Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond edited by John Joseph Adams & Douglas Cohen. 47North, $14.95, 380pp, tp, 9781611099041. Fantasy anthology.
Some are dystopian… Some are dreamlike… All are undeniably Oz.
Collecting Oz-inspired stories from today’s top sci-fi and fantasy writers, renowned editors John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have created a brilliant homage to L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In this anthology, Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond, the adventures of Dorothy and her unforgettable friends are refashioned and transformed in radical ways–to new times, new places, and even new dimensions, all while remaining true to the spirit of Oz. This collection includes a Foreword by the bestselling author of Wicked, Gregory Maguire, and stories by Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Seanan McGuire, Jane Yolen, Simon R. Green, Ken Liu, Jonathan Maberry, David Farland, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Rachel Swirsky, Kat Howard, Dale Bailey, Robin Wasserman, and Rae Carson & C.C. Finlay.
Adams is the editor of the magazines Lightspeed and Nightmare, and has edited numerous bestselling anthologies, including Wastelands and The Living Dead. Cohen is the former editor of the acclaimed magazine, Realms of Fantasy.
Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian. (a Midnight Breed novel), Delacorte, $25.00, 288pp, hc, 9780345532602. Fantasy.
In her pulse-pounding new novel Edge of Dawn, New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian returns to the mesmerizing world of the Midnight Breed, following new characters into a dark future where an uneasy peace might devolve into war–and a great betrayal may destroy an all-consuming love.
Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn–when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them–the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight comes at an intensely personal cost.
Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift–and even lethal–justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture; but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.
Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again–or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels to intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides–between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts.
The Children of Kings by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross. (a novel of Darkover), DAW, $24.95, 400pp, hc, 9780756407971. Science fiction.
Although the Terran Federation has departed Darkover due to a nasty interstellar civil war, the planet’s location in the galactic arm makes it a prime hideout for smugglers, rebels, and other refugees. When smugglers start arming the warlike Dry Towners with forbidden weapons, Gareth Elhalyn, grandson of Regis Hastur and heir to the throne, takes off on a secret mission to stop them.
Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill. Harper Voyager, $24.99, 433pp, hc, 9780062190420. Fantasy.
Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill, on sale February 26, has already taken the critical world by storm, with two starred reviews, a spot on Publishers Weekly‘s Top 10 list of most highly anticipated science fiction/fantasy titles of the season, and top-rated picks from both io9.com and Amazon, and it promises to do the same for readers. Part Neil Gaiman, part Guillermo Del Toro, part Lev Grossman, Dreams and Shadows examines the magic and monsters in our world, and in ourselves.
Austin native Cargill’s star is on the rise. After 10 years as a film critic for Ain’t It Cool News under the handle “Massawyrm,” Cargill co-wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed horror movie Sinister, which stars Ethan Hawke and opened at #3 at the box office, and has now turned his hand to fantasy with his debut novel, Dreams and Shadows. Cargill takes beloved fantasy tropes and gives them a new twist, resulting in a witty, wry, and sometimes frightening take on the clash between the fairy world and our own.
Alternating between the bars and back alleys of modern Austin to the shimmering, seedy Otherworld that exists at its edges, using what Publishers Weekly calls “an unhurried, totally immersive storyteller style,” Cargill spins a tale of two boys whose paths entwine with those of the fey. Those ties follow them to adulthood, casting a pall over their lives, changing their destinies irrevocably. Ewan, a dreamy musician, rides the wave of first, and too-good-to-be-true, love with no memory of his youth beyond the veil. After years of traveling the world seeing much of the light and all of the dark it has to offer, Colby settles in Austin to be near his friend, working in a mysterious bookshop by day and swilling whiskey with djinn, wizards, and the like by night.
But the fey have no plans to leave the young men alone, for once they have been touched by the Limestone Kingdom, their fates become inevitable.
How Dark the World Becomes by Frank Chadwick. Baen, $14.00, 315pp, tp, 9781451638707. Science fiction.
An Addictive Taste of Freedom
Sasha Naradnyon is a gangster. He’s a gangster with heart, sure, but Sasha sticks his neck out for no man. That’s how you stay alive in Crack City, a colony stuffed deep into the crust of the otherwise unlivable planet Peezgtaan. Alive only–because if you’re human, you don’t prosper, at least not for long. Sasha is a second generation City native. His parents came to this rock figuring to make it big, only to find that they’d been recruited as an indentured labor force for alien overlords known as the Varoki.
Now a pair of rich young Varoki under the care of a beautiful human nanny are fleeing Peezgtaan, and Sasha is recruited to help. He’d prefer to leave the little alien lordlings to their fate, but certain considerations–such as Sasha’s own imminent demise if he remains–make it beneficial for him to take on the job.
Sasha discovers his simple choice has thrust him in the midst of a political battle that could remake the galactic balance of power and save humanity from slow death by servitude. Now all he has to do is survive and keep his charges alive on a hostile planet undergoing its own revolution.
But it’s the galaxy that had better watch out. For now the toughest thug in Crack City has gotten his first taste of real freedom. He likes it, and he wants more.
Intruder by C.J. Cherryh. (a Foreigner novel), DAW, $7.99, 373pp, pb, 9780756407933. Science fiction.
Bren Cameron has been put in the precarious position of representing bitter adversaries to the congress, and is becoming embroiled with both conservative and liberal factions. But political squabbles are the least of Bren’s worries as the Shadow Guild continues to wreak havoc within the immensely dangerous Assassins’ Guild.
Garrett for Hire by Glen Cook. Roc, $17.00, 870pp, tp, 9780451464958. Fantasy.
In a new compilation by the father of urban fantasy, Glen Cook, Garrett for Hire, is a collection of the seventh, eighth, and ninth novels in Cook’s popular Garrett, P.I. series. Garrett, P.I. is a hardboiled human detective who stands out in a crowd of elves, trolls, and other otherworldly denizens in the magical city of TunFaire.
In Deadly Quicksilver Lies, someone has barged in on Garrett, the hardboiled human detective in a fantasy world, with tales of sex, intrigue and murder. The mystery and danger come full force when a rich woman wants Garrett to find her missing daughter–or does she want him as a hit man? Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
In Petty Pewter Gods, there are some new gods in the town of TunFaire, but temple real estate on the Street of Dreams is at a premium. So the big gods on the block issue a challenge–find the “key” to the one temple still available. When two rival pantheons try to hire Garrett, he knows he’s in for it.
In Faded Steel Heat, riots between humans and trolls, elves, and other non-humans have plunged TunFaire into near chaos. Garrett finds himself pulled into the game when a powerful gang of human rightists tries to shake down his employer and ends up caught in a conspiracy of hate that pits man against everybody!
Garrett for Hire offers fans of the genre a chance to dip into the long-running and popular series, a forerunner of urban fantasy, and gives readers of the Garrett, P.I. series more of the incredible fantasy noir they’ve enjoyed for years.
Sixth Column by Robert A. Heinlein. Baen, $7.99, 254pp, pb, 9781451638721. Science fiction.
Six to Save a Nation
Robert A. Heinlein’s classic novel of America under the heel of the invader.
One by one, the Free Nations had fallen, until America stood alone against the World. Then, as researchers toiled desperately to complete work on a weapon that might yet turn the tide of battle, she too fell.
Now, though scattered resistance flares throughout our continent, the only real hope resides in a mountain redoubt where six men work in secret on a plan to rock the planet…
Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon. Pocket, $7.99, 452pp, pb, 9781451645651. Media tie-in.
Deckard Cain is the last of the Horadrim, the sole surviving member of a mysterious and legendary order. Assembled by the archangel Tyrael, the Horadrim were charged with the sacred duty of seeking out and vanquishing the three Prime Evils: Diablo (the Lord of Terror), Mephisto (the Lord of Hatred), and Baal (the Lord of Destruction). But that was many years ago. As the decades passed, the Horadrim’s strength diminished, and they fell into obscurity. Now all of their collected history, tactics, and wisdom lie within the aged hands of one man. A man who is growing concerned.
Dark whisperings have begun to fill the air, tales of ancient evil stirring, rumblings of a demonic invasion set to tear the land apart.
Amid the mounting dread, Deckard Cain uncovers startling new information that could bring about the salvation–or ruin–of the mortal world: other remnants of the Horadrim still exist. He must unravel where they have been and why they are hiding from one of their own.
As Cain searches for the lost members of his order, he is thrust into an alliance with an unlikely ally: Leah, an eight-year-old girl feared by many to carry a diabolical curse. What is her secret? How is it tied to the prophesied End of Days? And if there are other living Horadrim, will they be able to stand against oblivion? These are the questions Deckard Cain must answer…
…before it is too late.
Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction: A Critical Study by Carlen Lavigne. McFarland, $40, 212pp, tp, 9780786466535. Non-fiction.
This analysis of cyberpunk science fiction written between 1981 and 2003 positions women’s cyberpunk in the larger cultural discussion of feminist issues. It traces the origins of the genre, reviews critical reactions, and outlines the ways in which women’s cyberpunk advances specifically feminist points of view. Novels are examined within their cultural contexts; their content is compared to broader controversies within contemporary feminism, and their themes are revealed as reflections of feminist discourse at the end of the 20th century.
Chapters cover topics such as globalization, virtual reality, cyborg culture, environmentalism, religion, motherhood and queer rights. Firsthand interviews with feminist cyberpunk authors are provided, revealing both their motivations for writing and their experiences with fans. The study treats feminist cyberpunk as a unique vehicle for examining contemporary women’s issues and analyzes feminist science fiction as a complex source of political ideas.
Crogian by John Leahy. Necro, $12.95, 250pp, tp, 9781478224891. Sci-Fi/Horror.
In a remote Alaskan creek the U.S. Air Force unearth the find of the millennium. Little do they know that the mysterious discovery will lead them to something that will unleash a terrifying nightmare upon Earth…
The military is moving into the abandoned chemical plant next to Ken Forde’s farm. But the military isn’t the only new arrival in Speaker. A weird, frazzled stranger is keeping a close eye on the plant, as well.
What could possibly be going in there?
Unfortunately, Ken and the rest of world will soon find out…
Crogian: a highly secret military project that has gone horribly wrong unleashing an apocalyptic blight on the world.
Ken and all the residents of Speaker awake to a nightmarish landscape. Cut off from civilization and any help, they must make their way to Houston and sanctuary–a journey through stifling heat, and a route filled with giant abominable creatures.
Who will make it to Houston?
Who will survive the horror that is… Crogian.
The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello. Bantam, $26.00, 500pp, hc, 9780553807806. Thriller.
On March 5, 2013, Bantam Books will publish the latest thriller from bestselling author Robert Masello, The Romanov Cross. Revisiting the rise of Rasputin, downfall of the Romanov family during the First World War, and the mystery shrouding the fate of Anastasia, Masello meticulously weaves an enthralling story bridged by almost a century of history that blends the best that medical thrillers, history, and ghost stories have to offer.
After being court-martialed, Army epidemiologist Frank Slater’s punishment is mysteriously lifted. He has been tasked to do a job no one else wants–travel to a small island off the coast of Alaska and investigate a potentially lethal phenomenon: The permafrost has begun to melt, exposing bodies from a colony that was wiped out by the dreaded Spanish flu of 1918. Frank must determine if the thawed remains still carry the deadly virus in their frozen flesh and, if so, ensure that it doesn’t come back to life.
The island was once settled by a sect devoted to the infamous Rasputin and is directly connected to the fall of the Romanov family, the mysterious fate of Anastasia, and the violent murder of the Mad Monk himself. But there is even more hiding in the past than Frank’s team is aware of and they will have to push the limits of their trust and reliance on technology and science and embrace the native Inuit culture in order to forestall a potentially catastrophic biological disaster.
The Romanov Cross is at once an alternate take on one of history’s most profound mysteries, a love story as unlikely as it is inevitable, and a thriller of heart-stopping, supernatural suspense. With his signature blend of fascinating history and fantastic imagination, critically acclaimed author Robert Masello has once again crafted a terrifying story of past events coming back to haunt the present day… and of dark deeds aching to be unearthed.
The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey and Mercedes Lackey. Baen, $14.00, 264pp, tp, 9781451638738. Science fiction.
Set in the same universe as The Ship Who Sang, The Ship Who Searched tells the story of a shellperson and her search for a star-faring race whose artifacts are scattered throughout the galaxy, but whose fate is a mystery.
It all began when Tia Cade, a bright and spunky seven-year old accompanying her exo-archaeologist parents, was afflicted by a mysterious neural disorder, one whose progressing symptoms finally permit her no life at all outside of some total mechanical support system. But like The Ship Who Sang, Tia won’t be satisfied to glide through life like a ghost in a glorified wheelchair. Like Helva, Tia is going to strap on a spaceship!
But Tia has also set herself on a special mission: to seek out whatever it was on the planet that laid her low, to come to understand and then eliminate it–so that no other little girl will ever suffer the fate of The Ship Who Searched.
Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire. (an InCryptid novel), DAW, $7.99, 353pp, pb, 9780756407926. Fantasy.
Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, Verity Price would rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon. But when her on-again, off-again boyfriend Dominic De Luca informs her that the Covenant of St. George is on their way to assess the city’s readiness for a cryptid purge, Verity knows that everything she loves is on the line. Alliances will be tested, lives will be lost, and the talking mice in Verity’s apartment will immortalize everything as holy write–assuming there’s anyone left standing when all is said and done. It’s a midnight blue-light special, and the sales of the day is on betrayal, deceit… and carnage.
Footprints of the Soul by B.J. Mitchell. Viewpoint, $18.50, 198pp, tp, 9780943962092. Fiction.
What if… at the end of our time on this Earth, it is really just the beginning?
Frank Herbert, a self-made millionaire, is accustomed to buying whatever he wants whenever he wants it. He’s totally focused on his own needs. Even though he grew up poor, he now thinks little of his world or others in it. When he is told by his doctor that he is suffering from incurable cancer and that all his money cannot save him, he finds himself completely helpless, without resources, without power, and very scared. His doctor, though, knows of an unusual clinic in the mountains that has had some successes with terminal cancer cases and manages to get Frank admitted. At the clinic Frank learns about a philosophical view of life that is totally new to him, which gives him hope that this Earth is not the only place where life exists. His journey into the afterlife is an exciting adventure–ony you will not soon forget.
Man-Kzin Wars XIII created by Larry Niven. Baen, $7.99, 529pp, pb, 9781451638943. Science fiction.
If at first you don’t succeed, scream and leap…
After centuries as conquerors, the heroes of the felinesque kzin were not amused when those bizarre monkey descendants called “humans” stopped the kzin war machine in its tracks. But they were certain that sooner or later they would find the fatal flaw in the leaf-eaters’ makeup and the kzin’s manifest destiny would be back on schedule. Of course, someone needs to tell the humans that. In the meantime, here are seven new dispatches form the most popular war in science fiction, including:
* The kzin ship was heading for a promising-looking planet when they received a communication from two bizarre creatures, who stated that the planet’s inhabitants could escape by going back in time. Were they bluffing?
* The biologist was excited to be assigned to study a kzin captive, but hadn’t expected that she would have more in common with the prisoner than with her human superior.
* A desperate mission had captured kzin cubs, who were to be raised among humans, becoming loyal to them. That was the plan, but would nature prove stronger than nurture?
Plus four more stories of clashes between kzin warcats and clawless but deadly human in the popular series created by New York Times best-selling author Larry Niven.
[Contributors: Hal Colebatch & Jessica Q. Fox; Jane Lindskold; Charles E. Gannon; Alex Hernandez; and David Bartell.]
The Iron Breed by Andre Norton. Baen, $12.00, 442pp, tp, 9781451638585. Science fiction.
Not all People are Human
The invaders are here; and they call themselves humans. Two popular Andre Norton science fiction adventure novels in one omnibus volume.
Iron Cage: Johnny has always loved and been protected by the People, the bearlike inhabitants of the planet he calls home. But when a starship arrives carrying Johnny’s original species, humans–humans who seek to exploit the People for their own ends–Johnny is forced to choose between loyalty to the creatures he considers his family, and the need to reconnect with his long lost heritage.
Breed to Come: On a distant future Earth, humans have polluted the planet and departed, leaving their pets behind to inherit a wrecked world. But from the devastated past, a new breed of intelligence arises: the catlike People. Now humans are returning and the People are in no mood to deal once again with the “demons” who abandoned them to fate so long ago.
Pathfinder Tales: Liar’s Blade by Tim Pratt. Paizo, $9.99, 384pp, pb, 9781601255150. Fantasy.
Bastard and Sword
With strength, wit, rakish charm, and a talking sword named Hrym, Rodrick has all the makings of a classic hero–except for the conscience. Instead, he and Hrym live a high life as scoundrels, pulling cons and parting the weak from their gold. When a mysterious woman invites them along on a quest into the frozen north in pursuit of a legendary artifact, it seems like a prime opportunity to make some easy coin–especially if there’s a chance for a double-cross. Along with a hooded priest and a half-elven tracker, the team sets forth into a land of monsters, bandits, and ancient magic. As the miles wear on, however, Rodrick’s companions behin acting steadily stranger, leading both man and sword to wonder what exactly they’ve gotten themselves into…
From Hugo Award winner Tim Pratt, author of City of the Fallen Sky, comes a bold tale of ice magic and situational ethics set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
The Shadow Wars by Rod Rees. (Book Two in The Demi-Monde Saga), William Morrow, $14.99, 550pp, tp, 9780062070371. Fiction/Dystopian.
Rod Rees’s riveting dystopian saga continues in The Shadow Wars, the spellbinding sequel to The Demi-Monde.
First Daughter Norma Williams is stranded in the sinister cyber-world of the not-so-distant future called the Demi-Monde, a world inhabited by some of history’s most menacing villains and where nothing is as it seems. Norma knows she was a fool to be lured into this virtual nightmare of a world, and when the agent sent in the game to save her goes rogue and a long forgotten evil is awoken, it falls to Norma to lead the resistance.
As the shadows of war grow ever darker across the Demi-Monde and Norma is betrayed by those she thought were friends, she must helm the battle against a terrifying force if she wants to survive.
Lost, without a plan, and with the army of the ForthRight marching ever closer, she must come to terms with terrible new responsibilities and with the knowledge that those she thought were her friends are now her enemies. To triumph in this surreal cyber-world she must be more than she ever believed she could be… or perish.
Skillfully written and highly imaginative, The Shadow Wars blends elements of steampunk with science fiction in an adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat and captivated until the very end.
The Books of Barakhai by Mickey Zucker Reichert. DAW, $8.99, 504pp, pb, 9780756408381. Fantasy.
Benton Collins was a graduate student working in the bio lab to earn his way to his degree. When a white lab rate somehow managed to escape its cage, Ben found himself chasing the rat into a storeroom that would ultimately lead him through a secret gateway into the realm called Barakhai. And Barakhai, Ben’s life would be forever changed, for this was a place peopled by inadvertent shapeshifters, humans forced to spend half their day–or night–in animal form.
Not everyone was happy with the life in Barakhai, a life where the general population was ruled by those few humans of royal blood, all of whom remained in their human form and were virtual dictators.
Ben, by virtue of being born on Earth, was not a shapeshifter either. And a rebel named Zylas hoped that Ben could become the instrument to turn Barakhai around. So Zylas and his comrade rescued Ben from certain death.
But if Ben agreed to join their cause, would he ever be allowed to return to his own world again?
The Books of Barakhai includes The Beasts of Barakhai and The Lost Dragons of Barakhai.
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz. Del Rey, $25.00, 342pp, hc, 9780345545077. Fantasy.
Leave it to Chance. Eleanor “Elle” Chance, that is–the intrepid heroine of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
In a Golden Age where spark reactors power the airways, and creatures of Light and Shadow walk openly among us, a deadly game of Alchemists and Warlocks has begun.
When an unusual cargo drags airship-pilot Elle Chance into the affairs of the mysterious Mr. Marsh, she must confront her destiny and do everything in her power to stop the Alchemists from unleashing a magical apocalypse.
Discover the thrilling new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy and paranormal romance into pure storytelling gold.
A Rising Thunder by David Weber. (a new Honor Harrington novel), Baen, $15.00, 470pp, tp, 9781451638714. Science fiction.
Honor Harrington has spent her entire life fighting or preparing to fight the Republic of Haven. Now, she faces a new war where no one knows who the enemy truly is. The thunder is rising, rolling towards the Star Empire Honor serves, and the lightning is furnace hot. But her foes should have remembered… a salamander thrives in the heart of the furnace.