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UK Books Received- 07/2008  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


Eclipse (Twilight Saga) by Stephenie Meyer (ATOM 03 July 2008 / £6.99) - In a very short time indeed, Stephenie Meyer has stormed the teenage market with her internationally best-selling Twilight series. Hers is the kind of success most writers can only dream of - massive sales, movie deals and queues stretching down the block whenever she does a book signing. Now Orbit's YA imprint, Atom publishes Meyer's third Twilight novel, Eclipse, in mass market paperback and next month will see the hard cover release of Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in this series, which is fast becoming a publishing phenomena.

Bantam Press

Death's Head: Maximum Offence by David Gunn (Bantam Press 16 June 2008 / £11.99) - I enjoyed pseudonymous author David Gunn's opening salvo in his Death's Head Trilogy - it was an explosive, relentlessly high-octane military SF romp with an outrageous body count and an engagingly gung-ho central character (see my review here). Now Lt. Stig Tveskoeg returns in Death's Head: Maximum Offence, and will, no doubt, be up to much the same kind of thing! Pass the napalm!

A trade paperback from Bantam Press.

Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Bantam Press 01 July 2008 / £18.99) - One of this month's headline releases and a title that legions of Steven Erikson fans have been eagerly awaiting. Toll the Hounds is the eighth novel in Erikson's gargantuan epic sequence of The Malazan Books of the Fallen, a series that continues to be a benchmark of modern fantasy. This latest novel is released in hardcover by Bantam Press and Erikson will be touring the UK to promote the release in July - you can find the tour schedule here.

"In Darujhistan, the saying goes that Love and Death shall arrive together, dancing...It is summer and the heat is oppressive, yet the discomfiture of the small rotund man in the faded red waistcoat is not entirely due to the sun. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city's streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways but it seems the hunters have become the hunted. Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. Strangers have arrived, and while the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of hounds. All is palpably not well. And in Black Coral too, ruled over by Anomander Rake Son of Darkness, something is afoot - memories of ancient crimes surface, clamouring for revenge, so it would seem that Love and Death are indeed about to make their entrance...This is epic fantasy at its most imaginative, storytelling at its most exciting."

Twelve by Jasper Kent (Bantam Press 09 October 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : A fascinating début from a new and exciting British author, Jasper Kent. Twelve is described at "the first Napoleonic historical vampire novel". Due for release in October from Bantam, Twelve already has its own web site where you can read an excerpt.

"Twelve is the story of Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, a captain in the army of Tsar Alexander I, sworn to defend Russia against the onslaught of Napoleon's Grande Armée in the autumn of 1812. He joins forces with a band of twelve Wallachian mercenaries, whose zeal and success in slaughtering the French invaders seem too good to be true.

Soon, Aleksei unearths the gruesome secret behind the Wallachians' abilities, and discovers that they make little distinction between Frenchman or Russian. His fight becomes not simply one against Napoleon, but against a far more dangerous enemy."

Corgi Books

Making Money (Discworld) by Terry Pratchett (Corgi Books 16 June 2008 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel. Making Money is published by Corgi Books.

"Reprieved confidence trickster Moist von Lipwig, who reorganized the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in 2004's Going Postal, turns his attention to the Royal Mint in this splendid Discworld adventure. It seems that the aristocratic families who run the mint are running it into the ground, and benevolent despot Lord Vetinari thinks Moist can do better. Despite his fondness for money, Moist doesn't want the job, but since he has recently become the guardian of the mint's majority shareholder (an elderly terrier) and snubbing Vetinari's offer would activate an Assassins Guild contract, he reluctantly accepts. Pratchett throws in a mad scientist with a working economic model, disappearing gold reserves and an army of golems, once more using the Disc as an educational and entertaining mirror of human squabbles and flaws" -- Publisher's Weekly.


Blood of Elves (Gollancz S.F.) by Andrzej Sapkowski (Gollancz 18 September 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : The second title from Polish fantasy giant Andrzej Sapkowski due to be published in translation by Gollancz this coming September. The first release, The Last Witcher I reviewed back in our April 2007 issue. Blood of Elves, sees the return of Geralt...

"For more than a hundred years humans, dwarves, gnomes and elves lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over and now the races once again fight each other - and themselves: dwarves are killing their kinsmen, and elves are murdering humans and elves, at least those elves who are friendly to humans . . . Into this tumultuous time is born a child for whom the witchers of the world have been waiting. Ciri, the granddaughter of Queen Calanthe, the Lioness of Cintra, has strange powers and a stranger destiny, for prophecy names her the Flame, one with the power to change the world - for good, or for evil . . . Geralt, the witcher of Rivia, has taken Ciri to the relative safety of the Witchers' Settlement, but it soon becomes clear that Ciri isn't like the other witchers. As the political situation grows ever dimmer and the threat of war hangs almost palpably over the land, Geralt searches for someone to train Ciri's unique powers. But someone else has an eye on the young girl, someone who understand exactly what the prophecy means - and exactly what Ciri's power can do. This time Geralt may have met his match."

City at the End of Time by Greg Bear (Gollancz 17 July 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: A major new SF novel from Greg Bear, one of the genres true masters (notably, Bear is one of only two authors to win a nebula in every category!).

"Do you dream of a city at the end of time? In a time like the present, on a world that may or may not be our own, three young people-Ginny, Jack, and Daniel-dream of a fabulous, decadent city in the distant future: the Kalpa. The dreams of Ginny and Jack overtake them without warning, leaving their bodies behind while carrying their consciousnesses forward, into the minds of two inhabitants of the Kalpa-a would-be warrior, Jebrassy, and an inquisitive explorer, Tiadba-who have been genetically retroengineered to possess qualities of ancient humanity. In turn, the dreams of Tiadba and Jebrassy carry them back, into the minds of Jack and Ginny.

As for Daniel: he dreams of an empty darkness--all his future holds.

But more than dreams link Ginny, Jack, and Daniel. They are fate-shifters, born with the ability to skip like stones across the surface of the fifth dimension, inhabiting alternate versions of themselves. And they are each guardians of an object whose origins and purpose are unknown, a gnarled, stony artifact called a sum-runner that persists unchanged through all versions of time.

They can save the future, but they are being hunted down."

Cowboy Angels (Gollancz S.F.) by Paul McAuley (Gollancz 12 June 2008 / £7.99) - Gollancz publish the mass market paperback edition of Paul McAuley's Cowboy Angels, the latest in a fascinating series of highly original, SFnal near-future thrillers from McAuley that I feel should have him easily rivalling the popularity of Michael Crichton. Alas, the book-buying world is fickle - but McAuley's work is anything but.

"Cowboy Angels combines the high-octane action and convoluted plots of the TV series 24 in a satirical, multi-layered alternate reality thriller."

Eve: The Empyrean Age (Gollancz S.F.) by Tony Gonzales (Gollancz 19 June 2008 / £12.99) - Eve Online is one of the worlds leading MMOGs ("Massively Multiplayer Online Game") and looking at the many and varied online resources for the game, it's not hard to see why this enormous and diverse gaming environment is one of the most globally popular examples of its type. I fear spending even ten minutes playing such a game, as I'm certain I'd soon find that ten months had passed out here in the real world!

Coinciding with a major game expansion, Gollancz publish the first Eve novelization, a trade paperback, written by Tony Gonzales (Eve Online's lead writer) and entitled The Empyrean Age.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris (Gollancz 19 June 2008 / £12.99) - Another month and another Charlaine Harris novel! Harris continues to power ahead in the field of supernatural romantic mysteries, producing consistently bankable novels with well timed and highly professional regularity. Her success is an abject lesson in how to build an author brand and has been enhanced further by the transition of her character Sookie Stackhouse to the small screen! From Dead to Worse is published in hard cover by Gollancz.

"The supernatural community in Bon Temps, Louisiana is reeling from two hard blows: the natural disaster of Hurricane Katrina, and the manmade horror of the explosion at the vampire summit in the up-north city of Rhodes. Sookie Stackhouse is safe but dazed, and she's yearning for things to get back to normal. But that's just not happening. Too many vampires - some friends, some not - were killed or injured, and her were-tiger boyfriend Quinn is among the missing. It's clear that things are changing, whether the weres and vamps like it or not. And Sookie, Friend to the Pack, blood-bonded to the leader of the local vampire community, is caught up in those changes. She's about to find herself facing danger and death and, not for the first time, betrayal by someone she loves. And when the fur has finished flying and the cold blood has stopped flowing, Sookie's world will be forever altered ..."

Going Under: Quantum Gravity Book Three: Quantum Gravity Bk. 3 (Gollancz S.F.) by Justina Robson (Gollancz 20 November 2008 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Justina Robson's third Quantum Gravity novel, Going Under - see here for our review of books one and two in this superb series. Due for release this November from Gollancz.

"...combines her trademark themes of identity and reality, magic and technology, break-neck plots, a mischievous sense of fun and a seriously sexy new heroine."

Kitty Takes A Holiday by Carrie Vaughn (Gollancz 12 June 2008 / £6.99) - A Gollancz paperback original...

"After being exposed on national television while turning wolf, Kitty heads to the mountains of Colorado to pen her memoirs and get some much needed R and R. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead. First someone leaves grotesque animal sacrifices on her front porch to curse her, then werewolf hunter Cormac shows up with an injured Ben O'Farrell, Kitty's lawyer, slung over his shoulder. Two hotties and one Kitty in a single-room cabin - can the situation get more tense? When a wolf-life creature with glowing red eyes starts sniffing around the cabin, Kitty wonders if any of them will get out of these woods alive"

The Larion Senators: The Eldarn Sequence Book 3: Book 3 of 'the Eldarn Sequence' (Gollancz S.F.) by Robert Scott & Jay Gordon (Gollancz 12 June 2008 / £8.99) - The third and final title in Scott and Gordon's collaborative fantasy The Eldarn Sequence. The Larion Senators is published in mass market paperback by Gollancz.

"Nerak is defeated. Steven Taylor has cast the malevolent dictator's soul into the Fold's inky void - but the evil that controlled Nerak and brutalised the people of Eldarn has escaped, and taken Mark Jenkins with it. Steven must put his own feelings to one side, for Eldarn's fate still hangs in the balance, and he remains the land's only real hope. As he and his companions make their way across country, rallying what remains of their allies, Mark, no longer the affable teacher from Colorado, disappears into the foothills of the Blackstone Mountains, determined to excavate the Larion spell table and use its awesome power to destroy Eldarn. During an epic sea journey to the enemy strongholds of northern Malakasia, Steven discovers he is stronger than he thought, but a confrontation with Mark is inevitable ...Is Steven willing to kill his best friend and face eternal exile in Eldarn to save two worlds from annihilation? Return to Eldarn for this towering finale, where our heroes face a terrifying army of mutated beasts, and the mysteries of the Larion Senators are waiting to be unlocked, for good or for evil ..."

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Book 1 by Patrick Rothfuss (Gollancz 12 June 2008 / £8.99) - Gollancz release the mass market edition of Patrick Rothfuss' effusively acclaimed fantasy début The Name of The Wind. I didn't care for this one all that much and though I firmly stick to my guns as to why it didn't appeal to me (my review is rerun in this issue), the novel was an undeniable hit with many of my fellow reviewers and certainly went down well with readers. A long-awaited follow up novel entitled Wise Man's Fear is in the pipeline for publication in April next year. (see review)

The Wingless Boy: The Fledging of Az Gabrielson and Pirates of the Relentless Desert by Jay Amory (Gollancz 24 July 2008 / £12.99) - An omnibus edition collecting the first two novels that make up Jay Amory's Clouded World Series. Published by Gollancz under the title The Wingless Boy, this meaty trade paperback edition is fantastic value and contains The Fledging of Az Gabrielson and Pirates of the Relentless Desert.

I reviewed the first of these novels back in our August 06 issue and we're rerunning it this month as a taster for this release. Jay Amory is a pen name of the British novelist James Lovegrove.


Renegade's Magic (The Soldier Son Trilogy) by Robin Hobb (HarperVoyager 01 July 2008 / £8.99) - Satisfyingly solid fantasy from the ever reliable Robin Hobb, one of the authors whose work forms the bedrock of contemporary fantasy. Renegade's Magic is the third and final title in Hobb's current series, The Soldier Son and is now released in mass market paperback, with an overhauled cover design that exteneds to the Voyager reissues of other titles in the Hobb backlist.

"Nevare Burvelle, the second son of a noble Gernian family, once looked forward to a promising future as a cadet soldier, and then an officer in the King's Cavalry.

But his entanglement with the magic of the Speck people has robbed him not only of his childhood dream, but also of any hope he might have clung to for any kind of life among his kind.

In Renegade's Magic, Nevare is forced to seek out his enemies; he must learn how to harness his manipulative magic, and then join them in their fights against his own people."

The Painted Man (Demon Trilogy 1) by Peter Brett (HarperVoyager 01 September 2008 / £14.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: A major release from HarperCollins Voyager set to be reaching book stores in September. The Painted Man is a début novel from American Writer Peter Brett and marks the opening of the Demon Trilogy, a fantasy sequence that "... echoes Feist's brilliant pacing, Hobb's elegant characterization and Martin's brutal unpredictability."

Voyager are shining a lot of light on this release, issuing advanced proofs well ahead of publication and this indicates the importance they are attaching to Brett's work. A quick look at the author's web site reveals that the novel will be issued in the US by Del Rey under the title The Warded Man (scheduled for Jan 09) and also that the book has already sold into Russia, Germany, Greece, France and Japan. Something tells me we'll be hearing a lot more about this one over the course of the year and - being the sucker for hype that am! - I can't wait to get to grips with it.

(see review)

Hodder & Stoughton

The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner (Hodder & Stoughton 24 July 2008 / £19.99) - Perhaps stretching our brief here at SFrevu a little, but worthy of a mention here given that the kind folks at Hodder and Stoughton were kind enough to send a copy and (more importantly) becuase it looks to be exactly the type of hard-boiled, unputdownable thriller that we genre readers can't get enough of.

The Dirty Secrets Club released this month in hard cover is the latest novel from Meg Gardiner.

"A winner in every way. The Dirty Secrets Club is nuanced and layered - and a harrowing thriller that chews up the streets of San Francisco from the high-rises to the Tenderloin. Author Gardiner makes every one of her characters leap alive off the page, and I personally am in love with the most compelling of them all, Jo Beckett - the psychiatrist who analyzes dead people for the cops and who's willing to trade her cell phone for a cup of coffee." -- Jeffrey Deaver

Hodder Paperback

Infected by Scott Sigler (Hodder Paperback 10 July 2008 / £6.99) - An SFnal thriller from US writer Scott Sigler published in paperback original by Hodder.

"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.


Looking for Mr Piggy-Wig by Andy Secombe (Macmillan 18 July 2008 / £12.99) - A new novel from Andy Secombe - actor, son of the celebrated goon Sir Harry Secombe and a writer whose reputation for his own brand of off-the-wall comedy increases with each new release. Looking for Mr Piggy-Wig is a hard cover from Macmillan, and will appeal to fans of other British absurdist genre writers - Douglas Adams, Jasper Fforde, Robert Rankin and Tom, Holt.

"Its twenty years after the 'New' Battle of Britain, and rationing is still in force. Because of rampant global warming, a massive tax has been imposed on carbon-based fuels. Now, with aviation fuel costing more than vintage champagne, commercial jets can no longer afford to ply the world's airways, and their place has been taken by giant, eco-friendly dirigibles. Our hero, Jack Lindsay, is a private investigator of the old school - hard-nosed, hard-boiled and hard-drinking. If he has a weakness, apart from a fondness for garibaldi biscuits, it is for a woman with a sob story - and one has just walked into his office, and into his life. Marian is purportedly looking for her husband, Michaelmas, though Jack suspects she's not telling him the whole story. By digging a little deeper, he finds himself becoming embroiled in a worldwide criminal conspiracy involving gun-smuggling, political assassination, and a chain of burger outlets. Soon Jack's got a lot more to worry about than just the local shortage of garibaldis."


2012: A Conspiracy Tale by Bryan Collier (Matador 04 July 2008 / £8.99) - A trade paperback from self-publishing outfit Matador. Bryan Collier's 2012 is subtitled "A Conspiracy Tale"...

"Mitchell Webb, CEO of IDSys, and his long-term friend Simon Rockwell are on the brink of securing a contract from Her Majesty's Government for the design, manufacture and supply of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFIDs) for the protection of the British Public against terrorist attack. It would be the biggest deal in their company's relatively short history. Shortly after being awarded the contract, there is a horrendous terrorist attack on one of England's most famous landmarks and the Government passes legislation for the compulsory introduction of RFIDs, bringing about a series of events that draw Mitch and his colleagues into the biggest conspiracy in history. Little by little, they uncover some unsettling information that makes them question the real motives behind the introduction of RFIDs.

The friends soon find themselves in a deadly race against time, facing a powerful and ruthless enemy, culminating in an astonishing discovery about the very origins of life on Earth. "


Black Ships by Jo Graham (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £7.99) - Already released by Orbit in the US, Jo Graham's début novel, Black Ships received some excellent reviews when it first appeared. This UK edition is a trade paperback.

"The world is ending. One by one the mighty cities are falling, to earthquakes, to flood, to raiders on both land and sea. In a time of war and doubt, Gull is an oracle. Daughter of a slave taken from fallen Troy, chosen at the age of seven to be the voice of the Lady of the Dead, it is her destiny to counsel kings.

When nine black ships appear, captained by an exiled Trojan prince, Gull must decide between the life she has been destined for and the most perilous adventure -- to join the remnant of her mother's people in their desperate flight. From the doomed bastions of the City of Pirates to the temples of Byblos, from the intrigues of the Egyptian court to the haunted caves beneath Mount Vesuvius, only Gull can guide Prince Aeneas on his quest, and only she can dare the gates of the Underworld itself to lead him to his destiny.

In the last shadowed days of the Age of Bronze, one woman dreams of the world beginning anew. This is her story."

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £6.99) - Hot on the heels of last month's UK release of Moon Called comes Blood Bound, the second Mercedes Thompson urban thriller from Patricia Briggs. An Orbit paperback original.

"Like most people who own their own business, I work long hours that start early in the morning. So when someone calls me in the middle of the night, they'd better be dying ...Mechanic Mercy Thompson is woken at 3am by a vampire calling in a favour. He has to deliver a message to a fellow undead and needs a witness that won't be noticed - and Mercy's shapeshifting abilities make her the perfect candidate. But the assignment turns into a bloodbath and Mercy attracts the attention of not just a powerful vampire, but the even more powerful demon possessing him. She can count on the supernatural community for protection - and alpha werewolf Adam would like her to rely on him in other ways too - but when it comes to being proactive, she's on her own."

Night Shift (Jill Kismet Books) by Lilith Saintcrow (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £6.99) - More urban fantasy from Orbit, this time in the form of a new novel from Lilith Saintcrow which opens a brand new series featuring protagonist Jill Kismet "... a dealer in dark things and demon slayer, and it's her job to patrol the nightside." A paperback original.

"In the cold pre-dawn, Jill is called in to assess the aftermath of a particularly savage cop-killing. Under the haunted eyes of the forensic techs, Jill picks up the stench of hellbreed and something else - something dangerous and tainted. But this makes no sense as hellbreed always work alone, distrusted even by their own kind. Jill's a Hunter, trained by the best, but she's in over her head. Welcome to the night shift ..."

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £15.99) - British author Charles Stross keeps up both his prolific output and his position as flavour-of-the-month (now well into its third or fourth year!) with the release of his erotically charged space opera Saturn's Children. A hard cover published by Orbit.

