Friday, September 16, 2011

Books in the Wild: UK's Books Swap

Posted by Simcha 7:14 AM, under | 5 comments



This sounds so unbelievably amazing that I'm tempted to hop on a plane to the UK right now so that I can participate.

From the Guardian:

    The Guardian is launching its six-week autumn books season by setting 15,000 titles free in the wild this weekend. From fiction to design, and children's books to science, the Guardian has gathered thousands of books from publishers and authors and is distributing them around the country for free. Books will be left in public places where readers are liable to chance upon them, from stations and coffee shops to galleries and museums.

In addition to the books collected from publishers and authors, the Guardian has also asked readers to take part by contributing their favorite books. Participants can download a book plate from the Guardian website, which they can write a message on for whoever discovers the book. The bookplate also includes a link where people that find books can upload a picture of the book and where they found it, along with a review

Doesn't this sound like just the most fantastic idea you ever heard of?

I'm wondering who I need to talk to in order to get a project like this going for Israel's Book Week.

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Posted by Simcha 4:23 AM, under | 5 comments

After finishing Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings (to be reviewed next week, hopefully) I was reluctant to start on another book because I knew that whatever I read next would seem mediocre and dull in comparison. But since not reading is not an option, I figured my best bet was to choose a book as different from The Way of Kings as possible, and I had just the book in mind. I had just gotten The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life out of the library and this seemed like the perfect time to crack it open, which turned out to be a most excellent decision.

In The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life Amy Krouse Rosenthal shares her thoughts on a wide variety of subjects, which she has ordered alphabetically in the style of an encyclopedia. Before starting out, though, Roshenthal's first order of business (after her Reader's Agreement) is to make it clear that she is actually quite ordinary and has not experienced any of those dramatic or sensational events that you would expect to find in popular memoirs.

    I was not abused, abandoned or locked up as a child. My parents were not alcoholics, nor were they ever divorced or dead. We did not live in poverty, or in misery, or in an exotic country. I am not a misunderstood genius, a former child celebrity, or the child of a celebrity. I am not a drug addict, sex addict, food addict, or recovered anything. If I indeed had a past life, I have no recollection of who I was.  
    I have not survived against all odds.  
    I have not lived to tell. 
    I have not witnessed the extraordinary.  
    This is my story.


The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life was such delicious fun that I had to pace myself while reading it, so that I wouldn't finish it all at once. Often while reading this book I would find myself nodding my head in agreement thinking 'that is exactly right' or laughing out loud at one of her hilarious, but accurate, observations, earning strange looks from the people around me. While reading through the entires I was amazed to find out how many of my private thoughts or habits were shared by someone else (perhaps many other people, even). Other times I just enjoyed being introduced to ideas, or bits of knowledge, that were previously unknown to me.

While reading The Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life I marked off many of my favorite passages to share with you though I now realize that if I quote all of them I will be in series danger of copyright infringement, so I narrowed them down to just a select few.

Clapping

    Are there actually people who are so completely comfortable with themselves, so completely unselfconscious, that when they're at a concert and the band signals the audience to clap along, they can clap without thinking to themselves, I am clapping now, here I am clapping along, are most people clapping, but wait, the clap-along thing feels like it's losing momentum- should I stop clapping now? I'm feeling a bit heavy handed in my clapping, but how/ when do I stop? Three more claps and I'm out. Okay, last clap. Clap. Done.

Go

    I get this weird sort of rush when an ambulance comes racing down the street, and I, along with all the other drivers, quickly pull over to let the more important vehicle pass. It's as if us little cars on the side of the street are cheering, Go! Go! You can do it! Go important ambulance, go! The experience invariably leaves me feeling proud and gitty.

Ta-Da!

    Children get to say ta-da!, and I guess magicians, but other than that, it's an underutilized expression. I'm trying to think- an adult might say it as she waltzes in with the turkey, or a homemade cake. But a self-congratulatory ta-da! Would certainly be warranted for any number of daily accomplishments. I cleaned out the trunk of my car. Ta-da! I finished filling out the insurance applications. Ta-da! I made the bed. Ta-da!

Thanking a strange for Taking Your Picture

    You're with a group of friends and one of you asks a stranger, would you mind taking a picture of us? The stranger obliges. Afterward, everyone shouts thanks! As the thank-yous die down and the stranger starts to walk away, you turn to him, look him in the eye, and say, in a real enunciated and sincere way, thank you, like you and the stranger have an understanding, and that everyone else's thank-yous were cute and flipp, but yours was the one that counts.

Ok, I'm going to stop now. If you want to read the rest you'll just have to read the book for yourself. In fact, I think I'm going to have to get myself a copy as well because this is one of those books that I'll definitely want to reread often.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Magic in Edinburgh

Posted by Simcha 7:21 PM, under | 12 comments

I came across this article today about these fantastical paper sculptures that have been mysteriously appearing in various literary and artistic institutes around Edinburgh.

This "PoeTree" was left on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library in March.

Mysterious paper sculptures


In June the National Library of Scotland found this paper sculpture of a gramophone and a coffin, carved out of a copy of Ian Rankin's Exit Music

Mysterious paper sculptures

And then this amazing paper sculpter of a cinema and its audience was found later in June at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.


And in early July the Scottish Storytelling Centre found this dragon in an egg hiding on the windowsill, carved from the novel Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.


At the Edinburgh International Book Festival, last month, two more paper sculptures were discovered. 

According to the article:

It includes a teabag filled with cut out letters, on the tag of which are the words "by leaves we live". The cup on the top has a swirl of words which read " Nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a really good BOOK", and on the 'tray' next to the cupcake it says "except maybe a cake as well".

Mysterious paper sculptures


The second sculpture was carved out of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg, which, like nearly all the other sculptures, has a connection to Scottish author Ian Rankin


Mysterious paper sculptures


These sculptures, and their mysterious appearance around Edinburgh, just seem so magical. And it's such a wonderful way for someone to express their appreciation to those institutes that help support art and literature. I'd love to get the chance to see these paper sculptures myself some day.

Back to Books Giveaway Winner

Posted by Simcha 6:51 PM, under | 1 comment



Congratulations to the winner of the Back to Books Giveaway...


Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender

Posted by Simcha 4:07 PM, under | 3 comments


I've never been a big reader of short stories but after listening to a review of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt on one of my podcasts I just had to read this book. The stories that the reviewer described just sounded so provocative and unusual that I needed to read them for myself, especially after he read the opening lines to several of the stories.


The Rememberer:

    My lover is experiencing reverse evolution. I tell no one. I don't know how it happened, only that one day he was my lover and the next he was some kind of ape. It's been a month and now he's a sea turtle.

What You Left in the Ditch:

    Steven returned from the war without lips. This is quite a shock, said his wife Mary who has spent the last six months knitting sweaters and avoiding a certain grocery store where a certain young man worked and looked at her in that certain way. I expected lips. Dead or alive, but with lips.

Marzipan:

    One week after his father died my father woke up with a whole in his stomach. It wasn't a small hole, it was a hole the size of a soccer ball and it went all the way through. You could see behind him like he was an enlarged peephole.
See what I mean?

The Girl in the Flammable Skirt turned out to be just as entertaining as I had expected and I read through it pretty quickly. This was largely because after finishing each story I just couldn't resist taking a peek at the next one and then, before I could stop myself, I'd have read through that one too. Most of the stories were also pretty short which made it tempting to just keep reading one after the other. And after reading the intriguing introductions I just had to know how the rest of the story would play out.

The problem was that while I enjoyed these magical and unique stories I didn't really understand what most of them were trying to say. I could feel the emotions of the characters- which fairly rolled of the pages- the anger, despair, loneliness (not too many happy stories here) and I sensed there was a message in each of them, but I couldn't grasp what it was. For that reason few of the stories really stuck with me after I had finished the book.

The one story that stood the most clearly in my mind was The Rememberer (quoted above) about a woman whose husband returns from the war without any lips. The woman's joy at having her husband back is mixed with anger at him for not coming back whole as well as with guilt at the new attraction she now feels to the young man at the supermarket, who does have lips.

    Oh- Mary, he said, G-d- I-missed-you-so-much. In-that-ditch, when- I-thought-of-you, I-saw-an-angel. His voice broke. I-saw-Mary, my-angel, in-this-house, with-these-bags. You-brought-me-back-home. He reached out his hand and fingers trickled down her arm.
    She kept her back to him and shoved tin cans into the cupboard. Maybe, she was thinking, if you'd concentrated better you'd still have lips. Maybe you're not supposed to think of your wife at the market while people are throwing bombs at you. Maybe you're supposed to protect certain body parts so she'll be happy when you come back.
There were also several stories that involved women using sex as a way to deal with their pain and loneliness and I found those a bit difficult to read. In Quiet Please a librarian propositions her patrons after finding out that her father has died. In Call My Name, a wealthy, well-dressed woman follows a strange man home hoping for sexual advances that never come.
The Girl in a Flammable Skirt definitely provided me with the kind of unique stories I was hoping for but I was kind of disappointed that, more often than not, I had no idea what the author had been trying to get at. While there were a couple of stores that made an impression on me most of them were too lacking in substance to remain in my mind for very long. Though for the short time that they were in my thoughts, I did enjoy the entertainment and color that they provided me with.

New Scifi and Fantasy Releases: Week of September 11

Posted by Simcha 2:17 AM, under | 7 comments


Away (The Line, #2)
Teri Hall
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: September 15

After crossing the Line, Rachel finds herself in a world where survival is never guaranteed - a world where bizarre creatures roam the woods and people have strange abilities. Everything has gone to ruin Away and the survivors have banded into warring clans. Rachel finds her father being held prisoner by a tribe of Others, and she and her new friends set out to rescue him. But when they cross back over the Line, Rachel and Pathik make a foolish decision, bringing them into further danger that can only be resolved with an unthinkable sacrifice.

An adventure filled with life-and-death choices, dark conspiracies, and heart-poundingly suspenseful moments, this sequel delivers.

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Blood & Other Cravings
edited by Ellen Datlow
Genre: Paranormal Anthology
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

When we think of vampires, instantly the image arises: fangs sunk deep into the throat of the victim. But bloodsucking is merely one form of vampirism. For this brilliantly original anthology, Ellen Datlow has commissioned stories from many of the most powerfully dark voices in contemporary horror, who conjure tales of vampirism that will chill readers to the marrow.

In addition to the traditional fanged vampires, Datlow presents stories about the leeching of emotion, the draining of the soul, and other dark deeds of predation and exploitation, infestation, and evisceration…tales of life essence, literal or metaphorical, stolen.

Seventeen stories, by such award-winning authors as Elizabeth Bear, Richard Bowes, Kathe Koja, Margo Lanagan, Carol Emshwiller, and Lisa Tuttle will petrify readers. With dark tales by Laird Barron, Barry Malzberg and Bill Pronzini, Kaaron Warren, and other powerful voices, this anthology will redefine the terror of vampires and vampirism.

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Briarpatch
Tim Pratt
Genre:
Publisher: ChiZine Publications
Release Date: September 15

Darrin's life has been going downhill ever since his girlfriend Bridget walked out on him without a word of explanation six months ago. Soon after losing her, he lost his job, and his car, and eventually his enthusiasm for life. He can't imagine things getting worse - until he sees Bridget again, for the first time since she walked out, just moments before she leaps to her death from a bridge. In his quest to find out why Bridget took her own life, he encounters a depressive (and possibly immortal) cult leader; a man with a car that can drive out of this world and into others; a beautiful psychotic with a chrome shotgun; and a bridge that, maybe, leads to heaven. Darrin's journey leads him into a place called the Briarpatch, which is either the crawlspace of the universe, or a series of ambitious building projects abandoned by god, or a tangle of alternative universes, depending on who you ask. Somewhere in that disorderly snarl of worlds, he hopes to find Bridget again... or at least a reason to live without her.

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Crack'd Pot Trail: A Malazan Tale of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach
Steven Erikson
Genre: Fantasy novella
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

It is an undeniable truth: give evil a name and everyone’s happy. Give it two names and…why, they’re even happier.

Intrepid necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, scourges of civilization, raisers of the dead, reapers of the souls of the living, devourers of hope, betrayers of faith, slayers of the innocent, and modest personifications of evil, have a lot to answer for and answer they will. Known as the Nehemoth, they are pursued by countless self-professed defenders of decency, sanity, and civilization. After all, since when does evil thrive unchallenged? Well, often—but not this time.

Hot on their heels are the Nehemothanai, avowed hunters of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. In the company of a gaggle of artists and pilgrims, stalwart Mortal Sword Tulgord Vise, pious Well Knight Arpo Relent, stern Huntsman Steck Marynd, and three of the redoubtable Chanter brothers (and their lone sister) find themselves faced with the cruelest of choices. The legendary Crack’d Pot Trail, a stretch of harsh wasteland between the Gates of Nowhere and the Shrine of the Indifferent God, has become a tortured path of deprivation.

Will honor, moral probity, and virtue prove champions in the face of brutal necessity? No, of course not. Don’t be silly.

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Dreamland (Riley Bloom, Bk 3)
Alyson Noel
Genre: Middle Grade fantasy
Publisher: Square Fish
Release Date: September 13

Riley’s finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer’s dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it’s her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who’s been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.

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Down the Mysterly River
Bill Willingham
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Starscape
Release Date: September 13

Down the Mysterly River is the children’s book debut of Bill Willingham, the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Fables. Complete with illustrations by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, it is a spirited, highly original tale of adventure, suspense, and everlasting friendship.

Max “the Wolf” is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat)—all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.

Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world…

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Empire of Ruins: The Hunchback Assignments 3
Arthur Slade
Genre: YA Steampunk
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: September 13

Secret agent Modo's next assignment? Find ancient Egyptian ruins hidden deep in the Australian jungle and the mysterious God Face, rumoured to be a powerful weapon—anyone who looks upon it will be driven mad. And he must find the God Face before the evil Clockwork Guild does!

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The Eye of the World: Wheel of Time, Volume 1
Robert Jordan, Chuck Dixon & Chase Conley
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

With the full cooperation of the Jordan estate, The Eye of the World has been turned into a stunning comic book series written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Chase Conley. The first Robert Jordan graphic novel, New Spring: the Graphic Novel, was a New York Times bestseller.

The Eye of the World: The Graphic Novel, Volume One begins Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy tale by introducing Rand al’Thor and his friends Matrim and Perrin at the spring festival. Moiraine Damodred and Lan Mandragoran appear, and almost before Rand knows it, he and his friends are fleeing his home village with Moiraine, Lan, and Egwene al’Vere, the innkeeper’s daughter, who wishes to become an Aes Sedai. The conclusion of this volume leaves the travelers on the road to Baerlon, barely ahead of the pursuing Trollocs and Draghkar. As they run for their lives, Moiraine and Lan begin to teach the young people what they need to know to survive in this dangerous world.

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Frost
Marianna Baer
Genre: Ya Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 13

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends chose to live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar.

What Celeste lacks in social grace, however, her brother, David, a recent transfer student, makes up for in good looks and charm. But while he and Leena hit it off immediately, Leena finds herself struggling to balance her growing attraction with her fear of getting hurt.

As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House—frames mys-teriously falling off walls, doors locking by themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And while Leena tries to play peacekeeper between her best friends and new roommate, soon the mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind . . . or in Frost House itself?

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The Highest Frontier
Joan Slonczewski
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

Frontera is an exciting school built with media money, and a bit from tribal casinos too, dedicated to educating the best and brightest of this future world. We accompany Jenny as she proceeds through her early days at school, encountering surprises and wonders and some unpleasant problems. The Earth is altered by global warming, and an invasive alien species called ultraphytes threatens the surviving ecosystem. Jenny is being raised for great things, but while she's in school she just wants to do her homework, go on a few dates, and get by. The world that Jenny is living in is one of the most fascinating and creative in contemporary SF, and the problems Jenny faces will involve every reader, young and old.

