Thursday, December 01, 2011

Books Received

Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell

Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself—but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She’s intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.


Nested Scrolls: The Autobiography of Rudolf von Bitter Rucker by Rudy Rucker

The autobiography of Rudy Rucker begins in Louisville, Kentucky, with a young boy growing up with a desire to be a beatnik writer, a businessman father who becomes a clergyman, and a mother descended from the philosopher, Hegel. It continues through his college years, his romance with his wife, graduate school, rock music, and his college teaching jobs as a math professor. All the while Rudy is reading science fiction, beat poetry, and beginning to write some pretty strange fiction, a blend of Philip K. Dick and hard SF that qualifies him as part of the original circle of writers in the early 1980s, including Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, John Shirley, and Lew Shiner, who founded cyberpunk. He becomes known for his wild-man behavior, in the beatnik tradition.

Later, Rucker renames his fiction Transrealism (and now there is at least one academic book on the subject). In the mid-1980s he switches from math to computers, just in time for the computer revolution. By then he is living in Silicon Valley and teaching in Santa Cruz. As the '90s go by and his life evens out, he keeps writing and producing a unique and wildly imaginitive body of work in SF, usually math-based hard SF. And he's still doing that today.



Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan

Nastasya has lived for hundreds of years, but for some reason, life never seems to get any better. She left her spoiled, rich girl life to find peace at River's Edge, a safe haven for wayward immortals. There, she learned to embrace River's Edge, despite som drama involving the sexy Reyn, who she wants but won't allow herself to have. But just as she's getting comfortable, her family's ties to dark magick force her to leave.

She falls back into her old, hard partying ways, but will her decision lead her into the hands of a dark immortal? Or will it be her first step to embracing the darkness within her?



Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.



A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

From Publishers Weekly
In Harkness's lively debut, witches, vampires, and demons outnumber humans at Oxford's Bodleian Library, where witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her. Against all occult social propriety, Bishop turns for protection to tall, dark, bloodsucking man-about-town Clairmont. Their research raises questions of evolution and extinction among the living dead, and their romance awakens centuries-old enmities. Harkness imagines a crowded universe where normal and paranormal creatures observe a tenuous peace. "Magic is desire made real," Bishop says after both her desire and magical prowess exceed her expectations. Harkness brings this world to vibrant life and makes the most of the growing popularity of gothic adventure with an ending that keeps the Old Lodge door wide open.



Well-Tempered Clavicle (Xanth) by Piers Anthony

Picka Bones and his sister Joy’nt are off in search of adventure with three creatures newly arrived from Mundania—and not the sort of creatures you might expect! Join them in a madcap quest, in this 35th tale of the land of Xanth.


Acquainted With the Night b y Piper Maitland

A woman's quest for the truth...A medieval icon that holds the clues...And an ancient book with the power to shake Christianity-and humanity itself.

London tour guide Caroline Clifford has never believe in vampires- until her uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archaeological site, and a vampire hunter who corresponded with him seeks her out.

Strange anagrams on her uncle's passport lead them to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited to an age-old text on immortality-and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy all they know...



The Cross by Sean McCabe

The vampires call it the Cross of Ardaich: a relic thought to have been destroyed in the war between the Federation and the rebels. But it has been found, and its incredible powers could signal the end of civilization...

A cannibalistic serial killer becomes the perfect tool for the race of the Ubervampyr. His mission: find the cross. His reward: join the ranks of the undead. On his trail are Detective Joel Solomon and Vampire Federation agent Alex Bishop. Once lovers and now enemies, they must work together to prevent the ultimate disaster. Unless they can foil the vampyrs' plans, salvation for the race will be just a dream gone bad.




Mecha Corps: A Novel of the Armor Wars by Brett Patton

Matt Lowell is in hell-and there's no place he'd rather be. At a training camp on the backwater planet of Earth, he and his fellow cadets are learning to ride Mechas: biomechanicals sporting both incredible grace and devastating firepower. Their ultimate aim is to combat the pirates of the Corsair Confederacy, but before they survive a battle, they have to survive their training.

Because every time Lowell and his comrades "plug in" to their Mechas, their minds are slowly being twisted and broken by an unseen power that is neither man...nor machine.


Broken Blade  by Kelly McCullough

Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken, and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way. Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message-one that can either redeem him or doom him.


Myth-Fortunes by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye

Aahz falls for a literal pyramid scheme, selling it stone by stone as a burial site, while claiming the coveted pointed stone top for himself. But Skeeve wants to be know why the construction site is having so many accidents-before both he and Aahz end up in the afterlife before their time...



Fox and Phoenix by Beth Bernobich

The king of Long City is dying. For Kai Zu, the news means more than it does for most former street rats in the small mountain stronghold, because he and the king's daughter are close friends. Then the majestic ruler of the ghost dragons orders Kai to travel across the country to the Phoenix Empire, where the princess is learning statecraft. In a court filled with intrigue, Kai and his best (female) friend Yan must work together to help the princess escape and return to Long City.


The Rook by Daniel O'Malley

"The body you are wearing used to be mine." So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her.

She soon learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy that battles the many supernatural forces at work in Britain. She also discovers that she possesses a rare, potentially deadly supernatural ability of her own.

In her quest to uncover which member of the Chequy betrayed her and why, Myfanwy encounters a person with four bodies, an aristocratic woman who can enter her dreams, a secret training facility where children are transformed into deadly fighters, and a conspiracy more vast than she ever could have imagined.


Mind Storm  by K. M. Ruiz

The first in an exciting new sci-fi series that’s being described as Blade Runner meets X-Men

Two hundred and fifty years after the world was nearly wiped out by nuclear war, what’s left of society fights over the scraps of the Earth as the rich and powerful plan to ascend in secret to another planet. But the deadly new breed of humanity that the rulers have enslaved to protect their interests are about to change everything.

K.M. Ruiz’s Mind Storm is the rip-roaring tale of Threnody Corwin, a “psion” with the ability to channel electricity like lightning through anything she touches. As a solider-slave for the human government, Threnody is recruited by an unknown enemy: the scion of Earth’s most powerful (and supposedly human) family, the Serca Syndicate. But Lucas Serca is far from human and he intends to make Threnody and her fellow psions meet their destiny, no matter how many people he has to kill to do it.

Mind Storm is the first of two books chronicling the fight for survival by the psions and other “gene-trash” humans, before they’re killed by the racist world government, or left to die on a crumbling Earth.


The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

Reaching far beyond sword and sorcery, The Scar is a story of two people torn by disaster, their descent into despair, and their reemergence through love and courage. Sergey and Marina Dyachenko mix dramatic scenes with romance, action and wit, in a style both direct and lyrical. Written with a sure artistic hand, The Scar is the story of a man driven by his own feverish demons to find redemption and the woman who just might save him.

Egert is a brash, confident member of the elite guards and an egotistical philanderer. But after he kills an innocent student in a duel, a mysterious man known as “The Wanderer” challenges Egert and slashes his face with his sword, leaving Egert with a scar that comes to symbolize his cowardice. Unable to end his suffering by his own hand, Egert embarks on an odyssey to undo the curse and the horrible damage he has caused, which can only be repaired by a painful journey down a long and harrowing path.

4 comments:

Michael Offutt, Expert Critic said...

Wow. You get a ton of books all the time. Like a landslide of them.

I used to read Piers Anthony when I was a kid. I kinda outgrew Xanth about 20 years ago. But I still remember the good stuff. I really liked his Incarnations of Immortality series (another that is about 20-25 years old).

Some of the cover art seems underwhelming. You can tell which ones the publishers like and which ones they don't really care about with this lot.

So how do you choose which books you read. With a landslide of choices constantly coming in there's no way you could read all of them.

SQT said...

Mostly I read what looks good to me. Sometimes I'll commit to certain titles, so I prioritize by trying to get to those first. It's tough sometimes because not every book is something I want to finish.

I was a huge Piers Anthony fan at about that time too. I looved the Incarnations until the one about God-- I thought that one stunk. I feel like I've outgrown Xanth too, though I may read this one for old times' sake

Allison said...

Oh, I've been wanting to read Fox and Phoenix! Do tell me how how you like it if you read it. The Rook also has me hooked with the opening line of its summary.

Allison
Geek Banter

SQT said...

I'm about halfway through "The Rook" and love it so far.