Review at Tor.com: Federations

Federations

To boldly go where none have gone before.

To explore new worlds and encounter new civilizations.

To war, love, hate, seek justice and make peace in the depths of space and on the fringes of time.

Also, there is a hamster.

These are the stories of Federations, edited by John Joseph Adams and written by 23 writers.

Continue reading…

New on Kindle: January 6th

The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross

Buy: Kindle Store

Your favorite agent from the semi-Dilbertian operation known as The Laundry is back—riffing off of spy movies and the disasters of necromancy when a millionaire tries to dredge up the Jennifer Morgue, a device to speak to the dead.

You can read the first two novellas featuring Bob Howard in The Atrocity Archives, as well as reading the free short story Down on the Farm from Tor.com (which comes in Mobipocket downloadable format, perfect for the Kindle).

Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

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In the not-that-sleepy town of Nightside, a new sheriff has shown up in town—the Walking Man, a seemingly magic- and science-proof specter that stalks the streets and dispatches the evil and the indulgent side by side. It’s up to Private Investigator John Taylor to stop the invulnerable menace.

You can read other books in the Nightside series on the Kindle. The full list:

  1. Something from the Nightside
  2. Agents of Light and Darkness
  3. Nightingale’s Lament
  4. Hex and the City
  5. Paths Not Taken
  6. Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth
  7. Hell to Pay
  8. The Unnatural Inquirer
  9. Daemons Are Forever
  10. Just Another Judgement Day

In Shade and Shadow by Barb Hendee

Buy: Kindle Store

Death by literature—or rather, death from literature. Secret texts from a forgotten time in the land’s history have resurfaced, and someone obviously doesn’t want that, since enterprising scholars are being killed—perhaps by the Noble Dead, the vampires who supposedly wrote the texts.

The first book in a new story arc of the Saga of the Noble Dead, the last two books in the previous cycle are also available on the Kindle: Rebel Fey and Child of a Dead God.

The series has its own site at www.nobledead.com.

The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

Buy: Kindle Store

Featured on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea this week, this fairy-tale retelling scores a team of three princesses of yore—Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White—and tells the story of what happened after their supposedly happily-forever-afters. As it turns out, not all princes are gold of heart, and not all stepsisters are dead….

If you loved Fables, you’ll love this book.

We Think, Therefore We Are by Peter Crowther

Buy: Kindle Store

Brand new tales about artificial intelligence and robots:

  • “Tempest 43″ by Stephen Baxter
  • “The Highway Code” by Brian Stableford
  • “Savlage Rights” by Eric Brown
  • “The Kamikaze Code” by James Lovegove
  • “Adam Robots” by Adam Roberts
  • “Seeds” by Tony Ballantyne
  • “Lost Places of the Earth” by Steven Utley
  • “The Chinese Room” by Marly Youmans
  • “Three Princesses” by Robert Reed
  • “The New Cyberiad” by Paul Di Filippo
  • “That Laugh” by Patrick O’Leary
  • “Alles in Ordnung” by Garry Kilworth
  • “Sweats” by Keith Brooke
  • “Some Fast Thinking Needed” by Ian Watson
  • “Dragon King of the Eastern Sea” by Chris Roberson

Goblin War by Jim C. Hines

Buy: Kindle Store

Also released alongside The Stepsister Scheme is Hines’ take on Tolkien—from the humorous side of the so-called faceless minions and a hobgoblin named Jig Dragonslayer who would rather not adventure….

The first two books in this series, Goblin Quest and Goblin Hero, are not yet available on the Kindle.

Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl

Buy: Kindle Store

Immortal vampire art crook falls in love with female federal agent, and there are people out to get them. It’s another vampire romance in the loose Darkyn series with another star-crossed couple.

Also available on the Kindle: Twilight Fall, Evermore, and the eSpecial Master of Shadows.

One More Bite by Jennifer Rardin

Buy: Kindle Store

In the best of paranormal romance vampire intrigue stories, the death of one vampire lord doesn’t lead to peace, but to a terrible power struggle between three undead clans. The CIA wants to stabilize the situation, and send in agent Jaz and vampire Vayl to undo an assassination plot. In the middle of warring and not terribly rational cold-blooded clans. Yep. Your job doesn’t suck this much, does it?

The latest in the Jaz Parks series, all of which are on the Kindle:

  1. Once Bitten, Twice Shy
  2. Another One Bites the Dust
  3. Biting the Bullet
  4. Bitten to Death
  5. One More Bite

Krispos Rising by Harry Turtledove

Buy: Kindle Store

Better known for his award-winning alternate history sagas, Harry Turtledove also wrote fantasy—in this case, a tale where a farmer boy is orphaned and must survive in the city. Krispos manages to do so, becoming the chamberlain to the empreror—and drawing the imperial family ire. Which is probably worse than trying not to get knifed in the city streets.

You can also just buy the entire trilogy as one book, The Tale of Krispos, for only $7.96 on the Kindle.

In the Shadow of the Master by Michael Connelly

Buy: Kindle Store

Edgar Allan Poe’s work is in the public domain and available for free on Feedbooks and elsewhere, but they don’t come with essays and commentary from some of the greatest modern writers, including Stephen King, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, and more.

Sixteen of the best Poe stories are here, but it’s the celebration that’s the icing on this collection, including:

  • “What Poe Hath Wroth” by Michael Connelly
  • “On Edgar Allan Poe” by T. Jefferson Parker
  • “Under the Covers with Fortunato and Montresor” by Jan Burke
  • “The Curse of Amontillado” by Lawrence Block
  • “Pluto’s Heritage” by P. J. Parrish
  • “Identity Crisis” by Lisa Scottoline
  • “In a Strange City: Baltimore and the Poe Toaster” by Laura Lippman
  • “Once Upon a Midnight Dreary” by Michael Connelly
  • “The Thief” by Laurie R. King
  • “Poe and Me at the Movies” by Tess Gerritsen
  • “The Genius of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’” by Stephen King
  • “The First Time” by Steve Hamilton
  • “The Pit, the Pendulum, and Perfection” by Edward D. Hoch
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum at the Palace” by Peter Robinson
  • “Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, and Me” by S. J. Rozan
  • “The Quick and the Undead” by Nelson DeMille
  • “Imagining Edgar Allan Poe” by Sara Paretsky
  • “Rantin’ and Ravin’” by Joseph Wambaugh
  • “A Little Thought on Poe” by Thomas H. Cook
  • “Poe in G Minor” by Jeffery Deaver
  • “How I Became an Edgar Allan Poe Convert” by Sue Grafton

We Can’t All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings

Buy: Kindle Store

No, indeed we can’t, thinks the female snake who regrets not being a rattlesnake when she’s picked up by a human. How can you resist something that begins:

Call Me Crusher

I had shed a skin the day of my capture. As always, the sloughing left me famished, so I curled up under a shady patch of creosote and eagerly awaited the first rodent to cross my path. Gopher was at the top of my list, though I was so hungry that I’d gladly have settled for even a nasty, gristly little shrew.

A rodent did not cross my path first that morning, however. A lower life form did: a human.

A cute viewpoint from the other side of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.

New on Kindle: December 21st – 26th

There is a considerable trend of finishing series out in the Kindle here (often with the releases of older parts of the series).

One thing about electronic books—the backlist now has a very long secondary life, because ebooks do not go stale, do not take up physical warehouse space, and do not need to be re-printed. (And if you want to correct something, it’s not like you have to pulp entire runs to do so.)

With a Tangled Skein by Piers Anthony

Buy: Kindle Store

Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series is finally making it onto the Kindle, following just about every single Xanth book in existence. ((If you want to start with Xanth, the first two extremely good books, A Spell for Chameleon and The Source of Magic, are available as a 2-for-1 bundle. After that, keep going until the title puns become very bad, or until The Colour of Her Panties, whichever comes first.)) The rest of the series (in particular, On a Pale Horse) are not yet available, but we’ll be watching.

Waking Up Screaming by H.P. Lovecraft

Buy: Kindle Store

Yet Another H.P. Lovecraft Collection With a Title So Unsubtle He Would Be Rolling Over in His Grave Right Now and Yeah You Better Watch Out, Anthology Editor.

Although his dialogue was rather terrible, even as his sense of gripping terror was compelling, so I guess pot, kettle, green-spotted-luminous-tentacled-folds.

Stories include: “Cool Air”, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”, “The Terrible Old Man”, “Herbert West–Reanimator”, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, “The Lurking Fear”, “The Hound”, “The Outsider”, “The Unnamable”, “From Beyond”, “Arthur Jermyn”, and others.

If you get this plus the first volume, Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macbre: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft, you’ll have a fairly full complement of his short story work. And yes, none of the stories are duplicated.

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Buy: Kindle Store

Douglas Adams’ classic Hitchhiker’s Guide series is also coming to completion on the Kindle, with most of the series following by December 31st.

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (available now)
  2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (available now)
  3. Life, the Universe, and Everything (available now)
  4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (December 31st)
  5. Mostly Harmless (no date yet)
  6. And Another Thing… (to be written by Eoin Colfer, who pens the Artemis Fowl series)

The Salmon of Doubt, consisting of Adams’ essays and an incomplete Dirk Gently novel, is also available.

A Pip & Flinx Adventure: Sliding Scales by Alan Dean Foster

Buy: Kindle Store

The adventures of Flinx, a man born with an abnormal mind condition ((These seem to lead to telepathy in both SF and fantasy novels, especially when you combine the two: see also the Obernewtyn series for a more recent take with a larger variety of animals, although none of them are minidragons.)) and a telepathic minidragon named Pip, and they have adventures in the far future in the Humanx Commonwealth worlds.

Other books involving this odd partnership:

  1. For Love of Mother—Not
  2. The Tar-Aiym Krang and Orphan Star 2-for-1 bundle
  3. The End of the Matter
  4. Flinx in Flux
  5. Mid-Flinx
  6. Reunion
  7. Flinx’s Folly
  8. Sliding Scales
  9. Running from the Deity
  10. Bloodhype
  11. Trouble Magnet
  12. Patrimony

How Few Remain by Harry Turtledove

Buy: Kindle Store

The first book in an alternate history saga of the United States, How Few Remain is a novel that begins with: What if the South won the war?—and goes on from there through Second Civil War between the now truly divided United States.

Also the 1998 Nebula Award winner for Best Novel.

It is followed herewith by:

  1. American Front (The Great War, Book 1)
  2. Walk in Hell (The Great War, Book 2)
  3. Breakthroughs (The Great War, Book 3)
  4. Blood and Iron (American Empire, Book 1)
  5. The Center Cannot Hold (American Empire, Book 2)
  6. The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, Book 3)
  7. Return Engagement (Settling Accounts, Book 1)
  8. Drive to the East (Settling Accounts, Book 2)
  9. The Grapple (Settling Accounts, Book 3)
  10. In at the Death (Settling ACcounts, Book 4)

Caress of Twilight by Laurell K. Hamilton

Buy: Kindle Store

The second book in the Merry Gentry series, featuring private detective Meredith Gentry, who also happens to be a faerie princess. Love, sex, magic, supernatural, etc.—the usual red-hot Laurell K. Hamilton mix.

The series is now complete on the Kindle:

  1. A Kiss of Shadows
  2. A Caress of Twilight
  3. Seduced by Moonlight
  4. A Stroke of Midnight
  5. Mistral’s Kiss
  6. A Lick of Frost
  7. Swallowing Darkness

Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel

Buy: Kindle Store

Yes, they are indeed bringing Frog and Toad, as well as the rest of Arnold Lobel’s classic charming children’s books, onto the Kindle.

Frog and Toad:

  1. Frog and Toad are Friends (December 30th)
  2. Frog and Toad Together (not yet available)
  3. Frog and Toad All Year
  4. Days with Frog and Toad (December 30th)

Also available is the exceedingly charming Owl at Home. There’s also Mouse Soup, and Uncle Elephant.

… this is going to be like The Velveteen Rabbit all over again. Well, it’s not like I’ll ever find my tattered, third-hand Frog and Toad paperbacks, ever lost in the space of time and… well, probably time.

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Buy: Kindle Store

Featured over on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea, she talks about the theme of faerie lore and its collision with modern Central Park. This Young Adult book is under consideration for my January review pick for Tor.com.

You know, I’m very appreciative of The Big Idea series; otherwise trying to find books with more than a cover blurb is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, especially for new authors whose fans have not yet carved out a niche in Wikipedia.

The Treachery of Kings by Neal Barrett, Jr.

Buy: Kindle Store

Strongly resembling a mix of John Swift and Alice in Wonderland, this is the second book in the adventures of Lizard Maker Finn, his companion Letitia (a half-human/half-mouse experiment left over from older times), and Julia (his intelligent mechanical lizard). Finn must deliver a gift to a the King of Heldessia, which doesn’t like Finn’s home country. This, of course, doesn’t bode well.

