Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn


A Treacherous Curse
Author:  Deanna Raybourn
Series:  A Veronica Speedwell Mystery 3
Publisher:  Berkley, January 16, 2018
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 Pages
List Price:  US$26.00 (print);  US$12.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780451476173 (print);  9780698198401 (eBook)

Members of an Egyptian expedition fall victim to an ancient mummy’s curse in this thrilling Veronica Speedwell novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries.

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything…



Qwill's Thoughts

A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn is the 3rd Veronica Speedwell Mystery after A Curious Beginning and A Perilous Undertaking. Let me say at the outset that this is a fabulous series.

In A Curious Beginning you first meet Veronica Speedwell after the death of her remaining Aunt. Raybourn quickly introduces the reader to Veronica’s character in a fun scene in the vicarage after the funeral. Let’s say that the Vicar and his wife are very put out. Veronica is an intrepid adventurer and lepidopterist who specializes in butterflies. She is not as fond of moths. She has traveled to many places in the world collecting specimens and selling them to finance her trips. She was raised by two Aunts and has no idea of her parentage. A Curious Beginning focuses on events that end up revealing the mystery of Veronica’s birth. Because of the danger she is facing she ends up in the care of Stoker (Revelstoke Templeton-Vane). Stoker is the black sheep of his family, also a natural scientist as well as a surgeon and has a dark past. Watching Veronica and Stoker interact and come to trust each other is incredible fun. Veronica is not a woman who will be told what to do which Stoker finds both intriguing and sometimes exasperating. In A Curious Beginning Veronica and Stoker thwart the plans of those who would either kill or kidnap Veronica.

In A Perilous Undertaking Veronica and Stoker are approached by a member of the Royal family and charged with proving the innocence of Miles Ramsforth who has been found guilty of killing his mistress and is scheduled for execution. This was another superb mystery that tested the mettle of Veronica and Stoker. In A Perilous Undertaking the reader starts to learn more of Stoker’s background and meet some of his family. Raybourn continues not only to develop that characters of Veronica and Stoker but shows the deepening of their friendship. Veronica has made it clear that she does not have dalliances in England and only engages in certain thoroughly natural activities abroad. Stoker is too wounded by what has happened to him to be able to fall for someone again. There is a terrific tension between the characters and the reader is torn between wanting them to have the most remarkable friendship and wanting the relationship to progress beyond that. They are great friends. And this is something they both need. The mystery is once again well-plotted and surprising.

In A Treacherous Curse, Veronica and Stoker are faced with a yet another mystery this time centering on a mummy’s curse. There are an incredible number of moving parts to this mystery and Veronica and Stoker are faced with unraveling the curse plaguing the Tiverton Expedition to Egypt. Anubis had appeared at the camp in Egypt and a death had occurred. The leader of the expedition Sir Leicester Tiverton and his family had returned to England. After Anubis and the death no one local would work in and around the tomb of the Princess Ankheset. Additionally the expedition photographer, Jon de Morgan, had disappeared along with his wife. At the time de Morgan disappeared an artifact from the dig – a fabulous diadem belonging to Ankheset - had also vanished. The disappearance of de Morgan is particularly problematic for Stoker. I will leave you to read the novel to find out why. A Treacherous Curse completes the picture of Stoker’s past and the events following the failed Templeton-Vane Expedition to Amazonia.

Veronica and Stoker have a lot to figure out in A Treacherous Curse while keeping Stoker from being the subject of malicious lies and rumor. Once more they plunge head first into the solving the mysteries. This is the most intricate of the Veronica Speedwell mysteries. Raybourn does a fabulous job with all of the moving parts while deepening the history of Stoker, which is heartbreaking. Veronica’s and Stoker’s friendship is further strengthened by the revelations in the novel as Veronica proves once again that she is on Stoker’s side. She does her very best to make sure that Stoker emotionally survives the revelations about his past.

Raybourn has set these novels in the Victorian era and the setting is extremely well done. The reader really gets the sense of the era and how different Veronica really is. Yet she is not the only woman of intelligence and adventurous spirit of her time. There is even a private club for these intrepid woman that Raybourn has named the Hippolyta Club. This is a wonderful touch and also serves as the setting for some events in the novels.

Raybourn has peopled these mysteries with a wonderfully rich supporting cast – Lord Rosemorran, Veronica's and Stoker's benefactor whose collection they are cataloguing, Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk, Inspector Mornaday of Scotland Yard, and his boss Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch. In addition to these recurring characters each novel features fascinating and well-developed characters that are involved in the mysteries that Veronica and Stoker must solve.

The Veronica Speedwell Mysteries are fun, well-plotted and thoroughly engaging. I LOVE Veronica and Stoker, the gorgeously wrought Victorian setting and the sophisticated mysteries. This is a fabulous, intriguing and entertaining series that I highly recommend.





Previously

A Curious Beginning
A Veronica Speedwell Mystery 1
Berkley, July 12, 2016
Trade Paperback, 368 Pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 1, 2015

In her thrilling new series, Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell. 

London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.



A Perilous Undertaking
A Veronica Speedwell Mystery 2
Berkley, September 19, 2017
Trade Paperback, 368 Pages
Hardcover, January 10, 2017

Now in paperback, the “wickedly clever and devilishly amusing” (SusanElia MacNeal) Veronica Speedwell returns for a rousing adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey Mysteries.

London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. From a Bohemian artists’ colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed….

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nominees for the 21st D.I.C.E. Awards Announced by AIAS



HORIZON ZERO DAWN LEADS WITH TEN NOMINATIONS FOR THE 21ST D.I.C.E. AWARDS

Annual Video Game Awards Show Live Streamed by IGN Entertainment

LOS ANGELES – January 12, 2018 - The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) is pleased to announce the nominees for its 21st D.I.C.E. Awards (#DICEAwards), co-hosted by Greg Miller, co-founder of internet video show and podcast Kinda Funny, and Jessica Chobot of Nerdist News. Academy members will begin general voting for the video game industry’s premier peer-based awards show on Friday, Jan. 12th at 5:00 PM PST.

The winners will be revealed at the D.I.C.E. Awards ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 22nd in Las Vegas as the culmination of the week-long industry gathering at the 2018 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit (#DICE18). The ceremony will once again be live streamed in its entirety beginning at 8:00 pm PT/11:00 pm ET via media partner IGN Entertainment.

The View From Monday - January 15, 2018


Happy Monday!

There are 6 debuts this week:

Senlin Ascends (Books of Babel 1) by Josiah Bancroft;

Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse by H. G. Bells;

A Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper;

Palaces by Simon Jacobs;

Heartland by Ana Simo;

and

The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.



From formerly featured DAC Authors:

Apart in the Dark: Novellas by Ania Ahlborn;

Nightwise (Nightwise 1) by R.S. Belcher is out in a new Trade Paperback edition;

Iron Gold (Red Rising 4) by Pierce Brown;

Danger's Cure (Holly Danger 4) by Amanda Carlson;

and

Indelible by Adelia Saunders in out in Trade Paperback.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.






Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

January 15, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Danger's Cure (e) Amanda Carlson Dys/PA - Holly Danger 4
A Conspiracy of Whispers (D)(e) Ada Harper SFR
Ornaments in Jade (ri) Arthur Machen H/Sup - Prose Poems



January 16, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Apart in the Dark: Novellas Ania Ahlborn H - Collection
The House of Rumour (ri) Jake Arnott LF/Hist/Occ
Senlin Ascends (D) Josiah Bancroft F - Books of Babel 1
Nightwise (h2tp) R. S. Belcher UF - Nightwise 1
Sleep Over: An Oral History of the Apocalypse (D) H. G. Bells SF/AP/PA
The World of The Orville Jeff Bond TV/SF
Iron Gold Pierce Brown SF - Red Rising 4
HALO: Smoke and Shadow Kelly Gay SF - HALO
Palaces (D) Simon Jacobs LF/H
Black Wings of Cthulhu 5 S. T. Joshi (Ed) H - Black Wings of Cthulhu 5 - Anthology
Dreamcatcher (ri) Stephen King SF/AC
Iron Will (Ke) James Maxwell SF - The Shifting Tides 4
The Last Days of New Paris (h2tp) China Miéville F
The Night Market Jonathan Moore PsyTh
Binti: The Night Masquerade Nnedi Okorafor SF - Binti 3
Beauty Sarah Pinborough DF - Fairy Tales 3
The Complete Ack-Ack Macaque Trilogy Gareth L. Powell SF - Ack-Ack Macaque Omnibus
City of Endless Night Douglas Preston
Lincoln Child
Th/Occ - Agent Pendergast 17
A Treacherous Curse Deanna Raybourn HistM - A Veronica Speedwell Mystery 3
Indelible (h2tp) Adelia Saunders LF/MR
Frankenstein: The 1818 Text Mary Shelley Gothic/SF - Penguin Classics
Heartland (D) Ana Simo Dys
NightSun Dan Vining Dys
Blue Plague: Rage Thomas A. Watson SF/AP/PA - Blue Plague 4
The Beauty (D - US) Aliya Whiteley H
The Infinite Future Tim Wirkus LF
The Swan Book (h2tp) Alexis Wright LF
Red Clocks Leni Zumas CW/Dys



January 17, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The Ghoul Goes West: A Tor.com Original (e) Dale Bailey F
Power Struggles (e) E. C. Myers SFTh - ReMade Season 2 #9



January 18, 2018
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen (e) Douglas Adams
James Goss
SF



D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
Tr - Translator



AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
CW - Contemporary Women
CyP - CyberPunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FiaryT - Fairy Tales
Fict - Fiction
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
GB - Genre Bender
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
GH - Ghost(s)
Gothic - Gothic
GothicR - Gothic Romance
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HistM - Historical Mystery
HU - Humor
LF - Literary Fiction
LM -  Legend and Mythology
M - Mystery
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
Myth - Mythology
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PCM - Paranormal Cozy Mystery
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PopCul - Popular Culture
Psy - Psychological
PsyTh - Psychological Thriller
Ref - Reference
SH -Superheroes
SF - Science Fiction
SFTh - Science Fiction Thriller
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
SO - Space Opera
SocSci - Social Science
SP - SteamPunk
SpecFic - Speculative Fiction
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy
UFR - Urban Fantasy Romance

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - January 14, 2018




Happy birthday to me!!!!!!!!  Hey it's my birthday as I write this (not as you read this) so using this as my excuse for having just 1 book to tell you about. It's really not an excuse as I read/listen to other books but want/need to tell save those for another time. So enough with my explanations...what did I read?


As this the only book I read that I am going to tell you about you get a larger cover image.  Lucky you!

The Raptor & the Wren is book 5 of the Miriam Black series by Chuck Wendig. While Miriam tries to figure out how to change her fate, fate decides to throw Miriam a few more curve balls. The story starts with Miriam back in her mother's Florida house, drinking too much and ripping off seniors as they lay dying. The former FBI agent Grosky turns up on the scene to let Miriam in on a few secrets and home truths. There is a copycat killer out there and they look just like Miriam, and kill just like Miriam and they are after Miriam. Time is running out. Miriam needs to figure out how to change her fate to save Louis, stop the killer and rid herself of her curse. Time is not on her side and it seems no one else is either, not even the Trespasser. It's a race against time and it's all up to Miriam.

The Raptor & the Wren is another fast paced instalment of the Miriam Black series. Miriam goes from one crisis to another and I really wish Wendig would give Miriam a break! Miriam's salvation seems almost as unachievable to the reader as it does to Miriam. There is just one catastrophe after another and I was almost convinced Miriam wouldn't make it to the last page.

In true Miriam Black fashion this book is geared towards fans of horror, which I have to admit I am not. I don't mind the odd gruesome scene if it enhances the plot or the characterisation. In the case of book 5 the horror was almost too much. There were a couple of chapters where I had to stop reading as it was either too early or too late for this much gore. However, I will give Wendig this...in amongst the blood, viscera and horror there are passages that are just short of poetic:
Darkness settles into the trees all around her. Oaks and pines. Thoughts of Louis stalk her like prey, and she has to keep ducking and running away from her own brain lest those thoughts catch her, pin her, consume her.
This is the reason why I continue with this series. I love how Wendig turns a genre I normally turn away from into something accessible and more beautiful in the process. I would be wrong however, to try to convince you that this is a book that you will look forward to reading. It isn't. It is hard and cruel and I'm almost glad that Vultures will be the 6th and final book in the series. I don't think either Miriam or I can take anymore!


That's it for me this week. More to come so drop by next week to read what I have been reading. Until then Happy Reading.





