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UK Books Received- 11/2008  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

Gollancz

An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris (Gollancz 09 October 2008 / £6.99) - Charlaine Harris can do wrong at the moment - this prolific and ever popular author has scored very highly with Alan Ball's acclaimed television adaptation of her Sookie Stackhouse novels, True Blood. An Ice Cold Grave is the latest in Harris's Harper Connelly series, published in mass market paperback by Gollancz.

"Harper Connelly was struck by lightning as a teenager, and now she can find the dead. In her third case, Harper and Tolliver, her stepbrother, are hired to find a missing grandson. But the truth is far worse than a single dead child, for numerous teenage boys, all unlikely runaways, have disappeared from Doraville, North Carolina. Harper soon finds the eight bodies, buried in the half-frozen ground, but then, still reeling from coming into contact with her first serial killer, she is attacked and injured. Now she and Tolliver have no choice but to stay in Doraville while she recovers, and as she reluctantly becomes part of the investigation, she learns more than she cares to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of the town: knowledge that makes her the most likely person to be next to end up in an ice-cold grave."

Blood of Elves (Gollancz S.F.) by Andrzej Sapkowski (Gollancz 16 October 2008 / £12.99) - The second title from Polish fantasy giant Andrzej Sapkowski is now published in a trade paperback translation by Gollancz. 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."

Fatal Revenant: The Last Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (Gollancz S.F.) by Stephen Donaldson (Gollancz 09 October 2008 / £8.99) - The second title(of four)in Stephen Donaldson's Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Fatal Revenan is released in mass market paperback by Gollancz.

"Return to the Land, and Linden Amory's quest to rescue her son and save the Land from the Despiser! "

Red Gloves by Beth Vaughan (Gollancz 16 October 2008 / £12.99) - "Red Gloves is a mercenary, raised to the blade and trained in the ways of war. She'll take no nonsense and pull no punches; she seizes what she wants and leaves when she's done. She and Bethral, her sword-sister, have come to Palins looking for work, but they find torched fields and razed farms, a land defiled. During a storm they stumble across a derelict mansion and beg shelter of the sole human occupant, the resident goatherd. He's not happy, and he's not impressed with the stroppy mercenary - but Red Gloves is even less impressed when he notices her birthmark and claims it marks her out as Chosen, born to help the people of Palins reclaim their land. Her inclination to help dwindles still further when she discovers there's no money, no reward, in fact, nothing in store for the Chosen but a difficult, bloody battle against the odds. So she takes what she wants of the goatherd, and she leaves. But circumstances force Red back to the mansion, and this time she's more inclined to help - after all, impossible odds and bloody battles are very much her style. She's poised, reluctantly, to do her thing, when it turns out she's not the only Chosen in the race for freedom, and the crown..."

Rosa And The Veil Of Gold: n/a (Gollancz S.F.) by Kim Wilkins (Gollancz 09 October 2008 / £7.99) - Kim Wilkins's supernatural romance is published in mass market paperback by Gollancz.

"Beyond this world, behind the veil of history, lies the kingdom of the Rus . . . When an ancient golden bear is found walled up in a dilapidated St Petersburg bathhouse, researcher Daniel St Clare and his frosty colleague Em Hayward set out for Arkhangelsk to verify its age. But in the deep of night they are mysteriously set adrift. Lost and exhausted, they turn north, sinking ever deeper into the secrets and terrors of the Russian landscape. Daniel's lost love, the wild and beautiful Rosa Kovalenka, knows the only way to save him is to outwit the haunted Chenchikov family. But their home, deep in unknowable, impenetrable forests, is a shadowy tangle of grief, desire and treachery. Only Papa Grigory, full of tales and riddles of times past, seems to have the knowledge they need But will he destroy them all in order for his world to survive? "

The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas (Gollancz 19 March 2009 / £18.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : Early reviews of this dragon-filled fantasy début by British writer Stephen Deas bode extremely well. This is traditional fantasy re-worked and rebooted for today - "... a gripping tale of Machiavellian politics, of court intrigue, of lust and betrayal. And dragons. Awe-inspiring, horrifyingly powerful, fire-breathing nightmares that have forgotten what freedom tastes like. Until now...". Due in March 2009 from Gollancz.

The Quiet War (Gollancz S.F.) by Paul McAuley (Gollancz 16 October 2008 / £12.99) - Paul McAuley returns to his hard SF roots with this brand new novel, The Quiet War published in trade paperback by Gollancz.

"Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by climate change, looks backwards to the holy ideal of a pre-industrial Eden. Political power has been grabbed by a few powerful families and their green saints. Millions of people are imprisoned in teeming cities; millions more labour on Pharaonic projects to rebuild ruined ecosystems. On the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, have constructed a wild variety of self-sufficient cities and settlements: scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the last outposts of every kind of democratic tradition. The fragile detente between the Outer cities and the dynasties of Earth is threatened by the ambitions of the rising generation of Outers, who want to break free of their cosy, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonise the rest of the Solar System, and drive human evolution in a hundred new directions. On Earth, many demand pre-emptive action against the Outers before it's too late; others want to exploit the talents of their scientists and gene wizards.Amid campaigns for peace and reconciliation, political machinations, crude displays of military might, and espionage by cunningly wrought agents, the two branches of humanity edge towards war ."

Yellow Blue Tibia: A Novel by Adam Roberts (Gollancz 22 January 2009 / £12.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy : The endlessly inventive Adam Roberts throws up another highly original novel, very different from his previous works (as each of his subsequent novels always are), the most recent of which Swiftly I reviewed back in our March 2008 issue. Yellow Blue Tibiais due from Gollancz early in the new year.

"The weird and the peculiar held a great interest for Joseph Stalin, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that UFO's were a particular fascination for him. Stalin was extremely interested in extraterrestrials and the possibility of alien contact and there were many scientific and military bodies set up by him too secretly investigate the phenomenon."

HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 01 October 2008 / £18.99) - A very pleasing hard cover volume released by HarperCollins, Tales from the Perilous Realm brings together in a single collection five of Tolkien's evergreen tales - Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf by Niggle.

HarperVoyager

Confessor (Sword of Truth 11) by Terry Goodkind (HarperVoyager 03 November 2008 / £7.99) - The final book in "one of the greatest epic series of all time": The Sword of Truth, released by HarperCollins Voyager in mass market paperback.

"Descending into darkness, about to be overwhelmed by evil, those who remain free find themselves powerless to stop the dawn of a savage new world, while Richard faces the guilt of knowing that he must let it happen. Alone, he must bear the weight of a sin he dare not confess to the one person he loves and has lost. Join Richard and Kahlan in the concluding novel of one of the most remarkable and memorable journeys ever written. It started with one rule, and will end with the rule of all rules, the rule unwritten, the rule unspoken since the dawn of history. When next the sun rises, the world will be forever changed."

The Alliance of Light: Stormed Fortress Bk. 5 (Wars of Light & Shadow) by Janny Wurts (HarperVoyager 03 November 2008 / £8.99) - The mass market paperback edition, released this month by HarperCollins Voyager.

"The spellbinding final instalment of The Alliance of Light. Though Athera may be free, the fight is far from over! The heartstopping conclusion to the Alliance of Light series brings Lysaer's army of Light to besiege the great citadel of Alestron. Master of Shadow, Arithon, with barely a moment's recuperation from his victory over the necromancers, has discovered that young Jeynsa s'Valerient whom he has sworn to protect, has joined the ranks of his disowned allies within the threatened citadel. Worse, following a failed rescue attempt, his beloved Elaira, his double, Fionn Areth, and the spellbinder Dakar are also trapped within Alestron's walls. The chancy wiles of Davien the betrayer must spirit Arithon across the enemy lines to attempt a bold and perilous rescue mission. Arithon must seek the heartcore of his talent, even while embroiled in a savage battle against those he has vowed to protect. But treachery strikes from deep within the duke's ranks. Lysaer's fanatics will be unleashed to claim their bloody revenge.With the Fellowship Sorcerers in mortal danger, and all under threat from a collapsing grimward, Davien the betrayer is unable to intercede to save his colleagues and so will be forced to invoke the dire terms of an ancient and most secretive bargain. Arithon stands alone at the hour of reckoning as the true purpose of the Koriani enchantresses becomes, at long last fully, unveiled -- with the covetous Prime Matriarch now poised to snatch a prize, a prize beyond that of merely integrity and life!"

Hodder & Stoughton

Just After Sunset by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton 12 November 2008 / £18.99) - Although he comes in a paltry third on the recently published World's Best Paid Author list with early a mere $45million for the last year (every cent thoroughly deserved in my opinion), you should still go out and pick up a copy of King's latest publication. Just After Sunset - published in hard cover by Hodder & Stoughton - is a collection of short stories from the Master writer, his first such in six years.

"A short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger. That is not, of course, the same thing as an affair or a marriage, but kisses can be sweet, and their very brevity forms their own attraction" -- Stephen King

Hodder Paperback

The Aftermath by Ben Bova (Hodder Paperback 30 October 2008 / £7.99) - Bova's fourth title in his Asteroid Wars sequence - The Aftermath (part of his Grand Tour) is issued in mass market paperback by Hodder.

"The Second Asteroid War climaxed with the brutal destruction of Chrysalis: hundreds of men, women and children on the miners' habitat died terrible deaths in the vacuum of the asteroid belt. But one ship escapes destruction. Low on fuel, her communications destroyed, the ore ship Syracuse" flees towards deep space with fifteen-year-old Theo Zacharias at the helm. Three years later, the war long over, Syracuse" still drifts through the void. Meanwhile the man who now calls himself Dorn -- the destroyer of Chrysalis -- roams space gathering up the bodies of his victims. He encounters Theo Zacharias in a clash of purposes, hopes and fury ..."

Macmillan New Writing

DogFellow's Ghost by Gavin Smith (Macmillan New Writing 17 October 2008 / £14.99) - Macmillan's New Writing imprint publishes Dogfellows Ghost, a début novel?

" A new century has begun and new fields of science are shaking man's longest-held beliefs. And on a tropical island, somewhere in the Pacific, new kinds of creature have been conceived. Yet the Master who made them has disappeared, and for one of his creations the loss is unbearable: neither entirely man nor wholly animal, DogFellow is both more and less than the sum of his parts. Pitifully conflicted, his loyalty to a lost creator is at war with other, more human desires. And DogFellow alone can unlock the secrets of a strange and terrible past . . . "

Orbit

.The Way of Shadows (Night Angel Trilogy) by Brent Weeks (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £7.99) - This one is most definitely the popular choice for the pick of this month's releases - I've heard nothing but praise for Brent Weeks's début fantasy sequence, The Night Angel Trilogy. Book one, The Way of Shadows is published by Orbit as a paperback original. Fine out more at the author's web site.

"I was mesmerized from start to finish. Unforgettable characters, a plot that kept me guessing, non-stop action and the kind of in-depth storytelling that makes me admire a writer's work" -- Terry Brooks

A Sword from Red Ice (Sword of Shadows) by J.V. Jones (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £7.99) - J. V. Jones kept fans for her Sword of Shadows series waiting quite some time for the appearance of book three in the cycle. A Sword from Red Ice now gets its mass market paperback release from Orbit.

"The Long Night has begun. The Endlords and their dark army of Unmade prepare to unleash untold destruction upon the world. Every Sull warrior must step forward and fight, or risk the North falling into eternal darkness. Key to mankind's survival is the sacred warrior Ash March. But for Ash to realise her true potential as a Reach, and become the Sull's greatest weapon, she must keep herself safe as the perils that surround her multiply. Raif Sevrance has an equally perilous task. The exile must travel to the barren wastes of the Red Glaciers and recover the legendary sword named Loss. For Sull legend decrees that he who wields the Sword from Red Ice will bring terror to their enemies. But fulfilment of these goals may yet come too late. In the remote reaches of the Bitter Hills, the Endlords' minions have made a cataclysmic discovery: a crack in the Blindwall, an ancient and unguarded passage leading directly into the realms of men."

Body Count by Shaun Hutson (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £18.99) - Prolific British author Shaun Hutson's brand new novel, Body Count is published as an Orbit hard cover.

"Wounded. Exhausted. Losing blood. The figure in the mask stumbles through the streets. Closing in are others in masks but they don't stumble, they stalk. They carry machetes, clubs and knives. And they know how to use them. They've killed before and they're going to kill again. Who is kidnapping seemingly random victims and then slaughtering them in an elaborate game of cat and mouse? And why are these murders being streamed over the internet? Watching the horror unfold at New Scotland Yard is Detective Inspector Joe Chapman and his team. Chapman searches for clues, hints - anything that might tell him where and when this savage hunt is happening. He'd give anything to know. He'd give almost anything to stop them. Unfortunately for DI Chapman, 'almost' anything might not be enough... "

Chaos Space (Sentients of Orion) by Marianne De Pierres (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £7.99) - The second novel in a grand space opera series from Australian author Marianne de Pierres, who scored notable success with her Parish Plessis novels. The Sentients of Orion sequence began with Dark Space and is now followed by Chaos Space, issued in paperback original this month by Orbit.

