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UK Books Received- 09/2006  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

Appian Publishing

The Turning by Paul J. Newell (Appian Publishing 30 June, 2006 / £7.99) - First time author Paul Newell sent in a copy of his novel The Turning, published by Appian Publishing (his own company?). I've not had a chance to read the novel, but Newell's production and presentation is slick and eye-catching. His website promotes both himself and his work admirably and new authors yet to break into the market via orthodox routes could learn much from Newell's approach.

You folks can just see for yourself if the novel is any good (after you download the first chapter from Newell's website) but I hope it's not as overwritten as the rear cover copy, which states "This is fiction... that promises to teach you something", which would imply that I want to be taught, that I need to be taught, and that I choose this novel to be the instrument of that teaching - rather than as a instrument of leisure and entertainment. Not so!


Hood (King Raven Trilogy) by Stephen R. Lawhead (ATOM 03 August, 2006 / £12.99) - A big name writer in the historical fantasy part of the market, Stephen Lawhead (author of the Pendragon and Dragon King series) targets younger readers with this reinterpretation of the evergreen Robin Hood story. Hood, a smart hardcover released by Atom, shifts the tale's geography a little by relocating it to Wales.

"A new reign of terror has brought fear and hatred to the land, while an ancient legend stirs in the heart of the wildwood. When Bran ap Brychan's father is murdered by Norman soldiers, his lands are confiscated and his people subjugated by a brutal and corrupt regime. Should Bran flee for his life or protect his people by surrendering to his father's murderers? The answer, perhaps, is known only to the Raven King - a creature of myth and magic born of the darkest shadows in the forest."


Children of the Serpent Gate (The Tears of Artamon) by Sarah Ash (Bantam 7 September, 2006 / £7.99) - The final title in Sarah Ash's Tears of Artamon series, her acclaimed fantasy trilogy. Children of the Serpent Gate is released in mass market paperback by Bantam.

"...Ash has melded together the individual components of setting, story and character and produced an emotional firecracker of a story... -- SFX, Five Star Review.

Bantam Press

Changelings by Anne McCaffrey (Bantam Press 01 September, 2006 / £17.99) - A brand new novel from the hugely successful collaborative team of Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Changelings is a spin-off sequence set in Petaybee, the world we were introduced to in Powers That Be, Power Lines and Power Play and is a hardcover release from Bantam Press.

Troy: The Shield of Thunder No.2 by David Gemmell (Bantam Press 01 September, 2006 / £17.99) - The second novel in David Gemmell's epic retelling of the Troy myth is published in hardcover by Bantam Press. The appearence of Troy: Shield of Thunder is all the more tragic given that it is only a few weeks since the new of Gemmell's untimely and tragic death at the age of fifty seven. Currently it seems highly unlikely that the planned third book in this sequence will ever be published.


End of the World Blues (Gollancz SF S.) by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Gollancz 17 August, 2006 / £12.99) - The new novel from Jon Courtenay Grimwood, a British writer prolific at the moment and finding real critical success since becoming a Gollancz author. His latest book, End of the World Blues, is "...a song to Japan and a lament for the dying world that may have forgotten we ever existed. It is proof positive of Grimwood's status as one of the most innovative and important SF writers working today"

Icarus (Gollancz SF S.) by Roger Levy (Gollancz 17 August, 2006 / £12.99) - The long awaited third novel from British SF writer Roger Levy, author of Reckless Sleep and Dark Heavens, both "...grim dystopias set on a failing earth." Icarus is a solid hard SF affair.

"The shade of Philip K. Dick is evident behind Levy's polished and luminescent prose." --

Lessek's Key: Book 2 of the Eldarn Sequence (Gollancz SF S.) by Robert Scott (Gollancz 17 August, 2006 / £14.99) - Following on from Robert Scott & Jay Gordon's The Hickory Staff, this second volume in The Eldarn Sequence, entitled Lessek's Key is now released by Gollancz. Essentially a secondary world fantasy, this series may well appeal to fans of Donaldson's Thomas Covenant novels and the works of Terry Goodkind.

The Toyminator (Gollancz SF S.) by Robert Rankin (Gollancz August, 2006 / £12.99) - Something silly for the summer is certain as once again the unstoppable Robert Rankin brings out a brand new novel. The king of bizarrely brilliant titles brings us The Toyminator, a sequel to his top selling 2002 novel The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse If you've not yet dipped into Rankin's particular brand of insanity, I heartily recommend giving it a go - see these links for my reviews of The Brightonomicon and The Witches of Chiswick.

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 07 September, 2006 / £12.99) - John Connolly taps into the nightmares of our childhood with his new novel The Book of Lost Things, released this month in hard cover by Hodder. I'm delighted to have a review of this release elsewhere in this issue by British fantasy author Juliet McKenna, who we're delighted to welcome to the review team here at SFRevu.

