New Sci-Fi books for December!

Check out the latest from your favourite sci-fi author, or discover a new one!

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverOracle’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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverAll 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).

Syndetics book coverWell-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).

Syndetics book coverThe 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).

Syndetics book coverSpellbound / 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).

Syndetics book coverThe 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).

Syndetics book cover11/22/63 / 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)

This month in science fiction

Space, fairytales, genetic engineering, post apocalypse, magic… these recent picks have it all! Something to tickle every sci-fi fancy.

Syndetics book coverBeauty and the werewolf / Mercedes Lackey.
“The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella vows to escape the usual pitfalls. She dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with “Granny,” the local wisewoman. On the way home she’s attacked by a wolf– who turns out to be a cursed nobleman! Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh– when he isn’t howling at the moon.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen we have wings / Claire Corbett.
“In a world divided into fliers and non-fliers, how far would you go to be able to fly? How much would you sacrifice – perhaps your own child? A beautifully written and compellingly original novel of sacrifice, betrayal and love. Flight – you’ll dream about it. ‘She had never seen the sky in all her life before. How high could she fly? What was the limit? She was already so high the earth was no longer real. Only her in the sky. Every spiral pure joy. This was Flight. It was for this she’d risked and endured so much. It had to be worth it.’ The dream of being able to fly is now physical reality but only the rich and powerful can afford the surgery, drugs, and gene manipulation to become fliers. Peri, a poor girl from the regions, will sacrifice anything to get her wings and join this elite but the price is higher than she could have imagined. So why then does she throw it all away? Feel the exhilaration and terror of flight – over vertiginous skyscrapers, into wild storms and across hypnotic wilderness – in this beautiful and daringly imaginative novel that explores the limits of self-transformation.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverEquations of life / Simon Morden.
Equations of life is book 1 of the trilogy and the library has all three books!
“Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor. He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone – the last city in England. He’s lived this long because he’s a man of rules and logic. For example, getting involved = a bad idea. But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he’s saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London. And clearly saving the girl = getting involved. Now, the equation of Petrovitch’s life is looking increasingly complex. Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch. But Petrovitch has a plan – he always has a plan – he’s just not sure it’s a good one.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrince of Thorns / Mark Lawrence.
“When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king… It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose. But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe measure of the magic / Terry Brooks.
This is the second book in the Legends of Shannara series. “Panterra Qu, a newly anointed Knight of the Word who has been entrusted with the last black staff and its powers, must protect thousands of lives that are put in danger when centuries of protective magic disappears.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

spacescapeSpacEscape / Larry Nelson.
“He would become a warrior for the twenty-first century. He would journey where no Maori had ever gone before. Set in both 1999 and 2075, SpacEscape is about deep-space but more importantly it is about escapism. Video games guru and petty thief, Tama, and the future Scott, a nodule-growing rebel and intended victim of the giant dragon/arachnid, The Korn, join forces across time to overcome the weak hand in life that each has been dealt. Meanwhile, Tony Robertson from the discredited 2060’s starship project, Schmitt One, risks falling prey to hardened farmers of human livestock to meet his date and love of his life, Karin Carlton. Tama has his strong-minded and compassionate Emma. Scott has the virtual Mandy. All three have one slim chance for love and freedom but only if Scott and Tama can discover in time the true nature of the enigmatic creature that assaults Scott’s tortured mind and becomes the symbol for his escapism – The Korn.” – (Summary and Image from Fishpond).

Syndetics book coverThe tempering of men / Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear.
“Bear and Monette follow 2007’s Companion to Wolves with another tale of the frozen northern lands of Iskryne inhabited by Wolfcarls and their telepathically bonded trellwolves. When wolves mate, so do their humans-leaving thoroughly heterosexual Isolfr, the bond-mate of Queen-wolf Viradechtis, in an uncomfortable position with Skjaldwulf and Vethulf, men bonded to Viradechtis’s consorts. The Wolfcarls have at long last vanquished the trolls who plagued Iskryne, but without a common enemy, their tenuous alliance with the mysterious Svartalfar has become even more fragile, while the nearby Rhean Empire turns its ambitions northwards. Vethulf and Skjaldwulf must forge a new path for their people and a new understanding in their relationship if either of them is to survive. This well-wrought tale serves as an exciting adventure as well as a thought-provoking and often disturbing deconstruction of companion animal fantasies.” – (Summary from Publisher Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe children of the sky / Vernor Vinge.
“Ten years have passed on Tines World, where Ravna Bergnsdot and a number of human children ended up after a disaster that nearly obliterated humankind throughout the galaxy. Ravna and the pack animals for which the planet is named have survived a war, and Ravna has saved more than one hundred children who were in cold-sleep aboard the vessel that brought them. While there is peace among the Tines, there are those among them–and among the humans–who seek power…and no matter the cost, these malcontents are determined to overturn the fledgling civilization that has taken root since the humans landed. On a world of fascinating wonders and terrifying dangers, Vernor Vinge has created a powerful novel of adventure and discovery that will entrance the many readers of A Fire Upon the Deep. Filled with the inventiveness, excitement, and human drama that have become hallmarks of his work, this new novel is sure to become another great milestone in Vinge’s already stellar career. ” – (Summary from publisher, courtesy of Syndetics).

Syndetics book coverSoul stealers / Andy Remic.
“The land of Falanor has fallen. The renegade hero Kell is being hunted by the machine-vampires, the Vachine. On his way to recruit reinforcements to launch the counterattack, the mighty hero finds himself the prey of two beautiful but deadly vampire assassins, in this second book in the Clockwork Vampires. Original.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New science fiction & fantasy – space armada, intrigue, magical utopian societies and more…

Check out these recent picks from our latest sci-fi novels!

Syndetics book coverThe founding / Dan Abnett.
“This omnibus edition of the first three Gaunt’s Ghosts novels follows the story of the Tanith First-and-Only regiment (nicknamed the Ghosts) and their charismatic commissar, Ibram Gaunt. As they travel from warzone to warzone in the Chaos-infested Sabbat Worlds system, the Ghosts must not only carry out the most dangerous of missions but also survive the deady politics of the Imperial Guard.” (Summary from Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverJourney by night / Kim Falconer.
“A fast-paced story of fantasy and occult adventure, astrology and martial arts … Kreshkali works the streets of a future Earth, rejecting her heritage and hating her life. When she discovers the portal to Gaela, she crosses over vowing never to return. There, as Nellion Paree, she trains at Treeon Temple, meets a young An’ Lawrence, fights in the temple wars and conceives a child. When captured by trackers her genetic memories awaken and she decides to go back. But, after so many years away, she has no idea of what dangers await her there…” Book 3 in the Quantum Encyption Series. (Summary from Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverGhost ship : a new Liaden Universe novel / Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
“The new Liaden Universe book continues the story of Theo Waitley as she finally contacts her father and discovers her place in the notorious Clan Korval. Theo contracts for her first solo pilot work, only to find out that her old friend and lover, Win Ton, has nearly been killed by mysterious agents who want access to a strange old tech ship he discovered on a scout mission. Theo’s only chance to save him is to contact the sentient ship and take on the role of pilot. But there is a great deal of danger and intrigue along the way, as the Department of the Interior plots to bring down Korval and all its pilots, including Theo, making for an engaging and fast-paced story that will thrill space-opera fans. As some of the story lines tie in closely with previous Liaden titles (Plan B, 1999, and I Dare, 2002), only readers who have been following this saga will be able to appreciate the multiple layers Lee and Miller pull together. Make sure to suggest this series to fans of Elizabeth Moon and Catherine Asaro.–Moyer, Jessic. Copyright 2010 BooklistFrom Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverRoadkill : a Cal Leandros novel / Rob Thurman.
“Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko had been working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen had given them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their P.I. business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job for them. Original.” (Summary from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe river of shadows / Robert V.S. Redick.
“From the mysterious River of Shadows to the Infernal Forest, to the Island Wilderness Pazel and his companions face a phantasmagoric journey through altered realities, a nightmare journey which offers glimpses of what might have been while taking them into the terror of what is to come. Will Arunis use the cursed Nilstone to end the world?” (Summary from Syndetics).

Syndetics book coverProspero regained / L. Jagi Lamplighter.
“After accidentally summoning the wind and scattering her siblings across Hell, Miranda, Gregory, and Mephisto must journey through Hell’s many layers and geographies to rescue their stranded loved ones and return to their original mission: rescue Prospero from the evil Queen of Fae. Readers who have followed the quest of the Prospero family through the previous two titles (Prospero Lost, 2009, and Prospero in Hell, 2010) will be pleased to see that the heroes are coming closer to the end of their quest. Equally appealing this time is watching Miranda gain deeper understanding of herself and her origins. Unfortunately, despite the urgency of the rescue mission, the pace of this installment often drags the journeys across Hell can seem interminable and the overly extended climax includes a few too many revelations. Still, the series has its devoted fans, and they will stick with it to the conclusion.”–Moyer, Jessica Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

Syndetics book coverThe departure / Neal Asher.
“Visible in the night sky the Argus Station, its twin smelting plants like glowing eyes, looks down on nightmare Earth. From Argus the Committee keep an oppressive control: citizens are watched by cams systems and political officers, it’s a world inhabited by shepherds, reader guns, razor birds and the brutal Inspectorate with its white tiled cells and pain inducers. Soon the Committee will have the power to edit human minds, but not yet, twelve billion human being need to die before Earth can be stabilized, but by turning large portions of Earth into concentration camps this is achievable, especially when the Argus satellite laser network comes fully online . . .This is the world Alan Saul wakes to in his crate on the conveyor to the Calais incinerator. How he got there he does not know, but he does remember the pain and the face of his interrogator. Informed by Janus, through the hardware implanted in his skull, about the world as it is now Saul is determined to destroy it, just as soon as he has found out who he was, and killed his interrogator . . .” (Summary from Global Books In Print)

Syndetics book coverPeter & Max : a Fables novel / by Bill Willingham ; with illustrations by Steve Leialoha.
“Based on the long-running and award-winning comic book series “Fables, Peter & Max” spans medieval times to the present day as Peter Piper and his older brother encounter ominous forces in the deepest dark of The Black Forest.” (Summary from Syndetics).

Syndetics book coverThe lost fleet : beyond the frontier : dreadnaught / Jack Campbell.
“The Alliance woke Captain John “Black Jack” Geary from cryogenic sleep to take command of the fleet in the century-long conflict against the Syndicate Worlds. Now Admiral Geary’s victory has earned him the adoration of the people–and the enmity of politicians convinced that a living hero can be a very inconvenient thing. The war may be over, but Geary and his newly christened First Fleet have been ordered back into action to investigate the aliens occupying the far side of Syndic space and to determine how much of a threat they represent to the Alliance. And while the Syndic Worlds are no longer united, individually they may be more dangerous than ever before. Geary knows that members of the military high command and the government question his loyalty to the Alliance and fear his staging a coup–so he can’t help but wonder if the fleet is being deliberately sent on a suicide mission.”–” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe magician king : a novel / Lev Grossman.
“It’s been two years since Quentin, Eliot, Janet, and Julia have become kings and queens of the magical utopia of Fillory, but Quentin is becoming bored with his seemingly idyllic existence. Spurred on by a dark prophecy of the “Seeing Hare,” “one of the Unique Beasts of Fillory,” he and Julia decide to embark on a trip to a faraway island, but their voyage turns out to be more perilous than expected and they end up back on Earth. With no apparent means to return to their home at Castle Whitespire, they must somehow find a way back to Fillory and save their realm from imminent destruction. Grossman effortlessly injects innumerable pop culture and literary references (Monty Python, Harry Potter, Pink Floyd, the Lorax, the Teletubbies, etc.) into the fantastical storyline. Mainstream fiction and fantasy fans alike will find this fairy tale for adults rewarding.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)