Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Finds

Posted by Simcha 8:04 AM, under | 3 comments

Just two books added to my wish list this week.

This upcoming release from Tor sounds promising.

by Edward Lazellari

Cal MacDonnell is a happily married New York City cop with a loving family. Seth Raincrest is a washed-up photographer who has alienated even his closest friends. The two have nothing in common—except that they both suffer from retrograde amnesia. It’s as if they just appeared out of thin air thirteen years ago, and nothing has been able to restore their memories. Now their forgotten past has caught up to them with a vengeance.

Cal's and Seth’s lives are turned upside down as they are stalked by otherworldly beings who know about the men's past lives. But these creatures aren't here to help; they're intent on killing anyone who gets in their way. In the balance hangs the life of a child who might someday restore a broken empire to peace and prosperity. With no clue why they're being hunted, Cal and Seth must accept the aid of a strange and beautiful woman who has promised to unlock their secrets. The two must stay alive long enough to protect their loved ones, recover their true selves—and save two worlds from tyranny and destruction.

Awakenings launches a captivating fantasy saga by an amazing and talented new storyteller.


I found this series over at Cookies, Books and Bikes. It's been a while since I read a good romantic fantasy and I look forward to trying this one.

Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands #1)
by Elizabeth Vaughan


Xylara is the Daughter of the Warrior King, Xyron. With her father dead and her incompetent half-brother on the throne, the kingdom is in danger of falling to the warring Firelanders.

Before she was old enough for a marriage-of-alliance, Xylara was trained as a healer. She can't usurp her brother or negotiate a peace--but she can heal the brave ones injured in battle.

But not only her countrymen are wounded, and Xylara's conscience won't let Firelander warriors die when she can do something to save them. She learns their language and their customs and tries to make them as comfortable as possible, despite their prisoner-of-war status.

She never expects that these deeds, done in good faith, would lead to the handsome and mysterious Firelander Warlord demanding her in exchange for a cease-fire. Xylara knows must trade the life she has always known for the well-being of her people, and so she becomes...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mini Reviews

Posted by Simcha 6:09 PM, under | 5 comments

With my kids home from school for the summer I've been hard pressed to find the time to sit down and write reviews so I decided to instead just jot down some of my thoughts about the books that I've recently read, before I forget them.

The Crown Conspiracy by Michael Sullivan


Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats to the murder of the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out…and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

I've had this book high on my To Read list for almost two years now but I just couldn't get a hold of it. You can therefore imagine my delight when I unexpectedly came across the audio book of The Crown Conspiracy on Podiobooks. I immediately started listening to it and then spent the next couple of days looking for any excuse I could think of to keep on listening (which meant I did a lot of chores during this time).

The Crown Conspiracy was just so much fun, the kind of fantasy that reminds me of why I love the genre. It was fast paced, exciting and contained enough twists to keep me guessing until the end. It's also full of wonderful characters that followed me right off the page, hanging out with me between "readings". Though I was a bit disappointed that the princess, one of the books' few female characters, didn't get more page time. I really liked her and would have enjoyed getting to know her better.

The book's narrator, Nathan Lowell, also did a fantastic job reading it and I now can't decide if I should read the next book or listen to it (that is, if the audio is available). But there is no question that I will definitely be continuing on with this series.

Highly recommended.

I  Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

In the beginning they were a group of nine. Nine aliens who left their home planet of Lorien when it fell under attack by the evil Mogadorian. Nine aliens who scattered on Earth. Nine aliens who look like ordinary teenagers living ordinary lives, but who have extraordinary, paranormal skills. Nine aliens who might be sitting next to you now.

The Nine had to separate and go into hiding. The Mogadorian caught Number One in Malaysia, Number Two in England, and Number Three in Kenya. All of them were killed. John Smith, of Paradise, Ohio, is Number Four. He knows that he is next.

I Am Number Four is the thrilling launch of a series about an exceptional group of teens as they struggle to outrun their past, discover their future—and live a normal life on Earth. 

For some reason that I'm not exactly sure of I had developed expectations of I Am Number Four that were so different from what is actually delivered that it was inevitable that I would be disappointed. Part of it was the fault of the book blurb, which seems to promise a thrilling, fast paced scifi adventure. For some reason I was also under the impression that this was dystopia. And I do clearly remember reading a review in which the reviewer said that the story moved so quickly and was so intense that she could barely catch her breath. As it turned out, on all counts I was completely off the mark.

First of all, I Am Number Four takes place in a modern setting, which I didn't mind but I was just a bit surprised. What I did mind, though, was that the story moves forward so slowly without any of the thrills and excitement that the book blurb promised. It's true that someone is hunting for John, but all John does is sit and wait for them to come, while playing around with his newly manifested powers and falling in love some girl he's only known for a couple of days, but for whom he's willing to risk his planet's future for (oh please!) It also never made sense to me why these creatures are trying to kill John. If they had destroyed his planet for it's resources, why did they care if he and the other children escaped to Earth? It just made no sense to me.

I Am Number Four has a great premise, which I would love to see brought to life in the hands of another author. But in this author's hands it just falls flat.

Magic Under Glass Jaclyn Dolamore

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir.
Unsettling below-stairs rumors abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
Magic Under Glass was an enjoyable story that had a bit of a younger  tone than I had expected, though the same time it surprised me with some of the complex subject matters that it deals with. 

I very much liked Nimira, a young, feisty heroine who is determined to succeed in this land so far away from her home and I enjoyed watching her relationship with the automation develop from friendship to love. This was a whimsical story that reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones's works, though without the charismatic male protagonists that make her stories so memorable.

Magic Under Glass was a quick, enjoyable read that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to most YA fantasy readers.

The Magician King fan song

Posted by Simcha 2:13 PM, under | 1 comment

I haven't yet had a chance to read Lev Grossman's The Magician King (though I do have it waiting on my ereader) but I'm loving this song by Parry Gripp . Hopefully I'll understand the meaning behind the postcards better once I read the book.

(Thanks to Books on the Nightstand for bringing my attention to the video)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Are you Pro-Spoiler?

Posted by Simcha 7:41 PM, under | 10 comments

It's all over the news. Spoilers do not actually spoil stories, but, in fact, enhance them. At least, that is the verdict that two UC San Diego students, Nicholas Christenfeld and Jonathan Leavitt, came up with after conducting their study about the effect of spoilers on readers.

According to experiments carried out by Christenfeld and Leavitt, those readers who had the endings revealed to them enjoyed their stories more then readers who were not aware of the plot twists ahead.

In an interesting article in Wired, Jonah Lehrer responds to this study by stating that "Surprises are much more fun to plan than experience." According to him, readers do not actually enjoy surprises but are able to appreciate a story more when the tension is eliminated, the the focus is transferred to the story-telling. For this reason people choose to read books in certain genres, because they know what to expect from such books and therefore enjoy them more.

I'm not really buying this though. While I don't really like surprise in real life, I love them in books. My favorite books are those that provide me with unexpected twists and surprise endings. It's one reason that I enjoy Brandon Sanderson's books so much, because you never know what he'll be pulling out of the hat. I've also recently read a couple of books that I knew nearly nothing about before I started and I found that the lack of expectation really increased my enjoyment of those stories. So I am definitely not in the camp of pro-spoilers. I won't even watch Star Wars because I feel like I already know too much about it.

At the same time I have to admit that I've never actually purposely tried to spoil a story for myself, so I can't say how it affects my reading experience. After reading about this study I'm tempted to try it with the next book I read, perhaps read the last chapter first, and see how much of a difference it makes. Though this idea is so abhorrent to me I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to go through with it.

What do you think? Do you enjoy a story more when you know how it ends or, like me, do you like to know as little as possible about a book before plunging in?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New SciFi & Fantasy Releases: Week of August 14

Posted by Simcha 4:52 PM, under , | 5 comments

I present you with this week's new science fiction and fantasy releases, which I'm currently too tired to comment on (though it's a good kind of tired since I spent the day at the beach with my daughter).

Though I do want to mention that two book which I have been hearing particularly good things about are Low Town by Daniel Polansky and The Urban Fantasy Anthology edited by Peter S. Beagle and Joe R. Lansdale. If you have read either one of these books I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on them.

Hope you have a great reading week!


Bargains & Betrayals (13 to Life, Bk 3)

Shannon Delany

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Release Date: August 16

Locked away at Pecan Place, Jessie finds her situation to be even more dangerous than she feared. While she struggles to maintain her sanity and discover answers about the group that seems less and less like any legitimate government agency, Pietr fights to keep their relationship alive. But very aware that his mother’s time is running out, Pietr makes a deal he doesn’t dare tell Jessie about. Because the deal Pietr’s made could mean the death of far more than his tenuous relationship with the girl he loves.


Bringer of Light
Jaine Fenn
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: August 18

Jarek Reen is trying to save a lost world. He discovered the primitive theocracy of Serenein by accident, and now he wants it to take its place in human-space. To do this he needs a shiftspace beacon - without it, there is no way to find the planet again. The beacons were made by the Sidhe, the race that originally gave humanity access to the stars - and dominated human-space for millennia, before a coalition of human rebels and Sidhe males brought the evil Sidhe females down. Most people think the Sidhe are long dead, but Jarek knows better: a renegade female Sidhe is one of his companions, and a male Sidhe gave her and her lover the special powers that made them Angels, very unusual trained assassins. Jarek's only hope is to find Aleph, the hidden system where the last Sidhe males are rumoured to live. But even if he can persuade these eccentric, introspective beings to put aside their interminable internal squabbles, he still has to persuade Serenein that joining the rest of humankind is a good thing ...for the price of progress is likely to be high. Can he stop it turning into tragedy?


By Light Alone
Adam Roberts
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: August 18 (UK)

In a world where we have been genetically engineered so that we can photosynthesise sunlight with our hair hunger is a thing of the past, food an indulgence. The poor grow their hair, the rich affect baldness and flaunt their wealth by still eating. But other hungers remain ...The young daughter of an affluent New York family is kidnapped. The ransom dermands are refused. Years later a young women arrives at the family home claiming to be their long lost daughter. She has changed so much, she has lived on light, can anyone be sure that she has come home? Adam Roberts' new novel is yet another amazing melding of startling ideas and beautiful prose. Set in a New York of the future it nevertheless has echoes of a Fitzgeraldesque affluence and art-deco style. It charts his further progress as one of the most important writers of his generation.


The Death Catchers
Jennifer Anne Kogler
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 16

On her fourteenth Halloween, Lizzy Mortimer sees her first death-specter.

Confused at first, Lizzy soon learns from her grandmother Bizzy that as Death Catchers, they must prevent fate from taking its course when an unjust death is planned-a mission that has been passed down from their ancestor, Morgan le Fay. Only, Lizzy doesn't expect one of her first cases to land her in the middle of a feud older than time between Morgan le Fay and her sister Vivienne le Mort. Vivienne hopes to hasten the end of the world by preventing Lizzy from saving King Arthur's last descendant-humanity's greatest hope for survival. It's up to Lizzy, as Morgan's earthly advocate, to outwit fate before it's too late.

With its unique spin on Arthurian legend, this fresh, smartly written story will stand out in the paranormal genre.


The Edinburgh Dead
Brian Ruckley
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: August 17

The year is 1827. For Adam Quire, an officer of the recently formed City Police, Edinburgh is a terrifying place. It is a city populated by mad alchemists and a criminal underclass prepared to treat with the darkest of powers. But nothing can prepare him for the trail of undead hounds, emptied graves, brutal murders and mob violence that will take him into the darkest corners of the underworld and to the highest reaches of elegant Edinburgh society.


Evolve Two: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead
edited by Nancy Kilpatrick
Genre: Paranormal Anthology
Publisher: EDGE
Release Date: August 15

Meet the eternal predator that humanity never ceases to find both fascinating and terrifying. Evolve 2: Vampire Stories of the Future Undead moves this creature beyond 2012, through this century and into the next. We humans will evolve, but so will they! Whatever apocalyptic events that lie ahead for our species, for the planet, vampires will be there too, helping or hindering, effecting or infecting us. Time is on their side, but it may not be on ours.

Featured authors include: Tanith Lee, Kelley Armstrong, John Shirley, Thomas Roche, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Heather Clitheroe, Erika Holt, Ivan Dorin, Michael Lorenson, Jason Ridler, David Beynon, Eileen Bell, Peter Sellers, Sandra Wickham, William Meikle, David Tocher, Leanne Tremblay, Ryan McFadden, Steve Vernon, Bev Vincent, Anne Mok, and Sandra Kasturi.


