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UK Books Received- 01/2006  Next Month / Last Month
In order to provide timely reviews, we prefer to receive Advance Reader Copies of books when possible. Send books to Gayle Surrette c/o SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

Bantam

Resolution by John Meaney (Bantam 02 January, 2006 / £6.99) - The final novel in John Meany's Nulapeiron sequence, released in mass market paperback.

"Few characters in hard SF are more impressive... a fitting end to an intelligent and literate SF sequence." -- Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

Corgi Childrens

The New World Order by Ben Jeapes (Corgi Childrens 05 January, 2006 / £5.99) - An ingenious alternative history by British author Ben Jeapes which adds a twist to the English Civil War, a period not often tackled by genre writers. Originally published in hard cover by David Fickling books, The New World Order is marketed towards YA readers, but don't let that alienate you. A mass market edition published by Corgi.

Be sure to check out this page for more info on this novel and its author. (see review)

Gollancz

A Maze of Death (S.F.Masterworks S.) by Philip K. Dick (Gollancz 01 December, 2005 / £6.99) - "Fourteen people arrive on the strange planet of Delmark-O; they have nothing in common other than the desire to make a fresh start. And they have no idea why they are there and no way of escaping. And then the first murder takes place..."

One of Phillip K. Dick's darker and stranger tales, released by Gollancz as a trade paperback and a fine addition to their excellent SF Masterworks series, which it joins as the sixty-third title.

Galactic Pot-healer (Gollancz SF S.) by Philip K. Dick (Gollancz 01 December, 2005 / £6.99) - Gollancz continue their excellent series of Phillip K. Dick's novels with this release of his 1969 short-ish novel Galactic Pot-Healer.

"...blends quixotic adventure and deliciously paranoid theology in a uniquely imaginative and metaphysical quest."

Hyperion (Gollancz SF S.) by Dan Simmons (Gollancz 08 December, 2005 / £7.99) - Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos - particularly the first two novels in the sequence, are near the top of my personal premier league of modern day SF. Indeed Simmons' early masterwork (there have been others since!) served as one of those books that shaped my own reading and cemented my life-long love of the genre. Gollancz issued the first two novels in the series, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion as a huge trade paperback omnibus a year or so ago - now they release these novels in more manageable mass market volumes. If you've not already read this series, I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Rama II (Gollancz SF S.) by Arthur C. Clarke (Gollancz 12 January, 2006 / £6.99) - The sequel to Clarke's 1973 multi award winning novel Rendezvous with Rama. Co-authored with NASA engineer and author Gentry Lee (with whom Clarke went on to write further books in this series). This is a mass market paperback release.

The Cosmic Puppets (Gollancz SF S.) by Philip K. Dick (Gollancz 12 January, 2006 / £6.99) - Another early Phillip K. Dick work (1957) brought by Gollancz to a whole new generation of readers. Disturbing and unsettling stuff.

"Yielding to a compulsion he can't explanin, Ted Barton interrupts his vacation to visit the town of his birth, Millgate, Virginia. But upon entering the sleepy, isolated little hamlet, Ted is distraught to find that the place bears no resemblence to the one he left behind - and never did. He also discovers that in this Millgate, Ted Barton died of scarlet fever when he was nine years old. Perhaps even more troubling is the fact that it is literally impossible to escape..."

The Endymion Omnibus: by Dan Simmons (Gollancz 01 December, 2005 / £12.99) - Endymion and The Rise of Endymion, the two concluding novels in Dan Simmon's seminal Hyperion Cantos are published together for the first time in this bumper omnibus release from Gollancz.

The Fall of Hyperion (Gollancz SF S.) by Dan Simmons (Gollancz 01 December, 2005 / £7.99) - The second novel in the Hyperion Cantos, and an rare example of a sequel that matches the brilliance of its predecessor. See above for further gushing remarks!

Orbit

Devices and Desires (Engineer Trilogy) by K.J. Parker (Orbit 05 January, 2006 / £7.99) - Book one in K. J. Parker's third fantasy series. Devices and Desires was very well received upon publication by the trade press and is a compelling tale of intrigue and injustice.

"When an engineer is sentenced to death for a petty transgression of guild law, he flees the city, leaving behind his wife and daughter. Forced into exile, he seeks a terrible vengeance - one that will leave a trail of death and destruction in its wake.

But he will not be able to achieve this by himself. He must draw upon his plans using the blood of others..."

Sister of the Dead by Barb Hendee (Orbit 19 January, 2006 / £6.99) - Book three in this series, described by Kevin J. Anderson as "A mix of Lord of the Rings and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.".And Orbit paperback original.

"Magiere is a dhampir - half human, half vampire - sired for the purpose of slaying the undead. Outside the village of Chemestuk, where she was born and raised, stands her father's keep. Within its walls, she hopes to discover the secrets of her past and learn why a vampire would wish to breed a creature capable of slaughtering its own kind..."

The Risen Empire by Scott Westerfeld (Orbit 19 January, 2006 / £7.99) - A big, one volume space adventure by US writer Scott Westerfeld. Satisfyingly huge, Westefield's novel predates the "Castle" stories of Steph Swainston, and though both share the central plot premise of a group of elite immortals who serve a powerful Emperor, the idea is explored very differently in each.

"The undead Emperor has ruled the Eighty Worlds for sixteen hundred years. His is the power to grant immortality to those he deems worthy, creating an elite class known as the Risen..."

The Warrior-Prophet (Prince of Nothing S.) by R.Scott Bakker (Orbit 19 January, 2006 / £7.99) - Mass market edition of Bakker's second novel in The Prince of Nothing series - which, according to The Guardian newspaper "Leaves most of the competition trailing".

Steve Savile reviewed this title in our August 2005 issue - check on the link to see what he thought.

Pan

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases by Jeff Vandermeer (Pan 18 November, 2005 / £8.99) - A cult smash hit, this collection of strange and often unpleasant conditions and diseases, penned by the cream of the SF&F establishment continues to romp from strength to strength. This latest edition, released by Pan Macmillan is a large format mass market paperback. Great fun!

"A ribald mixture of Pythonesque humour, a healthy disrespect for the medical establishment, and over 60 "clinically disturbed" imaginations..."

Pendragon Press, Maesteg

An Occupation of Angels by Lavie Tidhar (Pendragon Press, Maesteg 01 December, 2005 / £4.99) - A impressive novella by Lavie Tidhar, one-time SFRevu contributor and an author whose fine reputation is growing rapidly. An Occupation of Angels is a breathless adventure story, finely crafted and rammed home with the assured confidence of an author very much in his stride. But don't just take my word for it - check out the quotes from other authors here, or better yet, order a copy and judge for yourself.

Pocket Books

The House of Storms by Ian R. MacLeod (Pocket Books 06 February, 2006 / £6.99) - Ian MacLeod's sequel to The Light Ages, his excellent 2003 novel that told of an Victorian age infused with industrial magic and Dickensian squallor. This sequel, though gruelling for the reader, nonetheless shows off the author's extraordinary imagination and offers us further insight into his beautifully conceived alternative Britain. (see review)

Tor

Capacity by Tony Ballantyne (Tor 18 November, 2005 / £10.99) - The second novel from UK author Tony Ballantyne. A trade paperback released by Tor UK. (See my review of Ballantyne's first novel Recursion.)

"Society in the twenty-third century runs smoothly and peacefully with the aid of Social Care operatives such as Judy 3. Meanwhile benevolent AIs, under the control of the near-mythical Watcher, seem to have solved all humankind's problems, and with their aid humans have begun to explore the surrounding universe..."

The Well of Tears by Cecilia Dart-Thornton (Tor 18 November, 2005 / £17.99) - The second novel in Cecilia Dart-Thornton's superb and beautifully written Crowthistle Chronicles. This hardcover release includes an interactive CD which shows off the author's elegantly imagined world (it wowed the audience at the Macmillan presentation at this years Worldcon!).

Voyager

Black Jade (EA Cycle S.) by David Zindell (Voyager 03 January, 2006 / £7.99) - The second novel in David Zindell's (author of the Neverness series) acclaimed Ea Cycle is released in mass market paperback.

"This magnificent story of the quest of Valashu Elahad, the seventh son of a King, is a story as rich as Tolkien and as magical as the Arthurian myths."

Temeraire by Naomi Novik (Voyager 03 January, 2006 / £12.99) - A very impressive debut novel from US author Naomi Novik, and one destined to be a firm favourite amongst fantasy fans. Novik offers us a fresh and original dragon story, and mixes it deftly with the Napoleonic age and the smoke and cannon fire of navel warfare.

  Reviewed this issue and highly recommended. Be sure to check out our author interview too! (see review)

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