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UK Books Received- 09/2009  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

Angry Robot

Book of Secrets by Chris Roberson (Angry Robot 06 August 2009 / £7.99) - I'm a big fan of Chris Roberson, having reviewed his work here a few times (follow these links for my reviews of Paragea, Set The Seas on Fire and The Dragon's Nine Sons). He's a fabulously energetic and inventive writer, seemingly at home in almost any facet of the genre. I'm delighted therefore to see Book of Secrets amongst the first releases from the equally energetic and inventive new imprint Angry Robot.

"Reporter Spencer Finch is embroiled in the hunt for a missing book, encountering along the way cat burglars and mobsters, hackers and monks. At the same time, he's trying to make sense of the legacy left him by his late grandfather, a chest of what appear to be magazines from the golden age of pulp fiction, and even earlier.

Following his nose, Finch gradually uncovers a mystery involving a lost Greek play, secret societies, generations of masked vigilantes… and an entire secret history of mankind."

Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner (Angry Robot 06 August 2009 / £7.99) - See! I told you all that zombies were the next big thing! Didn't I? Well, they are... and the second Angry Robot release of the month (last month to be pedantic) proves it!

Tim Waggoner brings us a Zombie detective novel in the form of Nekropolis, described by the publisher thus... "Pulp and proud, cracking wise like we just dug up the rotting corpse of Dashiell Hammett and put him back to work at his typewriter, Nekropolis is just the first of a trio of fabulous urban fantasies Angry Robot will be bringing you from the mighty Tim Waggoner. Originally published as a limited run novella, the expanded Nekropolis is the definitive version of this massively entertaining series opener"

Check this excellent book trailer for more info.

Reviewed this issue by Liz de Jager. (see review)


Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (ATOM 06 August 2009 / £12.99) - A very smart and beautifully finished hard cover release from Little Brown's YA imprint Atom for this début Gothic supernatural thriller by US writer Michelle Zink (read her blog here). I note that rights have been sold all over for this title - Italy, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, Brasil, and Spain, Poland, Vietnam, China, Croatia, Estonia, and Serbia... and that's only so far! It's going to be one of the big titles of the year folks!

Be sure to visit the books official web site too - a fabulous interactive website which offers up lots of goodies for the book including giveaways and competitions.

"'Without the Keys, something terrible will happen. Something that cannot be undone. And with them, I might bring an end to the riddle of the Prophecy and my strange part in it. If Alice and I are on conflicting sides of the Prophecy, the Keys would be dangerous in her hands. Which means I have to find them. And I have to do it before my sister.' This is the story of sixteen-year-old Lia Milthorpe's quest to discover her role and her twin sister's in a powerful prophecy that has affected twin sisters for generations. But nothing can prepare her for what she discovers - about herself, about her family, and about the danger that goes from haunting her dreams to becoming her reality. "

Bantam Books

Thorn Queen (Dark Swan 2) by Richelle Mead (Bantam Books 13 August 2009 / £6.99) - Bantam's answer to the Urban Fantasy craze is Richelle Mead, whose début Succubus Blues garnered impressive reviews (Jim Butcher described it as "Sex in the City meets Paradise Lost"!) and has spawned a number of follow up titles.

The latest to be published here in the UK is Thorn Queen which is issued as a paperback original by Bantam Press.

"Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she's also become queen of the Thorn Land. It's hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one - except Eugenie - seems willing to find out why. Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren't making things any easier. Her boyfriend Kiyo is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty - even if it means facing the darkest - and deadliest - side of her nature..."

Bantam Press

Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen) by Steven Erikson (Bantam Press 17 August 2009 / ) - To described Steven Erikson's Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen as 'epic' is akin to saying that space is big! The scope of this series is staggering, the imagination and creativity behind both its conception and execution is an achievement that will be a fantasy benchmark for decades to come. Erikson's ninth and penultimate novel in the sequence, Dust of Dreams is released by Bantam Press as a hefty hardcover.

"On the Letherii continent the exiled Malazan army commanded by Adjunct Tavore begins its march into the eastern Wastelands, to fight for an unknown cause against an enemy it has never seen. The fate awaiting the Bonehunters is one no soldier can prepare for, and one no mortal soul can withstand - the foe is uncertainty and the only weapon worth wielding is stubborn courage. In war everyone loses, and this brutal truth can be found in the eyes of every soldier in every world. Destinies are never simple. Truths are neither clear nor sharp.

The Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen" are drawing to a close in a distant place, beneath indifferent skies, as the last great army of the Malazan Empire seeks a final battle in the name of redemption. Final questions remain to be answered: can one's deeds be heroic when no one is there to see it? Can that which is unwitnessed forever change the world? The answers await the Bonehunters, beyond the Wastelands."

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 03 August 2009 / £11.99) - The prolific and endlessly industrious genius that is Neil Gaiman collaborates with the prolific and endlessly industrious genius that is Dave McKean and together they produce another sumptuous visual extravaganza for us to feast upon. Crazy Hair follows previous works such as The Wolves in the Wall, The Day I Swapped my Dad for Two Goldfish, and Mirrormask.

"A bold and exciting picture book reuniting notoriously inventive duo Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean . . . McKean's audacious illustrations bring the rhyming text vividly to life in this daring celebration of the imagination. Striking and theatrical"

Dreadnought (H.I.V.E) by Mark Walden (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC 07 September 2009 / £6.99) - Mark Walden's latest novel (the fourth) in his popular series H.I.V.E. (Higher Institute of Villainous Education) series. Dreadnought is a Bloomsbury paperback.

"A renegade faction of the world's most powerful villains is intent on destroying G.L.O.V.E. (Global League Of Villainous Enterprises) and showing the world the true face of evil. The Disciples begin by hijacking Diabolus Darkdoom's Airborne command post, then they kidnap his son and his son's best friend. Unfortunately for them, Nigel Darkdoom (and Franz) also happen to be Otto's friends. Heading out to America, Otto, Wing et al embark on a perilous and highly unauthorised rescue operation. Cut off from the support of H.I.V.E. and on the run from American security forces the hunt for their friends leads to one of the US military's most secret facilities. It becomes clear that the Disciples are not all they appear and in a desperate race against time Otto must work out who his real friends are to prevent the Disciples from completing their true objective. Only Otto can save the world from domination by a sinister new world order but it might be that the price he has to pay is just too high. When it comes to the crunch will he be prepared to sacrifice himself?"


The Cardinal's Blades by Pierre Pevel (Gollancz 19 November 2009 / £9.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: There are a few much anticipated titles well worth looking forward to later in the year and this is probably top of my personal list. Pierre Pevel's novel The Cardinal's Blades has an immediate tag line that is bound to attract any self-respecting fantasy fan "The Three Musketeers Meets Dragons in 17th Century Paris"!!! - what more could you ask?

Interestingly Pevel's novel is a translation from the original best-selling French text published by Bragelonne in 2007 - and much kudos to Gollancz for deciding to bring it to an English speaking audience (they did the same with Andrzej Sapkowski and were applauded (and Gemmell awarded!) for doing so. The English language translation of The Cardinal's Blades has been done by Tom Clegg and captures, I'm quite sure, all the swash and buckle of the original. Can't wait to read it!!

