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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

07/05/11 - New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Steampunk

OK, so I took a month off of writing the new releases blog.. sorry!  I'm back at it now, though a day or two late on this week's - a situation that I'm blaming on the holiday weekend.

The big news this week is actually a July 12th release, one of the most anticipated books in quite a few year - George R. R. Martin's A Dance with Dragons - scheduled for release next week but already in stores so we're counting it on this week's issue.

A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin - In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance-beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys's claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone-a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

Rule 34 by Charles Stross - Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh is head of the Rule 34 Squad, monitoring the Internet to determine whether people are engaging in harmless fantasies or illegal activities. Three ex-con spammers have been murdered, and Liz must uncover the link between them before these homicides go viral.

Heaven's Shadow by David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt - The science fiction epic of our time has arrived.

Three years ago, an object one hundred miles across was spotted on a trajectory for Earth's sun. Now, its journey is almost over. As it approaches, two competing manned vehicles race through almost half a million kilometers of space to reach it first. But when they both arrive on the entity, they learn that it has been sent toward Earth for a reason. An intelligent race is desperately attempting to communicate with our primitive species. And the message is: Help us.

Loose Cannon: The Tom Kelly Novels - David Drake's two Tom Kelly technothrillers in one volume. Day-after-tomorrow technothriller action with a raw, gritty and extremely effective hero you might want to forget, but can't, fending off Soviet aggression and alien attack. Skyripper.

During the Cold War, a Soviet scientist has knowledge the Earth will be attacked by aliens, but only the U.S. has the laser-based technology to knock out the alien weaponry. Enter Tom Kelly, American spy, navigator of the U.S. intelligence agency spaghetti, and ruthlessly effective operative when it comes to doing his job. Kelly will get the information into the right hands to save most of humanity- but in the process, he's prepared to annihilate anyone who gets in the way of his duty. FortressTom Kelly and his ruthless, adventurous ways return in an alternate past as JFK builds a space station to guard against alien attack. Now nefarious forces with the Soviet Union as well as actual, evil aliens are trying to turn it against Earth, and the U.S. THEY may have the high ground and the element of surprise on their hands, but WE have Tom Kelly. For better or worse. Or both.

Ring of Fire III by Eric Flint - Let’s do the “Time Warp” again! Another rollicking, thought-provoking collection of tales by a star-studded array of top writers such as bestseller Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint himself – all set in Eric Flint’s phenomenal Ring of Fire series.

Rock on, Renaissance! A cosmic accident sets the modern West Virginia town of Grantville down in war-torn seventeenth century Europe. It will take all the gumption of the resourceful, freedom-loving up-timers to find a way to flourish in mad and bloody end of medieval times. Are they up for it? You bet they are. The third rollicking and idea-packed collection of Grantville tales edited by Eric Flint, and inspired by his now-legendary 1632.

Undercurrents by Robert Buettner - Ace intelligence operative Lt. Jazen Parker parachutes into Tressel, a planet which resembles Earth in its Paleozoic era, on a mission to bring down the local politicos.  He quickly realizes he’s been handed a near-impossible task.  Tressel is a politically-quarantined nightmare world with a culture confined to iron rivet technology and a ruling regime a bit to the right of Heinrich Himmler.  Jazen’s inclined to abandon this particular hellhole to its ways--that is, until he uncovers a plot afoot that will throw a five hundred-planet alliance into the death-throes of anarchy.

So the local Nazis must go.  Unfortunately, all Jazen’s got to work with is a handful of rust-bucket tanks, a retread rebellion, and two strong, beautiful women who love him, but think he’s tilting at windmills and is about to get himself killed.  What they don’t know is, once committed, Jazen Parker is the best there is when it comes to getting the dirty job done on the ground.  It’s the local bullies who are about to be taught a lesson in losing.

