New releases 10/31/2011

Here are your new releases this week! I’m particularly interested in the Millennium Falcon Manual, but that may just be 10 year old me talking.

The Bible Repairman and Other Stories by Tim Powers and J.K. Potter

Gathering darkly fantastic short fiction previously available only in limited editions, this collection explores the mysteries of souls—whether they are sacrificed on the pinnacle of Mount Parnassus or lodged in a television cable box. In a Kabbalistic tale of transformation, the executor of an old friend’s will is almost duped into housing his soul. In a tale of time travel between 2015 and 1975, a tragedy sparked by an angel falling onto a pizza shop is reenacted—and the event is barely, but fatally, altered. The cornerstone of the collection is a postscript to the harrowing novel of the haunting of the Romantic poets, The Stress of Her Regard. Once Byron and Shelley break free of the succubus that claimed them, their associate, Trelawny, forges an alliance with Greek rebels to reestablish the deadly connection between man and the nephilim. Fans of Powers’s renowned secret histories will delight as he deftly weaves an array of fantastical creatures into richly layered narratives of the past.

The Inheritance and Other Stories by Robin Hobb, Megan Lindholm and Tom Kidd

Megan Lindholm (Wizard of the Pigeons) writes tightly constructed SF and fantasy with a distinctly contemporary feel. Robin Hobb (Assassin’s Quest) writes sprawling, multi-volume fantasies set in imaginary realms. These two writers, apparently so different, are, of course, the same person, each reflecting an aspect of a single multifaceted imagination.

Inheritance gathers the best of Hobb and Lindholm’s shorter fiction into one irreplaceable volume containing ten stories and novellas (seven by Lindholm, three by Hobb), together with a revealing introduction and extensive, highly readable story notes. The Lindholm section leads off with the Hugo and Nebula-nominated novella ‘A Touch of Lavender,’ a powerful account of love, music, poverty, and addiction set against an extended encounter between human and alien societies. Other memorable entries include ‘Cut,’ a reflection on the complex consequences of freedom, and the newly published ‘Drum Machine,’ an equally absorbing meditation on the chaotic nature of the creative impulse. Two of Robin Hobb’s contributions revisit the world of her popular Live Traders series. ‘Homecoming’ enlarges the earlier history of those novels through the journal entries of Lady Carillion Carrock, while ‘The Inheritance’ concerns a disenfranchised young woman who comes to understand the true nature of her grandmother’s legacy. And in ‘Cat’s Meat,’ a long and wonderful story written expressly for this collection, an embattled single mother reclaims her life with the help of a gifted–and utterly ruthless–cat.

Inheritance offers the best of two separate but related fictional worlds. Whatever their differences, the Hobb and Lindholm stories have certain crucial elements in common: their intelligence, their attention to detail, and their instant, almost effortless accessibility. Together, these beautifully crafted tales constitute a unique and important collection that offers both offers both intellectual pleasure and pure narrative excitement on virtually every page.

Guards! Guards! The Play by Terry Pratchett

Adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs, in this book the city of Ankh-Morpork is under threat from a 60 foot fire-breathing dragon, summoned by a secret society of malcontented tradesmen. Defending the city is the underpaid and undervalued City Night Watch.

The Nemesis List by R.J. Firth

Humanity has expanded into the stars but at the price of its freedom. An autocratic and overbearing Government now rigidly controls every technical and scientific advancement. Deviation is punishable by death. Out on the edges of space, criminals thwart the law, making money out of illegal tech, their ships jumping from galaxy to galaxy to avoid detection. Ex-soldier Frank Pak doesn’t care about politics or breaking the law, he just wants to keep his ship running. When he’s offered a contract to escort a runaway back home to his loving family he doesn’t ask questions. But his cargo is more dangerous than he realizes. Jeven Jones is no ordinary passenger. A result of illegal human experimentation, he’s a fast-tracked evolutionary leap into future. Thanks to his ability for perfect recall and a series of mental skills that he has no control over, Jones is a wanted man. The Government wants him dead. A fledgling revolution want to use him to unlock every advancement the Government has ever denied them. If Jones lives he’ll start a war. If he dies the entire future of humanity dies with him.

Millennium Falcon Manual (Owners Workshop Manual) by Ryder Windham

The Millennium Falcon is a legendary spaceship, made famous by its adventures under the command of smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, who made numerous special modifications to transform the beat-up Corellian light freighter into one of the fastest ships in the galaxy.

This Haynes Manual traces the model history of the Corellian Engineering Corporation’s YT series of spaceships and the development of the YT-1300 model line before focusing on the Millennium Falcon, itself a modified YT-1300. Onboard systems, controls, and their operation are described in detail and supported by a host of photographs, line art, floor plans, exploded diagrams, and stunning computer-generated artwork, all newly created by acknowledged Falcon experts Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas. Text is by Ryder Windham, author of more than fifty Star Wars books.

Covering operational history, piloting, propulsion, weapons, engineering systems, sensors, and crew facilities, this is the most thorough technical guide to the Millennium Falcon available.

This Haynes Manual is fully authorized and approved by Lucasfilm.

Alien Contact by Marty Halpern

Are we alone? From War of the Worlds to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, ET to Close Encounters, creators of science fiction have always eagerly speculated on just how the story of alien contact would play out. Editor Marty Halpern has gathered together some of the best stories of the last 30 years, by today”s most exciting genre writers, weaving a tapestry that covers a broad range of scenarios: from the insidious, to the violent, to the transcendent.

Atlantis and Other Places by Harry Turtledove

A famous naturalist seeks a near-extinct species of bird found only on the rarest of lands in “Audubon in Atlantis.” A young American on a European holiday finds himself storming an enchanted German castle in “The Catcher in the Rhine.” The philosopher Sokrates plays a key role in the Athenian victory over the Spartans in “The Daimon.” Centaurs take a sea voyage aboard “The Horse of Bronze” to a land where they encounter a strange and frightening tribe of creatures known as man. London’s most famous detective, Athelstan Helms, and his assistant Dr. James Walton are in Atlantis investigating a series of murders in “The Scarlet Band.”

This collection includes these and seven more amazing stories of ancient eras, historical figures, mysterious events, and out-of-this- world adventure from the incomparable Harry Turtledove.

Birds of Prey by David Drake

Rome, 262 A.D: It had been the capital of the greatest civilization on Earth. Now both city and civilization are dying. Imperial unity has shattered as separatist and usurpers squabble among themselves and greater enemies gather to swallow them all. One man stands between humanity and the Long Night, matching his savage determination against a hopeless future. He is Aulus Perennius, an Imperial secret agent as tough and ruthless as the age in which he lives. Until now, though, his enemies have all been human.

A Fighting Chance by William C Dietz

The all-new, thrilling conclusion to the Legion of the Damned series from the national bestselling author of When Duty Calls.

Earth has fallen. And the men, women, and cyborgs of the Confederacy must dig deep within their warrior hearts to make one final stand against an alien aggressor…

On a rim world, Captain Antonio Santana is reunited with diplomat Christine Vanderveen to protect the severely wounded Ramanthian Queen, who has fled there to avoid assassination. And they’ll risk everything to save the Confederacy, billions of lives-and their future together.

Firebird (Alex Benedict) by Jack McDevitt

Forty-one years ago the renowned physicist Chris Robin vanished. Before his disappearance, his fringe science theories about the existence of endless alternate universes had earned him both admirers and enemies.

Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath discover that Robin had several interstellar yachts flown far outside the planetary system where they too vanished. And following Robin’s trail into the unknown puts Benedict and Kolpath in danger…

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