May  2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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UK Releases by John Berlyne
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We’re trying something new with the UK column this month – and if it works it’ll become the norm. With SFRevu generally appearing around the middle of month, it makes sense for this round-up to cover what has been released rather than what’s due. Why? Who knows! It just does. Okay!! So, without further ado…

Fans of sweeping heroic fantasy can revel in David Gemmell’s latest novel, The Swords of Night and Day which has been released by Transworld Bantam. As stated in Antony Wagman’s enthusiastic review (see last months issue ) this new hard cover is well worth your time and money (£17.99.) Released alongside it is the mass market paperback edition of White Wolf, the previous novel in this long running and vastly popular series. White Wolf is published by Transworld’s Corgi imprint, and will set you back a mere £6.99.

 

Following on from their March release of Newton’s Wake, a stand alone space opera by Ken Macleod (see Iain Emsley’s review here) Orbit have reissued the author’s early back list in smart new mass market editions. The Star Fraction, The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division (a novel that was nominated for the Hugo and was winner of the Prometheus award) and The Sky Road are all priced at £6.99. It is worth noting that Macleod is very much in vogue at the moment; his work is highly respected, deeply political and very much for the fan of literary SF. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you’d be well advised to check out Macleod’s stuff out if you haven’t already. If you’re already a fan, then be sure to check out The True Knowledge of Ken Macleod, a collection of essays and articles on the author’s work published by The Science Fiction Foundation here in the UK. This volume, edited by Andrew M. Butler and Farah Mendleson recently won the BSFS award for best non-fiction work.. Visit http://www.sf-foundation.org/pubs.html for ordering info.

Having had wonderful success with the novels of Laurel K. Hamilton and Kelly Armstrong, Orbit have discovered another author who will very much appeal to the same audience. Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse Vampire Mysteries have already garnered much praise in the US and Orbit bring them over here in the form of smart paperback originals priced at £6.99. Dead Until Dark was released in March, Living Dead in Dallas in April and May will see a third title, Club Dead issued.


For fantasy fans, Orbit have published Dragonmaster Book Two: Knighthood of the Dragon, the latest by Chris Bunch and also the mass market edition of Tad Williams’ dark fantasy blockbuster, The War of the Flowers [see my May'03  review of the hardcover edition] – these are released at £6.99 and £7.99 respectively.

It was a quiet month for Gollancz, at least in terms of the volume of their output. Only three titles – but their quality more than makes up for their quantity. Top billing must go to The Year of Our War, an extraordinary debut fantasy from Steph Swainston. Fans of China Mieville and the New Weird writers will be blown away by this one – as was Iain Emsley in his review that appeared in last month’s issue and it is a virtual certainly that first editions will fast become collectors items. The Year of our War is a hardcover priced at £9.99. Chris Wooding’s superb and original fantasy The Weavers of Saramyr is released in mass market paperback. I very much enjoyed this one when it was first published last year (see my review /author interview) and do check out my review in this issue of the sequel, The Skein of Lament which is released in May. The Weavers of Saramyr is priced at £6.99. Lastly from Gollancz comes a treat for all classic SF fans – a new omnibus entitled simply Five Great Novels by H.G. Wells is published at £10.99. You’ll find the title is by no means misleading – The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The First Men on the Moon and The Island of Doctor Moreau are all included, each work a foundation stone on which the genre has been built. May will see the release of Five Great Novels by Philip K. Dick and thus I hope Gollancz will begin another of their superb series of re-releases.
 

HarperCollins/Voyager also offered a small but choice selection in April – Magician by Raymond E. Feist is re-issued yet again. Certainly is this a deservedly popular work, but I think this is the third new edition in as many years from HarperCollins. Remember the Voyager Classics? - they included it in that series, and not too long ago we saw the very nice twenty-fifth anniversary hard cover release. This new, new edition is a mass market release priced at £5.99. Also from Voyager comes the mass market release of Quicksilver Rising, the first in a new fantasy trilogy by Stan Nicholls – this is priced at £6.99 and do check out Iain Emsley’s review in our August 03 issue. The HarperCollins UK mainstream imprint published a number of titles in April, most of which were Tolkien related – but noteworthy for us is The Language of Stones, a debut fantasy novel with Arthurian overtones by Robert Carter – this is a hard cover priced at £10.00 – read Antony Wagman’s review of this one in our last issue.

Tor UK continue their creditable mission of introducing British readers to the delights of Jeff Vandermeer’s weird fiction. The much lauded City of Saints and Madmen, a wonderfully eclectic collection of writings from the author concerning his unique creation of Ambergris is published in both hard cover (£17.99) and trade paperback (£12.99). Tor have also published the mass market edition of Jeff Ford’s beautiful and haunting novel about the artistic process, The Portrait of Mrs Charbuque (£6.99) – read the review by Iain Emsley here. Lastly from Tor UK comes The Roses of Roazon by Cherith Baldry – a trade paperback priced at £12.99. Baldry’s previous novel, The Reliquary Ring is simultaneously released in mass market paperback priced at £6.99.

Simon & Schuster release The Last Light of the Sun – a new historical fantasy by acknowledged genre grand master Guy Gavriel Kay; this is a hard cover priced at £17.99. From S&S’s Pocket imprint be sure to check out Ian R. Macleod’s seminal and utterly brilliant novel The Light Ages, the mass market release of which has now been  published £6.99. Quite how this novel has been overlooked for the 2004 Arthur C. Clark award short list is beyond me – indeed, given that it is one of the best British books of the year (if not the best) not having it nominated makes a mockery of the whole thing. Shame! To find out why I think so highly of this book, take a look at my review here (catch John's author interview too).  Also released by Pocket are the mass market editions of Terry Brooks’ Jarka Ruus and Michael Cobley’s Shadowgod, both of which are priced at £6.99.  Millar Lau’s concluding volume of The Last Clansman series has also been released. Lore Bringer  (Reviewed in last months issue by Iain Emsley is a paperback original priced at £6.99. Incidentally I hear a reliable rumour that following the sad demise of the Earthlight imprint, a change of publisher is in the wind for Millar Lau – aka Debbie Miller. More news on this to come! 

More in June.

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu