|September 2002 UK Releases by Iain Emsley|
September, traditionally, is when the UK publishers start pulling the big books out of the bag in time for Christmas and this year (well, certainly for fantasy fans), there is no shortage of late summer reading.
Two awesome titles stand out of the HARPER COLLINS list for this month. The long awaited Book of Hours project that Clive Barker has been working on for a few years has finally surfaced as the Abarat Quartet, the first installment of which is published this month (Harper Collins, £17.99). Each volume will have 25 original paintings by Barker and is a must for all those who like dark fiction. Sword and Sorcery fans will be pleased by the new Raymond Feist, Talon of the Silver Hawk (Voyager, £17.99) which marks a real return to form after the collaborations, and Magician has been republished as a twentieth anniversary edition (Voyager, £25) which has a new foreword to it and includes the authorís preferred text. It certainly reminded me why it has a place as one of the most important epic fantasy works and more than justifies itself as a classic. David Zindell's The Lightstone has been split into two paperbacks; the first of which, The Ninth Kingdom (Voyager, £7.99), is published this month. Harper Collins continue to release Tolkien and Tolkien related material, whilst gearing up towards the release of the The Two Towers in December.
ORION has published Robert Rankinís Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse (Orion, £9.99) and it marks a return to form for this underrated writer at a really nice price, so this is one to try and get your paws on if you are into humorous fantasy. In the tradition of parodic fantasy from America, they are publishing Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody (Gollancz, £6.99), originally self-published in the US. The paperbacks of Toxicology by Steve Aylett (Gollancz, £6.99), a wonderful and necessary collection of short stories; and Harlequin's Dance (Gollancz, £6.99), the final part of this fantasy series by Tom Arden also appeared.
TIME WARNER have managed to pull out a couple of gems this month as well. On the main list, they are publishing the first Iain Banks novel in three years, Dead Air (Time Warner, £16.99) and, as you would expect, it is a real page turner but never entirely easy. Ian Irvine has a new series coming out, the first volume of which is Geomancer (Orbit, £10.99) and is a good time for those who have not come across him before to start reading this fantasist. Juliet McKennaís Tales of Einarrin series comes to a close with The Assassin's Edge (Time Warner, £7.99). Sean Russellís powerful series carries on in hardback with The Isle of Battle (Time Warner, £16.99).
Robert Newcombís The Fifth Sorceress (Transworld, £10.99) comes into print in trade paperback form over here.