Baxter, Stephen :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45791-9, $25.95, 488pp, hardcover, December 2005, jacket illustration and design David Stevenson) First US edition (UK: Gollancz, October 2005)
SF novel, third volume of the "Destiny's Children" trilogy following Coalescent and Exultant.
This book follows Michael Poole, a nuclear engineer in 2047 haunted by visions of his dead wife; a passenger on a starship half a million years in the future who's entrusted with witnessing the life of Michael Poole; and a group-mind of 'Transcendents' who are guiding humanity toward an evolutionary apotheosis.
Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
Both Gary K. Wolfe and Nick Gevers review the book in the December issue of Locus Magazine. Wolfe explores Baxter's relationship to the mantle of Arthur C. Clarke, while Gevers, (while noting that a companion volume of short stories, Resplendent, is in preparation) says "one gets the sense that the series now ending consciously amounts to a magnum opus, a definitive statement on issues of history, anthropology, evolution, the environment, and cosmology itself. The writing is intense, the characters drawn in depth, the play of ideas often mesmerizingly dense..."
Bear, Elizabeth :
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58749-8, $6.99, 398pp, mass market paperback, December 2005, cover illustration Paul Youll)
SF novel, third in a series following Hammered (January 2005) and Scardown (July 2005). In this book Jenny Casey, one time Canadian special forces warrior, faces mysterious alien beings.
The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
The author writes blog they must need bears.
Russell Letson reviews Bear's second and third novels in the October issue of Locus Magazine; citing "nifty Ideas about natural and artificial intelligences; satisfyingly convoluted conspiracies; interestingly loose-limbed and unconventional interpersonal relationships; and some pretty good jokes" he concludes that "Bear [is] one of the most welcome writers to come over the horizon lately."
Caselberg, Jay :
The Star Tablet
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-46060-X, $6.99, 300pp, mass market paperback, December 2005)
SF novel about psychic investigator Jack Stein, third in the series following Wyrmhole (2003) and Metal Sky (2004), with fourth volume Wall of Mirrors to come. In this book, Jack's search for his missing ward "brings him to the attention of a corrupt millionaire, the fanatical Sons of Utrecht, and an alien conspiracy that may alter the future of humanity."
The author's website has this excerpt.
Dolley, Chris :
(Baen 1-416-50912-7, $24, 389pp, hardcover, November 2005, cover illustration Alan Pollack)
SF novel about an obsessive-compulsive office messenger who perceives the world as shifting every day between alternate realities.
This is the author's first SF novel, though he's written a mystery novel before this.
The author's website has a description and a link to a page with numerous excerpts posted periodically since July.
Baen's site has this blurb with links to excerpts. The novel was apparently first released as an e-book in 2004.
Cheryl Morgan reviewed it in her October Emerald City: "don't, whatever, you do, pick up Resonance expecting a typical Baen book. There are some interesting things happening here...".
Eckert, Win Scott, ed. :
Myths for the Modern Age : Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe
(MonkeyBrain Books 1-932265-14-7, $14.95, 400pp, trade paperback, November 2005, cover illustration and design John Picacio)
Nonfiction anthology of 28 essays and articles about Philip Jose Farmer's stories in which he imagined an alternate history that encompassed various literary personages, including Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, James Bond, and many others. The collection includes all of the relevant essays by Farmer himself, published in various fanzines over the years, as well as pieces by Dr. Peter M. Coogan, Rick Lai, Jess Nevins, Dennis E. Power, and others.
The publisher's site has this description.
Amazon has the Booklist review and several reader reviews, one of which includes the complete table of contents. The Booklist review by Carl Hays concludes "Although the volume appeals primarily to Farmer fans, anyone interested in 'secret' biographical tidbits on Holmes and his popular-literary ilk may enjoy at least taking a peek."
Knight, E. E. :
Dragon Champion: Book One of the Age of Fire
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-46047-2, $14, 371pp, trade paperback, December 2005, cover art Paul Youll)
Fantasy novel about a young dragon struggling to preserve his breed. It's the first in a new series; the author has another novel published this month in an ongoing series (see next entry).
The author's website has this page about the series, where Knight discusses its origin, his editor, and quotes from reviews.
Amazon has the PW review, calling the book a "smoothly written fantasy told from the point-of-view of its dragon hero".
Knight, E. E. :
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-46059-6, $7.99, 350pp, mass market paperback, December 2005)
SF novel about human resistance to alien invaders, fourth in the "Vampire Earth" series following Way of the Wolf (2003), Choice of the Cat (2004), and Tales of the Thunderbolt (2005).
