Kevin J. Anderson at FanX

Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson, co-author of Mentats of Dune, will be at this year’s FanX!

Check out his schedule of panels:

Friday, April 17

  • 11:00 AM Panel: The Writers of Star Wars, Room 250A
    Featured: Kevin J. Anderson, David Wolverton, Michael A. Stackpole, and Bryan Young
  • 7:00 PM Panel: Steampunk for the Ages, Room 151A
    Featured: Kevin J. Anderson, James Wymore, Dan Willis, Scott Taylor, and Jennifer McGrew

Saturday, April 18th

  • 1:00 PM Panel: Building My First Lightsaber: From Fanboy to Bestselling Author, Room 151A
    Featured: Kevin J. Anderson

In addition to FanX, Kevin will also be stopping at conventions across the country. Here’s where he’ll be in the upcoming months:

  • Tuesday-Friday, August 29-September 1
    Dragoncon
    Atlanta, GA

Starred Review: Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal“Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling.”

Mary Robinette Kowal’s Valour and Vanity got a starred review in Kirkus!

Here’s the full review, from the April 1st issue:

Renowned glamourists Lord and Lady Vincent become the victims of an elaborate scam that leaves them in dire straits until they conceive of a daring strategy to strike back.

 

After an extended voyage with her family, Jane and Vincent are anxious to find some time to themselves, traveling to Murano. They have a letter of introduction from the prince regent and hope to work with an artisan to experiment on infusing glamour—magical illusions of sight, sound and light—into glass. On the way, they’re waylaid by pirates, then rescued by a fellow passenger who takes them under his wing in the city. Without papers or money and with Vincent suffering a concussion from the attack, they’re grateful for the gentleman’s help. Once they make progress on their revolutionary glamour process, however, they’re detained by the local police and accused of fraud. Realizing their “friend” is a con man who has disappeared with all their notes and finished work, Jane and Vincent are left broke, in debt and under suspicion: “They had no funds and no friends at all. The only resources they had were the clothes upon their backs, and even those they owed money for.” Unable to find employment, Vincent becomes dispirited, especially when he must depend on the meager salary Jane manages to secure from a nearby convent. Things look up when a chance sighting of one of the crooks enables Vincent and Jane to turn the tables on them: “[S]he could see his mind working and putting together pieces of a plan, as surely as if he was plotting a glamural.” Kowal continues her creative Regency-set Glamourist Histories series with a clever, captivating plot that culminates in a magical heist storyline. Before we get there, though, we are treated to a touching examination of a loving marriage under duress and the connections and collaborations these extraordinary partners must create and reaffirm with each other and those around them in order to thrive.

 

Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling.

Valour and Vanity will be published on April 29th.

Goodreads Giveaway: California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout

California Bones by Greg Van Eekhout

About California Bones: When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian.

When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.

Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power.

For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There’s Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.

Extravagant and yet moving, Greg van Eekhout’s California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality–different from the world we know, yet familiar and true.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends May 14th)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall

About Land of Shadows: “A fresh voice in crime fiction. Fast, funny, heartbreaking and wise…Elouise Norton is the best new character you’ll meet this year.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author, on Rachel Howzell Hall’s Land of Shadows.

Along the ever-changing border of gentrifying Los Angeles, seventeen-year-old Monique Darson is found dead at a condominium construction site, hanging in the closet of an unfinished unit. Homicide detective Elouise “Lou” Norton’s new partner, Colin Taggert, fresh from the comparatively bucolic Colorado Springs police department, assumes it’s a teenage suicide. Lou isn’t buying the easy explanation.

For one thing, the condo site is owned by Napoleon Crase, a self-made millionaire. . .and the man who may have murdered Lou’s missing sister, Tori, thirty years ago. As Lou investigates the death of Monique Darson, she uncovers undeniable links between the two cases. But her department is skeptical.
Lou is convinced that when she solves Monique’s case she will finally bring her lost sister home. But as she gets closer to the truth, she also gets closer to a violent killer. After all this time, can he be brought to justice. . .before Lou becomes his next victim?

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends May 13th)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

The Week in Review

Welcome to the week in review! Every Friday, we comb through the links and images we found and shared this week, and pull the very best for this post. Consider it concentrated genre goodness from all around the web.

The Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

  • Carrie Vaughn also has a reveal: check out the cover of Low Country, her upcoming Kitty Norville novel.
  • Tor.com’s Rocket Talk podcast is back. This time, they’re talking about the world of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives series.

 
The Tor/Forge Newsletter went out this week!

 
And, just to make Friday that much sweeter, here’s a list of sweepstakes and sales we have going on!

Featured Review: The Revolutions by Felix Gilman

The Revolutions by Felix Gilman“Gilman’s descriptive powers are as economical as they are vivid, beautifully capturing the spirit of fin de siècle society and literature without grinding it into pastiche….And each item in Gilman’s grab-bag of wonder comes with symbolic resonance; even the book’s title can be read in multiple ways: Philosophical revolutions, astronomical revolutions, and the obvious political kind all overlap as the book’s intricate assembly of elements click together like clockwork.”

Felix Gilman’s The Revolutions got a featured review in NPR!

Here’s an excerpt from NPR’s post on April 3:

In his previous novels, Felix Gilman presented fantastic, mind-expanding visions of other worlds. His fifth, The Revolutions, sticks a little closer to home — at least at first. For a change, he’s set a book in the real world, albeit a skewed version of it. Gilman reimagines late-19th-century London as a dark and dangerous place; along with all the political, technological, and cultural upheavals of the age, he’s added an insidious dimension to the fashionable occultism that gripped the end of the Victorian Era. Spiritual seekers are determined to explore outer space as well as inner space — only without their bodies leaving their parlors. Call it séance fiction.

For all its heady concepts, The Revolutions launches on a humble note. In London in 1893, a recently unemployed journalist named Arthur Shaw tries his hand at writing detective stories, attempting to pick up where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is about to leave off. It’s one of many allusions to real-world figures that Gilman weaves into the story, including nods to Jack the Ripper, early computer pioneer Charles Babbage, and author Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. But in The Revolutions, the subtle differences between our world and Gilman’s alternate history eventually become striking. The mystical secret societies of London are about to go to war with each other, and Arthur — along with his fiancée Josephine Bradman, a stenographer who records the minutes of one of those societies’ meetings — is drawn into an increasingly dizzying scheme that involves astral projection to other planets. When Josephine participates in a magic ritual to that end, her astral consciousness not only travels beyond Earth, but gets marooned there. Arthur, in no way a magician himself, must find a way to conjure her home — even if it means collaborating with the terrifying occult forces that sent her there.

Click here for the full review.
The Revolutions went on sale on April 1.

The Best Bets for Speculative Fiction from Kirkus Reviews

The April issue of Kirkus Reviews lists 6 Tor titles for Best Bets for Speculative Fiction!

Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

What it’s about: Having amassed an army of warriors and teamed with a wizard, an exiled heir to the Great Khan finally stakes his claim to the rule the Khaganate and defeat the evil that threatens all the lands with war.

Why you should read it: The previous books in The Eternal Sky trilogy, Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars, were met with wide acclaim and deservedly so. Its depiction of magic, politics and war set amongst diverse cultures makes for great reading.

 Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

What it’s about: Human space exploration is thrown into uncertainty when a massive artifact—an enormous bowl-shaped object that encompasses a star and contains a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths—is found to be headed toward the same system that humans are trying to colonize.

Why you should read it: Two science fiction masters team up for a classic space story filled with sense of wonder? A better question would be: Why wouldn’t you read it?

Transhuman by Ben Bova

Transhuman by Ben Bova

What it’s about: A brilliant cellular biologist named Luke Abramson abducts his granddaughter from the hospital to circumvent the red tape that would allow him to cure her brain tumor with a new experimental enzyme. But the clock is ticking: Abramson has lung cancer and it’s spreading rapidly, despite injecting himself with another experimental enzyme that reverses his aging.

Why you should read it: Bova’s premise is enticing and his books are grounded in realistic science.

 

The Revolutions by Felix Gilman

The Revolutions by Felix Gilman

What it’s about: Set amongst spiritualist and occult societies of 1893 London, a young journalist-turned-accountant fights to save his fiance, who is fighting for her own survival somewhere in the vicinity of Mars.

Why you should read it: This standalone Victorian science fiction story is a throwback to planetary romances of yesteryear where the emphasis is on adventure and fun.

 

Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

Afterparty by Daryl Gregory

What it’s about: Technology meets Big Pharma in a story where anybody with an Internet connection can download recipes and print their own drugs—even if those drugs turn out to be deadly.

Why you should read it: Science fiction excels at asking “What if?” questions and this merging of mind-altering drugs with easily accessible technology is a great platform that does just that.

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal

What it’s about: Set in a world where illusionary magic is possible, a couple who fell victim to a scam that cleaned them out of all their money devise a scheme to get it all back. Think: old-fashioned heist with magic.

Why you should read it: Unlike sprawling epic fantasies where the fate of the word is at stake, Mary Robinette Kowal’s quaint Regency stories are more intimate and personal, and thus quite refreshing.

 

Click here for the full list.

Starred Review: The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston

The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston“Whether or not you buy the premise of sentient software roaming the Internet, you won’t be able to deny that this is an exciting story. Preston sells the premise by sheer force of will: his characters are so compelling, his storytelling so persuasive, that we buy it all completely…Bravo.”

Douglas Preston’s The Kraken Project got a starred review in Booklist!

Here’s the full review, from the April 1st issue:

Preston’s latest solo novel (he’s mostly known as one half of the Preston-Child team who write the Special Agent Pendergast series) takes a wildly implausible premise and turns it into a very entertaining thriller. The Kraken Project is a NASA initiative to send a probe to Titan, a large moon of Saturn. Because of the distance involved, real-time control of the probe is impossible, so NASA decides to make the probe autonomous via cutting-edge artificial-intelligence software. But the software, called Dorothy, malfunctions and escapes into the Internet, where it plans a reign of terror that begins with revenge against its creator and will end with the annihilation of humankind itself. Dorothy’s creator goes on the run; Wyman Ford, ex-CIA agent and star of a few previous novels, is tasked by the president to find the woman (who, most everyone suspects, deliberately unleashed Dorothy). Whether or not you buy the premise of sentient software roaming the Internet, you won’t be able to deny that this is an exciting story. Preston sells the premise by sheer force of will: his characters are so compelling, his storytelling so persuasive, that we buy it all completely, at least as long as we’re inside the book. Bravo.

The Kraken Project will be published on May 13th.

New Audiobook Release: Playing With Fire by Renee Graziano

Playing With Fire by Renee GrazianoAbout Playing With FireReign Grazi is no stranger to dangerous men. Her whole life, they’ve been there. Grandfathers, uncles, cousins…she knows the difference between people who made the rules and those who broke them. But she has no idea why someone might want her dead.

Nick Fattelli is handsome, sophisticated, and…an assassin. He doesn’t know who hired him to take out Reign, but after they meet and sparks fly, he vows to protect her. Unless it’s really him they are after…

Thus begins Playing With Fire, a sexy thriller by Renee Graziano, star of VH1′s hit show Mob Wives.

The author knows this lifestyle firsthand: She is the daughter of one of the most famous mobsters of our day, with an ex-husband now in witness protection, and a trail of “connected” boyfriends a mile long.

See upcoming releases.