Saturday 31 August 2013

Books Received in August, 2013

Here are the books I received this past month.

Mist by Susan Krinard

Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.
She survived. That's the end of it.
But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Mist's normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn't quite so normal herself. She's a Valkyrie, and she's going to need all her skill to thwart Loki's schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.

Billy Moon by Douglas Lain

In Douglas Lain's debut novel set during the turbulent year of 1968, Christopher Robin Milne, the inspiration for his father's fictional creation, struggles to emerge from a manufactured life, in a story of hope and transcendence.
Billy Moon was Christopher Robin Milne, the son of A. A. Milne, the world-famous author of "Winnie the Pooh" and other beloved children's classics. Billy's life was no fairy-tale, though. Being the son of a famous author meant being ignored and even mistreated by famous parents; he had to make his own way in the world, define himself, and reconcile his self-image with the image of him known to millions of children. A veteran of World War II, a husband and father, he is jolted out of midlife ennui when a French college student revolutionary asks him to come to the chaos of Paris in revolt. Against a backdrop of the apocalyptic student protests and general strike that forced France to a standstill that spring, Milne's new French friend is a wild card, able to experience alternate realities of the past and present. Through him, Milne's life is illuminated and transformed, as are the world-altering events of that year.
In a time when the Occupy movement eerily mirrors the political turbulence of 1968, this magic realist novel is an especially relevant and important book.
Trancendental by James Gunn

Riley, a veteran of interstellar war, is one of many beings from many different worlds aboard a ship on a pilgrimage that spans the galaxy. However, he is not journeying to achieve transcendence, a vague mystical concept that has drawn everyone else on the ship to this journey into the unknown at the far edge of the galaxy. His mission is to find and kill the prophet who is reputed to help others transcend. While their ship speeds through space, the voyage is marred by violence and betrayal, making it clear that some of the ship's passengers are not the spiritual seekers they claim to be.
Like the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, a number of those on the starship share their unique stories. But as tensions rise, Riley realizes that the ship is less like the Canterbury Tales and more like a harrowing, deadly ship of fools. When he becomes friendly with a mysterious passenger named Asha, he thinks she's someone he can trust. However, like so many others on the ship, Asha is more than she appears. Uncovering her secrets could be the key to Riley's personal quest, or make him question everything he thought he knew about Transcendentalism and his mission to stop it.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill - I'm a little over half way through this book and it is AWESOME.  I've had a lot of trouble putting it down to do anything.  It's a very compelling story.  I'll have a review up for it soon.

"You have to kill him."
Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.
Only Em can complete the final instruction. She's tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present-imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.
Marina has loved her best friend James since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America''s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James's life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina's hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon - I've already read and reviewed this one.  I enjoyed it.  It's the start of a new series with a lot of great background elements.

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others' minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city--Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly--as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

Myths and Legends: King Arthur by Daniel Mersey

Despite his enduring popularity, King Arthur remains the most enigmatic of Britain''s legendary heroes. In this new book, author Dan Mersey retells the great stories of Arthur, while exploring the different facets of Arthurian myth, from the numerous, conflicting theories of his historical origin, through the tales of Welsh folklore and Medieval romance, and concluding with an examination of his various portrayals in the modern media. Presented with both classic and newly commissioned artwork, this book is an easy-to-read, yet highly detailed introduction to the complex body of myth and legend that surrounds Britain''s greatest hero.

Countdown by Michelle Rowan

3 seconds left to live.

Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.

2 pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game.

Kira Jordan survived her family's murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.

1 reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it.

Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira's psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan's secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira's only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can't escape.


Friday 30 August 2013

Recommended Reading by Professionals... With Jim C. Hines

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend two or three authors or books they feel haven't received the recognition they deserve. Today's recommendations are by Jim C. Hines.

Mr. Hines is the author of the Jig the Goblin series, the Princess series and several short story collections.  Libriomancer, the first book of his urban fantasy Magic ex Libris series, has just been released in mass market, and the second book, Codex Born is now out in hardcover.  He won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer due to his awesome blog.

  1. Marie Brennan is a fantasy author who writes flat-out gorgeous books. Her latest book is A Natural History of Dragons, which is a memoir-style novel about Lady Trent, who eventually went on to become the world’s greatest dragon naturalist. She’s like Jacques Cousteau of the fire-breathers. Brennan’s Onyx Court series is richly researched historical fantasy, exploring the London-based fairy court’s history over the centuries. The only downside to reading Brennan’s work is I always walk away feeling jealous of how smart she is...
  2. Kelly McCullough’s books are just plain fun. I devoured his WebMage books, which blend magic and mythology and computer hacking. And there’s a goblin who’s also a laptop. I was skeptical when I picked them up – a magical system based on computer software? – but McCullough makes it work. Oh, and Kelly sometimes dressed up like a faun and tromps around in Neil Gaiman’s backyard, so there’s that too.
Stay tuned for the next post where we learn who James Knapp thinks we should be reading more of!

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Short Film: Sight

I saw this quite a while back but apparently didn't post it here.  It's a brilliant short film by Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo about a future in which computer apps are directly accessed by your brain for everything from playing games, cooking, and dating advice.  This was their graduation project from Bezaleal academy of arts.

Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Ontario Speculative Fiction Author Reading List Revised

This is a revised list thanks to the comments I got on the original post.  I went through Chizine Publication's Imaginarium and pulled out the Ontario authors.  I also went through the list of panelists for this year's Ad Astra, a local convention, which has greatly beefed up the list.  So, there are now short fiction and poetry categories, as well as novelists.

A few of the newly added authors I've met/read, so I'm embarrassed that I missed them on my original list.  Having said that, I encountered a lot of authors I've not heard of, which is exciting. :)  And I discovered that Steven Erikson is Canadian, though based in Winnipeg.

I also discovered that Dennis Lee is still writing poetry.  If you're not Canadian you might not have heard of him, but kids of my generation all grew up reading his books of poetry for kids, Alligator Pie and Garbage Delight.  The books have recently come back into print, ready for a new generation.  I'll have to look up some of his adult stuff and see if it's as bizarre and fun as his kids stuff.

I'm sure the list is still incomplete, so if you know any authors missing, please mention them in the comment section.  Oh, and in a few cases I couldn't figure out if they are based in Ontario or not so I apologize for any errors on the list.

Books On the Display:

Book of Tongues - Gemma Files
Eutopia, 'Geisters, Rasputin's Bastards, Monstrous Affections - David Nickle
Indigo Springs - A. M. Dellamonica (her bio says Vancouver, but she just moved to Toronto)
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
A Turn of Light - Julie Czerneda
The New Moon's Arms - Nalo Hopkinson
Silence - Michelle Sagara
The Wild Ways - Tanya Huff
The Mirror Prince, Shadowlands - Violette Malan,
The Silver Lake - Fiona Patton
River of Stars - Guy Gavriel Kay
Sins of the Angels, Sins of the Son - Linda Poitevin
Technicolor Ultra Mall - Ryan Oakley
Spin - Robert Charles Wilson
Red Planet Blues - Robert J. Sawyer
vN, iD - Madeline Ashby
Enter, Night - Michael Rowe
Chimerascope - Douglas Smith
Virga: Cities of the Air - Karl Schroeder
The Pattern Scars - Caitlin Sweet
Blind Sight - Peter Watts

Unrepresented Novelists:

Once Every Never - Lesley Livingston
Above - Leah Bobet
The Moon Under Her Feet - Derwin Mak
Run With the Wolves: The Pack - T. C. Tombs
Below the Line - Scott Albert
Deadwalk - Stephanie Bedwell-Grime
Destiny's Blood - Marie Bilodeau
Nexus: Ascension - Robert Boyczuk
Small Magics - Erik Buchanan
Pontypool Changes Everything - Tony Burgess
Halcyon - Catherine Fitzsimmons
Triptych - J. M. Frey
Blaze of Glory - Sheryl Nantus
Elminster Enraged - Ed Greenwood
Fall From Earth - Matthew Johnson
Alex and the Ironic Gentleman - Adrienne Kress
The Raven's Warrior - Vincent Pratchett
The Demonologist - Andrew Pyper
Ink - Amanda Sun
Frozen Blood - Joel A. Sutherland
Defining Diana - Hayden Trenholm
Night Runner - Max Turner
Angel of Death - Karen Dales
Every House is Haunted - Ian Rogers

Short Fiction Authors:

"Dig for Fire" - James Bambury
"The Son of Heaven" - Eric Choi
"The God Thieves" - Derek Kunsken
"The Many Lives of the Xun Long" - Michael Matheson
"Delta Pi" - Matt Moore
"Remains of the Witch" - Tony Pi
"Night Shift at the Tim Hornets" - Mike Rimar
"The Machine is Perfect, the Engineer is Nobody" - Brett Alexander Savory
"Jade Angel" - Dena Bain Taylor
"A Trip to the Northern Elves" - Pippa Wysong
"Mama Fish" - Rio Youers
"When the Zombies Win" - Karina Sumner-Smith
"Cooking For the Dead" - Peter Chiykowski
"Hide" - Rebecca M. Senese
"10 Things to Know About Staplers" - Carolyn Clink
"Centipede Girl" - Ada Hoffmann
"Laikas I" - Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer
"Hawkwood's Folly" - Tim Reynolds
"Razor Voices" - Kelly Rose Pfug-Back
"One Quarter Gorgon" - Helen Marshall
"Nothing But Sky Overhead" - David Livingstone Clink


"Falling" - David Clink
The Animal Bridegroom - Sandra Katsuri
Alligator Pie - Dennis Lee
Catalysts and Catastrophes: Feline Poems - Susan Ioannou
"Selected Haiku" - George Swede

Tuesday 27 August 2013

Book Review: Psycho by Robert Bloch

Pros: great writing, unique twist

Cons: if you've seen the movie, you know the story (including the twist ending)

When Mary Crane's boss hands her an envelope containing $40,000 to bring to the bank she thinks her troubles are over.  She impulsively drives to her boyfriend's town, intending to use the cash to pay off his debts so they can finally get married.  But heavy rain makes her miss a turn and she ends up spending the night at the Bates Motel.

If you've seen the Alfred Hitchcock movie you know the story.  There are some differences, particularly with regards to Norman Bates, who in the book is 40, overweight, and converses more with his mother than he does in the film.  Mary's also given more motivation for stealing the money.  Mrs. Bates is quite horrifying, especially given how Norman covers for her.

It is a highly suspenseful book, with a great twist ending if you haven't seen the film (and even if you have, the skill with which the author makes Norman's home life bizarre but plausible is wonderful).

With such a great story it's no wonder Hitchcock thought it would make an excellent film, and kept the plot so close to that of the book.  It's short (just over 200 pages) and a very quick read.

Monday 26 August 2013

Fan Expo - Interesting Things to Buy

There were a lot of interesting products to buy, in addition to the usual t-shirts, artwork, collectables, comics, etc.

I've made a short album with some of my favourites from the show, including - where I know them - links for more information.  Here's the link where you can read my captions and see larger versions of the pictures.  If you just want to see the images, check out the slideshow.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Fan Expo Canada Cosplay

Since Saturday's so crazy at Fan Expo, I decided to go on Friday this year and see if it was easier to get around.  It was, mostly.  I've got a slideshow of costumes, followed by some nifty lego creations that were on the show floor.  There are a few 'celebrity' cars as well (Kitt from Knight Rider and the Batmobile).  If the slideshow doesn't work (or you don't have/like flash or want to see the pictures larger) here's a link to the album.

[And for those of you who commented on yesterday's reading list post, I will be adding the authors when I get the chance, I've just been busy.]

Friday 23 August 2013

Ontario Speculative Fiction Author Reading List

*I've done an updated list with a LOT more authors, which you can find here.*

I did this endcap about a month ago (it's still up at the World's Biggest Bookstore) because several local authors had new books coming out.  It's hard to believe how many speculative fiction authors live in Ontario.  Oh, and for those of you who aren't Canadian, "Yours to Discover" is Ontario's license plate saying.

As with all my reading lists, this isn't a comprehensive list.  I know I'm missing people on the display, and list (authors I don't know, authors we don't carry, out of print books, etc.).  So if you know an author who's missing, mention them in the comment section and I'll add them to the list.

Books On the Display:

Book of Tongues - Gemma Files
Eutopia, 'Geisters, Rasputin's Bastards, Monstrous Affections - David Nickle
Indigo Springs - A. M. Dellamonica (her bio says Vancouver, but she just moved to Toronto)
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
A Turn of Light - Julie Czerneda
The New Moon's Arms - Nalo Hopkinson
Silence - Michelle Sagara
The Wild Ways - Tanya Huff
The Mirror Prince, Shadowlands - Violette Malan,
The Silver Lake - Fiona Patton
River of Stars - Guy Gavriel Kay
Sins of the Angels, Sins of the Son - Linda Poitevin
Technicolor Ultra Mall - Ryan Oakley
Spin - Robert Charles Wilson
Red Planet Blues - Robert J. Sawyer
vN, iD - Madeline Ashby
Enter, Night - Michael Rowe
Chimerascope - Douglas Smith
Virga: Cities of the Air - Karl Schroeder
The Pattern Scars - Caitlin Sweet
Blind Sight - Peter Watts

Unrepresented Authors:

Once Every Never - Lesley Livingston
Above - Leah Bobet
The Moon Under Her Feet - Derwin Mak
Run With the Wolves: The Pack - T. C. Tombs

Thursday 22 August 2013

Movie Review: Battle Royale

Directed by: Kinji Fukasaku, 2000

Pros: creepy premise, mostly stays close to the book, great acting

Cons: some unnecessary changes from the book, lots of graphically violent scenes

In a future dystopian Japan, the collapsed economy has led to a generation of kids with few prospects and no respect.  In order to make kids learn respect, the government has instituted the Battle Royale program, choosing one grade 9 class at random to duel to the death.

First of all, let me clarify that I'm not a fan of graphically violent movies or books (hence why that's in the 'con' category) but I have read the book and knew going into this that the movie would be graphically violent.  The film comes with a 16+ rating for a reason.  Having said that, if you're looking for a Hunger Games style film where most of the violence occurs off screen, this is not that film.

I was impressed by how much of the film matched the book's content.  There were a few changes I wondered about (like making 2 of the participants transfer students for the purpose of the game only rather than students from the class and the kids not knowing what the battle royale was in advance).  I loved that the man running the games had a personal grudge against this particular class.  Not only did it show that their selection for the game was rigged, it added to the terror because HE knew what was coming.  The one change I didn't really like was the reasoning for the games in the first place.  There's a chilling moment at the end of the novel where you finally learn why the government has instituted the program.  That moment's gone here, as the film has a different motive for the program, told via a quick narration at the start of the film.

Beyond those issues, the story - as far as I can remember - follows the novel pretty closely.  Shuya Nanahara (Tatsuya Fujiwara) tries to protect Noriko Nakagawa (Aki Maeda) while evading the other students and danger zones.  I was impressed by the acting chops of the kids.  They all did an amazing job.

All in all I was impressed by the film.  It's definitely not for everyone, but if you liked the book it's a  good adaptation.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Video: Bettlejuice Minecraft Roller Coaster

I saw this ages ago and forgot to post it.  It's a minecraft roller coaster in the Bettlejuice film setting.  It took its creators, Rivergrl21 and Nuropsych1, 2 months to make in creative mode.  It's quite a trippy ride.


Tuesday 20 August 2013

Book Review: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Pros: intricate world-building, strong female protagonist, glossary of terms

Cons: lots of characters to remember (no character list)

Paige Mahoney is a dreamwalker, able to send her spirit into the aether.  She works for the criminal underworld of Scion London because clairvoyant powers like hers are illegal.  Unnatural.  A series of unfortunate events leaves her hunted by the Night Vigilance Division, voyants who work for the state against their own kind.  But it's a different group that finds her.  Instead of being executed or brought to the tower, she's drugged and woken up in a different city.  She finds herself a prisoner of a race of beings called Rephaite.  Beings who helped bring Scion to power.  Beings who are now her masters.

The world building in this novel is incredible.  Shannon has created 1) an alternate history from 1859, when clairvoyance became widespread, 2) a kind of caste system for clairvoyants, including numerous ways to access the aether, 3) a complex crime syndicate based in London, 4) a dystopian government that's extending its powers, 5) the Rephaite and Emim, and 6) the penal city of Sheol I.

While there are a few info dump style scenes, they're quick and intigrated into the story.  And you really need them.  So much is going on that the faster you're grounded in the background of each section, the more interesting the story is.  The information is explained in different ways, the branches of clairvoyance are delivered via an infographic at the start of the novel, there's an orientation meeting for Shoel I, and Paige learns more about the city from other inmates.  I really appreciated that Paige's flashbacks not only allowed you to learn more about her character but were used as a point of intrigue later on in the narrative.   

Paige is a flawed but still kick-ass protagonist.  She makes mistakes in the book and pays for them, but comes back fighting.  Her progression through the book feels realistic.  She's trying not to give in to hopelessness like so many others around her, while at the same time understanding that she has something to return to should she escape, unlike many of the others. 

The Rephaite are fantastic bad guys.  The more Paige learns about them, the more evil they become.  And yet, she's drawn to her keeper, who isn't quite like the others.  Their relationship is complicated and rather fun to read.

One of the few complaints I had about the novel was the large number of characters.  There are Paige's syndicate members (by name and codename), people in government, people from history, numerous Rephaite, and the people in Shoel I, who you have to remember by both name and number.  The numbers could confuse you too, as Paige was sometimes her full number, XX-59-40, sometimes XX-40 and sometimes just 40.  A list of characters, with their numbers/aliases, would have been a helpful addition alongside the included glossary of terms (which I had to refer to several times towards the end of the book).  

Another complaint was that amaranth became too powerful towards the end of the novel, which reduced tension in some otherwise tense scenes.

This is the first of a planned 7 book series.  Given everything introduced in this book, I can't wait to see what the author does next.  There's so much left unexplored, especially with regards to the Rephaite.  And while this book is definitely open ended, there is a sense of completion to this volume, which I appreciated.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Shout-Out: Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi

I came across this book a while back on Net Galley.  It's an ebook original by Musa Publishing.  I really love the cover art.  It reminds me of Spirited Away.

Every civilization has its myths. Only one is true.

When eighteen-year-old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”

Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfill her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows. Chaos envelops the city, and as Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession--that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honor her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.

Friday 16 August 2013

Recommended Reading by Professionals With... Brandon Sanderson

In this series, I ask various publishing professionals (including authors, bloggers, editors, agents etc.) to recommend 2-3 authors or books they feel haven't received the recognition they deserve.

Today's recommendations are by Brandon Sanderson! Best known as the man who finished Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, Sanderson has written a number of books including Elantris, the Mistborn trilogy, The Alloy of Law, Warbreaker and The Way of Kings. He's also written several books for younger readers, including his newest novels, The Rithmatist and the forthcoming Steelheart. Along with several other authors he hosts the Parsec Award winning and Hugo Award nominated podcast, Writing Excuses.

[Note: this message was transcribed from a recording by Mr. Sanderson specifically for this post.]

People often ask me to recommend books I feel deserve more attention than they're getting. This is hard to do for two reasons. First, I have trouble deciding whether I should recommend the old standbys I've been recommending forever, or if I should recommend the new voices. And two, I just don't know which books the everyday readers are chatting about. Before I was a writer, I was more in tune with what my friends would talk about. Nowadays, most of my friends are industry professionals, so I know what the industry professionals are talking about, but not what the average fan is reading. With that preamble in mind, here are a few book recommendations, though perhaps people are talking about these books, and I just don't realize it.

  1. I really do feel that Guy Gavriel Kay — his new work and his old — still doesn't get enough recognition. He's one of the great writers of the genre, and he's amazing. His writing is beautiful, interesting, fun and exciting, but also lyrical. He has a series out right now. The first one is called Under Heaven, and the second one, River of Stars, just came out. If you've never read Guy Gavriel Kay, his classic Tigana is one I often recommend.
  2. I think N.K. Jemisin is doing some very fascinating things in fantasy right now. She's a great storyteller. I do know that people in industry are talking about her a lot. I don't know if your everyday fans are noticing her books enough, but certainly if you haven't heard of her, look up The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It is a fantastic novel. I will put a slight content warning on both Tigana and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, for those who are concerned about those sorts of issues.
  3. And one more recommendation. For a long time, my standby was Daniel Abraham, but I think everybody's reading him now because he's got these cool series coming out that everyone loves, so I'd like to point out a new author, Brian McClellan. He's a former student of mine, who just had the first in a series come out with Orbit. The book's called Promise of Blood, and it's quite good. It's a flintlock fantasy, where people are using magic mixed with gunpowder in really cool ways.
Stay tuned for the next post where we learn which authors Jim C. Hines thinks we should be reading more books by!

Thursday 15 August 2013

TV Show Review: Continuum Season 1

Pros: conflicted protagonist, interesting future dystopia, time travel conundrums

Cons: sometimes cheesy special effects, police accept Kiera's story too easily, partner accepts her lies/half truths too easily

A group of terrorists who use explosives to protest the rule of corporations as government in 2077 are scheduled for execution.  Something goes wrong and they, and one of the guards, Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols), are transported back in time.  Despite being desperate to return to her own time - where she has a husband and son - Kiera knows she's the only one who can stop the criminals.  So she joins Vancouver's police force as a special advisor on the new group of terrorists in town, terrorists determined to see their future changed.  She's helped by the creator of her high tech police uniform, who's still a teen in our time.

The show is not only filmed in Vancouver, it's set in Vancouver too.  The main characters are conflicting at first, since the future's a dystopia where corporations have become the government, you're not sure you want everything to stay the same.  This feeling is compounded by flashbacks of Kiera's life over the course of the season that show just how corrupt the future is.  Her character fights to keep things the same, though that requires her to make difficult, and often morally ambiguous decisions in the present.  She even joins with the terrorists in one early episode when they claim they can take her back to the future with them.

The acting's pretty good and, with a few cheesy exceptions, the special effects decent.  I did wonder that the police accepted Kiera's cover story so easily, even with the fake file Alec Sadler (her tech contact, played by Erik Knudsen) set up.  Her police partner puts up with a lot of lies, half truths, and evasions, which surprised me as well.

All in all it's a fun show that questions the power corporations have, a gutsy move given the power corporations have.  You'll recognize a few actors from X-Files (Cancer Man and Alex Krycek).  Given how well done the show is on the whole, I'm surprised how little I've seen about it online.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Indigogo SF Short: Interkozmosz - Film About a Sci-fi Geek

I got a notification last week about another SF short film looking for funding, this time on Indigogo.  It's by Hungarian writer and director Béla Bánhegyi.

So, what's it about?

Bandi is a 51-year old fanatic sci-fi geek. He grinds his days lonely in a small Hungarian village and he subsists on repairing electronic devices as a self-employed. His parents died, he does not have any friends and he has minimal relations with the external world. Since his childhood he has collected everything that is related to space research, astronomy and science fiction: magazines, films, news articles and pieces of information. His devotion has grown exceptionally when the country's exclusive space telecommunications ground station was built when he was 15. He is convinced that the station receives and broadcasts extra-terrestrial transmissions therefore his greatest dream is to enter the facility once. In spite of the unsuccessful 35 years that have passed innumerable petitions and experiments his devotion has remained unbroken. Owing to the film we can track one of Bandi’s Sundays by getting acquainted with his individual views and closed world: his unusual routines, awe-inspiring collection of relics, his radio broadcasting station furnished at the parish and his secret room guarded by 7 locks. 
 You can find out more about the project on their Indigogo page.  Funding starts at $10 and consists of an HD download of the 20 minute film.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Shout-Out: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

I know I did a shout-out a few days ago and I'd planned to mention this book as a shout-out next week, but as a copy arrived on my doorstep today I figured I'd bump up that schedule.

We got several boxes of this book at the store yesterday, which surprised me as I hadn't encountered it anywhere other than my 'Upcoming SF/F' list.  Usually if a book's expected to do well there's a lot more pre-publicity for it on the internet.  I discovered (after googling the author) that the book's been optioned for film.  Not bad for a debut.

So, what's the book about?

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others' minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing. But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city--Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly--as soldiers in their army. Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

I have to say it sounds pretty interesting.  Her facebook account says this is the first book of a 7 book series, which is an exciting prospect.  If you're interested in learning more about the author you can check out her website, her blog and facebook.

Monday 12 August 2013

Book Review: Her Ladyship's Curse by Lynn Viehl

Pros: interesting protagonist, solid world-building, fun premise

Cons: romance felt rushed

This is part one of Disenchanted & Co, which I took to be a duology since part one is out in August in ebook edition only, and part 2 (His Lordship Possessed) is out in October.  The reality is that Her Ladyship's Curse is the first half of the novel, which abruptly ends to be continued in the next volume.  Which explains why the books are slated for a paperback release as a single volume in January 2014.

It makes reviewing the book somewhat challenging as there's been no completion of any of the plot points.  This first half is, as to be expected, set-up for the rest of the novel.  We're introduced to the primary characters, the plot, with several interesting twists, and the world.  But it's hard to judge a work as a whole when you've only read half of it.

The world-building is solid, being an alternate reality USA where England won the Revolutionary War.  It's obvious that a lot of thought went into deciding how that loss would affect the people, with regards to fashion, attitudes and class structure.  The natives are still treated badly, which is painful to read but realistic given how actual history treated them.

I really enjoyed seeing Miss Kittredge using her brain to debunk the superstitions of others.  She's a great, spunky protagonist that will remind readers of Alexia Tarabotti from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.

I'm not the biggest fan of heavy handed romances and the one here, though not given much page time, somewhat creeped me out.  The woman's adamant about hating the guy and he keeps trying to push himself on her.  Their inevitable liaison seemed forced, as there was no attempt by the hero to prove he wasn't the monster the heroine believed him to be.  Had this first half simply set the scene and shown her learning more about him (or even better, the two learning more about each other, as he doesn't seem to respect her position as a working woman), perhaps a liaison in the second half of the novel would have felt more organic.

This is a promising beginning with lots of potential.  It will be interesting to see how selling the novel as two ebook halves works out.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Shout-Out: The Arrivals by Melissa Marr

Here's another genre book I saw while shelving in the general fiction section.  Fantasy with a western slant's becoming more and more popular it seems.

The Wasteland is a world beyond our own. It is a rough and ragged landscape under a two-moon sky, inhabited by monsters and creatures that could almost pass for human. Into this alternate world unwitting people are brought, from both past and present, for reasons none of them know.

Chloe Mattison goes to sleep, drunk and heartbroken, in Washington, D.C., and wakes up in the Wasteland. Chloe is welcomed by Jack and Kitty, brother and sister from a Wild West frontier town. "You're one of us," they tell her, yet neither Jack nor Kitty, nor any of their companions, know why they were chosen.

Two questions loom large in all of their minds: Why are we here? Is there a way out of this corrupt, demon-filled world?

Friday 9 August 2013

Author Interview: Mark Lawrence

Prince of Thorns
King of Thorns
Emperor of Thorns

In addition to writing novels, Mr. Lawrence also writes short stories and poetry (click the links to read several of each).


> What can readers expect from your Broken Empire trilogy?

I think a lot of authors find this a hard question to answer. Authors like to talk about the writing. Talking about the story is more difficult because it's asking for hundreds of thousands of words to be shoe-horned into tens of words.

The Broken Empire trilogy is about a charming, dangerous, and amoral boy growing into a charming, dangerous, and amoral young man. On the journey he cuts down pretty much everything and everyone who gets in his way, and he's rather creative when it comes to the business of killing.

Where Prince of Thorns differs from a lot of fantasy books is that the story is the main character, Jorg. It's as much about who he is and why he is as it is about what he does. There's no evil overlord threatening the goodly lands of Generica. There are no dragons, no fireworky mages spewing out magic like they just ate a bad spell. Our protagonist is a nasty piece of work and no crime seems too bad for him if it’s a path to his goals. He makes no apologies for his actions and isn’t seeking redemption. However, if you read between the lines he delivers, you discover a new perspective on him that whilst it doesn't excuse his deeds, does go some way to explaining them.

So, turning tens of words into ten, it's a violent enthusiastic fantasy with a deeper sub-text.

> Why did you decide to make Jorg an anti-hero rather than a traditional hero figure?
I find these tags of hero, anti-hero, and villain rather restrictive, as if fantasy were something laid out according to certain rules, when in reality it should be the least constrained of all fiction.

The inspiration for the character came from Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange which also features a violent and amoral protagonist who confuses us by being at the same time charming and intelligent. I wanted to see if I could work a similar magic in a fantasy book.

 > You've worked in the field of artificial intelligence.  Why do you write fantasy rather than science fiction?

I still work in that field, but if I worked as a doctor should I then write medical dramas? Or if I were a lawyer should I write fiction about crime and judgement? If that were true who would we be left with to write fantasy? Would we need people who worked by day as unicorn wranglers or dragon farmers to write fantasy? Fantasy was my first love long before I discovered I could solve equations. My mother read me Lord of the Rings when I was seven.

> What made you want to be a writer?

I never harboured any great desire to be a writer, and certainly no expectation of it. I just enjoyed writing – so I did! Nobody was more surprised than me when someone wanted to print my work and sell it.
 > If you could, would you change places with any of your characters?

No. My life isn’t all milk and honey but my characters all have it much tougher than I do. I’m much happier on this side of the keyboard.

> What were your literary influences for the Broken Empire trilogy ?
The inspiration for the protagonist, Jorg, came from A Clockwork Orange. Beyond that I have no influences I’m aware of, and probably many that I’m not aware of. Certainly reading George Martin’s A Game of Thrones reawakened my interest in fantasy, convincing me that the elements I loved in fantasy when growing up could be re-imagined in a much more adult and literary fashion without losing that magic.

> Beyond the matter of length, do you find it easier writing short stories, poems or novels?

When it’s time for a poem then a poem comes easy. But I couldn’t write one every day. The shorter the form the more effort per word I would say in general, but that effort is mainly in waiting for the idea or sentiment or vision to bubble up from wherever it is that these things bubble from.

> What was the hardest scene for you to write?

Emotionally that would be a scene in King of Thorns involving a dog. I had my only ever piece of hate-mail over that.
> When and where do you write?
I write wherever I can sit down and get some quiet, normally late at night when all my other duties are taken care of.
> What’s the best/worst thing about writing?
Writing is like scratching an itch. The need to do it builds up. Then you do it, and for a while the need is satisfied. So the best thing is that it scratches that itch. If I didn’t write I’d have to do something else creative.
I’m having difficulty coming up with a worst thing... it’s all pretty good. I guess the worst thing is that it’s time consuming and you could have done something else good in those hours. I’ve not managed to play a computer game in two years and I’d really quite like to. It’s just I’d rather write.

> What is something you didn’t know about the publishing industry before you had your first book published?

That would be EVERYTHING. I didn’t have the slightest clue about or interest in the publishing industry before my first book was published. I guess my biggest misconception was that the authors of the books in the bookshops were making their living by writing, when in fact very few of them can afford to give up the day job.

> Do you have any advice for hopeful authors?

Keep hoping.

But really it’s only sensible to invest all that time and effort if you enjoy it and find the writing to be its own reward.

> Any tips against writers block?

No. I’ve never had it. If I don’t want to write, I don’t write. I don’t consider that to be writer’s block.

> How do you discipline yourself to write? 

I don’t. I write if I want to.

Thursday 8 August 2013

3 Videos of Interest

I've received several emails lately with promotional trailers for some movies of interest.

The first is a documentary about John W. Campbell, Jr. by DMZ and Eric Solstein.

Here's a quick synopsis from Mr. Solstein's youtube page:

Science Fiction erupted into the modern age in 1938 when John W. Campbell, Jr. took over as editor at Astounding Science Fiction magazine. This is the story of one unique man who managed to create our modern vision of the future.
It's told by some of SF's greatest writers: Isaac Asimov, Harry Harrison, Frederik Pohl, Michael Moorcock, Philip Jose Farmer, Brian Aldiss, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson, Barry Malzberg, Ben Bova, Hal Clement, Bruce Sterling, Phil Klass &/or William Tenn, James Gunn and Samuel R. Delany.

The second video is a kickstarter campaign for a short film called Reality Check.  I'm not keen on their backer rewards but the film sounds interesting.  There's 15 days left to support it.

Here's the premise from their site.

Elion is an insurance agent who time-travels to check the validity of insurance claims. A job known as “The Watcher,” Elion, has one last assignment as a “Watcher,” which if she can solve will lead to a promotion.
The reward?  Elion will gain the ability to take her own time trip and gain information as to the whereabouts of her missing family, and the inner workings of Reality Check. She discovers along the way that corruption begins on a personal level. A decision she makes in the past will change the course of her future forever.

And last but not least, for you horror fans out there, Devil's Pass is a found footage movie coming out Sept 27th.

From the email:

The real life mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Incident has baffled investigators and researchers for decades, and rumors have attributed their strange deaths to everything from  alien encounters to government conspiracies. Check out the brand new trailer to join a new generation of explorers as they make their way through the infamous Ural Mountains and uncover secrets more shocking than they could have ever imagined. 

Wednesday 7 August 2013

SF Author Quiz - Answers

This is the answer key to the quiz I posted here.  If you haven't see that post, go back and read it first.

So how did you do?  I don't think we realize just how much information we get from a book cover, and how quickly we judge our interest based on it.  I considered doing a second quiz, showing the book covers with the author's names removed, to see if people could judge the books by gender based on those.  Or, for that matter, their own interest level.  As much as we hear, and may believe in the phrase, 'don't judge a book by its cover', so much of what happens in our brains is unconscious, and a cover, or badly written synopsis, can really bias us against an otherwise fantastic book.

(Edited to add: Basically I'm curious how many people 'don't read women' based on bias.  Yes, interest is a factor, I'm not a huge fan of books that focus on the romance over the plot and yes, a lot of women write (and read) romance focused books.  I guess I want to point out that not all women write that and if you're ignoring all books by women because there's one aspect of women's writing you don't like - whether perceived or true - then you're missing out.  I also don't want people to feel like they 'have' to read books by women.  Reading is a leisure activity.  Read what you enjoy.  Just don't unilaterally exclude an entire branch of writing based on bias.  Read the backs of books, maybe you'll find some - by people you otherwise wouldn't have picked up - that interest you.)

Again, if you liked this quiz and would like to see more (or just synopses without info so you can see if the book idea interests you without recourse to the cover art or author's name) then tell me in the comments and I'll make up some more of them.  Same goes for if you like the cover idea mentioned above.

I hope, if you're an SF fan or not, that you found something that interests you in the synopses I chose for this quiz.

Here are your answers:

1) Brain Plague - Joan Slonczewski (female)

2) Lost in Translation - Edward Willett (male)

3) Exogene - T. C. McCarthy (male)

4) Nothing Human - Nancy Kress (female)

5) Up Against It - M. J. Locke (female)

6) Warchild - Karin Lowachee (female)

7) The Last Mortal Man - Syne Mitchell (female)

8) Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand - Samuel Delany (male)

9) Seeds of Earth - Michael Cobley (male)

10) Dark Space - Marianne de Pierres (female)

SF Author Quiz - Judging a book by its Synopsis

A few days ago I read yet another post by a male SF fan who's somehow never read books by female SF author (and had somehow never heard of many well know, respected, award winning female SF authors).

My first impulse was to write a rant post.  Surely we've reached the point that if you're writing something on the internet you're also net savvy enough to be able to google 'female SF authors' to address your ignorance.  I've decided not to give suggestions on these types of posts anymore.  If someone honestly wants to find authors of a particular gender, race, sexuality, etc. then maybe doing the footwork to 1) find them and 2) see what's good, will convince them to actually read some books by people who are different from them.  I'm just getting the impression that writing an 'I haven't read X' post is becoming the 'I've admitted my fault and now I don't need to fix my fault' post.  The act of telling people what you're doing/planning on doing makes you feel good, so you don't end up actually DOING anything to address the problem.

So instead of a rant (ok, a major rant since that previous paragraph's a bit of a minor one) I've decided (at my husband's prompting) to do a quiz instead.  If you honestly judge books based on how much they interest you - rather than the cover or author's name - then try and guess whether the following books were written by a man or a woman base solely on the premise.  And note that the writing itself doesn't count, as it's the book's synopsis and thereby written by someone in the marketing department, not the author.

Because the bookshelves of people who honestly don't care about the gender of the author aren't just filled with books by men.  If you're truly interested in reading a good story it won't matter to you who the author is.

A few notes on my choices.  I purposely picked obscure/little known authors/books (both male and female) so they'd be harder to recognize by synopsis.  Some of these books are out of print.  Also, I picked hard SF books only, including some military SF and some space opera.  I'm putting the answers in a different post, which you can find here.

If you like this idea - getting the chance to examine books without being biased by the cover/author, then tell me in the comments and I'll do some more of these for different genres/sub-genres.  Also, if you do recognize a book, please don't mention the title/author in the comments.  Let others try their luck.

1) A starving artist on the planet Veledon agrees to let a colony of "brain enhancers" occupy her skull. These microscopic creatures live in the brain's outer linings, causing bursts of genius-or irreparable harm. The creatures themselves are like tiny human beings; one of their greatest concerns is getting their young to breed.

2) Kathryn and Jarrikk - she a human translator and he a S'sinn translator - had every reason to hate one another. Yet only by working together do they stand any chance of averting interstellar war.

3) She's a monster in the body of an eighteen-year-old girl. Bred by scientists, grown in vats, indoctrinated by the government, she and her sisters will win this war-no matter the cost.
And the costs are high. Their lifespan is short; as they age they become unstable and undergo a process called "the spoiling." On their eighteenth birthday they are discharged. Lined up and shot like cattle.

However, the truth is, Catherine and her sisters may not be strictly human, but they're not animals. They can twist their genomes and indoctrinate them to follow the principles of Faith and Death, but they can't shut off the part of them that wants more than war. Catherine may have only known death, but she dreams of life, and she will get it at any cost.

4) Early in the 21st century, global warming has caused sickness and death among plants, animals, and humans. Suddenly aliens contact and genetically modify a group of 14-years-olds, inviting them to visit their spacecraft. After several months of living among the aliens and studying genetics, the students discover that the aliens have been manipulating them and rebel. Upon their return to Earth, the girls in the group discover that they are pregnant and can only wonder what form their unborn children will take. Generations later, the offspring of these children seek to use their alien knowledge to change their genetic code, to allow them to live and prosper in an environment that is quickly becoming uninhabitable from the dual scourges of global warming and biowarfare. But after all the generations of change, will the genetically modified creatures resemble their ancestors, or will nothing human remain?

5) Jane Navio is the resource manager of Phoecea, an asteroid colony poised on the knife-edge of hard vacuum and unforgiving space. A mishap has dumped megatons of water and methane out the colony’s air lock, putting the entire human population at risk.

Jane discovers that the crisis may have been engineered by the Martian crime syndicate, as a means of executing a coup that will turn Phocaea into a client-state. And if that wasn't bad enough, an AI that spawned during the emergency has gone rogue…and there’s a giant x-factor in the form of the transhumanist Viridian cult that lives in Phocaea's bowels.

Jane’s in the prime of her career—she’s only a bit over a century old—but the conflict between politics and life-support is tearing her apart. To save her colony and her career, she’s going to have to solve several mysteries at once—a challenge that will put her up against all the difficulties, contradictions, and awkward compromises entailed in the human colonization of outer space.

6) When Jos' parents are killed in an attack on their trading ship, the boy is kidnapped by the attackers and then escapes - only to fall into the alien hands of humanity's greatest enemies. He is soon coerced into becoming a spy against the human race.

7) In the twenty-fourth century, nano-designed biology has turned the world into humanity's playground. And entrepreneur Lucius Sterling has created a trillion-dollar empire solving the world's problems: poverty, disease, war, and even death. But when a new technology attacks the fundamental building blocks of nano-biology, the survival of humanity is at stake.And only Sterling's estranged grandson, Jack, can stop the destruction.

8) What are the repercussions, once it has been made public, that two individuals have been found to be each other's perfect erotic object out to "point nine-nine-nine and several nines percent more"? What will it do to the individuals involved, to the city they inhabit, to their geosector, to their entire world society, especially when one is an illiterate worker, the sole survivor of a world destroyed by "cultural fugue," and the other is--you!

9) The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth''s last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on ... somewhere.

150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien''s forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilization. Unknown to its colonists, Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?

10) While drifting in space, lost due to navigational failure, a mineral scout discovers God. When word gets out, academics from the studiums across Orion scramble to gain the Entity’s favor. However, not all the sentients of Orion hold this "god" in awe—some, like the philosophers of Scolar and the Transhumans of Extropy are deeply suspicious. Onto the grand stage of interplanetary academic politics, intellectual conceit, and dubious theology walks Baronessa Mira Fedor. Her planet has been torn apart by the invasion of a race of giant tardigrades. Only the Orion League of Sentient Species can lend aid, but OLOSS is preoccupied with communicating with God. Mira, together with the rowdy, misogynist Jo-Jo Rasterovich, is left to her own resources to find help. In doing so she unmasks a galaxy-sized intrigue. But will she live long enough to tell anyone.

Once again, the answers can be found here.

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Book Review: Omens by Kelley Armstrong

Pros: interesting premise, fast-paced mystery, good set up for series

Cons: protagonists show little emotion, paranormal elements are light

Twenty-four year old socialite Olivia Taylor-Jones's life is turned upside down when she discovers that not only is she adopted, her birth parents are notorious serial killers.  Running to avoid the media and protect her mother and fiancee, Olivia ends up in Cainsville, a small town outside Chicago.  While trying to get by on her own she starts investigating the murder case that put her parents behind bars.  And her superstition about omens seems to be giving her good guidance lately.

There's a lot going on in this novel.  There's Olivia's coming of age, as she's forced from her home and social expectations and allowed to find what she wants out of life.  There's the murder mystery, long gone cold with few leads that haven't been followed by others.  And there's the town, with it's unique mixture of people, many of whom have some connection to Britain's folkloric past - though Olivia's mostly unaware of this and the reader's only given hints.  This book is primarily grounding for the new series.  We're introduced to the main players, including the town itself, with its numerous gargoyles and mysterious happenings.  

I loved the plot, that this girl discovers she's the kid of serial killers and how she deals with it.  And she deals with it remarkably well.  Despite the many things she learns, sees and does, she never breaks down.  Which is surprising, because she sees and does some horrific things.  It was strange not seeing her deal with the grief and shock that would have accompanied some of what she does/encounters.  But it certainly set her up as a strong character - much like Ripley from the Alien franchise.  Kick-ass and capable, but not always right.  In many ways she's well complemented by Gabriel Walsh, the lawyer who offers his aid - for a fee - who also displays little emotion.  I liked that the groundwork of a romance between them was set up, but that it's being allowed to develop naturally - assuming that's the direction the author is taking their relationship.

It's a quick, entertaining read and a good set up for what sounds like an interesting series.

Out August 20th.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels Coming in September 2013

This list is drawn from and therefore reflects Canadian release dates for books.


Doctor Who: The Official 50th Anniversary Annual – BBC
Book of Iron – Elizabeth Bear
Terra – Mitch Benn
The Halloween Legion: The Great Goblin Invasion – Martin Powell, Thomas Boatwright & Diana Leto
Jewels in the Dust – Peter Crowther
Monsters of the Earth – David Drake
Marauder – Gary Gibson
The Power of Twelve – William Gladstone
Mage's Blood – David Hair
The Year of the Ladybird – Graham Joyce
Kinslayer – Jay Kristoff
The Dead Run – Adam Mansbach
Evening's Empires – Paul McAuley
Warhammer 40K: Lords of Mars – Graham McNeill
The One-Eyed Man – L. E. Modesitt, Jr. 
Delia's Shadow – Jaime Lee Moyer
Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard – Kim Newman
Isaac Asimov's I Robot: To Obey – Mickey Zucker Reichert
On the Steel Breeze – Alastair Reynolds
Shaman – Kim Stanley Robinson
Vicious – V. E. Schwab
The Grim Company – Luke Scull
Hot Times in Magma City – Robert Silverberg
Crysis: Escalation – Gavin Smith
The Given Sacrifice – S. M. Stirling
How the World Became Quiet – Rachel Swirsky
Horse of a Different Color: Stories – Howard Waldrop
Happy Hour in Hell – Tad Williams

Trade Paperback:

War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches – Kevin J. Anderson
Betraying the God of Light – Jared Angel
Torchwood: Another Life – Peter Anghelides
Blue – Lou Aronica
Jupiter War – Neal Asher
The Mammoth Book of Time Travel SF – Mike Ashley, Ed.
Expedition Beyond – Roger Bagg
Fuse – Julianna Baggott
The Hydrogen Sonata – Iain Banks
Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl – David Barnett
Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? – Andrez Bergen
Shades of Blue and Gray: Ghosts of the Civil War – Steve Berman, Ed.
The Incrementalists – Steven Brust & Skyler White
Between Two Fires – Christopher Buehlman
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance – Lois McMaster Bujold
A Calculated Life – Anne Charnock
The Angel Stone – Juliet Dark
Myths and Legends: Thor: The Viking God of Thunder – Graeme Davis & Miguel Coimbra
Gods of Earth – Craig DeLancey
The Early Science Fiction of Philip K. Dick – Philip K. Dick
Wikiworld – Paul DiFilippo
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Omnibus – Christian Dunn
Fire: The Witch Hunt Continues – Sara Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
The Circle: The Witch Hunt Continues – Sara Elfgren & Mats Strandberg
Herald of the Storm – Richard Ford
Orders From Above – J. M. Forrest
Tombstone Blues – Chadwick Ginther
Stories of Terror and the Supernatural – Herman Graf
Warhammer 40K: The Death of Integrity – Guy Haley
Gallow: Cold Redemption – Nathan Hawke
Warhammer: The Tears of Isha – Darius Hinks
Charming – Elliott James
The Trillionist – Sagan Jeffries
Torchwood: Exodus Code – John & Carole Barrowman
Torchwood: Exodus Code – John & Carole Barrowman
Shadows Over Innsmouth – Stephen Jones, Ed.
The Maggot People – Henning Koch
The Spirit Keeper – K. B. Laugheed
Torchwood: Trace Memory – David Llewellyn
Fire Logic – Laurie Marks
The Delphi Room – Melia McClure
Warhammer 40K: Priests of Mars – Graham McNeill
The Undead Hordes of Kangul – Jon Merz
Father Gaetano's Puppet Cathechism – Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
The Patron Saint of Unattractive People – Teresa Milbrodt
This Strange Way of Dying – Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Heroes Lost and Found – Sheryl Nantus
Torchwood: Into the Silence – Sarah Pinborough
Coming of Age – B. Pine
Was – Geoff Ryman
23 Years on Fire – Joel Shepherd
The Rose and the Thorn – Michael Sullivan
War Master's Gate – Adrian Tchaikovsky
Empire of the Blood Omnibus – Gav Thorpe
Roverandom – J. R. R. Tolkien
Dateline: Atlantis – Lynn Voedisch
The God's Wife – Lynn Voedisch
She Walks in Darkness – Evangeline Walton
The Scroll of Years – Chris Willrich
About Time 7: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who – Tat Wood
The Uncovering – Jes Young
The Legend of Snow Wolf: Redemption – F. Lit Yu

Mass Market Paperback:

Until Again – Lou Aronica
Chasing the Shadows – Keri Arthur
Daughter of the Sword – Steve Bein
Shaman of Stonewylde – Kit Berry
The Daylight War – Peter Brett
Cold Days – Jim Butcher
The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight – Jack Campbell
Dr. Who: Sting of the Zygons – Stephen Cole
Dr. Who: The Krillitane Storm – Christopher Cooper
King Breaker – Rowena Cory Daniells
Celtic Moon – Jan DeLima
Warhammer 40K: Betrayer – Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Dr. Who: Hunter's Moon – Paul Finch
Dr. Who: The Slitheen Excursion – Simon Guerrier
A Study in Silks – Emma Jane Holloway
The Plague Forge – Jason Hough
V-Wars – Jonathan Maberry
Freedom's Challenge – Anne McCaffrey (reprint)
Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow – Una McCormack
Voyage of the Fox Rider – Dennis McKiernan
The Savage Dead – Joe McKinney
Seven Forges – James Moore
On Midnight Wings – Adrian Phoenix
Dr. Who: Winner Takes All – Jacqueline Rayner
Dr. Who: The Deviant Strain – Justin Richards
Forgotten Realms: The Last Threshold – R. A. Salvatore
Still Life With Shape-Shifter – Sharon Shinn
Revenant Eve – Sherwood Smith
Sea Glass – Maria Snyder
Phoenix Rising – Ryk E. Spoor
Lord of Mountains – S. M. Stirling
Stonecast – Anton Strout
Prince Thief – David Tallerman 
Hunter of Sherwood: Knight of Shadows – Tony Venables
Kiss of Death – Debbie Viguie
Ritual Magic – Eileen Wilks
Previous Dragon – Liz Williams 
Snake Agent – Liz Williams 
The Demon and the City – Liz Williams 
The Iron Khan – Liz Williams
The Poison Maker – Liz Williams
The Shadow Pavilion – Liz Williams 

ebook (Kindle and Carina Press releases):

Fangborn – Dana Cameron
Corroded – Karina Cooper
Cry Murder! In a Small Voice – Greer Gilman
Voice of the Demon – Kate Jacoby
The Volatile Amazon – Sandy James
Fairies in My Fireplace – R. L. Naquin
Redemption – Stephanie Tyler
Crystal Venom – Steve Wheeler

Ice Red – Jael Wye