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Forgotten Realms, H.G. Wells, & More

By Pat Ferrara     September 12, 2006


Promise of the Witch-King of The Sellswords Series
© Wizards of the Coast Publishing
It's a Wizards of the Coast week with four new paperback releases from the Forgotten Realms universe along with a continuing installment from the D&D War-Torn series. H.G. Wells' Star Begotten gets a modern day facelift after nearly seven decades of being in print and Dragonlance: The New Adventures gets another youth-oriented chapter under its belt with Mirrorstone Books' release of The Wayward Wizard.

British native Steven Savile releases another novel centered on the Warhammer vampire aristocracy with Dominion, second in the Von Carstien series. No stranger to horror and sci fi, Savile has won the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future award in 2002 and has been nominated three times for the Bram Stoker Award. Fans of the first novel, Inheritance (2006), should check out this new installment along with Death's Cold Kiss, a Von Carstein novelette featured in Black Library's The Cold Hand of Betrayal anthology released last April.

Arguably the most extensive fantasy saga in the history of the genre, Wizards of the Coast's Forgotten Realms is a universe unto it's own with more than 120 titles set in its detailed domain. This week The Watercourse Trilogy and The Wizards series get new installments with the respective releases of Lies of the Light and Darkvision while Scott McGough's Time Spiral kicks off the new Time Spiral Cycle series. But the big Forgotten Realms news this week is the eagerly anticipated release of R.A. Salvatore's Promise of the Witch-King, book two of the popular Sellsword series. The FG literary leader dishes up another crowd-pleaser that has both critics and fans decreeing that this offering may be the author's best yet.

New in Hardcover:

Star Begotten A Biological Fantasia

Star Begotten: A Biological Fantasia, H.G. Wells, Ed. by John Huntington, Wesleyan University Press

In his 1898 War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells imagined aliens from Mars descending to Earth with violent intentions. In Star Begotten, first published in 1937, the suspicion arises that the Martians may have returnedthis time using cosmic rays to alter human chromosomes. The protagonist Joseph Davis, an author of popular histories, grows fearfully obsessed with rumors of the Martian plan. He considers the possibility that mutation may have already occurred, and that his child, his wife, and even he may already be Martians. An ironic and often comic novel, Star Begotten portrays discoveries in evolutionary biology and contemplates the benefits as well as the horrors of mutation. This new annotated edition situates the novel in its literary and historical contexts, explains its place in Wells's late development, and highlights its importance as a precursor to the dark comedies of delusion by writers like Robert Sheckley and Philip K. Dick. A must have for any Wells enthusiast, this new edition of shows not only the timelessness of a good old Martian scare story, but also the longevity of a true sci fi master.

New in Paperback:

Time Spiral of the Time Spiral Cycle Series

Time Spiral, Scott McGough, Wizards of the Coast Publishing

Time is Running Out! The planeswalker Teferi at last returns to his home plane only to find it devastated and barren. Time itself is fracturing, and it's up to Teferi and his companions to find a way to halt the collapse. It won't be easy when his allies are poised to turn against him. No stranger to the world of fantasy, author Scott McGough has worked on nearly all the Urza/Phyrexia saga under the Creative Team with Magic: The Gathering and has since written eight novels set in the same universe. Book one of the Time Spiral Cycle series, Time Spiral will be followed by McGough's second installment, Crackle, due out January '07.

Choices Born of Prophesy

Choices Born of Prophesy, Saulander Evans, Sandrilyn Publications

Read an excerpt of Chapter One courtesy of Saulander Evans

Why would an Elfin Queen risk everything to ensure a feared race of Giants enters the ranks of men? Giants possess the most magical substance in the world, their blood Talent: a silvery substance that is the means to save the world from self-destruction, change the course of evolution, and a wide variety of other fanciful and realistic applications. The first of a six part fantasy series, Choices Born of Prophesy spans a mythical history from the Big Bang up to the twenty-first century. Correlating historical events to those within her fantasy world, Saulander Evans lends them a different, sometimes controversial, but plausible twist that touches on universal themes inspiring hope and well-being. Edited by Jordan E. Rosenfeld and illustrated by Joel Fine as well as Evans herself, we'll see how this first-time novelist paces herself with such a large plot timeline. I must admit though that weaving the fantasy with the factual is an intriguing idea; I hope she can pull it off.

