Fonda Lee Brings Combat Sports to SF

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Fonda Lee

By Carl Slaughter: Fonda Lee’s debut novel, Zeroboxer, won several recognitions, including ALA Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice, and VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Her next novel, Exo, will be out in January 2017 from Scholastic.

ZEROBOXER

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Carr “the Raptor” Luka is an athletic phenom, a rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing. Training and competing aboard the lunar orbiting city-station of Valtego (where It’s More Fun on the Dark Side TM), all he’s ever wanted is to win the championship title.

His talent and marketability don’t go unnoticed by the top brass of the Zero Gravity Fighting Association. They assign him a brandhelm; after all, anyone who wants to be anyone needs a dedicated personal marketing strategist. Beautiful and ambitious, Risha is one of the genetically engineered Martian colonists that Earth dwellers view with resentment and suspicion. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity, and stolen his heart along the way.

But success could be the worst thing that happens to them. As his fame grows, Carr must come to terms with the fact that he’s become an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet now angry at falling into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. When Carr learns of a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating personal secret. Not only will his choices place into jeopardy everything he holds dear, they may spill the violence from the sports arena out into the solar system.

PRAISE FOR ZEROBOXER

  • “A superior sci-fi outing.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “A thought-provoking read.” —Booklist
  • “Lee’s debut novel is an intense, smart, and action-packed read.” —VOYA
  • “A strong debut from Lee, combining brutal, visceral athletic scenes with science fiction action, all woven around a complex moral dilemma.” —Publisher’s Weekly
  • “This gripping sci-fi novel will have teens screaming for a sequel.” —School Library Journal

EXO

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It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose alien rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience, determined to end alien control.

When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip . But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another galactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one . . .

William Alexander and Earth’s 11-Year-Old Ambassador

William Alexander

William Alexander

By Carl Slaughter: William Alexander’s debut novel, Goblin Secret, won the National Book Award. His narration of Goblin Secret won the Earphones Award. Ghoulish Song, set in the same universe as Goblin Secret, won the Mythopoeic Award. Ambassador won the Eleanor Cameron Award, was nominated for the International Latino Book Award, and was selected by the Junior Library Guild. Nomad, the sequel to Ambassador, came out in September.

Alexander studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College and English at the University of Vermont. He teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Like the protagonist of Nomad and Ambassador, he is the son of a Latino immigrant to the US. Alexander is a Clarion graduate. All of his books are middle grade.

AMBASSADOR

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Gabe Fuentes is reading under the covers one summer night when he is interrupted by a creature who looks like a purple sock puppet. The sock puppet introduces himself as the Envoy and asks if Gabe wants to be Earth’s ambassador to the galaxy. What sane eleven-year-old could refuse?

Some ingenious tinkering with the washing machine sends Gabe’s “entangled” self out to the center of the galaxy. There he finds that Earth is in the path of a destructive alien force—and Gabe himself is the target of an assassination plot. Exactly who wants him out of the way? And why?

Back home, Gabe discovers that his undocumented immigrant parents are in danger of being deported. Can Gabe survive long enough to solve two sets of “alien” problems? He runs for his life, through Minneapolis and outer space.

NOMAD

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When we last left Earth’s Ambassador, Gabe Fuentes, he was stranded on the moon. And when he’s rescued by Kaen, another Ambassador, things don’t get better: It turns out that the Outlast— a race of aliens that has been systematically wiping out all other creatures—are coming. And they’ve set their sights on Earth.

Enter Nadia. She was Earth’s Ambassador before Gabe, but left her post in order to stop the Outlast. Nadia has discovered that the Outlast can conquer worlds by travelling fast through lanes created by the mysterious Machinae. No one has communicated with the Machinae in centuries, but Nadia is determined to try, and Gabe and Kaen want to help her. But the three Ambassadors don’t know that the Outlast have discovered what they are doing, and have sent assassins to track them down.

As Nadia heads deeper into space to find the Machinae, Gabe and Kaen return to Earth, where Gabe is trying to find another type of alien—his father, who was deported to Mexico, and who Gabe is desperate to bring home. From a detention center in the center of the Arizona desert to the Embassy in the center of the galaxy, the three Ambassadors race against time to save their worlds in this exciting, funny, mind-bending adventure.

PRAISE FOR AMBASSADOR

  • “An interstellar embassy, alien assassins, galactic mass extinctions: These are Gabe’s small problems…Physics lovers will enjoy this clever series opener—but so will those who enjoy comedy, politics, diplomacy or strange-looking aliens.” (Kirkus Reviews)
  • “Galactic Dr. Who shenanigans.”  (Publishers Weekly)
  • “National Book Award–winning Alexander (Goblin Secrets, 2012) injects meaningful depth into an exciting sci-fi adventure, perceptively exploring what it means to be alien.” (Booklist)
  • Alexander creates in Gabe a character who remains tremendously likable while exhibiting courage, diplomacy, and invention in trying to take care of his family, himself, and his planet all at once. It’s a meaty and entertaining novel with an open-ended conclusion offering lots of room for discussion. (Horn Book)
  • In the short time William Alexander has had books out, I have become a huge fan of his writing. He has done it again—Gabe Fuentes is imaginative, sweet, and courageous in all the right ways without being a bit saccharine or off-putting, and is most likely going to save planet earth from destruction. I can’t wait for book number 2! (Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic)
  • “An engaging and smart allegory about the hurt and strangeness of the modern immigrant condition.” (New York Times)

GOBLIN’S SECRET

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In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around—much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river.

PRAISE FOR GOBLIN’S SECRET

  • “Rownie’s search for his brother turns into an unlikely heroic quest. . . . Though highly textured, it’s tightly woven and reassuringly seamless. The result is wryly humorous and bearably yet excitingly menacing: Even while much is left unexplained, Rownie’s triumph is both gripping and tantalizing.”–Kirkus Reviews, *STAR
  • “Alexander has an intriguing central theme, in which masks and theater create actual magic . . . The result is a (sometimes gruesome) fantasy stuffed with interesting ideas.”–Publishers Weekly
  • “The appeal here lies in Alexander’s careful construction of a distinctive world: touches of steampunk can be found in Graba’s geared-up legs and the Mayor’s automaton guards while a more ancient, primal magic seems to guide the goblins and their powerful brand of storytelling. . . . The bittersweet ending remains true to the story’s overall dreamy, melancholic tone.”–The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • “The story weaves a many-webbed tale, rich in imagination with a fairy-tale feel.”–School Library Journal
  • “The mythic resonance in Alexander’s storytelling, coupled with his smart, graceful writing, make this novel feel both pleasantly old and thoroughly new.” – Locus Magazine
  • “William Alexander organizes his atmospheric first novel into acts and scenes, rather than chapters, and he couches it in the beautifully elliptical language of the old fairy tales.” —Washington Post

GHOULISH SONG

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Kaile lives in Zombay, an astonishing city where goblins walk the streets and witches work their charms and curses. Kaile wants to be a musician and is delighted when a goblin gives her a flute carved out of bone. But the flute’s single, mournful song has a dangerous consequence: it separates Kaile and her shadow.

Anyone without a shadow is considered dead, and despite Kaile’s protests that she’s alive and breathing, her family forces her to leave so she can’t haunt their home. Kaile and her shadow soon learn that the troublesome flute is tied to a terrifying ghoul made from the bones of those who drowned in the Zombay River. With the ghoul chasing her and the river threatening to flood, Kaile has an important role to play in keeping Zombay safe. Will Kaile and her shadow be able to learn the right tune in time?

Set in the delightful and dangerous world of Goblin Secrets, Ghoulish Song is a gripping adventure laced with humor and mystery.

