Booktopia SF & Fantasy Buzz
May 2013 | Edition 4
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Welcome to the May SF and Fantasy Buzz
May is a pretty big month for Science Fiction and Fantasy in Australia because we get to celebrate the fiction we love at the Aurealis Awards, which are being held on the 18th of May. This is the time we recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

We at Booktopia would like to offer a big congratulation to all the nominees and most especially the Fantasy Novel nominees: Kate Forsyth, Jay Kristoff, Margo Lanagan, Juliet Marillier and Jo Spurrier. And the Science Fiction Novel nominees: Jo Anderton, Nina D'Aleo, Andrea K Host, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Garth Nix and Daniel O'Malley.

I'll be there mingling on the night so if you are around and happen to recognise me then come and say hello.

Also this month we are honoured to have Jack Campbell , author of the bestselling Lost Fleet series answer our Ten Terrifying Questions. If you haven't read his Military SF epic, and that's your thing, then get ye here and pick up the first book today.

What I've just read: The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu is an amazing Russian flavoured fantasy of the best kind. This is the type of fantasy in which you hit the ground running and need to build your points of reference as you go to work out what's going on. Amazing world-building and great story-telling.

What I'm reading now:  Grave Thief by Tom Lloyd. I've read this one before. It's a re-read as I wish to embark on books 4 and 5 of his series the Twilight Reign and needed a little bit of a refresher. Gritty and epic, Lloyd's work packs a punch with dark undertones and some original twists on familiar territory.

What I'm reading next: I've been hearing good things about Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan, a 'revolutionary fantasy' set in the gun-powder age rather than the more common medieval era, so I am very keen to see what all the fuss is about. I'll keep you posted.

Now on with this month's Buzz!

Kind regards

Mark Timmony
Supreme Overlord of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Booktopia

Follow me on Twitter: @MarkTimmony
BOOK OF THE MONTH
While I read Science Fiction I don't read as much of it as I do Fantasy - as you might have guessed by now I am much more an epic fantasy kinda guy - however I have read Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series, a juggernaut in Space-Opera/Military Science Fiction.

Campbell offers an exceedingly readable and fast paced story.  Politics, sacrifice and madness, titanic space battles, duty and honour, and a hint of mystery all find a home in his tale - the six book series starts here. Guardian is the second book of the sequel series which is proving to be just as awesome as the first.

Click here for details or to orderGUARDIAN
by Jack Campbell

Admiral Geary's First Fleet of the Alliance has survived the journey deep into unexplored interstellar space, a voyage that led to the discovery of new alien species, including a new enemy and a possible ally.

Now Geary's mission is to ensure the safety of the Midway Star System, which has revolted against the Syndicate Worlds empire-an empire that is on the brink of collapse. To complicate matters further, Geary also needs to return safely to Alliance space not only with representatives of the Dancers, an alien species, but also with Invincible, a captured warship that could possibly be the most valuable object in human history.

Despite the peace treaty that Geary must adhere to at all costs, the Syndicate Worlds regime threatens to make the fleet's journey back grueling and perilous. And even if Geary escorts Invincible and the Dancers' representatives safely unharmed, the Syndics' attempts to spread dissent and political unrest may have already sown the seeds of the Alliance's destruction...

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AUSTRALIAN FANTASY
Kylie Chan burst into prominence with White Tiger in 2006 and quickly established a huge fanbase. Her series combines martial arts and magic as the story follows the lives of the mysterious John Chen and his partner, Emma Donahue.

Click here for more details or to orderDARK SERPENT
by Kylie Chan

John and Emma′s epic story is coming to an end in this final trilogy beginning with DARK SERPENT. John and Emma head to Wales to try and work out who -- or what -- Emma is. But rather than providing a clear path to their long hoped-for marriage the answer could tear them apart forever. Emma will be forced to betray either John, her beloved Xuan Wu, or her past and birthright. To make matters worse, John′s celestial home at Wudangshan is under attack from the Demon King.

Can John find the Emma he knows and love, and save Wudangshan from demonic destruction? 


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EPIC FANTASY
The fate of the black Magician will be sealed as prophecy becomes truth in the last book of the Riftwar Cycle. THE FINAL VOLUME IN THE EPIC RIFTWAR CYCLE.
 
Click here for details or to orderMAGICIAN'S END
by Raymond E. Feist


The dragons are calling...

Civil war is tearing apart the Kingdom of the Isles, for the throne lies empty and rivals are converging. Having spirited his beloved Princess Stephane safely out of Roldem, Hal - now Duke of Crydee - must turn his attention to the defence of the ancient realm so that a king can be anointed by the Congress of Lords, rather than by right of might.

But the greatest threat may well lie out of the hands of men. Somewhere in the Grey Towers Mountains something not of this world is emerging. It will require that alliances be made between mortal enemies if disaster is to be averted. Elves and men must stand together, ancient heroes must rise again, dragons must fly and Pug, Magnus and the other magic-users of Midkemia must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if the whole world is to be saved. 

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BEYOND THE MISTS OF KATURA
by James Barclay
  THE DUSK WATCHMAN
by Tom Lloyd
  THE MIST-TORN WITCHES
by Barb Hendee
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SHIELD OF SEA AND SPACE
by Erin Hoffman
  SHADOW'S MASTER by Jon Sprunk
  THE TYRANT'S LAW
by Daniel Abraham
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EXODUS OF THE XANDIM
by Maggie Furey
  INHERITANCE
by Christopher Paolini
  RAGE OF THE DRAGON by Margaret Weis &
Tracy Hickman
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SWORD & SORCERY
TOMORROW THE KILLING
by Daniel Polansky

FIERY EDGE OF THE STEEL
by Jill Archer
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Once he was a hero of the Great War, and then a member of the dreaded Black House. Now he is the criminal linchpin of Low Town.

His name is Warden.

He thought he had left the war behind him, but a summons from up above brings the past sharply, uncomfortably, back into focus.

General Montgomery's daughter is missing somewhere in Low Town, searching for clues about her brother's murder. The General wants her found, before the stinking streets can lay claim to her, too.

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Tomorrow the Killing

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Noon Onyx is the first female Host in memory to wield the destructive waning magic that is used to maintain order among the demons. Her unique abilities, along with a lack of control and a reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider among her peers.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, a task that will most likely involve trying and killing the patron demon of that area, it seems Luck is not on her side.

But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to more...

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 Fiery Edge of Steel

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URBAN FANTASY
They live amongst us. They are your neighbour, your mother, your lover. You think they are safe. They change.
 
Click here for details or to orderRED MOON
by Benjamin Percy


Every teenage girl thinks she's different. When government agents kick down Claire Forrester's front door and murder her parents, Claire realises just how different she is.

Patrick Gamble was nothing special until the day he got on a plane and, hours later, stepped off it, the only passenger left alive. A hero.

President Chase Williams has sworn to eradicate the menace. Unknown to the electorate, however, he is becoming the very thing he has sworn to destroy.

Each of them is caught up in a war that so far has been controlled with laws and violence and drugs. But an uprising is about to leave them damaged, lost, and tied to one another for ever.

The night of the red moon is coming, when an unrecognizable world will emerge, and the battle for humanity will begin.

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THE BLUE BLAZES
by Chuck Wendig

UNCLEAN SPIRITS
by Chuck Wendig
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Meet Mookie Pearl.

Criminal underworld? He runs in it.

Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.

Nothing stops Mookie when he's on the job.

But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something's gotta give...

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A polytheistic pantheon--a tangle of gods and divine hierarchies--once kept the world at an arm's length, warring with one another, using mankind's belief and devotion to give them power.

But a single god sought dominance and gathered his armies of angels behind him to oust the other gods in a shattering of the cosmic order, a sundering of the divinities. As Lucifer fell to Hell, the gods and more...

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DEAD MAN'S DEAL
by Jocelynn Drake
  THE EIGHTH COURT by Mike Shevdon
  GENERATION V
by M.L. Brennan
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SILENCE
by Michelle Sagara
  SHADOWS OF FALLING NIGHT
by S.M. Stirling
  THE SHAMBLING GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY
by Mur Lafferty
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APOCALYPSE COW
by Michael Logan
  THE STRANGER'S MAGIC
by Max Frei
  TEMPEST REBORN
by Nicole Peeler
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THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. 

Click here for details or to orderTHE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE
by Neil Gaiman


It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean.

The oldest can remember the Big Bang.



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PERIOD FANTASY
Not being able to find a hansom cab when one needs it most is the least of the problems faced by our heroes in these two novels. If you haven't read the first book in Lilith Saintcrow's Bannon and Clare Case books I urge you to do so. You can read my review of The Iron Wyrm Affair on our blog here.
THE RED PLAGUE
 by Lilith Saintcrow

WITHOUT A SUMMER
by Mary Robinette Kowal
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The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart or conscience. Rumours of a devastating new weapon reach the Queen's ears, and sorceress Emma Bannon is sent on a mission to find its creator.

The genius Archibald Clare, is only too happy to help. It will distract him from pursuing his nemesis, and besides, Clare is not as young as he used to be. A spot of Miss Bannon's excellent hospitality and her diverting company may be just what he needs.
Unfortunately their quarry is a fanatic, and his poisonous discovery is just as dangerous to Britannia as more...

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The Red Plague Affair

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Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane's family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody's dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors.

When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects-and mood-will be brighter in more...

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 Without a Summer

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FANTASY ANTHOLOGIES
FEARSOME JOURNEYS
by Jonathan Strahan

21ST CENTURY DEAD
by Christopher Golden
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An amazing array of the most popular and exciting names in Fantasy are set to appear in the first in a brand new series of Fantasy anthologies featuring original fiction, from the master editor Jonathan Strahan.

The authors appearing in the launch volume include Trudi Canavan, Elizabeth Bear, Daniel Abraham, Kate Elliott, Saladin Ahmed, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch, Ellen Klages, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce, Jeffrey Ford, Robert Redick and KJ Parker.

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Fearsome Journeys

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The Stoker-award-winning editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology Zombie, returns with 21st Century Dead, and an all new line-up of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection. . . with zombies!

The stellar stories in this volume includes a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson's Robopocalypse, the first published fiction by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family and resurrection from the legendary Orson Scott Card.

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21st Century Dead

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WARHAMMER & WARCRAFT
Sacrilege I know, but hey - they both have 'war' in their titles...

Click here for details or to orderHEADTAKER
by David Guymer


Warlord Queek Headtaker is unlike other skaven, a fearless warrior, a general who leads from the front and the grim victor of many great battles.

When King Kazador begins to gather an army at Karak Azul it falls to Queek to lead a surprise attack on the hold, but even one as cunning as he cannot resist the chance to face such a renowned hero of the dwarfs in single combat.

With old enemies moving against him on both sides of the conflict, he musters his stormvermin for war...


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Click here for details or to orderTIDES OF WAR
by Christie Golden


The ashes of the Cataclysm have settled across Azeroth's disparate kingdoms, and the sorceress Lady Jaina Proudmoore struggles to mend relations between the Horde and the Alliance. Yet escalating tensions have pushed the two factions closer to open war, threatening to destroy what little stability remains in the World of Warcraft.

Dark news arrives in Jaina's beloved city, Theramore. One of the blue dragonflight's powerful artifacts-the Focusing Iris-has been stolen. To unravel the item's whereabouts, Jaina works with the former blue Dragon Aspect Kalecgos. The two heroes forge an unlikely bond during their investigation, but a disastrous turn of events looms.

Garrosh Hellscream is mustering the Horde's armies for an all-out invasion of Theramore. Despite mounting dissent within his faction, the brazen warchief aims to usher in a new era of Horde domination. His thirst for conquest leads him to take brutal measures against anyone who dares question his leadership.

Alliance forces converge on Theramore to repel the Horde onslaught, but the brave defenders are unprepared for the true scope of Garrosh's cunning and deceptive strategy. His attack will irrevocably transform Jaina, engulfing the ardent peacekeeper in the chaotic and all-consuming tides of war.

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SF LEGENDS
IAIN M. BANKS
The Science Fiction/Fantasy community - indeed the literature community - has been rocked by the news that Iain M. Banks (aka Iain Banks) is dying.

Needless to say he is one of England's best writers, and his Culture novels have done as much for SF as George R R Martin's work has done for Fantasy (if a little more quietly). But to say more makes me feel like we are already say our final goodbyes.

His writing is amazing and he will be sorely missed. We at Booktopia send our heartfelt good wishes to Iain and his family is this difficult time.

This is an extract from his statement:

I am officially Very Poorly.

After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn't gone away by mid February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

The bottom line, now, I'm afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I'm expected to live for 'several months' and it's extremely unlikely I'll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.

You can read the full story here.
MILITARY SF
BLOODSTAR by Ian Douglas
REDSHIRTS by John Scalzi
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Corpsman Eliot Carlyle joined the Navy to save lives and see the universe. Now, he and Bravo Company's Black Wizards of the interstellar Fleet Marine Force are en route to Bloodworld - a hellish, volatile rock, colonized by the fanatical Salvationists who desired an inhospitable world where they could suffer for humanity's sins.

However, their penance could prove fatal - for the mysterious alien race known as the Qesh have just made violent, bloody first contact.

Suddenly, countless more...

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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 more...

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STEAMPUNK
Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!
 
Click here for details or to orderTHE DAEDALUS INCIDENT
by Michael J. Marinez


Mars is supposed to be dead...a fact Lt. Shaila Jain of the Joint Space Command is beginning to doubt in a bad way.

Freak quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll - seemingly of their own volition - carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty's Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents...and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies--rife with plunder and alien slave trade--through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets--the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

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ALTERNATE HISTORIES: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
LIFE ON THE PRESERVATION
by Jack Skillingstead

HA'PENNY
by Jo Walton
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Inside the Seattle Preservation Dome it's always the Fifth of October, the city caught in an endless time loop.

"Reformed" graffiti artist Ian Palmer is the only one who knows the truth, and he is desperate to wake up the rest of the city before the alien Curator of this human museum erases Ian's identity forever.

Outside the Dome the world lies in apocalyptic ruin. Small town teenager Kylie is one of more...

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Life on the Preservation

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In Ha'penny, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. The last hopes of democracy seem extinguished. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists-of staunch King-and-Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen-to murder the Prime Minister and his more...

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ALIEN IN THE HOUSE
by Gini Koch

THE TRADERS' WAR
by Charles Stross
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Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini have learned the ins and outs of Washington politics, not to mention how to prevail in intergalactic war and foil any variety of dangerous conspiracies.

So when the newly elected Representative from New Mexico's 2nd Congressional District dies under mysterious circumstances while at the Centaurion Embassy, it's up to Kitty and the rest of the Diplomatic Corps to find out how and why and stop the killer, before the rest of the U.S. House of Representatives become casualties, particularly the replacement Representative for New Mexico's 2nd District-Jeff Martini.

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 Alien in the House

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For one ex-journalist, the nightmare has just begun. Miriam Beckstein has said goodbye to her comfort zone, and the transition from journalist to captive in an alternative timeline was challenging to say the least.

As was discovering her long-lost family, the Clan, were world-skipping assassins.

Now civil war rages in her adopted home, she's pregnant with the heir to their throne and a splinter-group want her on their side of a desperate power struggle. But as a leader or figurehead?

Meanwhile, unknown to the Clan, the US government is more...

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HAMMER OF ANGELS
In G. T. Almasi's thrilling alternate reality, the United States, the USSR, and the Republic of China share a fragile balance of power with Greater Germany, which emerged from World War II in control of Europe and half of the Middle East. To avoid nuclear Armageddon, the four superpowers pursue their ambitions with elite spies known as Levels, who are modified with mechanical and chemical enhancements.

Click here for details or to orderHAMMER OF ANGELS
by G. T. Almasi


Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, code-named Scarlet, is a kick-ass superheroine with killer Mods and an attitude to match. She's considered one of America's top Levels, even though her last mission nearly precipitated World War III. So now Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin, have been sent to Greater Germany to help sow the seeds of anarchy and prevent Germany's defection to Russia and China.

But where Scarlet goes, chaos follows-and when her mission takes an unexpected turn, she and Darwin must go ever deeper into enemy territory. As Scarlet grapples with a troubling attraction to her new partner, explosive information comes to light about the German cloning program and one of its prisoners-a legendary American Level who just happens to be Scarlet's father. 


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SUPERHEROES
Click here for details or to orderPREPARE TO DIE!
by Paul Tobin


Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams.

Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy's life. Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his arch-nemesis Octagon and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs and prepare to die.

Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world's greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was . . . and the girl he never forgot.

Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Prepare to Die! is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.

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SPACE OPERA
Click here for details or to orderCALIBAN'S WAR
by James S. A. Corey


For someone who didn't intend to wreck the solar system's fragile balance of power, Jim Holden did a pretty good job of it.

While Earth and Mars have stopped shooting each other, the core alliance is shattered. The outer planets and the Belt are uncertain in their new - possibly temporary - autonomy.

Then, on one of Jupiter's moons, a single super-soldier attacks, slaughtering soldiers of Earth and Mars indiscriminately and reigniting the war.

The race is on to discover whether this is the vanguard of an alien army, or if the danger lies closer to home. 


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CHILDREN OF THE MIND
by Orson Scott Card

EMPIRE OF LIGHT
by Gary Gibson
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The planet Lusitania is home to three sentient species: the Pequeninos, a large colony of humans, and the Hive Queen, brought there by Ender.

But once again the human race has grown fearful: the Starways Congress has gathered a fleet to destroy Lusitania.

Jane, the evolved computer intelligence, can save the three sentient races of Lusitania. She has learned how to move ships outside the more...

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Children of the Mind

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The nova war is spreading as the Emissaries wage a fierce and reckless campaign, encroaching on the area of space occupied by humanity and forcing the Shoal into a desperate retreat.

While Dakota Merrick goes in search of the entity responsible for creating the Maker caches, Corso, left in charge of a fleet of human-piloted Magi ships, finds his authority crumbling in the face of assassination attempts and politically-motivated more...

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GOD'S WAR
by Kameron Hurley
  THE LONG EARTH
by Terry Prachett & Stephen Baxter
  TALES OF MAJIPOOR by Robert Silverberg
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SF ANTHOLOGY
Click here for details or to order 21st CENTURY SCIENCE FICTION
Edited by David G. Hartwell & Patrick Nielsen Hayden

 
This is an enormous anthology - close to 250,000 words - edited by two of the most prestigious and award-winning editors in the SF field, featuring recent stories from some of science fiction's greatest up-and-coming authors, including many award-winners.

David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden have long been recognized as some of the most skilled and trusted arbiters of the field, but Twenty-First Century Science Fiction presents fans' first opportunities to see what their considerable talents come up with together, and also to get a unique perspective on what's coming next in the science fiction field.

The anthology includes authors ranging from bestselling and established favourites to incandescent new talents including Cory Doctorow, Catherynne M. Valente, John Scalzi, Jo Walton, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear, and Peter Watts, and the stories selected include winners and nominees of all of the science fiction field's major awards.  

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SF MASTERWORKS
First published in 1957, WASP is generally regarded as Eric Frank Russell's finest novel, a witty and exciting account of a covert war in the heart of enemy territory.
 
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by Eric Frank Russell


The war had been going on for nearly a year and the Sirian Empire had a huge advantage in personnel and equipment.

Earth needed an edge. Which was where James Mowry came in.

If a small insect buzzing around in a car could so distract the driver as to cause that vehicle to crash, think what havoc one properly trained operative could wreak on an unsuspecting enemy.
Intensively trained, his appearance surgically altered, James Mowry is landed on Jaimec, the 94th planet of the Sirian Empire.

His mission is simple: sap morale, cause mayhem, tie up resources, wage a one-man war on a planet of eighty million.

In short, be a wasp.

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STAR WARS
Click here for details or to orderINTO THE VOID
by Tim Lebbon

 
On the planet Tython, the ancient Je'daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force-and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples.

But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je'daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy.

Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je'daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key-risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system.

But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation, is the decision of her Je'daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it.

Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved-and whose life she must now fear.

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Click here for details or to orderANNIHILATION
by Drew Karpyshyn

 
The Sith Empire is in flux. The Emperor is missing, presumed dead, and an ambitious Sith lord's attempt to seize the throne has ended fatally. Still, Darth Karrid, commander of the fearsome Imperial battle cruiser Ascendant Spear, continues her relentless efforts to achieve total Sith domination of the galaxy.

But Karrid's ruthless determination is more than matched in the steely resolve of Theron Shan, whose unfinished business with the Empire could change the course of the war for good. Though the son of a Jedi master, Theron does not wield the Force-but like his renowned mother, the spirit of rebellion is in his blood. As a top covert agent for the Republic, he struck a crucial blow against the Empire by exposing and destroying a Sith superweapon arsenal-which makes him the ideal operative for a daring and dangerous mission to end Ascendant Spear's reign of terror.

Joined by hot-headed smuggler Teff'ith, with whom he has an inexplicable bond, and wise Jedi warrior Gnost-Dural, Darth Karrid's former master, Theron must match wits and weapons with a battle-tested crew of the most cold-blooded dark side disciples. But time is brutally short. And if they don't seize their one chance to succeed, they will surely have countless opportunities to die.

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WARHAMMER 40K
ANGEL OF FIRE
by William King

FIST OF DEMETRIUS
by William King
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At the dawn of the forty-first millennium, Lord Commander Macharius and his forces embark upon the re-conquest of over a thousand worlds.

A man of steel and fire, Macharius is the only one with the will to lead the massed armies of the Imperium to victory.

As the crusade rolls onwards, it reaches the world of Karsk. In the city of Irongrad, the Imperial forces face the crusade's end, unless Macharius and his army can defeat the dreaded Angel of Fire.

What ancient perils may yet lie outside the Imperium and the dominion of mankind?

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As the crusade reaches its apex, Lord Solar Macharius is drawn by a prophecy to the world of Demetrius in search of an ancient artefact - the Fist of Demetrius.

Rumours and legends abound of the artefact's providence as a weapon of a primarch, the lords of the Horus Heresy.

With it, Macharius believes his success and victory is assured but others crave this potent weapon, and the dark eldar will do anything to obtain it.

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SOUL DRINKERS: REDEMPTION
by Ben Counter

SOUL DRINKERS: ANNIHILATION
by Ben Counter
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Genetically engineered superhumans, the Space Marines stand foremost among the warriors who protect the Imperium of Man.

The Soul Drinkers have served the Emperor loyally for thousands of years, but their obsessive desire to retrieve an ancient relic throws them into conflict with those they are honour-bound to obey.

Faced with an impossible choice, will this proud and noble Chapter back down, or rebel to forge a more...

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Soul Drinkers: Redemption

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The renegade Soul Drinkers continue their misguided campaign to free mankind from the tyranny of the Imperium in this second trilogy of novels by Ben Counter.

In Chapter War, the Soul Drinkers, harried by loyalist Space Marines, fall into the grip of a devastating civil war.

Hellforged sees the Chapter fleeing into the mysterious Veiled Regions where they encounter a new threat - the necrons. As they battle the undying aliens, the Soul more...

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Soul Drinkers: Annihilation

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JACK CAMPBELL ANSWERS TEN TERRIFYING QUESTIONS
Click here for more details or to order 1. To begin with why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself - where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Many places.  My father was in the Navy for most of my growing up years, and that meant frequent moves for the family as he was transferred to new duty stations.  I was born in Virginia, and grew up in Florida (briefly), Nebraska, Kansas, various places in California, and on Midway Island.  After my father retired from the Navy, we moved back to Kansas again.  Naturally, I went to schools in all of those places, where the number of students varied from several hundred at the California schools to a few dozen on Midway.  I graduated from high school in Lyons, Kansas, then went off to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  It was the sort of life familiar to children in all military families.  Sometimes it feels odd to realize that my children have only grown up in one state and lived in one house for most of their lives. 

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At twelve, I had no idea.  Looking back, it's as if I was deliberately avoiding thinking about what my future might hold.  There were plenty of impossible daydreams, which I suppose were the foundations of the writer I eventually became, but I didn't see the daydreams in those terms. 

Click here for more details or to order At seventeen, I took one of those tests at school that was supposed to determine what sort of job you were most interested in.  I was accused of not having taken the test seriously, of having just plopped down random answers, because my interests were all over the place.  I was considerably unhappy with that accusation because I had done my best.  The problem was that there so many things I found interesting that the test couldn't handle it.  But at some point in there I decided that I would go for the US Navy.  Why?  I think underneath it all there were two reasons.  The first was that I wanted to make sure I didn't settle into a comfortable box.  I knew the Navy would make me do things I would never pursue on my own.  The second reason was related to the first.  I wanted to see and experience and learn a lot more, and the Navy looked like a challenging way to do that. (Little did I realize how challenging it would be.) 

At thirty?  When I hit thirty I was Operations Officer at the Navy Anti-Terrorism Center.  We were making a difference.  I was making a difference.  I was working with great people, I had good friends, I had good bosses, I was using my head to come up with new things and help deal with a very serious problem.  It wasn't perfect, but that was what I wanted to be then, and I had it.  I was playing around with writing at the time, too, but the job didn't leave much opportunity for it.  Since you never spend too long at a job in the Navy, though, I transferred out a couple of years later and started thinking about what I really wanted long term.  That turned out to be writing.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

At eighteen I was pretty certain that I knew the simple answers to all of the complicated questions.  You need this?  Just do that!  Simple.  In the years since, I have gradually learned that even simple questions often have complicated answers, and that every answer has to be looked at in terms of both immediate and long-term impacts.  I think Clausewitz put it best - "Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. "  It's not just true of war.  That's how everything is.  At eighteen, I saw the first part, that everything was really simple.  It took a lot of experience (some painful) to figure out the truth behind the second part.  I think this is what Douglas Adams was jokingly referring to in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when the Deep Thought computer proclaimed the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything was forty-two.  Simple!  But figuring out what the simple answer means will be pretty darned difficult.

4. What were three works of art - book or painting or piece of music, etc - you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced your own development as a writer?

This took a lot of thought, because those influences were so long ago for me.  The first (and I do believe this is a work of art) was the movie Mary Poppins .  I was pretty young when it came out, but I remember being enthralled not by the special effects or the animation or the jokes, but by the story and how all of the elements of the movie came together to create an amazing synergy (though it would be decades before I learned the word synergy).  That movie was where I first really noticed choreography, as the chimney sweeps danced across the roof tops of London.  It was the first time I realized that humor and pathos could be in the same story and reinforce each other rather than clashing.  For the first time, I saw how songs could be part of the story, not simply ornamentation or interruptions, but actually showing and telling important things.  And, even at that very young age, I could tell that Mary Poppins could have been a simple story, simply told, but that instead everyone involved had worked to create something of marvelous complexity underneath the apparently straightforward surface of the movie.  Thanks to my own children and VCRs, DVDs and other media, I've seen that movie now hundreds of times, and I'm still spotting things I hadn't noticed before.

The second was, I think, a song.  The mid-to-late 1960s produced a lot of great music, and because I was living on Midway Island at the time (with one TV station that only operated a few hours a day usually), music made up a great part of my life then.  The song that stands out for me is Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence .  I didn't know what the lyrics meant, I didn't know the song had been written in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy's assassination.  I just knew that the lyrics opened up images and ideas and possibilities that kept me listening to it over and over again.  Did I resolve in those days to try to reach others with my words as the narrator of the song does?  I can't remember.  But the song resonates with me to this day, as I think of the need to fight silence in all of its forms.

Finally, there was (perhaps inevitably) The Lord of the Rings .  Here was an imaginary world with a past that felt real, a past that deeply influenced the characters and events.  It was history, and fiction, and myth, all of in the service of an epic story.  I had always loved history.  I had been reading science fiction and fantasy for some time.  But it was The Lord of the Rings that showed me how much depth a story could have, how ancient myths could be mined for stories that modern readers could love.  When strong female characters were still hard to find in literature, there was Eowyn standing firm and declaring "I am no man" before defeating the most awful of the Dark Lord's minions.  At a time when science fiction was abandoning the idea of story-telling in favor of literary experimentation, and fantasy was quickly shifting to churning out clones of The Lord of the Rings, I wanted to write SF that held the kind of grand story found in The Lord of the Rings, something built on old myths that felt new.  It took me quite a while, and opinions will vary as to how well I succeeded, but it was Tolkien who put the idea in my head.

5. Considering the innumerable artistic avenues open to you, why did you choose to write a novel?

I can't honestly say that I chose to write a novel.  It's more accurate to say that I had to write a novel.  It is probably the same for musicians or sculptors or painters.  They do what they do because something inside of them wants to do that, and it is something that they can do.  Anyone who creates wants to create, needs to create.  I love music, but I can't make music very well.  My voice and my fingers can't do it.  I draw sometimes and enjoy that, but my hands cannot create images that come close to what I see in my mind.   With writing, though, I feel like the words come out and onto the page, and they say what I want to say, and they create the images I want to share, and the stories are the stories I want to tell.  I write because I'm a writer.  And because I'm a writer, I wrote a novel.  It's as simple (and as complicated) as that.

Click here for more details or to order6. Please tell us about your latest novel The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier - Guardian

The main character is a man who was thought to have died a century before in the first, surprise attack by the Syndicate Worlds on the Alliance.  In the decades after that, as the Alliance sought to bolster morale, it elevated "Black Jack" Geary to the status of its greatest hero, and over time the legend arose that Black Jack would someday return to save the Alliance.  In fact, he wasn't dead, but drifting, frozen in survival sleep in a damaged escape pod.  Once found and revived, Geary found himself thrust into the role of the hero everyone needed, someone he didn't think was him, but was forced to try to live up to that legend in order to save those who depended upon him and believed in him. 

In the original Lost Fleet series, Geary managed to save the trapped Alliance fleet and end the century-long war with the Syndicate Worlds.  But, in the aftermath of the war, tremendous challenges still face him.  Geary has led the Alliance fleet far beyond human-occupied space and found two new alien species, one hostile and one a possible ally.  He has with him representatives of one of those species, and a captured warship from the other species that could be the most valuable object in human history.  To get his fleet home he has to counter attempts by the Syndicate government to reconquer the Midway Star System, then face a perilous journey back to the Alliance through Syndicate territory.  But the Syndicate Worlds has been busy spreading dissent and unrest through the Alliance, which won the war but is reeling from the cost of victory. 


Geary doesn't know what the aliens are thinking, what the Syndics will do, or whether the Alliance will survive.  But everyone is counting on him to once again save the day, except for those who see him as an obstacle to their own ambitions.

Click here for more details or to buy7. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

I hope they have been entertained by the stories, which usually contain at least one idea which I think is worth thinking about.  The Lost Fleet series is about a military strained to the breaking point by a century-long war, the ways that war has twisted them from their original beliefs, and how they try to regain the things they once believed in with the help of a hero from the past who doesn't consider himself a hero.  Just what makes a hero, and is the hero they want the hero they actually need?  I try to convey a true sense of military culture, not a cartoonish one, so those who haven't served can see it from the inside.  I also try to show realism in space, in how ships would actually maneuver and fight given the immense distances involved, and the lack of any up or down.  These things are real factors which heavily influence the story. 

In Guardian, winning the war has left the Alliance in only slightly better condition than the losers.  The losers may have signed a peace treaty but that isn't stopping them from continuing to strike at the Alliance by other means.  The Alliance is still coming to grips with the true price of the war, and those who fought in the war are now feeling cast aside, the sudden end to massive military spending and uncounted numbers of veterans flooding the job market is hitting the economies of every star system, and people who were looking for scapegoats to explain why the war hadn't been won are now looking for scapegoats to blame for a victory that doesn't feel very triumphant.  Perhaps the biggest thing I would like readers to take away from the work is the belief that there is always hope as long as good people try their best on behalf of others.

Click here for details or to order 8. Whom do you most admire in the realm of writing and why?

A few years back a very great writer named Poul Anderson died.  He had an amazing way with words.  Every time I think I'm starting to figure out how to write, I take a look back at something that Anderson wrote and instead think "I'll never be able to write this well."

I admire Edgar Rice Burroughs, even though his stories break nearly ever rule in the book.  Burroughs didn't worry much about plausibility, or continuity, or creating complex characters, or any other thing you would think necessary to a story.  He frequently used amazing coincidences to keep his stories going.  Yet, his stories are great as stories.  Even while the reader is saying "oh, come on," you also say "what happens next," and still want to keep reading.  He's the perfect example of someone who was all about the story, and knew how to tell it so well that nothing else mattered.
 
I really like Leigh Brackett as well.  She could do story and she could do atmosphere and she could do characters.  It was her work that made The Empire Strikes Back the best of the Star Wars films.  I think she was a great writer because of the ideas she came up with and the way she told stories.  I consider my novelette Lady Be Good (which won the AnLab award in 2006) to be a tribute to Leigh Brackett.

9. Many artists set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

Believe it or not, my goal is to tell stories that people want to read (or listen to, or maybe someday watch).  I want people to read my books not because they are supposed to, but because they want to.  And then want to read another.  I want them to believe my characters are real, to see them as the actual people I see them as.  I want them to care about my characters, and to care about what happens.  I want to write stories that help people escape for a little while into a different place where they can imagine being part of the story.  I want people to have fun, and think, and sometimes feel touched, and want to read more.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Read and write.  Read all that you can, in many different genres.  Learn what others have thought, how they write, how they portray events and characters, how they build worlds.  And write.  It's easy to think about writing, but the only way to learn how to write is to write.  Write what you like, not what you think you should write, and keep at it.  There are a lot of other suggestions that people make about how to write and how to succeed at writing, but every writer is different, and what works for one will be different from what works for other people.  Try it all out, and see what fits.  But the basics are to read and to keep writing.  If you don't do those, nothing else will help.
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BESTSELLERS
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ASSASSIN'S DAWN
By Stephen Leigh

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Neweden is a world whose gods are death and fate, and it's here that the Hoorka have arisen: a guild of assassins, whose single law is that the victim must always retain a tiny but finite chance of escape.

If the victim can survive until dawn, they may go free.

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DOCTOR WHO WHO-OLOGY
THE OFFICIAL MISCELLANY


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Do you know your Sontarans from your Silurians? What are the 40 best ways to defeat a Dalek? What are the galactic coordinates of Gallifrey? Test your knowledge of the last Time Lord and the worlds he's visited in Who-ology, an unforgettable journey through 50 years of Doctor Who.

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STAR TREK
Looking forward to the new movie? Get your preorder in now for the prequel graphic novel. And the novelisation of the movie by science fiction master Alan Dean Foster.
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Preorder the official prequel novel to the forthcoming science fiction action film 'After Earth '. Want to know why there is an 'After Earth' this is the book that will tell you.

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