Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of May 20th, 2012

Here’s this week’s new books in scifi, fantasy and horror. Click on the title to see the cover!

Released Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Talisman of El, by Alecia Stone

WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS A LIE?
One Planet.
Two Worlds.
Population: Human … 7 billion. Others … unknown.
When 14-year-old Char­lie Blake wakes up sweat­ing and gasp­ing for air in the mid­dle of the night, he knows it is hap­pen­ing again. This time he wit­nesses a bru­tal mur­der. He’s afraid to tell any­one. No one would believe him … because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.
Char­lie doesn’t know why this is hap­pen­ing. He would give any­thing to have an ordi­nary life. The prob­lem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.
He belongs with the others.

Released Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

2312, by Kim Stanley Robinson

The year is 2312. Scientific and technological advances have opened gateways to an extraordinary future. Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, 2312, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, its present, and its future.
The first event takes place on Mercury, on the city of Terminator, itself a miracle of engineering on an unprecedented scale. It is an unexpected death, but one that might have been foreseen. For Swan Er Hong, it is an event that will change her life. Swan was once a woman who designed worlds. Now she will be led into a plot to destroy them.

Dark Magic, by James Swain

Peter Warlock is a magician with a dark secret. Every night, he amazes audiences at his private theater in New York, where he performs feats that boggle the imagination. But his day job is just a cover for his otherworldly pursuits: Peter is a member of an underground group of psychics who gaze into the future to help prevent crimes.

No one, not even his live-in girlfriend, knows the truth about Peter—until the séance when he foresees an unspeakable act of violence that will devastate the city. As Peter and his friends rush to prevent tragedy, Peter discovers that a shadowy cult of evil psychics, the Order of Astrum, know all about his abilities. They are hunting him and his fellow psychics down, one by one, determined to silence them forever.

Dark Magic is a genre-bending supernatural thriller from national bestselling novelist and real-life magician James Swain.

Nightworld (Adversary Cycle: Repairman Jack), by F. Paul Wilson

This is the way the world ends…not with a bang but a scream in the dark.

It begins at dawn, when the sun rises late. Then the holes appear. The first forms in Central Park, in sight of an apartment where Repairman Jack and a man as old as time watch with growing dread. Gaping holes, bottomless and empty…until sundown, when the first unearthly, hungry creatures appear.

Nightworld brings F. Paul Wilson’s Adversary Cycle and Repairman Jack saga to an apocalyptic finale as Jack and Glaeken search the Secret History to gather a ragtag army for a last stand against the Otherness and a hideously transformed Rasalom.

Orb Ceptre Throne: A Novel of the Malazan Empire, by Ian C. Esslemont

The epic new chapter in the history of Malaz—the new epic fantasy from Steven Erikson’s friend and co-creator of this extraordinary and exciting imagined world.

Darujhistan, city of dreams, city of blue flames, is peaceful at last; its citizens free to return to politicking, bickering, trading and, above all, enjoying the good things in life. Yet there are those who will not allow the past to remain buried. A scholar digging in the plains stumbles across an ancient sealed vault. The merchant Humble Measure schemes to drive out the remaining Malazan invaders. And the surviving agents of a long-lost power are stirring, for they sense change and so, opportunity. While, as ever at the centre of everything, a thief in a red waistcoat and of rotund proportions walks the streets, juggling in one hand custard pastries, and in the other the fate of the city itself.

Far to the south, fragments of the titanic Moon’s Spawn have crashed into the Rivan Sea creating a series of isles…and a fortune hunter’s dream. A Malazan veteran calling himself ‘Red’ ventures out to try his luck—and perhaps say goodbye to old friends. But there he finds far more than he’d bargained for as the rush to claim the Spawn’s treasures descends into a mad scramble of chaos and bloodshed. For powers from across the world have gathered here, searching for the legendary Throne of Night. The impact of these events are far reaching, it seems. On an unremarkable island off the coast of Genabackis, a people who had turned their backs upon all such strivings now lift their masked faces towards the mainland and recall the ancient prophesy of a return.

And what about the ex-Claw of the Malazan Empire who now walks the uttermost edge of creation? His mission—the success or failure of which the Queen of Dreams saw long ago—is destined to shape far more than anyone could have ever imagined.

Princeps: A Novel in the Imager Portfolio, by L. E. Modesitt

The thrilling follow-up to Scholar—in which, after discovering a coup attempt and preventing a bloody civil war, Quaeryt was appointed princeps of Tilbor—begins a new episode in the young Imager’s life. Now second only to the governor, and still hiding his powers as an Imager, Quaeryt is enjoying his new position, as well as his marriage to Lord Bhayar’s youngest sister, Vaelora, when a volcanic eruption devastates the old capital of Telaryn.

He and his wife are dispatched to Extela, Telaryn’s capitol city, to replace the governor killed in the eruption. Quaeryt and Vaelora must restore order to a city filled with chaos and corruption, and do so quickly. The regiment under his command must soon depart to bolster Telaryn’s border defenses against a neighboring ruler who sees the volcanic devastation as an opportunity for invasion and conquest.

Destroyer of Worlds (Kingdom of the Serpent, Book 3), by Mark Chadbourn

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.

Further: Beyond the Threshold, by Chris Roberson

Humankind is spread across three thousand light years in a myriad of worlds and habitats known as the Human Entelechy. Linked by a network of wormholes with Earth at its center, it is the world Captain RJ Stone awakens to after a twelve-thousand-year cryogenic suspension.

Stone soon finds himself commanding the maiden voyage of the first spacecraft to break the light speed barrier: the FTL Further. In search of extraterrestrial intelligence, the landing party explores a distant pulsar only to be taken prisoner by the bloodthirsty Iron Mass, a religious sect exiled from the Entelechy millennia before. Now Stone and his crew must escape while they try to solve the riddle of the planet’s network of stone towers that may be proof of the intelligence they’ve come to find.

The first in critically acclaimed author Chris Roberson’s scintillating new series, Further: Beyond the Threshold is a fascinating ride to the farthest reaches of the imagination.

The King’s Blood (The Dagger and the Coin), by Daniel Abraham

WAR AND MADNESS CAST SHADOWS
OVER THE LANDS DRAGONS ONCE RULED.

Geder Palliako’s star is rising. He is a hero of Antea, protector to the crown prince, and darling of the court. But storms from his past are gathering, and with them, a war that will change everything.
Cithrin bel Sarcour founded a powerful bank on stolen wealth, forged papers, and ready blades. Now every move she makes is observed, recorded, and controlled. Unless Cithrin can free herself from her gilded cage, the life she made will be for naught; war may provide just the opportunity she needs.
An apostate priest sees the hidden hand behind all: a long-buried secret of the dragon empire threatens everything humanity has built. An age of madness and death is on the way, with only a few doomed heroes to stand in its way.

Midnight’s Master (Dark Warrior 1), by Donna Grant

Gwynn Austin has no idea why her father has disappeared on a mysterious trip to Scotland. When she goes on a desperate mission to search for him she finds more than she bargains for in a ruggedly handsome, wickedly exciting Highlander who exudes danger and mystery. And when she discovers her own link to Scotland, she’ll have to trust her heart to help lead her…

Propelled through time by powerful Druid Magic, Logan Hamilton uses his immortality and powers of the god inside him to help prevent the awakening of an ancient evil in the modern world. He never expects to find help in the form of a beautiful, alluring, and all too tempting woman whose passion and strength matches his own. Together, Logan and Gywnn must fight for their love—before a demon from the past destroys them both…

Nebula Awards Showcase 2012, by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel

The latest volume of the prestigious anthology series

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes, which have been published since 1966, collect the year’s Nebula Award-nominated and winning stories and poems, as voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. This year’s volume includes the winners of the Andre Norton, Dwarf Star, Rhysling, and Solstice Awards, as well as the Nebula winners, and features:

“How Interesting: A Tiny Man” by Harlan Ellison

“Ponies” by Kij Johnson

“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone

“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window by Rachel Swirskyan

excerpt from Blackout / All Clearby Connie Willis

and an excerpt from the Andre Norton Award-winning I Shall Wear Midnightby Terry Pratchett

with additional stories and poems by Chris Barzak, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-Mohtar, Kendall Evans and Samantha Henderson, Howard Hendrix, Geoff Landis, Shweta Narayan, Ann K. Schwader, James Tiptree, Jr., and Adam Troy-Castro and a cover by Solstice Award-winner Michael Whelan.

Nightshifted, by Cassie Alexander

From debut author Cassie Alexander comes a spectacular new urban fantasy series where working the nightshift can be a real nightmare. Nothing compares to being Nightshifted.

Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond…

Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed.  But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words—Save Anna—and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. Grey’s Anatomy was never like this…

 Out of the Waters (Book of Elements), by David Drake

The wealthy Governor Saxa, of the great city of Carce, has generously subsidized a theatrical/religious event. During this elaborate staging of Hercules founding a city on the shores of Lusitania, dark magic turns the panoply into a chilling event. The sky darkens and the waves crash in the flooded arena. A great creature rises from the sea: a huge, tentacled horror on snake legs. It devastates the city, much to the delight of the crowd.
A few in the audience, although not Saxa, understand that this was not mere stagecraft, but something much darker and more dangerous. If all signs are being read right, this illusion could signify a dreadful intrusion of supernatural powers into the real world. Saxa’s son, Varus, has been the conduit for such an event once before. This new novel is as powerful and elaborate as that fantastic theatrical event, a major fantasy for this year.

The Paths of the Dead: Book One of the Viscount of Adrilankha, by Steven Brust

Two hundred years ago, Adron’s Disaster destroyed Dragaera City, killed the Emperor, and deprived the entire Dragaeran Empire of the ability to use sorcery.

It’s been a rough Interregnum. The children of the great adventurers Khaavren, Aerich, Tazendra, and Pel are growing up in a seemingly diminished world. Like their elders, they’re convinced that the age of adventures is over, and that nothing interesting will ever happen to any of them.

They are, of course, quite wrong….

Shadow Bound (Unbound), by Rachel Vincent

Kori Daniels is a shadow-walker, able to travel instantly from one shadow to another. After weeks of confinement for betraying her boss, she’s ready to break free of the Tower syndicate for good. But Jake Tower has one final job for Kori, one chance to secure freedom for herself and her sister, Kenley, even if it means taking it from someone else.…

The job? Recruit Ian Holt—or kill him.

Ian’s ability to manipulate the dark has drawn interest from every syndicate in the world, most notably an invitation from Jake Tower. Though he has no interest in organized crime, Ian accepts the invite, because he’s on a mission of his own. Ian has come to kill Tower’s top Binder: Kori’s little sister.

Amid the tangle of lies, an unexpected thread of truth connecting Ian and Kori comes to light. But with opposing goals, they’ll have to choose between love and liberty…

Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus, by Graham McNeill

The Ultramarines have been the honourable cornerstone of the Adeptus Astartes throughout their ten thousand year history – erstwhile captain Uriel Ventris fights to prove that he is worthy to return to the hallowed ranks of the Chapter after his exile to the Eye of Terror, and that he is free of the insidious taint of Chaos. But as the Iron Warriors move against Ultramar, a grim premonition comes to light: Ventris will have a part to play in the coming war, for good or ill.

The ongoing story of the Ultramarines continues in this omnibus edition, featuring the novels The Killing Ground, Courage and Honour and The Chapter’s Due, as well as exciting short stories from New York Times best selling author Graham McNeill.

