UK July 2002 Releases
July is a slow month as the publishing houses start gearing up towards the late summer and autumn bonanzas.
Time Warner books have launched a children’s imprint called Atom which aims to bring a variety of new and established authors, all priced at pocket money sized £5.00. The first tranche of four novels are an impressive line up.
Ender’s Game (Atom, 1904233023) by Orson Scott Card has been given a new cover treatment with the tagline “At Battle School Fighting is Necessary”. Relating the story of Ender from Bean’s perspective, this book still delivers a powerful indictment of the way that children are used by adults to prosecute a war disguised as a game. It is also an unusual way of delivering what is essentially a military SF novel. Gary Kilworth’s Spiggot’s Quest (Atom, 1904233015) is a fun fantasy in which Spiggot, a day dreaming boggart, must deliver a fabulous suit of armour to King Cimberlin of Northumberland. Jack accidentally crosses into Faerieland after a motorcycle accident and is trying to get out again. However his task is scuppered when he meets Spiggot and agrees to help him transport the goods across Faerieland. Thus begins a wild journey with its own share of pitfalls, triumphs and surprises setting up a wonderful series.
Already published in the US, Francesca Lia Block’s Weetzie Bat: Dangerous Angels 1 (Atom, 1904233031) is a wonderful book in which one is never quite sure where the apparent realities diverge. The book that has been trumpeted is Mirror Dreams (Atom, 1904233007) by Catherine Webb and this has been slightly unfair towards the rest of the list. Laenan Kite has to leave his kingdom in the Void too protect it and the new king from attack from the lords of the Nightkeep. Having to rebuild the companies that watch for attack, he finds himself in a pivotal position, attempting to regain the necessary balance. What is unfortunate is that this book is highly reminiscent of the Sandman books, particularly the Preludes and Nocturnes ark or the latter part of the Dreaming sequence. Webb is somebody who ought to be watched with interest to see if she develops and gains her won voice.
Virgin have brought out a useful guide to the films of Tim Burton (Virgin, £16.99, 0753506823) which lays out a step by step guide to the films, from best (and worst) lines to best editions, cast, critical views and so on. An excellent guide book.
Orion have reissued Minority Report (Gollancz, £6.99, 1857987381) as part of a handsome collection in hardback. Hopefully this will give Dick his proper dues to the wider community, rather than as the “writer of Bladerunner and Total Recall” [sic]. S.M. Stirling’s minig of the T2 franchise continues apace with the paperback of Infiltrator and the trade paperback of Rising Storm. The Visitor by Sherri S. Tepper (Gollancz, £9.99, 0575074167 [hardcover not seen]) also made its way onto the shelves in the UK.
The major books from Harper Collins this month were the Art of the Fellowship of the Ring (Harper Collins, £25.00, 0007135637) which charts the development of the film with the conceptual drawings of John Howe and Alan Lee and Witch’s Honour by Jan Siegel (Voyager, £17.99 reviewed here by Jon Berlyne). Lois McMaster Bujold’s Curse of Chalion (Voyager, £11.99, 000713360X) has just been published over here, just after its nomination for the Hugo. Guardians of the Lost (Voyager, £7.99, 0006486150) continues Weis and Hickman’s Sovereign Stone trilogy and Paul McAuley’s excellent Whole Wide World (Voyager, 6.99, 000651331X) has also emerged in paperback.
Hidden Empire (see Iain's review this issue) (Earthlight, £10.99 [Trade] and £16.99 [Cloth]) is the lead title from Simon and Schuster along with the paperback publications of Antrax: Voyage of the Jerle Shannara and Shadowkings by Michael Cobley.
The Marriage of Figaro plays at The New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme from August 2nd to August 24th and at The Stephen Jospeh Theatre, Scarborough from 10th to 28th September. Anyone approaching John after the show in the bar stating that they came to see the show specifically due to this flagrent plug will be bought a drink by our erstwhile actor/correspondent! (That doesn't seem cricket somehow. Shouldn't patrons of the arts be buying John the drinks? - editor)
© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu