sfrevu Logo with link to Main Page  
UK Books Received- 11/2006  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

Ballantine Books

Mistral's Kiss by Laurell K. Hamilton (Ballantine Books 12 December, 2006 / £13.42) - Advanced copy of Mistrals' Kiss, the latest from the queen of erotic horror, Laurell K. Hamilton. This is her fifth novel featuring heroine Meredith Gentry ... " princess, private eye, and powerful player in a game of supernatural and sexual intrigue."

Due to be released as a hardcover in the US on December 6th, the British edition is a trade paperback due for release by Transworld on December 4th - making it the true first edition!

Gollancz

Air (Gollancz SF) by Geoff Ryman (Gollancz 14 September, 2006 / £6.99) - When released in hardcover last year, Geoff Ryman's went on to scoop a bunch of accolades including the Arthur C. Clarke award, the Tiptree Award, the BSF award and the Sunburst Award. Not bad, eh?!!! Gollancz now release this enormously acclaimed and lauded work in mass market paperback.

Dreamsongs: GRRM: A RRetrospective (Gollancz S.F.) by George R.R. Martin (Gollancz 21 September, 2006 / £20.00) - Originally published in the US by Subterranean this breeze-block of a book gathers together a huge amount of material by George R.R. Martin, essentially making it the definitive collection of his work. Here you'll find 32 short stories and novellas, TV scripts, author commentary and a comprehensive bibliography. A must-have item for any self-respecting Martin fan.

Terry Pratchett's Hogfather Discworld Calendar 2007 by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz 14 September, 2006 / £12.99) - With the Pratchett merchandising juggernaut ever gathering pace, Christmas is a good time for Discworld Fans. If you are one or have one in your family, this year's Discworld calendar will make a great seasonal gift, particularly as it is themed specifically on the forthcoming live action two-part TV movie of Hogfather. A year's worth of Pratchettry for only £12.99. Bargain!

Terry Pratchett's Hogfather: The Illustrated Screenplay (Gollancz S.F.) by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz 02 November, 2006 / £20.00) - A beautiful, full colour, oversize hardcover release celebrating the forthcoming Sky One live action version of Terry Pratchett's seasonal Discworld romp, Hogfather, due to be screened Christmas 2006.

"...the official companion to this extraordinary TV event, featuring the full shooting script and lavishly illustrated with behind the scenes photographs, production stills, pre-production drawings, character sketches and illustrations from Pratchett favourite artist Stephen Player.... The book also features forwards by both Terry Pratchett and Vadim Jean and an afterwards from the producers, charting the remarkable story of how the Hogfather made the journey from page to screen."

The Age Of Misrule: World's End, Darkest Hour, Always Forever (Gollancz S.F.) by Mark Chadbourn (Gollancz 14 September, 2006 / £9.99) - A mass market paperback omnibus edition containing the three novels that make up Mark Chadbourn's Age of Misrule sequence - World's End, Darkest Hour, and Always Forever. I wish I'd had this to hand when reviewing Chadbourn's most recent title, Jack of Ravens a couple of issues ago, as it would have been a fabulous reference. If you've not dipped into this author's excellent work which fuses ancient Celtic mythology with modern day fantasy, Age of Misrule will be a great place to start. To wet your appetite, take a look at the Wikipedia entry for this series, and, of course, Mark Chabourn's website.

The Ankh-Morpork Post Office Handbook: Discworld Diary 2007 (Gollancz SF) by Stephen Briggs (Gollancz 31 August, 2006 / £13.00) - Christmas creeps ever closer and what better gift to buy your nearest and dearest Pratchett fanatic than the latest Discworld diary - now becoming almost as annually traditional as Christmas itself! This years offering is the Ankh-Morpork Post Office Handbook (a homage, clearly to the recent Going Postal) created by Pratchett along with Stephen Briggs and illustrated by the hugely talented Paul Kidby. A smart and shiny hardcover release from Gollancz, priced at £12.99.

The Cry of the Newborn: The Ascendants of Estorea Book 1 (Gollancz S.F.) by James Barclay (Gollancz 14 September, 2006 / £7.99) - A year on from its hard cover release, James Barclay's solid and impressive novel Cry of the Newborn is issued in an equally solid mass market paperback edition. My original review is reprinted in this issue and I look forward very much to reading the second and concluding volume in the story of The Ascendants of Astoria, A Shout for the Dead, which is due out within the next month or so. (see review)

Transcendent: Destiny's Children Book 3 (Gollancz SF) by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz 14 September, 2006 / £6.99) - For those following Stephen Baxter's Destiny's Children series, Gollancz release the third volume in a mass market paperback edition.

"Strong imagination and a capacity for awe abound in the work of Stephen Baxter. A truly Wellsian vision." -- The Times Literary Supplement.

HarperCollins

Whitemantle by Robert Carter (HarperCollins 06 November, 2006 / £7.99) - The latest title in Robert Carters very classy Arthurian themed historical fantasy sequence, The Language of Stones. This is the mass market paperback edition released by Harper Fiction. this series has been described as "The 15th century as it should have been". Find out more at Robert Carter's website, www.languageofstones.com.

Headline Book Publishing Ltd

Game On!: From Pong to Oblivion - The Greatest Video Games of All Time by Simon Byron (Headline Book Publishing Ltd 23 October, 2006 / £14.99) - What is so cool about this book is its ability to create nostalgia for any reader between fifteen and forty! Game ON! From Pong to Oblivion: The 50 Greatest Games of All Time takes a look at those addictive games that robbed you of hours of quality reading time. I, for example, have easily spent a good few months of my life playing Civ II and a few more messing with Command & Conquer. Oh, the books I could have read in that time!!

A fantastic, all colour look into our past. Highly recommended.

Macmillan

The Secret of Crickley Hall by James Herbert (Macmillan 06 October, 2006 / £17.99) - James Herbert's latest chunky chiller may well set your pulse racing. His take on the classic haunted house tale is released in hefty hardcover and is also reviewed this issue. (see review)

Orbit

When True Night Falls (Coldfire Trilogy) by Celia Friedman (Orbit 02 November, 2006 / £7.99) - Celia Friedman is a busy writer at the moment - already well known to US fantasy readers, her new novel, Feast of Souls is due out in the US from Daw in January 07, and her web site reports a number of short stories coming out plus a convention appearances galore!

Meantime, Orbit is introducing UK readers to Freidman's works, specifically her acclaimed Coldfire Trilogy, the first book of which Black Sun Rising (1991) was released in October. The sequel, When True Night Falls is now available in trade paperback and in a month's time book three, Crown of Shadows will be released. A site dedicated to this series, Joggonath, can be found here .

Pendragon Press, Maesteg

At the Molehills of Madness by Rhys Hughes (Pendragon Press, Maesteg 31 August, 2006 / £7.99) - Pendragon Press, the independent outfit steered by the impressively dedicated Christopher Teague, is a small press that continues to refine itself. In terms of both the physical and the literary quality of their products, with Teague at the helm Pendragon continues to go from strength to strength.

At the Molehills of Madness is not so tongue-in-cheek as it's title might suggest though certainly this collection of short works by prolific Welsh writer Rhys Hughes contains many strange and sideways stories darkened by some very black humour indeed. Other pieces are disturbing or absurd, bizarre and even downright unpleasant - but the tone of the collection shows that Hughes' works are anything but formulaic. You know as you read that there's a surprise coming in many of these tales, but it's pointless trying to anticipate the route that this inventive and extraordinary writer will take towards it. Dark, darker and darkest - a fascinating clutch of twisted tales not for the faint-hearted.

Rough Cut by Gary McMahon (Pendragon Press, Maesteg 30 September, 2006 / £6.99) - The second release from Pendragon is a novella by Gary McMahon. Rough Cut tells of one Jude St Claire, a young man commissioned to write a biography of his late mother, a one-time screen siren of the sixties and seventies cheap British horror flick. What begins as a cathartic exercise descends into abject horror for St Clair, as his discoveries take him on a bleak journey towards his own dark origins and to Daleside, an abandoned asylum with a terrifying and murderous history.

Though it is essentially a well crafted and very readable piece, McMahon's novella suffers from the confines of it's word count. It is inescapably a novel squeezed and squashed into a shorter form - this concertina-like construction forces characters to come to their conclusions far too quickly and events tumble into one another without their consequences seeming to count for much. In spite of this uneven pacing Rough Cut marks McMahon out as a writer of no little class and promise - definitely a name to watch for.

PS Publishing

I Am The Bird by T.M. Wright (PS Publishing September/October 2006 / ) - T.M. Wright, a prolific writer of horror fiction has not been published here in the UK for a long while now. The most recent example of his work being published this side of the Atlantic was a 1995 novel Erthmun.

PS Publishing with their typical foresight and good taste, now restores Wright's work (rightfully) to our bookshelves with the release of I Am The Bird - a long limited edition novella introduced by Ramsey Campbell. A hardcover edition is also being released.

"Max Gorshen lives in a dark, hot apartment in a medium-size, though unnamed, north American city with someone he refers to only as "the other [man]," who, Max tell us, lives in the apartment's "long, dim hallway." Max and "the other [man]" never seem to encounter each other in the apartment (although Max sees "the other [man]" mingling with and bedevilling "the interlopers and trespassers" on the city streets below the window Max sits at while he writes the novella), though they talk to one another through letters and brief notes: neither man is certain the other man really exists. Both of these characters live with "Langley," a very talkative and apparently highly intelligent African gray parrot. Something else exists in the big apartment, too, and all three first-person narrators (Max, the other [man], and Langley) lead us to believe that it is something vile."

