Sunday Showcase #8

This week, I paid a visit to the used bookstore. As if I need more books. Usually I’m more selective, but they had a sale going on. Most of their books were buy one get one free. Then I discovered a sci-fi fantasy section with book $0.50 each! I wasn’t as bad as my daughter, you picked up a whopping 35 books! No… I was good. I only picked up 4 books. Pathetic as I am, I don’t even know why I picked up one of them.

The realms of the Forelands are in turmoil as a result of the machinations of a powerful conspiracy of sorcerers, members of a race called the Qirsi, pale-skinned folk feared by those in power. Though many refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a conspiracy, a handful of Qirsi and nobles realize that the time has come to take action, even at the cost of their loves, their honor, and even their lives.

But the rebels don’t know of each other’s actions, and the tenuous threads holding the realms together are starting to unravel. With the death of a king, nobles gather to choose a new leader, and deadly power springs from a most unexpected source. As new alliances form, former enemies become unlikely partners.

But who can be trusted in these new alliances, and who will be swayed by love, jealousy, or pride to betray their new allies? For more than the future of the realm is at stake. The future of the entire Forelands is in danger, and a 900-year-old grudge may lead to civil war. Those who wish to prevent it must place their hopes in a reluctant assassin, a few Qirsi and nobles, and the one man who may be able to defeat the leader of the conspiracy…if he can survive long enough to do it.

Why I Picked It up: Okay. I actually put this back at one time because it was second in the series. Not sure what happened, but it ended up in my home. I guess this one really wanted to come home with me. Since I don’t have the first in the series, I doubt I’ll read it. This just happens to be a mishap. However, I will say, I love the title and cover. That’s what’s drew my attention in the first place. Oh well.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

First there was Kwani, the blue-eyed “witch,” whose turbulent, triumphant life was first chronicled in the New York Times best-seller She Who Remembers and continued in Voice of the Eagle. Now comes Antelope’s story. Antelope is Kwani’s beloved daughter, a worthy successor to her mother’s magnificent legacy. Antelope’s mate is Chomoc, the son of the legendary Kokopelli. When Chomoc’s wanderlust leads him away from his tribe to the city of the Hasinai, in what will become the state of Oklahoma, Antelope refuses to be left behind. She breaks the taboos that demand she stay safely at home, and with her blue-eyed baby she prepares to join Chomoc. What she finds at the end of the journey is not grand adventure, but a sophisticated city full of hostile, tattooed strangers. The most menacing presence is the Great Sun, ruler of the city. Determined to rid himself of the threat of Antelope’s mystic powers, and compelled by her beauty and the need to possess her, the Great Sun becomes Antelope’s greatest enemy. Isolated from her people, and now torn apart from her mate, Antelope must find a way to survive and to keep her baby from human sacrifice.

Why I Picked It up: When I was in my teens, I read She Who Remembers. This is the third in the series, but I hope I won’t be too lost by skipping the second book.

In his most ambitious project to date, award-winning author Kim Stanley Robinson utilizes years of research and cutting-edge science in the first of three novels that will chronicle the colonization of Mars.

For eons, sandstorms have swept the barren desolate landscape of the red planet. For centuries, Mars has beckoned to mankind to come and conquer its hostile climate. Now, in the year 2026, a group of one hundred colonists is about to fulfill that destiny.

John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers, and Arkady Bogdanov lead a mission whose ultimate goal is the terraforming of Mars. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage and madness; for others it offers and opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. And for the genetic “alchemists, ” Mars presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life…and death.

The colonists place giant satellite mirrors in Martian orbit to reflect light to the planets surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth and melt the ice. And massive tunnels, kilometers in depth, will be drilled into the Martian mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves, and friendships will form and fall to pieces—for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Brilliantly imagined, breathtaking in scope and ingenuity, Red Mars is an epic scientific saga, chronicling the next step in human evolution and creating a world in its entirety. Red Mars shows us a future, with both glory and tarnish, that awes with complexity and inspires with vision.

Why I Picked It up: Some might remember me talking about a book about Mars where the people get infected with some kind of organic goo and bring it back to Earth. Well, I don’t think this book is it. However, it keeps showing up in my search when looking for that Mars book. Plus this one is a winner of the Nebula Reward… whatever that means. Yeah… I write, but I am totally not hip on all the reward business.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Grad- school dropout Matt Fuller is toiling as a lowly research assistant at MIT when he inadvertently creates a time machine. With a dead-end job and a girlfriend who left him for another man, Matt has nothing to lose in taking a time-machine trip himself—or so he thinks.

Why I Picked It up: Okay… the title and cover art is rather catchy. But the real kicker was the Nebula label again. If Red Mars has it, maybe that meas this is good too. <shrug> I get weird like that sometimes.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

I believe I’m becoming a used bookstore addict. I stop in once a week, almost like clockwork. Instead of the clerks asking, “Is there anything we can help you find?” They now say, “Hope you find what you’re looking for this time.”

How’s the book shopping going for you all? Has the bookstore become your home away from home?