"Having fled the invasion on Araldis, Mira Fedor travels to the nearest Orion League planet seeking aid for her devastated world, but the authorities seem more interested in stealing her bio-ship, Insignia, than in rendering help. While Mira flees from world to world, Araldis burns. The more Mira uncovers, them more mysteries she finds: why is the initiate Tekton taking such extreme measures just to acquire a mineral alloy? Why do so many of the protagonists in this galaxy-wide drama have links to the Stain Wars? And what part does the Sole Entity – literally, God – have to play . . . ?"

Deep Water (Castings Trilogy) by Pamela Freeman (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £7.99) - The second book in Pamela Freeman's Castings Trilogy. Deep Water is a trade paperback release from Orbit.

"Just what did happen 1,000 years ago when Acton's people came through Death Pass? Wild magic gives Bramble some unexpected insights into a history which may not be completely accurate. And why did Ash's father not teach him the secret songs of the Travellers? Why do the Dead walk in ever increasing numbers? The ultimate answers are hidden in time and lie in deep water."

Earth Ascendant (Astropolis) by Sean Williams (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £7.99) - The second book in Australian writer Sean William's Astropolis sequence,Earth Ascendant is published as a paperback original by Orbit. The first book in the sequence was a nominee for the Philip K. Dick award. Check out William's excellent and informative web site for further details of the work of this prolific and polymathic author.

"Splendid fun, brimming with heroes, villains, chicanery, neat imaginative details, some seriously cool space battles, and one of the most mind-twisting alien artefacts ever imagined." -- Alastair Reynolds

Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £14.99) - A brand new novel from Canadian superstar Kelly Armstrong, who has built up a huge fan base with her consistently excellent brand of supernatural thriller. A hard cover from Orbit.

"Robyn Peltier has always lived a normal life. So when her boss is murdered and she is named prime suspect, she is way out of her depth. As the bodies pile up only her friend Hope, and Hope's somewhat spooky boyfriend Karl, are on her side. Hope, meanwhile, has a few secrets of her own. Namely that she is half-demon, and her 'spooky' boyfriend is actually a werewolf. Hope also knows that Robyn has accidentally stumbled into a bloody supernatural turf war. And the only way she can keep her friend alive is by letting her enter a world she's safer knowing nothing about ..."

Personal Demon by Kelley Armstrong (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £7.99) - The recent novel from Kelly Armstrong, now released in mass market paperback by Orbit.

"Hope Adams, tabloid journalist and half-demon, inherited her Bollywood-princess looks from her mother. From her demon father, she inherited a hunger for chaos, and a talent for finding it. Like full demons, she gets an almost sexual rush from danger - in fact, she thrives on it. But she is determined to use her gifts for good. When the head of the powerful Cortez Cabal asks her to infiltrate a gang of bored, rich, troublemaking supernaturals in Miami, Hope can't resist the excitement. But trouble for Hope is intoxicating, and soon she's in way too deep. With a killer stalking the supernatural hot spots of Miami, Hope finds herself dangerously entangled, and has no choice but to turn to her crooked werewolf ex-boyfriend for help. What started as a simple investigation has spiralled into chaos. And Hope finds chaos irresistible ..."

Seeds of Earth (Humanity's Fire) by Michael Cobley (Orbit 05 March 2009 / £10.00) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Scottish author Michael Cobley, perhaps best known for his Shadowkings fantasy trilogy returns to his science fiction roots. To be published in March 2009, Seeds of Earth is the first novel in a major new space opera series called Humanity's Fire.

"First contact was not supposed to be like this. The first intelligent species to encounter Mankind attacked without warning and swarmed locust-like through the solar system. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the savage invasion, Earth's last, desperate roll of the dice was to send out three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. Earth may perish but the human race would live on ...somewhere. 150 years later, the human colony on the planet Darien has established a new world for Humanity and forged a peaceful relationship with the planet's indigenous race, the scholarly, enigmatic Uvovo. But there are secrets buried beneath the surface of Darien's forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient forerunner races at the dawn of galactic civilisation..."

Shadow's Edge (Night Angel Trilogy) by Brent Weeks (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £7.99) - The second of Brent Weeks's acclaimed Night Angel Trilogy, released by Orbit as a paperback original. The third and final instalment is released next month.

"Kylar has rejected the assassin's life. In the wake of the Godking's violent coup, both his master and his closest friend are dead. His friend was Logan Gyre, heir to Cenaria's throne, but few of the ruling class survive to mourn his loss. So Kylar is starting over: new city, new companions, and new profession."

Star Wars - Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel by Karen Traviss (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £6.99) - The latest Star Wars™ tie in from Karen Traviss and the fourth title in the Republic Commando series - Order 66 is an Orbit paperback original.

"When the order comes through, the clone troopers of Delta and Omega squads must decide whether to turn on their Jedi generals - or to disregard the command and face dire consequences."

The Company by K.J. Parker (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £12.99) - Orbit author K.J.Parker (a pseudonym) has steadily built a name as an writer of intelligent and morally complex fantasy sequences. Following The Fencer Trilogy, The Scavenger Trilogy and The Engineer Trilogy, Parker now offers up a stand alone novel, The Company, now available in trade paperback from both Orbit UK and Orbit US.

"Hoping for a better life, five war veterans colonize an abandoned island. They take with them everything they could possibly need - food, clothes, tools, weapons, even wives. But an unanticipated discovery shatters their dream and replaces it with a very different one. The colonists feel sure that their friendship will keep them together. Only then do they begin to realize that they've brought with them rather more than they bargained for. For one of them, it seems, has been hiding a terrible secret from the rest of the company. And when the truth begins to emerge, it soon becomes clear that the war is far from over."

The Curse on the Chosen (Song of the Tears) by Ian Irvine (Orbit 06 November 2008 / £8.99) - Orbit's official web site announced some months ago that their author Ian Irvine - one of Australia's top fantasy writers - currently has more than one million books in print worldwide!

This staggering achievement, which has very likely increased in the intervening months, will only have been helped by the release of The Curse of the Chosen, "The second sweeping volume of an epic tale of hope against the odds...". This is the mass market paperback edition from Orbit.

The Riven Kingdom (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller (Orbit 15 September 2009 / £7.99) - Book two of Karen Miller's Godspeaker sequence - The Riven Kingdom is a paperback original from Orbit.

"The King of Ethrea is dying and his only surviving heir is the Princess Rhian, but if her enemies have their way, the kingdom will not be ruled by a Queen. Ethrea, a small island of strategic importance, is known for its ability to keep the secrets of its business partners. Now civil war threatens as men of ambition eye the empty throne, and the other nations are getting nervous ...and greedy. If Rhian cannot secure the crown, others will descend and conquer her lands. A toymaker and a mysterious exile from Mijak may be her only hope ..."

Unmarked Graves by Shaun Hutson (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £6.99) - Hutson's recent novel Unmarked Graves is published by Orbit in mass market paperback.

"When investigative telejournalist Nick Pearson is sent to Darworth in Hertfordshire, he finds a community divided. A steady influx of foreign immigrants has led to racial tension and open hostility and violence. The African newcomers are particularly targeted, regular victims of vandalism and even fire-bombing. The Africans seem unwilling to fight back, until the arrival of a mysterious, powerful man who many of them know - and fear. Nick begins to wonder if there might be some kind of connection between this newcomer and the desecration of a local cemetery - an event followed by the disappearance of a number of corpses and a series of bizarre, ritualistic murders. In each case, the victims bear the same marks on their bodies. Scars that Nick has seen before, five years earlier in Africa. Ancient religion and modern prejudice are about to collide, and when they do, there may be no survivors. At least not human ones ..."

Worldbinder (Runelords) by David Farland (Orbit 02 October 2008 / £7.99) - David Farland (a.k.a SF writer Dave Wolverton) continues his truly epic and sweeping fantasy series The Runelords with Worldbinder the sixth title in the sequence, released in trade paperback by Orbit.

"Fallion and Jaz, sons of the Earth King Garborn, have returned from their long exile. Yet they have arrived under cover of darkness, fugitives in their own kingdom. There seems little left to save, but Fallion's heritage has given him a powerful calling to heal not just this land, but all lands - if he can master the flameweaver's talent that threatens to consume him."

Pan Books

Hidden Moon by Lori Handeland (Pan Books 07 November 2008 / £6.99) - The first of two November releases from Lori Handeland, Pan Macmillan's candidate for the highly contested crown of queen of the supernatural-romantic-thrillers-with-a-kick-ass-female-protagonist. It's rather crowded marketplace in my opinion, then then as a single forty-year-old guy, I guess I'm not the idea target demographic for this stuff! Handeland though is a serious contender - be sure to find out more about her by following this link to her web site.

"Claire Kennedy left Lake Bluff, Georgia, for the bright lights of Atlanta and a promising career in journalism. Now, recovering from a cruel betrayal, she's back in the one place she always felt safe, starting over as Lake Bluff's new mayor. But then trouble comes to town in the form of Malachi Cartwright, a man whose past is as mysterious as his present - a man who awakens something dangerous in sensible, realistic Claire. When a tourist claims to have been mauled by a vicious wolf, and when the attacks turn deadly, Malachi's strange behaviour rouses Claire's suspicions. Could he have a secret agenda and a sinister reason for coming to Lake Bluff? Malachi is the only man who could tempt Claire to succumb to her desires - but he's the last person she can trust. And as an eclipse approaches, the secrets of the hidden moon will come to light, and a deadly enemy will be revealed at last... "

Rising Moon by Lori Handeland (Pan Books 03 October 2008 / £6.99) - "Denizens of The Big Easy know its steamy nights can hide any number of sins and secrets. Private-eye Anne Lockhart is counting on it. Her life has been in a holding pattern ever since her sister Katie disappeared without a trace...but when a clue leads Anne to a jazz club in the French Quarter, everything changes. Rising Moon's proprietor, John Rodolfo, is mysterious in his own right, a gifted musician who reaches deep into Anne's soul and whose mere presence taps into desires she can't afford to indulge...By going undercover at the Rising Moon, Anne can get close to people who know what goes on after dark - people like John, whose nocturnal disappearances are more than a little suspicious. But unlocking John's secrets is harder than Anne had anticipated. What's far too easy is surrendering to him. And now someone - or something - is stalking the innocent and the guilty, and waiting for Anne's next move..."

Prometheus Books

End of the Century by Chris Roberson (Prometheus Books 01 December 2008 / £9.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: Chris Roberson's forthcoming book interests me on any number of levels and not least because I'm a huge fan of his work. Roberson's abiding and deep, deep love of the genre permeates his writing - in short, he tends to write the kinds of books he clearly loves to read... and coincidentally, they tend to be the kinds of books I love to read too - plot driven stories of high stakes and derring-do. This new one, End of the Century (due in trade paperback from Pyr next January) is dedicated to Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore and Kim Newman, which offers a clear flavour of where it sits in the genre, and makes is a pretty irresistible prospect!

"Three people. Three eras. One city. Endless possibilities. End of the Century is a novel of the distant past, the unimaginable future, and the search for the Holy Grail. Set in the city of London, the narrative is interlaced between three ages, in which a disparate group of heroes, criminals, runaways, and lunatics are drawn into the greatest quest of all time."

Fast Forward 2 by Lou Anders (Prometheus Books 05 November 2008 / £9.99) - Lou Anders offers up a second helping of his Fast Forward anthology - published this month in trade paperback by Pyr - and it looks to be yet another sumptuous science fictional feast. A sure-fire candidate for best anthology of the year Fast Forward 2 features all new stories by some of the most exciting talent at work in the genre - Paul Cornell, Ian McDonald, Kay Kenyon, Nancy Kress, Paul McAuley and Paolo Bacigalupi to name but a few. Find out more about this title at the Pyr web site.

"Lou Anders has edited a couple of first-rate anthologies over the past few years, and with this book he initiates what one hopes will be a series of original anthologies. I enjoyed Fast Forward 1, and I certainly hope it continues for years....First rate work ... well worth reading ... on balance a pretty fine anthology." - Rich Horton in LOCUS

Solaris

The Taint and Other Novellas: Best Mythos Tales No. 1 (Cthulhu Mythos) by Brian Lumley (Solaris 03 November 2008 / £7.99) - Originally only available as a limited edition, Solaris now publish evergreen horror author Brian Lumley's Lovecraft inspired collection, The Taint and Other Novellas.