Zombie Island: A Shakespeare Undead Novel, by Lori Handeland

In the follow-up to Shakespeare Undead, vampire William Shakespeare and his Dark Lady are stranded on a mystical island where zombies are plentiful and one man will stop at nothing to become all-powerful

Fresh from a triumphant battle over the zombie horde that invaded London, vampire William Shakespeare concocts a plot to rid the love of his life from the encumbrance of her husband. Will plans to give his ”dark lady,” Katherine Dymond, a potion that will make her sleep the sleep of the dead. Once she is entombed, Will can sneak in, wait for her to awaken, then spirit her away. After her husband returns to his plantation in America, Kate can return to London under a different name and assume a new identity. No one will believe that the dead Katherine and the live Kate are the same woman. Of course, as is often the case with true love, all does not go as smoothly as planned. When the two of them are shipwrecked on an island ruled by a wizard and a nymph, as well as infested by zombies, Will and Kate must stop an even larger plot afoot—one that leads all the way to the royal palaces of Queen Elizabeth.

The Enchantress, by Michael Scott

The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it. San Francisco: Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have one day left to live, and one job left to do. They must defend San Francisco. The monsters gathered on Alcatraz Island have been released and are heading toward the city. If they are not stopped, they will destroy everyone and everything in their path.
But even with the help of two of the greatest warriors from history and myth, will the Sorceress and the legendary Alchemyst be able to defend the city? Or is it the beginning of the end of the human race? Danu Talis: Sophie and Josh Newman traveled ten thousand years into the past to Danu Talis when they followed Dr. John Dee and Virginia Dare. And it’s on this legendary island that the battle for the world begins and ends.
Scathach, Prometheus, Palamedes, Shakespeare, Saint-Germain, and Joan of Arc are also on the island. And no one is sure what—or who—the twins will be fighting for. Today the battle for Danu Talis will be won or lost. But will the twins of legend stand together? Or will they stand apart— one to save the world and one to destroy it?

Fated (Soul Seekers), by Alyson Noel

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortals, Alyson Noël, comes Fateda breathtaking new saga brimming with magic, mystery, and an intoxicating love story that will steal your heart away. Meet The Soul Seekers.

Strange things are happening to Daire Santos. Crows mock her, glowing people stalk her, time stops without warning, and a beautiful boy with unearthly blue eyes haunts all her dreams. Fearing for her daughter’s sanity, Daire’s mother sends her to live with the grandmother she’s never met. A woman who recognizes the visions for what they truly are—the call to her destiny as a Soul Seeker—one who can navigate the worlds between the living and dead.

There on the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico, Daire sets out to harness her mystical powers. But it’s when she meets Dace, the boy from her dreams, that her whole world is shaken to its core. Now Daire is forced to discover if Dace is the one guy she’s meant to be with…or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy.

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, by Kady Cross

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade—the dangerous device Jasper stole from him…for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei’s neck tightens. And tightens.

From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens with supernatural abilities is on Jasper’s elusive trail. And they’re about to discover how far they’ll go for friendship.

More than ever, Finley Jayne will rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley…and will risk his life and reputation to save her. Sam, more machine than man, finds his moody heart tested by Irish lass Emily—whose own special abilities are no match for the darkness she discovers on the streets.

Now, to help those she’s come to care for so deeply, Finley Jayne must infiltrate a criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much….

The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans, by Kevin Emerson

What is oldest will be new, what was lost shall be found.

The ozone is ravaged, ocean levels have risen, and the sun is a daily enemy.

But global climate change is not something new in the Earth’s history.

No one will know this better than less-than-ordinary Owen Parker, who is about to discover that he is the descendant of a highly advanced ancient race—a race that took their technology too far and almost destroyed the Earth in the process.

Now it is Owen’s turn to make right in his world what went wrong thousands of years ago. If Owen can unlock the lost code in his very genes, he may rediscover the forgotten knowledge of his ancestry . . . and that less-than-ordinary can evolve into extraordinary.

