We have some great reads in our Incoming Books for February 2013. Please enjoy.
The Inner City ~ by Karen Heuler
Anything is possible: people breed dogs with humans to create a servant class; beneath one great city lies another city, running it surreptitiously; an employee finds that her hair has been stolen by someone intent on getting her job; strange fish fall from trees and birds talk too much; a boy tries to figure out what he can get when the Rapture leaves good stuff behind. Everything is familiar; everything is different. Behind it all, is there some strange kind of design or merely just the chance to adapt? In Karen Heuler’s stories, characters cope with the strange without thinking it’s strange, sometimes invested in what’s going on, sometimes trapped by it, but always finding their own way in.
Trade Paperback; 225 pages; ChiZine.
Eve of Darkness: A Marked Novel ~ by Sylvia Day writing as S.J. Day
Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. But that evening of addictive pleasure has become a disaster of biblical proportions: She’s been branded with the Mark of Cain.
Now Eve is thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons. Her former one-night stand, Cain, is now her mentor—and his equally sexy brother Abel is her new boss. And Eve has become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history...
Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel... All in a day's work.
Kalimpura (#3) ~ by Jay Lake
This sequel to Green and Endurance takes Green back to the city of Kalimpura and the service of the Lily Goddess.
Green is hounded by the gods of Copper Downs and the gods of Kalimpura, who have laid claim to her and her children. She never wanted to be a conduit for the supernatural, but when she killed the Immortal Duke and created the Ox god with the power she released, she came to their notice.
Now she has sworn to retrieve the two girls taken hostage by the Bittern Court, one of Kalimpura’s rival guilds. But the Temple of the Lily Goddess is playing politics with her life.
Tor Books; January 2013; Hardcover; 304 pages.
The sequel to the New York Times bestselling Princeps follows magical hero Quaeryt as he leads history's first Imager fighting force into war. Given the rank of subcommander by his wife's brother, Lord Bhayar, the ruler of Telaryn, Quaeryt joins an invading army into the hostile land of Bovaria, in retaliation for Bovaria's attempted annexation of Telaryn. But Quaeryt has his own agenda in doing Bhayar's bidding: to legitimize Imagers in the hearts and minds of all men, by demonstrating their value as heroes as he leads his battalion into one costly battle after another.
Making matters worse, court intrigues pursue Quaeryt even to the front lines of the conflict, as the Imager's enemies continue to plot against him.
Glamor in Glass ~ by Mary Robinette Kohl
Mary Robinette Kowal stunned readers with her charming first novel Shades of Milk and Honey, a loving tribute to the works of Jane Austen in a world where magic is an everyday occurrence. This magic comes in the form of glamour, which allows talented users to form practically any illusion they can imagine. Shades debuted to great acclaim and left readers eagerly awaiting its sequel. Glamour in Glass follows the lives of beloved main characters Jane and Vincent, with a much deeper vein of drama and intrigue.
In the tumultuous months after Napoleon abdicates his throne, Jane and Vincent go to Belgium for their honeymoon. While there, the deposed emperor escapes his exile in Elba, throwing the continent into turmoil. With no easy way back to England, Jane and Vincent’s concerns turn from enjoying their honeymoon…to escaping it.
Left with no outward salvation, Jane must persevere over her trying personal circumstances and use her glamour to rescue her husband from prison…and hopefully prevent her newly built marriage from getting stranded on the shoals of another country's war.
The Eldritch Conspiracy ~ by Cat Adams
Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren.
Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia's cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she's a Siren princess, and she's marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She's getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren. Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress).
Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.
Tor Books; January 2013; Trade Paperback; 384 pages.
The Kassa Gambit ~ by M.C. Planck
Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Humanity is apparently alone in the universe.
Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren’t always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He’s been undercover so long he can't be trusted by anyone—even himself.
While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack.
But something tells them there is more to the story. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.
The Six Gun Tarot ~ by R.S. Belcher
Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.
A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.
Tor Books; January 2013; Hardcover; 368 pages.
We have a guest post by the author – R.S. Belcher around how he created this steampunk world.
Nested Scrolls ~ by Rudy Rucker
Nested Scrolls reveals the true-life adventures of Rudolf von Bitter “Rudy” Rucker—mathematician, transrealist author, punk rocker, and computer hacker. It begins with a young boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a businessman father who becomes a clergyman, and a mother descended from the philosopher Hegel. His career goals? To explore infinity, popularize the fourth dimension, seek the gnarl, become a beatnik writer, and father a family.
All the while Rudy is reading science fiction and beat poetry, and beginning to write some pretty strange fiction of his own—a blend of Philip K. Dick and hard SF that qualifies him as part of the original circle of writers in the early 1980s that includes Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, John Shirley, and Lewis Shiner, who were the founders of cyberpunk.
Peace ~ by Gene Wolfe
Originally published in 1975, Peace is a spellbinding, brilliant tour de force of the imagination. The melancholy memoir of Alden Dennis Weer, an embittered old man living out his last days in a small midwestern town, the novel reveals a miraculous dimension as the narrative unfolds. For Weer’s imagination has the power to obliterate time and reshape reality, transcending even death itself. Powerfully moving and uncompromisingly honest, Peace ranks alongside the finest literary works of our time.
Hailed as “one of the literary giants of SF” by the Denver Post, Gene Wolfe has repeatedly won the field’s highest honors, including the Nebula, the Hugo, and the World Fantasy awards. Peace is Gene Wolfe’s first full-length novel, a work that shows the genius that later flourished in such acclaimed works as The Fifth Head of Cerberus and The Book of The New Sun.
Orb Books; December 2012; Trade Paperback; 320 pages.
Redshirts ~ by John Scalzi
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, with the chance to serve on "Away Missions" alongside the starship’s famous senior officers.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to realize that 1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship’s senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members belowdecks avoid Away Missions at all costs.
Then Andrew stumbles on information that transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
Tor Books; January 2013; Trade Paperback; 320 pages.
Shattered Circle (#6) ~ Linda Robertson
JUST YOUR AVERAGE MEGA-WITCH. . . .
It’s tough being a modern woman, but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a wærewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either.
Still, Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, is causing more trouble than these two men put together. The young girl’s been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Now Seph must summon help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. Seph, Johnny, and Menessos face threats from all sides—and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever?
Pocket Books, January 2013 Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages.
The Bracelet ~ by Roberta Gately
Newly heartbroken and searching for purpose in her life, Abby Monroe is determined to make her mark as a UN worker in one of the world’s most unstable cities: Peshawar, Pakistan. But after witnessing the brutal murder of a woman thrown from a building, she is haunted by the memory of an intricate and sparkling bracelet that adorned the victim’s wrist.
At a local women’s shelter, Abby meets former sex slaves who have miraculously escaped their captors. As she gains the girls’ trust and documents their horrifying accounts of unspeakable pain and betrayal, she joins forces with a dashing New York Times reporter who believes he can incriminate the shadowy leader of the vicious human trafficking ring. Inspired by the women’s remarkable bravery—and the mysterious reappearance of the bracelet— the duo traces evidence that spreads from remote villages of South Asia to the most powerful corners of the West, risking their lives to offer a voice to the countless innocents in bondage.
Gallery Books, November 2012 Trade Paperback, 336 pages.
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow ~ by Rita Leganski
Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn't make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows that Bonaventure's silence is filled with resonance—a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.
Bonaventure's remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mère Letice, plagued by grief and a long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.
The Trajectory of Dreams ~ by Nicole Wolverton
Ever since she saw the space shuttle disintegrate in front of her eyes at the age of ten, Lela White has been obsessed. Only she can keep the astronauts safe, even if it means following their every move, breaking into their houses… or even killing them. Working as a sleep lab specialist, she believes that sleep holds the key to keeping the shuttle in the air. When a Russian cosmonaut on loan to the American program finds himself drawn to her, he puts her carefully-constructed world at risk of an explosion as surely as he does his own upcoming launch.
Bitingduck Press; 3/1/2013; Pages: 285.
Handover ~ by Paul Blaney
It’s 1997 and three very different expatriate Britons are living and working in Hong Kong. Sally, a sophisticated, thirty-something magazine editor, finds her life plagued by a ruthless bully. Tess, an idealistic young graduate, embarks on an unlikely office romance. And Rob, the most recently arrived of the three, is haunted by an enigmatic ex-lover.
As the date of the Handover draws closer, and each of the three falls further under the spell of their adopted city, their lives criss-cross and start spinning out of control. July 1st, dawn of the reunification with mainland China, will find one in prison awaiting trial for armed assault, one in disillusion and deep denial, and the third floating face-down in the waters off Macau.
Handover, a vivid, cinematic new novella by Paul Blaney, writer in residence at Rutgers University, peels back the skin of expatriate Hong Kong to uncover vengeance, betrayal, and madness.
Typhoon Media; December 1, 2012; E-book; Word count: 36,000.
Taxi and Bun, and the Pine Valley Werewolf ~ by H. F. Meeske
Taxi and Bun: Is a four-part series about an ordinary seeming girl and a guy, she drives a cab he works sanitation. They are lonely, over weight and dejected until they meet and date.
Over the four books they meet, marry, grow and overcome werewolves on their honeymoon, are asked to track down a vampire cult of Goth murderers, called on to fight Mexican Neo-Aztec cannibal revolutionaries and stumble upon a weird family of billionaire castle dwellers. It is all a romp with lots of odd stuff, weird information and sometimes silly banter but you gotta love this wild gal and her man!From the beginning their passion, and drive enables them - with a little help from pints of Hagen Daz ice cream and extra helpings of gravy - to achieve impossible ends, solve impenetrable mysteries, brave unspeakable terrors and learn to depend on each other's assistance when the chips are down. No matter how tough the going they will never click their heels to go back to Kansas, they have found each other, true love and strange adventures. Whatever the challenge: a serial killer of Latino hookers, a family twisted with greed, passion and jealousies or drug addicted snuff film cultists, they find a way to beat the odds and avenge wrongs.
Word count: 76,000; September 10, 2012.
Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft ~ by Jody Gehram
Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.
295 pages; Magic Genie Books; June 29, 2012.
That’s all folks. Until next month, happy reading.