Stars and Gods by Larry Niven
Niven returns with the sequel to his most recent collection, Scatterbrain, which gathers an equally engaging assortment of Niven's latest work, all in one captivating volume. Here are choice excerpts from his most recent novels, including Ringworld's Child, as well as short stories, non-fiction, interviews, editorials, collaborations, and correspondence. Stars and Gods roams all over a wide variety of fascinating topics, from space stations to conventional etiquette.
Give yourself a treat, and feel free to pick the brain of one of modern science fiction's most fascinating thinkers.
Sparks by Laura Bickle
WITHOUT A TRACE...Anya Kalinczyk is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern, who holds down a day job as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department—while working 24/7 to exterminate malicious spirits haunting a city plagued by unemployment and despair. Along with her inseparable salamander familiar, Sparky, Anya has seen, and even survived, all manner of fiery hell—but her newest case sparks suspicions of a bizarre phenomenon that no one but her eccentric team of ghost hunters might believe: spontaneous human combustion.
After fire consumes the home of elderly Jasper Bernard, Anya is stunned to discover his remains—or, more precisely, a lack of them; even the fiercest fires leave some trace of their victims—and she is sure this was no naturally occurring blaze. Soon she’s unearthed a connection to a celebrity psychic who preys on Detroit’s poor, promising miracles for money. But Hope Solomon wants more—she’s collecting spirits, and in a frantic race against time, Anya will face down an evil adversary who threatens her fragile relationship with her lover, her beloved Sparky’s freshly hatched newts, and the wandering souls of the entire city.
Trance by Linda Gerber
Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what's to come a trance. She's pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she's never been able to stop it not even when the vision was of her mother's fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn's life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear: it's up to her to save Jake from near-certain death.
Personal Demons by Lisa Derochers
If you had to choose between Heaven and Hell, which would it be?
Are you sure about that...?
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance--even her closest friends--and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions--for Hell--and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he's as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn't stand a chance.
Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn't get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.
Rebel by Claire Delacroix
Having sacrificed his wings in a bid save humanity, fallen angel Armand has a bold plan to assassinate Presidential candidate Maximilian Blackstone. When things go awry and his partner Baruch is gravely injured, Armand fears that he will fail in his task and forever lose the chance to rejoin the angels in Heaven.
Theodora is a wraith, a woman who officially doesn't exist. She lives in the shadows, taking risks to earn the bounty placed on dangerous assassinations—bounty that buys the chance at a new life for those she loves. Captured when her latest hit goes horribly wrong, Theodora finds herself the prisoner of a strong, arrogant stranger.
Soon enough, these two solitary souls find their missions—and their hearts—entwined. But in their desperate attempt to save the world, will they be able to save each other?
Esperanza by Trish MacGregor
High in the Andes lies the city of Esperanza, partly in our world, partly in the next. The spirits of Light and Darkness are battling for control. Tess Livingston, FBI agent, is pulled into this battle, where she will find power and a love that transcends time.
Blameless by Gail Carriger
Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.
Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.
While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.
Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen
A heartwarming tale of terror in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.
Meet Sarah and David.
Once upon a time they met and fell in love. But now they're on the verge of divorce and going to couples' counseling. On a routine trip to their counselor, they notice a few odd things - the lack of cars on the highway, the missing security guard, and the fact that their counselor, Dr. Kelly, is ripping out her previous client's throat.
Meet the Zombies.
Now, Sarah and David are fighting for survival in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. But, just because there are zombies, doesn't mean your other problems go away. If the zombies don't eat their brains, they might just kill each other.
The Book of the Living Dead by John Richard Stephens (Editor)
From Poe to Lovecraft-a unique zombiethology of the literary undead.
Corpses rise in a variety of frightening ways in this collection of classic stories by an impressive lineup of authors including:
Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, H.P. Lovecraft, Guy de Maupassant, Mark Twain, Jack London, William Wyman Jacobs, Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, John H. Knox, Sir Hugh Clifford, Thomas Burke, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, F. Marion Crawford, F.G. Loring, William Butler Yeats, Douglas Hyde, E.F. Benson, Lafcadio Hearn, Perceval Landon, E. and H. Heron, Amy Lowell, G.W. Hutter, and Sir Walter Scott.
Bones of Empire by William C. Dietz
Second in the duology that started with At Empire's Edge- from the national bestselling author.
In a far-distant future, the Uman Empire has conquered and colonized worlds. Once thought invincible, its reign is now fragile as alien subjects and enemies conspire against it.
On holiday in the capital city, cop Jack Cato gets a glimpse of the Emperor-and realizes what he's looking at is a supposedly dead shape- shifter. His mortal enemy is still alive and once again on the run. And the fate of the Empire-and Cato's own honor-are at stake...
Memories of Envy by Barb Hendee
A reluctant predator, Eleisha Clevon is determined to locate all vampires still existing in isolation, so she might offer them sanctuary at her home in Portland-and more importantly, so she can teach them to feed without killing.
But the beautiful and delicate Simone Stratford doesn't want to be saved. Made into a vampire in the Roaring Twenties, she enjoys playing her own elaborate games with mortals, stoking their passion for her before finally draining them of their blood. And soon Eleisha and her protector, Philip Branté, find themselves caught up in one of Simone's games, which turns into a battle for Eleisha's life and Philip's soul...
Antiphon by Ken Scholes
Nothing is as it seems to be.
The ancient past is not dead. The hand of the Wizard Kings still reaches out to challenge the Androfrancine Order, to control the magick and technology that they sought to understand and claim for their own.
Nebios, the boy who watched the destruction of the city of Windwir, now runs the vast deserts of the world, far from his beloved Marsh Queen. He is being hunted by strange women warriors, while his dreams are invaded by warnings from his dead father.
Jin Li Tam, queen of the Ninefold Forest, guards her son as best she can against both murderous threats, and the usurper queen and her evangelists. They bring a message: Jakob is the child of promise of their Gospel, and the Crimson Empress is on her way.
And in hidden places, the remnants of the Androfrancine order formulate their response to the song pouring out of a silver crescent that was found in the wastes.
Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey
Magpie is a thirteen-year-old orphan chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar and taken to the capital city, Haven, to be trained as a Herald. Like all Heralds, Magpie learns that he has a hidden Gift-the Gift of telepathy.
But life at the court is not without obstacles. When Mags is "recognized" by foreign secret operatives whose purpose is unknown, Mags himself comes under suspicion. Who are Magpie's parents-who is he, really? Can Mags solve the riddle of his parentage and his connection with the mysterious spies-and prove his loyalty-before the king and court banish him as a traitor?
The Magickers Chronicles by Emily Drake
Long ago, a war was fought between two opposing groups of magic practitioners-the Magickers, who believed in using magic for the general good, and the Dark Hand, who felt that magic belonged to them and should only be used for their own benefit. Now the Magickers are looking for young recruits to their cause-for the final battle will soon begin...
Treason's Shore by Sherwood Shore
Fourth in "an intense fascinating epic"* of high action and fantasy adventure.
Inda, fresh from his triumph on the battlefield against the Venn, takes his place beside King Evred as Harskialdna, the King's Shield. But the Venn are far from defeated and only Inda's fame is strong enough to inspire all the squabbling kingdoms to unite and raise a force mighty enough to protect the strait and repel the enemy. Evred has also ordered Inda to take over the strait once the battle is won, but Inda, a former pirate, knows that this is a very bad idea. Now Inda must choose between obeying his liege-or committing treason.
Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey
The bestselling author of the Valdemar novels pens a classic tale about King Arthur's legendary queen.
Gwenhwyfar moves in a world where gods walk among their pagan worshipers, where nebulous visions warn of future perils, and where there are two paths for a woman: the path of the Blessing or the rarer path of the Warrior. Gwenhwyfar chooses the latter, giving up the power that she is born into. Yet the daughter of a King is never truly free to follow her own calling. Acting as the "son" her father never had, when called upon to serve another purpose by the Ladies of the Well, she bows to circumstances to become Arthur's queen-only to find herself facing temptation and treachery, intrigue and betrayal, but also love and redemption..
Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay
In the golden city of Sarantium, the renowned mosaicist Crispin seeks to fulfill his artistic ambitions and his destiny high upon a dome intended to be the emperor's enduring sanctuary and legacy. But the emperor is plotting a conquest of Crispin's homeland to regain an empire. And with his fate entwined with that of his royal benefactor, Crispin's loyalties come with a very high price
Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker
At last--the sequel to Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula, written by his direct descendant and a Dracula historian
Bram Stoker's Dracula is the prototypical horror novel, an inspiration for the world's seemingly limitless fascination with vampires. Though many have tried to replicate Stoker's horror classic- in books, television shows, and movies-only the 1931 Bela Lugosi film bore the Stoker family's support. Until now.
Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protégé, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.
The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived their attack and is seeking revenge? Or is their another force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula?
Dracula The Un-Dead is deeply researched, rich in character, thrills and scares, and lovingly crafted as both an extension and celebration of one of the mostclassic popular novels in literature.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. It was first published as a hardcover in 1897 by Archibald Constable and Co. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of letters, diary entries, ships' logs, etc. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, postcolonialism and folklore. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical, film and television interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Will Power by A. J. Hartley
While on the run from Empire guards, Will Hawthorne and his band of thieves are transported to a mysterious land that none of them recognize or know how to get home from. Turns out that they've landed right in the middle of a battle between goblins and humans. Their human allies are practically storybook counterparts to the rough sorts they knew in Stavis, speaking in high-flown prose, dressed to the height of fashion, and dripping with wealth and social propriety. Will's companions are quite taken by these fine folks, but the Fair Folk are appalled by Will's unorthodoxy.
At first Will does whatever he can to try to squirm into their good graces, but just when his efforts are feeling totally futile, he begins to wonder if these too-perfect courtiers and warriors have anything to offer beyond their glamour and their burning hatred of the goblins. But is there any recourse for Will and his friends once it turns out that the humans who are sheltering them may not be on the right side of their eternal conflict?
Will Power is a funny and fleet-footed stand-alone fantasy featuring the characters readers grew to love in Act of Will in an all-new adventure about the danger of first impressions.
Pariah by Bob Fingerman
The world is in chaos. A zombie plague has devoured every nation on the planet. New York City is no exception. Imagine eight million zombies. Shoulder to shoulder. Walking the streets, looking for their next meal. The residents of one apartment building have bonded to keep themselves safe from the onslaught, but their inevitable demise lurks right outside their window, a constant reminder of the doom that awaits them. Forced to remain in the safety of the building, the tenants find themselves at each others' throats. When they spy a lone teenage girl who walks among the hordes, unattacked by the undead, their world opens up.
Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
In this new fantasy series, a young woman takes her own destiny by the hand-and the hilt.
California girl Kim Murray is unsatisfied with grad school and restless in life. Modern men disappoint her, and she studies ballet and fencing because they remind her of older, more romantic times.
She lives with her parents and her beloved but secretive aristocratic grandmother, who speaks only French and refuses to share stories about the mysterious family she left behind in Europe, inspiring Kim to travel there and find her roots.
Kim soon finds herself swept up in an adventure of fantastic deceptions and passionate intrigue-and a shocking realization about her own bloodline that leaves her reeling.