The first book in this series, which apparently has no more, is The Prophecy Machine.

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks

Buy: Kindle Store

Banks’ Culture series is just now being released to the Kindle, starting with the third book, Use of Weapons. The only other book in the Culture series currently available on the Kindle is the seventh book in this 8-book series, Look to Windward. His most recent and acclaimed novel in this series, Matter, is not yet available on the Kindle either.

This should be remedied near in the future, considering that Orbit is the publisher.

The Ocean of Years by Roger Macbride Allen

Buy: Kindle Store

The second book the the Chronicles of Solace trilogy, about the far-future art of terraforming and all the things that can go horribly, horribly wrong. The first book, The Depths of Time, is not yet available on the Kindle, but the third book, The Shores of Tomorrow, is.

Ghost Town by Joan Lowery Nixon

Buy: Kindle Store

Seven young adult Western stories that all take place in seven different ghost towns. By the talented journalist and fiction writer behind The Other Side of Dark.

Muddle Earth Paul Stewart, illus. by Chris Riddell

Buy: Kindle Store

A young adult parody of Lord of the Rings, where Joe, an ordinary boy, is pulled into the world of Muddle Earth by the wizard Randalf, who works for the Horned Baron and his wife Ingrid. Amusing parallels listed on Wikipedia.

New on Kindle: December 2nd – 5th

New Tricks by John Levitt

Buy: Kindle Store

Quite a large number of fantasy books draw a connection between magic and music ((And quite a number of science fiction books, when they do cover “magic” of one sort or another, connect it with math. And in the real world, music and math are related. I mention all this by the wayside as one of those interesting coincidences.)); here, we have a magician-musician in San Francisco who’s quit the magic rap. He still has his magical dog, Louie (who’s actually an Ifrit, but just dog-shaped). And he still gets into trouble with magic, especially when his former colleagues in former circles start turning up dead.

Unusual Suspects edited by Dana Stabenow

Buy: Kindle Store

An anthology of new supernatural mystery short stories, from the likes of Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampire Mysteries, featuring Sookie Stackhouse), Carole Nelson Douglas (Midnight Louie, Delilah Street series), Simon R. Green (Nightside series), and more (Laurie R. King, Michael A. Stackpole, Sharon Shinn, Mike Doogan, Donna Andrews, Michael Armstrong, John Straley, Laure Anne Gilman, Dana Stabenow).

This anthology is a follow-up to Powers of Detection.

The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove

Buy: Kindle Store

What if Atlantis was real, the British Empire had colonized it, and now Atlantis wants its freedom?

The alternate history sequel to Opening Atlantis, also available on the Kindle.

Peacekeeper by Laura E. Reeve

Buy: Kindle Store

The beginning of a brand new military science-fiction series, starring Major Ariane Kerdos. Fifteen years ago, she obliterated a solar system, and has been in hiding since then. Unfortunately, someone’s found out.

Dragon Strike by E.E. Knight

Buy: Kindle Store

The fourth in a series that takes Ye Olde Medieval Fantasy, and turns it 180 degrees—from the viewpoints of dragons.

The rest of the books in this series are also available:

The Flaxen Femme Fatale by John Zakour

Buy: Kindle Store

In a science-fiction future, the World Council hires the last freelance P.I., Zach Johnson, to find a femme fatale who holds a deadly secret weapon. Zach and HARV (an A.I. companion wired into his brain)’s humorous SF pulp mystery adventures started with The Plutonium Blonde in 2001. Not all are yet available on the Kindle, save for The Blue-Haired Bombshell, the predecessor to Flaxen Femme-Fatale.

Beyond the Shadows by Brent Weeks

Buy: Kindle Store

The final book in the Night Angel trilogy, where our intrepid Kylar is out to save a city by destroying a goddess. Books 1 and 2, the Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge, are also available on the Kindle.

Brent discusses the series on Orbit Books’ blog.

The Magician’s Book by Laura Miller

Buy: Kindle Store

A discussion of The Chronicles of Narnia from the perspective of childhood and from that of an agnostic adulthood. Comparison, contrast, religion, all that.

All of Narnia is now on the Kindle, by the way:

Fun Facts About Tor's Free eBooks Authors, Part 1


Photography: tvol

Hopefully you’ve already gone and filled your Kindle with free Mobis from Tor Books’ promotion (expires July 27th, 2008).

Here are some Fun Facts about the writers of 9 of the 24 books available:

Mistborn – Fantasy – Book 1 in a Series
by Brandon Sanderson

In preparation for writing the final book in The Wheel of Time, he re-read the entire series and blogged about the experience.

Old Man’s War – Science Fiction – Book 1 in a Series
by John Scalzi

John Scalzi, besides running the Whatever hangout, is generally hailed as the new Heinlein. I can tell you he’s a less preachy version of Heinlein, if that’s so. His most famous article, across national newspapers and the web alike, is Being Poor.

Spin – Science Fiction – Standalone – Thriller
by Robert Charles Wilson

A fun read from his website: Human Contingency and Finding What You Want at the Bookstore.

Farthing – Alternative History – Book 1 in a Series
by Jo Walton

She currently blogs not just on her LJ, but also on Tor.com, starting off with the kick-ass and hive-kicking entry The Singularity Problem and Non-Problem.

The Outstretched Shadow – Fantasy – Book 1 of the Obsidian Trilogy
by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Look, even more eBooks of her works from Baen! And he wrote the novel adaptation of the Merlin miniseries; first chapter samples here.

Crystal Rain – Science Fiction – Book 1 of a Series
by Tobias S. Buckell

Dude blogs a lot, by which I mean he’s one of those writers who know-know about blogging.

Lord of the Isles – Fantasy – Book 1 of a Series
by David Drake

You know, I honestly think this is the only heroic fantasy series out there that draws inspiration from Sumerian mythology. He talks about that, and writing the book, here.

Through Wolf’s Eyes – Fantasy – Book 1 of a Series
by Jane Lindskold

Unlike quite a few folks in the fantasy magic wolves business, Jane Lindskold knows about wolves.

The Disunited States of America – Alternate History/Science Fiction – In a Series
by Harry Turtledove

Many know his alternative history work, but his YA Crosstime Traffic series has more than a touch of science fiction. And here’s an audio interview with the master of alternative history himself.

More fun facts for books 10 – 17 and books 18 – 24 tomorrow and Saturday.

Fun Facts About Tor’s Free eBooks Authors, Part 1


Photography: tvol

Hopefully you’ve already gone and filled your Kindle with free Mobis from Tor Books’ promotion (expires July 27th, 2008).

Here are some Fun Facts about the writers of 9 of the 24 books available:

Mistborn – Fantasy – Book 1 in a Series
by Brandon Sanderson

In preparation for writing the final book in The Wheel of Time, he re-read the entire series and blogged about the experience.

Old Man’s War – Science Fiction – Book 1 in a Series
by John Scalzi

John Scalzi, besides running the Whatever hangout, is generally hailed as the new Heinlein. I can tell you he’s a less preachy version of Heinlein, if that’s so. His most famous article, across national newspapers and the web alike, is Being Poor.

Spin – Science Fiction – Standalone – Thriller
by Robert Charles Wilson

A fun read from his website: Human Contingency and Finding What You Want at the Bookstore.

Farthing – Alternative History – Book 1 in a Series
by Jo Walton

She currently blogs not just on her LJ, but also on Tor.com, starting off with the kick-ass and hive-kicking entry The Singularity Problem and Non-Problem.

The Outstretched Shadow – Fantasy – Book 1 of the Obsidian Trilogy
by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Look, even more eBooks of her works from Baen! And he wrote the novel adaptation of the Merlin miniseries; first chapter samples here.

Crystal Rain – Science Fiction – Book 1 of a Series
by Tobias S. Buckell

Dude blogs a lot, by which I mean he’s one of those writers who know-know about blogging.

Lord of the Isles – Fantasy – Book 1 of a Series
by David Drake

You know, I honestly think this is the only heroic fantasy series out there that draws inspiration from Sumerian mythology. He talks about that, and writing the book, here.

Through Wolf’s Eyes – Fantasy – Book 1 of a Series
by Jane Lindskold

Unlike quite a few folks in the fantasy magic wolves business, Jane Lindskold knows about wolves.

The Disunited States of America – Alternate History/Science Fiction – In a Series
by Harry Turtledove

Many know his alternative history work, but his YA Crosstime Traffic series has more than a touch of science fiction. And here’s an audio interview with the master of alternative history himself.

More fun facts for books 10 – 17 and books 18 – 24 tomorrow and Saturday.