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UK Books Received- 12/2006  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


Blue Noon (Midnighters) by Scott Westerfeld (ATOM 02 November, 2006 / £6.99) - "Meet the Midnighters. By day, they're outsiders. Teenagers with black coats and bad attitudes. By night, they might just be our last hope..."

The third title in Scott Westerfield's Midnighters young adult sequence. Blue Noon is a trade paperback release from Atom. For further info on this award winning series, check out Scott Westerfield's web site.

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks (ATOM 02 November, 2006 / £7.99) - The second in the original Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks is issued alongside the first, listed above. Be sure to check out the author's excellent and informative web site. Seminal reading for anyone dipping a toe into the fantasy genre, as noted by this quote on the jacket....

"If Harry Potter has given you a thirst for fantasy and you have not discovered the magic of Terry Brooks, you are in for a treat." -- Rocky Mountain News.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks (ATOM 05 October, 2006 / £7.99) - Atom, the sister imprint of Orbit Books aimed more towards the "Young Adult" market is reissuing Terry Brooks' original Shannara sequence in smart, stocky hard covers. By offering this series up to a whole new generation of readers, doubtless there will be many new young souls who will catch the fantasy bug we all suffer from. And good thing too!

Some have noted that Brooks' classic quest trilogy which began with this title, The Sword of Shannara (I'm discounting the later published prequel here) is a little too Tolkeinesque for its own good, but for legions of fans, is this series and not The Lord of the Rings that they'd rather be reading.


Endymion (Gollancz S.F.) by Dan Simmons (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £7.99) - Gollancz's reissue of Dan Simmon's seminal Hyperion Cantos continues with this mass market edition of Endymion. This is a must read series for SF fans - it was certainly a massive influence on my own reading.

Fat (Gollancz S.F.) by Rob Grant (Gollancz 28 December, 2006 / £9.99) - Uncorrected Proof Copy: The long awaited new novel by Red Dwarf creator Rob Grant. Much delayed and much anticipated, Fat is described as " hilarious satire on our readiness to devour 'facts' and dodgy science along with our doughnuts and an unexpectedly moving story of the true cost of our obsession with how we look"

Fat will be published in hardcover by Gollancz on 26th December 2006.

Gradisil (Gollancz SF) by Adam Roberts (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of Gradisil, the latest 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 into 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."

Ilario: The Lions' Eye by Mary Gentle (Gollancz 16 November, 2006 / £14.99) - Ilario is the huge new novel by Mary Gentle, acclaimed author of Ash: A Secret History and returns to the world she created for that award winning work. Ilario is set in a slightly earlier time, but is no less accomplished or richly detailed. Long awaited by fans it is released in both hard cover and trade paperback by Gollancz.

"Ilario is born hermaphrodite, a true genetic chimera. Found abandoned on the steps of a chapel of the Green Christ, in one of the minor Iberian kingdoms, on a freezing snowy night, Ilario is fostered by Federico, an impoverished Iberian nobel, who plans to gift Ilario to the king, hoping to gain favour at court..."

Keeping It Real by Justina Robson (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £6.99) - The mass market edition of the latest novel by Justina Robson, one of the UK's top drawer female SF writers. Gollancz, who has recently acquired her, have not messed about in getting this edition into book stores so soon after the original release - only six months ago. Robson had four acclaimed novels published with Macmillan (one of which, Mappa Mundi, I reviewed back in our October 2001 issue) but with this change of publishers there has also been a slight alteration in tone. Her new novel Keeping It Real is a much more gutsy and action-packed affair than we've seen before from Robson, though it is a no less thoughtful and incisive work.

"...a fun-filled, energetic and escapist romp in a world warped by magic and weirdness, full of humour and one of the most unique and compelling female characters ever created in an SF novel" -- Publisher's Blurb.

Peace And War: Forever Peace, Forever Free, Forever War (Gollancz S.F.) by Joe Haldeman (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £7.99) - A trade paperback omnibus edition featuring the three Forever novels by Joe Haldeman. Worth it for the first in the sequence alone, The Forever War is a fantastic military SF work and thoroughly deserves it classic status. The second novel Forever Free didn't - for me - reach the dizzy heights of the first and the third one Forever Peace I found positively baffling!

The End of Harry Potter? (Gollancz S.F.) by David Langford (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £9.99) - Noted SF commentator and author David Langford speculates on the demise of the Harry Potter books, an event that will have children wetting their pants all over the world. How will it all end...? Langford has the answers.... possibly.

The Rise of Endymion (Gollancz S.F.) by Dan Simmons (Gollancz 09 November, 2006 / £7.99) - The final book of the Hyperion Cantos completes this neat set of reissues by Gollancz.

"Matches and perhaps even surpasses Isaac Asimov and James Blish" -- Washington Post.


Crown of Shadows (Coldfire Trilogy) by Celia Friedman (Orbit 07 December, 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 was available last month in trade paperback and now the final book Crown of Shadowshas been released, thus completing the trilogy.

A site dedicated to this series, Joggonath, can be found here .

Evil for Evil (Engineer Trilogy) by K.J. Parker (Orbit 07 December, 2006 / £12.99) - Acclaimed fantasy author K.J Parker has the second novel in her Engineer Trilogy published by Orbit in trade paperback. Evil for Evil furthers the story of Ziani Vaatzes, the vengeful engineer we first me in Devices and Desires.

"This is grown-up fantasy blessed with humour, intelligence and... panache. A bravura display of intricate storytelling and artfully-doled-out revelations." -- SFX

Hinterland (Godslayer) by James Clemens (Orbit 02 November, 2006 / £11.99) - The second novel in the Godslayer series by James Clemens, a fantasy author much admired by his peers, including Terry Brooks. Hinterland is published as a large format trade paperback by Orbit. Check out the interview with Clemens on the Orbit Books Web site.

"Clemens tells a cracking story" -- Starburst.

Serrano Legacy Omnibus: v. 1 by Elizabeth Moon (Orbit 07 December, 2006 / £10.99) - I'm a huge admirer of Elizabeth Moon's work - though I suspect I fall outside of her target demographic. Orbit release a fabulous ominbus edition containing the Space Opera novels making up Moon's (B>Serrano Lagacy - Hunting Party (1993, Sporting Chance (1994) and Winning Colours (1995). This is really good value for money from Orbit - great stuff.

Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley (Orbit 05 October, 2006 / £12.99) - Orbit's lead title of the month is Winterbirth, a debut fantasy novel from Scottish author Brian Ruckley and this is clearly a title Orbit are backing it to the hilt, having produced smart advanced reading copies and now, it's actual release as a very smart hardcover. Find out more about the author and his novel at

"In a world of blood and ice, an uneasy truce exists between the human clans and the ancient races. But now the Clan of the Black Road is moving south from exile, and their arrival will herald a new age of war. Behind it all seems to be one man, whose desire for power will only be sated when he has achieved his ultimate goal: immortality."

You Don't Have to Be Evil to Work Here, But It Helps by Tom Holt (Orbit 02 November, 2006 / £6.99) - The irrepressible Tom Holt adds to his long, long list of comic novels, a new one with perhaps the longest title so far ... You Don't Have To Be Evil To Work Here, But It Helps. This is the mass market paperback edition, released by Orbit.

"Colin Hollinghead is going nowhere fast. Working for his dad might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but starting at the bottom in the widget-making industry has somehow lost its appeal. And now the business is in trouble. At least his father has a plan to turn things round - a new work force that will secure the company's future for eternity. The deal looks great, but the devil, as they say, is in the detail and the old rogue certainly seems to be involved in some capacity."


Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas (Solaris March, 2007 / £7.99) - This novel of Punktown by US writer Jeffrey Thomas is one of the titles that Solaris has chosen to launch themselves into the marketplace - clearly they think an awful lot of it. Here's what they have to say about it...

"This massively acclaimed star of the SF small presses makes his mass market debut with a high-velocity collision of Richard Morgan and China Mieville in the ultimate future noir setting."

"Punktown is searing and alien and anxious and rich, and it is humane, and it is moving. Jeffrey Thomas has done something wonderful." - China Mieville

The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction by Stephen Baxter (Solaris 05 March, 2006 / £7.99) - A big event in British genre publishing happens next year with the launch of a new major imprint - Solaris Books. I'm hugely excited about this, not least because the list of their releases announced so far is extremely interesting. First up is an anthology put together by editor and author George Mann. The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction is something of a mission statement for Solaris, who judging by the calibre of material contained in this smart paperback edition, are going to make a fantastic impact on the market both here in the UK and also in America, where their titles will be simultaneously released.

The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction has all new works by authors that include the likes of Neal Asher, James Lovegrove, Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, Adam Roberts and Ian Watson.


Capacity by Tony Ballantyne (Tor 17 November, 2006 / £6.99) - The second novel from UK author Tony Ballantyne is released in mass market 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 17 November, 2006 / £7.99) - The mass market edition of the second in Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Crowthistle Chronicles.

"Dart-Thornton conjures up her world of Tir in the luminous yet hard-edged manner of Jack Vance and Mary Gentle." -- Washington Post

Weatherwitch by Cecilia Dart-Thornton (Tor 17 November, 2006 / £17.99) - The third volume in Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Crowthistle Chronicle, Weatherwitch is released in hard cover by Tor UK. Dart-Thornton is part of the vanguard of Australian fantasy authors who are almost dominating the fantasy market right now. I was most impressed with her debut novel, The Ill-Made Mute, which I reviewed way back in our September 2001 issue. Fans of Terry Brooks, Tad Williams and Tanith Lee should find this to their liking.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (Tor 01 December, 2006 / £14.99) - Juliet Marrilier offers her first novel specifically aimed towards a younger market. Wildwood Dancing is an "... enchanting YA fantasy fairytale set against a fascinating Transylvanian backdrop from one of the genres most acclaimed writers." and will definitely appear to fans of Marillier's wonderful Sevenwaters Trilogy. A smart hardcover from Tor UK. (see review)


Lurulu by Jack Vance (Voyager 30 October, 2006 / £7.99) - A sequel to Vance's novel Ports of Call, Lurulu is published for the first time in the UK in this compact paperback original from HarperCollins Voyager.

"The Gaean Reach, that densely populated region of space where the full diversity of human civilisation is revealed, is the colourful backdrop to the adventures of Myron Tany."

Phantom by Terry Goodkind (Voyager 04 December, 2006 / £12.99) - I've not had a chance to read Phantom yet, but the I hear that after a couple of recent stodgy works, Goodkind is back at his best with this latest novel in his best-selling, huge fantasy epic the Sword of Truth and the second novel in the Chainfire sequence. Previously only available in hardcover HarperCollins Voyager now issue this novel in trade paperback. Goodkind's excellent official web site can be found by clicking this link.

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