PRAISE FOR GHOULISH SONG

  • “In Ghoulish Song, William Alexander returns us to the fascinatingly sinister world of Zombay. As with his previous novel, Goblin Secrets, Alexander’s work is startlingly original, simultaneously funny and suspenseful.” (Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn)
  • “Funny, smart, and gorgeously written.” (Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic)
  • “Alexander’s storytelling is compelling and clever, and this tale of courage is by turns humorous, poignant and convincing.” (Kirkus Reviews)
  • “[Alexander’s] graceful prose weaves an engaging fantasy that embraces the power of music.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
  • “With wonderful economy, Mr. Alexander conjures a vertiginous adventure shot through with humor in this clever tale.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • “Gorgeously creepy“ (Minnesota Post)

Sarina Dorie’s Funny Short Stories

dorie-sarinaBy Carl Slaughter: Sarina Dorie has sold over 100 short stories, including nine stories to Daily Science Fiction. She has also sold to Intergalactic Medicine Show, Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Cast of Wonders, Perihelion, Plasma Frequency, New Myths, Bards and Sages, and Electric Spec. Her specialty is humor. She is the author of the Memory Thief trilogy, an alternate history steampunk space opera romance set in a neo-Victorian shogun culture.

FAIRIES, ROBOTS AND UNICORNS – OH MY!
A COLLECTION OF FUNNY SHORT STORIES
by Sarina Dorie
April 2016

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Adult Warning: These stories contain randy robots, naughty fairies and lawyers who fantasize about Star Trek. This quirky collection gathers the funniest fantasy and weirdest science fiction stories written by award-winning author, Sarina Dorie. Included in this book of treats are previously published stories such as:

  • Debbie Does Delta Draconis
  • Eels for Heels
  • Roborotica
  • The Optimist Police
  • Lady Chatterley’s Computer

In all, there are seventeen tales to transport you to another world and tickle your funny bone.

GHOSTS, WEREWOLVES AND ZOMBIES – OH MY!
A COLLECTION OF FUNNY SHORT STORIES
by Sarina Dorie
December 2015

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Welcome to these paranormal worlds of randy vampires, naughty necromancers and zombies who might eat your brains after they succeed at seducing you. This quirky collection gathers the funniest fantasy, weirdest paranormal and most hilarious horror written by award-winning author, Sarina Dorie. Included in this book of treats are stories previously published such as: Putting the Romance Back into Necromancy, Five Tips for Outsmarting Satan—and Your Students, Bite Me, Night of the Living Deadcrumbs, and Zombie Psychology. In all, there are seventeen tales to transport you to another world and tickle your funny bone!

David Lee Summers’ SF, Horror and Steampunk Series

David Lee Summers

David Lee Summers

By Carl Slaughter: David Lee Summers is founding editor of Tales of the Talisman. When he’s not editing a magazine, he’s writing short and long fiction in a variety of subgenres. He has written nine novels in three series. When he’s not editing or writing, he’s operating telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. Oh, and wish David happy birthday — he just turned 50.

OLD STAR/NEW EARTH SERIES

THE SOLAR SEA

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Humans settled the Moon and satellites orbiting the Earth were a common sight, but with the abolition of NASA, humans had no desire to go further and space exploration died.

Then, a technician from the Very Large Array, a radio telescope in New Mexico, discovers powerful particles orbiting Saturn’s moon, Titan, which could be a new energy source. Strangely enough, following the discovery’s announcement, whales around the Earth changed their songs overnight.

As scion of the powerful Quinn Corporation, Thomas Quinn builds a solar sail to find the source of these particles in Titan’s orbit. He gathers the best and brightest team to pilot his craft: Jonathan Jefferson, an aging astronaut known as the last man on Mars; Natalie Freeman, a distinguished Navy captain; Myra Lee, a biologist specializing in whale communication; and John O’Connell, the technician who first discovered the particles. All together they make a grand tour of the solar system and discover not only wonders but dangers beyond their imagination.

THE PIRATES OF SUFIRO

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The Pirates of Sufiro is the story of a planet and its people—of Ellison Firebrandt the pirate captain living in exile; of Espedie Raton, the con-man looking to make a fresh start for himself and his wife on a new world; of Peter Stone, the ruthless bank executive who discovers a fortune and will do anything to keep it; and of the lawman, Edmund Ray Swan who travels to Sufiro seeking the quiet life but finds a dark secret. It is the story of privateers, farmers, miners, entrepreneurs, and soldiers—all caught up in dramatic events and violent conflicts that will shape the destiny of our galaxy.

CHILDREN OF THE OLD STARS

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The Cluster is a vast alien machine that destroys starships indiscriminately in its quest for something or someone. Commander John Mark Ellis, disgraced and booted out of the service when he fails to save a merchant ship, believes the key to stopping the Cluster is communication. His mother, Suki Firebrandt Ellis is a historian who believes the very leaders of the galaxy are withholding information about the Cluster. Clyde McClintlock believes the Cluster is God incarnate, seeking retribution. G’Liat is an alien warrior whose own starship was destroyed by the Cluster. All together, they set out to solve the mystery of the Cluster before it finds the object of its quest.

HEIRS OF THE NEW EARTH

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The Earth has gone silent. John Mark Ellis and the crew of the Sanson are sent to investigate. When they arrive, they find vast alien machines known as Clusters in orbit. Fearing the worst, they land and discover that the once overcrowded, polluted Earth has become a paradise of sorts. The problem is over half the population is dead or missing and the planet’s leaders don’t seem to care. As Ellis works to unravel the mystery, sudden gravitational shifts from the galaxy’s center indicate something even worse is in the offing. Can Ellis save the galaxy from the heirs of the new Earth?

SCARLET ORDER VAMPIRE SERIES

DRAGON’S FALL: RISE OF THE SCARLET ORDER

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Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.

Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, and then, she must pay the highest price of all … her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, and rogue vampyrs … and their ultimate nemesis—Vlad the Impaler.

VAMPIRES OF THE SCARLET ORDER

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Vampires of the Scarlet Order is an action-adventure novel about an elite cadre of vampire mercenaries who have worked throughout history as pinpoint assassins. Under the command of Desmond, Lord Draco, the Scarlet Order was involved in wars with the Ottoman Empire, The French Revolution and even the conquest of the Americas. Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, vampires are too expensive, too untrustworthy, and frankly, too passé for governments to employ any longer. Nanotechnology can be employed to engineer more reliable super soldiers. What’s a vampire to do?

Though Vampires of the Scarlet Order is first and foremost an action novel, it is also about fear. The problem of fear is that it corrupts even the best people. Fear can drive a well-intentioned individual to rash, frightening acts. Likewise, fear can drive leaders of the best nations to commit atrocities in the name of security. Few creatures understand fear as well as vampires. In Vampires of the Scarlet Order I invite you to view the world of the 21st century through the eyes of vampire mercenaries who have seen history itself unfold. You may be surprised at the world revealed.

CLOCKWORK LEGION SERIES

OWL DANCE

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1876, Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico meets a beguiling woman named Fatemeh Karimi of Persia, escaping oppression in her homeland. When an ancient lifeform called Legion comes to Earth, they are pulled into a series of events that will change the history of the world as we know it. In their journeys, Ramon and Fatemeh encounter mad inventors, dangerous outlaws and pirates. Their resources are Ramon’s fast draw and Fatemeh’s uncanny ability to communicate with owls. The question is, will that be enough to save them when a fleet of dirigibles from Czarist Russia invades the United States?

LIGHTNING WOLVES

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1877: Russians have invaded the Pacific Northwest and are advancing into California. New weapons have proven ineffective or dangerously unstable and the one man who can help has disappeared into Apache Country, hunting ghosts. A healer and a former sheriff lead a band into the heart of the invasion to determine what makes the Russian forces so unstoppable while a young inventor attempts to unleash the power of the lightning wolves.

THE BRAZEN SHARK

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Pirate captain, inventor, and entrepreneur Onofre Cisneros sweeps his friends Fatemeh and Ramon Morales off to Hawaii for their honeymoon. Once there, a British agent makes Cisneros an offer he can’t refuse and the captain must travel to Japan. Wanting to see more of the world, Ramon and Fatemeh ask to accompany the captain only to find themselves embroiled in a plot by samurai who steal a Russian airship, hoping to overthrow the Japanese emperor.

David Levine’s Steampunk Mars

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David Levine

By Carl Slaughter: David Levine has been selling short fiction for 15 years, especially to Tor, Baen, and Analog. He’s been podcasted in Starship Sofa numerous times, plus Pod Castle, Drabblecast, Tales to Terrify, Escape Pod, and Toasted Cake. He’s picked up two Hugo, two Nebula, and two Campbell nominations/wins, plus Sturgeon and a fistful of others.

In 2016, he tried his hand at long fiction. Arabella of Mars, an alternate history steampunk space opera from Tor, came out in July. Arabella and the Battle for Venus is set for July 2017.

ARABELLA OF MARS

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Ever since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, they proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in the flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby. A tomboy who shares her father’s deft hand with complex automatons. Being raised on the Martian frontier by her Martian nanny, Arabella is more a wild child than a proper young lady. Something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

Arabella soon finds herself trying to navigate an alien world until a dramatic change in her family’s circumstances forces her to defy all conventions in order to return to Mars in order to save both her brother and the plantation. To do this, Arabella must pass as a boy on the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company with a mysterious Indian captain who is intrigued by her knack with automatons. Arabella must weather the naval war between Britain and France, learning how to sail, and a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her brother from certain death.

Kevin J. Anderson’s Veiled Alliances

By Carl Slaughter:

VEILED ALLIANCES
a prequel novella to Saga of Seven Suns
by Kevin J. Anderson

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It is a time of great beginnings. Set a century before the grand events of the Saga of Seven Suns, Veiled Alliances chronicles the origin of the green priests on Theroc, the first Roamer skymining operations on a gas-giant planet, the discovery of the Klikiss robots entombed in an abandoned alien city, the initial Ildiran expedition to Earth, the rescue of the generation ship Burton and the tragedy that leads to sinister breeding experiments.

Veiled Alliances is an excellent starting point for readers new to the Saga, as well as an unforgettable adventure for fans of the series.

BONUS: This edition also includes the complete script for the Wildstorm/DC Comics graphic novel of Veiled Alliances.

Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson

Kristine Kathryn Rusch Launches Fifth Diving Universe Novel

By Carl Slaughter: Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s popular Diving Universe is back after three years. The Falls, the fifth novel in the series, came out in October. In addition to the five novels, there are nine novellas and short stories, all but one of them published in Asimov’s.

DIVING INTO THE WRECK

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Boss loves to dive historical ships, derelict spacecraft found adrift in the blackness between the stars. Sometimes she salvages for money, but mostly she’s an active historian. She wants to know about the past—to experience it firsthand. Once she’s dived the ship, she’ll either leave it for others to find or file a claim so that she can bring tourists to dive it as well. It’s a good life for a tough loner, with more interest in artifacts than people.

Then one day, Boss finds the claim of a lifetime: an enormous spacecraft, incredibly old, and apparently Earth-made. It’s impossible for something so old, built in the days before Faster Than Light travel, to have journeyed this far from Earth. It shouldn’t be here. It can’t be here. And yet, it is. Boss’s curiosity is up, and she’s determined to investigate. She hires a group of divers to explore the wreck with her, the best team she can assemble. But some secrets are best kept hidden, and the past won’t give up its treasures without exacting a price in blood.

CITY OF RUINS

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Boss, a loner, loved to dive derelict spacecraft adrift in the blackness of space…. But one day, she found a ship that would change everything – an ancient Dignity Vessel – and aboard the ship, the mysterious and dangerous Stealth Tech. Now, years after discovering that first ship, Boss has put together a large company that finds Dignity Vessels and “loose” stealth technology.

Following a hunch, Boss and her team come to investigate the city of Vaycehn, where 14 archeologists have died exploring the endless caves below the city. Mysterious “death holes” explode into the city itself for no apparent reason, and Boss believes stealth tech is involved. As Boss searches for the answer to the mystery of the death holes, she will uncover the answer to her Dignity Vessel quest as well – and one more thing, something so important that it will change her life and the universe forever.

BONEYARDS

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Searching for ancient technology to help her friends find answers to the mystery of their own past, Boss ventures into a place filled with evidence of an ancient space battle, one the Dignity Vessels lost. Meanwhile, the Enterran Empire keeps accidentally killing its scientists in a quest for ancient stealth tech. Boss’s most difficult friend, Squishy, has had enough. She sneaks into the Empire and destroys its primary stealth-tech research base. But an old lover thwarts her escape, and now Squishy needs Boss’s help. Boss, who is a fugitive in the Empire. Boss, who knows how to make a Dignity Vessel work. Boss, who knows that Dignity Vessels house the very technology that the Empire is searching for.

Should Boss take a Dignity Vessel to rescue Squishy and risk losing everything to the Empire? Or should Boss continue on her mission for her other friends and let Squishy suffer her own fate?

Filled with battles old and new, scientific dilemmas, and questions about the ethics of friendship, Boneyards looks at the influence of our past on our present and the risks we all take when we meddle in other people’s lives. Boneyards is space opera the way it was meant to be: exciting, fast moving, and filled with passion.

SKIRMISHES

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The answers Captain Jonathon “Coop” Cooper and the crew of the Ivoire seek lie in the Boneyards. But they must wait for Boss and her team to dive it, explore the wrecks, and piece together what happened in that faraway place. Boss loves the challenge. Thousands of ships, centuries of history, all play to her strengths. In her absence, she trusts Coop to defend the Nine Planets Alliance against the Enterran Empire. But an encounter from Coop’s recent past shows up to haunt him, an encounter he never told Boss about, an encounter that could threaten her future, his life, and the fragile peace between the Alliance and the Empire. A combination of first-person and third-person narrative and flashback segments makes this a complex and compelling story. It’s like having three tales in one, with an added peek into the bad guys’ activities, all of them intriguing, classic science fiction. It leaves the reader eager to explore this universe again and see what will happen next with these characters.

THE FALLS

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Fleet sector bases close as the Fleet moves on. Everyone knows and expects it. But still, the announcement that Sector Base E-2 will close—although still thirty years in the future—breeds a mood of tension and anxiety. So, when Rajivk Agwu finds two pairs of shoes on a trail near Fiskett Falls, but no sign of their occupants, his already heightened senses warn of danger. Those on the base fare no better. Bristol Iannazzi, working on the notoriously delicate anacapa drive for a runabout, also notices something strange, something out of place, something dangerous… Expanding the rich history of Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s captivating Diving universe, The Falls provides an exciting and crucial backstory for future events.

DIVING UNIVERSE NOVELLAS

  • Diving into the Wreck
  • The Room of Lost Souls
  • The Spires of Denon
  • Becoming One with the Ghosts
  • Becalmed
  • Stealth
  • Strangers at the Room of Lost Souls
  • The Application of Hope
  • Encounter on Starbase Kappa

Tony Bertauski Takes Christmas Myths and Makes Them His Own

By Carl Slaughter: Tony Bertauski has a talent for taking a classic fantasy tale and reinventing it with a science fiction premise. Lately, Bertauski has been taking on Christmas characters. Santa, Jack Frost, The Snowman. Humbug, the latest in his Christmas series, out in September, is a new take on Charles Dickens’ much loved and much adapted A Christmas Carol. The first book in the series received 300 Amazon reviews. All of Bertauski’s Christmas series stories have received overwhelmingly 4 and 5 star reviews. And which Christmas character will he take on next? Rudolph no doubt.

CLAUS

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In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age.

They are short, fat and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven are adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded great inventions — time-stopping devices and gravitational spheres that build living snowmen and genetically-modified reindeer that leap great distances. They’ve even unlocked the secrets to aging.

For 40,000 years, they have lived in peace. Until now.

An elven known as The Cold One has divided his people. He’s tired of their seclusion and wants to conquer the world.

Only one elven stands between The Cold One and total chaos. He’s white-bearded and red-coated.

The Santa family will help him stop The Cold One. They will come to the aid of a legendary elven known as… Claus.

JACK

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Sura is sixteen years old when she meets Mr. Frost. He’s very short and very fat and he likes his room very, very cold. Some might say inhumanly cold. His first name isn’t Jack, she’s told. And that’s all she needed to know. Mr. Frost’s love for Christmas is over-the-top and slightly psychotic. And why not? He’s made billions of dollars off the holiday he invented. Or so he claims.

Rumor is he’s an elven, but that’s silly. Elven aren’t real. And if they were, they wouldn’t live in South Carolina. They wouldn’t hide in a tower and go to the basement to make…things.

Nonetheless, Sura will work for this odd little recluse. Frost Plantation is where she’ll meet the love of her life. It’s where she’ll finally feel like she belongs somewhere.

And it’s where she’ll meet someone fatter, balder and stranger than Mr. Frost. It’s where she’ll meet Jack. Jack hates Christmas.

FLURY

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Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye. As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble.

But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears. Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once.

But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away? Because sometimes even magic needs a little help.

HUMBUG

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Jacob Marley is dead. His business partner, Eb Scrooge, is left to run Avocado, Inc., an innovative technology business, all alone. An introverted shut-in locked away in a Colorado mansion, he changes the company’s mission statement. Only his servant droids keep him company. Until the gifts arrive. Each Christmas, a messenger forces Eb to look at his life in hopes he will change. But change does not happen in a single night. And only Eb can make it happen. But who is sending the messengers?

Jonathan Miller Shows Superpowers Don’t Fix All Your Problems

By Carl Slaughter: In Jonathan Miller’s Gravity Breaker, Tallah’s father discovers he has a superpower and tries to use it to ensure a safe future for his daughter. The story does not end well for either and she finds herself an orphan runaway. In the sequel, Tallah, released in October, she discovers she has the same superpower. Rather than run or fight, she separates and builds. But like her father, she discovers the hard way that dealing with her power and dealing with people is complicated. The ending hits at big change and another sequel.

GRAVITY BREAKER

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For Isaac Williams, nothing comes easy.

From his dead-end job to his one-bedroom apartment, life so far has been a steady grind, one challenge after another. But that’s about to change. During a routine encounter with a police officer in Oakland, Isaac makes a life-changing realization: He can use gravity to do almost anything. To build or destroy. To lift up or hold in place. To bend, straighten, or break apart.

Isaac is suddenly in command of a power beyond his wildest imagination, the power to reshape the world around him, something that—as a biracial black man from hurricane-ravaged Mississippi—he has struggled to do his entire life. Filled with newfound hope, Isaac immerses himself in the experimentation process: testing his limits, broadening his skill set, and refining his control, all in secret.

But Isaac, a single father of an eleven-year-old daughter, is forced to reveal the extent of his abilities when his daughter is attacked. This sets in motion a series of events that strips him of everything he’s worked so hard for: his child, his job, and his home. Pursued relentlessly by the authorities, Isaac is forced to use his abilities in increasingly dramatic and dangerous ways to avoid capture and reunite with his daughter, ultimately learning that the power he wields—though enviable—comes at a deeply unenviable price.

TALLAH

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With her father gone and her newfound abilities barely under control, twelve-year-old Tallah lives alone on the streets, stealing food from shopping carts, fending off predators, and trying to steer clear of the law. Torn between using her powers to lash out at the world, to seize control of her situation, or to make herself disappear, Tallah is lost, adrift without a guide—until she meets someone, another girl about her age, also homeless. Her name is Harmony.

Together, Tallah and Harmony carve out a simple life in an encampment next to a river that runs through the heart of the city. Over time, Tallah grows to trust Harmony—enough to reveal the secret of her abilities. But as the pair grows closer, Harmony’s darker motivations become clear, culminating in an act of betrayal that leads Tallah to abandon her former friend and turn her back on humanity—including her own.

Consumed by rage, Tallah embarks on an odyssey of destruction, unleashing the full force of her volatile powers.  Soon she finds herself on a collision course with the authorities, and her only hope for redemption lies in the promise of a new town, a new civilization—a utopia she can create on her own—but before she can build her future, she needs to reckon with the ghosts of her past…

Poets and Writers magazine describes Jonathan Miller: “Though his books are labeled literary thrillers, Miller is most concerned with his characters, who struggle with issues of discrimination, identity, ideological rigidity, and belonging.”

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller