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Lots of Releases and Lots of News

Nominees for the British Science Fiction Awards Announced

By Tim Janson     January 25, 2009


The Map of Moments by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon(2009).
© Bantam Spectra

 

Well after a couple of slow weeks we have a lot of great new releases this week including new fantasy by Lois McMaster Bujold, a new MYTH Adventures book from the late Robert Asprin, The Map of Moments, a promising dark fantasy collaboration between Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon; and two new Leisure Horror novels. There is also a lot in the news this past week including awards announcements and the end of a long-running anthology series.
 
As announced this past week by Mania’s editor, Jarrod Sarafin, Columbia Pictures has won the film rights to Isaac Asimov’s classic Sci-Fi trilogy, Foundation. The film will be directed by Roland Emmerich. Published originally between 1942 and 1950, the Foundation series was a landmark in Science Fiction. 
 
British Science Fiction Awards
 
The Nominees for this years British Science Fiction Awards have been announced and the awards will be presented at Eastercon in Bradford, England, in April. The Nominees are: 
 
Best Novel
 
Flood by Stephen Baxter
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway
The Night Sessions by Ken MacLeod
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
 
Best Short Fiction
 
"Exhalation" by Ted Chiang (Eclipse 2)
"Crystal Nights" by Greg Egan (Interzone 215)
"Little Lost Robot" by Paul McAuley (Interzone 217)
"Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment" by M. Rickert (F&SF, Oct/Nov 2008)
 
Best Non-Fiction
 
"Physics for Amnesia" by John Clute (talk given at the Gresham College Symposium "Science Fiction as a Literary Genre")
Superheroes!: Capes and Crusaders in Comics and Films by Roz Kaveney (I.B. Tauris)
What It Is We Do When We Read Science Fiction by Paul Kincaid (Beccon)
Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn (Wesleyan)
 
The Philip K. Dick Award Finalists
 
The finalists for the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award have been announced:
 
Emissaries from the Dead, Adam-Troy Castro (Eos)
Fast Forward 2, Lou Anders, ed. (Pyr)
Judge, Karen Traviss (Eos)
Plague War, Jeff Carlson (Ace)
Terminal Mind, David Walton (Meadowhawk Press)
Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, K.A. Bedford (EDGE)
 
The winner will be announced April 10, 2009 at Norwescon 32 in Seattle. For more, click here
 
 
The End of the Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror Anthology
 
After 21 years, St. Martin’s Press will cease the publication of The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror. The 2008 volume, published in September, 2008, will be the last. However there is one ray of sunshine…Editor Ellen Datlow who handled the horror end of the anthology has signed on with Nightshade Books to edit at least two volumes of The Year’s Best Horror, starting in 2009.
 
 
 
 
Top Picks In Fantasy
 
Unfallen Dead (Connor Grey, Book 3) Mark Del Franco (Ace)
 
For a century since the Convergence of Faerie and modern reality, the Ways between this world and the next have been closed. But now signs point to the chance that the veil may lift again.
Connor Grey has enough problems with a vengeful Queen of Faerie and the return of his old Guild partner. Add an occult string of murders, and it’s another case that just may kill him.
 
Seraph of Sorrow (Jennifer Scales, Book 4) MaryJanice Davidson (Ace)
 
Slowly coming into her own, Jennifer Scales just may be the bridge to bring the two warring sides of her family together—provided she can survive learning the most ancient skills of dragonkind.
 
Myth-Chief Robert Asprin & Jody Lynn Nye (Ace)
 
Skeeve the Magnificent, magician to kings and King of Magicians, Businessman and Problem-Solver Extraordinaire, has come out of retirement. And he’s set up shop in the Bazaar, right on the home turf of his old company, M.Y.T.H. Inc. Too bad his former co-worker, Aahz the Pervect, is not exactly thrilled with the competition. Looks like a little wager is in order.
 
The Map of Moments: A Novel of the Hidden Cities Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon (Bantam Spectra)
 
Barely six months after leaving New Orleans, history professor Max Corbett is returning to a place he hardly recognizes. The girl he’d loved—and lost—is dead, and the once-enchanted city has been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Max has not thought much beyond Gabrielle’s funeral—until a strange old man offers him a map, and an insane proposition . . .
 
“Forget all the stories about magic you think you know. . . .”
 
It looks like an ordinary tourist map, but the old man claims that it is marked with a trail of magical moments from New Orleans’s history that just might open a door to the past. But it is a journey fraught with peril as Max begins to uncover dark secrets about both his dead love and the city he never really got to know. How is Gabrielle linked to an evil group from the city’s past? And can Max evade them long enough to turn back the clock and give Gabrielle one last chance at life?
 
Dragon in Chains Daniel Fox (Del Rey TPB)
 
From award-winning author Daniel Fox comes a ravishingly written epic of revolution and romance set in a world where magic is found in stone and in water, in dragons and in men–and in the chains that bind them. Deposed by a vicious usurper, a young emperor flees with his court to the small island of Taishu. There, with a dwindling army, a manipulative mother, and a resentful population–and his only friend a local fishergirl he takes as a concubine–he prepares for his last stand.
 
In the mountains of Taishu, a young miner finds a huge piece of jade, the potent mineral whose ingestion can gift the emperor with superhuman attributes. Setting out to deliver the stone to the embattled emperor, Yu Shan finds himself changing into something more than human, something forbidden.
 
Meanwhile, a great dragon lies beneath the strait that separates Taishu from the mainland, bound by chains that must be constantly renewed by the magic of a community of monks. When the monks are slaughtered by a willful pirate captain, a maimed slave assumes the terrible burden of keeping the dragon subdued. If he should fail, if she should rise free, the result will be slaughter on an unimaginable scale.
 
Now the prisoner beneath the sea and the men and women above it will shatter old bonds of loyalty and love and forge a common destiny from the ruins of an empire.
 
Agents of Artifice: A Planeswalker Novel Ari Marmell (Wizards of the Coast hardcover)
 
In Agents of Artifice, Ari Marmell reimagines planeswalkers, taking fans deeper than ever into the lives of the Multiverse's most powerful beings: Jace Beleren(TM), the prodigal son, a powerful telepath whose choices now will forever determine his path as a mage; Liliana Vess(TM), a temptress whose beauty belies a dark secret and even darker associations; and Tezzeret(TM), leader of an interplanar consortium whose quest for knowledge may be undone by his lust for power.
 
Follow these characters in their quests for knowledge and power. Will Jace's choices lead him astray of the right path? Will Liliana's past finally catch up with her? Will Tezzeret allow hubris to obscure his vision?
 
The Sharing Knife, Volume Four: Horizon Lois Mcmaster Bujold (EOS hardcover)
 
In a world where malices—remnants of ancient magic—can erupt with life-destroying power, only soldier-sorcerer Lakewalkers have mastered the ability to kill them. But Lakewalkers keep their uncanny secrets—and themselves—from the farmers they protect, so when patroller Dag Redwing Hickory rescued farmer girl Fawn Bluefield, neither expected to fall in love, join their lives in marriage, or defy both their kin to seek new solutions to the perilous split between their peoples.
 
As Dag's maker abilities have grown, so has his concern about who—or what—he is becoming. At the end of a great river journey, Dag is offered an apprenticeship to a master groundsetter in a southern Lakewalker camp. But as his understanding of his powers deepens, so does his frustration with the camp's rigid mores with respect to farmers. At last, he and Fawn decide to travel a very different road—and find that along it, their disparate but hopeful company increases.
 
Fawn and Dag see that their world is changing, and the traditional Lakewalker practices cannot hold every malice at bay forever. Yet for all the customs that the couple has challenged thus far, they will soon be confronted by a crisis exceeding their worst imaginings, one that threatens their Lakewalker and farmer followers alike. Now the pair must answer in earnest the question they've grappled with since they killed their first malice together: When the old traditions fail disastrously, can their untried new ways stand against their world's deadliest foe?
 
 
Top Picks In Science Fiction
 
World Too Near: Book Two of the Entire and the Rose Kay Kenyon (Pyr)
 
In Bright of the Sky, Kay Kenyon introduced a milieu unique in science fiction and fantasy: The Entire, a five-armed radial universe that exists in a dimension without stars and planets and is parallel to our own universe. Stretched over The Entire is a lid of plasma, called the bright, which ebbs and flows, bringing day and twilight. Under the vast canopy of the bright live many galactic species, copied from our own universe.
 
Former star pilot Titus Quinn loves The Entire, but now he must risk annihilating it by destroying the fortress of Ahnenhoon. To sustain a faltering Entire, Ahnenhoon's great engine will soon reach through the brane separating the universes and consume our own universe in a concentrated ball of fire.
 
