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UK Books Received- 09/2005  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


The Magicians' Guild (Black Magician Trilogy) by Trudi Canavan (Atom 01 September, 2005 / £7.99) - One of the suprise hits of the recent Orbit list, Trudi Canavan's excellent novel The Magician's Guild has appeal for readers of all ages. Consquently it is being reissued in hardcover by Time Warner's Atom imprint and thus targeted to the YA audience. There's every reason to believe they will embrace it eagerly. A recommended title.


The Mark of Ran by Paul Kearney (Bantam 01 September, 2005 / £10.99) - I had an interesting disagreement over this book with my collegue Sandy Auden, who writes for The Alien Online. In short, she liked it - I didn't (see my October 2004 review), and both of us know what we're talking about! It proved to me once again how subjective this reviewing lark truly is. The moral of the story is, I suppose, don't take either of our words for it. Instead go out and buy this newly released mass market paperback edition and judge for yourself. (see review)

Bantam Press

Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell (Bantam Press 01 September, 2005 / £17.99) - "Murder, betrayal, bloodshed and fear, Troy, the greatest story ever told..."

David Gemmel gives us his fictionalised version of events in this first of his Lord of the Silver Bow series. A smart hardcover published by Bantam.

Check out Steve Saville's exclusive interview with the author and the US Review of the book. (see review)


Exultant (Destiny's Children S.) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 08 September, 2005 / £6.99) - The second novel in Baxter's Destiny's Children series is released in mass market paperback.

"Warfare and human evolution as they have rarely been depicted. Baxter's writing and chacters are vivid, and the focus on humanity's possible development remains the saga's core theme. Fascinating serious SF." -- Dreamwatch.

Provender Gleed by James Lovegrove (Gollancz 15 September, 2005 / £18.99) - Uncorrected proof copy. The latest novel by James Lovegrove, one of the UK's most brilliant and versatile genre writers. Provender Gleed tells of...

"The Families. Insanely rich and richly insane. With world-spanning business interests, glamour and power, they are monarchs, Mafia and movie stars roled into one. Since the Borgias and de'Medicis united in the 17th century, the Families have transfixed, transformed, and ruled the world."

Young Provender Gleed, heir to to fortunes of one of ruling Families is kidnapped during the social event of the year by anti-Family revolutionaries. His fate lies in the hands of two Anagrammatic Detectives. (see review)

The Anubis Gates (Fantasy Masterworks S.) by Tim Powers (Gollancz 08 September, 2005 / 7.99) - My favourite novel of all time!

Powers' classic time-travel romp get a deserved reissue in the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series. This novel is the reason I'm a genre fan.

Quite simply one of the best books EVER!!!

The Hickory Staff: Book 1 of 'The Eldarn Trilogy' (Gollancz SF S.) by Robert Scott & Jay M. Gordon (Gollancz 18 August, 2005 / £14.99) - A major new fantasy release from Gollancz.

" Join Steven Taylor and Mark Jenkins in their journey back to Colorado as they battle demons, homicidal wraiths, ravenous beasts and an occupation army of souless warriors sent after them by the creature plotting the annihilation of Eldarn and all its inhabitants."

The Sellamillion (Gollancz SF S.) by Adam Roberts (Gollancz 08 September, 2005 / £5.99) - Adam Roberts' Tolkien parody is released in paperback. It may not quite (yet) have achieved what the title suggests, but this series of small format comic rip-offs have become bestsellers and their success will doubtless continue for as long as Roberts can find subjects to poke fun at.

Worldstorm (Gollancz SF S.) by James Lovegrove (Gollancz 08 September, 2005 / £6.99) - High concept fantasy by the ever-inventive James Lovegrove. Worldstorm is released in mass market paperback with a new cover concept.

"Welcome to a world where everyone has super-normal powers."


City of Night (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein S.) by Dean Koontz (HarperCollins 03 October, 2005 / £5.99) - The second in Dean Koontz's modern day updated tale of an everyday man-made monster. I rather enjoyed the first novel in this series ( reviewed here), it was great fun in scholky, easily digestabed kind of way. This second title has Koontz collaborating with fellow horror writer Ed Gorman. Perfect reading for the poolside.

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 12 September, 2005 / £11.99) - The Road to Dune is a kind of DVD extras volume to Herbert's Dune series. Compiled by Frank Herbert's son Brian with Kevin J. Anderson, this new release offers readers and fans an insight into the creation of the original series. As well as out-takes from early Dune novels, also included are four original short stories by Herbert Junior and Anderson, and Spice Planet, a new short novel based directly on an outline by Herbert Senior.