"THE CARDINAL'S BLADES is part historical novel, part old-fashioned swashbuckling high-action adventure, and part classic fantasy. Pierre Pevel has woven some of the best-loved fantasy tropes - musketeer-style adventuring, daring swordsmen, political intrigue, non-stop action and dragons - into a stunning new fantasy series. Paris, in 1633. Louis XIII reigns over France . . . and Cardinal Richelieu governs the country. One of the most dangerous and most powerful men in Europe, Richelieu keeps a constant, sharp eye on the enemies of the Crown to avoid their assassination attempts, thwart their spies and avert their warmongering. But he's up against people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals, even going so far as to forge alliances with France's oldest and deadliest enemies. Spain, and the Court of Dragons. The nobility keep tiny dragonnets as pets; royal couriers ride tame wyverns, and lethal man-shaped scaled dracs roam the country. But the power rising from the Court of Dragons is anything but mundane; the Black Claw sect draws on dragons as they once were: ancient, terrible, utterly merciless . . . and poised to move against France. Faced with the growing threat from Spain, Richelieu summons Captain la Fargue, an exceptional swordsman, devoted officer and brilliant leader. If he's to turn aside the Black Claw's schemes, La Fargue and his legenday company of swashbucklers and rogues must be persuaded to once again risk their lives, fortunes and reputations for Richelieu, and for France. It's the biggest challenge yet for The Cardinal's Blades - and they'll need to be sharp . . ."


Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Graphic Novel: The Authorized Adaptation by Tim Hamilton (HarperVoyager 06 August 2009 / £10.99) - Ray Bradbury's enduring classic gets a makeover in this brand new graphic novel adaptation by Tim Hamilton (see here for his blog). Bradbury himself provides an introduction. Published by Harper Voyager.

"The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, 'Fahrenheit 451' stands alongside Orwell's '1984' and Huxley's 'Brave New World' as a prophetic account of Western civilization's enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Now newly reimagined by gifted artist Tim Hamilton who has previously worked on illustrations for several high profile publications including The New York Times and Puffin's graphic novelization of Treasure Island. Bradbury's powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock."

The Rise of the Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt (HarperVoyager 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - Stephen Hunt's third novel to be set in the world of The Court of the Air (which I reviewed with mixed feelings a couple of years ago). The Rise of the Iron Moon now released in mass market paperback by Harper Voyager.

"Born into captivity as a product of the Royal Breeding House, friendless orphan Purity Drake suddenly finds herself on the run with a foreign vagrant from the North after accidentally killing one of her guards. Her strange rescuer claims he is on the run himself from terrible forces who mean to enslave the Kingdom of Jackals as they conquered his own nation. Purity doubts his story, until reports begin to filter through from Jackals' neighbours of the terrible Army of Shadows, marching across the continent and sweepign all before them. But there's more to Purity than meets the eye. As Jackals girds itself for war against an army of near-unkillable beasts serving an ancient evil with a terrible secret, it soon becomes clear that their only hope is a strange little royalist girl and the last, desperate plan of an escaped slave. "

Wildfire by Sarah Micklem (HarperVoyager 23 July 2009 / £7.99) - Sarah Micklem's follow-up to her racy fantasy debut Firethorn. Wildfire (the US edition of which was reviewed here in our July 09 issue) is released in the UK in B format by Harpercollins Voyager.

"What the Gods give the Gods can take away. The sacred Firethorn tree bestowed curious talents on the orphan once known as Luck. But when she is struck by wildfire as she follows her master Galan to war her powers of healing and shadow-walking take on a new bizarre strength. Soon she is suspected of witchcraft even by Galan.

Yet Firethorn's dreams are useful to those in power. After the invaders win a climactic battle Firethorn is captured by King Corvus who is fleeing with the remnants of his defeated army.

He takes refuge in a neighbouring kingdom where Firethorn finds the village where she was born and learns that her parents - horse farmers and traders - were killed in a previous war. Corvus uses her as a decoy in a plot to regain his kingdom; she goes along with the plot living the life of a privileged aristocrat in order to return to Galan."

Hodder Paperbacks

Contagious by Scott Sigler (Hodder Paperbacks 20 August 2009 / £6.99) - US writer Scott Sigler has quickly established himself as a notable writer of SF thrillers, not only through the medium of his fast and pacey fiction, but via his canny and unapologetic self-promotion. A visit to his web site is a must and a consummate lesson in how to use the internet to get yourself out there. His new novel is Contagious and is published in paperback original by Hodder.

"When the seeds landed on Chelsea Jewell, they made her seven-year-old body and mind the incubator for the worst plague ever to attack the planet.

Mankind's best hope of defence is Perry Dawsey: host-turned-hunter, bloodthirsty psychotic, and – with his strange new ability – a key member of the black-ops team leading a deadly battle against the mysterious disease that is spreading across America.

Now Dawsey and the rest of the black-ops team are in a desperate race to find and destroy Chelsea and her 'family' – before it's too late."

Just After Sunset by Stephen King (Hodder Paperbacks 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - Although he came in only 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 - is now published in mass market paperback by Hodder and 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


A Princess of Landover (Magic Kingdom of Landover 6) by Terry Brooks (Orbit 03 September 2009 / £18.99) - Fantasy favourite and consistantly best-selling author Terry Brooks returns to his fictional world of Landover for the first time in over a decade with the release of his latest novel A Princess of Landover - a smart hardcover release from Orbit.

"Princess Mistaya Holiday hasn't been fitting in too well at Carrington Women's Preparatory. People don't seem to appreciate her using her magic to settle matters in the human world. So when she summons a dragon to teach a lesson to the snotty school bully, she finds herself suspended. But Mistaya couldn't care less - she wants nothing more than to continue her studies under Questor the court magician and Abernathy the court scribe. However, her father Ben Holiday, the King of Landover, has rather different plans in mind for her. He thinks he'll teach her about perseverance and compromise by sending her to renovate Libiris, the long-abandoned royal library. How horribly dull. But before long, Mistaya will long for the boredom of cataloguing an unfeasible number of derelict books - for deep within the library there lies a secret so dangerous that it threatens the future of Landover itself ..."

Cry Wolf: Alpha and Omega: Book 1 by Patricia Briggs (Orbit 28 August 2009 / £6.99) - The British edition of the first book in Patricia Briggs' compulsively readable Alpha & Omega werewolf series, Cry Wolf is an Orbit paperback original. Published last year in the US by Ace, it was reviewed here by our own Gayle Surette.

"Charles Cornick is his pack's enforcer and lives a harsh life, doing jobs other wolves can't - or won't. And his most recent task was rescuing Anna Latham from a life of brutality. This leaves him shot and wounded, but he's happy to pay the price. Charles is strongly drawn to Anna, and her growing 'Omega' powers will see his people through dangerous times. Anna desperately needs her new mountainous home to be safer than the life she's left behind. But when a rogue werewolf starts murdering hikers, Charles and Anna are sent into the winter forests to investigate. Charles is still weak and will need Anna's strength as they discover a web of witchcraft that could drag down the whole pack. Including its leader Bran, Charles's father, head of a vast network of wolves. And if Bran weakens, dark madness could run like a fever through half a continent. "

The Company by K.J. Parker (Orbit 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - 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 mass market paperback from both Orbit.

"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 Drowning City by Amanda Downum (Orbit 03 September 2009 / £7.99) - This promising début novel from US writer Amanda Downum is a fantasy thriller featuring a necromancer who happens to also be a spy. What's not to like? The Drowning City is "... home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government. It had me at 'pirates'! The Drowning City is an Orbit paperback original and is already receiving excellent reviews... see below!

"Downum effectively combines action, magic, police procedure and political intrigue in this complex and striking debut. Isyllt Iskaldur, a Selafaïan forensic necromancer, travels to the monsoon-soaked canal city of Symir, capital of Sivahra. Her plot to undermine the occupying Assari Empire before it can invade Selafai is complicated by her attraction to handsome Imperial fire-mage Asheris. Isyllt's bodyguard Xinai, a Sivahran native, despises the empire for its brutal destruction of her clan; young apprentice mage Zhirin Laii struggles between love for a guerrilla leader and loyalty to her mother, a respected politician. Refreshingly, Downum treats necromancy as an unclean but necessary defense against evil and nicely handles the complex nuances of a quasi-Westerner fomenting revolution in a quasi-Asian country occupied by quasi-Arabs. A strong (if not happy) conclusion still leaves plenty of room for sequels." -- Publishers Weekly

Traitors' Gate (Crossroads) by Kate Elliott (Orbit 03 September 2009 / £12.99) - One of the queens of quality 'doorstop fantasy' Kate Elliot brings us the third volume in her latest series collectively entitled Crossroads. Traitors' Gate is a thwacking great trade paperback edition published this month by Orbit, an edition that follows the US release by only a couple of weeks.