Quinn sets off on a journey across The Entire armed with the nan, a small ankle bracelet containing nanoscale military technology that can reduce Ahnenhoon and its deadly engine to chaos. He must pursue his mission even though his wife is held prisoner in Ahnenhoon and his own daughter has sent the assassin MoTi to hunt him down.
 
As he traverses the galactic distances of The Entire, he learns more of the secrets of its geography, its fragile storm walls, its eons-long history, and the factions that contend for dominance. One of these factions is led by his daughter, who though young and a slave, has at her command a transforming and revolutionary power.
 
Patterns of Force (Star Wars: Coruscant Nights III) Michael Reeves (Del Rey)
 
After the Empire’s bloody purge of the Jedi, one lone Knight still fights for those who cannot, unaware that he’s about to be swept into a cataclysmic battle against the Master of Darkness himself. Throughout the galaxy, a captured Jedi is a dead Jedi, even in Coruscant’s most foul subterranean slums, where Jedi Knight Jax Pavan champions the causes of the oppressed with the help of hard-nosed reporter Den Dhur and the wisecracking droid I-5YQ. But Jax is also involved in another struggle–to unlock the secrets of his father’s death and his own past.
 
While Jax believes that I-5YQ holds some of those answers, he never imagines that the truth could be shocking enough to catapult him to the frontlines of a plot to kill Emperor Palpatine. Worse yet, Darth Vader’s relentless search for Jax is about to end . . . in triumph.
 
The future looming over the valiant Jedi and his staunch pals promises to be dark and brief, because there’s no secret whatsoever about the harshest truth of all: Few indeed are those who tangle with Darth Vader . . . and live to tell the tale.
 
The Books of the Wars Mark Geston (Baen)
 
Complete in one volume for the first time: Three novels making up a saga of the distant future, when the Earth and its inhabitants have transformed almost beyond recognition, science has all but become sorcery, and humanity is threatened by creatures out of the past’s darkest legends.
 
Lords of the Starship: The spaceship Victory was to be seven miles long, a third of a mile in diameter, and have a wingspread of three and a half miles. It would have been a daunting undertaking even for the high-tech civilization that had collapsed centuries ago, but the heroic project had caught the imagination of a decadent nation, becoming an almost religious obsession. But who were the shadowy figures behind the project, and what was the real goal of the herculean project?
 
 
Out of the Mouth of the Dragon: The prophets agreed that the world, with its decaying cities and hopelessly corrupt people, was doomed. But then came the call to the final Armageddon, in which the forces of Good and the forces of Evil would meet in the final battle and decide whether Creation would either be renewed or end, like a dying candle flame. And Amon VanRoark knew he must follow that call.  
 
The Siege of Wonder: For centuries, the crumbling civilization built on science had battled the opposing realm of wizardry without victory. Then the Special Office sent Aden, with an electronic eye in place of his own, to plant a spy transmitter in a legendary unicorn, the talisman of the most powerful wizard, to spy upon the highest councils of sorcery itself.
 
Top Picks in Horror
 
Soultaker Bryan Smith (Leisure)
 
Beautiful. Sexy. Inhuman. Jake McAllister knows that his brother Trey's new girlfriend is a bad influence, but he doesn't know what Myra's really after--Trey's soul. Trey is just one of her new playthings, a pawn in her centuries-long game. One by one, Myra has seduced and enslaved the young men of the town. The women have joined her cult as eager priestesses, lured by promises of sex and power. But Myra's unholy plan is almost complete. Can one man hope to battle such seductive evil? Will he be able to resist the...
SOULTAKER
 
Castaways Brian Keene (Leisure)
 
They came to the lush, deserted island to compete on a popular reality TV show. Each one hoped to be the last to leave. Now they’re just hoping to stay alive. It seems the island isn’t deserted after all. Contestants and crew members are disappearing, but they aren’t being eliminated by the game. They’re being taken by the monstrous half-human creatures that live in the jungle. The men will be slaughtered. The women will be kept alive as captives. Night is falling, the creatures are coming, and rescue is so far away….
 
Blood Bar Norm Applegate (Black Bed Sheets Books)
 
Vampires don't exist....yet, on the brownstone back alley side streets of New York, a vampire dies. Desperate, his lover turns to Kim Bennett, author Norm Applegate's (Into the Basement) quintessential heroine whose passion for S&M led to celebrity status as a hell-and-back murder mystery sleuth who's been there, done that, and then some. This time, Kim finds herself caught between a secret vampire society's attempts to locate The Black Testament (a sacred document written by Jack the Ripper), the modern-day vampire hunters bent on their destruction, and a white-knuckled journey of self-discovery that catapults her into the bowels of hell and the arms of the ultimate vampire.......courtesy of The Haven, New York's ultimate BLOOD BAR...
 
Blood Blade (Skinners, Book 1) Marcus Pelegrimas (Eos)
 
Welcome to the nightmare . . . There is a world you don't know about, inhabited by supernatural creatures of darkness—vampires, werewolves, and all manner of savage, impossible beasts that live for terror and slaughter and blood. They are all around us but you cannot see them, for knowledge of their presence—so close and so hungry—would surely drive any ordinary human insane.
 
But for centuries a special breed of hunter has kept the monsters at bay, preventing them from breaking through the increasingly fragile barriers protecting our mortal realm.
 
These guardians are called skinners. But beware . . . for there are very few of them left.
 
 
New in Non-Fiction
 
Trashfiend: Disposable Horror Culture of the 1960s & 1970s Scott Stine (HeadPress)
 
Two glorious decades of low-budget monster movies, horror comicbooks, glow-in-the-dark model kits, sci-fi trading cards, television horror show hosts, 8mm film reels and more! From low-budget horror films to grisly comic art, from lurid movie magazines to late-night creature features, from campy monster toys to exploitive poster art, Trashfiend takes a loving look at "disposable" horror culture from the 1960s and 1970s. Packed with reviews, trivia, rare illustrations, exhaustive technical information, and written with a humorous but insightful flair that is sure to engage both hardcore fans and the curious alike, author Scott Stine picks up where his self-published Trashfiend magazine left off for a fun, albeit critical look at an often overlooked genre that is considered trash! Includes over a hundred reproductions of rare ad art, as well as vintage books, toys and magazines from the era, with eight pages of glorious, garish color.
 
Capsule Reviews
 
The DC Universe Illustrated By Neal Adams (DC Comics Hardcover)
 
Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, George Perez, John Byrne, Frank Cho…all great comic book artists but all just kids playing with crayons compared to Neal Adams. Perhaps only Jack Kirby had more of an influence on comic book art than Adams who developed techniques that had never been seen in comics previously. He was doing photo-realistic designs before we ever heard of the word “photo-realistic”. His runs on Green Lantern and Batman are legendary. His Kree/Skrull War in the Avengers and X-Men battles with the Sentinels are landmark storylines. This is the first hardcover volume collecting Adams’ work at DC that has not been previously collected, i.e., the stuff other than the Batman and Green Lantern work. 
 
The work here spans the years of 1967 – 1976 and includes stories being seen for the first time since their original publication. These include many of Adams’ lesser known war stories from titles like Star Spangled War Stories and Our Army at War. Even though these war comics were at the bottom of the food chain, Adams never gave less than 100% in his work. Also included are various stories from The Teen Titans, Detective Comics, Superman, the Justice League of American, and more. The book features notes and commentary from Adams himself and is a fitting tribute to one of the true greats. Grade A
 
Coraline: A Visual Companion Stephen Jones (William Morrow Hardcover)
 
I cringe when people refer to Neil Gaiman’s works like Coraline and The Graveyard Book as “children’s stories”. This could not be a more incorrect label. If you’ve read the books you know that these are shining examples of modern dark fantasy for any age, and frankly Coraline is far too terrifying for younger children. Coraline comes to the big screen on February 6th, in gorgeous 3D animation, directed by Henry Selick, who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. You can get a look at the film before its release in this new book from William Morrow.
 
The book takes readers on a guided tour from Gaiman’s original novel, to the development of the film with dazzling photography and scenes from the movie. The book is packed with behind-the-scenes pictures including production sketches, assembly of the sets and puppets, and a look at the characters and voice talents. You’ll see Dakota Fanning, Keith David, Ian McShane, and Terry Hatcher performing their roles behind the camera. Having read the book it’s obvious to see that the filmmakers are going to extraordinary detail to bring the book to life. There are hundreds of full color photographs!
 
There’s even a look at Coraline in other forms such as the graphic novel illustrated by P. Craig Russell and host films produced in other countries. This book is the perfect primer for fans of the book, or those that have not read it but want to know more about the upcoming film. Grade A

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