Posted by: Mish | August 30, 2009

DAW Preview Sampler

The preview sampler from DAW Books is basically an abbreviated anthology of 139 pages containing excerpts from six sci-fi/fantasy novels that are either recently or will be released. Unfamiliar with some of the writers and their works, it’s better than just little synopses like this:

Starfinder by John Marco: Steam power, electricity, and the ability to fly are changing the world, but not everyone is happy with the progress. For years there’s been an uneasy peace between the humans and the mysterious Skylords. It’s about coming of age for two friends and mankind. Dreaming of taking to the skies and feeling in the way of her busy governor of a grandfather, Moth and Fiona decide to go to no man’s land, the Reach and heavenly domain of the Skylords.

It’s an interesting premise and the 18 pages were enough to make me curious about the friends’ adventure into the unknown, the Skylords, and the settlement on the far edge. I may end up reading book one and the rest of the young adult Skylords series later on.

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff: With too many aunts trying to run her life, personally and magically, Allie sees her inheritence of her grandmother’s junk shop in Calgary as a means to get away. What Allie doesn’t realize is that the community she’ll be serving is that of the fey and that trouble is brewing. Her wits and the help of a Leprachaun and her aunts may be the necessary ingredients for the antidote.

It’s funny, sarcastic, has a colorful cast of characters, and looks to be really fun reading. Having heard Huff’s name too many times and most likely read some of her short stories without realizing it, I’m looking forward to reading this urban fantasy and getting a full dose.

Rift in the Sky by Julie Czerneda: The Om’ray of Sona Clan can teleport to any place they have been or seen. Other Om’ray want to learn this Talent as well, but that would mean an end to the Agreement that’s kept the peace between the three races living on Cersi. The Clans’ future is also threatened by off-worlders interested in acquiring newly discovered artifacts. What lies in store for the Om’ray and the worlds under the Trade Pact?

Like with this excerpt, landing in unknown territory can often be confusing. Rift in the Sky is book three of the Stratification series, which is a prequel to the Trade Pact Universe series. It was nice to read something by Anticipation’s master of ceremonies and know of one more Canadian sci-fi writer though.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire: Changeling Toby Daye wishes to have a “normal” life among mortals in the Bay area. With her dying breath Countess Evening Winterrose binds Toby to investigate her murder. Toby has no choice but to return to the Faerie world and heritage she rejected, resuming her position of knight errant and renewing old alliances. A lot has changed while she’s been away and Toby must keep one step ahead if she wishes to solve Evening’s murder, keep things from exploding, and remain alive.

It’s humorous, witty, gritty, and is a nice change of pace from previous changeling books I’ve read. I know I already posted about this urban fantasy/fairy tale noir, but it’s worth repeating and I’m really looking forward to reading the first October Daye novel in its entirety. Some stores have already jumped the gate, but it’s official release is September first.

Gwenhwyfar: the White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey: Legends say that Arthur had three queens named Guinevere and a “False Guinevere”. In this story about the third queen, Gwenhwyfar wants to follow the path of the Warrior, but concedes to the duties expected of a King’s daughter- helping form an alliance during a time of betrayal and treachery.

I’m a long-time fan of Lackey’s writing, but I’m tepid on what will most likely be a beginning to a King Arthur series geared towards young adults. I’m sure it’ll be good reading, but I also feel like she’s following too much in the footsteps of her friend and mentor, Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s out in stores on October 6th. On another note and from Lackey’s original world of Valdemar, Foundation should be coming out in paperback in October and the latest anthology by various authors, Changing the World, is due in December.

The Mermaid’s Madness by Jim Hines: It’s been said a mermaid sacrificed herself for her beloved prince, but that’s a lie. The real story is one of murder and revenge. Just ask Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, who were there when things fell apart and tragedy struck.

Drawing from the original macabre fairy tale, Hines adds a spin to the “happily ever after” versions. It seems like it’ll be good, but I’m not really up for another retelling. The latest addition to the Princess novels comes out on October 6th.

DAW’s preview sampler was a good little read that added to my Dread Pile o’Reads. I have another sampler from Ace and Roc publishing, also acquired during Anticipation, that will be read at another time. It’s nice to see all the new sci-fi/fantasy out there.

Has anyone read any of these titles or anything by their creators? If so, care to share your three cents?

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