Sunday, August 14, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2011-08-13)

Lots of books this week, with nine arriving on Monday alone.

Circle of Enemies (A Twenty Palaces Novel, #3) by Harry Connolly (Del Rey Mass Market Paperback 8/30/2011) – Third in Del Rey’s answer to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Right, I know that sounds a little unfair, but the story does fit the practicing sorcerer in the modern world.

Former car thief Ray Lilly is now the expendable grunt of a sorcerer responsible for destroying extra-dimensional predators summoned to our world by power-hungry magicians. Luckily, Ray has some magic of his own, and so far it’s kept him alive. But when a friend from his former gang calls him back to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles, Ray may have to face a threat even he can’t handle. A mysterious spell is killing Ray’s former associates, and they blame him. Worse yet, the spell was cast by Wally King, the sorcerer who first dragged Ray into the brutal world of the Twenty Palace Society. Now Ray will have to choose between the ties of the past and the responsibilities of the present, as he and the Society face not only Wally King but a bizarre new predator.

Rage by Del Rey Trade Paperback 8/30/2011) – The latest in Del Rey’s growing line of video game novelizations/tie-ins from a writer who has experience across most genre media.

An action-packed adventure based on the award-winning videogame from id Software, the creators of DOOM® and QUAKE®, Rage follows one man’s fight to save the future of humanity in a ravaged, post-apocalyptic world.

The asteroid Apophis has annihilated Earth, and only a small percentage of humanity’s best and brightest have been saved. Buried deep below the ground in life-sustaining Arks, these chosen few are tasked with one vital mission—to restore civilization to a devastated planet hundreds of years after the impact.

When Lieutenant Nick Raine emerges from his Ark, he finds a future indistinguishable from nightmare. Humankind has not been entirely destroyed on the surface world, and a primitive new society has emerged in which life is nasty, brutish, and short. Mutants and bandits prey upon the weak, and a mysterious military group known as the Authority preys upon everyone. Worst of all, a would-be tyrant seeks to impose his will upon the shattered planet. Armed with nothing more than his combat training and survival instincts, Raine must rise to meet the challenges of the wasteland.

Thomas World by Richard Cox (NightShade BooksTrade Paperback 09/06/2011) – I’m continued to be impressed with the interesting sounding debut novels Night Shade has been publishing this year. The cover on this one looks VERY much like the Vintage trade paperback re-issues of Philip K. Dick’s backlist. Not surprising since the book is compared to PKD.

Thomas Phillips knows he''s losing his mind. He''s been losing it for as long as he can remember. And yet, when a strange old man asks him to consider that he, out of everyone in the world, knows the real truth, Thomas'' life begins to spiral out of control. He loses interest in his job and is fired. He refuses his wife''s suggestion of psychiatric care, and she leaves him. In the end, Thomas is alone. Except he''s not, because someone seems to be following him. What if you were Thomas? Where would you go? What would you do? What if you realized every person in your life had been scripted to be there? What if you were haunted by the idea that you''d lived all these encounters before, hundreds or even thousands of times before? And what if the person watching all this time was you?

Thomas World explores what happens when the borders of reality start seeming a bit pores... when things start bleeding through the edges, challenging ones perceptions of the universe. The grand tradition of Dickian, New Wave SF is explored by Richard Cox in this 21st century thriller!

Necropolis by Michael Dempsey (NightShade BooksTrade Paperback 09/06/2011) – Zombies and noir mix in Dempsey’s debut novel, which to me has a similar premise to James Knapp’s State of Decay

Paul Donner is a NYPD detective struggling with a drinking problem and a marriage on the rocks. Then he and his wife get dead--shot to death in a "random" crime. Fifty years later, Donner is back--revived courtesy of the Shift, a process whereby inanimate DNA is re-activated.

This new "reborn" underclass is not only alive again, they're growing younger, destined for a second childhood. The freakish side-effect of a retroviral attack on New York, the Shift has turned the world upside down. Beneath the protective geodesic Blister, clocks run backwards, technology is hidden behind a noir facade, and you can see Bogart and DiCaprio in The Maltese Falcon III. In this unfamiliar retro-futurist world of flying Studebakers and plasma tommy guns, Donner must search for those responsible for the destruction of his life. His quest for retribution, aided by Maggie, his holographic Girl Friday, leads him to the heart of the mystery surrounding the Shift's origin and up against those who would use it to control a terrified nation.

Twilight of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor (Nightshade Books Trade Paperback 10/04/2011) – This seems to be a sequel to Geillor’s Zombie novel set in Woebegotten with a humorous twist on a certain northwest group of vampires:

A small town... a plucky heroin, a shiny vampire, and a hunkey Native American rival with a secret. But all is not as it seems in Lake Woebegotten. Let Harrison Geillor reveal what lies beneath the seemingly placid surface. You’ll laugh. We promise.

When Bonnie Grayduck relocates from sunny Santa Cruz California to the small town of Lake Woebegotten, Minnesota, to live with her estranged father, chief of the local two-man police department, she thinks she’s leaving her troubles behind. But she soon becomes fascinated by another student - the brooding, beautiful Edwin Scullen, whose reclusive family hides a terrible secret. (Psst: they're actually vampires. But they're the kind who don't eat people, so it's okay.) Once Bonnie realizes what her new lover really is, she isn't afraid. Instead, she sees potential. Because while Bonnie seems to her friends and family to be an ordinary, slightly clumsy, easily-distracted girl, she’s really manipulative, calculating, power hungry, and not above committing murder to get her way - or even just to amuse herself. This is a love story about monsters... but the vampire isn't the monster.

The Mandel Files, Volume I (Mindstar Rising and A Quantum Murder #1) by Peter F. Hamilton. (Del Rey Trade Paperback 08/23/2011) – Omnibus reissue of Hamilton’s early novels, which are in the Psychic Detective subgenre. I’ve seen good things about these so I’ll likely get to these eventually.


For the first time in a single volume, Peter F. Hamilton’s acclaimed novels—Mindstar Rising and A Quantum Murder—set in a near-future so real it seems ripped from tomorrow’s headlines

In Mindstar Rising, Greg Mandel, gifted—or cursed—with biotechnology that makes him a living lie detector, is hired to investigate corporate espionage by Event Horizon, a powerful company about to introduce a technology that will solve the energy problems of a world decimated by global warming.

Set two years later, A Quantum Murder once again teams Mandel with Event Horizon and its beautiful young owner, Julia Evans, in a locked-room mystery that combines the ingenuity of an Agatha Christie novel with cutting-edge speculative brilliance.

Read together, these novels take on fresh depth and complexity, underscoring the magnitude of Peter F. Hamilton’s creative talent.

The Truth of Valor (A Confederation Novel) by Tanya Huff (DAW Mass Market Paperback 09/06/2011) – Fifth book in Huff’s Military SF/Space Opera saga from the prolific and varied Huff.

Having left the Marine Corps, former Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is attempting to build a new life with salvage operator Craig Ryder. Turns out, civilian life is a lot rougher than she'd imagined. Torin is left for dead when pirates attack their spaceship and take Craig prisoner. But "left for dead" has never stopped Torin. Determined to rescue Craig, she calls in her Marines. And that's when her mission expands to stopping the pirates from changing the balance of power in known space.

The Book of Cthulhu edited by Ross E. Lockhart (Nightshade Books Trade Paperback 10/04/2011) – Ross has been in the Night Shade fold for quite a while and this is his first full anthology with them. Who doesn’t love some Cthulhu craziness? Only crazy folks and this looks to be another in an impressive line of themed anthologies from the NSB folks.

The Cthulhu Mythos is one of the 20th century''s most singularly recognizable literary creations. Initially created by H. P. Lovecraft and a group of his amorphous contemporaries (the so-called "Lovecraft Circle"), The Cthulhu Mythos story cycle has taken on a convoluted, cyclopean life of its own. Some of the most prodigious writers of the 20th century, and some of the most astounding writers of the 21st century have planted their seeds in this fertile soil. The Book of Cthulhu harvests the weirdest and most corpulent crop of these modern mythos tales. From weird fiction masters to enigmatic rising stars, The Book of Cthulhu demonstrates how Mythos fiction has been a major cultural meme throughout the 20th century, and how this type of story is still salient, and terribly powerful today.

Table of Contents:

Caitlin R. Kiernan - Andromeda among the Stones Ramsey Campbell - The Tugging Charles Stross - A Colder War Bruce Sterling - The Unthinkable Silvia Moreno-Garcia - Flash Frame W. H. Pugmire - Some Buried Memory Molly Tanzer - The Infernal History of the Ivybridge Twins Michael Shea - Fat Face Elizabeth Bear - Shoggoths in Bloom T. E. D. Klien - Black Man With A Horn David Drake - Than Curse the Darkness Charles Saunders - Jeroboam Henley''s Debt Thomas Ligotti - Nethescurial Kage Baker - Calamari Curls Edward Morris - Jihad over Innsmouth Cherie Priest - Bad Sushi John Hornor Jacobs - The Dream of the Fisherman''s Wife Brian McNaughton - The Doom that Came to Innsmouth Ann K. Schwader - Lost Stars Steve Duffy - The Oram County Whoosit Joe R. Lansdale - The Crawling Sky Brian Lumley - The Fairground Horror Tim Pratt - Cinderlands Gene Wolfe - Lord of the Land Joseph Pulver, Sr. - To Live and Die in Arkham John Langan - The Shallows Laird Barron - The Men from Porlock

One Salt Sea (An October Daye Novel) by Seanan McGuire (DAW Mass Market 09/06/2011) – McGuire as an extremely fast writer, who seems to manage quality along with that timeliness as she’s been nominated for several awards under the Mira Grant moniker for Feed. This is the fifth book in the series in just under two years.

October "Toby" Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She's actually dating again, and she's taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it's time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby's search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days' time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn't playing by Oberon's Laws...

Coronets and Steel (Dobrenica Urban Fantasy Series #2) by Shrewood Smith (DAW Mass Market Paperback 09/06/2011) – First novel in a series about a young swashbuckling girl.

Kim's a grad student in L.A. Her passions are ballet, fencing, Jane Austen, and swashbuckling, romantic old movies. When her grandmother begs her to go east and see if "they" are safe, then slips into an uncommunicative silence, Kim goes to Vienna to search for a family, armed with only two clues. She's having no luck when she first runs into a ghost, and then encounters a guy she mentally dubs Mr. Darcy. Only this Mr. Darcy acts like he knows her. When she goes out for a drink and wakes up on a train, the adventure begins. This story began as an homage to Prisoner of Zenda, only with a female having to prove her courage, dash . . . and honor.

Tears of the Sun (A Novel of the Change) by S. M. Stirling (Roc Hardcover 09/06/2011) – Like clockwork, it’s September and time for a new Stirling novel. The post-apocalyptic (or post-‘Change’) setting of this novel seems right up my alley in a lot of ways. I’ve never read any Stirling and this is quite a few books into the series so I wonder if it is a good jumping-on point. I’ve seen good things about Stirling, so this book may be a “I’ll catch up with it eventually”

Rudi McKenzie-now Artos, the High King of Montival-must fulfill his destiny. He wields the sword crafted for him before he was born. He has made friends of his enemies. He has won the heart of the woman he loves.

And now he must defeat the forces of the Church Universal and Triumphant, knowing he may lose his life in the final battle...

Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright (Tor Hardcover 12/20/2011) – First in a quartet of Space Opera novels by the author of Fugitives of Chaos, which I reviewed a couple of years ago.

John C. Wright burst upon the SF scene a decade ago with the Golden Age trilogy, an innovative space opera. He went on to write fantasy novels, including the popular Orphans of Chaos trilogy. And now he returns to space opera in Count to a Trillion.

After the collapse of the world economy, a young boy grows up in what used to be Texas as a tough duellist for hire, the future equivalent of a hired gun. But even after the collapse, there is space travel, and he leaves Earth to have adventures in the really wide open spaces. But he is quickly catapulted into the more distant future, while humanity, and Artificial Intelligence, grows and changes and becomes a kind of superman..

Seed by Rob Ziegler (Nightshade Books Hardcover 11/15/2011) – Relatively near future dystopic SF debut with a superb cover.

It's the dawn of the 22nd century, and the world has fallen apart. Decades of war and resource depletion have toppled governments. The ecosystem has collapsed. A new dust bowl sweeps the American West. The United States has become a nation of migrants -starving masses of nomads who seek out a living in desert wastelands and encampments outside government seed-distribution warehouses.

In this new world, there is a new power. Satori is more than just a corporation, she is an intelligent, living city that grew out of the ruins of Denver. Satori bioengineers both the climate-resistant seed that feeds a hungry nation, and her own post-human genetic Designers, Advocates, and Laborers. What remains of the United States government now exists solely to distribute Satori seed; a defeated American military doles out bar-coded, single-use Satori seed to the nation's starving citizens.

When one of Satori's Designers goes rogue, Agent Sienna Doss-Ex-Army Ranger turned glorified bodyguard-is tasked by the government to bring her in: The government wants to use the Designer to break Satori's stranglehold on seed production and reassert themselves as the center of power.

Sianna Doss's search for the Designer intersects with Brood and his younger brother Pollo - orphans scrapping by on the fringes of the wastelands. Pollo is abducted, because he is believed to suffer from Tet, a newly emergent disease, the victims of which are harvested by Satori.

As events spin out of control, Brood and Sienna Doss find themselves at the heart of Satori, where an explosive climax promises to reshape the future of the world.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Wow, Del Rey really jumped the gun on RAGE. "Based on the critically acclaimed.." - What? The game isn't even out yet! :p