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UK Books Received- 07/2005  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette c/o SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613


The Scrolls of the Ancients by Robert Newcomb (Bantam 04 July, 2005 / £6.99) - The third (and final?) book in Newcomb's Scrolls of the Ancients is released in mass market paperback.

I reviewed The Fifth Sorceress, the first novel in this series way back in our October 2002 issue, and, to be honest, found it staggeringly awful! But regardless of my opinion, if you made it through the second book (which I is more than I managed!) you'll doubtless want to know what happens!

Bantam Press

Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell (Bantam Press 01 September, 2005 / £17.9) - Proof copy. David Gemmell strays slightly from his usual fantasy offerings to take a look at the story of Troy.

"The story of Troy has always fascinated me. The reason it has survived so long is that it resonates within every period of human history. The virtues that make us great as a species; love, compassion, loyalty and a capacity for selfless courage, intertwine with all the vices that make us appaling; hatred, greed, envy and bloody hungry rage. What Troy teaches us is that we are all capable of heroism and villainy.".

Troy : Lord of the Silver Bow will be released in hard cover in September 2005.

Crowswing Books

Beyond Each Blue Horizon by Andrew Hook (Crowswing Books 01 June, 2005 / £20.0) - Crowswing Books is a relatively recent publisher specialising in genre titles here in the UK. In a very short time, their impressive output of exciting new authors has been matched by the beautiful production of their books and already a number of their authors and artists are being considered for the BSF award shortlists. Find out more about them at

Beyond Each Blue Horizon is a brand new collection from Andrew Hook, who as welll as being an author, is the driving force behind Elastic Press, whose recent Tim Lees collection we reviewed in our last issue. Hook's collection, his second, contains... "twenty one tales examining human frailties and expectations against speculative, noirish and fantastical landscapes..."


The Brightonomicon (Gollancz SF S.) by Robert Rankin (Gollancz 30 July, 2005 / £11.0) - Proof copy. Rankin, if you were not already aware, is one of our looniest British writers and since Gollancz began to publish him two or three years ago now, his extremely eccentric star has deservedly been on the rise. (It's worth noting that the rear cover copy of this proof states "How he continues to get published is anyone's guess - but let's all thank the Lord that he does.")The Brightonomicon - it will doubtless be as bonkers as Rankin's work always is, and no doubt equally as funny and as enjoayble. The finished book will be available towards the end of July.


Blood of Angels by Michael Marshall (HarperCollins 23 May, 2005 / £12.9) - A third Ward Hopkins thriller from the brilliant British writer better known to genre fans as Michael Marshall Smith. Marshall really is one of our shining literary lights right now and eveything he touches seems to turn to gold. This latest follows on from the fantastic The Straw Men and The Lonely Dead - both reviewed here previously. Highly recommended.


Iron Council by China Mieville (Macmillan 17 June, 2005 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of China Mieville's acclaimed fourth novel - the third set in his dystopian city of New Crobuzon. This novel recently won the coveted Arthur C. Clarke award for the best SF novel published in the UK during the last year. Iron Council is a darker, denser work than it's forerunners, which I personally enjoyed a lot more. There's no doubting though that Mieville is the real deal - a hugely important writer who's here to stay.


Blood and Memory (Quickening Trilogy) by Fiona McIntosh (Orbit 07 July, 2005 / £7.99) - The second title in Fiona McIntosh's fantasy series, The Quickening. An Orbit paperback original.

I hear very good things about these novels - fast paced, page turning fantasy that, according to Robin Hobb, "...move[s] quickly and unpredictably; if you're tired of plodding triligies in which little seems to happen, these books are definitely for you."

Coyote Rising by Allen Steele (Orbit 07 July, 2005 / £6.99) - Twice winner of the Hugo award for best novella, Steele's novel of space exloration, Coyote drew much attention and acclaim when it was first published in the US over three years ago. Originally conceived as a number of shorter tales published in Asimov's, the project has grown to encompas three novel sized volumes telling the a grand Heinleinesque tale of space exploration and colonisation.

Coyote Rising is the second volume and is published as an Orbit paperback original. The third volume, Coyote Frontier is due for publication in February 2006.

Double Vision by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit 07 July, 2005 / £10.9) - A brand new novel from Tricia Sullivan, one of the sharpest and edgiest SF writers around right now. Double Vision is described on the publisher's blurb as "Combining William Gibson's mistrust of consumerisim with Philip K Dick's ability to twist reality through ninety degrees...". This, of course, is quite a claim, but if anyone can live up to it, it's Sullivan!

An Orbit trade paperack. Be sure to check out my review of Sullivan's previous novel Maul in our October 2003 issue.

Shadow Road (Swans' War S.) by Sean Russell (Orbit 07 July, 2005 / £7.99) - The final novel in Russell's really excellent Swann's War trilogy is released by Orbit in mass market paperback. I hear that this series has sold well, which is gratifying as it's really a cut above much of the contemporary fantasy currently available.

Magic and mystery blend in abundance with an intricate cast of characters. An engrossing read. -- Robin Hobb.

The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks (Orbit 04 July, 2005 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of Bank's latest "M" (and thus SF) novel. The Algebraist, reviewed in our Oct 04 issue is a stand alone piece, not connected to the author's Culture novels - it is perhaps, a stodgier novel than one would like, but Bank's flair, wit and sheer imagination keep it from becoming too impenetrable.

The Warrior-prophet (Prince of Nothing S.) by R.Scott Bakker (Orbit 07 July, 2005 / £12.9) - The long awaited second installment in Bakker's highly acclaimed Prince of Nothing sequence. A large format trade paperback from Orbit.

The Holy War is continuing its inexorable march southward. But the suspicion begins to dawn that the real threat comes not from the infidel but from within...

Steve Savile follows on from his review of The Darkness That Comes Before Bakker's debut novel. (see review)


Romanitas: v. 1 by Sophia McDougall (Orion 01 June, 2005 / £12.9) - "Imagine a world in which the Roman Empire still exists; it has ruled for over twenty centuries and extends across our modern world, where slavery and crucifixion are commonplace and the Imperial family's rule is absolute. Imagine treachery, terror and an uncontrolled lust for power. Imagine the world of ROMANITAS.

A debut novel from Sophia McDougall which is being given a hefty push by Orion and a smart hardcover release. The first in a trilogy. Genre fans might enjoy comparing this to Robert Silverbergs Roma Eterna stories.

Osiris Press Ltd

Grief by Ed Lark (Osiris Press Ltd 25 April, 2005 / £7.99) - A new novel from a brand new publishing company Reverb. A slim trade paperback, Grief, by Ed Lark is "... both a unique dystopia, or perhaps an interpretation of the present, and a remarkable psychological fantasy, disturbing, witty and moving by turns.

Who Needs Cleopatra? by Steve Redwood (Osiris Press Ltd 01 May, 2005 / £7.99) - Another title from new imprint, Reverb. Author Steve Redwood, a previous Hugo award nominee, offers us Who Needs Cleopatra.This richly comic novel does for history what Jasper Fforde did for literature, only with more sex and violence - join Leonardo da Vinci, Boadicea, Cain (and Mabel) on a rollercoaster quest through time where the future (and present) of humanity itself is at stake."

Simon & Schuster (Trade Division)

Scattered Suns by Kevin J. Anderson (Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) 04 July, 2005 / £10.9) - A new big fat space opera in Anderson's truly epic Saga of the Seven Suns series. Scattered Suns is the fourth title in the sequence and Anderson fans will be most satisfied with over 700 pages in which to indulge themselves.

"A space opera to rival the best the field has ever seen" -- SF Chronicle.

Tor Books

Empire of Unreason by Greg Keyes (Tor Books 17 June, 2005 / £7.99) - The third novel in Keyes' Age of Unreason sequence is published for the first in the UK as a paperback original. Neal Stephenson has since touched upon the core aspects of this series in his Baroque Cycle, but Keyes' has far more fun with his version of Isaac Newton and his alchemical obessions.

Recursion by Tony Ballantyne (Tor Books 17 June, 2005 / £6.99) - Ballantyne's debut novel is given its mass market release via Tor UK.

Reviewed previously in our July 2004 issue.


Black Jade (EA Cycle S.) by David Zindell (Voyager 19 June, 2005 / £14.9) - Epic fantasy from David Zindell - Black Jade is the third book in his gargatuan Ea Cycle.A hefty trade paperback with well over 700 pages.

"Spectacualr world-making, a kind of reverse-coin of Dune, that carries sudden alarms of invenion to give it all great immediacy." -- The Times.

Shaman's Crossing (Soldier Son Trilogy) by Robin Hobb (Voyager 04 July, 2005 / £18.9) - Fantasy fans all over are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of this release, which marks the beginning of new series by fantasy supremo Robin Hobb.

Entitled Shaman's Crossing, this first novel in The Solider Son trilogy is one of the major releases fo the year. It is published by Voyager as a very smart hard cover. Hobb, of course, needs no introduction - but if you're new to the genre, you'll be forever in love with it if Hobb's work is the first you should chance to encounter.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Strange Angel by George Pendle (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 14 July, 2005 / £18.9) - Occassionaly I get sent relevant non-fiction works and this particular one looks to be right up my street! Strange Angel tells the story of the life of rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons and is an embodiment of the phrase "truth is stranger than fiction."

"George Pendle explores the bizarre world of 1930's Los Angeles where eminent writers and scientists visited seances in its thriving occult community, and tells how when fantasy's pull became stronger than reality, Parson's lost both his work and his wife. Parson was just emerging from his personal underworld when he died - aged thirty seven. In Strange Angel, Pendle recovers a fascinatinglife and explores the unruly consequences of genius."

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