Booktopia SF & Fantasy Buzz
January 2013 | Edition 1
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Welcome to the January SF & Fantasy Buzz
Dear All,

It's been a long time between drinks.. umm, Buzzes... anyway here we are with a new year and a new Buzz. My name is Mark and I'll be your guide through the sometimes strange but always exciting realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy. With over eight years experience working in Australia's premier genre specialist book shop, I bring a wealth of experience to my new role as Booktopia's Science Fiction/Fantasy 'Guru'.

Jumping straight in...

January sees the release of A Memory of Light, the final instalment of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, and in the coming months we have titles from Peter V. Brett, Tracy Harding and David Weber to name a few. My pile of the 'to-be-read' is already groaning.

What I've just finished: Cold Days by Jim Butcher jumped off the shelf and made me buy it immediately. It also forced me to put down whatever else I might have been reading...

What I'm reading now: Jean Johnson's A Soldier's Duty has been on my 'to read list' for a while now and has finally crawled to the top.

What I'm reading next: Battle by Michelle West. One of my favourite authors of all time. I can express my excitement no better than to say - squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Erm...

There is so much to read this month it's like Christmas all over again!

(If this newsletter is cut off in your email program, or you cannot see the right-hand side with the index, please be sure to click on the link at the top of this email to view it online.)

Kind regards

Mark Timmony
Booktopia's Sci-Fi/Fantasy Guru

Booktopia

BOOK OF THE MONTH
Click here for more details or to order A Memory of Light
by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

After twenty-three years and thirteen books I must confess that I am eager for this one, the final book in the Wheel of Time series. Brandon Sanderson has done a masterful job finishing the series for the Jordan estate, and Robert Jordan himself penned the final scene in this book before he passed away. Love it or hate it this is a landmark series and its conclusion is going to leave a huge hole in the anticipation many readers once held at the end of each book, wondering impatiently 'what happens next?'.

In A Memory of Light all humanity is in peril - and the outcome will finally be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end. The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world. . .

Order A Memory of Light from Booktopia before January 31st 2013 to go in the draw to win the entire Wheel of Time backlist in the amazing uniform black covers. Doesn't your collection need a facelift?

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EPIC FANTASY
Magic, dragons, gods and monsters, elves and dwarves (sometimes). What's not to love about Epic Fantasy? This month brings some exciting new editions, not counting our book of the month!

 

Click here for more details or to order ICE FORGED
By Gail Z. Martin

From the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer comes a new saga of ice and heroes and the first in a new series, which is a great place to start if you are new to her work and want to get your feet wet - so to speak.

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine ''Mick'' McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor's mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead. . .

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IMAGER'S BATTALION
By L.E. Modesitt Jr.


Mr Modesitt continues his Imager Portolio with the sixth book, the direct sequel to the hugely popular Princeps.

Given the rank of subcommander by his wife's brother, Lord Bhayar, the ruler of Telaryn, Quaeryt joins an invading army into the hostile land of Bovaria, in retaliation for Bovaria's attempted annexation of Telaryn. But Quaeryt has his own agenda in doing Bhayar's bidding: to legitimize Imagers in the hearts and minds of all men, by demonstrating their value as heroes as he leads his battalion into one costly battle after another.

Making matters worse, court intrigues pursue Quaeryt even to the front lines of the conflict, as the Imager's enemies continue to plot against him.

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THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON
by Saladin Ahmed
  SEVEN KINGS
by John R. Fultz
  SHADOW BLIZZARD
by Alexey Pehov
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PERIOD FANTASY
Period fantasy is all about bringing the feel of urban fantasy into specific eras, a la Gail Carriger's Alexis Tarabotti series. But it doesn't just stick to the Victorian era, it barrels on into the Wild West too!
THE MERCHANT OF DREAMS
by Anne Lyle

SHE RETURNS FROM WAR
by Lee Collins
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In this second volume of the Night's Masque trilogy, there has been a rift with the skraylings in England. Rumour has it that skrayling vessels have been spotted in the eastern Mediterranean in increasing numbers, fuelling suspicions of dealings with Venice. Mal is instructed to travel to Venice forthwith to find out if these suspicions are true and, if they are, to break up this new alliance by any means necessary...

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The Merchant of Dreams

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Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.

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She Returns from War

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SWORD AND SORCERY
The most famous examples of Sword and Sorcery is Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian. However it isn't all hulking muscles and swinging swords. Just check out these new titles from Richard Lee Byers and Gaie Sebold to see what I mean.
DANGEROUS GIFTS
by Gaie Sebold

BLIND GOD'S BLUFF
by Richard Lee Byers
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Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex...other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine. She's just been offered a job as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, the latest candidate for the Council of Incandress. But Incandress is on the verge of civil war and Enthemmerlee represents the hopes, and fears, of its population. She is also a prime target for assassination...

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Billy Fox, a small-time gambler on a losing streak, has more than enough problems on his hands, owing too much money to some very impatient people. But when he rescues a blinded stranger from a swarm of bloodthirsty fairies, Billy's life gets a lot more complicated. . . .

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URBAN FANTASY
Bedknobs and Broomsticks  has nothing on today's Urban Fantasy tales. Filled with legends and myths which come to life amidst the urban sprawl, these books bring magic to everyday life with a bang.

Click here for more details or to orderTHE SHAPE OF DESIRE
By Sharon Shinn


For fifteen years, Maria Devane has been desperately, passionately in love with Dante Romano.

But Maria knows that Dante can never give everything of himself back--at least not all of the time. Every month, Dante shifts shape, becoming a wild animal. Maria has kept his secret since the beginning, knowing that their love is worth the danger.

But when a string of brutal attacks occurs in local parks while Dante is in animal form, Maria is forced to consider whether the lies she's been telling about her life have turned into lies she's telling herself...

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EARTH THIRST Click here for more details or to order
By Mark Teppo

The Earth is dying. Humanity - over-breeding, over-consuming - is destroying the very planet they call home. Multinational corporations despoil the environment, market genetically modified crops to control the food supply, and use their wealth and influence and private armies to crush anything, and anyone, that gets in the way of their profits. Nothing human can stop them.

But something unhuman might.

Once they did not fear the sun. Once they could breathe the air and sleep where they chose. But now they can rest only within the uncontaminated soil of Mother Earth - and the time has come for them to fight back against the ruthless corporations that threaten their immortal existence.

They are the last guardians of paradise, more than human but less than angels. They call themselves the Arcadians.

We know them as vampires. . .

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THE ELDRITCH CONSPIRACY
by Cat Adams
  DARK LIGHT OF DAY by Jill Archer
  THE TROUBLE WITH FATE
by Leigh Evans
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GHOSTS OF MEMORIES
by Barb Hendee
  THREE DAYS TO NEVER
by Tim Powers
  THE SILVER BOUGH by Lisa Tuttle
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URBAN MILITARY FANTASY
And let's not forget the Urban Militiary Fantasy. It's just like Military SF but... umm... with magic. AND science.

 

Click here for more details or to orderFRONTIER FORTRESS
By Myke Cole


The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Suddenly people from all corners of the globe began to develop terrifying powers - summoning fire, manipulating earth, opening portals and decimating flesh. Overnight the rules had changed... but not for everyone.

Alan Bookbinder might be a Colonel in the US Army, but in his heart he knows he's just a desk jockey, a clerk with a silver eagle on his jacket. But one morning he is woken by a terrible nightmare and overcome by an ominous drowning sensation. Something is very, very wrong.

Forced into working for the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder's only hope of finding a way back to his family will mean teaming up with former SOC operator and public enemy number one: Oscar Britton. They will have to put everything on the line if they are to save thousands of soldiers trapped inside a frontier fortress on the brink of destruction, and show the people back home the stark realities of a war that threatens to wipe out everything they're trying to protect.

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WARHAMMER
This is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of daemons and of sorcery. It is an age of battle and death, and of the world's ending. But it is also a time of mighty heroes, of bold deeds and great courage. 

Click here for more details or to order ROAD OF SKULLS
By Josh Reynolds


Gotrek and Felix race to the dwarf hold at Karak Kadrin, finding it besieged by one of the grand armies of Chaos under the command of Warlord Garmr.

When King Ungrim Ironfist speaks of the legendary 'Road of Skulls' and of the hated foe's attempts to open a portal into the Realm of Chaos, Gotrek senses that a great doom awaits him - though it may not be the one he would choose for himself. As the king's own son leads his army of Slayers to fulfil an ancient prophecy, it seems that Garmr's hour of victory may be at hand...


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SF ALTERNATE HISTORY
Travel back in time and change the future! These are the tales of what could have been if some part of our history was changed by humanity or outside forces. 

Click here for more details or to orderSUNSET OF THE GODS
By Steve White


Jason Thanou: a time traveler with a past and a burning mission. When the gods of ancient Greece proved to be not only monstrously real, but totally alien--and poised to dominate humanity forever--Jason took care of the situation, at least in Minoan Crete. Now he's got what looks like a normal assignment: to lead a time traveling expedition of scholars to the battle of Marathon and record for the benefit of future historians the magnificent stand of Greece's hoplite warriors against Persian invaders.

But the Olympians are not done with their attempt to dominate humanity. Now the god Pan is afoot in Greece-a creature who may have the power to turn ancient Athens away from her budding democracy and toward a corrupt future on an Earth dominated by twisted humans and evil alien forces. But not if Jason can discover Pan's secret, thwart a conspiracy that stretches for millennia--and save the birthplace of democracy from the corruption of the gods.

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SF ANTHOLOGY

One of the best ways to try a writer whose work might appeal to you but you are a little unsure of, or to discover an author you've never heard of who might a have large back catalogue of work that you can make your way through, is to buy anthologies. I've bought antholgies previously to read a short story by a favoured author only to come across new writers who have now been added to the 'to-be-read' pile. Yes, it's groaning again... 

Click here for more details or to order FOUNDATION'S FRIENDS
Edited by Martin H. Greenberg


No work of science fiction in the twentieth century captured the imagination of so many readers as the epic future history put forth in the stories and novels of Isaac Asimov.

In this volume, a select group of the Good Doctor's fellow writers explore his astonishing creation from their own unique perspectives - and offer personal tributes to the late, great Asimov some years after his death.

An all-star tribute to the Grand Master featuring the work of Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg, Orson Scott Card, and more!



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CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE FICTION
Not all science fiction takes place in the stars. Many writers bring the science fiction to the here-and-now with twists on science and otherworldly influences. Take a look at these books. 
IMPULSE by Steven Gould
THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer
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Cent has a secret. She lives in isolation, with her parents, hiding from the people who took her father captive and tortured him to gain control over his ability to teleport, and from the government agencies who want to use his talent.

Cent has seen the world, but only from the safety of her parents' arms. She's teleported more than anyone on Earth, except for her mother and father, but she's never been able to do it herself. Her life has never been in danger.

Until the day when she went snowboarding without permission and triggered an avalanche. When the snow and ice thundered down on her, she suddenly found herself in her own bedroom. That was the first time.

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Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading 'soul' who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

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MILITARY SF
Part spoof and part work of art this is John Scalzi at his best dismantling and reassembling a beloved universe with artistry and panache. In the words of Joe Hill, 'Read on and prosper'.
Click here for more details or to order REDSHIRTS
By John Scalzi


They were expendable... until they started comparing notes!

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship 'Intrepid', flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is even more delighted when he's assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better... although there are a few strange things going on:

1. Every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces

2. The ship's captain, the chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these encounters

3. At least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Suddenly it's less surprising how much energy is expended below decks on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned an Away Mission. Andrew's fate may have been sealed... until he stumbles on a piece of information that changes everything, and offers him and his fellow redshirts a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives...

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NEAR FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION
Not now, but not amongst the stars either. Near Future is almost here, but just out of reach.
THE GAMES by Ted Kosmatka
NEXUS by Ramez Naam
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Brilliant geneticist Silas Williams oversees U.S. selections for the Olympic Gladiator competition, an internationally sanctioned bloodsport with only one rule: No entrants may possess human DNA. Desperate to maintain America's edge in the upcoming Games, Silas's superior engages an experimental supercomputer to design the ultimate, unbeatable combatant.

The result is a highly specialized killing machine, its genome never before seen on earth. But even a genius like Silas cannot anticipate the consequences of allowing a computer's cold logic to play God. Growing swiftly, the mutant gladiator demonstrates preternatural strength, speed, and--most chillingly--intelligence.

And before hell breaks loose, Silas and beautiful xenobiologist Vidonia Joao must race to understand what unbound science has wrought--even as their professional curiosity gives way to a most unexpected emotion: sheer terror.

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Who decides what you can put in your brain? Who draws the line between human and non-human? How do we choose between liberty and security?

In a near future scarred by the mis-use of advanced technologies, government agencies and international treaties use extraordinary powers to suppress research that could lead to new horrors. In this world, the experimental and illegal nano-drug Nexus can link humans together, wirelessly connecting brain to brain. There are some who want to improve Nexus. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it.

When a young and idealistic American scientist named Kade is caught improving Nexus, he's blackmailed into spying on an eminent Chinese researcher who may or may not be weaponizing Nexus - turning it into a tool for coercion and political assassination. Bit by bit, Kade is thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage - with more at stake than anyone realizes.

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SF MASTERWORKS

SF Masterworks is a collection of science-fiction literature from 1950 onwards, aimed at bringing seminal works from the 'Golden Age' of science fiction back into print. It's also a great place to find the titles that influenced many of today's great SF writers. 

Click here for more details or to order ENGINE SUMMER
By John Crowley


A powerfully moving quest for truth in a post-apocalyptic landscape from the World Fantasy Award-winning author of LITTLE, BIG.

In the drowsy tranquility of Little Belaire, the Truthful Speakers lead lives of peaceful self-sufficiency ignoring the depopulated wilderness beyond their narrow borders. It is a society untouched by pain or violence and the self-destroying 'Angels' of the past are barely remembered.

But when Rush That Speaks leaves his home on a pilgrimage of self-enlightenment, he finds a landscape haunted by myths and memories. The overgrown ruins reflect a world outside that is stranger than his people ever dreamed. . .

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SPACE OPERA
Click here for more details or to order QUEEN OF NOWHERE
By Jaine Fenn


Jaine Fenn takes adventure novels to deep space with her epic Hidden Empire series.

When paranoia is a way of life, trust doesn't come easily. The Sidhe look like us. They live amongst us. What they lack in numbers they make up with their fearsome mental abilities and the considerable physical resources at their disposal. And their biggest advantage?

No one believes they exist. Almost no one. Bez, the best hacker in human-space, is fighting a secret war against them. Always one step ahead, never lingering in one place, she's determined to bring them down. But she can't expose the Hidden Empire alone and when the only ally she trusted fails her she must accept help from an unexpected quarter. Just one misstep, one incorrect assumption, and her Sidhe trap - her life's work - could end in vicious disaster.

Worse, if Bez fails then humanity may never have another chance to win free of the manipulative and deadly Sidhe ...

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THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS
By Karen Lord


The Sadiri were once the galaxy's ruling elite, but now their home planet has been rendered unlivable and most of the population destroyed.

The few groups living on other worlds are desperately short of Sadiri women, and their extinction is all but certain. Civil servant Grace Delarua is assigned to work with Councillor Dllenahkh, a Sadiri, on his mission to visit distant communities, looking for possible mates. Delarua is impulsive, garrulous and fully immersed in the single life; Dllenahkh is controlled, taciturn and responsible for keeping his community together.

They both have a lot to learn.

 

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EXILES
by David Brin
  MAN-KZIN WARS XIII by Larry Niven
  THE HERMETIC MILLENNIA
by John C. Wright
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STEAMPUNK
The last few years has seen jump in the popularity of this meddling of Victoriana and technology, and much like a steam train picking up speed, its momentum doesn't seem to be slowing down.  Although not all Steampunk is set in Victorian England.
A RED SUN ALSO RISES
by Mark Hodder

THE DOCTOR AND THE ROUGH RIDER
by Mike Resnick
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Subjected to a bizarre and terrifying ritual by a local medicine man on the island of Koluwai in Papua New Guinea, Aiden Fleischer, a young Anglican vicar, finds both himself and his assistant, Clarissa, transported from the 1880's to a strange alien planet. Weak and disoriented, they are met by the Yatsill, an alien race of mimics who, on accessing Clarissa's mind, begin to change their entire civilization to replicate the Victorian era. As the missionaries struggle to fit into this now familiar yet wonderfully strange new land, the very worst aspects of Victorian London society erupt in the midst of a war against an incomprehensible enemy and the dreadful prospect that they might have brought Jack the Ripper to this alien world.


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A Red Sun Also Rises

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The epic, adventure-filled 'Wild West' meets Steampunk' adventure continues. It's August 1884. The consumptive Doc Holliday is preparing to await his end in a sanitarium in Leadville, Colorado, when the medicine man Geronimo enlists him on a mission. The time the great chief has predicted has come, the one white man he's willing to treat with has crossed the Mississippi and is heading to Tombstone - a young man named Theodore Roosevelt. The various tribes know that Geronimo is willing to end the spell that has kept the United States from expanding west of the Mississippi. In response, they have created a huge, monstrous, medicine man named War Bonnet, whose function is to kill Roosevelt and Geronimo and keep the United States east of the more...

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The Doctor and the Rough Rider

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STAR WARS
'Enuf said right?

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SCOUNDRELS
By Timothy Zahn


To make his biggest score, Han's ready to take even bigger risks. But even he can't do this job solo.

Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han's got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he's deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There's a bounty on Han's head-and if he can't cough up the credits, he'll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king's ransom. Or maybe a gangster's fortune? That's what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han's less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba-and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.

All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy's most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen. So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both-including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike-and pull off the heist of the century-it's Solo's scoundrels. But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?

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WARHAMMER 40k

The 41st millennium is a savage future age where mankind must battle for survival in a galaxy torn asunder by bloodshed and destruction. Humanity teeters on the brink of extinction, assailed on all sides by aliens, traitors and daemons, and only the superhuman strength of the Space Marines and the uncountable numbers of the Imperial Guard stand between the slavering alien hordes and total annihilation.

ANGEL EXTERMINATUS
by Graham McNeill
  LAST DITCH
by Sandy Mitchell
  RAVENWING
by Gav Thorpe
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SAGA OF THE EXILES
by Julian May

This epic science fiction/fantasy hybrid has been one of the most often talked about and requested series I've ever come across in my time as a bookseller. First published in the eagerly eighties. Now at last a savvy publisher is bring her work back for a whole new audience, and to the delight of long-time fans.

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PREORDER
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