"'Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother...' As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairy tales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And, David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters in his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things." (see review)


Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore (Orbit 07 September, 2006 / £6.99) - Orbit continue their campaign to bring Christopher Moore's back list to the attention of British readers - and a jolly worthy campaign it is too! This month it is the turn of Island of the Sequined Love Nun - and with a title like that, you don't need me to give you any kind of synopsis!! A trade paperback release.

Knife of Dreams (Wheel of Time S.) by Robert Jordan (Orbit 03 August, 2006 / £8.99) - The wheel grinds inexorably on with this, the eleventh (count 'em!) title in Robert Jordan's gargantuan Wheel of Time sequence. Knife of Dreams. Released in mass market paperback this month by Orbit.

"As the very fabric of reality wears thin all portents indicate that Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, is imminent - and Rand al'Thor must ready himself to confront the Dark One"

Revenge (Trinity S.) by Fiona McIntosh (Orbit 07 September, 2006 / £7.99) - British born but Australian based fantasy author Fiona McIntosh garnered some impressive reviews with the release of her fantasy trilogy, The Quickening - comprising Myrren's Gift, Blood and Memory and Bridge of Souls and the sequence was very highly praised by Robin Hobb. Orbit has now published the second volume of McIntosh's new fantasy series following the release of the first last month. Revenge - a title that gives you a pretty clear idea of what these books are about! - is published this month as a paperback original. (This new trilogy was actually McIntosh's first published fantasy back in Australia). More info can be found at the author's web site and you can catch SFRevu editor Gayle Surette's reviews of the previous trilogy by clicking on the links above.

The Dog from Hell (Star Risk S.) by Chris Bunch (Orbit 07 September, 2006 / £6.99) - The final book in Chris Bunch's Star Risk series, The Dog From Hell and, sadly, the last book written by Bunch who died in July 2005. Described as The A-Team in space, this is a series that could have run and run. An Orbit paperback original.


Vellum: The Book of All Hours by Hal Duncan (Pan 07 July, 2006 / £7.99) - Hal Duncan's extraordinary novel Vellum is released in mass market paperback. This is a heady and often surreal linguistic masterpiece, quite unlike anything I've ever read before or since. A second voume, Ink is due next year. In the meantime, Vellum has been nominated for the World Fnatasy Award - quite a feat considering it's a debut work. I have a feeling it might just win! My review of the original release is reprinted in this issue. (see review)

PS Publishing

Postscripts Volume Seven by Peter Crowther (Ed) (PS Publishing August, 2006 / £6.00) - Peter Crowther's Postscripts Magazine just gets better and better. Issue seven has now been released and is chock full of fantastic fiction, commentary and illustrations. This new issue features an editorial by Lucretius Shephard, stories by Jack Dann, Tony Ballantine, Zoran Zivkovic, Jay Lake, T.M.Wright and others, an in-depth interview with Howard Waldrop and a wild and genius piece of cover art by Radoslaw Walachnia. A better return on your investment of six pounds, you will not find anywhere. I heartily recommend SFRevu readers take out a subscription without delay - you can do so online at the PS publishing web site.


Here in Cold Hell by Tanith Lee (Tor 18 August, 2006 / £6.99) - Mass market paperback edition of the second novel in Tanith Lee's Lionwolf trilogy, entitled Here in Cold Hell.

"Killed by the power of the gog Zezeth, his true father, Lionwolf has been cast into a bleak and icy hell lit just by a cold blue sun. Here he and others of the living dead must wage endless combat and war, to appease the whim of a deathly King whose face is made of stone. But when Lionwolf encounters the King's wife, she is none other than beautiful, god-fashioned Chillel, his former lover - and nemesis."

Looking for Jake: And Other Stories by China Mieville (Tor 01 September, 2006 / £6.99) - China Mieville's first short story collection is issued in mass market paperback. Few would argue that Mieville is one of the hottest properties right now. In a relatively short time, his startlingly original voice has become recognised as one of the best and most important things to happen to genre writing. Looking for Jake collects thirteen stories of "...brilliant diversity, of visionary cityscapes and urban paranoia, ghosts, monsters and impossible diseases.".

The Blood Knight by Greg Keyes (Tor 07 July, 2006 / £17.99) - The third and final title in Greg Keyes' trilogy, The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. The Blood Knight is is smart hardcover release from Tor UK. We reviewed the first two titles in the series, The Briar King and The Charnel Prince in previous issues (click on the titles to read the reviews) and you can also take a look at my thoughts on the first book, The Briar King, in a review I wrote for our collegues at Sfsite, where I am known to moonlight from time to time!


Temeraire: Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik (Voyager 07 August, 2006 / £12.99) - I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Throne of Jade, the second in Naomi Novik's Temeraire sequence - a beautifully realised story in which an airborne dragon corps is a major fighting force during the time of Napoleon. I was very struck by the first novel and thoroughly looking forward to this one! Definitely one of my top picks of the year. Throne of Jade (which has already been released in the US) is a hardcover from HaperCollins Voyager. The third novel, Black Powder War, like the second is already available in the US - it will be released here in the UK in January 2007.  (see review)

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