UK Releases by John
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Spring is upon us – at least in this part of the world - and the renewed sense of optimism this season generally brings with it just happens to coincide with some very notable genre releases – and one in particular tops this month's list.
I distinctly remember thinking as I watched New York's twin towers collapse that fateful day, that the events of September 11th would inevitably be finding their way into our particular area of fiction. As a disaster of such epic science fictional proportions, its examination by our writers was always going to somehow be necessary. Indeed how our authors might speculate on both the true causes and the consequences of 9/11 may in the end help us make some sense of it.
It is only now that we are seeing these works begin to appear, works in which those terrible events are acknowledged and used as part of the story fabric – the first to come to my attention was Iain Banks' Dead Air (albeit published here as mainstream) and now – already published in the US back in February – we have William Gibson's brilliant Pattern Recognition", (Reviewed here in February), the publication of which is recognised by The Observer newspaper as one of the top 50 events of 2003 . Pattern Recognition is a hard cover published by Penguin Viking on April 23rd, priced at £16.99.
I found this a superb read – Gibson's novel is as sharp and as "cutting-edge" as we would expect of him, his tight style hardwiring the story into the reader's brain. The whole thing is a master class in prose writing. I was particularly taken by the fact that much of the novel being set in Camden – a part of London where I have lived for eight years. It is a fascinating thing to see one's own locale as through the eyes of a Gibson character. Indeed it is a experience I would recommend to everyone!
The author will be making a rare appearance in the UK during the week of publication. Details of his signing tour are thus. Some of these events will be ticket only and you'd be advised to contact the bookstore branch in question for further details.
And so onto this month's other UK releases, beginning with Gollancz. Their main title for April is the new novel by James Lovegrove, Untied Kingdom (see my review in this issue) – this is released in both hard cover (priced £17.99) and trade paperback (£10.99).
Mary Gentle, author of the superb Ash and another of the UK's top rank writers, sees a collection of her works published by Gollancz this April. White Crow" "…brings together three brilliantly imaginative, powerful and disturbing tales – Rats and Gargoyles, The Architecture of Desire and Left to His Own Devices – and the linked short fiction, and confirms Mary Gentle as one of the foremost writers of dark and visionary fantasy." White Crow is a thick 800 odd page paperback, and is most definitely a bargain at only £9.99. Also in mass market paperback this month is Sheri S. Tepper's The Visitor", priced at £6.99.
In the Fantasy Masterworks series, The History of the Runestaff" is released, an omnibus edition featuring all four of Michael Moorcock's Dorian Hawkmoon adventures – The Jewel in the Skull, The Mad God's Amulet, The Sword of the Dawn and The Runestaff. Number 36 in this indispensable series, The History of the Runestaff is priced at £7.99.
The final Gollancz title is Cities", a hard cover release of four novellas previously published in signed limited editions by PS Publishing. This collection features The Tain by China Miéville, Firing the Cathedral, a new Jerry Cornelius story by Michael Moorcock, Geoff Ryman's V.A.O. and A Year in Linear City by Paul di Filippo. With an introduction by Peter Crowther, this £12.99 edition is must if you were unfortunate enough to miss the original PS releases.
A nice mixed bag from the various Macmillan Imprints this month. From Macmillan themselves, we have a new supernatural mystery novel, the fifth featuring Merrily Watkins by Phil Rickman. The Lamp of the Wicked"is smart hard cover, reasonably priced at only £10.00. The press release for this title notes that these novels are shortly to be developed for television. Also from Macmillan, a new novel by Justina Robson, a real rising star in British SF. Natural History (see our review) is released in both hardcover (£16.99) and trade paperback (£10.99.)
From Macmillan's Pan imprint, there is the mass market paperback release of The Scar by China Miéville, one of the most important releases of last year and a book that featured highly on virtually every genre (and some non-genre) "Best of 2002" lists (including my own! See Review/Interview). The Scar is priced at £7.99. From the Macmillan Tor UK imprint comes the mass market release of The Borrible Trilogy" by Michael de Larrabeiti – a set of three novels cited by Miéville as a major influence upon his work. This omnibus edition is priced at £7.99. The final Macmillan release is also from Tor UK and is the UK edition of Jonathan Carroll's latest novel, White Apples" (reviewed this issue by Iain Emsley), this is a trade paperback edition priced at £10.99.
A fantasy feast (with one exception) from Orbit this month. K.J. Parker's second series of novels, The Scavenger Trilogy is wrapped up with the release of the third and final title, Memory. This is a large trade paperback priced at£10.99. Storm of Wings, Chris Bunch's first novel in his Dragonmaster series is issued in mass market paperback as is The Isle of Battle, the second volume in Sean Russell's acclaimed Swan's War series. These are both priced at £6.99. The final title (and the exception mentioned above) is Super State" by Brian Aldiss, tagged "A novel of future Europe" - this is the mass market edition and is priced at £6.99.
Fantasy fans will rejoice this month with the release by Transworld Bantam of a brand new David Gemmell novel. White Wolf marks the beginning of new series of stories by this writer who has thirty books to his credit and "world-wide sales in excess of 25 million." White Wolf is published in hard cover, priced £17.99. Also published by Transworld's Corgi imprint are two mass market Gemmel editions – The Legend of the Deathwalker" and Stormrider" are both priced at £6.99.
Fantasy too from HarperCollins/Voyager this month in the modest form of only two releases. Raymond E. Feist's Talon of the Silver Hawk" has already been issued in hardcover (in September last year) and now comes out as a trade paperback priced at £11.99. The second release is by British fantasy writer Jane Welch – The Allegiance of Man", the third title The Book of Man series is a paperback original priced at £6.99.
The final April title comes from the New English Library, the paperback imprint of Hodder & Stoughton and is the mass market paperback release of Dune: The Butlerian Jihad"by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. This is priced at £6.99.
More next month…