July  2004
© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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UK Releases by John Berlyne
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June saw some great releases over here in the UK, but it’s fair to say that many were mass market releases of previously published titles. One title however that is brand new and eagerly awaited is book VI of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series – The Song of Susannah rolled into town on the back of the massive marketing juggernaut that Hodder & Stoughton have put behind it. It has been given a beautifully illustrated and impressive hard cover release, priced at £20.00.. I imagine that the party thrown for the arrival of Book VII, due in September will be even bigger and deservedly so in my opinion. King’s original and inventive fantasy saga is well worth your time and effort – find out what I thought of The Song of Susannah elsewhere in this issue (review).. 

Hodder Children’s Books release the follow up to David Lee Stone’s excellent and fun novel The Ratastrophe Catastrophe, the first in his Illmoor Chronicles (reviewed here in our January 04 issue. This sequel, entitled The Yowler Foul-Up looks to be every bit as much fun and is released in hardcover, priced at £10.99.

Macmillan’s Tor UK imprint release a new novel by the excellent Liz Williams – previously only available in the US, Nine Layer of Sky comes to the UK as a large format trade paperback priced at £10.99. Also released this month is the mass market paperback edition of Williams’ much acclaimed The Poison Master (reviewed here in our June 03 issue) – this is priced at £6.99. And released in paperback from Macmillan’s Pan imprint is horror master James Herbert’s Nobody True (reviewed in our September 03 issue), priced at £6.99. 

Could it be that horror is coming back into fashion in UK publishing? Let’s hope so – it has been neglected for far too long – consequently HarperCollins/Voyager’s release of Gathering the Bones (edited by Ramsey Campbell, Jack Dann and Dennis Etchison), an excellent anthology of chilling stories by some of the most established writers in the field, as well as some newer ones, comes as a very pleasant (and horrible!) surprise. Issued in mass market paperback, priced at £7.99, it’s great to see this one on the shelves – I urge you horror fans to buy it and send a signal to those marketing strategists at all the major publishing houses – we want to be scared! (Check out Iain Emsley’s review in last month's issue). Voyager also release Jimmy the Hand by Raymond E. Feist and Steve Stirling – this is a mass market paperback, priced at £6.99. Check out also the HarperCollins edition of Ring by Koji Suzuki – a story which inspired two movies – one classic, one classically awful! This is a hardcover release is priced at £10.00. 

Thankfully one UK publisher is still carrying the horror torch, and holding it high at that. PS Publishing continue to light the way and this last month saw four fantastic releases. Banquet for the Damned by Adam L.G. Nevill is a superb traditional occult horror story set in the north of England – read more about it in my review in this issue – as with all the PS releases, it is issued as a smart signed limited edition, this time in two states, a 500 copy trade edition signed by Neville and priced at £35.00, and a 200 copy slipcased edition, priced at £60.00. Further horror from PS comes in the form of Ramsey Campbell’s latest – The Overnight is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine and is also a two state release with the same limitation as the Nevill title – trade edition £35.00, slipcased edition £60.00. James Lovegrove’s long-awaited double novella Gig is released – an ingenious creation told from two perspectives. I firmly believe Lovegrove is one of our most creative and talented authors – his novel Untied Kingdom (reviewed back in our April 03 issue) was a superb read. Gig is a two state release - trade edition £35.00, slipcased edition £60.00. 

The final PS release represents an interesting development in their publishing policy - Michael Marshall Smith: The Annotated Bibliography, fastidiously compiled by Lavie Tidhar is a comprehensive listing of MMS’s various works and editions and is supplemented by extensive story notes by the author. This is what bibliographies should be – not dry listings of library data but an interesting book about books. It is released in two states – a 300 copy paperback edition priced at £10.00, and a hardcover run of 200 copies, signed by Smith and priced at £25.00.

Orbit publish a new comic work by the prolific Tom Holt – In Your Dreams is a hardcover priced at £12.99 and is reviewed in this issue by Antony Wagman. Also reviewed this issue by Iain Emsley is the new novel by Indian writer Ashok Banker. Demons of Chitrakut is the third title in his epic Ramayana series and is released as a paperback original, priced £6.99, ISBN 1841491780 – be sure also to read Iain’s exclusive and fascinating interview with the author. Maul, Tricia Sullivan’s punchy SF novel receives its mass market releases priced at £6.99 – check out my review of this one back in our October 03 issue. The final Orbit release comes from L.E. Modesitt, Jr – Darknesses is the second novel in The Corean Chronicles and is a paperback edition priced at £7.99.

Only a single genre title from Transworld/Bantam this month – the mass market release of Alice Borchardt’s Arthurian fantasy, The Raven Warrior is now available priced at £6.99. 

Likewise there’s only one genre release from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket imprint for June – Kevin J. Anderson fans can now read book two in The Saga of Seven Suns. A Forest of Stars is issued in mass market paperback, priced at £6.99.

The lead June title from Gollancz is Time’s Eye, a collaboration between Sir Arthur C. Clark and Stephen Baxter (hardcover priced at £12.99) and Gollancz also issue a solo Baxter title – Coalescent, the first book in Baxter’s new Children of Destiny series is released in mass market paperback priced at £6.99. The Autumn Castle, a new dark fantasy novel by the talented and versatile Australian writer Kim Wilkins sees its UK publication – this is available in both hardcover (price £17.99) and trade paperback (price £10.99) and all credit to the publisher for bringing the deserving author to wider attention. The final Gollancz title is the third and last instalment of S.M. Stirling’s Infiltrator novels based on characters from The Terminator movies -  The Future War is a mass market paperback priced at £6.99.

Last but by no means least comes Robinson’s edition of The Mammoth Book of Science Fiction Century: Volume Two, a collection of classic stories anthologised by David G. Hartwell. This is a trade paperback edition priced at £7.99.

More next month

© 2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu