Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Scifi and Fantasy Releases: Week of July 11th

Posted by Simcha 5:30 PM, under | 10 comments

I have a really interesting selection of books to present to you this week. At first the list of new releases was quite paltry so I had to do a bit of searching around to help supplement it, which means that I came across a number of titles and publishers that I've never heard of before.

I have to admit that there is nothing here that really grabs me, though Tribal Ways by Alex Archer seems like it could be worth looking into. If you like zombie books then The Loving Dead by
Amelia Beamer might be your cup of tea (especially if you like really creepy book covers) and if you are a fan of gay literature then Steve Berman's anthology of the best gay male speculative fiction of 2010 might appeal to you.

I think YA book readers will be the most satisfied with this week's selection of new releases as they have quite a few to choose from, including Sleepless by
Cyn Balog, Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus and Siren by Tricia Rayburn.

As for me, I'm probably going to stick with the books currently in the pile beside my bed, which should keep me busy for this week, at least.

Hope you have a great reading week!


Tribal WaysTribal Ways (Rogue Angel)
Alex Archer

: Urban Fantasy

Gold Eagle
Release Date: July 13

A frigid spring morning at a Native American archaeological dig erupts into sudden and brutal violence, leaving five people dead and one man gravely wounded. And in a hospital, with archaeologist Annja Creed at his side, the last survivor utters his final words to name his killer—a skinwalker. The skinwalker is feared among the Navajo and Apache. It is witchcraft of a most terrible nature that allows a man to take the shape of a wolf—and kill. But as Annja delves into the mystery of the skinwalker, she finds herself pulled into an underworld of violence and vicious radicals, threaded with legend…and sociopathic intent. In this world, Annja is unwelcome. And in this world, she could be the creature's next victim….

Steve Augarde

Genre: YA

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Release Date: July 13

Ever since the floods came and washed the world away, survivors have been desperate to win a place on X-Isle, the island where life is rumored to be easier than on what's left of the mainland. Only young boys stand a chance of getting in, the smaller and lighter the better. Baz and Ray are two of the lucky few to be chosen, but they soon discover that X-Isle is a far cry from paradise. Ruled by Preacher John, a dangerous religious fanatic, it's a violent, unpredictable place, where terrible things can happen at any moment. The boys hatch an extraordinary plan in order to protect themselves-the construction of a mighty weapon of defense. But can they complete this weapon in time, and are they really prepared to use it to secure their freedom?

Cyn Balog
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 13

Eron DeMarchelle isn't supposed to feel this connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce his human charges to sleep. Though he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn't encouraged to do so. After all, becoming too involved in one human's life could prevent him from helping others get their needed rest.
But he can't deny that he feels something for Julia, a lonely girl with fiery red hair and sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. In the past, Eron has broken rules to protect Julia, but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can't reach her. Eron's time as a Sandman is coming to a close, and his replacement doesn't seem to care about his charges. Worse, Julia is facing dangers she doesn't recognize, and Eron, as he transitions back to being human, may be the only one who can save her. . . .
Even once they've become human again, Sandmen are forbidden to communicate with their charges. But Eron knows he won't be able to forget Julia. Will he risk everything for a chance to be with the girl he loves?

Cyn Balog's follow-up to Fairy Tale has more wit, more supernatural delights, and more star-crossed romance! Teen girls will love this story of a Sandman who falls in love with his human charge.

The Loving DeadThe Loving Dead
Amelia Beamer
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Night Shade Books

Release Date: July 13

Kate and Michael, twenty-something housemates working at the same Trader Joe’s supermarket, are thoroughly screwed when people start turning into zombies at their house party in the Oakland hills. The zombie plague is a sexually transmitted disease, turning its victims into shambling, horny, voracious killers.
Thrust into extremes by the unfolding tragedy, Kate and Michael are forced to confront the decisions they’ve made, and their fears of commitment, while trying to stay alive. Michael convinces Kate to meet him in the one place in the Bay Area that’s likely to be safe and secure from the zombie hordes: Alcatraz. But can they stay human long enough?

Wilde Stories 2010
Edited by Steve Berman

Genre: Anthology

Publisher: Lethe Press

Release Date: July 13

A newcomer to San Francisco falls in love too fast despite the warnings of a cadre of ghosts haunting his uncle; a businessman comes to regret his ennui when faced with the machinations of an outsider artist; on a train traveling through a dangerous Russian winter, a passenger encounters a wolf on two legs; a mining colony where love has become dangerous but no less passionate; a young man, mourning the loss of his ballet career, may yet get his chance to fly—these are some of the stories in this anthology, stories chosen from magazines, anthologies, literary journals, and single author collections to represent the best gay male speculative fiction of the past year.
Inside these pages are both authors acclaimed (award-winners Laird Barron, Elizabeth Hand, Tanith Lee and Joel Lane) and fresh voices (Tom Cardamone, Georgina Li) offering the best tales of fantastical and weird happenings befalling gay men.

Isinda (Fallen Dragon, Bk 1)

Rhett C. Bruno

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Release Date: July 13

"The majestic land of Isinda is trapped in an era of war and chaos. After the collapse of the mighty Deimor on the bloody fields of the Badlands, a glimmer of peace and unity amongst the warring races has shattered. The people of all kingdoms have retreated into superstition and suffering. In the City of Bronze, a king plots to become a god, imposing his will on any who dare to face him; in the forests to the east, the enslaved Blood Scaldor are forced to watch as their children are sacrificed to satisfy the hunger of angry gods.
With the land returned to its bloody past, who will rise up as the Deimor did to bring Isinda under a single banner? Could a brutal king exploit the devastation left in the wake of the greatest leaders in the land, the Twin Blades? Or would a single hero rise from the chains of slavery and illuminate a path of peace that none had ever dreamed of before?

