New Science Fiction Books in December 2010 Revisited

December is rather bare of new science fiction. These are the ones that interest me.

Click on one the cover for more information.

First time releases:

Re Releases and Omnibus:

First Time Releases

Marianne De Pierres is an author I have been contemplating for a while. Parrish Plessis is another series of her that I fancy too. I put this series on my Christmas wish list.

Title: Transformation Space
Series: Sentients of Orion book 4
Author: Marianne De Pierres
Genre: Space Opera
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Orbit (December 2, 2010)

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Mira Fedor and her friends stand in the eye of the hurricane. Everything is in flux and nothing is as it appears to be. Mira’s pregnancy seems to be proceeding at an inhuman pace and the sedate acceptance of this state of affairs by her biozoon, Insigna, is as much an irritation as it is comfort. It seems clear that the extropists’ procedures have had an unforeseen effect – but will her child be more than human? Or less? Meanwhile, the galaxy-wide conspiracy that has plagued the Orion League for so long is blown wide open. The conspirators stand unmasked, but is there time to prevent their carefully laid plans coming to fruition? And even if there is, how many of the Orion Worlds will pay the price for their leaders’ blindness? The pieces are all in play; all that remains is for each side to commit to its end game. But there’s one question nobody has thought to ask: will god play by the rules …

This sounds like some good old traditional science fiction.
Title: Back To The Moon
Author: Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson
Genre: Hard Science Fiction
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Baen 2 Dec 2010

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Decades after the last footprints were left on the Moon, the U.S. was preparing to return to the Lunar surface in a new class of rockets, when the mission suddenly became much more urgent. It would have to be a rescue mission.

Unbeknownst to the rest of the world China had sent its own Lunar expedition. A manned expedition. Until a distress call was received, no human outside of China even knew that the mission was manned—or that their ship had crash-landed and couldn’t take off again.

Time was running out, and if the four Chinese astronauts were to be rescued, the American lunar mission would have to launch immediately, with only a skeleton crew. Once the heroic U.S. astronauts were underway the army of engineers and scientists back home had the daunting task of deciding what equipment could be left on the Moon to permit the Lunar lander vehicle vehicle to lift safely from the Moon with the two U.S. astronauts and the four stranded Chinese taikonauts! Could the U.S. mount such a mission successfully—and would thousands of years of instilled honor “allow” the Chinese astronauts to accept a rescue?

Title: The Buntline Special: A Weird West Tale
Author: Mike Resnick
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Pyr (December 15, 2010)

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The year is 1881. The United States of America ends at the Mississippi River. Beyond lies the Indian nation, where the magic of powerful Medicine Men has halted the advance of the Americans east of the river.

An American government desperate to expand its territory send Thomas Alva Edison out West to the town of tombstone, Arizona, on a mission to discover a scientific means of counteracting magic. Hired to protect this great genius, Wyatt Earp and his brothers.

But there are plenty who would like to see the Earps and Edison dead. Riding to their aid are old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. Against them stand stand the Apache wizard Geronimo and the Clanton gang. Battle lines are drawn, and the Clanton gang, which has its own reasons for wanting Edison dead, send for Johnny Ringo, the one man who might be Doc Holliday’s equal in a gunfight. But what shows up instead is The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo, returned from the dead and come to Tombstone looking for a fight.

Welcome to a West like you’ve never seen before, where “Bat Masterson” hails from the ranks of the undead, where electric lights shine down on the streets, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think agian, as five-time Hugo winnier Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale.

Title: Mad Skills
Author: Walter Greatshell
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Ace (December 28, 2010)

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Unconscious for fourteen months after a debilitating accident, Maddy Grant awakens at the Braintree Institute, where scientists have successfully implanted her with a radical technology designed to correct her brain injury. But Maddy is more than cured. Her intellect has been enhanced to process information faster than a computer-an ability that’s sending her emotions into overdrive.

To monitor her condition, the institute sends Maddy to the nearby village of Harmony, where she will be free to interact with the community. But Braintree’s scientists are not only monitoring her behavior, they’re modifying it, reprogramming her personality to become someone else.

A killer.

Re Releases and Omnibus

This one has a horrible cover, but I remember the Flandry stories with fondness since my youth.
Title: Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra
Omnibus: The Plauge Masters (1960), Hunters of the Sky Cave (1965), The Warriors from Nowhere (1954), A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (1975)
Series: Technic Civilization
Author: Poul Anderson
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Baen 2 Dec 2010

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Captain Dominic Flandry has been knighted for his many services to the Terran Empire—an Empire which is old, jaded, and corrupt, as Flandry well knows. And while that “Sir” before his name may be an added attraction to comely ladies (not that he has ever lacked for the pleasant company of the same), he expects that it will also bring him less welcome attention from envious “colleagues” within the empire. What it is not likely to do is make him more of an object of interest to the Merseians, whose plots he has repeatedly foiled and who are much too aware of how much simpler their plans to replace the Empire would be if he were the lateSir Dominic Flandry.

Flandry himself has come to understand that there may be no more point to all his victories than that a few trillion of his fellow creatures may live out their lives before the inevitable coming of the Long Night of galactic barbarism. At best, he may have postponed its coming and shortened its duration. But if that is the most he can achieve, so be it—he’ll keep on fighting, hoping that the barbarians too will pass, followed by a new round of civilization.