Butcher, Jim :
(Roc 0-451-46085-5, $23.95, 406pp, hardcover, May 2006, jacket art Chris McGrath)
Fantasy novel, eighth in the "Dresden Chronicles" about crime-solving wizard Harry Dresden in Chicago, following Dead Beat (2005). This time Harry Dresden deals with phobophages who attack a horror film convention.
The author's website has this page about the book, with links to sample chapters.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which advises "Look for the series to really take off with the debut of a two-hour pilot on the Sci-Fi Channel this summer produced by Nicholas Cage."
Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the April issue of Locus Magazine, noting that this volume "nicely addresses several complaints I had about recent volumes" and concluding "Movie monsters and insane fairy queens keep Harry hopping and dropping sarcastic quips, but he still finds time to pick up a new apprentice - a very interesting new development in an invariably entertaining series."
Butcher, William :
Jules Verne: The Definitive Biography
(Thunder's Mouth Press 1-56025-854-3, $28, 32+369pp, hardcover, May 2006)
Nonfiction, biography of the 19th-century French writer whose seminal SF works included Journey to the Center of the Earth and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The author is a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University and a "leading international authority" on Verne, according to the press release.
The book has an introduction by Arthur C. Clarke [not Ray Bradbury, as indicated by the cover image on Amazon], 19 chapters and an epilogue, appendices including lists of Verne's many home addresses and of his travels outside France, a bibliography, notes, and an index. There are 14 pages of black and white illustrations, unpaginated between 182-183.
Online is Butcher's Chronology of Jules Verne. The author's site has this page for the book, with links to several PDF excerpts.
Duncan, Hal :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-48731-1, $14.95, 466pp, trade paperback, May 2006)
First US edition of Duncan's 2005 fantasy novel, subtitled "The Book of All Hours: 1", which has received much attention and acclaim.
Del Rey's site has this page for the book -- "It's 2017 and angels and demons walk the earth. Once they were human; now they are unkin, transformed by the ancient machine-code language of reality itself. They seek The Book of All Hours..." with an author Q&A and an excerpt.
Duncan posts blog Notes from the Geek Show.
Online reviews of this book include John Clute's -- "Michael Moorcock's Finnegans Wake by Hal Duncan" -- and Cheryl Morgan's -- "Vellum is the parchment on which the Word of God is written. Imagine a language so precise that simply uttering a word can make something so. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was written on Vellum."
Lisa Goldstein reviewed it last July in Locus Magazine: "This is territory somewhere between Dan Brown and Umberto Eco: mysterious tomes, ancient conspiracies, mystical quests." Faren Miller followed up in the April '06 issue: "While we've become accustomed to multiverses and timeslips, grungy futures and intimations of apocalypse, Duncan plunges us into a kind of spatiotemporal chaos that might just lead to a Unified Field Theory of all myths and religions -- or their place in the human mind."
Anthology of 20 original stories, seventh in the series of Australian anthologies from the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. Authors include Kaaron Warren, Maxine McArthur, Cat Sparks, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Andrew Sullivan, Lily Chrywenstrom, Richard Harland, and Martin Livings. Interior illustrations are by Brian Smith.
The publisher's site has this page about the book, with brief descriptions of the stories, and links to previous anthologies in the series. The site also has ordering instructions.
Novik, Naomi :
Throne of Jade
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-48129-1, 398pp, mass market paperback, May 2006, cover illustration Dominic Harman)
Fantasy novel, second in the "Temeraire" trilogy following last month's His Majesty's Dragon. In this volume the dragon and his captain travel to China.
Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
The author's website has this page for the book, with links to reviews and an excerpt.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, and a post by the author.
Carolyn Cushman reviews it in the April issue of Locus Magazine.
Rhodes, Jenna :
The Four Forges
(DAW 0-7564-0274-3, $23.95, 554pp, hardcover, May 2006, jacket painting Jody A. Lee)
Fantasy novel, first volume of the "Elven Ways" series, about a race of elves transported to a new world.
Amazon has the starred Publishers Weekly review, which notes that 'Jenna Rhodes' is a pseudonym for "a prolific YA author" and calls it a "spectacular series debut" that "plays fresh variations on the standard epic fantasy tropes".
Amazon also has a review by Harriet Klausner.
Ringo, John :
East of the Sun, West of the Moon
(Baen 1-4165-2059-7, $24, 307pp, hardcover, May 2006, cover art Kurt Miller)
SF novel in the Council Wars series following There Will Be Dragons (2003), The Emerald Sea (2004), and Against the Tide (2005). This volume concerns a mission to transport fuel supplies.
Ringo's website has this page about the series.
Baen's site has this description and links to several chapters.
Amazon has mixed reader reviews.
Simolke, Duane, with Toni Davis :
The Return of Innocence
(iUniverse 0-595-38988-0, $12.95, 156pp, trade paperback, April 2006)
Fantasy novel set on a magical planet, about a teenage girl from an exiled family who inadvertantly becomes a legend.
The publisher has this page about the book, and a page listing his other novels.
The author's site includes an excerpt.
Vinge, Vernor :
(Tor 0-312-85684-9, $25.95, 364pp, hardcover, May 2006, jacket art Stephan Martiniere)
SF novel about a recovering Alzheimer's patient adjusting to the world of 2025.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews; the latter concludes "The near future is less alien here than in some of Vinge's other work, but no less fascinating and well constructed."
Paul Di Filippo's SF Weekly review gives it an A.
Locus Magazine's Damien Broderick reviewed it in the April issue -- "It's arguable that this is the most impressively conceived and mounted invention of the future that science fiction has yet seen, the most densely realized..." -- while Nick Gevers covered it in the May issue.
Wilson, Daniel H. :
How to Survive a Robot Uprising
(Bloomsbury 1-58234-592-9, $12.95, 176pp, trade paperback, 2005, cover design Richard Horne)
Mock nonfiction book, subtitled "Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion", consisting of many short chapters offering advice on detecting insurgent robots. Chapter titles include "How to Spot a Hostile Robot", "How to Detect Robot Speech", "How to Reason with a Robot", "How to Recognize a Rebellious Servant Robot", and "How to Pose as a Humanoid Robot".
The book is the size of a mass-market paperback, but with heavier paper stock and red-gilt pages. There are numerous small illustrations by Richard Horne
The book has its own website, \\\ Robot Uprising ///, with diagrams, extracts, reviews, an interview with the author, etc.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which concludes "Humorous and informative -- Wilson drops robotics history trivia nuggets and includes brief descriptions of current robot research -- this nifty little guide to surviving the inevitable robot apocalypse may have you reconsidering purchasing that 'smart' (read: insidious) refrigerator."
Karen Haber reviews it in the upcoming June issue of Locus Magazine: "The nifty three-color illustrations in this pocket-sized paperback are slick, precise, and never once wink at the viewer. Agreeably futuristic and hip in design, the book is easy on the eyes."