August 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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August  2003 UK Releases by John Berlyne
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The heat wave is here and London, it seems, is currently hotter than Barbados, where our erstwhile Prime Minister is trying to get away from it all. Current events are perhaps stranger than fiction, but if he's so inclined, Mr Blair will find a feast of genre titles just released that he can enjoy reading by the pool. 

A wonderfully varied crop from Gollancz this month. The new Dan Simmons novel, Ilium, receives its UK release as both hard cover (£17.99) and trade paperback (£10.99). Thankfully I get to read with this one without using my critical eyes (not that I'd need to by all accounts) as Edward Carmien has reviewed it for us in last month's SFRevu. If you missed it, be sure also to check out Ern’s interview with Mr Simmons.

We do have a review of a Gollancz title this issue though – Robert Rankin’s latest oddball offering, The Witches of Chiswick [see review] is a hugely enjoyable read and at only £9.99 for this hard cover first edition, you’d have to be as mad as Rankin himself to miss it! Also released on the same day in mass market paperback is Rankin’s previous Gollancz title, the wonderfully titled The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. This is priced at £6.99. The Sproutmaster is doing an extensive UK signing tour during August – be sure to check out details at - the official Robert Rankin web site. 

According to the Gollancz schedule, John Marco’s latest, The Devil’s Armour is released this month – this before it reaches bookstores in the US (The DAW edition is due in November). However, I haven’t seen a copy and the listing on has it due for release in December. Hmmm. Well, whenever we see it, the Gollancz edition will be a large format trade paperback and will be priced at £10.99. Superb alternative history by a true genre master is released also – Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg. This UK first edition is a trade paperback priced at £10.99 and follows  from the US release issued by Eos back in May. Two novels by Diana Wynne Jones are issued in mass market paperback – Dark Lord of Derkholm and The Year of the Griffin are both priced at £6.99. At this same price, two Frank Herbert mass market editions are also released – Heretics of Dune and Chapter House Dune continue Gollancz’s smart reissues of the Classic Dune series. There are further classic too; in the Fantasy Masterworks series there is Jack Williamson’s Darker Than You Think. This is the 38th title in the series and is a trade paperback priced at £6.99. Philip K Dick’s evergreen Solar Lottery (his first published novel) is reissued, also a trade paperback at £6.99; and in the Gollancz Collector’s Editions series, with its distinctive yellow jacket there is John Varley’s first novel, The Ophiuchi Hotline, first seen in the seventies. This one is described by David Pringle in The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction as “… thoroughly likable, if at times a bit silly.”!! The reissue is a trade paperback priced at £9.99. 

On to Orbit’s August titles – two new releases from them this month. The first comes in the form of a debut novel by British writer Andy Remic. A high octane, near future thriller, Spiral is a paperback original priced at £5.99 and you can find out what I thought of it by checking out my review in this issue . The second first (if you follow me!) is Ian Irvine’s Tetrarch, the second volume of The Well of Echoes series. The first title in the series, Geomancer, received rave punter reviews on Amazon and so readers will be chomping at the bit for this heavy hard cover which is priced at £12.99. There are two Orbit mass market releases for August as well – The Gathering Storm, the fifth title in Kate Elliot’s Crown of Stars series (priced at £7.99) and Wit’ch Star, the final title in the Banned and the Banished sequence by James Clemens (priced at £6.99).

 An exiting debit historical adventure is published by Transworld Bantam this month. Hound, by George Green is set in Celtic Ireland (the author is an Irishman now living in the north of England) and is “… the tale of one of Ireland’s most celebrated legends – the story of Cuchullian, the Hound of Ulster. Retold as never before, this is a thrilling, timeless tale of heroism and friendship, of love and betrayal, of war and poetry.” Hound is a large format trade paperback and is priced at £10.99. And there is another exciting release from Bantam. Idlewild, by Nick Sagan (son of Carl) is a hard cover priced at £10.00. Our man Iain Emlsey has read this one and highly recommends it, as does Neil Gaiman, whose cover quote states that it is “A genuine page turner. Absolutely fun, like a rollercoaster ride of fusion fiction; starts out like Nine Princes in Amber meets The Matrix, and as it goes on, it turns into several something else again…” 

From Peter Crowther’s PS Publishing come three releases. Fuzzy Dice by Paul Di Filippo is a mind-bending tale of digital theology (see my review this issue); for horror aficionados there is an amazing new Ramsey Campbell collection, Told by the Dead released. Both these titles are beautiful hard cover limited editions, signed by the authors (priced £35.00) and are also available in deluxe slipcased editions at £60.00.

