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Category: Book Lists

06/30/11


Categories: Book Lists

Booklist’s Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Books

The summer is warming up and it's a great time to do some summer reading. Here are some more recommendations from Booklist magazine. Enjoy!

All the Lives He Led by Frederick Pohl

Summary: Two thousand years after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is a popular theme park eagerly awaiting the celebration of the great anniversary. But Vesuvius is still capable of erupting, and even more threatening are terrorists who want to draw attention to their cause.

The Best of Larry Niven by Larry Niven

Summary: A six hundred page book that collects twenty-seven stories from over three decades of writing by one of the best known names in Science Fiction.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness

Summary: Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell. Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos.

Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb
Summary: Centuries had passed since dragons last roamed the war-torn world of the Rain Wild River. But as peace once again settled upon the land, a lost generation of sea serpents-ancient, half-starved, and weary-returned to cocoon, certain that they would be reborn as the beautiful and powerful dragons of legend. But their arduous journey exacted a heavy toll, and the proud serpents emerged as sickly, half-formed beasts, unable to fly or hunt . . . or thrive. For years now they have been trapped on a swampy riverbank between forest and river, hungry and barely alive, reliant on humans to provide for them. With their survival at stake, fifteen dragons-among them the wise golden Mercor, the haughty and dazzling silver-blue queen Sintara, and the delicate copper beauty Relpda-have set off on a dangerous trek into the unknown, up the Rain Wild River, in hopes of rediscovering the ancient Elderling city of Kelsingra, the lost haven for dragons and Elderlings alike. The dragons are accompanied by a disparate group of human keepers, rejects from Rain Wild society. They, too, yearn to find Kelsingra and create a home of their own, one in which they may make their own rules and decide their own fate. But is Kelsingra real or merely a fragment of a glorified past buried deep in the dragons' shared memories? No map exists to guide them, and the noble creatures find their ancient recollections of little use in a land changed by generations of flooding and seismic chaos. As the dragons, the humans-including the strong and defiant Rain Wild girl Thymara; the wealthy dragon scholar and Trader's wife, Alise; and her companion, the urbane Sedric-and their magical supply barge, captained by the gruff Leftrin, forge their way ever deeper into uncharted wilderness, human and beast alike discover they are changing in mysterious and dangerous ways. While the bonds between them solidify, starvation, flashfloods, and predators will imperil them all. But dragons and humans soon learn that the most savage threats come from within their own company . . . and not all of them may survive.

Hellhole by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Andersons

Summary Only the most desperate colonists dare to make a new home on Hellhole. Reeling from a recent asteroid impact, tortured with horrific storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and churning volcanic eruptions, the planet is a dumping ground for undesirables, misfits, and charlatans; but also a haven for dreamers and independent pioneers. Against all odds, an exiled general named Adolphus has turned Hellhole into a place of real opportunity for the desperate colonists who call the planet their home. While the colonists are hard at work developing the planet, General Adolphus secretly builds alliances with the leaders of the other Deep Zone worlds, forming a clandestine coalition against the tyrannical, fossilized government responsible for their exile. What no one knows is this: the planet Hellhole, though damaged and volatile, hides an amazing secret. Deep beneath its surface lies the remnants of an obliterated alien civilization and the buried memories of its unrecorded past that, when unearthed, could tear the galaxy apart.

Midsummer Night by Freda Warrington

Summary: AA sensuous, suspenseful modern fantasy of love, betrayal, and redemption Decades ago, in a place where the veil between our world and the world of the Aetherials ”the fair folk ”is too easily breached, three young people tricked their uncle by dressing as the fey. But their joke took a deadly turn when true Aetherials crossed into our world, took one of the pranksters, and literally scared their uncle to death. Many years later, at the place of this capture lies a vast country estate that holds a renowned art facility owned by a visionary sculptor. One day, during a violent storm, a young woman studying art at the estate stumbles upon a portal to the Otherworld. A handsome young man comes through the portal and seeks shelter with her. Though he can tell her nothing of his past, his innocence and charm capture her heart. But he becomes the focus of increasingly violent arguments among the residents of the estate. Is he as innocent as he seems? Or is he hiding his true identity so that he can seek some terrible vengeance, bringing death and heartbreak to this place that stands between two worlds? Who is this young man? The forces of magic and the power of love contend for the soul of this man, in this magical romantic story of loss and redemption.

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Summary: Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron

Summary: Eli Monpress is talented. He's charming. And he's a thief. But not just any thief. He's the greatest thief of the age - and he's also a wizard. And with the help of his partners - a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls - he's going to put his plan into effect. The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he'll need to steal some big things. But he'll start small for now. He'll just steal something that no one will miss - at least for a while. Like a king.

Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent

Summary: While the Oprichniki's primary reason for journeying to Russia is to stop the French, one of them takes a different path. For he has a different agenda, he is to be the nightmare instrument of revenge on the Romanovs. Now the time has come: it is 1825.

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Summary: In the late summer of a long ago year, a killer arrived in a small city. His name was Alton Turner Blackwood, and in the space of a few months he brutally murdered four families. His savage spree ended only when he himself was killed by the last survivor of the last family, a fourteen-year-old boy. Half a continent away and two decades later, someone is murdering families again, recreating in detail Blackwood's crimes. Homicide detective John Calvino is certain that his own family - his wife and three children - will be targets in the fourth crime, just as his parents and sisters were victims on that distant night when he was fourteen and killed their slayer. As a detective, John is a man of reason who deals in cold facts. But an extraordinary experience convinces him that sometimes death is not a one-way journey, that sometimes the dead return.


06/27/11


Categories: New Books, Book Lists

Booklist’s Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Books for Youth

Booklist magazine has published its 2010/2011 top ten Science Fiction and Fantasy titles for youth. Check these out:

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Summary: In the early twentieth century in Swampsea, seventeen-year-old Briony, who can see the spirits that haunt the marshes around their town, feels responsible for her twin sister's horrible injury until a young man enters their lives and exposes secrets that even Briony does not know about.

Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

Summary: In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a New England scientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh.

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Summary: Twelve-year-old September's ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods.

The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
Summary: After being kidnapped and barely escaping, sixteen-year-old Jack goes to London with his best friend Connor, where someone gives him a pair of glasses that send him to an alternate universe where war is raging, he is responsible for the survival of two younger boys, and Connor is trying to kill them all.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary The Capitol is angry that Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice, stirring unrest by having defied the rules, and President Snow has made it clear that she, her family and friends, and the people of District 12 may all be held accountable.

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Summary: As a world-ending war surges to life around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions, questioning all they have ever known as they try to step back from the darkness and find the best way to achieve peace.

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card

Summary: Thirteen-year-old Rigg has a secret ability to see the paths of others' pasts, but revelations after his father's death set him on a dangerous quest that brings new threats from those who would either control his destiny or kill him.

The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud

Summary: Wise-cracking djinni Bartimaeus finds himself at the court of King Solomon with an unpleasant master, a sinister servant, and King Solomon's magic ring.

Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi

Summary: In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.

The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley

Summary: From the age of seven when she became scullery maid in a castle, Molly has seen visions of the future which, years later, lead her and friend Tobias on an adventure to keep Alaric, the heir to the throne, safe from a curse.


04/26/11


Categories: Book Lists

Pt 2 SF Site's Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2010: Reader's Choice

Every year, the SF Site calls upon readers to nominate and vote on the best science fiction and fantasy books published in the previous year. Here is part 2 of the 2010 list:

6. The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman

Summary: The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

7. Blackout by Connie Willis

Summary: Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

8. (TIE) How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Summary: The narrator/main character of this ambitious inner space adventure is Charles Yu, a properly certified time travel technician who works, we are told, for the owner of this universe Time Warner Time. Yu shares his name, not coincidentally, with the author of this book, but his supporting characters are not quite so recognizable. They include, for instance, TAMMY, an operating system with disturbingly low self-esteem; a nonexistent dog named Ed; and a mother stuck forever in a one-hour time loop. Yu sets out, and back, and beyond, in order to find the one day where he and his father can meet in memory.

8. (TIE) Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Summary: Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove - he's been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp - an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future - attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out. On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair.

Click here to read Jim's review of this book.

9. Bitter Seeds by Ian Tregillis

Summary: Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of the Second World War, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him.
When the Nazis start running missions with people who have unnatural abilities—a woman who can turn invisible, a man who can walk through walls, and the woman Marsh saw in Spain who can use her knowledge of the future to twist the present—Marsh is the man who has to face them. He rallies the secret warlocks of Britain to hold the impending invasion at bay. But magic always exacts a price. Eventually, the sacrifice necessary to defeat the enemy will be as terrible as outright loss would be.

10. (TIE) Saltation by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Summary: Theo, star pilot wannabe and troubled misfit has been accepted, against all her expectations, to Anlingdin. It’s the Hogwarts of star piloting academies, and Theo has been selected to train there with the best-of-the-best. Even better – she can finally leave behind the gawky, misfit days of teenage angst her previous life so complicated before. Great Liaden star pilots are born with a bang and not a whimper–and Theo has set a course to graduate from misfit to genuine maverick.

10. (TIE) Changes by Jim Butcher

Summary: Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it. Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...He's fighting to save his child.


04/05/11


Categories: Book Lists

SF Site's Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2010: Reader's Choice

Every year, the SF Site calls upon readers to nominate and vote on the best science fiction and fantasy books published in the previous year. Here is part 1 of the 2010 list:

1. The Dervish House by Ian McDonald

Summary: A terrorist bomb sets off a chain of events that, over the next five days, entangles the lives of six characters. McDonald brilliantly imagines a world in which the ultramodern exists side-by-side with the ancient, and he blends science and mysticism to embody the contradiction that is Istanbul in 2027.

2. Kraken by China Miéville

Summary: In the Darwin Centre at London’s Natural History Museum, Billy Harrow, a cephalopod specialist, is conducting a tour whose climax is meant to be the Centre’s prize specimen of a rare Architeuthis dux—better known as the Giant Squid. But Billy’s tour takes an unexpected turn when the squid suddenly and impossibly vanishes into thin air. As Billy soon discovers, this is the precipitating act in a struggle to the death between mysterious but powerful forces in a London whose existence he has been blissfully ignorant of until now.

3. Under Heavenby Guy Gavriel Kay

Summary: Haunted by the ghosts of fallen warriors, Shen Tai is forced into the political machinations of the Emperor’s court when he receives a rare and valuable gift. Lyrical language and complex characterization draw readers into this elaborately unfolding epic set in a fantasy world that richly re-imagines 8th century Tang Dynasty China.

4. Surface Detail by Iain M. Banks

Summary: Lededje Y'breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.

5. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Summary: Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself.


02/19/11


Categories: Book Lists

Freedom to Read Week 2011

Freedom to Read week runs from February 20-26 this year. Celebrate your freedom to read by enjoying one or more of these novels and their themes of freedom or control of information.

After by Francine Prose
The shootings in Pleasant Valley were fifty miles away, but at Central High a grief and crisis counselor is hired, security is increased, and privileges are being taken away. If you break the new rules the punishment is severe, and the rules keep changing every day. Students and teachers begin disappearing. If you trade your freedom for safety, how safe are you?

Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
What makes the Evil Librarians so evil? They control what information people get to know, keeping secrets and spreading lies as part of a massive conspiracy to take over the world!
The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter
Maya Andreyeva is a journalist who works as her own camera, after getting sensory and telecommunications equipment implanted in her brain. Whatever she sees is broadcast for a major news network.
Matched by Ally Condie
Like everyone in the Society, Cassia is forced to listen to the same 100 authorized songs, read the same 100 poems and books, and appreciate the same 100 paintings. She has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her including what to eat and to whom she should marry. But what happens when a mistake is made and Cassia starts questioning what it means to be creative? Will she accept her "official" match or will she refuse to "go gently into the good night" by exploring a relationship with someone else?
The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman
Mikk of Vyzania mastered the Somalite song dance, then is prohibited from performing it. The penalty would be death, unless he finds some way to change the law.
The Truth by Terry Pratchett
William de Worde is the accidental editor of the Discworld's first newspaper. Now he must cope with the traditional perils of a journalist's life -- people who want him dead, a recovering vampire with a suicidal fascination for flash photography, some more people who want him dead in a different way and, worst of all, the man who keeps begging him to publish pictures of his humorously shaped potatoes.
Whole Wide World by Paul J. McAuley
Omnipresent surveillance cameras are all connected to an artificial intelligence system. The Internet is patrolled by zealous Censors. Welcome to London, in the aftermath of the Infowar, where people might do anything to control information, and Sophie Booth's murder was just broadcast over the Internet for everyone to see.

