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UK Books Received- 04/2008  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

Bantam Books Ltd

Reaper's Gale (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Bantam Books Ltd 07 April 2008 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of Reaper's Gale, the seventh volume in Steven Erikson's mammoth series, The Malazan Book of the Fallen, an epic fantasy saga that has unanimously been hailed as a masterpiece by readers, critics and peers alike.

"A brutal, harrowing novel of war, intrigue and dark magic, Reaper's Gale centres of the empire first visited in Midnight Tides the fifth novel. It also draws in some of the broader story arcs, as Erikson sets up the plot for his final two novels. This is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most thrilling." -- Publisher's Blurb.

Corgi Adult

Troy: Fall of Kings (Trojan War Trilogy 3) by David Gemmell (Corgi Adult 24 March 2008 / £6.99) - The mass market edition of final volume in the late David Gemmell's final series, his retelling of the story of Troy. At the time of his death in July 2006, Gemmell hd only completed about half of this third book in the sequence. He did however, leave behind substantial notes and thus his wife, Stella was able to complete the work thus offering some solace for the many readers who were awaiting the climax of this epic tale.

"History and legend combine in this epic re-creation of the Troy myth" -- Conn Iggulden

Corgi Books

The Colour of Magic: Omnibus (Discworld Novel) by Terry Pratchett (Corgi Books 10 March 2008 / £7.99) - This Easter Sky One will be screening their big-budget adaptation of Terry Pratchett's The Colour of Magic, the first novel of the Discworld and the jumping off point of one of the best-selling, most popular and cherished fantasy series in the history of the genre. Corgi celebrate this milestone by releasing a tie-in trade paperback edition which features both The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

Pratchett himself has been in the news in the last week with the announcement of his generous donation of one million dollars to the Alzheimer's Research Trust. This follows the revelation that the writer himself has been diagnosed with a rare form of the disease. Furthermore a campaign has been started up for fans of Pratchett's work to donate to the charity - visit the Match It For Pratchett web site for further details and be sure to donate to this extremely important cause.


Dalek I Loved You (Gollancz S.F.) by Nick Griffiths (Gollancz 10 April 2008 / £7.99) - A humorous memoir will resonate with anyone who -- like me -- grew up in the UK during the '70s and '80s. This is the mass market edition published by Gollancz.

"...writing with wit and humour, Griffiths takes us on a poignant and often hilarious journey through his childhood, where he first encountered Doctor 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.

(see review)

Dark Blood (Gollancz S.F.) by John Meaney (Gollancz 21 February 2008 / £12.99) - John Meaney's follow up to Gothic, SF, thriller Bone Song, enthusiastically reviewed in our February 08 issue by Gayle. Dark Blood is published in both hard cover and trade paperback by Gollnacz.

"... Police officer Donal Riordan, killed and brought back to life with the heart of his undead lover beating in his chest... getting used to a bizarre and frightening new existence. As one of the undead the living citizens of Tristopolis distrust and fear him. But death has its advantages. He can sense the presence, the thoughts, the feelings of his fellow zombies, he is tireless, he can see better, hear more acutely. But none of this will necessarily save him as he begins to investigate who is behind a plot to ensorcel the entire population of Tristopolis. The plot goes right to the top and anyway who gets in the way will be killed again." (see review)

Flood by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 19 June 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: The forthcoming novel from Stephen Baxter, one of the biggest names in British SF. Due from Gollancz in June 2008.

"Next year. Sea levels begin to rise. The change is far more rapid than any climate change predictions; metres a year. Within two years London, only 15 metres above the sea, is drowned. New York follows, the Pope gives his last address from the Vatican, Mecca disappears beneaths the waves. Where is all the water coming from? Scientists estimate that the earth was formed with seas 30 times in volume their current levels. Most of that water was burnt off by the sun but some was locked in the earth's mantle. For the tip of Everest to disappear beneath the waters would require the seas to triple their volume. That amount of water is still much less than 1% of the earth's volume. And somehow it is being released. The world is drowning. The biblical flood has returned. And the rate of increase is building all the time. Mankind is on the run, heading for high ground. Nuclear submarines prowl through clouds of corpses rising from drowned cities, populations are decimated and finally the dreadful truth is known. Before 50 years have passed there will be nowhere left to run. FLOOD tells the story of mankind's final years on earth.The stories of a small group of people caught up in the struggle to survive are woven into a tale of unimaginable global disaster. And the hope offered for a unlucky few by a second great ark ... "

Incandescence by Greg Egan (Gollancz 15 May 2008 / £18.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Gollancz's mammoth reissue last month of Greg Egan's entire (and extremely impressive) back list was clearly in support of this, his forthcoming novel Incandescence, due out in both hard cover and trade paperback in May.

"A million years from now, the galaxy is divided between the vast, cooperative meta-civilisation known as the Amalgam, and the silent occupiers of the galactic core known as the Aloof. The Aloof have long rejected all attempts by the Amalgam to enter their territory, but have occasionally permitted travellers to take a perilous ride as unencrypted data in their communications network, providing a short-cut across the galaxy's central bulge. When Rakesh encounters a traveller, Lahl, who claims she was woken by the Aloof on such a journey and shown a meteor full of traces of DNA, he accepts her challenge to try to find the uncharted world deep in the Aloof's territory from which the meteor originated. Roi and Zak live inside the Splinter, a world of rock that swims in a sea of light they call the Incandescence. Living on the margins of a rigidly organised society, they seek to decipher the subtle clues that might reveal the true nature of the Splinter. In fact, the Splinter is orbiting a black hole, which is about to capture a neighbouring star, wreaking havoc.As the signs of danger grow, Roi, Zak, and a growing band of recruits struggle to understand and take control of their fate."

The Domino Men (Gollancz S.F.) by Jonathan Barnes (Gollancz 21 February 2008 / £10.99) - The much-anticipated second novel from Jonathan Barnes, author of The Somnambulist, a Victorian caper which I reviewed a year ago and which was greeted with equal enthusiasm from all corners of the reviewing fraternity. Barnes' follow-up is a sequel to his previous novel and looks to have just as much grotesque charm.

"A young man discovers a manuscript and so begins a bizarre tale that brings together his grandfather, every conspiracy theory you've ever heard about the royal family and the true story about where the power of Number 10 really lies." (see review)

The Necronomicon: The Best Weird Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft: Necronomicon (Gollancz S.F.) by Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Gollancz 27 March 2008 / £20.00) - My pick of the month by a mile! Following the very smart tribute edition, The Chronicle of Conan, which was published back in back in 2006, Gollancz now apply the same treatment to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. The result is Necronomicon : Commemorative Edition, a beautiful leather-bound, gilt-stamped tome containing all the gravitas and drama one associates with Lovecraft even before one looks between the covers. This is a wonderful production selected by horror aficionado extraordinaire Stephen Jones and contains all the very best stories in the Lovecraft canon. Jones provides an illuminating afterword and the whole book is illustrated throughout by Les Edwards.

A terrific book and if you only have twenty quid in your book budget this month, this is the thing to spend it on.

The Ninth Circle by Alex Bell (Gollancz 17 April 2008 / £12.99) - A début novel due from Gollancz in April, and this one looks very interesting indeed. The Ninth Circle by newcomer Alex Bell is being described as "The Bourne Identity ... as if Neil Gaiman had written it" and I defy you not to be intrigued by that!

"A man comes round on the floor of a shabby flat in the middle of Budapest. His head is glued to the floorboards with his own blood. There's a fortune in cash on the kitchen table. And he has no idea where, or who, he is."

(see review)


Camelot's Blood by Sarah Zettel (Harper 03 March 2008 / £7.99) - Historical, Arthurian fantasy from US author Sarah Zettel, Camelot's Blood is the fourth title in this sequence. A mass market edition from Harper.

"An evocative and highly engaging romantic fantasy set in the evocative time of King Arthur. Laurel Carnbrea, Queen of Cambryn, arrives at Camelot to marry a man she has never met -- Sir Agravain, the brother of the renowned Sir Gawain. Laurel has heard that Agravain is a reserved and cold man, but marriage to King Arthur's nephew will give vital protection to her own lands. However, before the marriage can be consummated, Laurel's new huband receives news that his father, King Lot, is dying, and he must return to his homeland of Gododdin in the north."

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins v. 1 by John D. Rateliff (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 03 March 2008 / £9.99) - A work of extraordinary bibliographic depth, John D Rateliff's extensive research offers an in-depth history of Tolkien's The Hobbit and examines in minute detail the themes therein. A title aimed at those with an academic interest in Tolkien or perhaps those serious Tolkien completists out there. A trade paperback released in two parts.

The History of the Hobbit: Return to Bag-End v. 2 by John D. Rateliff (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 03 March 2008 / £9.99) - The second volume of Rateliff's, The History of the Hobbit.

"Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date of composition, how Tolkien's professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how Tolkien came to revise the book years after publication to accommodate events in The Lord of the Rings. Like Christopher Tolkien's The History of The Lord of the Rings before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book now celebrating 70 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time."

The Lord of the Rings : A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 03 March 2008 / £12.99) - A definitive resource for those Tolkien readers wishing to delve into the minutiae of The Lord of the Rings.

"...detailing how mistakes crept in almost from the first printing, how Tolkien changed the text during his lifetime, posthumous changes made by Christopher Tolkien and a previously unpublished Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, written by Tolkien himself..."


Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (HarperVoyager 03 March 2008 / £7.99) - I loved Naomi Novik's debut novel Temeraire, but found the subsequent follow up works Throne of Jade and Black Powder War suffered rather from the law of diminishing returns. Her latest novel in the sequence Empire of Ivory, is now released by Voyager in mass market paperback and takes Lawrence and Temeraire to darkest Africa where they continue their adventures.

Headline Book Publishing

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride) by James Patterson (Headline Book Publishing 03 April 2008 / £6.99) - Book three in James Patterson's YA series has the rather unwieldy title of Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports. This is the mass market release from Headline.

"You're about to join the adventures of Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gazzy, and Angel, six extraordinary kids who have powers like no other: they can fly, and they're being chased - no, hunted - across America and around the world. This is the end, my friends. But I promise that you'll fly higher than ever before in this wild adventure, witness battles worthy of multiplex movie screens, and laugh until your sides hurt. Believe it or not, there's even a little romance. But all good things - and even terrible, unspeakable ones - must come to an end. This is that moment in time, I'm afraid. Either we save the world, or we crash and burn. And I mean all of us - even you, faithful reader, because you play a very big part in this story. Max The Flock needs your help. Yes, you."

Headline Review

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire (Headline Review 03 April 2008 / £14.99) - Nine years after it was first published in the US, Headline bring Gregory Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister to a British audience in the form of this smart hard cover release.

"We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty ...and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks? Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household - and the treacherous truth of her former life. Far more than a mere fairy tale, this is a novel of beauty and betrayal, reminding us that deception can be unearthed - and love unveiled - in the most unexpected of places."

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (Headline Review 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - I remember being struck when I read Gregory Maguire's Wicked quite how bleak his vision of L.Frank Baum's Oz world was. This was not the sparkling, camp, all singing and dancing landscape I remembered from my childhood, but something altogether different. The success of that book and of the Broadway musical it spawned (which went a long way towards restoring that lost camp!) established Maguire as a reinterpretor and extrapolator of other people's stories and this is something he continues to do with admirable success.

Headline Review publish a mass market edition of Son of a Witch, Maguire's 2005 sequel to his novel Wicked.

"For everyone who fell under the WICKED spell...Back in the land of Oz, Gregory Maguire introduces us to Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead, Liir is tended to at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by a silent novice called Candle, who wills him back to life with her musical gifts. What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape - but what of her powers? In an Oz that, since the Wizard's departure, is under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enought to grow up?"

Hodder Paperback

Infected by Scott Sigler (Hodder Paperback 10 July 2008 / £6.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : An SFnal thriller from US writer Scott Sigler due to be published here in the UK in July 2008.

"They dropped from the atmosphere like microscopic snow. Billions of seeds, smaller than specks of dust, spiralling down from the heavens. A few survived, and began to grow...Now three people face a race against time. Dew Phillips, an agent with a classified unit of the CIA, and Margaret Montoya, a government biologist, must try to stop a modern plague that drives its victims to insanity, murder and suicide.And Perry Dawsey, an ex-footballer in a dead-end job, must race to find a cure for the rash that has appeared on his arm. And his back. And his neck. And which is getting bigger.And then the voices start...Scott Sigler is the new voice in new horror - his UK debut is a terrifying, menacing thriller about millions of alien parasites infecting the general population, driving the victims to murder and suicide...and waiting to hatch.."

Sigler's web site is well worth a visit - he has really embraced the power of the internet as a marketing tool for writers and you can find out about his various works. He also offers some fantastic downloads for site visitors, including his novels as **free audiobooks**. Additionally Infected has a brilliant site of its own and will shortly also be available as a free podcast download.

Sandworms of Dune by Kevin J. Anderson (Hodder Paperback 20 March 2008 / £7.99) - The Dune franchise thunders on, deftly steered by Brain Herbert, son of its creator Frank Herbert and the prolific SF author Kevin J. Anderson. Sandworms of Dune receives its mass market publication from Hodder.

"As the no-ship Ithaca flees through space, the heroes of HUNTERS OF DUNE finally meet the Enemy who followed the violent fanatics, the Honored Matres, back to their universe. The thinking machines vanquished by Serena Butler's jihad were not destroyed, only driven into exile - and now, tens of thousands of years later, they are back. Can the resurrected heroes on board the Ithaca save our race from annihilation?"

NewCon Press

Celebration: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the British Science Fiction Association by Brian Aldiss (NewCon Press 21 March 2008 / £9.99) - There's a terrific line up in this anthology from NewCon Press, launched recently at Orbital, the recent British SF Eastercon. Celebration is edited by Ian Whates and hails fifty glorious years of the British Science Fiction Association. The anthology features all new stories from some the best known names in British science fiction, including Brian Aldiss, Stephen Baxter, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, M. John Harrison, Ken Macleod, Christopher Priest, Alastair Reynolds, Brian Stableford, Ian Watson, Liz Williams and others. it also contains an introduction by Pat Cadigan.

Celebration is available as both a trade paperback and a limited hard cover and can be ordered directly from the NewCon Press web site. (Hint - BSFA members can get the book at a reduced rate - a major bargain!!).

Highly recommended.

Myth-understandings by (NewCon Press 21 March 2008 / £9.99) - The second brand new anthology from Ian Whates' NewCon Press to be launched at the recent British Eastercon - Myth-Understandings (not a Robert Asprin book!) is a collection of "...fifteen tales of mystery, wonder and adventure from fifteen of the finest writers of speculative fiction around. All of whom happen to be women."

This volume is available as both a trade paperback and as a limited edition hard cover. For further information go to NewCon Press where you can order direct.


Dark Wraith of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Orbit 28 March 2008 / £6.99) - This is fab! Terry Brooks offers up his first graphic novel to be set in his world of Shannara. Illustrated by Edwin David, Brooks calls Dark Wraith of Shannara a "grand experiment" and it certainly looks very pleasing to the eye, even more so given this is a black and white production. Released by Orbit here in the UK, Del Rey will publish in the US.

Empress (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller (Orbit 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - Karen Miller's Kingmaker Kingbreaker duology proved particularly popular with readers and now Orbit publish the first in a new fantasy sequence, sure to prove just as popular. Empress, the first volume in Miller's new Godspeaker series, first appeared in Miller's native Australia under the title Empress of Mijak. It is now available to British readers in this mass market edition.

I am Hekat, precious and beautiful.
I am the god's slave, I live for its purpose.
The god is in me, I am in the god's eye.

Midnight Never Come by Marie Brennan (Orbit 09 June 2008 / £7.64) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Orbit will publish Midnight Never Come in June, a new novel from Marie Brennan, described as a "... breathtaking novel of intrigue and betrayal set in Elizabethan England," this does look to be a fascinating release and may well prove to be the author's break-out book. Further information on both Brennan and her forthcoming novel can be found on the author's web site - and I should add that the information Brennan offers up on this forthcoming release - background, soundtrack listings, photos from her research trips excerpts, journals - is an abject lesson in how to get people interested in one's work. Top stuff!

Shadow Gate (Crossroads) by Kate Elliott (Orbit 03 April 2008 / £12.99) - If not exactly the current queen of doorstop fantasy (there are a number of contenders for the crown) Kate Elliot is certainly part of the nobility. Her latest series Crossroads now enters its second volume with the appearance of this thwacking great trade paperback edition - Shadow Gate is published this month by Orbit, an edition that precedes the US release by a couple of weeks.

Small Favour by Jim Butcher (Orbit 03 April 2008 / £12.99) - A brand new Harry Dresden adventure. Jim Butcher's series has proved massively popular amongst readers and Orbit now publish the eleventh title in the sequence, and for the first time as a smart hard cover edition.

"Harry Dresden's life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council's war with the vampiric Red Court has entered a period of detente, no one's tried to kill him in nearly a year, and the worst problem he's had lately is working out how to remove the stains his apprentice bungled into his carpeting. The future looks fairly bright. Unfortunately, the past isn't nearly as promising. An old bargain placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe and the Queen of Air and Darkness. Harry still owes the Winter Queen of Faerie two favours, and it's time to pay one of them off. It's a small favour that he really can't refuse, but it will trap Harry between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, stretching his skills and loyalties to their very limits. It figures. Everything was going too well to last."

Victory Conditions (Vatta's War) by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - Elizabeth Moon's gripping military space adventure Vatta's War now has a fifth volume published here in the UK. Victory Conditions is a paperback original from Orbit and once again shows that Moon is way ahead of the pack in this corner of the genre.

"A vast and hostile force is attacking prosperous trade centres, destroying their space fleets then moving on, leaving death and chaos in their wake. Admiral Ky Vatta's family was decimated by one such attack and Turek, the pirate force's leader, will not escape her vengeance. Ky has a loyal taskforce, but the enemy have three times the ships and the firepower to match. She must offset these advantages with her knowledge of military strategy and her ace: superior ansible technology, facilitating fast and accurate in-space intelligence. The alternative to victory is unthinkable - devastation of interplanetary trading networks on a galaxy-wide scale - and the end of a way of life."

Voice of the Gods (Age of the Five) by Trudi Canavan (Orbit 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - Trudi Canavan brings her Age of Five trilogy to a close with Voice of Gods, published this month inmass market paperback by Orbit. The previous titles in the sequence, Priestess of the White and Last of the Wilds both figured in The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers list and CXanavan is now acknowlegded as one of the top selling writers on the Orbit list.

High calibre fantasy from one of Australia's best - find out more at

Pendragon Press, Maesteg

The Reef by Mark Charan Newton (Pendragon Press, Maesteg 24 March 2008 / £9.99) - Recently launched at the British Eastercon, The Reef is the new début from Mark Charan Newton and is published by Christopher Teague's Pendragon Press, a venturing which I have delighted at seeing mature over the last few years. The Reef is a smart trade paperback production and is described as having "... echoes of Joseph Conrad and China Miéville, The Reef is a modern fantasy journey with original creatures and peoples, a story of relationships foundering on tropical sands and in dark waters."Solaris and his agent John Jarrold recently announced that Mark has sold a two book deal to Macmillan / Tor UK. Congratulations to all involved!

Prometheus Books

A World Too Near: Entire and the Rose Bk. 2 (The Entire and the Rose) by Kay Kenyon (Prometheus Books 12 March 2008 / £12.30) - Kay Kenyon's Bright of the Sky was extremely well received when it was published last year by Pyr Books. Now they published the second in this sequence of The Entire and The Rose, entitled A World Too Near.

""Kay Kenyon continues to offer some neat adventures for her protagonists in this really alluring offbeat universe she's created.…all the characters continue to be fascinatingly complex.….every minor character is endowed with exceptional depth and reality.…the artificial universe known as the Entire remains a great conception and playground for adventure....I'll certainly be back for the next installment, hoping for more aspects of the Entire to emerge. "- Sci Fi Weekly


Tommy Storm by A.J. Healy (Quercus 07 February 2008 / £6.99) - YA fiction from British publisher Quercus who are tentatively dipping their toes into the genre market. Tommy Storm is "Funny, fast-paced SF for fans of Star Wars, Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Space Balls and Red Dwarf"... which just about covers everything on the comedy sci-fi shelf!

For more information visit


The Host by Stephenie Meyer (Sphere 01 May 2008 / £14.99) - Uncorrected proof Copy : Stephenie Meyer has become a name to reckon in YA circles following the massive success of her trilogy of vampire novels, Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse published here in the UK by Atom. She now sets out capture a more mature audience with her new novel The Host, "... a gripping novel of love and betrayal set in a future when the fate of humanity is at stake." - I bet she does it too! Due out in the UK from Sphere in May.


Hilldiggers by Neal Asher (Tor 04 April 2008 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of Asher's novel Hilldiggers - a stand alone tale set in his Polity universe.

