More inexpensive ebook goodies!

I don't know for how long, but right now you can download Guy Gavriel Kay's excellent Sailing to Sarantium for only 3.99$ here! Don't miss out on this amazing two-volume series!

Here's the blurb:

Sarantium is the golden city: holy to the faithful, exalted by the poets, jewel of the world and heart of an empire. Artisan Caius Crispus receives a summons from the emperor and sets off on a journey toward the Imperial city. But before Crispin can reach Sarantium, with its taverns and gilded sanctuaries, chariot races and palaces, he must pass through a land of pagan ritual and mysterious danger.

In Sailing to Sarantium, the first volume of the brilliant Sarantine Mosaic, Guy Gavriel Kay weaves an utterly compelling story of the allure and intrigue of a magnificent city and the people drawn into its spell.

Quote of the Day

He is thinking of a story from when he was learning the world and his place in it. He cannot tell all the tale, and he won't. We see only glimpses of history, even our own. It is not entirely ours--in memory, in writing it down, in hearing or in reading it. We can reclaim only part of the past. Sometimes it is enough. . .

- GUY GAVRIEL KAY, A Brightness Long Ago, (Canada, USA, Europe)

Finally, a new Kay book!!!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

I wasn't aware of this, but Ian McDonald's best science fiction titles are now available in digital format at affordable prices in North America! =) These three scifi yarns are must reads and should be part of any speculative fiction fan's collection! I'd tell you to get all three ASAP. But if you can only afford one, I'd go for either River of Gods or The Dervish House.

You can now download River of Gods for 7.99$ here. Same price in Canada and £3.99 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business--a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj--the waif, the mind reader, the prophet--when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures--one and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Brasyl for 7.99$ here. Only 7.19$ in Canada and a vulgar £1.99 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

Think Bladerunner in the tropics...

Be seduced, amazed, and shocked by one of the world's greatest and strangest nations. Past, present, and future Brazil, with all its color, passion, and shifting realities, come together in a novel that is part SF, part history, part mystery, and entirely enthralling.

Three separate stories follow three main characters:

--Edson is a self-made talent impressario one step up from the slums in a near future São Paulo of astonishing riches and poverty. A chance encounter draws Edson into the dangerous world of illegal quantum computing, but where can you run in a total surveillance society where every move, face, and centavo is constantly tracked?

--Marcelina is an ambitious Rio TV producer looking for that big reality TV hit to make her name. When her hot idea leads her on the track of a disgraced World Cup soccer goalkeeper, she becomes enmeshed in an ancient conspiracy that threatens not just her life, but her very soul.

--Father Luis is a Jesuit missionary sent into the maelstrom of 18th-century Brazil to locate and punish a rogue priest who has strayed beyond the articles of his faith and set up a vast empire in the hinterland. In the company of a French geographer and spy, what he finds in the backwaters of the Amazon tries both his faith and the nature of reality itself to the breaking point.

Three characters, three stories, three Brazils, all linked together across time, space, and reality in a hugely ambitious story that will challenge the way you think about everything.

And finally, you can download The Dervish House for only 7.55$ here. 7.99$ in Canada and only £3.99 in the UK.

Here's the blurb:

It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone it seems is after a piece of Turkey. But the shock waves from this random act of twenty-first-century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.

Welcome to the world of The Dervish House—the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. The year is 2027 and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union, a Europe that now runs from the Arran Islands to Ararat. Population pushing one hundred million, Istanbul swollen to fifteen million, Turkey is the largest, most populous, and most diverse nation in the EU, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided. It's a boom economy, the sweatshop of Europe, the bazaar of central Asia, the key to the immense gas wealth of Russia and central Asia. The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, three interconnected story strands, one central common core—the eponymous dervish house, a character in itself—that pins all these players together in a weave of intrigue, conflict, drama, and a ticking clock of a thriller.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (February 18th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is down three positions, ending the week at number 9. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

Gwenda Bond's Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds debuts at number 11.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download the omnibus comprised of all three volumes of Katherine Kurtz's The Legends of Camber of Culdi for only 2.99$ here. It's the perfect starting point for anyone interested in discovering the Deryni saga!

Here's the blurb:

Three fantasy novels of intrigue, betrayal, and magic in medieval Gwynedd by the New York Times–bestselling author of the Deryni series—bonus story also included.

Camber of Culdi: Long before Camber was revered as a saint, he was a Deryni noble, one of the most respected of the magical race whose arcane skills set them apart from ordinary humans in the kingdom of Gwynedd. Now, the land suffers under the tyranny of King Imre, whose savage oppression of the human population weighs heavily on Camber’s heart—a heart that is about to be shattered by a tragic loss that will lead him to confront the usurpers whose dark magic haunts the realm.

Saint Camber: The yoke of tyranny has finally been lifted in Gwynedd, but Camber’s job remains unfinished. The dangerous remnants of a conquered enemy still mass at the borders, and the new ruler is desperately unhappy wearing the crown. With the stability of a fragile kingdom at stake, its greatest champion must make the ultimate sacrifice: Camber of Culdi must cease to exist.

Camber the Heretic: The king’s heir is a mere boy of twelve, and the malevolent regents who will rule until young Alroy comes of age are determined to eliminate all Deryni. Suddenly, the future of Gwynedd hangs in the balance, and Camber—once adored as a saint, but now reviled as a heretic—must find a way to protect his people before everything and everyone he loves is destroyed in the all-consuming flames of intolerance and hate.

Filled with mysticism and magic, these sagas reminds us that “Kurtz’s love of history lets her do things with her characters and their world that no non-historian could hope to do” (Chicago Sun-Times).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Marjorie B. Kellogg's The Book of Earth for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Follow the adventures of the four elemental dragons and their human guides in the first book of the history-spanning Dragon Quartet fantasy series.

"In the beginning of the World, four dragons were raised from elemental energies and set to work creating a climate and atmosphere. They were called Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. When their job was done and the World was set in motion, the four found lairs where they expected to sleep out this particular world's history and not rise again until World's End."

But long before World's End something has begun to go horribly wrong, and Erde, only daughter of a powerful lord, is the one person who seems able to sense it.

With her mother and grandmother dead, and no one left to protect her from the madness being spread by a priest ready to sacrifice anything and anyone to his cause, Erde flees her father's castle. In her flight, she stumbles across the dragon called Earth.

Drawn together by their mutual peril and need, Erde and Earth have no choice but to join forces on a quest to find Earth's mage, the one human who, perhaps, can set the World back on its proper course.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits

Back in 2008, when I first read Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Shadow of the Wind, it simply blew my mind. To this day, it remains what just might be the best novel I have ever read. And although the sequel, The Angel's Game, could never hope to live up to the lofty expectations generated by its predecessor, it was nevertheless an awesome read in its own right. The third installment, The Prisoner of Heaven, was too short and nowhere near as good as the first two books, yet it turned out to be a touching and remarkable tale that made you beg for more.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits was years in the making and I must admit I have seldom been so excited to read a novel! I've been cursing myself for not being able to read in Spanish for months as I waited for the English translation to be released.

I was a bit disappointed by the fact that this would be the last installment in this memorable series, and I was looking forward to see how the author would connect the dots and tie up all the loose ends. I enjoyed the way Zafón linked The Angel's Game to The Shadow of the Wind at the end of the second book. It was done subtly and poignantly, and it was a very satisfying way to bring the story to an end. The Prisoner of Heaven acted as some sort of bridge between the first two installments and what would come after. The author claims that one can read the books in whatever order they choose, that each book is a self-contained tale, but I feel that one must read them in the order they were released to catch all the nuances so that you can only shake your head in wonder when you realize how various things are connected.

Here's the blurb:

The internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author returns to the magnificent universe he constructed in his bestselling novels The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven in this riveting series finale—a heart-pounding thriller and nail-biting work of suspense which introduces a sexy, seductive new heroine whose investigation shines a light on the dark history of Franco’s Spain.

In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history.

Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls.

With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents.

As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future.

In this haunting new novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives.

Once again, Zafón's Barcelona setting offers a wealth of insight into those troubled times that comprised the decades between the 30s and the 60s. The author's evocative prose effortlessly transports the reader into that rich milieu, and at times it feels as though the city becomes a character in and of itself. Zafón brings Barcelona to life in a manner that few others have been able to do with any city. Those who have been to Barcelona will once again fall in love with the city and wish to revisit it, while those who have never been there will feel the need to rectify the situation.

The timeline of The Labyrinth of the Spirits spans decades. The novel begins by taking us back to the night Julián was born and the emotional impact this had on poor Daniel. Then we go back in time, to the Barcelona air raids that destroyed parts of the city in 1938. We're introduced to a young girl who will become the femme fatale Alicia Gris, the protagonist who lies at the heart of this book, and we learn how her tale is linked to that of Fermín, who is trying to escape the vicious Francisco Javier Fumero. Fast-forward to 1959, when an important minister disappears and Juan Manuel Vargas and Alicia Gris must investigate and solve the case. During the course of this investigation, Alicia and her partner will uncover the secrets that link the previous three installments and provide the answers to all the questions raised before, chief among them what happened to Daniel's mother. But as the truth is unveiled, high-placed officials get nervous and the lives of the investigators might be in danger. Spain will never be the same, and the same can be said of the Sempere family. The novel ends in the summer of 1992, as the Olympics come to an end.

A lot has been said about this series' complex and multilayered plot. When Stephen King claims that even the subplots have subplots, you better believe it. Still, no matter how deftly plotted the books turned out to be (and you have no idea how intricate the storylines are), it's the way so many of those plotlines are touching that makes reading these novels such an unforgettable experience. Zafón writes with intelligence, humor, wit, and a dexterous human touch that will warm your heart one moment and break it the next. What makes The Labyrinth of the Spirits so satisfying is that it clarifies and provides answers to all the mysteries found within the pages of The Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, and The Prisoner of Heaven. Everything comes full circle in the sort of grand finale that will mesmerize you.

The characterization is once again where Zafón excels in a manner seldom achieved in literature today. Seemingly effortlessly, the author can, in a paragraph or two, introduce you to a three-dimensional character that echoes with depth. I have no idea how he does it, but it's uncanny. Zafón's deeply-realized cast comes alive and leaps off the pages. As a matter of course, Alicia's plotlines takes center stage. But in order to connect all the dots and tie up all the loose ends, the author brings back a lot of familiar faces from the first three volumes. As is often the case when he's in a scene, Fermín manages to steal the show most of the time.

Once more, Zafón's narrative sucks you right into those convoluted tales of love, deceit, mystery, and betrayal from the get-go. There are a few pacing issues throughout the book, most of them due to the fact that the author must bring together all these complex storylines in a spectacular endgame and a finale that knocks it out of the park.

Simultaneously funny, tragic, and moving, Carlos Ruiz Zafón's The Labyrinth of the Spirits is an amazing and spellbinding final volume that brings the Cemetery of Forgotten Books sequence to a memorable ending.

If you have yet to give this series a shot, these books deserve the highest possible recommendation.

The final verdict: 10/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

Quote of the Day

Some lessons must be written in scars.

- MARK LAWRENCE, Holy Sister (Canada, USA, Europe)

All but done with this novel and it's pretty damn good!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Frank Herbert's Dune Messiah for only 1.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Book Two in the Magnificent Dune Chronicles—the Bestselling Science Fiction Adventure of All Time.

Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known—and feared—as the man christened Muad’Dib. As Emperor of the Known Universe, he possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremens, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne—and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence.

And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family’s dynasty...

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of David Walton's The Genius Plague for only 1.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:


In this science fiction thriller, brothers are pitted against each other as a pandemic threatens to destabilize world governments by exerting a subtle mind control over survivors.

Neil Johns has just started his dream job as a code breaker in the NSA when his brother, Paul, a mycologist, goes missing on a trip to collect samples in the Amazon jungle. Paul returns with a gap in his memory and a fungal infection that almost kills him. But once he recuperates, he has enhanced communication, memory, and pattern recognition. Meanwhile, something is happening in South America; others, like Paul, have also fallen ill and recovered with abilities they didn’t have before.

But that’s not the only pattern–the survivors, from entire remote Brazilian tribes to American tourists, all seem to be working toward a common, and deadly, goal. Neil soon uncovers a secret and unexplained alliance between governments that have traditionally been enemies. Meanwhile Paul becomes increasingly secretive and erratic.

Paul sees the fungus as the next stage of human evolution, while Neil is convinced that it is driving its human hosts to destruction. Brother must oppose brother on an increasingly fraught international stage, with the stakes: the free will of every human on earth. Can humanity use this force for good, or are we becoming the pawns of an utterly alien intelligence?

Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker contest winner!

This lucky winner will receive my copy of Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker's Dracul! For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

The winner is:

- Joan Carter, from Austin, Texas, USA

Many thanks to all the participants!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne’s Kill the Farm Boy for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Terry Pratchett novels and The Princess Bride, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes.

Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (February 11th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is up two positions, ending the week at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is up one spot, finishing the week at number 11 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Sergei Lukyanenko's Night Watch for only 3.49$ here.

Here's the blurb:

They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark. But prophecy decrees that one supreme "Other" will arise to spark a cataclysmic war.

Anton Gorodetsky, an untested mid-level Light magician with the Night Watch, discovers a cursed young woman—an Other of tremendous potential unallied with either side—who can shift the balance of power. With the battle lines between Light and Dark drawn, the magician must move carefully, for one wrong step could mean the beginning of annihilation.

Musical Interlude

Another blast from the past, this time from the Cult!

