Sep 25, 2010

Books Received: Early September

Per usual, Early September saw the reading pile increase substantially. Click on through for the detailed list. 

Final Copy

The debut novel from an extraordinarily talented twenty-five-year-old author. Fantasy's next global star has arrived. Lenk can barely keep control of his mismatched adventurer band at the best of times (Gariath the dragon man sees humans as little more than prey, Kataria the Shict despises most humans, and the humans in the band are little better). When they're not insulting each other's religions they're arguing about pay and conditions. So when the ship they are travelling on is attacked by pirates things don't go very well. They go a whole lot worse when an invincible demon joins the fray. The demon steals the Tome of the Undergates - a manuscript that contains all you need to open the undergates. And whichever god you believe in you don't want the undergates open. On the other side are countless more invincible demons, the manifestation of all the evil of the gods, and they want out. Full of razor-sharp wit, characters who leap off the page (and into trouble) and plunging the reader into a vivid world of adventure this is a fantasy that kicks off a series that could dominate the second decade of the century.

Jasper Kent
Final Copy

The voordalak--creature of legend, the tales of which have terrified Russian children for generations. But for Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov--a child of more enlightened times--it is a legend that has long been forgotten. Besides, in the autumn of 1812, he faces a more tangible enemy: the Grande Armee of Napoleon Bonaparte.

City after city has fallen to the advancing French, and it now seems that only a miracle will keep them from Moscow itself. In desperation, Aleksei and his comrades enlist the help of the Oprichniki--a group of twelve mercenaries from the furthest reaches of Christian Europe, who claim that they can turn the tide of the war. It seems an idle boast, but the Russians soon discover that the Oprichniki are indeed quite capable of fulfilling their promise ... and much more.

Unnerved by the fact that so few can accomplish so much, Aleksei remembers those childhood stories of the voordalak. And as he comes to understand the true, horrific nature of these twelve strangers, he wonders at the nightmare they've unleashed in their midst....

Full of historical detail, thrilling action, and heart-stopping supernatural moments, Twelve is storytelling at its most original and exciting.

Ken Scholes
Final Copy

Nothing is as it seems to be.

The ancient past is not dead. The hand of the Wizard Kings still reaches out to challenge the Androfrancine Order, to control the magick and technology that they sought to understand and claim for their own.

Nebios, the boy who watched the destruction of the city of Windwir, now runs the vast deserts of the world, far from his beloved Marsh Queen. He is being hunted by strange women warriors, while his dreams are invaded by warnings from his dead father.

Jin Li Tam, queen of the Ninefold Forest, guards her son as best she can against both murderous threats, and the usurper queen and her evangelists. They bring a message: Jakob is the child of promise of their Gospel, and the Crimson Empress is on her way.

And in hidden places, the remnants of the Androfrancine order formulate their response to the song pouring out of a silver crescent that was found in the wastes.

Joe R. Lansdale

Hyenas marks the always-welcome return of Joe R. Lansdale’s most indelible fictional creations: Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. Once again, the embattled but resilient duo find themselves enmeshed in a web of danger, duplicity, and escalating mayhem. The result is a tightly compressed novella that is at once harrowing, hilarious, and utterly impossible to put down.

The story begins with a barroom brawl that is both brutal and oddly comic. The ensuing drama encompasses abduction, betrayal, robbery, and murder, ending with a lethal confrontation in an East Texas pasture. Along the way, readers are treated to moments of raucous, casually profane humor and to scenes of vivid, crisply described violence, all related in that unmistakable Lansdale voice. An essential addition to an already imposing body of work, Hyenas shows us both the author and his signature characters at their inimitable best. It doesn’t get better than this.

Hyenas also includes the bonus Hap Collins short story, “The Boy Who Became Invisible”.

The Queen of Sinister
Mark Chadbourn
Final Copy

The plague came without warning. Nothing could stop its progress: not medicines, not prayer. The first sign of the disease is black spots at the base of the fingers; an agonising death quickly follows. But this is no ordinary disease ...Caitlin Shepherd, a lowly GP, is allowed to cross the veil into the mystical Celtic Otherworld in search of a cure; her search takes her on a quest to the end of a land of dreams and nightmares to petition the gods. Caitlin is humanity's last hope, but she carries a terrible burden: a consciousness shattered into five distinct personalities ...and one of them may not be human. THE QUEEN OF SINISTER is the latest instalment in Mark Chadbourn's riveting 'Dark Age' sequence: a masterful blend of Celtic myth and Arthurian legend in a modern setting.


The year is 1881. The United States of America ends at the Mississippi River. Beyond lies the Indian nations, where the magic of powerful Medicine Men has halted the advance of the Americans east of the river.

An American government desperate to expand its territory sends Thomas Alva Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona, on a mission to discover a scientific means of counteracting magic. Hired to protect this great genius, Wyatt Earp and his brothers.

But there are plenty who would like to see the Earps and Edison dead. Riding to their aid are old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. Against them stand the Apache wizard Geronimo and the Clanton gang. Battle lines are drawn, and the Clanton gang, which has its own reasons for wanting Edison dead, sends for Johnny Ringo, the one man who might be Doc Holliday's equal in a gunfight. But what shows up instead is The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo, returned from the dead and come to Tombstone looking for a fight.

Welcome to a West like you've never seen before, where "Bat Masterson" hails from the ranks of the undead, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same.

A Star Shall Fall
Marie Brennan
Tor Books
Final Copy

The Royal Society of London plays home to the greatest minds of England. It has revolutionized philosophy and scientific knowledge. Its fellows map out the laws of the natural world, disproving ancient superstition and ushering in an age of enlightenment.

