Sunday, June 03, 2012

Books in the Mail (W/E 06/02/2012)

Another week of releases here at the ‘o Stuff, much of which is brought to you be the fine folks at Tor

Destroyer of Worlds (Kingdom of the Serpent #3) by Mark Chadbourn (Pyr Trade Paperback 05/22/2012) – Not only is this the concluding volume of the Kingdom of the Serpent trilogy, but it closes out the trilogy of trilogies started way back with World’s End, which was the first in the Age of Misrule trilogy.

A quest of epic reach spans the globe under the mythologies of five great cultures

It is the beginning of the end... the end of the axe-age, the sword-age, leading to the passing of gods and men from the universe. As all the ancient prophecies fall into place, the final battle rages, on Earth, across Faerie, and into the Land of the Dead. Jack Churchill, Champion of Existence, must lead the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons in a last, desperate assault on the Fortress of the Enemy to confront the ultimate incarnation of destruction: the Burning Man. It is humanity's only chance to avert the coming extinction. At his back is an army of gods culled from the world's great mythologies—Greek, Norse, Chinese, Aztec, and more. But will even that be enough? Driven to the brink by betrayal, sacrifice, and death, his allies fear Jack may instead bring about the very devastation he is trying to prevent.


"This is the final book in a trilogy of trilogies from an author whose work has redefined the boundaries of dark fantasy. The colossal story has never been less than fascinating and at times easily rivaled the most riveting, original work of the genre." —SF Site

An immense work of scope and majesty. What appeals about the book is the author's ability to deal in myth and to apply it to a modern story.... The story is gripping, the characters involving, and the main villain is a nasty piece of work. An excellent effort from a very exciting author. One thing is certain: the future of fantasy is safe in the hands of Mark Chadbourn." —The Specusphere

The Devil Delivered and Other Tales by Steven Erikson (Tor Hardcover 06/19/2012) – Three non-Malazan stories from Erikson. I read Fishing with Grandma Matchie and really enjoyed it.

This collection includes:

“The Devil Delivered”: In the breakaway Lakota Nation, in the heart of a land blistered beneath an ozone hole the size of the Great Plains of North America, a lone anthropologist wanders the deadlands, recording observations that threaten to bring the world’s powers to their knees.

“Revolvo”: In the fictitious country of Canada, the arts scene is ruled by technocrats who thrive in a secret, nepotistic society of granting agencies, bursaries, and peer review boards, all designed to permit self-proclaimed artists to survive without an audience.

“Fishing with Grandma Matchie”: A children’s story of a boy tasked with a writing assignment becomes a stunning fantastical journey with his tale-spinning grandmother.

Kop Killer by Warren Hammond (Tor Hardcover 06/05/2012) – The third installment in Hammond’s future Dickian sf mystery hybrid.

KOP Killer, a darkly dystopian science fiction thriller from 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....

Black Bottle by Anthony Huso (Tor Hardcover 08/21/2012) – This is the sequel to (and second half of the duology began with) The Last Page

Tabloids sold in the Duchy of Stonehold claim that the High King, Caliph Howl, has been raised from the dead. His consort, Sena Iilool, both blamed and celebrated for this act, finds that a macabre cult has sprung up around her.

As this news spreads, Stonehold—long considered unimportant—comes to the attention of the emperors in the southern countries. They have learned that the seed of Sena’s immense power lies in an occult book, and they are eager to claim it for their own.

Desparate to protect his people from the southern threat, Caliph is drawn into a summit of the world’s leaders despite the knowledge that it is a trap. As Sena’s bizarre actions threaten to unravel the summit, Caliph watches her slip through his fingers into madness.

But is it really madness? Sena is playing a dangerous game of strategy and deceit as she attempts to outwit a force that has spent millennia preparing for this day. Caliph is the only connection left to her former life, but it’s his blood that Sena needs to see her plans through to their explosive finish.

Dark and rich, epic in scope, Anthony Huso has crafted a fantasy like no other, teeming with unthinkable horrors and stylish wonders.

Song of the Serpent (A Pathfinder Tales novel) by Tim Pratt (Paizo Mass Market Paperback 04/25/2012) – I now have three Pathfinder novels and I do intend to read at least one of them to sample the world. Pratt’s a writer whose work, specifically his Marla Mason novels, I’ve enjoyed.

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... From Hugo Award-winner Tim Pratt comes a new fantastical adventure set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Redshirts by John Scalzi (Tor Hardcover 06/05/2011) – Scalzi is having fun again, this time playing with the time-honored “Redshirt trope” which originated on Star Trek. This sounds like fun stuff indeed. I finished this book up last week and enjoyed, my review goes up on Tuesday which is publication day.

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.

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