This is one of those books that sounds utterly ridiculous when you try to describe it: talking elephants in space! But the author creates such wonderful characters and builds such a unique, dynamic universe, that I totally fell under the spell of Barsk. This beautifully written adventure is full of heart and wonder as well as complex concepts of morality, science and spirituality. Talking elephants in space: yes!

Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen ($16.99, Tor ), recommended by Tony at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.