02/08/11


Categories: Book Lists

LJ's Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2010

Not to be outdone, Library Journal (LJ) released its best Science Fiction & Fantasy books of 2010:

Elfsorrow by James Barclay

LJ's Verdict: The mercenaries of the Raven journey to the heart of the elven continent of Calaius to save the land from dying in a superbly visualized fantasy adventure reminiscent of Glen Cook's classic Black Company tales.

Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

LJ's Verdict: Devotion and sacrifice are the twin keys that will save Pern from a plague that is killing the dragons necessary to combat the deadly space-born spore that falls from the sky. The son of sf Grand Master Anne McCaffrey continues the beloved world created by his mother.

Kraken by China Miéville

LJ's Verdict: Museum curator Billy Harrow tracks the preserved corpse of a giant squid through a London populated by cultists, paranormal investigators, and supernatural scoundrels. Brilliant storytelling and doses of eccentric humor and eerily compelling horror call to mind the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells.

Nights of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton

LJ's Verdict: Conspiracy and murder threaten the grand city of Villjamur as an ice age's approach brings throngs of refugees to civilization's heart. Newton's outstanding fantasy series debut is filled with splendid imagery and compelling dramatic conflicts.

And Falling, Fly by by Skyler White

LJ's Verdict: A neuroscientist seeking to cure his memories of past lives meets a fallen angel of desire in an underground asylum. One of the year's most unusual blends of supernatural fiction and urban fantasy.


01/17/11


Categories: Book Lists

PW's Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2010

A couple of months back, Publisher Weekly magazine released its annual list of the Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels of 2010. Here is their picks:

The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum

PW's Verdict: Deadly power games play out in haunted royal palaces, streets thronged with sex workers and political protesters, and sewers inhabited by seductive, amoral vampires.

Feed by Mira Grant

PW's Verdict: Grant (a pseudonym for urban fantasist Seanan McGuire) hits hard in a brutal tale of three bloggers following a Republican presidential candidate through the zombie-infested Midwest.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

PW's Verdict: These searing novels relate the struggles of ordinary people caught up in the machinations of gods at a time of global change when faith, power structures, and the fabric of reality have been called into question.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

PW's Verdict: Young adult author Okorafor makes a blazing entrance onto the adult fiction scene with a story of love, pain, magic, and genocide in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. Readers will be enthralled by troubled, fierce adolescent Onyesonwu and her quest to find and destroy the sorcerer who fathered her.


12/15/10


Categories: Book Lists

Season's Readings

The Dragon, the Earl and the Troll by Gordon R. Dickson
Summary: A yuletide visit to a neighboring earl becomes a personal challenge for Sir James the Dragon Knight as the alliance of dark forces arraigned against him threatens to force his return to his original dimension-that of 20th-century Earth-despite his growing attachment to this alternate medieval world he now calls home.
Grailblazers by Tom Holt
Summary: Fifteen hundred years have passed and the Grail is still missing, presumed ineffable; the Knights have dumped the Quest and now deliver pizzas; the sinister financial services industry of the lost kingdom of Atlantis threatens the universe with fiscal Armageddon; while in the background lurks the dark, brooding, red-caped presence of Father Christmas.
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Summary: In the parallel universe of Discworld, they don't celebrate Christmas. Instead, children look forward to December 32nd, also known as Hogswatchnight, when they'll receive gifts, not from Santa Claus, but from The Hogfather. However, this year, The Hogfather has disappeared, and there may be no Hogswatchnight. So, it's up to Death to assume the role and fulfill all of the children's wishes.
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner
Summary: The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone- particularly lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest, saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand. Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year’s morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.
A Yuletide Universe edited by Brian M. Thomsen
Summary: From A Christmas Carol to Connie Willis' Miracle and other Christmas Stories to the stories of Mistletoe Mysteries, jolly St. Nick and other memorable Yuletide visitors have provided creative fodder for a host of writers commemorating the holiday season throughout the ages. A Yuletide Universe collects the most memorable takes on the holiday season by some of fantasy and science fiction's brighter lights of the past and present including such "Christmas stars" as Clive Barker, Anne McCaffrey, Connie Willis, William Gibson, Harlan Ellison, and Neil Gaiman.

10/17/10


Categories: Book Lists

Celebrating Saskatchewan Library Week

The theme for this year's Saskatchewan Library Week (October 18-25, 2010) is "Libraries=Possibilities". To help celebrate our favorite week of the year, here is a select list of library-themed science fiction/fantasy novels for you to check out. Enjoy!

The Book of Flying by Keith Miller

Summary: Meet Pico. He's a poet and a librarian whose soul is nourished by stories and by books. He's brave and honest and humble, like heroes used to be. And he's passionate and idealistic, like lovers used to be. The Book of Flying is the story of Pico's quest to gain his wings in order to win the heart of the girl he loves - a journey in which he meets a robber queen, a lonely minotaur, a cannibal, an immortal beauty, and a dream seller. He will tell them his story and learn theirs. He will fall in love. He will duel with a mad painter. He will stand face to face with himself, in a dark castle on a remote mountain peak, and survive the valleys of the country of death before he reaches the morning town, before he learns that sometimes you must lose yourself completely in order to discover who you really are.

The Rover by Mel Odom

Summary: Edgewick Lamplighter (Wick to his friends) is a humble librarian in the isolated halls of Greydawn Moors until dreams of wanderlust and a bit of dereliction in his duties result in his being shanghaied to a far-off land.Captured by pirates, sold into slavery, and adopted by a gang of thieves, Wick soon finds himself with more adventures than even a halfling librarian can imagine.Rival gangs, goblin marauders, evil wizards, and monstrous dragons are soon after the wee adventurer and his newfound allies in a tale of treasures and treachery, magic and mystery, where even a little guy can rise to the occasion and save the day. Note: This is the first book in the Rover series, which includes The Destruction of the Books and Lord of the Libraries


The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Summary: When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. Note: Click here to read a staff review of the book.

Libyrinth by Pearl North

Summary: In a distant future where Libyrarians preserve and protect the ancient books that are housed in the fortress-like Libyrinth, Haly is imprisoned by Eradicants, who believe that the written word is evil, and she must try to mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all.

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Summary: Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination and Alcatraz must stop them! Armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness, Alcatraz infiltrates the local library on his quest to save the world. Note: Click here to read a staff review of the book. This is the first title in the series, which includes Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones and Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia

Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle

Summary: Nestled on the coast of Scotland, Appleton was once famous for its apples. Now, though the orchards are long gone, locals still dream of the town’s glory days, when an Apple Queen was crowned at the annual fair and good luck seemed a way of life. And outsiders are still drawn to the charming village, including three very different American women. Enchanted by Appleton’s famously ornate, gold-domed library, divorcée Kathleen Mullaroy has left her cosmopolitan job to start anew as the town’s head librarian. Widowed Nell Westray hopes for a quiet life of gardening in the place where she and her husband spent their happiest moments. And young Ashley Kaldis has come to find her roots, and learns that the town’s fortunes turned when her grandmother was crowned Apple Queen–then mysteriously disappeared.


07/10/10


Categories: Book Lists

Booklist’s Top Ten Science Fiction/Fantasy Books for Youth

Contrary to first impressions, this is NOT a repeat post. When Booklist magazine published its top ten Science Fiction and Fantasy titles, it published a separate top ten list for youth. Here they are:

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

Summary: Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.

But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?

And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Summary: Sophos, heir to Sounis, doesn’t look like much of a prince. At least, according to those in power. At least, to those who do not know him or the size of his heart and the depth of his courage, loyalty, and love. But Helen, Queen of Eddis, knows him, and so does Gen, the queen’s Thief, who is now King of Attolia. Gen and the queen believe that Sophos is dead. But they also believe in hope, especially since a body was never found. So when Sophos is discovered in Attolia, climbing a lamppost, peashooter in hand, the obvious question becomes: where has Sophos been all this time?

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Summary: Liam is too big for his boots, his football strip, and his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he's the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space. Is Liam the best boy for the job? Sometimes being big isn't all about being a grown-up.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones

Summary When the magician Jocelyn Brandon Hope died he bequeathed Melstone House to his grandson Andrew. He also left his ‘field of care’: an area of strangeness surrounding the land around the house, whose boundary Andrew must walk in order to preserve its power.

Andrew had always loved the house, but he finds owning it a lot more complicated, aside from all the magic. There is Mrs Stock, the tyrannical housekeeper who won’t let him move the furniture and punishes him with her terrible cooking. Just as bad is the obsessive gardener who will only grow giant inedible vegetables. To add to his troubles, twelve year old orphan Aidan Cain suddenly arrives on the doorstep begging protection from magical stalkers, and Andrew’s sinister rich neighbour, Mr Brown, begins to encroach on the ‘field of care’. The one compensation is the gardener’s beautiful niece, Stashe. Things become stranger and stranger until all is made clear with the help of the enchanted glass itself.

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Summary: Fever Crumb is a girl who has been adopted and raised by Dr. Crumb, a member of the order of Engineers, where she serves as apprentice. In a time and place where women are not seen as reasonable creatures, Fever is an anomaly, the only female to serve in the order. Soon though, she must say goodbye to Dr. Crumb-nearly the only person she's ever known-to assist archaeologist Kit Solent on a top-secret project. As her work begins, Fever is plagued by memories that are not her own and Kit seems to have a particular interest in finding out what they are. Fever has also been
singled out by city-dwellers who declare her part Scriven. The Scriveners, not human, ruled the city some years ago but were hunted down and killed in a victorious uprising by the people. If there are any remaining Scriven, they are to be eliminated. All Fever knows is what she's been told: that she is an orphan. Is Fever a Scriven? Whose memories does she hold? Is the mystery of Fever, adopted daughter of Dr. Crumb, the key to the secret that lies at the heart of London?

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Summary: Nine-year old Finnikin lives a life of fun and adventure with his best friend Prince Balthazar and the prince’s cousin, Lucien. The three boys vow to be courageous warriors and swear a blood oath to always protect the royal family of Lumatere.
One terrible night the royal family is murdered and the King’s cousin claims the throne. Many people flee the country fearing for their safety. After a period known as the “five days of the unspeakable” a powerful priestess curses the land. Those within the borders of the country are trapped and those who have fled are unable to return, forced to wander as exiles in foreign lands.

Ten years later, Finnikin is lead by a dream to find Evanjalin, a young novice of the goddess Lagrimi who shares the dreams of those trapped inside Lumatere. Together Finnikin and Evanjalin must follow their destiny and relieve the suffering of their people.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Summary: Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Summary: : Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born!

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

Summary: What would happen to a fairy if she lost her wings and could no longer fly? Flory, a young night fairy no taller than an acorn and still becoming accustomed to her wings — wings as beautiful as those of a luna moth — is about to find out. What she discovers is that the world is very big and very dangerous. But Flory is fierce and willing to do whatever it takes to survive. If that means telling others what to do — like Skuggle, a squirrel ruled by his stomach — so be it. Not every creature, however, is as willing
to bend to Flory’s demands. Newbery Medal winner Laura Amy Schlitz and world-renowned illustrator and miniaturist Angela Barrett venture into the realm of the illustrated classic — a classic entirely and exquisitely of their making, and a magnificent adventure.


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