Independant Persons Press

Cafe Ole - Too Hot to Handle by Sarah Crabtree (Ed) (Independant Persons Press 1st August 2005 / £4.99) - Launched at the Glasgow Worldcon, Sarah Crabtree has assembled an exciting bunch of writers and asked them for stories with a distinct caffeine buzz to them. Cafe Ole is an "anthology of stories with wickedly strong infusions of coffee" and though you may not be familiar with many of the contributors, you should check this one out. Note that all proceeds for this anthology have been promised to Action Against Allergy.


The Destiny Book by Nataly Adrian (Matador 04 April, 2005 / £7.99) - Here's a book I picked up at Worldcon by a young French author Nataly Adrian. Self-published via Troubador Press, this is actually a very nicely produced trade paperback. There's a wealth of European genre talent that unfortunately we never see published in English - perhaps Adrian's novel will pave the way for other French authors?.


Fool Moon (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher (Orbit 01 September, 2005 / £6.99) - The second book in Butcher's Dresden Files series.

"In this city, I'm the best at what I do. You can find me in the Yellow Pages. Funnily enough, I'm the only wizard listed. And I don't do children's parties."

In the Ruins (Crown of Stars S.) by Kate Elliott (Orbit 01 September, 2005 / £12.99) - Kate Elliot has the sixth book in her massive Crown of Stars epic fantasy series published.

"A tale of war torn kingdoms and a cataclysm foretold."

Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter S.) by Laurell K. Hamilton (Orbit 01 September, 2005 / £7.99) - The twelfth novel in the staggering popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton.

"When the police draft in Anita Blake to help solve a particularly grisly preternatural case, she will need to call on all her famous toughness. However, with clients clamouring for her to raise more dead and the partly human clamouring for her affections it seems unlikely that she will get much time to dwell on it..."

Storm Front (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher (Orbit 01 September, 2005 / £6.99) - Jim Butcher's wizard PI novels are published in the UK by Orbit as paperback originals.

"Meet Harry. Harry is a wizard. But this ain't no kid's story..."

Storm Front is the first novel in this critically acclaimed series, and there are seven further books to follow. Fine out more about this seires and its author by visiting Jim Butcher's web site.

Western Shore (Aldabreshin Compass S.) by Juliet E. McKenna (Orbit 01 September, 2005 / £7.99) - Book three in the Aldabreshin Compass sequence, by Juliet E. McKenna, author of the Tales of Einarinn series.

"Warlord Daish Kheda has been building political alliances, working to consolidate power over his new realm. Although he has saved his people from the twin eveils of wizardry and dragons, he feels tained by association with forbidden magic and fears he may bring great ill-fortune to his people."

Pocket Books

Out of the Darkness by Harry Turtledove (Pocket Books 03 October, 2005 / £6.99) - Mass market paperback of the concluding novel in Turtledove's multi-volume Into the Darkness sequence. The image shown is of the hardcover edition.

PS Publishing

A Periodic Table of Science Fiction by Michael Swanwick (PS Publishing 31 July, 2005 / £25.00) - A beautiful limited edition containing over a hundred stories and vingettes by the genre's master of the "short short" Michael Swanwick. With an introduction by Theodore W. Gray. Released in two states - 500 hardcover copies signed by the author (?25.00) and 200 slipcased copies signed by the author and introducer (?60.00).

Postscripts: v. 4 by Peter Crowther (Ed) (PS Publishing 30 June, 2005 / £6.00) - The fourth issue of PS Publishing's trail-blazing Postscripts magazine. As ever, this issue is packed full of superb material, the highlight of which is Zima Blue a novellette by Alastair Reynolds (great story!). Look also for fiction by Eric Brown, Lawrence Person, Adam Roberts, Jack Dann, Barry Malzberg and Paul Di Fillipo and Zoran Zivkovic.

The most fun you can get for only six quid!

Sanity and the Lady by Brian W. Aldiss (PS Publishing 31 August, 2005 / £25.00) - A new novel by Grand Master Aldiss, who at eighty years old shows no sign at all of slowing down.

A limited edition in two states - 500 numbered hardcover copies signed by Aldiss (£25.00)and 200 slipcased copies signed by both Aldiss and introducer Ian R. Macleod (£60.00).


Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (Review 20 September, 2005 / £17.99) - One the this year's highlights, the new novel by Neil Gaiman borrows from his earlier American Gods whilst avoiding feeling like a sequel. Anansi Boys offers soemthing for everyone - humour, romance, myth, comedy and horror. Reviewed in this issue and very highly recommended. (see review)

The Incredible Adam Spark by Alan Bissett (Review 29 August, 2005 / £10.99) - Uncorrected proof copy. A quirky new novel by Scottish author Alan Bissett.

"Adam Spark. Eighteen going on eight-and-a-half. Fast-food worker. Queen fan. Last int he que for luck. On waking from an accident in which he saves a child, he has the distinct impression that all is far from right. What are these curious lights that seem to surround people? Why are animals and machines trying to speak to him? And can he really control time? Is it just his imagination, or has Adam Spark been chosen to become Scotland's first, and only, superhero?"

Simon & Schuster (Trade Division)

Mind's Eye by Paul McAuley (Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) 05 September, 2005 / £12.99) - Paul McAuley's recent novel output has been consistently strong and noticably bold of late. With his sharply observed near-future science based thrillers, he has carved himself a very respectable and highly respected niche in the marketplace - certainly here in the UK at least. Elsewhere this is ground covered (if not swamped) by Michael Crichton above all others, but to my mind McAuley is a much sharper and classier writer, one less inclined to those glitzy Hollywood moments that cause me to suspect that Crichton works on his stories with two computers on his desk - one for the novel and one for the (already sold) screenplay. That is not to say that McAuley's work wouldn't make for great movie versions - undoubtedly it would, but the point here is that McAuley's novels are conceived and intended as novels and it is this undistracted approach which give his novels the edge over many of his contemporaries. (see review)

Straken: High Druid of Shannara Book Three by Terry Brooks (Simon & Schuster (Trade Division) 15 August, 2005 / £17.99) - Terry Brooks concludes his High Druid of Shananara series with Straken, released in hard cover by Simon & Schuster. Touted as the best Brooks' series yet, the previous two novels sold in excess of 100,000 copies in the UK alone!

Tor Books

Faces of Mist and Flame by Jon George (Tor Books 19 August, 2005 / £6.99) - The debut novel by Jon George, now released in mass market paperback. It's a strange novel is this one - a mythical mish-mash involving time travel and the story of Hercules. I really didn't know what to make of it - but be sure to make up your own minds!

Here in Cold Hell (Lionwolf Trilogy) by Tanith Lee (Tor Books 19 August, 2005 / £10.99) - The second novel in Tanith Lee's Lionwolf trilogy. A trade paperback published by Tor UK.

"Killed by the power of the god Zezeth, his true father, Lionwolf has been cast into a bleak and icy hell lit just by a cold blue sun. Here he and other of the living dead must wage endless combat and war, to appease the whim of a deathly King whose face is made of stone. But when lionwolf encounters the king's wife, she is none other than the beautiful god-fashioned Chillel, his own former lover - and nemesis."

Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey (Tor Books 16 September, 2005 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback edition of Kushiel's Avatar brings to a close Jacqueline Carey's elegant and powerful Kushiel's Legacy trilogy. Wonderful writing within a beautifully imagined setting, this is one of the more striking and original fantasy series of late. Highly recommended.

"Carey dismantles standard notions of both magic and mortality to produce a ling, complex saga worthy of the field's best writer on such a scale, George R.R. Martin." -- LOCUS

Swarmthief's Dance (Swarmthief Trilogy) by Deborah Miller (Tor Books 02 September, 2005 / £10.99) - A new publisher and a new name - Deborah J. Miller (a.k.a Miller Lau, author of The Last Clansman series) has her first novel to be published by Tor UK released as a smart trade paperback. Swarmthief's Dance begins a new fantasy sequence and is described by David Gemmell as "The most enchanting novel I've read in a long, long time."

"Long ago there was a war in heaven. Rann, guardian of the Underworld, fought with the Nulefi, and in that battle the Nulefi were defeated. But though their bodies were destroyed, the shattered spirits of the nulefi remained, drifting, seeking form and memory."

The Iron Tree by Cecilia Dart-Thornton (Tor Books 05 August, 2005 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback release of the first volume of The Crowthistle Chronicles. The Iron Tree confirms the great talents of Cecila Dart-Thornton, a sensitive and lyrical fantasist and a name to watch for the future. I was hugely impressed with her Bitterbynde Trilogy - check out my review on Sfsite .


Exile's Return (Conclave of Shadows S.) by Raymond E. Feist (Voyager 05 September, 2005 / £6.99) - Feist's latest fantasy is released in mass market paperback. Exile's Return is the penultimate volume in the Conclave of Shadows series.

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Send books to: Gayle Surrette / UK Editor
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