"Freya Nakamachi-47 has some major existential issues. She's the perfect concubine, designed to please her human masters ? hardwired to become aroused at the sight mere of a human male. There's just one problem: she came off the production line a year after the human species went extinct. Whatever else she may be, Freya Nakamachi-47 is gloriously obsolete. But the rigid social hierarchy that has risen in the 200 years since the last human died, places beings such as Freya very near the bottom. So when she has a run-in on Venus with a murderous aristocrat, she needs passage off-world in a hurry ? and can't be too fussy about how she pays her way. If Venus was a frying pan, Mercury is the fire - and soon she's going to be running for her life. Because the job she's taken as a courier has drawn her to the attention of powerful and dangerous people, and they don't just want the package she's carrying. They want her soul ..."

The Elves of Cintra (Genesis of Shannara) by Terry Brooks (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £7.99) - The evergreen Terry Brooks offers up this second novel in his series linking the worlds of Shannara and The Word and The Void. The Elves of Cintra is an Orbit mass market paperback edition.

"Fifty years from now, our world looks very different. Governments have fallen. Thousands live in fortified strongholds; others roam the landscape as either predator or prey. Standing against the forces that have tipped the balance from good to evil are a very few heroes, men and women imbued with powerful magic and sworn to a high destiny. Logan Tom is one of those heroes. He's on a desperate quest to deliver the street kids he rescued in Seattle to safety. So, too, is Angel Perez, who is leading a second group in the Oregon wilderness where she encounters the long-hidden Elves of Cintra. And Hawk - just learning his magic - has an encounter with the mystical King of the Silver River, who promises safety for both humans and elves - if only they can reach him..."

The Summoning (Darkest Powers 1) by Kelley Armstrong (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £6.99) - The first in a a new sequence, the Darkest Powers trilogy from one of the leading writers of urban fantasy, Kelly Armstrong. The Summoning is a paperback original published by Orbit.

"Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for 'disturbed teens'. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems...? Chloe realises that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse...? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?"

Wolfblade (Wolfblade Trilogy) by Jennifer Fallon (Orbit 03 July 2008 / £7.99) - The eponymous opening novel in the Wolfblade trilogy - a new sequence from one of Australia's top fantasy exports. A paperback original from Orbit.

"Marla Wolfblade of Hythria is determined to restore her family's great name, but conspirators surround her: the Sorcerers' Collective, the Patriots - even members of her own family. She must make sure her son Damin lives to be old enough to restore the Wolfblade name to its former glory. Elezaar the Dwarf is a small man with big secrets - but that doesn't matter to Marla Wolfblade. Her brother is the High Prince of Hythria, and, in this fiercely patriarchal society, her fate will be decided on his whim. She needs someone politically astute to guide her through the maze of court politics - and Elezaar knows more than he is willing to admit. As Elezaar teaches Marla the Rules of Gaining and Wielding Power, Marla starts on the road to becoming a tactician and a wily diplomat - but will that be enough to keep her son alive?"

Orion Childrens

Powers (Annals of the Western Shore) by Ursula Le Guin (Orion Childrens 01 July 2008 / £6.99) - The final part in the story that started with Gifts, and the tale of Gry Barre of Roddmant and Orrec Caspro of Caspromant, two children with extraordinary powers.

They play a part in Voices too, the sequel to Gifts, in which Memer, a girl who has grown up in a captured city, is part of the people's fight for freedom.

And now, in Powers, we have the conclusion to Ursula Le Guin's beautifully written, powerful and moving story of the Western Isles, a tale that will leave every reader begging for more.

Prometheus Books

Stalking the Unicorn: A Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick (Prometheus Books 01 August 2008 / £9.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Pyr are reissuing Mike Resnick's 1987 novel Stalking the Unicorn, a noir/fantasy hybrid that pre-dates the current trend for urban fantasy. Resnick is a writer with an extraordinary pedigree and a truly remarkable biography - the Pyr cover copy relates "He has won five hugos and been nominated for twenty-six more. He has sold fifty-two novels and almost two hundred short stories. He has edited forty anthologies..." - be sure to check him out at

Stalking the Vampire: A Fable of Tonight by Mike Resnick (Prometheus Books 01 August 2008 / £16.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Resnick's long-awaited sequel to Stalking the Unicorn (see above) has Detective Mallory on the trail of a vampire. A trade paperback from Pyr.

