UK February 2002 Releases by John Berlyne
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After the wind-down at the tail end of last year and the slow start to this one, I am happy to report that things seem once more to be back on track here in the UK. February offers some exciting titles, both old and new and schedules for the months ahead show that this is a trend that is set to continue.

First, some awards news. The short list for the coveted Arthur C. Clarke Award has been released. The award (consisting of a cash prize and a bookend statuette,) is given to the best science fiction novel published in the UK during the previous twelve months. It will be announced at a ceremony at London's Science Museum on 18th April and the day will include a program of events organized by Pat Cadigan to be announced shortly. 

The nominees are ... 
PASHAZADE by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Earthlight) (SFRevu May, 2001)
FALLEN DRAGON by Peter F. Hamilton (Macmillan) 
BOLD AS LOVE by Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz) 
THE SECRET OF LIFE by Paul McAuley (Voyager) (SFRevu Jan., 2001)
MAPPA MUNDI by Justina Robson (Macmillan) (SFRevu Oct., 2001)
PASSAGE by Connie Willis (Voyager) (SFRevu Aug., 2001

The short list for the other major UK genre award has also been announced. The BSFA (British Science Fiction Association) Awards are given annually at Eastercon, this year to be held in St Helier, Jersey over the Easter weekend. Nominations are made in a number of categories, but with this column being mainly concerned with full length works, I've only listed the nominations for best novel. You can see the entire list of nominations by clicking the link above.

PASHAZADE by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, (Earthlight) (SFRevu May, 2001)
AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman, (Feature) (SFRevu Sep., 2001)
BOLD AS LOVE by Gwyneth Jones, (Gollancz) 
THE SECRET OF LIFE by Paul McAuley, (Voyager) (SFRevu Jan., 2001)
CHASM CITY by Alastair Reynolds, (Gollancz) (SFRevu May, 2001)
LUST by Geoff Ryman, (Flamingo)

The Jon Courtenay Grimwood novel stands out having been nominated for both awards and certainly this is an author much deserving of recognition. We will be covering his new novel Effendi (the sequel to Pashazade) in a couple of months and the word is that it is pretty darn good! Winners of both awards will be announced here in April.

And so, on to the February releases. My lead review this month is of a superb SF noir thriller from Gollancz. Altered Carbon (Feature Review) is an astonishing, thoughtful, action-packed and highly enjoyable debut novel from Richard Morgan (Feature Interview). (Be sure to read my interview with him). Released in both hard cover (16.99) and trade paperback (9.99) this one looks set to be big. A tip for collectors - buy the hard cover!!! A brand new Greg Egan novel is also published this month by Gollancz. Preceding the US edition by some months, Schild's Ladder is issued in both hard cover (16.99) and trade paperback (10.99). This month's Gollancz mass market paperback releases are Stephen Baxter's Icebones, the third title in his wonderful Mammoth series (6.99,) Courage of Falcons, The Secret Texts Book Three by Holly Lisle (6.99,) and The Fresco (SFRevu Dec., 2000) by Sheri S. Tepper (6.99). Tepper also has a title released in the SF Masterworks series. Grass, nominated for the 1990 Hugo award becomes the 48th title in this excellent series and is priced at 6.99.

HarperCollins Voyager continue their own series of classics with the release of Tolkien's The Silmarillion at 7.99. David Zindell's Neverness (7.99) is released also, as is Lord Foul's Bane, book one in The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenent (7.99) by Stephen R. Donaldson (and one of the books that got me into reading genre fiction!) The final Voyager Classics release is The Time Ships, Stephen Baxter's authorized sequel to the H.G.Wells classic The Time Machine (7.99). For the Voyager main list, February remains a quiet month, their only release being the mass market paperback edition of Eric Van Lustbader's The Ring of Five Dragons, Volume One of The Pearl Saga. This is priced at 6.99.

Ben Bova, the science fiction author who, as rated by no less personage than Ray Bradbury "...will have the greatest effect on the world." has his second book in The Asteroid Wars,  following The Precipice (SFRevu Oct,. 2001), series released by Hodder & Stoughton this month. Published in a smart hard cover format, The Rock Rats is priced at 18.99.

My other review this month is of an Orbit title. Wanderer's and Islanders (review) is a debut work from British writer Steve Cockayne. This is a gentle and interesting novel and shows much promise of good things to come from this author. Released in trade paperback, it is priced at 9.99. Chris Bunch's magical pirate novel, Corsair, is released in mass market paperback. I found this to be a a highly enjoyable fantasy work when it came out last year. Orbit's third and final February title is The Shadow Sorceress by L.E.Modesitt Jr. This is the fourth novel in The Spellsong Cycle and is priced at 6.99.

Transworld Corgi releases the mass market paperback edition of Anne McCaffrey's The Skies of Pern. This is priced at 6.99.

Earthlight has three books out this month. John Whitbourn, one of Britain most under rated authors gives us the third title of the Downs-Lord Triptych. Downs-Lord Doomsday is a paperback original priced at 6.99. Carolan's Concerto by Caiseal Mor is released also as an A-format title, again priced at 6.99. Finally there is the mass market release of The Dreamthief's Daughter, a novel which marks the return of Michael Moorcock's best known character, the alibino prince, Elric of Melnibone. This edition is priced at 6.99.

More next month.

John Berlyne SFRevu UK Associate Editor

2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu