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On the (Digital) Road: Tor Author Events in September

We are in a time of social distancing, but your favorite Tor authors are still coming to screens near you in the month of September! Check out where you can find them here:

Gregory Benford and Larry Niven, Glorious

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Wednesday, September 2
Second Life
More Information Here
12:00 PM PT

Jenn Lyons, The Memory of Souls, Ryan Van Loan, The Sin in the Steel

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Wednesday, September 2
Gibson’s Bookstore, in conversation with Andrea Hairston
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

David Mack, The Shadow Commission

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Thursday, September 3
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Streamyard
6:00 PM CT

Christopher Paolini, To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

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Tuesday, September 15
Barnes & Noble, in conversation with Tad Williams
Register Here
7:00 PM CT

Wednesday, September 16
Doylestown Bookshop, in conversation with Chuck Wendig
Crowdcast
7:00 PM ET

Friday, September 18
Anderson’s Bookshop, in conversation with Jennifer Hale
Register Here
7:00 PM CT

Sunday, September 20
Cuyahoga Public Library, in conversation with John Scalzi
Register Here
7:00 PM CT

Monday, September 21
Quail Ridge Books, in conversation with Pierce Brown
Register Here
7:00 PM ET

Tuesday, September 22
Left Bank Books, in conversation with Ann Leckie
Register Here
7:00 PM CT

Thursday, September 24
Hicklebee’s Books, SFF Writing Class
Register Here
10:00 PM ET

Friday, September 25
King’s English, in conversation with Brandon Sanderson
Register Here
9:00 PM ET

Saturday, September 26
Tattered Cover, Nerd Trivia Night hosted by Paolini
Register Here
9:00 PM ET

Sunday, September 27
Third Place Books, in conversation with James Rollins
Register Here
10:00 PM ET

John Scalzi, The Last Emperox

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Wednesday, September 16
Cuyahoga County Library in conversation with Terry Virts
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

Jenn Lyons, The Memory of Souls, Brian Naslund, Sorcery of a Queen

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Thursday, September 24
Towne Book Center
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

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On the (Digital) Road: Tor Author Events in August

We are in a time of social distancing, but your favorite Tor authors are still coming to screens near you in the month of August! Check out where you can find them here:

Kit Rocha, Deal with the Devil

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Tuesday, August 4
Tor After Dark
Instagram Live
7:00 PM ET

Daniel Kraus, The Living Dead

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Tuesday, August 4
Powell’s in conversation with Mary Roach
Zoom
6:00 PM PT

Wednesday, August 5
Book Soup in conversation with Grady Hendrix
Crowdcast
6:00 PM PT’

Thursday, August 6
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, in conversation with Josh Malerman
Crowdcast
7:00 PM PT

Tuesday, August 11
Anderson’s Bookshop, in conversation with Megan Abbott
Zoom
8:30 PM CT

Wednesday, August 12
Doylestown Bookshop, reading and Q & A with Gabino Iglesias
Zoom
6:30 PM ET

Thursday, August 20
Fountain Bookstore, in Conversation with Stephanie Kuehn
Register here
6:00 PM ET

Mary Robinette Kowal, The Relentless Moon

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Wednesday, August 5
University Bookstore in conversation with Fonda Lee
Zoom
6:00 PM PT

Friday, August 7
Poisoned Pen, in conversation with Pat King
Zoom
8:00 PM ET

Saturday, August 8
Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester
Zoom
2:00 PM ET

John Scalzi, The Last Emperox

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Thursday, August 6
Kepler’s in conversation with Lindsay Ellis
Zoom
4:00 PM ET

Mary Robinette Kowal, The Relentless Moon and Kate Elliott, Unconquerable Sun

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Thursday, August 6
Riverstone Books, authors in conversation
Zoom
7:00 PM ET

Brian Naslund, Sorcery of a Queen, Curtis Craddock, The Last Uncharted Sky

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Tuesday, August 11
Old Firehouse Books, authors in conversation
Register here
7:00 PM MT

David Mack, The Shadow Commission

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Thursday, August 13
Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop
Streamyard
6:00 PM CT

Lavie Tidhar, By Force Alone

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Sunday, August 16
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, in conversation with Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Crowdcast
1:00 PM PT

Saturday, August 22
Chevalier’s Books in conversation with Ian McDonald
Register Here
12:00 PM ET

Gregory Benford and Larry Niven, Glorious

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Thursday, August 20
Midtown Reader
Register Here
6:00 PM ET

Jenn Lyons, The Memory of Souls

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Tuesday, August 25
Read It Again Books
Streamyard
7:00 PM ET

Wednesday, August 26
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore
Zoom
7:00 PM PT

Friday, August 28
Toadstool Bookshop
4:00 PM ET

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Excerpt: The Shadow Commission by David Mack

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Placeholder of  -69The wizards of the Cold War must uncover a secret cabal responsible for the Kennedy assassination in The Shadow CommissionNew York Times bestselling author David Mack’s globe-spanning historical fantasy sequel to The Iron Codex.

November 1963. Cade and Anja have lived in hiding for a decade, training new mages. Then the assassination of President Kennedy trigger a series of murders whose victims are all magicians—with Cade, Anja, and their allies as its prime targets. Their only hope of survival: learning how to fight back against the sinister cabal known as the Shadow Commission.

Please enjoy this excerpt of The Shadow Commission, available 06/09/20. Check out excerpt from Book 1 of the Dark Arts series, The Midnight Front, here and an excerpt of Book 2, The Iron Codex, here.


Chapter 3

A glance at his watch told Secret Service Agent Clark Warden the president’s motorcade was a few minutes behind schedule. It was 12:29 p.m. as the lead car approached the intersection of Elm and North Houston streets in down- town Dallas, en route to Kennedy’s speech at the Trade Mart. The joyful noise from the crowds that lined the parade route was deafening.

Jogging alongside the slow-moving vehicles, Clark stole a look at the digital clock mounted atop the corner of the Texas Book Depository, dead ahead. It displayed the current temperature as 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The moderate weather, coupled with a light breeze that fluttered onlookers’ pennants and rustled the still-green leaves on their boughs, made for nearly ideal conditions: neither too hot to make it hard to keep pace with the motorcade nor so cold as to require the agents to wear cumbersome layers over their trademark dark suits.

It had rained in Dallas earlier that morning, but the storm was well past and had left the city looking as if it had just been rinsed clean in preparation for the president’s arrival.

The lead car, an unmarked police vehicle driven by the city’s chief of police, and which served as a rolling command center for the motorcade, crossed the intersection and headed for the Stemmons Freeway on-ramp, several car-lengths ahead of the president’s black Lincoln convertible limousine. In a few moments Clark and the other agents currently on foot would need to get back inside their assigned vehicles, before they accelerated onto the highway.

In the limousine, President John F. Kennedy sat in the rear passenger seat, his dark gray suit a stark contrast to the pink dress and matching pillbox hat of his wife, Jacqueline. The First Couple’s seats had been raised a few inches to make them more visible to the public as they drove past. Sitting in front of them, in the middle jump seats, were Texas governor John Connally, on the right, and his wife, Nellie, on the left.

The exposed quality of the convertible had been cited by several members of the president’s protection detail as cause for concern, but President Kennedy had insisted it would be a shame to squander a day with such postcard- perfect weather. Wanting to feel the wind and the sun on his face, he had decided they would make the drive from Love Field to the Trade Mart without the car’s protective Plexiglas dome. Objections overruled, the agents had complied.

The quartet of Dallas Police motorcycle officers that flanked the limo held their formation as they crossed the intersection toward the Stemmons Freeway ramp. Clark looked over his shoulder, expecting to be ushered back in- side his assigned transport.

A crack echoed off of the office buildings, and Clark became a hunter seeking its source.

Untrained ears might have mistaken that sound for a firecracker or a car’s backfire. But Clark and the other agents knew a rifle’s report when they heard one.

A strange electricity in the air prickled the back of Clark’s neck. He engaged the magickal vision of Velar, casting the world around him into a blue monochrome. His enhanced awareness led to panic: the multiple spheres of magickal defense that should have surrounded the president’s limousine had all vanished at once—a calamity he’d thought impossible.

But that would mean—

Another sharp crack of rifle fire.

Blood sprayed from the president’s throat. He clutched his wound with both hands as Governor Connally slumped sideways, also hit. The First Lady reached for her husband as Connally turned toward the president. Frightened voices filled Dealey Plaza.

Roy Kellerman, the Secret Service agent in the limo’s front passenger seat, looked back to see what had happened. Governor Connally leaned into his wife’s arms, much as the president had come to rest in Jackie’s shocked embrace.

Too late, Clark’s training—from both the Secret Service and the top- secret magickal defense group based beneath the Pentagon—kicked in. He marshaled the talent of his yoked spirit Xolus to raise a new invisible shield of protection around the president’s car—

A third rifle shot exploded Clark’s nascent shield as if it were a soap bubble. Kennedy’s head erupted in a crimson spray. Bone shrapnel and bloodied hunks of brain spattered the limousine’s interior, freckling the First Lady as well as Governor Connally and his wife. Amid the carnage, Clark glimpsed falling bouquets of red and yellow roses as the Connallys ducked low in their seats. To his confusion and alarm, Mrs. Kennedy climbed out of her seat to crawl awkwardly onto the long trunk of the limousine.

At the same time, Secret Service Agent Clint Hill tried to clamber onto the back of the limo. Kellerman ordered the driver, Agent Bill Greer, to rush the president to the nearest hospital. The car sped up. Hill lost his footing, but on his second attempt he climbed over the limo’s trunk and guided Mrs. Kennedy back into her seat beside the president.

Feeling lost and overwhelmed, Clark looked back, scanned the crowd and all of Dealey Plaza with the Sight, hoping to flush out the assassin. There was nothing but mayhem on the ground—people running for cover, fleeing the gunfire and bloodshed—despite the best efforts of the Dallas Police Department and the Secret Service to restore calm and secure witnesses.

The shooter wouldn’t have been in the crowd. He’d have sought a clear vantage—

His eyes turned upward, toward the Texas Book Depository.

An open window on the sixth floor, at the corner above the intersection. Pushing his perception past the building’s exterior, Clark spied the shooter.

It was too dark for Clark to discern the man’s features, but the shooter was lean of build and scrambling to abandon his sniper’s nest. Within seconds, he had retreated into the building’s core, out of sight.

Voices crackled over radios. The agent in the motorcade’s lead car ordered Vice President Johnson’s vehicle diverted off the parade route and back to Love Field, where Air Force One stood waiting. All around Clark Warden was chaos. His only chance to prevent the assassin’s escape was to get to the Book Depository and order it locked down before—

Someone seized Clark’s arm and whipped him around.

It was another agent, Daniel Jurow. “Hey! We need to help Dallas PD round up anyone who saw anything. That means anybody who was standing curbside.”

Clark pulled his arm free and pointed at the Book Depository. “We need to lock down that building, now. I think the shooter hit us from the sixth- floor, corner window.”

Jurow squinted at the Book Depository. “From all the way up there? Are you nuts?” He waved off Clark’s plea. “Orders from the secretary. Witness roundup.”

Frustration welled up inside Clark, like a fireball raging to burst from his chest. He couldn’t explain how he knew the president’s killer was still inside that building without violating operational security or exposing the existence of the U.S. Occult Defense Program. He also had no means of passing along his intel in time for anyone else to act upon it. In the interest of preserving his cover, he had to follow his orders in hand and let the assassin escape.

He purged the rage from his countenance and followed Jurow toward the nearest cluster of civilians, all of whom Clark was certain couldn’t be less helpful had they all been born blind, deaf, and mute.

Less than an hour later, he heard the news over the radio. President Kennedy was dead.

Before the day was over, someone would burn for this. Clark Warden promised himself that he would do whatever was necessary to make sure that someone was not him.

Copyright © David Mack 2020

Pre-Order Your Copy

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Every Tor Book Coming This Summer

It’s almost time for summer weather and that means…SUMMER BOOKS! Due to COVID-19, we shuffled some of our on sale dates around, so check here for the most up to date list of when you can get your hands on some of the most highly anticipated books of the season:

June 16

The Unconquered CityImage Place holder  of - 27 by K. A. Doore

Seven years have passed since the Siege—a time when the hungry dead had risen—but the memories still haunt Illi Basbowen. Though she was trained to be an elite assassin, now the Basbowen clan act as Ghadid’s militia force protecting the resurrected city against a growing tide of monstrous guul that travel across the dunes. Illi’s worst fears are confirmed when General Barca arrives, bearing news that her fledgling nation, Hathage, also faces this mounting danger. How much can she sacrifice to protect everything she knows from devastation?

GloriousPlace holder  of - 18 by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Audacious astronauts encounter bizarre, sometimes deadly life forms, and strange, exotic, cosmic phenomena, including miniature black holes, dense fields of interstellar plasma, powerful gravity-emitters, and spectacularly massive space-based, alien-built labyrinths. Tasked with exploring this brave, new, highly dangerous world, they must also deal with their own personal triumphs and conflicts.

June 23

Image Placeholder of - 60The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings in a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent. Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.

June 30

Poster Placeholder of - 18Interlibrary Loan by Gene Wolfe

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person, his personality an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human. As such, Smithe can be loaned to other branches. Which he is. Along with two fellow reclones, a cookbook and romance writer, they are shipped to Polly’s Cove, where Smithe meets a little girl who wants to save her mother, a father who is dead but perhaps not. And another E.A. Smithe… who definitely is.

July 7

Placeholder of  -52Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott

Princess Sun has finally come of age. Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected—and feared. But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniving noble houses have never ceased to scheme—and they have plans that need Sun to be removed as heir, or better yet, dead.

Or What You Will by Jo Walton

He has been too many things to count. He has been a dragon with a boy on his back. He has been a scholar, a warrior, a lover, and a thief. He has been dream and dreamer. He has been a god. But “he” is in fact nothing more than a spark of idea, a character in the mind of Sylvia Harrison, 73, award-winning author of thirty novels over forty years. But Sylvia won’t live forever, any more than any human does. And he’s trapped inside her cave of bone, her hollow of skull. When she dies, so will he.

Little Brother & Homeland by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow’s two New York Times-bestselling novels of youthful rebellion against the torture-and-surveillance state – now available in a softcover omnibus

 

July 14

In the Kingdom of All Tomorrows by Stephen R. Lawhead

Conor mac Ardan is now clan chief of the Darini. Tara’s Hill has become a haven and refuge for all those who were made homeless by the barbarian Scálda. A large fleet of the Scálda’s Black Ships has now arrived and Conor joins Eirlandia’s lords to defeat the monsters. He finds treachery in their midst…and a betrayal that is blood deep. And so begins a final battle to win the soul of a nation.

The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowl

Elma York is on her way to Mars, but the Moon colony is still being established. Her friend and fellow Lady Astronaut Nicole Wargin is thrilled to be one of those pioneer settlers, using her considerable flight and political skills to keep the program on track. But she is less happy that her husband, the Governor of Kansas, is considering a run for President.

July 21

Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

 The Sin in the Steel by Ryan Van Loan

Buc and Eld are the first private detectives in a world where pirates roam the seas, mages speak to each other across oceans, mechanical devices change the tide of battle, and earthly wealth is concentrated in the hands of a powerful few. It’s been weeks since ships last returned to the magnificent city of Servenza with bounty from the Shattered Coast. Disaster threatens not just the city’s trading companies but the empire itself. When Buc and Eld are hired to investigate, Buc swiftly discovers that the trade routes have become the domain of a sharp-eyed pirate queen who sinks all who defy her.

Quantum Shadows by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. 

On a world called Heaven, the ten major religions of mankind each have its own land governed by a capital city and ruled by a Hegemon. That Hegemon may be a god, or a prophet of a god. Smaller religions have their own towns or villages of belief. Corvyn, known as the Shadow of the Raven, contains the collective memory of humanity’s Falls from Grace. With this knowledge comes enormous power. When unknown power burns a mysterious black image into the holy place of each House of the Decalivre, Corvyn must discover what entity could possibly have that much power. The stakes are nothing less than another Fall, and if he doesn’t stop it, mankind will not rise from the ashes.

Uranus by Ben Bova

Humans can’t live on the gas giants, making instead a life in orbit. Kyle Umber, a religious idealist, has built Haven, a sanctuary above the distant planet Uranus. He invites ”the tired, the sick, the poor“ of Earth to his orbital retreat where men and women can find spiritual peace and refuge from the world. The billionaire who financed Haven, however, has his own designs: beyond the reach of the laws of the inner planets Haven could become the center for an interplanetary web of narcotics, prostitution, even hunting human prey.

I Come With Knives by S. A. Hunt

Robin – now armed with new knowledge about mysterious demon terrorizing her around town, the support of her friends, and the assistance of her old witch-hunter mentor – plots to confront the Lazenbury coven and destroy them once and for all. Robin must handle new threats on top of the menace from the Lazenbury coven, but a secret about Robin’s past may throw all of her plans into jeopardy.

July 28

Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America. Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive. They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…Or they could do the impossible: team up.

The Baron of Magister Valley by Steven Brust

The salacious claims that The Baron of Magister Valley bears any resemblance to a certain nearly fictional narrative about an infamous count are unfounded (we do not dabble in tall tales. The occasional moderately stretched? Yes. But never tall). Our tale is that of a nobleman who is betrayed by those he trusted, and subsequently imprisoned. After centuries of confinement, he contrives to escape and prepares to avenge himself against his betrayers. A mirror image of The Count of Monte Cristo, vitrolic naysayers still grouse? Well, that is nearly and utterly false.

Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz

Meet Mat, a tortured mercenary who has become the perfect shot, and Silvia, and idealistic woman genetically engineered to murder you to death. Together they run for the shadiest corporation in the world… and realize their messed-up brain chemistry cannot overpower their very real chemistry.

August 4

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come. Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead. We think we know how this story ends. We. Are. Wrong.

Space Station Down by Ben Bova and Doug Beason

When an ultra-rich space tourist visits the orbiting International Space Station, NASA expects a $100 million win-win: his visit will bring in much needed funding and publicity. But the tourist venture turns into a scheme of terror. Together with an extremist cosmonaut, the tourist slaughters all the astronauts on board the million-pound ISS—and prepares to crash it into New York City at 17,500 miles an hour, causing more devastation than a hundred atomic bombs. In doing so, they hope to annihilate the world’s financial system.

Sorcery of a Queen by Brian Naslund

Driven from her kingdom, the would-be queen now seeks haven in the land of her mother, but Ashlyn will not stop until justice has been done. Determined to unlock the secret of powers long thought impossible, Ashlyn bends her will and intelligence to mastering the one thing people always accused her of, sorcery. Meanwhile, having learned the truth of his mutation, Bershad is a man on borrowed time. Never knowing when his healing powers will drive him to a self-destruction, he is determined to see Ashlyn restored to her throne and the creatures they both love safe.

A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson

A shadow has moved across Lamoria. Whispers of the coming conflict are growing louder; the enemy becoming bolder. Belkar’s reach has extended far into the heart of Ralmarstad and war now seems inevitable. Mariyah, clinging to the hope of one day being reunited with Lem, struggles to attain the power she will need to make the world safe again.Lem continues his descent into darkness, serving a man he does not trust in the name of a faith which is not his own. Only Shemi keeps his heart from succumbing to despair, along with the knowledge that he has finally found Mariyah. But Lem is convinced she is being held against her will, and is determined to free her, regardless the cost.

August 11

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

Baru’s enemies close in from all sides. Baru’s own mind teeters on the edge of madness or shattering revelation. Now she must choose between genocidal revenge and a far more difficult path—a conspiracy of judges, kings, spies and immortals, puppeteering the world’s riches and two great wars in a gambit for the ultimate prize. If Baru had absolute power over the Imperial Republic, she could force Falcrest to abandon its colonies and make right its crimes.

The Last Uncharted Sky by Curtis Craddock

Isabelle and Jean-Claude undertake an airship expedition to recover a fabled treasure and claim a hitherto undiscovered craton for l’Empire Celeste. But Isabelle, as a result from a previous attack that tried to subsume her body and soul, suffers from increasingly disturbing and disruptive hallucinations. Disasters are compounded when the ship is sabotaged by an enemy agent, and Jean-Claude is separated from the expedition.

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

Everyone thinks they know the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. The fact is they don’t know sh*t.

Arthur? An over-promoted gangster. Merlin? An eldritch parasite. Excalibur? A shady deal with a watery arms dealer. Britain? A clogged sewer that Rome abandoned just as soon as it could.

The Shadow Commission by David Mack

November 1963. Cade and Anja have lived in hiding for a decade, training new mages. Then the assassination of President Kennedy trigger a series of murders whose victims are all magicians—with Cade, Anja, and their allies as its prime targets. Their only hope of survival: learning how to fight back against the sinister cabal known as the Shadow Commission.

The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe

A young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm consisting of seven levels of reality. Transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Sir Able of the High Heart and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, the blade that will help him fulfill his ambition to become a true hero—a true knight. Inside, however, Sir Able remains a boy, and he must grow in every sense to survive what lies ahead…

August 25

The Memory of Souls by Jenn Lyons

Now that Relos Var’s plans have been revealed and demons are free to rampage across the empire, the fulfillment of the ancient prophecies—and the end of the world—is closer than ever. To buy time for humanity, Kihrin needs to convince the king of the Manol vané to perform an ancient ritual which will strip the entire race of their immortality, but it’s a ritual which certain vané will do anything to prevent. Including assassinating the messengers.

Architects of Memory by Karen Osborne

Terminally ill salvage pilot Ash Jackson lost everything in the war with the alien Vai, but she’ll be damned if she loses her future. Her plan: to buy, beg, or lie her way out of corporate indenture and find a cure. When her crew salvages a genocidal weapon from a ravaged starship above a dead colony, Ash uncovers a conspiracy of corporate intrigue and betrayal that threatens to turn her into a living weapon.

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Every Tor Book Coming This Spring

We’re poking out our heads from our winter hibernation to yell about TOR SPRING BOOKS! We are more than ready for the weather to get warm so we can drag this big ol’ stack of books outside. Here’s EVERYTHING coming from Tor this spring:

March 24

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The Poet King by Ilana C. Meyer

After a surprising upheaval, the nation of Tamryllin has a new ruler: Elissan Diar, who proclaims himself the first Poet King. Meanwhile, a civil war rages in a distant land, and former Court Poet Lin Amaristoth gathers allies old and new to return to Tamryllin in time to stop the coronation. For the Poet King’s ascension is connected with a darker, more sinister prophecy which threatens to unleash a battle out of legend unless Lin and her friends can stop it.

 

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A Broken Queen by Sarah Kozloff

Barely surviving her ordeal in Oromondo and scarred by its Fire Spirit, Cerulia is taken to a recovery house in Wyeland to heal from the trauma. In a ward with others who are all bound to serve each other, she discovers that not all scars are visible, and dying can be done with grace and acceptance. While she would like to stay in this place of healing, will she ever be able to the peace she has found to re-take the throne?

 

April 7

The Glass MagicianPlaceholder of  -73 by Caroline Stevermer

Thalia Cutler doesn’t have prolific family connections. What she does know is stage magic and she dazzles audiences with an act that takes your breath away. That is, until one night when a trick goes horribly awry. In surviving she discovers that she can shapeshift, and has the potential to take her place among the rich and powerful. But first, she’ll have to learn to control that power…before the real monsters descend to feast.

 

April 14

Image Placeholder of - 15Queen by Timothy Zahn

Nicole Hammond is a Sibyl, a special human that has the ability to communicate with a strange alien ship called the Fyrantha. However, Nicole and all other sentient creatures are caught up in a war for control between two competing factions. Now, the street-kid turned rebel leader has a plan that would restore freedom to all who have been shanghaied by the strange ship.

 

Place holder  of - 40The Last Emperox by John Scalzi

Emperox Grayland II has finally wrested control of her empire from those who oppose her and who deny the reality of the empirical collapse. But “control” is a slippery thing, and even as Grayland strives to save as many of her people form impoverished isolation, the forces opposing her rule will make a final, desperate push to topple her from her throne and power, by any means necessary. Grayland and her thinning list of allies must use every tool at their disposal to save themselves, and all of humanity. And yet it may not be enough. Will Grayland become the savior of her civilization . . . or the last emperox to wear the crown?

 

April 21

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body—just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript. Then again, there are enough bodies in her past.

Cassandra Tipp will tell you a story—but it will come with a terrible price. What really happened, out there in the woods—and who has Cassie been protecting all along? Read on, if you dare…

 

The Cerulean Queen by Sarah Kozloff

The true queen of Weirandale has returned. Cerulia has done the impossible and regained the throne. However, she’s inherited a council of traitors, a realm in chaos, and a war with Oromondo. Now a master of her Gift, to return order to her kingdom she will use all she has learned—humility, leadership, compassion, selflessness, and the necessity of ruthlessness.

 

April 28

Critical Point by S. L. Huang

Math-genius mercenary Cas Russell has stopped a shadow organization from brainwashing the world and discovered her past was deliberately erased and her superhuman abilities deliberately created. And that’s just the start: when a demolitions expert targets Cas and her friends, and the hidden conspiracy behind Cas’s past starts to reappear, the past, present, and future collide in a race to save one of her dearest friends.

 

May 12

Deal with the Devil by Claire Eddy

Nina is an information broker with a mission—she and her team of mercenary librarians use their knowledge to save the hopeless in a crumbling America. Knox is the bitter, battle-weary captain of the Silver Devils. His squad of supersoldiers went AWOL to avoid slaughtering innocents, and now he’s fighting to survive.

They’re on a deadly collision course, and the passion that flares between them only makes it more dangerous. They could burn down the world, destroying each other in the process…Or they could do the impossible: team up.

 

May 19

I Come With Knives by S. A. Hunt

A dangerous serial killer only known as The Serpent is abducting and killing Blackfield residents. An elusive order of magicians known as the Dogs of Odysseus also show up with Robin in their sights. Robin must handle these new threats on top of the menace from the Lazenbury coven, but a secret about Robin’s past may throw all of her plans into jeopardy.

 

Uranus by Ben Bova

On a privately financed orbital habitat above the planet Uranus, political idealism conflicts with pragmatic, and illegal, methods of financing. Add a scientist who has funding to launch a probe deep into Uranus‘s ocean depths to search for signs of life, and you have a three-way struggle for control.

 

May 26

Automatic Reload by Ferrett Steinmetz

In the near-future, automation is king, and Mat is the top mercenary working the black market. He’s your solider’s solider, with military-grade weapons instead of arms…and a haunted past that keeps him awake at night. On a mission that promises the biggest score of his life, he discovers that the top secret shipment he’s been sent to guard is not a package, but a person: Silvia, genetically-altered to be the deadliest woman on the planet—her only weakness is her panic disorder.

 

June 2

Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything—not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams. Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side—and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late—is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

 

June 9

The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

A pair of medical examiners find themselves battling a dead man who won’t stay dead. In a Midwestern trailer park, a Black teenage girl and a Muslim immigrant battle newly-risen friends and family. On a US aircraft carrier, living sailors hide from dead ones while a fanatic makes a new religion out of death. At a cable news station, a surviving anchor keeps broadcasting while his undead colleagues try to devour him. In DC, an autistic federal employee charts the outbreak, preserving data for a future that may never come. Everywhere, people are targeted by both the living and the dead.

 

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The hunt is over. After fifteen years of lies and sacrifice, Baru Cormorant has the power to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest that she pretends to serve. The secret society called the Cancrioth is real, and Baru is among them. But the Cancrioth’s weapon cannot distinguish the guilty from the innocent. If it escapes quarantine, the ancient hemorrhagic plague called the Kettling will kill hundreds of millions…not just in Falcrest, but all across the world. History will end in a black bloodstain.

 

The Shadow Commission by David Mack

November 1963. Cade and Anja have lived in hiding for a decade, training new mages. Then the assassination of President Kennedy trigger a series of murders whose victims are all magicians—with Cade, Anja, and their allies as its prime targets. Their only hope of survival: learning how to fight back against the sinister cabal known as the Shadow Commission.

 

June 16

By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

Everyone thinks they know the story of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. The fact is they don’t know sh*t.

Arthur? An over-promoted gangster.
Merlin? An eldritch parasite.
Excalibur? A shady deal with a watery arms dealer.
Britain? A clogged sewer that Rome abandoned just as soon as it could.

 

Glorious by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven

Audacious astronauts encounter bizarre, sometimes deadly life forms, and strange, exotic, cosmic phenomena, including miniature black holes, dense fields of interstellar plasma, powerful gravity-emitters, and spectacularly massive space-based, alien-built labyrinths. Tasked with exploring this brave, new, highly dangerous world, they must also deal with their own personal triumphs and conflicts.

 

The Unconquered City by K. A. Doore

Seven years have passed since the Siege—a time when the hungry dead had risen—but the memories still haunt Illi Basbowen. Illi’s worst fears are confirmed when General Barca arrives, bearing news that her fledgling nation, Hathage, also faces this mounting danger. In her search for the source of the guul, the general exposes a catastrophic secret hidden on the outskirts of Ghadid. Illi must travel to Hathage and confront her inner demons in order to defeat a greater one—but how much can she sacrifice to protect everything she knows from devastation?

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New Releases: 1/15

Happy New Release Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

The Filmflam Affair by Bill Pronzini

Poster Placeholder of - 4Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. While the future is unclear, Sabina and John know one thing for certain; they will protect their clients from flimflammers, thieves, and murderers, and do whatever it takes to run these dregs of society into the arms of the law.

Sometimes, that requires a subtle touch. Professor A. Vargas, self-styled medium extraordinaire, and his partner Annabelle, use guile and trickery to swindle bereaved men and women eager to contact the spirits of deceased loved ones. John and Sabina must not only unmask these charlatans, but also solve the riddle of an impossible murder in the midst of a séance.

Other cases involve brute force and personal danger. Such as the theft of a burglarproof safe mysteriously emptied of gold bullion. And John’s pursuit of a ruthless gang of counterfeiters, whose leader appears to be a man from John’s past in the Secret Service—a man thought long dead.

Adding spice to these exploits is Sabina and John’s personal relationship, which is rapidly progressing to an exciting new level.

NEW IN PAPERBACK

The Iron Codex by David Mack

Image Placeholder of - 371954: Cade Martin, hero of the Midnight Front during the war, has been going rogue without warning or explanation, and his mysterious absences are making his MI-6 handlers suspicious. In the United States, Briet Segfrunsdóttir serves as the master karcist of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program. And in South America, Anja Kernova hunts fugitive Nazi sorcerers with the help of a powerful magickal tome known as the Iron Codex.

In an ever-more dangerous world, a chance encounter sparks an international race to find Anja and steal the Iron Codex. The Vatican, Russians, Jewish Kabbalists, and shadowy players working all angles covet the Codex for the power it promises whoever wields it.

As the dominos start to fall, and one betrayal follows another, Anja goes on the run, hunted by friend and foe alike. The showdown brings our heroes to Bikini Atoll in March 1954: the Castle Bravo nuclear test.

But unknown to all of them, a secret magick cabal schemes to turn America and its western allies toward fascism—even if it takes decades…

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly

Image Place holder  of - 72It’s 1903. Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to the Old World her family had fled.

Nora takes on Paris, mixing with couturiers, artists, and “les femmes Americaines” of the Left Bank such as Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach. But when she stumbles into the centuries-old Collège des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland’s revolutionary women challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

Variable Star by Robert A. Heinlein & Spider Robinson

Placeholder of  -64When Joel Johnston first met Jinny Hamilton, it seemed like a dream come true. And when she finally agreed to marry him, he felt like the luckiest man in the universe.

There was just one small problem. He was broke. His only goal in life was to become a composer, and he knew it would take years before he was earning enough to support a family.

But Jinny wasn’t willing to wait. And when Joel asked her what they were going to do for money, she gave him a most unexpected answer. She told him that her name wasn’t really Jinny Hamilton—it was Jinny Conrad, and she was the granddaughter of Richard Conrad, the wealthiest man in the solar system.

And now that she was sure that Joel loved her for herself, not for her wealth, she revealed her family’s plans for him—he would be groomed for a place in the vast Conrad empire and sire a dynasty to carry on the family business.

Most men would have jumped at the opportunity. But Joel Johnston wasn’t most men. To Jinny’s surprise, and even his own, he turned down her generous offer and then set off on the mother of all benders. And woke up on a colony ship heading out into space, torn between regret over his rash decision and his determination to forget Jinny and make a life for himself among the stars.

He was on his way to succeeding when his plans–and the plans of billions of others–were shattered by a cosmic cataclysm so devastating it would take all of humanity’s strength and ingenuity just to survive.

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Excerpt: The Iron Codex by David Mack

amazons bns booksamillionsibooks2 54indiebounds

Poster Placeholder of - 961954: Cade Martin, hero of the Midnight Front during the war, has been going rogue without warning or explanation, and his mysterious absences are making his MI-6 handlers suspicious. In the United States, Briet Segfrunsdóttir serves as the master karcist of the Pentagon’s top-secret magickal warfare program. And in South America, Anja Kernova hunts fugitive Nazi sorcerers with the help of a powerful magickal tome known as the Iron Codex.

In an ever-more dangerous world, a chance encounter sparks an international race to find Anja and steal the Iron Codex. The Vatican, Russians, Jewish Kabbalists, and shadowy players working all angles covet the Codex for the power it promises whoever wields it.

As the dominos start to fall, and one betrayal follows another, Anja goes on the run, hunted by friend and foe alike. The showdown brings our heroes to Bikini Atoll in March 1954: the Castle Bravo nuclear test.

But unknown to all of them, a secret magick cabal schemes to turn America and its western allies toward fascism—even if it takes decades…

The Iron Codex by David Mack will be available on January 15th. Please enjoy this excerpt.

1

January 8

Anja’s knee kissed gravel as she leaned her motorcycle into the turn at speed. The demons in her head sniggered at the prospect of her sudden demise, as rocks kicked up by the front tire pelted her riding leathers and bounced off her goggles. The edge of her rear tire scraped the dirt road’s precipice. Pebbles rolled down the cliff into the fog-shrouded jungle far below. Around the bend, she straightened her stance and twisted open the throttle.

Ahead, beyond drifting veils of mist, her prey accelerated and widened his lead. Anja’s 1953 Vincent Black Shadow had been touted by its maker as the fastest motorcycle in the world, but that didn’t matter much on Bolivia’s infamous Death Road. The one-lane dirt trail snaked along a mountainside covered in tropical forest. Waterfalls often manifested without warning and filled the road with lakes of mud, and the jungle below was said to have been blanketed with fog since before mankind first arrived in South America.

Condensation clouded the bike’s gauges. Anja had to trust her feel for the Black Shadow as she pushed it hard through an S-turn, and she prayed for a straightaway on the other side so that she could close the gap between her and her escaping Nazi target.

Bullets zinged past her right shoulder. Bark exploded from slender tree trunks. Stones leapt from the muddy earth and tumbled into the road behind Anja.

She glanced at her right mirror. A line of four motorcycles—souped-up BMW touring bikes, the same kind as the one she was chasing—were pursuing her.

They knew I would hunt him, Anja realized. This is a trap.

The quartet was closing in. They were only seconds behind her now.

Anja berated herself for getting careless. She shifted her weight with the direction of the next curve and got so low that she felt the road grind against the side of her leg. More bullets ripped past above her and vanished into the mist. Swinging into the back of the S-turn, she plucked her last grenade from her bandolier. She squeezed its shoe in her left hand. “Danochar,” she said to her invisible demonic porter, “take the grenade’s safety pin—and only the pin.” In a blink, the safety pin vanished.

She let the grenade fall from her hand onto the foggy road.

After she rounded the next turn she heard the explosion—coupled with the screams of riders caught in the blast or thrown with their broken bikes into the haze-masked treetops far below. Men and machines crashed through branches with cracks like gunshots. Then there was only silence on the road behind her.

Ahead of her, the man she had come to kill fought to extend his lead.

The roar of the wind and the growl of the Black Shadow bled together as Anja pushed the British-made motorcycle to its limits. The bike cleaved its way across a deep puddle. Anja used what mass she had to pull her bike around a close pair of perilous turns, and then she bladed through a wall of fog to see a straight patch of road with her prey in the middle of it.

She gunned the throttle and ducked low to reduce her wind resistance. Her long sable hair whipped in the wind like serpents.

Just have to get close enough before he makes the next turn . . .

At last the Black Shadow lived up to its reputation. It felt like a rocket as it brought Anja to within five meters of the fleeing Nazi. She followed him through the next turn—then dodged toward the cliff wall on her right as he flung a hunting knife blindly over his shoulder. The blade soared past her head and then it was gone, out of mind.

Enough. I came for the kill, not the hunt.

Calling once more upon her yoked demonic arsenal, Anja conjured the spectral whip of Valefor. A flick of her wrist sent the massive bullwhip streaking ahead of her. Its barbed tip wrapped around the neck of her target, and Anja squeezed the Black Shadow’s brake lever.

Her bike skidded to a halt on the dirt road, and her whip went taut. It jerked the Nazi off his ride, which launched itself off the cliff into the gray murk between the trees. As the Nazi landed on his back, his bike vanished. From the impenetrable mists came the snaps of it crashing through heavy branches, a sound that made Anja think of a hammer breaking bones.

She shifted the Black Shadow’s engine into neutral, slowed its throttle to a rumbling purr, and then lowered its custom side stand. Her magickal whip remained coiled around her target’s neck as she prowled forward to lord her victory over him.

A jerk of the whip focused his attention on her. “You are Herr König, yes?” He spat at her. “You’re the Jungle Witch.”

It amused her that the Nazis whom she had spent the better part of a decade hunting throughout South America had somehow mistaken her for a local. The error was forgivable, she supposed; her prolonged exposure to the sun and weather had tanned her once-pale skin, effectively masking her Russian heritage. She drew her hunting knife from its belt sheath and leaned down. “Move and I’ll cut your throat.”

He remained still, no doubt in part because the demon’s whip was still coiled around his throat. The strap of the man’s leather satchel crossed his torso on a diagonal. She sliced through it near its top, above his shoulder and close enough to his throat to keep him cowed.

“Don’t move,” Anja said. With a spiral motion of her hand, she commanded Valefor’s whip to bind the German fugitive war criminal at his wrists and ankles. Certain he was restrained, she picked up his satchel and pawed through its contents. Most of it was exactly what she had expected to find: extra magazines for the man’s Luger, which was still in its holster on his right hip; a few wads of cash in different currencies, all of which she pocketed. She shook the bag upside down. From it fell an ivory pipe, a bag of tobacco, a pencil, an assortment of nearly worthless coins, and a battered old compass. The bag appeared to be emptied, but it still felt heavy to Anja. She muttered, “What are you hiding in here?”

With her hands she searched the interior of the satchel. She found hidden pouches concealed under large flaps. Her prisoner squirmed on the ground as she untied the laces of the flaps. One pouch contained what looked like assorted resources of the Art. From the satchel’s other clandestine pouch she pulled a leather-bound journal. “Well,” she said, flipping open the book to peruse its handwritten contents, “this is interesting.” The few full words and sentences it contained were scribbled in German, but her yoked spirit Liobor made it possible for Anja to read any human language with ease. Unfortunately, the spirit was of no help when it came to parsing the acronyms and abbreviations that littered most of the pages.

She showed the open journal to her prisoner. “Explain your acronyms.”

“Burn in Hell, witch.”

“In time, yes.” She flipped another page and admired its high-quality linen paper. “I know your Thule Society dabblers have reformed under the name Black Sun, as a nod to Herr Himmler. But what is Odessa? Is that your network here in South America? The one that brought you all to Argentina when the war ended?”

He maintained his silence as a faint growl of motorcycle engines echoed in the distance.

It was evident to Anja that Herr König was not going to provide any useful intelligence. At least, not in the limited time she had remaining before more of his cohorts arrived. Normally she would not have feared a confrontation with his ilk, but she had been holding yoked demons for too long. Her headaches had worsened and become nearly constant in the past week, and she feared increasing her morphine dosage past what she knew to be a safe measure. Soon she would need to release most of her yoked demons, spend a week recovering her strength, and then yoke them or other spirits all over again. It was time for her to fall back and plan her next move.

But first she needed to address the problem of Herr König.

A flourish of her left hand released him from the demonic whip. Free but still on his knees, König smirked at Anja. “We’ll find you, Jungle Witch.”

“Your minions will try. But before I send you to Hell, I want you to know my name.” She made a fist with her right hand, and the unholy talent of Xenoch racked the Nazi with torments worse than the human imagination could conceive. She raised his body off the ground with the telekinesis of Bael and savored his contorted expression of agony. “My name is Anja Kernova.” She flung him high into the air as if he weighed nothing, and as he plummeted toward the jungle she blasted him in midfall with a fireball courtesy of Haborym. His burning corpse vanished through the fog and jungle canopy and was swallowed by shadows.

Eerie silence settled over the valley. Anja took a moment to enjoy the solitude. Rugged mountains towered around her, but the jungle’s misty atmosphere had imbued them all with the quality of fading memories.

Then she heard far-off motorcycles drawing closer.

She tucked the Odessa journal inside her jacket and got on her bike. The Black Shadow rumbled as she shifted it into gear, and she sped south, Hell’s dark rider alone on Death’s Road.

_______

Like most gentlemen’s clubs in metropolitan London, The Eddington was defined by its subdued ambience. Its interior looked as if it had been hewn from the finest mahogany and black marble, and the only things in the main hall older than the leather on its chairs were its founding members’ portraits, which lined the walls and looked down with perpetual disdain on those who had been cursed with the misfortune of being born after the Industrial Revolution.

Tucked in a semiprivate anteroom, Dragan Dalca stood to greet his three smartly attired guests as they were ushered into his company by The Eddington’s chief steward, Mr. Harris.

“Gentlemen.” Harris gestured toward Dragan. “Your host, Mr. Dalca.”

“Thank you, Harris.” Dragan gestured toward the open seats around his table. “Please, have a seat.” Noting an unspoken prompt by Harris, Dragan said to the three briefcase-toting businessmen, “You must be parched. What can we bring you?”

“Gordon’s martini,” said the Frenchman. “Dry as the Gobi.” Harris nodded. The American asked, “Do you have bourbon?”

Harris tried not to look put out. “I’m afraid not, sir. Can I offer you scotch whisky?”

“A double of The Macallan Twenty-five,” the American said.

Harris approved the order with a nod, then looked at the Russian. “Sir?”

“The same.”

Dragan caught Harris’s eye. “Double vodka, rocks.”

In unison, the businessmen tucked their briefcases under the table. Harris stepped back, pulled closed the anteroom’s thick maroon curtain to give the men some privacy, and departed to fill the drink order, leaving Dragan alone at last with his guests. The trio greeted Dragan with faltering smiles. The Frenchman was the first to speak. “Your message implied this meeting would be private.”

“I disagree,” Dragan said. “And I am not responsible for your inferences.”

The ever-present voice nagged Dragan from behind his thoughts: «Get on with it.»

Dragan settled into his high-backed chair and folded his hands together. “The three of you are here because I’ve promised to raise your stock prices and market shares.”

“We know what you promised,” the American said, his impatience festering. “Now we want details.” The Frenchman and the Russian nodded at their peer’s declaration.

«Skip the small talk,» needled the voice in Dragan’s psyche.

Stay quiet and let me do this. Dragan sat forward and plastered an insincere smile onto his face. “You three represent aircraft manufacturing companies that recently have fallen behind in the race to secure clients on the international market. And I’m sure you all know why.”

“Those pricks at de Havilland,” groused the American.

The Frenchman nodded. “Indeed. The Comet 1, to be precise.”

“It is the only thing my clients talk about,” the Russian said. “They overlook its weaknesses and see nothing but its jet engines. ‘This is the future,’ they tell me.”

“And it is,” Dragan said. “Unchecked, de Havilland will dominate the market for at least another decade, if not longer. Assuming, of course, that nothing . . . unfortunate happens.”

This time his unsubtle implication drew raised eyebrows from his guests. The Russian leaned forward. “What sort of misfortune could derail such potential?”

Dragan reached inside his jacket and pulled out a slender gold cigarette case. He opened it, plucked out a Gauloises, and lit it with a match stroked against the table’s edge. Waving out the match’s flame, he took a deep pull of the rich Turkish tobacco, and then he exhaled through his nostrils. “If you gentlemen are interested in reversing de Havilland’s fortunes and improving your own, it might interest you to know that the Comet 1, despite its early success, is plagued by two fatal flaws, both of which de Havilland has worked hard to conceal.”

This revelation stoked the American’s interest. “What sort of flaws?”

“Let it suffice to say that one is a matter of engineering, the other of materials. Together, they could be exploited to undermine de Havilland’s position in the marketplace.”

Skepticism infused the Frenchman’s mood. “And you know this . . . how?”

“A pair of incidents,” Dragan said. “Last March, a Comet 1A crashed during takeoff from Karachi Airport. The flacks at de Havilland blamed it on pilot error—”

The Russian cut in, “The Canadian Pacific Air accident?”

“Yes,” Dragan said. “Just under two months later, another Comet 1 crashed, just minutes after takeoff from Calcutta. All six crew and thirty-seven passengers were killed.”

“I read that report,” the American said. “It blamed the crash on a thunder-squall.”

Dragan shrugged. “I don’t deny the storm was a factor. But it was not the cause. Sooner or later, a Comet 1 will experience an in-flight disaster that it can’t blame on pilots or weather.” He goaded them with a sly smirk. “Sooner, I hope, for your employers’ sakes.”

The Frenchman sharpened his focus, clearly intrigued. “So what has this to do—”

The curtain opened, revealing Harris. Balanced on one hand was a tray bearing the men’s drinks. As he passed out the libations, he said discreetly to Dragan, “Phone call for you, sir.”

“Thank you, Harris.” Dragan stood and offered his guests an apologetic smile. “Forgive me, gentlemen. I shall return promptly.” The others excused him with polite nods.

Dragan crossed the main hall at a quick but dignified pace. Just before he reached the concierge’s desk, he caught his reflection in the glass door of a trophy case and paused to push his black hair back into place and to smooth a few rogue whiskers back into his thin mustache. Then he accepted the phone’s receiver handset from the concierge, and he stretched its cord around a corner into the coatroom so that he could take his call with a modicum of privacy.

Knowing that only one person on earth knew to reach him at The Eddington, he snarled, “What is it, Müller?”

“I apologize for the interruption,” replied Heinrich Müller, sounding nothing at all like the man who just a decade earlier had been the commandant of Hitler’s feared Gestapo, “but there’s news out of Bolivia.”

Hope swelled inside Dragan, the product of unjustified optimism. “She took the bait?”

“Yes. Well, no. Not exactly.” Müller’s tone was heavy with shame. “You were right, she was watching the roads to La Paz. But she didn’t fall for the decoy.”

“If she didn’t go after the decoy, how do you know she—” Realization struck Dragan like a hot shower turning ice-cold without warning. “What happened? What went wrong?”

Müller breathed a leaden sigh. “König and his guards. She took them all on the Death Road.” After a pause gravid with shame, he added, “And she captured his journal.”

Profanities logjammed in Dragan’s mouth, the flood of invective too great for him to give it voice. He knew not to make a spectacle of himself inside The Eddington. Instead he clenched a fist and counted to five while drawing deep breaths.

His irritating inner voice was not so considerate.

«This is a disaster. Contain this, now!»

Silence! I will handle it.

“Müller,” he said at last, “round up everyone we can spare, and bring them to La Paz. Find the woman as soon as possible. Take her alive if you can, but your chief priority—”

“Is to recover the book,” Müller said. “I remember, sir.”

“See that you do. If you or your men kill Anja Kernova before we find that book, I’ll bury your body so deep the Devil himself couldn’t find it.”

Müller was still mouthing hollow assurances as Dragan handed the receiver back to the concierge, who set it back onto the phone’s cradle behind his podium.

Twenty-one steps back to the anteroom, Dragan told himself. Breathe and put your smile back on before you step through that curtain.

Low chatter filled the space between his guests as he sidled back into his chair. “Thank you for your patience, gentlemen. I asked you each to bring the first half of my fee, as a retainer. And I brought you here together because I want to make sure that all of you who stand to benefit pay your fair share— I won’t tolerate freeloaders. You all pay, or the deal is off.”

“And what are we paying for?” asked the Russian.

“To inflict a very public setback on your most dominant competitor. One that will ruin it, and for which it will take all the blame.”

The American turned cagy. “And when might such an event take place?” “Midafternoon, the day after tomorrow. In Rome.”
Wary looks of conspiratorial intent were exchanged among the guests at

Dragan’s table. The Russian nodded. “That would be a most valuable twist of fate.”

“And now you know why my fee is so high,” Dragan said. “My terms are simple. Half your payment up front, in cash. The remaining half will be due upon delivery of my promise. If I fail to deliver, your deposits will be returned in full, without question.” He steepled his fingers and leaned forward. “But in case any of you might be thinking you can renege on the second half of your payment, know this: I have never been bilked, nor will I be. Do you all understand me?”

Fearful nods confirmed that his guests knew that his threats were not idle ones.

“Splendid. Thank you for coming. I’ll look forward to seeing you all again on the eleventh.”

The businessmen downed their drinks with steep tilts of their glasses, and then they rose from the table to beat a quiet retreat through the main hall and then out the front door.

Dragan stole a look through the table and inside the briefcases, using Raum’s gift of the Sight. He was gratified to see that each briefcase was packed full of cash—American dollars, French francs, and Russian rubles, respectively.

He sipped his vodka, and then he beckoned the steward.

The dignified, middle-aged Englishman arrived at his table. “Sir?”

“The cases under my table,” Dragan said. “Please see them to Mr. Holcombe, and tell him I want the entire sum invested in short sales of de Havilland stock.”

“I shall see to it at once, Mr. Dalca.”

“Thank you, Harris.”

Dragan enjoyed the enveloping silence of the club while Harris and a member of his staff toted the briefcases full of cash to the waiting hands of Dragan’s broker.

Twenty-four hours from now, I’m going to be a very wealthy man, he mused. All I need to do now is get the book from that Russian bitch . . . and then justice will be done.

Copyright © 2019

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$2.99 Ebook Sale: The Midnight Front by David Mack

Poster Placeholder of - 21The ebook edition of The Midnight Front by David Mack is on sale now for only $2.99! This offer will only last for a limited time, so order your copy today, before the sequel, The Iron Codex, is released on January 15!

About The Midnight FrontOn the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front—the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program—and become a sorcerer himself.

Unsure who will kill him first—his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick—Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul—and there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.

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This sale ends January 1st.

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Epic Fantasy Reads for Winter

It’s February, and that means it’s still winter. Sigh. Whether there’s snow on the ground or not, this is usually when the unrelenting cold really starts to get to us. What’s our solution to winter blues? Settle in with a good fantasy read, a cup of hot cocoa, and Fireplace for Your Home on Netflix, since most of us don’t have fireplaces. Add in a warm blanket and it’s practically heaven! What are you reading to this winter?

An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors by Curtis Craddock

Image Placeholder of - 23 Palace intrigue, a fierce and intelligent princess, a loyal and crafty musketeer, airships…Curtis Craddock’s debut epic fantasy is a perfect book to hide under a blanket with this winter! Part traditional fantasy, part swashbuckling adventure, Brandon Sanderson called it “a great read”, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors is bound to spice things up as the snow falls.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

Placeholder of  -30 If you want to spent your short winter days and long winter nights with a pair of badass women, try The Tiger’s Daughter. Follow the adventures of the infamous Qorin warrior Barsalayaa Shefali and her best friend, the divine warrior empress O Shizuka as they try to save their respective lands from a truly insidious evil.

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind

Image Place holder  of - 55Book One of Terry Goodkind’s Nicci Chronicles, an epic new series focused on a fan-favorite character from the Sword of Truth series, is full of sorcery, treachery and blood and is sure to go with your hot beverage of choice. Even better, once you’ve finished Death’s Mistress you can pick up the sequel, Shroud of Eternitywithout having to wait.

The Midnight Front by David Mack

Poster Placeholder of - 23 Sometimes the only way to get through winter is to embrace the dark and cold. There’s no better way to do that than with the first book in David Mack’s Dark Arts series. Set during World War II, The Midnight Front introduces a new front to the conflict: a magickal one. Even heroes will make a pact with the devil if it can help defeat the Nazis and their sorcerers.

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

Place holder  of - 84 Maybe you’re looking for fantasy with a more classical feeling this winter. If so, we recommend Miranda and Caliban, Jacqueline Carey’s lyrical retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. While Shakespeare focused his tale around Prospero, the arrogant, iconic magus, Carey chooses to tell the tale from a different perspective: that of Miranda and Caliban, as they grow up together and forge a bond that endures despite knowing the relationship is both doomed and forbidden.

Child of a Mad God by R.A. Salvatore

If you prefer character-driven stories when you’re reading in front of (we hope) a cozy fire this winter, then how about R. A. Salvatore’s Child of a Mad God? Meet Aoleyn, a young woman who’s lost her family and must fend for herself among a tribe that does everything it can to beat her down. Instead of bowing to tradition, Aoleyn fights back with everything she has–including magic that both protects her and makes her a target for those around her.

The Mongrel Mage by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Are you a fan of binge watching? How about binge reading? If so, maybe try L. E. Modesitt, Jr. His latest book in the Saga of Recluce starts a brand new story arc, introducing Beltur, a man fleeing from a powerful white mage as he attempts to uncover his own power. The best part is the huge backlist of titles set on the world of Recluce, featuring 19 titles so far and multiple spin-off series. Modesitt’s immense world will keep you entertained not just for the rest of winter, but possibly the rest of the year!

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New Releases: 1/30/18

Happy New Release Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

The Midnight Front by David Mack

Image Place holder  of - 8On the eve of World War Two, Nazi sorcerers come gunning for Cade but kill his family instead. His one path of vengeance is to become an apprentice of The Midnight Front—the Allies’ top-secret magickal warfare program—and become a sorcerer himself.

Unsure who will kill him first—his allies, his enemies, or the demons he has to use to wield magick—Cade fights his way through occupied Europe and enemy lines. But he learns too late the true price of revenge will be more terrible than just the loss of his soul—and there’s no task harder than doing good with a power born of ultimate evil.

NEW IN PAPERBACK

Armed and Dangerous by Gina Gallo

Crushed by Kate Watterson

Dead Reckoning and The Last Chance by Mike Blakely

Gaudeamus by John Barnes

Iorich by Steven Brust

The Swarm by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

Without Mercy by Col. David Hunt and R. J. Pineiro

NEW IN MANGA

Devils and Realist Vol. 14 Story by Madoka Takadono; Art by Utako Yukihiro

Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends Vol. 15 Story by Yomi Hirasaka; Art by Itachi

Plum Crazy! Tales of a Tiger-Striped Cat Vol. 4 Story and art by Hoshino Natsumi

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