As you can tell from the photo below a large pile of goodness has graced my doorstep yet again. This is quite an oddball collection as two classics I've been meaning to read have made their way here. I also managed to find one somewhat rare book that I've been checking prices online from over a year and finally bit the bullet.
Swords and Deviltry: Lankhmar Book 1 (The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser) by Fritz Leiber and read by Jonathan Davis - The Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books are some the the most esteemed work in Swords and Sorcery with Leiber virtually inventing the genre. Brilliance Audio is planning to release each volume in audio for the first time or so I believe. I've been meaning to check out this series for more than a decade so I couldn't turn down a review copy and I'll definitely be making time for this in the near future. I think this series will work well in the audio format as each book is a string of short stories.
In the snowy reaches of ancient land ruled by witches and demons, the young prince Fafhrd battles his clan for his honor and freedom.
Beset by the spells of his evil mother and enchanted by the dancing of a beautiful actress, Fafhrd is driven into exile by his uncontrollable desire for adventure and exotic love.
Meanwhile, the apprentice magician - the Gray Mouser - returns to Nehwon from a quest only to find his master, the great white wizard, dead. With revenge in his heart, the Gray Mouser risks everything to inflict vengeance on the evil Duke, gaining in the process an unholy access to the evil arts of black magic.
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser — brothers in arms — meet one dark night in the great and amoral city of Lankhmar, the glittering gem of Nehwon. Fighting side by side, they cement a friendship that will span the ages and lead them to the outer reaches of Nehwon and beyond…
The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies by David J. Williams - The first two books in Williams's Autumn Rain trilogy supposedly reinvigorate the Cyberpunk genre. John and Graeme both had very nice things to say about the first volume. Also, check out the author's very well put together site for the series, which gives you a good idea of the world he envisions.
In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Cooperatively built by the United States and the Eurasian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it’s just been destroyed.
With suspicions rampant, armies and espionage teams are mobilized across the globe and beyond. Enter Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, U.S. counterintelligence agents and former lovers—though their memories may only be constructs implanted by their spymaster. Now their agenda is to trust no one. For as the crisis mounts, the lives of all involved will converge in one explosive finale—and a startling aftermath that will rewrite everything they’ve ever known—about their mission, their world, and themselves.
The Reef by Mark Charan Newton - This is Newton's true debut despite the fact many think Nights of Villjamur has that honor. I had to track down this copy through the used market in the UK for a somewhat fair price as word on the street is only 300 copies or so were produced, which makes this quite a rarity if true. The Reef was published by small UK publisher Pendragon Press who are up to some interesting things at the moment..
Has-jahn: a continent of exotic cultures, cities and long-forgotten technology. Two members of a race once thought extinct wash up on the shores near the city of Escha. In their possession is a call for help from a human living on the little-known tropical island of Arya, where their race is being murdered. A crew of freelance explorers, led by the charismatic Santiago DeBrelt, travels to discover the mystery behind the killings. However, Santiago's controversial nature leads to him being accompanied by government agents — who wish to explore Arya and find out why Eschan naval vessels have disappeared in the seas surrounding it.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Rhoam, a city in central Has-jahn, a band of terrorists are embarking upon an epic journey to the very same waters. Still angry from an old war with Escha, they've gathered explosives and weapons, and will allow nothing to interfere with their quest for a phenomenal revenge. But secret pasts are revealed and soon all eyes turn to the coral reef off the coast of Arya.
With Great Power... Edited by Lou Anders - If you follow here regularly you've probably heard me make mention of this great superhero themed concept anthology, which is why I'm quite happy to have received an ARC of one of my most desired anthologies of the year. Also, checkout this awesome cover, which Lou recently unveiled. I also learned a thing about comic characters and art. Apparently the first artist to illustrate a characters shares in creation rights with the writer of said character, which is why the cover does not depict a specific character from the anthology.
Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe - This is the first omnibuses of Wolfe's highly vaulted genre twisting series The Book of the New Sun. I've been looking for this book on and off for the last couple of years, but whenever I think of it the store I'm in only seems to have the second volume. For some reason there are some books I want to buy in a store and some I'll buy online. In this case I wanted to grab it in store. Does this happen to anyone else? I also picked this one up because of Larry's recent challenge to bloggers, which pushed me to again track down a copy.
Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis - This is Ian's debut effort, which has been low on my radar, but when a review copy happily materialized it has quickly caught my eye again. This is the start to The Milkweed Triptych which mixes WWII action involving demons and genetic supermen. Tregillis is also part of GRRM's Wild Cards collective. Be sure to check out the author's uber cool website.
It’s 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly normal man gets caught in between
Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of the Second World War, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him.
When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities—a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present—Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay. But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be.
Alan Furst meets Alan Moore in the opening of an epic of supernatural alternate history, the tale of a twentieth century like ours and also profoundly different.
Dragonfly Falling and Blood of the Mantis by Adrian Tchaikovsky - These are the second and third books of the Shadows of the Apt series, the first of which Empire in Black and Gold I absolutely loved. I'm thinking of doing a trilogy review together in the near future once I make my way through them all.
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