After a weekend highlighted by crappy weather and lousy Super Bowl adverts, I found something last night that turned my whole sub-par Sunday around: the news that Star Trek Books is finally releasing their very own “Guide to Women.”
It’s a good day indeed my fellow Maniacs when I have the privilege of telling you that all those ineffective dating self-help books and lonely, high-friction hand parties are no longer necessary parts of our lives. This Tuesday sees the release of Star Trek’s first guide to the female gender, and who better to lead us into the unknown than the very first man to boldly go where no man has gone before: Captain James T. Kirk. Captain Kirk's Guide to Women divulges all the secrets the “Casanova of the Cosmos” implemented in his three seasons of campy, galactic sexploitation.
And who knows, having a Star Trek tip book on seduction techniques may even become socially acceptable once J.J.’s reboot of the franchise hits theatres this Christmas, but I wouldn’t un-bookmark those broadband porn sites just yet (wait for all that Kirk-gotten tail to fall in your lap first).
In all seriousness though Star Trek explored a lot of valid, far future concepts outside of shameless multi-specie lovemaking, but the show and its numerous splinters always seemed to gloss over an important aspect of our approaching evolution. As Stephen Hawking noted in his brilliantly informative The Universe in a Nutshell, Star Trek never really portrayed just how much we ourselves will change as we make that leap to the stars. The far-flung technologies that will augment and reconfigure our physical forms are closely knit to the Singularity, a scientific concept that has become a major focus in SF literature after its conception in the early 80s.
Coined by mathematics professor Vernor Vinge, the Singularity describes the point at which technological growth will outpace our ability to predict its consequences or, in other words, the point at which we lose control of tech development and technology progresses in ways we’ll never be able to imagine prior to them actually happening. Many futurists believe that arriving at this critical peak will be hinged on the GNR Revolution (genetics, nanotechnology, & robotics) and on the development of self-improving computers or true AI systems. Even though the Singularity may not be reached for many years to come, the importance of the tech phenom isn’t lost upon the SF writers and scientists of today.
Every year Stanford hosts the Singularity Summit to discuss all things related to the technology apex and this week we’ve got a few novels dealing with the heady concept as well. Baen Books has put together a hardcover collection under editors Mark L. Van Name and T.K.F. Weisskopf titled Transhuman to gather stories centered on the strange frontiers of humanity’s post-Singularity existence. Newcomer Paul Melko’s Singularity Ring also tackles the momentous turning point and our species’ jump to energy while Robert J. Sawyer’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Rollback, a novel exploring the moral and ethical dilemmas of tampering with our biological clocks, debuts on paperback this week. If you’re interested in the Singularity theory these three books seem like great places to start your research, but if you want the novel that best captures the zeitgeist of technology running amok, well, you need look no further than Gibson’s Neuromancer (yes, it is that damn good).
New in Hardcover:
Transhuman, Ed. by Mark L. Van Name & T.K.F. Weisskopf (Baen)
The rate of technological development today is exploding. Such diverse technologies as computing, communications, genetics, biology, and nanotechnology are rapidly pushing humanity to a new singularity, a point at which all the rules change and everything we assume about what it means to be human may no longer apply. Leading science fiction writers such as Wil McCarthy, Esther Friesner, James P. Hogan, Hugo-winner David D. Levine, Dave Freer, Wen Spencer, Mark L. Van Name, and others explore this strangest of new frontiers. From a criminal given a last chance at life in a very new kind of existence to a man struggling to claim his own humanity, from battles in the depths of very strange spaces to an amazing new version of keeping up with the Joneses, the stories in Transhuman take you where no human has gone before--but where many of us might one day go.
Seekers of the Chalice, Brian Cullen (Tor)
In the time when gods and men walked the earth along with demons, the Chalice of Fire, the symbol of peace for Ulster, is stolen from the Red Branch by Bricriu Poisontongue. A small band of Seekers sets out to recover and return the Chalice to the Red Branch to restore peace to the Ulster kingdom.The Seekers are a group of two elves, Bern and Lorges; Cumac, the son of Cucullen, the greatest Red Branch warrior; Fedelm of the Sidhe; Tarin, the Swordwanderer; and the wizard-druid, Seanchan. Together they must make their way through the world brought as Maliman, the evil wizard, uses his powers to stop them as he seeks the Chalice himself to bend its magic to his will.The Seekers battle their way through the creatures of darkness that threaten to conquer the world.But they are determined to bring light back from darkness and restore the land that has fallen into ruin and decay with the theft of the Chalice.An epic tale that brings to mind the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, David Gemmell, and R.A. Salvatore, Seekers of the Chalice is the first book of a trilogy that explores the ongoing battle between good and evil in a land that is teetering on darkness.
A Magic of Twilight, S.L. Farrell (DAW)
First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Cloudmages trilogy. An intricate tale of murder and magic, deception and betrayal, Machiavellian politics, star-crossed lovers, and a world on the brink of devastating war... Over the decades and slow centuries, the city of Nessantico spread its influence in all directions, subsuming and converting the majority of other religions and lesser gods within the Holdings. Always strong even as the borders of the Holdings ebbed and flowed under the effects of war and commerce, always magnificent even as tastes and styles changed, always seductive and desirable no matter what other exotic lands and places might briefly come into fashion, Nessantico gathered to itself all that was intellectual, all that was rich, all that was powerful. There was no city in the known world that could rival it. But there were many who envied it... The first novel of the Nessantico Cycle.
Legend of Drizzt Collector’s Edition, R.A. Salvatore (Wizards of the Coast)
Celebrate Twenty Years of Drizzt! Drizzt Do'Urden made his first mistake the moment he was born: he was a boy. In the rigid matriarchy of the dark elf city of Menzoberranzan, that makes his life forfeit. But when his own mother tries but fails to kill him, Drizzt's path is set. He must find a way to escape the treacherous Underdark, even if that means setting out alone into the no less dangerous World Above. Contains the novels Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn.
Miles in Love, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Two complete novels and a short novel in one large volume: Komarr—Miles Vorkosigan is sent to Komarr, a planet that could be a garden with a thousand more years of terraforming; or an uninhabitable wasteland, if the terraforming project fails. The solar mirror vital to the project has been shatteredby a ship hurtling off course, and Miles Vorkossigan has been sent to find out if it was an accident, or sabotage. Miles uncovers a plot that could exile him from Barrayar forever—and discovers an unexpected ally, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his own. A Civil Campaign—On Komarr, Miles met the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson, who has no intention of getting married after the heartbreak and betrayal of her first experience. But Miles has a cunning plan to change her mind. Unfortunately his clone-brother Mark and his cousin Ivan have cunning plans of their own, and the three-way collision of cunning plans threatens to undo Miles’s brilliant romantic strategy. “Winterfair Gifts”—Miles and Ekaterin make elaborate preparations for their wedding. But Miles has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death.
Manxome Foe, John Ringo & Travis Taylor (Baen)
In the midst of recovering from their successful if casualty prone first mission, the crew of the Alliance Space Ship Vorpal Blade are suddenly scrambled back into action. All other priorities take second place as word arrives on earth of a gate colony which has fallen to an unidentified alien assault. As the only space ship currently available to the Human-Adar Alliance, the Vorpal Blade is dispatched to find out what happened to the colony, rescue any survivors and learn the identity of the attackers. With new complexities added to the universe started in the novel Into the Looking Glass and continued in Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe continues the tradition of non-stop action, valorous if quirky characters and rigorous science drawn from the frontiers of current theory. The odd-ball crew of the Vorpal Blade is an unlikely savior of earth, but none dare say they quail at engaging the Manxome Foe.
Dune Messiah, Frank Herbert (Ace)
With millions of copies sold worldwide, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune novels stand among the major achievements of the human imagination as one of the most significant sagas in the history of literary science fiction. Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known-and feared-as the man christened Muad'Dib. As Emperor of the Known Universe, he possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremens, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne-and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence. And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family's dynasty.
New in Paperback:
Singularity’s Ring, Paul Melko (Tor)
The debut novel from an exciting new voice in SF, about what happens after ninety percent of humanity leaves Earth. There is an artificial ring around the Earth and it is empty after the Singularity. Either all the millions of inhabitants are dead, or they have been transformed into energy beings beyond human perception. Earth's population was reduced by ninety percent. Human civilization on Earth is now recovering from this trauma and even has a vigorous space program. Apollo Papadopulos is in training to become the captain of the starship Consensus. Apollo is a unique individual in that he/she/it is not an individual at all, but five separate teenagers who form a new entity. Strom, Meda, Quant, Manuel, and Moira are a pod, as these kinds of personalities are called, genetically engineered to work as one and to be able to communicate non-verbally. As a rare quintet, much relies on the successful training of Apollo, but as more accidents occur, the pod members struggle just to survive.
Captain Kirk’s Guide to Women, John Rodriguez (Star Trek)
Casanova, Don Juan, James Bond -- these are men of legendary romance, but only one man can boast that his seductive powers take him boldly where no man has gone before: James T. Kirk.
Captain Kirk's status as an interstellar stud is proven by his ability to seduce any woman, in any situation, in any part of the galaxy. From high-society princesses to unbalanced Orion slave girls, from gender-switching shape-shifters to emotion-deprived androids -- they all swoon, acquiesce, and malfunction from just one kiss. But a single question remains in the minds of millions: How does he do it? Captain Kirk's Guide to Women is the first book to answer this question by probing deeply into Kirk's character, charisma, and seductive techniques, making it possible for any man to model himself after the Casanova of the Cosmos. It is also the only warp-powered romance manual written with enough wit, charm, and humor to help the female of the species make first contact. Employing meticulous research, along with fanatic-level detail and the kind of pointy-eared logic even a Vulcan would find fascinating, Captain Kirk's Guide to Women shows you how to be as effective as Captain Kirk. Mack like Kirk? F’n awesome.
V: The Second Generation, Kenneth Johnson (Tor)
Millions thrilled to Kenneth Johnson's hugely popular mini-series "V," an action filled drama of alien invasion, a TV event that was also a number one bestselling novel. Now, in a new novel based on the sequel miniseries currently being developed for TV, the tension between The Visitors and Earth's human inhabitants has reached a boiling point. The reptilian Visitors, who cleverly portray themselves as Earth's protectors, are anything but. Our oceans are being drained in order to fuel the aliens' motherships, and our scientists are treated like wanted criminals. And they have pods of preserved humans destined for even more sinister purposes. But hope is not lost. A small, yet resourceful Resistance risks everything to undermine the Visitors' stranglehold on Earth's people. Despite their heroic efforts, without more help they will be crushed by the Visitors and their human militia. Just when Earth's doom seems inevitable, agents of an alien civilization from another planet arrive in answer to humanity's desperate call for help. But can these other aliens be trusted? Or might we defeat one alien overlord, only to be delivered into the hands of another, equally as oppressive? Time is running out for the Resistance, for when the Visitors' Leader arrives, the aliens will complete their mission on Earth, with devastating consequences for all life on the planet.
Jumper: Griffin’s Story, Steven Gould (Tor)
Griffin has a secret. It’s a secret that he’s sworn to his parents to keep, and never tell. Griffin is a Jumper: a person who can teleport to any place he has ever been. The first time was when he was four, and his parents crossed an ocean to protect the secret. The most important time was when he was nine. That was the day that the men came to his house and murdered his parents. Griffin knows that the men were looking for him, and he must never let them find him. Griffin grows up with only two goals: to survive, and to kill the people who want him dead. And a Jumper bent on revenge is not going to let anything stand in his way. Jumper, based on Steven Gould's earlier novel of the same name, will be a major motion picture scheduled for release by 20th Century Fox starring Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Doug Limon. Jumper: Griffin's Story features the character played by Jamie Bell in the film.
Jumper: A Novel, Steven Gould (Tor)
What if you could go anywhere in the world, in the blink of an eye? Where would you go? What would you do? Davy can teleport. To survive, Davy must learn to use and control his power in a world that is more violent and complex than he ever imagined. But mere survival is not enough for him. Davy wants to find others like himself, others who can Jump. And that's a dangerous game. Jumper is a 20th Century Fox/New Regency production, starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, and Jamie Bell.
Absolutes and Other Stories, Robert Stanek (Reagent Press Echo)
Enter the spell-binding worlds of best-selling author Robert Stanek and dream a new dream. This book contains: "Absolutes": Expertly melds science fact with science fiction. The brilliant boy scientist, Krzysztof Steelbridge, is blinded by ambition and ultimately consumed by it. "Silence is Golden": In the distant future, the universe is controlled by Majority-1. Their rule is supreme. No one dares oppose them, and so it is against all odds that Ev tries to make a stand against them. To do so, however, she must sacrifice everything and everyone she holds dear. "August Rains": Former teacher and Principal John Anderson must face the demons of the past.
Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay (Roc Trade)
Saint-Sauveur Cathedral of Aix-en-Provence is an ancient structure of many secrets-a perfect monument to fill the lens of a celebrated photographer, and a perfect place for the photographer's son, Ned Marriner, to lose himself while his father works. But the cathedral isn't the empty edifice it appears to be. Its history is very much alive in the present day-and it's calling out to Ned...
Whitechapel Gods, S.M. Peters (Roc)
A thrilling new Steampunk fantasy from a talented debut author… Two gods: one chance for mankind. In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all...
The White Tyger, Paul Park (Tor)
This is a truly magical tale, full of strangeness, terrors and wonders. Many girls daydream that they are really a princess adopted by commoners. In the case of teenager Miranda Popescu, this is literally true. Because she is at the fulcrum of a deadly political battle between conjurers in an alternate world where "Roumania" is a leading European power, Miranda was hidden by her aunt in our world, where she was adopted and raised in a quiet Massachusetts college town.
The narrative is split between our world and the people in Roumania working to protect or to capture Miranda: her Aunt Aegypta Schenck versus the mad Baroness Ceaucescu in Bucharest, and the sinister alchemist, the Elector of Ratisbon, who holds her true mother prisoner in Germany. This is the story of how Miranda with her two best friends, Peter and Andromeda is brought back to her home reality. Each of them is changed in the process and all will have much to learn about their true identities and the strange world they find themselves in. This story is a triumph of contemporary fantasy.
Dresden Files: White Night, Jim Butcher (Roc)
A sensational addition to the Dresden Files adventures-from a USA Today bestselling author. Professional wizard Harry Dresden is investigating a series of deaths in Chicago. Someone is killing practitioners of magic, those incapable of becoming full-fledged wizards. Shockingly, all the evidence points to Harry's half-brother, Thomas, as the murderer. Determined to clear his sibling's name, Harry uncovers a conspiracy within the White Council of Wizards that threatens not only him, but his nearest and dearest, too... The ninth novel in the Dresden Files series.
The Outback Stars, Sandra McDonald (Tor)
Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is a hero. She has the medals and the scars to prove it. She's cooling her heels on Kookaburra, recovering from injuries sustained during the fiery loss of her last ship, the Yangtze, and she's bored -- so bored, in fact, that she takes a berth on the next ship out. That's a mistake. The Aral Sea isn't anyone's idea of a get-well tour. Jodenny 's handed a division full of misfits, incompetents, and criminals. She's a squared-away officer. She thinks she can handle it all. She's wrong. Aral Sea isn't a happy ship. And it's about to get a lot unhappier. As Aral Sea enters the Alcheringa -- the alien-constructed space warp that allows giant settler-ships to travel between worlds, away from all help or hope -- Jodenny comes face to face with something powerful enough to dwarf even the unknown force that destroyed her last ship and left her with missing memories and bloody nightmares. Lieutenant Jodenny Scott is about to be introduced to love. Author Sandra McDonald brings her personal knowledge of the military, and of the subtle interplay between men and women on deployment, to a stirring tale that mixes ancient Australian folklore with the colonization of the stars.
Star Wars Rebellion: The Ahakista Gambit, Rob Williams, etc. (Dark Horse)
For years, Wyl Tarson, top lieutenant to the galactic crimelord Raze, secretly delivered valuable information to the Rebel Alliance - until his employer discovered the betrayal and implanted a bomb inside Wyl's skull! Now, Wyl must infiltrate an Imperial stronghold on the planet Ahakista under the guise of working for the Rebellion, or Raze will detonate the bomb. Unwilling to compromise active Rebel agents, Wyl assembles a team of operatives too washed up or too crazy for the Alliance and leads them into a suicide mission that's his only chance for survival!
The Serpent and the Rose, Kathleen Bryan (Tor)
The beautiful Averil is heir to the Duchy of Quitaine, in the Kingdom of Lys. She is a powerful mage, trained by the Ladies of the Isle, but when her father calls her home to take up her duties, she must leave that life behind. In her city of Fontevrai, she meets Gereint, raised as a common villager but greatly gifted in magic, a novice of the magical order of the Knights of the Rose. The Knights and their sister order, the Ladies of the Isle, defend a great secret: the means and location of the Serpent's imprisonment a thousand years ago by the Young God in whose name their order was founded. Quitaine is under subtle attack by the King of Lys, who has secretly become an adept of the hidden order of the Serpent, and he will let nothing and no one stand in the way of his quest to discover how to free his God. But the Knights of the Rose, and the Ladies of the Isle believe that if the Serpent is freed, the world will be enslaved to chaos: humanity will destroy itself, and all that man has made will be corrupted. The War of the Rose and Serpent has begun again. A novel in the War of the Rose Trilogy.
Eberron: Sea of Death, Tim Waggoner (Wizards of the Coast)
Acclaimed author Tim Waggoner brings his first Eberron trilogy to a stunning conclusion. Diran, once a feared assassin, has turned his back on murder, seeking the life of a wandering priest. But in the seas of the Lhazaar Principalities, peace is rarely found, and even justice must be bought in blood. A new power has risen, hoping to conquer the east with an army of beast men, and only Diran and his companions can stop them. The concluding volume in the critically-acclaimed Blade of the Flame series that follows a former assassin trying to change his life and set the world to right.
Faerie Wars Chronicles: The Purple Emperor, Herbie Brennan (Tor)
When Henry Atherton returned to his own life in the suburbs of London, he thought all was well in the Faerie Ream. His new friend Pyrgus, the crown prince of Faerie, was about to be coronated as Purple Emperor. But then Princess Holly Blue arrived on Earth, seeking Henry’s help once more. A plot to assassinate Pyrgus is afoot, but that’s not the worst of their problems. Pyrgus’s father, the murdered Purple Emperor, has been raised from the dead by means of foul necromantic sorcery. Now Lord Hairstreak and the sinister Faeries of the Night have seized control of the Realm… and driven Pyrgus and his allies into hiding. Henry has no choice to return to the world of Faerie to aid his friends. But that proves easier said than done when the mystical portal linking their realms goes awry. Now Henry will have to scramble just to stay alive in a fantastic world that’s constantly full of surprises… and danger. Book two in the Faerie Wars Chronicles.
People of the Nightland, W. Michael & Kathleen O’Neal Gear (Tor)
It has been a thousand years since Wolf Dreamer lead his people up through the dark hole in the ice to a rich, untouched continent bursting with game. But the world has changed. Most of the magnificent animals are gone, and the last of the great glaciers is melting, forming a huge freshwater lake in the middle of the world. Over the centuries the People of the Wolf have split into two clans. The People of the Nightland live in the honeycomb of ice caves that skirt the glacier. The People of the Sunpath live in hide lodges to the south, hunting the few remaining mammoths, bison, giant sloth, and short-faced bear. When a young orphaned boy named Silvertip receives a vision from Wolf Dreamer that their world is about to end, no one believes him--no one except a jaded war chief and a little girl. Led by Silvertip’s dream, the three of them must convince both people to leave the land of their ancestors and flee eastward as fast as they can before the Ice Giants destroy the world. This is the sweeping saga of a visionary boy who led his people out of the path of one of the worst catastrophes in the history of the world, and the brave little girl who loved him enough to believe in his dream. A novel of the First North Americans series.