A new anthology of stories entitled Infinity Plus Two is released. This book features original fiction that has appeared previously only online at Keith Brooke's superb Infinity Plus web site ( – a stunning and eclectic collection, it is edited by Keith Brooke and Nick Gevers and features works from such luminaries as Adam Roberts, Ian McDonald, Lisa Goldstein, Stephen Baxter, Michael Moorcock, Brian Stableford, Vonda McIntyre, Charles Stross, Paul Park, Paul McAuley, Eric Brown, Terry Bisson and Lucius Shepard. It also features an introduction by John Clute. As if this list wasn’t enough to wet your appetite, this beautiful hard cover edition is limited to only 500 copies and is signed by all the contributors. At £45.00, this is an item that will increase in value the moment you place it on your shelf and hats off to Pete Crowther once more for three more stunning PS releases. 

Earthlight, the SF imprint of Simon & Schuster UK issues the second title in  Jude Fisher’s Fools Gold series. Wild Magic is the sequel to Fisher’s excellent Sorcery Rising, released last year and reviewed here in our June '02 issue. [See also John's author interview in the same issue.] This second book is a large format trade paperback and is priced at £10.99. Also released is the mass market paperback edition of the second novel in Robert Holdstock’s The Merlin Codex series. The Iron Grail is priced at £6.99. 

I cannot list Earthlight’s releases this month without mentioning also the scandalous recent announcement by Simon & Schuster that they are to axe the imprint. This unfathomable decision is a real blow to the UK genre, especially given the extraordinary work put in by John Jarrold in creating the Earthlight list and by his successor, Darren Nash, who has been denied the opportunity of building the imprint up even further. S&S are saying that the Earthlight authors (which include Guy Gavriel Kay, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Kevin J. Anderson, Terry Brooks and many others) will now have their works published under their general fiction list. This has been met with derision by some in the establishment here, especially in light of the desperately poor way in which Christopher Priest’s novel, The Separation was published with virtually no publicity whatsoever last year (read the full story at Priest’s web site - ) Good luck to those author’s still at S&S and shame on the publisher for making this decision. You can read more reaction to this news at The Alien Online ( where there is also a piece by John Jarrold on the whole sorry story (

Macmillan’s Tor UK imprint publishes the third and final installment in Australian fantasy author Cecilia Dart-Thornton’s Bitterbynde series. The Battle of Evernight is a hard cover priced at £17.99 and the garish green cover belies the subtle and skillful writing contained therein. The second novel in the series, The Lady of the Sorrows, is released in mass market paperback, priced at £7.99. If you’re looking for a beautifully written fantasy series that will enchant and delight, look no further than this one. Be sure to take a look at my review of book one, The Ill-Made Mute and my  accompanying interview with the author. 

HarperCollins/Voyager offer pure fantasy this month with the release of a new epic title by British stalwart Stan Nicholls. Quicksilver Rising is a large format trade paperback priced at £11.99 and you can find out what SFRevu thought of it by reading Iain Emsley’s review here. The rest of Voyager’s fantasy is imported from across the Atlantic - Terry Goodkind delivers another bumper fantasy epic. Naked Empire is a hefty hard cover priced at £17.99 and though it is attached to is Sword of Truth novels, it is being touted as a stand alone piece. The prolific Raymond E. Feist’s Talon of the Silver Hawk receives its mass market outing, priced at £6.99, and Feist collaborator Janny Wurts has her solo novel, To Ride Hell’s Chasm released in mass market at £7.99.


More next month.

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