To the fae of the Onyx Court, living in a secret city below London, these scientific developments are less than welcome. Magic is losing its place in the world—and science threatens to expose the court to hostile eyes.
In 1666, a Great Fire burned four-fifths of London to the ground. The calamity was caused by a great Dragon—an elemental beast of flame. Incapable of destroying something so powerful, the fae of London banished it to a comet moments before the comet’s light disappeared from the sky. Now the calculations of Sir Edmond Halley have predicted its return in 1759.

So begins their race against time. Soon the Dragon’s gaze will fall upon London and it will return to the city it ravaged once before. The fae will have to answer the question that defeated them a century before: How can they kill a being more powerful than all their magic combined? It will take both magic and science to save London—but reconciling the two carries its own danger…

Philip K. Dick
Subterranean Press

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was one of the seminal figures of 20th century science fiction. His many stories and novels, which include such classics as The Man in the High Castle and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, reflect a deeply personal world view, exploring the fragile, multifarious nature of reality itself and examining those elements that make us — or fail to make us — fully human. He did as much as anyone to demolish the artificial barrier between genre fiction and “literature,” and the best of his work has earned a permanent place in American popular culture.

The King of the Elves is the opening installment of a uniform, five-volume edition of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, expanded from the previous Collected Stories set to incorporate new story notes, and two added tales, one previously unpublished, and one uncollected. This generous collection contains 22 stories and novellas including Dick’s first published story, “Beyond Lies the Wub,” together with such landmark tales as “The Preserving Machine,” in which an attempt to preserve our fragile cultural heritage takes an unexpected turn, “The Variable Man,” a brilliantly imagined novella encompassing war, time travel, and the varied uses of technology, and the title story, in which Shadrach Jones, owner of a dilapidated gas station in Colorado, stumbles into an ongoing war between trolls and elves, and encounters a fantastic — and utterly unexpected — destiny. Like the best of Dick’s novels, these stories offer a wide variety of narrative and intellectual pleasures, and provide an ideal introduction to one of the singular imaginations of the modern era.

Peter V. Brett
Subterranean Press

Return to the world of The Warded Man and The Desert Spear in an illustrated new novella by Peter V. Brett.

Humanity has been brought to the brink of extinction. Each night, the world is overrun by demons—bloodthirsty creatures of nightmare that have been hunting the surface for over 300 years. A scant few hamlets and half-starved city-states are all that remain of a once proud civilization, and it is only by hiding behind wards, ancient symbols with the power to repel the demons, that they survive. A handful of Messengers brave the night to keep the lines of communication open between the increasingly isolated populace.

Arlen Bales is seventeen, an apprentice Messenger in brand new armor, about to go out for the first time alongside a trained Messenger on a simple overnight trip. Instead Arlen finds himself alone on a frozen mountainside, carrying a dangerous cargo to Count Brayan’s gold mine, one of the furthest points in the duchy. And One Arm, the giant rock demon, hunts him still.

But Brayan’s Gold may offer a way for Arlen to be free of One Arm forever, if he is willing to wager his life on the chance.

Kelley Armstrong
Subterranean Press

Return to the world of Kelley Armstrong's best-selling novels Dime Store Magic and Industrial Magic for a long original novella.

The first rule of a supernatural fight club? Don't kill your opponent.

When the fighters come with lethal spells, werewolf strength and half-demon powers, that can be a lot tougher than it sounds. It's hard to attract talent if they know they might not leave the ring alive. So when fighters at a California club start dying -- it's bad for business.

Witch detectives Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine take the case. Going undercover in the power-heavy arena of the fight club is a welcome change of pace for Paige, relegated to the role of The Wife as her husband struggles to find his place in his family's Cabal--the corporate Mafia of the supernatural world.

As Paige is drawn deeper into new and dangerous corners of her world, she quickly discovers the greatest threat isn't the killer in her sights. It's something much, much closer to home. And this is one fight she can't afford to lose.


The Cardinal's Blades is part historical novel, part old-fashioned swashbuckling high-action adventure, and part classic fantasy. Pierre Pevel has woven some of the best-loved fantasy tropes - musketeer-style adventuring, daring swordsmen, political intrigue, non-stop action and dragons - into a stunning new fantasy series. Paris, 1633. Louis XIII reigns over France ...and Cardinal Richelieu governs the country. One of the most dangerous and most powerful men in Europe, Richelieu keeps a constant, sharp eye on the enemies of the Crown to avoid their assassination attempts, thwart their spies and avert their warmongering. But he's up against people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even going so far as to forge alliances with France's oldest and deadliest enemies. Spain, and the Court of Dragons. The nobility keep tiny dragonnets as pets; royal couriers ride tame wyverns, and lethal man-shaped scaled dracs ropam the country. But the power rising from the Court of Dragons is anything but mundane; the Black Claw sect draws on dragons as they once were: ancient, terrible, utterly merciless ...and poised to move against France. Faced with the growing threat from Spain, Richelieu summons Captain la Fargue, an exceptional swordsman, devoted officer and brilliant leader. If he's to turn aside the Black Claw's schemes, La Fargue and his legenday company of swashbucklers and rogues must be persuaded to once again risk their lives, fortunes and reputations for Richelieu, and for France. It's the biggest challenge yet for The Cardinal's Blades - and they'll need to be sharp ...


Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family. Now she watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles all around her.

When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her god?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have some books here I'm really, really interested in hearing about. Great haul.


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