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now download Joel Shepherd's excellent Crossover, opening volume in the Cassandra Kresnov sequence, for only 1.99$ here. Follow this link to read my review from 2006.

Here's the blurb:

Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design — more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.

Her chosen world is Callay, and its enormous, decadent capital metropolis of Tanusha, where the concerns of the war are literally and figuratively so many light years away. But the war between the League and the Federation was ideological as much as political, with much of that ideological dispute regarding the very existence of artificial sentience and the rules that govern its creation. Cassandra discovers that even in Tanusha, the powerful entities of this bloody conflict have wound their tentacles. Many in the League and the Federation have cause to want her dead, and Cassandra’s history, inevitably, catches up with her.

Cassandra finds herself at the mercy of a society whose values preclude her own right even to exist. But her presence in Tanusha reveals other fault lines, and when Federal agents attempt to assassinate the Callayan president, she finds herself thrust into the service of her former enemies, using her lethal skills to attempt to protect her former enemies from forces beyond their ability to control. As she struggles for her place and survival in a new world, Cassandra must forge new friendships with old enemies, while attempting to confront the most disturbing and deadly realities of her own existence.

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of George R. R. Martin's Nightflyers and Other Stories for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

From #1 bestselling author of A Game of Thrones: Nightflyers, coming to television on SyFy, is an epic story of space exploration and cosmic horror, plus five George R. R. Martin classic science fiction tales.

On a voyage toward the boundaries of the known universe, nine misfit academics seek out first contact with a shadowy alien race.

But another enigma is the Nightflyer itself, a cybernetic wonder with an elusive captain no one has ever seen in the flesh. Soon, however, the crew discovers that their greatest mystery – and most dangerous threat – is an unexpected force wielding a thirst for blood and terror….

Also included are five additional classic George R. R. Martin tales of science fiction that explore the breadth of technology and the dark corners of the human mind.

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Ian McDonald's Time Was for only 3.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

A love story stitched across time and war, shaped by the power of books, and ultimately destroyed by it.

In the heart of World War II, Tom and Ben became lovers. Brought together by a secret project designed to hide British targets from German radar, the two founded a love that could not be revealed. When the project went wrong, Tom and Ben vanished into nothingness, presumed dead. Their bodies were never found.

Now the two are lost in time, hunting each other across decades, leaving clues in books of poetry and trying to make their desperate timelines overlap.

Quote of the Day

One doesn’t become aware of the emptiness in which one has allowed time to go by until one truly lives. Sometimes life—not the days that have burned away—is just an instant, a day, a week, or a month. One knows one is alive because it hurts, because suddenly everything matters, and because when that brief moment is over, the rest of one’s existence becomes a memory to which one tries in vain to return while there is some breath left in one’s body.

- CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Canada, USA, Europe)

Almost done with this novel and it's great!

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (February 4th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood is down two positions, ending the week at number 8. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is up one spot, finishing the week at number 12 (trade paperback).

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Wild Cards I, the book that started it all, for only 1.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada. You can also download the second and third volumes for the same price.

Here's the blurb:

The first volume of George R. R. Martin's WILD CARDS shared-world series, back in print after a decade―and expanded with new, original material.

There is a secret history of the world―a history in which an alien virus struck the Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces―those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others were termed Jokers―cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

Originally published in 1987, Wild Cards I includes powerful tales by Roger Zelazny, Walter Jon Williams, Howard Waldrop, Lewis Shiner, and George R. R. Martin himself. And this new, expanded edition contains further original tales set at the beginning of the Wild Cards universe, by eminent new writers like Hugo–winner David Levine, noted screenwriter and novelist Michael Cassutt, and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

Now in development for TV!

Rights to develop Wild Cards for TV have been acquired by Universal Cable Productions, the team that brought you The Magicians and Mr. Robot, with the co-editor of Wild Cards, Melinda Snodgrass as executive producer.

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Seth Dickinson's The Traitor Baru Cormorant for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

In Seth Dickinson's highly-anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire in this richly imagined geopolitical fantasy.

Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people-even her soul.

When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free.

Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize.

But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

You can also download Ian McDonald's Luna: New Moon for only 2.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it's being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon's ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon's near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon's newest "dragon," Adriana has wrested control of the Moon's Helium-3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family's new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana's five children must defend their mother's empire from her many enemies... and each other.

How Long 'til Black Future Month

Speculative fiction anthologies and short story collections have a tendency to be tricky things. Indeed, more often than not they are padded with duds and filler material that can take something away from the overall reading experience.

