In the midst of preproduction announcements on Paramount’s and Peter Berg’s upcoming Dune remake, Frank Herbert’s God Emperor of Dune is getting the audiobook treatment from Macmillan Audio. Read by Simon Vance, Scott Brick and Katherine Kellgren, Herbert’s fourth Dune novel recounts the events of Paul Atreides’ son, the human-sandworm symbiote Leto Atreides II, and his struggles in putting humanity upon The Golden Path. With top vocalists Simon Vance and Scott Brick headlining this adaptation in all its unabridged glory, Macmillan’s God Emperor of Dune is perfect for those sci-fi enthusiasts with long commutes or little time on their hands to enjoy a book the old-fashioned way.
Though Dune’s first big-screen adaptation, helmed by David Lynch, performed abysmally in its domestic box office run and was panned by most critics (Roger Ebert gave it one out of four stars, the bastard) I absolutely loved it. The 1984 version sported some spectacular gross-out scenes, Patrick Stewart and, most importantly, Paul Muad’Dib Atreides leading an army of sonically-charged warriors atop gargantuan sandworms. Can Peter Berg portray the Bene Gesserit sisterhood with as much disturbing audacity? Or lighten the mood of prophetic rebellion as easily as Lynch did with a Fremen native yelling “Break!” at a piece of solid rock? Unfortunately we’ll have at least two years of waiting before we find out.
In other book news Charles Stross’s Halting State, "a thriller set in the software houses that write multiplayer games," is going on its second paperback imprint in the US while Brit author Richard K. Morgan, who sold the film rights for his 2002 Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel Altered Carbon to Joel Silver for a reported $1 million, is debuting his newest novel, Thirteen, also on paperback.
There may not be any new news regarding Legendary Pictures’ and Blizzard’s joint Warcraft film venture, yet the lore continues this week as Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden debut World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal. Information on the upcoming film adaptation is, at this point, sketchy at best but fans of the game and fiction series will be happy to know that when Uwe Boll approached the RTS and MMO game behemoth earlier this year Blizzard’s Paul Sams flat-out rejected the craptacular German director: “I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you…especially not to you,’” Boll said in MTV’s Movies Blog. He revealed this after explaining his logic behind snubbing game fans.
New in Hardcover:
Hawkspar: A Novel of Korre, Holly Lisle (Tor)
Stolen away from their families, they are slaves, women with no names and no futures. Every moment of their days controlled by the avatars of the stone Eyes--Obsidian, Emerald, Raxinan, Ruby, Windcrystal, Sapphire, Sunspar, Tigereye...And the most powerful of them all, Hawkspar, the eyes of time. Kings and despots come to her to know their futures, and she wades in the river of time, pulls apart its sticky threads, to arrange the world to her satisfaction. But she too was once a slave, plucked from her home, chosen by the Eyes to live in service to them, as much a slave now as she ever was. And with her sight into past and future, she can see the secrets of the Eyes--and the evil of the Eyes. Before the death of Hawkspar, another must be chosen by the Eyes--but the avatar has her own plans, and chooses a slave for her courage and rebelliousness, rather than her dedication to the goals of the Eyes. This slave is put to trial, but time after time, she is protected by forces unseen. Once she has swallowed the bitter liquid and has her eyes pulled from her head and replaced with the Eyes of Hawkspar stone, she can slip into the streams of time... and use time to her own ends--to free the slaves once and for all, and destroy the Eyes, even if it means destroying herself in the process.
Havemercy, Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett (Spectra)
This stunning epic fantasy debut introduces two exciting new authors—and a world brimming with natural and man-made wonders, extraordinary events, and a crisis that will test the mettle of men, the boundaries of magic, and the heart and soul of a kingdom.Thanks to its elite Dragon Corps, the capital city of Volstov has all but won the hundred years’ war with its neighboring enemy, the Ke-Han. The renegade airmen who fly the corps’s mechanical, magic-fueled dragons are Volstov’s greatest weapon. But now one of its more unruly members is at the center of the city’s rumor mill, causing a distraction that may turn the tide of victory. With Volstov immersed in a scandal that may have international repercussions, the Ke-Han devise an ingenious plan of attack. To counter the threat, four ill-assorted heroes must converge to save the kingdom they love: an exiled magician, a naive country boy, a young student—and the unpredictable ace airman who flies the city’s fiercest dragon, Havemercy. But on the eve of battle, these courageous men will face something that could make the most formidable of warriors hesitate, the most powerful of magicians weak, and the most unlikely of men allies in their quest to rise against it...Filled with adventure and discovery, treachery and betrayal, Havemercy is a thrill ride to the unexpected—and an unforgettable journey that will linger long after the fire of battle has cleared.
Escapement, Jay Lake (Tor)
In his novel Mainspring, Lake created an enormous canvas for storytelling with his hundred mile high Equatorial Wall that holds up the great Gears of the Earth. Now in Escapement, he explores more of that territory. Paolina Barthes is a young woman of remarkable intellectual ability – a genius on the level of Isaac Newton. But she has grown up in isolation, in a small village of shipwreck survivors, on the Wall in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She knows little of the world, but she knows that England rules it, and must be the home of people who possess the learning that she so desperately wants. And so she sets off to make her way off the Wall, not knowing that she will bring her astounding, unschooled talent for sorcery to the attention of those deadly factions who would use or kill her for it.
New in Paperback:
World of Warcraft: Beyond the Dark Portal, Aaron Rosenberg & Christie Golden (Pocket Star)
The aging orc shaman Ner'zhul has seized control of the Horde and reopened the Dark Portal. His brutal warriors once again encroach upon Azeroth, laying siege to the newly constructed stronghold of Nethergarde Keep. There, the archmage Khadgar and the Alliance commander, Turalyon, lead humanity and its elven and dwarven allies in fighting this new invasion. Even so, disturbing questions arise. Khadgar learns of orcish incursions farther abroad: small groups of orcs who seem to pursue a goal other than simple conquest. Worse yet, black dragons have been sighted as well, and they appear to be aiding the orcs. To counter Ner'zhul's dark schemes, the Alliance must now invade the orcs' ruined homeworld of Draenor. Can Khadgar and his companions stop the nefarious shaman in time to stave off the destruction of two worlds?
Multiverse: Hell Hath No Fury, David Weber & Linda Evans (Baen)
It began with two men. They came from very different worlds—entirely different universes, in fact—one using sorcery and the other using mental powers and steam-age technology. They met in a virgin forest on a duplicate planet Earth. Neither side knows who shot first, but each blames the other, and it doesn't really matter, now, because war has begun. War between the universes is the last thing responsible leaders on either side want. But the fury of their respective populations, xenophobic fear of the unknown, and cries for "justice" (or vengeance), are all driving both sides towards the brink. And unscrupulous, power-hungry men—and Arcana and Sharona alike—have agendas of their own. The fuse has been lit, and a war stretching across the universes, fought between dragons, spells, and crossbows and repeating rifles, machine guns, and artillery is erupting in white-hot rage and fury. Where it will end—and how—no one knows.
The 4400: The Vesuvius Prophecy, Greg Cox (Pocket Star)
4400 taken, 4400 returned. With no memory of where they've been. And they haven't aged a day. Some have returned with startling new abilities...Eleven-year-old Maia can see the future, and she's never wrong. So when she has a vision of Mount Rainier starting to erupt, the National Threat Assessment Command takes her warning very seriously. But to track down the unknown returnee who may trigger the volcanic eruption, NTAC agents Tom Baldwin and Diana Skouris must uncover the astounding truth behind one of the greatest unsolved crimes of the twentieth century...And they've got competition. Ruthless enemies are working against them and somehow managing to keep one step ahead of the desperate agents. With the future closing in on them, Tom and Diana must foil a lethal conspiracy--before Seattle and the entire Pacific Northwest go the way of ancient Pompeii.
The Lost Fleet: Valiant, Jack Campbell (Ace)
“Black Jack” Geary has ordered his fleet back to the Lakota Star System where the Syndics nearly destroyed them, a desperate gamble that may give them a fighting chance of survival—or tear them apart. Book four of The Lost Fleet series.
Tides of Fate: The Tower of Shadows, Drew Bowling (Del Rey)
Untold ages ago, vainglorious spirits battled with the three gods in a bid for dominion over all–only to be defeated and banished below the earth to fester in their unquenchable evil. One of these vengeful demons eventually broke free and rained bloody death upon an innocent village in the land of Ellynrie. Few survived. The Starcross brothers, mere children orphaned by their parents’ slaughter, suffered very difficult fates. Corin Starcross was delivered to safety by the wizard Dale, while his brother, Cade, was abandoned to the flames that devoured their childhood home. Likewise, the mercenary Wren Tident saved his infant daughter, Kayla, from the monstrous fate that claimed her mother. When the demon retreated to its black abyss, the haunted souls left in its murderous wake did their best to carry on–save for one, who vowed retribution. When Cade Starcross reappears, he immerses himself in a secret study of the blackest arts, and a grim dance of destiny begins. His humanity withered by grief and his mind twisted by his apprenticeship to darkness, Cade seeks to use sorcery to wreak vengeance on his demon nemesis. But in order to succeed, a dagger of unearthly power wrought by the gods themselves must be found. And the blood of Cade’sbrother, Corin Starcross, must be spilled. Yet all of Cade’s fury and magic will prove no match for the evil set free upon the earth. By any means and at all costs, the doomed vendetta must be stopped. A fledgling wizard, a tormented warrior, and a young girl burning with her father’s untamed spirit must rally together as the only hope of a world poised perilously at the abyss.
Nightrunner: Shadows Return, Lynn Flewelling (Spectra)
With their most treacherous mission yet behind them, heroes Seregil and Alec resume their double life as dissolute nobles and master spies. But in a world of rivals and charmers, fate has a different plan…After their victory in Aurënen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhíminee. But with most of their allies dead or exiled, it is difficult for them to settle in. Hoping for diversion, they accept an assignment that will take them back to Seregil’s homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive. But it is not Alec’s life his strange master wants—it is his blood. For his unique lineage is capable of producing a rare treasure, but only through a harrowing process that will test him body and soul and unwittingly entangle him and Seregil in the realm of alchemists and madmen—and an enigmatic creature that may hold their very destiny in its inhuman hands…But will it prove to be savior or monster?
In this latest fantasy novel by author CL Werner, the fate of Wisseland hangs in the balance under an mighty assult from an undead hoard. Their only chance of survival is to retrieve a lost artifact, the legendary Solland Runfang.
The Jump 225 Trilogy: Infoquake, David Louis Edelman (Solaris)
Natch is a master of biologics, the programming of the human body. He's clawed and scraped his way to the top of the biologics market using little more than his wits. Now his sudden notoriety has brought him to the attention of Margaret Surina, the owner of a mysterious new technology called MultiReal. Only by enlisting Natch's devious mind can Margaret keep MultiReal out of the hands of High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless armies. To fend off the intricate net of enemies closing in around him, Natch and his apprentices must accomplish the impossible. They must understand this strange new technology, run through the product development cycle, and prepare MultiReal for release to the public - all in three days. Meanwhile, hanging over everything is the spectre of the infoquake, a lethal burst of energy that's disrupting the biologic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages.
In the seventeenth century, in an alternate universe, Mordred defeated King Arthur -- known as "Arthur the Tyrant" -- and founded an Empire, now ruling much of Europe, Asia, and the New World, ably defended by the Order of Crown, Shield and Dragon. These special agents carry swords, each containing the soul of someone of great power. Even in the hands of a knight of the Order, and wielded in the cause of righteousness, such a sword is terribly dangerous to its owner and all around him -- a single red sword can defeat an ordinary army. Last time, three knights of the Order were able to defeat an enemy with an arsenal of red swords, though at a terrible cost. But new menaces are threatening. An ancient witch, long thought to be dead, has returned, and the deadly creatures called darklings are infesting Europe. And on the isle of Colonsay, another deadly supernatural being has appeared, sending the inhabitants into frenzies of murderous madness. This time courage and a strong sword arm, even when armed with a sword of power, may not be enough to save the Empire.
From the award-winning author of Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Market Forces comes this near-future thriller featuring a hit man who has lost his desire to kill. Unfortunately, certain government officials dont want to let him off the hook that easily.
Age of Discovery: The New World, Michael A. Stackpole (Spectra)
Time is running out. Nalenyr is besieged on all sides by those who would save the fabled land—and those who would enslave it. Soon the realm will be ravaged by the scourge of magical warfare—overrun by terrifying forces created by an ancient enemy, and soaked in the blood of champions and gods. It is the moment of final conflict, and the grandchildren of the Royal Cartographer are at the center of the climactic struggle. Keles Anturasi will race across the world, fleeing assassins, seeking control over powers he can barely understand. His brother, Jorim, having ascended to godhood, now finds himself pitted against an elder god—the very god who once created the entire pantheon and now seeks its destruction. And their sister, Nirati, embarks on a treacherous crusade with a dead hero to wage war on hell itself! As the final battle lines are drawn, they will gather the land’s newly awakened defenders of the ancient past. But can this small band of champions, mystics, and magicians stand against an evil that threatens to sweep reality itself into an unending dark age of nightmare and oblivion?
The Last Vampire, Patricia Rosemoor & Marc Paoletti (Del Rey)
Spawned of alchemy and blood, he was the last of a brutal, ancient line. Now he has just been reborn. Deep in a Texas cave, the military unearths a five-hundred-year-old corpse, its desiccated flesh teeming with mysterious DNA that can transform mortals into beings of unimaginable power. Captain Scott Boulder, leader of a Black Ops unit that has been endowed with these superhuman abilities, is among the first to benefit from the find. But when, with the help of a voodoo priestess, the creature is conjured to life, unleashing an ancient evil bent on reinstating its poisonous kind on earth, Scott knows he must return the monster to the grave. But this is no ordinary vampire. Once a brutal torturer in the Spanish Inquisition, it can bend the laws of science and magic in horrifying new ways. Powerless to fight this evil alone, Scott grudgingly seeks the aid of reclusive anthropologist Leah Maguire, an expert in the mystical rituals of the past. To keep humanity from entering a new Dark Age, Scott and Leah will battle unspeakable horrors and will sacrifice everything they hold dear–perhaps even their own humanity–to destroy the last vampire.
Hunter Kiss: The Iron Hunt, Marjorie M. Liu (Ace)
First in a stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who “never ceases to amaze” (Booklist, starred review). Demon hunter Maxine Kiss wears her armor as tattoos, which unwind from her body to take on forms of their own at night. They stand between her and her enemies, just as Maxine stands between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment—and one man— changes everything.
Now in paperback—from the author of Saturn's Children. In the year 2018, a daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. But Sergeant Sue Smith discovers that this virtual world robbery may be linked to some real world devastation.
Gordath Wood, Patrice Sarath (Ace)
Worlds collide in Gordath Wood. Something strange is happening in Gordath Wood, the old woods surrounding a training stable called Hunter’s Chase. The police think Lynn Romano and Kate Mossland have been murdered, but what actually occurred is much stranger. They’ve gone through a hole between worlds, into a medieval society at war. In a world that doesn’t ordinarily have use for women, the danger is great—good thing Lynn and Kate aren’t your ordinary women.
In one man, two souls fight for survival—and for mastery of an outlaw magic that could save a kingdom. It was a fate Josan once considered preferable to death. Cast by dark sorcery into the body of Emperor Lucius of Ikaria, the scholar-monk struggled to make peace with a mind that regarded him as a hostile intruder. But now, as simmering rivalries threaten to plunge the kingdom into a bloody civil war, Josan is faced with the most difficult choice of all. For the uneasy truce between him and Lucius is unraveling in a form of madness that is destroying the body they share. There’s only one hope for a cure. Disguised, stowing away as a common traveler, Josan/Lucius will make the hazardous journey to Xandropol. There in the great library of the Learned Brethren, Josan hopes to find the forbidden magic that will counter the spell that yokes him and Lucius. But an old antagonist is already on their trail: the Lady Ysobel follows them to what she realizes is the scene of her and Josan’s fateful first meeting. But not even she divines the reason for this final pilgrimage: that Josan has returned to sacrifice his life.
Star Trek DS9: Fearful Symmetry, Olivia Woods (Star Trek Books)
In our universe, a Cardassian sleeper agent--Iliana Ghemor--was once surgically altered to resemble and replace resistance fighter Kira Nerys, future Starfleet captain and hero of the planet Bajor's liberation. That plan never reached fruition, and the fate of the agent remained unknown...until now. Robbed of the past sixteen years, Iliana Ghemor is back with a vengeance. Over a decade and a half of imprisonment and abuse by her former masters has brought her to the brink of madness, sustained only by the twisted belief that she is, in fact, the real Kira Nerys. She has already made one near-successful attempt on the real Kira's life, but instead of assuming the identity of the woman she was intended to replace, Ghemor has set her sights on the most unexpected target of all: Kira's other double, the malicious Intendent, Bajor's iron-fisted ruler in the alternate reality commonly known as the "Mirror Universe." But far more is unfolding in the Mirror Universe than Ghemor realizes, and the heroes of Deep Space Nine somehow must stop the false Kira without derailing the delicate flow of history that must unfold if both universes, and countless others, are to survive. Parallel stories set in both universes reflect and build upon each other in this Two-in-One "Flip Book," the continuation of both the ongoing DS9 saga as well as the Mirror Universe line of books.
Confessions of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom: Demons Are Forever, Julie Kenner (Jove Books)
Kate Connor's acquired a precious— but deadly—item that every demon within commuting distance is seething to get hold of. And with husband woes (the dead one and the living one) playing havoc with her emotions, an ambitious teenage protégée (her daughter) at her heels, and hell to pay, this stay-at-home mom's putting in a lot of overtime.
Fourth Realm Trilogy: The Dark River, John Twelve Hawks (Seal Books)
In The Traveler, John Twelve Hawks introduced readers to a dangerous world inspired by the modern technology that monitors our lives. Under constant surveillance of the ‘Vast Machine,’ a sophisticated computer network run by a ruthless group, society is mostly unaware of its own imprisonment. Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, brothers who were raised “off the grid,” have recently learned they are Travelers like their long-lost father— part of a centuries-old line of prophets able to journey to different realms of consciousness and enlighten the world to resist being controlled. But power affects the brothers differently. As The Travelerends, Gabriel hesitates under the weight of responsibility. Michael seizes the opportunity—and joins the enemy. The Dark River opens in New York City with a stunning piece of news. Gabriel’s father, who has been missing for nearly twenty years, may still be alive and trapped somewhere in Europe. Gabriel and his Harlequin protector, Maya, immediately mobilize to escape New York and find the long-lost Traveler. Simultaneously, Michael orders the Brethren—the ruthless group that has been hunting Gabriel—into a full-scale search. Gabriel yearns to find his father to protect him; Michael aims to destroy the man whose existence threatens his newfound power. The race moves from the underground tunnels of New York and London to ruins hidden beneath Rome and Berlin, to a remote region of Africa that is rumored to harbor one of history’s greatest treasures. And as the story moves toward its chilling conclusion, Maya must decide if she will trade everything to rescue Gabriel. A mesmerizing return to the places and people so richly portrayed in The Traveler, The Dark River is propelled by edge-of-the-seat suspense and haunted by a vision of a world where both hope and freedom are about to disappear.
Warhammer: Gotrek & Felix the Second Omnibus, William King (Games Workshop)
With his companion Felix, Gotrek the dwarf trollslayer roams the wild, dark places of the Warhammer world, seeking a glorious death in battle. The second omnibus edition of their adventures will complement the book collection of any fantasy fan. This volume includes the books: Dragonslayer, Beastslayer and Vampireslayer.
In this outrageously funny, outrageously inventive debut, one of the most outrageously talented new writers to break onto the sci-fi scene in decades asks the most loaded question of all…"Don't you hate it when this happens?"…that’s what the business card asks Jonny X67, dream architect to the rich and jaded. It’s all the thieves who stole his house left behind. And if that weren’t bad enough, a saleswoman named Caroline E61 drops from the sky to sell him a set of encyclopedias and won’t take no for an answer. Can his luck get any worse? In this rip-roaring roller-coaster ride through a brilliantly imagined future of paranoid absurdity, Jonny X will learn the answer soon enough when he falls afoul of a lunatic motorcycle gang nicknamed the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a relentless Belgian assassin, and his own irate girlfriend. Traversing a cityscape whose neighborhoods are organized by musical genres, running into joke-telling elevators and holographic computer viruses, Jonny is about to learn what a nightmare it’s going to be to get his old life back in a reality warping faster than the speed of the imagination. Outrageous Fortune heralds a marvelous new talent sure to be delightfully altering the minds of readers for years to come.
The Cold Minds, Kristin Landon (Ace)
New in the “excellently crafted” (Linnea Sinclair) series from the author ofThe Hidden Worlds. Renegade jump pilot Iain sen Paolo and Linnea Kiaho know that the Cold Minds—ruthless machine intelligences—have returned. And if they don’t find allies to oppose the Cold Minds, humanity itself will become extinct.
Starfire: Exodus, Steve White & Shirley Meier (Baen)
Once before, the sentient races in the known part of the galaxy -- humans, Orions, Ophiuchi and Gorm -- had united to defeat alien invaders. The "bugs" were as incomprehensibly alien as they were revoltingly evil, using all other living things, intelligent or not, as food, and they had been defeated at a terrible cost. Decades have since passed and the gallant warriors of the battle against the bugs have grown old, while new generations have grown complacent...dangerously so. Long ago, much of the population of an entire planet had built a huge fleet of ships, each ship larger than a city, and fled their world before its sun went nova. Those slower-than-light ships traversed many light years, and have now arrived at the world they intend to make their new home. They regard the fact that the planet is already colonized by humans as a mere inconvenience, the more so since their mode of communication is so different from anything humans use that they do not consider humans and their allies to be truly intelligent. And the arriving aliens know -- or, at least, they believe -- that when they die they will be reincarnated, so they do not hesitate to attack humans and their allies with suicidal fury. This time, the intelligent races of the old alliance will not have to worry about becoming an invader's meal -- but that will be small comfort if the invaders decide that genocide is justified for their own survival...
New in Audiobook:
God Emperor of Dune, Frank Herbert (Macmillan Audio Unabridged)
More than three thousand years have passed since the first events recorded in Dune. Only one link survives with those tumultuous times: the grotesque figure of Leto Atreides, son of the prophet Paul Muad'Dib, and now the virtually immortal God Emperor of Dune. He alone understands the future, and he knows with a terrible certainty that the evolution of his race is at an end unless he can breed new qualities into his species. But to achieve his final victory, Leto Atreides must also bring about his own downfall…Read by Simon Vance, Scott Brick and Katherine Kellgren.
Check back next Monday for all the latest info on current sci-fi, fantasy, and horror book releases. Questions or comments? Hit me up at Pferrara.firstname.lastname@example.org.