unleashed millennia ago by their reckless use of magic.

When a murdered Highborne is discovered on the outskirts of Darnassus, Malfurion and Tyrande move to stop further bloodshed and unrest by appointing one of the night elves’ most cunning and skilled agents to find the killer: the renowned warden Maiev Shadowsong. Yet with all that is transpiring in Darnassus, the Alliance might be powerless to stop the relentless new warchief Garrosh from seizing the whole of Ashenvale.

Blood Lite III: Aftertaste edited by Kevin J. Anderson - Sink your teeth into a smorgasbord of macabre morsels laced with horrific humor in this all-new Blood Lite collection! Whether you shriek with laughter or scream in fear . . . well, that’s simply a matter of taste.

Jim Butcher’s wizardly PI Harry Dresden pranks some high-tech monster seekers—and attempts to save a friend’s son whose life-energy is slowly being drained by an unknown adversary in “I Was a Teenage Bigfoot.” The Author from Hell has dropped dead, but a stressed-out editor is harassed by her emails from beyond the grave in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s “A Day in the Life.” The flesh is weak— and possibly even rotting—as a teenage virgin werewolf discovers on a visit to a brothel in Kelley Armstrong’s “V Plates.” Murder comes alive in “Mannequin,” by Heather Graham, as two thrill-seeking couples “axe” for trouble at a B&B with a bloody history.

Threshold by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor -  When the strange fossil she'd discovered gave her a trip to Mars, Helen Sutter thought she'd gone about as far as any paleontologist would ever go in her lifetime. But when you’re married to an overconfident super-sensor expert for the only private agency in space – the Ares Corporation – and your best friend is a former secret agent for the Interplanetary Research Institute of the United Nations, there's always somewhere farther to go.

Soon Helen’s new discoveries will lead her  to the mysterious asteroid Ceres and beyond in a desperate race to reach Jupiter's perilous miniature system of radiation-bombarded moons. It seems the next gold rush is on–for alien technology.

And there are people willing to do anything to get it – even if they must start the Solar System’s first interplanetary war!

Going Interstellar edited by Les Johnson and Jack McDevitt - Essays by space scientists and engineers teamed with a collection of tales by an all-star assortment of award winning authors all taking on new methods of star travel.

Some humans may be content staying in one place, but many of us are curious about what’s beyond the next village, the next ocean, the next horizon.  Are there others like us out there? How will we reach them?  Others are concerned with the survival of the species. It may be that we have to get out of Dodge before the lights go out on Earth.  How can we accomplish this?

Wonderful questions.  Now get ready for some answers.

Here is the science behind interstellar propulsion: reports from top tier scientists and engineers on starflight propulsion techniques that use only means and methods that we currently know are scientifically possible. Here are in-depth essays on antimatter containment, solar sails, and fusion propulsion.

And the human consequences?  Here is speculation by a magnificent array of award-winning SF writers on what an interstellar voyage might look like, might feel like—might be like.  It’s an all-star cast abounding with Hugo and Nebula award winners: Ben Bova, Mike Resnick, Jack McDevitt, Michael Bishop, Sarah Hoyt and more.

Flandry's Legacy by Poul Anderson - Sir Dominic Flandry is now an admiral, but takes little joy in his new rank. He sees the rot in the Terran Empire on every hand and knows that the Long Night will inevitably fall upon the galaxy. His consolation is that measures he has taken while doing what he can to postpone the Empire’s final collapse may shorten the coming galactic dark age and hasten the rise of a new interstellar civilization. In the meantime, he’ll enjoy the comforts of a decadent civilization—and he’ll always be ready for one more battle against the Empire’s enemies. This concluding volume of the Technic Civilization saga, one of the milestones of modern science fiction includes two full-length novels:

A Stone in Heaven—When the daughter of Flandry’s mentor asks for help, he intervenes, and finds he must thwart a would-be dictator’s plans to seize control of the Empire.

The Game of Empire—The Merseians, alien enemies of the Empire, have put into motion an insidious plan to bring the Terran Empire down. Flandry’s daughter, Diana, and her feline-like alien friend have discovered the conspiracy, but can they stop it in time?

Plus four novellas set in the time of the Long Night and the renaissance of civilization which followed it, concluding one of the grandest adventure sagas in science fiction.

No Going Back by Mark L. Van Name - Jon and Lobo are back–and everything is about to change.

If they both survive.

Haunted by memories of children he could not save, Jon Moore is so increasingly self-destructive that even his best friend, the hyper-intelligent Predator-Class Assault Vehicle, Lobo, is worried. When Jon risks meeting a woman from his distant past and undertakes a high-stakes mission, Lobo fears this will be their last.

The job is illegal.

They have to take on one of the oldest, most powerful men alive.

Two different security forces are tracking them.

And Jon is falling in love.

Desperate and out of options on a world so inhospitable that its statues and monuments outnumber its living inhabitants, Jon and Lobo encounter their deadliest challenges yet. They must make decisions from which there truly is No Going Back.

Star Treck Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by David R. George III - In the wake of the final Borg invasion, which destroyed entire worlds, cost the lives of sixty-three billion people, and struck a crippling blow to Starfleet, six nations adversarial to the United Federation of Planets—the Romulan Star Empire, the Breen Confederacy, the Tholian Assembly, the Gorn Hegemony, the Tzenkethi Coalition, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya— joined ranks to form the Typhon Pact. For almost three years, the Federation and the Klingon Empire, allied under the Khitomer Accords, have contended with the nascent coalition on a predominantly cold-war footing. But as Starfleet rebuilds itself, factions within the Typhon Pact grow restive, concerned about their own inability to develop a quantum slipstream drive to match that of the Federation. Will leaders such as UFP President Bacco and RSE Praetor Kamemor bring about a lasting peace across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, or will the cold war between the two alliances deepen, and perhaps even lead to an all-out shooting war?

