An uncorrected proof of Benjamin Parzybok’s Sept. 2014 novel Sherwood Nation

Item Name & Description: In drought-stricken Portland, Oregon, a Robin Hood-esque water thief is caught on camera redistributing an illegal truckload of water to those in need. Nicknamed Maid Marian—real name: Renee, a 20-something barista and eternal part-time college student—she is an instant folk hero. Renee rides her swelling popularity and the public’s disgust at how the city has abandoned its people, raises an army . . . and secedes a quarter of the city.

Even as Maid Marian and her compatriots build their community one neighbor at a time, they are making powerful enemies amongst the city government and the National Guard. Sherwood is an idealistic dream too soon caught in a brutal fight for survival.

Sherwood Nation is the story of the rise and fall of a micronation within a city. It is a love story, a war story, a grand social experiment, a treatise on hacking and remaking government, on freedom and necessity, on individualism and community.

And, it is not out until September!

Benjamin Parzybok is the author of the novel Couch and has been the creator/co-creator of many other projects, includingGumball Poetry, The Black Magic Insurance Agency (city-wide, one night alternate reality game), and Project Hamad. He lives in Portland with the artist Laura Moulton and their two kids.

[Admin edit: in comments, the author offers to send the winner “the winner a lovely postcard, probably with a drawing or two, that may be used as the book’s bookmark.”]

Starting Bid: $5

Notes: US/Canada only

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 7 Comments }

ARC of Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal (plus custom stationery)

Valour and Vanity cover
Valour and Vanity cover
Item Name & Description: advance reading copy of Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal, plus 15 pages of custom stationery, donated by Tor Books.

Description:

Valour in Vanity is a Regency version of a heist movie with a healthy dose of magic sprinkled in.

After Melody’s wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on the their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.
Fortunately, one of the gentlemen from the ship is a local banker and arranges for a line of credit and a place to live. Relieved, the Vincents begin the work for which they have come to Italy.

All is proceeding apace until a solicitor arrives at their house and charges them with illegal trespass. Jane and Vincent produce letters from their banking friend, but they are all forgeries, and worse, he has used their forged letters to clean out their funds in England. Now, Jane and Vincent owe money to a number of people in town and are forbidden from travel. They manage to find some small work, but it is obvious to both of them that this path will not maintain them for long.

Instead, Vincent hatches a reckless plan to get their money back. The ensuing adventure is a glorious envisioning of all the best parts of heist narratives, but in a Regency setting with magic.

This book will be published on April 29, 2014. The ARC is pictured below with the custom stationery (click to enlarge):

ARC and stationery
ARC and stationery

Starting Bid: $25.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

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ARC of The Time Traveler’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer

Item Name & Description: an advance reading copy of The Time Traveler’s Almanac, edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer, donated by Tor Books.

Time Travelers Almanac ARC
Time Travelers Almanac ARC
Time Travelers Almanac cover
Time Travelers Almanac cover

Description:

The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the largest and most definitive collection of time travel stories ever assembled. Gathered into one volume by intrepid chrononauts and world-renowned anthologists Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, this book compiles more than a century’s worth of literary travels into the past and the future that will serve to reacquaint readers with beloved classics of the time travel genre and introduce them to thrilling contemporary innovations.

This marvelous volume includes nearly seventy journeys through time from authors such as Douglas Adams, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Michael Moorcock, H. G. Wells, and Connie Willis, as well as helpful non-fiction articles original to this volume (such as Charles Yu’s “Top Ten Tips For Time Travelers”).

In fact, this book is like a time machine of its very own, covering millions of years of Earth’s history from the age of the dinosaurs through to strange and fascinating futures, spanning the ages from the beginning of time to its very end. The Time Traveler’s Almanac is the ultimate anthology for the time traveler in your life.

This book will be published on March 18, 2014.

Starting Bid: $20.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 5 Comments }

ARC of Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

Item Name & Description: an advance reading copy of Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson, donated by Tor Books.

Unwrapped Sky cover
Unwrapped Sky cover
Unwrapped Sky ARC
Unwrapped Sky ARC

Description:

A hundred years ago, the Minotaurs saved Caeli-Amur from conquest. Now, three very different people may hold the keys to the city’s survival.

Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream. Industrial workers for House Technis, farmers for House Arbor, and fisher folk of House Marin eke out a living and hope for a better future. But the philosopher-assassin Kata plots a betrayal that will cost the lives of godlike Minotaurs; the ambitious bureaucrat Boris Autec rises through the ranks as his private life turns to ashes; and the idealistic seditionist Maximilian hatches a mad plot to unlock the vaunted secrets of the Great Library of Caeli-Enas, drowned in the fabled city at the bottom of the sea, its strangeness visible from the skies above.

In a novel of startling originality and riveting suspense, these three people, reflecting all the hopes and dreams of the ancient city, risk everything for a future that they can create only by throwing off the shackles of tradition and superstition, as their destinies collide at ground zero of a conflagration that will transform the world . . . or destroy it.

This book will be published on April 15, 2014.

Starting Bid: $20.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 4 Comments }

ARC of California Bones by Greg van Eekhout

ARC imageItem Name & Description: an advance reading copy of California Bones by Greg van Eekhout, donated by Tor Books.