The Raptor & the Wren
Miriam Black 5
Saga Press, January 23, 2018
Trade Paperback, Hardcover and eBook, 288 pages

In the fifth book of the “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews) Miriam Black series, Miriam continues her journey to find answers on how to change her fate and begin to make right some of what she’s done wrong.

Armed with new knowledge that suggests a great sacrifice must be made to change her fate, Miriam continues her quest and learns that she must undo the tragedies of her past to move forward.

One such tragedy is Wren, who is now a teen caught up in a bad relationship with the forces that haunt Miriam and has become a killer, just like Miriam. Black must try to save the girl, but what’s ahead is something she thought impossible…




Previously

Blackbirds
Miriam Black 1
Saga Press, September 15, 2015
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Hardcover, 288 pages
eBook May 5, 2015

The first book in the Miriam Black series: “A sassy, hard-boiled thriller with a paranormal slant” (The Guardian) about a young woman who can see the darkest corners of the future.

Miriam Black knows how you’re going to die. This makes her daily life a living hell, especially when you can’t do anything about it, or stop trying to. She’s foreseen hundreds of car crashes, heart attacks, strokes, and suicides. She merely needs to touch you—skin to skin contact—and she knows how and when your final moments will occur. Miriam has given up trying to save people; that only makes their deaths happen. But then she hitches a ride with Louis Darling and shakes his hand, and she sees in thirty days that Louis will be murdered while he calls her name. Louis will die because he met her, and Miriam will be the next victim. No matter what she does she can’t save Louis. But if she wants to stay alive, she’ll have to try.

“Think Six Feet Under co-written by Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk” (SFX), and you have Blackbirds: a visceral, exciting novel about life on the edge.





Mockingbird
Miriam Black 2
Saga Press, October 20, 2015
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Hardcover, 336 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

Miriam Black is trying to live an ordinary life, keeping her ability to see how someone dies hidden...until a serial killer crosses her path. This is the second book in the Miriam Black series.

“Visceral and often brutal, this tale vibrates with emotional rawness that helps to paint a bleak, unrelenting picture of life on the edge.” —Publishers Weekly

Miriam is trying. Really, she is. But this whole “settling down thing” just isn’t working out.

She lives on Long Beach Island all year in a run-down, double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a checkout girl. And her relationship with Louis—who’s on the road half the time in his truck—is subject to the mood swings Miriam brings to everything she does. It just isn’t going well.

Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability—to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them—in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stopped up in a tiny bottle. Then comes the one bad day that turns it all on her ear.





The Cormorant
Miriam Black 3
Saga Press, February 23, 2016
Hardcover, Trade Paperback, 352 pages
eBook, May 5, 2015

In the third installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief” to “killer.”

Hired by a wealthy businessman, Miriam heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at: knowing when people are going to die. In her vision she sees the businessman murdered by another’s hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for her:

She’s expected…






Thunderbird
Miriam Black 4
Saga Press, November 28, 2017
Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Hardcover and eBook, February 28, 2017

In the next installment of the suspenseful Miriam Black series, Miriam heads to the southwest in search of another psychic who may be able to help her understand her curse, but instead finds a cult of domestic terrorists and the worst vision of death she’s had yet.

Miriam is becoming addicted to seeing her death visions, but she is also trying out something new: Hope. She is in search of another psychic who can help her with her curse, but instead she experiences her deadliest vision to date in this latest “visceral and often brutal” (Publishers Weekly) series that is “wildly entertaining” (Kirkus Reviews).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Covers Revealed - Recent and Upcoming Works by DAC Authors


Here are some of the recent or upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.


Yoon Ha Lee (2016)

Revenant Gun
Machineries of Empire 3
Solaris, June 12, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

Machineries Of Empire, the most exciting science fiction trilogy of the decade, reaches its astonishing conclusion!

When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he's a seventeen-year-old cadet--but his body belongs to a man decades older. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn't qualify you to take charge of an army?

Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can't remember committing. Kujen's friendliness can't hide the fact that he's a tyrant. And what's worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself...


Book 1
Book 2





Rochelle Staab (2011)

A Mind for Murder
A Mind for Murder Omnibus
JABberwocky Literary Agency, January 9, 2018
eBook, 670 pages

In author Rochelle Staab’s bestselling A Mind for Murder mystery series, classic Hollywood noir gets a modern, mystical twist. An L.A. psychologist who eschews all things supernatural matches wits with a handsome professor of the occult as they team up to solve Tinsel Town’s spookiest murders…

Divorced psychologist Liz Cooper doesn’t believe in fate, but it sure seems like an otherworldly force is bent on her working with occult professor, Nick Garfield. Whether Liz is tracking a tarot card killer, investigating a neighborhood witch, or clearing her own name in an unusual murder, the strange cases keep coming. And while Liz takes a practical approach to sleuthing, Nick explores the more alternative theories. But be it with practical evidence or preternatural clues, Liz and Nick won’t quit until the cases are solved.

Now, readers can enjoy all the suspenseful, fast-paced whodunits in the Anthony and Agatha nominated, Watson Award winning Mind for Murder series, collected for the first time in this omnibus, which includes Who Do, Voodoo?, Bruja Brouhaha, and Hex on the Ex. Packed with snappy banter, sizzling chemistry, and a supporting cast of characters as unique as L.A. itself, the Mind for Murder mysteries are a smart and sophisticated series that proves it’s far more fun when great minds don’t think alike…





Deborah A. Wolf (2017)

The Dragon's Legacy
The Dragon's Legacy 1
Titan Books, March 13, 2018
Trade Paperback, 400 pages
Hardcover and eBook, April 18, 2017

Far below the desert, the Earth Dragon slumbers fitfully. From the darkness of her dreams come whispers of war… and death.

Sulema is a newly minted warrior and a true Ja’Akari—a daughter of the unforgiving desert. But her people are fading from the world. The warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash’ai—great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories—bond with fewer humans each year.

When a mysterious man appears in her home of Aish Kalumm, Sulema learns that the Dragon King is dying in distant Atualon. As he fades, so does the magic that sings the Earth Dragon to sleep. And, she soon finds, there are some who would have the dragon wake, so they might laugh as the world burns.



The Forbidden City
The Dragon’s Legacy 2
Titan Books, May 15, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages

In this book, Jian begins a brutal and bloody climb up the ranks of the Daechen as the Emperor’s long plans near fruition.

Sulema is likewise initiated into the ways of Atualon and the power of Atulfah, and finds that her father’s bright city is built on a foundation of dark and terrible secrets.

Hafsa Azeina begins a trek down paths stranger and more dangerous than even she could have imagined.

And the Zeeranim must face not only their traditional, external enemies, but treachery and betrayal from within.

DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT Open Beta Now Available



DISSIDIA FINAL FANTASY NT OPEN BETA NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Select Heroes and Villains Available to Play for a Limited Time

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 12, 2017) – Starting today, fans can step into the arena as FINAL FANTASY® legends by downloading the free Open Beta for DISSIDIA® FINAL FANTASY NT, the upcoming team-based brawler, set to launch for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system on January 30.

The Open Beta will feature online and offline battles, stages from the mainline FINAL FANTASY titles, ferocious summons for players to call upon in battle, character customization and more.

Access to the Open Beta will be open during the following times, with each session featuring a different selection of characters for fans to play:
  • From Friday, January 12 @ 6:00 AM PST to Monday, January 15 @ 1:00 PM PST
  • From Monday, January 15 @ 2:00 PM PST to Thursday, January 18 @ 1:00 PM PST
  • From Thursday, January 18 @ 2:00 PM PST to Sunday, January 21 @ 1:00 PM PST
For full details on the Open Beta, please visit: https://www.dissidiafinalfantasynt.com/beta/

Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age Arrives on February 1st for PC



FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE ARRIVES FOR PC ON FEBRUARY 1

Collector’s Edition and STEAM Bonuses Detailed

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 11, 2018) – Following the resounding success of over a million units of FINAL FANTASY® XII THE ZODIAC AGE™ shipped last year for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, SQUARE ENIX® announced that players can visit the wondrous world of Ivalice on PC beginning February 1.

FINAL FANTASY XII THE ZODIAC AGE on STEAM® will release with all of the modern advancements and features available in the PlayStation®4 version, such as latest-generation visuals, a remastered soundtrack, new Speed and Trial modes, fast forward function, and many other enhanced features. The following new features will also be added for PC users:
  • 60FPS - Ivalice will look better than ever with the game running at 60FPS.
  • Compatible with 21:9 ultra-wide monitors - Up to three HD monitors can be used for a potential 48(16x3):9 experience.
  • New Game Plus and New Game Minus - Post-game content modes are now accessible from the beginning of the game.
  • Three background music options – The original, re-orchestrated and soundtrack versions are now available from the beginning of the game.
  • Maximized License Points and Gil - New functionality added to grant players max License Points and Gil from the configuration screen.
  • Full controller support, Steam Trading Cards and more to optimize the PC player experience.
Fans can learn more about the new features the PC version has to offer during special launch program on Friday, February 2nd at 12:00 a.m. Pacific, where Producer Hiroaki Kato and Director Takashi Katano will answer questions presented by FINAL FANTASY fans on Twitter. Viewers can tune into the program, complete with English subtitles, on the Square Enix YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/FinalFantasyOfficial .

SQUARE ENIX has also unveiled a brand-new Collector’s Edition for the game, available now for pre-order exclusively from the Square Enix Online Store for $149.99. The Collector’s Edition features an official Collector’s Edition Steelbook™ with the original soundtrack, a five-piece Judge Masters Bust Set, six-card art set and a digital download code for the game.

Friday, January 12, 2018

New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition Launches in Stores on January 26



Detective Pikachu Game and Detective Pikachu amiibo Launching on March 23

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 12, 2018 – On Jan. 26, an adorable New Nintendo 2DS XL system featuring Pikachu’s iconic face launches in stores at a suggested retail price of $159.99. The New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition system is just as electric as the Pokémon itself, with an eye-catching yellow design featuring a stylized close-up of Pikachu’s face. This special edition system is a must-have for Pokémon fans! As with all Nintendo 2DS systems, the New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition system plays Nintendo 3DS games in 2D.

“The New Nintendo 2DS XL Pikachu Edition is a charming addition to the Nintendo 3DS line-up that is sure to delight Pokémon fans of all ages,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With a massive library of games, the Nintendo 3DS family of systems continues to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for every type of gamer.”

There’s even more in store for Pokémon fans in 2018. Announced earlier today, the new video game Detective Pikachu will launch on March 23 in stores, in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS and at Nintendo.com at a suggested retail price of $39.99.

Crosswind by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs Headed to Paperback and TV


GAIL SIMONE AND CAT STAGGS’ CROSSWIND HEADED TO PAPERBACK, TV

Collecting issues #1-6

PORTLAND, OR, 01/11/2018 — Superstar creators Gail Simone (Red Sonja, Secret Six) and Cat Staggs (Wonder Woman ‘77, Smallville Season 11) will release CROSSWIND, VOL. 1 from Image Comics this February. CROSSWIND is in development for a television series, with Simone slated to write as well as executively produce and Staggs to serve as a consulting producer.

A slick and ruthless Chicago hitman. A smart but downtrodden Seattle housewife. When an inexplicable event strikes these two random strangers, their bodies, souls, and lives are switched—to potentially deadly effect.

Philip K. Dick Award Nominees Announced


The judges of the 2018 Philip K. Dick Award and the Philadelphia SF Society, along with the Philip K. Dick Trust, have announced the seven nominated works that comprise the final ballot for the award. First prize and any special citations will be announced on Friday, March 30, 2018 at Norwescon 41 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport, SeaTac, Washington.


THE BOOK OF ETTA by Meg Elison (47North)
SIX WAKES by Mur Lafferty (Orbit)
AFTER THE FLARE by Deji Bryce Olukotun (The Unnamed Press)
THE WRONG STARS by Tim Pratt (Angry Robot)
REVENGER Alastair Reynolds (Orbit)
BANNERLESS by Carrie Vaughn (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
ALL SYSTEMS RED by Martha Wells (Tor.com)


The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States during the previous calendar year. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust and the award ceremony is sponsored by the Northwest Science Fiction Society. Last year’s winner was THE MERCY JOURNALS by Claudia Casper (Arsenal Press Publications) with a special citation to UNPRONOUNCEABLE by Susan DiRende (Aqueduct Press). The 2017 judges are Deborah J. Ross (chair), Robert Onopa, James Stoddard, Amy Thomson, and Rick Wilber.



Meg Elison

The Book of Etta
The Road to Nowhere 2
47North, February 21, 2017
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook, 314 pages

In the gripping sequel to the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, one woman undertakes a desperate journey to rescue the future.

Etta comes from Nowhere, a village of survivors of the great plague that wiped away the world that was. In the world that is, women are scarce and childbearing is dangerous…yet desperately necessary for humankind’s future. Mothers and midwives are sacred, but Etta has a different calling. As a scavenger. Loyal to the village but living on her own terms, Etta roams the desolate territory beyond: salvaging useful relics of the ruined past and braving the threat of brutal slave traders, who are seeking women and girls to sell and subjugate.

When slavers seize those she loves, Etta vows to release and avenge them. But her mission will lead her to the stronghold of the Lion—a tyrant who dominates the innocent with terror and violence. There, with no allies and few weapons besides her wits and will, she will risk both body and spirit not only to save lives but also to liberate a new world’s destiny.




Mur Lafferty

Six Wakes
Orbit, January 31, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer -- before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...




Deji Bryce Olukotun

After the Flare
Nigerians in Space 2
The Unnamed Press, September 12, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

A catastrophic solar flare reshapes our world order as we know it – in an instant, electricity grids are crippled, followed by devastating cyberattacks that paralyze all communication.

Kwesi Bracket is an industrial engineer who works for NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab, running space-walk simulations for astronauts when the flare hits. His life quickly disintegrates – he loses his job and his wife leaves him, forcing him to take care of his daughter by himself. Meanwhile, America slowly descends into chaos as people turn inward to protect themselves.

Bracket soon discovers that Nigeria operates the only functioning space program in the world, which is recruiting scientists to launch a daring rescue mission to save a famous astronaut stranded aboard the International Space Station. With Europe, Asia, and the U.S. knocked off-line, and thousands of dead satellites about to plummet to Earth, Bracket heads to Kano in Northeastern Nigeria. But what he finds there is anything but normal. In the aftermath of the flare, the country has been flooded with advanced biohacking technologies, and the scramble for space supremacy has attracted dangerous peoples from all over Africa. What’s more: the militant Islamic group Boko Haram is slowly encroaching on the spaceport, leaving a trail of destruction, while a group of nomads has discovered an ancient technology more powerful than anything he’s ever imagined.

With the clock ticking down, Bracket – helped by a brilliant scientist from India and an eccentric lunar geologist – must confront the looming threats to the spaceport in order to launch a harrowing rescue mission into space.

In this sequel to Nigerians in Space, Deji Bryce Olukotun poses deep questions about technology, international ambition, identity, and space exploration in the 21st century.




Tim Pratt

The Wrong Stars
Axiom
Angry Robot, November 7, 2017
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

A ragtag crew of humans and posthumans discover alien technology that could change the fate of humanity… or awaken an ancient evil and destroy all life in the galaxy.
 

The shady crew of the White Raven run freight and salvage at the fringes of our solar system. They discover the wreck of a centuries-old exploration vessel floating light years away from its intended destination and revive its sole occupant, who wakes with news of First Alien Contact. When the crew break it to her that humanity has alien allies already, she reveals that these are very different extra-terrestrials… and the gifts they bestowed on her could kill all humanity, or take it out to the most distant stars.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Adrift
| Liar Liar | Golden Spiders | Bridge the Void ]




Alastair Reynolds

Revenger
Orbit, February 28, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Winner of the 2017 Locus Award

Revenger is a rocket-fueled tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism... and of vengeance...

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest crew members of the legendary Captain Rackamore's ship, using their mysterious powers as Bone Readers to find clues about their next score. But there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen, in particular.

The galaxy is filled with treasures... if you have the courage to find them.




Carrie Vaughn

Bannerless
The Bannerless Saga 1
John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books, July 11, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 288 pages

A mysterious murder in a dystopian future leads a novice investigator to question what she’s learned about the foundation of her population-controlled society.

Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She’s young for the job and hasn't yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid’s world and make her question what she really stands for.




Martha Wells

All Systems Red
The Murderbot Diaries 1
Tor.com, May 2, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 160 pages

A murderous android discovers itself in All Systems Red, a tense science fiction adventure by Martha Wells that interrogates the roots of consciousness through Artificial Intelligence.

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.