December Publications

Award-winning, prolific SF novelist Lois McMaster Bujold serves up three previously published Miles Vorkosigan stories in a gender/reproduction/bioethics "thematic unit," which also happens to progress in chronological order. In Miles, Mystery & Mayhem, the 20-something Barrayan lieutenant gets entangled in Cetagandan politics, investigates (by proxy) a strange obstetrician, smuggles a scientist out of the corrupt planet of Jackson Whole and kisses a woman with fangs. (Baen, $24 512p ISBN 0-0671-31858-6)

From veteran Mercedes Lackey and newcomer Rosemary Edghill comes Spirits White as Lightning, the fifth installment in the Bedlam's Bard series. Julliard student Eric Banyan has a few basic problems—he doesn't like his teacher, he missed his last midterm, he has to train a banjo-playing Bard—but he also needs to save the world from Aerune mac Audelaine, lord of the Unseleighe Sidhe, who has resurfaced with another nefarious plan to avenge his beloved's death. (Baen, $24 448p ISBN 0-671-31853-5)

Isle of the Dead/Eye of Cat, the posthumously released volume of two earlier novels by Roger Zelazny, the Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of the Chronicles of Amber series, pairs the witty 1969 Isle with the elegant 1982 Cat. The first is a tale of a supernatural battle of good vs. evil centuries into the future, while in the second, a former alien hunter, in exchange for the help of an alien he long ago captured, must agree to a new hunt—with the roles reversed. (ibooks [S&S, dist], $12 paper 448p ISBN 0-7434-3468-4)

With a drive-by shooting on the first page and a national electricity crisis on the seventh, Richard Harrison's apocalyptic DC Rider is a fast-paced tale of life in a radically different near future, in which familiar landscapes—Amish farm country, the nation's capital—take on new and frightening outlines. Hero Buck Buckley, who left D.C. just before the lights in the whole country went out, rides back into town on a horse, and—like a western movie hero—fights bad guys, fires pistols and rescues a lovely lady. (Pentland Press [], $21.95 208p ISBN 1-57197-294-3)