"Reeve Joss is struggling to defend a country ravaged by the assaults of twin armies. His men now patrol a land of burning villages and homeless refugees as Joss tries to separate traitor from friend. The Reeve's thoughts are also plagued by the intriguing Zubaidit, pleasure-giver, spy and temple-trained assassin. But Zubaidit is focused on a dangerous mission, her target being warped Guardian Lord Radas. His death would leave the invading militia in chaos, but the old tales tell truly of the Guardians' immortality - and of the powers they now wield to twist the hearts of men. Joss's nights are also troubled, disturbed by dreams of Marit. His lost love has returned from death to become a feared Guardian herself, but Marit rejected the corrupt temptations they offered. She now seeks others of her kind, praying some are yet uncontaminated by the blight on the land - and have the will to fight it."

Orion Childrens

Legend by John Brindley (Orion Childrens 20 August 2009 / £6.99) - The new novel from British children's author John Brindley, author of Rule of Claw and City of Screams. Published by Orion Children's Books in B format.

"Seventeen-year-old Blake used to be a star runner. Now he's a has-been. On a school trip, he has the opportunity to secure the answer to his prayers - a specially created serum that will restore him to physical supremacy. But does he steal it or not? Before he - and the reader - knows, Blake is transported into another dimension where evolution has run wild and where he is perceived as a hero by the beautiful, enigmatic mermaid creature, Chimera. He escapes and returns to his own world - our world - to face the consequences of his alleged theft. Can he prove his innocence? Not without returning to that strange new world and the even stranger but alluring Chimera ... LEGEND is a gripping and thought-provoking thriller about the blurring of physical and emotional boundaries in the quest for the truth. "

Penguin Classics

Heroes in the Wind: from Kull to Conan: The Best of Robert E. Howard (Penguin Modern Classics) by Robert E. Howard (Penguin Classics 03 September 2009 / £10.99) - This wonderful collection of some of Robert E. Howard's works has been selected and is introduced by John Clute. Released as a Penguin "Modern Classic" - which gives the works therein a gravitas that might surprise those original fans of the old pulp magazines, Heroes in the Wind: From Kull to Conan is a paperback edition.

"Howard's swashbuckling fantasy stories feature the adventures of the enigmatic Conan: a free barbarian from distant Cimmeria who ventures into the splendid kingdoms of the south to find his fortune in the lost eons of the Hyborian Age between the sinking of Kull's Atlantis and the dawn of history. Cunning thief, captain of mercenaries and corsairs, lover of sultry temptresses, Conan follows his destiny into demon-haunted treasure towers and across the plains of death. And at last, like Kull before him, he slashes his name across the scrolls of royalty as King Conan, usurper-lord of imperial Aquilonia."

PS Publishing

The Black Heart by Patrick O'Leary (PS Publishing October2009 / £15.00) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: The Black Heart is a collection of Patrick O'Leary's newest stories and a treat for sure. O'Leary remains, bizarrely, a writer yet to make much of an impression on the UK market, in spite of some really excellent novels being published over in the States. Forward thinking as ever, the wonderful PS Publishing offer this collection to whet our appetites. Due some time after October in two hardcover states, it features too an introduction by James Morrow.

"The Black Heart is a collection of Patrick O'Leary's newest stories. Here you will find aliens and apocalypses, God and Satan, witches and geishas, madonnas and mutes, birds and bears, zoos and prisons, weeping robots and knights who work in hardware, pardons and orgasms, men without legs and aliens without hearts. In short, pretty much your standard O'Leary stash..."