The White-Luck Warrior by R. Scott Bakker - Praised by readers and critics around the world, R. Scott Bakker has become one of the most celebrated voices in fantasy fiction. The Aspect-Emperor trilogy follows on from the acclaimed Prince of Nothing saga, and The White-Luck Warrior is the chilling second book in the new series. Ruler Anasurimbor Kellhus and his Great Ordeal march ever farther into the Ancient North, as his consort Esmenet finds herself at war. Exiled wizard Achamian, meanwhile, leads his own ragtag mission to the legendary ruins of Sauglish. Into this tumult walks the White-Luck Warrior, assassin and messiah both . . . . . . In this ambitious volume, Bakker delves even further into his richly imagined universe of myth, violence, and sorcery.

The Primarchs edited by Christian Dunn - Created in the Emperor’s own image, the primarchs had long thought themselves to be princes of the universe and masters of their own destiny – they led the Space Marine Legions in glorious conquest of the galaxy, and no enemy of the Imperium could stand against them. However, even amongst this legendary brotherhood, the seeds of dissent had been sown long before the treacherous Warmaster Horus declared his grand heresy. Gathered within this anthology are four novellas focusing on some of the mightiest warriors and leaders that mankind has ever known – Fulgrim, Alpharius, Lion El’Johnson and Ferrus Manus – and the roles that they may have yet to play in a war which threatens to change the face of the Imperium forever.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive--this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

The Emperor's Gift by Aaron Dembrowski-Bowden - The Grey Knights are all that stands between mankind and the ravages of Chaos. Since their secretive beginnings during the Horus Heresy, these legendary Space Marine daemon hunters have journeyed into the dark realms of the warp – and beyond – in pursuit of their supernatural enemies. Through an intensive regime of psychic training, new recruits are brought to the clandestine fortress of Titan to join the hallowed and vaunted ranks of the 666th Chapter. More than ever, these legendary battle-brothers must be vigilant and ever ready to defend the Imperium for the forces of Chaos are never truly defeated, and Armageddon beckons…

Harmony by Keith Brooke - The aliens are here, all around us. They always have been. And now, one by one, they're destroying our cities.

Dodge Mercer deals in identities, which is fine until the day he deals the wrong identity and clan war breaks out. Hope Burren has no identity and no past, but she does have a multitude of voices filling her head.

In a world where nothing is as it seems, where humans are segregated and aliens can sing realities and tear worlds apart, Dodge and Hope lead a ragged band of survivors on a search for sanctuary in what may be the only hope for humankind.

Toxicity by Andy Remic -Welcome to Manna - the utopian galaxy where all races exist in harmony. Ruled by Shamans, perfect alien machines, Manna is a place of wisdom, technology and art. on the edge of the galaxy, away from romantic holiday cruises, hides toX1C, a reprocessing planet run by the Company and dealing with all Manna’s waste – there’s no poison the Company will not “recycle.”

Jenni Xi, ECO terrorist, is fighting a cleanup war against the Company. When a sabotage goes horribly wrong, she learns the future of the planet – and it’s far worse than she ever dreamed... Svoolzard Koolimax – poet, swashbuckler, bon viveur – is guest of Honour on a Masters Cruise when a violent attack leaves his Cruiser crashed in NukePuke. Horace is a torture model anarchy android, known simply as the Dentist. Horace works for the Company. Soon, he will meet Jenni and Svool – and the fate of Manna will change forever...

Weird Space: The Devil's Nebula by Eric Brown - Best-selling author Eric Brown has created a brand new shared world for Abaddon Books: Weird Space. This thrilling space-opera series will begin with the release of The Devil's Nebula. Brown will introduce readers to the human smugglers, veterans and ne’erdowells who are part of the Expansion – and their uneasy neighbours, the Vetch Empire.

When an evil race threatens not only the Expansion, but the Vetch too - an evil from another dimension which infests humans and Vetch alike and bends individuals to do their hideous bidding, only cooperation between them means the difference between a chance of survival and no chance at all.

Bloodsworn by Nathan Long - Returning to Nuln after her adventures in Praag, Ulrika finds the Lahmian vampires preparing for war. Across the Old World, their rivals, the sinister von Carsteins, attack their strongholds and lead the witch hunters to their hidden lairs. Spurned by her sisters, Ulrika forms an uneasy alliance with the von Carsteins in a plot to destabilise the Empire by striking at its very heart – they plan nothing less than the assassination of Emperor Karl Franz. With enemies on all sides and the Empire in flames, Ulrika must decide whether her future will see her living among the humans, or as their enemy.

Cursed by Benedict Jacka - Since his second sight made him infamous for defeating powerful dark mages, Alex has been keeping his head down. But now he's discovered the resurgence of a forbidden ritual. Someone is harvesting the life-force of magical creatures—destroying them in the process. And draining humans is next on the agenda. Hired to investigate, Alex realizes that not everyone on the Council wants him delving any deeper. Struggling to distinguish ally from enemy, he finds himself the target of those who would risk their own sanity for power...

Bleeding Out (An OSI Novel) by Jes Battis - From the author of Infernal Affairs comes a story of murder. mayhem, and demon relations. Is this really the vacation Tess was looking for?

Though she’s on leave from the Occult Special Investigations squad, Tess Corday is still grappling with her own personal mysteries. But finding out the truth about her demonic heritage has been more difficult than she expected. Plus, her unauthorized investigation into an addictive new vampire street drug is driving a stake between her and her undead boyfriend.

Then Vancouver’s premier necromancer turns up dead. Tess suspects that the cases are related. And her suspicions will lead her into a paranormal showdown that can—and will—change the course of her life forever.