Blood Secrets by Jeannie Holmes -  Alex allowed a case involving murdered vamps to get personal and is suspended from the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation. Now she’s facing an official inquiry but has a chance to redeem herself. The catch: She must once again work with Varik Baudelaire, her former mentor and ex-fianc√©, as he spearheads a search for a missing college student. But Varik has been keeping secrets from Alex, and his mysterious past is on a collision course with his present.

When Alex and Varik discover a carefully handcrafted doll at a crime scene, neither of them can see how close the danger really is or that a killer known as the Dollmaker has made Alex the object of his horrific desire. Now the only way out of the Dollmaker’s lair is through the twilight realm of the Shadowlands, where all secrets—for better or worse—will be revealed.

Conan the Barbarian by Michael A. Stackpole - Born in the fires of battle, Conan of Cimmeria lost his father and village when they were slaughtered by the cruel warlord Khalra Zym. Wandering the world alone, Conan was forged into a peerless warrior by hardship and bloodshed.

Years later, he crosses paths with Zym and his armies. But before Conan can exact vengeance, he must contend with the warlord's daughter-the seductive witch Marique-and a host of monstrous creatures. Only then will Conan's quest bring him face to gave with Zym in an epic battle to avenge his people and save the world.

Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn - Cicely Waters had always thought she was simply one of the magic-born---a witch who can control the wind---but recently she discovered she's also one of the shifting Fae. Now she must perfect her gift. Because Cicely and her friends may have escaped from Myst and her Shadow Hunters, but Myst has managed to capture the Fae prince who holds Cicely's heart.

Bloodlust by Michelle Rowan - Jillian Conrad's blood has killed the vampire king. Now an enemy to all vampires, she is targeted for elimination. So is the infant daughter of the dead king. If Jillian doesn't stand in the way of her death, then everyone, living or dead, is in great peril.

The Snow Queen's Shadow by Jim C. Hines - When a spell gone wrong shatters Snow White's enchanted mirror, a demon escapes into the world. The demon's magic distorts the vision of all it touches, showing them only ugliness and hate. It is a power that turns even friends and lovers into mortal foes, one that will threaten humans and fairies alike.

Undead and Undermined (Queen Betsy) by MaryJanice Davidson - Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor thought she couldn't die. So what's she doing in the morgue? It could have something to do with a time- traveling trip she made, and a foe with a wicked agenda that could finally be the real death of Betsy-if she's not careful.

Citadels of the Lost by Tracy Hickman - The Rhonas Empire of elves is built upon a thirst for conquest, disdain for other races, and an appetite for hedonistic self-gratification. They have complete control of the Aether — the mystical substance that fuels their magic. One use of this Aether is to compel total obedience of the slaves drawn from the races they have defeated.

But there are legends that tell of a time when humans and other slave races were free and dragons flew the skies. And they speak of a hero who will return to lead an uprising against their masters: a human named Drakis.

When Aer magic, the magic of nature itself, is wielded by Jugar, a captive dwarf, it signals the start of a rebellion straight from legend. In the ensuing chaos, the former warrior-slave Drakis Sha-Timuran, with a small group of slaves, flees for his life and freedom — lured by a melody that conjures visions of dark wings, scales, and fire. Following the melody he alone can hear, Drakis stumbles on the truth behind the legends: the dragons are real!

Can they survive the dangers of this treacherous realm and bring the truth behind the legends to the army of rebellion?

Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman - Once humans had magic and an alliance with dragons. Now they and the other races have been enslaved by the Rhonas Empire-the elves-and can't even remember the world the way it used to be. But thanks to the intervention of one determined dwarf and the human slave warrior known as Drakis, all of that is about to change.

Hammered by Kevin Hearne - Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is worse than a blowhard and a bully—he’s ruined countless lives and killed scores of innocents. After centuries, Viking vampire Leif Helgarson is ready to get his vengeance, and he’s asked his friend Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids, to help take down this Norse nightmare.