"Prior to the bestselling Necroscope series, Brian Lumley had a reputation writing stories set against H P Lovecraft's cosmic Cthulhu Mythos backdrop. While Lumley's novels are all currently available, many of them in hardcover format, his Mythos short stories and novellas have until now remained uncollected. This volume contains the very best of Brian Lumley's works in this sub-genre."

Sphere

The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom (Sphere 01 January 2009 / £6.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: A scary, haunted-house début published by Sphere, and the lavish, beautifully produced proof encapsulates the push they're putting behind it.

"This is a startling novel, raw and spine-tinglingley scary. It is maybe best compared to Stephen King's early novels for its addictively readable prose and its many psychological twists and turns. It might also remind of you horror films such as The Orphanage and The Others - it has that kind of visceral power and immediacy."

Tor

Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier (Tor 07 November 2008 / £18.99) - A new stand alone by Juliet Marrlier set in the same world as her terrific Sevenwaters Trilogy. Not normally my thing, but Marillier is a superb writer and thus I was won over very quickly indeed. Heir To Sevenwaters is a smart hard cover published by Tor UK.

"The chieftains of Sevenwaters have long been custodians of a vast and mysterious forest, one of the last refuges of the Tuatha De Danann, the Fair Folk of ancient story. Human and Otherworld dwellers have existed there side by side, separated by a thin veil between worlds and sharing a wary trust. Until the spring when Lady Aisling of Sevenwaters finds herself expecting another child, and everything changes. With her mother pregnant, Clodagh fears the worst as Aisling is well past the safe age for childbearing. Her father, Lord Sean of Sevenwaters, faces his own difficulties as warring factions threaten his borders.When Aisling gives birth to a son - a new heir to Sevenwaters - the responsibility of caring for the infant falls to Clodagh while her mother recovers. Then the family's joy turns to despair when the baby is taken from his room and something ...unnatural is left in his place. To reclaim her brother, Clodagh must enter the shadowy Otherworld and confront the powerful prince who rules there. Accompanied on her quest by a warrior who may prove to be more than he seems, Clodagh will have her courage tested to breaking point. The reward may be far greater than she ever dreamed ... "

Prador Moon (Novel of the Polity) by Neal Asher (Tor 17 October 2008 / £6.99) - Since I reviewed Neal Asher's début novel Gridlinked back in March 2001, this most dynamic British author has carved a very respectable niche for himself as one of the most inventive and explosive British hard SF writers. (Asher's novel The Skinner remains one of my favourite books of the last few years. Macmillan now publish Asher's most recent novel, Prador Moon (the ninth title of his they've released in six years)in mass market paperback.

The US trade edition was published in 2006 by Nightshade Books - and was reviewed at the time by Paul Haggerty.

The Gabble - and Other Stories by Neal Asher (Tor 07 November 2008 / £17.99) - A terrific collection of thirteen Polity stories by Neal Asher, gathered together into a single, very smart, hard cover volume and released this month by Tor UK.

" ...[a] collection of marvellously inventive and action-packed short stories, [Asher] takes us further into the manifold diversities of [his] amazing universe. No one does monsters better than Neal Asher, so be prepared to revisit the lives and lifestyles of such favourites as the gabbleduck and the hooder, to savour alien poisons, the walking dead, the Sea of Death, and the putrefactor symbiont. Through these thirteen stories, welcome to a universe of unbridled imagination, each one of them a delight in itself. "

William Heinemann Ltd

The Last Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (William Heinemann Ltd 06 November 2008 / £12.99) - Lukyanenko's Night Watch Trilogy has been a phenomenal worldwide success. The Last Watch - a sequel to the best-selling series is published by William Heinemann in trade paperback.

"While on holiday in Scotland, visiting a macabre tourist attraction, 'The Dungeons of Edinburgh', a young Russian tourist is murdered. As the police grapples with the fact that the cause of the young man's death was a massive loss of blood, the Watches are immediately aware that there is a renegade vampire on the loose. Anton - the hero of The Night Watch and The Day Watch - is detailed to this seemingly mundane investigation, but on arriving in Scotland begins to realise that there is much more to the story than a wildcat vampire and a single murder. Aided by Thomas, the head of Edinburgh's Night Watch, Anton investigates and ruminates, and becomes aware that a team of unlicensed Others are hunting for a fabled magical treasure, hidden in the sixth level of the Twilight by Merlin himself."

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