Isles of the Forsaken
Carolyn Ives Gilman
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: ChiZine
Release Date: August 15

The Forsaken Isles are on the brink of revolution. Three individuals are about to push it over the edge and trigger events that will lead to a final showdown between ancient forces and the new overlords of the land. Spaeth Dobrin is destined to life as a ritual healer - but as the dhotamar of the tiny, isolated island of Yora, she will be caught in a perpetual bond between herself and the people she has cured. Is it slavery, or is it love? Meanwhile, Harg, the troubled and rebellious veteran, returns to find his home transformed by conquest. And Nathaway, the well-intentioned imperialist, arrives to teach Spaeth's people "civilization," only to become an explorer in the strange realm of the Forsakens. These two men will propel Spaeth into a vortex of war, temptation, and - just possibly - freedom!


Kitty's Greatest Hits
Carrie Vaughn
Genre: Urban Fantasy Collection
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 16

The first-ever story collection from the New York Times bestselling author, including two all-new works!

Kitty Norville, star of a New York Times bestselling series, is everybody’s favorite werewolf DJ and out-of-the-closet supernatural creature. Over the course of eight books she’s fought evil vampires, were-creatures, and some serious black magic. She’s done it all with a sharp wit and the help of a memorable cast of werewolf hunters, psychics, and if-notgood- then-neutral vampires by her side. Kitty’s Greatest Hits not only gives readers some of Kitty’s further adventures, it offers longtime fans a window into the origins of some of their favorite characters.

In “Conquistador de la Noche,” we learn the origin story of Denver’s Master vampire, Rick; with “Wild Ride,” we find out how Kitty’s friend T.J. became a werewolf; and in “Life is the Teacher,” we revisit Emma, the human-turned-unwilling-vampire who serves the aloof vampire Master of Washington, D.C.

This entertaining collection includes two brand-new works: “You’re On the Air,” about one of Kitty’s callers after he hangs up the phone; and the eagerly awaited “Long Time Waiting,” the novella that finally reveals just what happened to Cormac in prison, something every Kitty fan wants to know.


Legacy (Event Group Adventure #6)
David L. Golemon
Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release Date: August 16

The New York Times bestselling author of Leviathan and Primeval is back at full throttle with an adrenaline-pumping addition to the Event Group Thriller Series.
The United States is ready to make a triumphant return to the moon, striking out boldly into the solar system in an attempt to regain the confidence of the heady days of the Apollo program.  The first of what are to be many missions to the lunar surface was designed to find the frozen water needed to prepare to build a base to launch an assault on Mars.
But a shocking discovery at Shackleton Crater brings the first Prometheus mission to an abrupt halt. Remote robots uncover human skeletal remains and a base that had been destroyed countless millennia ago. The information is sent back to earth where forensic analysis at NASA reveals the corpse to be over seven hundred million years old.
A secret this devastating cannot be kept forever, and the news is leaked to the world.  Soon nations are thrown into a head-long collision, pitting governments against their own citizens as the flames of fundamentalism start a conflagration that threatens to engulf the world as a race to return the moon is on.           
The Event Group is tasked to unravel the mystery and to offer something that can either explain our ancient visitor or, at least, keep the world from descending into chaos. Colonel Jack Collins once again leads a team of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers on a journey that will take the Event Group to the airless world of space. But while a battle rages over the truth of our heritage, the Event Group realizes that this may not be humanity’s war alone. Could something else—someone else—be coming to finish a war that they started almost a billion years ago?


Low Town
Daniel Polansky
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: August 16

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops . . . and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.
In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street . . . set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.


The Moon Maze Game
Larry Niven & Steven Barnes
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 16

The Year: 2085.  Humanity has spread throughout the solar system.  A stable lunar colony is agitating for independence.  Lunar tourism is on the rise...

Against this background, professional “Close Protection” specialist Scotty Griffin, fresh off a disastrous assignment, is offered the opportunity of a lifetime: to shepherd the teenaged heir to the Republic of Kikaya on a fabulous vacation.  Ali Kikaya will participate in the first live action role playing game conducted on the Moon itself.  Having left Luna--and a treasured marriage--years ago due to a near-tragic accident, Scotty leaps at the opportunity.

Live Action Role Playing attracts a very special sort of individual: brilliant, unpredictable, resourceful, and addicted to problem solving.  By kidnapping a dozen gamers in the middle of the ultimate game, watched by more people than any other sporting event in history, they have thrown down an irresistible gauntlet: to “win” the first game that ever became “real.”  Pursued by armed and murderous terrorists, forced to solve gaming puzzles to stay a jump ahead, forced to juggle multiple psychological realities as they do...this is the game for which  they’ve prepared  their entire lives, and they are going to play it for all it’s worth.


The Omen Machine (Sword of Truth #12)
Terry Goodkind
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 16

From the beginning, with Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind set a new standard for epic storytelling. Now he returns with a powerful new tale from Richard and Kahlan’s world.

An accident leads to the discovery of a mysterious machine that has rested hidden deep underground for countless millennia. The machine awakens to begin issuing a series of increasingly alarming, if minor, omens. The omens turn out to be astonishingly accurate, and ever more ominous. As Zedd tries to figure out how to destroy the sinister device, the machine issues a cataclysmic omen involving Richard and Kahlan, foretelling an impending event beyond anyone’s ability to stop. As catastrophe approaches, the machine then reveals that it is within its power to withdraw the omen . . . In exchange for an impossible demand.


Ready One Player
Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: August 16

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.


Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2)
Darynda Jones
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: August 16

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?


The Tempering of Men (Iskryne World #2)
Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 16

In Iskryne, the war against the Trollish invasion has been won, and the lands of men are safe again…at least for a while. Isolfr and his sister, the Konigenwolf Viradechtis, have established their own wolfhaell. Viradechtis has taken two mates, and so the human pack has two war leaders. And in the way of the pack, they must come to terms with each other, must become brothers instead of rivals--for Viradechtis will not be gainsaid.

She may even be prescient.

A new danger comes to Iskryne. An army of men approaches, an army that wishes to conquer and rule. The giant trellwolves and their human brothers have never hunted men before. They will need to learn if they are to defend their homes.


The Unincorporated Woman (Unincorporated Man #3)
Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: August 16

There’s a civil war in space and the unincorporated woman is enlisted! The epic continues.

The award-winning saga of a revolutionary future takes a new turn. Justin Cord, the unincorporated man, is dead, betrayed, and his legacy of rebellion and individual freedom is in danger. General Black is the great hope of the military, but she cannot wage war from behind the President’s desk. So there must be a new president, anointed by Black, to hold the desk job, and who better than the only woman resurrected from Justin Cord’s past era, the scientist who created his resurrection device, the only born unincorporated woman. The perfect figurehead. Except that she has ideas of her own, and secrets of her own, and the talent to run the government her way. She is a force that no one anticipated, and no one can control.


The Urban Fantasy Anthology
edited by Peter S. Beagle and Joe R. Lansdale
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Tachyon
Release Date: August 15

Star-studded and comprehensive, this imaginative anthology brings a myriad of modern fantasy voices under one roof. Previously difficult for readers to discover in its new modes, urban fantasy is represented here in all three of its distinct styles—playful new mythologies, sexy paranormal romances, and gritty urban noir. Whether they feature tattooed demon-hunters, angst-ridden vampires, supernatural gumshoes, or pixelated pixies, these authors—including Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman, and Charles de Lint—mash-up traditional fare with pop culture, creating iconic characters, conflicted moralities, and complex settings. The result is starkly original fiction that has broad-based appeal and is immensely entertaining.


The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2011
edited by Paula Guran
Genre: Fantasy Anthology
Publisher: Prime Books
Release Date: August 16

This incomparable annual compilation of the best short fiction and novellas features an unmatched variety of the quietly weird, the merely eerie, high fantasy, modern Lovecraftian horror, nightmarish near-future scenarios, the darkly humorous, the supernatural, and the monstrously mundane from the likes of established bestselling authors such as Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, and George R.R. Martin, and legendary writers like Joe R. Lansdale, Tanith Lee, and Gene Wolfe.


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