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UK Books Received- 11/2005  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 High Lord by Trudi Canavan (ATOM November 3, 2005 / £7.99) - Atom's hard cover reissues aimed at younger readers of Trudi Canavan's classy fantasy sequence, The Black Magician Trilogy concludes with the release of The High Lord.

"Sonea has learned much at the Magician's Guild and the other novices now treat her with a grudging respect. But she cannot forget what she witnessed in the High Lord Akkarin's underground chamber - or his warning that the realms ancient enemy is growing in power once more."


9Tail Fox (Gollancz SF S.) by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Gollancz 20 October, 2005 / £10.99) - The new novel by John Courtenay Grimwood, one of our most stylish and sophisticated genre writers. 9 Tail Fox is described as "A compelling literary meld of noir crime, SF and Chinese myth." and is notably narrated by a dead detective intent on solving his own murder.

Barry Trotter and the Dead Horse by Michael Gerber (Gollancz October 13, 2005 / £5.99) - The paperback edition of the latest Harry Potter parody by Michael Gerber. Almost as popular as the real thing... almost!

Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz October 3, 2005 / £6.99) - Al Reynold's Century Rain is released in mass market paperback. A time travel tale with Reynolds's unique "SF-on-a-grand-scale" torque, it's nail-biting stuff and well worth your time. Published to co-incide with the release of Reynold's brand new novel, Pushing Ice, which I raved about in last month's issue. (see review)

Giants of the Frost by Kim Wilkins (Gollancz October 13, 2005 / £6.99) - Nordic fantasy from the prolific, award winner Kim Wilkins. (Visit her web site).

"Victoria Scott, a scientist and sceptic running from a broken engagement and a belief that love is a lie, accepts a job at an isolated island weather station in the Norwegian Sea. But there are shadows outside her cabin window, a hag in her nightmares, and a disturbing sense of familiarity in the deep, haunted forest."

Mission of Gravity by Hal Clements (Gollancz October 13, 2005 / £6.99) - The latest title in the Gollancz Masterworks series (no #62).

"A much-deserved re-issue of one of SF's most beloved novels, this is a vividly realised vision of a strange alien species and the scientifically plausible world they inhabit. Mission of Gravity has become one of the benchmarks of modern hard SF since its first appearance in Astounding magazine in 1953."

Movies in Fifteen Minutes by Cleolinda Jones (Gollancz October 20, 2005 / £7.99) - Here's a nice twist of book - usually, those of us too lazy to read through a novel are content to go see the movie instead. This, of course, often gives us a false impression that we know the story as often the screenplays are chopped up and altered versions of the original souce material. In Movies in Fifteen Minutes, Cleolinda Jones offers us potted text versions of ten of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters.

"...merciless in its achingly funny, easily digestible and uncannily accurate attacks on some of the bigegst movies ever made."

The Art of Discworld by Paul Kidby and Terry Pratchett (Gollancz October 20, 2005 / £10.99) - This lavish and beautiful presentation of Kidby's wonderful Discworld artwork is released in trade paperback. Amust for the millions of fans of Pratchett's seemingly endless Discworld series.

The Chronicles of Blarnia by Michael Gerber (Gollancz September 15, 2005 / £6.99) - Timing being everything, Michael Gerber offers us his parody of C.S. Lewis's classic Narnia stories just in time for the release of the much hyped movie version. Check out the official site for the film, due for release in early December.

The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe (Gollancz September 22, 2005 / £14.99) - Originally published in two seperate volumes in the US, Gollancz offers readers a single 900 page edition of Gene Wolfe's highly acclaimed fantasy, The Wizard Night.

"A young man, a teenager, is transported from our world to the magical realm of Mythgarthr, the middle of seven fantastic worlds. Transformed into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Able and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, a sword he must get from a dragon. This one very special blade will help him fulfil his ambition to become a knight and a true hero."

Transcendent: Destiny's Children, Book Three by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz October 27, 2005 / £12.99) - The final title in Baxter's Destiny's Children trilogy.

"...a perfect display of Baxter's ability to combine hugely different narrative threads ... at once a novel with a terrible warning about the post-oil gloabl warming world we will come to inhabit, and the vastly diverse species mankind will become in an impossibly distant future that is creeping ever closer."


Living Next-Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson (Macmillan October 21, 2005 / £17.99) - Justina Robson has, in a relatively short time, firmly established herself as one of the UK's premier literary SF novelists. Of her three novels released to date, two have been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award and the odds are high that it won't be long before she's a winner. Perhaps Living Next-Door to the God of Love will be her break-thru book?

"Metropolis is a city of superheroes where you can become anyone you like, fighting all day, partying till dawn..."


Blood Rites: The Dresden Files, Book Six by Jim Butcher (Orbit November 3, 2005 / £6.99) - The release of Blood Rites, brings British fans of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files almost up to date with their US counterparts. Orbit have not yet announced scheduling of the two subsequent novels, Dead Beat and Proven Guilty but chances are we'll be seeing them over before too long. Meantime, check the Orbit web site for any announcements and be sure to visit the Jim Butcher's web site own for lots more on Harry Dresden.

Death Masks: The Dresden Files, Book Five by Jim Butcher (Orbit November 3, 2005 / £6.99) - Book Five of Butcher's popular Dresden Files sees private investiogator and wizard Harry Dresden taking on a bunch of vampires. Perhaps this is more than he bragained for?

"A duel with the red Court of Vampire's champion, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards...Professional hit men using Harry for target practice... The missing Shroud of Turin... A handless and headless corpse the Chicago police need identified...

Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you're charging."

Eye of the Labyrinth: The Second Sons, Book Two by Jennifer Fallon (Orbit November 3, 2005 / £7.99) - "Wracked with guilt, Dirk Provin has fled the Lion of Senet's court in Avacas to hide in the Baenlands with Tia Veran, where he finds that he can't escape his destiny, no matter how hard he tries."

The second installment of Fallon's Second Sons fantasy sequence. The image shown is that of the US edition.

PS Publishing

20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill (PS Publishing 30 September, 2005 / £15.00) - There's a buzz about this release that is entirely justified. Joe Hill has in a very short time established himself as of the foremost new wave horror writers. His tremendous short stories have appeared in TTA, Postscripts and Best New Horror as well as other venues and he received two nominations in for this year's British Fantasy Awards. Now PS Publishing offer us Joe Hill's first collection entitled 20th Century Ghosts, is it is set to be one of this year's must have books.

20th Century Ghosts is released in three states - 1000 unsigned paperback copies (£15.00), 500 hardcovers signed by Hill and 200 slipcased hardcovers signed by Hill. This last state also contains additional material not found in the other releases. Check out the author's web site for further information.

Very highly recommened.

Fishin' with Grandma Matchie by Steven Erikson (PS Publishing November, 2005 / £10.0) - The fourth original novella by Erikson to be issued by PS Publishing - previous releases include The Healthy Dead and Blood Follows, both of which are connected to Eriksons massive fantasy series The Malazan Book of the Fallen. This new one, Fishin' With Grandma Matchie is totally unconnected, instead it is described as "a bizzare urban fantasy tall tale".

Featuring an introduction by Graham Joyce, Fishin' with Grandma Matchie is released in two states - 500 numbered paperback copies, signed by Erikson (£10.00) and 200 hardcover copies signed by both Joyce and Erikson (£25.00)

Nowhere Near an Angel by Mark Morris (PS Publishing 30 September, 2005 / 25.00) - A new novel from a much under-rated British writer, Mark Morris, is given the PS Publishing treatment. Nowhere Near an Angel is a sharply and subtly written tale guaranteed to unsettle its readers.

"During the long, hot summer of 1976 sixteen year-old Rob Swann decides to kill himself. Then, on a tinny transistor radio, he hears the Sex Pistols for the first time and it changes everything.

Over a quarter of a century later, Rob is a man with a colourful past. Ex-punk, drug addict, gangster and jailbird, he has finally put his troubled life behind him and is enjoying a settled, law-abiding, carefree existence. Then one day he meets and befriends the enigmatic Suzi -- at which point everything begins to unravel."

With an introduction by Stephen Gallagher Nowhere Near an Angel is released in two states - 500 numbered hardcover copies signed by Morris (25.00) and 200 slipcased hardcover copies signed by both Gallagher and Morris (60.00.) (see review)

R Is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury (PS Publishing 30 June, 2005 / £25.00) - A major release from PS and it really is something to behold! R is for Rocket forms the first part of a classy and deserved tribute to Bradbury.

"Seventeen of his most popular science fiction stories, including several that have not appeared before in book form, have been selected by the author for this volume from the best of Bradbury in books and magazines. This is a book for the people of the Space Age, 'by a boy who grew up in a small Illinois town and lived to see the Space Age arrive as he hoped and dreamed it would.'"

This first volume features a forward by Ray Harryhausen and an introduction by Michael Marshall Smith and is released in three states - 500 hardcover copies (unsigned, £25.00), 200 deluxe signed slipcased copies (£75.00)and along with S is for Space and an extra volume of material entitled Forever and the Earth: Yesterday and Tomorrow Tales, it is also released as part of a three volume box set (£295.00) - this last is destined to be one of the most collectable sets of recent years. I wish I had one!!

S Is for Space by Ray Bradbury (PS Publishing 30 June, 2005 / £25.00) - The second of PS Publishing's gorgeous Ray Bradbury volumes. S is for Space, contains some of the master's most enduring genre fiction.

"...whether he's writing about space ships, time machines, a picnic on Mars, a human chrysalis, or the people next door, his stories are exciting, challenging, and hauntingly beautiful.

A spine-chilling account of inter-planetary invasion, the eerie tale of a dead man who walks from his grave, or of giant mushrooms, the sad story of a boy who never grew up - in Mr. Bradbury's own words, you'll find 'not only S is for Space, but D is for Dread and T is for Terrifying, or D is for Delight.'".

This volume features a forward by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and an introduction by Tim Powers. See above for the limitation details.

Secret Stories by Ramsey Campbell (PS Publishing 30 September, 2005 / £25.00) - Master of creepy horror Ramsey Campbell extends his relationship with PS Publishing with the release of Secret Stories, the latest of his works to be issued as one of their smart limited editions.

"Secret Stories is a black comedy of creativity gone wrong, a contemporary Liverpool crime novel, a study of one of today's typical sociopaths. Ramsey Campbell has already written about killers before - in The Face That Must Die and The Count of Eleven and elsewhere - but never more memorably than this. You might know this one. You might work with him."

With an introduction by Jeremy Dyson, Secret Stories is released in two states - 500 numbered trade hardcovers signed by Campbell (£25.00) and 200 slipcased hardcovers signed by both Cample and Dyson (£60.00).

The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass by Vera Nazarian (PS Publishing 31 May, 2005 / £10.0) - An original novella from Vera Nazarian, an author I'm ashamed to admit I am not too familiar with. The wonderully titled The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass is described by Charles de Lint in his intorduction as " fiction the way that Jack Vance's Dying Earth books are science fiction." Check out the author's excellent and informative web site for further information about her and her work.

The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass is released in two states - 500 numbered paperback copies signed by Nazarian (£10.00) and 200 hardcovers signed by both de Lint and Nazarian (£25.00).

The Cosmology of the Wider World by Jeffrey Ford (PS Publishing 31 July, 2005 / £10.0) - Jeffrey Ford is a writer through to the marrow of his bones and right now his energy and drive is producing some of the most interesting work the genre has to offer. I encourage you to read his brilliant blog on a regular basis!

Meantime a new novella by Ford is released by PS Publishing and features an introduction by Jeff Vandermeer. The Cosmology of the Wider World ... "is a beast epic, a talking animal story in the vein of The Jungle Books and The Wind in the Willows; but this is no ordinary fable. The protagonist, Belius, is a minotaur, a wanderer in strange labyrinths of the mind and body, and his story features sex, drugs and a healthy dose of pyrotechnic metaphysical profundity. There's murder too, an instance of bestiality, and quite a few references to Dante's Inferno...

This is a limited edition issued in two states - 500 paperback copies signed by Ford (£10.00) and 200 hardcover copies signed by both Ford and Vandermeer (£25.00).

Simon & Schuster (Trade Division)

Conventions of War (Dread Empire's Fall S.) by Walter Jon Williams (Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) 07 November, 2005 / £10.99) - The concluding volume in Walter John Williams's massive, epic space opera Dread Empire's Fall.

"The universe has fallen into bloody chaos now that the dread empire of the tyrannical Shaa is no more - at the mercy of the merciless insectoid Naxid who, freed from subjugation, now hunger for domination. But the far-flung human descendants of Terra have finally tasted liberty, and their warriro heroes will not submit."

Vesuvius Club: Graphic Novel by Mark Gatiss (Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) 07 November, 2005 / £12.99) - This Edwardian romp by Mark Gatiss, featuring the stylish, amoral and rather rude-sounding protagonist, Lucifer Box was originally reviewed by me in our December 04 issue - click on the link and you'll note that I rather liked it.

I recall mentioning in that review the impressive artwork by Ian Bass that occasionally decorated the narrative ("saucy Beardley-esque" was the term I used to describe it) and now the story has been reissued as a graphic novel, rendered entirely by Bass. It's very impressive indeed, and slighty naught too! Be sure to check it out.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Secrets of the Widow's Son: The Mysteries Surrounding the Sequel to the "Da Vinci Code" by David A. Shugarts (Weidenfeld & Nicolson October 27, 2005 / £10.99) - It may be heresy upon heresy, but I really can't see what's so great about The Da Vinci Code - as a voracious reader, the only thing that truly distinguishes it for me is that it was one of the few novels in recent years that I never bothered to finish! Nonetheless, it's popularity marches on regardless of my opinion and here's a non-fiction book inspired by the Brown's theories and in particular, focusing and speculating upon the author's sequel to his blockbuster, The Solomon Key due out sometime next year.

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