One survival strategy has worked for Atticus for more than two thousand years: stay away from the guy with the lightning bolts. But things are heating up in Atticus’s home base of Tempe, Arizona. There’s a vampire turf war brewing, and Russian demon hunters who call themselves the Hammers of God are running rampant. Despite multiple warnings and portents of dire consequences, Atticus and Leif journey to the Norse plain of Asgard, where they team up with a werewolf, a sorcerer, and an army of frost giants for an epic showdown against vicious Valkyries, angry gods, and the hammer-wielding Thunder Thug himself.

My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland - Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive"...

The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman - Raised from early childhood in the Redeemer Sanctuary, the stronghold of a secretive sect of warrior monks, Thomas Cale has known only deprivation, punishment, and grueling training. When he escsapes to the outside world, Cale learns that his embittered heart is still capable of loving- and breaking.

But the Redeemers won't accept the defection of their prized pupil without a fight...

Titus Awakes by Mervyn Peake - Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy is widely acknowledged to be, as Robertson Davies pronounced, "a classic of our age." In these extraordinary novels, Peake created a world where all is like a dream--lush, fantastical, and vivid. Yet it was incomplete. Parkinson's disease took Peake's life in 1968, depriving his fans of the fourth and final volume of the series, Titus Awakes except for a few tantalizing pages, after which his writing became indecipherable. Or so it seemed.

In January of 2010, Peake's granddaughter found four composition books in her attic. They contained the fabled Titus Awakes in its entirety. Peake had outlined the novel for his wife, Maeve Gilmore, who had at last finished Peake's masterpiece.

It starts with Titus leaving Castle Gormenghast. Peake wrote: "With every pace he drew away from Gormenghast mountain, and from everything that belonged to his home. That night, as Titus lay asleep in the tall barn, a nightmare held him. "

Fans of Peake will delight in this new, wonderful novel, published one hundred years after his birth, every bit as thrilling and masterfully written as his famed trilogy.

A Shot in the Dark by K. A. Stewart - Jesse James Dawson's vacation is interrupted by a pack of hell-spawned creatures. To save friends, family and himself, Jesse will have to put his trust in his most dangerous enemy-his personal demon.

Dragon Outcast by E. E. Knight - Dragon Outcast continues E. E. Knight's thrilling fantasy series about a brood of young dragon siblings—-each unique, each powerful, and each fated to battle the other to the end. Here, the darkest of the dragons is introduced as he strives to make himself the strongest—-and the last—-of his brethren.

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price - After a month of down time, Grave Witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But when her new case forces her to overuse her magic, it might be the last mystery the Grave Witch ever gets to solve...

Dead Iron: The Age of Steamby Devon Monk - Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.

In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all...

Viper Moon by Lee Roland - Cassandra Archer is the Huntress. She has faithfully served the Earth Mother for years, rescuing kidnapped children from monsters-both human and supernatural-dwelling in the ruins of the Barrows District. But when two children are kidnapped under similar circumstances, all clues point to a cataclysmic event on the next dark moon. Now Cass must race against the clock and prevent a sacrifice that could destroy the entire town...

Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish - Since being gifted-or cursed-with the ability to touch a lifeless body and relive the deceased's final moments, Olivia Wainwright has died a hundred deaths. And every glimpse into this darkness draws her deeper into danger.

Though he doesn't believe in psychics, Savannah Detective Gabe Cooper offers her a glimmer of light. As their bond deepens, Olivia will have to choose between her cold gift and the warmth Gabe can provide. And Gabe can't refuse when she needs his help solving a crime that's haunted her for over a decade-her own murder.

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones - Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

This is a thrilling debut novel from an exciting newcomer to the world of paranormal romantic suspense.

Year's Best Science Fiction #28 edited by Gardner Dozois - In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Eighth Annual Collection the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world.

This venerable collection brings together award winning authors and masters of the field such as Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Damien Broderick, Carrie Vaughn, Ian R. MacLeod and Cory Doctorow. And with an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.

Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow - In this thrilling collection of original stories some of today’s hottest paranormal authors delight, thrill and captivate readers with otherworldly tales of magic and mischief. In Jim Butcher’s ”Curses” Harry Dresden investigates how to lift a curse laid by the Fair Folk on the Chicago Cubs. In Patricia Briggs’ “Fairy Gifts,” a vampire is called home by magic to save the Fae who freed him from a dark curse. In Melissa Marr’s “Guns for the Dead,” the newly dead Frankie Lee seeks a job in the afterlife on the wrong side of the law. In Holly Black’s “Noble Rot,” a dying rock star discovers that the young woman who brings him food every day has some strange appetites of her own.

Featuring original stories from 20 authors, this dark, captivating, fabulous and fantastical collection is not to be missed!

7th Sigma by Steven Gould - Welcome to the territory. Leave your metal behind, all of it. The bugs will eat it, and they’ll go right through you to get it…Don’t carry it, don’t wear it, and for god’s sake don’t come here if you’ve got a pacemaker.

The bugs showed up about fifty years ago—self-replicating, solar-powered, metal-eating machines. No one knows where they came from. They don’t like water, though, so they’ve stayed in the desert Southwest. The territory. People still live here, but they do it without metal. Log cabins, ceramics, what plastic they can get that will survive the sun and heat. Technology has adapted, and so have the people.

Kimble Monroe has chosen to live in the territory. He was born here, and he is extraordinarily well adapted to it. He’s one in a million. Maybe one in a billion.

In 7th Sigma, Gould builds an extraordinary SF novel of survival and personal triumph against all the odds.

Honeyed Words by J. A. Pitts - Sarah Beauhall is a blacksmith, has a night job as a props manager for a low-budget movie, and spends her free time fighting in a medieval re-enactment group. Her world falls apart when she discovers that dragons are real and live among us as shapeshifters; in fact, it is they who have been the secret masters of our world from time immemorial. On top of all this, it appears that Sarah has managed to reforge an ancient sword that everyone suddenly wants...and those who don’t want the weapon want Sarah to take on her destiny and become humanity’s saviour.

As Sarah tries to make her way in this new world, she discovers just how little she knows of reality.  Fairies and dwarves and giants abound, the fault line of the Pacific Northwest is rife with ancient Norse magic. Odin himself appears with ravens at his side and cryptic advice for the fledgling heroine.  And the cherry on the sundae?  The discovery that Sarah’s girlfriend is from a family that has been battling these forces for generations and they look to Sarah as their last best hope.

What’s a girl to do when the powers of the world decide that you’re responsible for cleaning up the magical mess?

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons - It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic childhood. But amid the sun-drenched cornfields, their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising. Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once-peaceful town. Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood — against an arcane abomination who owns the night....

The House of Caine by Ken Eulo - When Rob Martin left Millhouse, he was barely out of his teens and Millhouse was his beloved hometown. Ten years later, Rob returns for a brief visit and finds that beneath the calm surface of small-town America, a terrible evil is brewing.

For decades, vampires have lived secretly in Millhouse, selecting victims who will not be missed. Now a great thirst is upon them, for blood and the pleasures of the flesh. Now they have grown more brazen, seducing not just vulnerable loners but some of Millhouse’s leading citizens. Rob’s old girlfriend, Elizabeth, is having amazing erotic dreams, dreams that leave her feeling drained and weak the next morning, afraid and yet eager to return to sleep.

As mutilated bodies turn up, drained of blood, the sheriff and town council look for a normal explanation for the wave of violence that is engulfing their town—but there is nothing normal about a nest of vampires. Only Rob, his best friend Tony, and a few stalwarts are prepared to drive a stake through the heart of the vampire menace. But will they act fast enough to save Elizabeth’s life . . . and soul?



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As always, all new releases are at least 10% off at Kayleighbug Books.  Order on our site or call toll-free 1-866-343-4516.
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Later this week, we'll be reviewing the first and second books of the Clockwork Vampire trilogy by Andy Remic - stay tuned!

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