Bunch, Chris :
The Last Battle: Dragonmaster, Book Three
(Roc 0-451-46110-X, $14, 326pp, trade paperback, December 2006)
Fantasy novel, third in the "Dragonmaster" trilogy, in which dragons are developed as weapons of war, following Dragonmaster (2005) and Knighthood of the Dragon (2006). The books were published earlier in the UK.
The publisher's site has a description.
Amazon has a brief description.
Butcher, Jim :
(Ace 0-441-01434-8, $24.95, 442pp, hardcover, December 2006, cover illustration Steve Stone)
Fantasy novel, third in the "Codex Alera" following Furies of Calderon (2004) and Academ's Fury (2005), set in a realm where adults have bonds with magical spirits that provide defenses and talents.
The author's website has this page about the book, with excerpts posted at weekly intervals.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews; the former says "Butcher deftly mixes military fantasy and political intrigue in the rollicking third Codex Alera book. ... Readers will cheer Tavi every step of the way."
Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine: "Plenty of military action and some interesting revelations about Tavi's past make this one of the best volumes yet in this entertaining series."
Omnibus of two novels about Harry Dresden, a consulting wizard in Chicago: Blood Rites (first published 2004) and Dead Beat (2005). It follows two earlier book club volumes, Wizard for Hire and Wizard by Trade.
This edition is available exclusively from the Science Fiction Book Club, whose site has this page for the book, with descriptions and several reader reviews.
Card, Orson Scott :
(Tor 0-765-31611-0, $24.95, 351pp, hardcover, November 2006, jacket art Bob Warner)
SF novel about a near-future civil war in the US between red-state and blue-state forces following the assassination of the president and vice-president.
Card's website has this description -- "The American Empire has grown too fast, and the fault lines at home are stressed to the breaking point. The war of words between Right and Left has collapsed into a shooting war, though most people just want to be left alone." -- and a Chapter One excerpt.
Amazon has Roy Olson's Booklist review, which says the book, written as the basis for a video-game, "couldn't be timelier and is, for all its hyperactivity and flip, Hollywoodish one-liners, heartfelt and sobering", and the Publishers Weekly review, which says "Right-wing rhetoric trumps the logic of story and character in this near-future political thriller ..." and concludes "The action is overshadowed by the novel's polemical message, which Card tops off with an afterword decrying his own politically-motivated exclusion from various conventions and campuses, the "national media elite" and the divisive excesses of both the right and the left."
Flint, Eric :
1824: The Arkansas War
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-46569-5, $25.95, 427pp, hardcover, December 2006)
Alternate history novel, second in a two-volume series following The Rivers of War (2005), set in the Confederacy of the Arkansas.
Del Rey's site has a description, with an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it "skillful, provocative", and Roland Green's starred Booklist review, which says it's "Flint's finest and may become his most controversial book" and concludes "A winner from start to finish."
Foster, Alan Dean :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-48504-1, $24.95, 272pp, hardcover, December 2006, jacket illustration Robert Hunt)
SF novel, latest in the ongoing series about empath Philip Lynx and his mini-dragon companion Pip that began with The Tar Aiym Krang in 1972 and most recently included Running from the Deity in 2005. In this book, Flinx detours to the criminal-run planet of Visaria.
Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews.
Grimsley, Jim :
The Last Green Tree
(Tor 0-765-30530-5, $25.95, 400pp, hardcover, December 2006, jacket art Donato)
SF novel, indirect sequel to Lambda Literary Award-winner The Ordinary (2004), concerning a 10-year-old boy and his guardian on a planet where sentient trees keep human symbionts as slaves.
The book incorporates several stories published in Asimov's magazine, and has a 25-page glossary.
The book is the December "Sci Fi Essential" Book of the Month; Scifi.com has this page about the book, with a description and excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it "intricate, well-crafted" and says "The inconclusive ending to this complex work of world-building and large-scale politics seasoned with gore and desperation will have readers anxiously awaiting the next installment."
Faren Miller reviews it in the December issue of Locus Magazine, finding it more difficult to discuss than the previous book: "While combinations of space opera with metaphysical elements - including a kind of radically redefined Crucifixion, in this case - seem to attract writers, they can be tricky to pull off. The Last Green Tree didn't entirely win me over, but I'm willing to give the next book in this continuing saga the benefit of the doubt."
Hendrix, Howard V. :
The Spears of God
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45598-3, $14.95, 14+394pp, trade paperback, December 2006)
Neaer-future SF thriller about meteorites that may contain keys to mysteries of human evolution. It involves characters from Hendrix's previous book The Labyrinth Key but isn't a direct sequel.
The author's website has this description, with a long list of research links.
Del Rey's site has a similar description, along with an excerpt.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews; the latter concludes "Hendrix's solidly paced thriller is one gripping story."
The book was Faren Miller's lead review in the November issue of Locus Magazine. She concluded "Though I may quibble with some of its narrative strategy, Spears of God is still a fine read, combining liberal indignation with plenty of stimuli for the imagination: those irresistible 'what if?'s."
Kurtz, Katherine :
(Ace 0-441-01282-5, $24.95, 12+279pp, hardcover, December 2006, jacket art Matt Stawicki)
Fantasy novel, second in a new "Deryni" series following In the King's Service (2003).
Wikipedia has a detailed page for Deryni novels, with chronologies of all five trilogies and related works.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews, and several mixed reader reviews.
Resnick, Mike :
(Pyr 1591024900, $25, 336pp, hardcover, December 2006, cover illustration John Picacio)
SF novel about battered starship Theodore Roosevelt fighting an interstellar war with the alien Teroni Federation. It's second in a projected series of five, following last year's Starship: Mutiny. In this book, having fled court martial and branded a mutineer, Captain Wilson Cole turns his ship into a pirate vessel in the lawless Inner Frontier.
Resnick's website has this timeline, which places the 'Starship' novels into the chronology first established in Resnick's early novel Birthright: The Book of Man.
The book includes six appendices about the Birthright Universe.
The publisher's site has this description, with quotes from reviews and an author profile.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which describes Resnick's approach to military SF as not "so much about fighting and hardware as it is about strategy and leadership."
Rucker, Rudy :
Mathematicians in Love
(Tor 0-765-31584-X, $24.95, 364pp, hardcover, December 2006)
SF novel and romantic comedy about rival mathematicians who alter reality in a competition to get the girl, set in an alternate version of Berkeley, California, called Humelocke.
Rucker's site has this page about the book, with a summary, blurbs, quotes from reviews, and a link to a 2.5 meg PDF file of Rucker's working notes for the book.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "While most of the mathematical flights may stun hapless mathophobes, Rucker's wild characters, off-the-wall situations and wicked political riffs prove that writing SF spoofs, like Bela's rock music avocation, 'beats the hell out of publishing a math paper.'"
Nick Gevers reviews it in the December issue of Locus Magazine, concluding that it "is an engaging and entertaining book, light yet thought-provoking, funny yet of some gravity. It deserves success."
Omnibus of three novels set on a future Mars ruled by intelligent felines: Haydn of Mars, Sebastian of Mars, and Queen of Mars. The books were originally published as Ace paperbacks in 2005 and 2006.
This edition is available exclusively from the Science Fiction Book Club, whose page for the book has descriptions of the three novels.
Ward, James M. :
Dragonfrigate Wizard Halcyon Blithe
(Tor 0-765-31254-9, $24.95, 319pp, hardcover, December 2006, jacket art Jon Foster)
Fantasy novel about a wizard academy graduate serving aboard a dragonship, sequel to last year's Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it an "unabashed homage to the Horatio Hornblower series" and concludes "Though suited for YA audiences, this cheerful fantasy adventure will also entertain adults who like their magical heroics burnished with a spot of navy spit-and-polish."
Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the December issue of Locus Magazine: "This second volume in the series finds Midshipwizard Halcyon Blithe assigned to a new dragonship taking its maiden voyage on an ambassadorial mission to the land of the dwarves, facing pirates, demons, and enemy treachery on the way."