Tuesday, October 18, 2016

New and Upcoming Releases

There are always new and interesting books coming out. These are a few of the ones that have caught my eye that have either just been released, or are going to be coming out over the next couple of months:

We start with:

Tempest: All New Tales of Valdemar - Mercedes LackeyTempest: All New Tales Of Valdemar
Ed. Mercedes Lackey
DAW Books
Release Date: December 6, 2016
978-0756409036

The amazon.com product description:
Twenty-four authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages—and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents—combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more—make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now, twenty-three authors ride with Mercedes Lackey to her magical land of Valdemar, adding their own unique voices to the Heralds, Bards, Healers, and other heroes of this beloved fantasy realm.

Join Elizabeth Vaughan, Fiona Patton, Jennifer Brozek, Brenda Cooper, Rosemary Edghill, and others in twenty-two original stories, including a brand-new novella by Mercedes Lackey, to Valdemar, where:

A Herald must crack an ancient code in a historic tapestry in order to arbitrate a dispute over land and lineage…

A Healer’s daughter flees the noble family that has trapped and enslaved her mother, and must seek help to free her mother…

A young woman who hides her clairvoyant powers from her town’s Karsite priests ForeSees a threat, and must risk revealing her Gift to save her community…

A Herald finds his assistant has been abducted by a man upon whom he had levied a heavy fine, and must foil the kidnapper’s plans to save his charge…
Mercedes Lackey's anthologies have become an annual tradition over the past several years. Most of them have been Valdemar-themed, but there have also been a couple set in the Elemental Masters world too. As always, the stories vary, but often they carry over characters from previous anthologies as well. I know I'm looking forward to seeing who and what show up in this one. Makes a great Christmas gift for any Valdemar or Mercedes Lackey fans too.

99: Stories of the Game - Wayne Gretzky99: Stories Of The Game
Wayne Gretzky
G.P. Putnam & Sons
Release Date: October 18, 2016
978-0399575471

The amazon.com product description:
One of the greatest sports figures of all time salutes his heroes and takes us inside the game as few others can.
From minor-hockey phenomenon to Hall of Fame sensation, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the record books, his accomplishments becoming the stuff of legend. Dubbed “The Great One,” he is considered by many to be the greatest hockey player who ever lived. No one has seen more of the game than he has—but he has never discussed in depth just what it was he saw.

For the first time, Gretzky discusses candidly what the game looks like to him and introduces us to the people who inspired and motivated him: mentors, teammates, rivals, the famous and the lesser known. Weaving together lives and moments from an extraordinary career, he reflects on the players who inflamed his imagination when he was a kid, the way he himself figured in the dreams of so many who came after; takes us onto the ice and into the dressing rooms to meet the friends who stood by him and the rivals who spurred him to greater heights; shows us some of the famous moments in hockey history through the eyes of someone who regularly made that history.

Warm, direct, and revelatory, it is a book that gives us number 99, the man and the player, like never before.

Unbreakable: 50 Goals in 39 Games: Wayne Gretzky and the Story of Hockey's Greatest RecordUnbreakable: 50 Goals in 39 Games: Wayne Gretzky and the Story of Hockey's Greatest Record
Mike Brophy and Todd Denault
McClelland & Stewart
Release Date: October 18, 2016
978-0771017551

The amazon.com product description:
In only his 3rd NHL season, Wayne Gretzky set the unbeatable NHL record - scoring 50 goals in just 39 games. A book for the devoted Gretzky fans, and books like 99 by Al Strachan.

Unbreakable: 50 Goals in 39 Games, Wayne Gretzky and the Story of Hockey's Greatest Record sets out to chronicle that unforgettable streak of 39 games in the fall of 1981, when a 20-year-old wunderkind from the town of Brantford, Ontario, captured the imagination of not just the hockey world but the world at large and emerged as both the game's biggest star and it's most recognizable face.
Published on the 35th anniversary of this remarkable feat, the story of this unforgettable season is chronicled by renowned hockey authors Mike Brophy and Todd Denault. Based on new interviews with Wayne Gretzky and with those who surrounded him during his magical run at hockey's greatest record, Unbreakable: 50 Goals in 39 Games, Wayne Gretzky and the Story of Hockey's Greatest Record will detail on a game-by-game basis Gretzky's stellar run towards hockey immortality, through extensive research and the reminiscences of those who were there, including teammates, and players from opposing teams.
 Both of these books will probably be on any hockey fan's Christmas list.

And here's one for the Star Trek fan:

The Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the FutureThe Star Trek Encyclopedia, Revised and Expanded Edition: A Reference Guide to the Future
Michael Okuda
Harper Design
October 18, 2016
978-0062371324

The amazon.com product description:
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the classic show, a fully authorized revision of the popular reference companion: a two-volume encyclopedia featuring a completely new design, stunning new full-color photographs and illustrations, and 300 pages of new entries, packaged in a specially designed and shrink-wrapped deluxe slipcase.
When it debuted in 1966, the Star Trek series quickly became a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring six spin-off series and thirteen films—including Star Trek Beyond, opening July 22, 2016—as well as books, comics, games, toys, and more. One of the largest franchises of all time, Star Trek’s overall box office revenue totals more than $1.93 billion to date.
Since it’s initial publication twenty-five years ago, The Star Trek Encyclopedia has been the go-to source for everything related to the franchise’s canon. Packed with highly detailed information, including brief episode and film synopses, no other book has come close to offering the same wealth of insight into the Star Trek universe. Now, The Star Trek Encyclopedia has been thoroughly revised and redesigned for a new generation of fans. This updated and expanded edition includes 300 more pages, information, photographs and illustrations, and offers exhaustively researched and detailed entries on the characters, ships, and events from the last fifteen years of Star Trek television shows and films, including Star Trek: Voyager seasons 4-7, Star Trek: Enterprise seasons 1-4, and Star Trek Nemesis. It also features material detailing the recent big-screen films Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Packaged in a stunning deluxe slipcase, this two-volume set is a must-have for every Star Trek fan’s library.
I know at least one person who will be drooling over this book!

For the Outlander fans:

The Making of Outlander: The Series: The Official Guide to Seasons One & TwoThe Making of Outlander: The Series: The Official Guide to Seasons One & Two
Tara Bennett and Diana Gabaldon
Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 18, 2016
978-1101884164

The amazon.com product description:
Get an exclusive look behind the scenes of the first two seasons of Outlander with this official, fully illustrated companion to the hit Starz television series based on the bestselling novels.

It was only a matter of time before Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander saga made the leap from book to hit TV series, and the millions of readers captivated by the epic romance of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser have eagerly followed.

Now the must-watch drama has inspired this must-have guide, which reveals that it takes a village (or perhaps a Scottish isle) to bring the breathtaking world of Outlander to life in front of our eyes. Spanning the first two seasons of the Starz network sensation, The Making of Outlander leads readers behind the scenes and straight into the action as cast members, writers, producers, musicians, costume designers, set decorators, technicians, and more share the many adventures and challenges they face to make this sweeping saga come alive on the screen.

In exclusive interviews, the show’s stars, including Caitriona Balfe (Claire), Sam Heughan (Jamie), and Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Black Jack Randall), discuss the daunting task of embodying some of fiction’s most beloved characters—and satisfying the high expectations of devoted Outlander readers. Executive producer and showrunner Ronald D. Moore looks at the inner workings of the writers’ room, shares his crew’s travels to the authentic overseas locations, and chronicles the brainstorming, building, breakneck pacing, and boundless energy that make everything from the show’s architecture to its outfits period-perfect. In addition, the book examines all the Outlander episodes through exclusive interviews with their writers and directors, providing fascinating facts into the making of each hour.

Best of all, The Making of Outlander offers a veritable feast of lavish photographs—including an array of images spotlighting the stars in all their characters’ grandeur and up-close personal portraits. Featuring an introduction by Diana Gabaldon herself, this magnificent insider’s look at the world of the Outlander TV series is the companion all fans will want by their side.
Definitely a book for the fans of the TV series. I know I'm going to see if I can get a look through a copy of this book in the near future!

To go along with the Outlander material, I've also discovered that they are releasing an Outlander season two soundtrack:

Outlander: Season Two (Original Television Soundtrack)Outlander: Season Two (Original Television Soundtrack)
Bear McCreary
Release Date: October 28, 2016

I'm really looking forward to this one! They had some of the best music in season two. My copy of the season one soundtrack is one that I play frequently, so I'm eager for this. It opens with the french version of the Skye Boat Song, and goes from there, including the music from the episode "Prestonpans". Unfortunately, there aren't samples for most of the tracks yet, so I'm having trouble remembering which tracks specifically were favorites. Looking forward to hearing them all again though!

Calling all audio-book fans!! Until November 2nd, the price is right on this one:

The Dispatcher - John ScalziThe Dispatcher
John Scalzi
Audible
Release Date: October 4, 2016

The amazon.com product description:
Zachary Quinto - best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes - brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.
One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone - 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don't know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.
Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher - a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death's crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.
It's a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it's too late...before not even a Dispatcher can save him.
The Dispatcher is free until November 2, 2016. 
John Scalzi has written some very good science fiction - the first book that come to mind are his Old Man's War series, which I've enjoyed a few times now - especially the first two books, Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades. This one sounds interesting too, especially at the current price.

Shadow of Victory - David WeberShadow of Victory (Honor Harrington)
David Weber
Baen Books
Release Date: November 1, 2016
978-1476781822

The amazon.com product description:
The Mesan Alignment is revealed, and, for Honor Harrington and the Manticoran Star Kingdom, this means war!

Unintended Consequences

Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned.

The Mesan Alignment has a plan—one it’s been working on for centuries. A plan to remake the galaxy and genetically improve the human race—its way.

Until recently, things have gone pretty much as scheduled, but then the Alignment hit a minor bump in the road called the Star Empire of Manticore. So the Alignment engineered a war between the Solarian League, the biggest and most formidable interstellar power in human history. To help push things along, the Alignment launched a devastating sneak attack which destroyed the Royal Manticoran Navy’s industrial infrastructure.

And in order to undercut Manticore’s galaxy-wide reputation as a star nation of its word, it launched Operation Janus—a false-flag covert operation to encourage rebellions it knows will fail by promising Manticoran support. The twin purposes are to harden Solarian determination to destroy the Star Empire once and for all, and to devastate the Star Empire’s reputation with the rest of the galaxy.

But even the best laid plans can have unintended consequences, and one of those consequences in this case may just be a new dawn of freedom for oppressed star nations everywhere.
I really need to go back and play catch-up with this series. I hate to admit it, but I've rather lost track of the events and plot threads, including the various spin-off series. However, I still go back and re-read some of the earlier books in the series. Now I just need to really settle in and do a systematic re-read to get caught up on events. 
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