Description:

When Daniel Blackland was six, he ingested his first bone fragment, a bit of kraken spine plucked out of the sand during a visit with his demanding, brilliant, and powerful magician father, Sebastian.

When Daniel was twelve, he watched Sebastian die at the hands of the Hierarch of Southern California, devoured for the heightened magic layered deep within his bones.

Now, years later, Daniel is a petty thief with a forged identity. Hiding amid the crowds in Los Angeles—the capital of the Kingdom of Southern California—Daniel is trying to go straight. But his crime-boss uncle has a heist he wants Daniel to perform: break into the Hierarch’s storehouse of magical artifacts and retrieve Sebastian’s sword, an object of untold power.

For this dangerous mission, Daniel will need a team he can rely on, so he brings in his closest friends from his years in the criminal world. There’s Moth, who can take a bullet and heal in mere minutes. Jo Alverado, illusionist. The multitalented Cassandra, Daniel’s ex. And, new to them all, the enigmatic, knowledgeable Emma, with her British accent and her own grudge against the powers-that-be. The stakes are high, and the stage is set for a showdown that might just break the magic that protects a long-corrupt regime.

Extravagant and yet moving, California Bones is an epic adventure set in a city of canals and secrets and casual brutality–different from the world we know, yet familiar and true.

This novel will be published in June 2014. Learn more about the book or the author (who identifies as a person of color) at his site.

Starting Bid: $20.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

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ARC of Robert A. Heinlein – In Dialogue with his Century, Vol. 2, by William H. Patterson Jr.

book coverItem Name & Description: an advance reading copy of Robert A. Heinlein – In Dialogue with his Century: Vol. 2, 1948-1988: The Man Who Learned Better, by William H. Patterson Jr., donated by Tor Books.

Description:

Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) is generally considered the greatest American SF writer of the twentieth century. His most famous and widely influential works include the Future History series (stories and novels collected in The Past Through Tomorrow and continued in later novels), Starship TroopersStranger in a Strange Land, and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress—all published in the years covered by this volume. He was a friend of admirals, bestselling writers, and artists; became committed to defending the United States during the Cold War; and was on the advisory committee that helped Ronald Reagan create the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s.

Heinlein was also devoted to space flight and humanity’s future in space, and he was a commanding presence to all around him in his lifetime. Given his desire for privacy in the later decades of his life, the revelations in this biography make for riveting reading.

This book will be released in June 2014.

Starting Bid: $20.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 4 Comments }

ARC of My Real Children by Jo Walton

Item Name & Description: ARC of My Real Children by Jo Walton, donated by Tor Books.

My Real Children Cover
My Real Children Cover
My Real Children ARC
My Real Children ARC

Description:

It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev.

Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War—those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?

Two lives, two worlds, two versions of modern history; each with their loves and losses, their sorrows and triumphs. My Real Children is the tale of both of Patricia Cowan’s lives…and of how every life means the entire world.​

This book will be released on May 20, 2014.

Starting Bid: $20.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 9 Comments }

ARC of Dragon • Princess by S. A. Swann

book cover Item Name & Description: an advance reading copy of Dragon • Princess by S. A. Swann, donated by DAW Books.

Description:

Frank Blackthorne’s most recent heist did not end optimally. The sacrificial virgin survived, but the whole incident left Frank, a respectable career thief, on the run from a kingdom full of evil cultists eager to replace their sacrifice.

So, when the Court Wizard of Lendowyn, Elhared the Unwise, comes to him intending to hire someone to save Lendowyn’s princess from an evil dragon in return for riches, glory, and help with the bloodthirsty cultists problem, Frank is rightfully suspicious. Frank is also not in a position to refuse.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Frank’s rescue fails—in an explosion of spectacularly misapplied magic. When the dust settles, all parties involved find themselves body-swapped. Frank is left stranded in the Princess Lucille’s body, halfway across the kingdom. The understandably angry Princess Lucille finds herself inhabiting the body of the dragon. In order to set things right, they will have to team up and face down thugs, slavers, elvish bookies, knights in shining armor, an evil Queen, and the hordes of the Dark Lord Nâtalc.

This book will be released in mass market paperback on May 6, 2014.

Starting Bid: $5.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 7 Comments }

ARC of Touch by Michelle Sagara

book cover Item Name & Description: an advance reading copy of Touch by Michelle Sagara, donated by DAW Books.

This is the second book in the Queen of the Dead series; Kirkus noted that the first, Silence, had “[a]n interesting and original premise,” and RT Book Reviews said that there was “a haunting beauty to this story of love, loss and a teenager’s determination to do the right thing.” Find out more at the author’s site. This book was released in hardcover in January 2014.

Starting Bid: $5.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 2 Comments }

ARC of Masks by E. C. Blake

book cover Item Name & Description: an advance reading copy of Masks by E. C. Blake, donated by DAW Books.

Of this fantasy novel, Publishers Weekly said, “Sharp characterization, a fast-moving plot, and a steady unveiling of a bigger picture make this a welcome addition to the genre.” Find out more at the author’s site. This book was released in hardcover in November 2013.

Starting Bid: $5.

Bidding is now open; it closes Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. More Information.

{ 1 Comment }

This is an archive view of Con or Bust's 2013-2016 auctions and posts. For the 2017 auction, to request assistance, and other current information, please see Con or Bust's main site.