The Enemy by Charlie Higson (Puffin 03 September 2009 / £12.99) - The new zombie novel from actor, television and radio writer and acclaimed author of the Young Bond novels, Charlie Higson. The Enemy is supported by a quite brilliant book trailer and web site.

"When the sickness came, every parent, policeman, politician - every adult fell ill. The lucky ones died. The others are crazed, confused and hungry. Only children under fourteen remain, and they're fighting to survive. Now there are rumours of a safe place to hide. And so a gang of children begin their quest across London, where all through the city - down alleyways, in deserted houses, underground - the grown-ups lie in wait.

But can they make it there - alive?"

Reviewed this issue by Liz de Jager. (see review)


Nova War by Gary Gibson (Tor 04 September 2009 / £17.99) - I quite enjoyed Gary Gibson's Stealing Light (see here for my review) when it was released a couple of years ago. The follow up, Nova War is now published in hard cover by Tor UK and is , I understand, more of a continuation of that previous book than a sequel. That might be tough on Gibson's readers, given the time lag involved - it's always a shame when a publisher is unable to capitalise sooner on the good reviews of a first book in a series. I feel compelled to add that the cover of this new book is an odd one in my entirely subjective opinion - looking rather like Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral crash landing in some construction yard! Given Gibson's talent and track record, I trust the content of the book transcends the impression given by this odd image.

"In Stealing Light, Dakota discovered the Shoal's dark and dangerous secret, now she works towards stopping not only the spread of this knowledge, but also the onset of the Nova war. Found adrift near a Bandati colony world far away from Consortium space, Dakota and Corso find themselves prisoners of the Bandati. It becomes rapidly clear to them, that the humanity's limited knowledge of the rest of the galaxy - filtered through the Shoal - is direly inaccurate. The Shoal have been fighting a frontier war with a rival species, the Emissaries, with their own FTL technology for over fifteen thousand years. Realising that the Shoal may be the Galaxy's one chance at sustained peace, Dakota is forced to work with Trader to prevent the spread of deadly knowledge carried on board the Magi ships. But it seems that the Nova War is inevitable."

Orbus by Neal Asher (Tor 04 September 2009 / £17.99) - Endlessly imaginative and industrious, Neal Asher dishes up another of his tasty Spatterjay novels. Orbus is a follow up to his 2006 novel The Voyage of the Sable Keech and takes up once again into the territory we first visited in The Skinner, a book I absolutely loved and perhaps still my favourite of this authors ever growing 'also by' list! A hardcover release from Tor UK.

"In charge of an old cargo spaceship, the Old Captain Orbus flees a violent and sadistic past, but he doesn't know that the lethal war drone, Sniper, is a stowaway, and that the past is rapidly catching up with him. His old enemy the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, has seized control of a Prador dreadnought, murdering its crew, and is now seeking to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed. Their courses inexorably converge in the Graveyard, the border realm lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, a place filled with the ruins left by past genocides and interplanetary war. But this is the home of the Golgoloth, monster to a race of monsters, the place where a centuries-long cold war is being fought. Meanwhile, the terrifying Prador King is coming, prepared to do anything to ensure Vrell's death and keep certain deadly secrets buried ...and somewhere out there something that has annihilated civilizations is stirring from a slumber of five million years. The cold war is heating up, fast."

Viz Media, Subs. of Shogakukan Inc

Zoo by Otsuichi (Viz Media, Subs. of Shogakukan Inc 21 September 2009 / £9.99) - Uncorrected proof Copy: More quality Japanese genre fiction brought to us in English translation courtesy of the new Haika Soru imprint. This latest is a collection of short stories by Otsuichi, 'Japan's Master of Dark Fantasy'.

"A man receives a photo of his girlfriend every day in the that he can keep track of her decomposition. A deathtrap that takes a week to kill its victims. Haunted parks and airplanes held in the sky by the power of belief. "

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