The series' website, www.vampireearth.com, has links to background, history, descriptions, etc., with a note that at least one more book in the series is forthcoming, Valentine's Exile.
The Amazon page has reader reviews.
Lackey, Mercedes, ed. :
Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar
(DAW 0-7564-0325-1, $7.99, 338pp, mass market paperback, December 2005, cover art Jody A. Lee)
Anthology of 16 original stories set in Lackey's world of Valdemar.
Authors include Mercedes Lackey, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Judith Tarr, and Tanya Huff.
Lackey's site has this page about the book, noting that this is the third Valdemar anthology.
Lackey, Mercedes, & Rosemary Edghill :
Music to My Sorrow
(Baen 1-4165-0917-8, $26, 340pp, hardcover, December 2005, cover art Jeff Easley)
Fantasy novel in the "Bedlam's Bard" series, written by Lackey with coauthors Edghill and Ellen Guon, that began with Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Lackey and Guon (1990).
In this follow-up to Mad Maudlin by Lackey and Edghill (2003), Eric Banyon, the Bard, fights for custody of his brother with his parents, who are aligned with evil evangelist Billy Fairchild.
Lackey's website has this page about the book (described as "the seventh book in the Bedlam Bards Trilogy"), with a list of the previous books, and links to excerpts.
Baen's site has this description, with links to several excerpts.
Lee, Sharon, & Steve Miller :
Sword of Orion
(Phobos Impact 0-9720026-8-5, $14.95, 277pp, trade paperback, October 2005)
Young adult SF novel, first in the "Beneath Strange Skies" series, about a teenaged girl who is key in a plot by a fascist Oligarchy to return to galactic power.
The authors' website www.korval.com has this excerpt.
Amazon has mixed reader reviews, while the Barnes & Noble page has the publisher's description -- "Sixteen-year-old Jerel Telemon holds the key to the weapon that can tilt the balance toward good or evil." -- and a review by Paul Goat Allen: "Lee and Miller's Beneath Strange Skies sequence -- which is free of any overt sexuality and over-the-top violence -- should appeal to science fiction fans of all ages."
Norton, Andre, & Lyn McConchie :
Silver May Tarnish
(Tor 0-765-30637-9, $24.95, 284pp, hardcover, December 2005, jacket art Daniel Dos Santos)
Fantasy novel in Norton's "Witch World" series (that began with 1964 Hugo nominee Witch World). It's about survivors of a war among the dales who attempt to establish a safe place for themselves and their kinfolk.
The co-author explains on her site that she did the writing and revision; the book's acknowledgements explain how it grew from a story presented to Norton and expanded with her encouragement and guidance. Norton died in March 2005.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it "entertaining, if unspectacular" and notes "the tale's most unusual twist are magical warrior bees led by the wise and powerful Bee-Goddess".
Russo, Richard Paul :
The Rosetta Codex
(Ace 0-441-01330-9, $14.95, 375pp, trade paperback, December 2005)
SF novel about a shipwrecked boy who grows up on a hostile planet and discovers a strange artifact that leads him on a quest to discover the truth about an ancient alien civilization.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist, the latter concluding "Russo's tale skirts the doldrums of predictability but finally hits its stride and balances adventure and mystery in a satisfying entertainment."
The Agony Column anticipates this book, Russo's first in several years.
Faren Miller reviews the book in the December issue of Locus Magazine, calling Russo "a moralist, humanist, and increasingly gifted tale-spinner" and concluding "The Rosetta Codex tackles the moral and philosophical issues raised by immortality -- supernatural or Singular-- without surrendering, as so many have, to its glamour".
Ryan, C. J. :
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58777-3, $6.99, 404pp, mass market paperback, December 2005, cover illustration Paul Youll)
SF novel, follow-up to Dexta (published in August), about Imperial bureaucraft Gloria VanDeen, ex-wife of the current Emperor, who uses her stunning good looks to manage troubles on backwater planets.
Bantam's site has this description -- "For her first assignment, she's been dispatched to the planet Sylvania on a voter registration drive. ... With the eyes of the galaxy on her, it's up to Gloria to choose between saving her neck-and preventing a boomerang that could destroy the Empire forever... " -- and an excerpt.
SF Crowsnest provides this review by Geoff Willmetts, who says "'Glorious Treason' is very much a throwback to the pulp fiction of yesteryear with current day sensibilities. ... This book is not for the faint-hearted or those with a puritan attitude."
Shepherd, Mike :
Kris Longknife: Defiant
(Ace 0-441-01349-X, $7.99, 390pp, mass market paperback, November 2005, cover art Scott Grimando)
Military SF adventure novel, third in a series, about a Prime Minister's daughter who joins the space navy. In this book, despite being relieved of command, she leads an attack against alien invaders.
Mike Shepherd is a pseudonym for Mike Moscoe.
Amazon has reader reviews.
Steele, Allen :
(Ace 0-441-01331-7, $24.95, 352pp, hardcover, December 2005, jacket art Ron Miller)
SF novel about human settlers on an alien planet, third in a trilogy following Coyote (2002) and Coyote Rising (2004). In this volume, 20 years after the settlers first arrived from Earth, the survival of both planets may depend on mutual cooperation.
End-matter includes a Coyote calendar and a list of sources.
The author's official site has a bio, a bibliography, and Steele's 2001 House Testimony about "The Coming of the Space Age".
Amazon has the PW review -- "Shifting deftly among several characters, Hugo-winner Steele respects the various viewpoints keeping the debate fluid, but he also makes plausible that opposing individuals could grudgingly learn to respect each other enough to modify their rigid plans. As in the first two books in this popular SF series, Coyote and Coyote Rising, another major actor is the mysterious planet itself, which invites people to find new ways to think." -- while reviewer Harriet Klausner calls is a "terrific conclusion to one of the best science fiction trilogies of the last decade".
Turtledove, Harry :
Bridge of the Separator
(Baen 1-4165-0918-6, $24, 390pp, hardcover, December 2005, cover painting Tom Kidd)
Alternate history fantasy novel set in Turtledove's 'Videssos' series, about a cleric during an invasion by barbarians who begins to doubt his religious allegiance.
Baen's site has this description with links to several chapters.
Steven H Silver maintains this page about the series, with a map and cover images.
Westfahl, Gary, ed. :
The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy : Themes, Works, and Wonders
(Greenwood Press 0-313-32950-8, $349.95, 36+1395pp, hardcover, October 2005)
Three-volume encyclopedia covering themes and works of SF and fantasy.
The first two volumes cover 400 themes, each discussed in 2 or 3 pages, ranging from Absurdity, Adam and Eve, and Advertising, to Youth, Zombies, and Zoos, written by some 150 contributors. The third volume discusses 200 classic books and movies, again written by various contributors.
The advisory board consists of Richard Bleiler, John Clute, Fiona Kelleghan, David Langford, Andy Sawyer, and Darrell Schweitzer; the many contributors include Lou Anders, Russell Blackford, F. Brett Cox, Bob Eggleton, Gregory Feeley, Carl Freedman, John Grant, James Gunn, Paul Kincaid, Rick Klaw, Jay Lake, Ian Nichols, Adam Roberts, Joyce Scrivner, Nisi Shawl, George Slusser, and Martin Morse Wooster. There's a foreword by Neil Gaiman, and a bibliography and index at the end.
The publisher's site has this description, with example entries and a list of features, and a note that it's also available as an e-book.
Amazon has this page for the set, though each volume has its own ISBN: volume 1 is 0-313-32951-6, volume 2 is 0-313-32952-4, and volume 3 is 0-313-32953-2. The unidentified covers are credited to the Forrest J. Ackerman Collection.
Locus Magazine lists it among its December issue New and Notable Books: "An exhaustive overview of the great (and not so great) ideas that drive SF."
Zakour, John, & Lawrence Ganem :
The Radioactive Redhead
(DAW 0-7564-0282-4, $6.99, 355pp, mass market paperback, December 2005, cover art Michael Koelsh)
Humorous SF hardboiled detective novel, third in a trilogy following The Plutonium Blonde (2001) and The Doomsday Brunette (2004).
The publisher's page has this description: "It is the year 2057, and the last freelance private detective, partnered with an experimental A.I. named Harv, has a new case to solve involving androids, future tech wizards, out-of-control artificial intelligences, and futuristic mayhem."
Zeddies, Ann Tonsor :
Blood and Roses
(Phobos Impact 0-9720026-7-7, $14.95, 288pp, trade paperback, October 2005)
Alternate history SF novel, subtitled "A Jayne Taylor Novel", about a former World War I relief worker who returns home to discover a plot involving aliens and the atom bomb.
The author's website links to this Broadsheet review: "a fun, fast-paced adventure featuring a sci-fi Nick and Nora on the trail of a mystery that takes them on cliff-hanging adventures halfway around the world."
Amazon reviewer Harriet Klausner describes it as a blending of Lara Croft and H.G. Wells; Barnes & Noble's Paul Goat Allen says "The smorgasbord of genre elements (noir mystery, alternate history, science fiction, romance, etc.) make Blood and Roses a unique and interesting read. Resembling a combination of Raymond Chandler and Harry Turtledove, this novel should appeal equally to mystery and science fiction fans."