An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat (Chronicle of the Dead Empire)
Glen Cook
Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Night Shade Books

Release Date: July 13

The Dread Empire, a gritty world of larger-than-life plots, nation-shattering conflict, maddening magic, strange creatures, and raw, flawed heroes, all shown through the filter of Glen Cook's inimitable war-correspondent prose. The Dread Empire, spanning from the highest peaks of the Dragon's Teeth to the endless desert lands of Hammad al Nakir, from besieged Kavelin to mighty Shinshan, the Empire Unacquainted with Defeat, with its fearless, masked soldiers, known as the Demon Guard...
An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat collects all of Glen Cook's short fiction set in the vast world of the Dread Empire, from "The Nights of Dreadful Silence", featuring the first appearance of Bragi Ragnarson, Mocker, and Haroun bin Yousif, to the culture-clashing novella "Soldier of an Empire Unacquainted with Defeat"; from "Silverheels", Cook's first published work of fiction, to "Hell's Forge", a haunting tale of cursed pirates and strange lands, appearing here for the first time. Also including a detailed introduction and extensive story notes by Glen Cook, An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat charts the development of this influential American author and the massive, multifaceted world that he created.

Shadow Hills
Shadow Hills
Anastasia Hopcus
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: EgmontUSA

Release Date: July 13

After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.

House of Windows
John Langan

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: July 13

When a young writer finds himself cornered by a beautiful widow in the waning hours of a late-night cocktail party, he seeks at first to escape, to return to his wife and infant son. But the tale she weaves, of her missing husband, a renowned English professor, and her lost stepson, a soldier killed on a battlefield on the other side of the world, and of phantasmal visions, a family curse, and a house - the Belvedere House, a striking mansion whose features suggest a face hidden just out of view - draws him in, capturing him.
What follows is a deeply psychological ghost story of memory and malediction, loss and remorse. This unnerving tour de force, exploring the literary haunted house, from Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and H. P. Lovecraft to today, incorporates family trauma, abstract art, literary criticism, the occult Dickens, and the war in Afghanistan. From John Langan (Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters) comes House of Windows, a chilling novel in the tradition of Peter Straub, Joe Hill, and Laird Barron.

The Infernal Game: Ghost Dance

Rebecca Levene

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Abaddon

Release Date: July 13

Morgan is sent on a new mission for the Hermetic Divi¬sion, investigating the murder of the world's foremost expert on Elizabethen alchemist John Dee. Her killer - an agent of Mossad with superhuman powers. In the US, Alex, a powerful medium, is employed by the CIA to invesitage a new cult called the Croatans who seem to be able to possess animals. Alex and Morgan's path cross when Morgan is drawn to the US in pursuit of Dee's greatest treasure - and the dangerous young man who plans to use it to achieve immortality!

Sunset Val
Rob St.Martin

Genre: YA Steampunk

Publisher: Weird & Wondrous Books

Release Date: July 12

Thrill to the daring exploits of the infamous pirate queen, recounted in her very own words! In this first adventure she makes friends and enemies alike, frees slaves and hunts down villainous pirates! Admire her perserverance in the face of hardship and adversity as she draws together her cadre of companions, whether human, vampyri, animan, automaidon, or patchwork! Be amazed at how this young girl surmounts so many obstacles to become one of Ayrth's greatest airship pirates!


Tricia Rayburn

Genre: YA

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Release Date: July 13

Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything--the dark, heights, the ocean--but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is until Justine goes cliff diving one night near the family's vacation house in Winter Harbor, Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.
Vanessa's parents want to work through the tragedy by returning to their everyday lives back in Boston, but Vanessa can't help feeling that her sister's death was more than an accident.

After discovering that Justine never applied to colleges, and that she was secretly in a relationship with longtime family friend Caleb Carmichael, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor to seek some answers.
But when Vanessa learns that Caleb has been missing since Justine's death, she and Caleb's older brother, Simon, join forces to try to find him, and in the process, their childhood friendship blossoms into something more.

Soon it's not just Vanessa who is afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes home to a string of fatal, water-related accidents . . . in which all the victims are found grinning from ear to ear. As Vanessa and Simon probe further into the connections between Justine's death and the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance, and that will change her life forever.

Ghostgirl: Lovesick (Ghostgirl, Bk 3)
Tanya Hurley
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Release Date: July 12

Before she can rest in peace, Charlotte Usher must return to the tragic site of her death: high school. Once there, her assignment is to help a designated teen solve a personal problem in time for the all-important prom. But no one explained what happens if you fall in love with your class project. Charlotte would die (again) for love but facing the all-too-familiar feeling of invisibility may be too much for her to swallow.

Friday, July 9, 2010

No hopping this week

Posted by Simcha 6:41 AM, under | 8 comments

This Friday I decided that instead of participating in the various blog hops and joining more blogs that I don't actually have time to visit, that I would try to follow up on all of the blogs that I had discovered through the hops in previous weeks.

I'm starting to feel that these blog hops are becoming more about collecting followers than about actually discovering new blogs that you enjoy or about making connections. I know that few of the bloggers who have joined my blog through the blog hops have actually ever come back, at least I haven't heard from them. In which case I think I prefer that they didn't join at all. Although having a nice number of blog followers does make me feel good, I would feel even better knowing that all of those followers are actually interested in visiting my blog and reading the content that I put up.

That's not to say that I won't be participating in future blog hops because I really have found some great new blogs to follow through them, but this week I'm going to take a break and go visit those blogs who are already listed in my Google Reader.

And if you are a regular follower who does actually read what I have to say, I want you to know how much I appreciate having you here. While blogging is a lot of fun what makes it really satisfying is knowing that someone is actually interested in reading what I have so painstakingly written.

So now I'm off to do some blog visiting and I wish you a wonderful weekend with many hours of pleasurable reading.

Another funny link: Don't ask a designer for help

Posted by Simcha 2:51 AM, under | No comments

Another completely off-topic but still very funny link you have to check out.
It even elicited some chuckles from me and I'm not much of a chuckler.

