Sunday, May 08, 2011

Books in the Mail (W/E 2011-05-07)

A bunch of stuff from the Penguin imprints arrived this week at the lair of the o’ Stuff…Pray tell in the comments, what interests you the most?

Conviction: (Fate of the Jedi Book Seven) by Aaron Allston (Hardcover 5/09/2011 Del Rey). Seventh book, and last contribution from Allston, in the latest series involving that pesky Skywalker clan.

Chief of State Natasi Daala has been overthrown, and the Jedi Order has taken control of the Galactic Alliance. But while the new governors dismantle Daala’s draconian regime, forces still loyal to the deposed official are mobilizing a counterstrike. And even the Jedi’s new authority may not be enough to save Tahiri Veila, the former Jedi Knight and onetime Sith apprentice convicted of treason for the killing of Galactic Alliance officer Gilad Pellaeon.

Meanwhile, Luke and Ben Skywalker are relentlessly pursuing Abeloth, the powerful dark-side entity bent on ruling the galaxy. But as they corner their monstrous quarry on the planet Nam Chorios, the two lone Jedi must also face the fury of the Sith death squadron bearing down on them. And when Abeloth turns the tables with an insidious ambush, the Skywalkers’ quest threatens to become a suicide mission.

Prince of Thorns (Book One of The Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence (Hardcover 08/2/2011 Ace) – This is both Lawrence’s debut novel and the first of a trilogy, which has been generating a fair amount of pre-publication buzz. Mark has been visiting the SFFWorld forums on and off for the past few months.

Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night. All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse."

Once a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg's bleak past has set him beyond fear of any man, living or dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve himself a future with all hands turned against him.

The thorns taught him a lesson in blood...

The Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging. Mark Lawrence’s debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

Timecaster by Joe Kimbal (Ace Mass Market Paperback 05/31/2011) – First SF novel from a writer who has published extensively under other names.

Chicago, 2064: Talon Avalon is bored.

Talon is a timecaster—one of a select few peace officers who can operate a TEV—the Tachyon Emission Visualizer—which allows the user to record events (most specifically, crimes) that have already happened. Violent crime is at an all-time low and there hasn’t been an unsolved murder in seven years. So Talon has little to do except give lectures to school kids—and obsess about his beloved wife’s profession as a licensed sex partner.

Then one of her clients asks Talon to investigate a possible murder. And when Talon uses the TEV to view the crime, the identity of the killer is unmistakable—it’s him, Talon Avalon. Someone is taking timecasting to a whole new level and using it to frame Talon. And the only way he can prove his innocence is to go off the grid—which even in 2064 is a very dangerous thing to do…

The Golden Key by Melanie Rawn, Jennifer Roberson, and Kate Elliott - (DAW , Mass Market Paperback 06/07/2011) – This is a re-reprint of the World Fantasy nominee by three of the top Fantasy writers from DAW’s stable. I’ve read Elliott and enjoyed her work, but not the other two. What bothers me is how they chopped the original art by Michael Whelan

In Tira Virte, art is prized for its beauty and as a binding legal record of everything from marriages to treaties. Yet not even the Grand Duke knows how extraordinary the Grijalva family's art is, for certain Grijalva males are born with the ability to alter events and influence people in the real world through that they paint. Always, their power has been used for Tira Virte. But now Sario Grijalva has learned to use his Gift in a whole new way. And when he begins to work his magic both the Grijalvas and Tira Virte may pay the price.

Hot & Steamy by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg (Mass Market Paperback 6/07/2011 DAW ) – The monthly themed anthology from DAW for June 2011 is a mash-up of romance and Steampunk.

From the co-editor of Steampunk'd comes an all-new collection of adventure and romance amid Victorian steampunk settings. Sparks fly in these original stories of a steam-driven airship searching for a lost city, a crazy inventor in a powered wheelchair with a plot to take over the world, and a love story set in an alternate history version of America. Adventure abounds in these stories of love, loss, and danger- and there is plenty of steam!

Thistledown by Irene Radford (DAW Mass Market Paperback 6/7/2011) – Standalone from Radford, known for series about Dragons and Merlin, this one plays on the myth of faeries and imaginary friends.

Desdemona "Dusty" Carrick had lived in the small town of Skene Falls, Oregon her entire life. And, like many of the local children, she had played with "imaginary" Pixie friends in and around Ten Acre Woods. With each generation, as the children grew up they forgot their Pixie friends. Or most of them did. Others, like Dusty and her brother Dick, never truly forgot. For the Pixies of the Skene Falls were not in the least imaginary. And now their most treasured haven, the Ten Acre Woods, might soon be destroyed – and without the woods, the Pixies themselves would die.

The only hope for the Pixies rested with Thistle Down, exiled from her tribe and trapped in a mortal woman's body. Only if Thistle could adjust to being in a mortal body – minus her wings and most of her magic – and succeed in convinving Dusty and some of the townspeople of the danger they all faced, would she have any chance to save her own people and, perhaps, be allowed to return home...

Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (Ace Mass Market Paperback 05/31/2011) –I received this in hardcover last year but never read it, the book just kept getting pumped on the to-read pile. I will read this sooner rather than later since I’ve enjoyed all of the books I’ve read by Mr. Reynolds

Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains . . . Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels - and with the dying body comes bad news. If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality - and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability . . .

Hex by Allen Steele (Ace Hardcover 06/07/2011) – This is an offshoot of Steele’s popular Coyote saga, perhaps it works well enough on its own for new readers?.

The two-time Hugo Award-winner expands the universe of his Coyote saga.

The danui, a reclusive arachnid species considered the galaxy's finest engineers, have avoided contact with the Coyote Federation. Until, that is, the danui initiate trade negotiations, offering only information: the coordinates for an unoccupied world suitable for human life-a massive sphere, composed of billions of hexagons.

But when the Federation's recon mission goes terribly wrong, the humans realize how little they know about their new partners

The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt 5) by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Pyr , Trade Paperback 04/13/2010) – This series is really gaining momentum. For my part, I read the first installment and found it interesting – not perfect, but with enough potential (coupled with the good word of mouth the series gets) to have me interested in the subsequent volumes. Tchaikovsky writes fast and Pyr is gaining ground on the UK release schedule, so I’ve now got four books in the series if I want to fully catch up.

The war with the Wasp Empire has ended in a bitter stalemate, and Collegium has nothing to show for it but wounded veterans. Cheerwell Maker finds herself crippled in ways no doctor can mend, haunted by ghosts of the past that she cannot appease, seeking for meaning in a city that no longer seems like home.

The Empress Seda is regaining control over those imperial cities that refused to bow the knee to her, but she draws her power from something more sinister than mere armies and war machines. Only her consort, the former spymaster Thalric, knows the truth, and now the assassins are coming and he finds his life and his loyalties under threat yet again.

Out past the desert of the Nem the ancient city of Khanaphes awaits them both, with a terrible secret entombed beneath its stones...

This is the fifth novel in the Shadows of the Apt series following Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling, Blood of the Mantis, and Salute the Dark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

point of order Mr Chairman! I celebrate my SFF posting anniversary in 2 weeks :)