"Resnick's often-hilarious sequel to Stalking The Unicorn continues the offbeat investigations of PI John Justin Mallory, now a permanent resident of an alternate Manhattan....This time, his team includes Scaly Jim Chandler, a dragon with hopes of making it as a pulp author, and a vampire who prefers tomato juice to blood. Readers with a taste for supernatural whimsy will find much to enjoy here." - Publishers Weekly


Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London by Keith Mansfield (Quercus 03 July 2008 / £12.99) - The first title in a fun new series for younger readers. Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London is a début novel from British writer Keith Mansfield whom, the publisher's press release tells us "... Quercus will be sponsoring... to become an astronaut with the European Space Agency." Find out more at

"When thirteen-year-old Johnny's specially programmed computer, Kovac, detects an extraterrestrial signal, his life is set to change for ever. Until then, stuck in his children's home in Castle Dudbury New Town, with the nasty cook Mr Wilkins watching his every move, football had been his only escape. But soon things start happening around him that Johnny doesn't understand. Why is his mother, who is on life support in a hospital for the criminally insane, being guarded by sinister looking men? And why was a journalist murdered shortly after Johnny talked to him? When Johnny finds out he has a sister, he decides to run away to find her. But his search for answers take him beyond Earth and into a spectacular adventure through time and space where he visits new worlds, meets aliens, and along the journey discovers the truth about his parents and who he really is."


The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (Snowbooks 01 September 2008 / £7.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Snowbooks, the small but extremely innovative UK publisher who had a title nominated for this year's Arthur C. Clarke award, extend their SF repertoire further with this release - a steampunk extravaganza penned by British writer and editor George Mann. The Affinity Bridge is - the cover of this proof loudly hails - Snowbook's "biggest title of 2008" and will be published first as a hard cover library edition this month and as a paperback in September. A limited edition run is will also be available. (see review)


Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor 04 July 2008 / £7.99) - A very interesting fantasy début by a brand new British author, Adrian Tchaikovsky. Empire in Black and Gold is published in paperback original by Tor UK and marks the first in a new fantasy trilogy entitled Chronicles of the Apt. Tchaikovsky has been keeping a fascinating blog, which has charted the development of his novel sequence both in terms of its creative process and its journey to the marketplace. If the novel is half as well written as the blog, Tchaikovsky will have a fine career ahead of him! Definitely one to watch

"Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path. All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa. When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion.Stenwold and Che are Beetle-kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds: Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills. Foremost is the deadly Mantis-kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause.

As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands. Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard ... "

The Born Queen (Kingdoms of Thorn & Bone) by Greg Keyes (Tor 04 July 2008 / £17.99) - The final volume in Greg Keyes' hard-edged fantasy sequence The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone. We've reviewed the first volumes in the series, The Briar King (which I reviewed whilst moonlighting at for our colleagues over at Sfsite), The Charnel Prince. The third volume was The Blood Knight and this concluding episode, The Born Queen is a hard cover release from Tor UK.

Virgin Books

The Perils and Dangers of This Night by Stephen Gregory (Virgin Books 07 August 2008 / £7.99) - Uncorrected proof copy : More tip-top, spine-tingling horror from Virgin's brand new horror imprint - check out their web site here.

Stephen Gregory's The Perils and Danger of this Night is a classic chiller telling of a young boy abandoned by his parents to endure Christmas at his boarding school... "as the snow falls heavily on the house and the surrounding woods, a story of revenge and retribution unfolds. A web of half-truths and innuendos weaves into a bizarre game of hide-and-seek through the corridors and dormitories of the school, and a series of shocking revelations soon leads inexorably, horrifically to a bloody climax on a crisp, lovely Christmas morning." Brrrr!

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