Mystery Date, Ed. by Denise Little (DAW)
Flirt with the unknown in 17 unusual tales of blind dates. When people embark on blind dates, they never quite know what they will find-and the dates in these mostly modern- day urban tales go far beyond the usual expectations. Here, these 17 romantic hopefuls encounter surprise first dates with the likes of Zeus and William Shakespeare; Medusa wreaks havoc upon Internet predators; a woman is cursed to see the truth about her dates after drinking a little wine; and more. All of these very different dates begin with the hope that romance will result. Some will find a happily ever after, while for others there will be no "ever after" at all...
Midnight Reign, Chris Marie Green (Ace Trade)
Night Rising was only the beginning... Dawn Madison reluctantly came to Los Angeles in search of her missing father and found instead a world of murder and the living dead she never imagined existed. When a new vampire slaying lures Dawn deeper into the underground, her alliances in the sunlit world shift. Now she has only herself to trust and her newfound skills as "a spunky vampire slayer" (Publishers Weekly). The second novel in the Vampire Babylon series.
Sembia: Lord of Stormweather, Dave Gross (Wizards of the Coast)
The exciting finale to the Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series! Thamalon Uskevren II, the heir to Stormweather Towers, never expected to inherit so much so quickly. When his parents and Erevis Cale vanish without a trace, Tamlin must rally what's left of his family and try to solve a mystery whose roots lie deep beneath Stormweather, before a deadly assassin ends the Uskevren line forever. As with the previous titles in this series, Lord of Stormweather is perfect for introducing new readers to the magic, mystery, and intrigue of the Forgotten Realms world.
Last Dragon, J.M. McDermott (Wizards of the Coast Discoveries)
The debut of a brilliant new voice that will change the fantasy genre forever. An intricate web of stories weave together to tell a tale of revenge, justice, ambition, and power. Zhan has been sent to find her grandfather, a man accused of killing not only Zhan's family, but every man, woman, and child in their village. What she finds is a shell of a man, and a web of deceit that will test the very foundations of a world she thought she understood. A tale of revenge that grows into something more, Last Dragon is a literary fantasy novel in the tradition of Gene Wolf and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. J.M. McDermott brings the fantasy genre to new literary heights with a remarkable first novel that will leave critics and readers alike in stunned awe.
Irish Tiger, Andrew M. Greeley (Forge Books)
Wife, mother, lover, celebrated singer, and problem solver Nuala Anne McGrail has a tender side that she often shows to her devoted friends and family. But when those under her protection are in danger, she becomes a veritable Irish Tiger, akin to the fierce warrior women of ancient Erin. With Dermot, her loyal husband, in tow, there are few mysteries she can't untangle.The couple will need all their resources when they come to the aid of two loving senior citizens, whose unexpected romance has been targeted by an unknown enemy. John Patrick Donlan and Maria Angelica Connors were both grandparents when they met, and their passionate connection took them each by surprise. But Donlan's daughters and in-laws bitterly oppose the match...and someone will stop at nothing to destroy their marriage, their thriving careers, and maybe even their lives.More than a touch fey, Nuala senses genuine evil at work here, and so do the keen senses of her ever-present Irish wolfhounds. As the attacks grow ever more serious, it may be up to one gifted woman and a pair of retired police dogs to prevent a touching love story from ending in unspeakable tragedy. A Nuala Anne McGrail novel.
