Check out the latest from your favourite sci-fi author, or discover a new one!
The Guardian / Sherrilyn Kenyon
Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: to descend into the Nether realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian. – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
Oracle’s fire / Mary Victoria.
The Tree is all the world. And that world is dying … After Samiha is thrown from the docks in Argos city, Tymon is condemned to a life of slavery in a Tree-mine. During his ordeals, he glimpses a vision of his love and becomes obsessed by the thought that she is still alive. When disaster strikes the mine, he is left wandering the tunnels at the heart of the Tree, clinging to the hope that he might find her once again. Meanwhile, the Saint’s crusade is tearing the Four Canopies apart, and Lace and his Masters pursue their own deadly plans. Even as Tymon travels deep into the Tree, the Envoy’s acolytes are sent out on a mission to Lacuna, the legendary World Below. – (adapted from Publisher’s website)
The Tuloriad / John Ringo and Tom Kratman.
Of the once innumerable battle clans of the Posleen only a handful survive. And that on the sufferance of a group of despised Indowy and Himmit. Plucked from the maelstrom on Earth they are cast out into the eternal blackness of the stars with only a slightly insane Indowy and a computer virus to guide them. What follows is a trail of tears and remembrance as the Posleen retrace the footsteps of their ancestors in a search for their homeworld. A search to determine if the Posleen posess the one thing no Human would give them credit for: A soul. Returned to their beginnings, the question remains: Is there a new path for the Tular Posleen? – (adapted from Syndetics summary)
All men of genius / Lev AC Rosen.
Scientifically brilliant yet socially awkward 17-year-old Violet Adams aspires to attend Illyria College in London, the preeminent school for scientists in Victorian England seeking to build a better automaton or improve creatures’ genetic potential by splicing their parts across species. Since the school does not admit women, Violet plots with her twin brother, Ashton, to attend under his name. “Ashton” is accepted and quickly comes to the attention of the headmaster, Ernest, the son of the late Duke Illyria, and his ward, Cecily. Violet’s friend Jack is aware of her ruse and her growing feelings for Ernest, while Jack’s own feelings toward Cecily are thwarted by her obsession with Ashton. While Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night inspired the use of Illyria as a setting and the conflicting gender identities, and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest inspired the dual identity roles and several character names, Rosen blends his own voice into a steampunk comedy of manners featuring not-so-petty jealousies, killer automatons running amok, genetic tinkering, blackmail, and a final exam involving the Queen. VERDICT This debut literary steampunk novel fits well on the shelf with Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate” series (Heartless), with broad crossover appeal to fans of sf, historical romance, and young adult fiction.-Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. – (adapted from Library Journal summary).
Well-tempered clavicle / Piers Anthony.
As they wander through Xanth searching for something worthwhile in which to take part, walking skeletons Picka Bones and his sister Joy’nt encounter a trio of former pets from Mundania-the nonmagical world outside Xanth-that are also looking for a way to pass the time. The siblings’ adventures with Tweeter the bird, Midrange the cat, and Woofer the dog include encounters with the Princesses Dawn and Eve, a confrontation with Attila the Pun, and the search for Pundora’s Box. Written during a difficult time in his life, the 35th installment of Anthony’s beloved fantasy series exudes his characteristic gusto for life and celebration of the silliness and verbal acrobatics found in the simple pun. VERDICT This whimsical fantasy should please Xanthophiles and fans of the author. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. – (adapted from Library Journal summary).
The cold commands / Richard Morgan. Ringil Eskiath, scarred wielder of the kiriath-forged broadsword Ravensfriend, is a man on the run from his past and the family who have disowned him, from the slave trade magnates of Trelayne who want him dead, and apparently from the dark gods themselves, who are taking an interest but making no more sense than they ever have. Outlawed and exiled from his ancestral home in the north, Ringil has only one place left to turn Yhelteth, city heart of the southern Empire, where perhaps he can seek asylum with the kiriath half-breed Archeth Indamaninarmal, former war comrade and now high-up advisor to the Emperor Jhiral Khimran II. But Archeth Indamaninarmal has problems of her own to contend with, as does her house guest, bodyguard and one time steppe nomad Egar the Dragonbane. And far from gaining the respite he is seeks, Ringil will instead find himself implicated in fresh schemes and doubtful allegiances no safer than those he has left behind. Old enemies are stirring, the old order is rotted through and crumbling, and though no-one yet knows it, the city of Yhelteth is about to explode.. (Global Books in Print summary).
Spellbound / Blake Charlton.
“Debut novelist Charlton creates a complex world in which magical abilities depend on the ability to handle words. Apprentice wizard Nicodemus Weal was once thought to be the prophesied Halcyon, but his inability to control spells sends him to the bottom of the pecking order. When murders and strange activities coincide with the Convocation at Starhaven, visiting wizards and druids begin to wonder whether Nicodemus might in fact be the anti-Halcyon. While the magic system is intriguing and carefully described, the setting is never fully realized, and Nicodemus’s interactions with other teachers and students seem to take place in a world bereft of supporting characters. Charlton’s baroque prose perfectly mirrors the central role of language and the byzantine politics surrounding the Convocation and the potential prophecy, and the innovative spell craft will please fantasy readers weary of more traditional magics. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. (Publisher Weekly).
The mechanical messiah and other marvels of the modern age / Robert Rankin. Colonel Katterfelto has returned to London, having departed America under something of a cloud—of smoke, issuing from his Spiritual Laboratory, which the townsfolk of Wormcast, Arizona, marched upon with their flaming torches. This catastrophic conflagration caused considerable concern to the pious colonel, who had been engaged in the creation of “Heaven’s last and best gift to Mankind,” The Mechanical Messiah—he was, after all, being guided in this Great Work by holy angels, communicating to him through his monkey butler, Darwin. It is 1897, the British Empire encompasses Mars, and an uneasy peace exists between the peoples of Venus, Jupiter, and Earth. In London the marvels of the modern age to be experienced include The Electric Alhambra Music Hall, where crowds thrill to The Earl Grey Whistle Test—a musical extravaganza featuring such top turns as Hayward’s Acrobatic Kiwis, The Travelling Formbys, and the newly-arrived Colonel Katterfelto’s Clockwork Minstrels. But all is far from well in old Whitechapel, where a monster is once more abroad in the night-time streets, committing hideous acts of murder. Can this be the return of Jack the Ripper, or has something altogether unearthly and Hellishly evil materialized? Famed consulting detective Cameron Bell is already on the case, but it may take nothing less than the New Messiah Himself to save London, The Empire, and all of the solar system from the impending apocalypse! (Amazon summary).
11/22/63 / Stephen King.
High school English teacher Jake Epping has his work cut out for him in King’s entertaining SF romantic thriller. Al Templeton, the proprietor of Al’s Diner in Lisbon Falls, Maine, has discovered a temporal “rabbit hole” in the diner’s storage room that leads to a point in the past-11:58 a.m. September 9, 1958, to be precise. Each time you go through the rabbit hole, according to Al, only two minutes have elapsed when you return to 2011, no matter how long your stay; furthermore, history resets itself each time you return to that morning 53 years ago. Al persuades Jake to take a brief, exploratory trip through the rabbit hole into 1958 Lisbon Falls…” (Publisher Weekly)