Kevin Emerson’s thrilling novel is Book One of the Atlanteans series—perilous adventures in a grimly plausible dystopian future, fueled by high-stakes action, budding romance, and a provoc-ative question: What would you do if you had the power to save humanity from its own self-destruction?

Of Poseidon, by Anna Banks

Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen’s not fully convinced that Emma’s the one he’s been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves  that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help–no matter what the risk.

Shift, by Em Bailey

Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore. She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past. But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life. But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target? A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.

 

All descriptions from amazon.com.

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of November 20th, 2011

Here are this week’s new fantasy, scifi, and horror book releases:

Released Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

 Hearts of Smoke & Steam (Society of Steam #2), by Andrew P. Mayer

Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds.

But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart—Sarah is trying rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by The Children of Eschaton, the man comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true. Emelio Armando is a genius inventor who had hoped to leave his troubles behind when he and his sister left Italy for a life of anonymity in the New World. Now he finds himself falling in love with the fallen society girl, but he is rapidly discovering just how powerful the forces of villainy aligned against her are, and that fulfilling her desires means opening the door to a world of danger that could destroy everything he has built.

THE SOCIETY OF STEAM takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities, and grant powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for, and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.

Borderlands: The Fallen, by John Shirley

WHAT KIND OF MAN MAKES A LIVING IN HELL?

His name’s Roland. Soldier class, a former mercenary, he’s on a full-time mission to scrape a living out of the most dangerous planet in the galaxy.

Is he qualified? He’s well armed, he’s ruthless, and he’s tougher than skag hide. And, oh yeah—he’s strapped with some of the most exotic weaponry this side of the Vault, not to mention possessing fists like chunks of steel.

Zac Finn and his wife and young son had better get on the right side of Roland, because a stopover in orbit has turned into a nightmarish fall to the unforgiving landscape of the Borderlands. Zac hopes to find a strange new alien treasure in the Borderlands to turn his down-spiraling life around. But his wife, Marla, and his son, Cal, just want to survive, and reunite, because catastrophe has left them separated by hundreds of klicks. Their chances aren’t good . . . and Roland is all that stands between them and the planet’s kill-crazed Psychos and murderous bandits—not to mention the grotesque primals, giant wyrm squids, insane tunnel rats, voracious skags, brutal bruisers, and ruthless mercs. . . .

An original novel set in the universe of the Rated M for Mature video game created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games.

Micro: A Novel, by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye.

In the lush forests of Oahu, groundbreaking technology has ushered in a revolutionary era of biological prospecting. Trillions of microorganisms, tens of thousands of bacteria species, are being discovered; they are feeding a search for priceless drugs and applications on a scale beyond anything previously imagined.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, seven graduate students at the forefront of their fields are recruited by a pioneering microbiology start-up. Nanigen MicroTechnologies dispatches the group to a mysterious lab in Hawaii, where they are promised access to tools that will open a whole new scientific frontier.

But once in the Oahu rain forest, the scientists are thrust into a hostile wilderness that reveals profound and surprising dangers at every turn. Armed only with their knowledge of the natural world, they find themselves prey to a technology of radical and unbridled power. To survive, they must harness the inherent forces of nature itself.

An instant classic, Micro pits nature against technology in vintage Crichton fashion. Completed by visionary science writer Richard Preston, this boundary-pushing thriller melds scientific fact with pulse-pounding fiction to create yet another masterpiece of sophisticated, cutting-edge entertainment.

Lightspeed: Year One, by Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, George R. R. Martin, et al.

Lightspeed (www.lightspeedmagazine.com) is the critically-acclaimed, online science fiction magazine edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams. Lightspeed publishes all types of science fiction, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. Each month, Lightspeed features a mix of originals and reprints, from a variety of authors – from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven”t heard of yet. Now, in Lightspeed: Year One, you will find all of the fiction published in Lightspeed”s first year, from new stories such as Nebula Award finalists, Vylar Kaftan”s “I”m Alive, I Love You, I”ll See You in Reno” and “Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro, and Carrie Vaughn”s Hugo Award-nominee “Amaryllis,” to classic reprints by Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, and more.

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, by Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Cherie Priest, et al.

For more than 80 years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history – written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread – remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it. In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction – bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters – eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing.

Somewhere Beneath Those Waves, by Sarah Monette

The first non-themed collection of critically acclaimed author Sarah Monette”s best short fiction. To paraphrase Hugo-award winner Elizabeth Bear’s introduction: “Monette’s prose is lapidary, her ideas are fantastical and chilling. She has studied the craft of fantastic fiction from the pens of masters and mistresses of the genre. She is a poet of the awkward and the uncertain, exalter of the outcast, the outre, and the downright weird. There is nothing else quite like Sarah Monette’s fiction.”

 

 

 

Bad Blood (House of Comarre), by Kristen Painter

Samhain approaches, bringing with it the final melding of the mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows just how much power the night holds…

Violent murders occur in Paradise City as counterfeit comarré are systematically hunted. The police and the Kubai Mata have more than enough trouble to keep themselves occupied. As war erupts at home, Malkolm and Chrysabelle head to New Orleans to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Chrysabelle is forced to make a life and death decision and will realize that her relationship to Malkolm may have fatal consequences.

The clock is ticking . . .

 

Saints Astray, by Jacqueline Carey

Fellow orphans, amateur vigilantes, and members of the Santitos, Loup Garron-the fugitive daughter of a genetically engineered “wolf man”-and Pilar Ecchevarria grew up in the military zone of Outpost 12, formerly known as Santa Olivia. But now they’re free, and they want to help the rest of the Santitos escape. During a series of escapades, they discover that Miguel, Loup’s former sparring partner and reprobate surrogate brother, has escaped from Outpost 12 and is testifying on behalf of its forgotten citizens-at least until he disappears from protective custody. Honor drives Loup to rescue Miguel, even though entering the U.S could mean losing her liberty. Pilar vows to help her.

It will take a daring and absurd caper to extricate Miguel from the mess he’s created but Loup is prepared to risk everything… and this time she has help.

Soul Screamers Volume One: My Soul to Lose, My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, by Rachel Vincent

It starts with a scream….

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s compelling Soul Screamers series keeps getting better—here, for the first time, the original stories are compiled into one special volume….

My Soul to Lose

—The prequel: never before in print!—

Kaylee is just your average girl shopping at the mall with friends—until a terrified scream bursts from her that cannot be stopped. Taken to a hospital ward, will she be able to save her mind—and her life?

My Soul to Take

She’s always felt different, but now Kaylee discovers why. The screams that cannot be denied mean that someone near her will die—and she can never save them. Because saving one life means taking another….

My Soul to Save

Going on dates with her boyfriend is still new to Kaylee. But when the singer of the band they’re seeing dies onstage and Kaylee doesn’t scream, she knows something crazy is going on. Soon she discovers souls can indeed be sold….

Released Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations), by Michael J. Sullivan

THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles–until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires in order to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know?

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

BOOKS IN THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS
Theft of Swords (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
Rise of Empire (Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)
Heir of Novron (Wintertide & Percepliquis)

Released Thursday, November 24th, 2011

In the Forests of the Night: The Goblin Wars Book 2, by Kersten Hamilton

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

Unleashed (Wolf Spring Chronicles), by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Wicked series, have created an entirely new trilogy with the passion of Twilight and the grandeur of Fallen. The Wolf Springs Chronicles introduces readers to a town of secrets and the new girl who’s about to start believing in werewolves.

 

 

 

 

Descriptions from Amazon.com

 

Book Interviews, Books, Interviews

Behind the Page – Lytherus Exclusive: Ten Questions With Rachel Vincent (Blood Bound)

Rachel Vincent is the next author to join our Behind the Page series, taking time out of her insane writing and editing schedule to answer some questions for us about writing and her new book Blood Bound. What’s it about? Check out our review!

1) Hi Rachel, and thanks for joining us. Let’s talk about your newest book, Blood Bound. What was it like starting a new series after so long? Was it hard to switch into the minds of new characters in an unfamiliar world?

Yes, actually, writing Blood Bound was really difficult (Shadow Bound was even more so). I hadn’t started a new series since I wrote the first Soul Screamers book in early ’08, and the Unbound world is much more complicated than any other fictional world I’ve worked in. The really hard part is explaining the rules of that world without confusing people. I’m not sure that was my strength in the book, but hopefully I’ll improve with the sequels. 😉

Also, this was my first experience writing one story from two points of view, and I now have SO MUCH respect for writers who do that on a regular basis. It’s much more difficult (for me, at least) than writing from one POV.

2) I thought the Skills were fun and creative. Where did the ideas for them come about, with all the binding, limitations, inability to break them without pain, etc.?

Lots and lots of brainstorming. I wanted the Skills to be familiar to the audience, but not overdone. Of course, they had to have limits, or there’d be no conflict. I have entire lists of possible Skills that are all crossed through, because they’d be too much like something from Heroes or other fictional worlds.

3) The rough, gritty world you created, with its equally tough characters, seems like a great stage for things to happen. What’s your favorite part of writing this world—the world itself, the characters, or a combination of them?

Probably a bit of both. The world is very dark and the characters are all broken, in their own way, so I kind of grab onto every ray of hope I’m able to find in the stories. Usually, that comes in the form of a character’s self-sacrifice. I love that they’re (the protagonists, anyway) trying to do the right thing, even if that’s actually doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

4) What about paranormal and urban fantasy appeals to you? There are so many different genres and worlds out there; what keeps you coming back to the genres you favor?

Possibility. Things we can’t get/see/do in our own, real world. I write (and read) to escape, so I want things I don’t see on a daily basis, even in contemporary fiction.

5) Let’s talk about sex in fantasy. How important to the story do you feel it is, taking things all the way to that level in your writing? How do you feel it adds to the story?

I’m actually not a huge fan of writing sex, for a few reasons. First, there are only so many variations of the steps we all know and love, and it’s sometimes a struggle to make sure that each new sex scene isn’t just a repeat of the previous ones. Though I AM considering buying a copy of the CookieSutra, just to make sure I’m not missing anything—those gingerbread men know everything!

Second, people tend to assume that when I write about sex, it’s autobiographical, subconsciously, at least. But it’s not. It’s fiction, good or bad, just like the rest of the book. 😉

As for how it adds to the story…if it doesn’t, I don’t write it. Sex in my stories has to change something for the story or for the characters, or I won’t put it in there.

6) Every author has their own unique writing process. What’s a typical day like for you? And do you find it hard juggling series?

I get up, eat breakfast and drink coffee, then get some internet stuff out of the way. Though I never really catch up on that. It just keeps adding up. If I’m writing adult fiction (which is more difficult for me), I write in several one hour/1000 word stints, with breaks in between. This is a recent adaptation aimed at easing my carpal tunnel and giving myself time to relax.

YA fiction tends to flow faster for me, so I just let it flow as it comes.

For rewrites, revisions, and edits, the process seems to change with every book. But between promo, social networking, email, writing, and admin, I typically work 12+ hours a day.

7) What is your favorite part of writing outside of reality?

Power. Writing (good writing, at least) feels like power to me. I like being able to make people feel things that they aren’t personally experiencing. I like writing the moments in a book that make you cry, or wince, or scream. I put as many of those in a book as I can, without stretching the limits of credibility.