On the Overgrown Path by David Herter (PS Publishing September/October 2006 / ) - Having evoked the kind of fascinating magic realism often associated with works by Tim Powers and James Blaylock in his 2002 novel Evening's Empire, David Herter, now offers an equally classy and thoughtful piece of dark fantasy, this time in the form of a novella from PS Publishing. This edition features an introduction by John Clute.

"En route from Bratislava to Prague in the deceptive spring of the 1920s, Leos Janacek, famed opera composer, ethnographer, and amateur psychologist, is stranded in an obscure and enigmatic mountain village, lured from his train by a song of blood. Here, Janacek must become a detective far from home. Attempting to solve a bizarre murder in which he himself is suspect — and whose perpetrator might be a wild animal, a jealous lover, or Nature unhinged — he brings to bear his singular skills of observation and poetic insight, and most importantly, his belief in the truthfulness of the "little melodies" heard in everyday life: the cry of a bird, the plash of snow from the eaves, the horrendous lie voiced with a smile. What he uncovers is a many-stranded aria of ravenous Nature and mischievous Time, threatening to consume his world."

Pyr

Mappa Mundi by Justina Robson (Pyr 05 September, 2006 / £8.07) - Already noted in the US Books Received column in our September issue, this Pyr edition of Justina Robson's Mappa Mundi has made the long journey over the Atlantic, to arrive in my mailbox. I originally reviewed this novel when it was first published here in the UK by Macmillan back in late 2001 - see here - and remember admiring the ideas, but not really being able to engage with the heart of the story, largely because it didn't seem to have one. Robson's subsequent work has impressed much more, most notably her most recent work, Keeping it Real .

The Blood Debt (Books of the Cataclysm) by Sean Williams (Pyr 02 October, 2006 / £13.45) - From Pyr in the US comes the second volume in Sean Williams' Books of the Cataclysm sequence - following on from The Crooked Letter a novel much enjoyed by our editor Gayle Surrette. Her review is quoted on the rear of this new release.

Tor

Polity Agent by Neal Asher (Tor 06 October, 2006 / 17.99) - Since I reviewed Neal Asher's fantastic and brash first novel Gridlinked over six years ago now, Asher has worked tirelessly to gather a huge and loyal readership. His main weapon this this campaign has been a string of consistently enjoyable and inventive novels, the latest of which is published in hardcover by Tor UK. Polity Agent again features Asher's mainstay protagonist, agent Cormac, and once again provides the reader with edge-of-one's-seat, high octane adventure. Pound for pound, there's nobody around right now who is better than Asher at this kind of thing. Recommended.

Read my reviews of Neal Asher's other novels by clicking on the various titles - you might (rightly) get the impression that I like his work! Brass Man, The Skinner, Cowl, and The Voyage of the Sable Keech. Michael Rowley reviews Asher's latest for us... (see review)

Voyager

A Feast for Crows (Song of Ice & Fire) by George R.R. Martin (Voyager 06 November, 2006 / £7.99) - It's a source of great comfort to me when things actually live up to the hype that precedes them and A Feast For Crows is a prime example of one of these rare beasts! If you somehow managed, following that oh-sooo-long five year wait, to forbear snapping up the original hardcover or subsequent trade paperback issues, HarperCollin's now rewards your patience with this release of the fifth instalment in George R.R. Martin's unimpeachable fantasy epic.

The Poisoned Crown (Sangreal Trilogy) by Amanda Hemingway (Voyager 06 November, 2006 / £12.99) - Amanda Hemingway wraps up her heart-felt and elegant Sangreal Trilogy with the release of this third and final part The Poisoned Crown. A very impressive and enjoyable series. Click the following links my reviews of of part one The Greenstone Grail and part two The Traitor's Sword.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Secrets of Mary Magdalene: A Guide to Her Story, History and Heresy by Dan Burstein (Weidenfeld & Nicolson 14 September, 2006 / £10.99) - The Da Vinci Code and it's offspring just will not die. It has, it seems, spawned a whole sub-genre of fictional and apparently factual works all dealing with the same religious and pseudo-religious themes. Secrets of Mary Magdalene: The Untold Story of History's Most Misunderstood Woman is the latest piece from journalist Dan Burnstein cashing in on the popularity and interest created by Dan Brown's novel.

Return to Index

With a few exceptions, books sent get listed, and possibly even commented on.
With fewer exceptions, books not sent don't.
Send books to: Gayle Surrette / UK Editor
SFRevu, 16440 Baden Westwood Road Brandywine, MD 20613

© 2002-SFRevu

advertising index / info
Our advertisers make Gumshoe possible, and your consideration is appreciated.

Our Other Pubs:

Do You SFRevu? Thousands of Intelligent Beings Do Every Month

Gumshoe Review - a literary investigation.

© 2002-SFRevu