Understandably, I was expecting the same from N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month. That's just the way love goes, after all. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it wasn't the case. This short fiction collection is packed with quality pieces from start to finish. And while, as a matter of course, some stories stand out more than others, I'd still claim that it's pretty much all killer and no filler.

If you have yet to give Jemisin a shot, How Long 'til Black Future Month showcases the length and breadth of the author's imagination and gives you a good idea of the themes she likes to explore in her novels. And if you are an existing fan, then you'll find much to love about this collection.

Here's the blurb:

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin sharply examines modern society in her first collection of short fiction.

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.

Spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

As N. K. Jemisin explains in her introduction, the tales comprising this collection chronicle her development as a writer. Some stories contain early forms of plot elements or characterization that were later refined in her novels. They all feature people of colors and different races. Many of these tales are about accepting differences and change. Many are thought-provoking and imbued with melancholy. All in all, How Long 'til Black Future Month is unlike any other SFF short story collection out there, and that's what makes it such a memorable read.

The author explains that this collection is a meditation on how hard it's been for her to love fantasy and science fiction as a black woman. And these stories are her answer to what she considered to be the stagnating speculative genres. Sure, each one contains a socio-political commentary to a certain extent. Which, in the greater scheme of things is important. But even more important is the fact that these quality pieces are the product of a gifted writer, and that SFF has evolved enough that the market is now ready for these to be unveiled.

How Long 'til Black Future Month is comprised of twenty-two tales that all have something special. "Red Dirt Witch" definitely was one of my favorites. Others include "The Effluent Engine", "The Trojan Girl", "The Evaluators", "Walking Awake", "Stone Hunger", "The Narcomancer", and "Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Beneath the Still Waters".

Some of these short stories are abstract and experimental, others are powerful and touching. They are all quite different in style and tone, even though similar themes reappear in several of them. But all of them are good, which is what matters the most.

N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month is a terrific read, one that should please the author's fans eagerly awaiting her next book and one that should win her some new readers who have yet to sample her novels.

The final verdict: 8.5/10

For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

Once again, you can download N. K. Jemisin's How Long 'til Black Future Month for only 4.99$ here. There is a price match in Canada.

Here's the blurb:

Three-time Hugo Award winner and NYT bestselling author N. K. Jemisin sharply examines modern society in her first collection of short fiction.

N. K. Jemisin is one of the most powerful and acclaimed authors of our time. In the first collection of her evocative short fiction, which includes never-before-seen stories, Jemisin equally challenges and delights readers with thought-provoking narratives of destruction, rebirth, and redemption.

Spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

Quote of the Day

"Have you ever thought of writing a biography?"

"No. I write fiction."

"Some would argue that no genre is more fictitious than a biography."

- CARLOS RUIZ ZAFÓN, The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Canada, USA, Europe)

More inexpensive ebook goodies!

You can now get your hands on the digital edition of Sebastien de Castell's Traitor's Blade for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

You can also get your hands on the digital edition of Kate Elliott's King's Dragon for only 2.99$ here.

Here's the blurb:

Set in an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage, the first book of the Crown of Stars epic fantasy series chronicles a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity.

It begins with civil war....

For though King Henry still holds the crown of Wendar, his reign has long been contested by his sister Sabella. There are many eager to flock to her banner, and there are ways to make even the most unwilling lord into a weapon pointed at the heart of Henry’s realm.

Torn by internal strife, Wendar also faces deadly raids from the north by an inhuman race, the Eika. And now terrifying portents are being seen; old ruins restored to life under the light of the full moon and peopled by the long-vanished Lost Ones; dark spirits walking the land in broad daylight.

And suddenly two innocents are about to be thrust into the middle of the conflict.

Liath, who has spent her early years fleeing from unknown enemies, is a young woman with the power to change the course of history if she can only learn to master her fear and seize what is rightfully hers.

While Alain, a young man who may find his future in a vision granted by the Lady of Battles, must first unravel the mystery of who he is—whether the bastard son of a noble father, the half-breed child of an elfin lord, the unwanted get of a whore, or the heir to a proud and ancient lineage. For only when he discovers the truth can he accept the destiny for which he was born.

Liath and Alain, each trapped in a personal struggle for survival, both helplessly being drawn into a far greater battle, a war in which sorcery not swords will determine the final outcome, and the land itself may be irrevocably reshaped by the forces unleashed....

This week's New York Times Bestsellers (January 28th)

In hardcover:

George R. R. Martin's Fire and Blood maintains its position at number 6. For more info about this title: Canada, USA, Europe.

In paperback:

Naomi Alderman's The Power is now three spots, finishing the week at number 13 (trade paperback).