New Releases, Week of February 20th, 2011

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Here’s a list of all of the sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.

Released Monday, February 21st, 2011

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Sausages, by Tom Holt

Polly is a real estate solicitor. She is also losing her mind. Someone keeps drinking her coffee. And talking to her clients. And doing her job. And when she goes to the dry cleaner’s to pick up her dress for the party, it’s not there. Not the dress – the dry cleaner’s.

And then there are the chickens who think they are people. Something strange is definitely going on – and it’s going to take more than a magical ring to sort it out.

From one of the funniest voices in comic fiction today comes a hilarious tale of pigs and parallel worlds.

Released Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The Shadow of the Sun: Volume One of the Way of the Gods, by Barbara Friend Ish

Mercury Retrograde founder Ish debuts with a clumsy but enthusiastic epic fantasy piled high with Celtic-themed fantasy tropes, conventions, and clichés. Disgraced former wizard Ellion has turned away from gods, magic, and conflict. When a power-hungry wizard begins conquest in the name of the old religion, Ellion flees to the Tanaan realms, but assassins pursue him, as does a dynastic crisis. As his allies fall one by one, Ellion is forced to choose between the talents he forswore and the triumph of evil. Ish’s prose is competent without being noteworthy. The grander conflict that drives the book will be familiar to readers, but Ellion gives hints that his eventual solution to his inner conflict—to be resolved in future books—may yet demonstrate a bit of welcome innovation.

The Raven Queen, by Jules Watson

In this dazzling retelling of one of Ireland’s most stirring legends, acclaimed author Jules Watson brings to life the story of Maeve, the raven queen, who is as fierce as she is captivating.

She was born to be a pawn, used to secure her father’s royal hold on his land. She was forced to advance his will through marriage—her own desires always thwarted. But free-spirited Maeve will no longer endure the schemes of her latest husband, Conor, the cunning ruler of Ulster. And when her father’s death puts her homeland at the mercy of its greedy lords and Conor’s forces, Maeve knows she must at last come into her own power to save it.

With secret skill and daring, Maeve proves herself the equal of any warrior on the battlefield. With intelligence and stealth, she learns the strategies—and sacrifices—of ruling a kingdom through treacherous alliances. And to draw on the dangerous magic of her country’s oldest gods, Maeve seeks out the wandering druid Ruan, whose unexpected passion and strange connection to the worlds of spirit imperil everything Maeve thought true about herself—and put her at war with both her duty and her fate.

The Cloud Roads, by Martha Wells

Moon’s world is populated by many different intelligent species (none of them human), and he has never known which one he belongs to. Orphaned at a young age, he’s wandered from tribe to tribe, hiding a dangerous secret. Like the universally hated Fell, whose only aims are slaughter and conquest, Moon can fly—which leads to predictably violent cases of mistaken identity. When he does find his own people, the Raksura, life doesn’t get any easier, since their internal politics are vicious, and they too are in imminent danger from the Fell. Cue hairsbreadth escapes and feats of derring-do, as Moon helps his new family evacuate their doomed colony and then rescues a group of kidnapped children. Wells (The Gate of Gods) merrily ignores genre conventions as she spins an exciting adventure around an alien hero who anyone can identify with.

Center of Gravity: Star Carrier: Book Two, by Ian Douglas

In the evolution of every sentient race, there is a turning point when the species achieves transcendence through technology.

The warlike Sh’daar are determined that this monumental milestone will never be achieved by the creatures known as human.

On the far side of known human space, the Marines are under siege, battling the relentless servant races of the Sh’daar aggressor. With a task force stripped to the bone and the Terran Confederation of States racked by dissent, rogue Admiral Alexander Koenig must make the momentous decision that will seal his fate and the fate of humankind. A strong defensive posture is futile, so Koenig will seize the initiative and turn the gargantuan Star Carrier America toward the unknown. For the element of surprise is the only hope of stalling the Sh’daar assault on Earth’s solar system—and the war for humankind’s survival must be taken directly to the enemy.

Pale Demon (the Hollows, book 9), by Kim Harrison

Harrison’s intriguing ninth Hollows novel (after 2010’s Black Magic Sanction) lives up to the earlier books, which established Harrison as a major urban fantasy player. Witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan needs to get to her brother’s wedding. This leads to an uneasy alliance with her elven frenemy Trent Kalamack, who’s being pushed toward Seattle by a quest. Meanwhile, Jenks the pixy is recovering from the loss of his wife, Matalina, and needs distraction. The result: “A witch, an elf, and a pixy on the Great American Road Trip” through a landscape reworked by magic, facing down terrifying foes en route. Elegant and taut as a gymnast’s cartwheel, Harrison’s polished prose drives a story that will have readers swerving in their seats every time Rachel turns the wheel.

The Remembering: Book Three of the Meq, by Steve Cash

Covering the history of the cold war on a small scale, singer-songwriter Cash concludes his trilogy (after 2005’s The Meq and 2006’s Time Dancers) of immortal near-humans who look 12 years old and possess unusual powers. In 1945, 76-year-old Meq Zianno “Z” Zezen dodges U.S. and Soviet covert agencies as he hunts for the legendary Sixth Stone, which will point the way to the place of gathering where the destiny of the Meq will be revealed. The grief of immortals as their adoptive “families” age and die gives an intimate sense of loss even as larger events (the Nagasaki atomic bombing, the Hungarian revolution, the Kennedy assassination) sweep past. Much more sketchily drawn—or omitted altogether—are the social convulsions of the period, like civil rights, sexual liberation, and the peace movement. Cash’s Southern rock group, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, makes a cameo that will delight fans of his music.

Deus Ex: Icarus Effect, by James Swallow

A thrilling adventure set in the Deus Ex: Human Revolution universe.

IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. BUT YOU CAN SEE IT FROM HERE.

In the near future, with physical augmentation gaining ground and nano-cybernetics only years away, the dawn of limitless human evolution is just beyond the horizon, and a secret corporate cabal of ruthless men intends to make sure that humankind stays under its control. But two people on opposite sides of the world are starting to ask questions that could get them killed.

Secret Service agent Anna Kelso has been suspended for investigating the shooting that claimed her partner’s life. Anna suspects that the head of a bio-augmentation firm was the real target, and against orders she’s turned up a few leads concerning a covert paramilitary force and a cadre of underground hackers. But the cover-up runs deep, and now there’s a target on her back. Meanwhile, Ben Saxon, former SAS officer turned mercenary, joins a shadowy special ops outfit. They say they’re a force for good, but Saxon quickly learns that the truth is not so clear-cut. So begins a dangerous quest to uncover a deadly secret that will take him from Moscow to London, D.C. to Geneva, and to the dark truth—if he lives that long.

The year is 2027; in a world consumed by chaos and conspiracy, two people are set on a collision course with the most powerful and dangerous organization in history—and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.

Dread Island: A Classics Mutilated Tale, by Joe R. Lansdale & Menton Matthews III
Limited to remaining stock on hand! This “Monster Lit” mash-up novella from modern horror master Joe R. Lansdale, a highlight from the recent Classics Mutilated anthology, combines Lovecraft and Mark Twain in a way that can only be described as brilliant. Or, as Lansdale.

Broken Honour (Warhammer), by Robert Earl

The armies of Hochland are at breaking point. Beset on all sides by the feral beastmen, the safety and prosperity of the province is shattered. These are desperate times. Mercenary Captain Eriksson looks to capitalise on the conflict, buying the freedom of a group of prisoners to form a new free company. The criminals are delighted to be released, but this comes at a terrible price – to fight and die in the upcoming conflict. Eriksson must lead his makeshift company into one bloody conflict after another, putting his faith in those who gave up on honour long ago. On the battlefields of Hochland, either damnation or redemption awaits them.

Blood Gorgons (Warhammer: Bastion Wars), by Henry Zou

The Blood Gorgons Chaos Space Marines are called to one of their recruiting worlds as the populace is struck down by a plague of mutation. Sargaul is one of few survivors of the first expeditionary force, and is determined to uncover the mysteries on Haute Bassiq. Facing a hostile environment, shadowy xenos enemies and treachery from within his own forces, Sargaul must dig deep into his hatred and determination to leave the planet alive.

Green-Eyed Demon (Sabrina Kane), by Jaye Wells

Spectacular action scenes fail to balance a needlessly baroque kidnapping plot as vampire-mage crossbreed Sabina Kane (familiar from Red-Headed Stepchild and The Mage in Black) tracks her stolen twin sister to the extravagantly decadent streets of New Orleans. Aided by her demon servant, Giguhl, and handsome mage Adam Lazarus, Sabina must confront her murderous grandmother, the vampire Domina Lavinia, and the evil vampires of the Caste of Nod. Voodoo priestess Zenobia and changeling drag queen Brooks help Sabina untangle the complex alliances and enmities of New Orleans’s supernatural society. An artificially complicated plot and overly contrived humor weigh down this installment, which will only be of interest to series fans.

Savage Scars (Warhammer 40000), by Andy Hoare

Dal’yth. The forces of the Greater Good have established a strangehold on the planet, and the time has come for the Imperium to move against them. The White Scars lead the ground assault against the tau, launching into combat with speed and fury, shedding blood as they gain ground against their enemies. Meanwhile, the members of the Crusade Council are determined to pursue their own agendas, and their politicking and back-stabbing will place the entire war effort in jeopardy. But little do they know that Inquisitor Grand has more extreme measures in mind, and the White Scars must achieve victory quickly or the cost to Dal’yth will be devastating.

Xombies: Apocalypso, by Walter Greatshell
A group of women have been discovered who are immune to the Agent X plague. The secret of their immunity can provide a cure for human and inhuman alike-unless the Xombies find them first. Book three in a series.

Repercussions from the dark side’s fatal seduction of Jacen Solo and the mysterious plague of madness afflicting young Jedi continue to wreak havoc galaxy-wide. Having narrowly escaped the deranged Force worshippers known as the Mind Walkers and a deadly Sith hit squad, Luke and Ben Skywalker are in pursuit of the now Masterless Sith apprentice. It is a chase that leads to the forbidding planet Dathomir, where an enclave of powerful dark side Force-wielders will give Vestara the edge she needs to escape—and where the Skywalkers will be forced into combat for their quarry and their lives.

Meanwhile, Han and Leia have completed their own desperate mission, shuttling madness-stricken Jedi from Coruscant to safe haven in the Transitory Mists and beyond the grasp of Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala. But the bold maneuver has intensified Daala’s fury, and she is determined to shatter Jedi Order resistance once and for all.

Yet no greater threat exists than that which still waits in the depths of the distant Maw Cluster: A being of pure, ravenous dark-side energy named Abeloth calls out across the stars to Jedi and Sith alike. For some it may be the ultimate source of answers crucial to their survival. For others it could be the ultimate weapon of conquest. But for all, it is a game-changing—and life-altering—encounter of untold magnitude and a tactical gambit with unimaginable consequences.

Junks, an evil alien scourge, are flooding Quad-Gal with terror and Combat K are sent on a mission to find an elusive alien retrovirus which can be used against the enemy. SLAM-dropped to Cloneworld – a planet ravaged by violent civil war – not only are Combat K hunted by elite junk assassins, but they get caught in a global conflict between augmented mechanised war machines and genetically modified humans who have the ability to clone themselves. Combat K must fight their way to victory to save the Four Galaxies. But how can they possibly succeed, when their main foe are their own elite and deadly clones?

When Lieutenant Gerald Yamato of the Republic of California Air Force bailed out of his doomed fighter he had no idea he would land in a culture that would forever change his life.
The Dené thought they had won their independence and the war was over. Suddenly they face an advancing Russian army from one direction, a merciless band of mercenaries from another, as well as the remnants of a defeated, angry, Russian army between the Dené and the rest of their people.
Despite assurances by distant, bland diplomats to the contrary, the new Dené Republik has a whole new war on their hands. But they are not alone. The Tlingit Nation shares their struggle, and the USA and the Republic of California vow all the aid they can muster.
But will it be enough and what will it cost?
Alaska Republik is a love story replete with artillery barrages and aerial dog fights that resonates long after the last page. This book is the sequel to Russian Amerika.

On a foggy Monday in 1986, the universe suddenly, without warning, bifurcated. Fast-forward to 35 years later: Felix Sayers is a culinary writer living in San Francisco of Universe A who spends his days lunching at Coconut Café and dreaming of a successful career penning Agatha Christie-style mysteries. But everything changes when his Aunt Henrietta dies, leaving Felix a photograph of his father and himself—dated ten days before Felix was born. It can only mean one thing: Felix has an ‘alter’ in Universe B. In a panic that his mystery novel may have been written already, Felix crosses to San Francisco B and proceeds to flagrantly violate the rules of both worlds by snooping around his alter’s life. But when he narrowly escapes a hit-and-run, it becomes clear that someone knows he’s crossed over… and whoever it is isn’t happy about it. Now Felix must uncover the truth about his alter, the events of one Monday, and a wayward rubber duck before his time in both worlds runs out.

Stauber’s near-future debut describes the romance of Seth Boucher and Clio Somata against the backdrop of a burgeoning revolution against a vastly overreaching U.S. government. Seth is affiliated with Omerta, a security group from the Charlotte Islands; Clio’s family runs Floracopia, a gene-splicing laboratory in Ambrosia Springs, Tex. The U.S. Army wants to know what Omerta is hiding, and Floracopia has a problem with corporate espionage. When the companies’ enemies connect, the action leads to a showdown between the citizens of Texas and the overbearing government agents. Seth, Clio, and their allies are well-realized characters, but their enemies are more melodramatic in nature, and the novel suffers from some inconsistencies. Nonetheless, libertarians will enjoy this story of individuals fighting for their rights against the evil Feds.

Taylor brings the Fallen Moon trilogy to a satisfying conclusion with a chronicle of pitched battles and political intrigue. A week after the events at the end of The Griffin’s Flight, Arenadd Taranisaii—blackrobe destroyer of the Eyrie of Eagleholm, former free Northerner, former slave, and reluctant antihero—sits in a dungeon singing like a madman. Torture is useless against him, as he is kraeai kran ae, a man without a heart. Dedicating himself to the Night God, deity of his ancestors, Arenadd gains the frightening power to move unseen through shadow. He escapes to lead his people in war against the Southern oppressors while fearing that he has given himself up to an ultimately uncaring god. Strong, realistic characterizations and an intricately conceived milieu make it clear that Australian Taylor is a talent to watch.

THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT THE FUTURE, THE MORE THERE MAY BE TO FEAR.

Tara Sheridan is the best criminal profiler around—and the most unconventional. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Tara also specializes in Tarot card reading. But she doesn’t need her divination skills to realize that the new assignment from her friend and sometime lover, Agent Harry Li, is a dangerous proposition in every way.

Former Cold War operatives, all linked to a top-secret operation tracking the disposal of nuclear weapons in Russia, are disappearing. There are no bodies, and no clues to their whereabouts. Harry suspects a conspiracy to sell arms to the highest bidder. The cards—and Tara’s increasingly ominous dreams—suggest something darker. Even as Tara sorts through her feelings for Harry and her fractured relationship with the mysterious order known as Delphi’s Daughters, a killer is growing more ruthless by the day. And a nightmare that began decades ago in Chernobyl will reach a terrifying endgame that not even Tara could have foreseen. . . .

Dead Waters, by Anton Strout

Simon Canderous, of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, is used to fighting vampires and zombies. But the strange murder of a professor has everyone stumped. And it’s making some people crazy. Literally. Part of a series.

Calliope just wants to make it big in the Big Apple like any other working girl. But Callie is also Death’s Daughter, no matter how much she tries to stay out of the family business. And now her older sister has made a deal with the Devil himself to engage in a hostile takeover of both Death Inc. and Heaven-once they get Callie out of the way.

Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy’s fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way.

A Touch Mortal, by Leah Clifford

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.

Darkness Becomes Her, by Kelly Keaton

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

The Iron Thorn (The Iron Codex), by Caitlin Kittredge

In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft’s epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day.
Aoife Grayson’s family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely), by Melissa Marr

The Summer King is missing; the Dark Court is bleeding; and a stranger walks the streets of Huntsdale, his presence signifying the deaths of powerful fey.

Aislinn tends to the Summer Court, searching for her absent king and yearning for Seth. Torn between his new queen and his old love, Keenan works from afar to strengthen his court against the coming war. Donia longs for fiery passion even as she coolly readies the Winter Court for battle. And Seth, sworn brother of the Dark King and heir to the High Queen, is about to make a mistake that could cost his life.

Love, despair, and betrayal ignite the Faery Courts, and in the final conflict, some will win . . . and some will lose everything.

The thrilling conclusion to Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series will leave readers breathless.

Unnatural (An Archangel Academy Novel), by Michael Griffo

Michael Howard and Ronan Glynn-Rowley meet at Archangel Academy, an all-boys school in Eden, a rural town in north western England. Both are outcasts and decried as unnatural, Michael because he’s gay, and Ronan because he’s a hybrid vampire. But when Ronan, afraid to reveal his true self to Michael, turns him into a vampire against his will, both become drawn into a dangerous new world, where traditional vampires plot to destroy hybrids, and where fellow students, teachers, even their own families have unexpected secrets…

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com

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