Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Releases 7/17/12

New Hardcovers and E-books

Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Kai-cheung Dung

Description from Amazon.

Set in the long-lost City of Victoria (a fictional world similar to Hong Kong), Atlas is written from the unified perspective of future archaeologists struggling to rebuild a thrilling metropolis. Divided into four sections -- "Theory," "The City," "Streets," and "Signs" -- the novel reimagines Victoria through maps and other historical documents and artifacts, mixing real-world scenarios with purely imaginary people and events while incorporating anecdotes and actual and fictional social commentary and critique.

Much like the quasi-fictional adventures in map-reading and remapping explored by Paul Auster, Jorge Luis Borges, and Italo Calvino, Dung Kai-cheung's novel challenges the representation of place and history and the limits of technical and scientific media in reconstructing a history. It best exemplifies the author's versatility and experimentation, along with China's rapidly evolving literary culture, by blending fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in a story about succeeding and failing to recapture the things we lose. Playing with a variety of styles and subjects, Dung Kai-cheung inventively engages with the fate of Hong Kong since its British "handover" in 1997, which officially marked the end of colonial rule and the beginning of an uncharted future.

The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis

Description from Amazon.

In Ian Tregillis' The Coldest War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Britain and the USSR. For decades, Britain's warlocks have been all that stands between the British Empire and the Soviet Union—a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. Now each wizard's death is another blow to Britain's national security.

Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary people with superhuman abilities, then prisoners of war in the immense Soviet research effort to reverse-engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England.

Because that's where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.

As Marsh is once again drawn into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain's darkest acts didn't end with the war. And while he strives to protect queen and country, he is forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.

New Paperbacks

The Chronicles of Vinland by E.B. Boggs

Description from Amazon.

Thorvald Ragnarsson, along with his kinsman, Asmund Grettirsson and a host of fellow Jomsvikings leave for the new world after a dispute with Jarl Sigvaldi. Once they establish a settlement, they come into conflict with the native peoples there, called Skraelings by the Norse. Relations with the Skraelings improve and Thorvald's family grows. But trouble is brewing within the Norse society over religious matters and a larger Skraeling tribe, the Wyandot, threatens the community with more bloodshed. Thorvald?s sons are learning the fighting tactics of the Jomsvikings as the Norse ally themselves with the now peaceful tribes against the Wyandot threat. Once the Wyandot are dealt with, Thorvald breaks with the Christian church, reverting to the worship of the old gods. The settlement?s Abbot, Bolverk, is determined not let that happen and the rift grows even wider. Murder, revenge and brother against brother paint the picture of the struggles in the Chronicles of Vinland.

New E-books

Atlas Drugged: Ayn Rand Be Damned! by Stephen L. Goldstein

Description from Amazon.

Here is the long-overdue obituary for the unbridled greed glorified by Atlas Shrugged and the prophet of profit. In Rand’s story, she let free-marketers John Galt, Dagney Taggart, and their accomplices return triumphant from their “strike” to remake the world in the image of Godless self-interest. Now, on the 67th anniversary of their revolution, try as he may, Atlas can no longer simply shrug and Galt’s successors and their dystopian creation of Free-For-All economics is about to come under attack from an enigmatic group known as the Prometheus Project.

Against the backdrop of the epic struggle between these two opposing forces, Atlas Drugged takes no modern-day prisoners, hurling lightning bolts of damnation at those who put profit before humanity and offering the 99% a vision for taking back the country from the 1% who currently dwell atop Mt. Olympus.

The Second Tejas War by St. Wishnevsky

Description from Amazon.

In an alternative history where the Indian Removal Act failed, ne'er-do-well Jimmie Paschal is thrown violently into the course of history when the Province of Tejas revolts against Mexico. Jimmie is the offspring of the Ridges, the ruling family of the Western Band of the Cherokee Nation, and his Aunt Emily Agnes flees San Antonio to Jimmie's home, the Free Congo Republic, once known as New Orleans.

The Free is a Polyglot, multi-racial city, right in the path of the Confederacy's troop shipments to the new State of Texas. Emily Agnes is assassinated, and Jimmie is enmeshed in a complex series of conspiracies and plots between the USA, the Confederacy, The Five Civilized Nations of Original Americans, the British Empire, the Deseret Theocracy, and a few terrorist organizations, Ghost Dance, the Red Turbans and the Knights of the White Camellia. What is real? What is illusion?

But when all is lost, the motley denizens of The Free discover a secret weapon. An ancient woman called Gran, who seems to have the knack of knowing things she should not have any way of knowing about. It's not magic, its worse. It's Hoodoo.

A hard fantasy set in an exotic America in the romantic year of 1891.

A Traitor's Loyalty by Ian C. Racey

Description from Amazon.

Twenty-five years have passed since the German victory in World War II. Hitler has just died, unleashing a conspiracy that threatens the future of the world…Simon Quinn walked away from a brilliant career with MI-6, the British Secret Intelligence Service, but now, MI-6 has blackmailed him into returning to Berlin. His mission: locate Richard Garner, a British spy who has disappeared and is suspected of defecting. He enlists the help of Ellie Voss, a German woman who opposes Nazi rule but still considers herself a German patriot. Soon, Ellie finds out Quinn’s secret: that he was born in Germany, not England, and that his family fled to London soon after Hitler came to power--because they were Jewish.No sooner do the two of them find Garner than he is assassinated by British operatives who have been secretly shadowing Quinn. Quinn discovers a startling truth-- why Garner went into hiding. A secret treaty between Britain and Germany is about to be signed, which will end the Cold War by making Britain a German satellite state. Pursued by both the Gestapo and MI-6, Quinn and Ellie’s only hope of stopping the treaty is to get news of it to Reinhard Heydrich, a powerful Nazi angling to become Hitler’s successor. But that means Quinn will have to come to terms with the fact that he is helping to become ruler of Germany the man who was essentially the architect of the Holocaust.

New Audiobooks

1636: The Kremlin Games by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett

Description from Amazon.

Acclaimed as "a technothriller set in the age of the Medicis" by Publishers Weekly, Eric Flint's best-selling Ring of Fire series has redefined the alternate-history genre.

In this 10th novel, auto mechanic Bernie Zeppi heads to Moscow to bring Russia into the Industrial Revolution, 300 years ahead of schedule. War with Poland looms, but Bernie is more focused on a beautiful Russian noblewoman. Can he protect them both from the power struggles raging inside the Kremlin?

To fans, authors and publishers...

Do you want to see your work given a shout out on our New Releases segment? Contact Mitro at ahwupdate at gmail dot com.  We are looking for works of alternate history, counterfactual history, steampunk, historical fantasy, time travel or anything that warps history beyond our understanding.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.

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