Vampire Huntress Legend: The Darkness, L.A. Banks (St. Martin’s Griffin)
After the battle at Masada, the Neteru team returns to San Diego believing forty-thousand demons had been eradicated and that Lilith's spawn has been killed. But somehow the treacherous little creature got away. Just as had been prophesized at the dawn of the Armageddon, the anti-Christ has been born and will soon rise to power. Rewarded for her creation, Lilith is given the daylight bite and power to make Councilmen day-walkers. Having Fallon Nuit and Sebastian able to withstand sunlight is a huge problem, especially when they are adding new master vampires at recordbreaking levels. Meanwhile the dark realms are healing and adding to what had previously been wiped out—feeding off the dark energy of the newly created anti-christ who is only waiting to emerge.
The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Patricia A. McKillip (Ace Trade)
Twenty years ago, the powerful mage Atrix Wolfe unleashed an uncontrollable force that killed his beloved king. Now, the Queen of the Wood has offered him one last chance for redemption. She asks him to find her daughter, who vanished into the human world during the massacre he caused. No one has seen the princess-but deep in the kitchens of the Castle of Pelucir, there is a scullery maid who appeared out of nowhere one night long ago. She cannot speak and her eyes are full of sadness. But there are those who call her beautiful.
Mechwarrior Dark Age: To Ride the Chimera, Kevin Killiany (Roc)
The epic sci-fi action saga continues... A MechWarrior without peer, Thaddeus Marik has become the figurehead for a new community of worlds attempting to resurrect the Free Worlds League. After defeating a Lyran invasion on the planet of Savannah and negotiating a successful alliance with the Protectorate Coalition, Marik must now ally himself with Jessica Halas-Hughes Marik if the new league is to have a chance. Having Marik and his forces at her side gives Jessica much-needed credibility and greater influence on Oriente. But old hatreds die hard, erupting in a war against enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy the founding of a new league...
Rollback, Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now 87, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too… if she lives long enough. A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback—a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on condition that Don, her husband of sixty years, gets a rollback, too. The process works for Don, making him physically twenty-five again. But in a tragic twist, the rollback fails for Sarah, leaving her in her eighties. While Don tries to deal with his newfound youth and the suddenly vast age gap between him and his wife, Sarah struggles to do again what she’d done once before: figure out what a signal from the stars contains. Exploring morals and ethics on both human and cosmic scales, Rollback is the big new SF novel for 2007 by Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer.
Marseguro, Edward Willett (DAW)
A battle for survival on a distant water world. After a worldwide disaster strikes Earth, the planet is taken over by a fanatical religious theocracy. Scientist Victor Hansen flees with a staff of non-genetically modified humans and young members of his newly created race, the Selkies, to Marseguro, a distant water world. But their peace and freedom is threatened when a traitor calls forth a strike force from Earth, and Victor's own grandson, Richard, is with them. What Richard Hansen discovers may alter not only his own destiny but that of Marseguro and Earth as well.
The Automotive Detective, A. Lee Martinez (Tor)
Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it's hard for a robot to make his way. It's even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack's not interested in world domination. He's just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn't just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can't catch a break.When Mack's neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire's founders---not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Haden Blackman (Dark Horse)
LucasArts' game The Force Unleashed, is poised to be the Star Wars event of the year. The gameplay promises to be stunning, but we think it's the story that will blow you away. Revealed here are the origins of Darth Vader's secret apprentice, the deadly missions on which he was sent to track down and destroy Jedi, and the awesome decision he is forced to make that will, literally, change the way you look at the Star Wars saga!
New in Audiobook:
Complete Classics: The Lost World, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Naxos Unabridged)
On a zoology expedition up the Amazon, Professor Challenger has made an inexplicable discovery. Back in London, his claims are ridiculed throughout the professional community. Reluctantly, he recounts to Journalist Edward Malone, "Curupuri is the spirit of the woods, something terrible, something malevolent, something to be avoided. None can describe its shape or nature, but it is a word of terror along the Amazon. Something terrible lay that way. It was my business to find out what it was." Narrated by Glen McCready.
Okay folks that’ll do it for this week’s Buzz. 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.