UK January Releases
by John Berlyne
The top UK publishing houses offer us a real mixed bag to start the year. After my rant last month regarding the proliferation of fantasy flooding the UK it is nice to see some other stuff being released. Don't get me wrong - I like fantasy - but you can have too much of a good thing!
celebrates the advent of the year 2001 brings a fitting and wonderful tribute to
Sir Arthur C. Clarke in the form of a new volume of his collected
stories. Published by Victor Gollancz in hard cover this hefty volume
contains every short story Clarke has ever published, from Travel By
Wire (1937) to Improving the Neighborhood (1999). It is a fabulous book
and priced at only £20.00 seems a snip at this price considering what
you're getting for your money. (Arthur
C. Clarke The Collected Stories)
The second hard cover from Gollancz this month is a non-fiction title by the man often regarded as Clarke's natural heir. Stephen Baxter's "Deep Future" is his first non-fiction book and the publicity material states it is "...an extraordinarily vivid and impassioned plea for the future, a future that transcends the end of time and matter ..." Priced at £18.00. Baxter's second "Mammoth" book, Longtusk gets it's mass market paperback outing this month as well. It is published by Orion/Millennium and is priced at £5.99.
Gollancz continues their excellent yellow jacket SF Collectors' Editions with the publication of William Tenn's 1968 classic Of Men & Monsters. This is Tenn's only full length novel and is well worth a look. It is priced at £9.99. (Note from SFRevu editor Ernest Lilley - I concur completely, Tenn is often overlooked though he did a lot of fabulous work.)
Millenium continues their Science Fiction Masterworks series with the publication of Samuel R. Delany's Nova. Number 37 in this series of classic reprints, the edition is priced at £6.99. The Fantasy Masterworks series has a thirteenth title published - Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin. This is a tale of vampires in 19th Century America and is priced at £6.99. Also from Millennium this month comes Finity by John Barnes. This is the mass market paperback edition of Barnes' 1999 alternative future novel in which the Nazi's won WWII. Priced at £6.99. The final January title from this publisher is Owlknight, the third title in the fantasy series by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon. This is a paperback edition priced at £6.99.
HarperCollins/Voyager offer us a range of titles this month. For fans of the TV series The X-Files there is a new slim novel by Terry Bisson entitled Miracle Man priced at £3.99. For those looking to contend with a slightly more complex web of conspiracy theories there is Matthew Thomas's Terror Firma - a humorous novel, the cover of which sports the tag line "If you're not paranoid, you're not human" - this is well worth a look. Thomas (a pseudonym) was the author of "Before & After", the world's first exploding sheep book!
From the ridiculous to the sublime, Voyager publishes Paul McAuley's new novel this month. The Secret of Life (see the review this issue) is a brilliant science fiction eco-thriller involving life on Mars and industrial espionage. This hard cover edition is priced at £16.99 and is highly recommended. The final title from Voyager this month is Stephen Lawhead's The Black Rood, the second book in his Celtic Crusades fantasy trilogy. This is a mass market paperback edition published at £5.99.
Orbit offers the UK outing of Gregory Benford's superb novel Eater (see the review this issue). Seen in the US last year it appears here as a paperback original. I think Benford is a great writer and really enjoyed this one. The first novel in a new fantasy saga by Canadian author Sean Russell is published in hard cover. The One Kingdom is a 500 page epic that looks to make quite an impression and is being offered at the very fair price of only £10.00. Orbit also offers reprints from better known names this month. L.E. Modesitt jr's Darksong Rising and Niven and Pournelle's The Burning City are both released as mass market paperbacks priced at £6.99 and £7.99 respectively.