(And I promise that this one won't take up your whole day like the last one probably did.)

Why to never ask a designer for help in finding your cat


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Spirit Gate (Crossroads, Bk 1) by Kate Elliott

Posted by Simcha 6:58 AM, under | 6 comments

The last time that I had read a book by Kate Elliott was about eight years ago, when I had been fully engrossed in her Crown of Stars series. And although Elliott had made a great impression on me at the time, I haven't read anything else by her since then, mostly because I have not encountered any of her books here in Israel. But when I recently came across the author online I was reminded of how much I had enjoyed her books and so I decided to try to catch up with all of her books that I had missed out on over the years, starting with Spirit Gate.

For hundreds of years the Guardians have ruled the world of the Hundred, but these powerful gods no longer exert their will on the world. Only the reeves, who patrol on enormous eagles, still represent the Guardians' power. And the reeves are losing their authority; for there is a dark shadow across the land that not even the reeves can stop.

A group of fanatics has risen to devour villages, towns, and cities in their drive to annihilate all who oppose them. No one knows who leads them; they seem inhumanly cruel and powerful. Mai and Anji, riding with a company of dedicated warriors and a single reeve who may hold a key to stopping the deadly advance of the devouring horde, must try, or the world will be lost to the carnage. But a young woman sworn to the Goddess may prove more important than them all . . . if they are not too late.

Spirit Gate offers readers a panoramic view of a land which is slowly being overtaken by a dark and unknown force. The Guardians, who had once ruled the land, have been gone for so long that no one knows if they ever really existed, and the Reeves have lost the authority which had allowed them to bring order, in place of the Guardians. But the intervention of visitors from an outside land will have far reaching consequences that may help in the fight against the encroaching darkness.

Spirit Gate follows several different and very diverse characters, switching from one point of view to another throughout the book. Each character has their own journey that they have embarked upon but as the story progresses the individual stories begin to merge, eventually bringing all of the characters and their stories together.

Mai is the beautiful daughter of the most prestigious merchant family in Kartu Town, expected to make an advantageous marriage someday to a respectable boy. But when a Qin Captain spots Mai in the marketplace one day and expresses his interest in marrying her, Mai’s father has no choice but to give up his daughter to the man. Mai is both frightened and excited by this turn of events which may offer her the freedom she has always longed for, though it all depends on what kind of man it is that she has married.

Mai’s uncle Shai is the seventh son,
placing him at the very bottom of the family hierarchy. Seen as superfluous by the family, it is no surprise when Shai is the one chosen to accompany Mai when she leaves Kartu Town with her new husband. But Shai is also given the task of finding out what had happened to his older brother who has gone missing many years ago. Shai is elated to finally be free of the family who had always held him in contempt but he quickly discovers that finding a place to belong will be a lot more difficult then he had expected.

Joss is a Reeve, dedicated to maintaining justice and order in the land alongside the giant and intelligent eagle that he rides. But for twenty years he has been haunted by a single foolish and thoughtless act committed in his youth, and which ended in tragedy. The repercussions of that day have altered Joss's life but now he is determined to take a stand and finally fight back against the enemy that has been cutting the reeves down.

Kesh had been sold off as a slave by his family when he was just a child, and for the past twelve years has worked endlessly to pay off his debt. Now a recent stroke of good luck may have handed him just the treasure that he needs to finally buy his freedom, if he can protect it long enough to make the journey home. And even then his path to freedom is not yet clear.

I admit that when I started Spirit Gate I was a bit thrown off because I had expected this book to be somewhat similar to the others that I had read by Kate Elliott, which it is not. Though once I got used to the unexpected style of the narration, I was easily immersed in the story.

At first I was a bit distracted by the fact that the story doesn't focus on any one character for very long, but instead switches from one character's point of view to another. This prevented me from feeling particularly connected to any one of the characters, which normally would hinder my enjoyment of the book
, but once I got used to it I found that I really didn't mind. And as I got more involved in the story I discovered that I had gotten to know each of the characters enough that I did care about what happens to them. The style in which Spirit Gate was written actually reminds me quite a bit of Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon, though it was a lot easier for me to get through. The epic feel to the story as well as the wide and detailed world building felt similar to Erikson’s novel, though the characters are not quite as intense. There is also the same kind of vague feeling to the story regarding who the villains are and what the specific danger is.

The pacing is slow but steady and the regular shifting of the point of view helped keep me interested, as did the different conflicts encountered by each of the characters.

On the back of Spirit Gate there is a quote from Sci Fi Weekly stating that this book is “a treasure for readers who enjoy the journey as much as, or more than, the destination,” which I think is very aptly put. Where the characters are headed and what their purpose is in this endangered land, largely remains unclear, but it’s the journey on which each of them have embarked that is the focus of this book. Kate Elliott has skillfully woven a wonderful story here with fantastic world building and interesting characters and I highly recommend it to all fantasy readers who enjoy a good epic tale.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Free Audio Book: The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker

Posted by Simcha 4:07 AM, under | 8 comments

The Audio Book Shop is offering a free download of the audio book The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Lienna Renee Hieber.

What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent-and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death...

This is a really lovely and unique fantasy and if you haven't yet read it I highly suggest you take this opportunity to get the audio book for free.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My BBAW Registration

Posted by Simcha 3:02 PM, under | 3 comments

After deliberating about it for a couple of weeks I finally decided to go ahead and register for the upcoming Book Blogger Appreciation Week. It's a bit daunting, knowing that I will be competing against some really wonderful blogs, but I figured it can't hurt to give it a try.