"During a war between two planets in the same solar systemeach occupied by adapted humanswhat is thought to be a cosmic superstring is discovered. After being cut, this object collapses into four cylindrical pieces, each about the size of a tube train. Each is densely packed with either alien technology or some kind of life. They are placed for safety in three ozark cylinders of a massively secure space station. There, a female research scientist subsequently falls pregnant, and gives birth to quads. Then she commits suicidebut why? By the end of the war one of the contesting planets has been devastated by the hilldiggersgiant space dreadnoughts employing weapons capable of creating mountain ranges. The quads have meanwhile grown up and are assuming positions of power in the post-war society. One of them will eventually gain control of the awesome hilldiggers."

Follow these links to my reviews of Asher's previous novels, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Brass Man, Cowl and still one of my all time favourite novels, The Skinner.

The Line War (Agent Cormac 5) by Neal Asher (Tor 04 April 2008 / £17.99) - Line War is the fifth Cormac novel from the prolific Neal Asher, a writer whose career I have followed with great interest since I reviewed his first novel here back in March 2001. Since then Neal has had over a dozen novels published, each chock-full of his explosive brand of adventure SF and he has gained a massive and loyal readership. This is no accident, for Asher writes with verve and almost fanatical energy and it is very hard not to be pulled along in adrenaline rush.

Line War is released in hard cover by Tor UK.

Virgin Books

The Grin of the Dark by Ramsey Campbell (Virgin Books 01 May 2008 / £7.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Ramsey Campbell's novel The Grin of the Dark was published last year as a limited edition by PS Publishing. Now Virgin Books release it as the second title in their brand new line of works of chilling top-drawer horror. The Grin of the Dark will be a paperback original appearing in May.Once upon a time Tubby Thackeray's silent comedies were hailed as the equal of Chaplin's and Keaton's, but now his name has been deleted from the history of the cinema. Some of his music-hall performances before he went to Hollywood were riotously controversial, and his last film was never released - but why have his entire career and all his films vanished from the record? Simon Lester is a film critic thrown out of a job by a lawsuit against the magazine he helped to found. When he's commissioned to write a book about Thackeray and restore the comedian's reputation, it seems as if his own career is saved. His research takes him from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, from dusty archives to a hardcore movie studio. But his research leads to something far older than the cinema, something that has taken a new and even more dangerous shape."

The Unblemished by Conrad Williams (Virgin Books 03 April 2008 / £7.99) - The book that won the International Horror Guild award in 2007 for the scariest damn novel finally gets published in the UK. The Unblemished by the brilliant and deeply disconcerting Conrad Williams -- a British writer with a deserved reputation for scaring people out of their wits -- was originally available only as a limited-edition hardcover published in the US by Paul Miller's top-drawer Earthling Publications. It is now published as the lead title for Virgin's new horror line and is available as a paperback edition priced at £7.99 -- definitely one to watch out for.

(see review)

Yen Press

Black God: v. 2 (Black God) by Dall-Young Lim (Yen Press 13 February 2008 / £5.99) - With Kuro tagging along just about everywhere, videogame programmer Keita struggles to get back to his normal life. But when another human-mototsumitama pair comes looking for a fight-one with Keita's childhood friend, Akane, as the prize-it's clear that our reluctant hero's got a long way to go to get back to anything resembling normalcy.

Y Square by Judith Park (Yen Press 2 February 2008 / £5.99) - Yoshitaka Kogirei is not very successful with girls, which wears him out a lot.His new classmate, Yagate, on the contrary, seems to attract the ladies just with ease.Frustrated to no end, Yoshitaka asks Yagate for his recipe for success - and the master agrees to give him a few tips!When Yoshitaka learns that Yagate is a judge in the school's upcoming Beauty Contest, his new friend proposes that Yoshitaka should join him by standing in for a sick member of the judging committee.But when his dream girl steps the stage, Yoshitaka can no longer keep his macho temperament in check - and everything goes downhill from there!

Zombie-Loan: v. 2 (Zombie-Loan) by Peach-Pit (Yen Press 13 February 2008 / £5.99) - This second installment of PEACH-PIT's hit manga finds the Z-Loan office's teen trio hot on the trail of an elusive psychopath known as "the Butterfly." Amidst all the excitement, poor Michiru hasn't gotten much of a chance to get used to her new digs, her new friends, and now, a new member?!

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