The Wayward Wizard, Jeff Sampson, Mirrorstone Books

Everyone knows kender can't do magic. But Sindri Suncatcherthe greatest kender wizard in the worldcan. Back at Cairngorn Keep, the black-robed wizard Maddoc has made Sindri his apprentice. But a mysterious stranger interrupts Sindri's training, and soon Sindri finds himself chased by strange monsters and receiving cryptic messages. Will these extraordinary events lead to Sindri's destiny-or his doom? Book two of the Dragonlance: The New Adventures Suncatcher Trilogy, this guy is aimed at the kiddie crowd of fantasy-lovers.

Promise of the Witch-King of The Sellswords Series

Promise of the Witch-King, R.A. Salvatore, Wizards of the Coast Publishing

The book was hidden well. Its pages promised the power of the Witch-King himself. And now that it's been found, even the fact that it kills anyone foolish enough to crack its cover won't stop people from fighting over it. Welcome to the Bloodstone Lands! Human assassin Artemis Entreri and his dark elf companion Jarlaxle have come to the demon-haunted wastelands of the frozen north at the request of their dragon patron. It doesn't take long for them to find themselves caught in the middle of a struggle between powerful forces that would like nothing more than to see them both dead...or worse. But Entreri and Jarlaxle aren't just any wandering sellswords, and the ancient evils and bitter blood-feuds of the wild Bloodstone Lands may have finally met their match. The second book of arguably the coolest Forgotten Realms literary spin-off to date, Promise of the Witch-King continues the Sellswords Series without skipping a beat. Tightly knit plotlines, absurd yet memorable and engaging characters, and hellishly fast-paced storytelling culminate in a wild melee of swords and sorcery led by the master himself. Enjoy this one Salvatore fans; you've got another full month before the third installment, Road to the Patriarch, is released in October.

Lies of Light, Philip Athans, Wizards of the Coast Publishing

Philip Athans, the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation (2004), continues the saga of a man consumed by his obsession and driven by an overwhelming vision of what might be. The Wizard: Furthering the plots of the Red Wizards of Thay while spinning his own webs, he works in the shadows, manipulating the highest reaches of power. The Woman: Tormented by the ghosts of the past and her own passions, she walks the fine line between sanity and madness, and her obsession may destroy the one thing she loves most. The Man: A visionary who cares nothing for the petty squabbling of those in power, his one desire is to accomplish his greatest work... Book two of The Watercourse Trilogy, Lies of Light continues where it's objectivism-laden series opener Whisper of Waves left off in 2005.

Dominion of the Von Carstein Trilogy

Dominion, Steven Savile, Games Workshop Publishing

Following the death of Vlad von Carstein at the end of Inheritance (2006), the vampires are thrown into disarray and must rebuild their forces. Dominion tells the story of the insane Vlad von Carstein, whose bloodthirsty reign of terror left a swathe of destruction across the Old World. British author Steve Savile, an expert in cult fiction, has written a wide variety of sci fi, fantasy and horror stories including some Star Wars fiction. What can you expect from the second installment of the trilogy surrounding Warhammer's fabled aristocracy of the night, the Von Carstein's? In the author Savile's own words the novel is a fusion of classic horror and fantasy chock full of vampires, zombies, necromancers, slaughter, betrayal, murder, mayhem and a rampaging mad Blood Count. Good deal.

Darkvision, Bruce R. Cordell, Wizards of the Coast Publishing

Exile of the Hidden City. Adept of forgotten mysteries. Sorceress of the Celestial Nadir. Haunted by nightmares and driven by desire, Ususi defied the will of her people and ran away, venturing alone into the outside world her people abandoned centuries ago. Now Ususi tracks down the relics that brought both prosperity and doom to her people. But when an old adversary finds her trail, she discovers that the danger she thought past might only be beginning. Another stand-alone novel of The Wizards series, Darkvision hits the scene under the experienced wing of Forgotten Realms guru Bruce R. Cordell.

Blood and Honor of the War-Torn Series

Blood and Honor, Graeme Davis, Wizards of the Coast Publishing

Karrnath, born in war. The daughter of a noble family has gone missing. A proud and ancient house has fallen to ruin. Even the dead are disappearing. And a disgraced exile may be the only one who can save them. Book 4 of the War-Torn series, Blood and Honor is the first novel by British native Graeme Davis. D&D fans have no fear though, Davis has been writing for Game Workshop's WHITE DWARF magazine since 1982, has written over 30 books and 100 articles for Dungeons & Dragons and other roleplaying games, and has been intimately involved in the design of more than 15 computer and video games.

There you have it folks. Check back next Tuesday for another week's buzz of horror, sci fi, and fantasy book news. Until then keep it nerdy and read your fantasy! Questions or comments? Hit me up at PFerrara.Cinescape@gmail.com.

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