Sunday, April 17, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2011-04-16)

Two weeks in a row with a lot of arrivals at the stronghold of the ‘o Stuff. What of these will I read? I don’t even know right now, though deciding what I won’t read is a much easier task for my mind to attack. Regardless, I will not be reading at 9PM tonight.

The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 3 by Ellen Datlow (Trade Paperback 3/09/2010 Night Shade Books) – The third volume in the latest incarnation of Ellen Datlow’s annual retrospective on horror

A doctor makes a late-night emergency call to an exclusive California riding school; a professor inherits a mysterious vase... and a strange little man; a struggling youth discovers canine horrors lurking beneath the streets of Albany; a sheriff ruthlessly deals with monstrosities plaguing his rural town; a pair of animal researchers makes a frightening discovery at a remote site; a sweet little girl entertains herself... by torturing faeries; a group of horror aficionados attempts to track down an unfinished film by a reclusive cult director; a man spends a chill night standing watch over his uncle's body; a girl looks to understand her place in a world in which zombies have overrun the earth; a murderous pack of nuns stalks a pair of Halloween revelers...

What frightens us, what unnerves us? What causes that delicious shiver of fear to travel the lengths of our spines? It seems the answer changes every year. Every year the bar is raised; the screw is tightened. Ellen Datlow knows what scares us; the seventeen stories included in this anthology were chosen from magazines, webzines, anthologies, literary journals, and single author collections to represent the best horror of the year.

Legendary editor Ellen Datlow (Lovecraft Unbound, Tails of Wonder and Imagination), winner of multiple Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, joins Night Shade Books in presenting The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Three.

Table of Contents:

Summation 2010 by Ellen Datlow /At the Riding School by Cody Goodfellow /Mr. Pigsny by Reggie Oliver / City of the Dog by John Langan /Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls by Brian Hodge /Lesser Demons by Norman Partridge / When the Zombies Win by Karina Sumner-Smith /--30-- by Laird Barron /Fallen Boys by Mark Morris / Was She Wicked? Was She Good? by M. Rickert /The Fear by Richard Harland /Till the Morning Comes by Stephen Graham Jones /Shomer by Glen Hirshberg /Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside by Christopher Fowler /The Obscure Bird by Nicholas Royle /Transfiguration by Richard Christian Matheson /The Days of Flaming Motorcycles by Catherynne M. Valente /The Folding Man Joe R. Lansdale /Just Another Desert Night With Blood by Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. /Black and White Sky by Tanith Lee /At Night When the Demons Come by Ray Cluley /The Revel by John Langan

Blood Reaver (A Night Lords Novel, Book Two) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Pyr, Trade Paperback 05/19/2011) – Dembski-Bowden seems to write or contribute to every other book the Black Library publishes, this is the second in a series that began with Soul Hunter.

Driven on by their hatred of the False Emperor, the Night Lords stalk the shadows of the galaxy, eternally seeking revenge for the death of their primarch. Their dark quest leads them to a fractious alliance with the Red Corsairs, united only by a common enemy. Together with this piratical band of renegades, they bring their ways of destruction to the fortress-monastery of the Marines Errant.

Age of Darkness (Horus Heresy) edited by Christian Dunn, (Black Library, Paperback 05/12/2011) – The Horus Heresy is one of the hottest franchises in SF right now and this anthology could serve as a terrific introduction/overview to the saga, and it includes stores by some of the Black Library’s top writers: Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, James Swallow and Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

After the betrayal at Isstvan, Horus begins his campaign against the Emperor, a galaxy-wide war that can lead only to Terra. But the road to the final confrontation between father and son is a long one – seven years filled with secrecy and silence, plans and foundations being formed across distant stars. An unknown history is about to be unveiled as light is shed on the darkest years of the Horus Heresy, and revelations will surface that will shake the Imperium to its very foundation...Contents: Rules of Engagement by Graham McNeill / Liar's Due by James Swallow / Forgotten Sons by Nick Kyme / The Last Remembrancer by John French / Rebirth by Chris Wraight / The Face of Treachery by Gav Thorpe / Little Horus by Dan Abnett / The Iron Within by Rob Sanders / Savage Weapons by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Raising Stony Mayhall by Daryl Gregory (Trade Paperback 06/28/2011 Del Rey) –This is Gregory’s third novel and chances are I’ll be reading it in the near future. Well, maybe by the summer. I thought his second novel The Devil’s Alphabet was fantastic, so I’m looking forward to what he has to say about a zombie baby.

From award-winning author Daryl Gregory, whom Library Journal called “[a] bright new voice of the twenty-first century,” comes a new breed of zombie novel—a surprisingly funny, vividly frightening, and ultimately deeply moving story of self-discovery and family love.

In 1968, after the first zombie outbreak, Wanda Mayhall and her three young daughters discover the body of a teenage mother during a snowstorm. Wrapped in the woman’s arms is a baby, stone-cold, not breathing, and without a pulse. But then his eyes open and look up at Wanda—and he begins to move.

The family hides the child—whom they name Stony—rather than turn him over to authorities that would destroy him. Against all scientific reason, the undead boy begins to grow. For years his adoptive mother and sisters manage to keep his existence a secret—until one terrifying night when Stony is forced to run.

Soon Stony learns that he is not the only living dead boy left in the world. There is an entire undead underground. As Stony gets radicalized, he also discovers why he’s never been ravenous for human flesh. But in a world where humans want to cut off his head and burn him, can Stony embrace his identity, save his people, and protect his human family? The answer is not so dead certain.

Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1) by Kevin Hearne (Del Rey, Mass Market Paperback 05/03/2011) – Debut novel from Kevin Hearne, which takes one shape-shifting Druid and his dog pitted against all sorts of supernatural problems. Once again, Del Rey is employing a proven publishing strategy – three books released over the course of three consecutive months. There’s already a decent amount of chatter at SFFWorld about these books.

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old — when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power — plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish — to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil..

Happily Ever After edited by John Klima (Night Shade Books Trade Paperback 06/05/2011) – Klima is a Hugo award winner and edits Electric Velocipede, this anthology reprints twisted fairy tales.

Once Upon A Time... the faraway land of Story, a Hugo-winning Editor realized that no one had collected together the fairy tales of the age, and that doorstop-thick anthologies of modern fairy tales were sorely lacking...

And so the Editor ventured forth, wandering the land of Story from shore to shore, climbing massive mountains of books and delving deep into lush, literary forests, gathering together thirty-three of the best re-tellings of fairy tales he could find. Not just any fairy tales, mind you, but tantalizing tales from some of the biggest names in today's fantastic fiction, authors like Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Aletha Kontis, Kelly Link, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs, Paul Di Filippo, Gregory Frost, and Nancy Kress. But these stories alone weren't enough to satisfy the Editor, so the Editor ventured further, into the dangerous cave of the fearsome Bill Willingham, and emerged intact with a magnificent introduction, to tie the collection together.

And the inhabitants of Story, from the Kings and Queens relaxing in their castles to the peasants toiling in the fields; from to the fey folk flitting about the forests to the trolls lurking under bridges and the giants in the hills, read the anthology, and enjoyed it. And they all lived...

...Happily Ever After.

Bill Willingham – Introduction /Gregory Maguire - The Seven Stage a Comeback/Genevieve Valentine - And In Their Glad Rags/Howard Waldrop - The Sawing Boys/Michael Cadnum - Bear It Away/Susanna Clarke - Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower/ Karen Joy Fowler - The Black Fairy's Curse /Charles de Lint - My Life As A Bird/Holly Black - The Night Market /Theodora Goss - The Rose in Twelve Petals /Jim C. Hines - The Red Path /Alethea Kontis - Blood and Water /Garth Nix - Hansel's Eyes /Wil McCarthy - He Died That Day, In Thirty Years/ Jane Yolen - Snow In Summer /Michelle West - The Rose Garden /Bruce Sterling - The Little Magic Shop /K. Tempest Bradford - Black Feather /Alan Rodgers - Fifi's Tail /Kelly Link - The Faery Handbag /Peter Straub - Ashputtle /Leslie What - The Emperor's New (And Improved) Clothes /Robert J. Howe - Pinocchio's Diary /Wendy Wheeler - Little Red /Neil Gaiman - The Troll Bridge /Patricia Briggs - The Price /Paul Di Filippo - Ailoura /Jeff VanderMeer - The Farmer's Cat /Gregory Frost - The Root of The Matter /Susan Wade - Like a Red, Red Rose /Josh Rountree - Chasing America /Nancy Kress - Stalking Beans /Esther Friesner - Big Hair /Robert Coover - The Return of the Dark Children

Shadow Chaser (The Chronicles of Siala #2) by Alexey Pehov (Hardcover 4/23/2011 Tor) – Second in the Russian import trilogy pitting a hero Shadow Harold against the Nameless One, who is stirring. Nameless Ones, I’ve learned, tend to stir quite a bit.

Saddened because they have left one of their number in a grave in the wilderness, Harold and his companions continue their journey to the dreaded underground palace of Hrad Spein. There, knowing that armies of warriors and wizards before them have failed, they must fight legions of untold, mysterious powers before they can complete their quest for the magic horn that will save their beloved land from The Nameless One. But before they can even reach their goal, they must overcome all manner of obstacles, fight many battles…and evade the frightful enemies on their trail.

Shadow Chaser is a novel of intricate plots, surprising twists and finely drawn characters that will not leave you when you put the book down. Shadow Chaser is truly something different in the world of fantasy, something special; it is something truly Russian, a fantasy that is gripping and haunting, fascinating and imaginative.

The Alchemist in the Shadows (The Cardinal’s Blades) by Pierre Pével (Pyr Trade Paperback 04/04/2011) – This is the second book in a series, translated from the French, about swashbuckling holy men fighting dragons. Perhaps you can think of these books as Dragons meet the Three Musketeers? Pével is the winner of the 2010 David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer.:

Welcome to Paris, in 1633, where dragons menace the realm. Cardinal Richelieu, the most powerful and most feared man in France, is on his guard. He knows France is under threat, and that a secret society known as the Black Claw is conspiring against him from the heart of the greatest courts in Europe. They will strike from the shadows, and when they do the blow will be both terrible and deadly. To counter the threat, Richelieu has put his most trusted men into play: the Cardinal's Blades, led by Captain la Fargue. Six men and a woman, all of exceptional abilities and all ready to risk their lives on his command. They have saved France before, and the Cardinal is relying on them to do it again.

So when la Fargue hears from a beautiful, infamous, deadly Italian spy claiming to have valuable information, he has to listen ...and when La Donna demands Cardinal Richelieu's protection before she will talk, la Fargue is even prepared to consider it. Because La Donna can name their enemy. It's a man as elusive as he is manipulative, as subtle as Richelieu himself, an exceptionally dangerous adversary: the Alchemist in the shadows ...

Sati by Christopher Pike (Trade Paperback 03/29/2011Tor) –This is a re-issue of one of Pike’s early novels about a girl who challenges readers religious notions.

I once knew this girl who thought she was God. She didn’t give sight to the blind or raise the dead. She didn’t even teach anything, not really, and she never told me anything I probably didn’t already know.

On the other hand, she didn’t expect to be worshipped, nor did she ask for money. Given her high opinion of herself, some might call that a miracle.

I don’t know, maybe she was God. Her name was Sati and she had blonde hair and blue eyes.

For all who meet her, Sati will change everything. Sati may change everything for you.

The Season of Passage by Christopher Pike (Trade Paperback 03/29/2011Tor) –This is another re-issue of one of Pike’s early novels this time about the aftermath of a manned mission to mars.

Dr. Lauren Wagner was a celebrity. She was involved with the most exciting adventure mankind had ever undertaken: a manned expedition to Mars. The whole world admired and respected her.

But Lauren knew fear. Inside—voices entreating her to love them. Outside—the mystery of the missing group that had gone before her. The dead group.

