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UK Books Received- 10/2006  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

Bloomsbury

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury 16 October, 2006 / £16.99) - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (click the link to read my review)was the blockbuster novel of 2004. With massive sales and goodness knows how many awards, it made its author Susannah Clarke a household name. As it reputedly took ten years for her to write, a sequel is not expected any time soon. However a collection of her various short fiction set in the delicately depicted world of Faerie is published by Bloomsbury in October, and features illustrations by the eminent artist Charles Vess.

This eagerly awaited release is issued in hardcover, cloth bound and stamped, but without a jacket. There is also an export trade paperback, but wily collectors will have preordered the special limited edition direct from the publisher!

Gollancz

Doctor Whom by Adam Roberts (Gollancz 21 September, 2006 / £8.99) - Adam Roberts flexes his parody muscles once more, this time targeting the hugely popular, recently resurrected TV show Dr Who , whilst managing to tie it in with a dig at Lynne Truss's (did I use that apostrophe correctly?) commentary on the woeful state of English grammar. Dr Whom is a hardcover from Gollancz.

"Dr Whom, the grammatically correct TimeLord (or should that be Time Lord? Or is it Timelord? has come to save our universe from the terrors of sloppy syntax and bad grammar."

Galactic North (Gollancz S.F.) by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz 19 October, 2006 / £9.99) - The long-awaited first short story collection by the award winning hard British hard SF author Alastiar Reynolds. I'm a big fan of Reynolds' work - he is undoubtedly one of the best and most important science fiction writers around - click on the links to read my reviews of Chasm City, Century Rain, Pushing Ice and Diamond Dogs - one of my favourite novellas of all time!

The latest release brings together eight works, three of which are published here for the first time and all of which take place in the author's Revelation Space universe. Released in a large HC format matching Gollancz's previous Reynolds' releases, Galctic North is easily, at only £9.99, the bargain of the month. You could not spend your hard-earned cash any better than this.

Nova Swing (Gollancz S.F.) by M. John Harrison (Gollancz 02 November, 2006 / £16.99) - Uncorrected proof. A new novel from M. John Harrison, the hugely respected British author of Viriconium, The Centauri Device and more recently Light (which I reviewed here in our October 2002 issue.) This latest work is described not so much as a sequel to Light, but as being set "in the same general universe."

"Any new novel by M. John Harrison is an event and Nova Swing is no exception; melding literary panache with SF brilliance, it is a dazzling and welcome return from a writer who has enriched the genre and wowed fans and critics alike."

Resplendent: Destiny's Children Book Four (Gollancz S.F.) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 21 September, 2006 / £12.99) - For sheer scope and breadth of vision, there are few writers more accomplished than our own Stephen Baxter. Resplendant is the fourth and final volume in his Destiny's Children sequence, a true epic which spans a timescale that almost makes one's brain hurt to imagine. The Destiny's Children sequence is itself part of Baxter's Xeelee narrative, a massive body of works in which the author examines how mankind might "... change and evolve over our epic journey out into the universe."

Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Lisey's Story by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd 24 October, 2006 / ) - Limited edition uncorrected proof. Stephen King's latest novel, Lisey's Story, relates the tale of Lisa Landon, wife of the late Scott Landon, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and dead these last two years. With soft supernatural under/overtones and its wonderfully teased out plot, Lisey's Story is full of typical Kingly finesse and is reviewed in this issue. (see review)

Monkeybrain

The Man from the Diogenes Club by Kim Newman (Monkeybrain June, 2006 / £8.36) - I've cited British writer Kim Newman's short fiction numerous times here on SFRevu, for I really do believe he is one of the best (and most fun) short fiction writers around. His long works ain't bad either!

Now, courtesy of Monkeybrain Books, and a small press run by US author Chris Roberson (I reviewed his novel Paragea, a couple of issues ago)there is this new Newman collection, featuring Richard Jeperson, a member of The Diognenes Club - a branch of British Intelligence that deal with the more bizarre type of case... "haunted trains and seaside resorts, murders in utopian communities and London's vice district, voodoo and mind-altering therapies". With his customary attention to detail and great sense of fun, Newman's stories, set in the 70's, are peppered with contemporary references, cultural and kitsch and the whole collection is just one big, groovy thing, man! Highly recommended.

Orbit

Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks (Orbit 07 September, 2006 / £18.99) - Orbit, along with their sister YA imprint, Atom, are resissuing large parts of Terry Brooks' backlist in a worthy and deserved push to introduce a whole new generation of readers to these enduring and important fantasy sequences. The party begins though, with an entirely new work, Armageddon's Children a novel which "...explains how our own world, as portrayed in The Word and the Void series becomes the world of the Shannara books...".

Look out for further Brooks reissues from Orbit and Atom in the coming months. Meantime, read more about these classics of modern fantasy at Wikipedia and, of course, on Terry Brooks' own web site .

Crown of Stars (Crown of Stars S.) by Kate Elliott (Orbit 05 October, 2006 / £8.99) - Mass market paperback release. With the publication of Crown of Stars, Kate Elliot completes her seven book cycle of the same name and it really is a staggering achievement. A huge and sweeping epic, the Crown of Stars series has delighted readers of fantasy worldwide and we wait with interest to see how Elliot tops it with whatever her next project might be. See the author's website for more.

Destiny (Trinity S.) by Fiona McIntosh (Orbit 05 October, 2006 / £7.99) - British born but Australian based fantasy author Fiona McIntosh garnered some impressive reviews with the release of her fantasy trilogy, The Quickening - comprising Myrren's Gift, Blood and Memory and Bridge of Souls and the sequence was very highly praised by Robin Hobb. Orbit has now published the final volume of McIntosh's new fantasy series following the release of the first two books in the preceding months. Destiny is published this month as a paperback original. (This new trilogy was actually McIntosh's first published fantasy back in Australia). More info can be found at the author's web site and you can catch SFRevu editor Gayle Surrette's reviews of the previous trilogy by clicking on the links above.

Eastern Tide (Aldabreshin Compass S.) by Juliet E. McKenna (Orbit 05 October, 2006 / £8.99) - The concluding book in Juliet McKenna's Aldabreshin Compass sequence.

"The Archipelago is still plagued by dragons and its peoples live in terror of their coming. Kheda, Risala and Velindre chase rumours of a water dragon, as they alone have gathered secrets of how to repel these fearsome beasts. Yet this has won them no friends as they are forced to travel incognito, their lives at risk".

Top class fantasy from McKenna - "Brimful of magic and adventure" -- Starburst.

The Fate of the Fallen (Song of Tears S.) by Ian Irvine (Orbit 07 September, 2006 / £12.99) - The start of a brand new series by one of Australia's most popular fantasy authors, Ian Irvine - author of the View from the Mirror and the Well of Echoes. The Fate of the Fallen is another solid, sturdy fantasy and is perfect for fans of Eddings, Goodkind and Jordan. The author's web site is here - though it looks to have been a while since the last comprehensive update.

Vicious Circle: A Felix Castor Novel by Mike Carey (Orbit 05 October, 2006 / £7.99) - With such a flooded market, supernatural thrillers are pretty much ten-a-penny right now. It stands to reason then that some will be better than others... and that some will be way, way, way better!

Vicious Circle is Mike Carey's second novel to feature is exorcist detective Felix Castor, and I can't see the supernatural thriller getting any better than this superlative work. This doesn't pander to anyone's sensibilities - instead it is hard as diamond and just as polished.

Very highly recommended and reviewed this issue. (see review)

Pocket Books

Conventions of War (Dread Empire's Fall S.) by Walter Jon Williams (Pocket Books 02 October, 2006 / £7.99) - The concluding volume in Walter John Williams's massive, epic space opera Dread Empire's Fall.

"The universe has fallen into bloody chaos now that the dread empire of the tyrannical Shaa is no more - at the mercy of the merciless insectoid Naxid who, freed from subjugation, now hunger for domination. But the far-flung human descendants of Terra have finally tasted liberty, and their warrior heroes will not submit."

StonehengeLimitedpublishers

Merlin Built Stonehenge by Bruce Bedlam (StonehengeLimitedpublishers 09 May, 2005 / £8.99) - A self-published fictional work by Bruce Bedlam which serves to illustrate the author's asserions that Stonehenge was constructed by ... well, as the title of the book suggests, none other than Merlin himself. It's a slightly off-the-wall idea, which is perhaps why it has been fictionalised in this manner, but the author's web site (which is certainly packed full of well-presented information) offers some background into where Mr Bedlam is coming from. I'm not at all sure I buy the theory... hang on... let me rephrase that - I think it's it's as crackpot as they come, but in the spirit of journalistic objectivism, take a look at the book and at www.stonehenge.tv

Tor

Endgame by Andy Secombe (Tor 15 September, 2006 / £10.99) - The fourth novel by Andy Secombe, an author now firmly established in the metaphysical stable of comic SF writers. His first two novels, Limbo and Limbo II put him on the map and gave us a clear flavour of his particularly tangential, goon-ish humour. His previous novel The Last House in the Galaxy was reviewed most favourably back in our May 05 issue. Now comes Endgame in trade paperback from Tor UK, and it looks set to further cement Secombes reputation. Here's what the publishers have to say about it...

"Endgame ... grips the reader from the first line and holds them through a labyrinthine narrative that loops between hell, heaven and earth, the past and present-day and a web of fantastical intricacies. The fantasy is underpinned by Secombe's mordant wit, skilfully inserted historical reference and vividly created protagonists."

What this drily worded press release neglect to mention is that if Secombe's previous novels are anything to go by, Endgame is damned funny too!

Swarmthief's Dance (Swarmthief Trilogy) by Deborah Miller (Tor 15 September, 2006 / £6.99) - Scottish writer Deborah J Miller's first book for Tor UK is released in mass market paperback. Described by the late and much lamented David Gemmell as "The most enchanting novel I've read in a long, long time" Swarmthief's Dance is reviewed in this issue by Juliet McKenna.

"Long ago, there was 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 spirits of the Nulefi remained, and they wander the world of Myr, cloaked in the shattered form of the Swarms, waiting for the moment of their revenge. Now they have re-awoken, and one human boy, Vivreki, has witnessed that rebirth. The Swarm calls to him, whispers to him the secrets of a vanished age. To Vivreki this seems a miracle, but to his masters it is heresy. For very few now honour the elder gods, and those who still do are wise to keep silent about it. In fear and peril of his life, Vivreki is hidden away from those that would kill him for his special knowledge. His memory is erased, his past denied, and a new life started for him half a world away. But the Nulefi have not forgotten Vivreki - he alone can hear them, and now he alone can save them. And as the Nulefi struggle to reach their only ally in the world, Herrukal - father of the gods - discerns the rise of a new power on Myr that he will not tolerate." (see review)

Viking

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by G. W. Dahlquist (Viking 25 January, 2007 / £16.99) - Gordon Dalquist's debut novel has made a big splash in genre circles since its publication in the US at the beginning of August. With impressive marketing and even more impressive reviews, the draw of this Victorian fantasy is almost impossible to ignore.

The UK edition is to be published in January next year, but publishers Viking (an imprint of Penguin UK) are also releasing the book in ten perfect bound installments - reminiscent of the original publication of Stephen King's The Green Mile some years ago.

This special installment edition of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters is available ONLY online, via subscription and the opportunity to purchase expires on October the 8th. It is limited to 5000 sets of ten books, priced at £25.00 and each delivered weekly to your door. On subscribing, you can also enter a competition to win one of ten sets signed by Dalquist.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to www.glassbooks.co.uk without further delay! Go now! And place your order...

Voyager

A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £6.99) - The fourth book in the series...

"There is no rest for the wicked, even when the taint on your soul isn't your fault. It would be wise for witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, to keep a low profile right now. Her new reputation for the dark arts has piqued the interest of Cincinnati's night-prowlers, who despise her and long to bring an end to her interference, one way or another."

Abarat 2: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £7.99) - Barker's second Abarat novel is at last released in mass market paperback by HarperCollins, two years after it was first published. Happily, this release is timed to coincide with Barker's appearance at Fantasycon. More about Barker and about the Abarat sequence can be found at the author's official web site.

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £6.99) - "Chick Lit meets Vamp Lit".

Kim Harrison's acclaimed Rachel Morgan series is released in eye-catching colours as HarperCollins show their teeth and go for a bite of the supernatural thriller market, so fashionable at the moment in genre circles. Book one in the series is Dead Witch Walking.

Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £6.99) - "If you make a deal with the devil, can you still save your soul?

The third Rachel Morgan book being released this month by Harpercollins Voyager.

"Kim Harrison's books fuse wry humour, nail biting action, and an irristiable heroine in this series of urban fantasy thrillers..."

Into a Dark Realm: No. 5 by Raymond E. Feist (Voyager 04 September, 2006 / £18.99) - A major release from HarperCollins Voyager, Raymond E. Feist's brand new novel Into a Dark Realm is the second in his Darkwar sequence and the author will be in the UK to promote its publication. Details of Feist's scheduled appearances have been posted by our friends at The Alien Online (just scroll down the blog entries to the one dated 5th Sept). Feist will also be a guest at Fantasycon, alongside Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker, which takes place in Nottingham from Sept 22nd to 24th.

And with regard to this book, I must take this opportunity to thank the retard, who is my postman, for his attempt at trying to stuff a large hardback book through a slightly smaller mail slot - a spectacular display of utter brainlessness that resulted in a very mangled review copy. Good old Royal Mail, eh?

Quicksilver Twilight (Quicksilver Trilogy S.) by Stan Nicholls (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £14.99) - The final part of Stan Nicholls' Quicksilver trilogy is released in trade paperback by HarperCollins Voyager. We covered the first two two books in previous issue, Quicksilver Rising and Quicksilver Zenith (click on the titles to read those reviews) and there's also our exclusive author interview available here.

Fans of the author's Orcs series will be delighted to learn that Stan has been commission by Gollancz to produce a new trilogy. Fine of more at the Stan Nicholls official web site.

The Good, The Bad and The Undead by Kim Harrison (Voyager 02 October, 2006 / £6.99) - What do you get when you cross Buffy, The OC and sprinkle it with the attitude of Pulp Fiction?

The second Kim Harrison title to be released this month by HarperCollins Voyager.

"Rachel Morgan is a kick-ass heroine for the 21st century - A witch and private investigator, who in Harrison's words is 'as vulnerable as she is strong' - Harrison claims that apart from Rachel, the two other central characters in her book are also an amalgam of her own personality, from the side-kick pixy Jenks and the to the more complex and brooding vampire flatmate Ivy."

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