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How Firm A Foundation (Safehold, Bk 5)
David Weber
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

The Charisian Empire, born in war, has always known it must fight for its very survival. What most of its subjects don’t know even now, however, is how much more it’s fighting for. Emperor Cayleb, Empress Sharleyan, Merlin Athrawes, and their innermost circle of most trusted advisers do know. And because they do, they know the penalty if they lose will be far worse than their own deaths and the destruction of all they know and love.

For five years, Charis has survived all the Church of God Awaiting and the corrupt men who control it have thrown at the island empire. The price has been high and paid in blood. Despite its chain of hard-fought naval victories, Charis is still on the defensive. It can hold its own at sea, but if it is to survive, it must defeat the Church upon its own ground. Yet how does it invade the mainland and take the war to a foe whose population outnumbers its own fifteen to one? How does it prevent that massive opponent from rebuilding its fleets and attacking yet again?

Charis has no answer to those questions, but needs to find one…quickly. The Inquisition’s brutal torture and hideous executions are claiming more and more innocent lives. Its agents are fomenting rebellion against the only mainland realms sympathetic to Charis. Religious terrorists have been dispatched to wreak havoc against the Empire’s subjects. Assassins stalk the Emperor and Empress, their allies and advisers, and an innocent young boy, not yet eleven years old, whose father has already been murdered. And Merlin Athrawes, the cybernetic avatar of a young woman a thousand years dead, has finally learned what sleeps beneath the far-off Temple in the Church of God Awaiting’s city of Zion.

The men and women fighting for human freedom and tolerance have built a foundation for their struggle in the Empire of Charis with their own blood, but will that foundation be firm enough to survive?

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The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)
Rick Yancey
Genre: YA Horror
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: September 13

When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can't let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated--and not convinced.

Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky--and will put Will Henry's loyalty to the ultimate test.

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The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
Genre:YA Fantasy
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: September 13

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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The Only Ones
Aaron Starmer
Genre: Middle Grade Post-Apocolypse
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 13

Like the other children who have journeyed to the village of Xibalba, Martin Maple faces an awful truth. He was forgotten. When everyone else in the world disappeared one afternoon, these children were the only ones left behind. There's Darla, who drives a monster truck; Felix, who used string and wood to rebuild the internet; Lane, who crafts elaborate contraptions for live entertainment; and nearly forty others, each equally brilliant and peculiar.

Inspired by the prophecies of a mysterious boy who talks to animals, Martin believes he can reunite them all with their loved ones. But believing and knowing are two different things, as he soon discovers with the push of a button, the flip of a switch, the turn of a dial...

A whimsical apocalyptic fable that carries readers to a future world without adults, a journey filled with dark humor that every reader will want to take.

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Prospero Regained
L. Jagi Lamplighter
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

Prospero, the sorcerer on whose island of exile William Shakespeare set his play, The Tempest, has endured these past many centuries. His daughter Miranda runs the family business, Prospero, Inc. so smoothly that the vast majority of humanity has no idea that the Prosperos’ magic has protected Earth from numerous disasters. But Prospero himself has been kidnapped by demons from Hell, and Miranda, aided by her siblings, has followed her father into Hell to save him from a certain doom at the hands of vengeful demons. Time is running out for Miranda, and for the great magician himself. Their battle against the most terrifying forces of the Pit is a great fantasy adventure.  

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Queen of the Sylphs
LJ McDonald
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Release Date: September 15

It was a dream come true. Solie had her own battler, a creature of almost infinite magic who could vaporize legions in the blink of an eye and would willingly suffer a thousand bloody deaths to protect her. She was his love. More simply, she was his queen.
Many others feel the same. The new-built settlement is a haven for all. Erected by sylphs of earth and fire, air and water, the Valley is Solie’s dominion. But, lovers without peer or killers without mercy, the very nature of their battler protectors means peril. It is not in any sylph’s nature to disobey, and while some are hers to command, others are the slaves of Solie’s enemies—the jealous, the cruel. Those who guard her must not fail. Their peasant-born ruler is not yet safe as…

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Red Velvet and Absinthe
Kelley Armstrong and Mitzi Szereto
Genre: Paranormal Romance Anthology
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 13

Red Velvet and Absinthe explores love and lust with otherworldly partners who, by their sheer fantastical nature, evoke passion and desire far beyond that which any normal human being can inspire. Although the greats such as Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, and Daphne du Maurier are long dead, these contemporary authors keep the Gothic spirit alive and well by interpreting it in new and exciting ways. Red Velvet and Absinthe offers readers a collection of unique and original stories that conjure up the atmospheric and romantic spirit of the Gothic masters (and mistresses) but take things a bit further by adding to the brew a generous dosage of eroticism. Lie back and listen to the wind howling outside your window as you read these stories in the flickering light of a candle, the absinthe you’re sipping warming your body like the caressing touch of a lover’s fingers . . .

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The Shadowing: Hunted (The Shadowing, Bk 1)
Adam Slater
Genre:YA Paranormal
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Release Date: September 13

Once every century, the barrier between the human world and the demon realm begins to break down. Creatures gather, anxiously waiting to cross the divide, to bring death and destruction from their world to ours. This time is called The Shadowing.

Callum Scott has always known that there is a supernatural world out there—he’s seen ghosts for as long as he can remember. Lately, he’s had visions of children being brutally murdered by a terrifying creature. Then the visions start coming true, and Callum realizes that he’s being hunted, too.

Driven by a dark destiny, he must stand against the demons that threaten our world.

And The Shadowing is almost here. . .

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So Silver Bright (Théâtre Illuminata, #3)
Lisa Mantchev
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: September 13

All Beatrice Shakespeare Smith has ever wanted is a true family of her own. And she’s close to reuniting her parents when her father disappears. Now Bertie must deal with a vengeful sea goddess and a mysterious queen as she tries to keep her family – and the Theatre Illuminata – from crumbling. To complicate it all, Bertie is torn between her two loves, Ariel and Nate.

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Spellbound
Blake Charlton
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: September 13

Francesca DeVega is a healer in the city of Avel, composing magical sentences that close wounds and disspell curses, but her life is thrown into chaos when a newly dead patient sits up and tells her that she must flee the infirmary or face a fate worse than death. Now Francesca is in the middle of a game she doesn’t understand—one that ties her to the notorious rogue wizard Nicodemus Weal and brings her face-to-face with demons, demigods, and a man she hoped never to see again.

It has been ten years since Nicodemus Weal escaped the Starhaven Academy, where he was considered disabled and useless, where he battled the demon who stole his birthright and murdered his friends. Unable to use the magical languages of his own people, Nico has honed his skills in the dark Chthonic languages, readying himself for his next encounter with the demon. But there are complications: his mentor suffers from an incurable curse, his half-sister’s agents are hunting him, and he’s still not sure what part Francesca DeVega will play. He certainly doesn’t know what to make of Francesca herself…. 

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Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales
edited by Julie Czerneda & Susan MacGregor
Genre: YA Anthology
Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction
Release Date: September 15

In this new volume of the long running and popular Tesseracts series, editors Julie Czerneda and Susa MacGregor has selected 21 of the best young adult science fiction, fantasy and horror stories from over 300 works submitted .


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Undead
Isabella Kruger
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Fifth Avenue Publishers
Release Date: September 13

Eighteen-year-old Ethnee Daffy is a freedom fighter, fighting the evils of the apocalypse. For the last 3 years she has battled down Zombies and weird looking government officials. However, her life changes when she meets Aiden a Zombie who claims that he is still half human and that he knows how to cure humanity. Will Aiden and Ethnee find the cure to save humanity?

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War in Heaven
Gavin Smith
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: September 15 (UK)

The high-powered sequel to VETERAN sees an unlikely hero make an even more unlikely return to take the reader back into a vividly rendered bleak future. But a bleak future where there are still wonders: man travelling out into the universe, Bladerunneresque cities hanging from the ceilings of vast caverns, aliens that we can barely comprehend. Gavin Smith writes fast-moving, incredibly violent SF thrillers but behind the violence and the thrills lies a carefully thought out story and characters who have far more to them than first meets the eye. Never one to avoid controversy Gavin Smith nevertheless invites you to think beyond the initial shock of what you have just read. But in the meantime? Another fire-fight, another chase another flight of imagination.

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