SFF Book Releases – January 5, 2016

HAPPY NEW BOOKS!!!

It’s a new year and the same old SFF Book Releases This Week! Why same old? Because the copypasta ain’t changin’.:

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1635: A Parcel of Rogues
by Eric Flint

When the diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe was freed from the Tower of London during the Baltic War, most of its members returned to the continent. But some remained behind in Britain: Oliver Cromwell and a few companions, including the sharpshooter Julie Sims, her Scot husband Alex Mackay, and Cromwell’s Irish-American self-appointed watchdog Darryl McCarthy.

Soon, the hunt is on for the most notorious rebel in English history, with King Charles himself demanding Cromwell’s head. The new chief minister Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, brings over from Ireland a notorious crew of cutthroats led by the man called Finnegan to track down and capture the escapees from the Tower.

The hunt passes through England and into Scotland, where the conflict between Cromwell and his companions and their would-be captors becomes embroiled in Scotland’s politics, which are every bit as savage and ruthless as Finnegan and his men. To make things still more conflicted and confused, the time Darryl McCarthy spends fighting alongside Cromwell forces him against his will to admire and respect—and even like—the man, despite Cromwell’s demonic reputation among all self-respecting Irish nationalist families like Darryl’s own.

It’s a Gordian knot anywhere you look—until Julie Sims brings out her rifle. Now it’s the turn of Scot partisans and English lords and Irish toughs to learn the lesson already learned on the continent:

A safe distance isn’t what you think it is. Not after the American angel of death spreads her wings.

Dark Victory
by Brendan DuBois

A decade ago, the alien Creepers came to Earth, dropping asteroids to drown our coastal cities, detonating nuclear weapons overhead to destroy our communications, power and computer systems, and to set up their network of killer stealth satellites to kill anything on our planet that used modern technology. In a matter of days, Earth was driven back to a nineteenth century existence.

Then the war really began, as the Creepers descended and set up domed bases that were impervious to everything save a nuclear bomb.

For ten years then, the battered and surviving members of humanity have fought against the Creepers and their mechanized exoskeletons, until something unexpected has happened: a chance for victory.

Sixteen-year-old Randy Knox has the usual problems of a teenage boy: getting along with his father, dating his sweetheart, and trying not to fail his junior year of high school. But Randy also has other demands on his time, as a sergeant in the N.H. National Guard, attached to the U.S. Army, and fighting the invading Creepers.

Randy has dim memories of a time of electric lights, laptop computers, television screens and above all, plenty of food at every meal. On his twelfth birthday, he enlisted in the Army to carry on the fight, since most of the world’s adults have been killed off and it’s up to the younger generations to serve. But now, as a veteran of the Creeper war and with his K-9 partner Thor, Randy has learned to focus on the essentials: the best way to kill a Creeper, scrounge through abandoned buildings for old canned goods, and to avoid being turned into “barbecue bait.” He has earned the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Endless war is all he knows.

But now change has drastically come to his life. The current President of the United States has announced that scattered remnants of the Air Force have destroyed the Creeper’s Orbital Base, ensuring victory over the alien invaders. Those surviving Creepers on the Earth’s surface will be hunted down and exterminated, as a weary and wary population celebrates victory.

Yet Randy is assigned a new mission: to escort a secret representative from the Governor of New Hampshire to the nation’s capital, to meet with the President. And at the last moment, a fellow teen soldier—the beautiful Serena Coulson and her mute younger brother Buddy—are assigned to join Randy.

This secretive mission proves to be the most dangerous assignment of his life, as Randy tries to protect his charges from rampaging Creepers and criminal humans. And as he fights to reach the capitol with a vital mission, Randy learns that all of his skills in combating aliens may not be enough to survive the dark conspiracies of his fellow humans.

Doom of the Dragon (Dragonships of Vindras #4)
by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

In three previous novels, Skylan Ivorson overcame obstacles that would have defeated a lesser man, rising from obscurity to become the Chief of Chiefs of the fearsome Vindrasi who sail their living dragonships far and wide to raid and plunder for the glory of the gods. However, a cruel twist of fate struck him down before he and his beloved could complete their quest for the five sacred dragonbones that would summon the great dragon Ilyrion and save their people from destruction at the hands of an evil god. But even true death is denied him, and his destiny is unfulfilled.

Caught between life and death, he must lead those who journeyed with him to battle the evil god and the vast army of the god and his human emperor. Skylan must fight as he never has before to win back his life and his love, while seeking the last Spiritbone–the key to summoning the ultimate victory–before it can be snatched away by the forces of evil.

Drake
by Peter McLean

Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon. Forced to carry out one more assassination to clear his debt, Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himself.

Rescued by an almost-fallen angel called Trixie, Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man, an imprisoned archdemon, are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magician.

Now Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

Epiphany (Star Trek:Vulcan’s Soul #3)
by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz

available January 9

The distant past: The great ships have left war-torn Vulcan behind and, after a most arduous journey, have arrived at their destination. Two worlds become the new home of the exiles: Romulus is a verdant paradise, one much different from their desert home, while Remus is a barren wasteland, albeit one that is laden with natural resources. When Karatek and his family find themselves trapped on Remus with no hope of joining their brothers and sisters on Romulus, it sparks a conflict that leads the exiles into vicious civil war.

One year after the Dominion War: The Watraii are determined to destroy the Romulan Star Empire. Ambassador Spock is equally determined to learn their secret. With the aid of his wife Captain Saavik and the U.S.S. Alliance, his old comrades Scotty, Uhura, and Chekov, and Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise, Spock executes a daring plan to bring about peace before the Alpha Quadrant is once again plunged into war….

Hidden Wings
by Ana Raine

available January 6

Kanji is the last royal Kuro swan, an ancient race who once served the demonic Sidhee. The Kuro were betrayed and given as slaves to the Dryma fairies. When a Dryma is born, his soul attaches to a tree and to sustain their lives, the Dryma conscript the Kuro to protect their woods. In their servitude, the Kuro are languishing and dying off. Kanji is desperate to reunite his people with their stolen wings, but the task seems impossible.

When Kanji discovers a plan to unite the Sidhee and the Dryma, he tricks the Sidhee prince and attends a masked ball in disguise. There he meets Prince Tristan, who is nothing like the other fairies. Kind and compassionate, Tristan has a plan to free the Dryma from their dependence on the trees―and their need of the Kuro’s protection. It could mean freedom for Kanji’s people, but it might also mean choosing between them and the life of the fairy who is―impossibly―his mate.

When Tristan is wounded in battle and left for dead, his survival depends on the success of his experiments. Can Kanji dare to believe, or must he come to terms with the loss of his mate?

House of Shadows
by Jen Christie

The Great Charleston Earthquake catapults Penrose Heatherton from the 1880s into the present day. Though she’s still residing in Arundell Manor, it’s a very different world…with a different man inhabiting the ancestral estate. And Keat Arundell is every bit as brooding and intriguing as his ancestor—her former lover—had been.

Scared beyond reason by the new reality and the brilliant man who now lives there, Penrose hides in the mansion’s secret tunnels. Until Keat finds her, and soon they discover an immense passion. But their days are numbered. When strange things start happening, Penrose realizes she must go back to her own era. For if she can’t close a loophole in time, the man she’s come to love will never exist.

Infinity Rises (The Infinity Trilogy #2)
by S. Harrison

Finn Blackstone is in trouble. A mission to find out the truth about her mysteriously absent father has morphed into a perilous game of cat and mouse. Now Finn and her friends must navigate a terrifying futuristic landscape filled with machines intent on the group’s annihilation.

As Finn struggles against external forces, she faces an imminent threat as she grapples with her alter ego, Infinity. By accessing her memories, Finn catches a glimpse of Infinity’s capabilities and feels a growing sense of horror at her past. But the more Finn and Infinity interact, the more the game shifts under their feet. In a world where it’s hard to tell your friends from your enemies, Finn’s past rears its ugly head to trip her up in unthinkable ways.

Finn must summon every ounce of strength she has to overpower her adversaries in a bone-rattling roller-coaster ride hurtling her toward an unknown future.

Keep Mars Weird
by Neal Pollack

previously published in serial format on Kindle

Several hundred years in the future, a depopulated Earth has become a tolerant, progressive paradise. What could be better—or duller? Meanwhile, Mars is home to New Austin, a freewheeling human colony fabled to make Las Vegas look like a meditation retreat. After breaking the polite laws of Earth, earnest schoolteacher Jordan Kincaid finds himself forced to relocate. It’s either life on Mars or life behind bars.

But what promised to be Xanadu is more like Blade Runner . . . only with more waiting in line. Trend-chasing hipsters and obnoxious tourists have swarmed into New Austin at the expense of poverty-stricken locals, all overseen by a greedy megamogul bent on transforming the city into a gentrified nightmare. When a sexy but sinister heiress seduces Jordan, he finds himself on the wrong side of a literal real-estate rebellion, as the filthy rich and dirt poor battle for control of the next hot neighborhood. Forget about keeping it weird, someone’s got to keep Mars from becoming a hell off Earth.

The Last Dream Keeper (Echo Park Coven #2)
by Amber Benson

Lyse MacAllister did not step into an easy role when she took over as master of the Echo Park coven of witches after her great-aunt Eleanora’s death. As she begins to forge the bonds that will help her lead her sisters, she struggles to come to terms with her growing powers. And she soon faces a deadly new threat. A group of fanatics intent on bringing about the end of times has invaded the witches Council—but the Council is turning a blind eye to the danger growing in its midst.

Only one witch is prophesied to be able to stop the encroaching darkness. And if Lyse and her blood sisters are to have any chance at protecting all we know from being lost forever, they must keep her safe—no matter what the cost.

The Masquerading Magician (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery #2)
by Gigi Pandian

available January 8

Deciphering an ancient alchemy book is more difficult than Zoe Faust bargained for. She’d much rather be gardening and exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon—but time is running out for living gargoyle Dorian Robert-Houdin. If Zoe isn’t able to unlock the alchemy book’s secrets soon, the French gargoyle will remain awake but trapped in stone forever.

When Zoe gives herself a rare night out to attend a classic magic show that reminds her of her youth, she realizes the stage magicians are much more than they seem. A murder at the theater leads back to a string of unsolved robberies and murders in Portland’s past, and a mystery far more personal than Zoe and Dorian ever imagined.

Merchant of Alyss (Legends of the Realm #2)
by Thomas Locke

Life for Hyam is bittersweet. Admired by the citizens of Falmouth for his heroic rescue mission, he cherishes these peaceful days with Joelle by his side. Yet grief over the loss of his magical skills during the great Battle of Emporis threatens to engulf him. Sometimes he even wishes he had never known magic at all.

When Hyam comes into possession of an ancient Milantian scroll, he is thrilled to feel the surge of power that courses through him whenever he touches it. But what he discerns in the text could mean war. He embarks upon another journey to determine its true meaning and forestall any attack. But as Hyam is seeking answers, he is unaware that the merchant of Alyss is seeking him.

Midnight Taxi Tango (Bone Street Rumba #2)
by Daniel José Older

Carlos Delacruz straddles the line between the living and the not-so alive. As an
agent for the Council of the Dead, he eliminates New York’s ghostlier problems. This time it’s a string of gruesome paranormal accidents in Brooklyn’s Von King Park that has already taken the lives of several locals—and is bound to take more.

The incidents in the park have put Kia on edge. When she first met Carlos, he was the weird guy who came to Baba Eddie’s botánica, where she worked. But the closer they’ve gotten, the more she’s seeing the world from Carlos’s point of view. In fact, she’s starting to see ghosts. And the situation is far more sinister than that—because whatever is bringing out the dead, it’s only just getting started.

The Night Voice (Noble Dead #11)
by Barb and J.C. Hendee

With much relief, Magiere, Leesil, and Chap prepare to hide the last two of the powerful orbs. Once this last great task is completed, Magiere can take Leesil home to a life of peace.

Then, rumors reach them that a horde of undead creatures, slaughtering everything in their wake, are gathering in the far east regions of the Suman desert. This gathering could only be caused by the Ancient Enemy awakening.

With no other choice, Magiere tells Leesil they cannot go home yet. They must go to the desert and seek to learn if the rumors are true . . . and if so, face an awakening evil: The Night Voice.

Only the Stones Survive
by Morgan Llywelyn

For centuries the Túatha Dé Danann lived in peace on an island where time flowed more slowly and the seasons were gentle–until that peace was shattered by the arrival of invaders. The Gaels, the Children of Milesios, came looking for easy riches and conquest, following the story of an island to the west where their every desire could be granted. They had not anticipated that it would already be home to others, and against the advice of their druids, they begin to exterminate the Túatha Dé Danann.

After a happy and innocent childhood, Joss was on the cusp of becoming a man when the Gaels slaughtered the kings and queens of the Túatha Dé Danann. Left without a mother and father, he must find a way to unite what is left of his people and lead them into hiding. But even broken and scattered, Joss and his people are not without strange powers.

Path of Gods (Valhalla Saga #3)
by Snorri Kristjansson

In this raucous fantasy epic set at during the era when the Vikings fearlessly sailed the world’s seas, mead flowed freely, and Gods walked the earth, companions Audun Arngrimsson and Ulfar Thormodsson are reunited after separate journeys of self-discovery.

In Trondheim, King Olav, self-appointed champion of the White Christ, grows restless in the wake of a significant victory and finds his faith tested further as he struggles to maintain the peace. With his garrison decimated and his forces surrounded by deceitful, grasping local chieftains, the King contemplates how best and where to spread the word of his God.

Reunited after their quests to discover the contours of their newfound immortality, Audun and Ulfar have a new sense of purpose: to ensure that the North remains in the hands of those who keep to the old ways of Odin, Thor, and Loki. To do so, they must take on a powerful adversary who will stop at nothing to put an end to age-old traditions in the name of the White Christ. Audun and Ulfar are about to do battle with the most powerful enemy they have ever faced, and if they are to have any chance of victory, they must find equally powerful allies.

Meanwhile in the North, touched by the trickster god, something old, malevolent, and very, very angry stirs.

Rebellion
by Patrick Tylee

Jove, the synthetic savior of the Knowers, and his hybrid daughter Elmyrah, have brought worlds to ruin by their greed and manipulation.

It’s the late twenty-fifth century, and the sand of Earth has been stolen away. Remnants of the human population huddle together on the few rocky islands that rise above the crashing tide. The para-sentient Wisdom maintains strict control over all within her reach. Subjugating every mind, she demands complete obedience and order.

There’s only one cure for her evil perfection, and Rebellion will lead you to it.

Starbound (Lightship Chronicles#2)
by Dave Bara

The Lightship H.M.S. Impulse is gone, sacrificed in a battle against First Empire ships. And though the fragile galactic alliance has survived the unexpected invasion, the Union forces might not prove victorious against a full onslaught by this legendary enemy.

For Peter Cochrane, serving as an officer aboard his world’s flagship, H.M.S. Starbound is a dream come true. Tasked with investigating a mysterious space station in a rediscovered star system, Peter and Starbound face a surprise attack by unknown forces and suffer terrible losses.

But there is no time to grieve or even regroup as Peter is thrust into a new crisis, a potential civil war on the Union world of Carinthia. Caught between his rank in the navy and his status as a royal heir, Peter is put on trial for the loss of Impulse, used as a political pawn as Carinthia stands on the brink of a devastating conflict. Peter escapes but faces the prospect of interstellar war when he learns of a possible alliance between the First Empire and Carinthia, a coalition which could tear the Union apart!

Steal the Sky (The Scorched Continent #1)
by Megan E. O’Keefe

Detan Honding, a wanted conman of noble birth and ignoble tongue, has found himself in the oasis city of Aransa. He and his trusted companion Tibs may have pulled off one too many cons against the city’s elite and need to make a quick escape. They set their sights on their biggest heist yet – the gorgeous airship of the exiled commodore Thratia.

But in the middle of his scheme, a face changer known as a doppel starts murdering key members of Aransa’s government. The sudden paranoia makes Detan’s plans of stealing Thratia’s ship that much harder. And with this sudden power vacuum, Thratia can solidify her power and wreak havoc against the Empire. But the doppel isn’t working for Thratia and has her own intentions. Did Detan accidentally walk into a revolution and a crusade? He has to be careful – there’s a reason most people think he’s dead. And if his dangerous secret gets revealed, he has a lot more to worry about than a stolen airship.

The Terran Consensus
by Scott Washburn

available January 7

On a lovely summer evening, naval officer Robert Hancock and his daughter, Melissa, look up to see a space battle between alien spaceships taking place in orbit above Earth. Astronaut Kay Youngs and engineer Usha Vasthare have a much closer view from the International Space Station. When one of the alien ships crash lands near an American city, the main characters find themselves drawn into an ancient interstellar war. As evidence mounts that one side in the war has been manipulating humanity for decades in hopes of turning them into unwitting allies in their conflict, the humans are faced with the fact that the other side is preparing an attack to make sure there are no Earthlings left to become allies to anyone. With time running out, the humans must decide who―if anyone―they can trust and how they can best survive the coming storm.

Three Promises (An American Faerie Tale #2.5)
by Bishop O’Connell

three stories

  • For more than fifty years, Elaine has lived the life
    of an outcast elf, stripped of her rank and title in the fae court.
    Surrounded by her beloved collection of stolen artwork, we may just
    learn the secret behind her exile, and the one promise too important to break…
  • It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for – Caitlin and
    Edward are getting married! But few weddings ever go without a hitch. Old
    promises were broken, and new vows will be made…
  • In The Stolen, Brendan vowed to help Caitlin
    rescue her young daughter from the Dusk Court, even if it meant sacrificing himself. Alone and in torment, he has come to accept his fate. Until an unexpected visitor finds her way into his life…

Travelers Rest
by Keith Lee Morris

The Addisons-Julia and Tonio, ten-year-old Dewey, and derelict Uncle Robbie-are driving home, cross-country, after collecting Robbie from yet another trip to rehab. When a terrifying blizzard strikes outside the town of Good Night, Idaho, they seek refuge in the town at the Travelers Rest, a formerly opulent but now crumbling and eerie hotel where the physical laws of the universe are bent.

Once inside the hotel, the family is separated. As Julia and Tonio drift through the maze of the hotel’s spectral interiors, struggling to make sense of the building’s alluring powers, Dewey ventures outward to a secret-filled diner across the street. Meanwhile, a desperate Robbie quickly succumbs to his old vices, drifting ever further from the ones who love him most. With each passing hour, dreams and memories blur, tearing a hole in the fabric of our perceived reality and leaving the Addisons in a ceaseless search for one another. At each turn a mysterious force prevents them from reuniting, until at last Julia is faced with an impossible choice. Can this mother save her family from the fate of becoming Souvenirs-those citizens trapped forever in magnetic Good Night-or, worse, from disappearing entirely?

Unforgettable
by Eric James Stone

n the near future, a fluke of quantum mechanics renders Nat Morgan utterly forgettable. No one can remember he exists for more than a minute after he’s gone. It’s a useful ability for his career as a CIA agent, even if he has to keep reminding his boss that he exists.

Nat’s attempt to steal a quantum chip prototype is thwarted when a former FSB agent, Yelena Semyonova, attempts to steal the same technology for the Russion mob.

Along with a brilliant Iranian physicist who wants to defect, Nat and Yelena must work together to stop a ruthless billionaire from finishing a quantum supercomputer that will literally control the fate of the world.

Worst Contact
edited by Hank Davis

STORIES OF ALIEN CONTACT GONE WRONG. Will it be, “Greeting, fellow Sentients” or, “Nice Planet—we’ll take it”? These stories from SF greats answer the question, “Are we alone in the universe?” with a resounding, “No, but we wish we were!”

When the first contact between humans and aliens from another planet happens, will they say, “Take me to your leader,” or is “Surrender, puny primitive bipeds” more likely? Or maybe, “Hello there, I’m selling the latest edition of the Galactic Encyclopedia, and no planet should be without a set,” might be the first words from the alien visitor.

Ever since H.G. Wells wrote The War of the Worlds, science fiction writers have speculated on what the first contact might be like. From attacking invaders to wise and benevolent visitors who are ready to solve all our problems for us, from horror stories to hilarious satire, with all the stops in between, including plenty of tales in which the aliens are the ones who wish they’d stayed at home and never come across Earth and its inhabitants.

With stories by such science fiction masters as Poul Anderson, David Drake, William Tenn, Sarah A. Hoyt, Tony Daniel, and more, this is a collection filled with chills, thrills, and laughter, all reporting on what happens when First Contact turns into Worst Contact.


Byron Dunn is a friend to werewolves and an enemy to unicorns. No, don’t take the unicorns’ side on this. They know what they did and they know they must be punished.

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