The Good People by Steve Cockayne
(ATOM 06 July, 2006 / £12.99) - I reviewed British writer Steve Cockayne's very first novel Wanderers and Islanders way back in our February 2002 issue and was impressed indeed. With the completion of the acclaimed trilogy that was begun with that novel, Cockayne has moved from debutante to player and this month sees the release of his first novel for the young adult market. The Good People is a dark fantasy in the British tradition featuring the discovery of a secondary world in the English countryside by two young brothers. It is "... a spellbinding adventure story and an extraordinarily original novel of growing up. Disturbing, compelling and beautifully written.". A hard cover release from Atom.
A Stroke of Midnight by Laurell K. Hamilton
(Bantam July, 2006 / £6.99) - Massively popular worldwide, the Laurel K. Hamilton juggernaut once again rolls into town with a brand new Merry Gentry novel, the fourth featuring this likable heroine...
"I am Meredith Gentry, PI. Others know me as Princess Meredith, heir to the darkest throne faerie has to offer. But at what price? To inherit a court that has ruled through bloodshed and violence for centuries, must I really become that which I dread most?".
A paperback original from Bantam. Be sure to check out the authors web site at laurellkhamilton.org.
Dragon's Blood by Todd McCaffrey
(Corgi Adult 03 July, 2006 / £6.99) - I'm dubious that a talent for writing is something passed from one generation to the next, but I guess it's a matter of personal taste. For the many fans of Anne McCaffrey, this first novel set in her Pern world written solely by son Todd, may prove a satisfying beginning to a a long-lived literary dynasty. However, the hardback release received mixed reaction when published last year. This mass market edition of Dragonsblood will allow the wider readership to make up their minds.
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
(Doubleday 28 September, 2006 / £14.99) - The "By the same author" page in this new Terry Pratchett book has a similar word count to the novel itself! There really is no stopping this hugely popular author and his legions of fans will be delighted with this latest Discworld story, the third in a sequence featuring trainee witch, Tiffany Aching and the "rowdy, smelly and blue skinned Nac Mac Feegles".
Wintersmith is to be released by Doubleday this coming September in hardcover.
The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gollancz SF S.) by Scott Lynch
(Gollancz 01 June, 2006 / £12.99) - Scott Lynch's stunning debut is now available in book stores. Without doubt, this is one the top five releases of the year - so go grab your first edition and savour every word. Reviewed in last month's issue.
Quantico by Greg Bear
(HarperCollins 03 July, 2006 / £6.99) - I've enjoyed Greg Bear's recent near-future thrillers - particularly Darwin's Radio, which won the Nebula Award. Bear's work leans heavily on the science side of SF, but his novels always have a strong narrative drive that keeps the science from overshadowing the fiction. His latest work, Quantico is issued in mass market paperback this month by HarperCollins.
"...and earthbound tale of the day after tomorrow, encompassing terrorism, bio-weapons, competing US intelligence services, religious fundamentalism, and a Saudi Arabia on the verge of meltdown... -- SFX.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde
(Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 10 July, 2006 / £12.99) - The sixth novel from Jasper Fforde, who has had a meteoric rise to best selling status and is fast becoming a cherished national institution. The Fourth Bear pits the head of Reading's Nursery Crimes Division, Detective Jack Spratt against all kinds of extraordinary adversaries - including a psychotic seven foot gingerbread man! This is vintage Fforde - hilarious and clever to the point the point of genius. Ffantastic summer entertainment from this truly original and brilliant author. Reviewed this issue and highly recommended. (see review)
Livani Publishing Organisation S.A.
Orizon: The Flame of the White Sun by Mario Routi
(Livani Publishing Organisation S.A. 29 July, 2003 / £8.99) - Described by David J. Howe of the BFS as "Greek Myths for the sci-fi generation", Orizon by Greek writer Mario Routi has been a huge bestseller in the author's home country, and is now into it's 16th printing. This UK 1st edition is a trade paperback issued by Livani.
King of Ayodhya (Ramayana S.) by Ashok Banker
(Orbit 01 June, 2006 / £8.99) - The sixth and final volume in Ashok K. Banker's spectacular epic fantasy based on the myths and legends that are the foundation stone of Indian culture. This sequence is a staggering achievement and Orbit has shown great vision in bringing it to a Western readership. A trade paperback release.
Smallville Omnibus One by Roger Stern
(Orbit 06 July, 2006 / £7.99) - July brings a real treat and real value for money (a rare thing these days!) for fans of the Superman related TV show Smallville as Orbit release simultaneously, two omnibus edition edition of tie-in novels. This is the first of these releases, a good sized trade paperback edition featuring Strange Visitors by Roger Stern, Dragon by Alan Grant and Hauntings by Nancy Holder.
Smallville Omnibus Two by Dean Wesley Smith
(Orbit 06 July, 2006 / £7.99) - And the second of these great value Smallville omnibus editions contains Whodunnit by Dean Wesley Smith, a second Nancy Holder novel Silence and Shadows by Diana D. Gallagher.
The Scoundrel Worlds (Star Risk S.) by Chris Bunch
(Orbit 06 July, 2006 / £6.99) - Orbit releases the second in the late Chris Bunch's Star Risk series - dubbed "The A-Team in space". A paperback original.
What We Believe But Cannot Prove: Today's Leading Thinkers on Science in the Age of Certainty by John Brockman
(Pocket Books 03 July, 2006 / £7.99) - Not genre fiction, but something that will certainly stimulate those of you who, like me, suffer a science fiction habit. What We Believe But Cannot Prove is a series of short essays and articles by some of the leading thinkers and commentators of our age. You'll find articles by such luminaries as "...Ian McEwan on the absence of an afterlife; Richard Dawkins on the relationship between design and evolution; and Jared Diamond on when humans first reached the Americas.
Scar Night (Deepgate Codex) by Alan Campbell
(Tor 07 July, 2006 / £17.99) - The big summer release from Tor UK is this debut by new Scottish writer Alan Campbell. Scar Night looks set to be one of those novels we'll be discussing on panels at conventions, "...a magnificently colourful epic of fantasy in the best tradition of Gormanghast". Reviewed this issue. (see review)
Buddha: Ananda: Ananda v. 6 (Buddha S.) by Osamu Tezuka
(Voyager 05 June, 2006 / £10.00) - Volume six of Tezuka's Buddha sequence is released simultaneously with volume five (see above). Next month will see the release of the two concluding volumes. Highly recommended.
Deer Park (Buddha S.) by Osamu Tezuka
(Voyager 05 June, 2006 / £10.00) - The fifth volume in Osamu Tezuka's graphic novel rendition of the story of the Buddha. This is simply a work of genius - massively important in terms of culture and of art, it marks, as a reviewer in METRO stated, the "...point after which Manga novels were regarded as a serious form of literature." Though now thirty years old, this extraordinary work remains as vibrant and fascinating as ever and HarperCollins are to be congratulated heartily for this beautiful eight volume release that offers a new generation of readers the chance to experience Tezuka's masterpiece.
Forest Mage (Soldier Son Trilogy) by Robin Hobb
(Voyager 03 July, 2006 / £18.99) - Massively successful bestselling fantasy author Robin Hobb offers up the second novel in her Soldier Son trilogy. Forest Mage follows on from Shaman's Crossing released this month in mass market paperback, and lloks to be ever bit as riviting a read. This is top drawer fantasy from one the best in the business.
Shaman's Crossing (Soldier Son Trilogy) by Robin Hobb
(Voyager 03 July, 2006 / £7.99) - The mass market release of the first novel in Robin Hobb's latest fantasy series. Shaman's Crossing is the opening installment of The Soldier Son trilogy.
The Oracle's Queen (Tamir Triad S.) by Lynn Flewelling
(Voyager 02 July, 2006 / £7.99) - The final volume in Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Triad, a sequence rated highly in their cover quotes by both George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb. A paperback original released by Voyager UK.
"A fantasy that does not flinch from its premise all the way to a satisfying conclusion. The story pulled me under and carried me off with it." -- Robin Hobb.
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