De Haven, Tom :
(Chronicle Books 0811844358, $24.95, 425pp, hardcover, September 2005, cover illustration and design Chris Ware)
SF novel that re-imagines Superman's early years.
This profile on website Superman Through the Ages! says the book "takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across america to Hollywood in its golden age, and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving political boss Lex Luthor, and begins his battles against criminal masterminds, mad scientists, and supervillains inspired by fascists...."
The novel was Claude Lalumiere's choice for the best SF novel of 2005, in his Best of 2005 review for Locus Online: "Combining superhero action, pulp thrills, mythic Americana, and an engaged social vision, De Haven has significantly enriched both the Superman myth and the SF canon."
Amazon has Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews.
Geras, Adèle :
(Harcourt 0152056033, $17, 360pp, hardcover, January 2006)
YA fantasy novel, follow-up to Troy (2001), which retold The Iliad; this one re-imagines The Odyssey, told from the perspective of Klymene, a servant girl to Penelope, who awaits her husband's return from Troy.
Harcourt's website has this description and an excerpt.
The author's website has a bibliography and descriptions of her books.
Amazon has the Booklist review: "Filled with intrigue and subterfuge and replete with visits from the gods, this visceral, lusty, tragic retelling will draw older teen readers."
The book is included among Locus Magazine's New and Notable Books for February.
King, Stephen :
(Scribner 0-7432-9233-2, $26.95, 353pp, hardcover, February 2006, jacket illustration Mark Stutzman, jacket design John Fulbrook III)
Horror thriller about a pulse signal that turns cell phone users into murderous zombies.
King's website has this page about the book, with links to an excerpt at Entertainment Weekly and to cellthebook.com, which has downloadable talktones and wallpapers.
Scribner's site has this description and a text excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review.
Niven, Larry :
The Draco Tavern
(Tor 0-765-30863-0, $24.95, 304pp, hardcover, January 2006, jacket art Stephan Martiniere)
SF collection of 27 stories set in a bar catering to humans and to visiting aliens, the Chirpsithra.
The book has a new introduction by Niven -- "I wanted a format in which to deal with the simplest, most universal questions. God. Intelligent predators and prey. Sex, gender, and reproduction. War. Human destiny. Species survival. Immortality..." -- and five stories original to this book.
The series began with three short stories in Cosmos SF magazine in 1977.
The Publishers Weekly review reproduced on the Amazon page (click title or image here) aptly characterizes the stories as "often reading like brilliant, half-whimsical notebook jottings", and concludes "These stories are best taken a few at a time, to savor their inventiveness without noticing the undeveloped characters or that, even for bar stories, there's sometimes too much chatter and not enough action."
Cat Eldridge writes in the Green Man Review: "My favorites? All of them. Seriously. This is one of the best single author, single series collections that I've had the pleasure to read. I like the premise, the characters are interesting, and Niven uses both to tell great stories."
Sherman, David, & Dan Cragg :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-46054-5, $19.95, 320pp, hardcover, February 2006, jacket art and design Big Dot Design)
Military SF novel, 11th in the long-running "Starfist" series about 25th-century Marines that began with First to Fight in 1997.
This novel concerns the reponse of the 34th Marine Fleet Initial Strike Team (FIST) to secessionists on the planet Ravenette.
Amazon has the PW and Booklist reviews; the former notes "The authors, both combat vets, draw on the U.S. Civil War's Peninsula campaign as a model ... This book not only entertains but makes the reader reconsider the costs of government secrecy."
White, Steve :
Blood of the Heroes
(Baen 1-4165-0924-0, $24, 274pp, hardcover, January 2006, cover art Bob Eggleton)
SF time travel novel about an agent of the Temporal Regulatory Authority who finds himself stuck in ancient Greece, where the Greek gods turn out to be real.
Baen's website has this description -- "Jason Thanou of the Temporal Regulatory Authority had about had it with nursemaiding parties of ivory-tower academics through Earth's blood-drenched history, keeping them alive as they sought evidence for their pet theories. Of course, when one of the ivory-tower academics looked like Doctor Deirdre Sadaka-Ramirez, one last expedition didn't look like such a bad idea after all..." -- and several chapter excerpts.
SF novel about an escaped non-human pleasure slave whose secret career in the Confederate Navy has been exposed.
It's set in the Arbiter Chronicles universe of the author's radio series for Baltimore-area Prometheus Radio Theatre.
This news page links to pages of background about the series, lists of characters and episodes, and order forms for CD editions of past episodes.