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UK Books Received- 04/2006  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

Black Swan

Troy: Lord Of The Silver Bow: Lord of the Silver Bow No.1 by David Gemmell (Black Swan 03 April, 2006 / £6.99) - David Gemmell takes on the classics in this, the first novel in his trilogy of Troy. Lord of the Silver Bow was originally published in hardcover and with much fanfare last September and is now issued in this mass market paperback edition from Corgi Books.

"This is how the oldest tales should be read and known" - Conn Iggulden. (see review)

Gollancz

Gradisil (Gollancz SF S.) by Adam Roberts (Gollancz 16 March, 2006 / £18.99) - A brand new novel from the "King of high concept SF" Adam Roberts, one of the UK's most prolific and certainly one of the most imaginative writers currently at work in the field.

"Gradisil is a multi-generational story of murder, betrayal and revenge.

It is told through the eyes of three characters and against a background where mankind's rush onto space has faded away leaving individual pioneers to force their way independently into space after the collapse of big government space agencies.

They ride up into space on the lines of electromagnetic force that flower into space from earth like the mighty Yggradisil - the earth tree of Norse myth. Leaving their weight behind they still carry a cargo of enmities and betrayals."

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Fantasy Masterworks S.) by Ray Bradbury (Gollancz 09 March, 2006 / £6.99) - Perhaps one of the most enduring dark fantasies ever written, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes is given a richly deserved reissue as part of the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series. A true masterpiece that evokes "...an unforgetable sense of both fear and nostalgia" and surely required reading for every self-respecting genre fan. Recommended.

Headline Review

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson (Headline Review 10 April, 2006 / £5.99) - Not content with being the biggest selling adult fiction author in the UK, James Patterson is setting out to conquer the YA market too - and why shouldn't he?! Maximum Ride, aimed at readers from 9-15 illustrates perfectly that Patterson's fantastically compulsive stories easily span the generation gap - but I doubt that few of his X-million plus adult readers won't thoroughly enjoy it as well.

Backed by a suitably impressive marketing campaign, this is the mass market edition. Find out more at the excellent official website of the book, where you can play a rather frustrating game(!) and enter a competition to win a PSP.

Hodder Paperback

The Road to Dune by Frank Herbert (Hodder Paperback 27 March, 2006 / £7.99) - Mass market paperback edition of this fantastic and insightful guide to the Dune novels. Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, who have with their own collaborations continued and furthered the Dune legacy long after the death of its originator Frank Herbert, here offer readers the chance to take a look behind the scenes at how the whole story began. A very interesting and revealing volume.

Macmillan New Writing

Dark Rain by Conor Corderoy (Macmillan New Writing 07 April, 2006 / £12.99) - The first genre title from the controversial Macmillan New Writing imprint. Dark Rain is an SF eco-thriller.

"...man has destroyed the climate, the Earth is dying and the rain is continuous. They said there would be huge domed towns for everybody, but now just one per cent - the super-rich - live in dry, crime-free luxury and the rest live out in the rain. This is the new order. But then the unthinkable happens. There is a murder in one of the domes...."

Orbit

Double Vision by Tricia Sullivan (Orbit 06 April, 2006 / £7.99) - Arthur C. Clarke award winning author Tricia Sullivan's most recent novel Double Vision is issued in mass market paperback from Orbit.

"Combining William Gibson's mistrust of consumerism with Philip K. Dick's ability to twist reality through ninety degrees..." - Publisher's Blurb.

Be sure to check out my review of Sullivan's previous novel, Maul.

Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War) by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 02 March, 2006 / 6.99) - Elizabeth Moon's very enjoyable space faring military SF sequence continues with the release the third book in the series, Engaging the Enemy.

"Kylara Vatta has had to leave a glowing future as a military cadet far behind, and now carves out a living in the brutal cut-throat world of interplanetary trading. Her chosen way of life is tough but rewarding and she thinks she is more than capable of holding her own... And so she is, until a threat emerges that nobody could have foreseen..." -- Publisher's blurb.

Check out Ern's review of this one in last month's issue.

Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore (Orbit 06 April, 2006 / £6.99) - It's astonishing that it's taken so many years for Christopher Moor's 1992 debut novel Practical Demonkeeping to receive it's first UK publication. Orbit have put this glaring omission to rights with this paperback original release. Essentially a comic fantasy with some comic horror thrown in for good measure, Practical Demonkeeping apparently sparked a bidding war in Hollywood for the film rights back in the early 90s - and fourteen years later, the movie seems no nearer to production. Nevertheless, the novel endures and now British readers get the chance to see what all the fuss was about.

Smoke and Shadows by Tanya Huff (Orbit 02 March, 2006 / £6.99) - The notion of an immortal vampire who happens to be a wizard who also happens to be the illegitimate son of Henry VIII does seems a little 'busy' to me, but that is the concept around which Tanya Huff has woven her very popular and successful Vicky Nelson Mysteries and it sure seems to work!

Smoke and Shadows has our man Henry Fitzroy once more on the trail of the supernatural.

Star Wars Republic Commando: Hard Contact by Karen Traviss (Orbit 06 April, 2006 / £6.99) - A novel tie-in to the Star Wars video game of the same name. If you've finished the game, I hope you have long enough to read the book before the next Star Wars game is released!

The Devil You Know: A Felix Castor Novel by Mike Carey (Orbit 06 April, 2006 / £6.99) - Already a household name in the field of graphic novels (for his work on the Lucifer and Hellblazer series) Mike Carey takes his first foray into novel writing and in doing so has come up with something very special indeed!! The Devil You Know is a stunning supernatural thriller, and one so brilliantly written that it simply blows away the competition in a field saturated at the moment. It's only April, but here, I guarantee, is one of the best books you'll read this year! Reviewed this issue. (see review)

PS Publishing

Fine Cuts by Dennis Etchison (PS Publishing Due Mid 2006 / £25.00) - Uncorrected Proof Copy. A collection of Etchison's dark and disturbing 'Hollywood Tales'... "truth is under contract to ambition, morality is left on the cutting room floor and life and death are the ingredients of a storyline from which no one escapes."

Featuring an introduction by Peter Atkins, Fine Cuts is to be released in two limited states. More info can be found here at the PS Publishing web site.

Streaking by Brian Stableford (PS Publishing Early 2006 / £25.00) - Uncorrected Proof Copy. Forthcoming from PS Publishing, this new short novel by Brian Stableford, with an introduction by Storm Constantine. A fascinating, very shrewd and well considered look at what it is to be lucky. This edition will, as with most PS books, be released in two limited stated. See more detail at the PS Publishing web site. (see review)

Tor

Blade of Fortriu by Juliet Marillier (Tor 17 March, 2006 / £17.99) - The second novel in The Bridei Chronicles, Marillier's "beautiful take of love, loyalty and betrayal".

"Marillier has a wonderful sense of place and deftly evokes the wild landscape and harsh life of sixth century Scotland". -- Starburst

The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier (Tor 17 March, 2006 / £7.99) - Celtic fantasy by a writer who excels in such novels. Mass market edition of the first title in Marillier's Bridei Chronicles, released alongside the hardcover edition of book two, Blade of Fortriu.

Voyager

Camelot's Sword by Sarah Zettel (Voyager 03 April, 2006 / £12.99) - The third Camelot title in Sarah Zettel's retelling of the Arthurian story. A large format trade paperback released by HarperCollins Voyager.

"Powerful... a strong and passionate vision" -- Time Out

Flight of the Nighthawks (Darkwar) by Raymond E. Feist (Voyager 03 April, 2006 / £12.99) - The start of a new sequence by acclaimed best-selling fantasy author Raymond E. Feist, Flight of the Nighthawks is released in trade paperback, following the earlier hardcover issue some months ago.

"Flight of the Nighthawks carries the reader into the deepest criminal underworld and highest seats of power in ancient Kesh, where the Conclave struggles with the agents of the darkest magic for the fate of two worlds."

Kapilavastu (Buddha S.) by Osamu Tezuka (Voyager 18 April, 2006 / £10.00) - HarperCollins plunge into the Manga market with their publication of major classic of the genre. Over thirty years since it's original publication in Japan, Osamu Tezuka's Budda, an epic that ranks as highly as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is published in the UK for the first time.

"Many regard Osamu Tezuka as the greatest Manga creator of all time... this really should be marked down on your calender as essential reading for 2006". -- Neo.

The Four Encounters (Buddha S.) by Osamu Tezuka (Voyager 18 April, 2006 / £10.00) - The second volume in Tezuka's eight-book masterpiece. Subsequent volumes are to be released two books at a time over the next few months.

"...his inventive sequences, especially those conveying spiritual awakening, carry a breathtaking emotional charge." -- Paul Gravett, author of Graphic Novels: Stories to Change your Life.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 06 April, 2006 / £12.99) - James Morrow's new novel is an absolute delight. Described by Neal Stephenson as "A grand yarn about the clash of reason and superstition, set in a fascinating time..." it tells of one woman's crusade against an unjust law. Her Picaresque tale is one of high adventure, low comedy and level-headed reasoning and it takes the reader on an extremely pleasurable journey. Highly recommended. (see review)

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