UK Books - April 2007 by John Berlyne
( 1 April 2007 / ) - Welcome to April, you fools!
As ever, there are some fantastic titles released here in the UK - some real treats for the Easter holidays and books that will enliven your spring break. See below for what is on offer.
I'm off to Contemplation for the day later this month - this is the main UK convention and this year it's up in my own neck of the woods in the North West - Chester to be precise. If you fancy attending, you can still purchase a membership via the web site or - like me - on the door. I'm sure it will be well worth the trip. See you there!
Everfree (Idlewild Trilogy 3) by Nick Sagan
(Bantam 02 April 2007 / £6.99) - Nick Sagan has his third novel Everfree published as a paperback original released in the UK by Bantam. A US hard cover was issued just under a year ago by Putnam.
Everfree concludes Sagan's post-apocalyptic Idlewild trilogy. The second novel in the series, Edenborn was reviewed back in our Oct 04 issue by Rafe Conn. Click on the link to read his take on Sagan's work. And be sure to visit the author's web site.
The Bonehunters: 6 (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson
(Bantam 02 April 2007 / £7.99) - The sixth installment in Steven Erikson's ten stand-alone volume series of the Malazan Book of the Fallen - is published in Mass Market paperback by Bantam. The Bonehunters is 1200 pages of superb writing that flies by and further cements Erikson's position as one of the most ground-breaking, fearless and important fantasy writers of the age.
"The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha'ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y'Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leomann of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malaz 14th Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire's greatest champion, Dassem Ultor, was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. A place of foreboding, its smell is of death".
Bodley Head Children's Books
The Hunting Season by Dean Vincent Carter
(Bodley Head Children's Books 29 March 2007 / £10.99) - The blood sodden snarling wolf on the jacket would suggest this book is perhaps not one for your kids - but Dean Vincent Carter's second novel is published in hardcover by The Bodley Head, an imprint of Random House Children's Books and is recommended for readers age 12 and upwards.
Hailed as "Better than Stephen King" by bestselling writer Andy McNab, Carter is a young British writer with a fine career ahead of him. Learn more about him and his talent for scaring the kids by visitng his web site www.deanvincentcarter.com - and do be sure also to check out Dean's MySpace page - which tells the rather charming story of how he first got published.
Troy: Shield of Thunder (Trojan War Trilogy 2) by David Gemmell
(Corgi Adult 02 April 2007 / £6.99) - 30 March 2007 GS: Proofed
Mythago Wood (Gollancz S.F.) by Robert Holdstock
(Gollancz 15 February 2007 / £14.99) - Modern day classic Mythago Wood is given a well deserved reissue by Gollancz, who publish Robert Holdstock's 1985 World Fantasy Award winning novel in a new and very smart hardcover edition.
"Deep within the wildwood lies a place of myth and mystery, from which few return, and none remain unchanged. Ryhope Wood may look like a three-mile-square fenced-in wood in rural Herefordshire on the outside, but inside, it is a primeval, intricate labyrinth of trees, impossibly huge, unforgettable ...and stronger than time itself. Stephen Huxley has already lost his father to the mysteries of Ryhope Wood. On his return from the Second World War, he finds his brother, Christopher, is also in thrall to the mysterious wood, wherein lies a realm where mythic archetypes grow flesh and blood, where love and beauty haunt your dreams, and in promises of freedom lies the sanctuary of insanity ...
The Last Wish (Gollancz S.F.) by Andrzej Sapkowski
(Gollancz 19 April 2007 / £18.99) - Uncorrected proof Copy: I once went to a fantastic convention in France and was saddened to meet so many wonderful native authors whose work I will never be able to sample because a) I didn't pay attention in French classes at school and b) the chances of them being translated and published for the English speaking audience is virtually nil. This is a shame, but perhaps also understandable given how crowded the marketplace is without looking abroad. However, thankfully, on occasion, we do get great works in translation and here is one such very fine example.
The Last Wish is a novel made up of short stories by Polish fantasy master Andrzej Sapkowski, a writer who has for some years now been a best seller in a number of European countries. Characteristically it is Gollancz who lead the way in ensuring that we don't lag too far behind. Hat's off the them, once again!
Geralt, the witcher from Rivia is stronger than mere mortals, with sorcerous powers at his command.
His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world... but not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth." (see review)
The Prefect (Gollancz S.F.) by Alastair Reynolds
(Gollancz 02 April 2007 / £14.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: I'm a big fan of Al Reynolds' work. There's something in his writing that exemplifies everything I love about science fiction - the panoramic scope, the huge swathes of time involved, weird tech... all that stuff. Yet he also gives you stories about people you can relate to, real people no matter how alien their circumstances.
The Prefect returns us to Reynold's brilliant Revelation Space universe and is published this month in hard cover by Gollancz.
"The Prefect: a roller-coaster ride through the dark and turbulent universe of Revelation Space; an interstellar thriller where nothing - and no one - is what they seem..."
Warprize (Gollancz S.F.) by Elizabeth Vaughan
(Gollancz 15 February 2007 / £9.99) - A debut romantic fantasy novel by US writer Elizabeth Vaughan, Warprize is published by Gollancz under their new Gollancz Romancz imprint. This compact hard cover is part of their campaign to offer "...sexy fiction with a fantasy or horror twist for girls who like their love life with a bit of bite!"
"I think Warprize is possibly the best romantic fantasy I have ever read ... fascinating, engrossing story with strong characters as well as a good message. Continue please to enthral me with your story-telling." -- Anne McCaffrey.
Dalek I Loved You by Nick Griffiths
(Gollancz S.F 19 April, 2007 / £12.99) - A humorous memoir will resonate with anyone who - like me! - grew up in the UK during the 70s and 80s.
"...writing with wit and humour, Griffiths takes us on a poignant and often hilarious journey through his childhood, where he first encountered Dr Who, into his teens where he is packed off to boarding school and discovers Girls and David Bowie, on to his first formative years of employment at some hip but now defunct music magazines and into life as a father and husband who is now writing about his childhood passion for a living."
"A very funny book for anyone who grew up wearing Tom Baker underpants - I know I did" -- David Tennant.
Selling Out: Quantum Gravity #2 by Justina Robson
(Gollancz S.F. 17 May 2007 / £18.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: The second in Justina Robson's fantastic and gutsy Quantum Gravity series. Selling Out is due to hit bookstores in May and looks to be as much fun as the previous book. Juliet Mckenna offers up an early review of this forthcoming release.
"The work of a smart and sexy novelist having smart and sexy fun -- LOCUS (see review)
Camelot's Sword by Sarah Zettel
(Harper 02 April 2007 / £7.99) - legend. A mass market paperback released by HarperCollins Voyager.
"Powerful... a strong and passionate vision" -- Time Out
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson
(HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 02 April 2007 / £18.99) - Science Fiction is a forward thinking genre and its very best practitioners - such as Kim Stanley Robinson - use it as a medium through which to explore the relevant topics of the day. With no pun intended, global warming is a hot topic indeed and Sixty Days & Counting is the third in Robinson's series of works looking at the devastating effect that climate change might have on our planet.
"China is close to meltdown, the security agencies are in overdrive, carbon figures are close to cooking the world... and the team has sixty days to establish a new reality."
Ernest Lilley reviewed the U.S. Edition in March 2007.
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
(Headline Review 05 April 2007 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback release of Fragile Things, a collection of short pieces and ephemeral writings by the endlessly inventive and prolific Neil Gaiman - surely one of the hardest working of all genre figures and one who always goes out of his way to make himself available to his many, many fans.
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
(Hodder Paperback 05 April 2007 / £6.99) - John Connolly's The Book of Lost Things is released in mass market paperback this month, by Hodder & Stoughton.
"A novel born from a passion for stories", this book was a great hit with our own Juliet McKenna when it was first released in hard cover back in September last year. She raved about it so much, that it only seems right to reprint her review in this issue to celebrate this new edition.
Command Decision (Vatta's War) by Elizabeth Moon
(Orbit 05 April 2007 / £6.99) - The fourth title in Elizbeth Moon's militaristic space faring adventure Vatta's War This latest installment, Command Decision, is released in the UK as an Orbit paperback original. It was previous published in the US by Del Rey in February and you can read our boss Ernest's review of it right here.
Feast of Souls (Magister Trilogy) by Celia Friedman
(Orbit 05 April 2007 / £12.99) - The UK first edition of the first novel in Celia Friedman's newest fantasy series. Previously reviewed here on SFRevu in our January 07 issue.
"In the High Kingdom of Danton Aurelius, magisters from across the known world are gathering for an unusual meeting. The High King's son is dying of an apparently incurable wasting disease, and he has charged them with providing an explanation and a cure. There is a mystery here, but not the one the High King thinks: the magisters know the cause of the prince's illness but they dare not reveal it for fear that it will expose the secret at the heart of their order. No, the mystery is not what is responsible, but who...Now the magisters must embark upon a manhunt, racing against time, before the High King learns the truth. But they have not counted on the young prince's determination to control his own fate, nor on the existence of Kamala, a young woman schooled in their own arts, who will soon shake the world to its very roots"
Proven Guilty (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
(Orbit 05 April 2007 / £6.99) - Book eight in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is published by Orbit as a paperback original. This series, hugely successful in print, has now made it to the small screen and the TV series was premiered in the UK by Sky in February.
" Harry Dresden has spent years being watched and suspected by the White Council's Wardens. But now he is a Warden, and it sucks more than he thought... So when movie monsters start coming to life on his watch, it's officially up to him to put them back where they came from. Only this time, his client is the White Council, and his investigation cannot fail -- no matter who falls under suspicion, no matter the cost."
The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod
(Orbit 05 April 2007 / £17.99) - A brand new novel by Ken MacLeod, one of Scotland's most respected science fiction authors. A hard cover release from Orbit, MacLeod's novel, The Execution Channel is another virtuoso performance, a near future thriller showing off the author's splendid talent for using science fiction as political commentary.
"...one hell of a book... it scared the shit out of me." Cory Doctorow on The Execution Channel.
The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker) by Karen Miller
(Orbit 05 April 2007 / £7.99) - Enter the kingdom of Lur, where to use magic unlawfully means death. The Doranen have ruled Lur with magic since arriving as refugees centuries ago. Theirs was a desperate flight to escape the wrath of a powerful mage who started a bitter war in their homeland. To keep Lur safe, the native Olken inhabitants agreed to abandon their own magic. Magic is now forbidden them, and any who break this law are executed. Asher left his coastal village to make his fortune. Employed in the royal stables, he soon finds himself befriended by Prince Gar and given more money and power than he'd ever dreamed possible. But the Olken have a secret; a prophecy. The Innocent Mage will save Lur from destruction and members of The Circle have dedicated themselves to preserving Olken magic until this day arrives. Unbeknownst to Asher, he has been watched closely. As the Final Days approach, his life takes a new and unexpected turn ...
Bitterwood by James Maxey
(Solaris 26 June 2007 / £4.07) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: One of the most impressive elements of the Solaris list is the obvious care taken by the publishing team to offer satisfaction for all kinds of genre fans - those who like literary SF will delight in the Adam Roberts book due out in September, Hard SF fans will enjoy Eric Brown's Helix arriving in June - for fantasy fans, we've just seen Dante's Girl, a novel very much aimed at the current market for dark, erotic fantasy and which Juliet McKenna enthusiastically reviewed in last month's issue and now, with the forthcoming release of Bitterwood, a new novel by US author James Maxey, those of us who love a good dragon story will have much to enjoy.
"Bitterwood, the famed dragon hunter, is growing old. His desire for vengeance on the dragon-soldiers who murdered his family finally beginning to wane after many years of bloodshed. A disastrous encounter that leads to the death of the royal prince dragon, however, incites the king's retribution and brings terror and death to the world. For the king sets out to eradicate the human race, and only Bitterwood, trapped inside a doomed city, can try to lead his people to salvation. "
Splinter by Adam Roberts
(Solaris 28 August 2007 / £7.77) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Solaris unveil Adam Roberts as one of their high profile releases for later in the year. Splinter is a brand new novel from this most talented and prolific of young British authors. Look for for this trade paperback release in September.
"... a thought-provoking science fiction novel about faith, disaster and alien intelligence by one of the new masters of the genre.
When Hector discovers his father has channelled the family fortune into a bizarre cult who await the imminent destruction of the Earth, he is wracked by feelings of betrayal and doubt. Things change, however, the night an asteroid plummets from space and shatters the planet, leaving Hector and the remnants of the human race struggling for survival on a splinter of the earth."
The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont
(Vintage 22 March 2007 / £7.99) - The UK appearance of Paul Marmont's fabulous debut The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril - a book I have heard many wonderful things about and which I am hugely looking forward to reading.
"A swash-buckling, breathtaking, romantic epic of magic and love, marriage and fatherhood, ambition and loss, and writers who never forget their deadlines, even when facing the end of the world. In its pages is a tale that deftly weaves the lives of its real life characters into a lie of outrageous proportions that just may tell the truth, but is always thrillingly, unapologetically pulp."
The Court of the Air by Stephen Hunt
(Voyager 02 April 2007 / £12.99) - A lead title in the HarperCollins Voyager schedule and marketed towards fans of the His Dark Materials trilogy.
Stephen Hunt's Dickensian fantasy is published in hard cover with a heft publicity drive behind it. Find out what I thought of it elsewhere in this issue. (see review)
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