So the niche category that I'm registering for is
Best Speculative Fiction Book Blog (no surprise there) and the these are the posts that I'm putting forward:

1. Review of Lord of the Fading Lands by C.L Wilson
2. Review of The Tel Aviv Dossier by Nir Yaniv and Levi Tidhar
3. Review of The Girl with the Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
4. Interview with Peter Brett
5. Discussion Post: Readers in "the wild"

I'm also registering for
Best New Book Blog

1. Review of The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar
2. Review of Soulless by Gail Carriger
3. Childhood Books Revisited
4. Book Blog interview with Fantasy Literature...Frankly
5. Friday Quotes

And there you have it.

Good luck to all of the participating book bloggers, and if you haven't yet signed up but would still like to do so then just follow this link. Though do so quickly since tomorrow (July 7th) is the last day for registration.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Interview with SciFi Songwriter John Anealio

Posted by Simcha 9:52 AM, under | 5 comments

I'm pleased to welcome here today the talented musician and songwriter, John Anealio, who creates unique and catchy songs based on scifi and fantasy books and movies.

Hi John, thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview.

According to your blog,
Scifi Songs, you write science fiction and fantasy songs, and while I’m familiar with sf&f books and movies I didn’t realize that the genre extends to music as well. Can you please explain to me about the kind of music that you write?

Well, there isn't really a Sci-Fi/Fantasy musical genre like rock or pop, although Filk can certainly be considered Sci-Fi music. Musically, I'd categorize what I do as a combination of pop, folk, and rock with a shot of electronic music and a sprinkling of progressive rock. Lyrically, I'm inspired by a wide variety of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels and films as well as other "nerdy" things.
Over the course of the past year, I've embraced the humorous side of nerd culture and many of my songs have come out funnier than I ever thought they would.

Have you always been interested in writing this kind of music or is this an idea that just hit you over the head one day?

In terms of focusing my lyrics on Sci-Fi/Nerd culture, that did just hit me one day. For years, I was a fairly straight-ahead folk singer/songwriter. A little over two years ago, I was contemplating my musical path. I had already written a few songs inspired by some Science Fiction novels. I was also considering getting into blogging or podcasting. At that moment it hit me to focus my songwriting on Science Fiction and Nerd Culture and start a blog and podcast where I release those songs for free.

What was the first song that you wrote?

At the start of my musical education, I was an obsessive guitarist, so my first songs were guitar instrumentals. I couldn't even tell you the first vocal song that I wrote, because the first 100 songs that I wrote were surely dreadful. I think the first "Sci-Fi" song that I wrote was "
Sarene" which is based on Brandon Sanderson's Elantris.

Really? Why did you specifically choose Sarene for the subject of your song? (personally, I found her kind of annoying)

I liked the fact that Sarene was a strong female character and I just liked the idea of writing a love song that was set in a fantasy world.

What kind of reaction do your songs usually elicit from listeners? Do you think there is a large interest in music based on scifi and fantasy?

These days, it seems to be mostly laughter, which is good. Most people respond pretty positively. I think a lot of folks are just stunned that someone took the time to write and record a song based on something so niche or ridiculous. I think that there is an interest in music based on Sci-Fi and nerdy topics. For the longest time, song lyrics were only considered successful if they had universal themes or were aimed at the lowest common denominator. I think that people want to hear songs about topics that they are interested in. The more niche the better, it seems. My most successful song is "George R.R. Martin is Not Your Bitch". It doesn't get much more niche than that.

So I've actually been hearing quite a lot lately about this song, "George R.R. Martin is Not Your Bitch" which has garnered attention from both Neil Gaiman and Martin himself. Can you tell me the story behind it?

I'm a big George R.R. Martin fan. Neil Gaiman wrote a now famous blog post that advised a reader that "George R.R. Martin is Not Your Bitch". I just thought that it would make a perfect song. I had the great fortune of both Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin discovering the song and liking it enough to blog and tweet about it.

Have any of your other songs gained the attention of the book’s author?

Fortunately yes. Brandon Sanderson, Gregory Frost, and Kay Kenyon all discovered the songs that I wrote about their books. Not only were all of them really nice folks, they were all quite enthusiastic about the songs and were nice enough to link to them. I even had the chance to chat a bit with Gregory Frost at Philcon last year. He's a great author and a super nice guy.

Wow, that's awesome!

Where do you see yourself heading with your sff song writing?

I'd like to get more into live performing. Prior to Sci-Fi Songs, I gigged all of the time, but I've done very little performing since the start of Sci-Fi Songs. I had the opportunity to perform at Balticon this year as a part of Mur Lafferty's "I Should Be Writing" live podcast. It was the first time that I performed in front of an audience of people who were into the things that I was singing about and it was a truly wonderful experience. I'd like to perform at more Sci-Fi conventions and I'd really love to perform at events like w00tstock and Nerdapalooza. I'd love to model the career path of some artists that I really admire like Jonathan Coulton, Paul & Storm, and Marian Call.

Are you involved in any other aspects of the sff community?

The sheet music and lyrics to my song "The Ballad of Wilson Cole" appear in the appendix of Mike Resnick's "Starship:Flagship" novel. It was really quite a thrill to see my song and my name published in an actual Science Fiction novel. It was something that I never imagined would happen. I'd love to do that again. I also co-host a weekly podcast with author Patrick Hester called
The Functional Nerds. We chat about Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels and TV shows, technology, music, comics, and other nerdy things. We've been fortunate enough to have a bunch of great guests, including: Blake Charlton, Lou Anders, and Mur Lafferty.

I saw that you recently attended Balticon where you dazzled Gail Carriger with your tunes. So how about a bit of gossip? Is Gail as awesome in real life as she seems?

Really? I wasn't aware that she was dazzled. I did have the opportunity to chat with her for a while after the show and she is every bit of awesome in real life as she seems. She's crazy smart and super nice. We also discovered that we share an interest in swing dancing.

Well, Gail mentioned your performance
on her blog and she sounded pretty dazzled (I believe the words "lovely" and "talented" were bandied about). Though I don't remember her ever mentioning anything about swing dancing...

Are there any other authors that you have become acquainted with through your music?

Peter V. Brett attended the ISBW live podcast at Balticon. He and I got along together quite well. He's going to be on our podcast in July. Although not a Sci-Fi author, Ken Denmead, who is the editor of Wired Magazine's GeekDad Blog and the author of the GeekDad book, and I have gotten to be pretty good online friends as well. He's played my music on the GeekDad Hip Trax podcast a bunch of times.

I'm a pretty big Peter Brett fan so I will have to make sure to listen to that podcast.

Are you ever approached by authors who are interested in having a song written for their books?

Lou Anders, Editorial Director of Pyr Books, commissioned the song for the Mike Resnick book. I have had some independent authors request songs. Each song takes a really long time to record (up to a month), so unfortunately I can't meet every request.

Which of your songs is your favorite and how did you come to write it?

Hard to say, I usually enjoy my most recent song the best.

In that case I guess the Unicorn Pegasus Kitten song is your current favorite since that is the latest song to appear on your blog, along with the picture that inspired it.

Are there any projects or songs that you are currently working on?

I'm getting pretty close to having enough good songs to put out another CD. This one will be a little different than my Sci-Fi Songs album. Most of the new songs have a humorous slant to them, which wasn't my intention at the start of all of this, but that is how things have naturally developed, so I'm running with it.

Can you tell me a bit about the CD you currently have out as well as where it is available for purchase?

When I started the Sci-Fi Songs blog, the idea was to write and record a new song every few weeks and give it away for free on the blog. People started asking about buying a CD/album. The Sci-Fi Songs Album is what I feel the 11 best songs that I wrote and recorded during the first year or so of the blog. You can buy the physical CD through
CDBaby and the digital downloads from many different outlets including iTunes and Amazon MP3.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working on your music?

Reading, Podcasting, and obsessively cataloging my iTunes library.

What books are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading The Warded Man by Peter V. Brett, which so far is excellent. I'm also diving into a few of John Joseph Adams' short story anthologies.

It sounds like you have some great reading going on there. And a Warded Man inspired song would be really awesome...

Thanks again John for joining us here today and I can't wait to see what song you come up with next.

For more information about John Anealio visit his blog, Sci Fi Songs, and follow this link for a list of all his songs.

Free Read: My Love Lies Bleeding

Posted by Simcha 9:21 AM, under | 2 comments

To celebrate the release of Blood Feud, the second book in Alyxandra Harvey’s YA vampire series, Bloomsbury Publishing is offering My Love Lies Bleeding for free download, only for the next 24 hours. You have from midday on Monday 5th July to get your electronic copy of this book.

The Blakes are rather different to your usual neighbours. They are vampires and some of the members of the family date back to the twelfth century. One of the children, Solange, is the only born female vampire known and, as such, she poses a direct threat to the vampire queen. Her best friend Lucy is human, and when Solange is kidnapped Lucy and Solange's brother, Nicholas, set out to save her.
Lucy soon discovers that she would like to be more than just friends with Nicholas. But how does one go about dating a vampire? Meanwhile, Solange finds an unlikely ally in Kieran, a vampire slayer on the hunt for his father's killer.

Visit Bloomsbury Publishing for your free copy of My Love Lies Bleeding.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Scifi and Fantasy Releases: Week of July 4th

Posted by Simcha 8:23 AM, under | 5 comments

This is another great week for new releases, with a new Temeraire novel from Naomi Novik, some awesome looking anthologies and a couple of books that are sure to appeal to animal lovers.

As for me, the book that I want to get my hands on the most is
Discord's Apple by Carrie Vaughn. I haven't read her Kitty Norville series but this book sounds it like it could be really good.

Hope all of you in the US have a great 4th of July!


Unchained: The Dark Forgotten
Sharon Ashwood
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: July 6

Faced with a custody battle for her daughter, monster-killer Ashe Carver has hung up her stakes and taken a job at the public library. But then after centuries guarding a supernatural prison, the dashing Captain Reynard strides into her world. He has only weeks to live unless Ashe finds the thief who took his soul-and he's too drop-dead gorgeous to die...

Tongues of Serpents (A Novel of Temeraire)
Naomi Novik
Genre: Fantasy/Alternate History
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: July 6

Convicted of treason despite their heroic defense against Napoleon’s invasion of England, Temeraire and Laurence—stripped of rank and standing—have been transported to the prison colony at New South Wales in distant Australia, where, it is hoped, they cannot further corrupt the British Aerial Corps with their dangerous notions of liberty for dragons. Temeraire and Laurence carry with them three dragon eggs intended to help establish a covert in the colony and destined to be handed over to such second-rate, undesirable officers as have been willing to accept so remote an assignment—including one former acquaintance, Captain Rankin, whose cruelty once cost a dragon its life.

Nor is this the greatest difficulty that confronts the exiled dragon and rider: Instead of leaving behind all the political entanglements and corruptions of the war, Laurence and Temeraire have instead sailed into a hornet’s nest of fresh complications. For the colony at New South Wales has been thrown into turmoil after the overthrow of the military governor, one William Bligh—better known as Captain Bligh, late of HMS Bounty. Bligh wastes no time in attempting to enlist Temeraire and Laurence to restore him to office, while the upstart masters of the colony are equally determined that the new arrivals should not upset a balance of power precariously tipped in their favor.

Eager to escape this political quagmire, Laurence and Temeraire take on a mission to find a way through the forbidding Blue Mountains and into the interior of Australia. But when one of the dragon eggs is stolen from Temeraire, the surveying expedition becomes a desperate race to recover it in time—a race that leads to a shocking discovery and a dangerous new obstacle in the global war between Britain and Napoleon.

The Girls with Games of Blood
Alex Bledsoe
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

Listen to what I tell you, son, every word is true
The sisters haunt the night, and might fight over you
Nothing can steal your soul and stamp it in the mud
Like being the new play-pretty for the girls with the games of blood . . .

The old song warns of the beautiful Bolade sisters, Patience and Prudence, whose undying rivalry was said to stretch even beyond the grave. But Count Rudolfo Vladimir Zginski has never heard the song. A suave Continental vampire, staked to death more than sixty years ago, he has risen to stalk the Southern nights of Memphis, Tennessee, circa 1975. Although new to the modern world, he has quickly developed a taste for its hot blood, willing women, and high-speed automobiles.

Yet the seventies are not without their perils, even for so cunning and ruthless a predator. Zginski’s insistent pursuit of a cherry 1973 Mach 1 Ford Mustang soon brings him into conflict with a legendary redneck sheriff with a short temper and a big baseball bat. His dangerous fascination with an enticing undead chanteuse and her equally seductive sister, threatens not only his own ageless existence, but that of the small group of modern-day vampires he has grudgingly taken under his wing. Zginski has already escaped limbo once, but can he free himself from the tangled web of the girls who play games of blood?

Alex Bledsoe, author of Blood Groove, returns to he world of the undead with a tale of fast cars and vengeance that never dies. . . .

My Way to Hell
Dakota Casidy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: July 6

After defying Lucifer to save her best friend Delaney, ex-demon Marcella Acosta has been banished to exist in the plane between heaven and hell-and there isn't a shopping mall in sight. After numerous failed attempts to contact Delaney through a bunch of hack mediums, Marcella's at her wit's end. But there's one medium she's hasn't tried yet, and he just happens to be Delaney's scorching hot brother Kellen- the one guy who never gave Marcella the time of day.

Rift in the Sky (Stratification #3)
Julie E. Czerneda
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: July 6

Despite good intentions, the Om-ray of Cersi can't resist moving through space using the M-hir dimension. To prevent the disruption of the Agreement and the destruction that it would unleash, the M-hiray, as they now call themselves, agree to leave Cersi forever to establish their own haven within the Trade Pact worlds-only to learn that not everybody wants peace.

Undead and Unfinished
(Queen Betsy, Bk 9)
MaryJanice Davidson
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Release Date: July 6

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor returns in the ninth novel in the New York Times bestselling series.

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor is having a tough time getting through the Book of the Dead-until the Devil strikes a bargain. She offers Betsy a chance to finish the cursed (literally!) thing, and finally discover all its mysteries. There's just one catch...

Betsy and her half-sister Laura have to go to Hell long enough for Laura to embrace her dark heritage (after a rebellious youth of charity work) and finally make nice with her mother, aka Lucifer. That means interacting with their family's past. In doing so, they're impacting the future in ways they never anticipated. Of course that's what Mother wanted all along. Damn her.

The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection
Edited by Gardner Dozois
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 6

Continuing the annual tradition, award-winning editor Dozois selects 32 of 2009's strongest short fiction pieces from print and online venues. The authors of these stories are almost all experienced and prolific, with many award winners and few surprise newcomers to be found. The offerings run the gamut of science fiction: for example, Nicola Griffith's "It Takes Two" explores love through chemical attraction, John Barnes's "Things Undone" is a time-blurring exploration of alternate history, and John Kessel's "Events Preceding the Helvetican Renaissance" is a far-future adventure. This smorgasbord of thought-provoking fiction ensures that any reader will likely find something appealing. Rounding out the collection is Dozois's writeup of all things 2009 SF: fiction, nonfiction, media, awards, and obituaries. – Publisher’s Weekly

The Magickers Chronicles: Volume One
Emily Drake
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: July 6

Long ago, a war was fought between two opposing groups of magic practitioners-the Magickers, who believed in using magic for the general good, and the Dark Hand, who felt that magic belonged to them and should only be used for their own benefit. Now the Magickers are looking for young recruits to their cause-for the final battle will soon begin...

Primeval (Event Group Series)
David L. Golemon
Genre: Alternate History
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: July 6

Golemon's fanciful fifth Event Group thriller (after Leviathan) offers an alternative view of what happened to Nicholas II and his family at Ekaterinburg in 1918. After two of the last Russian czar's children, Anastasia and Alexei, survive and escape to Canada, the story leaps forward to 1962, when a secret American plane on a mission to decapitate the Soviet leadership crashes near Ekaterinburg. In the present, vicious Russian gangsters begin a bloody search for the legendary "Twins" of Peter the Great, "twin diamonds the size of ostrich eggs."

When the gangsters abduct CIA agent Lynn Simpson, they pay the price for being unaware that she's the sister of series hero Col. Jack Collins of the Event Group, a shadowy U.S. government agency that specializes in bizarre assignments. Collins and the team he leads to rescue Simpson encounter trigger-happy bad guys, Quebec separatists plotting a coup, and intelligent bigfoot humanoids. Feeble attempts at realism don't redeem the silly plot. – Publisher’s Weekly

Elizabeth A. Hull
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6
An anthology of new, original stories by bestselling science fiction authors, inspired by science fiction great Frederik Pohl

It isn’t easy to get a group of bestselling SF authors to write new stories for an anthology, but that’s what Elizabeth Anne Hull has done in this powerhouse book. With original, captivating tales by Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, David Brin, Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Joe Haldeman, Harry Harrison, Larry Niven, Vernor Vinge, Gene Wolfe, and others, Gateways is a SF event that will be a must-buy for SF readers of all tastes, from the traditional to the cutting edge; from the darkly serious to the laugh-out-loud funny.

Each author has written a story that he or she feels reflects the effect Pohl has had on the field—in the style of writing, the narrative tone, or the subject matter. It says a lot about Pohl's career that the authors represented here themselves span many decades and styles, from the experimental SF of British SF author Brian W. Aldiss to the over-the-top humor of Harry Harrison and Mike Resnick, from the darkly powerful drama of Hollywood screenwriter Frank Robinson to the satiric pungency of multiple Hugo Award-winner Vernor Vinge. Every story here is uniquely nuanced; all of them as entertaining and thought provoking as Pohl's fiction.

In a career dating back to 1939, Pohl has won all the awards science fiction has to offer: Hugos, Nebulas, the SFWA Grand Master Award. Having written more than two million words of fiction and edited the groundbreaking Star anthologies and Hugo Award-winning magazines and books, Pohl is an SF icon. This anthology of brilliant, entertaining SF stories is a testament to his stature in the field.

Red Hood's Revenge
Jim C. Hines
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: July 6

Roudette's story was a simple one. A red cape. A wolf. A hunter. Her mother told her she would be safe, so long as she kept to the path. But sometimes the path leads to dark places. Roudette is the hunter now, an assassin known throughout the world as the Lady of the Red Hood. Her mission will take her to the country of Arathea and an ancient fairy threat. At the heart of the conflict between humans and fairies stands the woman Roudette has been hired to kill, the only human ever to have fought the Lady of the Red Hood and survived-the princess known as Sleeping Beauty.

Song of the Dragon (Annals of Drakis, Bk 1)
Tracy Hickman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: DAW
Release Date: July 6

First in a brand-new fantasy saga by the co-creator of Dragonlance

Once humans had magic and an alliance with dragons. Now they and the other races have been enslaved by the Rhonas Empire-the elves-and can't even remember the world the way it used to be. But thanks to the intervention of one determined dwarf and the human slave warrior known as Drakis, all of that is about to change.

Cupid Cats
Katie MacAlister, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Connie Brockway
Genre: Romantic Fantasy Short Stories
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: July 6

This one-of-a-kind-all-original anthology features stories by three bestselling superstar authors starring the mysterious, mischievous, and magical matchmaking felines of the Cupid Cats Animal Shelter, who assist their owners in finding romance and true love.

Pathfinder (A Major Ariane Kedros Novel)
Laura E. Reeve
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: July 6

Wars may end. But vengeance is forver.

Reserve Major Ariane Kedros needs a shot at redemption-and the mysterious aliens known as the Minoans need an extraordinary human pilot with a rejuv-stimulated metabolism like Ariane for a dangerous expedition to a distant solar system. But there's a catch. The Minoans have to implant their technology in Ariane's body, and it might not be removable. Ariane is willing, but as she begins the perilous journey, there is an old enemy hiding within the exploration team who is determined to see them fail...

Virga: Cities of the Air
Karl Schroeder
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

It is the distant future. The world known as Virga is a fullerene balloon three thousand kilometers in diameter, filled with air, water, and floating chunks of rock. The humans who live in this vast environment must build their own fusion suns and “towns” —enormous wood and rope wheels that are spun for centripetal gravity.
This complex and fascinating world is the setting for the novels of Virga, Karl Schroeder’s interstellar far-future space habitat sealed off from contamination by the rest of the inhabited universe. These books have set a high standard for hard SF adventure in the last decade, and now the first two novels, Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, are brought out for the first time in one trade paper omnibus.

More Stories from the Twilight Zone
Carol Serling
Genre: Science Fiction Anthology
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

When it first aired in 1959,The Twilight Zone was nothing less than groundbreaking television. Freed from the censors’ strict oversight due to the show’s classification as science fiction, the 156 episodes explored classic, powerful, and moving human themes—love, hate, pride, jealousy, terror—in a unique style. The program sparked the imaginations of countless writers and filmmakers around the world.
With The Twilight Zone 2, some of today’s finest writers have written all-new stories celebrating the unique vision and power of Rod Serling’s landmark series. The previous anthology boasted a stellar group including New York Times bestselling authors Whitley Strieber, R. L. Stine, and Laura Lippman, and writers who wrote scripts for the original Twilight Zone and its later incarnations, such as Earl Hamner and Alan Brennert.

The Gospel of the Knife
Will Shetterly
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

Christopher Nix is 14 years old, and it’s 1969. His life is a turbulent echo of the times as he discovers sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll in the heart of Florida. But into this struggle between the young long-haired hippie and the rednecks who’d just as soon kill him comes a strange offer that will completely change his life.

The Nix family is contacted by a mysterious benefactor who wants to send Chris to an exclusive private school, no expense spared. Mr. Jay Dumont claims that Chris’s grandfather saved his life during WWI, and though Grandpa Uvdall is dead, the debt remains to be paid. But as Chris will discover, there is a great deal more to it than that. He will have to accept and understand the Powers that have surrounded his family all his life, and learn to use his own magical gifts, if he is to survive Dumont’s plan.
As he did with Dogland, Will Shetterly uses a deceptively simple tale to explore some very deep issues. The Gospel of the Knife, a World Fantasy Award nominee, explores questions of faith and responsibility, and the always complex relationship between man and God and the world.

A Devil in the Details (A Jesse James Dawson Novel)
K. A. Stewart
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
Release Date: July 6

Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate) until one day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon, Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death.

Jesse lived to free his brother-and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual. Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last...

The Fuller Memorandum
Charles Stross
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: July 6

National bestselling author Charles Stross brings back Bob Howard-"a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense, and an aversion to martinis" (San Francisco Chronicle)

Bob Howard is taking a much needed break from the field to catch up on his filing in The Laundry's archives when a top secret dossier known as The Fuller Memorandum vanishes-along with his boss, who the agency's executives believe stole the file.

Determined to discover exactly what the memorandum contained, Bob runs afoul of Russian agents, ancient demons, and the apostles of a hideous faith, who have plans to raise a very unpleasant undead entity known as the Eater of Souls...

Discord’s Apple
Carrie Vaughn
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again. The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done.

And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in.

Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.