But were they simply dead? Or something else?

A haunting and unforgettable blend of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and suspense from one of America’s bestselling writers. A novel you won’t soon forget.

Bloodshot (Cheshire Red Reports Series #2) by Cherie Priest (Spectra , Trade Paperback 08/30/2011) – Second in Priest’s urban fantasy mixing vampires, thieves, spies, and governmental intrigue.

Cherie Priest — the acclaimed author of Boneshaker, the hottest steampunk novel of 2009 — now returns with the second novel in her hip urban fantasy series, following February's Bloodshot.

With the government now off her tail, vampire and superthief Raylene Pendle is up to her old tricks, hired to retrieve a valuable magical artifact. But this time, a powerful witch also wants the artifact — which she plans to use to unmake the world as we know it. And to make matters worse, someone wants to kill the only friend Raylene has made in years. So now, Raylene must cross the country in company with ex-Navy SEAL and fabulous drag queen Adrian, trying to juggle two incredibly tricky assignments at the same time without losing control of either.

Jim and the Flims by Rudy Rucker (Night Shade Books Hardcover 04/26/2011) – Rucker has written a tetralogy of books, the Ware tetralogy, the first two of which were awarded the first and second Philp K. Dick awards.

Jim and the Flims is a novel set in Santa Cruz, California... and the afterlife. Acclaimed cyberpunk/singularity author Rudy Rucker explores themes of death and destruction, in the wry, quirky style he is famous for.

Jim Oster ruptures the membrane between our world and afterworld (AKA, Flimsy), creating a two-way tunnel between them. Jim's wife Val is killed in the process, and Jim finds himself battling his grief, and an invasion of the Flims--who resemble blue baboons and flying beets. Jim's escalating adventures lead him to the center of the afterworld, where he just might find his wife.

Can Jim save Earth with the help of a posse of Santa Cruz surf-punks, and at the same time bring his wife back to life? Jim and the Flims is the Orphic myth retold for the twenty-first century. Will there be a happy ending this time?

Caledor (A Tale of the Sundering #3) by Gav Thorpe (Paperback 05/07/2011 Black Library) Final volume in Thorpe’s trilogy which takes place in the pre-history of the Warhammer Fantasy universe.

The rise of the Druchii has driven the land of Ulthuan into a brutal civil war. As conflict rages through the cities and forests, sides must be chosen and old allegiances and friendships will be torn apart forever. After by the betrayal by Malekith and the murder of his court, Prince Imrik adopts the name of his grandfather, the mighty Caledor, and the bloodshed escalates. No elf can escape the fighting, and the mighty dragons are awakened to the call of battle once more. Only a confrontation between legends can decide the future of Ulthuan, with Malekith and Caledor meeting blade to blade in a long-overdue reckoning. But even worse is to follow, as Malekith launches a final, desperate plan to triumph...

Caledor is the epic conclusion to The Sundering trilogy, telling the incredible tale of the battles that would change the fate of the elves forever.

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn (Hardcover 04/12/2011 Tor) –Vaughn has turned into something of a writing machine over the past few years, this is the second of four books she’s publishing this year. This is a superhero story.

Can an accountant defeat a supervillain? Celia West, only daughter of the heroic leaders of the superpowered Olympiad, has spent the past few years estranged from her parents and their high-powered lifestyle. She’s had enough of masks and heroics, and wants only to live her own quiet life out from under the shadow of West Plaza and her rich and famous parents.

Then she is called into her boss’ office and told that as the city’s top forensic accountant, Celia is the best chance the prosecution has to catch notorious supervillain the Destructor for tax fraud. In the course of the trial, Celia’s troubled past comes to light and family secrets are revealed as the rift between Celia and her parents grows deeper. Cut off from friends and family, Celia must come to terms with the fact that she might just be Commerce City’s only hope.

This all-new and moving story of love, family, and sacrifice is an homage to Golden Age comics that no fan will want to miss.

1 comment:

Silver Thistle said...

My son is a massive Horus Heresy fan and is looking forward to this anthology.