8 ) Is there something totally outside of your current “comfort zone” that you’d love to tackle someday?

I’m kind of doing that right now, with the dual POV writing. And it’s hard.

9) What are the current books on your reading shelf? Do you find you tend to read what you write, or do you need a break and steer towards something completely different?

I tend to binge read, after I’ve met a deadline. I’ve been on a contemporary YA kick for about a year now, and I’m a huge Stephen King fan. But reading is less and less relaxing for me, because I tend to see the technique behind the words now. So any book that can make me feel the story rather than see the words is a real keeper.

10) What new and exciting things are you currently working on?

Honestly? Nothing new. In the past 3.5 months, I wrote Shadow Bound, Before I Wake, and a Soul Screamers story, and I’m about to dive into a hefty set of revisions for Shadow Bound. I love the characters and the world, but this series is a lot of work, and while I’ll no doubt be immersed and delighted once I get into the revisions (I LOVE taking a decent book and making it awesome!), right now I’m kind of dreading it.

 

Good luck Rachel! Want to learn more? Check out Rachel at www.rachelvincent.com

Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Beyond the Book: Blood Bound, A Fun, Gritty and Intriguing Urban Fantasy

Readers may have heard of Rachel Vincent from her Urban fantasy series Shifters and her young adult series Soul Screamers. Well Rachel is a busy girl, and I got the chance to chat with her a bit at BEA and was lucky enough to get an advance copy of the first book in her new Unbound series, Blood Bound.

Off the bat I need to say that I don’t often read urban fantasy. I don’t think it usually draws me in as much as other types of genres, but being a fan of her work I was excited to check this book out. What I got was a gritty, fast-paced story of murder and betrayal, centered around the magic of the world: people born with Skills, enhanced abilities that allow them to do anything from track people to travel between shadows.

Liv is a blood tracker. She can find someone up to 300 miles away, and all she needs is a blood sample. In a world where Skills come highly desired on the black market—especially one as powerful as hers—Liv is trying to stay neutral and make a life for herself. But her past comes back to haunt her, in the form of a childhood best friend Anne, and her ex, the one man she ever loved, Cam. Anne’s husband was murdered, and she wants the killer tracked. Anne is coerced into helping Cam solve the case, but immediately she discovers that this isn’t just a simple search for a villain, becoming more personally involved than she ever could have imagined.

I loved the Skills, the abilities, their limitations, all of it. Vincent was incredibly creative in this element, and I really enjoyed discovering new Skills as they were mentioned, and understanding the boundaries of all of them. Anne can tell if people are lying. Cam is a tracker too, but with names. The list goes on and on. People can be bound to each other, required to do what the other asks (determined by the rules of the binding and the power of the Binder’s Skill), and as this particular Skill affects all of the major and minor characters in one way or another, it was really great to see how they all intertwined.

The ending was great too, and it had a nice twist that makes me definitely want to keep reading this series. It ties the characters together, and we are left on a cliff-hanger, wondering if Liv will make a life-changing decision. We won’t know until book 2, and I’ll be extremely curious to see what the characters do.

This book also has some actual, full-blown sex in it, which honestly added to the story in a great way. As an avid reader of YA, I don’t often get to read about characters going this far, in this much detail, so it was fun to see how these choices influenced future decisions of both of the characters involved.

My only complaint is that this is urban fantasy to its core, and since that isn’t what I naturally enjoy reading, I didn’t connect as emotionally to the book as I might others that really speak to me. But that’s not the book’s fault, and I did enjoy it; the characters were well-written and compelling, the plot complicated and interesting, and the Skills made it worth the read for me.

All in all, this book was enjoyable. It started off moving and didn’t slow down. Even in the “down” parts, something was always happening, and jumping between the point of view of the two main characters helped fuel the feeling of momentum. If you like urban fantasy, this is a great first book in what is promising to be a wonderful new series.

Blood Bound comes out today, August 23rd, 2011.