The Ephemera by Neil Williamson
(Elastic Press 01 May, 2006 / £5.99) - "Nothing lasts forever. Everything is ephemeral. Time slips by, people change, happiness is fleeting. Neil Williamson's collection of bittersweet tales features fourteen stories of impermanence: from the ends of love affairs and the brief sanity of wartime convalescence, to the fading away of old languages and the dying of humanity itself."
Hat's off to Andrew Hook, whose Elastic Press is going from strength to strength. Last year, Elastic Press wrested the coveted British Fantasy Society Best Small award from the four-wins-in-a-row iron grip of Peter Crowther's PS Publishing. A fantastic feat and one possible entirely due to Hook's ambition, dedication and good taste. Elastic's latest release The Ephemera is a collection of stories by the hugely talented Scottish writer Neil Williamson and embodies their mission of high quality writing and high quality production values.
"Emotionally complex and displaying a keen eye for detail, the stories in Neil Williamson's collection The Ephemera are a rich and rewarding read from a stylish new Scottish talent." -- Jeff Vandermeer.
Be sure to find out more about Williamson and his work by visiting his excellent web site.
Eater by Gregory Benford
(Eos (HarperCollins) 02 May, 2000 / $24.00) - If you are one of those readers (like me) who enjoys the "fiction" part of the genre but has nothing more than a layman's knowledge of the "science" bit, novels like Gregory Benford's Eater can be quite daunting. I gave up any hope of fathoming the mysteries of physics and chemistry whilst still in high school and so I tend to feel rather inadequate when it comes to works that are rooted in these subjects. Benford on the other hand is a practicing professor of physics - a subject he teaches at the University of California, Irvine. He also teaches literature and as if his expertise in these two particular areas were not enough, he is an award winning novelist to boot.
Rendezvous With Rama (S.F. Masterworks S.) by Arthur C. Clarke
(Gollancz 13 April, 2006 / £6.99) - Clarke's 1972 Hugo and Nebula award winning SF novel joins the Gollancz SF Masterworks series as title number 65. Widely regarded as one of Clarke's most important novel length works, it is unarguably a classic of hard SF, and its addition to the Masterworks list is timely, for a film starring Morgan Freeman is due for release next year.
Sunstorm (Gollancz SF S.) by Arthur C. Clarke
(Gollancz 13 April, 2006 / £6.99) - Hard SF born from a collaboration between two of the biggest names in the field, Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter. This is the mass market paperback edition released by Gollancz of the sequel to Time's Eye, which was the previous novel in this series subtitled A Time Odyssey.
The First Law: Blade Itself v. 1 (Gollancz SF S.) by Joe Abercrombie
(Gollancz 04 May, 2006 / £9.99) - A very impressive debut fantasy by British author Joe Abercrombie. Reviewed this issue and highly recommended.
"Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy on the cutting edge." - cover blurb.
I couldn't agree more! (see review)
The Wyrdest Link: A Terry Pratchett Discworld Quizbook (Gollancz SF S.) by David Langford
(Gollancz 20 April, 2006 / £7.99) - If you're a Discworld fan, particularly one who spends time with others of your ilk (instead of sitting alone in your bedroom), David Langford has put together this, the second Discworld quizbook especially for you. Here's your chance to really show off down the pub! I foresee a Trivial Pursuit™ version somewhere along the line. Meantime, there's this collectible mini hardback.
Whitemantle by Robert Carter
(HarperCollins 02 May, 2006 / £17.99) - The latest title in Robert Carters very classy Arthurian themed historical fantasy sequence, The Language of Stones. Released in hardback by HarperCollins, this series has been described as "The 15th century as it should have been". Notably, Carter is to be involved as a spokesperson for the Centenary of T.H. White's birth, an event to be celebrated on the 29th of May, 2006.
The Waking by T.M. Jenkins
(Macmillan 05 May, 2006 / £12.99) - Ostensibly a medcial thriller, but highly relevant to genre fans given its futuristic setting and core theme of cryogenics, The Waking has shades of Richard Morgan, Michael Crichtona and Michael Marshall running throughout and should provide perfect beach reading for the summer holidays.
Learning the World: A Novel of First Contact by Ken MacLeod
(Orbit 04 May, 2006 / £6.99) - The mass market edition of Ken Macleod's latest novel, as reviewed in our March issue by Ern. That same issue also has an exclusive interview with the author .
Shadow Fall (Godslayer S.) by James Clemens
(Orbit 06 April, 2006 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback release of Shadowfall, a start of a new fantasy series by US writer James Clemens, author of the Banned and the Banished sequence. Find out more about this latest series and about the author himself by visiting his official web site.
Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero by Karen Traviss
(Orbit 04 May, 2006 / £6.99) - The second novel to be penned by Karen Traviss in this series based on the best-selling Star Wars : Republic Commando
Following the eruption of the bloody Clone Wars at the battle of Geonosis, both sides remain deadlocked in a stalemate that can be broken only by elite warriors like Omega Squad, clone commandos with terrifying skills and a lethal arsenal...
The Thousandfold Thought (Prince of Nothing S.) by R.Scott Bakker
(Orbit 04 May, 2006 / £12.99) - The final volume in R. Scott Baker's acclaimed "thinking man's" fantasy trilogy The Prince of Nothing. This last installment, The Thousandfold Thought is issued as a large format trade paperback by Orbit.
"Something special... the entire series is going to set a new standard for fantasy writers everywhere." -- The Alien Online.
Infoquake: The Jump 225 Trilogy by David Louis Edelman
(Prometheus Books 05 July, 2006 / £8.42) - "How far would you go to make a profit? Infoquake... takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. It's a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches. -- Publisher's Blurb.
Cinema Macabre by Mark Morris
(PS Publishing 30 September, 2005 / £25.00) - A must for all horror film fans, this is a brand new collection edited by Mark Morris (author of Nowhere Near an Angel ) in which he has fifty genre practitioners enthuse about their fave scary flick. There are some surprises, both in terms of contributor and content. Also released is a slipcased edition signed by all - at only £75.00, it may well be the collectible book of the year!
Impossible Stories by Zoran Živković
(PS Publishing 01 June, 2006 / £25.00) - A beautiful, sturdy book collecting in a single volume five story-cycles by World Fantasy Award winning author Živković.
"For years, Zoran Živković has awed, entertained, and tantalized the world of fantastic literature with his ingenious and moving fabulations, tales of ordinary, often isolated people facing and being transfigured by the strange, the improbable. Logic and illogic meet head-on in Živković's stories, and the outcome is always deeply memorable." -- Publisher's Blurb.
Postscripts: v. 6 by Peter Crowther (Ed)
(PS Publishing 31 December, 2005 / £6.00) - The latest issue of Postscripts (#6) contains fiction by Juliet E. McKenna, Matthew Hughes, Rhys Hughes, Zoran Živković, Stephen Baxter, Garry Kilworth and Conrad Williams as well as non fiction by Steven Erikson and Mike Ashley. There's also our own Iain Emlsey's interview with Elizabeth Hand. If you've only six pounds for your reading budget this months, this is what you should spend it on!
The Face of Twilight by Mark Samuels
(PS Publishing February, 2006 / £10.00) - A new and very creepy novella by British writer Mark Samuels. Released by PS Publishing in two signed, limited states. Introduction by Mark Morris (author of Nowhere Near An Angel). Reviewed this issue. (see review)
Resolution (Nulapeiron Sequence) by John Meaney
(Pyr March, 2006 / £14.03) - Pyr's US edition of the third Nulapeiron novel in this ambitious series by British Author John Meaney.
"...simply put, a hard science fiction masterpiece. And although plotlines are powered by some highly cerebral subject matter, the story succeeds in large part becuase of the sheer magnatism of Tom Corcorigan, arguably one of the most complex - and paradoxical - protagonists ever created in the genre..." -- Barnes & Noble's Exlorations.
River of Gods by Ian McDonald
(Pyr March, 2006 / £14.03) - Those kind folks at Pyr in the US have recently added me to their review copy list and thus I am obliged to list anything that comes in here in my "Books Received" column. This, I assure you is no hardship, particularly when Pyr are putting out such fanatastic work. Their output is particularly relevent here because Pyr are introducing US readers to a number of top class British authors.
Notable amongst these UK writers is Ian McDonald, whose River of Gods, Pyr published back in March. This beautiful hardcover edition was reviewed by Harriet Klausner in our March edition.
A highly recommeded novel, River of Gods the winner of the 2004 BSFA award and was nominated for the Hugo and the Arthur C. Clarke awards.
The Destiny Mask (Structure) by Martin Sketchley
(Pyr 04 April, 2006 / £8.42) - Pyr's US edition of The Destiny Mask, the second novel in British author Martin Sketchley's Structure sequence.
"Scarcely a page goes by without Delgardo and his comrades getting into a fight, or exciting vehicle chase, or titanic explosion, or prison of some sort... assured right from the first chapter. Sketchley knows what he's doing, and he's starting to do it very well..." -- Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City.
The Last House in the Galaxy by Andy Secombe
(Tor 19 May, 2006 / £6.99) - The mass market edition of Andy Secombe's very funny third novel, The Last House in the Galaxy. I reviewed this piece of highly enjoyable silliness when it it first came out and if you missed my recommendation back then, you'll find it elsewhere in this issue. Great fun! (see review)
Zootsuit Black by Jon George
(Tor 21 April, 2006 / £10.99) - The new novel by Jon George, author of Faces of Mist and Flame. This is a large format trade paperback released by Tor UK.
"Humanity is panicking. In seven days time our universe will cause changes to reality and kill millions.
Dr Jake Crux is convinced a solution lies in reacquainting ourselves with old powers - his experiment demonstrates extrasensory perception is possible; but his superiors want to pervert the results and sacrifice him in the process.
Scott Anderson has proof that the Far Right is jeopardising our chances of survival - their leader is potentially more dangerous than Hitler - and Scott's participation in a cult reality show exposes him to their mortal threats.
As the universe begins to shift, both men are periodically thrust into dealing with adversity in temporary dimensions: one battles mythical dragons; the other fights Nazis in WWII." -- Publisher's blurb.
Crystal Gorge by David Eddings
(Voyager 02 May, 2006 / £7.99) - The mass market paperback edition of the third title in The Dreamers sequence by David and Leigh Eddings in which "... the Rulers of the Wasteland challenges the Gods and wreaks devastation on their people"
"This is fantasy writ large in runes of fire and power, where magic crackles in the air and the forces of evil are ever ready to plunge the world into deepest night... the ultimate banquet of sorcery." -- Northern Echo
The Younger Gods: Bk. 4 by David Eddings
(Voyager 02 May, 2006 / £18.99) - The final volume in David and Leigh Eddings' series of The Dreamers is released in hardcover by Voyager. The Younger Gods is a "...magical, on-the-grandest-scale, action-packed, totally engaging and character fantasy novel and conclusion to a titanic series". And who can argue with that!
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