A Dog’s Purpose
W. Bruce Cameron
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: Forge
Release Date: July 6

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story,A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?
Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders—will he ever find his purpose?
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

Unholy Magic
Stacie Kane
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: July 6

For Chess Putnam, finding herself near-fatally poisoned by a con psychic and then stopping a murderous ghost is just another day on the job. As an agent of the Church of Real Truth, Chess must expose those looking to profit from the world’s unpleasant little poltergeist problem—humans filing false claims of hauntings—all while staving off any undead who really are looking for a kill. But Chess has been extra busy these days, coping with a new “celebrity” assignment while trying on her own time to help some desperate prostitutes.

Someone’s taking out the hookers of Downside in the most gruesome way, and Chess is sure the rumors that it’s the work of a ghost are way off base. But proving herself right means walking in the path of a maniac, not to mention standing between the two men in her life just as they—along with their ruthless employers—are moving closer to a catastrophic showdown. Someone is dealing in murder, sex, and the supernatural, and once again Chess finds herself right in the crossfire.

Shadow Grail (Legacies, Book 1)
Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 6

Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst Academy?
In the wake of the accident that killed her family, Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy, a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana. There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school, which her parents also attended, but to magic.

All the students at Oakhurst have magical powers, and although Spirit’s hasn’t manifested itself yet, the administrators insist she has one. Spirit isn’t sure she cares. Devastated by the loss of her family, she finds comfort with a group of friends: Burke Hallows, Lachlann Spears, Muirin Shae, and Adelaide Lake.

But something strange is going on at Oakhurst. Students start disappearing under mysterious circumstances, and the school seems to be trying to cover it up. Spirit and her friends must find out what’s happening—before one of them becomes the next victim…

The Unit
Terry DeHart
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 10

Jerry Sharpe is an ex-marine and, for him, survival means protecting his family by any means necessary.

Susan is learning just how far a mother will go for her children. But how far will she go for a man she doubted before the bombs fell? As Jerry’s training and instincts take over, she is certain of one thing — her children need her.

Melanie was going to go to college. Now, she is struggling to find a way to live in a world gone mad without losing sight of what she believes in.Scotty has a new mission – more than survival. He was saved, and he’ll be damned if he won’t fight for what’s right.
And Bill — Bill was locked up, but the power went out and the guards left. Now he and his fellow inmates have realized that everything is free for the taking…if you’re strong enough to hold on to it.

The Crowded Shadows
Celine Kiernan
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 10

Wynter Moorehawke travels alone and unprotected through bandit-infested forests, searching for the rebel prince Alberon. But many enemies are lurking in the shadows. It seems that every tyrant and zealot who has ever threatened the Kingdom is sending emissaries to meet Alberon. Wynter becomes increasingly nervous of the prince’s intentions.

She is overjoyed when Razi and Christopher reappear, but where old friends go, old enemies soon follow and Wynter finds herself confronted with the infamous wolves, the Loup-Garous. It is to Christopher’s adopted people, the Merron, that Wynter and Razi must now turn for sanctuary. But the Merron have sided with their mortal enemy, Marguerite Shirken. What is behind these strange alliances and is Alberon at the center of it all?

The Reluctant Mage
Karen Miller
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 10

Nine months have passed since Rafel disappeared in the expedition over the mountains. Deenie, now eighteen, starts having disturbing dreams about her brother. She comes to believe he’s not dead after all, but is in trouble and needs her help.

She enlists the aid of her friend Charis, and the girls hatch a plan to escape from Lur. They succeed and survive the hazardous journey round the coastline past the mountains. But to their dismay, they discover that the lands beyond Lur are blighted with lawlessness and chaos. The remnants of Morg’s consciousness that survived his death splintered at his downfall and sought refuge in whatever bodies could be found to host them.

Throughout their travels and adventures they get some answers about the other lost expeditions, and keep hearing about one fearsome mage whose stronghold is in the blighted near-mythical land of Dorana. Deenie knows this is her brother – and that Rafel is not only in danger, but has become dangerous. If he’s not stopped he could become a threat to the whole world. Perhaps even another Morg.

All That Lives Must Die (Mortal Coils, Bk 2)
Eric Nylund
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: July 20

Eliot and Fiona Post are twins caught up in an epic custody battle between their mother's and father's families. Their mother is the immortal goddess Atropos, the eldest Fate, and their father is Lucifer, Lord of the infernals, a diabolical fallen angel. The families have put them through rigorous, life-threatening challenges, and together they've risen to combat them in amazing ways. But now they are facing the greatest trial of all—high school.

Paxington Unviersity is no normal high school—it's a place where gods and goddesses, warriors and socerers learn to harness their power, where a debate in class can end in a duel, and your classmates aren't simply friends or enemies, but allies in battle or threats to your life. To flunk is to die--only the toughest graduate. As Fiona and Eliot struggle to keep up their grades by surviving the rigorous training, both families are watching.
High school is bad enough, but imagine being caught in the midst of an immortal/infernal war...

Wizard Squared
K.E Mills
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 10

When the staff of Witches Incorporated receive a visitor from an alternate reality, they are shocked to learn that life in the parallel world next door is anything but a bed of roses … and it’s all because of Gerald Dunwoody.

At a crucial moment in time, their Gerald turned left … but the alternate reality Gerald turned right. Now the parallel world next door is in the grip of terror, staring down the barrel of a thaumaturgical war — a war that threatens to spill across the dimensions and plunge every reality into a nightmare.

The only person who can stop a rogue wizard gone mad is another rogue wizard. But what do you do when another rogue wizard can’t be found?
WIZARD SQUARED is the conclusion to the Rogue Agent trilogy, from one of fantasy’s newest stars.

The Eternal Prison
Jeff Somers
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 10

Avery Cates is a wanted man. After surviving the worst bioengineered disaster in history, Cates finds himself incarcerated – in Chengara Penitentiary. As Chengara has a survival rate of exactly zero, the system’s most famous gunner needs a new plan. And a betrayal or so later, he achieves his goal. At a price.
All he has to do now is defeat some new personal demons, forge some unlikely alliances, and figure out why the people he’s killed lately just won’t stay dead.


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